- Speed doubles in sandstorm.
- Increases power of Ground-, Rock-, and Steel-type attacks by 30% in a sandstorm.
- Abilities that hinder attacks are nullified.
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Offensive sandstorm would mayhaps not be a viable strategy in Little Cup save for one Pokemon: Drilbur. Due to the ability Sand Rush, Drilbur is able to attain a blazing Speed stat, easily outpacing the entire unboosted tier and most boosted Pokemon at +2. Its Attack stat also shows great potential, hitting the enviable stat of 19 when maxed. What's more, Drilbur has the vast movepool to back up such offensive prowess, including Swords Dance, Earthquake, Rapid Spin, and a whole mess of coverage moves. Indeed, it would seem that the mole would have a field day shredding the faces of cute little Pokemon, but the introduction of Eviolite has granted many baby behemoths even more defensive potential. While Drilbur is by no means a perfect Pokemon, it can bring massive utility and damage to all sandstorm-based teams, garnering revenge kills with ease and causing predictable moves on the opponent's part. Just remember, where there's a drill, there's a way.
Drilbur is essentially the big guns on a sandstorm team, and this set aims to make the most of that. With a whopping 32 Speed during the sandstorm, Drilbur has the potential to revenge kill a vast portion of the tier. This is backed up by a mammoth 19 Attack, which allows Drilbur's coverage options to really shine. Earthquake is undoubtedly Drilbur's best STAB move, denting opponents that do not resist it early-game and cleaning up late-game. X-Scissor allows Drilbur to badly damage common Grass-type switch-ins, such as Lileep, Snover, and Shroomish. It's also Drilbur's strongest attack against Bronzor. Alternatively, Rock Slide grants fantastic coverage alongside Earthquake, notably granting the OHKO on most Taillow and Doduo, along with any Choice Scarf Murkrow that are unable to Sucker Punch. Shadow Claw rounds out the coverage by nailing levitating Ghost-types, such as Misdreavus, Gastly, and even the occasional Duskull.
With such great three move coverage, Drilbur has some wiggle room for the final slot. Rapid Spin provides fantastic utility for the team and Drilbur itself, who is vulnerable to all three forms of entry hazards; such residual damage stacks up quite quickly in conjunction with Life Orb. However, Rock Slide can be used if Rapid Spin isn't needed and one doesn't want to choose between X-Scissor or Rock Slide.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Swords Dance turns any Pokemon with incredible Speed and Attack into even more of a threat, and so this move is unquestionably a good option for Drilbur. While this Drilbur can easily spam Earthquake early game to do some nice damage, it really shines in the mid- to late-game phases, where one surprise Swords Dance can easily tip the scales in your favor. After a Swords Dance, Drilbur hits 38 Attack and 32 Speed, which dwarfs any other physical sweeper in the metagame. Drilbur can afford to use Eviolite with this, as well, in order to ensure a setup against a weaker or defensive Pokemon. With Earthquake and Rock Slide, Drilbur has the power and coverage to OHKO the vast majority of the tier after a single boost. Shadow Claw amplifies this effect, netting the OHKO on the otherwise problematic defensive Misdreavus. There are some other boons, as well, such as having a 100% accurate attack against Natu.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Although Drilbur is generally found alongside its trusty partner, Hippopotas, it doesn't really need the hippo to succeed in Little Cup. Drilbur's excellent Attack stat, useful secondary ability, and Eviolite allow it to function and thrive without Sand Rush. Earthquake is a must on any Drilbur set. It's Drilbur's best STAB move and hits nearly all of LC hard; even Misdreavus and Bronzor are 2HKOed because Mold Breaker negates their Levitate ability. Rock Slide provides excellent neutral coverage alongside Earthquake, hitting Flying-type Pokemon such as Murkrow that are immune to Earthquake. Rock Slide is also useful for scoring a lucky flinch if needed. Rapid Spin is a useful move for clearing away entry hazards, ensuring that all of your Pokemon have an easier time switching in and out. With Mold Breaker, Drilbur can defeat Misdreavus and Natu, something no other Rapid Spin user in LC can do. Finally, Stealth Rock rounds off the set because Drilbur can force plenty of switches as most Pokemon are afraid of Earthquakes and Rock Slides from one of the most devastating and dominant Pokemon in Little Cup. Remember, unlike other Stealth Rock users, Drilbur doesn't have to fear Natu as Mold Breaker ignores the effects of Magic Bounce.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Sand Force is gimmicky at best; Drilbur already has fantastic Attack, and it needs the Speed boost in order to garner kills. Jolly is almost not worth a mention; the only notable advantage is hitting the same Speed as Drifloon after it gains a boost via Unburden; most of the time, Drifloon will either straight up win that match up or Sucker Punch just to be safe. Substitute is worth a mention on almost any set, and a defensive set could even be vouched for wherein Drilbur repeatedly uses Substitute and Protect to wear down enemies. Toxic can be a nasty surprise for switch-ins such as Lileep and Snover, but a well built sandstorm team will almost always prefer an extra coverage move rather than the utility from such a move. The idea of using Drilbur's sweeper sets outside of sandstorm is gimmicky at best; Hippopotas simply does not show up in battles often enough to merit such a playstyle and there are bulkier set up sweepers such as Scraggy who function equally well under normal weather. A Swords Dance set with Mold Breaker can be used to muscle past Bronzor, but Sand Rush is almost always a superior option, even on teams without Hippopotas, as it's nicer to have the insurance against opposing sand teams.
Checks and Counters
Due to the sheer amount of damage Drilbur can do, it is not uncommon for teams to pack a slot dedicated to countering it. Snover is without a doubt the most effective Pokemon for stopping Drilbur, as it can replace sandstorm with hail, and then, with a Choice Scarf, outspeed and OHKO it with Blizzard or Giga Drain. Eviolite variants of Snover can't outspeed the mole, but they can still switch in on Hippopotas to remove sandstorm, allowing another Pokemon to pick Drilbur off. Most other Grass-types fare well; Shroomish and Lileep can both take a hit pretty easily, and Ferroseed can typically come out on top against Drilbur despite lacking reliable recovery. Even Foongus does decently due to Regenerator, though it needs to be wary of taking boosted Earthquakes. Additionally, bulky Water-types, such as Frillish and Slowpoke, can usually take on Drilbur if it is not packing Shadow Claw, and Unaware Wooper can cancel out Drilbur's boosts.
Choice Scarf Porygon is an interesting choice, as with Trace it can copy Drilbur's Sand Rush ability, allowing it to outspeed and KO Drilbur with Ice Beam. Both Bronzor and Koffing can work somewhat, taking neutral damage at most from any of Drilbur's attacks and possessing an immunity to Drilbur's STAB thanks to Levitate. However, they have problems dealing significant damage to Drilbur and lack reliable recovery, meaning they'll be easily worn down over the course of the match; they're also useless against Mold Breaker Drilbur. Finally, priority can wear down Life Orb variants of Drilbur rather quickly. Mienfoo and Croagunk can easily utilize Fake Out, Timburr has a powerful Mach Punch (especially at +1), Tirtouga has Sturdy and Aqua Jet, and both Murkrow and Pawniard have STAB Sucker Punch.