Making Do — Cinccino Control in Standard

Pidgeotto Control has been a Standard mainstay since it was introduced at this past year’s Worlds. Cinccino‘s Make Do—much like Zoroark-GX‘s Trade—allows players to draw extra cards. Because Air Mail doesn’t thin out cards and Make Do does, Make Do is better for control decks. In the past, Reset Stamp was a problem for Pidgeotto builds because Air Mail returned cards to the deck, causing junk cards to clog up the deck. Now, that’s not an issue at all because you can get rid of the filler with Make Do. There are some disadvantages to this, let’s get those out of the way:


  • 90 HP mostly removes spread Knock Out strategies (one of the things Pidgeotto builds would occasionally lose to).
  • Energy Assist can set up an Articuno-GX to Ice Wing.
  • Two new cards added to hand each turn at the loss of what is likely a useless card.


  • A Professor Elm's Lecture strategy is out the window as you have 90 HP. However, I believe that, with the new first turn rules, Supporter-reliance is bad in this deck.
  • Sometimes, you don’t have a clearly bad card to discard. I am not particularly worried about this; the risk is no different than using Zoroark-GX.
  • Worse if you manage to deck yourself out. Pidgeotto decks run themselves out of cards far less while the discarding effect of Make Do makes it easier to do so.

Overall, it could be worth playing a thin Pidgeotto line for when you’re set up and decked out. Then, you can draw the cards remaining in your deck for no cost at all. I haven’t tried this split yet, as I fear it is inconsistent, but I plan to at some point. For a control deck, Cinccino is obviously a stronger successor to Zoroark-GX because it can’t be stopped by Power Plant Ability lock. In a Standard format that doesn’t have Double Colorless, Cinccino is a far better supporter than a two-Prize Pokemon. I’ve played this deck a lot in the new Sword & Shield Standard format due to the first turn rule changes. The deck gets a few more helpful additions as well, namely Professor's Research to further blaze through the deck; Quick Ball to important Pokemon; Pokémon Catcher to pair with Will for an instant gust effect; and finally, Evolution Incense to find Cinccino. Here’s the list:

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