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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Cinccino #89

Black & White

Date Reviewed: July 1, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.50
Limited: 4.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:
 

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Cinccino #89/114 (Black and White)

Today is a very good day. For one thing, it’s Friday so the weekend is nearly here. For another, the rotation to HGSS-on officially starts today. And finally, I get to review one of my favourite Pokémon from Generation V and the BW set: Cinccino.

See how adorable he is? He’s also the Scarf Pokémon, and we all know that scarves are cool. Honestly, why would anyone play hideously ugly Pokémon like Donphan and Yanmega when you can use Cinccino? He’s cuter than a baby Pikachu cuddling a tiny kitten.

He is also printed on a very good Pokémon card. Yep, that’s right, I think a Stage 1 Pokémon with 90 HP and a weakness to Fighting is very good. Why? Well, not because of Tail Slap, that’s for sure. Nope, with Cinccino, it’s all about the second attack.

Yes, Do the Wave, the attack than made Jungle Wigglytuff so powerful in the olden days of Pokémon, is finally back (yeah, I know some Lucario got it a few sets ago, but it was a terrible version of the attack and doesn’t count). Of course, Cinccino’s Do the Wave is significantly upgraded from the old version (you get to do 20 damage for each Pokémon on your Bench), but the cost has stayed the same! For a single Double Colourless Energy, you can have Cinccino swinging for 100 by your second turn.

Cinccino’s ability to hit fast and hard is not enough by itself though: it has problems in one-shotting Pokémon that can easily OHKO it (Donphan, Zekrom, Reshiram). The thing that rescues Cinccino as a potential competitive card is its Colourless typing. This means that practically anything can be teched alongside Cinccino to improve the way the deck works or respond to Weakness. Want a draw engine? Add Ninetales HGSS and Fire Energy. Like a Donphan counter? Try Samurott or Kingdra Prime with Water. Of course, you also have the option to run a disruption-based deck with Slowking HGSS and Weavile UD, or use a versatile tech like Zoroark. Best of all, Cinccino positively loves having all of these Pokémon filling up the bench and increasing its damage output.

Right now, Cinccino is a pretty good card that is maybe just a little bit short of being absolutely top tier. However it looks as though there may be a couple of cards that we should get in the next set that could change all that. Pokémon Catcher (basically Pokémon Reversal without the flip, or a Gust of Wind reprint if you’re old school) will allow Cinccino to pick its targets from your opponent’s bench to ensure OHKOs. Meanwhile Beartic looks as if it could be the playable Water Stage 1 we have been waiting for as a counter to Cinccino’s worst enemy, Donphan.

So watch out for Cinccino, and keep it in mind. Even if it isn’t a top contender right now, it could well have a bright future in the game.

Rating

Modified: 3.5 (good now, could be great later)

Limited: 4.25 (fast, compatible with everything, and deals major damage with ease)


Otaku

Happy Early Modified Format Rotation! For those not paying attention, we are officially playing under the HGSS-On Modified Format!

Cinccino looks kind of like a koala that joined the Hair Club For Men Treasure Trolls… but I am going to guess that I am the only one who sees it that way and move onto the actual review.

As a Colorless Pokémon, Cinccino… enjoys having a white background? At least for now, Colorless Pokémon don’t have much going for them this format. A quick search brings shows only about eight Colorless Weak Pokémon in the current cardpool, and none have major decks around them. There aren’t many more Pokémon that are Colorless Resistant, but one is Gengar (HS: Triumphant 94/102) which already has an established deck whose core cards survived the rotation. With no Colorless support on top of one poor match-up, it’s makes being Colorless a slight negative. At least the old problem of being a Stage 1 is gone: the playing field is now pretty much level with the current crop of Basic Pokémon and the erratum to Rare Candy that is now old news.


90 HP is low for a Stage 1 that can’t further Evolve, but not severely low: the card really just needed another 10 HP. Most decks will be able to push for a OHKO, but will require an effort to do so. The Fighting Weakness is an obvious concern: it does put Cinccino into OHKO range for all but the weakest Fighting attacks, and between Donphan Prime having multiple established deck variants and a desire by players to counter the also Fighting Weak Magneton Prime and Zekrom; we could be seeing an awful lot of Fighting-Type Pokémon. The lack of Resistance is a bit annoying: is it really too much to bring back Psychic Resistance for Colorless Pokémon? Perhaps it is. The single Energy Retreat Cost is very nice, making it relatively easy to Retreat. Being a Colorless Pokémon does not make it easy to “splash” into any deck: while Weakness/Resistance is a minimal concern, what makes a card capable of being run in almost any deck is either the card is run for an Ability/Poké-Power/Poké-Body/etc. or the Energy requirements on the attacks are all Colorless! This is a minor but important distinction, and of course when we get to the card’s effects, we’ll see that it does indeed have all Colorless Energy requirements for its attacks. This may be the norm but there have been many prominent exceptions in the past: both Colorless Pokémon with specific (“Colored”) Energy requirements in their attacks and plenty of Pokémon with all Colorless Energy requirements in their attacks that were not Colorless-Type Pokémon themselves.

Tail Slap is definitely the lesser attack, requiring one of any Energy to flip two coins and inflicting 20 points of damage per heads. I don't mind coin tosses, though I prefer the minimum damage not be zero. For a single Energy, a 0/20/40 split is decent, with 20 being twice as likely as either extreme. What has a lot of players excited is Do The Wave, an attack that debuted way back in the Jungle Expansion on Wigglytuff. The newest iteration of the attack is definitely improved, requiring only two of any Energy (instead of three like on most past versions) and doing 20 damage times the number of Benched Pokémon instead of base damage of 10 to 30 points plus 10 per Benched Pokémon you have in play. Some similar attacks might be/have been faster, but for actual versions of "Do The Wave", this is the only one a Double Colorless Energy can power on its own, plus it can hit for 100 points of damage with a full Bench.

Before going further, let us take a peek at the only legal Minccino which is... a fairly standard Colorless Basic Pokémon with 60 HP and the same bottom stats as Cinccino and Tail Slap for only 10 per "heads". This is a decent start for the card, though if HP scores continue to creep up it will probably soon be a little low: after all we now have multiple 70 HP Basic Pokémon that can Evolve all the way up to a Stage 2, so I don’t think expecting a Basic that can Evolve past the Stage 1 level to have at least 70 HP is asking to much. I appreciate that the attack matches one attack from the Evolution, bringing a feel of consistency, but since it is the weaker of the two attacks and doesn’t protect or help Minccino to set-up, it really is just filler. Hopefully we’ll see a slightly better version in the future.

I can see why a lot of people are excited about this card: it's a better Jungle Wigglytuff. Wigglytuff was notable for being one of the good Stage 1 Pokémon cards back in the “old days” when Unlimited was the Standard Format for Organized Play and the game was still pretty new and run by WotC outside of Japan. Wigglytuff enjoys Psychic Resistance -30, but Do the Wave that can be powered by a Double Colorless Energy on top of 10 more HP and one less Retreat Cost makes it still an clear improvement. For those of us still enjoying Unlimited play, I’d expect to see some Cinccino/Slowking decks (Neo Genesis Slowking, of course) not only showing up but winning.

What about Modified? You can’t drop a Broken Time Space for a first turn Cinccino, and filling your Bench eats up more of your resources than in Unlimited. Still, it should be able to give you a solid 80 to 100 points of damage by your second turn with the right deck, and more importantly can back almost anything reasonably well. I’d originally been a bit dismissive of this in favor of more exotic Stage 1 supporting attackers like Zoroark or Yanmega Prime, but after some long discussions (sadly not playtesting as I would have preferred) I have to concede this should see some serious play. Given all the nasty looking Stage 1 Pokémon I am starting to think
Four Corners (or at least something akin to it) could make a comeback, or perhaps there is a combination of good Bench sitting Basic or Stage 1 Pokémon, since Cinccino might be just strong enough to carry a deck with a lot of nasty tricks. Then again a completely healthy Cinccino that just scored a KO can itself be OHKO’d by a Bouffalant (Black & White 91/114) with a Double Colorless Energy thanks to that cards Revenge attack, and I expect that to be a common trick for decks already running Double Colorless Energy.

There is a Fighting presence in the actual Black & White expansion, but even with two Big Basic Fighting-Type Pokémon that are good for Limited play, it isn't so overwhelming you'd want to skip Cinccino. Being able to use any Energy means it fits into any deck and the attack that was already impressive in Constructed Formats is flat out amazing here. If you have good enough pulls that you just can't even make room for it a 1-1 line, you probably have to worry about accusations of cheating. ;)

Ratings

Unlimited: 4/5 – No it doesn’t create a new deck, but it does act as an enhanced replacement for an established deck, and is especially impressive here.

Modified: 4/5 – I still think that Fighting Weakness and 90 HP are going to cause it troubles, and that it will struggle to be its own deck, but it makes for a great supporting line.

Limited:
4.75/5 – Almost a perfect pick, but the Fighting Weakness is a serious concern here and you legitimately might have a hard time filling your Bench which nerfs the card.

Combos with: Just about anything thanks to Double Colorless Energy. A first turn Pokémon Collector is a big help, though.


Summary

Cinccino is a great new card and I am cautiously optimistic about it. Perhaps the biggest threat to it is that it is one of about four great supporting attacker Stage 1 Pokémon lines right now, and might get crowded out by others. It also might be too cute for its own good. ;)

My eBay auctions are still going on, so feel free to see if I have anything that interests you. Remember that Pojo.com is not responsible for any transactions.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia
Cinccino (Black & White)
 
Hey Folks! Today we have the latest in Fashion with Cinccino! The mouse looks like it is wearing a fur boa, and it also looks like a snack for Persian and the other 'mean cats' of Poke'mon. At least it would have a measure of revenge due to the hairballs any predator would be coughing up for the next week after chowing down on Cinccino.
 
Now that I'm finished making lame jokes, it's time for the stats. Cinccino is a Colourless type non-evolving Stage 1 with 90 HP, Fighting weakness, a retreat cost of 1 and two attacks.
 
That HP isn't going to last even a single against any serious attacker, and even most bench sitters could take Cincinno down with no more than 2 hits. The weakness makes Donphan Prime your worst nightmare but the saving grace is the type. Provided you have some form of energy acceleration (Double Courless Energy, FanBoar, etc) you can power Cinccino very quickly and get the first hit in to take the lead. With any lcuk you will score a second prize before your opponent finishes building the replacement which will wipe Cinccino out.
 
The reason Cinccino has people excited is the attacks. The first attack is Tail Slap, which is the same attack that its pre-evolution Minccino possesses. The cost is the same (a single colourless energy) but the damage is boosted from 10 damage per Heads result to 20 damage per Heads result. The number of coins you get to flip is 2, so the maximum damage is 40 (a good start) while the minimum is 0 (a terrible waste). If you don't have enough energy for the second attack then you could do worse than Tail Slap... but not by much.
 
Do The Wave is the true cause for excitement, as it only costs [c][c] (or a single DCE) and can deal as much as 100 damage without any boosts from other Poke'mon. Not only that, but there is no recoil, discard, coin flip or other drawback to the attack, making it a record for the highest damage from a 2 energy attack with no drawback ever printed! Admittedly, you do have to fill your bench, but the vast majority of competitive players do that regularly anyway.
 
There are reasons to avoid Cinccino, however. 100 damage, while impressive and great for getting rid of bench sitters, isn't enough to destroy the big targets such as the vast majority of main and backup attackers (Cinccino and Jumpluff HGSS are the exceptions to that rule) which means that Cinccino won't do well going toe to toe with other powerful Poke'mon. Donphan Prime is always waiting somewhere to exploit the weakness and the HP is barely acceptable.
 
The best way to play Cinccino isas a tech to cover other weaknesses in your build and provide a way to recover quickly when your main attacker is blown away.
 
Basically, if you have a way to accelerate energy attachments for Cinccino, you would do well to playtest with a 1-1 line, especially if you run Black Belt and Plus Power to give extra punch. Not bad for a fuzzy mouse.
 
Modified: 4 (Cinccino is a tad too weak to carry a deck alone, but if you fill your bench and run DCE then you have all of the ingredients to make Cinccino an effective tech killer. When Poke'mon Catcher is released, it will make Cinccino a force to be reckoned with)
 
Limited: 4 (if you can fill your bench then Cincinno is brutal. Being Colourless only makes it better)
 
Combos with: DCE and a full bench


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