Hello again readers, I’m back with you today with my first UPR–SSH deck, which I have been putting a lot of time into over the past two weeks. Sword & Shield has brought about so many different decks and has added quite a bit of consistency to the Standard format. PikaRom and Zacian/ADP have both been talked about quite a bit in the past few weeks, and that’s for good reason. They are both very strong decks and something to watch out for in OCIC and other smaller events. For this reason, they are the matchups I’ve put the most time into trying to beat.
I haven’t been able to explore the concepts of Stonjourner VMAX or Water Box, but I personally do not think that they are overly viable for the first few Standard events because the meta is completely unknown. Both of these decks are probably good into the right meta, and that meta might be OCIC, but I would not be willing to risk it because of how much is on the line in Australia. This also goes for a few other decks like Magcargo-GX, but I think those are slightly less good overall either way.
This deck recently saw a lot of success in Japan’s smaller events, but I always take those results with more than one grain of salt. Their structure is different than ours and they have different styles of decks that they like to play, but I think Cinccino Mill blurs the line here quite a bit. I had actually been testing the deck before seeing these results, but some of their lists certainly gave me ideas to make mine better.
The strategy with this deck is pretty simple. You need to deck your opponent out before they win. Make Do is the new Trade of the format, and is currently my favorite way of digging through your deck in an efficient way.
2 Zacian V
1 Mew UNB
1 Ditto p
3 Pal Pad
2 Tag Call
****** Pokémon Trading Card Game Deck List ******
##Pokémon - 21
* 4 Minccino SSH 145
* 4 Cinccino SSH 146
* 2 Oranguru UPR 114
* 2 Zacian V SSH 138
* 1 Nincada LOT 29
* 1 Shedinja LOT 95
* 1 Alolan Grimer UNM 127
* 1 Alolan Muk TEU 84
* 1 Mew UNB 76
* 1 Wobbuffet LOT 93
* 1 Ditto p LOT 154
* 1 Mewtwo & Mew-GX UNM 71
* 1 Magcargo-GX LOT 44
##Trainer Cards - 35
* 4 Bellelba & Brycen-Man CEC 186
* 3 Lt. Surge’s Strategy HIF 60
* 2 Cynthia & Caitlin CEC 189
* 1 Tate & Liza CES 148
* 4 Quick Ball SSH 179
* 3 Great Ball SLG 60
* 2 Pokémon Communication TEU 152
* 2 Evolution Incense SSH 163
* 4 Lillie’s Poké Doll CEC 197
* 3 Pal Pad SSH 172
* 2 Ordinary Rod SSH 171
* 2 Tag Call CEC 206
* 1 Switch SSH 183
* 1 Reset Stamp UNM 206
* 1 Chaotic Swell CEC 187
##Energy - 4
Total Cards - 60
****** via SixPrizes: https://sixprizes.com/?p=79314 ******
This is the backbone of the deck, and in my opinion, the best use for Cinccino in the Standard format. Control decks would still rather play Pidgeotto TEU because it doesn’t have the cost of Make Do. However, you honestly care so much less about discarding resources in the Mill decks. I have run into situations where I’ve run out of things to discard, but that is rare, and can often be remedied by clever usage of Ordinary Rod.
Running this few Oranguru in a deck that is always going to need to Resource Management at least once may seem weird, but with the addition of Ordinary Rod to the game, you can afford to do things like this.
Did someone say Tropical Beach that I can Quick Ball for? Cool. Your first priority should be getting a Zacian V down so you can draw more cards even faster. The first few turns of the game are terrible times to attack anyway, so Intrepid Sword fits in perfectly. Once you don’t need it anymore and it’s just a 2-Prize liability, you can use the second function of Bellelba to discard it. This card’s similarity to Beach is probably part of why I enjoy playing this deck so much.
This is here for the ADP matchup. Instead of your opponent needing to take only 3 KOs, Shedinja forces them to take a 4th, which is often enough to allow you to win the game. Against other matchups, it also changes a 6 into a 7, which is incredibly good.
I’m the most skeptical about this inclusion, but it’s incredibly satisfying whenever you hit a Custom Catcher off of Adventurous Appetite. You can also use the second function of Bellelba to reset it to use again, but that can get a bit greedy depending on your hand size. The main reason it is here is to speed up the Mill process and potentially remove a Gust effect from your opponent’s options.
PikaRom is going to be big, and I am also somewhat worried about Alolan Sandslash-GX popping up somewhere and wiping my board.
Baby Blacephalon plays Victini p and at least 14 Energy. This makes decking them out most difficult. Thus, Wobbuffet. There is also that not-so-fringe application against PikaRom if you find it on your first turn.
A GX attack that mills 5 cards? Sign me up. The only drawback is that you basically lose any game that Mewtwo & Mew-GX is your opening Pokémon unless you can Bellelba it quickly.
ebay.comNobody can accuse me of not including almost every viable search card (sorry, Friend Ball is bad). Quick Ball is by far the most important search card, which is why it is maxed out, Great Ball and Pokémon Communication are both capable of finding Basics and Evolutions, which is vitally important in a deck that needs to find Cinccino pieces ASAP. Incense is a guaranteed Cinccino. I can’t really say no to that, and it technically can be used as a Pokémon for Pokémon Communication if needed.
ebay.comIn the past, it was incredibly rare to see more than 1 Pal Pad in a deck. Now that we have Make Do to draw more cards than Air Mail was ever capable of, it’s entirely viable to use Pal Pad every turn to get 2 Bellelba back and draw into them. This also goes along with the idea that you are often unable to safely use Resource Management or simply do not need to. Pal Pad allows you to end your turn without attacking with cards in your deck even after you used 2 Bellelba.
ebay.comThis is one of the most impactful cards from Sword & Shield, and is what makes this deck at all viable. It can be used to recycle Orangurus, used to access up to 4 more free Make Do, and recycle Shedinja pieces incredibly easily.
I’ve been debating between Tag Call and Pokégear 3.0, but I am currently on Tag Call because of its thinning ability. When you want to burn your deck as fast as possible, 2 guaranteed cards will almost always be better than 0 or 1. There is the added bonus of being able to search Mewtwo & Mew-GX, but that’s pretty minute.
I’m going to continue the self-inflicted trend of playing Reset Stamp to make my opponent’s hand bigger rather than smaller. Theoretically, you can speed up the mill even more by playing Stamp. There is also the possibility of shuffling Custom Catchers back into the deck, and then milling them out with Alolan Muk and/or Bellelba.
I think that this is the best Stadium to play right now because of how much Lysandre Labs is seeing play. Labs would negate Shedinja, which leaves you open to some ADP nonsense. Swell ensures that the Shedinja will be effective unless your opponent plays Custom Catchers and bumps the Chaotic Swell.
Have you ever wanted to play 3 Bellelba in a turn? Now you can. Impersonate is a great alternative to the somewhat convoluted Mewtwo/Magcargo-GX scheme. On top of that, Impersonate only costs a Colorless Energy, which means you can mess with different ideas.
This has one function: Make Mewtwo/Malamar more winnable. Once your opponent uses Stinger-GX, they are able to access the powered-up Fireworks Bomb of Blacephalon CEC. The idea is that once they use Stinger-GX you are able to Burst-GX and go down to 2 Prize cards before they can abuse the Stinger. Bursting Burn can also create some crazy Confusion flip situations that can buy you a few turns.
This would be instead of the Cynthia & Caitlin engine. As the deck is, you usually want to go first. This would make going second much better, and allow you to cut down on the Item search cards a bit. I’m unsure if it’s better, but it’s something worth testing. You’re able to grab Zacian V, a Minccino, and a Nincada or Alolan Grimer.
Mt. Coronet & Metal Energy
This would obviously be used in conjunction with Mimikyu CEC 96. The theory here is that you are able to have free discard for Make Do. However, in my testing, not being able to use Burning Magma-GX felt very mediocre. There is also the issue of an opponent’s Chaotic Swell being able to prevent you from looping Metal Energies, which makes this build inferior to the Fire build.
I’m hesitant to play any more Prism Stars than I already do, because once they’re discarded, they’re gone forever. In a deck that can use Bellelba as early as turn 1, that’s not something I like to mess with. For this reason, if you were to play this, you would still need to play another Stadium.
The Matchup Spread
Zacian/ADP: 55% Win Rate
This is by far the most important matchup to have in your favor right now. I haven’t tested against lists with Phione CEC, but it’s safe to assume that it makes the matchup harder. As it is, the matchup comes down to how fast both players get going. At this point in time, with the current list, I believe it is optimal to go first against everything in the format. If you switched to a Professor Oak’s Setup list, then going second becomes arguable.
It’s going to be important to get a Doll in the Active position before they start to take Prize cards. From here, your priority should be to get multiple Cinccino, a Shedinja attached to an Oranguru, and a Zacian into play. Once your opponent has taken their first KO, it’s going to be time to remove Zacian from play in an effort to prevent the negation of Shedinja’s effect.
It’s important to mill as fast as possible in this matchup, but you still need to be conscious of what is in your deck. For instance if you have an 8-card deck, and know it contains 2 Pal Pad, 3 Dolls, and 3 other cards, this is a turn where using Bellelba is a negative, and likely shouldn’t be done. There are going to be times where just passing is the correct play. Keep this fact in mind at all times.
Zacian/Lucario & Melmetal: 70–80%
This matchup is basically the ADP matchup, without the ADP. It’s incredibly favored and as long as you don’t checkmate yourself by using Bellelba haphazardly, you should win this matchup with ease. Removing Zacian V from your side of the field is something that you’ll need to do relatively quickly, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue once you have multiple Cinccino.
At first, this matchup felt difficult, but once I actually had a good list and knew what I was doing, it was surprisingly beatable. The biggest thing you have to care about is Tag Bolt-GX, which will happen very quickly in the game. It’s easy enough to find Mew though, so that’s not even that large of an issue. One thing you need to note about this matchup is that if you can get Wobbuffet down turn 1 and Chaotic Swell down before your opponent does anything, you get at least 2 turns of breathing room unless they waste Custom Catchers on Wobbuffet. Another thing of note is that Lysandre Labs is one of the Stadiums of choice in PikaRom right now, and that makes Shedinja less good. Unless Chaotic Swell is in play, I wouldn’t place all my faith in a Oranguru with a Shedinja attached.
Baby Blacephalon: 70–80%
This matchup is incredibly easy because of Wobbuffet. Your opponent isn’t going to be able to prevent you from milling them, and they really don’t like to see Reset Stamp once they do take actual Prize cards. Simply put, they run out of Energy before you can ever lose the game.
As the deck is, this matchup is an issue. I have no idea how okay I am with that yet, but it’s not too dissuading. The issue is Stinger-GX into Fireworks Bomb. We currently can’t get around that beyond milling the Blacephalon, or somehow decking them out before we lose. There’s really not much more than that to this matchup. Marnie can be annoying, but usually not game-breaking because of Make Do and Intrepid Sword.
Fire Mewtwo: 50%
This matchup is a lot harder than it seems because you must always end your turn with 6 cards in deck and 6 in hand to prevent yourself from losing to their Burning Magma-GX when potentially combined with a Reset Stamp. You can do this by semi constantly recycling 2 Ordinary Rod and 1 Pal Pad. Shedinja is the only reason that this matchup feels winnable though, and that is pretty scary.
That concludes everything about Cinccino that I’ve gained from my actual testing results. Anything else beyond that would be mostly conjecture because I am far too lazy to continue printing proxies when the set release is just around the corner. I think that Mill finally has a legitimate place in the format when it isn’t a Control/Stall deck.
I personally cannot wait to see firsthand how everything plays out in Australia, and I am fully prepared to have my mind blown by some crazy concept that I haven’t even considered. I haven’t been able to do any Expanded testing yet because most of my focus is on Standard for the biggest event of the Quarter.
I’ll be back with another article before OCIC and Collinsville , in which I hope to give a decent take on the BLW–SSH/Expanded format that we’ll see in Collinsville. As always, good luck in whatever events you’re playing, and maybe you’ll see me around?
Until the next one.
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