Scizor V – Darkness Ablaze
– Darkness Ablaze
October 20, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Scizor V (SW – Darkness Ablaze 118/189) is a Pokémon V, so it should have better stats and effects than its non-Pokémon V counterpart. The trade-off is that Scizor V gives up an extra Prize when KO’d, cannot take advantage of support like Scoop Up Net, and has to deal with counters like Altaria (Champion’s Path 049/073). Overall, a net positive.
Scizor V is a Metal type at a time when they’re one of – it not the – best type. Not because of their type-matching, but because of their great support plus some great Pokémon already dominating the metagame. Which might actually backfire on Scizor V; Zacian V is a tough act to follow. Scizor V is a Basic, rather than a Stage 1 Pokémon, like most other Scizor-based cards; a benefit from being a Pokémon V. Another benefit is its 210 HP; a typical amount for Basic Pokémon V, but enough to me more likely to survive a hit than not, and 80 more than the most recent Scizor (SW – Rebel Clash 128/192).
[R] Weakness isn’t good; we’re seeing a decent amount of competitive Fire decks at the moment. Just 110 damage before Weakness will end Scizor V. -30 [G] Resistance is handy when you run into something like Decidueye (SW – Darkness Ablaze 013/189; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH035). The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can afford to pay it, but you’ll probably be missing those Energy soon. It is low enough for Air Balloon… but you’ll probably prefer Metal Goggles given Scizor V’s typing.
Scizor V knows two attacks, the first of which is “Hack Off”. For [M], this attack lets Scizor V do 30 damage to your opponent’s Active, then discard a Tool and Special Energy card from that Pokémon. If your opponent has no Tool attached, you’d still get to discard a Special Energy card (or vice versa). If your opponent has neither attached, you just do the 30 damage. The wording of the attack does not say that it happens before damage, so it happens after; Special Energy or Tools may have effects that make this relevant, such as reducing damage taken from attacks. Even so, this is a good attack. If it was priced at [C], Scizor V would have very good TecH potential; not every deck relies on Special Energy or Tools, but this is a decent reusable answer for those that do.
The second attack, “Slashing Claw”, is far easier to understand. It costs [MMC] to use and lets Scizor V attack for 140 damage. This is enough to OHKO smaller Pokémon, and 2HKO all but the biggest boys like some TAG TEAM Pokémon, some of the protected, and all Pokémon VMAX. This isn’t great, but it is somewhat good; a lot of existing cards have to settle for 110 to 130 for the same Energy cost, or hit harder but come with detrimental effects for using the attack. It does help that, as a Metal type, Metal Saucer makes quickly reaching Slash Claw plausible; Turbo Patch may help as well. If you need a nitpick, note that Slashing Claw is inferior to an attack for the same Energy on Scizor VMAX.
Individually, Scizor V has many qualities that range from “acceptable” to “good”. I would argue that it is greater than the sum of its parts, unless you are just slipping it into your deck for Hack Off. Yes, I said the attack needed to cost [C] (not its actual [M]) for it to have “very good TecH potential”. If your deck already has a source of [M] Energy it can spare, Scizor V is a legitimate option in that role. Trainers are usually preferable, but you may not have room for the likes of Tool Scrapper and Crushing Hammer, or at least, not as many as would equate to attacking once or twice with Scizor V. The metagame is crucial for such decisions; if nothing competitive attaches both Special Energy and Tools to the same target, Scizor V is far less impressive.
For Metal decks in general, Scizor V can take advantage of cards like Metal Saucer and Metal Goggles to leverage what it can do. If it is a build utilizing Lucario & Melmetal-GX’s “Full Metal Wall-GX”attack, it will take 30 less damage. Combined with Metal Goggles, that means -60 damage; this gives Hack Off or Slashing Claw the chance to be used multiple times. Grass decks have to deal with -90! If going the Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX route, its “Altered Creation” bumps Slashing Claw up to 2HKO level for anything lacking defensive buffs, and OHKO for the smallest Basic Pokémon V, smallish Basic Pokémon-GX, and single-Prize Pokémon.
Of course, Zacian V does everything except discarding Tools and Special Energy cards better. Yes, you’ll need a switching and/or retreating combo to keep using Zacian V’s Brave Blade. Given the success of Zacian LM and Zacian ADP decks, we already know that works well. Leaving Scizor V with only a small niche, as the anti-Tool/Special Energy alternate attacker… or as the means to reaching Scizor VMAX. Which is actually better than normal for an evolving Basic Pokémon V.
Scizor VMAX is getting a full review, but the main thing to understand about it is that it is a mostly vanilla tank. Its first attack comes with a mild bit or damage reduction, and like Scizor V, may work because of the synergy between its stats and effects e.g being a large, mostly vanilla Metal tank. Expanded, you have more Special Energy that can count as multiple types, which may slightly extend the card’s niche usage, but there are also more Trainer options or other TecH attackers that fill this niche. I’m liking Scizor V for the Limited Format, there are four Tools and three Special Energy cards in this set. There are also some strong Fire Pokémon, but nearly all at the premium rarities.
I am happy to say we have another evolving Basic Pokémon V that, while not brilliant, is more than just filler or bait. Scizor V is unlikely to work its way into most decks unless they want to run Scizor VMAX, but at least there is a reason to consider it for decks that can afford Hack Off and expect to be facing enough Special Energy cards and/or Tools to warrant it.
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