Recently there’s been a new Mega Evolution that’s been creeping its way into relevance. From Top 32 at North American Regionals to Top 8 at the Malaysia Open, Mega Scizor has been slowly making its way higher and higher in tournament results. Scizor has, admittedly, dropped off since its glory days in 2012 and 2013, and its Mega Evolution hasn’t done much in VGC since its release. In the 2018 format however, some players think there’s hidden potential for this once amazing threat.
Stats & Typing
The main thing that makes Mega Scizor stand out immediately is its beastly Attack stat. This Pokemon is meant to do damage, but it can also take a few hits. The low HP kind of sucks, but the rest of Mega Scizor’s relevant stats (basically every stat besides Special Attack) are very solid. Mega Scizor’s Speed is also fairly mediocre, but Scizor’s claim to fame makes its Speed stat nearly irrelevant. We’ll get to that soon enough.
Mega Scizor’s typing is a huge double-edged sword, but not in the worst way. With a typing of Bug and Steel, this gives Scizor only one weakness to Fire… a x4 weakness to Fire. To be honest I’ll take that trade-off considering how easy that can be to work around. A fairly easy game plan for Scizor is to eliminate opposing Fire-types so that Scizor can win the game.
Offensively, a Steel-typing is great for the plethora of Fairy-types in the metagame. The Bug-typing… not so much. The positive thing for Mega Scizor is that it relies more on its Steel-typing, and its option for a Bug-type move is one of the best ones in the given VGC metagame.
I preface the move section because Scizor’s ability is what makes its move selection so great. Technician is one of the best offensive abilities in the game for Pokemon like Scizor. Technician boosts the power of all attacking moves with base 60 or less base power by 50%. This turns priority attacks like Bullet Punch into basically a Steel-type Extremespeed (in terms of damage) and Bug Bite into more than just a utility attacking option for Scizor. This wonderful ability basically turns weaker moves that often have utility into moves that can also deal devastating damage.
Let’s talk about a few of them.
I normally list off every viable move for a Pokemon in this section, but for now we’ll keep it simple. Here are the three moves 99% of Mega Scizor will carry on a typical set (minus Protect of course).
Bullet Punch: The bread to Mega Scizor’s bread and butter attacking combo. This move single-handedly makes up for Mega Scizor’s middling Speed stat since it has priority. While being able to one-hit-KO Tapu Lele, this move unfortunately becomes ineffective if Psychic Terrain is present in the field. If your team has a way of getting rid of Psychic Terrain then Mega Scizor is really able to show off its power. After just one Swords Dance boost, Bullet Punch comes pretty close to KO’ing many common Pokemon. Unless you’re a Fairy-type which in that case you just drop.
Bug Bite: And now the butter. Bug Bite is an amazing utility move for Bug-type Pokemon, but Technician turns this attack into a very reliable means of damage output. In a metagame riddled with berries, Bug Bite allows Mega Scizor to heavily cripple Pokemon like Snorlax by eating its berry. This also works well against popular bulky Psychic-types like Cresselia and Gothitelle which will often just be KO’ed by a boosted Bug Bite from Scizor. With the ability to steal berries, Scizor kind of has access to recovery without having to run Roost, but using Bug Bite comes at the risk of snacking on a berry that might confuse Mega Scizor based on its Nature.
Swords Dance: As if Mega Scizor didn’t have enough Attack power, Swords Dance allows you to double it in one turn. With Scizor’s solid typing, defenses and ability to force defensive play, getting up a Swords Dance is fairly easy to do. Bug Bite and Bullet Punch are still kind of weak even with the Technician boost, but Swords Dance turns many two-hit-KO’s into one-hit-KO’s.
Even though I said those previous three moves would be on a majority of Mega Scizor movesets, there are a few options that remain viable.
Roost: A recovery option so that Mega Scizor can stick around longer. Replacing Swords Dance or one of your attacking moves doesn’t seem worth it unless you decide to give up Protect.
U-Turn: A solid attack in general that allows you to pivot, but U-Turn is much better in singles than in doubles. Plus why would you want to switch out after getting a boost off anyway?
Superpower: Fighting-type moves are nice in the 2018 metagame, but Bullet Punch can easily handle Tyranitar and Superpower doesn’t do nearly enough to Porygon2 or Snorlax to make it worth running. Again, probably a better option for singles when you have more move slots to work with.
Checks and counters
I’m sure you saw this coming. Pretty much any Fire-type attack in the game will one-shot Mega Scizor outside of Rain so keeping this thing out of the way of Pokemon like Charizard and Heatran is essential. Like I said, eliminating opposing Fire-types usually means a much easier time for Mega Scizor winning you the game.
We have kind of an Incineroar situation here where you can cripple these bulky Water-types by taking away their berries, but you can’t really do much else. Especially if these Water-types like Tapu Fini, Milotic or Suicune have Scald (which they often do) they can land a burn on Mega Scizor which pretty much makes it dead weight.
Unless Zapdos is holding a berry, Mega Scizor does absolutely nothing to this Pokemon. Combine that with the fact that most Zapdos run Heat Wave making this an almost unwinnable matchup for Mega Scizor.
Having rain on the field allows you to weaken Mega Scizor’s sole weakness to Fire. Not only that but having Rain reliant Pokemon means Water-types that make it even easier to dispatch of opposing Fire-types. Ludicolo is also great because disruption from Fake Out can allow for a much more free Swords Dance.
While this Pokemon seems like a good teammate for everything, it works well for Scizor as an offensive partner. Intimidate can weaken physical attacks to the point where they’ll be doing negligible damage to Mega Scizor, and Earthquakes from Landorus also help you deal with Fire-types.
Tapu Koko/Tapu Fini
These two are here so that you can turn the Terrain into your favor. Both work for different archetypes as Tapu Koko works well on rain-based teams while Tapu Fini works on more balanced/standard compositions. Tapu Bulu also technically works for a Terrain other than Psychic, but the shared Fire weakness makes these two largely incompatible.
So why use Mega Scizor?
While great Steel-type options for teams already exist, Mega Scizor is another one to add to that list. Its typing gives it longevity as long as you keep it away from Fire-types and it has great utility as well as attack power. The way you play Scizor in general is by far one of the most vanilla strategies as far as sweepers go, but it’s nothing short of consistent. With Mega Scizor on your side, you’re usually just one Swords Dance away from Bullet Punching your way to victory.
Thanks for reading!
Images from Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, The Pokemon Anime, Bulbapedia, Ken Sugimori and The Pokemon Company International
To continue enjoying great content from your favorite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon