Hey, Trainers! Now that Standard has officially begun, I’d like to take a look at a deck focusing on Mega Scizor. While this card has seen close to no competitive play before, it might be a real contender in our current Standard format. I’ll be going over how Mega Scizor works and matchups for the Pincer Pokémon. So let’s cut to the chase and get right to it!
Why Play Mega Scizor?
Mega Scizor has an important quality that can make it very powerful in competitive play. This quality is the flexibility of its attack. Iron Crusher for two Metal Energy deals 120 damage and allows you to discard either a Special Energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokémon or a Stadium card in play. This attack can Knock Out almost any Pokémon in two attacks and disrupt your opponent’s board state at the same time. Decks that rely on Special Energy are put under pressure, and Stadium cards that can negatively impact your board like Silent Lab or Parallel City can be removed. In addition to the attack, Mega Scizor has 220 HP, a standard amount for Mega Pokémon. However, being a Metal type, Scizor gains access to cards like Shield Energy and Reverse Valley which can often give it much more survivability than other Mega Pokémon.
While Mega Scizor is the focus, I find the regular Scizor-EX often has an important role in the deck as well. Both of its attacks — Steel Wing and Gale Thrust — have been helpful in testing. Gale Thrust costs one Metal Energy and does 20 damage. It also allows Scizor to resist an additional 20 damage next turn. This paired with Shield Energy and Reverse Valley lets Scizor remain closer to full health before Mega Evolving. The second attack Gale Thrust is useful as well. For two Metal Energy it can hit for 110, the perfect number for taking knockouts on Shaymin-EXs. While Gale Thrust only hits for 110 if Scizor was on the Bench and then promoted to the Active that turn, Float Stone is played in the deck and makes this requirement relatively easy. I often find myself ending games by using Lysandre on Shaymin-EX and knocking it out with Gale Thrust.
How the Deck Works
The goal behind this deck is to quickly set up 2-3 Mega Scizor and a Garbodor BKP in order to stop your opponent from effectively using Abilities, Stadiums, and Special Energy. When the strategy comes together, your opponent is left with dwindling resources and an inability to run through their deck via Shaymin-EX to refresh said resources. With this disruption, the 120 damage Iron Crusher deals efficiently Knocks Out almost all Pokémon in the game in two attacks.
I find Mega Scizor has potential in Standard as it can maintain a positive board state while dealing damage, has tools like Reverse Valley and Shield Energy to win Prize exchanges, and has a minimal attack cost, making setup extremely consistent.
Pokémon – 14
Trainers – 37
Energy – 9
Now that you know why I think Mega Scizor can see success, let’s look at how it plays against other top contenders!
The current meta is up for debate, as not many tournaments have taken place to give us a good look at what’s been finding success. Today I’ll be talking about how Mega Scizor holds up against what I believe will be popular decks in the Standard format. This includes Mega Rayquaza, Mega Mewtwo, Volcanion, and Speed Dark variants.
Mega Rayquaza — Favorable
While Mega Scizor can’t take one-hit knockouts on other Mega Pokémon like Rayquaza can, Scizor’s attack can continuously discard the Rayquaza player’s Sky Field, mitigating their Bench size and transitively their damage output. This can allow you to win the Prize trade, as they cannot maintain their board state and match your consistent damage output. Parallel City is also extremely effective when paired with the continuous discarding of Sky Field.
In addition to Stadium manipulation, disruption through Crushing Hammer and occasionally using Iron Crusher to remove Double Colorless Energy can force the Rayquaza player to simply need too many cards each turn to stream attacks. I believe if Scizor can use Iron Crusher on turn 2 and hit a few heads on Crushing Hammers the matchup is favorable.
In addition, Garbodor’s Garbotoxin Ability stops the Rayquaza player from using Hoopa-EX and Shaymin-EX to refresh their hand and Bench, forcing them to run into the resources they need through Item and Supporter draw. However, if your start is slower than theirs you will most likely be overwhelmed and unable to power up attackers fast enough. Despite that, I believe Scizor is consistent enough to consider the matchup favorable.
Mega Mewtwo — Slightly Favorable
This matchup is very close in my testing as most variants of Mega Mewtwo play Shrine of Memories in order to use the Mewtwo-EX BKT 62’s Damage Change attack. This can offset your goal of Knocking Out opposing Megas in two hits and put the Prize trade in your opponent’s favor. Even one use of Damage Change can be crucial, and seeing as your opponent can hold the Stadium until he or she is prepared to Damage Change, Scizor’s attack will discard the Stadium after it has already served its purpose.
Luckily, Mega Scizor has a few advantages in other areas against Mega Mewtwo. Scizor is resistant to Psychic Pokémon which further adds to the damage reduction that Shield Energy and Reverse Valley provide. In addition, Mega Mewtwo decks often rely on DCE to increase their damage output, which can be discarded via Iron Crusher. Crushing Hammer can add to that discard, devastating a Mewtwo player’s board even more. This is especially useful to stop the usage of Damage Change, the Energy requirement of which can be difficult to fulfill early game without Mega Turbo.
Overall Damage Change can be extremely effective for the Mewtwo player, but if this attack can be avoided, Scizor has many inherent advantages that make the matchup winnable. I believe that despite those advantages, Damage Change makes the matchup only slightly favorable.
Volcanion — Unfavorable
This matchup is relatively straightforward. Volcanion STS can easily take knockouts on Scizor-EX and M Scizor-EX due to Weakness and the damage increase it receives from Volcanion-EX, resulting in a terrible Prize trade. Mega Scizor is forced to two-shot Volcanion STS as it has 10 HP more than the deck can dish out. Aside from games where the Volcanion player starts Shaymin and is unable to draw much from there, I do not see a way to win this matchup, as Weakness and the negative Prize trade is simply too devastating for Mega Scizor to handle.
Speed Dark Variants — Even
Most decks using Dark Pokémon such as Darkrai-EX and Yveltal-EX are relatively similar. They often focus on using Max Elixir to accelerate Energy and apply quick pressure with strong attacks. I believe this matchup is even for a few reasons. First, Crushing Hammer can often force the Speed Dark player to attack for less damage, as both Darkrai’s and Yveltal’s most commonly used attacks rely on having Energy on the board. I find both decks often hit for similar numbers when Crushing Hammer is used to limit their Energy, and the use of Pokémon Center Lady helps Mega Scizor take two Prizes before your opponent and puts the Prize trade in your favor.
Scizor and most Dark Variants also run Reverse Valley; this card’s effects are eliminated when Metal and Dark Pokémon interact with each other as the damage increased for Dark Pokémon is countered by the damage reduced to Metal Pokémon.
Overall, if both decks set up at the same pace, the player who goes first and the outcome of Crushing Hammer flips often determine the winner, which makes me believe this matchup is relatively even.
Overall, I think Mega Scizor has a lot of potential in the Standard format. Iron Crusher can disrupt your opponents from using crucial pieces of their decks’ strategies and supply consistent damage output. Scizor can struggle against high-HP, non-EX attackers, but has many ways to reduce damage to create positive Prize exchanges in almost any matchup.
Thanks for reading — I hope this article helped show that Mega Scizor is more than capable of making the cut!