Pinsir

Hyper Cutter
The wielder's Attack cannot be lowered.
Mold Breaker
Abilities that hinder attacks are nullified.
Moxie
Boosts Attack by one stage if the wielder knocks out another Pokemon.
Type Tier
Bug NU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
65
- 271 334 -
Atk
125
257 286 349 383
Def
100
212 236 299 328
SpA
55
131 146 209 229
SpD
70
158 176 239 262
Spe
85
185 206 269 295

Overview

Pinsir's combination of a high Attack stat, great coverage, and incredible abilities for its role makes it a premier physical sweeper in NU. For these same reasons, Pinsir is very difficult to wall, especially when considering that some of the more common physical walls, such as Musharna and Tangela, are weak to its STAB. Thanks to its Defense, which is rather high for an offensive Pokemon, Pinsir is also able to set up against some of the most common Pokemon in the tier, including Golurk, Piloswine, and Choice Scarf Primeape. In addition, Pinsir is fairly fast, allowing it to outspeed most of the important walls in the tier. Unfortunately, its Speed can also be a major detriment; while base 85 Speed allows it to outpace common walls and tanks, it's not quite enough to beat many of the tier's premier offensive threats. Pinsir also faces stiff competition as a Bug-type physical sweeper from Scolipede, which has much greater Speed and comparable power thanks to its stronger STAB move. Ultimately however, Pinsir still sets itself apart with its access to priority and two great abilities that can help it beat certain Pokemon that Scolipede struggles to defeat.

Name Item Ability Nature

Swords Dance

Life Orb Moxie / Mold Breaker Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ X-Scissor
~ Earthquake
~ Quick Attack
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Pinsir's most effective set is that of a boosting sweeper, utilizing either of its great abilities and Swords Dance to help muscle past entire teams and even some of the tier's most dominant defensive threats. After a Swords Dance boost, Pinsir's power becomes massive, hitting a whopping 766 Attack. X-Scissor is Pinsir's best STAB, and it helps defeat a variety of common physical walls, such as Musharna and Tangela, which other sweepers in the tier struggle to take down. Earthquake takes out the Steel-, Fire-, and Poison-type Pokemon that resist Pinsir's STAB. Finally, Quick Attack is used to help defeat common Choice Scarf users, such as Jynx, Primeape, and Charizard, which would all be able to otherwise easily revenge kill Pinsir.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Ability Nature

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Moxie Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ X-Scissor
~ Close Combat
~ Stone Edge
~ Earthquake
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

With a Choice Scarf and Moxie, Pinsir becomes a dangerous revenge killer and late-game cleaner. Basically, if this set can revenge kill one Pokemon, it can often heavily damage or sweep the rest thanks to its effective +1 boost to both Speed and Attack. X-Scissor is used on this set for STAB, and it does a great deal of damage to Psychic- and Grass-type sweepers, such as Musharna and Serperior. Close Combat does great damage to many of the Pokemon that don't mind taking an X-Scissor, such as Piloswine and Probopass. Stone Edge hits the Flying- and Bug-type Pokemon that don't mind taking a hit from the rest of the set. Finally, Earthquake patches up Pinsir's coverage, hitting Poison-type Pokemon for super effective damage.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

While the above sets are the best ways to use Pinsir, it does have some other options at its disposal. First off, a powerful Choice Band set can be used to hit hard off the bat, and it can be effective thanks to Mold Breaker ignoring abilities such as Levitate and Sturdy. A Swords Dance Salac Berry set can also be used; however, such a set would be completely useless without the Salac Berry boost and thus would be easy to revenge kill. A set with Endure and Reversal is a pretty flashy idea, but in practice, it's very unreliable, especially because such a set would struggle to beat any Ghost-type Pokemon in the tier. For this same reason, a set using Substitute and Focus Punch would be difficult to use successfully. Pinsir also has access to another boosting move, Bulk Up, but Swords Dance further enhances Pinsir's immediate offensive presence and is preferred because of how much easier it is to set up. A Stealth Rock set is another neat idea as Pinsir's ability to force switches provides free opportunities to set it up, but its lead matchup against most other Stealth Rock users is bleak. Finally, Pinsir has access to Knock Off, which can be used to cripple Eviolite users, such as Misdreavus and Piloswine. It might be difficult to find a slot to run it, but if you can, Knock Off can be a very effective move.

Checks and Counters

While Pinsir's great physical strength is unable to be ignored, some Pokemon are able to take it down and wall its attacks with relative ease. Ghost-type Pokemon, such as Misdreavus and Golurk, are typically the best ones for the job, as they resist Pinsir's STAB and are hit neutrally at best by its coverage moves. The former is able to burn Pinsir with Will-O-Wisp, crippling it for the rest of the match, while the latter can take any hit before a Swords Dance boost and threaten back with a powerful Shadow Punch. Even so, both must be wary of taking a +2 Earthquake from Mold Breaker variants, as it does a massive amount damage to Misdreavus and will KO Golurk after Stealth Rock. Alomomola can beat Choice Scarf Pinsir by stalling it out with Toxic, Wish, and Protect, though Swords Dance Pinsir can 2HKO Alomomola with +2 X-Scissor. Regirock, Armaldo, and Metang can all take a hit from Pinsir, while the first two can strike back with their super effective STAB, and Metang can take out a Pinsir that has taken some prior damage with Meteor Mash and Bullet Punch. Because Pinsir is fairly slow, the easiest way to take it out is by revenge killing it. Most of the faster Pokemon that can take a +2 Quick Attack can easily take out Pinsir's Swords Dance set; Haunter is immune to Quick Attack, while Rotom-A and Tauros can both survive one. The Choice Scarf set is more difficult to revenge kill, but most faster Choice Scarf users are able to handle it. Charizard, Primeape, and Rotom-S all outspeed it with a Choice Scarf and have super effective STABs to hit it with. Kangaskhan is able to revenge kill either set, taking care of the Choice Scarf set with the combination of Fake Out and Sucker Punch and the Swords Dance set with Double Edge.