Hello to all PokeBeach readers! Gabriel here again with another Pokémon TCG article and this time I’m going to talk about the recently released Iron Valiant ex and highlight the two lists that I liked the most after a lot of testing.
Paradox Rift‘s Impact on the Meta
Paradox Rift arrived in the Pokémon TCG and it has been an enigmatic expansion for players around the world — the set had essentially already been released in Japan and until now there has been no major official tournament with Paradox Rift cards being legal anywhere. Many cards in the set showed great potential, but few cards actually made an impact. Roaring Moon ex, Gholdengo ex, Iron Valiant ex, and Iron Hands ex are the emerging Pokémon in the set, but none of them have yet convinced me that they are really good enough to transform the metagame.
I’ve seen players think Roaring Moon ex is a bad deck, and others say it’s the best deck in format. No one was talking about Iron Valiant ex, and it’s now one of the most talked about topics when paired with Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX and its potential to win games before the opponent event gets a turn. Iron Hands ex would be the Pokémon that changes the format with its ability to take an extra Prize, but in practice, this Pokémon is difficult to power up and cannot always pan out when you need it to. The best way to discover the truth is to test these Pokémon as much as possible with the most varied strategies and that’s why I’m here!
In today’s article, I’m going to focus on Iron Valiant ex; a Pokémon that seems to have enormous potential in theory but that in practice still faces problems finding the ideal list. There are two completely different ways to use Iron Valiant ex, one of which is to use this Pokémon solely for its Ability and combine it with another attacking Pokémon, preferably one that needs few Energy to attack, and the other way is to attack with Iron Valiant ex itself, using Xatu to accelerate energy.
Iron Valiant ex With Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX
This deck quickly became popular even before the release of Paradox Rift. Since many players are already preparing for the LAIC, as soon as the list appeared on the internet players wasted no time and started testing and posting their victories in the first round of play. At first, it seems like the format is broken — the deck seems to have so much offensive power that there are no decks in the format capable of containing so much pressure, but in practice, the deck doesn’t work that well. First-turn victories happen, but this depends on the deck you are facing, and in current the meta, less than half of them offer you the opportunity to do this. Even a deck like Lost Zone box or Gardevoir ex that has several low HP single-Prize Pokémon, the probability of winning without the opponent playing is low. Pokémon with 60 HP are easy to Knock Out, but Pokémon with 70 HP make it much more difficult — it’s only 10 HP, but that makes a difference. In any case, the initial pressure is one of the best ever seen and this is good enough to have a more balanced game in the future, as the deck does not have the gas to withstand long games.
The idea is to use Iron Valiant ex‘s Abilities intelligently to help you perform strategic Knock Outs and understand that the deck is actually Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX. It is the bear that will carry out attacks, cause the bulk of the damage, and take Prizes. With this in mind, I decided to make an Iron Valiant ex / Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX list with the consistency that an elite competitive deck needs to have. When I talk about consistency, I’m not simply talking about drawing cards, but rather having the quantity and variety of resources necessary for the deck to perform well competitively. I believe in the potential of this deck due to its offensive power, but it can also be seen as a strong bet for the metagame. Iron Valiant ex / Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX is a deck with a great matchup for Miraidon ex and Lost Zone box, but practically autoloss for Mew VMAX. If you think Mew VMAX will be underplayed an LAIC, then it’s worth taking a chance, but it’s not worth using two Drapion V to try to beat Mew VMAX.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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