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Scizor is Pokemon's true Cinderella story. Premiering in GSC as one of five Steel-types, Scizor immediately found itself in the shadows of Pokemon such as Steelix and Forretress. Scizor's base 130 Attack, its most notable stat, had always been largely wasted due to the low Base Power of its shallow movepool, having to depend only on things such as Hidden Power and Steel Wing for coverage. This trend continued, when ADV rolled around, Scizor had to rely on the 60 base power Silver Wind for coverage. Scizor had always been prominent as a Baton Pass user, and in ADV it had the ability to pass +2 boosts in Attack, Defense, or Speed. Diamond/Pearl continued this trend of improving Scizor by giving it reliable STABs in Iron Head and X-Scissor, a STAB U-turn, Roost for healing, and a now-physical Pursuit to take advantage of its resistances to Ghost and Psychic.
Then Platinum happened; while others were lauding changes such as Outrage for Salamence, Bounce for Gyarados, and Heat Wave for Zapdos, a dark horse came out in the form of Scizor's Bullet Punch. With the addition of a STAB Bullet Punch, boosted by Technician, Scizor went from #33 usage in August of 2008 to #8 in September, and never stopped. It reached #2 usage in October, and finally landed at #1 in November, and has not been shaken since. It is very easy to see why Bullet Punch Scizor is so widely used, as a 90 base power priority attack can make or break a game. The most recent statistics show that Bullet Punch was used on an incredible 96.5% of Scizor, with Choice Band and Life Orb making up 53% and 31% of uses respectively.
Scizor basically has everything possible going for it. First, let's look at its stat spread. Immediately, its 130 base Attack leaps to the forefront as Scizor's defining quality, since it definitely isn't threatening anything with that base 55 Special Attack. When you combine 130 base Attack with Scizor's small, yet extremely precise movepool, it becomes immediately apparent that Scizor isn't something to be taken lightly.
Defensively, Scizor is no slouch either. Its typing is solid as far as defensive typings go, shared only with Forretress. Bug/Steel typing provides it with a whopping nine resistances to Normal-, Grass-, Ice-, Psychic-, Bug-, Ghost-, Dragon-, and Dark-type attacks, and an immunity to Poison, when only affording it a single weakness, Fire. Combine this with a very solid base 70 HP, 100 Defense, and 80 Special Defense, and it's easy to see that Scizor is a Pokemon that can take hits just as well as it can dish them out.
Ability-wise, Scizor has two solid abilities to use. Technician is the obvious choice for the majority of players, as it boosts the power of Bullet Punch 50%, giving it the power it needs to revenge kill effectively. In addition to Bullet Punch, Technician also boosts the power of Pursuit, letting it provide solid offensive power even against opponents that choose not to switch. If you're one of the minority that chooses not to use Bullet Punch, then Swarm is available. Swarm boosts the power of Scizor's Bug-type moves by 50% when it is at 33% HP or lower, so it can be useful for boosting Scizor's X-Scissor on an Agility set.
Scizor is quite possibly the least subtle Pokemon in the entire metagame. Part of the reason that Scizor is used so much is that it's so easy to slap a Choice Band onto it and then proceed to take advantage of its durability and extremely threatening Bullet Punch to muscle your way through the opponent's team. The most common Scizor set is a set utilizing Choice Band with Bullet Punch, U-turn, and Superpower as the three main offensive moves. Common options for the final move include Pursuit, for dealing with the Rotom formes and choiced Gengar, and Quick Attack, which can effectively deal priority damage to Zapdos and Gyarados.
Using Scizor is as easy as finding a way for it to come in. Abusing its nine resistances, bringing Scizor in on a resisted attack is extraordinarily easy and then you can proceed to use one of your extremely threatening moves to punish your opponent. U-turn is the most common choice, as it deals solid damage to whatever your opponent brings out and allows you to bring in a counter to whatever your opponent chooses to use. Bullet Punch can snipe Gengar, Salamence, Tyranitar, and other Pokemon that can threaten to set up and break down your team. Superpower is the strongest move that Scizor packs and can OHKO Heatran and Magnezone looking to capitalize on their resistances to Scizor's other moves and threaten/kill it. Pursuit deals top-notch damage to Blissey, Gengar, Cresselia, and other Pokemon looking to flee from Scizor's other three moves.
If Choice Band isn't your style, Scizor can sweep with a Swords Dance set rather well too. After Swords Dance and Life Orb, Bullet Punch becomes a monstrously powerful instrument of sweeping power, dealing upwards of 50% even against targets that resist it, such as opposing Scizor or Lucario. Brick Break can be used on a Swords Dance set to reliably damage Steel-types, but sometimes Superpower is more useful, as it can deal massive damage to Skarmory attempting to Whirlwind away your boosts. Just keep in mind that using Superpower lowers your Attack and Defense, which can make Scizor more vulnerable to revenge killing. Roost goes well on a Swords Dance set, as Scizor can utilize its top-notch bulk to set up against weaker Pokemon even in the face of their attacks.
As powerful as Scizor is, it definitely has some hard counters in its home metagame of OU. Rotom-A is extremely effective against it, boasting resistances to Bullet Punch and U-turn, as well as an immunity to Superpower and Quick Attack. It can also give Scizor a nice burn, ensuring that it's near useless for the rest of the match. Rotom-h can easily OHKO Scizor with Overheat. Zapdos also does well with Heat Wave or STAB Thunderbolt, though it can be worn down by Stealth Rock if it doesn't pack Roost. However, the biggest part of countering Scizor is wearing it down and preventing U-turn from destroying your team, through either its own damage or the counters that it brings out.
Scizor can also be caught off-guard by random Fire attacks on certain Pokemon. Flamethrower from Blissey is the best example of this, as Scizor generally feels comfortable coming in on its weak Ice Beams or Seismic Toss. Babiri Berry on Tyranitar is another good example of a way to catch Scizor off-guard, as it allows Tyranitar to sponge a Bullet Punch and respond with a STAB Stone Edge or a more reliable Flamethrower/Fire Punch. Really, the best way to beat Scizor is to cut it off before it can do too much damage to your team.
A better question is how not to fit Scizor onto your team. Its #1 placement in the statistics can be directly attributed to how simple it is to place Choice Band Scizor into a team and let it do its job revenge killing and U-turning away. Swords Dance Scizor requires a little more complementing, but it's still pretty simple to support.
The best way to stop Scizor from doing its job is to punish it every time it switches in. The best way to do that is entry hazards. Stealth Rock and Spikes will make Scizor's life hell, as it severely limits the number of times Scizor can U-turn its way through the opposing team. Because of this, it's usually a good idea to pair Scizor with a solid Rapid Spinner, such as Starmie or Tentacruel, which can use Scizor's lone Fire weakness to switch in with ease and remove the entry hazards that cut Scizor's life short.
Speaking of Entry Hazards, Scizor enjoys having some to support it as well. Scizor's raw power tends to commonly force switches more often than not, which really helps rack up the Stealth Rock and Spikes damage. In addition to this, Stealth Rock makes it hard for Zapdos, one of Scizor's most solid counters, to switch in more than once or twice against it.
Scizor's biggest and most common counter is Rotom-A, so packing something that can deal effectively with Rotom-A is important to support any variant of Scizor. Heatran does well, as it can absorb Will-O-Wisps and Overheats aimed at the metal bug and fire back powerful Flash Fire boosted Flamethrowers or Fire Blasts. Tyranitar also does well against Choiced variants of Rotom-A, as it can switch in with relative ease and proceed to Pursuit Rotom-A to death, though it must be wary of Will-O-Wisp itself.
As was said in Environmental Factors, Starmie and Tentacruel do well as allies to Scizor, sponging Fire attacks and Rapid Spinning away entry hazards that chip away at Scizor's HP. Other notable Fire resistances include Swampert, Tyranitar, and Salamence, each of which is capable of supporting Scizor in a different way. Salamence's Draco Meteor can put huge holes in physical walls looking to put a stop to Scizor's rampage. Tyranitar can Pursuit Rotom-A without Will-O-Wisp, Flamethrower Blissey, or Zapdos looking to put a stop to Scizor as well. Swampert is safe against any Zapdos not carrying Hidden Power Grass, and can set up Stealth Rock or Roar for Scizor.
Scizor's ability to remove or significantly damage Blissey and other special sponges makes it a great choice for supporting special attackers such as Substitute Calm Mind Jirachi, Choice Specs Salamence, Life Orb Starmie, and Life Orb Heatran. Pairing Scizor with these Pokemon can significantly increase their potential damage output against an opponent's team, making your sweeps much easier.
This concludes our analysis of Scizor, Platinum's #1 threat. Now that you know just why Scizor is number one, why don't you get out there and give it a shot? Slap a Choice Band on it, U-turn a bit, and let Scizor pull your team to victory!
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