The first time you meet Leon in Pokémon Sword and Shield, you are immediately told that the champion of the Galar region is undefeated. Imagine upholding a sterling record like that ... only to get wrecked by a little kid and his useless fish?
YouTuber PokeTips decided to try an experiment in his copy of the latest Pokémon games — what would it take for a player to defeat the toughest trainer in the game with nothing but a Magikarp? Despite being infamously useless, Magikarp does have something going for it this time around, as it can now learn the powerful Hydro Pump move. But one strong move isn’t enough to survive a high-stakes battle.
Through the course of the video, PokeTips tries a variety of different approaches to the Leon showdown. First, there’s an attempt without items, where Magikarp is leveled to 100 and trained to have high hit points and special attack. The idea is to make Magikarp sturdy enough to withstand attacks from enemies that know Electric-based moves, while also making it powerful enough to one-shot its rivals. Magikarp does get through a couple of monsters with this plan, but ultimately fails.
The next few attempts make use of items like Eviolite, which helps bulk up the defenses of any unevolved Pokémon. Magikarp gets a little farther, but still, no dice. The set-up that ultimately works finds Magikarp holding Choice Specs, which boosts special attack while limiting the Pokemon to a single move, along with Special X, which also ups a creature’s Special Attack.
Granted, the scheme doesn’t work right away — much of this comes down to luck, especially given that Hydro Pump only has an 80% chance of hitting. Still, Magikarp does persevere in the end. What a champ!