Scizor, The Pincer Pokémon. It has a steel-hard body. It intimidates foes by upraising its eye-patterned pincers. It swings its eye-patterned pincers up to scare its foes. This makes it look like it has three heads. Its wings are not used for flying. They are flapped at high speed to adjust its body temperature. A Scizor has a body with the hardness of steel. It is not easily fazed by ordinary sorts of attacks.
Scizor has changed a fair bit in the generation shift. Whilst it was a decent, Borderline (BL) Pokémon in the 3rd generation, it's leapt up to the Standard (OU) environment in the 4th generation. A bunch of new goodies have been added to its arsenal: physical Pursuit, Roost, stronger STAB moves and Technician build upon an already solid set of options.
Its Bug-Steel typing is very much a blessing. A 4x Fire weakness is a fair trade for nine resistances and an immunity. As far as raw stats are concerned, a superb Base 130 Attack stat is the biggest attraction. Above average Defence pairs nicely with its resistances and its HP and Special Defence stats aren't too shabby either. Low Speed is a downfall, but it can compensate for it with Agility, or even with Quick Attack. A wide array of stat-boosting options lend to its Baton Passing capabilities, and Swords Dance increases its attacking threat.
Scizor doesn't take the OU tier by storm, but it's a versatile threat, and a mixture of attacking, defensive and supportive abilities means Scizor can comfortably fit into most teams.
Swarm: gives Scizor's Bug moves a 50% boost when its HP drops to 33% or less. It's a useful ability and gives X-Scissor (or U-Turn) a nice little boost. It pairs nicely with Substitute or Life Orb, both being relatively controlled methods to bring Scizor's HP down. You'll pretty much want to use this if Technician doesn't provide any useful boosts.
Technician: gives a 50% boost to moves with a 60 base power or less. The main beneficiaries of this move are Quick Attack and Pursuit. STAB isn't accounted for in the calculations, so Metal Claw also benefits (getting the Technician boost and STAB).
- Swords Dance / Agility / Iron Defence
With three stat-boosting choices, Baton Passing is one of Scizor's most appetising options. A Swords Dance can send a good physical sweeper on its merry way, whilst Agility can aid both physical and special sweepers. Iron Defence is the least appealing of its three stat-boosts, but it can work with the right strategy. Of course, whichever stat-boost is chosen will be based entirely around Scizor's team and what strategy you want to use.
As for the rest of the move-set: Roost is a reliable recovery move that gives Scizor some respectable bulk. With its many resistances and good stats, it isn't one to shy away from defensive duties. Substitute can block statuses and is another thing it can Baton Pass, but the main reason to choose it is if you have a Baton Passing chain going (and don't want to risk a critical-hit breaking that chain). An additional reason to consider it is the possibility of mixing Substitute with a pinch berry (Salac / Petaya / Liechi), providing another possible boost to pass.
An offensive move is obviously preferable. X-Scissor and Iron Head are its two main STAB options. Both have the same base power, and X-Scissor may benefit from Swarm whilst Iron Head comes with a nifty 30% flinch rate. Either one is viable, it's really down to which type coverage you want. Bug has better super-effective hits, but is resisted by six types, whilst Steel is only resisted by four.
- X-Scissor / U-Turn
That massive Attack stat invites a Choice Band move-set, and whilst it doesn't have the most varied move-pool, Technician goes some way to compensate for that.
X-Scissor is the consistent Bug move. It's a straightforward attacking move, it hits and does damage. U-Turn is less straightforward. Once it lands, Scizor bounces out and switches to a team-mate. This has several possible uses:
Firstly, there's using U-Turn when a switch is anticipated; scoring some quick damage on the switch-in and allowing the user to see what Pokémon the opponent switched to. In this advantageous position, the user can then pick an appropriate team-mate to send out in Scizor's place.
Secondly, when facing slower opponents, Scizor can hit them for free damage and then switch to an appropriate team-mate to take whatever move the opponent intended to use.
Finally, when facing faster opponents, Scizor can take the hit, do some damage and then send in a team-mate who'll enter play without taking any damage. This benefits team-mates who are fragile and can't afford to be taking damage.
Technician-boosted Pursuit is another appetising feature of this move-set. If the opponent doesn't switch, it should still do some good damage, and if they do, the chasing down effect kicks in and you begin to look at potential KOs.
The final two move-slots are up to personal preference. Iron Head comes with STAB, super-effective hits on Ice and Rock types and a lot of neutral type coverage. If you run with U-Turn over X-Scissor, it also provides the security of a consistent STAB move. Brick Break gets the Ice and Rock coverage too, but in addition, it gets a very valuable super-effective hit on Steel types, as well as useful super-effective hits on Normal and Dark types. Quick Attack is another Technician beneficiary. Low Speed is Scizor's main downfall, so packing a decent priority move goes some way to compensating for that fault. It's mostly there for 'finishing off' faster opponents, since getting an 1KO with it is fairly optimistic.
A rather straightforward move-set, capitalising on Scizor's raw Attack stat and using Agility to compensate for its poor Speed. Type coverage is slightly problematic. Bug, Steel and Fighting don't provide the greatest type coverage, encountering some big problems with Flying types (Zapdos, Skarmory and Gyarados in particular). Regardless, it's a usable option, but stat-boost sweeping is a congested field, and Scizor has little special about it to make it stand out from the crowd.
Swords Dance Sweeper
- Swords Dance
This sweeping method is a bit more 'unique', standing out a lot more than the above move-set. As with before, you have a wonderful raw Attack stat, benefiting from a double-boost from Swords Dance and Life Orb.
Quick Attack is what separates it from the rest of the stat-boosting pack. Scizor is slow, but Quick Attack will get the strike-first priority. Despite being a move with fairly low base power (60), when you add together all of Scizor's boosts, it does a sizable amount of damage. After a single Swords Dance, you'll be doing 80-100% damage on fast and fragile sweepers like Weavile, Jolteon, Infernape and Azelf. Sturdier sweepers like Garchomp and Salamence will still take a respectable 50-65% from a double-boosted Quick Attack, so Scizor can look to pick off weakened variants of those in the later stages of a battle.
As for the rest of the move-set, you'll obviously want to expand your offensive options beyond just Quick Attack. Iron Head provides some decent neutral-type coverage and STAB, whilst X-Scissor provides some useful super-effective hits at the cost of neutral-type coverage. Brick Break has good neutral and super-effective type coverage, grabs super-effective hits on Steel and Rock types, but lacks STAB.
You can go with two additional offensive moves, or drop one in favour of Roost. A Roosting Scizor can provide its team some defensive support, and also, Roost healing helps to compensate for Life Orb damage.
Firstly, I have to credit Smogon for the move-set, strategy and EV spread. This is not an obvious move-set, nor one that I would have come up with myself, so credit goes to Smogon for making me aware of it.
With its wonderful typing, Scizor finds itself a respectable degree of popularity in the Uber environment. Frail Psychic types are its main targets. STAB U-Turns will hurt those that stand in its way, whilst Pursuits will hurt them if they flee.
With a good EV spread, Roost, and its typing, Scizor can viably handle special attacks that it resists. It can suck up Dragon Pulses, Dark Pulses and Ice Beams with relative ease, including Specs or STAB boosted ones. In addition, it helps to recover HP lost through Life Orb.
Technician-boosted Quick Attack can be used to finish off weakened opponents, and does 83-97% to Deoxys (Attack) with the given EV spread. Light Screen enhances Scizor's own special walling capabilities, letting it take neutral hits (like Aura Sphere) a bit better. In addition, it gives Scizor's team-mates some useful support.
EVs and Nature:
229 (252 EVs): Going for the full 252 Speed with a neutral nature isn't a bad choice. Among the Pokémon you'll be outrunning are “Bulky” Gyarados (223), Adamant Tyranitar (221) and Agility Metagross (202-228). When combined with Agility, this Speed number will also allow Scizor to outrun Adamant Scarf-Garchomp.
202 (144 EVs): This number is usually combined with Agility. The main reason to target this number is to outrun Scarf-Heracross. Additional EVs can be added on top of this, since 404 tends to be a Speed number a lot of Pokémon aim for, so a couple more points can set Scizor ahead of them.
223 (228 EVs): This is just short of max with a neutral nature. Combined with a one-stage Speed boost (such as from Choice Scarf or Salac Berry), this'll set Scizor ahead of Jolly Garchomp.
251 (252 EVs + Jolly): The absolute max for Scizor. The only time you'll really see use for this is when using a Sub-Dance-Salac strategy, where you can afford to sacrifice the Adamant nature and need all the added Speed to help sweeping. 251 goes up to 376 after the Salac boost, setting Scizor just ahead of the fastest Base Speed 120 Pokémon (Dugtrio, Alakazam and Sceptile, who cap at 372 Speed). Most importantly, this also means Scizor will be outrunning common OU threats like Gengar, Azelf and Infernape, who it'd be short of without the Jolly boost.
Swords Dance Sweeper
If you do go without Speed EVs, then you can go right ahead and Max HP, dumping leftover EVs into Defence. With Speed EVs, the excess would of course go to HP.
Metal Claw, Double-Hit, Aerial Ace, Night Slash, Substitute + Salac Berry, Reversal, Endure, Light Screen, Counter, Choice Scarf.
Metal Claw goes from base 50 power to base 75 after a Technician boost. That's still 5 short of Iron Head, but it does come with a mildly useful 10% chance of boosting Attack. On the downside, its accuracy is slightly unreliable at 95%.
Double-Hit benefits from Technician, making it Scizor's best option for hitting the likes of Gyarados and Zapdos, who resist its main attacks. In addition, Double-Hit can cause problems for fragile Pokémon who like to use Substitute (like Ninjask and Jolteon). The first hit will break the Sub and then the next hit will strike the Pokémon (and in the case of Choice Band variants, can achieve a KO with the second hit).
Aerial Ace benefits from Technician as well. Its type coverage isn't too fancy, but it does make short work of Heracross and Breloom.
Night Slash is a little stronger than a Technician-boosted Pursuit, and comes with a nice critical-hit ratio. It'll scare Dusknoir a little more than Pursuit would, but you lose the ability to chase running opponents.
The Substitute-Salac Berry strategy is viable on Scizor. Throw in Swords Dance and Scizor can get a Speed boost and an Attack boost, leaving room for two direct attacks (or simply a variant of the Baton Passer with Baton Pass and one offensive move).
Reversal has lost value on Scizor ever since Lucario showed up. Scizor was once the only Reversal-user who was immune to Sandstorm, but now Scizor isn't. In addition, it lacks STAB and has some Speed issues (falling short of Jolteon and Weavile even after a Salac boost). Either way, you can give it consideration, and if you do, Endure (or Substitute) and Salac Berry come packaged with it.
Light Screen got a mention on the Uber move-set, but it's usable in the Overused environment as well. Once again, it's a supportive move and provides Scizor's team with some useful utility. It benefits Scizor by keeping it fairly well protected against lesser special attackers and gives it some walling capabilities when combined with Roost.
Counter combines nicely with its good HP and Defence. In addition, Scizor can Roost off lost HP. If you use the aforementioned Light Screen, you could also draw the attention of physical attackers, making Counter even more of an attractive option.
Choice Scarf plus four offensive moves is usable on Scizor. It doesn't pull it off as nicely as some of its OU brethren, but its typing sets it apart from the rest of the bunch. The move-set would essentially be the same as the Choice Band move-set, just with Quick Attack dropped out of contention.
Flying types are the main counters. Short of boosted Iron Heads, Scizor can't threaten them too much. Zapdos, Gyarados and Skarmory are the stand-out Flying counters. All three resist Iron Head and X-Scissor and can deal with most Scizor variants.
Zapdos can pound away at its weaker Special Defence with STAB Thunderbolts and has Roar as an option to counter the Baton Passer. Watch out for boosted Double-Hits, which can sting a fair bit. Gyarados can Taunt Baton Passing variants (though it might Taunt too late against Agility passers) and hinders Scizor's Attack stat with Intimidate. Gyarados hits at Scizor's stronger defensive stat, but it can comfortably Dragon Dance against Scizor (in most scenarios). Skarmory can't do too much damage to Scizor, but with Drill Peck or Brave Bird, it can do more damage to Scizor than Scizor can do in return (in most scenarios). Whirlwind takes care of any stat-boosting attempts, but Skarmory can be caught off-guard with Brick Break if it Roosts at the wrong time.
Weezing, Dusknoir and Gliscor lack Iron Head resistances, but they can hold their own with their raw defensive stats. Weezing can Haze stat-boosts or burn sweepers, Dusknoir can threaten with burns too, whilst Gliscor packs a decent offensive threat and Taunt.
Charizard and Moltres make rare appearances in the OU environment, but between their resistances and STAB attacks, they make fine counters.
Scizor has a big Speed problem when it's without Agility or Quick Attack. Its Special Defence is 'okay' but nothing special, and rather exposable unless it's carrying Light Screen or a lot of Special Defence EVs. Type coverage, as noted earlier, is a problem for Scizor. If it lacks Brick Break, Steel types march all over it, and if it lacks Iron Head, most Flying types counter it comfortably. The 4x Fire weakness is obviously the biggest target, and anything with a Fire attack is almost certain to KO it, barring the interference of something like an Occa Berry or Rain Dance.
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