mfw no flying stab
Mega Pinsir is a niche, yet powerful set up wallbreaker in LGPE OU. It's tied with Mega Gyarados for having the highest Attack stat in the metagame, and what helps set this Pokemon apart from other Mega Evolutions is its ability to use Swords Dance effectively. Mega Pinsir is capable of 2HKOing every Pokemon in the metagame, at the very least, after one boost thanks to its access to the tried-and-true combination of Rock Slide and Earthquake along with STAB X-Scissor to slam tier-staples such as Mew, Zapdos, Mega Gyarados, and Alolan Muk. Mega Pinsir also sits at an above-average Speed tier that lets it outspeed the crowded base 100 threshold and everything slower, giving this Pokemon a much easier time taking on the majority of the metagame. Unfortunately, Mega Pinsir comes with severe downsides. It lacks defensive utility thanks to a horrendous defensive typing that gives it a 4x weakness to Stealth Rock upon Mega Evolving, making it incredibly difficult to bring this Pokemon in healthy enough to attempt to use Swords Dance. Without a boost from Swords Dance, Mega Pinsir's not strong enough to knock out some of the metagame's premier threats such as Melmetal, Zapdos, and Rhydon from full, which can all tank unboosted attacks fairly easily and retaliate back with Double Iron Bash, Thunderbolt, and Rock Slide, respectively. While Mega Pinsir's Speed stat is nothing to scoff at, it's still liable to being revenge killed by faster Pokemon such as Starmie, Mega Alakazam, Alolan Dugtrio, and Mega Aerodactyl, all of which can knock Mega Pinsir out after Stealth Rock.
name: Swords Dance
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: X-Scissor
move 3: Earthquake
move 4: Rock Slide
Swords Dance boosts Mega Pinsir's Attack stat to frighteningly-high levels. X-Scissor is Mega Pinsir's STAB attack of choice, dishing out serious pain to Pokemon such as Mega Gyarados, Mew, and Snorlax, especially after a boost. Earthquake provides valuable coverage against the Pokemon that resist X-Scissor, hitting Melmetal, Mega Charizard X, Rhydon, and Nidoqueen super effectively while also being Mega Pinsir's strongest attack against Poliwrath. Rock Slide hurts the many Flying-types that threaten Mega Pinsir, including Zapdos, Dragonite, Mega Aerodactyl on the switch, and Mega Charizard Y. A Jolly nature is used to outrun the many base 100 Speed Pokemon in LGPE OU such as Mew, Zapdos, and both Mega Charizards.
Bringing Mega Pinsir in before Stealth Rock is up is generally a viable strategy whenever possible. Simply going for unboosted attacks in the early-mid game can help soften Mega Pinsir's checks to potentially put them in range of Swords Dance-boosted attacks. It's best to attempt to use Swords Dance after Mega Pinsir's faster checks, such as Mega Aerodactyl and Mega Alakazam, have been dealt with. Set up with Swords Dance against Pokemon Mega Pinsir can force out, including Alolan Muk, Chansey, and Mega Gyarados, but be wary of potential status moves from these Pokemon. Take advantage of Pinsir's base form before Mega Evolving. If a Pokemon is within range of being knocked out from an attack by base form Pinsir, don't Mega Evolve on the same turn when going for the attack. If Pinsir is forced out after knocking out an opposing Pokemon, Pinsir won't take more damage from Stealth Rock the next time it comes in. Base form Pinsir can also survive Zapdos's Thunderbolt after Stealth Rock, giving it the opportunity to set up a Swords Dance without having to worry about getting knocked out. It can then Mega Evolve and OHKO Zapdos with Rock Slide the next turn.
Electrode makes for an excellent partner to Mega Pinsir. It can set up Reflect and/or Light Screen to soften incoming attacks, paralyze faster Pokemon with Thunder Wave to give Mega Pinsir the opportunity to sweep, and use Taunt to prevent the usage of Stealth Rock and other status moves. Mew can also utilize Taunt to stop Stealth Rock from going up, use U-turn to bring Mega Pinsir in safely, check Melmetal with Flamethrower, Will-o-Wisp, or Scald, and threaten common Stealth Rock setters such as Nidoqueen, Rhydon, and Alolan Dugtrio with Psychic and Scald, respectively. Pokemon that resist Rock-type moves such as Melmetal, Rhydon, and Sandslash are teammates that Mega Pinsir appreciates. In return, Mega Pinsir threatens Mew and Mega Gyarados, two Pokemon that give the aforementioned teammates serious issues. Special attackers such as Starmie, Gengar, and Zapdos appreciate Mega Pinsir being able to break special walls such as Chansey and Alolan Muk. In return, they soften up the physical tanks that threaten Mega Pinsir. Chansey is effective at coming in on special attacking threats such as Mega Alakazam and Starmie while also being able to utilize Teleport to bring Mega Pinsir in safely.
Superpower can be used over Earthquake to OHKO Eevee-S without a Swords Dance boost to prevent any of the latter's signature moves from going off while also OHKOing Snorlax after a boost. However, the Attack and Defense drops that come with Superpower are less than ideal for Mega Pinsir, especially if it hasn't used Swords Dance beforehand, and the Fire- and Poison-type matchup becomes significantly worse without Earthquake. Substitute can allow Mega Pinsir to dodge incoming status conditions, but not only is it hard to fit onto its moveset, it'll also be hard for it to use when factoring prior Stealth Rock damage.
Checks and Counters
**Stealth Rock**: Pinsir loses a quarter of its health to Stealth Rock. It only gets worse upon Mega Evolving, upgrading to a 4x Stealth Rock weakness, severely limiting its staying power.
**Physical Tanks**: Melmetal and Rhydon are bulky enough on the physical side to stomach unboosted attacks from Mega Pinsir and return fire with their STABs. Rhydon's Rock Slide OHKOes Mega Pinsir from full while Melmetal's Double Iron Bash OHKOes after Stealth Rock. In fact, Melmetal can take a +2 Earthquake with little trouble, as well. However, both of these Pokemon lack reliable recovery and should keep an eye on their health lest they want to end up in range of being knocked out by Mega Pinsir's Earthquake.
**Faster Pokemon**: Pokemon such as Starmie, Mega Alakazam, Mega Aerodactyl, and Alolan Dugtrio are all capable of revenge killing Mega Pinsir thanks to their greater Speed stats. Mega Aerodactyl is able to come in on a predicted X-Scissor or Earthquake and OHKO back with Rock Slide. Meanwhile, Starmie, Mega Alakazam, and Alolan Dugtrio can pick Mega Pinsir off after Stealth Rock with Ice Beam, Psychic, and Rock Slide, respectively. However, the latter three Pokemon don't switch into Mega Pinsir very well, and Mega Aerodactyl should fear a potential Rock Slide.
**Zapdos**: Without a Swords Dance boost, Mega Pinsir fails to knock Zapdos out with Rock Slide, even after Stealth Rock, and is OHKOed by Thunderbolt in return. However, Zapdos will fall to a +2 Rock Slide.
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