Playing with Scizor: Piloting the Pincer Pokémon in Today’s Meta

When was the last time you saw Scizor make any sort of impact in the Pokémon TCG? Was it in 2010, when Scizor Prime was released in HS-Undaunted? Its Poké-Body was pretty cool. Or in 2008 when Majestic Dawn’s Scizor appeared as just a Rare? That guy punished Pokémon that dared attach any Special Energy at all. Or maybe even three years before that, in Scizor ex from EX Unseen Forces? That one generated a little popularity and appeared in a deck named “Mercury” that had mild success during its time.

The most recent reincarnation of our hero from Johto arrived in just February of this year in BREAKpoint…but was quickly overshadowed by more powerful and prevalent cards of its time like Greninja BREAK and Darkrai-EX. Do you remember pulling Scizor-EX and/or M Scizor-EX and getting upset that you didn’t snag the other two I just mentioned? I’d be right there with you. If we’re being real, at that time, Greninja and Darkrai were the Captain America: Civil War of the set while Scizor and M Scizor were the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And if you’ve seen both movies, you would agree that Civil War was a top-tier masterpiece while Batman v Superman was a bottom-tier fifteen-second advertisement that you can’t skip through on YouTube thrown together by your ten-year-old cousin using Windows Movie Maker. At that time…they were just. Not. Good.

Scizor, however, is one of my favorites as a Pokémon in general. When I pulled a 2-2 line out of my BREAKpoint packs, I vowed not to trade them off and decided to sleeve em up and keep em in toploaders. “Maybe…just maybe…they’ll be useful one day,” I thought in June, as I tucked them away with my other cards. “They’ll be useful one day…maybe.”

September 1st, 2016 was that day.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think it’s finally the era that our knight in crimson armor has his limelight and becomes the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story we all want him to be! Your second favorite writer’s (presumably to J.K. Rowling just barely ahead at first, right) back at it with another article on a supa hot card: Mega Scizor. If you’ve been doing any sort of testing, you might have heard about the new bug on the block…although he’s not really all that old. Patiently waiting for his time to shine, Scizor’s poised to make some pretty big waves and take some pretty big names in the TCG.

If you’re not all that familiar with Scizor and what his presence in the meta means, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll give you the 4-1-1 on just about everything you need to know about this once-overlooked EX. Why is he good? What’s he good with? Who does he struggle against? I’ll do that sort of thing and throw a pretty solid list (biased) at ya with how you can give him a spin…if you can get your hands on em. Because of the hype, they jumped in price like nobody’s business seemingly overnight! But I guess we can give PokéBeach’s fine sponsor, TCGplayer, a shout out if you’re looking to purchase some of the Mega on your own. Check em out if that’s what you’re feelin’.

But enough chit-chat, let’s get into some analysis!

Ironing Out the Iron Crusher

Before these past couple of weeks, we immediately wrote off Mega Scizor as a viable card. (Ok, maybe I did, but you probably should have too if you had an idea of what was going on in the meta.) Why? Last format included decks such as Night March and Vespiquen / Vileplume that simply got set up too quickly and hit for ridiculous amounts of damage with one-Prize attackers. In the meanwhile, (if you were a Scizor player or anyone else that played Megas or Primals), you were hoping that your opponent whiffed the T2 180 Night March so that you could hopefully survive even just one turn to get the Mega out. You may have been hitting for 120 and discarding a Special Energy, but you were OHKOing these bugs and bees anyways so that the nifty effect didn’t have much relevance.

But those days are over.

Looking at the meta, M Scizor-EX is about to get comfortable at the top…and for good reason!

  • 220 HP: Yo – this is a pretty hefty Mega. The average Mega’s HP is around that 210-220 range, so we’re happy to see that our boi’s closer to the top! This helps a lot with M Rayquaza-EX math – forcing the Sky High Pokémon to cap out at eight Benched Pokémon with Sky Field if he wants to see a one-hit Knock Out. We will be more than excited to accept two-shot KOs from a beast like this, but we’ll talk more about how we can make it even more difficult for the Mega Ray player. M Mewtwo-EX players require two Colorless Energy for Psychic Infinity, its main attack, that does a base damage of 10 (wait for it) and an additional 30 for each Energy attached to both Mewtwo and your opponent’s Active Pokémon. So let’s put our Scizor at having two Energy (because its attack only requires two, there’s no reason to have any more than that) and do some math as to how much Energy Mewtwo would need to one-shot our Pokémon. Six. Six Energy. This is an absolute absurd amount and is pretty unrealistic. “Yo John…two Energy on Scizor adds 60, and if you do 10 plus…six Energy times 30…that’s 250!” Check the Resistance on Scizor. Yeah. It’s crazy stuff. We’ll talk more about this in a little bit.
  • Metal Typing: This is fantastic for the format right now. While not as popular, M Gardevoir-EX matchups get taken care of because of this alone and Rainbow Road gets laughed at (kinda, will explain later) even if Xerneas has Fighting Fury Belt attached. While Reverse Valley is the only Stadium that gives Metal any sort of cool-and-hip benefit, it’s kind of underwhelming. We’ll talk about another Stadium that’ll work more in our favor. You could try out Reverse Valley with Shield Energy if you want to focus more on buffering opponents’ attack damage, but…I go a different route. Give that a whirl if you’re feeling like it. I’m not gonna tell you how to live your life.
  • Iron Crusher: Guys…this attack is really. Really. Good right now. For two Metal Energy, you’re swinging for a crisp 120 with an additional busted effect: discard either a Stadium card in play or a Special Energy card attached from your opponent’s Active Pokémon. Let’s step back and think about the meta…ok. Mewtwo. Speed Ray. Maybe some Dark. Bees and Stage-1s. I’m looking at these decks…and all of them run Double Colorless Energy. We were talking about Mewtwo needing a ton of Energy to OHKO, but if we keep him at bay altogether? They’re not swinging for anything. Afraid of baby Mewtwo-EX Damage Change shenanigans with Shrine of Memories? Discard the Stadium. Too many DCE on the board? Discard the Energy. You can put your opponents in the passenger seat real quick if they don’t manage to OHKO you, forcing them to burn through resources just to get that replacement DCE on a damaged main attacker. 120 is an important number as well. While it’s just 10 shy of the 130 on Yveltal, we’re still getting away with OHKOs on Shaymin-EX and 2HKOs on everything else that’s relevant to today’s meta.
  • Weakness to Fire: Ah man! We found Scizor’s Achille’s heel. Although Volcanion-EX and Volcanion-EX haven’t made all too much of an impact because of their more unfavorable matchups to everything else, there’s always that one guy at League that’s gonna run a warm knife through your buttery deck and ruin your day. There are times that you may sneak the win against Fire due to how we play the deck, but know that it’s like a sixty-five-degree uphill battle from turn one.
Mfw my opponent opens Mewtwo
  • Resistance to Psychic: Yoooo this is huuuuuge. We already touched on the significance of this when discussing the Mewtwo matchup, but I’m gonna run that back anyways. If we can take 20 less damage from one of the heaviest hitters in the format…we gon take it. Pressuring your Mewtwo opponents to commit more Energy to their Mega is always what we want to see, as we can Iron Crush em in two turns anyways or choose to take free Shaymin KOs while they try to build even one to challenge your Active. This is more of the cherry on top of the ice cream or the whipped cream with the hot cocoa when it comes to why Scizor is so threatening nowadays.
  • Two-Energy Retreat Cost: Eh. I wouldn’t have minded this all that much if our boi Bronzong was still around. We’d discard both Energy to Retreat, potentially Max Potion, Metal Links both of those Energy back, and have em ready to roll for next turn. Unfortunately, that’s not the case (and something we’d only see in Expanded due to the rotation). Because Scizor is so hefty and can take a couple of hits, you’ll have plenty of time to charge up a Scizor on the Bench and promote a new one to replace the one from battle.
Scizor won’t crumble as quickly as this cookie did…rip cookie

As you can see, Mega Scizor is a pretty tough cookie. I wouldn’t necessarily go as far as to say the cookie’s so tough that it isn’t edible, but it’s definitely a couple weeks’ stale. Mega Scizor can’t take all the credit, however, because its predecessor has some swag of its own. Scizor-EX can hold the fort down for at least a turn or two before you should probably start questioning the consistency of your deck as well as your own existence because of its attacks. For a single Metal Energy, you deal 20 with Steel Wing but reduce damage done to you by 20 as well for the next turn. You can (hopefully) ensure Mega Scizor isn’t in two-shot range when you evolve the next turn as well as soften up your opponent’s Active in the meanwhile. For two Metal Energy, Gale Thrust can penetrate your opponent’s unsuspecting defenses by barging in unannounced. While it only dishes out a meager 50, you add an additional 60 if you move Scizor-EX to the Active slot that turn. Note: this does NOT include promoting Scizor after one of your Pokémon gets Knocked Out. I’ve said it so many times in so many of my articles, but yo. That’s Shaymin OHKO damage right there. Hit a Switch, Lysandre a stray Shay, Gale Thrust (ok seriously they need to work on attack names my inner twelve-year-old is seeping out and I can’t anymore) and take two Prize cards. Not a bad way to go about it. While baby Scizor’s not our main attacker, he can help out in a pinch and do some decent damage.

Somewhat Steeling the Spotlight: Scizor’s Buddies

You already know who our main partner for Scizor is…but for the sake of bringing some creativity to the table, I’m gonna throw some other options at you first. Hang tight and hear me out.

Jirachi XY67

You’ve seen this guy for a while now. You know what he does. And he’s still good. A 60-HP Basic that boasts great artwork and the galaxy foil we all miss, Jirachi finds its strength (and viability) in Stardust. For a rando Energy, Jirachi deals a sputtering 10 damage but also discards a Special Energy attached to your opponent’s Active. After discarding, Jirachi is immune to attack damage and effects, rendering it an annoyance that either needs to be Lysandre’d away during the next turn or just…passing and making sure not to attach another Special Energy to the Active. Based on the aforementioned DCE-filled meta, Jirachi has potential to bring about irritation when Mega Scizor isn’t on the board. The only out to Jirachi would be by the aforementioned Lysandre or by the effects of a new Supporter out of Steam Siege – Pokémon Ranger. Its sole use is to remove all effects from both players’ and their Pokémon for one turn, rendering Jirachi’s Stardust protection nonexistent. Thankfully, the discarding effect is immediate and you get the benefit of that at least, but with 60 HP…it’s kind of a free Prize otherwise. I don’t see Jirachi as more than a one-of simply based on consistency reasons, but he might be worth including for that extra disruption. Give him a shot!

Cobalion STS

Cobalion is one of the niftier cards out of Steam Siege and is already seeing a bit of hype in Scizor builds. Let’s start with the fact it’s a one-Prize Basic with a solid 120 HP. This can be a little upsetting for the opponent to try and take down, especially early in the game when he has to choose between hitting through Cobalion or Lysandreing up something else. Quick Guard can stir up those frustration feels even more. For one Metal, Quick Guard says, “Lol no,” to any damage done from your opponent’s Basic Pokémon. Unfortunately, that’s not too many of em these days. Xerneas, Yveltal, the baby EXs, Volcanion, you get about a turn of benefit out of those but that’s it. On the other hand, I’m looking at Revenge Blast, Cobalion’s second attack that’s a reincarnation of Shaymin-EX‘s second attack as well. (For you newbies that didn’t know there was another Shaymin-EX…now you know.) Revenge Blast, for two Metal, does 30 and an additional 30 for each Prize your opponent’s already taken. Clearly, you’re going to want to use Cobalion to get revenge (see what I did there?) late-game when a couple of Scizor have gone down and your Iron Will Pokémon stands alone in the wake of battle. If your opponent has one Prize left, you can swing for a whopping 180 damage – enough to take down just about any Pokémon-EX that isn’t a Mega. Sometimes Iron Crusher’s 120 isn’t enough when you need a critical Knock Out to take the game, and if your opponent sees that you’re powering up for Revenge Blast…he may go Lysandreing for that, diverting attention away from our precious Scizor. Test a Cobalion in your list and see if the defense in Quick Guard and offense in Revenge Blast works for your build.

Magearna-EX STS

Magearna-EX is the first of its kind to be released in card form, and it’s not a bad card by any means! Magearna shines due to its Ability, Mystic Heart, that prevents all effects from your opponent’s attacks (other than damage) done to your Pokémon with Metal Energy attached. This means attacks that induce Status Conditions or place damage counters do nothing if you have Magearna in play and Metal attached to whatever. Not bad, right? This has the most utility with preventing Damage Change from baby Mewtwo-EX, although we’ve kinda locked up that matchup anyways. Unfortunately, unless you’re playing the trashbag below, you’re not gonna want Magearna because its Ability gets denied. If other Metal support appears down the line, Magearna is a card to take into consideration.

Garbodor’s first deisgn

Garbodor BKP

You wanna know what anti-meta looks like? Scizor and this piece of garbage. Garbodor is why Greninja isn’t seeing much play, even though the deck didn’t lose a whole lot. Garbodor is why Water Toolbox isn’t seeing much play, because…ok I know it’s because that dreaded Seismitoad-EX is gone. But still, Manaphy-EX can’t give Water homies free Retreat, a key benefit for the deck.

Garby has and always will be one of the most disruptive Pokémon in the game because of its Ability and its Ability alone. (Trust me, the fact he’s one of the grotesque Pokémon in the universe isn’t why.) Garbotoxin states that as long as Garbodor as a Tool attached, no Abilities work. No Set Up. No Scoundrel Ring. No Giant Water Shuriken. No Renegade Pulse. Garbodor gets a lot of haters (myself included) for good reason. I’m willing to bet that most of the Scizor builds you encounter include a 2-2 Garbodor line because of how much you can straight up shut down – Special Energy control, Stadium control, Ability control. It’s just dirty.

Another reason why Garbodor is seemingly everywhere (Scizor lists, Mewtwo lists, DarkTinaGARB aHEM it’s literally in the name) is because of the lack of Tool removal. Once you slap a Float Stone on Garbodor, it sticks. And it stinks. For your opponent. If the Ability lock cripples an opponent’s setup, they’re more likely to spend a turn taking out the trash so they can muster some sort of response. Meanwhile, you can get ahead on the Prize trade or deal a good amount of damage to an EX, all the while making room for another of your attackers on board. Imagine the frustration on your opponent’s face if you had two Garbodor in play. It’s curtains for em. Or it’s at bare minimum a sad moment.

Making the Most of Our Metal Man

Now that we have an idea of what Scizor does and who he works well with, here’s a decklist for you. Of course, with everything else, there are always other ways to play the deck and different directions you can take with it. From my testing, this variant hands DOWN plays the best and upsets the largest amount of people. And if you upset a large amount of people, you’re doing something right…right? Ok, anyways, here’s the list. It was what you came for.

Pokemon (15)

3x M Scizor-EX (BKP #77)4x Scizor-EX (BKP #76)2x Garbodor (BKP #57)2x Trubbish (BKP #56)1x Cobalion (STS #74)2x Shaymin-EX (RSK #77)1x Hoopa-EX (AOR #36)

Trainers (35)

4x Professor Sycamore (BKP #107)3x N (FAC #105)2x Lysandre (AOR #78)1x Team Flare Grunt (GEN #73)4x Ultra Ball (FAC #113)4x VS Seeker (PHF #109)4x Trainers' Mail (RSK #92)4x Crushing Hammer (GEN #60)3x Scizor Spirit Link (BKP #111)2x Float Stone (BKT #137)1x Escape Rope (PRC #127)1x Mega Turbo (RSK #86)2x Parallel City (BKT #145)

Energy (10)

10x Metal Energy (GEN #82)

Overall Strategy: Make Sure No One Likes You by the End of the Tournament

When you beat everyone at League and no one wants to play with you anymore

This deck is all about denial. No, not denying your personal shortcomings in life. I’m talking about denying your opponent from doing much during the game. (Sheesh, cut yourself some slack there buddy. If you need someone to talk to shoot me a PM. Scared me a little there.) We know what Mega Scizor does now, and that’s discard discard discard. Get rid of DCEs, get rid of Shrine of Memories, get rid of whatever your opponent’s tried so hard to get in play. Meanwhile, Garbodor shuts down any and all other Abilities that make responding to this discarding even more difficult. And even then, we play four copies of Crushing Hammer to reject any other form of Energy attachment. Iron Crusher gets rid of the Special Energy while we hope to bring the Hammer down on the basics (you know how it is with coinflips). Think about it this way: you’re Shaquille O’Neal. Your opponent is Peter Dinklage. He’s trying to put the ball in the basket. You’re saying, “NOPE,” while slapping the ball away. Now imagine a crying Peter Dinklage. You made that happen because you’re playing Scizor and they can’t do anything. You gotta feel a little bit of pity for the guy, but you want to win so you make sure Peter Dinklage keeps crying.

By combining all of this disruptive power into one deck, we thrive on frustrating the opponent and ensuring we leave the local game store without any friends. While 120 means we’re not one-shotting with Iron Crusher, by preventing the opponent from barely even playing the game…we’re not really on a time crunch here…unless you’re trying to win as fast as you can so you can make your dental appointment you mistakenly scheduled just a half-hour after the tournament’s projected end time. Cobalion is there for late-game sweeping if you fall behind somehow, Mega Turbo’s there in case you whiff a turn of Energy, and Parallel City swings the Ray matchup in your favor. After all of this, you’ve got yourself a pretty solid deck.

Room for Improvement?

As you can see from my list, I’ve made a few decisions from personal experience that may vary from a skeleton list. I don’t play a copy of Pokémon Ranger because I don’t fear Regice or Glaceon-EX, I don’t play three Parallel City because I think two is enough to win the Ray matchup, I don’t play Shield Energy. Lemme bring up some of these ideas for potential substitutions you can make with my list, starting with the two I just mentioned.

  • You’re afraid of Water Toolbox: Regice and Glaceon are actually legitimate threats to the unprepared. Both can prevent Pokémon-EX and Evolution Pokémon damage respectively with a Water Energy and a DCE. I don’t encourage that you find a slot for Pokémon Ranger because you can actually discard the DCE with Iron Crusher. Heck, you can discard the Water with Crushing Hammer. If they miss just one Resistance Blizzard or one Crystal Ray…they’re cooked. They have a Weakness to Metal so just one Iron Crusher would do the job. For Mewtwo and Ray players, they don’t usually have Energy discarding cards in their deck to prevent these attacks from firing off. It’s an uphill battle for them or they need to bank on Lysandres or a backup attacker to get the job done. But with us? We’re Gucci. Don’t be too worried about trying to find room for Pokémon Ranger. You have outs.
  • Ray’s big in your city: If you’re expecting a lot of Ray in your area, I wouldn’t be bothered with bumping Parallel City up to three. It’s a thorn in Ray’s side for sure and, if you have Garbodor online, it’s going to make the comeback all the more difficult. Rayquaza players rely heavily on Hoopa-EX to Scoundrel Ring for three more Pokémon-EX (and 90 more damage) so preventing this is going to be huge. I would probably drop the Cobalion because you’re not going to be OHKOing much and Quick Guard would be kinda pointless against Mega Evolution Pokémon. If you find that you can get setup first, Parallel City yourself to discard Shaymin or Hoopa from your own Bench that would’ve been two-Prize liabilities. There’s a good amount of versatility for this Stadium’s use, so check out your and see what you can come up with!
  • Switching up the techs: What I should actually say is “Choosing between Jirachi or Cobalion,” because I think these two, at some level, have interchangeability. While one focuses more on the early game, the other focuses more on the late game. I’ve seen great benefit in Jirachi simply by removing Special Energy without my Mega in play and giving me another couple of turns to build a very formidable Bench before sweeping. Then again, Cobalion can pull a 2015-16 Cavaliers comeback out of nowhere. I believe this is up to personal decision, so make sure you give both a chance before filling out the decklist alrighty?
  • Team Flare Grunt’s worth: When you want to keep your opponent at bay and quell any chance of resurgence, Team Flare Grunt guarantees you do so rather than having to bank on hitting heads on Hammers. I strongly advise any Scizor player to include at least one (and probably no more than two for consistency, you should really only need one though) Flare Grunt in their builds because of the potential to discard three Energy in one swing. Mega Ray would lose both the DCE from Iron Crusher and whatever other Energy they had attached to use Emerald Break. Now they have to pray for another DCE and a Mega Turbo for a chance to fire back, and that’s a worrisome situation for the Ray player. Giratina-EX may find itself comfortable against Megas because of Renegade Pulse, an Ability that nullifies any attack damage or effect from Mega Evolution Pokémon. If we can’t get Garbodor going because of Chaos Wheel’s effect in preventing Pokémon Tool attachment, we could be in a lot of trouble. No fear! Flare Grunt away a Double Dragon Energy if you’ve been flipping tails on the Hammers and force your opponent to try some Max Elixir shenanigans or wait a turn – just long enough for you to find your Tool and slap it on the Garb to start swinging with substance again. (Note: Iron Crusher doesn’t discard Energy because Renegade Pulse denies attack effects as well, if you didn’t catch that.)
  • Shield Energy / Mega Turbo – damage control or Energy acceleration?: As you can tell from the decklist, I went with the latter on this one. Shield Energy has its merits in reducing damage by 10, but my mindset is that with all of the Energy removal we have going…my opponent won’t even have a chance to attack in the first place! 10 Energy isn’t a whole lot, (but it’s just enough), and sometimes you whiff a turn of manual attachment. Mega Turbo works to remediate that, although we only play one. I’m considering bumping that up to two (and probably no more) because of how clunky it is early game; some players opt for Max Elixir because of this, but I’m afraid that with only 10 Energy in the deck, your odds aren’t always the best. Remember: Mega Turbo only attaches basic Energy from the discard pile. If you run 4 Shield and 6 Metal Energy, the likelihood of having a Metal in the discard decreases substantially. In the mirror, I don’t want my Shield Energy being discarded away and Enhanced Hammer‘s growing popularity can set you back a turn. You can mess with the Shield and Metal count if you’d like, but I think the best bet is to go with straight Metal Energy.

Marking Up the Matchups

Scizor plays pretty well over the course of the meta. It’s not Tier S or anything of the sort, but I’d say it’s got relatively positive matchups across the board. (If I didn’t think so, I would not be spending this much time on a card like this lol) Let’s take a peek at where I think Scizor stands against the format’s bigger decks and why he is where he is on the tierlist right now.

Speed Ray: Oh we dabbin on em

When your opponent opens Rayquaza

I’m beating a dead Ponyta at this point (please don’t sue me) because I’ve talked about all of our options against Mega Ray: Parallel City, Garbodor, Iron Crusher, and Crushing Hammer. They all pull the e-brake on Rayquaza’s explosiveness. The only way I can see Ray defeating Scizor is because one of two things: we don’t get a second-turn Scizor or they recover from Parallel City. If we can control DCE drops and the number of Benched Pokémon our opponent has, we win this matchup easy-peazy. Remember, Ray players need all eight Benched Pokémon to OHKO our Mega, and if they so happen to get there…we drop a Parallel City and they lose five Benched Pokémon. They lose 150 damage. This is pretty difficult to come back from and if we have Garbodor going…rip. No Scoundrel Ring for three more EXs. No Set Up to draw into Ultra Ball for Hoopa to Scoundrel Ring for three more EXs. Yeah. It’s gg. And we would definitely re.

Mega Mewtwo: Please don’t make me talk about this again

I’ve explained a lot of this matchup already in the article. And it’s a great one. From the Resistance to getting rid of Double Colorless Energy to making sure Shrine of Memories stays off the field for Damage Change weirdness, we’ve got this one in the garbage bag. I would be most careful with Shaymin and Hoopa drops here, because it’s most likely that Mewtwo players are gonna take easy Knock Outs when they can, rather than try to overcome a 220-HP block of steel with chainsaws for hands. I would forego Garbodor completely, seeing as Mewtwo doesn’t really rely on Abilities to get setup or perform better in any sense, and would focus Bench space to powering up more Scizor. Do these, deny Energy, and you should be circling the “Win” on the matchslip at the end of the game.

Stage-1 Friends: Kinda tricky tbh, kinda depends

What counts as a “Stage-1 Friend” you’re wondering. I’m thinking a combination of the following in one deck:

  • Vespiquen AOR
  • Raichu GEN
  • Zebstrika BKP
  • Yanmega STS
  • Zoroark BKT

It’s not unheard of to see Yveltal in there too for Energy acceleration, but these are the more powerful Stage-1 Pokémon the format has to offer right now. Each has their own niche in using just a DCE to fire off powerful attacks (or if you’re Yanmega, none) while giving up only one Prize card. Scizor has a more difficult time with Yanmega due to being able to evolve into Yanmega BREAK, meaning it takes two Iron Crusher swings to take down a 140-HP buzzing Ogre Darner Pokémon. If Garbodor isn’t on the field, Yanmega can swing for 120 with Assault Boom (we have Scizor Spirit Link attached, like, 100% of the time) and 2HKO our own Mega with zero Energy because of its Ability. Sonic Vision says that as long as you have exactly four cards in-hand, Yanmega doesn’t need to pay any Energy cost to attack. Crazy. This is the importance of having Garbodor on the field for matchups like these!

Vespiquen variants can also give Scizor some trouble if Garbodor isn’t out by turn two because of Klefki. Vespiquen builds work to get as many Pokémon in the discard pile to strengthen Bee Revenge, and Klefki’s Ability in Wonder Lock does just that. You can discard Klefki to attach it as a Tool to any of your other Pokémon in order to prevent any damage from Mega Evolution card for one turn. After your opponent’s next turn, you have to discard the Klefki, but that’s another 10 damage for Bee Revenge. As mentioned earlier, there’s no way of getting rid of Klefki in Item form when he’s attached to a Vespiquen or something, so making sure a Garbodor or two is on the field asap is top priority in this matchup.

I’m not worried about Raichu, Zoroark, or Zebstrika. Raichu cannot OHKO M Scizor-EX in this format without the help of Crobat and Muscle Band (which rotated) and we can limit Zoroark damage by flipping Parallel City’s Bench-cutting properties our way. Zebstrika is mainly used for Ray, and even with the Resistance to Metal we OHKO it.

Other than these areas of concern, you shouldn’t have many problems if you can get rid of all the Double Colorless Energy. Chances are they’ll be running Special Charge because of their reliance on that as their main Energy source, but we can just keep Hammering away until we’ve won the game.

DarkTinaGarb: Protect your garbage

This matchup’s not bad, but Garbodor is somebody you’re gonna wanna take good care of throughout this game. Giratina’s a big threat in terms of making sure Scizor doesn’t do damage to the Renegade Pokémon while tanking for 100 (or 110 with Fighting Fury Belt) and can put a damper on playing the Tools necessary to activate Garbotoxin. And heads up, the opponent could very well lead with Darkrai and Dark Pulse for tons of damage with the help of Max Elixir while powering up a Giratina on the Bench. And heads up, that Darkrai can hit for big damage with basic Darkness alone while dropping Double Dragons on the Bench to power up Giratina, away from Iron Crusher’s grip. And heads up, they’re probably going for your Garbodor. Once those are gone, Giratina can sit and enjoy the benefits of Renegade Pulse. At this point, even the discarding effects of Iron Crusher don’t hit Giratina at this point. Actually, you’re kind of stuck. I would recommend getting both Garbodor in play as quickly as possible to keep Renegade Pulse in check so you can not only hit through that tough Ability, but discard Double Dragon Energy in the process. Save Hammers for those Special Energy so it discourages Giratina from being promoted and keep Garbodor alive! Remember, discarding a Double Dragon Energy also counts for discarding two Darkness Energy added to the Dark Pulse total. Use this knowledge to your advantage and limit Darkrai’s strength to three-hit Knock Outs if you can so your 2HKOs outpace your opponent!

Volcanion / Fire People: It was fun while it lasted

In the case of excessive gas or bloating, I recommend a maximum of two 125 mg tablets after meals with a cup of water. Don’t take more than four tablets daily. See your pharmacist for more information.

Volcanion’s our only true auto-loss, and it makes sense. Baby Volcanion’s Power Heater starts off doing a measly 20 damage, but with two Volcanion-EX and two Steam Ups…that’s 80. Fighting Fury Belt? 90. Scizor’s Weakness to Fire? 180. That’s enough to take down a Scizor-EX on the first flippin’ turn, people. And, after all that damage, they can attach those two Fire Energy discarded to two other Fire Pokémon, like Flareon-EX or Entei. And, after all that attachment, Flareon’s Ability can move said Fire Energy over to himself to power up Blaze Ball. With three Fire Energy attached, Blaze Ball hits for 220, just enough to OHKO our Mega Scizor…and everything else in our deck. Guys, there isn’t much we can do here. We can pray that our opponent draws dead and we get Garbodor out on the second turn. If we have that, we can at least guarantee Steam Up won’t be kindling the flames of Volcanion and friends’ attacks to sad numbers. Iron Crusher OHKO’s baby Volcanion, but…yeah. It’s not favorable. Shake your opponent’s hand if he flips a red card on the first turn and go get something to eat. Avoid Taco Bell. One word: gas.

Greninja / Talonflame: Cool story

Did somebody say…Garbodor? Because this is just about all you need to win this matchup. The reason I’m seeing a lot less Greninja just about everywhere is because of its popularity alone, discouraging a lot of frog play. The bird aspect is interesting, however. The introduction of Talonflame called for a different take on the deck made hugely popular at Worlds just weeks ago with players piloting it like Alex Hill and the runner-up, Cody Walinski. Aero Blitz may hit for 40 and give the Greninja player options in how to get setup, but that extra turn can evolve into a Garbodor with a Float Stone to shut down those big Giant Water Shuriken Abilities that frighten just about everybody and their sister. I was playing online and watched one of my M Manectric-EX fall at the hands of two Giant Water Shuriken and a Muscle Banded Moonlight Slash and we had nightmares for weeks. But that’s beside the point. Without Tool removal, no true way to OHKO a Lysandre’d Garbodor, (like, Greninja can’t even hit 100 damage without Muscle Band anymore), and Iron Crusher’s effect of discarding any Rough Seas your opponent may use to recover, Greninja BREAK will be far easier to take down – especially without those six (or more) free damage counter drops. I love ripping through the deck that’s haunted me for so much of last season.

Mega Gardy: Lol bye

This is essentially free. Gardevoir and anything of the pink variety gets dumped on by Mega Scizor because they have dat Weakness to Metal. Not only does Despair Ray not do enough, we also have Resistance to Psychic-types! “Wait John Mega Gardy’s a -” “Bruh. She’s a dual-type. And she’s part-Psychic.” In addition to swinging for a massive 240 with Iron Crusher, Gardy players are going to struggle big time even finding 2HKOs on Scizor because of Resistance. Needless to say, it should be a pretty clean sweep for us, and we’ll take the easy wins when we can.

Rainbow Road: Actually be kinda careful here

rainbow road
The best incarnation of Rainbow Road. Period.

Unlike Mega Gardevoir, Xerneas has more of a chance of defeating Scizor than we’d like to admit. Xerneas’s Rainbow Force attack does a base damage of 10 and an addition 30 for each different type of Pokémon on the Bench. With dual-types around, we’re seeing players include dual-typed Volcanion-EX and even teching in dual-typed Bisharp for the mirror so they can add 120 damage to Rainbow Force in just two Bench slots! For the remaining three, we would expect another Xerneas, maybe a Shaymin, and even a Mew for the Mewtwo matchup. That alone racks up a total of 160 damage in just five Benched Pokémon, and, of course, the number gets higher if the Rainbow Road player decides to do some construction and play Sky Field. If that’s the case, Rainbow Road needs a total of seven different types on the field to OHKO Mega Scizor, and with Max Elixir and Double Colorless Energy, it’s within reach. Iron Crusher takes out Xerneas without any issues – it’s the Prize trade that becomes more of a problem than anything else. Rainbow Road players may take caution in Energy attachment because of how they can get the required Energy needed to attack in just one turn. While some may take the gamble and hope you flip tails on the Hammer, they may emphasize a Max Elixir and DCE combo to make sure they don’t miss a turn of attacking.

I highly recommend Parallel City in this matchup and pushing to Knock Out the dual-types if you can. While Volcanion-EX is bulky, Bisharp and even Galvantula are not. Lysandre correctly and you can make it a lot easier on yourself and in the long run. While you may think that getting rid of the threat in front of you is the most important, robbing Xerneas of its attack power will give you an extra turn to catch up. You reduce damage by 60 Knocking Out dual-types, which makes it more difficult for your opponent to reach a OHKO and gives your Scizor another turn to wreak more havoc. In the meantime, you can get ahead by picking off a Shaymin or even a Xerneas if you’re feeling like it. Play carefully against Rainbow Road, or else it might sneak up on you and make the game more difficult than it needs to be.

Yveltal / Zoroark / Dark: A little flaky

Our last matchup is also a little weird. Not because it features Pokémon that hit big, but because they can recycle Energy we discard and use Fighting Fury Belt effectively. Crushing Hammer gets semi-nerfed because it fuels Yveltal’s Oblivion Wing and Iron Crusher whiffs OHKOs by just 10 damage on both Steam Siege’s Yveltal (and XY’s…and Radiant Collection’s…and the Promo’s…) and the BREAKthrough version. Speaking of which, the Yveltal from BREAKthrough’s Ability nullifies the effect of Scizor Spirit Link, meaning you’ll actually spend a turn just to evolve. This gives the Dark player (not physically dark, not racially, I mean a player that is using Darkness-type Pokémon) time to charge up a bulkier Yveltal-EX, slowing you down pretty significantly. Evil Ball would only hit for 100 if minimum Energy requirements are met by Yveltal and Mega Scizor, but of course that number can adjust. With just another Energy, Yveltal-EX can swing with Y Cyclone for 90 and move a precious Double Colorless away from Iron Crusher’s grasp to a Zoroark or another Yveltal-EX in a “keep away” sort of game.

The biggest threat is the rising popularity of Umbreon-EX, who can fire off an Endgame for 70 damage and take four Prize cards in the process. Let me repeat that. FOUR PRIZE CARDS IN THE PROCESS. A card that was overlooked in the last format and was thought of as merely a fun tech in Dark, now is his time to make a move. As long as Endgame Knocks Out a Mega, you’re picking up an additional two Prizes to that Knock Out. Now, Dark just needs to swing for two more Prize cards, and that Shaymin you dropped on the first turn looks like ripe pickings right now.

I would be wary of how damaged you leave your Mega in the Active slot because of a play like this and save those Hammers for the DCEs when you see em on the Bench. Iron Crusher on baby Yveltal are rough if you can’t take a Knock Out, so focus your Energy on two-shotting the bigger birds or the Shaymin if you see them. Cobalion might prove himself useful if Endgame becomes a factor, so at least he can get rid of those Yveltal if they become pesky or even a Shaymin if you’re needing to catch up.

I Know Your Mother Told You Not to Play With Scizors…

In all honesty you shouldn’t run around with these because it’s a safety hazard so Mom’s right

but you should go ahead and try him out anyways. You’ve got your options listed above, you’ve got your matchups listed above, and you have disposable income, apparently. I remember when these cards were in the single-digits in terms of price. If you checked that link to TCGplayer earlier, they’ve jumped up to fifteen or twenty alone…and that’s just the Mega! I have a League Challenge next weekend and I’m expecting this guy to make a strong showing, so you best bet I’m gonna be prepared for it. (*cough**cough**I might be playing it**cough**I need Robitussin*)

As I always like to tell my readers, check the meta first and see what decks are the most prominent in you area before pulling the trigger on a deck idea. You can give yourself a big advantage if you gauge the field with what’s hot and what’s not, so go to League if you can or awkwardly hover behind players to see what they’re running. If you can’t do either of these and go in blind with Scizor…it probably still wouldn’t be the worst option. He’s good.

Thank you so much for giving another one of my articles a read. Every view, like, and share means so much, guys. I’ve loved what’s happened in the TCG recently – watching bulk-EX cards win Worlds and seeing this guy rise to the top of Standard – it’s safe to say I’ve caught the Pokémon bug again! Lemme know what you thought of my list, if it’s been working for you, if you’ve made any changes, made a profit off of your irl Scizor-EX, etc. in the comments below. Talk to me. I need to procrastinate more.

Thanks for the read, make it a great day, and take it easy,

John / Serperior