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 5 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
65
- 23 26 -
Atk
125
17 19 22 24
Def
100
14 16 19 20
SpA
55
10 12 15 16
SpD
70
11 13 16 17
Spe
85
13 15 18 19

Overview

On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the coolest, Pinsir scores at least a 12. Besides its fantastic design, Pinsir also boasts a fearsome base 125 Attack, above-average Speed, STAB X-Scissor to hit many of RU's walls super effectively, and powerful coverage moves such as Earthquake, Stone Edge, and Close Combat. Throw that all together and you have a dangerous offensive Pokemon. Unfortunately for Pinsir, "dangerous offensive Pokemon" are a common sight in RU, and Pinsir's limited switch-in opportunities and lack of a powerful STAB move have made it difficult to justify using over other physical sweepers like Kabutops, Gallade, and Durant. In fact, there's only one thing that really makes Pinsir worth considering over more standard alternatives: Moxie. Pinsir is the only viable Pokemon with Moxie in RU, giving it a unique ability to put constantly increasing offensive pressure on its opponent. Moxie forces Pinsir's opponents to respond predictably or risk losing the match quickly as Pinsir picks up boosts and becomes unwallable. It requires a significant amount of support to be successful; if you're looking for a physical sweeper that you can throw on your team as an afterthought and be successful, Kabutops or Gallade would be a better choice. On the other hand, if you're looking to build a team around an extremely manly bug with the potential to steamroll healthy teams in just a few turns, give Pinsir a shot.

Name Item Ability Nature

Swords Dance

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

The market for Swords Dance in RU might seem crowded, but Pinsir has plenty of perks that make it a lethal boosting sweeper. Above-average Speed gives Pinsir the advantage against the popular base 80 Speed group, and a solid Defense stat allows it to brush off most priority moves. Bug typing, despite all its defensive disadvantages, is a blessing offensively, as STAB X-Scissor slices through many of RU's top defensive Pokemon, including Tangrowth, Slowking, and Uxie. Earthquake is the coverage move that RU's other Bug-types wish they had, giving Pinsir super effective coverage against Qwilfish, Steelix, and Rhydon. The true magic of this set, however, is the combination of Quick Attack and Moxie. For most Pokemon, non-STAB Quick Attack is dismissed as too weak to be useful, but with Moxie, it becomes an excellent defense against revenge killers and is the key to Pinsir's success. After a Swords Dance boost, Pinsir can OHKO most of RU's best walls with X-Scissor or Earthquake. With Moxie kicking in and boosting Pinsir to +3, Quick Attack becomes powerful enough to OHKO most potential revenge killers with hazard support. Once it reaches +3, the list of Pokemon that can stop Pinsir from sweeping is short: Aerodactyl, Archeops, Durant, Emboar (with a Choice Scarf), Entei, Misdreavus, Quagsire, and Rotom. Unless your opponent has one of those Pokemon healthy, the game is over.

Of course, the real trick is getting to +3 in the first place. Pinsir's best chance at setting up is by forcing out slow Pokemon like Slowking and Lanturn. Against fast offensive teams, Pinsir probably won't have the opportunity to set up and is unlikely to single-handedly 6-0 your opponent's team. However, it still has value in offensive match-ups thanks to its Speed, power, and access to priority. Pinsir can OHKO Kabutops attempting to spin or pick off weakened Cinccino and Manectric with Quick Attack, and although a single Moxie boost usually won't be enough to sweep, it does put a lot of pressure on your opponent to play conservatively and predictably to avoid giving Pinsir the opportunity to pick up any more boosts.

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

Choice Scarf

Choice Scarf Moxie Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ X-Scissor
~ Earthquake
~ Close Combat
~ Stone Edge
16 HP / 252 Atk / 240 Spe

Pinsir's decent Speed, excellent Attack, and great coverage moves make it an effective revenge killer when holding a Choice Scarf. It can OHKO many of RU's most popular sweepers, including Kabutops, Sceptile, Entei, Cinccino, Sigilyph, and Moltres, and its solid Defense allows it to survive powerful priority attacks, including Choice Band Entei's ExtremeSpeed and +2 Life Orb Kabutops's Aqua Jet. Moxie is the cherry on top of this set, allowing Pinsir to put heavy pressure on the opponent and potentially achieve a late-game sweep. However, beware of focusing too much on trying to get a Moxie sweep. Without a boosting item or the ability to switch moves, Pinsir is quite easy to wall, even at +1, so it usually won't have any shot at sweeping until late in the game when the opponent's team is significantly weakened. This can make it tempting to try to keep Pinsir healthy for the end of the match in order to achieve that sweep. Unfortunately, no matter how healthy it is, there will be many matches when Pinsir simply won't be able to sweep, so keeping it in reserve all match will result in a wasted teamslot and put you at a disadvantage. If your opponent's team looks particularly vulnerable to a Pinsir sweep, go for it, but otherwise you should play Pinsir like any other revenge killer: send it out whenever you need to KO or force out a dangerous opponent.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Pinsir can use an all-out attacking set with Life Orb or Choice Band to do a lot of damage to slow or paralyzed teams. However, it has difficulty switching in safely, and faster Pokemon will easily force it out, so this type of set doesn't really play to Pinsir's strengths. A Substitute + 3 attacks set with a Salac Berry can sweep late-game if the opponent's physical walls and priority users have been eliminated, but it will struggle to accomplish anything at all before those two conditions are met. Superpower and the uncommon Storm Throw are Pinsir's best legal options for Fighting-type coverage on sets that use Quick Attack, but both are completely inferior to Close Combat in any other situation. Pinsir can set up Stealth Rock if absolutely necessary, but it's not very good in a supporting role and rarely has moveslots to spare. Toxic is Pinsir's best option against certain bulky Pokemon like Misdreavus and Quagsire. Finally, Hyper Cutter and Mold Breaker are both decent abilities; Mold Breaker in particular is intriguing, as it allows Pinsir to beat one of its biggest counters in Rotom (although Mold Breaker announces itself when Pinsir comes into the match, so good players won't switch Rotom in). Unfortunately, Pinsir is simply a mediocre Pokemon without Moxie. If you're using Pinsir with one of its other abilities, you'd almost certainly be better off using another Pokemon like Kabutops, Durant, Gallade, or Entei in its place.

Checks and Counters

Quagsire and Misdreavus are the safest counters to Pinsir; Misdreavus resists or is immune to most of Pinsir's attacks, has excellent physical bulk with Eviolite, and can burn Pinsir with Will-O-Wisp, while Quagsire ignores Pinsir's Moxie boosts with Unaware and can simply stall it out with Recover. All other counters depend on which set Pinsir is running. Rotom and Aerodactyl are excellent answers to the Swords Dance set, but neither can switch into Stone Edge from the Choice Scarf set. Poliwrath and Alomomola are hard stops to the Choice Scarf set, but Poliwrath takes heavy damage from the Swords Dance set and can only phaze Pinsir with Circle Throw, while Alomomola becomes setup bait as it is forced into a predictable Wish + Protect cycle. Faster Choice Scarf users that can survive Quick Attack are good revenge killers if Pinsir is weakened, but most of them won't be able to OHKO a healthy Pinsir without a STAB super effective attack; for example, Choice Scarf Rotom-C's Thunderbolt does a maximum of 78% to Pinsir. In general, the most important thing is to prevent Pinsir from boosting. Avoid switching in slower Pokemon that give it a chance to set up or weakened Pokemon that it can KO for a free Moxie boost. Without boosts, Pinsir is just another powerful physical attacker that any good team should already be able to handle.