Scizor is a Pokemon that almost has it all, and it's hence no wonder that it's one of the best Pokemon in OU. Thanks to its excellent Attack stat and Technician ability, Scizor is the strongest priority user in OU and can pick off many menacing offensive threats such as Kyurem-B, Dragonite, Terrakion, and Salamence. Scizor also gets STAB U-turn, to hit everything that doesn't resist it hard while keeping momentum in its team's favor. Furthermore, Scizor has good coverage moves such as Superpower and Acrobatics, allowing it to hit Pokemon that resist its STABs for at least neutral damage and making the task of countering it much more difficult. Pursuit allows Scizor to take out many of the Psychic- and Ghost-types that it scares away, such as Latios, Latias, and Gengar, shielding many teams that have problems with those threats. Swords Dance only adds to its offensive potential, transforming it from a revenge killer and heavy-hitter to a deadly late-game sweeper that can KO many offensive Pokemon with just a +2 Bullet Punch. To top it off, Scizor has an excellent defensive typing that leaves it with only one weakness and multiple useful resistances, has instant recovery in Roost, and can invest in HP to become very bulky thanks to Bullet Punch mitigating its Speed issues. All these traits combine to make it not only an offensive asset, but also a defensive one.
Scizor does have its downsides though. While it might only have one weakness, it is a very exploitable quadruple weakness to Fire. This means that even uninvested Hidden Power Fire from Pokemon with good Special Attack, such as Latias and Celebi will OHKO, or at least come close. Scizor's priority, while strong, has a bad offensive typing as it is resisted by the omnipresent Water-types and therefore by a big portion of rain teams. Further consider that Scizor is neutral to Water moves—which are boosted in rain—and has mediocre special bulk, and it's no wonder that Scizor gets OHKOed by many offensive Water-types, such as Starmie, Keldeo, and Choice Specs Politoed. Keldeo itself, another top-tier threat in OU, gives Scizor a very hard time as it resists Scizor's most-used moves, Bullet Punch and U-turn, and can obliterate it with powerful Water attacks. Finally, Scizor's choiced sets are easy to wall with physically bulky Pokemon such as Skarmory, Forretress, Jellicent, and Landorus-T, and it often gives those Pokemon chances to harass Scizor's team with entry hazards or status.
This has been Scizor's flagship set since the Platinum era for good reason. Scizor is one of the few Pokemon that can actually do serious damage with U-turn, which is why it is used not only as a scouting tool but as a strong spammable attack that does a lot of damage to anything that doesn't resist it, and even to some that do. U-turn also combines nicely with Scizor's great typing and bulk to make it a very useful pivot, which uses its low Speed to bring in teammates safely against faster opponents or forced switches. Bullet Punch is Scizor's revenge killing weapon; by shaving off a huge amount of health from all offensive Pokemon that don't resist it, it makes Scizor a great check to Pokemon such as Latios and Terrakion. Superpower hits Steel-types that resist Scizor's STAB moves for at least neutral damage and OHKOes some of them, namely Magnezone and Heatran. Superpower is also Scizor's best option against Keldeo, dealing ~79% damage. Pursuit prevents Ghost- and Psychic-types such as Latios, Latias, Gengar, and Celebi (that lack Baton Pass) from switching out, often putting them in a checkmate position, as Scizor is a good switch-in to all of those Pokemon. If Pursuit's trapping abilities are not needed, Quick Attack is a fine alternative that helps Scizor revenge kill offensive Pokemon that resist Bullet Punch, such as Gyarados, Keldeo, Thundurus-T, and Volcarona. To illustrate its power, Quick Attack KOes offensive Volcarona after Stealth Rock 87.5% of the time.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
With access to Swords Dance and Bullet Punch, the Technician ability, a base 130 Attack stat, and a ton of setup chances, it's no wonder why Scizor is one of the best physical sweepers around. Thanks to Bullet Punch, Scizor can mitigate its low Speed and OHKO many faster offensive Pokemon that don't resist Bullet Punch at +2, such as Terrakion, Latios, Salamence, and Dragonite (with all bar Terrakion requiring prior Stealth Rock damage). Acrobatics, when backed up by a Swords Dance boost and Flying Gem, becomes a very powerful move capable of taking out several of Scizor's usual checks and is strong enough to be useful even after Flying Gem has been consumed. Namely, at +2 and after Stealth Rock damage, it OHKOes Jellicent, Tentacruel, and Gyarados, while also dealing a minimum of 70% damage to Offensive Pivot Landorus-T after Intimidate. Superpower handles the Pokemon that resist the combination of Acrobatics and Bullet Punch, such as Heatran, Magnezone, Skarmory, and Rotom-W, and provides perfect neutral coverage in OU when combined with Acrobatics with the exception of Thundurus-T.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
What this set lacks in power, it makes up for with its strong defensive presence, which gives it much more setup chances than the offensive Swords Dance set and allows it to be a mix of a sweeper and a check to all the offensive Psychic- and Ghost-types of OU. With this EV spread, Scizor fully counters any Gengar and Alakazam without Life Orb and Hidden Power Fire even with Stealth Rock up, and can even counter Life Orb version of those two as long as Stealth Rock is off the field. It is also a fantastic counter to any Calm Mind Jirachi and a great check to Latios and Latias, as unlike the Choice Band set it isn't 2HKOed by Choice Specs Latios's Draco Meteor and has reliable recovery to stay healthy. In general, this set aims to switch in against the Pokemon it checks and stay healthy with Roost in the early-game, then later go for a sweep if possible.
Swords Dance gives Scizor the power it needs to become threatening and clean up weakened teams. Bullet Punch deals with anything faster that can threaten Scizor, and even without a lot of Attack investment or a boosting item, it still hits pretty hard after a boost, OHKOing Latios after two Stealth Rock rounds and Breloom with Stealth Rock and one layer of Spikes up. Bullet Punch is Scizor's classic revenge killing tool for any dangerous offensive threat, although it's not so powerful on this set and can only be used to pick off very weakened Pokemon, unless they are weak to it, such as Terrakion and Mamoswine. Bug Bite is Scizor's source of power against slower Pokemon and the Psychic-types it walls. U-turn is a good alternative Bug move for Scizor, despite its seemingly bad synergy with Swords Dance at first glance. U-turn enables Scizor to keep momentum early- and mid-game while also avoiding one of this set's biggest enemies, Magnezone. While Scizor will have a harder time sweeping late-game without Bug Bite, it can still pull it off as Bullet Punch often will be enough to clean up offensive teams. Finally, Roost is what makes this set work, by giving Scizor the durability it needs to check the Pokemon it is supposed to and attempt a sweep whenever the circumstances allow it.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set performs a role reminiscent to that of Choice Scarf Tyranitar and Gothitelle: its aim is to deal damage to threats, and possibly trap and kill them, before taking damage itself. Because of its low Speed, it is limited to revenge killing threats at and below the base 120 mark, which fortunately is enough to outrun and kill Alakazam. Specifically, Scizor's main targets include fast Psychic- and Ghost-types, the latter of which can be exploited by U-turn, while both fall to Pursuit if they choose to flee. Keep in mind that this is a very specialized set that should only be used on teams that need a fast way to dispose of Pokemon such as Latios, Latias, Starmie, and Alakazam without losing momentum.
Outside of these threats, Scizor can simply choose to spam its STAB U-turn to scout and deal decent damage to nearly anything that switches in. Bullet Punch is still useful without a power boost, but is significantly weaker than on other sets and should only be used in desperate situations. Iron Head can be used for more power in this case, but it lacks the valuable priority Bullet Punch offers. Finally, Superpower is used to surprise and KO Steel-type counters, such as Magnezone, Heatran, and Lucario, and for greater coverage in general. Bug Bite can be used instead to deal greater damage to Psychic-types that choose to stay in, though U-turn and Pursuit are usually enough to do the job anyway.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Because of its typing and movepool, Scizor is naturally able to switch in and take on the Psychic- and Ghost-type threats of OU. This set capitalizes on this very aspect, and is designed specifically to allow Scizor to switch in and eliminate them from play easily. Although the Choice Band set does this job as well, using Life Orb instead means Scizor won't become setup bait for dangerous sweepers that would normally take advantage of it being locked into Pursuit. The heavy investment in special bulk, in combination with Roost, also makes Scizor surprisingly durable by allowing it to tank and recover from Psyshock, Psychic, Draco Meteor, Shadow Ball, and other coverage moves repeatedly. Keep in mind, however, that this set lacks the overall power and coverage of the Choice Band set, so use this set only if your team desperately need threats such as Alakazam, Latios, Latias, Espeon, and Gengar out of the way. Outside of its trapping role, Scizor still does its usual duties with Bullet Punch, a reasonably strong priority that picks off weakened threats, and U-turn, which helps maintain offensive momentum and compensate for Scizor's lack of coverage.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
The combination of Wacan Berry and Natural Gift provides Scizor with a one-time use 90 Base Power Electric-type attack, which is useful for all the bulky Water-types and Skarmory that like to switch into Scizor. However, it's mostly outclassed by Acrobatics, which already OHKOes most Water-types at +2 and can be used multiple times, unlike Natural Gift. Night Slash and Pursuit can be used on any of the Swords Dance sets if Jellicent is a big problem for Scizor's team, but that's the extent of their usefulness. Pursuit has the added benefit of trapping potentially annoying Pokemon and has only 10 less Base Power than Night Slash thanks to Technician. Brick Break is an option for the offensive Swords Dance set if one detests the stat drops that Superpower causes, but Superpower is still stronger even at -1, which usually makes it the better option. Also, Brick Break fails to do any significant damage to Skarmory, which can phaze Scizor effortlessly. Occa Berry can be used to lure and KO Pokemon that depend on Hidden Power Fire to OHKO Scizor, such as Latios, Latias, Magnezone, Alakazam, and Gengar. Sleep Talk can be used on any Choice set on teams that have trouble with Breloom, as Scizor can switch relatively easy into Breloom. Lum Berry can fit on the offensive Swords Dance set to set up more easily on Pokemon such as defensive Politoed and Jellicent, but Scizor needs to forfeit Acrobatics and use Bug Bite, which means it then fails to OHKO some of the bulky Water-types that Lum Berry helps it set up on, making it often counterproductive.
Checks and Counters
Physically defensive Skarmory is probably the best Scizor check in OU. It fully counters any set aside from the offensive Swords Dance set, against which it is a very good check as it takes only ~50% from +2 Superpower and can then phaze Scizor with Whirlwind. Jellicent, Tentacruel in rain, and Landorus-T are the next best answers to Scizor. They counter any set without Swords Dance, while Tentacruel and Landorus-T can check the offensive Swords Dance set too, as both are faster and can revenge kill a weakened Scizor. Jellicent and Tentacruel can also beat bulky Swords Dance Scizor too, as it can't hurt them fast enough to avoid getting burned.
Keldeo and Gyarados are the best offensive checks to Scizor, easily taking everything except Acrobatics and denting or OHKOing it back with rain-boosted Water-type attacks. Offensive Heatran is in a similar boat, but fears Superpower instead, while defensive Heatran can act as a secondary Choice Band Scizor switch-in and a bulky Swords Dance Scizor counter. Forretress walls any non-boosting set but is setup fodder for any boosting set and is a big momentum loser if Scizor goes for U-turn, making it a mediocre Scizor check. Timid Magnezone outspeeds and OHKOes any Scizor set that doesn't utilize a Jolly nature or Choice Scarf, and can safely switch into anything except for Superpower. Speedy Rotom-W is a good check to Swords Dance sets, as it can either neutralize Scizor with Will-O-Wisp or just OHKO with Hidden Power Fire, but it is unable to switch into boosted Bug-type attacks. Lastly, any strong Water-type will be able to put a big dent in Scizor, especially if rain is up, while not caring about even +2 Bullet Punch, which means that Pokemon such as Starmie and Choice Scarf Politoed are good revenge killers to use against Scizor.
As for team types, rain and sun teams tend to fare well against Scizor. Rain teams are filled with Water-type Pokemon that can either outspeed and OHKO Scizor (offensive Water-types such as Starmie, Keldeo, and Gyarados) or take a hit and then cripple Scizor in return (bulky Water-types such as Jellicent and Tentacruel), while sun teams similarly are full of Pokemon with Fire-type attacks and have multiple checks to Scizor's most-used moves (U-turn and Bullet Punch), such as Ninetales, Heatran, Volcarona, and Landorus-T.