Experts' corner

Zach Lesage

Cincinno Mill with Energy Denial

Zach goes over everything about Cincinno Mill in approximately 7000 words.

04/14/2020 by Zach Lesage

Chillin’ at Home

Yoooo what’s up my socially distanced peeps? I’m back with another article for y’all and today it’s going to be about  Cinccino (S&S; 147) Mill with Energy Denial. This is the same deck that I was going to play for Toronto and it’s the same deck that I plan on playing for the first two Limitless Online Qualifiers. The deck is extremely vicious and hasn’t received much talk beyond what I have posted on my Twitter. The goal of this article is to share this knowledge with you and provide some solid content in this article. Let’s jump into it.

Cincinno Mill & Energy Denial (UPR-SWH)

This is the exact deck list that I was playing during the original Q1 Limitless Online Event and it’s what I’m planning on playing for the postponed event too. It has a similar game plan for many matchups, it is a relatively easy control deck to play, and I enjoy the play style of this list. Let’s look at the list before I explain the strategy.

Pokémon - 17

4 Cinccino PR-SW 09

4 Minccino SSH 145

3 Zacian V SSH 138

2 Oranguru UPR 114

1 Mewtwo & Mew-GX PR-SM 191

1 Ditto Prism Star LOT 154

1 Magcargo-GX LOT 44

1 Girafarig LOT 94

Trainer Cards - 40

4 Bellelba & Brycen-Man

4 Team Yell Grunt

3 Cynthia & Caitlin

2 Lt. Surge's Strategy

1 Faba

4 Crushing Hammer

4 Lillie's Poké Doll

4 Quick Ball

4 Great Ball

2 Pokémon Communication

2 Ordinary Rod

2 Air Balloon

2 Tag Call

2 Pal Pad 

Energy - 3

2 Fire Energy

1 Recycle Energy

As you can see, I have tried to make this deck as consistent as possible while having the added benefit of Energy denial cards. As long as this deck can lift off the ground in the first few turns, it should be fine against most decks. The biggest issue is if it crashes and burns during the first few turns - that can make matchups sticky. 

Deck Strategy

The strategy of the deck can vary by matchup, but the unified goal is to achieve a win condition via decking out your opponent. You can use a combination of cards between Lt. Surge's Strategy (UBO; 178) , Bellelba & Brycen-Man (CoE; 186) , and  Magcargo GX (LT; 44) to discard up to 11 cards from your opponents deck at once. B&B is a double-edged sword - you can’t baselessly discard cards from your deck without establishing some sort of risk / reward assessment. That being said, keeping your options open, identifying important cards, and understanding your resources will allow you to make thoughtful decisions when piloting this deck. The best time to use B&B is when you have zero cards left in your deck because it only becomes an advantage at that point in the game. During the early game, you need to make sure you can get setup for success before you do anything else. That includes using Quick Ball (S&S; 179) , Great Ball (S&S; 164) , and  Pokemon Communication (TM; 152) to get out  Minccino (S&S; 145) and Zacian V (S&S; 138) . This deck typically wants to go first due to the lack of strong draw Supporters and that decision will allow you to Evolve into Cinccino (S&S; 147)  quicker. Beyond trying to deck your opponent out and drawing cards, you need to get back resources too (assuming you discard cards from B&B and Make Do) - that’s where the deck gets tricky. You need to balance Pal Pad (S&S; 172) , Ordinary Rod (S&S; 171) , and Oranguru (UPR; 114)  to avoid decking out, flooding your deck with unnecessary resources, avoiding Prize Cards, and identifying win conditions. It’s easier said than done, but the main goal is to survive long enough to deck out your opponent. If you need a few more turns of breathing room, Lillie Poke Doll doesn’t offer up and Prize Cards and you can always remove your opponents Energy from play. Between Team Yell Grunt (S&S; 184) , Crushing Hammer (S&S; 159) , and Faba (LT; 173) , you can bounce Energy off your opponents Pokémon to give yourself the necessary time needed. All together, this deck functions as control deck hidden under the cloak of a “lesser” mill deck.

Deck Out Strategy

This strategy is going to be your end goal each game because it is the only way you can actually win the game. Beyond using a baseless B&B, you need to think about a few things. Do you have the capability of getting back lost resources? Is it worth it? Do you know what’s in your deck? I usually wall with Doll because they off my opponent zero Prizes while I draw through my deck with Make Do. When you are discarding cards with Make Do, identify cards that don’t particularly matter in that matchup (Yell Grunt against Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33)  for example). I try an hold off on B&B until I know I can gain access to an Energy, Pad, and Guru - otherwise I try and hold off. My goal is to discard the minimal amount of cards from my deck so I either deck myself out first or have less valued cards in my deck before I decide to B&B. Once I have used many resources, I then use Guru to get back Pads and Rods because those cards can get back multiple resources. This method gives up minimal Prizes, conserves resources, and discards many cards from your opponents deck. My last turn almost always consists of me using Surge, double B&B, Mewtwo & Mew GX (UB; 71) , and copying Magcargo for the win. The key thing to do is ask yourself meaningful questions about the board state each turn and identify what is going on with your opponents board. Can you deck them out? How many cards are left? Can I discard this? How many cards do I have left? What is the correct order of operations for this turn? The more critical thinking that you do the better this deck will perform. 

Energy Denial Strategy

While it was created to stop ADP in its tracks, it might find other uses against a slew of random decks. The goal is to deny your opponent the opportunity to attack or progress into game ending moves. This can be done with Grunt, Crushing, or Faba. As long as you can take away their attachment for a turn, you are actively buying time in the game to remove all of their important Energy from play. Each turn when you stop their Energy attachment, you want to thin through your deck with Make Do, Intrepid Sword, and any card that speeds through your deck. Once you get to the bottom (less than five or whatever you can draw per turn), you can use Resource Management to get back Crushing, Crushing, and either a third Crushing or Pal Pad. This means you have the odds of math on your side to remove many Energy from your opponents board state per game. You want to continuously stop your opponent from having Energy if you can do so and eventually take away all their options to attack. At this point, you can actively try and deck out your opponent. 

Get Lost Strategy

Similar to Energy Denial, this strategy is meant for only a few matchups. If you find yourself playing against Control / Mill mirror matches, there is a good chance that they only run three or four Energy total. That being said, you can use Hammer to get basic Energy in their Discard and you can use Girafarig (LT; 94)  to remove them to the Lost Zone. If they play one or two Special Energy, like Recycle Energy, you can use Faba to get rid of those. Once you have Lost Zoned all of their Energy, they won’t be able to use Guru to get back their resources at all. You can keep your deck above a certain threshold of cards (11 to avoid Surge, double B&B, and Burning Magma GX) to eventually win the game via deck out. Similarly, Girafarig offers a win condition against decks that put important cards in the Discard. Mewtwo & Mew can drop a Naganadel GX (FLI; 56) , Naganadel GX (UB; 160) , Alolan Raticate GX (CLS; 85)  (attacks for free / if you deny Energy), and even their own Magcargo. Malamar (FLI; 51)  might have Giratina (LT; 97)  or Energy in the Discard, other decks might have some other kind of spice. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Get Lost is live in more games than you likely have realized, keep your eyes peeled. 

If you don’t understand the strategies above, here is a video of me playing a similar deck.

I will also go into more depth for each card below!

Card Explanations

This section of the article will go over each card included into the deck in as much detail as possible. 

Cincinno, Mincinno, and Zacian V

These are the cards that allow us to draw through our deck to get the disruption cards we need. We play the 70 HP Mincinno because it can withstand the most damage from attacks and Cincinno is there for Make Do. You want to setup three Cincinno most games to maximize your efforts of drawing cards, but you don’t need more than that. Try to use Make Do before evolving into your others to give yourself more options - even if it isn’t the best card to discard, keep it in your hand so you have the opportunity to make that decision. There is a proper order each turn with Make Do, try to identify what you want to draw into each turn. Zacian is there to draw cards each turn as your ending move. Don’t draw too many cards and put yourself in jeopardy of decking out yourself and realize that it is worth two Prizes. The end goal is getting to your resources to get closer to your win condition.

Oranguru, Ordinary Rod, and Pal Pad

These are the cards that let you get back your depleted resources and allow you to avoid decking out. Before you start using B&B, I would recommend having access to Guru, access to Pad, and an Energy. You should also always have a way to Rod cards back into your deck. I often discard vital pieces of the “Deck Out Strategy” to keep them safe in my Discard Pile. Included are Fire Energy, Magcargo, and Mewtwo & Mew. I can always Rod those cards back into my deck to instantly draw into if my deck is low enough. In order to discard the least amount of resources, I usually use B&B when I have zero or close to zero cards left in my deck. After you “deck out” use Pad to get back Supporters to avoid decking out and to get back resources for next turn. Use Guru when you can afford to give up a Prize Card, need to get back vital resources, and to avoid decking out. Don’t use Guru if it will become a liability to you in the game.

Mewtwo & Mew-GX and Magcargo-GX

Mewtwo & Mew is there to copy Magcargo as the last action to win the game. If your opponent has enough cards left in the deck to win via Burning Magma GX, go ahead and win the game. As stated above, I try and keep these cards discarded to get back with Rod so they are easily accessible in the late game via Make Do. 

Ditto Prism Star

Sometimes you need to Evolve into Cincinno or your Mewtwo & Mew is Prized. Ditto Prism Star (LT; 154)  is there to be that in between card that gives you options. In most games I avoid using this card because I worry about random Wobbuffet (LT; 93)  techs that might stop it from working. In the games that I do use it, I am mainly Evolving it into Cincinno.


As explained in the “Get Lost” strategy, you want to use Get Lost. You typically want to use Get Lost on Naganadel GX, Nag GX sniper, Magcargo, Blacephalon (CoE; 104) , or Energy. If you have found solid reasons to Get Lost something else, use Girafarig to your hearts content. 

Bellelba & Brycen-Man

Bellelba & Brycen-Man is your main source of mill and it is likely going to be the Supporter that you play the most during a game. It combos nicely with Surge to play multiple Supporters and you can throw a Cynthia & Caitlin (CoE; 189)  into the mix if you need to get back a B&B in the same turn. The key thing to learn is what is remaining in your deck at all times - you don’t wanna discard important resources from your deck. You can do this by effectively checking through your deck to find your missing Prize Cards, identifying important cards during the matchup at hand, and using all info available to determine an order to your deck (Resource Management).

Team Yell Grunt, Faba, and Crushing Hammer

While the list above functions as a mill deck, sometimes you gotta stop your opponent from progressing their board state so that you can have more turns in the game. While I usually reserve an Energy denial strategy for the Zacian ADP matchup, it does find random uses elsewhere. I won’t get into that here because it’s much easier to share in the matchup section, but I will leak some tips about the above cards. Crushing Hammer is to be used only if the benefit of a successful coin flip will set your opponent back. Like if you have access to a single Crushing only, it rarely makes sense to discard a single Energy from a PikaRom if you can’t stop their attack. When you are discarding Energy, find a deeper answer as to why you are discarding instead of baselessly wasting cards from your hand. I often discard Crushing from my hand with Make Do if it won’t do anything in a particular matchup, like Malamar (most of the time that is). Team Yell Grunt is really only there to stop decks that can only attach a single Energy per turn, like Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Tag Team GX (CoE; 156) , or if you can possibly rip many Energy by using Yell Grunt and a handful of Crushing. Yell Grunt won’t be effective if you don’t identify reasons to use it and if you can’t identify reasons to use it - use it as fodder for Make Do. Faba is more or less included in this deck to remove Recycle Energy from opposing Oranguru (as stated in the Get Lost strategy). You can always use it to remove Special Energy from an outdated ADP list or find circumstances where it happens to be good. 

Cynthia & Caitlin and Tag Call

This is the only draw Supporter in the deck and Cynthia & Caitlin is mostly played to nab them out of the deck with Tag Call (CoE; 206) . That means we can thin our deck of resources (Mewtwo & Mew, C&C, and B&B) all while grabbing a draw supporter if necessary. I like discarding unnecessary Supporters during the beginning of a game so that I have discard fodder for Make Do when I use C&C. You won’t always have the opportunity to grab back a Surge or a B&B from C&C - grab a Yell Grunt and discard it with Make Do. If you have issues with your Prize Cards, you can loop cards by using Surge, C&C to get back Surge, and play a B&B. This is only one less step than Surge, B&B, and B&B so it is possible to Prize a Pal Pad or something similar. Tag Call is usefully at all stages of the game because it allows you to manipulate the amount of cards you can fetch from the deck. Especially when you are using cards like Pad to get back two B&B, you can fetch them out of a slightly-too-large deck with Tag Call. Similar to most cards in the deck, you need to keep your mind open for potential plays because the way you play cards can change many times in same game.

Lt. Surge’s Strategy

I’ve explained multiple situations on how Lt. Surge’s Strategy works in this article so imma keep this one brief. It’s banned in Expanded for being so broken and this deck abuses this card quite well in the Standard format - it’s bonkers a card like this can exist! Between going Surge, B&B, or Surge, Yell Grunt, and Yell Grunt - you can gain a large amount of leverage over your opponent. Think your plays out wisely and push to victory!

Lillie’s Poké Doll

I use Lillie’s Poke Doll to stop my opponent from drawing Prize Cards (yes, even Altered Creation GX won’t allow them to draw an “extra” Prize Card here) while I draw through my deck with Make Do. You need to get to the bottom few cards of your deck to gain full control of Guru’s Resource Management to draw back into the cards that you want to draw into. Essentially, Doll allows you to slow down your opponents rate of drawing Prizes and that can allow you to have the necessary amount of turns to deck out your opponent. If you find yourself playing against Phione or a deck that plays Phione (CoE; 57) , you need to put out two Dolls to protect yourself from losing Prizes. Additionally, Doll can go at the bottom of your deck to “pseudo-Retreat” and that also gives you an extra card in your deck (to help prevent you from decking out).

Quick Ball, Great Ball, and Pokémon Communication

These are cards that allow us to search out our Pokémon as necessary during the game. The most ideal start is to have a Zacian in play turn one and have a few Mincinno chillin around too. Quick Ball is a guaranteed search for any of these, but you can’t search out Cincinno. Great Ball can grab anything, but you can’t guarantee that you hit a Pokémon. I try to use Great Ball first in most circumstances because it gives me the highest percentage of drawing into a raw Pokémon. Remember that you can use thinning of your deck to your advantage by increasing your odds (or in some case guaranteeing your odds) to hit a Pokémon. A situation in this example would be using Rod to get back a Mewtwo & Mew during the late game and using Great Ball when you have less than seven cards in your deck. Pokémon Communication is the in between card that can either search out Cincinno or any Basic Pokémon that you need on the first turn. I value Poké Comm over Evolution Incense because I like the extra consistency I can get by having an option to grab a Zacian / Mincinno on the first turn. Evo Incense can’t do that - you see my point?

Air Balloon

Sometimes you need to Retreat and Air Balloon (S&S; 156)  allows you to get there. If your opponent Knocks Out a Guru, you can send up an Pokémon with Balloon to send up another Guru or a Doll. Be careful if your opponent plays Absol (TM; 88)  because that would make Zacian have three Retreat - that is why I usually attach Balloon to Cincinno (so that my Retreat Cost won’t get manipulated). Remember that you can Retreat, put as many Doll as you want at the bottom of your deck (pseudo-Retreat), and that’s what you need sometimes. Your game ending move is to use Mewtwo & Mew to copy Magcargo, so you might need a Balloon to Retreat into it. Remember that when you are grabbing back cards from Resource Management. If you don’t have access to Balloon in your Discard Pile, you can B&B an Air Balloon off your field by using the second effect, and get it back with Guru.

Fire Energy and Recycle Energy

These Energy are merely meant for using Get Lost, Resource Management, and Burning Magma GX. You can sometimes Retreat, but keep your eyes peeled for how many Enrrfy you have access to. Recycle Energy (UB; 212)  is merely for Guru so you don’t have to get back Energy each turn from Resource Management or you can Retreat for “free”. With this list playing one less Energy than most others, the training wheels are off and you don’t have that much wiggle room. Remember that you need Energy to use Guru to get back resources and you need Fire to win the game with Mewtwo & Mew. Don’t run out of these resources.

Possible Card Inclusions

These are cards that I have tested, but they aren’t in my current list for some reason or another. 


Mew (UBO; 76)  would be played mostly for sniping Nag-GX and PikaRom, but I’m not sold on it. Get Lost has been enough to get around most Mewtwo & Mew players and I have often been able to beat PikaRom without it. If you are heavily worried about sniping attacks, consider adding it in, but I view it as training wheels at this point. 

Magneton / Electrode-GX

Sometimes your opponent will avoid drawing Prizes to stop your expected barrage of Surge. Magneton (CoE; 69)  is used for the loss of Prizes (Evolving from a Ditto Prism or Magnemite (UPR; 81) ) so that you can Surge earlier and search out a few Supporters too. Electrode GX (CLS; 48)  is used in the same way as Ton (you can Evolve with Ditto Prism or Voltorb (CLS; 47) ), it just sets you behind twice as much. While this can sound detrimental to your strategy, it works magically in a mirror match where your opponent plays Ton as a tech. They won’t be able to get behind on Prizes more than you and you will always have Surge to leverage an advantage against them.

Aerodactyl-GX and Fighting Energy

A lot of players wouldn’t ever expect Aerodactyl GX (UB; 106)  and that’s why I decided to include it in here. You can Evolve into it with Ditto Prism or use Mewtwo & Mew to copy it from the Discard. It is used to OHKO an opposing Mewtwo & Mew after they use Stinger GX because they have three Energy attached times two which equals 300 damage. The only issue is that don’t always have a Weakness because they sometimes play Weakness Guard Energy (UB; 213)  to take it away. I found it is difficult to pull off this win condition, but I would consider playing it if more Mewtwo & Mew was played.


Similar to Mew, Wobbuffet is a training wheels card in most cases. It might slow down PikaRom enough due to the lack of Tapu Koko Prism Star (TM; 51) , but that is only a temporary bandaid. Victini Prism Star (DM; 7)  is the main threat, but that is the reason why I don’t play it in this deck. Victini is only played in Fire Toolbox and some Blacephalon (UBO; 32)  decks - and I have ideas against both. Fire Toolbox is mainly a poor matchup for this deck and adding Wobb doesn’t solve the matchup because they play Ninetales (TM; 16)  - they can just bring up Wobb and use Victini Prism. Baby Blowns doesn’t usually play Victini Prism, but there is the potential for it to happen. Baby Blowns typically plays only 13 Energy which means two Energy are available to be played on Victini and 11 get shuffled back in (if all are available and not Prized). That means they can only hold on to 11 cards in deck, the perfect number to Surge, B&B, B&B, and Burning Magma GX for the win. In either case, I would use the Energy denial strategy to run them out of potential Welders and eventually run them out of Energy. If that doesn’t result in a win or tie, I’m honestly fine taking a loss somewhere.


I wish I could play the Copycat one, but this inclusion is potentially interesting. Mimikyu (CoE; 96)  allows you to finish your turn by discarding a Supporter from your hand and using it against your opponent. Whether this works as a pseudo-Burning Magma GX (if Mewtwo & Mew is Prized) by discarding B&B or if you are ripping another Energy with Yell Grunt, I like this card. I’m not sure if it is unnecessary because my win rate without it is fine, but I like the concept of this card.


Psychic Baby Blowns is a tough card to deal with at times and Hoopa (UB; 140)  can Knock it Out with relative ease. I would play this card if you expect many Psychic Baby Blowns, but that is up to you to decide. I have been able to win most games by using Crushing / Yell Grunt and Get Lost to get around it 

Tate & Liza

Tate & Liza (CLS; 148)  is kinda like Balloon, but you can get it back by using Pad. It’s a half draw Supporter and a half Retreat option, I like it. I don’t necessarily want to cut to two Balloon, but it has always been a consideration for me.

Extra Consistency Cards / Varying Card Counts

I’ve always been tinkering with counts of Pad, B&B, Poké Comm, but I’m fairly happy with the counts in the deck. Don’t necessarily take that as I’m not looking at all options because counts can change in an instant, but I’m ok with the list the way it is for now. Find the correct counts that work for you and make logical decisions based on that knowledge.


This section of the article will go over the most popular matchups available in our standard format. These matchups are based off of my in depth testing against each matchup. Best of luck in your next games. 

ZADP - Favorable

In this matchup you can stop your opponents ADP from using Altered Creation GX by using Yell Grunt, Crushing, and sometimes Faba. That being said, follow suit for the Energy denial strategy to stop their attachments until they can’t attack / wont be able to win the game. They won’t have much of an opportunity to win the game if you deny their Energy, stop Altered Creation GX, block Prizes with Doll, and mill their resources away. You want to have two copies of Doll out most turns to avoid giving up Prizes due to Phione.

PikaRom - Slightly Favorable

This is a matchup that I’m always unsure about because PikaRom can be so quick at times and that makes any matchup difficult. The biggest hinderance for PikaOrm is the explosiveness of the deck - Full Blitz grabs three cards out of the deck so we are “decking out” our opponent quicker. They also have to use destructive cards like Dedenne-GX, Professor’s Research, and more to get setup throughout the game. That being said, use Doll to avoid your opponent drawing multiple Prizes from Tag Bolt GX, watch out for Phione, and try to kill away their deck as soon as possible. They don’t necessarily have many ways to get back resources so you can kill them fairly quickly. Removing Energy hardly stops this deck so don’t worry about those cards too much - they are often better used as fodder for Make Do.

Baby Blacephalon - Very Favorable / Favorable 

This matchup is almost free if your opponent doesn’t play Victini Prism and it likely is still free if they do decide to play it. The issue for Blacephalon is that they need to discard three Energy with Fireball Circus to Knock Out most Pokemon. Let’s not even factor that we have Dolls to set them back for turns here. They need to draw six Prizes and they have to discard 18 Energy from their hand - it doesn’t seem that likely. Other single Prize Card decks, like Malamar, share this same advantage by not giving away opportunities for Baby Blowns to win games. Factoring that in with their resources milled away, non-ideal turns, and using Welder to draw cards - this matchup is hypothetically impossible if we can survive past the first few turns. If they play Victini Prism, they usually only play 13 Energy and Victini Prism need two. Doing some quick math, that leaves them with a hypothetical peak of 11 Energy to shuffle back into the deck. If that is true, we can use Surge, B&B, B&B, and Burning Magma GX to win the game!

Mewtwo & Mew Welder - Even

This is a matchup that always spooks me, but it has recently fallen in terms metagame share. You can steal this game by your opponent discarding Stinger Nag GX without thinking of Giraffe or you can use B&B to the same effect. Stinger is what causes you to lose most games so keep that in mind - well, that and Psychic Baby Blowns. You might be able to run them out of Energy if you are in a dire situation, but it is possible for them to miss the chance to safely use Stinger GX without losing. I don’t necessarily have a stable win condition in this matchup so you usually have to see how the factors play out.

Mewtwo & Mew Malamar - Even

Similar to the above Mewtwo & Mew matchup, this deck wants to use Stinger GX to win the game. If you are able to use Giraffe to stop that or if your opponent doesn’t play Stinger GX for some reason, this match becomes slightly easier. Since they play Malamar, you don’t necessarily want to try and Energy denial tactics because they will likely jump back into the game like nothing happened. Just mill, watch for giraffe opportunities, and pray.

Fire Toolbox - Slightly Unfavorable / Even

This is likely the scariest matchup you can face and that is because they can use Ninetales to get around Doll and they can use Victini Prism to avoid decking out. If you read about my strategy against Baby Blowns, that might sound confusing, but most Fire Toolbox decks are based off my OCIC Finalist list that plays 18 Energy. They can effectively shuffle up to 16 cards per turn which means our grasp of milling 11 cards is unattainable. You can either try to baselessly discard their Victini Prism with B&B, use Giraffe effectively, or you can try my theory to win from Energy Denial alone. Starting with B&B, I don’t like this strategy because it can discard important resources from your side and I don’t like strategies where I need to get lucky. I’m sure we can all work out math on having Victini Prism in the top three cards of a deck before a B&B mill and it isn’t likely. The second strategy is to use Giraffe to take away Fire Energy until your opponent cant shuffle back more than 11 cards per turn with Victini Prism. This would require using Get Lost three times grabbing at least five Energy in the process. That strategy can work some of the time, but I’m not entirely sold on it. While theorying other ways to win this matchup, my third written strategy might end up taking the cake. You can use Yell Grunt and Crushing to remove Energy from your opponents Victini Prism. If you can remove both Energy per turn, they will only be able to to attack if they can use Welder. Considering they can only run four copies of Welder and can only get back two copies with Pad, they only have six copies of Welder to use at most. They have less if they discard any or if you discard any with B&B. If they can’t effectively cycle Energy back in with Victini Prism, they can’t avoid decking out. The can stop this by using Victini V (S&S; 25) , but that is another story. Using a combination of these tactics might work or they might not work at all - they are merely the ways I have identified. The one silver lining is that Fire Toolbox has recently fallen in terms of the metagame because other decks have “surpassed” it in strength. Reading in between the lines, you likely won’t see a professional player running Fire Toolbox at this point, you will likely be playing against a much less experienced player. That being said, they might not garner the necessary skills to pilot the deck against such advanced strategies. 

Cincinno Mill - Mirror

This matchup is quite easy if you play Giraffe and they don’t because you can run them out of Energy very efficiently. You can use Crushing to get their attached Energy into the Discard and then use Get Lost to get them out. If they attach Recycle, you can use Faba to send it to the Lost Zone for the duration of your game. Once they don’t have Energy, they won’t be able to use Resource Management. If they can’t use Guru, they will eventually lose to decking out. A lot of Cincinno lists don’t run Giraffe because they aren’t worried about hitting mirror, they are worried about the overall metagame. To put it in perspective, I was heavily considering not running Giraffe before the first Limitless Qualifier (the one that got canceled) because I didn’t think many players were going to run Cincinno. Looking back on it, I’m glad I have the option to use Get Lost in many situations. If they run Giraffe, grab it out of your deck as soon as possible to avoid your opponent using B&B discarding it and using Get Lost on it. It doesn’t matter if they run Ton or Electrode because you can always keep your deck above 11 cards with Pad, Rod, and Resource Management. There are plenty of factors that make this matchup sticky, but Giraffe makes it easily winnable most of the time. Feel free to experiment with different tech options to formulate your own strategy. Just remember to dedicate the amount of spots that you deem necessary and to think about the divided deck space.

Malamar - Slightly Favorable / Even

The matchup against Malamar feels eerily similar to most games against Mewtwo & Mew, except they likely don’t run Stinger GX. That makes it much easier to deal with, but they can go through a slew of strategies to use Psychic Baby Blowns and other spreading cards against you. This is a matchup where Giraffe can come into play, but I like to play the matchup turn-by-turn by watching what my opponent does. It is an easy matchup against an inexperienced Mally player, but an experienced player can give you a run for your money. If they start to evenly spread damage, you can use the second effect on B&B to discard your damaged Pokémon to elongate the game. If you have more turns, you have more opportunities to win the game. Try and figure out your opponents win condition and try your best to stop it!

Cincinno Mill & Energy Denial (UPR-REC)

This is the updated list for Cincinno that I have been testing for Rebel Clash format events. It is extremely similar to the above list so feel free to check it out!

Pokémon - 18

4 Cinccino PR-SW 09

4 Minccino SSH 145

3 Zacian V SSH 138

2 Oranguru UPR 114

1 Mewtwo & Mew-GX PR-SM 191

1 Ditto Prism Star LOT 154

1 Magcargo-GX LOT 44

1 Eldegoss V REC ??

1 Girafarig LOT 94

Trainer Cards - 39

4 Bellelba & Brycen-Man

3 Team Yell Grunt

3 Cynthia & Caitlin

2 Lt. Surge's Strategy

1 Faba

4 Crushing Hammer

4 Lillie's Poké Doll

4 Quick Ball

4 Great Ball

2 Pokémon Communication

2 Ordinary Rod

2 Air Balloon

2 Tag Call

2 Pal Pad 

Energy - 3

2 Fire Energy

1 Recycle Energy

As you can see, Eldegoss V is the only card I have added into the deck. If you want to learn a bit more about this specific list, check out this video I created for Rare Candy.

While I will be making changes here and there to that list, as explained in other areas of this article, both lists are relatively similar. 

Card Explanations

Considering that this list only contains one new card, Eldegoss V, I will only be going over that card in this section. Here is the translation of the card for those of you who are not familiar with it yet:

Eldegoss V

Stage: Basic 

Type: Grass 

Health: 180 HP

Ability: Happy Match

Once during your turn when you put this Pokémon from your hand to your Bench, you may put a Supporter card from your Discard Pile into your hand.

[C][C] Soar 50

You may shuffle this card and all cards attached to it into your Deck.

Weakness: Fire x2

Resistance: none

Retreat Cost: [C]

Eldegoss V

This card functions similar to Pad in the deck because it can get back a Supporter card in a pinch. While this is a situational upgrade from the last list, you can do a few different loops with this card. You can easily use Happy Match to get Surge back, play it, use the second effect of B&B to pitch away Eldegoss, use Rod to get back Eldegoss, and use Happy Match to get back a second Supporter in the same turn. That is the functionality that isn’t available with Pad. Also, I should mention that this card is searchable as a Pokémon whereas Pad isn’t. This inclusion isn’t game altering, but it does add another layer of depth to this exciting archetype. 

Possible Card Inclusions

Since I already covered a long list of cards above, I’m only going to go over Rebel Clash cards that I can include. That list is much smaller than above because I might only want to include a single card...

Cursed Shovel

Trainer: Item (Pokémon Tool)

If the Pokémon this card is attached to is Knocked Out by damage from an opponent’s attack, discard the top two cards of your opponent’s deck.

Cursed Shovel

I want to include this card in the deck, but it is a tough one to include in the deck because it feels like a win more card. It obviously has it strengths, but it has a few downfalls too. Cursed Shovel requires you to get Knocked Out by an attack, not anything. So if your opponent places damage with an Ability or a Status Condition, they won’t discard the cards. While those don’t sound like popular options, players will consistently play around annoying cards like Cursed Shovel / Spell Tag (LT; 190)  to avoid the negative consequences from their attack. While it might seem like I am lurking in the past, Tool Scrapper (DR; 116)  is getting a reprint in Rebel Clash. With our format being deprived of a similar card, like Field Blower, some decks will be running Tool Scrapper if they find a reason to do so. I have already concluded that most Fire-type decks will run it to get around Metal Frying Pan and I wouldn’t be surprised to find a few players running to because they don’t know better. Maybe Cursed Shovel will find popularity or Spell Tag takes on a whole new persona - it doesn’t matter. There is an increased chance that Tool Scrapper will scrap your Cursed Shovel and that makes it less appealing. Don’t even get me started on the handful of players still running Lysandre Labs... Before the English release of Rebel Clash, we are already seeing players flock to Dragapult VMAX - a Pokémon that can spread damage. With that card joining our metagame that has PikaRom, Naganadel-GX, and more, they might never hit the Pokémon with the Cursed Shovel attached. Even more so, Boss’s Orders is getting printed in this set so we know every single deck will have access to reliable gust. We just don’t need to add cards that do nothing. 

At the end of the day, Cursed Shovel is likely a fine card in the deck, I just wanted more of a consistent list to get to my strategy ASAP! While there are ways around Cursed Shovel, there are also opportunities for our opponent to discard extra cards if they attack into it. I will need more experience in a tournament-level metagame of Rebel Clash before I can come up with any conclusions.

Next Stop - PTCGO

Well, thats a wrap for today! I hope this article has helped you learn a thing or two about Cincinno Mill and realize why I think it is such a powerful deck. It is my top pick for the remaining Limitless Qualifier events in the UPR-SSH format and I could see myself playing it to success in the Rebel Clash format too. I already have a few articles in the creation process and I will be using this pandemic as a way to help our community grow as players. I appreciate all of the support I have received from messages so far and I will use it as motivation going forward! If you are looking for coaching or if you wanna follow me on Social Media, check out these links! 

Social Media

Facebook: Zach Lesage  

Twitter: zlesagepokemon 

Twitch: zlesagepokemon 

Youtube: Rare Candy 



TCEvolutions: Use code zach10 to save 10% off at

PTCGOStore: Use code zlesage5 to save 5% off at

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