Dusting Up Regional Championships With Cinccino

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It’s a bit of an awkward time in the tournament schedule for me, and I would imagine quite a few other players out there. States are over, and Regional Championships are coming, but I won’t be participating in them because it doesn’t make much financial sense to travel to one. I think it’s a bit too early to dive into the Dark Explorers format, so what’s there really to do to kill the dead time between now and Battle Roads? Well, work on some rogue decks to pass the time at league and on PTCGO of course.

The deck that I am writing about, Cincinno/Hypno (or Wizard of Oz as dubbed by Adam Bigott, who was probably the first to come up with the deck idea) has quickly become one of my favorites, in large part because it includes two of my favorite Pokémon from the Black and White series: Minccino and Cinccino.

When playing in a non-competitive environment, one of the most fun things in the game is making decks around your favorite Pokémon, and this deck fulfills that objective.

Additionally, in playing this deck, you have loads of coin flips, status effects, amplifying attacks, and Item lock, so what’s not to like… at least on your side of the table. (Warning: You might drive your opponent to the brink of madness in some games.)

Here’s a skeleton list of the deck, so you can get some vision of what the deck actually is and understand what I’m talking about with the deck.

Cinccino/Hypno Skeleton List

Pokémon – 18

4 Minccino NXD

4 Cinccino NXD

2 Drowzee HS

2 Hypno HS

3 Oddish UD

2 Vileplume UD

1 Shaymin EX

Trainers – 14

4 Pokémon Collector

4 Twins

 

3 Pokémon Communication

3 Rare Candy

 

Energy – 12

6 Energy

4 Double Colorless

2 Rescue

This skeleton list only includes 44 cards, so it gives you quite a bit of freedom with how you want to run your version of the deck as far as the Supporter engine you choose to setup, to any techs you want to include, and even the Energy you would like to run. Regardless of what direction you take the deck away from the skeleton, one thing is true, and that is that you will need to add more Supporters.

Now that you have seen a skeleton list for the deck, I can explain the general strategy by breaking down what the key cards and why they’re important.

Cinccino NXD

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This is your main attacker and star of the deck. Cinccino’s attack, Echoed Voice, does 50 damage, and then 100 damage after that for each consecutive turn you use Echoed Voice with that Cinccino. While the damage output of this attack is decent, what makes Cinccino special and a viable main attacker is its ability, Smooth Coat.

This ability allows you to flip a coin any time Cinccino would be damaged by an attack, if heads, prevent all damage of that attack. So in short, you want to hit heads on your Smooth Coat flips, creating an invincible Cinccino hitting for a steady 100 damage every turn.

Hypno HS

Hypno’s role in the deck is to help keep your Cinccino’s alive for as long as possible, as well as to stall while you get setup. Hypno has a Poké-Power called Sleep Pendulum, which allows you to flip a coin, and if heads, the defending Pokémon is now Asleep.

If your opponent doesn’t hit their sleep flip going into their turn, you don’t even have to worry about whether or not you’ll hit heads on your Smooth Coat flip, as your opponent will be unable to attack for the turn.

Vileplume UD

This is a deck that needs Item lock to work, and providing Item lock is Vileplume’s specialty. Vileplume’s Poké-Body, Allergy Flower, prevents any Items from being played in the game. This allows you to setup Hypno on your bench without having to worry about them being Catchered and KO’d. It also prevents your opponent from using Switch to free their sleeping Pokémon from the active spot.

Shaymin EX

pokemon-paradijs.comThis is your finisher, who gets you those last 1-2 prizes. With Vileplume on the field, you don’t have to worry about having Shaymin EX Catchered and KO’d, so you can safely set it up on your bench. Shaymin EX’s attack, Revenge Blast, does 30 damage plus 30 more damage for each Prize card your opponent has taken.

When your opponent has taken four Prize cards, you do 150 damage, and when your opponent’s taken five Prize cards, the attack does 180 damage, which is enough to Knock Out any non-Eviolited Pokémon in the format (and it’s unlikely for your opponent to have an Eviolited Pokémon because of the Item lock).

While these are the main players in the deck, it’s important not to forget what the little guys that go under them do.

Minccino NXD

This is the pre-evolution of Cinccino. The card is nothing too special, but it does have a Call for Family attack, which allows you to search your deck for a basic Pokémon and put it onto your bench. You won’t always be setting up with Call for Family, but it is a nice option to have available.

Drowzee HS

You will rarely ever attack with Drowzee, but it’s important to know what Drowzee does in case the game state ever calls for you attacking with Drowzee. Drowzee’s first attack, Sleep Inducer, which costs one Psychic Energy, allows you to switch the defending Pokémon with one of your opponent’s benched Pokémon, and the new active Pokémon becomes asleep. This can help you stall if you get off to a slow start.

General Strategy

pokemon-paradijs.comWhen setting up in your average game, you will want a Cinccino active with a bench of one Vileplume, two Hypno, a backup Cinccino being setup. The fifth bench spot can go to a variety of things. Sometimes it will be a stray Oddish that didn’t get Knocked Out at the beginning of the game before you got setup. In most games it will be a third Cinccino getting setup, at least in the early game, and then a Shaymin EX in the late game.

If you’re not going to have access to your Shaymin EX for whatever reason (prizes, started with it and it got Knocked Out), you can setup a third Hypno to increase your chances of putting the defending Pokémon to sleep.

Once you get setup, you enact the general strategy of the deck, which is to be lucky. That is, to hit heads on your Sleep Pendulum and Smooth Coat flips, while your opponent flips tails on their sleep flips, allowing you to get a continuous stream of 100 damage Echoed Voice attacks with Cinccino.

The Math

Now, let’s examine some of the math behind the deck. In this example, I will be using the decks normal setup of two Hypno for the calculations. I will also make the assumption that the opponent’s active Pokémon is awake going into your turn. The point of this section of the article is to examine the probability that your Cinccino will last any given turn when your opponent uses an attack that would otherwise Knock Out your Cinccino.

It should be noted that this example looks at a situation where you aren’t going to be able to Knock Out the active Pokémon with your attack during your turn. If you were to knock it out, and then your opponent promotes a Pokémon to the active spot that has the potential to Knock Out Cinccino, the probability of Cinccino lasting that turn will simply be 50%, as the Smooth Coat flip is the only one that matters.

First, I will look at the individual components that make up the probability of interest.

1. Sleep Pendulum Flips

The first set of flips are your Sleep Pendulum flips to see if you put the defending Pokémon asleep. As it is a simple heads or tails flip, each Sleep Pendulum flip has a probability of 50% for being heads. The probability of hitting at least one heads in our two Sleep Pendulum flips is 75%. So you will be putting the opponent’s active Pokémon to sleep 75% of the time.

2. Sleep Flip

The next flip is the sleep flip that your opponent does to see if their Pokémon is going to wake up going into their turn. The probability that the defending Pokémon will stay asleep is 50%. That means that there is a 37.5% chance that your opponent’s defending Pokémon will be asleep going into their turn, and thus you won’t even have to worry about any attacks from your opponent.

3. Smooth Coat Flip

That means however, that 62.5% of the time your opponent will have the opportunity to attack, and thus it will come down to the results of the Smooth Coat flip, which has a 50% chance of being heads. That means 31.25% of the time, you will avoid having damage done to your Cinccino by hitting heads on your Smooth Coat flip.

Putting It All Together

That means that 68.75% of the time, your Cinccino is going to survive for another turn under this scenario. Putting that together with the 50% chance that Cinccino survives the turn with a fresh attacker, it’s easy to see why this deck can work.

The majority of the time, Cinccino is going to survive your opponent’s turn, allowing you to get at least 150 damage out of most of your Cinccino, which is pretty good for an attacker that only gives up one prize in a format full of 1HKOs.

Cinccino/Hypno Deck List

The following is my most current deck list for this deck. There is still some fine tuning that the list could use, and I should stress that this is just one way to run the deck.

Pokémon – 24

4 Minccino NXD

4 Cinccino NXD

3 Drowzee HS

3 Hypno HS

3 Oddish UD

1 Gloom UD

2 Vileplume UD

3 Virizion NVI

1 Shaymin EX

Trainers – 23

4 Pokémon Collector

4 Twins

4 N

3 Cheren

1 Professor Oak’s New Theory

1 Flower Shop Lady

 

3 Pokémon Communication

3 Rare Candy

Energy – 13

4 Grass

3 Psychic

4 Double Colorless

2 Rescue

The way that I choose to run this deck is with a Virizion and Cheren to Twins draw engine. The way this setup engine works, is that you continuously use Virizion’s Dual Draw attack to run through your deck to get all of the components necessary to your setup. Once your opponent Knocks Out your Virizion (or a random Oddish, or something else) they activate your Twins engine, allowing you to finish your setup.

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I run a relatively high Cheren count, as Cheren’s effect of drawing three cards has good synergy with Dual Draw. The one Professor Oak’s New Theory might seem a little out of place, but it was included to increase the number of shuffle your hand back into your deck supporters to improve the Durant matchup by a little bit.

N is maxed out as it acts similar to a PONT in the early game, and it is great at the end of the game for Knocking Out two Pokémon with Shaymin EX when the game state calls for it. The Flower Shop Lady is in there to get you some more energy so you don’t run out when you need to charge up your late game attackers, as well as bring back any other Pokémon that you need, that you’re out of other copies in your deck.

Running three Virizion allows me to start Virizion in just under 37% of my games. Minccino is your next best starter, as you can setup your bench with its Call for Family attack. The chances of starting with either Virizion or Minccino is roughly 70%.

As far as energy goes, Double Colorless is maxed out as it is the most crucial to quickly powering up your Cinccino to make use of Echoed Voice, which required three energy to attack. The two rescue energy are to help you stream Cinccino throughout the game.

Running more Rescue Energies is always an option, but I preferred to run fewer of those in favor of more basic energy for the Durant matchup. The Psychic Energy are in there to make use of Drowzee’s Sleep Inducer attack, and the Grass Energy are in there to make use of Shaymin EX’s Revenge Blast attack.

Matchups

I’m not going to go through and put out some arbitrary numbers like a matchup being 50/50 for this deck. With this deck, the matchups aren’t quite that simple. To put it simply, if you hit a lot of heads throughout your game, while your opponent hits tails on their sleep flips, you should be in good shape and win your games. If luck isn’t on your side, and the opposite happens, you’re probably going to lose.

The main purpose of these matchups is to cover how these matchups generally play out, and the strengths and weaknesses that this deck has against these other decks.

Celebi/Mewtwo

Your greatest weakness to Celebi/Mewtwo is going to be the donk factor in favor of Celebi/Mewtwo, as well as the possibility that you hit a dead hand at the beginning of the game and get completely stomped by Mewtwo in the early game before you can get anything setup.

Luckily, the donk isn’t too big of a threat. They only have a 50% chance of going first of course, and you have a 60.6% chance of starting two or more starters. In just 19.7% of your games will you start with a single Basic with your opponent going first, so the chances of a donk are relatively low, but when your opponent does go first in this scenario, you could be in a bit of trouble, as Minccino, Drowzee, and Oddish are all easily donked by Mewtwo EX or Tornadus.

In general, you will fall behind two prizes before you get your bare bones setup of an attacking Cinccino, one Hypno, and a Vileplume. Once setup, as long as they don’t get too big of a prize lead, you should be in pretty good shape.

The reason for this, is that Celebi/Mewtwo doesn’t run many attackers other than Mewtwo EX that are able to 1HKO Cinccino, which has 90 HP. Tornadus only does 80 damage and Virizion NV, if they run it, only does 80 damage too. Regigigas-EX can deal the 90 damage needed to Knock Out Cinccino once it has 40 damage on it, but it suffers from the same problem that Mewtwo EX does, and that is that it’s an EX, which gives up two prizes, which allows the Cinccino player to make their comeback faster.

This helps you lull your opponent into your Cinccino trap, as your opponent will be inclined to use Mewtwo EX to take out your Cinccino, as Mewtwo EX only needs two energy to Knock Out a Cinccino that has enough energy to attack. Once Mewtwo EX is in the active spot, work on putting it to sleep, and then work on knocking it out with Echoed Voice.

As the game gets down to the late game, set up your Shaymin EX. You will generally never take more than your last two prizes with Shaymin EX, but read the board. Sometimes you will be able to play Shaymin EX into your active spot, N your opponent down to one card, and then sweep the last three prizes with Shaymin EX. When you start attacking with Shaymin EX is just all about reading the game state properly.

Zekrom/Eelektrik

pokemon-paradijs.comThis matchup plays out somewhat similarly to the Celebi/Mewtwo matchup, but there are some differences. The first big difference is that Zekrom/Eelektrik sets up a tad bit slower than Celebi/Mewtwo. The second difference though, is that Zekrom/Eelektrik has a better form of energy acceleration, allowing it to constantly refuel attackers to keep attacking into your Cinccino’s turn after turn.

This deck actually has a lot of things that Cinccino is able to exploit. The first, is a lack of suitable non-EX attackers. The standard Zekrom/Eelektrik list runs around five non-EX attackers, with common inclusions being one Tyrogue, two Zekrom BLW, and two Thundurus.

Tyrogue is going to have a tough time taking down a Cinccino, and will most likely end up being a free Prize card. One strategy the Zeels player can take is to soften up a Cinccino with Tyrogue HS for a Thundurus EPO KO, but that will likely only work on one Cinccino before Tyrogue gets Knocked Out.

Thundurus suffers from the same problem that Tornadus and Virizion do, and that is that Thundurus’ damage output is capped at 80, not enough to Knock Out a Cinccino without any damage on it.

Zekrom BLW is able to 1HKO a Cinccino, but it leaves itself vulnerable for the Knock Out from Cinccino if the Cinccino player hits heads on their Smooth Coat flip. Cinccino Knocks Out a Zekrom after a Bolt Strike if their Echoed Voice is swinging for 100 damage.

After you take out all their non-EX attackers, they will have to start attacking you with a Mewtwo EX or Zekrom-EX. From there, you simply setup Shaymin EX, and play the field for the win.

Landorus/Terrakion

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The main strength that Landorus NVI/Terrakion NVI has against Cinccino is that they hit Cinccino for weakness, which means that they will be able to 1HKO your Cinccino.

The weakness of this deck against Cinccino is that it takes quite a bit longer to get setup than Celebi/Mewtwo or Zekrom/Eelektrik do, allowing the Cinccino player to get their field setup better than they do in the two aforementioned matchups. Additionally, Landorus/Terrakion decks struggle with Item lock, as it cuts off their use of Exp. Share, and the deck really is Item heavy.

Additionally, they are most likely going to attack with Landorus in the early game. The Gaia Hammer damage that they put on their bench will setup their own Landorus for 1HKOs with a 100 damage Echoed Voice, adding another thing that makes the matchup easier for you.

In general, the early mid game will decide the matchup. If you fail to hit the necessary coin flips to keep your Cinccino’s alive, they can dominate you fairly badly. If you hit a Smooth Coat flip or two, you will probably easily win the matchup, as their deck will just kind of fizzle out after your Knock Out a couple of their Pokémon as they miss having the requisite energy on their Pokémon, and their hands will become clogged with Items.

Additionally, you have Shaymin EX, which is especially good as a late game sweeper against fighting decks because of its fighting resistance.

Durant

fakemaket.deviantart.comThis matchup isn’t all that bad, and there are a few ways to approach it. My preferred method is to get a Virizion going, and Dual Draw and Cheren through my deck to get all the components necessary to setup a Vileplume and a Cinccino with three energy. Then you use an N or PONT to shuffle your hand back into your deck.

Starting with the second Echoed Voice, you 1HKO any Durants, even if they managed to get an Eviolite attached, as well as a Special Metal. You have some protection from being taken out by Rotom UD with Plasma Arrow because of Smooth Coat, but it’s still a threat.

I prefer to go for the full on Item lock, instead of just a Cinccino with energy stacked for a few reasons. The main reason, is that nearly half your energy is special energy that can be Lost Remover’d away. Secondly, once you get the lock setup, you just need five KOs for the win, which shouldn’t be too hard to do without decking out.

Just like any match against Durant though, if they hit their Crushing Hammer Flips and mill the right cards, they can and will beat you.

Status Lock Decks – Lilligant and Vanilluxe

pokemon-paradijs.comWhile Cinccino’s Ability Smooth Coat is great for keeping damage off the little guy, the Ability doesn’t prevent you from being inflicted by status conditions, which is the aim of these two decks. These are probably your two least favorable matchups.

In your approach to this matchup, you can forgo setting up any Vileplumes. Instead, go for some quick Cinccinos and try to gain a prize advantage on these decks. From there, the matchup will become a game of flips. I think the Vanilluxe matchup is a little better for you as it requires them setting up a Stage 2 Pokémon, so you have an opportunity to build more of a prize lead than you do in the Lilligant matchup, which sets up with a Stage 1, with a one energy attack cost.

Lilligant is by far the worse matchup of the two, as Cinccino has no way around the poison damage caused by Bemusing Aroma. With Vanilluxe’s Double Freeze attack, there is always the potential that you flip heads, and all they get out of the turn is paralysis and no damage.

Once these decks have their Vanilluxe/Lilligants up and active and trying to paralyze you, your best bet is to hope you get lucky with your Hypno sleep flips. If they are asleep going into their turns, they won’t have the opportunity to lock you with Paralysis, although in the case of Lilligant, you could still be taking Poison damage from a previous Bemusing Aroma.

I am not sure how much play either of these two decks will see, but I expect the level of Vanilluxe to remain the same as it was in States, but I expect more and more people to be playing Lilligant as Lilligant is a great counter to the EX Pokémon once setup.

pokemon-paradijs.comIf you know that your meta will have a lot of Lilligant, it might be a wise idea to tech in an Unown CURE and 1-2 Seeker to free yourself of status conditions. Without this tech, the Lilligant matchup at the very least will prove very daunting for you to beat.

Conclusion

This is a deck that started out as just a fun deck, that turned out to be a completely viable deck that is able to take advantage of the EX-rule and some other specific weaknesses of the top meta decks that it is able to exploit.

While this deck can beat all of the top decks in the format, it can also lose to them as well, pretty badly in fact, getting 6-0’d on prizes if you don’t hit any of your Smooth Coat flips. It’s important to remember that it is unlikely for that to happen very often, but it is always a possibility when you’re playing such a flippy deck.

I think the deck is a great deck choice for Regional Championships for those who aren’t able to afford any Mewtwo EXs, and don’t want to run Durant. Assuming you have all the Items, Supporters, and Energies for the deck (which you should, they’re staples), the Pokémon components of the deck will cost you $22 for the cards included in the skeleton list, according to Troll and Toad prices. It will cost you $30 for all of the Pokémon cards in my version of the deck.

Reader Interactions

38 replies

  1. Adam Bigott

    Mewtwo is another tech option in the deck. I personally ran it in my build, but I had never though of virizion, definitely another interesting option.

    Obvious +1 from me

  2. airhawk06

    Very good article. I like the rogue approach to the format. However, I do not feel as though it is “completely viable” at a large tournament, such as Regionals. Considering how your opponent will likely go up 2-3 prizes. You need to take 6 prizes to their 3. The probablilites are too low to carry your though a 7-8 round Swiss and a 5 round TC.

    • Andrew Wamboldt  → airhawk06

      I think it’s viable in the sense that it can beat pretty much every deck out there a fair amount of the time, with Lilligant and Kyurem NVI variants being bad matchups, and Chandelure being its only auto loss.

      But I do agree with you that the deck probably won’t hold up throughout a long tournament. I think over the course of Swiss, you could do fine, and make top cut. But at some point, you’re just going to get really bad luck at some point in top cut and flip a ton of tails and lose.

  3. Vinay Patel

    You just made Cinccino NXD viable. Of course I’m going to like it. I might get my pet fish to like it too…

  4. Dragontown

    I played tyrogue hypno back when Noble victories came out and with next destinies made the necessary changes for cincinno. some thoughts i have on this list are:

    -1 mincinno
    -1 cincinno 4 is excessive with rescue energy and fsl
    -3 verizion
    -1 shaymin ex mewtwo is better 90%+ of situations you would need to hit harder than cincinno
    +2 mewtwo
    +2 tyrogue early game damage, tynamo killer, same synergy with hypno as cincinno
    +1 cleffa helps set up and has great synergy with hypno
    also+1 black belt is so good in this deck.

    also -3 cheren + 3 sages It’s ok to discard a LOT of things late game because otherwise you have very bad N’s full of pokemon you cant bench.
    also the energy count can be lowered to 10 with the tyrogue addition to 4 DCE 4 rescue 2 grass
    psychic energy is never really used as you would have to attach 3 to attack with hypno, and your energy is better used on cincinno anyway.
    these extra 3 slots from the energy can be used for 2 more oaks to be more consistant as well as another pokemon communication to set up vileplume faster or help your set up before you rare candy to vileplume

    -Jon Brost

    • Jorge Cerrillo  → Dragontown

      If you take out Virizion and Shaymin, why still run Grass Energy? Find a Friend? Why not Psychic or Prism Energy?

    • Andrew Wamboldt  → Dragontown

      What is the point of Mewtwo EX in here. Stopping another Mewtwo EX with your own Mewtwo EX isn’t going to be much of a winning strategy, you’ll just be entering into a Mewtwo war that you’re not going to have much chance of winning. There are some situations where a Mewtwo EX could be useful, but those are going to be after you have Vileplume setup for the most part, and if you have Vileplume setup, you should be getting ready to Sleep Pendulum with Hypno and attack with Cinccino.

      Won of the strengths of Virizion is that it has a semi-bulky hp, so between that and Hypno, you can stall an early Mewtwo a bit while you get set up.

      I don’t think Mewtwo EX is a bad play in this deck by any means, but I would rather find ways to work around it rather than engage in a Mewtwo war with this deck, and I think Shaymin EX is better for the end of game clean up attacker than Mewtwo is.

      I don’t like Sage’s in most trainer lock. I don’t like the idea of possibly discarding Hypno’s, Cinccino’s, Shaymin EX, or energy in the early game and then not having them later.

      Cleffa is definitely the play if you don’t use Virizion as your setup engine. I like Virizion more as you get big hands in the early games, which gives you a better setup imo, especially when paired with Cheren, just like in Six Corners.

      Tyrogue is good as an early game attacker if you’re not using Virizion and dual drawing. I don’t really view it as much of a Tynamo killer like it is in other decks though, as you don’t run catcher, so if you’re opponent is smart and doesn’t have a horrible start, they should be able keep Tynamo out of the active spot.

      Agree that Black Belt would be really good in here as well

      • Dragontown  → Andrew

        In the end shamim ex does the same thing as mewtwo ex: kill mewtwos and get one shot.
        And this deck can definately win mewtwo wars.
        Just don’t start them till the opponent is asleep.
        Also lest your opponent has N twins can make for very playable mewtwo wars.
        You don’t like discarding those things? Use your flower shop lady. That’s why it’s in the deck.
        I feel that the energy attachments used on Verizon are much better on cincinno and also it really doesn’t matter if you discard cincinnos early game in the tyrogue version because you now run 4 rescues keeping the deck more focused on cincinno than Verizion

        • Andrew Wamboldt  → Dragontown

          Switched the Cheren out to 3 Sage’s in my list. Sometimes the discards are a little painful, but the increased speed in getting Vileplume out is a big plus from that standpoint. Going to try a 4-3 Cinccino split, to make room for 1 Mewtwo EX and see how that goes.

  5. TaxMaster

    Lets give credit where credit is due. Jon Brost of the OKC area was the first to popularize this deck. Mewtwo is absolutely needed…

  6. Eli Norris

    Good article and interesting concept.

    To be perfectly honest though, a Mew Prime version of VVV + Unfezant tech does the job better. It has a much better chance of locking, and the energy cost is only two for Double Freeze and Fly instead of Cincinno’s Fly. The latter doesn’t matter as much, as Cincinno abuses DCE, but whatever.

    I guess it’s all about a player’s preference: Having a Stage One but less easily OHKOed attacker that has a ~20% less chance of working (when Fly is being used in Mew VVV it’s only a 75% chance but that’s still higher than Cincinno) and probably a more stable early game, or a more frail and easier to set up attacker that works better later on but has an unstable early game?

    I guess you also have to consider that Mew VVV has to carefully decide when to Fly instead of Double Freezing. Maybe I’ve actually made myself favor Wizard of Oz over VVV :P.

    Well, I’m still using Durant at Regionals no matter what :P.

    • Dragontown  → Eli

      cincinno essential has two benefits over mew/ unfeasant:
      90 hp(that even if you whiff your flips against a thunderus or tornadus you still live)
      and damage output
      although it would be interesting if vvv mew decks began to play hypno and up their chances even more.

  7. Max Douglas

    This reminds me off my Cincinno/Donphan deck idea, where Donphan’s EQ was supposed to trigger all 4 Cincinnos abilities each turn and take up time with all the flips. Catcher would let you take a prize lead and everything in your deck is a tank so you could stall you opponent on time :P

  8. theo Seeds

    I kind of like this idea, and an excellent description of everything matchups and odds wise. Good job, sir.

  9. Simon Narode

    Neat article. I ran Minccino with Vileplume and Roserade for a while when Next Destinies first came out. It had trouble with energy drops, so Hypno may be a better play.

    This is such an annoying deck to play against.

    • Andrew Wamboldt  → Simon

      Yeah. When I play this deck on PTCGO, the general response is “I really love your deck.” and then when you make your comeback…..”Your opponent has disconnected.”

      • Benjamin Bolival  → Andrew

        i dont know why people disconnect when they can just simply concede. dont they realize they are playing BETA and its not a ranked game or they wont win any prizes for winning? or be penalized for losing?

  10. Austin Stephen

    Why not Roserade/Amoongus over Hypno? The Confusion gives you better odds of staying alive, as it becomes necessary for them to flip 2 heads to attack (aka 75%). Granted, your opponent could retreat, but the likelihood of that happening as often as flipping tails on a sleep check is less. Not to mention you end up 1-shotting Tornadus/Thundurus/Virizion NVI if you run rainbow with Roserade or Amoongus (Though Amoongus with Seeker would be the better play IMO)

    • Benjamin Bolival  → Austin

      i think they prefer hypno because if its asleep it cannot retreat unlike a confused active pokemon.

      • Andrew Wamboldt  → Benjamin

        This is the exact reason why Hypno is in here instead of Amoongus/Roserade. Hypno gives you the opportunity to lock your opponent’s pokemon in the active for a turn, while keeping your opponent from attacking. While Roserade and Amoongus are both good cards, and have frustrating effects for your opponent, your opponent can still attack and/or retreat out of the active spot and attack with a new pokemon.

        Additionally, you can use Hypno’s abilities turn after turn after turn. You would only get to use Amoongus’ ability 2-3 times, and you’d always need the Amoongus in hand for when you want the effect to happen, instead of just setting up a Hypno and using it throughout the game. This could create situations where you wouldn’t PONT, or N, etc. when you otherwise would have because you want to keep the Amoongus in hand. If you want to continually use it, you would have to make room for 2-3 Seeker, and space is already tight in the deck.

        As for Roserade, most turns you will be attaching to attackers, so there just isn’t the extra energy needed to use Roserade’s ability over and over again. Roserade is best used in stuff with low attack cost (Mewbox stuff / Yanmega Prime).

  11. Twan van Vugt

    If you have the space for it, you could try to add fliptini to the deck and completely mess with your opponent once everything is set up. it could take a spot for hypno on the bench, since 1 hypno then brings a 75% chance to induce the sleep. nice read!

    • Andrew Wamboldt  → Twan

      I wish Victini’s ability worked for this Ability, but it only works for your own attacks.

      Maybe when they make Victini EX in the BLW2 sets, maybe it will have an ability that allows you to re-flip all coin flips in a game.

  12. Pikabruce

    I played a deck similar to this at a small tournament last month. Instead of Drowzee/Hypno, I used Eels. By mid-game, your opponent will probably have something like ZekromEX which can one-shot Cinccino, so you need to be able to power up another one very quickly if you flip two tails in a row. The deck did well in that tournament because I was flipping so lucky, but I don’t play it any more because it was just too inconsistent.

    • Andrew Wamboldt  → Pikabruce

      When I was working on this deck originally, the plan was to put a 2-2 Eelektrik line in here to continuously refuel attackers. I couldn’t find any real space in the deck list to allow for the 2-2 Eel line, and even with it, I don’t think there is the bench space to make it work with Hypno.

      I think there is some potential in decks pairing Cinccino with a status lock attacker Lillligant/Vanilluxe, and using Cinccino as a kind of stop gap for when you take KO’s with those decks to try to avoid a revenge KO on your Lilligant or Vanilluxe.

  13. Grant Manley

    Just my 2 cents, not a bad article, but I don’t think that it deserves +15.
    The deck itself is really luck reliant and I think you oversold it. Virizion NVI has already been established as inferior to Cleffa as a starter in all decks besides Electrode and Six Corners. As already said, MewVVV is better because it’s chances of locking are better and it’s a basic. Also, any deck that already runs DCE needs Mewtwo EX. Did you actually test any of the matchups? It is better when doing an analysis to include win/loss records to show how consistent the deck is. Also, NOBODY plays Lilligant EPO. If you got that from Innocent’s Lilligant article, get this: that was a teacher article and Mew VVV is much better. I would just like tested results when an author is trying to convince someone on a deck. However, I definitely don’t think this deserves a bad rating, these are just my thoughts. Thanks.

    ~Grant

    • Eli Norris  → Grant

      Somebody at Maryland went 5-2 with Lilligant/Vileplume. He was my round 7 opponent and I beat him with Durant.. I think he missed top cut, or lost in top 16.

      While I agree that I like Mew/VVV better, there are some big issues with it. A quick Mewtwo EX + DCE really hurts your setup, especially when your opponent starts OHKOing Mews T1. Mew is also easier to OHKO.

    • Andrew Wamboldt  → Grant

      Cleffa vs. Virizion:

      There is no consensus on Virizion and Cleffa, one being better than the other. They both are very different cards, that serve different purposes. I feel that Virizion’s straight draw paired with Sage’s or Cheren and Collector is really good at getting setup really fast.

      Additionally, Cleffa can be donked by a Tyrogue/Mewtwo. Virizion on the other hand, is able to withstand a couple x-balls before getting knocked out. If you’re opponent gets a slow setup and only has a Cleffa/Tyrogue/Tynamo, you can even steal some games with Virizion, something you can’t do with Cleffa.

      To play this game based on this is established to be better than this is very closed minded, and will hold you back in your deck building.

      Lilligant:

      I don’t think many people played Lilligant at States, but as I said, I expected it to see an increase in play for State Championships. I’ve never seen the article you’re talking about until now, looking it up, and those lists in that article are nothing like the Lilligant lists of today. The reason I know of the deck is because I’ve been testing with and against the decks for other players as they prepared for Regionals, it was just too strong of a meta counter not to see play, and people have been hyping it up as well.

      It looks from what I’m hearing from people, the deck has made top cuts in just about every Regional Championship in the Master’s Division. Both variants, Lilligant/Mewtwo EX/Shaymin EX and Lilligant/Kingdra are really good decks.

      Mewtwo EX:

      Again, saying any deck that runs DCE should run Mewtwo EX is a very close minded approach to the game. As others have commented elsewhere in the comment section, they find Mewtwo EX useful. I had some Mewtwo EX in my early list, didn’t like them. Since tried a few games with 1 Mewtwo EX and a 4-3 Cinccino line, still don’t like it.

      Mewtwo EX is a really good card, and there are a bunch of decks that it can single handedly smash if they don’t run them. This deck isn’t one of them. You have Vileplume to keep Mewtwo EX from dictating what pokemon it takes out for its prizes, you have Cinccino that can make Mewtwo’s attack worthless, you have Hypno, which can prevent Mewtwo EX from attacking, and Shaymin EX who can ohko a Mewtwo EX at the end of the game, and can only be revenged by your opponent’s Mewtwo if it has four energy on it (which can be hard for them to do if you N them right before attacking with Shaymin).

      Trust me, I like Mewtwo EX. I ran 4 Mewtwo in my deck for week 3 of States, but it just doesn’t belong in here. Because it only takes a Mewtwo EX only two energy to ohko Cinccino, it’s unlikely your opponent would attach more than 2 energy to their Mewtwo, making it unlikely that you will encounter many situations where you will KO a three energy Mewtwo. If you need one last big KO to seal the game, Shaymin EX is the better closer as it ohko’s fresh Regigigas, Zekrom EX, Mewtwo EX, while Mewtwo does not necessarily even ohko any of those.

      Matchups:

      I don’t really see what taking the results of 10 random games or whatever, and then posting that as the fact of what the matchup is would help anyone with anything. I don’t see how posting that I went 7-3 against CMT, or 4-6 against Zek/Eels would do anything to help anyone, especially in a deck like this that depends on flips.

      I’ve played plenty of games against the big 4: CMT, Zek/Eels, Durant, and Fighting with this deck. Playing these games have helped shape my decklist, as well as my playstyle and approach against those decks.

      I think anyone whose played with or against this deck can vouch that the matchups against the big 4 decks are all very winnable. If you flip poorly in a game, you’ll lose. If you flip decent-good, you usually win.

      I feel as though what I’ve done in this article, providing the strengths this deck has in its matchups against these decks, as well as its vulnerabilities, paired with the probability explaining why the deck is able to work is more valuable to people wanting to learn about and play this deck.

  14. Geo Edge

    i’ve been playing my own list of this deck the virizion version at least with no mewtwo ex and it’s freaken awesome, definately a deck that can be down many prizes then come up out of a nowhere and sweep the game, twins engine is a motha, i’m still play testing against multiple decks but it’s pretty fun

  15. prfarb

    i played against this deck online and it was a really fun match. It came down to a coin flip to wake up my Pokemon. Heads i win tails i lose. It’s a shame that such a close match came down to a coin flip but on the other hand its was almost like it was meant to be. Such a close and well played match that both of us deserved to win.

  16. Helge

    This is kind of unrelated to the topic, but do you know how to play a good Lilligant deck? I’m really interested in that card.

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