...the pictures are probably a bit big, huh? == General == Good ol' Scizor has been top of the OU heap for a solid three generations now, ever since HeartGold and SoulSilver gifted it with the game-changing Bullet Punch. This move, combined with Scizor's Technician ability and brutal base 130 Attack, turned it from a forgotten borderline NU, to literally #1 usage. For a solid year and a half. And it seems that very little has changed. Scizor is still currently #1 in usage, and it still rips teams apart with its now infamous Bullet Punch. The only real changes for Scizor have been the increased viability of moves like Defog and Knock Off, and the fact that it now has a Mega Evolution, who is basically the same but with better stats. Despite this incredible legacy you're being led to believe Scizor has, however, the bug certainly has its flaws. The first thing would be its Fire weakness. It might be Scizor's only weakness, thanks to useful Bug/Steel typing, however that weakness is a quadruple. This is less than ideal, with the likes of Talonflame, Heatran and both Mega Charizard formes being very popular in the tier. And while it does have two strong priority moves in its movepool, its Speed stat is a bit lacklustre for a tier where a base 100 is considered passable. And its esteemed Bullet Punch may be very powerful indeed, but its Steel typing does not function brilliantly in OU, where there are tons of Fire-, Water-, Electric- and other Steel-types ready to tank the hit with relative ease. So in essence, Scizor is a mixed bug, err, bag. Flawed, but deadly in the right hands. If you need a hard hitting scout with recovery, Scizor might just be the one for you. == Bulky Swords Dance == Scizor @ Scizorite Trait: Light Metal EVs: 248 HP / 44 Atk / 16 Def / 200 SDef Impish nature - Swords Dance - Bullet Punch - U-turn / Knock Off / Bug Bite - Roost Scizor's access to Swords Dance gives it a massive power boost without relying on the move locking problems associated with the Choice Band. Holding the Scizorite, Scizor gains extra bulk to help shrug off weaker hits, and power comparable to that of a Life Orb boost, all in one. So it is therefore the recommended hold item over, say, the Leftovers or something. Light Metal is listed as the starting ability because - on the rare occasion someone uses it - Scizor will take less damage from Low Kick or Grass Knot upon switching in on it. After all, Technician makes absolutely no difference, so it's at least something. Once you mega evolve, Scizor will get its Technician back, and it's like nothing ever happened. Swords Dance is obligatory on this set, being a Swords Dance set. Bullet Punch is also a staple on anything even vaguely concerning Scizor, so the first two slots are set in concrete. Slot 3 contains a Bug STAB, either U-turn or Bug Bite. The former provides the usual scouting abilities, as well as providing solid coverage and power, while the latter has more power thanks to Technician, and can occasionally nab berries from the target (should they be holding one), but doesn't switch Scizor out after usage. So both are handy. Lastly, slot 4 has Roost and Knock Off. Roost simply keeps Scizor healthy, which complements its natural bulk very well when sponging neutral hits. Knock Off on the other hand hits relatively hard, and strips opponents of their precious hold items, gaining momentum and revealing strategies. == Defog == Scizor @ Scizorite / Leftovers Trait: Technician EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SDef Impish nature - Bullet Punch - Defog - U-turn - Roost A handy change in mechanics has seen a huge rise in Defog's viability, because now it erases entry hazards from both sides of the battlefield, rather than just your opponent's! (Seriously, who thought of that? Fire them.) Scizor, with its natural bulk, great typing and nifty movepool, is a fine candidate for this in OU. The set goes physically defensive to help Scizor tank as many hits as it can, and thus survive longer, however going specially defensive is also perfectly viable, and even considered in some occasions. The Scizorite is the standard hold item for this set as well, helping Scizor's longevity with increased bulk, however the Leftovers are just as useful on this set, because the passive healing can make a huge difference on a set that generates as many free turns as this one. Once again, Bullet Punch and U-turn are staples of the set. You'll rarely see a Scizor without both of them. Defog in slot 2 is what makes the set, allowing Scizor to support the team by removing entry hazards (though watch out for Bisharp and its Defiant). Lastly, Roost keeps Scizor healthy, allowing it to tank hits and support teams for as long as possible. == Choice Band == Scizor @ Choice Band Trait: Technician EVs: 248 HP / 252 Atk / 8 SDef Adamant nature - Bullet Punch - U-turn - Superpower - Pursuit / Knock Off / Quick Attack Scizor's Choice Band set has barely changed since HGSS, where you used Bullet Punch 60% of the time, U-turn 35% of the time, and whatever was in the other two slots on rare occasion. So it only makes sense to list it first, seeing as it is the best known set, and arguably the most effective. The EVs are simple; Max out the Attack, because a base 130 Attack is always going to hurt something, especially when bolstered by the Choice Band, while 248 HP EVs takes Scizor to its maximum odd number, letting it take one less HP damage from Stealth Rocks and/or Spikes each time it enters the battlefield. It may seem pithy, but these tiny tweaks can make a lot of difference in the long run. Lastly, the remaining EVs go into Special Defence, mostly for filler. Generally on pokemon like this, they would go into Speed. But Choice Band Scizor often wants to under-speed its brethren, so that it can the slower U-turn and keep momentum, or perhaps the 'stronger' Superpower, reaping the benefits from opposing Scizor using it first. So bearing that in mind, it's not unheard of to even have an imperfect Speed IV on Scizor sets. This is often splitting hairs however. Scizor's given moves aren't that complex, either. Bullet Punch is a staple on literally any set, because it is easily Scizor's best move, essentially hitting for 90 base power with the Technician and STAB boosts factored in. U-turn in slot 2 makes Scizor into a handy scout, dealing hefty damage to anything that doesn't resist, and keeping momentum high by immediately switching out afterwards. Superpower in slot 3 lets Scizor smash into the bulky Steel-types that would otherwise wall it, particularly Heatran and Magneton. The former can tank any of Scizor's other attacks with ease, and then fry it with a Fire STAB, while the latter can come in on a Bullet Punch almost for free, and then prevent Scizor from escaping with its Magnet Pull. It may weaken Scizor after usage, but it also packs some serious power, and only complements the 'hit and run' strategy that the Choice Band employs. Lastly, slot 4 has a few filler options. First up is Pursuit, which works well in conjunction with Bullet Punch and U-turn for the 'checkmate' mindgame, where if the target switches out, they get hit by Pursuit, and if they stay in, they have to eat a Bullet Punch. Pursuit doesn't have much use outside of trapping however, so that's where the other two come in. Knock Off gained a huge power buff this generation, hitting for a threatening 97.5 base power when the target is holding a removable item. It also comes with the utility of removing said item, giving some insight into the target's strategy, and often crippling them at the same time. And finally, Quick Attack provides another form of priority that can hit Steel resistant targets slightly harder than Bullet Punch. This allows Scizor to pick off weakened Fire-, Water- or Electric-types more easily. == Other Options == Scizor is a viable user of the Choice Scarf, giving it an unexpected Speed boost that can catch many would be checks off guard. The power difference is very noticeable, but the surprise factor works in Scizor's favour. The Life Orb and Lum Berry are other hold items that Scizor can make use of, however it gets roughly the same power out of mega evolution as it does with the Life Orb, and a cleric deals with status just as efficiently as the Lum Berry. The Assault Vest is also very usable, giving Scizor greatly increased special bulk at minimal cost, and the Shed Shell is worth considering if Magnezone terrifies you. Consider pairing Scizor up with a Dugtrio if this appeals. The latter two sets can be combined to make an offensive Defogger, if that appeals, while simple 4 attacks and 3 attacks + Roost sets are also perfectly viable. Mixing and matching the EV spreads to your own preference is always worth considering. For example, Mega Scizor with 236 Speed EVs can outrun standard defensive Mew sets, and then punch through it with Bug Bite, 2HKOing unboosted and OHKOing after a Swords Dance. The reduction in bulk will be fairly steep, however under the right circumstances, extra Speed is certainly worth it. Going physically defensive and specially defensive both have their time and place as well. Substitute can be used to block status moves, and Scizor can set up from behind those. Brick Break is available instead of Superpower if you don't like the stat drops, however the power difference is harsh. Toxic, Aerial Ace, Counter and Feint are all worth mentioning, for various reasons, while Scizor can set up Sun or Rain for its team if need be. Lastly, Hidden Power is worth a mention, letting Scizor muscle past would-be counters with a bit of Special Attack investment. == Checks and Counters == As stated a few times in this analysis, just about anything with a Fire move is a threat to Scizor. Even non STAB, uninvested Hidden Powers will make short work of the poor bug. So it makes sense that the likes of Talonflame and Mega Charizard Y are solid answers, being able to tank any common move Scizor can throw, and then simply roast it with a Fire STAB. Even Heatran, who admittedly does fear Scizor's Superpower, can come in on any other common move with impunity, and destroy Scizor with a Lava Plume or similar. Similarly to Heatran, Magnezone can switch into almost everything Scizor uses, and then destroy Scizor with ease. Unlike Heatran however, Magnezone can trap Scizor with its Magnet Pull, and remove it from battle for good as long as Scizor doesn't U-turn out of it, or hold the rare Shed Shell. Skarmory, while unable to deal heavy damage to Scizor, is free to set up whatever hazards it wants, and then just Whirlwind it away when it's done. Scizor without Roost will eventually be worn down by Skarmory's Drill Peck, however Skarmory itself must be wary of Roosting into Scizor's Superpower. Landorus can use Intimidate to help sponge Scizor's hits, and then throw meaty Earthquakes at it to wear it down, however it can't switch in continuously, due to it lacking recovery. Defensive Garchomp can also wear Scizor down quickly, with its Rough Skin ability and often in conjunction with the Rocky Helmet, as well as powerful STAB Earthquakes. Rotom-W isn't threatened by Scizor at all, 4x resisting Bullet Punch, outrunning, and burning Scizor with Will-o-Wisp, crippling it for the rest of the match. Only a Choice Band U-turn does enough damage to worry the haunted washing machine. Ferrothorn can also tank anything apart from Superpower with relative ease, and then sap Scizor's health away with Leech Seed. Scizor may be a big threat, but it's easily handled by several common pokemon in the tier. Any standard OU team shouldn't have any big problem with it.