These Amps Go to Eleven — Miraidon ex After San Antonio

Hello everyone! I’m back today with my newest article, and in this one, I’ll be taking a look at Miraidon ex. It’s been a bit since we’ve gone over this deck here at PokeBeach, and given the deck’s strong results in our current format, it’s certainly worth more analysis.

Miraidon ex has been one of the most successful decks in the Paradox Rift format. It won the LAIC, finished second at the recent Stuttgart Regional Championships, and has been a common Day 2 sight across tournaments. In Japan, Miraidon ex has had even more success, as it has won two of the four Champions League tournaments since its release, including the most recent Champions League Yokohama in September. The introduction of Iron Hands ex in Paradox Rift has helped to shore up its matchups against single-Prize decks, and that has helped make it a top-tier option.

While the initial builds of Miraidon were largely split between Flaaffy and Regieleki VMAX, the former approach won out and is now largely what you’ll see today. Of course, even nowadays not all lists are the same! In this article, I’ll be taking a look at two Miraidon lists — the LAIC winning list and the recent Top 8 list from this weekend in San Antonio — and going over their differences, what makes them good, and how to play them well.

So, what is it that has made Miraidon ex successful in this format? The biggest advantages that Miraidon decks have nowadays are their speed, their consistency, and that they’re relatively straightforward to play. Playing Miraidon tends to feel like playing some of the big Basic decks of years past; if you’ve played Zacian V, or any of the Max Elixir decks from a bit further back, then the play style of this deck will feel familiar.

Your goal with the deck is to take multi-Prize KOs every turn, starting from turn one, and to thus win the game quickly. If things go right, you should be able to win on turn three or four. While Miraidon isn’t the only deck with this plan, the consistency with which it can execute the plan sets it apart. When going second, it’s more likely you’ll be able to attack than you won’t, and it isn’t like you need to get particularly lucky to do so. In best-of-one formats, it’s especially nice to know that your deck will do what it needs to do almost every time.

The deck’s aggressive nature and high consistency naturally give it a fighting chance against whatever it might encounter. The current format is diverse, and in such an environment, having a deck with a strong baseline tends to work better than playing something more matchup-dependent. You can sort of see this mentality with the other top decks in this format as well, and Miraidon certainly exemplifies it.

The other (underrated) point in favor of Miraidon is its relative simplicity compared to some of the other current meta decks. Miraidon is straightforward; you don’t have a lot of attackers with different effects or a wide variety of ways to place damage. Rather, you’re simply going to be hitting the opponent’s Active Pokemon, and that’s the game plan against everything. The simplicity of Miraidon makes it a good choice for long events, like the environment you’ll find at Regional Championships. I’ve made mention of this before, but simplicity can be a big advantage at these tournaments, especially once you get to the later rounds. The more straightforward your deck, the less opportunity you will have to misplay with it, which means that your overall level of play will be higher. Even the best of the best don’t play perfectly throughout an event, and so by accounting for this in advance, you can give yourself a better chance to be successful.

This also means that Miraidon is relatively quicker to learn than some of the more complicated decks in the format. I’d be much more comfortable playing this with limited playtesting than something like Rapid Strike or Lost Box. Since the strategy is less matchup-dependent too, you can get yourself to a higher baseline with this deck than with something where you might have to change up your game plan heavily against different opposing decks. With that said, Miraidon doesn’t require zero thought, and more importantly, it’s not so simple it can’t compete against decks with more varied strategies. Overall, these advantages make it a strong choice for the current format, and we are seeing that in the results.

This concludes the public portion of this article.

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