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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MCLA chapter.

For the last week, Niantic has implemented a heavily Bug type oriented series of raid bosses and wild spawns. While Giratina-O still stands tall as our current Tier 5 Raid Boss and Deoxys-Defense hides in the shadows of Ex-Raid gyms, gyms over the course of the event will be largely Bug typed. Among these potential Raid bosses are familiar faces in the likes of Scyther and Pinsir, the return of Shuckle and Ninjask’s debut as a Raid boss – a soloable Tier 4! This article plans to discuss how to shortman, or defeat these bosses using the minimum number of people to do it, should they ever appear on a desolate gym, such as that of MCLA’s Mark Hopkins gym. 

While Caterpie and Skorupi also debut as Tier 1 bosses and Masquerain is in as a Tier 2, these raids are pathetically easy to win, and do not warrant individual strategy writeups. Per usual, we will discuss Tier 3 and onward. 

Starting with Scyther: 

Solo difficulty: Trivial 

Explanation: Boy is Scyther an easy one. Even after the Raid Boss HP buff on Feb 2, Scyther can be soloed by a low-20s leveled player. Bug/Flying is one of the most exploitable typings in the book. Scyther’s fast moves are both horrible, and its Charged moves can be resisted by specific counters, most of which are easy to get. Maybe just don’t use a team full of low IVed Solrocks, and you’ll be good to go. 

Dodge strategy: I guess if you do want to use a team full of low IVed Solrocks, you should dodge Night Slash and X-Scissor.  

Best counters: Oh brother. Tyranitar is salivating, Golem will probably die of laughter fighting the thing before Scyther actually threatens it meaningfully. Really, if you decided to put all your Pokemon away and just throw rocks and stones at it, you’d probably do okay. About the only things which can’t counter Scyther somehow are Grass, Fighting and Ground type users. In other words, you pretty much have to try to lose this fight to actually not somehow have six capable Pokemon that can help solo this thing. Soloing Scyther is a task which is only slightly less pathetically easy than soloing Breloom, and about on par with soloing Porygon or Sharpedo. I’m sure you can figure this one out. 


Solo difficulty: Hard 

Explanation: Pinsir is the real challenge for a Tier 3 Bug type raid. It has a gargantuan Attack stat to put the hurting on whatever you throw at it, and its bulk as a Raid Boss stands up pretty tall. Mix that with some nasty coverage moves in Rock Smash and Close Combat, and you’ve got yourself a formidable Raid Boss. Fortunately, those who stocked up on Rayquazas a few weeks ago and decided to give Flying movesets to a few of them should be good to go. Otherwise, this could be a tough one. 

Dodge strategy: If you even think about bringing Pokemon like Tyranitar or Heatran to a Close Combat Pinsir, you’ll obviously have to dodge that move a lot. Close Combat is the really killer here; other moves can generally be tanked, except for in Tyranitar’s case vs X-Scissor.  

Best counters: Flying types are pretty consistently, although a lot of them are mediocre options in general. Rayquaza was already mentioned, but Moltres, Sky Attack Honchkrow and Charizard can perform pretty consistently against any Pinsir set. Ironically, Pinsir’s raid boss brethren, Scyther, excels against Close Combat- a move which it 4x resists- and hits Pinsir back hard with its solid Flying type moveset. Heatran is very strong against Bug Bite + X-Scissor or Vicegrip. Generally, if you are hitting Pinsir super effectively with a reasonable strong source and aren’t putting a Pokemon out there who is getting demolished by its Charged move, it probably works as a counter. 



Solo difficulty: Impossible 

Two man difficulty: Trivial 

Explanation: Yes, Shuckle is the only Pokemon in Pokemon Go history who has not, nor will it ever, be successfully soloed. Shuckle is a strange case of extremes; it has a gargantuan 396 Defense stat, which exceeds that of even defensive monsters such as Deoxys-Defense, Lugia, Steelix and Skarmory by far. But, Shuckle’s Attack stat is a pathetic 17, the lowest in the game, and its HP stat is only slightly less pathetic at 24. Outside of the Raid boss context, Shuckle is a terrible Pokemon whose horrible base HP  drags down its massive Defense and renders its overall bulk slightly above average, ruining the potential of having the highest Defense in the game. Of course, being a Raid Boss increases Shuckle’s HP and grants its bulk absolutely deific levels of impenetrable. Its puny Attack stat also means your Pokemon aren’t ever building energy from the attacks this thing uses, and the solo is therefore far from possible. The two man, on the other hand, is extremely easy. 

Dodge strategy: I can think of probably about 17 reasons why you shouldn’t need to dodge, and they’re all tied up in Shuckle’s pathetic Attack stat. Even if your team consists entirely of Sharpedo, there is zero chance Shuckle will wipe out your team, period. 

Best counters: Kyogre and Meteor Mash Metagross are the best, while just about anything hitting Shuckle super effectively follows in their footsteps. You really shouldn’t need to think too hard here, as Shuckle is so weak that it will scarcely even take down your lead, let alone two or more of your Pokemon. In terms of viable Shuckle counters, Sharpedo is about the only one you’ll need more than two of. 

Now for our Tier 4 in debut, Ninjask: 

Solo difficulty: Extremely Hard 

Two man difficulty: Intermediate 

Explanation: At first glance, it’s easy to see this things poor bulk, 4x weakness to Rock, get a gang of Tyranitars and go to town. However, Ninjask is different from fellow soloable T4 in Shiftry for one big reason; it can hit Tyranitar and other Rocks back hard. Where Shiftry’s Leaf Blade was scoffed at by Scizor and Yanmega, Ninjask’s Bug Buzz instills fear into Tyranitar, and its Shadow Ball keeps Rhyperior, Golem, and especially Lunatone and Solrock at bay. While it is true that Fury Cutter + Aerial Ace is a generally easy set to solo, any other moveset is going to be a challenge. Doing enough damage without a weather boost can also be hard as well. 

Dodge strategy: If soloing, you must follow this specific gameplan if using Tyranitar WITHOUT  a weather boost: Dodge Bug Buzz when Stone Edge is close to or fully charged, tank Bug Buzz when Stone Edge has less than half charge to it, and always dodge the first Bug Buzz regardless of Stone Edge’s charge. Tyranitar is cleanly 2HKOed by this move, so proper dodging must be done in order to not wipe out and lose. However, simply dodging every Bug Buzz in sight will slow you down enough to lose the game via running out of time. This is aided by the fact that Bug Buzz is a generally easy attack to dodge, giving the player something to work with. The same general strategy applies to Lunatone and Solrock against Bug Buzz or Shadow Ball. If using Rhyperior and Golem, just about anything can be confidently tanked, as Ninjask lacks the raw firepower to rip down entire teams of them without hitting them super effectively. 

Best counters: For the solo, a good mix of Rampardos and Tyranitar is ideal. Limit yourself to two Rampardoses max, one when facing Bug Buzz. Doing so is important to defend against having your entire team wiped out. Tyranitar should always be the core of any Ninjask solo team, but it should be viewed as a useful tool, not as a safety pin or get-out-of-jail free card. As highlighted above, good dodging and proper Charge move usage is a must. Other rocks, such as Rhyperior, Golem, Lunatone and Solrock can also work, but the latter two require partially cloudy weather, while the former two really need it as well.  

Meghan is a sophomore who majors in Psychology with a minor in behavior analysis. She is one of the two campus correspondents of the MCLA chapter. Writing has become first nature for her- it's like riding a bike into paradise. She primarily writes about love with the hope to become the female version of Nicholas Sparks someday.