[PJNO T8] Speed Mill

Please find the original Japanese-language article here. Note my translation is not a perfect translation and I have rearranged and reworded some parts of the original article for clarity and readability. Find also some explanatory comments inside square brackets, italicised.



Hi all, I’m Tanebou (@mPbCfc0scwMX1Fz), a Pokemon player from near Kashiwa and Matsudo in Chiba. I posted about my Stonjourner mill deck before and am following up with this article.

I don’t really have any notable achievements so I lowered the Championship Point average of the PJNO competitors.

What I’ve been doing recently is watching Juninchi Kato videos and getting into DBD [Note: I think this is referring to the game Dead by Daylight.]

In general, I choose underrated cards and build fairly strange decks.

I wasn’t intending to write an article about this deck, but I got a lot of questions about it such as what to do if Lance Prism Star is Prized so I figured I may as well explain it.

Considering the Metagame

Eternatus is a really strong deck which is simple to play, so I thought it would become the heart of the metagame and lead to Tag Team decks declining in play.

Tier 1: Eternatus; Pikachu & Zekrom; Vikavolt V

Tier 2: Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Zacian; Combo Zacian; Centiskorch VMAX; Salamence VMAX; Mill variants; Baby Blacephalon

Tier 3: Golisopod; Spiritomb; Sableye V; Decidueye; Swanna; Psychic Mewtwo & Mew; Zeraora Boltund; Inteleon Cryogonal

In this tournament a large percentage of participants were selected through prioritisation [Note: i.e. those who had a high number of Championship Points] which made it difficult to predict the metagame. However, I felt good players would play Item lock and so expected a large amount of Vikavolt. I decided against playing Vikavolt myself as the deck list hadn’t been perfected yet and I didn’t feel I could win against Eternatus or the mirror. The reason I put Pikachu & Zekrom in tier 1 is that I practiced against Tera, who uses a very strong Pikachu & Zekrom deck. It can deal with Eternatus and hold its own against Vikavolt. So my personal evaluation of Pikachu & Zekrom was very high.

Tier 2 was made up of existing decks which were reasonably strong. However, I felt that there wasn’t really a solution to Item lock in this tier of decks.

I included Salamence VMAX because I felt that a genius player could build a really dangerous deck. However, the Pikachu & Zekrom and Vikavolt matchups are tough.

Tier 3 was made up of existing decks that seemed to struggle in the current metagame and more obscure decks that I tested before giving up on them. I thought that perhaps there may be people with similar ideas to me, but these decks weren’t played at all so I was really happy.

Deck List

画像10How the Deck was Built

Since this tournament was held remotely, I thought it would be difficult for a time-consuming mill deck to perform well. I felt the existing Cinccino mill and Magcargo mill decks would struggle against Vikavolt so I wanted to run a deck which aggressively milled my opponent, didn’t overly rely on Items and revolved around Supporters.

I built the deck to function as simply as possible to match my playing level, so I’m sure there are some minor things that could be tweaked, but I managed to cram together what I wanted from the deck.

In a tournament where deck lists are public, there isn’t a huge benefit to running something extremely original, but my deck ended up being quite unique anyway (I wanted to stand out).

The Basics

First of all, you want to use Quick Ball or Capture Energy to set up Zacian V. In the early-game, you should use Intrepid Sword each turn.

If you have Lillie’s PokeDoll or Mareep in hand, it will generally be OK to bench it. If your opponent looks like they will be able to snipe, you should bench Mew as well.

When putting down two Dragonite, you should leave one bench space open.

When your opponent first knocks out a Pokemon, you should play Lt Surge’s Strategy into Misty’s Favour into Lance to put down two Dragonite.

Once you get two Dragonite down, all that’s left to do is accumulate the necessary cards into your hand and mill your opponent.

The necessary cards will depend on your opponent, but will essentially include Bellelba & Brycen-man, Lt Surge’s Strategy, Pal Pad and Resource Management Oranguru. You need two types of cards; cards to deplete your opponent’s deck and cards to recover from your own discard.

When you have no cards left in deck, the ideal play is to Lt Surge’s Strategy into two Bellelba & Bryen-man. In this case, you can use Pal Pad, Oranguru and Lillie’s PokeDoll to return cards to your deck. Aside from that, just continue milling your opponent.

With Resource Management, you can return any three cards from your discard to the bottom of your deck, but which cards you choose will depend on the situation. I don’t think there’s any person who can pick the optimal cards all the time. Of course, I can’t do it. It will also depend on whether Dragonite is on board or not, but often what I do is put Speed Energy on top and then the bottom two cards don’t matter as you can draw into them. This is simple, but very powerful. It’s very fast to win and you don’t really need to think much. What I mean by fast is that once you get to a state where you can deplete your deck and Resource Management, you have basically won. All that is left to do is to mill each turn.

One of this deck’s strong points is that when you have your board set up, even if you are Marnied and only have four cards in hand, you can use Dragonite’s Fast Call twice to gain two Supporter cards. You can also use a draw Supporter to draw three cards (Bird Tamer, Cynthia & Caitlin and Misty’s Favour) and if you’re lucky draw another two cards with Speed Energy. You can also use Intrepid Sword for another three cards, meaning that in one turn it is possible to recover almost your entire hand. If your opponent’s Pokemon is asleep and they are unable to do anything, you can essentially return to the same position as before. If your hand is this big, you should be able to draw all the necessary cards and with such an overwhelming hand you should be able to aggressively mill your opponent (which is very fun).

Up to this point I have been describing ideal situations, and while naturally sometimes it does work out like this there are also times where it doesn’t go well. For example, where your opponent also runs Bellelba & Brycen-man (devils) or where your opponent is playing Item lock you can’t carry out these optimal moves. Also, it’s very common to Prize Lance Prism Star or parts of the Magcargo line. You just have to do your best without them in these scenarios.

This is similar to decks which run Jirachi Prism Star. This is just me personally, but I don’t want to lose just because I have Prized key cards.

Where Lance Prism Star is Prized, you will not be able to set up Dragonite and your four Misty’s Favour will become key cards. You will need to play these depending on the situation to collect Supporter cards to deck out your opponent.

On the other hand, if you can set up Dragonite you won’t need to use Misty’s Favour except in the early game.

Running four copies of Fluffy Pillow Mareep and Slumbering Forest is insanely good and you will be able to beat decks with few countermeasures. If you can stop them even once, you will force your opponent to burn important resources such as Switch, Marnie and Reset Stamp and win that way.

Thanks to Boss’s Orders and Eternatus entering the metagame, decks which ran four Marnie (Morpeko, Trevenant & Dusknoir and Dragapult VMAX) have taken a back seat, which is fortunate for this deck. Before Boss’s’ Orders, each deck ran four Marnie so the existence of this card is very impactful.

Card Explanations

2 Mew

While I thought Pikachu & Zekrom and Salamence were going to be widely played, they actually weren’t very many. This didn’t really serve much purpose for this tournament.

4 Mareep

4 Slumbering Forest

I ran four-ofs for these strong cards. These are vital to the deck. Boss’s Orders will target benched Mareep so I maxed them out.

2 Dragonite

1 Lance Prism Star

Setting up two Dragonite is fun. Even one is really strong. However, if Lance Prism Star is Prized, poor Dragonite. Funnily enough, in the seven rounds of the preliminaries, I Prized Lance three times.

1 Oranguru (Primate Wisdom)

I used this mainly for returning Dragonite to the top of my deck after drawing it. You can also use it to play around Marnie or use it to put a card you don’t need on top of your deck before using Belleba & Brycen-man. However, ultimately it clogs up bench space but it has 120 HP so I often used it as a sacrificial wall.

2 Oranguru (Resource Management)

Godly for mill decks. If you have this card, you can do anything. It’s the heart of a lot of control decks. I despise it.

1 Aipom

A hindrance for opponents as you can restrict their play. While you can’t view your opponent’s hand, you can completely disrupt it.

2 Zacian V

The existing replacement for Players Ceremony. Being able to draw cards is fantastic. The introduction of Capture Energy makes it even more consistent. There’s pretty much no matches where you wouldn’t use it.

1 Magcargo GX

1 Mewtwo & Mew GX

1 Fire Energy

This is the Burning Magma GX toolkit. While I wasn’t sure if I should play this, I didn’t have a different GX move so I decided to include it. In the preliminaries, Lance Prism Star was often Prized but on the other hand this set of cards was barely Prized so I feel I chose well. It is very aggressive and was a strong play.

2 Bird Tamer

I was originally going to run one Bird Tamer and one Tate & Liza, but I thought that mill decks would struggle in the preliminaries due to time constraints and lead to ties, so I opted for the card which allowed me to draw from my deck.

1 Faba

This guy is really useful. I like this card a lot and run it in so many decks that I bought the full art.

Faba in mill is really good.

I used it largely to discard Chaotic Swell, Escape Board and Stealthy Hood, but it was also useful in assisting Mareep and using it in combination with Pal Pad and Dragonite to discard Special Energy.

4 Misty’s Favour

This is one of the deck’s key cards. It’s good.

While this is essentially used to search for Lance Prism Star, this deck doesn’t run Tag Call so it’s useful for finding Bellelba & Brycen-man as well as Lt Surge’s Strategy. If you can’t set up Dragonite, you can persevere with Misty’s Favour.

4 Bellelba & Brycen-man

My deck isn’t a control deck so I ran max counts.

Even against unfavourable matchups you can play it to run your opponent out of resources.

You should be able to look after your resources better than your opponent, so even if your Prize important pieces don’t fret.

4 Lt Surge’s Strategy

I wanted to use this in combination with Misty’s Favour so I ran maximum counts. There’s no way a card banned in the Expanded format isn’t worth playing.

2 Cynthia & Caitlin

This is really good with Lt Surge’s Strategy.

4 Quick Ball

I initially thought I didn’t need to run this many but I realised that failing to set up Zacian V on the first turn and being benched out was too risky so I ran the maximum amount. I don’t know if this was the correct decision.

4 Pal Pad

This is really good paired with Dragonite so I ran four copies. The combination of Bellelba & Brycen-man, Lt Surge’s Strategy and Pal Pad is brutal for milling. The number of cards in your hand and your opponent’s hand will change which cards you should get back with Resource Management so be careful.

4 Lillie’s PokeDoll

A wall. You can stall with it while playing Bellelba & Brycen-man. If you run it, it makes games less stressful. It can also be used to go back into your deck.

1 Ordinary Rod

I was really struggling, tossing up between Brock’s Grit and Ordinary Rod, but I actually think Brock’s Grit would work better with this deck.

4 Capture Energy

This is really strong so I ran four copies. Personally, I prefer this to Quick Ball.

4 Speed Energy

I thought this card would be strong to use when Vikavolt V was asleep, and it seemed fun to attach to Mareep. Drawing is great.

I thought only Eternatus decks would run Absol.

While I wanted to reduce the counts of this card, that would impact me negatively since deck lists are public. I ran max counts, and this card is where I got the name of the deck from. How stylish.

Other Cards I Considered

Vikavolt V

While I could use this with Speed Energy, it was difficult to use and it also hit for too much damage.


While it’s good if you can get an attack in with it, its Energy requirement is tough.

Boss’s Orders

While I considered using this against Item lock, I ended up deciding against it.

Brock’s Grit

In one game I played, I was forced into putting Magcargo GX back into my deck, and I was really annoyed. So I ran Ordinary Rod instead. Brock’s Grit works will with the concept of this deck though.


Using Mermaid’s Call to recover Misty’s Favour is quite good consistency-wise, and I was considering running this over the Lance Prism Star line, but in terms of firepower Lance Prism Star and Dragonite have it beat. Also, the artwork is cute.


While this is strong against Jirachi, recently people have only been running one Escape Board so I decided on Faba.

Also, I don’t have the bench space for it.

Tate and Liza

I had some board states where I wanted to return my hand into my deck, so I considered running a 1-1 line of Bird Tamer and Tate and Liza. However, these situations only came up against mill decks.


I considered using this as a tech for mill decks, but I didn’t think they would be popular in this meta. Also, it gets knocked out by Vikavolt. There’s no point running only one of these in my deck so I gave up on it.

Scoop Up Net

I tried using this with Mewtwo and Giratina, but it was difficult to play so I gave up on it.

Shuckle GX

I thought about running this for the Spiritomb matchup, but Spiritomb struggles against Vikavolt so I cut it.

Yokohama’s Pikachu (Waverunner) [Note: This was a special card released in celebration of the reopening of the Yokohama Pokemon Centre and isn’t available outside Japan.]

While this would give my deck some style, I didn’t really need it.

Tournament Report

Round 1: Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Zacian; Higachan画像1

This is an unfavourable matchup.

I was thinking about my misfortune in hitting a bad matchup in the first round when I looked at my opponent’s deck list and saw a Coballion GX there. They went first and set up Coballion GX straight away so I lost. How sad.

Round 2: Galarian Obstagoon; ChikuWorld


Galarian Obstagoon, seriously? I was so surprised.

I thought it wouldn’t be played anymore thanks to the emergence of Eternatus.

This is a favourable matchup.

During the match, there was an audio issue where I couldn’t hear my opponent. We had to call a judge and we continued our match but time was really tight and I didn’t think I could win. However, my opponent, despite having almost game on board forfeited. I’m sorry and thank you.

Ugh, this was so tiring.

Round 3: Vikavolt; Yuki


This is a favourable matchup.

This variant of the deck didn’t run Jirachi or Escape Board and relied on Switch.

When I was checking my Prizes I realised Lance Prism Star was Prized.

Why Lance??

Of course it would be Prized at such an important time!

I couldn’t do anything about it, so I pressed on with Mareep and Misty’s Favour and managed to stop Vikavolt and won. So tiring.

Round 4: Eternatus; Ishi


This is a somewhat favourable matchup.

I was just thinking that I had finally hit the good matchup I had been waiting for when I looked at the list and saw Red & Green, Weavile GX and Guzzlord with Red Banquet.

I thought I would lose this match even in a normal game, but as I was Prize checking I saw that Lance Prism Star had been Prized.

Lance Prism Star!!

I had to force them to sleep with Mareep and tried my best with Misty’s Favour. Somehow it seemed one Weavile GX was Prized and I discarded the other with Bellelba & Brycen-man, so my opponent wasn’t able to set it up. It also seemed like Red Banquet Guzzlord was Prized. I managed to win an unfavoured matchup. 

Round 5: Arceus & Dialga & Palkia Zacian; Yoppe


This is a somewhat unfavourable matchup.

This is a tough matchup but at least this deck didn’t run Coballion GX, so I could actually play the game.

This time, Lance Prism Star was in my deck. Thank God.

In the end-game, there was one Prize card remaining.

My opponent had ten cards left in deck, with the top card having been determined by Primate Wisdom. My opponent had one Boss’s Orders left and I had to mill it this turn.

I used Lt Surge’s Strategy into double Bellelba & Brycen-man for a five out of nine chance to win the game.

The sixth card was Boss’s Orders!


My deck had also been depleted due to Bellelba & Brycen-man so I put Lillie’s PokeDoll back into my deck and somehow managed to pull off a close win. I was so exhausted.

Round 6: Eternatus; Okapi


This is a favourable matchup.

As I expected, my opponent played very well and I could barely mill their deck. Even though Slumbering Forest was down, Eternatus kept waking up. However, since my deck is naturally favoured I won.

I had a very good impression when they placed a different Basic Energy on top of their deck and then elected to cut it. I thought I’d copy that next time. [Note: I'm not entirely sure what this is a reference to...] 

Round 7: Jirachi Zapdos Tapu Koko; Miko


This is a somewhat unfavourable matchup.

This seemed to be the only Jirachi Zapdos deck in the whole tournament, and it had so many switching options. With Vikavolt V, triple Bird Tamer is really strong.

First of all, I checked my Prizes. Lance Prism Star was Prized.

Lance Prism Star!!

Mewtwo & Mew GX was also Prized.

I felt hollow.

I had never had pieces from both lines Prized, so I had to pray one last time. This game suddenly turned to be very unfavourable for me.

I used Faba to take care of Escape Board and made things difficult for my opponent by using Mareep and then switching into Lillie’s PokeDoll.

I was able to use Aipom for the first time this tournament after my opponent used Bird Tamer and was able to deplete their resources considerably; this was the most fun match of the day.

Somehow I was able to run them out of resources and won.



I was seeded tenth in the preliminaries and made it onto day two!

Day Two Round 1: Dustox Cryogonal; Megaryo


This is a favourable matchup.

Game 1

I couldn’t play Dragonite in this match.

If I get Item locked from the first turn, it’s a pain to deal with, so I decided to go second to force my opponent into a tough spot. I thought this match would go to game two where my opponent would take four Prizes and so I decided I wanted this to move onto sudden death. I felt that someone who would bring a deck as strange as this was really in it to win it. I matched my opponent’s tempo and we had some casual chitchat, which led to having a relaxed atmosphere throughout. I won this game.

It seemed my opponent had built my deck and practised against it until 3 in the morning. Yikes.

Game 2

When I checked the time remaining in the round, I was told we had 25 minutes left.

I wondered whether this deck could take Prizes in time. I played at the same speed as I did the first round, but when my opponent began their turn they revved up the gears and played at a high speed. It was so fast I was emotionally moved.

I decided to change my game plan to keeping my opponent from taking more than three Prizes. Bird Tamer would guarantee me a good hand. Fundamentally, all the deck does is deal poison damage and lock me from using Items, so I should be able to hold on until time ran out. In practice, I allowed my opponent to take only one Prize. The second game was a tie so I won overall.

When we were talking after the game, it turns out my opponent had Prized Boss’s Orders, Bird Tamer and Grimsley and I felt really sorry for them. The first game had simply eaten up too much time.

My next matchup was probably going to be Vikavolt, so we discussed how I would approach that matchup.

I was advised that all I could really do was force them to sleep with Mareep. I’m grateful for the advice I received.

Day Two Round 2: Vikavolt; Yasunori


This is an unfavourable matchup.

This list was the same as Yoshi’s (one of the Big Four), whose deck I looked at immediately when the lists were publicised.

The moment I saw this, I knew the deck was a mill killer and didn’t have any hopes of winning. I can’t do anything against Absol. It also ran a lot of Switch. It had five disruption cards.

On top of that, the best of three rules are hard to deal with. I needed to win twice.

I was also featured on stream and got destroyed, but in any case I will write my thoughts below.

Play down Mareep as much as you can.

If they attach Escape Board, discard it with Faba.

Play down Bellelba & Brycen-man aggressively, aiming to get the upper hand by running them out of resources.

Game 1

If I am locked I will immediately lose so I chose to go second.

I prayed that my opponent wouldn’t bench Absol and so it wasn’t played down.

I checked my Prizes. I noted Faba and one Mareep were Prized. I didn’t Prize Lance Prism Star, but this still wasn’t good. I did what I could to stop my opponent and played down Zacian V and Mareep. I wasn’t able to stop them. So I decided to play Bellelba & Brycen-man to discard some of their key cards. No key cards were discarded. Rather, I discarded some of my own important pieces. I also misplayed. With a perfectly timed Marnie and a Switch topdeck, I faced a complete and utter defeat.

If I have one takeaway from best of three, it’s that I definitely can’t win against these types of decks. In this situation I knew my defeat was certain, but there are few opportunities to play against an opponent of this level and I felt this would be a valuable experience so we played the second game. Even in this game I made a misplay due to my lack of skill. I was completely destroyed. My opponent really was a good player.

Thoughts on the Tournament

With that, the long two-day tournament came to an end. Although I was wrecked in the end I had a good time.

Due to COVID19 there haven’t been Pokemon tournaments, so this gave me the opportunity to seriously think about what deck I would have brought to the Japan Championships.

This was my first online tournament and the design, management and judges of the tournament were really great. Even just such a great tournament being held and being able to participate in it made me really happy.

I’m sorry this article became so long. Thank you for reading it until the end.

If you can, I would really appreciate it if you could give this article a like on Twitter (@mPbCfc0scwMX1Fz).


 Please find the original Japanese-language article here