What’s going on Some1spc readers, its Israel with another article and it’s been awhile since my last article. Today I’m doing something completely different with my article then my usual rundown. Instead of my usual deck profile and matchups, I will also be sharing my testing sessions I’ve had in the last couple weeks and share more of my thought process and my initial feelings of the deck. So let’s go through what I am going to talk about:
I. NAIC small Tournament report
II. Testing sessions with Scizor
III. Decklist and choices
V. Thoughts of the deck itself
We will start out the article with my last tournament which was NAIC; unfortunately, I couldn’t test as much as I usually do for NAIC due to picking up two jobs since I was running into personal issues. So I tested what I could and decided to run Waterbox for the tournament. It was my third choice but became a first instantly once Drew convinced me of its potential with his list. I tested when I could and switched it to more of my liking and was fully convinced to run with it. Here’s the list I used for the tournament:
- 14 Water
The MVPs of the tournament for me was Tapu Fini GX and Volcanion because of their ability to snipe and Fini buying me time when I’m behind. In all honesty, I used Tapu Storm more times than Ice Beam GX. The big disappointments in the list were White Kyurem and Lillie. I used them a couple times but they never impactful. The reasoning for White Kyurem was to use a single Prize attacker to deal with baby Buzzwole but unfortunately I didn’t get to face many Buzzwole. So moving onto the round by round:
R1 No Show 1-0
R2 Golisopod Zoroark LL 1-1
R3 Malamar WLW 2-1
R4 Ho-Oh GX WW 3-1
R5 Zoroark Lycanroc WLT 3-1-1
R6 Greninja WLW 4-1-1
R7 Buzzwole LL 4-2-1
R8 Lurantis Bulu and other Grass attackers LWL 4-3-1
R9 Quad Hoopa Malamar WLL 4-4-1
This year looked really promising for me in the first six rounds but again I couldn’t finish strong in the last three rounds. So another year where I don’t make a Day 2 in NAIC in the five times I’ve attended. Also to add more salt in wound, this now makes it seven months where I haven’t made a Day 2 in the tournaments I’ve attended since EUIC. After this horrible run, I promised myself that I would test my heart out after my second job is complete(August 3) to hopefully break this slump and I hope to make a deep run at Worlds. This leads to the second part of the article, which is the testing results of Scizor.
Testing Sessions with Scizor
Before I go into the actual testing, let me discuss a little bit about Scizor and why I chose it for my first deck in the new format:
Scizor GX HP 210
Ability: Danger Perception
If this Pokémon’s remaining HP is 100 or less, this Pokémon’s attacks do 80 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokémon (before applying Weakness and Resistance).
This Ability is what caught my attention, I was instantly thinking about how can I abuse this or how can I make it extremely tanky to abuse its Ability and the first attack pairs well this Ability.
MC Steel Wing 80
During your opponent’s next turn, any damage done to this Pokémon by attacks is reduced by 30. (after applying Weakness and Resistance).
Steel Wing pairs extremely well with the Ability since it makes it hard for your opponent to kill your Scizor with a clean hit. This also makes it a difficult decision since now they can’t baby hit me since I’m reducing the attack by 30 and if they hit me hard and don’t kill me, I can easily hit them harder the following turn. With Choice Band and Dhelmise you’re hitting for 120 for two Energy and with the Ability activated you can hit for even more damage. Even if they don’t hit you in the Ability range, you’re two shooting anything in the format.
CCC Cross-Cut GX
If your opponent’s Active Pokémon is an Evolution Pokémon, this attack does 100 more damage. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
I’m so and so with this GX attack since it only gets the extra 100 if you hit an evolved Pokémon. This makes it awkward to kill basic GX attackers because you would need the Ability to one hit them.
So now that I’ve gone over the card itself, let’s get to the actual testing results with the deck. I will also do card choices at the end, I will go over why I chose some cards below each list and what I changed in each session.
Day 1 vs Russell Laparre (Shiftry/Zoroark)
Here’s the list I used:
Scizor and SQUAD
- 11 Metal
So it’s a pretty simple list I wanted to try using some new cards and wanted to use a Sableye Magcargo engine to not only make it so I won’t whiff an Elixir but once I get to the point where I have multiple attackers on the board, I can use this engine to thin out cards I don’t want. I also wanted to use Copycat to see if it’s good against Zoroark variants since they usually have big hands.
In this first series, I was making misplays and evolving Scizors early when I had Max Elixirs and I found that the Sableye engine was not as good as I hoped it will be and the same for Magcargo since I don’t have the extra draw engine to get to the cards I want to find. In the entire series against Russell I never felt behind due to walling with Scizor and using Parallels to make it harder for him to set up. Celesteela was helpful in the first set of games since it can hit for 190 with a Choice Band. Also a big thing that gave me so many issues was bench space and trying to not only fit the Sable-Cargo engine but also getting Dhelmise and Scyther on the board. It was too clunky and unnecessary. Russell and I both agreed that Magcargo doesn’t work in this list and should be switched to Octillery to avoid falling apart in late game and giving me that extra reach.
In this second series, for some reason I was forgetting that Octillery was in the list and just avoided putting it down because of the pressure Russell was giving me with Shiftry. Kartana GX played a small role keeping it close due to its Slice Off Ability removing Double Colorless but it got to the point where he was drawing everything he needed. In this second series of games with Russell, I learned that Scizor can be good but Russell was smart to avoid hitting me into that Ability range and it made me realize that something else needs to be added to increase the damage to make it where I can knockout Pokémon without wasting the GX attack. Also, I decided in my testing session that I needed to add a Dusk Mane Necrozma to help clean up kills that Scizor just barely missed.
Day 2 vs Chris Taporco (multiple decks)
2 Parallel City
1 Field Blower
1 Professor Kukui
2 Shrine of Punishment
1 Dusk Mane Necrozma
I decided to add Shrine of Punishment instead of Parallel to add that extra damage to Scizor to make it easier for me to be put into my Ability range so I can KO GX’s with Steel Wing instead of wasting my GX for damaged attackers. Copycat was a major flop and in all honesty, I think opponents would play around it if they see it in the first game so I decided to add more consistency. The last card I wanted to try was Professor Kukui, Chris was testing Scizor in his spare time and was annoyed that he couldn’t kill Oranguru when Zoroark goes into a loop and spams Acerola. Scizor can’t hit 120 on non GX Pokémon but you can if you have two Dhelmise and Kukui or Tapu Lele with three Energy and Kukui (assuming Oranguru has a Double Colorless).
R1 vs Rayquaza Garb LL
So before coming into this I knew it was going to be rough since he’s able to one shot me and I have nothing that can one-shot him back. In Game 1 I kinda took off on Turn 1 and got like 3-5 Energy on board and just went on autopilot from there, I somewhat kept it close since he needs eight Energy to kill my Scizor and I was two hitting everything but missed a couple key Max Elixirs to strike back with Tapu Lele and couldn’t find a Field Blower to take off his Fighting Fury Belts. Game 2 wasn’t as explosive and again I kept it close to the very end but missed the Field Blower to take off his Wishful Baton which gave him his three Energies he would have lost. Then it came down to me hitting either double Elixir or Elixir with Shrine of Punishment from an Octillery and Kukui to knockout his active Ray(Tapu Lele had two Energy and Choice) and of course whiffed one of the pieces to win the game. So I found this matchup actually winnable without Sylveon but things have to go right and I have to play two Blowers because Fighting Fury Belt is annoying. The Garb annoyed me a little and not having Abilities didn’t really matter if he’s one shotting me at a certain point. So I decided to add another Field Blower to run this matchup again and while I was searching for a Field Blower Chris switched decks on me.
I decided to take out Oranguru because I hardly use the card and haven’t been in a scenario where I have to use it to bring stuff back. I honestly don’t remember why I took out the Field Blower in the first place but if I had to take a guess, I wasn’t afraid of Parallel and Garb to where I felt that I needed two but against Ray you need two.
R2 vs Zoroark Magcargo Oranguru L
So after he flipped over his card while laughing I realized it’s not the same matchup and he wanted to pull a fast one. I needed to go over that match up anyways so it didn’t bother me even though I wanted my rematch with Ray. Besides, we will see if the Kukui was worth it or not. So right off the bat he was aiming for my Dhelmise to keep his loop option for later in the game. Just like with Russell, Scizor is just a monster against Zoroark because Zoroark can’t one shot the Scizor and if he hits it too hard then I can potentially kill the Zoroark with Steel Wing (Choice Band and two Dhelmise or Kukui). So he was trying everything he can to avoid hitting that magic number of 100 and hit for 90. Of course, I can never find Shrine of Punishment in this game but the game was extremely close to where I can use double Guzma and Kukui to pick off three kills. I used one to kill Magcargo (always kill the Magcargo, otherwise the Zoroark player will do whatever he wants) and used the second one to pick off a Zorua. So I made a huge mistake in this game where I attached two Metal to Kartana instead of Dhelmise because Dhelmise gives me two options to win the game with Guzma instead of one (which was Tapu Lele). So he starts the loop with Oranguru and gets the second Magcargo going. I used Kukui with a three Energy Tapu Lele to pick off his Oranguru to destroy the set up. So because of the Super Rod play where I only need one Energy and Dhelmise to kill a Magcargo, I now needed an Energy AND an Elixir to kill it with Tapu Lele. So Chris N’s me to one and of course I found Ultra Ball and Guzma from top deck (had Octillery) and off the three of Abyssal Hand I hit Elixir but no Energy. So I lose another close one. So we decided to do one more game and call it a night.
R3 vs Buzzwole W
Throughout this game he drew horribly and couldn’t find anything. So I used all three Guzmas to hit both of his Buzzwole GX at 130 (Choice Band and Double Dhelmise) and then to Cross-Cut GX his Lycanroc GX and used Dusk Mane to clean up the Buzzwole and he decided to fold since there’s nothing that he can do to kill it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get many notes on that matchup but I do have some theory options when I go more in detail on the list.
After these two days of testing with Scizor, I found that all my games were extremely close but I had a hard time finishing games and losing just by 10 HP or a single card. The deck has potential but losing so many close games is not as promising for something for Worlds. So I did a 3rd day of testing with a buddy of mine around my area.
Day 3 vs Daniel Gomez (Beastbox with Metal or Metal Box?)
1 Kartana GX
3 Double Colorless
I wanted to try what Russell mentioned during my testing with him and added Double Colorless. Why only three? I can’t find the room for the forth, if I wanted the fourth Double Colorless I would have to drop Mt. Coronet for it and it’s so hard to drop it since I needed another way to bring back Energies and not heavily rely on Super Rod to do the job. I also wanted to give myself more damage output with Lele if I’m desperate for a kill. This is also a much easier way to use Scizors GX attack without relying on hitting Elixirs early on to get three Energy on Scyther to build up that option and also to use a clean Scizor to use the GX instead of sacrificing one of my damaged ones. Kartana GX was helpful in my first day of testing but it has been a dead card in my other games so I decided to let go of Kartana from the squad and add another Guzma. I wanted to add another Guzma for more aggression and to be able to hit things in range for Dusk Mane Necrozma kills or later KOs with Lele or Scizor.
R1 Beastbox WLW
In my first game, the list ran well. Naganadel GX can’t really hit my Scizor for much damage and Stakataka would get punished if it tries to hit Scizor since it would be putting me in range of my Ability since I used an early Shrine of Punishment. He decided to scoop after whiffing Beast Ring and knowing another one of his Pokémon was going to get knocked out by Scizor and a Lele loading in the back. In game two I dead drew really bad but eventually got going and started to make a comeback. If there’s anything that I have really enjoyed testing with Scizor it’s the comeback ability it has. One Steel Wing can buy you one or more turns before losing. So it became an exchange fest and eventually I scooped once he loaded a Stakataka and I had no way of killing it before he uses his GX attack (50 times the amount of Prizes you’ve taken). In game three I dead drew again and was just barely hanging on with 10 HP left on Dusk Mane and nothing else then I top deck Brigette and started rallying back. Once again we were exchanging hits and it got to an awkward scenario where I have to N him to two and hope he doesn’t find either a Choice Band or Beast Energy to kill my Scizor with Stakataka (he had two Prizes left) because I used Steel Wing and had to use Shrine of Punishment to KO his Naganadel for the exact number. From the N to two, he hits Sycamore from the top deck and whiffed and I just showed Guzma (did not play or Prize a single Guzma) for win. So if I would have done my next session I would have dropped Celesteela for another Cynthia or another attacker. In my games I found it very underwhelming and feel the scenario of 6 exact Prizes is not common.
So before moving on with the current decklist and choices, I want to talk about Scizor and how I feel its place is in the Meta right now. In most of my testing, I have kept it close and didn’t feel like I was out of reach in any of my games. Even with my back against the wall, it was still there and put up one hell of a fight to either a win or a close loss. I personally don’t think it’s bad but I also don’t think it’s the strongest in the Meta. Do I believe it can make a good run at worlds? Absolutely. Do I think it will be the one holding the Championship trophy? Not likely. I love the deck and it probably will be my deck choice for Worlds but it has a lot of work ahead of it and finding the perfect 60 is going to be a challenge for people considering it.
Scizor and SQUAD
- 9 Metal
- 3 Double Colorless
4-3 Scizor GX
This is the main attacker of the deck and these are the counts I use when I run Stage 1 decks (besides Silvally). I have never found it to be an issue for me when it comes to finding and prizing them, Super Rod also helps gets these guys back. Attacking with Scyther hasn’t been as bad either, with CC you do 20 and with heads on the coin flip you can’t be hit which is nice if you whiff Scizor for a turn.
1 Dusk Mane Necrozma
The janitor of the squad, this is the one that will clean up anything that Scizor couldn’t finish. You can also use its second attack for MMC you hit for 100 plus 100 more if your opponent has one Prize left. Being a 130 HP Pokémon it’s a nice attacker and pairs well with Shrine of Punishment.
You cannot play any less then this number. The reasoning for two is if Scizor is hit into its Ability range, two Dhelmise and Choice Band lets Scizor hit for 210 with Steel Wing. These are the bench warmers of the squad but the most important ones on the squad.
Another bench warmer but gives you cards while sitting there. I found the 1-1 line fine since the deck was running well enough where I didn’t need it but a 2-1 doesn’t sound awful in my opinion.
2 Shrine of Punishment/1 Mt. Coronet
I really like this count of Stadiums and honestly it would be hard to switch the counts to something else. Shrine is very important in the list since it not only adds more damage to Scizor for the Ability but also softens up other GXs or they are knocking them out, this is your backup plan to finish those numbers. Mt. Coronet has been stellar for me because of not only finding me Energy but also Scizor has one retreat, so you can pay the retreat, use Coronet to bring them back and have it ready again. Poison? Confuse? Never have to worry about it. It’s also good to use for Ultra Ball plays where you use two Metal to find something then bring them back.
So nothing can get stuck. Having four Guzma helps prevent that but why not add two more options to bail out heavy retreaters.
If there’s any Supporter that is a must for Scizor decks, it’s this one. It gives you the extra damage you need to clean up single Prize attackers. This is also another way to add damage if Dhelmise can’t be found or it’s in the discard. I haven’t tried it with two in the deck but that’s something I would consider for the open spot.
9-3 Energy Count: The awkward three Double Colorless, but trust me, I never needed a fourth one. You’re attacking with Scizor the majority of the game and Double Colorless is just useful for the GX attack and Tapu Lele.
One of the attackers I’m considering due to the consistent 120 damage it can do which is nice to have for Scizor to battle out of loops and it can kill Tapu Lele with double Dhelmise and Choice Band or Professor Kukui. The problem I would have is getting the Energy on him but it may be possibly worth it.
Another Dusk Mane Necrozma
This gives you higher odds to start with it and it’s a strong attacker for a Single Energy. It’s never a bad thing to have two janitors.
I have thought about this and having a healing option would be nice. If you hit Elixirs early and can get multiple attackers going you can heal one and keep applying the pressure.
Since you’re now playing Double Colorless Energy and having the Fighting Resistance wouldn’t be a bad choice against Buzzwole. For MCC you’re doing 30 plus 30 more for the amount of Retreat cost on the Active Pokémon. So hitting Buzzwole for 140 (with Choice Band and two Dhelmise) with two attachments is pretty good. Another Energy (only if it’s worth it) can hit a Buzz for 180 with the same set up (KO with Kukui). I personally wouldn’t use it but it’s an option.
Another attacker that can be useful since you’re using Double Colorless and you’re built to have damage on your attackers to do more damage so it works well with Drampa. For a single Energy you can do 20 and remove a Special Energy and for CCC you can hit for 180 with Choice Band if one of the Pokémon on your Bench has damage.
If you want to ruin Greninja’s day here’s an option for you. I would take a gamble and not play one but if you want the autowin just play it.
If you want some spice in your life, here’s another way to get damage on your Scizor. If you don’t know what it does, you move three damage counters from one of your Pokémon to another Pokémon.
This is another Stadium I’m going to try in my next testing session but Po Town can actually be really good for Scizor. Especially against Zoroark where they try to be cute and hit you for 90 after you use Steel Wing. With Po Town you go over 100 if they hit you which is pretty scary for the Zoroark player forcing them to use Tapu Lele or something to avoid the hit otherwise you have four Prizes set for you.
Miltank and Escape Rope combo
This is what Chris was testing with Scizor; Miltank (only if it’s active) heals one of your bench Pokémon by 60 if you attach an Energy from hand. With Escape Rope you can retreat into Miltank, use the effect, and then use Escape Rope to keep attacking. Its three spaces you would have to give to use it but it’s an option.
For the Rayquaza matchup, for CC it hits for 30 and 30 more if it has a Tool attached to it. So Double Colorless and Choice Band will kill a Rayquaza.
For the Buzzwole matchup, if Buzzwole GX has three Energies, with DCE and Choice Band you can one shot it. Also it can be helpful in some moments outside of Buzzwole matchup.
This matchup will go downhill really quick if they get going in the early turns. I found that the best option is to get aggressive and hit the Rays early. Use Guzma on them and hit them as hard as you can. Create a scenario where you can clean up with Dusk Mane Necrozma or Tapu Lele (if you Prize it). Just use Steel Wing the entire way and just two hit these guys. Depending on the list they might have Tools like Wishful Baton or Fighting Fury Belt, so use your Field Blower the best you can. Try to not waste it. Also don’t be afraid to start loading up on a Lele, you just need to find any way to knock out these Rays. Try to always aim for the Ray that has the most Energy and try to deal with it as fast as you can, make them use Latias to bring back Energy and get the first hits on Ray. If you do that you can take the matchup. You need at least one Dhelmise and a Choice Band to hit Ray to 120 for Dusk Mane to kill with a snipe, two Dhelmise is nice but you’ll be fine with one.
Zoroark Magcargo 45/55
This matchup will be at fast paced in the beginning but will slow down at one point in this game, keep Kukui alive in the deck as long as possible, you need it to kill Oranguru. If there’s a matchup where Dusk Mane Necrozma is not good, it’s this one so avoid it unless they are at one Prize, then it can potentially be good. Use Guzmas on Magcargo, keep it off the board as much as possible, if it stays on the board then the Zoroark player will be able to do whatever they want. Try to utilize your Super Rods on Dhelmise, they will be needed to kill Magcargo and Oranguru. Use the GX attack on a clean Zoroark, try to avoid using it on a damaged one otherwise you will have an extremely hard time in this matchup. I feel the matchup would improve a little more if there’s another Kukui but it’s something I would have to test personally. If you do not do any of this, you will lose by deck out or them knocking out everything besides Scizor.
I haven’t got much testing on this matchup but if you do the same strategy like Ray and get the first hits on the Buzzwole and clean up with Dusk Mane I feel you can take over this matchup. Be aggressive and get the first hits on Buzzwole and use the GX attack to deal with Lycanroc. If there’s anything that should be the least of your worries it’s the baby Buzz. They would need to do a lot to kill the Scizor if it’s clean. If you add Mewtwo, this matchup can be swung into your favor. You kill Lycanroc with Scizor, they kill you with Buzzwole, then you come right back with Mewtwo, then what? So if you feel Buzzwole is going to be popular for Worlds, I would definitely add Mewtwo as the last card. The things to be careful for is your Bench size. You want them to use their Buzzwole GX attack, not the Lycanroc GX otherwise you have to kill with Scizors GX attack then you’re a sitting duck from a Buzzwole GX attack and things will go downhill.
I feel this matchup is the least of your worries because of Scizors Resistance to Psychic and Stakataka GX would hit Scizor into its Ability range and give us two free Prizes. Shrine of Punishment can be a key card to victory but also your downfall if you’re not careful especially in the late game. Try to avoid giving the Beastbox player any free Prizes otherwise you have to deal with Stakataka GX in the late game and that’s when things get rough. Just use Steel Wing and do exchanges with Naganadel or Stakataka depending on how they want to deal with the first Scizor. Also, something you need to be careful of is if they play Dusk Mane Necrozma GX, they can one shot Scizor no matter what with their GX attack and that’s when things can be rough. Try to disrupt them much as possible and if they bench it or start with it, hit it. You can deal with everything else just fine, that’s the one that will give you the most trouble.
I still have a lot of testing to do with Scizor moving forward from this but from the 12 games I played with it, I know it has some potential once the list is there. So getting to the end of things, I will write one more article before Worlds and try to add a more current list of Scizor or the deck I’m pretty close to taking with me to Nashville. Also for people that are not going to Worlds or playing in Worlds, if you need any coaching, hit me up after August 3rd, I will be more than happy to help you guys out. If you have not added me on twitter yet please do @Drdy_Sosapc, I haven’t used it recently due to having phone issues and currently using a temporary phone until I get a new one but for sure I will be tweeting soon. If you have any questions hit me up on Facebook or comment below (I promise I will look). I want to say thank you to everyone for this season and hope your testing goes well.
Edited by Neil Essymer