Welcome to the (real) thirteenth issue of 6th Generation's Pokemon of the Week! This week we're going to discuss a Pokemon that has been ignored since the very first generation, hidden in the shadows of bigger, badder bugs until this generation. This week we discuss Pinsir.
Pinsir swings its long horns violently to attack foes and prey, before gripping them between the two pincers and ripping them in half. If it cannot rip the enemy in half, if tosses as far as it can. Pinsir hate cold weather; during the winter they hide deep in forests.
Base Stats: 65 HP / 125 Attack / 100 Defense / 55 Sp. Attack / 70 Sp. Defense / 85 Speed
-Mega Pinsir: 65 HP / 155 Attack / 120 Defense / 65 Sp. Attack / 90 Sp. Defense / 105 Speed
Like I said Pinsir has always been ignored. Scyther got an evolution in Scizor in generation 2, and Heracross, who didn't even need an evolution to be good. As the years passed, Pinsir faded into the depths of obscurity, left behind in favor of stronger, faster Pokemon with better typing. This generation, apparently Pinsir has had enough. With the power of Pinsirite, Pinsir unleashes his anger, transforming into a Bug/Flying type with Aerialate. This not only changes Normal type moves into Flying type attacks, but gives them a 30% boost in power as well. Mega Pinsir's power is nearly unstoppable in the current metagame, with counters very few and far between. What's better is that while Bug/Flying comes with a nasty 4x weakness to Stealth Rock, Pinsir switches in as a pure Bug, only taking 25% from it. With access to Swords Dance and moves to hurt Steel and Rock types, Mega Pinsir has made itself stand out as one of the best Mega Pokemon available in the OU metagame, and in this writer's opinion, will likely face a ban before too long.
Since Pinsir itself is useless in OU without Pinsirite, we're skipping over the normal analysis and moving straight to the Mega Evolution.
Hyper Cutter / Moxie / Mold Breaker
Jolly nature (+Speed, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 Attack / 252 Speed / 4 Defense
Return / Frustration / Double-Edge
Earthquake / Close Combat
Mega Pinsir boasts some impressive qualities, such as base 155 Attack, 120 Defense, and a good base 105 Speed. The non-mega ability is a tricky choice because Pinsir has three great abilities. Hyper Cutter is usually the best choice, as it stops common Intimidate Pokemon from switching in and hindering Pinsir's sweep. For this reason, it can be beneficial to Swords Dance before Mega Evolving. Moxie is another good ability choice that Pinsir can use to pick off weakened Pokemon before Mega Evolving for a free one-stage Attack boost. This ability is situational though, and can backfire if the opponent switches out. This is especially problematic because, prior to Mega Evolution, this set lacks a STAB attack. Finally, Mold Breaker can allow you to Earthquake Rotom-Wash, but since the ability is announced when sent into battle, there are very few people who will switch Rotom-W in before you Mega Evolve.
Anyway, Return or Frustration make up your best, most reliable STAB move. They're exactly the same, but Frustration is usually better if only to screw with Ditto. Double-Edge is an option, though, for an extremely powerful attack, at the cost recoil, dealing back 1/3rd of the damage you deal. Quick Attack is a powerful STAB priority move after Aerialate boosts it, allowing Pinsir to finish off weakened Pokemon.
The last slot allows Pinsir to deal with Steel types and Rock types that resist Flying. Earthquake is usually the better choice, stopping you from being walled by Aegislash. Close Combat is stronger and allows you to deal damage to Rotom-Wash after Mega Evolving, but also comes with a negative side-effect of lowering your defenses, and this isn't something Pinsir appreciates, given his massive Defense stat. Regardless of which move you choose, Skarmory will not be OHKOd even after a Swords Dance, and it will OHKO back with Brave Bird after your Defense drop from Close Combat, or simply Whirlwind you out.
Pinsir works best as a late-game sweeper, coming in when your opponent's team has been softened up from repeatedly taking hits and switching into entry hazards. From there, simply Swords Dance and sweep. Honestly, Pinsir is nearly unstoppable if you don't carry a dedicated counter, and there are few of those. Bold 252 HP/252 Defense Rotom-Wash can stomach a +2 Close Combat if necessary (taking 67-79%), is immune to Earthquake (watch for Mold Breaker), and resists Flying. Skarmory is the best counter, taking little from anything but a +2 Close Combat (51-60%) and promptly OHKOing back after the Defense drop. Aegislash walls any Pinsir that lacks Earthquake, and Air Balloon Aegislash can be a huge headache for Pinsir that carry Earthquake as well. Landorus-Therian can avoid the 2HKO from a +1 Return (Intimidate lowering Attack after Pinsir's Swords Dance), and can OHKO back with Stone Edge. Bold 248 HP/252 Defense Zapdos can take a +2 Return and OHKO back with Thunderbolt.
Pinsir can be found on Route 12 if you have X version. If not, it can be found in some Friend Safaris. Otherwise, you'll have to trade for it. Since Pinsirite cannot be obtained until post-game, here is what I'd recommend for a normal Pinsir in-game if you want to raise one:
Normal Pinsir... sucks. It just does. You'd be better off using Heracross. But if you love Pinsir and don't have access to Pinsirite, this is what you'll want to use. X-Scissor provides your strongest reliable STAB, while Earthquake covers Rock and Steel types. Stone Edge deals with Flying types. The last slot is Swords Dance because... Pinsir doesn't have a very expansive movepool. Honestly, if you aren't using Mega Pinsir, you're probably better off staying away from Pinsir.
Mega Pinsir has a fourth move in a STAB Return, which is much more powerful than X-Scissor. That's about all that differentiates this from the previous set. Mega Pinsir is scary powerful.
I never really liked Pinsir's design. It seems like using the horns to fight would be awkward and clumsy. Mega Pinsir, on the other hand, can use his flight powers to help him use his brutal horns, swooping in from the sky and squeezing prey with his pincers. Too hard to rip in half? Fly up high and drop it to the ground! Mega Pinsir makes Pinsir scary, both in terms of design and battle prowess. It's not got the sleek design of Scyther, but that's not what it's aiming for: Mega Pinsir is the terror of the skies (okay, and Talonflame); leave the house unprepared and you're not likely to return in one piece.
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