CinDra: The Ferocious Chinchilla

Hey all, I’m back, but this time with a look at a deck I’ve been playing recently with a good amount of success: CinDra (this deck has also featured on J-Wittz’s channel facing off in the finals at a Battle Roads). This combines Cinccino BW with Kingdra Prime which creates a stupidly simple synergy: your Bench-sitter (Kingdra) adds damage with its Poké-Power while also factoring into Cinccino’s Do The Wave attack.

Basically, the whole idea is just to swarm the cuddly monster chinchilla and attack for one energy using Double Colorless Energy. This creates a deck that can hit early and take cheap prizes, but at the same time it can take out the bigger threats in the game.

How effective is this strategy?

Well, here’s the thing. Ideally, you want to set up your bench with three Kingdras to add damage to your opponent’s side of the field, and then you also want to fill your bench so that you’re at maximum damage output. Spray Splashing three times a turn gives you incredible versatility because you can snipe babies, set up future knockouts, 1HKO fresh Dragons (Reshi or Zekrom) with Cinccino, and 1HKO the elusive Gothitelle (same HP as the Dragons).

In testing, I have not had trouble achieving the ideal setup of 3 Kingdras which might seem weird because that means setting up three Stage 2 lines. However, as we can see with ReshiPhlosion, if the Stage 2 lines are homogeneous, the success of setup is much higher than say setting up two (or three) different Stage 2 lines.


I’ll tell you immediately that this deck’s worst matchup is against Zekrom. It’s not just a 40-60 had to win game, but more along the lines of they have to draw cold for the majority of the game for you to win. The reason is Cinccino has some durability issues with its lowly 90 HP and is 1HKO-ed by Bolt Strike or a Hurricane and a PlusPower.
He's a cold blooded killer...

Another problem is that Zekrom completely outspeeds this deck and can destroy your setup by Catchering out Kingdra or any of its pre-evolutions and 1HKO them too. Luckily enough, a Zekrom after a Bolt Strike is within KO range of a fully powered Do The Wave, however, this means that Zekrom is leading the Prize trade which with 7-8 main attackers it will win compared to your 4 (or more depending on Rescue Energy).

With that said, the name of the game against ZPST is energy denial. If you can survive the initial turns and get reasonably set up afterward, you can hopefully get enough return KOs to run them dry of energy.

However, I do like its matchups versus the rest of the field.

VS. ReshiPhlosion 60-40

I actually like this matchup a lot. No one really has the speed advantage since Reshiram on a good day is not fully charged until turn two and Cinccino can only come out as early as turn two. Both players are trying to set up multiple Stage 2s and it is pretty much the effect of these respective Stage 2s that gives you the advantage in the matchup; both support Pokémon put damage counters on their side of the field.

This can save you valuable Spray Splashes to set up a Catcher KO on a Typhlosion, or to do my personal favorite move against ReshiPhlosion: Catcher out a Typhlosion without any energy on it, accumulate 130 damage on it with Spray Splashes and Do the Wave. Next turn, not only can your opponent not attack because they have a Typhlosion stuck active without any way to retreat it barring a Switch or DCE drop because using Afterburner on themselves would simply result in a KO.

Next turn, you Spray Splash the Typhlosion for a KO, they promote a Reshi (in theory, I don’t know what else they would promote) and you can Double Spray Splash it still and then if they Afterburner-ed at all to that Reshi, it is Knocked Out.

Do not worry if they do pull some shenanigans and get Typhlo out of the active because you can drop that Spray Splash anywhere you want, and therefore Knock it Out anyway next turn. Of course, this requires a full set up, but I love how it picks apart this deck.

VS. Gothitelle/Reuniclus 50-50

This matchup is interesting because you do have the ability to 1HKO a Gothitelle which is the worst nightmare of a Goth player. However, if they set up before you do, it is nearly impossible to get the full set up of 3 Kingdras. The best advice I can give in this matchup is to ignore that voice in your head that is busy telling you how much faster you are than them and that you can take super cheap prizes with Cinccino. Twins will immediately activate and you’ll be most likely staring down a Gothitelle and you will then not be able to use Communication and Rare Candy.

While you are scrambling hoping for good topdecks, the Goth player will get their full set up and unless at some point in the game you pull out three Kingdras under Trainer Lock, you will lose.

My best advice is to wait until set up to attack. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do against a Turn 2 Gothitelle because it either shuts you out of your trainers, or it forces you to Knock it Out which activates their Twins.

I think this matchup is winnable, but if you get unlucky it sucks. A true 50-50 matchup.

VS. Stage 1s 60-40

You set up just as fast as they do and generally swing for more damage (if playing against the MegaZorD version). This is an advantage, however you do have some difficulty with Donphan. Other Stage 1 matchups like a Cinccino mirror are tough, but if they play straight Stage 1s, they have a damage cap and they cannot continue to trade 2HKOs with you because eventually your attacks become all 1HKOs.

One Spray Splash on Yanmega/Lanturn + Do the Wave is a knockout, just Do the Wave against Zoroark/Cinccino Knocks it Out, and four Spray Splashes + Do the Wave is a knockout on Donphan (simple, right?)
Not invited to the party!

To make the Donphan matchup more in your favor, you can add in some W Energy to attack with Kingdra. Luckily, Donphan has seen a decline in play recently, so this should be a judgment call.

VS. MewLock or Plain Ole Mew w/o Lock 70-30

This is fairly simple. You can 1HKO all of their attackers without Spray Splash and get cheap prizes with Spray Splash on their benched Pokémon. You can wait to attack again like in the Goth matchup if playing against MewLock, but I do not think this is terribly necessary since you do not struggle to take prizes late game if they set up.

Muk against this deck does not work out because all of your Bench-sitters and attackers have one Retreat Cost which is manageable.

Another strategy if you do not like trading 1HKOs with a Mew using Cinccino’s attack, you can promote Kingdra and attack for one energy to Knock Out Mew while they cannot return the knockout. I think you have more options to win against Mew variant decks than they have against you.

VS. MegaZone 40-60

Ok, this is another matchup I dislike because of how bulky Magnezone is (I know, it has the same HP asTyphlosion, but it plays differently and can 1HKO you). If they play a Kingdra variant with Jirachi UL/CoL, this matchup gets significantly worse, but recently Jirachi has been disappearing from MegaZone lists. However, Kingdra and Yanmega still spell disaster for your benched Horseas.

A popular energy accelerator for Magnezone now is Pachirisu CoL and a single Pachi drop provides enough chutzpah to Knock Out a Cinccino with Magnezone’s Lost Burn. This can be followed up by them on their next turn with another Lost Burn for knockout which can be really devastating.

The best advice I can give on this matchup is take the quick and cheap prizes early because that will be your best bet. A Spray Splash and a Do the Wave does 1HKO a Yanmega, so you can win the cheap prizes race, but their late game destroys yours.

VS. The Truth (Ross) 35-65

This is similar to the Goth matchup, but can actually turn out worse for you. If you can avoid letting them use Twins until you are set up, you gain an advantage, but the Pokémon they run are bulkier than Gothitelle. Unless you can hit that fourth Kingdra, this match becomes very difficult as they have lots of places to put the damage. Hopefully they can’t set up at all without the use of Twins.

VS. MagneBoar 60-40


Against MagneBoar or any ‘Boar variant, Pokémon Catcher is your friend. Early on, you can take the cheap prizes(I advocate this over waiting to prevent their use of Twins because it does not become impossible for you to take prizes late game), and late game you can take away their Emboars, setting up the KOs early on with Spray Splash, and then finishing them later with a couple of Spray Splashes and a Do the Wave.

If you do not take out their energy accelerator, they cannot reliably return knockouts, and MagneBoar lists typically run only two Ability Emboars, so this can be achieved faster than you think.

Skeleton List

Pokémon – 18

4 Minccino EP

4 Cinccino BW

4 Horsea UL

1 Seadra UL

4 Kingdra Prime

1 Cleffa HS/CoL

Trainers – 26

4 Pokémon Collector

4 Pokémon Communication

4 Rare Candy

3 Junk Arm

3 Pokémon Catcher

8 Draw Supporters

Energy – 8

4 Double Colorless

4 Rescue

This list is 52 cards and I think it provides a good amount of flexibility for what you may want to put in yourself. Of course, this list is not the “be all end all” skeleton for this deck and it can be tweaked with as you see fit.


pokegym.net4 Minccino EP – I prefer this Minccino because its average damage output is 15 for one energy as opposed to the BW Minccino’s 10 for one energy. Also, this Minccino can achieve donks.

4 Cinccino BW – Your main attacker. Do the Wave for a two colorless cost does 20 times the number of Pokémon on your bench.

4 Horsea UL The only Horsea in format. Only used to evolve to Kingdra. I think 4 are necessary because you need to have 3 Kingdra in play and this gives leeway to one being prized or Knocked Out early.

1 Seadra UL See above.

4 Kingdra Prime Spray Spash Poké-Power allows you to drop a damage counter anywhere on the field once during your turn. Also a pretty effective attacker when Fire does not rear its ugly head. It can do 60 Damage for one W Energy. Run four to make it more likely to draw into it and to prevent 1 Prized Kingdra from ruining your game.

1 Cleffa HS/CoL – For those times you just have an awful start, or when you cannot attack and your hand is low. With this deck I have actually done that a few times which makes me want to consider Bianca


4 Pokémon Collector Get your basics out as fast as possible, you need a lot of them.
I bet I can write more text for this caption than there is on the card.

4 Pokémon Communication You run a deck revolving around getting evolutions out and this is currently the best way to get them. Also this is Junk Arm-able which is nice.

4 Rare Candy Again, get out Kingdra as fast as possible. This lets you skip over evolving into Seadra.

3 Junk Arm Discard two cards and reuse any Trainer in the discard? I like the sound of that. I find more than 3 clogs your opening hand and you only really need them for Pokémon Catcher and Communication.

3 Pokémon Catcher For a fast Stage 1 deck this card is invaluable to taking quick cheap prizes on decks that do not punish you for doing exactly that (Goth/Ross).

8 Draw Supporters – This as low as I would go in any deck right now besides Magnezone based decks. I currently like straight draw in this deck without discard. I might up my three count of Cheren to four because I really like the ability to draw like that. I dislike having to discard anything in this deck (besides with Junk Arm) because you really need all of your Pokémon and hitting an unlucky Sage’s is not something I want.

Shuffle draw is also nice, so for a base 8 draw supporters right now, I might go for a 4/4 split of Professor Oak’s New Theory and Cheren.


4 DCE – Lets you attack with Cinccino for one energy. Very useful.

4 Rescue – I have seen people completely ignore this card in this deck, but it is incredibly reliable in getting a guaranteed basic on the bench to refuel Do the Wave.



Zorark BW – A solid tech in this deck as it gives you a slightly more reasonable Zekrom matchup, but in my opinion, it does not add that much to that matchup because it can still be return KO-ed. The Reshi matchup is already in your favor, but this provides another attacker to use against Reshi. Zoroark gives a little more versatility to the Dragon matchups, but ultimately takes away from consistency.

Pichu HS Since you need more than just 3 basics (I like to have three Horsea and at least one Minccino turn 1), this can help you greatly achieve this. Its Playground attack is very good in decks which require intense basics set up.

Tornadus EP – You already run DCE, so it would not require any manipulation of the energy lines. This can be a very effective counter to Donphan Prime if you fear it in your local metagame.

1-2 Seadra UL If you fear Trainer Lock, this makes it so you do not have to rely on Rare Candy as much to get your definite 3 Kingdra on the field. Currently, I run a 4/3/4 Kingdra, and it works pretty well against Trainer Lock (obviously, Communicating for Seadra is still not possible).

pokebeach.comJirachi UL/CoL and P Energy You can end up playing this deck as a spread deck with Kingdra’s Poké-Power, and this also improves your “The Truth” matchup because you can Time Hollow their possibly Rare Candied Vileplume forcing them to dig another Rare Candy out of their deck.


PlusPower This can be a surprise card to drop, maybe as a one of since it is Junk Arm-able, because your opponent might figure that since you run Kingdra, you would not rely on PlusPower. This can also let you hit 140 damage in one turn.


1-3 Water – This helps Donphan and Scizor (?!) matchups because you can attack with Kingdra for just one energy for 60 damage. It is nice to run more than eight energy so you do not worry about manually retreating.

How to Play and Conclusion

This deck is pretty straightforward, but I cannot stress enough: do not forget to Spray Splash every turn. If thatmeans tilting your Kingdras to indicate you used their power, fine, but you cannot forget to do this. Another thing that you can do if you are playing the Dragons is Spray Splash and pass your turn. If you cannot get the KO with Do the Wave, you will be faced with a return Outrage KO, so your best bet could be to set up a KO for next turn.

Take out their support Pokémon (e.g. Typhlosion in ReshiPhlosion). You can attack pretty efficiently without your supporters, but they cannot, so you can handicap them in this regard. Other than that, just Spray Splash and Do the Wave to get 1HKOs.

Anyway, I think this deck is really fun to play at the moment and has some very positive matchups in the current metagame. I highly suggest you try this deck out only if you want to shout “Do the Wave!” at a tournament and get your side of the table to stand up and yell and flail.

Until next time,


Reader Interactions

25 replies

  1. Rick de Wijn

    I should put Kingdra UL in the techs list.
    It’s a great tech vs Reshiram and Donphan because it can OHKO them

      • mike newman  → Josh

        What is the purpose of the deck, Joshua? Why are you always so negative?

        RE Souldew: I think there would be too many issues with Kingdra UL. Not only is that one less Kingdra prime you’d have, but you’d also need a water energy AND a DCE just to KO 2 threats that two other Pokemon in your deck can KO for 1 Energy (with some Spray Splashing, of course.)

        • alex bob  → Josh

          Umm, what would be any other way to win against Reshiram without Kingdra UL?

        • mike newman  → alex

          Josh: I know that’s the purpose of the deck. My comment was geared toward the fact that you were so sure of the purpose of the deck, but you weren’t the one who wrote the article.

          Alex, 3 Spray splashes + Do The Wave, however 9 times out of 10 the Reshirams will have afterburner damage on them and it won’t even take that much.

  2. barryfken

    Are you sure this deck is really good with those match-ups? It just seems weird that a Cincinno deck can do so well against the “Big Three.”

  3. adam schorr

    Okay, don’t put percentages if you haven’t played the matchups multiple times with at least decent players.  Your Tyram and Goth matchups are both predicated on getting 3 Kingdras up, which is…unlikely to say the least, especially by the turn 2 or 3 you’d need for them to really make an impact.  Cinccino doesn’t hit hard unless you have a full bench, and I simply don’t see how you do it in this deck.  You need two Collector, and the chances of getting one Kingdra up before turn 3 without any supporters other than Collector is…low.  I have no idea how you got your Stage 1 results, considering the theory in the paragraph doesn’t even make sense.  Your MegaZone and Truth percentages are really high for what you acknowledge as terrible matchups (and if you get up 4 Kingdras against Truth 35% of the time…I don’t even…).

    And you didn’t even mention that this deck is going to swing wildly based on whether it goes first or second in most matchups.  This deck has very little comeback power if the other deck goes first and gets set up at all on turn two.  Just getting to 100 damage on most turns will be a challenge.

    • Harry Weintraub  → adam

      Setting up 4 Kingdra’s was a joke, I’m sorry.  I’m a very sarcastic person and if it didn’t come through in my writing I’ll just try better next time.

      I have had less testing against MegaZone than any other deck, I’ll admit, but from the matchups that I have played, I don’t feel like I’m scrambling at any point.

      Against Tyram I have to disagree with you.  Tyram does not require 3 Kingdras, but it does help. At no point in a game will you be attacking a fresh Reshi.  Typhlosion’s Flare Destroy doesn’t scare me as you only need one energy drop and a lot of the time I don’t load up a benched Cinccino and I hold onto the DCE for situations where my energy is discarded one way or another.

  4. lynxdrag

    Your conclusions are all very wrong indeed.  A smart Tyram player will use Typhlosion against you and discard your special energy with flare destroy…..whoopie you knock out a big key in the deck…..I just got rid of your precious special energy.  Works really well when I am seeing a lot more lost remover as well.  Another great one is if someone uses ERL against you.  They very well could hurt themselves in the process but nailing the Kingdra is worth it.  I also do not see how Cinccino is able to beat some of the tier one decks that easily without you stacking your deck while you shuffle.  I like the deck idea.  I just do not think that it is so good right now or ever will be for that matter with what is coming up.

    • Harry Weintraub  → lynxdrag

      I don’t know where you are seeing a lot more Lost Remover.  I don’t see any top tier decks sacrificing consistency right now in a format entirely based on consistency.  Typhlosion is a problem, but I feel it is pretty easy to play around by early disruption of Cyndaquils and Quilavas as well as holding onto a DCE drop or attaching singular energies to attack with.

      I guess you’re right about ERL.  Potentially taking 3 Prizes in 1 turn, but what decks play that right now?  I’ve seen it in a few MegaZone lists but that means they 2HKO your Kingdras, they KO their own Zone, you can 2HKO their ERL for 2 prizes.  After all is said and done, you traded 3 prizes each.  I would like to see this play out though, could be interesting.

      • Martin Garcia  → Harry

        ERL making a difference? Are you serious? There is no way in hell such a slow and clucky could make a difference.

        I have played this deck a lot, but with a thick yanmega line to get something more out of those sprays splashes, a 50 or 60 damage linear attack is wuite efficient against stage 2 decks.

        Reshiram does pose a threat, but just becouse its hard to deal 120 damage in one turn, typhlosion is not a problem at all.
        You dont really need to load cinccino with DCE, tehre are other energies in the deck as well, as water or rescue, so the flare destroy isnt nearly as effective as you may think it is.
        I would be much more worried about a reshiram swarm, couse getting 3 kingdras on the board isnt easy.

  5. Josh

    too bad those poor cydaquils/quilava’s will get KO’ed t2… Typhlosion players… you deck isnt invincible….

  6. rax

    I’ve been running this and have done a fair amount of testing. I rarely get three Kingdra Primes but that’s usually OK. The way I like to think about this deck is that its best draw will lose to the best draw of a Tier 1 deck, but it’s pretty rare that any deck gets its best draw, and Kingccino or whatever you want to call it arguably has a better 75% quality draw than, say, Reshiphlosion. Zekrom is still really hard even if it gets a mediocre draw. I’ve only played Gothitelle a few times but it wasn’t as bad as I expected; however my list also has Twins/Black Belt, which helps.

    Tyram being able to discard energy is a real issue; to me, running a few water energies is a must, not just for Kingdra to attack with (though that can be nice) but for rescue/water on Cinccino so that if you get Flare Destroyed you can either attach again and attack or retreat into another Cinccino with DCE on it already. Even against other decks, a couple of Lost Removers can really ruin your day; nothing makes up for losing a DCE but running 11 or 12 energy at least mitigates the badness.

    I tried Kingdra UL but it didn’t work for me; it required DCE to be helpful and I generally found myself just communicating it for a prime.

    I really enjoy Yanmega in here, but I don’t think it’s as strong of a play. It makes it harder to get out the Kingdras and Cinccinos that you need; there are a couple of matchups where it is very nice (anything with 40/50 HP basics) and running Judge helps with disruption but it also contributes to the frequency of playing everything out, having a great setup, and having one useless card in hand and really hoping you don’t end up doomed.

    I like this deck a lot and am considering it as a play for Regionals, although I haven’t found a list that feels quite solid enough yet. I don’t think it’s the winning play, but I think it could be a fun and competitive one. Thanks for the article, Harry!

  7. Anonymous

    “This matchup is interesting because you do have the ability to OHKO a Gothitelle which is the worst nightmare of a Goth player. ”

    Under lock you’ll never set up the Kingdras. No chance.

  8. Scott O’Brien

    …And then I have Outrage.
    Sorry, just making a point. Avoid OHKO, win.
    Also, it would take 3 Kingdras 2 OHKO Goth. Likely?

  9. Stuart Long

    Awesome article again man! Not sure I agree with the goth matchups though. I play goth a lot and have beat this deck every time. Thanks for the article though.

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