Seconded paused deads being better as assistance. They’re tough.
I’m not really sold on the notion of paused deads tho.
Pause squats are great because they negate stretch reflex in the hardest part of the lift (coming out the hole), forcing you to push harder in that portion of the lift, and this transfers into you getting better at pushing harder when you use a normal tempo and have stretch reflex on your side. Same for the bench.
But deads don’t have that kind of stretch reflex going on - if your sticking point is somewhere towards mid shin to below knees, then yes, I can see them being somewhat useful negating the initial acceleration and forcing you to get stronger in that specific portion of the lift.
But if your sticking point is right off the floor, it seems to me that standard paused deads simply train you to decelerate after the hardest part of the lift, simply making the other part of the lift (the one you don’t have issues with) harder - which will make you stronger anyway, just not where you need to be.
I myself am very weak off the floor, the first few inches are always slow and as soon as I get to mid shin the bar accelerates and lockout is usually lighting fast, even at very high %s (90+% of 1RM). I’ve been trying a few things in the last couple weeks and planned to try a few more in the next cycles, weakness off the floor seems to have many possible causes so identifying the source of the weakness seems a reasonable approach:
reverse pause deads: Paul Carter has an article about them here on the website. Instead of pausing during the concentric portion (see above), you pause during the eccentric. Since some stretch reflex is built during sets of multiple reps, the effect of the reverse pause is closer to how paused squats work, you kill stretch reflex and pausing before the bar touches the floor helps in lowering to a better starting position for the following rep(s). I’ve done them for a few sets of 3-5 @ SSL after main work and they’re tough;
rack pulls from just below knees: done with a stiff bar is ideal imho. Not sure if/how they help with lockout, and not directly tied to pulling from the floor, but they do a great job in teaching you to stay tight, which translates to the pull from the floor since sometimes a weak pull comes from not being tight enough at the start. They also hit the lower back harder, which is a prime mover in deads;
deficit deads: have yet to try these, I’m not sold on the theory behind deficit pulls too - they’re usually done at a fairly submaximal % and the increased ROM basically gives you an extra room for acceleration making it easier to go past your usual sticking point (that is, right off the floor). I think that, similarly to how rack pulls translate to deads by improving tightness and back strength, deficit pulls might actually transfer to deads and improve the pull from the floor by strengthening/improving your ability to use hams and glutes, who can be another reason why you’re weak off the floor