Looking at the Future

What’s poppin’ Po Town readers? It’s Zach Lesage here, your resident Pokemon TCG writer, and I’m here to take you into the future. I’m not gonna talk about Mega Turbo Charizard FDX or MewTwentyTwo, but I’m instead here to share my findings on Futute Pokemon! What are Future Pokemon? As part of the new “mechanic” in our latest Pokemon TCG set, Scarlet and Violet: Paradox Rift, there are Paradox Pokemon that are either from the future or the past. In this case, I want to share some of the best ways to utilize these new Pokemon in different decks, and how that might lead you to seeing success during your next Pokemon TCG Live online gameplay session. Not all cards are created equally when it comes to a competitive standpoint, but there are a couple Pokemon cards that stand out ahead of the rest! Iron Valiant ex [Paradox Rift] can ping damage counters to your opponent’s Pokemon in play to allow you to take some wild turns without attacking, Iron Hands ex [Paradox Rift] can take advantage of your opponents unfortunate start by drawing extra Prize Cards, and Iron Bundle [Paradox Rift] works like a pseudo-Escape Rope (BST) to put your opponent in awkward positions! In this article, I’ll share lists, strategies, and more for a handful of decks featuring Iron Valiant ex, Iron Hands ex, and Iron Bundle! If you wanna enhance your Pokemon TCG Live collection, or just wanna craft some cards, use code zlesage5 to save 5% on Pokemon TCG Live code cards today! Let’s learn more about Iron Valiant ex!

Understanding Iron Valiant ex

 Iron Valiant ex

Iron Valiant ex was largely one of the most hyped new Paradox Pokemon coming out, but for reasons based on its aesthetics, and not really its playability. Roaring Moon ex [Paradox Rift], an Ancient Pokemon, was largely the most hyped Paradox Pokemon coming out of Paradox Rift, but Iron Valiant ex was the main theme of the 2023 Latin American International Championship Entei V [Brilliant Stars] / Iron Valiant ex finalist deck! Being able to ping damage counters wherever you want is incredibly powerful because you can either KO Pokemon with a low amount of HP, like Comfey [Lost Origin], or you can start chomping down on a Pokemon with a larger amount of HP, like Miraidon ex [Scarlet and Violet]. Iron Valiant ex is likely going to find itself featured in a handful of different decks, either as a main focus to ping a bunch of damage, or as a singular tech to be a damage modifier when needed! Let’s learn more about the Entei V / Iron Valiant ex deck!

Entei V / Iron Valiant ex Deck

Entei V

Taking the above strategy revolving around Iron Valiant ex, we have two paths of strategy that we can choose to follow here. Strategy one is to set up a low HP Pokemon for a Yoga Loop on Medicham V [Evolving Skies] so you can gain an extra turn, but that doesn’t always happen - especially if you don’t hit the right matchup. If you run into a Pokemon with a larger amount of HP, you can use Tachyon Bits to ping some damage onto that said Pokemon, lower it to an amount where Entei V can KO it, and then attack! Entei V can easily be powered up with Magma Basin [Brilliant Stars], and attaching a Fire Energy down from your hand, which makes it an ideal partner for Iron Valiant ex! Let’s check out Noah Sawyer’s finalist list from LAIC!

Pokémon (11)

Trainers (40)

Energy (9)

4 Entei V BRS 224 Professor's Research SVI 1895 Fire Energy 2
4 Iron Valiant ex PAR 893 Colress's Experiment LOR 1552 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
1 Radiant Charizard CRZ 202 Boss's Orders PAL 1722 Jet Energy PAL 190
1 Medicham V EVS 834 Battle VIP Pass FST 225
1 Squawkabilly ex PAL 1694 Switch Cart ASR 154

4 Escape Rope BST 125

4 Switch SVI 194

3 Nest Ball SVI 181

1 Earthen Vessel PAR 163

1 Lost Vacuum CRZ 135

2 Future Booster Energy Capsule PAR 164

2 Forest Seal Stone SIT 156

1 Bravery Charm PAL 173

1 Technical Machine: Devolution PAR 177

4 Magma Basin BRS 144

Entei V / Iron Valiant ex Deck

Understanding Iron Hands ex

Iron Hands ex

Being able to draw extra Prize Cards is fantastic, and has been a staple winning strategy for years now! In previous formats we have seen Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GX [Cosmic Eclipse] wrecking havoc with Zacian V [Sword and Shield], Stoutland V [Battle Styles] drawing extra Prize Cards in Lugia VSTAR [Silver Tempest] decks, and now we have Iron Hands ex drawing extra Prize Cards in a handful of different decks! Amp You Very Much is the nightmare fuel for many players because it can draw an extra Prize Card whenever it Knocks Out a Pokemon! Due to its easy-to-power up cost of a single Lightning Energy and three Colorless Energy, we’ve seen this card get featured in a bunch of different decks! While its much easier to power up in a traditional Lightning-type deck, like Miraidon ex, it has no issues getting powered up with Baxcalibur [Paldea Evolved], MirageGate [Lost Origin], or anything else that can slap down those necessary Energy. There are a few decks featuring Iron Hands ex that have been at the absolute top of the metagame so far, so let’s check them out!

Miraidon ex / Flaaffy Deck

Miraidon ex

Miraidon ex was one of those decks that crept up on the meta during the tail-end of our Pokemon 151 format, even winning Toronto Regionals, and has easily transitioned into being one of the best decks in our Paradox Rift format! The deck works by trying to get Energy accelerated from Electric Generator [Paradox Rift] to power up various Lightning-type attackers as early as turn one. That includes our Future Pokemon pal, Iron Hands ex, so keep that in mind. Sometimes it's better to attack with Miraidon ex because your opponent’s Active Pokemon has 220 HP, maybe Raikou V [Brilliant Stars] can score the KO, or maybe you wanna use Iron Hands ex to try and draw an extra Prize Card. Flaaffy [Evolving Skies] allows you to accelerate Energy in the mid-to-late game to continuously stream vicious attacks, and makes your deck much more stable! Miraidon ex actually won the 2023 LAIC, so let’s check out Juho’s winning list!

Pokémon (15)

Trainers (31)

Energy (14)

3 Miraidon ex SVI 814 Professor's Research SVI 18913 Lightning Energy 4
2 Raikou V BRS 483 Iono PAL 1851 Double Turbo Energy BRS 151
2 Mareep EVS 543 Boss's Orders PAL 172
2 Flaaffy EVS 551 Arven OBF 186
1 Iron Hands ex PAR 704 Electric Generator SVI 170
1 Raichu V BRS 454 Ultra Ball SVI 196
1 Zapdos PGO 292 Switch Cart ASR 154
1 Zeraora SIT 562 Escape Rope BST 125
1 Mew ex MEW 1511 Nest Ball SVI 181
1 Squawkabilly ex PAL 1691 Super Rod PAL 188

1 Lost Vacuum CRZ 135

2 Bravery Charm PAL 173

1 Forest Seal Stone SIT 156

2 Path to the Peak CRE 148

Miraidon ex / Flaaffy Deck

Lost Zone Box / Iron Hands ex Deck


While the above list focuses on a purely electric approach, Tord Reklev had a different idea when it came to an otherwise “normal” Lost Zone Box / Kyogre [Celebrations] deck to add in Iron Hands ex! There are plenty of wild techs in this list, like Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR [Astral Radiance] or Roaring Moon ex, but the key strategy is going to utilize Mirage Gate to accelerate Energy to your various attackers. Like most decks that play Iron Hands ex, you’ll want to find the right time to strike with Amp You Very Much against a Pokemon that you can OHKO! There are a lot of cool things going on in this list, but I’ll let you explore them for yourself - let’s check out Tord’s Lost Zone Box concept here:

Pokémon (12)

Trainers (36)

Energy (12)

4 Comfey LOR 794 Colress's Experiment LOR 1554 Water Energy 3
1 Sableye LOR 704 Mirage Gate LOR 1634 Darkness Energy 7
1 Cramorant LOR 504 Battle VIP Pass FST 2252 Psychic Energy 5
1 Radiant Greninja ASR 464 Nest Ball SVI 181
1 Kyogre CEL 34 Switch Cart ASR 154
1 Roaring Moon ex PAR 1244 Escape Rope BST 125
1 Iron Hands ex PAR 703 Pokégear 3.0 SVI 186
1 Origin Forme Palkia V ASR 393 Super Rod PAL 188
1 Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR ASR 402 Energy Recycler BST 124

1 Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146

1 Pal Pad SVI 182

2 PokéStop PGO 68

Lost Zone Box / Iron Hands ex Deck

Understanding Iron Bundle

Iron Bundle

Iron Bundle isn’t gonna be the star of any particular deck, but can often be featured as a singular tech to catch your opponent off guard. It’s Ability functions like half of an Escape Rope, so if your opponent was expecting you to attack into their Active Pokemon, they are gonna have to pick a different one! It might not always work out in your favor, but a lot of “extra” Benched Pokemon might be easy targets for other Future Pokemon, like Iron Hands ex. There was one list from LAIC that featured this card, and it was played by quite a few powerful Trainers - let’s learn more about it!

Chien-Pao ex / Baxcalibur Deck

Chien-Pao ex

When you get a strong group of players that has the likes of Azul Garcia Griego included in it, you sometimes might find some next level tech cards in their decks. In this case, we have a traditional Chien-Pao ex [Paldea Evolved] / Baxcalibur [Paldea Evolved] with a splash of Future Pokemon with the inclusion of Iron Hands ex… Wait, that isn’t all, there is also a spicy Iron Bundle in this deck. It works like a pseudo-Escape Rope, and you might force your opponent to send up a two Prize Card Pokemon that Chien-Pao ex can OHKO, or a single Prize Card Pokemon that Iron Hands ex can use Amp You Very Much against! Iron Bundle might not be the star Pokemon in this deck, but it certainly has its time to shine. Let’s check out the list:

Pokémon (15)

Trainers (36)

Energy (9)

2 Frigibax PAL 574 Irida ASR 1478 Water Energy 3
1 Frigibax PAL 582 Iono PAL 1851 Lightning Energy 4
2 Baxcalibur PAL 604 Battle VIP Pass FST 225
2 Chien-Pao ex PAL 614 Nest Ball SVI 181
2 Bidoof CRZ 1114 Ultra Ball SVI 196
2 Bibarel BRS 1214 Superior Energy Retrieval PAL 189
1 Radiant Greninja ASR 463 Rare Candy SVI 191
1 Iron Hands ex PAR 703 Super Rod PAL 188
1 Manaphy BRS 412 Earthen Vessel PAR 163
1 Iron Bundle PAR 561 Hisuian Heavy Ball ASR 146

1 Counter Catcher PAR 160

4 PokéStop PGO 68

Chien-Pao ex / Baxcalibur Deck

Moving Forward with Future Pokemon

As we approach upcoming Regional Championships around the world, it seems like Future Pokemon are becoming more and more a better play as we move forward. These decks are getting refined, lists are closer to perfect, and strategies are more sound. Miraidon ex has recently won the Latin America Championships featuring Iron Hands ex, Iron Valiant ex was the main star of the finalist list of that same LAIC, and a handful of decks have started adding Iron Bundle as a unique tech card! Now would be a great time to pick up some Paradox Rift codes to get your hands on these Future Pokemon, and you can use code zlesage5 to save 5% on all of those codes! Now that you have those codes, build some of the decks available in this article, and jump into some games on the PTCG Live ladder. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article, and I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on all of the updated Pokemon TCG content! Thanks for reading!

About the Writer

Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for potownstore.com. As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game since 2005 and creates Pokémon content as his full-time career. With multiple prestigious accomplishments in the game, such as the 2020 Players Cup 2 Champion and 2020 Oceania International Championships Finalist, he has proven his success in the game. Outside the game, he travels the world, enjoys the culture of designer streetwear, and is a professionally trained chef. You can catch him at most Pokémon events and follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/ZachLesagePTCG.