The strongest Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet was also one of the worst Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet - until its dedicated fans found a hyper-specific way to rock the competitive scene

A screenshot of Miraidon in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.
(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

One of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's legendary Pokemon was originally expected to be totally lackluster in the game's competitive scene, but now that it's been unleashed and players have begun formulating new strategies with it, it's proved to be an absolute menace.

As outlined in a new video from the 2016 Pokemon World Champ Wolfe 'Wolfey' Glick (below), it might surprise you to find out that the Pokemon in question is Miraidon – the purple, futuristic lizard motorcycle who's the mascot of Pokemon Violet. On paper, it's really strong, and in pretty much any circumstance, it is – it ranked second in a recent ranking of every single Pokemon in existence, second only to the unobtainable boss battle Pokemon, Eternamax Eternatus. However, in the competitive scene, it didn't appear that it was going to be fantastic, and having only recently become usable in official tournaments at all, it's only just had the chance to prove otherwise. 

Right now, competitive Pokemon VGC players must follow the 'Regulation Set G' ruleset, which unbanned the Scarlet and Violet mascots Koraidon and Miraidon for the first time since Generation Nine's official tournaments began, allowing them in as a one-per-team 'Restricted Pokemon' along with certain other legendaries such as Zacian and Zamazenta. These rules only came into effect from May, so Miraidon has only been usable in this context for around two months, but before then, unofficial tournaments found the big ol' lizard wasn't really carrying its weight, with one player going as far as to describe it as "the biggest fraud in Reg G."

So, what made Miraidon seem so… meh? For a start, its stats, while certainly good, don't necessarily make it stand out head and shoulders above the rest. Its two best stats, its Special Attack and Speed, are exactly the same as the obscenely strong Misdreavus ancestor, Flutter Mane, which isn't a Restricted Pokemon. What makes Miraidon a powerhouse is its ability, Hadron Engine, which sets up the status move Electric Terrain on the field to boost the power of Electric moves, as well as giving Miraidon itself a Special Attack boost. The problem is that this can easily be overridden by opposing Pokemon like Rillaboom – a popular Grass-type which can automatically set up Grassy Terrain when sent out onto the field with its Hidden Ability. 

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Rillaboom is a big issue. Not only can it remove Miraidon's massive buff with Grassy Terrain, bringing its stats down to a much more manageable level, but being a Grass-type, it resists its Electric moves. On top of that, it can even hinder the Legendary 'mon further by hitting it with Fake Out – a move that usually goes first, and forces the foe it lands on to flinch and miss a turn. 

However, come the Regional Championship event in Indianapolis in early May, competitive player Rajan Bal proved all the naysayers wrong by winning the Masters' division with the big purple lizard. How? It was largely thanks to clever balancing of the rest of the player's team, as well as Miraidon's moves. For a start, he gave Miraidon the Choice Specs item to boost its Special Attack stat further – while the item locks the Pokemon in to using the same move repeatedly until switched out, he largely got around this by using the move Volt Switch, which, you guessed it, switches the Pokemon out after attacking. 

On top of that, he paired Miraidon with very specific and somewhat unexpected Pokemon that could help bolster its abilities further. While it was generally expected before this tournament that most players would pair it with other Violet-exclusive Paradox Pokemon, whose abilities boost their stats in Electric Terrain, Bal instead brought with him Farigiraf, Incineroar, Bloodmoon Ursaluna, Whimsicott, and Cornerstone Mask Ogerpon. 

Each of these were able to assist in different ways – Farigiraf's ability, Armor Tail, prevents opponents from using priority moves against it or its partner in Double Battles, for example, protecting Miraidon from Rillaboom's Fake Out. Meanwhile, Incineroar with the move U-Turn could be used to switch Miraidon back in right after its Volt Switch, letting it re-apply the Electric Terrain and be free to use whatever move it wants, refreshed from its Choice Specs lock.

It's all very interesting stuff, and proves that if players are smart enough with the tools they have at their disposal, they can make a lot of things work. In this case, it's rather funny that this applies to what's more generally considered a very powerful Pokemon, but still. The future is now for Miraidon.

Be sure to check out our ranking of the best Pokemon games to find your next adventure.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.