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Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions artwork

Magikarp is a Water-type fish Pokémon that first appears in Pocket Monsters Red and Green Versions (released internationally as Pokémon Red and Blue Versions). Magikarp is known for being one of the weakest Pokémon because it can only learn a few moves, most notably Splash, in which it does nothing but flop around. In the main Pokémon series, Magikarps are found at nearly every body of water, either from surfing or by fishing there. At level 20, Magikarp evolves into Gyarados. It is at number 129 in the National Pokédex.

Game appearances

Pokémon series

Pokémon Red and Blue Versions

In Pokémon Red and Blue Versions, there is a Magikarp salesman in a Pokémon Center outside of Mt. Moon, and he is selling a Magikarp for 500 Pokémon Dollars.

Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions

Since Pokémon Gold and Silver Versions, Magikarp has also been able to learn the move Flail, an attack that determines its power by how damaged the user is. However, since this move is not learned until level 30, it would be worthless to stick with Magikarp long enough to get the move, as Magikarp evolves at level 20. It is number 076 in the Johto Pokédex.

If a player had Pokémon Gold, Silver, or Crystal, they could take their game to the Pokémon Center in New York City and get a Magikarp with Splash, Tackle, Flail, and Bubble or Reversal.

Pokémon Emerald Version

In the Battle Frontier from Pokémon Emerald Version, Magikarp are occasionally used by the weakest Pokémon Trainer. These Magikarps only know how to use Flail. All Magikarp in the Battle Frontier also hold Focus Bands.

Pokémon Snap

In Pokémon Snap, Magikarp are found in all six of the main courses. In the Valley Course, a Magikarp can be hurled by a Mankey and then shot into a waterfall by a Pester Ball to evolve into Gyarados.

Pokémon Channel

In Pokémon Channel, Magikarp can be found by fishing at Secret Cove, along with many other Pokémon.

Pokémon anime

In one episode, which takes place aboard the SS Anne, James purchases a Magikarp in a Gold Ball thinking it to very valuable, and would help him become rich. He is very surprised when he asks it to save them from drowning and it is incapable of doing anything except splash in the water. In the subsequent episode, Team Rocket and the main cast are starving on a raft and think about eating the Magikarp. After Meowth discovers it was just scales and bones, James angrily kicks it into the water, triggering its evolution into a very angry Gyarados.

In the episode "Who Gets to Keep Togepi?", Ash's group and Team Rocket are seen eating at a diner whose logo is a Magikarp. It is odd that a distinctly inedible Pokémon like Magikarp would be used to promote a restaurant.

In the episode "The Joy of Pokémon", a Nurse Joy befriends a humongous Magikarp that saved her life as a child. Later in the episode, the Magikarp evolves into an equally-oversized Gyarados to help her again.

In the episode "The Wacky Watcher", Ash, Misty, and Tracey help Quincy T. Quackenpoker, a Pokémon Watcher who happens to strongly resemble Groucho Marx, as he observes the migration and evolution of a group of Magikarp.

In "Pearls are a Spoink's Best Friend", James buys a Feebas from the Magikarp salesman, only to later find out that it is another Magikarp, painted to look like Feebas. He then promptly gets rid of the Magikarp and history repeats itself. The Magikarp salesman, interestingly, is the same one who sold James his first Magikarp, which prompts James to chase the man for some time.

Team Rocket also have a Magikarp-shaped submarine, that they use when they are around water. It was prominently used in the Orange Islands saga to travel between islands.

In the episode "The Great Race", Ash is shown eating a Magikarp shaped treat.

Pokémon Trading Card Game

Most versions of Magikarp have two different attacks. Common attacks include one that does 10 or 20 damage, and requires one or two Energy cards, respectively. For those attacks requiring just one Energy, this may or may not have to be a Water Energy. The earlier Magikarp cards have 30 HP.

Flail is another attack found on several cards. It does 10 damage times the number of damage counters on Magikarp.

A number of Magikarp cards have an attack that lets the player find a card to evolve Magikarp in their deck. Not all of these lets the player evolve Magikarp instantly.

The most powerful attack found on a Magikarp card is one found on Giovanni's Magikarp, a card found in the Gym Challenge card set. The attack, called Ancestral Memory, does 40 damage with just a single Water Energy. However, the attack requires the player to flip a coin, and if he flips tails, the attack fails. Additionally, the attack can only be used once, unless the card is returned to the hand or the discard pile and returned to play from there.

Magikarp is one of the ten Pokémon that have been released as a Shining Pokémon. Shining Magikarp is found in Neo Revelations, along with Shining Gyarados. Shining Magikarp by itself allows you to draw more cards or search your deck for a Gyarados, Dark Gyarados or Shining Gyarados and put it on your hand. Its true strength, however, is not unleashed until it is evolved into Shining Gyarados, a powerful card with 100 HP and the ability to do up to 120 damage by using Outrage with 9 damage counters on it. These cards, however, are limited by the restriction of only being able to have one of each in the deck.

General information


Magikarps are likely based on a Chinese legend in which a carp that can leap over a waterfall will become a dragon, hence why Magikarp evolves into Gyarados.

There is also further evidence for this: in at least one episode of the anime and a level in Pokémon Snap, Magikarp were shown swimming upstream and climbing small waterfalls in order to reach a lake where they would evolve.

Its Japanese name, Koiking, is a combination of the words "koi" and "king". Nishikigoi, or koi for short, are domesticated carp that are kept primarily in outdoor ponds. The "king" part of its name comes from the golden colored dorsal fin shaped like a crown. This can also be noted as an influence of Magikarp's English name, as "Magi" means "king".


According to the Pokédex, Magikarp can withstand waters with high levels of toxicity and therefore is the stiffest Pokémon. An example from the anime that supports this is when Meowth tries to eat one and only ends up with broken teeth. However, it is also mentioned in the Pokédex that species such as Pidgeotto and Pidgeot prey upon Magikarp, possibly relying on their sharp beaks and talons to penetrate its flesh.

The Pokédex also states that Magikarp used to be a much more powerful Pokémon in the past, but has grown weaker over time. It has very weak attacks, making it almost useless in battle (its primary attack does nothing whatsoever). It is so weak, that it cannot even swim and is very easily washed about by ocean currents and tides. Because it is so weak, Magikarp tend to live at the bottom of the sea where there is less of a current. However, Magikarp will come up to a higher level to feed. It may jump high on certain occasions, but never more than seven feet.


Main article: List of Magikarp profiles

Pokédex entries

Game(s) Description
Pokémon Red and Blue Versions
Pokémon LeafGreen Version
Pokémon Y
In the distant past, it was somewhat stronger than the horribly weak descendants that exist today.


Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese コイキング
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