Ready. Aim. Fire.
Today we're going to look at the scope lens. As you can see, I'm not doing the narrative style article today, for the following two reasons.
1. You will probably get annoyed with it if I were to do it all the time.
2. It's really hard to fit information into a story, and trying to do it twice in a row like the last two weeks made the second one not as good as it could have been.
Anyway. The scope lens serves the purpose of increasing your critical hit ratio by one stage. Sounds pretty great, but its benefit depends on what stage your move is already in. Use the following table for reference.
Stage One: 6.25% chance for a critical hit
Stage Two: 12.5% chance
Stage Three: 25% chance
Stage Four: 33.3% chance
Stage Five: 50% chance
Stage Six: 100% chance
So, as you can see, if your move is in stage one, where moves that don't have an increased critical hit rate sit, it isn't THAT beneficial to use a scope lens. You are only adding another 6.25% to your chances, making you crit about one in eight times. For reference, stage two is where increased critical hit rate moves are normally. Before we go too far, let's do some review on what critical hits do.
Most Poképlayers are familiar with the basics of critical hits, namely that they double the damage you do. It's a little more in depth than that, though. An added bonus of critical hits is that damage is calculated based on the modified or unmodified attack and defense (or special attack and special defense) stats, whichever benefits the attacker the most. In other words, if your attack has dropped lower than normal because your opponent has used a move like "Screech," you would still do your normal attack damage, times two for the critical hit, even though your attack had been reduced. If you set up something like a swords dance you will get that boost, as long as your attack hasn't been lowered by other moves to make using those modifications unbeneficial.
A critical hit will do the same thing for your opponent’s defense stat. If it is beneficial to you to keep the modifications (IE: You've lowered it somehow) it will keep the modifications. If it is detrimental for you to keep the modifications (IE: They've raised their defenses a bunch) it will ditch the modifications.
With that out of the way, let's look at some examples where the boost from the Scope Lens is helpful.
Chapter 1: Super Luck + Increased Crit Ratio Move + Scope Lens. Or: Everyone will think you're hacking.
There is an ability called "Super Luck." It increases your crit ratio by one stage. Add this to a move that's already got an increased crit ratio and a scope lens for good measure and you have a crit about every three turns. Essentially, this is worthless unless you are coming up against a wall that is based on boosting its defenses, like a curse Umbreon or a stockpile baton passer. That way, you can break through those boosts with your crit. Otherwise, you might as well just pick a stronger move with a lower crit ratio and use an item to increase your attack/special attack, because that would make your damage more consistent, and higher on average.
Chapter 2: Focus Energy + Scope Lens. Or: That's right, Focus Energy actually works now.
Focus energy used to stink. Because of a bug in Gen 1, it didn't quadruple your crit rate like it was supposed to. It actually divided your crit rate by four. Now, however, it works. Using Focus Energy will put you in stage two. Add a scope lens and you are automatically in stage three. If you want to be completely ridiculous you can use a move with an increased crit rate, and you will be having a critical hit about every other turn. But, as stated in the last chapter, it's pretty useless except in specific circumstances.
There we are, Pokéfolks. This might be one of the last Item of the Weeks. I'm starting to run out of items that warrant an entire article on them, and you guys don't need to read about the glorious strategies involved with the "Zap Plate." Lol. I'll still be writing for PKMN Cast, just not Item of the Week. This probably won't be the last one either. I have a few more lined up.