In my last article, I made a comment that Iron Valiant ex was the most overhyped card in Paradox Rift. The current builds at the time were based around Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, and thrived against decks with lots of low-HP Pokemon. Of course, the deck had to commit hard to this game plan in order to be consistent, which left it vulnerable against decks that used high-HP Pokemon. As a result, it had very polarizing matchups. This version of Iron Valiant ex excels against Lost Box, Chien-Pao ex, Charizard ex, and Gardevoir ex, but struggles against decks such as Mew VMAX, Lugia VSTAR, and Roaring Moon ex. Overall, I don’t think the Urshifu build is that strong.
Iron Valiant ex is sometimes seen in Lost Box decks, or paired with Jolteon VMAX . These decks are interesting, but I do not think they truly draw out the strength of Iron Valiant. Some creative players in online tournaments opened my eyes to what I believe is the best version of Iron Valiant: Entei V with Magma Basin.
Initially, I considered this to be another rogue deck choice. Entei V and Iron Valiant ex have no apparent synergy with each other. Entei has not been a standout card, except as a tech in Charizard ex, and no decks based around Entei have been good. So why would a deck based around Entei and Magma Basin suddenly be good? Why does Iron Valiant go with this deck? I did not understand, so I had to play some games with the deck. I figured that it would follow the trend of Iron Valiant – that is, good against low-HP guys and bad against high-HP guys. That’s the synergy between Iron Valiant and Medicham V. And Entei’s damage output isn’t exactly anything special.
To my surprise, this deck easily dismantled Roaring Moon ex, regardless of which variant I threw at it. I thought Roaring Moon would pose the biggest challenge, but that is absolutely not the case. Of course, this deck was also able to destroy the likes of Chien-Pao ex and Charizard ex because it can pick apart their setup before they can get going. The Chien-Pao matchup in particular is laughably trivial. Even the Lugia VSTAR matchup was much closer than anticipated.
So, why? Why is this deck so good?
The short answer is Radiant Charizard. Radiant Charizard single-handedly carries this deck, significantly boosting its power level. Of course, if you are feasting upon low-HP Pokemon with Iron Valiant ex, you might not need Radiant Charizard. However, there are many games, especially against high-HP decks, where you actually have to play the game. And Radiant Charizard wins you those games. Radiant Charizard nukes opposing multi-Prize Pokemon such as Roaring Moon ex, Miraidon ex, and more. This swings those matchups. Even against higher-HP threats such as Lugia VSTAR, Iron Valiant easily sets up Radiant Charizard for those KOs. Thanks to Magma Basin and Double Turbo Energy, Radiant Charizard can easily be used ahead of schedule. This is great for surprising opponents and it can throw off their Prize trade. Most decks can’t afford to simply ignore the Radiant Charizard that is blowing everything up. Since it only gives up one Prize card, opponents get basically nothing for dealing with this enormous threat, and you have an extra turn to attack and spam Iron Valiant’s Tachyon Bits.
This concludes the public portion of this article.
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