Well, my apologies if this has gone into the wrong place, but honestly I couldn’t think of anything better to work with.
That aside, when I first started playing Insurgence and started picking up various Deltas with all the wide-eyed fascination of a kid exploring a Pokemon game for the very first time, I had to give Delta Scyther a bit of a critical eye since compared to regular Scyther, it seemed somewhat bad.
Ice/Fighting is actually a worse defensive typing than Bug/Flying, and Delta Scizor retains that Ice/Fighting typing without changing it up to something defensively better like its normal counterpart. Weak to Fighting, Fire, Steel, Psychic, Flying, and Fairy, there’s plenty of things that the mantis can’t switch in on without getting punished severely for its trouble. With Delta Scizor and Mega Delta Scizor retaining their base stats as well, evolving it looks like a bad idea.
Which coincidentally, it is.
Then I started to look at Delta Scyther more closely. Ice Cleats is a largely ignorable ability just because of the fact that Hail is still a sub-par weather condition that has almost nothing going for it, but Hustle happens to give a 50% power boost in exchange for 20% of your accuracy, making Delta Scyther’s physical blows somewhat unreliable. On the flip side, cranking that base 110 Attack stat’s end value up by 50% for almost nothing is something you can’t ignore. Plus, it’s base 105 Speed stat is above the base 100 baseline, meaning that while it can still be out-sped, it can still get the drop on plenty of threats on its own.
Not only that, Ice/Fighting is a fairly solid offensive typing that gives it an edge against Dragon, Grass, Flying, Ground, Rock, Ice, Steel, and Dark types and isn’t completely walled by much. Pokemon like Aegislash don’t care about its offensive abilities that much and can hit back for super-effective damage, but do need to watch out for coverage moves like Night Slash which still hit like a truck, even when hitting for neutral damage.
The fact that it can pick up Hone Claws naturally means that it can both give itself a bit more power as well as neatly patching up its Accuracy issues (assuming you’re running Hustle,) which is nice to have around since most of its most powerful STAB moves have some kind of drawback that makes them risky to use by themselves. (Cross Chop and Icicle Crash both have accuracy problems, Close Combat drops its already shaky defenses.)
Granted, with base 70/80/80 defenses Delta Scyther won’t get the chance to boost itself often, but if you’re facing Bug, Ice, or Dark types without appreciable coverage moves you can get a boost in.
EV-wise, I’m not sure how to optimize it so I just run 252 in Attack and Speed, with a Jolly nature to boot to get the most out of its speed tier since Hustle will be boosting its attack. Item-wise Choice Band/Scarf can be good for putting holes through walls and picking off weakened enemies, respectively. Life Orb will wear down Delta Scyther over time which can be a bit of a problem in terms of longevity but won’t lock it into one move.
If Super Luck is available, then Scope Lens becomes an option for a slightly risky high crit rate build.
Another thing to note is that while it doesn’t appreciate Stealth Rocks on its side of the field, it is one of the only Ice types in the game that isn’t weak to it either.
As a result, I tend to think that its best offensive moveset as of 1.1.7 is: -Icicle Crash -Close Combat/Cross Chop -Night Slash -Hone Claws
With one’s choice of Close Combat or Cross Chop boiling down to whether you want more power and run the risk of Delta Scyther getting revenge killed, or run the risk of missing more than you’d like.
Additionally, Ice Shard gives it some much needed priority, but it’s down to the individual player as to whether or not they want to slot it into their set.
Naturally, Delta Scyther has its issues as well. Its defenses aren’t the hottest across the board as previously mentioned and things like Talonflame will rip right through it, though it needs to watch for boosted Ice Shards if it’s not running Gale Wings. There aren’t too many Pokemon that can completely wall the mantis either as it can hit most Pokemon for at least neutral damage, but Pokemon like Chandelure and Aegislash can work if it isn’t running Night Slash or Shadow Claw.
If it is, then any exceptionally bulky physically defensive tank can at least give it some trouble.
Additionally, due to it being a speedy physical attacker, it hates both Burns and Paralysis, meaning anything with Prankster or a higher speed tier should start there when it comes to shutting this thing down. Things like Klefki and Talonflame can neuter either its speed or attack power respectively.
It also has the distinction of being weak to both Mach Punch AND Bullet Punch, so anything with decent physical power running one of those two moves (Mega Scizor, for example) will punch right through it without a care in the world.
Accuracy is also a problem without something to patch it up, as the 20% loss in accuracy due to Hustle hurts its ability to actually land blows.
Otherwise reliable moves like Night Slash, Icicle Spear, and Close Combat are reduced to just 80% accuracy.
Icicle Crash is knocked down to to just 78% accuracy.
Cross Chop is lowered to a paltry 64% accuracy.
If you’re willing to put up with that, however, Delta Scyther can be a powerful addition to your team.