In Pokemon Legends Arceus, Kleavor is the new regional Hisuian evolution for Scyther. It’s a Bug/Rock type Pokemon, in a similar vein to Dwebble and Crustle. As it stands, Crustle has been a good Shell Smash-powered Pokemon in playthroughs and is passable in the lowest tiers of competitive play. Sure, Bug/Rock isn’t a great defensive type, as it’s still 2x weak to Rock-type attacks, as well as 2x to Water and Steel. However, this type combination takes neutral damage from many of each type’s weaknesses. While its not the powerhouse Bug/Steel Pokemon of Scizor, Kleavor has a chance to be a good competitive Pokemon.
Notably, Kleavor is a definite defensive upgrade from Bug/Flying type Scyther, shedding its weakness to Fire, Flying, and Electric attacks, while also cutting its quad-weakness to Rock in half. In exchange, Kleavor gains weakness to Rock, Steel, and Water type moves, but also gains resistance to Normal and Poison moves. Stat wise, Kleavor actually is slightly superior to Scizor’s 130 physical attack with 135. Since it has a measly 45 base Special Attack, you’ll want a Kleavor with a nature that boosts its Attack stat, with Adamant being the preferred option.
Kleavor stands the same 5-foot 11-inches as Scyther, but is somewhat lighter than Scizor at 196.2 lbs vs 260.1 lbs. That weight difference suggests a slight speed boost for Kleavor VS Scizor, its Steel-type counterpart. After all, Scizor is below average at just 65 base speed. Indeed, Kleavor has base 85 speed instead, and makes up for this boost with slightly lower defensive stats than Scizor: 95 Defense and 75 Special Defense, which are only 5 points less than Scizor’s base stats.
Naturally, Kleavor gains several powerful Rock-type moves, whereas Scizor only ever learned Sandstorm by TM. We knew it learned Stealth Rock thanks to an early gameplay trailer. But, in addition to having Rock Slide and Stone Edge taught via the Training Grounds, Kleavor also learns a unique move called Stone Axe. While Stone Axe only has 60 base power, it does leave the opposing Pokemon with splinters, which cause damage for a few turns. Rock Slide is the more powerful move, but Stone Axe can do more damage over time to opposing Pokemon acting as defensive walls.
Stone Edge is a Special Attacking move, so it’s not the best for a physical attacker like Kleavor, despite having a Same-Type Attack Bonus. Some competitive players still recommend Stone Edge simply for its sheer power, but its lousy 70 percent accuracy turns me off to the move on this particular Pokemon. The type change does unfortunately takes away the same-type Attack Bonus for Scizor moveset staples such as Steel-type Bullet Punch and Flying-type Dual Wingbeat, although at least in Legends Arceus, Kleavor learns neither of these moves.
Unfortunately, Kleavor doesn’t retain the ability Technician when it evolves from Scyther, which powers up moves with 60 base power or less by 50 percent. That’s unfortunate considering that Rock type moves such as Stone Axe and the alternate form of Stealth Rock in Legends Arceus fit that bill. Although abilities don’t appear within the Legends Arceus main game, they will appear once they are transferred to another game such as Scarlet and Violet. Overall, Kleavor looks to be on a similar offensive level to Scizor, although Steel is a more desirable typing than Rock in that department.
Notably, Kleavor is a key Pokemon in the Pokemon Legends Arceus adventure, as the first of the several Noble Pokemon you will need to defeat to progress through the main story. Because Kleavor is a bit faster than Scizor, it plays somewhat differently than its Steel-type counterpart. In competitive play, this makes a Kleavor using Choice Scarf even faster than a Scizor, with the sacrifice of being locked into one move for a massive boost in speed. Kleavor still loses significant speed compared to Scyther itself, who is among the 100+ Speed club with base 105, but Kleavor will out-speed a lot more things than Scizor.
All in all, in the case of Kleavor VS Scizor, Kleavor can be a solid alternative to Scizor in competitive Pokemon team-building. While Scizor is among one of the best competitive Pokemon in the franchise’s history, Kleavor offers a significantly different play style with different type coverage on both offense and defense. It’s much more of an offensive threat than the defensive-minded Crustle, the only other current Pokemon to share the Bug/Rock typing.
Considering Scizor’s competitive pedigree, it’s probably unfair to expect the same level of success from Kleavor, but it certainly shouldn’t be slept on. While we won’t know its true power until its true competitive debut in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, the Kleavor VS Scizor debate will certainly be a hot topic for some time to come.
Photo credit: The Pokemon Company