Mienshao – Battle Styles

Date Reviewed:  April 27, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.00
Expanded: 2.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

Otaku Avatar

Mienshao (SW – Battle Styles 077/163) is a Rapid Strike Pokémon, as indicated in the upper right-hand portion of its card art.  This lets it access Rapid Strike support, a very good thing.  It is a not a Rule Box Pokémon, so no hassles like giving up extra Prizes.  Mienshao is a Fighting type, which is pretty handy when it comes to exploiting Weakness (Crobat V, Dedenne-GX, Eternatus VMAX, etc.), but has a decent chance of crashing into Resistance (Cramorant V, Cramorant VMAX, etc.).  That is easily a net positive, however.  The [F] type also has some decent support, mostly built around [F] Energy in Standard.

Mienshao is a Stage 1 Pokémon, so it isn’t as easy or efficient to run as a Basic Pokémon, but it is still far more reasonable than trying to run a Stage 2 line.  The only Standard-legal option for Mienfoo is (SW – Battle Styles 076/163), and it is probably your go to choice for Expanded as well, seeing as it can also make use of Rapid Style support. You could, however, use Ditto {*}, and in both Formats, Rapid Strike Style Mustard.  We’ll discuss whether any of these are worth it later on.  Mienshao has 90 HP, which is low and easy to OHKO, but keeps it Level Ball legal.  The Psychic Weakness and lack of Resistance won’t make much of a difference with 90 HP.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is good, relatively easy to pay and recover from having paid.

Mienshao’s first attack is “Pound” for [C], doing 20 damage.  This is vanilla filler; at least it may be used for one of any Energy and does 20.  These kinds of attacks rarely can hit hard enough to be anything more than a fallback option, and you’re definitely desperate if you’re using Mienshao’s Pound.  [FC] pays for Mienshao’s second attack, “Spinning Whip”.  Not only is the name more interesting, but so is the attack.  The attack lets Mienshao do 90 damage to your opponent’s Active, leave them Confused, and you finish by shuffling Mienshao and all cards attached to it back into your deck.  90 damage for two is so-so, and Confusion can be shaken simply by hitting the Bench.  If Mienshao is your only Pokémon in play when it sends itself to your deck, you lose as it is not optional.

However, the combination of these things is stronger than it looks.  That is because you can bring up something totally expendable (Lillie’s Poké Doll), a meatshield with a lot of HP, a wall with a protective effect, or even something with a disruptive effect that can really mess with your opponent.  This also means resources attached to Mienshao can constantly be recycled; it shouldn’t be getting KO’d, though it may take time to setup another (or that same copy of) Mienshao again.

If Mienshao was a Basic Pokémon, this would be sick.  Just run one or multiple partners as mentioned above.  Drop Mienshao, attach Rapid Strike Energy.  Maybe attach a useful Tool, and attack.  You won’t do much damage, but that’s okay since your opponent has to shake Confusion each turn they intend to attack, and and will be stuck KOing stuff like Lillie’s Poké Doll for no Prizes, their Pokémon VMAX crashing into Zamazenta V, etc.  You can still do that but you’ll have to go through Mienfoo (and maybe Ditto {*}.  Could you try and bypass this through Rapid Strike Style Mustard or Wally (in Expanded)?  Yes, but it is unrealistic to think you can pull the combo off turn after turn after turn…

…and even with damage bonuses, Mienshao is about wearing your opponent down.  It can score OHKO’s on some key targets, but through exploiting Weakness and/or already low HP scores.  A Mienshao deck does damage turn after turn while Mienshao gets out of there and the Confusion plus other disruption makes it hard for your opponent to take Prizes.  Instead of having nothing but a Bench full of Poké Doll, you’ll probably want some solid partners so your opponent not only has to attack around Lillie’s Poké Doll (or your blocker of choice), but knows its Energy is likely to be removed, non-attackers are getting stranded up front, etc.


  • Standard: 2/5
  • Expanded: 2/5

I believe a Mienshao deck is plausible, and I’ve heard talk of such a thing.  I hear talk of a lot of decks, though, but I haven’t heard of such a thing doing well at multiple tournaments.  Seems like Mienshao might be a fun deck, but I’m not sure if it can truly be competitive.  Future Rapid Strike support could help, but we’ll have to wait and see.


We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews.  If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email.  We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc.   😉Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive.  We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!