Cinccino, The Scarf Pokémon. Their white fur feels amazing to touch. Their fur repels dust and prevents static electricity from building up. Cinccino's body is coated in a special oil that helps it deflect attacks, such as punches.
Aw, look! It’s Cinccino! It’s cute, it’s fluffy, it’s available fairly early in BW, and it’s a normal type. So, everything that years of Pokemon games have taught dictates that it is probably pretty useless. And, well… the results may surprise you. It’s certainly not winning any awards for best Pokemon overall, but it’s far more threatening than its cute appearance may suggest. The most obvious advantage it has is a massive base 115 speed, meaning this fluffy little rodent is very quick. However, you may be thinking that all the speed in the world won’t help too much if it can’t KO things quickly enough. And while a base 95 attack stat may not be overly high, it’s just enough for it to be a threat, thanks to its wonderful ability; Skill Link. Skill Link turns its many multi-hit attacks into base 125 power attacks, which break Substitutes, Focus Sashes, and Sturdy. Throw in a Choice Band or Life Orb and you’ll find that even with a base 95 attack, it still hits plenty hard. Mind you, it’s not something you’re going to be able to abuse in most types of standard play, given it struggles to break through most steel types, and its bulk is nonexistent. Still, Cinccino is cute as a button, and proves that even cute Pokemon are to be feared.
Cute Charm: The opponent has a 30% chance of being induced with Attract when using an attack, that requires physical contact, against this Pokémon. - Cute Charm is awful. Its unreliable due to its chance to activate, and given Cinccino is so frail, it’ll often only be able to take one attack before being KO’ed. Plus, it only works on Pokemon of the opposite gender, which means it fails entirely against Pokemon of the same gender and genderless Pokemon as well. Don’t use Cute Charm.
It’s so Fluffy I’m Gonna Die!
This is pretty much Cinccino’s only set that sees any usage, if for no other reason than the fact that it really doesn’t have many other options. As a user of Skill Link, it goes without saying that Cinccino wants to load up on as many multi-hit moves as possible. Tail Slap is its strongest option due to getting STAB, and it has decent neutral coverage at the very least. Rock Blast and Bullet Seed follow the same train of thought, but offer different coverage. Between these three attacks, there are very few things outside of potentially steel types that can switch in, as their neutral coverage is nigh flawless. The final slot is a choice; U-Turn can be a good choice if you want to scout your opponent’s team, especially if you opt for a Choice Item. However, Knock Off has more utility that can punish virtually any switch-in by stripping them of their item, although getting locked into Knock Off on Choice sets can be problematic.
The EVs are fairly self explanatory; they maximize attack and speed to hit hard and hit fast. Adamant Nature may be tempting to squeeze out a little more power given Cinccino’s rather average attack stat, but with an Adamant nature, it finds itself outsped by things such as Delphox, Durant, Heliolisk, and Virizion, which makes it far easier to check. As a result, Jolly Nature is preferred to outspeed as much as possible. In general, Choice Band will give you the most bang for your buck with its great attack boost, but if you want the freedom to switch attacks, then Life Orb can be a viable option at the cost of a bit of power and also recoil damage.
King's Rock, Choice Scarf, Wake-Up Slap, Aqua Tail, Gunk Shot
Double & Triple Battle Options
Cinccino's usefulness comes from its scarcely distributed ability in Skill Link, which ensures that each Multi-Hit move will always hit 5 times. Combine this with it's post evolution learn set and it becomes pretty clear that Cinccino was built with abusing these moves in mind. It also has Technician as an ability which has the potential to power up these multi-hit moves to astronomical levels, it's just not as consistent. With that in mind, we'll proceed with a set one might expect when facing one in battle.
Tail Slap will be your main move if the target doesn't resist it. Being multi-hit means it can break Focus Sash, break a Substitute and the Pokemon behind it... and be complete Rocky Helmet/Rough Skin/Iron Barbs bait. One should not be so senseless with the move. Base 115 speed is lightning fast, so if a slower Pokemon uses Protect or Fake Out, this is the move to use to disable them for a little while. Rock Blast and Bullet Seed are coverage, one hits Charizard and Salamence harder while the other hits Tyranitar and Rotom-Wash harder. It's up to what your team needs. Knock off is a nifty trick for catching those Ghost types off guard, but Helping Hand isn't a bad move either if Cinccino's partners can handle them well. With Kings Rock, each multi hit move has a better flinch rate than Rock Slide, it's worth looking into, but Life Orb gives better damage output at the cost of not surviving a weak or low rolling neutral hit. Ideal partners for Cinccino would deter Pokemon with intimidate, as base 95 Physical Attack doesn't want to be lowered any more, so Defiant Tornadus or Bisharp, Competitive Milotic or Wigglytuff, or even Malamar if you're feeling up to it. Just be aware of the overlapping weaknesses or inadequate coverage each combo could present. Cinccino is rather frail so more often than not it's be able to fire off an attack or two before fainting. Because of that some players look toward a sturdier Pokemon in general to get more out of the team slot. If Cinccino had base 115 Attack too, it might see more competitive play, but then again so would a lot of other Pokemon. It's fast and frail, but multihitting and supportive, careful playing will keep it around longer and its offense leaves a little to be desired, considering Mega Evolutions like Beedrill can hit as hard as normal Groudon now.
Steel types generally stop Cinccino dead in its tracks, but some are especially good at it. In formats where Cinccino is common, such as tiered play, Registeel tends to be an extremely reliable answer to Cinccino. Standard Registeel is only 5HKO’ed by Choice Band Cinccino, while it can easily Seismic Toss or Toxic Stall it to death, or even cripple its speed with Thunder Wave. Eviolite Ferroseed is in the same boat, as it tends to only be 5HKO’ed by any of Choice Band Cinccino’s attacks, and it can turn Cinccino’s Tail Slap against it, since eating a Tail Slap will cause Iron Barbs to damage Cinccino five times. Meanwhile Ferroseed can stall with Leech Seed or cripple it with Thunder Wave. On the more offensive side of things, a bulky Eviolite Magneton can manage to only be 3HKO’ed at best by Choice Band variants, while being able to 1HKO Cinccino with Thunderbolt about half the time with Stealth Rock up. Coballion’s colossal defense lets it only rarely be 3HKO’ed by Choice Band Cinccino, and more often than not be 4HKO’ed instead. Meanwhile, Coballion soundly 1HKOs Cinccino with Close Combat. Both Steelix and Mega Steelix are both only 5HKO’ed at best by Cinccino, while they can manage to 2HKO Cinccino with Earthquake or Heavy Slam. While not a steel type, Defensive Spiritomb can be a solution, as although it may be 3HKO’ed by Bullet Seed and Rock Blast, it can easily switch into Tail Slap, and has no trouble burning Cinccino with Will-o-Wisp. In formats with fewer restrictions, the number of steel types that give Cinccino problems only goes up. Skarmory can wall Cinccino all day, as even CB variants can only 4HKO it with Rock Blast, while Skarmory can either set up hazards, phase it away, or alternate between Brave Bird and Roost to whittle it down. Aggron, and especially Mega Aggron, can take pretty much anything Cinncino throws at it. Best case scenario, Choice Band Cinccino only 4HKOs standard Aggron, while Mega Aggron is only going to be 6HKO’ed. Meanwhile, Heavy Slam can 2HKO with a small chance of a 1HKO from Mega Aggron. Ferrothorn is in much the same boat as its pre-evolution; it stalls Cinccino to death, punishes Tail Slap with Iron Barbs, and can cripple it with Thunder Wave, all while having very little to fear due to only being 5HKO’ed by Choice Band Cinccino. Mega Metagross doesn’t really care too much about Cinccino, since it resists all of its multi-hit moves, and is only 3HKO’ed by Choice Band Knock Off, while easily 1HKOing with Meteor Mash or Zen Headbutt.
Checking Cinccino on the other hand is a lot easier, since it cannot take a hit for its life and tends to be 2HKO’ed by any strong STAB. Cinccino may be fast, but there are still things that outspeed it. Dugtrio gets special mention because not only does it outspeed Cinccino and 1HKO a full health Cinccino about half the time with Earthquake, but it also traps Cinccino so it can’t just switch out. Mind you, Dugtrio doesn’t want to switch in due to Tail Slap or Bullet Seed maiming it, but it can revenge kill Cinncino pretty handily. Jolteon can’t switch in, but offensive variants can outspeed and nuke Cinncino with Thunderbolt, 1HKOing it with Stealth Rock in play. Sceptile can outspeed Cinccino and 1HKO it with either Leaf Storm or Focus Blast, while Mega Sceptile can manage to do so with Giga Drain as well. Mega Lopunny outspeeds and handily 1HKOs Cinccino, and thanks to Fake Out, it can afford itself a turn to Mega Evolve to overcome the lower speed tier of its base form. Rotom-C typically packs a Choice Scarf, allowing it to outspeed and 1HKO Cinccino with Leaf Storm (just watch for the uncommon Scarf Cinccino in retaliation). Whimsicott can also be a panic button of sorts to deal with Cinccino; although it’s not going to be killing it outright, its Prankster Stun Spore can cripple Cinccino by paralyzing it and robbing it of its great speed tier. It may find itself getting killed immediately afterwards, though. Things that carry Priority are also an easy way to deal with Cinccino. Mach Punch is the obvious answer, as a solid Mach Punch from the likes of something like Hitmonchan or Hitmonlee can 1HKO Cinccino and bypass its great speed. Hitmontop may not hit as hard as its Gen 1 cousins, but thanks to Intimidate and better bulk, it can take any hit Cinccino throws at it and then brutally obliterate it with Close Combat. Due to the fact that Cinccino tends to only use direct attacks, a strong Sucker Punch from something like Shiftry can be a relatively low risk revenge killing solution as well. Mega Banette can abuse Prankster Will-o-Wisp to burn Cinccino, but it has to watch for Rock Blast and Bullet Seed, especially in its base form. Klinklang, while being just shy of a full counter, fears relatively little from Cinccino, as it only loses about 50% max from Choice Band Cinccino, which gives it ample opportunity to set up. However, taking Two Tail Slaps can leave it severely weakened, making it easy to pick off, so it prefers not to switch in. In those formats that have fewer restrictions, there’s a lot more that can take a bite out of Cinccino. Talonflame has no problem picking off Cinccino with its priority Brave Bird, especially with a little help from Stealth Rock for the Sharp Break variants. Scizor and its Mega Evolution can pound Cinccino into the dust with 2HKO’ing Bullet Punches (and Choice Band Scizor can score a 1HKO with Stealth Rock up), but has to be mildly wary of Choice Band Rock Blast 2HKOing Scizor’s base form. Conkeldurr can take any hit Cinccino deals out at full health, and then heal back the damage with a 1HKO’ing Drain Punch, or it can Mach Punch to overcome Cinccino with a little prior damage. Bisharp can 1HKO Cinccino with Knock Off, or take a large chunk of its HP (or even outright KO it depending on its item) with Sucker Punch. Breloom can easily pick Cinccino off with its Technician Mach Punches. Status remains a good way to deal with Cinccino since a burned or paralyzed Cinccino is totally useless. Heatran can take any attack and then respond with Will-o-Wisp, though it risks a 2HKO from Rock Blast. Sableye can abuse its normal immunity to switch into Tail Slap, and its Prankster Will-o-Wisp can screw Cinccino over. Although it should be a last resort, Thundurus can easily cripple Cinccino with its Prankster Thunder Wave, though it will usually die immediately thereafter. Fortunately, Cinccino is also checked by its nonexistent bulk, as it can’t switch into anything that’s not a Ghost type attack due to its poor defensive typing and abysmal bulk. Having hazards up helps a lot as well, since Choice sets may have to switch out once they get locked into a move, and the damage can wrack up and turn some 2HKOs into 1HKOs.
Crossing the Minccino
Minccino is a versatile physical attacker with the benefit of Skill Link and good multi-hitting moves with the best out of the bunch is STAB. Minccino also has the benefits from access to Knock Off and U-Turn and good speed, it turns out to be a decent attacker. One thing that brings down Minccino is that his mediocre other stats. You can only do so much with 50 base attack, but oh well. Tail Slap and Skill Link is extremely good for not only break through substitute, but also being the main attacking move with a base power of 187.5 with STAB included. Knock Off is a great attacking and utility move. U-turn is great for pivoting and getting annoying Dark and Psychic types dead. Wake-Up Slap shouldn’t mainly be used for the extra damage while sleeping, but for just a good base Fighting-Type Move against Rock and Steel Types. Seed Bomb is good for bulky Water-Types and Ground-Types. Aqua Tail is an offensive option for Ground-Types and Rock-Types. Choice Scarf is a great option for Minccino, using U-turn and his “hit-and-run” tactics, though Life Orb provides more damage. EV’s are used to take advantage of higher Attack and Speed, while putting the others in defences. Adamant makes Minccino do more damage, but Jolly lets it outspeed more things with or without Choice Scarf. Minccino is really frail and gets whittled down by entry hazards and status afflictions. Frail but deadly, Mincinno can definitely break through many pokemon through sheer force of tail slaps.
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