Pinsir

Hyper Cutter
Prevents the enemy from lowering this Pokémon's Attack.
Mold Breaker
Abilities that hinder attacks are nullified.
Type Tier
Bug NU
Level 50 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Min- Min Max Max+
HP
65
- 140 172 -
Atk
125
130 145 177 194
Def
100
108 120 152 167
SpA
55
67 75 107 117
SpD
70
81 90 122 134
Spe
85
94 105 137 150
  • Underused

Overview

Pinsir is often overlooked due to his bad Special Defense, only decent Speed, and more importantly, his Stealth Rock weakness. Luckily, Pinsir is a great Pokemon if used properly, as he has a monstrous Attack stat and enough Speed to outrun the common base 80 Speed Pokemon, such as Blaziken and Venusaur. This, coupled with a great offensive movepool including X-Scissor, Close Combat, Stone Edge, Earthquake, and Swords Dance, makes him a potent threat in the UU metagame. His abilities are very good too; Mold Breaker allows Pinsir to hit Levitating foes with Earthquake, while Hyper Cutter makes him immune to Intimidate. However, it isn't all good news for Pinsir. Besides the aforementioned Stealth Rock weakness, fast Pokemon such as Swellow, Arcanine, and Alakazam easily revenge kill him if he is not carrying a Choice Scarf. His lackluster HP and Special Defense also make him susceptible to strong special attacks. All in all, if you play Pinsir to his strengths, he won't disappoint you.

Name Item Nature

Swords Dance

Life Orb Jolly
Moveset EVs
~ Swords Dance
~ X-Scissor
~ Close Combat / Earthquake
~ Stone Edge
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

This set takes advantage of Pinsir's tremendous Attack stat by using Swords Dance to boost it to a whopping 698, which is enough to allow Pinsir to OHKO or 2HKO the entire metagame with his great coverage. X-Scissor is Pinsir's main attack, destroying almost every Pokemon who doesn't resist it. Close Combat hits Rock- and Steel-types for super effective damage, while Earthquake is also a viable option over Close Combat. Thanks to Mold Breaker, Earthquake even hits Pokemon with the ability Levitate, most importantly Rotom and Weezing, who would wall Pinsir otherwise. Close Combat is still usually the preferred option, as it's stronger and has a great chance of OHKOing 252 HP / 252 Def Impish Registeel after a Swords Dance boost (it always OHKOes after Stealth Rock damage if Registeel switches in on it). Finally, Stone Edge destroys Altaria, Articuno, and Moltres, who would otherwise wall Pinsir.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item Nature

Attacking Lead

Focus Sash / Lum Berry Jolly / Adamant
Moveset EVs
~ X-Scissor
~ Close Combat / Earthquake
~ Stone Edge / Quick Attack
~ Stealth Rock
252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Pinsir can work as an effective anti-lead against many common UU leads by balancing considerable attack power with decent physical bulk and Speed. This set makes great use of one of the only moves not shared by Pinsir and his little brother Heracross: Stealth Rock. Although Stealth Rock is an important tool for almost all teams, in this set it takes a back seat to attempting to KO the opposing lead.

X-Scissor is another move that Pinsir has that Heracross does not, and although it sacrifices a massive amount of power compared to Heracross's Megahorn, it boasts perfect accuracy, which is especially important at the start of the game. X-Scissor is very useful for Pinsir, allowing him to 2HKO Uxie and Mesprit while also scoring powerful hits on Alakazam, Ambipom, and Electrode. Alakazam and Electrode can then be disposed of with Quick Attack, the third competitive move that Heracross does not have. Unfortunately, Adamant X-Scissor + Quick Attack only has an average shot to 2HKO Ambipom, and Pinsir will also lose to Life Orb-boosted Fake Out + Return. Close Combat is another good tool for Pinsir to use, since it can easily OHKO Ambipom. It is also useful to hit Cloyster, Rhyperior, Registeel, and Steelix for super effective damage. However, it is illegal with Quick Attack, so you should think carefully before using it. Hence, Close Combat pairs well with Stone Edge to hit Flying- and Fire-types, and Quick Attack pairs well with Earthquake to beat Rock-, Steel-, and Poison-types.

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

Choice

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

Pinsir makes good use of Choice items thanks to his great Attack and decent Speed stats, similarly to Choice Heracross in OU. X-Scissor is again Pinsir's STAB move of choice, hitting Psychic- and Grass-types such as Slowbro, Uxie, Tangrowth, and Leafeon extremely hard. Earthquake and Stone Edge form the infamous EdgeQuake combo, which gives Pinsir almost perfect coverage with only two moves. Earthquake benefits from Mold Breaker, as it negates Levitate. Finally, Close Combat hits Rock- and Steel-types, such as Registeel, Regirock, and Rhyperior, harder than Earthquake can, 2HKOing all of the aforementioned foes.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Bulk Up is an option, but Pinsir's terrible Special Defense makes it unappealing. Similarly, a mono-attacker set with Bulk Up, X-Scissor, Rest, and Sleep Talk can be used, but with Pinsir's pitiful Special Defense, such a set is not recommended. Brick Break and Superpower are also options, but Close Combat is a much better choice. They should only be considered when Pinsir is running Quick Attack, as Close Combat + Quick Attack is an illegal combination. Flail with Endure or Substitute can also be used, but it's very unreliable. Faint Attack is Pinsir's only attack to hit Ghosts super effectively, but its poor Base Power makes it a lackluster option. Knock Off and Toxic are options for crippling walls, but Pinsir is much better off simply attacking.

Checks and Counters

Hariyama is quite bulky and can take Pinsir's attacks with ease, making him an excellent counter. Hitmontop can do the same thanks to Intimidate, but Pinsir could be running Hyper Cutter as his ability, so Hitmontop must be wary. Most Fire-types such as Arcanine, Entei, Typhlosion, Houndoom, Magmortar, and Moltres can outspeed and KO Pinsir, especially if they are carrying a Choice Scarf, but if Pinsir is carrying a Choice Scarf of his own, they will have problems with Earthquake or Stone Edge. Similarly, Flying-types such as Scyther and Swellow can KO Pinsir with Aerial Ace or Brave Bird, but Stone Edge will destroy them. Rhyperior and Regirock can also beat Pinsir with Stone Edge, while Registeel can paralyze him with Thunder Wave, rendering him useless. Spiritomb and Dusclops can burn Pinsir with Will-O-Wisp, turning him into deadweight. Finally, Stealth Rock is Pinsir's biggest problem, since when the floating horror is on the field, Pinsir loses 25% of his health upon switching in, thus giving a lot of Pokemon the opportunity to OHKO him.