SMF's strategy was characteristic of the time in that it relied on an obvious combination between two Pokémon: Scizor and Furret, both from the Aquapolis expansion. The deck focused on getting at least one Scizor and at least one Furret into play as soon as possible and, depending on the matchup, one Muk. SMF's ideal starter was Cleffa, which provided near-unlimited hand refreshment early in the game for only . Cleffa, in combination with Trainer and Supporter cards such as Pokémon Fan Club, Professor Elm, and Pokémon Trader, made it possible for the deck to set up quickly. Once SMF had Scizor and Furret in play, the deck aimed to attach several Metal and Rainbow Energy cards to an active Scizor. Furret's Scavenger Hunt Poké-Power made searching these Energy out of the deck a simple matter. From there, the player simply attacked with Scizor, expending Gold Berries and Double Gusts as necessary for healing and easy prizes, respectively. Suicune was utilized in most variants as a counter to Double Gust, since its Legendary Body Pokémon Power prevented it from being affected by Trainer cards. Mantine was another common inclusion for its strength against Fire-type Pokémon such as those used in EnteiCargo.
- Scizor - Scizor was the deck's main attacker. Its Poké-Body, Poison Resistance, was useful against Beedrill's Venom Spray Poké-Power by preventing Scizor from being Poisoned. While Scizor's Snatch attack was occasionally useful, an SMF player aimed to use Heavy Metal often. Heavy Metal, Scizor's second attack, was able to do a significant amount of damage if Scizor had several Metal Energy attached to it. Since Metal Energy also reduced the amount of damage Scizor took from attacks, SMF typically attempted to stack several on a single Scizor to allow it to survive longer while doing more damage with Heavy Metal.
- Furret - Furret complemented Scizor well with its Scavenger Hunt Poké-Power. Scavenger Hunt allowed the SMF player to trade two cards in hand for one Energy card from their deck. Because Special Energy cards such as Metal Energy are typically difficult to search out of a player's deck, Furret increased the pace at which the player could stack Metal Energy cards on Scizor. Scavenger Hunt also increased the effectiveness with which SMF could tech different Special Energy cards for unique situations.
- Muk - Muk's Pokémon Power, Toxic Gas, negated all other Pokémon Powers in play. Toxic Gas made Furret's Scavenger Hunt unusable, so the SMF player needed to be very careful when playing Muk. However, it provided a strong counter to Feraligatr/Parasect, another popular archetype of the time. Toxic Gas shut off Feraligatr's Downpour Pokémon Power as well as Parasect's Allergic Pollen Pokémon Power, greatly decreasing Feraligatr/Parasect's damage output.
- Cleffa - Cleffa provided SMF with significant draw support in the form of its Eeeeeeek attack. Eeeeeeek, for a cost of , allowed the SMF player to shuffle their hand into the deck and draw a new hand of seven cards. Since SMF needed a relatively large number of cards to set up completely, Cleffa was very valuable early in the game.
- Gold Berry - Gold Berry assisted with the deck's strategy of tanking a single Scizor for a long time. While Metal Energies reduced the damage Scizor took from attacks, Gold Berry removed much of the damage that an opponent did manage to do, making Scizor even more difficult to Knock Out.
Typical deck list
The deck list appearing below is not official; it is meant to represent an average build of the archetype, not specifically constructed for any regional metagame. Being that this is merely an archetype, a player may wish to change any part of this deck when building his or her own version.
Possible tech cards
- Oracle and Bill - Used in place of the deck's typical drawing support (Copycat and Professor Oak's Research), Oracle and Bill effectively allowed the SMF player to search their deck for any two cards once per turn. Oracle, a Supporter card, placed any two cards on top of the player's deck, while Bill allowed the player to draw those two cards. It was a more precise, but less consistent, drawing engine, as it required the player to have two specific cards in hand to function properly.
- Tyrogue - Baby Pokémon such as Cleffa and Pichu were popular in SMF's era, and Tyrogue provided a way to knock out many Baby Pokémon (assuming a successful coin flip) with its inexpensive Smash Punch attack.
- Pichu - As many decks, including SMF variants themselves, relied on Pokémon Powers, Pichu's Zzzap attack was a powerful counter. Zzzap did 20 damage to each Pokémon in play with a Pokémon Power. Although it would damage the player's own Muk, Furret, and Suicune when used, it could also do significant damage to the opponents' Pokémon.
- Warp Energy - Because Double Gust was included in almost every archetype at the time of SMF's dominance, a player would often find themselves with an unfavorable Pokémon in their active position. Furret's Scavenger Hunt Poké-Power could retrieve Warp Energy from the deck in such a situation, making Warp Energy effectively the same as a searchable Switch.
- Recycle Energy - Some versions of SMF included Recycle Energy simply as a precaution against decks playing Energy Removal 2, or as a way to ensure that the deck never missed an Energy attachment after a Knock Out.
- Darkness Energy - At the time, Darkness Energy's effect of adding 10 damage to attacks applied to all types of Pokémon as opposed to only Dark-types. Thus, it consistently allowed Scizor to do more damage with its attacks.