- 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)
Excadrill is a powerful Pokemon in the VGC 2012 metagame due to its good typing and base 135 Attack stat. It has a respectable base 88 Speed stat that can be boosted greatly by one of Excadrill's abilities, Sand Rush, which doubles Excadrill's Speed in sandstorm. Excadrill's other ability, Sand Force, increases the power of its Rock-, Ground-, and Steel-type attacks by 30% when sandstorm is in effect. However, this is less useful due to Excadrill's relatively weak defenses; it rarely survives an assault from the opposing Pokemon to strike back with a Sand Force-boosted attack. Excadrill's true strength comes from its ability to fire off powerful STAB Earthquakes at Speeds higher than any unboosted Pokemon in the VGC 2012 metagame.
Earthquake is Excadrill's most powerful attack, receiving a STAB boost and hitting every Pokemon on the field (including its teammate). Unfortunately, Excadrill's movepool is somewhat lacking, so the third move can be any number of mediocre choices. X-Scissor hits popular Pokemon such as Latios, Latias, and Cresselia hard, making it the most desirable option. Finally, Substitute is a viable option over Protect because of Excadrill's high Speed in sandstorm, protecting it from status moves, such as Spore and Will-O-Wisp. The EVs listed allow Excadrill to outpace max Speed Choice Scarf Terrakion in sandstorm.
Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
As stated before, Excadrill's movepool is rather small, but it does have a few options outside of the ones listed. Although Excadrill learns both Swords Dance and Hone Claws, set-up moves are difficult to get off safely due to the fast-paced nature of double battles. If Excadrill can nab a Swords Dance boost, however, it becomes quite difficult to stop. Drill Run is an option over Earthquake, but Earthquake's ability to hit both opponents makes it more attractive in most situations. Bulldoze is another possibility, but unless Excadrill's teammates will benefit greatly from the potential Speed drop, it is not worth it. Brick Break and Aerial Ace are viable options, although their uses depend largely on Excadrill's teammates and what type coverage is necessary. It is possible to use Sand Force instead of Sand Rush and try to set up Trick Room to allow Excadrill to move before its foes, but this is a lot of work as neither Tyranitar nor Hippowdon learn Trick Room, and thus this strategy would consume 3 of your teamslots. The greater problem with this, however, is that Rhyperior and other naturally slow Pokemon are generally much better at this job than Excadrill. As for items, both Ground Gem and Focus Sash are reasonable choices for Excadrill, with the former giving Excadrill's first Earthquake an extra boost in power, and the latter making up for Excadrill's weak defenses. Both Occa and Shuca Berry are options as well, helping Excadrill handle certain Pokemon more easily. Mold Breaker can be a solid option for a Pokemon like Excadrill, who have Earthquake as a STAB boosted move. Allowing it to hit anything that would normally avoid Earthquake with the ability Levitate. Even though Sand Rush and Sand Force may seem to outclass it, Mold Breaker can be used with Excadrill on a team that doesn't feature sand.
Checks and Counters
Pokemon that are immune to Earthquake and pack strong, super effective attacks against Excadrill are the best counters to it. Good examples include Zapdos, Gyarados, Rotom-W, Rotom-H, and Hitmontop—the latter is not immune to Earthquake but often carries Intimidate to lower Excadrill's Attack. Garchomp makes a great check to Excadrill as it can KO the latter with STAB Earthquake, but it has to be wary of Excadrill's own Earthquake, which can 2HKO most variants of Garchomp. The same can be said for Terrakion; it can OHKO Excadrill with Close Combat, but must be wary of being outsped—even with Choice Scarf—and OHKOed by Earthquake.