VGC Pokemon of the Week: Scizor


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~VGC Pokemon of the Week~

Cheers, all ^.^

So, I wanted to start up a resource for newer players, as well as give other players a chance to discuss the common threats in VGC. Every week, either Solace or myself will post a new Pokemon for everyone to discuss.

General topics that I'd like to see discussed:
- What sets are popular and effective?
- What general roles and niches does this Pokemon fulfill?
- What advantages does it have over the other Pokemon with these roles? Disadvantages?
- What does this Pokemon effectively counter, check, and threaten?
- What counters, checks, and threatens this Pokemon?
- What are good teammates?
- How does this Pokemon fit into the metagame in general, and how has the metagame adapted to its presence?

Goals of the Project:
- To produce a great resource for newer players looking to get into VGC. I'll keep a table of contents, so users will easily be able to find the specific Pokemon they want to learn more about, or simply read through the thread to get an idea of each Pokemon and it's effect on the metagame.
- To give VGC players a chance to discuss, dissect, and explain their experiences with each Pokemon, how it best functions, and what roles it plays in our metagame.
- To create a more casual alternative to onsite analyses, driven by the experiences of everyone playing the metagame as opposed to just a singular, unified view. This should hopefully shed more light on the ups and downs of a Pokemon, and explain why various players would want to use or not use it.

Table of Contents:
Week 1: Volcarona
Week 2: Abomasnow
Week 3: Hydreigon
Week 4: Gastrodon
Week 5: Heatran
Week 6: Hitmontop
Week 7: Metagross
Week 8: Terrakion
Week 9: Breloom
Week 10: Ludicolo
Week 11: Scizor


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Type: Bug / Fire
Base Stats: HP / Atk / Def / SpA / SpD / Spe
Ability: Flame Body / Swarm

For our first Pokemon of the Week, we'll be looking at the dangerous Volcarona. What are the best sets, teammates, counters, etc. for Volcarona? What are your experiences with and against it, and how do you prepare for this threat?

Volcarona@Life Orb
Modest/Timid, 4 HP/252 SpA/252 Spe
Quiver Dance
Heat Wave
Bug Buzz

Hitmontop@Fighting Gem
Intimidate, Adamant, 244 HP/252 Atk/12 Spe
Fake Out
Close Combat
Wide Guard

I used this pair on a standard doubles team, but I based it on some VGC teams I've seen in the past so it should translate back well enough. Quiver Dance is one of the few boosting moves I've found to be viable in doubles, since it increases Volcarona's special bulk and it has a good spread move to abuse. Hitmontop is easily the best supporter for getting those boosts, between Intimidate, Fake Out, and Wide Guard, with Feint to provide a nasty surprise to any opponent who thinks they can protect themselves from Volc's fiery wrath. You can replace Feint with Sucker Punch if Chandelure is a problem, or just have something else on your team to deal with it.


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Volcarona (M) @ Bug Gem
Trait: Flame Body
EVs: 4 HP / 4 Def / 248 SAtk / 252 Spd
Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
- Bug Buzz
- Heat Wave
- Protect
- Hidden Power [Ground]

Gyarados (M) @ Leftovers
Trait: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 160 Def / 52 SDef / 44 Spd
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
- Thunder Wave
- Ice Fang
- Waterfall
- Taunt

A combo I used for a bit on the PO server, and its very effective. Bug Buzz from Volcarona can leave a dent in just about anything, and to ensure it gets a chance to hit, Gyarados can do multiple things. It can Paralyze faster threats such as Terrakion, Latios, Scarf Tyranitar, and the like. Taunt can prevent Trick Room or other status such as Thunder Waves and Will-O-Wisps. Hidden Power Ground is a nice surprise for Heatran, but you can use Quiver Dance in its place, or even HP Ice to catch Mence and Chomp off guard, but you'll need to use Icy Wind on Gyara or Timid on Volc.
Another good partner to Volcarona is Breloom/Virizion. They synergize well with the moth, killing off TTar and other water-types. Volcarona can threaten most Pokemon after getting in a QD. Most of the common Pokemon that it checks are Cresselia, TTar, most dark types, most steels and almost all Grass-types. It is however countered by Scarf TTar, Trick Room and Heatran unless it carries HP Ground.
I think a lot you need to remember one of Volcarona's other great moves it has, Rage Powder. Rage Powder has some really great use on a bulky Volcarona, or heck it can still do lots of work on a sweeper moth. One of the great things about Rage Powder is that you can lure in any Hitmontop Fake Out or Close Combat and even get the possible burn from Flame Body to completely screw them over.

For a bulky moth, it's very difficult to make an exact spread for what you wanna do with it to like, but I usually just go with trying to get a specific kill with Fire Gem Overheat and outspeed something specific with some Speed EVs. The rest can go invested in bulk so you can lure in more attacks with Rage Powder.

For the sweeper Volcarona, you can run a 4/252/252 with Overheat/Bug Buzz/Rage Powder/Protect with a Fire Gem and do some great things like OHKOing most Thundurus and all Metagross(even with Occa Berry, but not sure so sure about damage done in Rain) and then you can follow up by Rage Powdering all of the single target attacks that your partner would fear, like Close Combat, Thunderbolt, Ice Beam, etc. until you die.

One other thing for items on Volcarona, Lum and Charti Berry are great items. With 44 Defense EVs, you can have Volcarona take any intimidate Rock Slide and a few turns of sand recoil. Meanwhile, Lum berry stops the Thundurus and Cresselia from screwing you up with a Thunder Wave or even a Swagger. Both of these items are great for Quiver Dance Volcarona as they can help you keep momentum up with your set up/sweep and not your turn with your partner supporting you in some way.

Volcarona has issues with tons of Pokemon in the metagame, however, some being Scarf Tyranitar(like tlyee61 already noted), Chandelure(Ghost types in general are bad news), Gyarados, Heatran, the ever so common Rain, and much more. Volcarona is a great Pokemon, but you really need to make sure you have answers to these kinds of Pokemon before going in to battles and expecting to auto-set up and win.
After a boost from QD most rain teams wont like taking a Bug Buzz anyway. Im also curious if the singles Rain set for Volcarona, abusing 100% accurate Hurricanes is a viable option in VGC with all the Fighting types running around. As for counters, I find most Jellicent are good. Especially ones carrying Trick Room. Dragonite with Aqua Tail is also very good but must watch out for a boosted HP Ice.
A nice stategie I found out in the recent nintedo wi-fi tourney, involve Volcarona using Ragepowder on predicted Draco meteors aimed to his partner. I got defeated by one when i tryed to OHKO a swift swimmer Kingdra with a kingdra of my own, just to see how Volcarona became the center of attention.

Support Volcarona are becoming popular, pairing it with Techniloom you have a deadly combination that beat almost all the wheather inducers, giving you an upper hand very earlier in the match.
Depends how you use it. Rage Powder if you use it as a support pokemon to let your teammate set up for the sweep. Any pokemon with Intimidate if just using it regularly because it is quite frail. Then if it is being used on a weather team the weather inducer themselves obviously. Lastly, if you are using it as a set up sweeper, Lucario works well because it can use Follow Me and easily take hits aimed at Volcarona. That strategy could also be used with Amoonguss and Rage Powder.
I've found a core of Gyara / Loom or Virizion / Volcarona / TTar works somewhat well. FWG is good and (Scarf) TTar takes out most of Volc's counters such as Chandy and Heatran and serves as a nice check to Gyarados but must be wary of Intimdate and Waterfall / Aqua Tail.


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Type: Grass / Ice
Base Stats: 90 HP / 92 Atk / 75 Def / 92 SpA / 85 SpD / 60 Spe
Ability: Snow Warning / Soundproof

This week, we're looking at the harbinger of hail, Abomasnow. What are it's best sets, roles, teammates, and counters? Any aspect of this Pokemon is up for discussion ^.^
Abomasnow serves as the only perma-hail weather starter. It also enjoys spamming Blizzard. Abomasnow really likes TR support and Fire Types. Chandelure is a great partner to it because it can set up TR and has Flash Fire. Unfortunately, both enjoy Focus Sash so you might have to find another item. Another item you could use out of TR is Choice Scarf. It allows Aboma to outspeed most of its counters and hit them with a massive Blizzard. Another good fire-type partner to Aboma is Infernape. It allows for some Fake Out support and also pairs nicely with Aboma. Lastly, Heatran is a good partner in and out of TR. Cresselia is an alright partner to Abomasnow because it resists Fighting although Metagross, one of the most common Pokemon in the metagame, walls both of these Pokemon normally. Like before, it has good coverage with Aboma. Sadly, Heatran and Abomasnow share a fighting-type weakness. Most Fire and Steel types wall Abomasnow because they resist its STABs.
Scarfed rotom-f can also work very well with it as it can spam fast blizzards. Abomasnow can then run sash and live attacks. However, i find i am rarely needing sash so i might run ice gem in trick room
Gastrodon would be a good teammate, because it resists Fire, Steel and Rock type moves, it also learns Blizzard and can dispose of Fire and Steel types, while Abomasnow can take care of opposing Grass types that might threaten Gastrodon. They fit nicely in a Trick Room team and can make a good FWG core with Chandelure.
Scarfed Aboma seems to be the best outside of Trick Room, IMO. Just be careful when using it against Zapdos or bulky Thundurus, since both can tank a Blizzard and the former can use Heat Wave while the latter can use Thunder Wave to render its Scarf worthless. As stated before, Flash Fire Chandelure is an amazing partner since it's immune to Fire and Fighting attacks (watch out for Tyranitar, since the odd Wood Hammer is just a 2HKO).

An interesting partner is Skill Swap Blissey, which Huy used. While they both fear Fighting attacks for their lives, Blissey can take on common Fire-types (other than Infernape), Ninetales, and Politoed. In case of a weather war, Blissey just Skill Swaps Snow Warning to regain control of the weather, while Abomasnow now has Serene Grace Blizzards for a 36% chance of freezing at least one Pokemon in the hail.
One way to get around Choice Scarf & TR Abomasnow is priority Mach Punch's. Especially ones powered up by fighting gem AND helping hand. Infernape was mentioned as a good partner but also Intimidate Hitmontop makes a good partner lowering the power of any incomming rock slides & also maybe forcing out Tyranitar (who dont like taking a wood hammer or a fighting move of choice from Hitmontop). A friend of mine did really well in the recent WiFi International Tourney using a Choice Scarf Abomasnow & Life Orb Zapdos togther & spamming blizzards & heatwaves at the opponent. Both can hit rain teams hard with their own STAB moves of choice & Abomasnow threatens most sand teams with a ice or grass move of choice.
Ahh, Abomasnow, probably one of the trickiest Pokemon to use imo.

Reuniclus is probably my favorite Abomasnow partner, in my experience. Although it makes the core pretty weak to Bug, Reuniclus is immune to all Hail recoil damage and pretty reliably sets up Trick Room for Abomasnow.

Bullet Punch is one of Abomasnow's greatest enemies, so possibly pairing it with Heatran, Chandelure, or other reliable Heat Wave abusers is good too.


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Type: Dark / Dragon
Ability: Levitate
Base Stats: 92 HP / 105 Atk / 90 Def / 125 SpA / 90 SpD / 98 Spe

Hydreigon's Dark typing and vast movepool make it a viable option, even with Latios everywhere. So, what do you consider its best sets, roles, teammates, and counters? Anything and everything about Hydreigon in VGC is up for discussion this week :3
Oh man, Hydreigon, one of my all-time favorite Pokemon.

It's a testament to just how good this thing is when you keep seeing this German dragon on teams despite being weak to the omnipresent Close Combat, Latios Draco Meteor, and having 98 speed, being outsped by the other popular Dragons of this meta.

My personal favorite set with Hydreigon is Choice Scarf, I used it at last Regionals and I got a lot of eyebrows to turn when I outsped their Latios and OHKO'd them with Draco Meteor. It was initially impossible to get both Dark Pulse and Earth Power on the same Scarf set, making you lose a lot of coverage if you opted out for one, but with BW2's tutors, Scarfdreigon can have the optimal moveset of Draco Meteor or Dragon Pulse / Dark Pulse / Fire Blast or Heat Wave / Earth Power, which is not resisted by any Pokemon in the meta. Even without Scarf, Hydreigon can hit incredibly hard with Dragon Gem Draco Meteor, and has good enough bulk to take an HP Ice or Dragon Claw from a faster Thundurus or Garchomp, respectively.

My favorite combo with Hydreigon is the Double Dragon combo, having him be best buddies with Garchomp. Garchomp is able to use Earthquake scott-free, and Rock Slide cleans up against opposing Volcarona that will cause Hydreigon a bit of trouble. Every other Pokemon on Ray Rizzo's Worlds 2012 team is also a viable partner.

Hydreigon is odd in that it's the rare Dragon that Cresselia finds a hard time countering, seeing as how it can hit back incredibly hard with Dark Pulse. Life Orb Kingdra is a pretty big problem to Hydreigon, but I find Thunder Waving that sucker pretty much haults it. Hitmontop and Scrafty are also big problems, as with the right EVs, they can survive a Draco Meteor and hit back harder with Close Combat or Drain Punch, respectively. Hydreigon is awesome because only a few select things can OHKO it, and Hydreigon is able to hit them back incredibly hard before a second attack is to come.

tl;dr- Hydreigon is awesome and you all should try using it at least once.
hydreigon is a great mon that shouldn't be underestimated because of its speed. I like a Choice Scarf set (as seen here: but Dragon Gem, Life Orb, Chople Berry and even Dark Gem are viable options. Some Pokemon that hydreigon really pairs well with are Cress, Metagross, and EQ user (such as Chomp mentioned above.) Hydreigon without Earth Power is somewhat walled by Heatran. Also, Scarf Abomasnow gives hydreigon some trouble unless you use a scarf and invest at least 44 EVs in speed. Also, tyranitar in sand takes little to no damage from any attacks except a Dragon Gem Draco Meteor. Volcarona and it's bug buzz is troublesome too. Specially defensive conkeldurr gives hydreigon some trouble with its fighting moves. Hitmontops that invest in special defense aren't too great either. Most fighting types that can take a hit are bad. That's why Cresselia / Metagross is such a great partner. Hydreigon serves as a great revenge killer and can nuke anything with fire blast, earth power or Draco meteor. Hydreigon without scarf is countered by faster dragons because of its awkward speed tier. Hydreigon might also have some use in trick room because of this. It can form a surf and storm drain/water absorb combo with Pokemon such as jellicent and gastrodon. Overall, hydreigon is a good Pokemon.
With the above posts their isnt much that can be added to Hydreigon because its all been covered. If your Hydreigon lacks Choice Scarf but the opposition has a Scarfed Haxorus then watch out. Infact watch out for any Dragon that is Scarfed. Fighting types were mentioned as good counters but Infernape was missing from the list. Not only can it use Fake Out (just like Hitmontop) but can hit harder with a Close Combat afterwards. It maybe abit gimmicky but if your opponent predicts a Dark Pulse then watch out for Justified Lucario & Terrakion. As mentioned before the main reason to use Hydreigon over Latios/Latias is the ability to better counter Cresselia & Metagross which were the 2 most popular Pokemon in the last WiFi competition.
Fire Blast/Heat Wave, creating a free turn by protecting or consuming Chople Berry on the inevitable Close Combat, and at the least having the option to throw physical moves in(EQ, Rock Slide, U-Turn, Superpower) are all ways to separate Hydreigon from Latios.

Also, Tail Wind can be used on Hydreigon pretty well!
Oh and it gets Taunt+Torment and Latios doesn't.


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Thundurus-I and any other paralyses spreaders are great partners for Hydreigon, allowing the base 98 speed to not be that much of a problem. Landorus-t also makes a very good partner being able to intimidate and brush of all fighting stabs with out any problem what so ever


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Type: Water / Ground
Ability: Sticky Hold / Storm Drain / Sand Force
Base Stats: 111 HP / 83 Atk / 68 Def / 92 SpA / 82 SpD / 39 Spe

Despite rather poor stats, Gastrodon is one of the top defensive threats in the metagame thanks to Storm Drain. So, what are your favorite sets, teammates, and counters for it?
I'm using Gastrodon on a test team right now, and I have to say that he unquestionably one of the best Water-types in the metagame. Quick bulleted list:

- His awesome combination of bulk, his typing, and resistances to Water and Electric make him an excellent team player that can definitely take a few hits and hit back with Icy Wind or other good coverage moves. This makes him a good partner for Pokemon like Gyarados and Volcarona, as he can switch into their weaknesses (and they can switch into his), and he can use Icy Wind to make their speed issues less of a problem. Gyarados also comes with Intimidate to help buff Gastrodon's bulk on the weaker physical side.

- He can go toe-to-toe with some of the biggest threats in the metagame and come out on top. With proper support and max HP investment, he can comfortably take hits from and KO the following popular Pokemon: Garchomp, Heatran, Metagross, Tyranitar, and the Genies (provided they don't have HP Grass).

- Excellent versatility. He can just about work in all team archetypes: Rain (obvious), Sun (provides key water resistance), Sand (Ground typing + water resist), Hail, and of course Trick Room.

- Rotom-W is a popular Pokemon and Thundurus-T is gaining some ground, so it's nice to have a Pokemon that can safely switch in to their Choice-locked Electric attacks. He can even wall Rotom-W entirely should it not have the right Hidden Power.

Right now I'm using the bog-standard set ( with Muddy Water/Ice Beam/Earth Power/Protect. I use it alongside Volcarona as a defensive partner and so that I can actually use Volc against Rain teams to fight Ludicolo and take out Ferrothorn with Overheat (which is even an OHKO through Rain).

As for countering, things get slightly tougher if you don't have at least one grass move somewhere on your team (although Rindo will help him survive, since that move is most likely non-STAB). Your options outside of that are to prey on its weak physical defense, or smack it with a Gem-boosted Draco Meteor when it's not at full health.

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