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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Scizor-EX

- XY BREAKpoint

Date Reviewed:
May 5, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.75
Expanded: 2.25
Limited: 3.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Ahhh yes, Scizor-EX, the great and noble mantis, first of the Bug/Steel types - and probably one of the coolest Pokemon ever! But let's not dilly-dally too much, let's get right into the meat of this card! 

...which being a Bug-type, there won't be much, am I right? 

Well Scizor-EX is like many of the Mega-Evolving Pokemon-EX in that he has a couple of attacks that are...okay. Steel Wing's not too bad, at a 1-for-20 that prevents up to 20 damage from hitting Scizor-EX. Damage reduction is always better than healing, in my opinion, and even though it's only a small amount, it means it takes a bit more than just dealing 170 HP to Scizor-EX to do enough damage to KO him. 

And then there's Gale Thrust, which I'll admit is an interesting attack to say the least. It's a paltry 2-for-50 hit, but if you switched Scizor-EX out into the Active slot from your Bench the same turn, it deals an extra 60 damage! Course 2-for-110 is FAR better, but the trick with Scizor-EX would be switching him around enough to make it work - Switch and Float Stone are probably the easiest ways of doing it, though if you're playing in Expanded you could use Keldeo-EX's Rush In to switch around even easier. You'd want to avoid manually switching, since that would remove the 2 Energy Scizor-EX needs to use Gale Thrust in the first place, and you'd need Bronzong (PHF) to make up for it. 

So all-in-all, Scizor-EX isn't too bad. He's not amazing or anything, and he's more of a stepping stone to M Scizor-EX, but he's not terrible either. It'd take some work to make Gale Thrust threatening enough every turn, but at least Steel Wing will be constantly usable. Now if only his Energy costs had some Colorless Energy in them instead of just Metal... 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (he's got some good stuff, though I wouldn't call him "main attacker" material) 

Expanded: 2/5 (at least he's not the worst EX ever) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (no one can be that level of bad...) 

Arora Notealus: Scizor - he's just super cool! I kinda wish they designed his Mega form a little differently though. Feels more brutish than sleek and elegant, ya know? 

Next Time: The power of fairies compels you to FLYYYYYY!!


Otaku

So we go from “The Baconator” to “The Waspinator”. 

 

That isn’t a good description for Scizor-EX (XY: BREAKpoint 76/122, 119/122) as it is clearly not based on a wasp, but I’m a Transformers fanboy and a former “Wendy’s” employee with a weird sense of humor, so just go with it.  Scizor-EX is a Metal Type, so it can hit some Water Type and all Fairy Type Pokémon for double damage thanks to Weakness and has to deal with Resistance on XY-era Lightning-Types.  Explicit Metal counters aren’t a thing, but there are a few cards that specifically support them: Klinklang (BW: Plasma Storm 90/135) provides total immunity to damage from attacks by Pokémon-EX to your Metal Type Pokémon, Reverse Valley has one side that drops damage done to Metal Types by 10 (the other side increases the damage done by Darkness TYpes), Steel Shelter prevents (and if already afflicted, cures) Special Conditions for Metal Types, and Shield Energy allows Metal Types to soak 10 damage from attacks by the opponent’s Pokémon.  Not strictly limited to Metal Types but favoring them are cards like Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119; XY: Black Star Promos XY21), which can accelerate [M] Energy from the discard pile to your Bench, and Klinklang (Black & White 76/114) can move [M] Energy around on your side of the board.  Plus there are some key Metal Type attackers like Aegislash-EX, Cobalion-EX, Cobalion (BW: Noble Victories 84/101, 100/101; BW: Legendary Treasures 91/113), and Heatran that can all deliver some solid damage or have useful effects.  This Type actually has a lot going for it, but so much can be used by other Types. 

Scizor-EX is *gasp* a Pokémon-EX, so it gives up an extra Prize when KOed, is the target of some detrimental effects, and excluded from a handful of beneficial one.  These are guaranteed unless the card itself includes something to overwrite these as the first is part of the standard Pokémon-EX rule text while the last two are part of the existing card pool.  Pokémon-EX get better attributes and often better effects than if their non-Pokémon-EX counterparts, but Scizor-EX also gets to enjoy being a Basic Pokémon instead of a Stage 1 as (so far) the only Evolve forms for Pokémon-EX are Mega Evolutions.  Being a Basic is the best as it is the most efficient in terms of deck space and speed, plus it has some other less obvious benefits.  Even though there are anti-Basic effects (a few like Jolteon-EX that are pretty good), they don’t overcome the inherent benefits.  There is also Basic Stage support, but I think every Stage has some form of Stage support so that is actually a neutral thing. 

Scizor-EX has 170 HP, the lower of the two common scores, but it is still enough to often survive a hit, and that is about as good as you can hope for right now.  Fire Weakness can be dangerous, but mostly isn’t; the Fire Type - even with Flareon (XY: Ancient Origins 13/98) to allow any Stage 1 to fake being Fire - isn’t seeing heavy play and where we do see it, the Weakness just makes the OHKOs a little faster or more reliable, but they would still happen even without Fire Weakness.  Psychic Resistance would normally just be a nice little bonus, but thanks to all the other damage reducing tricks, could actually matter.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you probably can pay it, but high enough you’re better off it you don’t.  Peeking ahead, you’ll definitely want a trick to easily get Scizor-EX into or out of the Active slot. 

Scizor-EX has no Ancient Trait or Ability, but it does have two attacks.  The first (Steel Wing) does 20 damage while reducing damage done to “this Pokémon” by attacks during your opponent’s next turn.  Like all the other damage reducing effects we’ve mentioned so far, this is after applying Weakness and Resistance, so it is far less effective against Fire Types, but even then it helps.  Against non-Fire Types (and especially Psychic Types) this can completely mitigate lesser hits, and makes OHKOs difficult.  For example, if Mew-EX is serving as the main attacker in Night March, Steel Wing plus Resistance forces Mew-EX to use Night March for 210 in order to score the OHKO.  It isn’t an impenetrable wall, but it can help you survive while dealing a little damage.  For [MM] Scizor-EX can use its second attack (Gale Thrust), which does at 50 damage base.  If Scizor-EX moved from your Bench to the Active position at least once during your turn, then the attack does an extra 60 damage, for 110 before other modifiers.  This is enough to 2HKO most of the format; the exceptions are cards that are instead OHKOed, cards with some form of protection, and those with 230+ HP (210+ if Metal Resistant).  Fighting Fury Belt narrows the field a little more while Muscle Band leaves only those cards with some form of protection.  Well, and the stuff that is OHKOed, but that is a positive.  Even without fancy tricks, this can be an option anytime something of yours is KOed.  With tricks, you should be able to pull this off every turn. 

Scizor-EX can Mega Evolve into M Scizor-EX; besides changing its name and Stage, the only other differences are it has 220 HP and a different attack (Iron Crusher).  Iron Crusher even has the same [MM] attack cost as Gale Thrust, but it does 120 damage and gives you the option of discarding a Special Energy card from the opponent’s Active or a Stadium card in play, should either be present.  You can also choose to do neither, which is good if the opponent has no Special Energy attached and you want to keep the current Stadium.  We reviewed M Scizor-EX here as the 10th place pick for our Top 10 cards of XY: BREAKpoint countdown.  It… hasn’t really accomplished anything in competitive play, at least based on my searches.  On paper it looked good, but apparently it just wasn’t worth using.  I haven’t used it much on the PTCGO either, and once the initial newness wore off, haven’t encountered it very often either.  As a guess, it might be because not only are there impressive lock and OHKO decks competing with it, but now that some of the BREAK Evolutions have made good, M Scizor-EX won’t pull off that OHKO it really needs against non-Pokémon-EX. 

So while it can Mega Evolve, it might not do Scizor-EX much good; at the very least if you’re focused on Scizor-EX instead of M Scizor-EX.  So while I haven’t seen any Scizor-EX decks either, let’s discuss how you’d do it if that was your goal.  In Standard, Zoroark (XY: BREAKthrough 91/162) can use its “Stand In” Ability to promote itself to the Active position once per turn.  In Expanded, you could use it or go with Keldeo-EX and its “Rush In” Ability.  Either of these paired with Float Stone provides an efficient means of getting Scizor-EX out of and/or into the Active slot.  You would still want some other options as while that combo is great, if Abilities or Pokémon Tools are shut down, so is the combo.  Bronzong and its Metal Links can help attach Energy from the discard pile to your Pokémon, and this makes it much easier to get by with manually retreating or using AZ to bounce.  If Abilities and Items are down, just having a spare Scizor-EX already prepped allows you to keep up the pressure. 

Mostly though this looks like Scizor-EX and M Scizor-EX are going to be too competitive for casual play and too casual for competitive play in Expanded and Standard.  Expanded has a few additional decks I suspect will give either of these problems, so even though it also provides more support to push for a OHKO, I think it is a net loss for their chances.  For Limited, Scizor-EX is not the card to use for a +39 build.  Sure you are guaranteed to open with Scizor-EX if it is the only Basic Pokémon in your 40 card Limited deck, and you only need to take four Prizes, but Scizor-EX has the opposite problem of most of the Pokémon-EX in this situation; it powers up quickly but can’t deliver strong blows.  Without any other Pokémon you have no Bench, so Gale Thrust can only do 50 each turn.  Unless your opponent has a really bad deck, this is probably just enough for a string of 2HKOs.  You might be able to alternate with Steel Wing to lessen the damage Scizor-EX is taking every other turn if your opponent is stuck sending up 60 or 70 HP Basics, but if it is all 2HKOs (or more) your opponent gets about eight attacks to mess with you.  Scizor-EX isn’t able to use off Type Energy except to retreat, but as it only needs two [MM] at most Scizor-EX is still a reasonable inclusion in a two or three Energy Type deck. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 2.5/5 

Limited: 3.5/5 

Summary: Scizor-EX actually has solid attributes and attacks, but it can’t carry its own competitive deck, M Scizor-EX can’t carry its own competitive deck.  Since it is a Pokémon meant to Evolve, I’d prefer it focused more on aiding M Scizor-EX in its setup but if M Scizor-EX were better, this card would certainly be up to the task of acting as an opener, spare attacker, and Evolutionary stepping stone.  As such I am not going to score this below a three out of five; it isn’t “bad”, nor is it “good”, but it seems “adequate”.  Compared to the filler we’ve seen in many of the Generations Pokémon-EX, I’ll take it.


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