A Metronome of an Article – Random Thoughts and Cinccino

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So… many… badges!

As I have probably stated somewhere else in the past, I think Battle Roads and City Championships are the best parts of the tournament season. There are usually multiple tournaments every weekend so you can try a lot of different decks and shake off a bad tournament experience with a good one the very next day.

So far I’ve played in three Battle Roads, taking 2nd with Kyurem PLF/Deoxys-EX, 3rd with Landorus-EX/Lugia EX/Deoxys-EX, and 1st with Gothitelle EPO/Accelgor DEX/Mew-EX/Dusknoir BCR. Now if only I can pick up a fourth place finish I can hit for the cycle.

This article doesn’t have much of a clear focus, it’s mainly just a bunch of stuff that has been on my mind that I wanted to put into writing, so I think the best way to approach this article is to jump around the headings and pick out something that looks interesting to you, or read everything, because I hope nothing I’m writing is too boring.

Table of Contents

The Format and Tier List

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The meta has been much more interesting than this mundane matchup.

I have to say that this is my favorite format that I have played in all season long, and I feel that the metagame is the healthiest it has been since the format heading into the last National Championship.

There are a wide variety of decks to play with strengths and weaknesses all of which can be countered by other decks in the format. I know plenty still feel the format is stupid with a lot of speed, but setup decks like Gothitelle, Klinklang, and Blastoise all can punish these aggressive decks, and as a result, I think good deck selection, deck construction, and understanding of cards and matchups are being rewarded more than they have all season long.

Right now, this is how I have the decks in the format sorted out as far as strength. My use of tiers is to try to organize the format by the strength of decks relative to the format as a whole. I know there are other definitions that people like to cling on for tier lists, but these are mine, so I don’t really care about the rest. I just want to see a ranking of general power for the most part, and then I can decipher what deck to play based on whatever is seeing a lot of play later on in the process.

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Some might disagree with the decks I have newly relegated to Tier 3, but I think that is where they belong now. Rayquaza/Eelektrik really struggles against Plasma stuff, its Darkrai matchup got much worse with the release of Absol, and Mr. Mime isn’t enough to keep Big Basics from having a big advantage against it.

Big Basics and Garbodor both take a big hit from Plasma. The deck will generally hit both Landorus-EX and Mewtwo EX for Weakness, and Cobalion-EX seems pretty lackluster without Plasma Steel protection. While Plasma decks do use Abilities, they don’t have to rely on them, which makes adding Garbodor to the mix not super effective against them.

While I think all of these decks are no longer optimal plays, they are all still good enough to win a tournament, but the field is tough for them right now.

The key for Klinklang versus Plasma.

One of the more neglected decks of this format is Plasma Klinklang. There has been a slew of new non-EX attackers introduced into the format, but overall, the cornerstone of most decks are Pokémon-EX, and a decrease in Rayquaza/Eelektrik will definitely help it out.

The biggest misunderstanding with the deck is its matchup against Plasma decks. Kyurem PLF is nifty and all, but playing 2-3 copies of it will not ensure you a win, at least against a good Klinklang build.

My Kyurem PLF/Deoxys-EX deck has a terrific matchup against Klinklang because the Plasma Energy is the only Special Energy I played in the deck; the rest was Basic Water. If I am playing primarily Special Energy, I highly doubt I would be able to get off many Blizzard Burn attacks as Cobalion-EX removes my Energy with Righteous Edge, and when most Klinklang decks play Max Potion, most of that Frost Spear damage will be largely meaningless.

In the Thundurus EX versions of the deck, they do have the option to accelerate Prism and Blend to Kyurem with Raiden Knuckle, but that gives your opponent a chance to react to that attachment, and possibly just Catcher/KO the Kyurem.

The breakdown of ways a Klinklang deck can knockout a Kyurem breaks down as follows:

With Exp. Share and Klinklang BLW, it isn’t overly difficult to get the necessary Energy on your attacker, especially if the Plasma player can’t keep Energy on their Kyurem because Cobalion-EX is removing it with Special Energy. The neatest thing about Cobalion NVI is that it’s a non-EX, and your opponent has to actually deal with it as it is a threat, and Knock it Out for only 1 Prize, protecting the Cobalion-EX.

I think overall, the matchup is around 50/50, as the Plasma decks still have a speed advantage, but the lopsided matchup that a lot of people have made it out to be is ridiculous.

As far as Darkrai EX, it doesn’t really score better or worse than 50/50 matchups against anything except Rayquaza/Eelektrik in the format, while being heavily punishable by Garbodor, Big Basics, and Klinklang. Luckily, most of its bad matchups are in the Tier 2/3 because of what most of the Tier 1 decks do to those other decks.

The four decks in the Tier 1 seem fairly balanced to me. The Plasma stuff has a speed advantage, while Gothitelle and Blastoise can easily beat it as long as they get a decently quick setup. The Gothitelle and Blastoise matchup largely comes down to who can get their Stage 2 out.

Blastoise can have trouble with Tier 2 Klinklang and Tier 3 Garbodor, but those aren’t likely to be popular, but just hitting one can ruin a Blastoise players tournament if they don’t tech against them. Gothitelle’s only struggle with decks on lower tiers is with Darkrai EX decks, and that’s only if they choose to play 2-3 Keldeo-EX, which will force Darkrai to make sacrifices in some of their other matchups.

Metagaming the Format

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Choose wisely.

I think both in the last format, and now this format, metagaming is very important. Choosing which deck to play can make or break your tournament, as well as what decks you choose to tech against.

I have become a lot less emotional about the decks I choose to play and more logical about deck choice ever since I couldn’t play in States and had to watch them go by as an outsider looking in. Not being actively involved in getting a deck ready for a tournament put me in a position where I could more objectively view what was going on in tournaments than if I had played in them and was having success or failures with some particular deck.

Headed into my first Battle Roads, I felt Kyurem PLF/Deoxys-EX would be a strong play as not many players were likely to play Team Plasma decks with Lugia EX, which limits its only bad matchup to about a 50/50 matchup with Darkrai EX (since Gothitelle/Accelgor wasn’t really a thing in the metagame at this point). While I think my deck choice was solid, I still managed to lose to my arch nemesis Excadrill in the finals.

For the second tournament, I saw a lot of Darkrai and Eels the day before, with very little Blastoise and Team Plasma, so I figured Landorus-EX/Lugia EX would be a strong play for the next day. Klinklang saw a decent amount of play the day before and it looked like a lot of players brought it to the next tournament, so I put in a Victini NVI 15 and Fire Energy to combat that, giving me an easy 6-0 win in the tournament.

After that, I felt Gothitelle/Accelgor would be a strong play for whatever the next tournament I would play in was, as Blastoise wasn’t seeing much play, and it hadn’t really been played in our area, so there was no reason to believe that other decks would be teching against it with multiple Keldeo-EX. I also put in one Switch, which almost ensured me an auto-win against Quad Snorlax as I knew it would probably be played, and I would have played it in the last round if it had won in the round before.

I think I can attribute a lot of my success at the early Battle Roads to just making good deck selections. I didn’t really do anything special, just made good logical decisions on my deck choice. When you’re playing a deck that has favorable matchups against the field, the tournament becomes a lot easier to do well in.

In the not so distant past, I just kind of picked my decks more for the hell of it, which has made for some difficult tournament runs, where sometimes I scrubbed bad, or even when I did well, it was very challenging to get the wins.

To increase success, especially at smaller tournaments, making clear headed decisions about your deck choice can make the tournament much easier than if you get overly attached to one deck.

As far as a bigger tournament like Nationals, it’s a little harder to metagame, as you don’t really know what types of decks the players might tend to like you can distinguish at the local level. I think for a tournament like Nationals, just keep in mind what has been popular, and relative strength of the decks if there is a deck that you think is strong but has been underplayed. (For example Accelgor and Klinklang at Nationals last year).

If a deck is strong, you can bet other players will play it, even if it wasn’t popular during Battle Roads.

How I Test Nowadays

Learning to be wise with your testing time is a great skill.

I think when I first started playing, I wasted a lot of time during my testing playing misguided lists and decks that weren’t really going to be feasible.

Since then I have really streamlined my testing process to make it much more time efficient, in a large part because of just being around longer in the community and having more people to work and test decks with on, the feedback from others has become a very big part of my testing process while in the past I had been riding it out more solo dolo.

When a new set is released, my friends and I will generally build all of the new decks and update old decks to see what works and doesn’t. We then narrow it down to the decks we see as the strongest, and focus more of our testing on those decks.

Generally I try to settle upon a deck at least a week ahead of time for a tournament, and then solely test that. I don’t really test too much against a wide breadth of decks, and instead really focus my testing to the matchups that seem will be the most challenging.

For example, I didn’t play more than one game against Big Basics or Garbodor with my Kyurem PLF/Deoxys-EX deck, because it was clear after one game how much the deck destroys those two decks. I tested just a couple of games against Blastoise and RayEels, with Blastoise being a straightforward matchup as far as how the game played out, and RayEels being an overwhelmingly favorable matchup.

From there, I spent more time testing matchups such as Team Plasma and Klinklang which aren’t overly apparent on what the optimal strategy against those decks are.

Testing time is valuable, and you really want to focus on the right matchups to test, because if you have a strong grasp on the fundamentals of the game, you can easily map out how to beat decks like Big Basics and Darkrai, as these decks have been around forever.

All along the way in testing feedback and discussion is very important. We look at what challenges the given matchup poses, how those challenges can be addressed, and how those changes would impact other matchups. By having constant discussion going on throughout the process we’re able to more easily identify cards that aren’t quite working and find better replacements before heading to a tournament.

Welcome to Scoopville

Scooping has long been controversial in the community.

One of the most hotly debated issues headed into this stretch of the season is always scooping, as there are going to be a number of players looking for those last points from Battle Roads to secure their invite to the World Championship. I have a few thoughts on the issue, and think it is a somewhat complicated issue, but I think these are some good guidelines to follow.

First, players should really look at better season planning. Players whose goal is to get a World’s invite heading into the season should really take advantage of Fall Battle Roads. If these players just gain some points during this stretch of the season, they would really ease the pressure on themselves for getting points at the end of the season.

Obviously this isn’t always the case, as some players can legitimately not play in tournaments early in the year because of things like work, and newer players can find some surprise success that puts them on the brink of a World’s invite. But if your goal is to make Worlds from the start of the year, you should totally take advantage of Fall Battle Roads.

In general, I think players should not ask for handouts. You still have to go out and earn your World’s invite, and you shouldn’t feel upset if players want to play it out and try to win it for themselves.

I know personally there have been Battle Roads I haven’t attended because it seemed like players going for the invite were desperate for points and were making the tournament mostly about them and getting their points, and any other outcome to the tournament where they didn’t get the exact points they were aiming for would be greatly upsetting to them. This didn’t seem like a fun tournament to attend, and having player’s feel like certain tournaments might not be fun to attend can’t be good for the game.

On the flipside, I don’t think anyone should be upset with people’s friends scooping to them at a tournament, or trying to game the tournament by beating other players while scooping to their friend. If you don’t want to scoop you don’t have to, and you still can go out and win the tournament by just winning your games, so while the group playing the tournament as such greatly favors their friend, it doesn’t really impact neutral players at all.

Luckily, I have been able to avoid playing any players that need points in tournaments so far, so this has been a non-issue for me personally, and the only player in our area that can get an invite from Battle Roads is John Roberts, and he is good enough to get those last points whether people scoop to him or not.

At the end of the day, I think getting a chance to go and play in the World Championship is a really cool thing that most players would like to participate in, and I think for the most part, if you can give a player that amazing experience of playing in Worlds by scooping the game to them, then it is the right thing to do as there isn’t really much at stake at Battle Roads outside of a few packs and an unplayable promo card.

Even if you’re not friends with the player, or even don’t like them, I think it’s still best to scoop that player, as trying to deny a player something so cool just seems wrong. I guess if the player ran over your kitten, stole your girlfriend, or did something of that nature to you, then you have a good reason to deny them cool things. If they didn’t do something like that though, I think you should just give them their World’s invite. I guarantee that experience will mean much more to them than getting a Victory Cup and four packs will mean to you.

I think there are some degrees to scooping though. If a player still needs 90 points from Battle Roads, and expects everyone to scoop them to six Battle Road wins then that is just asking for handouts and making the entire stretch of the season not fun for most players and that isn’t the type of person I would scoop to unless I was really good friends with. If the person can get that World’s invite by winning that particular tournament, I say just scoop to them and give them that awesome experience.

For more on scooping check out Brit’s article on Celadon City Gym discussing the matter, it’s really good!

Teaching a New Player to Play

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One day, you will fly!

One of the more exciting things I have gotten to do during Battle Roads is teach my girlfriend how to play the game and she came along with myself, Colin, and Andy to the first Battle Roads.

Her motivation for wanting to go was partially just to see what the tournaments were like, and also to see how weird the people are. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t get any excitement from seeing any weird people because she didn’t think anyone she met was really weird. She also said everyone was very helpful and nice to her, which is a good reflection on the St. Louis Pokémon community and how they treat new players.

I think part of her also believed that I just played a children’s card game with a bunch of little kids, and didn’t play with people my own age, but these thoughts were shattered with the revelation that age divisions do exist in the game. I think at registration she was pretty amused by her new title of being a Pokémon Master too!

The deck I built for her was a Darkrai EX/Terrakion NVI/Ho-Oh EX/Shaymin EX/Keldeo-EX/Sableye DEX deck that was based on the deck that Sam Liggett had played during City Championships, as I thought it was a really cool deck idea, and she wanted me to build her something cool, and Sam’s deck bled cool.

The deck is a little outdated for this format, but the general strength of Darkrai EX, Terrakion NVI, and Shaymin EX will allow it to win games, even in this format. I wish I had put time into playing the deck at City Championships because in retrospect it was a very strong deck.

Here is the list I ultimately came up for her to play:

Pokémon – 13

3 Darkrai-EX DEX

2 Sableye DEX

2 Ho-Oh EX

2 Shaymin EX

2 Terrakion NVI

1 Victini NVI 15

1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 30

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

2 Colress

2 Bianca


1 Computer Search


4 Dark Patch

4 Energy Switch

4 Ultra Ball

3 Pokémon Catcher

1 Super Rod


1 Skyarrow Bridge

Energy – 17

8 D

3 F

2 W

2 R

2 G

I think before the tournament the changes we made were minus the Victini and Fire Energies, plus a Darkness Energy, Dark Claw, and Supporter. Dowsing Machine is probably better than Computer Search in this deck, but I was using the Dowsing Machine in my deck so she got the Computer Search.

Thanks to Chad Boatman for letting us borrow some Catchers to let her play without the huge disadvantage of not playing Catcher.

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Remember the jab!

In preparation for the tournament, the main things I wanted her to know were the basic game mechanics and procedures so she would know what and what not to do, as not to frustrate her opponents if she were to not know the basics.

We played somewhere around 10 games together a few days before the tournament just to give her a basic understanding of the game and to give her a feel for her deck. The first few games, I would look at her hand and tell her what the optimal play was. Then as we moved onto more games, and she had more of a feel for how to play, I would just let her do her own thing and then give her feedback later on any misplays she made.

The night before the tournament I put her onto PTCGO with the deck and had her just play a bunch of random opponents to get more of a feel for the deck playing by herself, and to hopefully get her some experience against a wide variety of decks. I think PTCGO is a great tool for teaching new players, as it restricts them to only playing within the rules (one Energy attachment per a turn, one Supporter, etc.) and can also give them a wide breadth of experience against the various decks in the format very fast.

The funniest of these matches was against this Lugia EX/Cofagrigus PLF 56 deck. As soon as I saw a Yamask hit the field, I told her this looks like a noob deck, and she should totally own it. Then a minute or so later, the opponent evolved to a pair of Cofagrigus and used Six Feet Under to put three damage counters on two of her Darkrai EXs, changing my viewpoint to, “Nevermind, you’re going to get wrecked and lose 2 turns from now, that’s a really cool deck.” The deck actually got featured on Colin’s blog and it’s definitely a fun idea.

Headed into the tournament, I was hoping for two things:

  1. Do well myself. I told her I was pretty good, so it would look bad and all if I didn’t do well.
  2. Have some really bad players show up to the tournament so she could get some easy wins.

#1 went to plan for the most part, besides my bout with Excadrill. #2, not so much. No bad players came to this one, and she was forced to play against a former world’s competitor and a multiple City Champion. Still, she was able to go out and grab some wins, and finished at 2-3, which wasn’t too bad.

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So close!

The most exciting match she had was her round one match against a very good player. Before the round she asked me if the player was bad, hoping to ease her in… but nope, she got paired against one of the best players in the area round 1.

My match had ended fairly fast, so I got to watch most of her match. The game came down to a Rebirth Flip. If she hit heads, she would have been able to Energy Switch to her Shaymin EX to Revenge Blast a Lugia EX for game. She flipped tails, and then Lugia EX Plasma Gale’d her the next turn.

Her most frustrating match was against a Klinklang deck. Her only answer to the deck was Terrakion NVI, and she did manage to take 3 Prizes and put a ton of other damage on the player’s Pokémon for only having two Terrakion to work with in the matchup.

At one point (like 5 minutes before the tournament) there was a Victini NVI 15 in the deck, but we swapped it out at her request right before the tournament because “Victini is a stupid Pokémon and it’s weak and its attack isn’t even that good.” After that matchup, she definitely wished Victini was still in there.

The mistake I had made in promoting the importance of Victini in the deck is not fully explaining its importance. In explaining it, I had said something along the lines of, “Victini is in the deck to counter any Klinklang decks you play.” What I should have said is, “Victini is in the deck to counter any Klinklang decks you play because Klinklang has an Ability which prevents all of your Pokémon-EX from attacking, and since everything in the Klinklang deck is Fire weak, you will be able to 1HKO them with Victini.”

So takeaway #1 in my first foray in teaching a new player to play the game is to explain everything in great deal. Just saying you play this because of this in a short and succinct way probably won’t get the point across. Explaining it in full detail, and with copies of the cards in question in hand is going to be much more effective.

My takeaway #2 from the whole experience is don’t underestimate the ability that a new player has for playing a given deck. The deck she played is very complicated and takes an understanding of discarding cards early for future gain, making use of two Energy attacks, and countering decks based on Weakness. Even with all of these complicated factors, she was still able to pilot the deck pretty well for having only played a few handfuls of games prior.

Very often I see players break it down as Darkrai or Eelektrik being the two decks that a beginner should start with as they’re pretty straightforward. I think this is the wrong approach, and the best approach is to discuss with the person what type of decks or Pokémon they might like and work on building a competitive deck within that framework, and then let them run with it and learn as they go with a more complicated deck. Chances are if you’re working with a smart person, they’ll be able to figure out most of the decks in the game; nothing is too overly complicated.

Dusting Up Battle Roads with Cinccino

You’ve been hit by a smooth criminal.

For one of the Battle Roads this weekend, I am going to play my Cinccino/Munna deck. My motivations for playing the deck are that Cinccino and Minccino are adorable, and up there on the most adorable Pokémon list along with Mew. (I’ll cover my top 10 most adorable Pokémon a little bit later.) Additionally, I never ended up playing the previous version of this deck at a tournament, and very sad I didn’t do so.

So a little history behind the deck, there was a fun deck last season that used Cinccino NXD, Hypno HS, and Vileplume UD. The basic idea with the deck was you would try to win a war of attrition by outlasting your opponent’s Pokémon using Cinccino’s Smooth Coat Ability, which lets you flip a coin, and if heads, their attack does no damage to Cinccino. You would use Hypno’s Sleep Pendulum Poké-Power to put your opponent’s Active to sleep, and with Vileplume in play, your opponent would have no way of removing that Pokémon from the Active Spot.

I wrote a SixPrizes article on the deck, which you can read here and wrote about the newer version Cinccino/Munna on my blog right after Boundaries Crossed came out.

Here is my current list for the deck:

Pokémon – 16

4 Minccino NXD

4 Cinccino NXD

2 Munna BCR

3 Virizion NVI

1 Keldeo-EX

1 Shaymin EX

1 Mr. Mime PLF

Trainers – 32

4 N
3 Colress
3 Cheren
2 Skyla
1 Professor Juniper


1 Dowsing Machine


4 Level Ball

2 Ultra Ball

3 Pokémon Catcher

3 Switch

2 Float Stone

2 Hypnotoxic Laser

1 Energy Switch

1 Super Rod

Energy – 12

8 G

4 Double Colorless

Some changes I have made since my last list: I cut Audino BCR for Keldeo-EX. I think this is a necessary change, as you would eventually run out of Audino BCR, which would make things very tough against a Sableye and Lasers deck. Keldeo-EX allows me to shutdown the Poison at the point of attack.

I hate having to go the Keldeo-EX route, as it resets the damage from Echoed Voice, while Audino to break sleep does not, but the prevalence of Hypnotoxic Laser in the format makes Keldeo a necessity. Additionally, Keldeo-EX gives you more Switching options, which is a positive.

I decided to put in a Mr. Mime into the deck. Mr. Mime is great for ensuring that your opponent isn’t able to load up a ton of bench damage behind your Cinccino with snipe attacks like Hammerhead and Night Spear.

Your opponents will be green with envy.

The Grass Pokémon still get to take center stage in the deck. Virizion NVI remains my ideal starter Pokémon to get me setup with its Double Draw attack, and then to start putting on any early damage it can with Leaf Wallop depending on my opponent’s start.

Shaymin EX is your sweeper. The way the deck works is you hope you hit enough Smooth Coat flips to make your Cinccino last long enough to force your opponent into a long drawn out game, where you’re constantly putting pressure on them, while they’re missing attacks because of Smooth Coat and sleep. From there, you want to put the game into a situation where your opponent has taken 4 or 5 Prizes, and then Energy Switch to Shaymin EX to sweep the rest of your opponent’s field if the situation allows it.

As far as new Trainers, I really like Colress in here, as it gives you good draw while not discarding your cards, as you don’t want to discard your Energy Switch too early as it is very important for that big Shaymin play late game.

I also added 2 Hypnotoxic Laser into the deck. It gives you an extra option to putting your opponent to sleep, and the poison damage can help Cinccino hit more numbers easier, or punish your opponent for playing down a Virbank City Gym.

As far as the matchups go, I hope I don’t have to play Klinklang. Cobalion-EX removes your DCEs, and Steel Bullet will hit through Cinccino’s Smooth Coat Ability. Garbodor could also be frustrating as it would shut off all my Abilities and usually hit Cinccino for damage, but there is a damage cap on most of the Pokémon in Garbodor’s attacks which makes Shaymin sweeping a possibility to take some surprise wins. Gothitelle will also be a very tough matchup and is probably an auto-loss, especially swapping out my Audino’s for Keldeo.

As far as decks I want to see, decks that depend heavily on EX attackers such as Darkrai, Blastoise, Team Plasma, and Big Basics without Garbodor. These are decks that I just need to flip decently on Smooth Coat flips to take some early Prizes, while also being able to Shaymin sweep them.

I don’t have high expectations for the tournament, and am just going to go there to have some fun, but I did have some positive results with the deck right after Boundaries Crossed came out against some good player’s tournament decks and am still going to go out there and try to win it.

If anyone sees anyway to strengthen this deck that I haven’t figured out on my own already, please leave your thoughts in the comments, as I would like to bring the best version of this deck to the tournament as possible.

And as promised, my top 10 adorable Pokémon list:

10. Heracross
9. Pachirisu
8. Vulpix
7. Minccino
6. Abra
5. Buneary
4. Mareep
3. Eevee
2. Raichu
1. Mew

I hope this list isn’t too controversial.


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See ya!

That just about covers most of my random thoughts that have been swimming around my head at the moment regarding the game.

Within the next week, I will have some fairly interesting content coming out on my blog, in particular an article on donking, and the numbers behind the donk. In addition to this, there will be some deck discussion article, and more tournament reports.

US Nationals is just a little over a month away. Can’t wait, it should be a super fun event.

Reader Interactions

40 replies

    • José Yago De Alberto  → Mathis

      Hopefully it wasnt,cause these days it seems here on 6P everything is UG or just not that interesting as it used to be (talking about non UG articles).
      But yeah, this is definitely a top quality article. I m looking forward to try that new Cincinno list.

  1. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    Your list is terrible. It is missing so many staples.

    Sure, the rest of the article is good, but I’m too angry to respond to that right now.

        • Piplup_isPimp  → Jak

          There are two lists that were posted in the article both that were customized by the author, the cinccino list and the darkrai/ho-oh list. The darkrai list, which is what I now presume you were talking about, was made for the author’s girlfreind to play with during a battle roads. The other list, the cincino list, which was I thought you were reffering to in original post, is a fun deck made by the author for a battle roads. Either way, the dakrai/ho-oh list was not meant to be too competitive being that it was made for his girlfriend who had just started playing pokemon. So, again, why would you be so upset if the article was good but that specific list was bad?

        • Piplup_isPimp  → Jak

          At this point I don’t know if your talking about deck lists or something else.

        • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Dane_Carlson


          Just so even the Slowpokes out there can be clear about this, I think this is a very good article. Pretty much UG quality, though I guess the ‘fun deck’ focus meant that it wasn’t really suited to be one.

          Scooping is, as far as I’m concerned, almost always a non-issue. Everyone is entitled to scoop a game for any reason (or no reason at all). The only time it is unacceptable is when some form of inducement is offered, and that is clearly against the rules and should be punished.

          This is really the only way the system can work. Ban scooping and players will just deliberately misplay to lose. People are always going to help their friends – it’s human nature.

  2. Obro

    Great thoughts on that whole scooping issue and getting the last few points.
    I managed to get 394 Championship points, only to realize that the last 2 Battle Roads in my country was canceled xD
    gf season 2013

  3. skyshaymin49

    I Ran Cinccino with Amoonguss for my first few weeks at league and I really like the idea of Munna. However, I like Amoonguss as you always poison and confuse. I’m wondering, what about Cinccino/Amoongus/Munna? Then you can poison and maybe put them to sleep. It’s funny that I actually have this much to say about a fun deck.

    • Andrew  → skyshaymin49

      The additional status conditions would definitely be nice for keeping your opponent from attacking for an additional turn.

      My biggest concern would be that you are adding in an additional Stage 1 Pokemon line, and multiple Stage 1’s in a deck can take up a lot of space, as well as you needing extra Pokemon search to get out a second Stage 1 line. I think Amoonguss is a terrific combo with Cinccino, but not sure if two Stage 1 lines would leave enough room to make the deck consistent enough.

      We had discussed actually putting an Accelgor in, as Cinccino could combo well with a Pokemon who has an attack effect that removes it from the active position. Unfortunately, it was just too hard to find room to slip Accelgor in.

      My friend Tyler and I tested this deck quite a bit tonight, and found some changes we would like to make. Cutting a Cinccino, Virizion, and a Munna for 2 Hypnotoxic Lasers and a Virbank City Gym.

      We found Hypnotoxic Laser was better than Munna in general, as it still gives you the sleep flip, but it will never put Cinccino to sleep and reset its echoed voice, and it has the added benefit of poison. We still kept 1 Munna in the deck as it is good on turns your opponent knocks out your Pokemon or if you just need to roll the dice and hope for the best.

      One thing I kind of overlooked when initialy building the deck again was how good Hypnotoxic Laser was with Cinccino, and that is why the Virbank City Gym is a strong contention for inclusion right now.

      50 (Echoed voice) + 100 (Echoed Voice) + 30 (Poison) = 180 damage, a perfect number. Still some stuff to work out on the deck, but I think a thinner Munna line with Hypnotoxic Laser will be the direction I go.

      • skyshaymin49  → Andrew

        The Accelgor is a good idea. If you use this instead of Gothitelle, then even if they find a switch, they only have a 50% chance of being able to attack. That wouldn’t necessarily be good, but it would be fun.

  4. DCalpha

    This was a very nice article. We could have done with out the comments from “baby_mario”. The guy reminds me of a person in cali by the way he talks. My friends used to say he was a real Douchebag!!!! the guys name was Martin Moreno.
    i never met the DoucheBag, but if i did i would love to repay him the disrespect he showed my friends.
    Any how!!!! i hope you have fun with your decks this weekend….enjoy….:)

  5. ofr3ako

    Scooping is outright dumb. If someone hasn’t earned the points they need for their invite they shouldn’t get to go, plain and simple. It adds unnecessary politics and headaches to a game that should be enjoyable for everyone. Essentially, what you are advocating for is “rigging” or “stacking” a tournament in ones favor, which isn’t fair to the rest of the competitors. If said player is so “great,” “good,” etc. then he or she should have no problem with winning their way to the top honestly. It’s upsetting to see a newer player loose a shot at their very first top cut spot, or having to play against a deck you have a bad match up against just because a handful of players want see their friend make it to Worlds. Then these people parade around the following season as if they are some sort of dominant force, when they had to have their accomplishments given to them. What’s the point of a tournament if the victor has already been decided?

    • jedisurvivor  → ofr3ako

      I completely agree – there’s nothing wrong with anyone (especially newer players, like myself) wanting to challenge themselves and insisting on playing out every game officially. And you’re right that if a player is good enough to come that close to the invite, they’re likely to beat me anyway. So why not just do it honestly?

      I admit that I’m confused regarding the author’s position on whether scooping is appropriate. First he says that “whether you scoop is TOTALLY up to you.” A couple paragraphs later, “…but you really SHOULD.”

      • Andrew  → jedisurvivor

        The basic idea is that it is perfectly fine to not scoop to anyone if you don’t want to, and no one should be mad at you if you don’t scoop. I think you should still consider what’s at stake for yourself, and what’s at stake for your opponent. I think in general, if you can be the difference between someone getting to participate in Worlds by scooping a match, then it makes a lot of sense to just scoop to someone to give them that cool experience as getting a few packs and a victory cup has much less of a gain for you than a world’s invite and the swag that comes with it has for them.

        Still, if you don’t want to scoop, you shouldn’t have to, and no one should be mad if you make players try to earn their invites.

        • jedisurvivor  → Andrew

          Fair enough – sounds like we meet in the middle. What threw me before was the phrase, “trying to deny a player something so cool just seems wrong,” almost as if you were judging the non-scoopers out there.

          Personally, I would only even CONSIDER scooping for the sake of a friend’s invite, and even then, the competitive part of me still probably wouldn’t go through with it.

          As far as scooping to a stranger… yes, the Worlds invite + swag would mean more to them than four packs would mean to me. But on the other hand, four packs and a tourney win would mean more to me than a lesser finish and NO packs would.

  6. carson st denis

    I so disagree that darkrai is tier 2. Wtf is wrong with you?
    Kyurem absol has won about 3 battle roads and you are calling it tier 1? That deck is so horrible it might not even be tier 2
    Good article I just disagree with your tiers

    • Andrew  → carson

      Darkrai feels as though it fits the bill of a middle tier deck perfectly. It’s a good deck, but at this point it doesn’t have a lot of outstanding matchups while having some pretty miserable ones at the same time.

      Blastoise and both Team Plasma decks in my Tier 1 have 50/50 matchups with Darkrai, and Gothitelle/Accelgor will have a very favorable matchup against Darkrai decks unless they consciously tech against the deck at which point it can go from anywhere from 50/50 to very favorable for the Darkrai player depending on how much they want to tech for it.

      Klinklang is still a pretty miserable matchup for Darkrai, even with Absol. Absol might help you win a few games you wouldn’t have past format against Klinklang, but overall Klinklang will still come out on top most games. Darkrai can tech against Klinklang with Ninetales or Victini, but again, a Darkrai player is going to have to make decisions on which decks to tech against and which ones to not tech against, which could strengthen one matchup, while weakening another.

      As far as the lower tiers, Darkrai has made its Eels matchup near autowin with Absol, but Big Basics and Garbodor will still punsih Darkrai because they hit it for weakness. Beyond that, rogue decks like Quad Snorlax are out there which further punish Darkrai decks.

      Because Darkrai has the potential to be built to go 50/50 with all the Tier 1 decks I have listed, I think it deserves recognition in Tier 2 as still being a solid play, but with none of those being favorable matchups, and it also owning a host of other unfavorable matchups its hard to consider Darkrai a top tier deck anymore.

      As far as the Kyurem/Absol/Deoxys deck, I think this is just a case of variation in builds of Team Plasma stuff. Both this version and the Thundurus EX version of plasma have different strengths and weaknesses. The reason why this deck doesn’t have more Battle Roads wins is because it wasn’t on the radar headed in, and it isn’t immediately clear what the best way to build this type of deck is.

      Most people just started with Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Kyurem PLF because that’s the version of the deck that Esa posted on his blog which was almost everyone’s first exposure to the deck. It’s much easier for people to run with an idea that’s already out there all over than to form winning lists from a concept that wasn’t widely out there from the get go. Additionally, there is a decent chance that Kyurem PLF/Deoxys EX decks are just being misreported as being general Team Plasma decks in the results thread in some instances.

      I think this is very much a case like we had last year at this time. Darkrai/Tornadus EX was the most winning Darkrai variant because it was the one that was written about and known about from the get go. In reality, Darkrai/Mewtwo, DMT, Darkrai/Weaville, and Darkrai/Hammers were much better Darkrai decks, even though they didn’t have the success Darkrai/Tornadus did in terms of winning battle roads.

      Not suggesting that Kyurem/Deoxys is Darkrai/Mewtwo and TDK is Darkrai/Tornadus, both are strong decks that aim to use different strategies to win, even though they share some of the same Pokemon.

      • poet larsen  → Andrew

        I think the one issue that you aren’t looking at is that a Darkrai deck can easily tech against many of the matchups that are not the best. Klingklang is rlly not as hard as you might think, even with just 2 absol. The thing you have to realize is that an absol with dark claw and laserbank is doing A LOT of damage. If your opponent has a full bench, which they might not have but they will be close, you can KO a cobalion. If they have a full bench and you have dark claw, but you dont have the laserbank, you can still KO a klingklang. You must also think about what your opponent is going to do if you hit a Cobalion ex for, say, 120 damage. You have just forced them to either play a max potion or lose a cobalion. But if they max potion, they will only be able to hit you for 30 damage.

        For the Plasma matchup, they hit earlier, but you can hit for a lot more damage and you don’t have to attack to accelerate energy. A single enhanced hammer in Darkrai can also help even more in the matchup. Absol also takes advantage of how big Plasma Basic’s benches will get. ALONG with that, you have Sableye to get back trainers, something that Plasma Basics can’t do. Darkrai, as I mentioned earlier, does not need to attack to accelerate, unlike Thunderus EX. That means that you can accelerate energies with Dark Patch and at the same time attack for a lot of damage, something Plasma Basics can’t do. (Thunderus can do a lot of damage, but it takes a lot of support to be able to.) Not to mention almost all of the EX’s in Plasma have 170 hp. This is the perfect number for darkrai. You Night Spear once, then catcher, laserbank, dark claw for the KO. This really helps Darkrai.

        For Keldeo, the amount of damage you can do with both Darkrai and absol is incredible in this matchup. The counter argument for this is, “well they can just KO all your EX’s with Black Kyurem and Superior Energy Retrieval.” This is true, but there are still issues with that. In my testing, it is alright to drop in Prizes because once you N them down, it becomes incredibly hard for them to continue attacking when they can’t get enough energies with such a small hand. Keldeo also has the same issue as any other 170 hp EX, it is in the perfect KO range for Darkrai. What you really want to do as the Darkrai player is go for the Keldeo. Without the Keldeo’s, Lasers will really affect Black Kyurem. Absol can also hit for a lot of damage against the deck, and at the same time, it only gives up one prize.

        With Garbador, all you really need to do is have is one tool scraper. I will admit that a Landorus/Garbador variant is quite a difficult matchup for Darkai, but that deck won’t do that well considering the format is full of Kyurem and Keldeo. But a tool scraper does help the matchup a little. Other than that it really just depends on the how the game is turning out. If they are setting up well with a good bench and all, Absol would be the better way to go. If you want to go for the Garbador, Darkrai would be the better pokemon to focus on, but then Landorus will really hurt your Darkrai. So really the best hting to do is to use Absol early on to help put some damage on your opponent. I will admit this is one of the hardest matchups for Darkrai. (The other is Gothi/Accelgor.)

        Against Kyurem/Deoxy, you just constantly go for their Kyurem. They will not be able to consistently get out 3 energies when you KO them with both Darkrai and Absol. Their early game is really strong, but after the first two turns, the deck falls behind the power that Darkrai and Absol has.

        Now I realize that I constantly say “oh use Absol in this matchup or do this.” But then people will say, “what if they don’t have a big bench?” Then that is better for you. For TDK and Kyruem/Deoxy, the smaller the bench, the less damage they do with less Deoxy. Now if they do place the Deoxy down, then you do more damage. Thus you force your opponent into a position of “do I want to be able to do 10 more damage, or allow my opponent do 20 more damage with Absol?” Either way they go with their bench, you gain an advantage. The same type of thing goes with all other decks.

        • Andrew  → poet

          I think a lot of the matchups against things like Blastoise, Gothitelle, and Plasma are sincere 50/50’s. I think Klinklang is troublesome if you don’t tech more than Absol against it, and taking that tech space in the deck will hurt its matchups in mirror and against Blastoise/Plasma/Goth.

          Part of it just has to do with quality of Klinklang decks in an area though. I have Colin Moll and John Roberts who have been taking Klinklang to its top form, which really punishes an unteched Darkrai with just Absol. In other areas, the Klinklang builds might not be as strong which can lead to a stronger Darkrai matchup then it is in other areas with optimized Klinklang lists.

        • poet larsen  → Andrew

          I am wondering have you tested the matchups or going off of theories? I am not trying to be rude, but you say “I think” for a lot of the things you talk about in this comment. So far in my testing, at least with my build, Blastoise is about 55-45/60-40 in Darkrai favor, Gothi is really 50-50 due to them either setting up or not, and plasma, with just 1-3 techs, is really 55-45 or 60-40 in Darkrai’s favor, depending on the techs you do put in.

          As for Klingklang, I still think that 2-3 absol is really all you need against it. I understand that you have both John Roberts and Colin Moll, but they are exceptions to really the rest of the playing field. Most players in the game are just not going to be as skilled as these players, and when it comes to tournaments like nationals, you would want to focus on a more broad playing field and not so much a few players. So 2-3 absol might not be enough against Collin Moll and John Roberts, but against the rest of the Klingklang players in the U.S I do think that 2-3 absol is enough. (I mean no disrespect to any players playing Klingklang, but we have to look at the facts; John Roberts and Collin Moll are very very good players, better than most.)

        • Andrew  → poet

          The reason I say think is because I haven’t run an objective analysis on the matchup and they’re just my thoughts based on my observations on how close the matches generally are between the decks.

          Darkrai has been the most played deck in our meta game so far and all it has to show is a fourth place finish in the tournaments so far.

          The deck is just too easily exploited by random fighting stuff, klinklang, snorlax etc to do well when it is coming in around 50/50 against the top stuff.

          As for klinklang, I would guess most players build will move towards the optimal version before nats, but I question whether most of these players playing it can make the big Durant moved that are so important for doing well with the deck.

        • poet larsen  → Andrew

          I have done the testing for these matchups. (I have played Darkrai this entire format XD). What makes Darkrai actually quite good this format is 1) the amount of damage it can do, and 2) almost all of the EX’s in this format have 170 HP. These two things together make it already very good against TDK and really any deck with 170 HP EX’s. Absol also really helps to put your opponent into a situation of “do i want to bench this to help me and thus allow absol to do more damage, or do I want to bench fewer pokemon and thus not be as setup up.” And in testing, fighting stuff is really not that difficult. Landorus has also lost a lot of popularity due to Keldeo/Blastoise rising and Kyurem. Snorlax is a deck that, I think, is just not going to be played that much at Nationals. For a tournament as big as nats you have to try and figure out the common decks and what you think will be popular there. YOu can’t pick out specific decks and tech specifically for that deck, when really only a few people will actually play the deck.

        • Mark Hanson  → poet

          To be fair, I don’t think Darkrai solidly sits in Tier 1 right now myself. It’s barely hanging in there (Tier 1.5ish). I really don’t think the Blastoise matchup is favourable. I don’t think any matchup (outside of teching 2 keldeo against Gothitelle) is particularly advantageous. That’s Darkrai’s specialty… you have a chance against everything. But that also means everyone has a chance against you.

        • poet larsen  → Mark

          But that what makes it good. It is the only deck that really has a even matchup against all other decks. All of the other top decks have some sort of matchup that is not good, but Darkrai doesn’t have that issue. This means that good players that can make good decisions can easily do well with Darkrai.

        • Mark Hanson  → poet

          I’d rather play Blastoise than Darkrai in a best of 3. I’d rather play RayEels than Darkrai in a best of 3. I’d rather play Plasma than Darkrai in a best of 3.

          In swiss, I’d rather play Darkrai. But Darkrai is a deck with consistency as its main weapon. All the other decks, they’re conditionally good, and that can be disrupted. But averaging things out over a tournament, players with inherently stronger decks win out.

          But Darkrai will continue to win, cause it’s consistent and good. I just wouldn’t want to play it.

        • poet larsen  → Mark

          I think the issue is with your argument is that if Darkrai is the most consistent, then won’t it make more top cuts than the other decks. And if that is the case then it means that Blastoise, Rayeels, and Plasma are not going to be the best way to make cut. They may have more tricks up their sleeve, but you can’t win a tournament- besides BR- without making cut. And so then, in a tournament like nats hwere you have 8-9 rounds, a consistent deck that can make cut much easier than many other decks, I would say, would be the best choice.

  7. jet9855

    i really like the cinccino deck i love fun decks and this is one i’ve never heard :)

  8. Gatraide

    Only 1 Juniper?!?!?!?!?!?!

    There’s a reason nobody is going to even touch your deck. 4 Juniper is a must in EVERY deck.

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