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Excadrill (Analysis)

Discussion in 'Uploaded Analyses' started by Rising_Dusk, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Rising_Dusk

    Rising_Dusk
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    Excadrill

    Alright, so, Excadrill basically defines the Gen V metagame. Pokemon rise and fall from favor just because they check or are beaten by this mole. That's a little exaggerated, but Excadrill is a damned strong 'mon, and why is explained below.

    • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •​

    [Overview]

    <p>Excadrill is a legend amongst the Pokemon introduced in BW, and is infamous for its ideally distributed stats and unbelievable sweeping potential in a sandstorm. Hitting a raw Speed stat of 604 in a sandstorm with no setup whatsoever, Excadrill outspeeds Deoxys-S and even base 130 Speed Pokemon with a Choice Scarf. It's absurd to think that it gets even better than that, but for example, access to Rapid Spin makes Excadrill an even better offensive Rapid Spinner than Starmie ever was. You'd also think that such an offensive Pokemon would be very frail, but no; in fact, Excadrill has enough bulk to avoid being OHKOed by pretty much any neutral attack, and has a typing that affords it numerous resistances and key immunities to Thunder Wave and poison. After you look at all of Excadrill's seemingly boundless strengths, it's no wonder why it's atop everyone's threat list this generation.</p>

    <p>Excadrill is a phenomenal Pokemon, and the only reason it isn't banned is because it has weaknesses that can be exploited and there still exist Pokemon that can beat it. Powerful priority, such as Mach Punch from Conkeldurr or Aqua Jet from Azumarill, tears Excadrill down. Also, one of the biggest issues with Excadrill is that Drought Ninetales and Drizzle Politoed exist. If a sandstorm isn't raging, a huge list of Pokemon crop up as checks and counters to Excadrill. Furthermore, while Excadrill's type coverage is spectacular, its three move coverage almost always leaves it vulnerable to something, such as Bronzong when lacking X-Scissor. These things come together to make Excadrill more balanced than you might be led to believe, but nonetheless one of the most threatening Pokemon in existence.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Swords Dance
    move 1: Swords Dance
    move 2: Earthquake
    move 3: Rock Slide
    move 4: Return / Rapid Spin / X-Scissor
    item: Air Balloon / Life Orb
    ability: Sand Rush
    nature: Adamant / Jolly
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Excadrill is an insanely powerful sweeper that can cleave teams in half if they lack one of the few adequate checks to him, and given proper support sometimes even if they do. Base 135 Attack coupled with base 88 Speed and Sand Rush, which doubles Speed in a sandstorm, makes Excadrill the monster we know him as. Swords Dance was made for a Pokemon like this, and after a single boost, Excadrill's Attack hits 810 or 738 with an Adamant or Jolly nature, respectively.</p>

    <p>The truth is that Excadrill's attacking movepool isn't overflowing with options, but has all of the right moves in all of the right places to get the job done. Earthquake is Excadrill's primary STAB attack, and it is so powerful after a boost that even Pokemon that resist it aren't completely safe. Rock Slide is used alongside Earthquake for great neutral coverage against myriad threats. In the last slot, Excadrill has a lot of very good options to choose from. Return is the most popular, as it hits Pokemon like Rotom-W, Gliscor, and Landorus the hardest of all available options. Rapid Spin is also a very effective tool for that last slot, however, if you're not looking for added coverage. It's no joke to claim that Excadrill is the best Rapid Spinner that exists, especially considering that no Ghost-type will switch in for fear of a powerful attack. Lastly, X-Scissor is a good choice for hitting Bronzong for neutral damage and annihilating Grass-, Psychic-, and Dark-types after a boost.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>The EV spread is standard for an offensive sweeper. Adamant is the preferred nature as it adds considerable punch to Excadrill's attacks, especially after a boost. Jolly is a very viable alternative, however, due to the fact that with it Excadrill can Speed tie opposing Excadrill. Regardless, Excadrill typically needs the extra power to break down its defensive checks, so Adamant is the best choice. Adamant is also the better nature when run with Air Balloon, since it prevents opposing Excadrill from hitting your's super effectively if kept intact. Speaking of Air Balloon, it's the primary option for Excadrill's item because many Pokemon cannot do significant damage to Excadrill without first popping it. Gliscor, for instance, risks being 2HKOed by a boosted Return if it first has to pop Excadrill's Air Balloon with a weak Ice Fang or other attack. Life Orb is still an exceptional item, however, as it allows Excadrill to annihilate Pokemon and sweep very easily with just one boost. Leftovers is also a useful item when running Rapid Spin to keep Excadrill around longer, though even in that case, Air Balloon tends to be more valuable. Chople Berry is a good item too, as many teams rely on Mach Punch from the likes of Conkeldurr to beat Excadrill. Lastly, despite hopefully being obvious, Sand Rush is the best ability on Excadrill. Sand Force is a great ability and all, but just doesn't make up for the fact that Excadrill really wants to outspeed nigh everything in the game.</p>

    <p>The first thing you should always bring in your team when using Excadrill is a Pokemon with Sand Stream. The best Pokemon for this job is Tyranitar, as it can be tailored to beat many Pokemon that would otherwise stop Excadrill, including Gliscor and Skarmory with Ice Beam and Fire Blast, respectively. Hippowdon is also a good choice, as it can tank physical hits extremely well and check opposing Excadrill. This also makes Adamant Excadrill more viable, since you have a solid check to opposing Excadrill where yours would lose the Speed tie. If running Rapid Spin, Excadrill partners particularly well with Pokemon such as Thundurus and Volcarona. Both of these Pokemon can switch into typical attacks aimed at Excadrill and annihilate its checks to allow for an eventual sweep. In general, it's also good to pair up Excadrill with another powerful physical sweeper like Landorus or Terrakion, as one of them can sufficiently weaken their mutual counters and enable an Excadrill sweep or vice versa.</p>

    [SET]
    name: Choice Band
    move 1: Earthquake
    move 2: Rock Slide
    move 3: Return
    move 4: X-Scissor
    item: Choice Band
    ability: Sand Rush
    nature: Adamant / Jolly
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

    [SET COMMENTS]

    <p>Sometimes, Excadrill doesn't get the opportunity to set up a Swords Dance, and so would much rather hit really hard off the bat instead. Choice Band gives Excadrill that power, and actually helps it so much that it can immediately threaten some Pokemon that might otherwise check it very effectively, such as Hippowdon. By giving up a setup move, Excadrill is able to run its optimal four move coverage in Earthquake, Rock Slide, Return, and X-Scissor. Nothing in the game resists all of these moves, and many Pokemon are outright 2HKOed with the appropriate one.</p>

    [ADDITIONAL COMMENTS]

    <p>There's never any reason for Excadrill to run any EV spread other than 252 Attack and 252 Speed. The negligible bulk given by investing slightly in HP and removing some from Speed is never worth the chance of losing a Speed tie to opposing similarly-natured Excadrill. With a Choice Band boosting Excadrill's Attack stat, Adamant is the way to go for the added damage. Jolly is a usable alternative to Speed tie with opposing Jolly Excadrill, though you're better off running a more reliable secondary check regardless. Sand Throw, unsurprisingly, is the ability of choice for the Speed boost. As appealing as Sand Force might be for the bonus damage, it's not as excellent as the raw Speed that Sand Throw offers.</p>

    <p>When running Choice Band Excadrill, it's imperative to run it alongside other similar-minded physical sweepers such as Landorus or Terrakion. One of the biggest lures of the immediate power of a Choice Band is to soften up Pokemon like Bronzong, Gliscor, Hippowdon, and Gyarados for one of your other sweepers to break through later. Also, when using Excadrill, don't forget to pack either Tyranitar or a Hippowdon of your own to set up a sandstorm. Choice Band Excadrill also appreciates Spikes and Stealth Rock a lot, since checks like Gyarados and Hippowdon will be easily 2HKOed with the appropriate move after they take enough residual damage. Skarmory is usually the better choice for setting up Spikes despite the fact that it doubles up on Excadrill's Fire-type weakness since it will also lure Electric-type attacks for Excadrill to switch in against.</p>

    [Other Options]

    <p>There's a good reason why Excadrill is forced to use moves like Return and X-Scissor for coverage, and that's because it has virtually no other attacking moves worth using over the listed options. Brick Break can be run as a coverage move to nail opposing Excadrill that are floating on an Air Balloon, but otherwise has basically no utility; practically every other Pokemon vulnerable to Brick Break, namely Tyranitar and Ferrothorn, is hit equally hard by Earthquake. Shadow Claw might sound nice to hit Ghost-types that are immune to Rapid Spin, but a neutral Earthquake hits all Ghost-type Pokemon in the game except for Rotom and Gengar for the same Base Power as Shadow Claw. Since both Rotom and Gengar are easily dispatched of with a boosted Rock Slide, Shadow Claw has no real value. Excadrill can run Hone Claws over Swords Dance for setting up so that Rock Slide will never miss, though this is always inferior to just chancing Rock Slide's accuracy with a Swords Dance boost.</p>

    [Checks and Counters]

    <p>Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, there is quite a substantial list of Pokemon that adequately check Excadrill. Bronzong and Skarmory are the best of the best, as none of Excadrill's typical tricks will seriously hurt them even after a Swords Dance boost. Skarmory can't really do anything back to Excadrill other than break its Air Balloon with Brave Bird and then Whirlwind it away, though, and Bronzong needs to be mindful of a boosted X-Scissor. Gliscor is another spectacular switch-in to Excadrill and can break Excadrill's Air Balloon with Ice Fang or Fire Fang, though with Poison Heal lacks Roost and so can be worn down over a match if not careful. Hippowdon is another solid check, but it can be beaten by multiple boosted Earthquakes if Excadrill has its Air Balloon intact.</p>

    <p>Outside of the aforementioned bulky Ground- and Steel-types, Pokemon with an intact Air Balloon of their own and a resistance to Excadrill's typical coverage moves can beat it. A good example of this is Air Balloon Heatran, which can OHKO Excadrill with Fire Blast and survive a +2 Rock Slide. When nothing else works, an Excadrill of your own forces the opposing Excadrill into a Speed tie that can potentially save you the match. Super effective priority attacks bypass Excadrill's immense Speed stat and threaten it out. Mach Punch from Conkeldurr and Aqua Jet from Azumarill handle Excadrill very effectively, though these Pokemon should be wary of switching into repeated Earthquakes over the course of the match. Lastly, anything that changes weather away from sandstorm will nullify Excadrill's ability and make it much easier to check with faster Pokemon packing super effective moves.</p>

    <p>As a final note, it's worth having at least two reasonable checks to Excadrill on your team. It's relatively likely that Excadrill is paired up with fellow physical sweepers Landorus or Terrakion to beat through their mutual checks. If you only have one of these checks and Excadrill sufficiently weakens it, it's likely that you will be at risk of being swept by the second-string attacker.</p>

    [Dream World]

    <p>Mold Breaker, while amazing with Ground-type STAB for hitting Pokemon with Levitate, is very nearly useless compared to Sand Rush on Excadrill. In practice, Excadrill relies on its immense and incomparable Speed stat to beat many Pokemon that would otherwise stop him cold, always making Mold Breaker an inferior ability by comparison.</p>
  2. Theorymon

    Theorymon ☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄☄
    is a Forum Moderatoris a Smogon IRC SOPis a Contributor to Smogonis a CAP Contributor Alumnus
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    Since we are supposed to assume no bans with the exception of the 3 event Pokemon, I have some things to add.

    -Shadow Claw needs to be in the last slot somehow. After a Swords Dance, Doryuuzu OHKOs minimum HP Giratina-O after Stealth Rock damage. Without Shadow Claw, you will only 2HKO with Rock Slide and risk taking a huge amount of damage from Hidden Power Fire.

    -Its probably a good idea to note that while a +2 Earthquake 2HKOs Giratina, it still has Will-O-Wisp to screw Doryuuzu up with.

    -Mention that after a Swords Dance, Rock Slide will actually OHKO Lugia after Stealth Rock damage

    -You should probably mention Wobbuffet support for setting up, and mixed Rayquaza for luring in Groudon.
  3. Rising_Dusk

    Rising_Dusk
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    Thanks for your content suggestions. I have added them all.
  4. Eo Ut Mortus

    Eo Ut Mortus Elodin Smells
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    I think Balloon should be mentioned as an item choice for Doryuuzu. It effectively shuts down several of his checks / counters, including Gliscor, Hippowdon, and Groudon.
  5. Snorlaxe

    Snorlaxe 2 kawaii 4 u
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    i agree entirely, balloon doryuuzu is a terror to play against if (like me) you rely on earthquake to check the mole. imho it should even be slashed in over leftovers (so then leftovers would be given an AC mention as opposed to balloon) because balloon, at least from my experience, is more useful than leftovers's 6% recovery each turn; this is coming from someone who has used doryuuzu extensively on PO. however, i'll leave it up to your discretion, RD, as to whether or not it deserves to be slashed in over leftovers. it absolutely needs to be mentioned, though.
  6. shrang

    shrang Defend the Headquarters of Revolution
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    I think you should mention Hitmontop as a decent Doryuuzu check as well, since if he can switch in safely on SD, Rapid Spin, Rock Slide or X-Scissor, can OHKO with LO, Technician boosted Mach Punch.
  7. Rising_Dusk

    Rising_Dusk
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    Hitmontop is totally outclassed by Roopushin and DW Breloom, though, which are actually seen everywhere. Hitmontop is also way easier to switch into.

    Also, I agree with the Balloon mention. I've used it myself, but this was written before the mechanics of Balloon were fully understood, so I didn't mention it at the time. I'll add it in now.
  8. sensible

    sensible

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    I've actually been running Choice Scarf/Band Doryuuzu pretty effectively. Choice Scarf Doryuuzu notable for being able to outrun other Doryuuzu 100% of the time, while still being useful outside of Sandstorm. It is also pretty much IMPOSSIBLE TO OUTRUN IN SANDSTORM, while Band doesn't require SD to pose a huge threat. Also, since it has so much immediate power, running Rapid Spin is even more viable due to the fact that many Spin-blockers have a hard time switching into it.

    name: Choice
    move 1: Earthquake
    move 2: Rock Slide
    move 3: Return / Shadow Claw / X-Scissor
    move 4: Rapid Spin / Shadow Claw / X-Scissor
    Item: Choice Band / Choice Scarf
    Ability: Sand Throw
    Nature: Jolly / Adamant
    evs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
  9. AccidentalGreed

    AccidentalGreed HOMERUN, CABRONES
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    Hmm....not sure about this one. Though Edgequake has great coverage in general, having them on a Choice set is kind of iffy due to so many Pokemon resisting either Earthquake or Rock Slide. I like the idea of him being a hit-and-run Earthquaker though.

    Thing is, I can see why you're relatively successful if you run Band, but not Scarf since Doryuuzu requires a boost to be relatively effective.
  10. Lee

    Lee @ Thick Club
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    Brick Break should probably be mentioned as an option for the Swords Dance set to help out against opposing Balloon Doryuuzu, a scenario that I found to crop up
    a LOT. Suppose it also helps with other random Balloon Pokemon that people rely upon to check Dory, such as Terakion, Heatran and Lucario.

    OC maybe? I mean, you did mention Shadow Claw in OC and it would be very difficult to argue that Shadow Claw is more useful than BB.
  11. AccidentalGreed

    AccidentalGreed HOMERUN, CABRONES
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    Speaking of Brick Break, if anybody IS considering using Choice Band Doryuuzu on a Sandstorm team, Brick Break should be an option so Yuyu isn't immediately screwed by opposing Doryuuzu and random, stupid Balloon-holding Pokemon like Terakion.

    Maybe Brick Break DOES deserve an OC mention due to the presence of Balloon Pokemon, in any case including Swords Dance.
  12. imperfectluck

    imperfectluck
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    no more ghost rotom
  13. Rising_Dusk

    Rising_Dusk
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    I think Choice-locked Doryuuzu is pretty crazy. It's not that Doryuuzu is awful at the role, but that its SD set is so infinitely better it's a sin to try a Choice item on Doryuuzu. One of the biggest problems there is that Doryuuzu doesn't want to lock itself into EQ for fear of immune Pokemon, and its primary coverage moves are very weak (Brick Break, Rock Slide). You really want the pressure given by the ability to change attacks.
    This is a good point, I'll add it in.
    Rotom is still a Ghost-type Pokemon with Levitate. The Rotom formes, however, are not.
  14. Tortferngatr

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    BTW, removed the mentions of Uber Pomemon like the RSE Trio and Giratina-O. As DW Politoed and Ninetales aren't out yet, they don't need a mention.
  15. breh

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    Frankly, I must ask: why is balloon not slashed on the main set? An ac mention is not what balloon deserves IMO. Doryuuzu works well after a kill; U-turn and Volt Change are very good friends to dory, allowing it to get in untouched and set up an SD. if you scout for skarm and have killed/weakened it, you win.

    Otherwise, Rapid Spin should be the option after return in the last slot. Although it seems relatively useless, it fulfils a very nice utility slot and protects against opposing balloon dory (they switch in, you use RS, breaking their Balloon and clearing entry hazards at once).
  16. masterful

    masterful

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    X-Scissor should be listed 1st, as guarding against 1 poke is inferior to the coverage and power offered by X-Scissor
  17. DaiAndOh

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    2. Gliscor and Randorusu. Just clarifying.
  18. AccidentalGreed

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    Both of these threats can be easily eliminated with a Water- or Ice- type move. Should Doryuuzu ever encounter them, he can switch out to something like a generic Bulky water (Swampert, Vaporeon, Burungeru...) and set up again should he get the chance. Off 135 Attack, setting up won't be necessary at times.

    By the way, I believe this should be OU-oriented? Though this has been done before Sage's thread.
  19. Raikaria

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    Choice Band Azumarril should be listed as a counter as well.

    It has the bulk to switch in before Dory SD's [Or as it Swords Dances] and deals a minimum of 99.7% damage with Aqua Jet, which will KO Dory with absoultely any form of prior damage, and has something like a 99% chance to OHKO without.

    In addittion to this, Azumarril is generally strong against a Sandstorm team, which means that Azumarril can also defeat other Sandstorm attackers like Terakion, and Landos, or whatever the Ground-Genie is called. The ability to check Landos as well makes Azumarril a better Sandstorm check than Roopushin is.
  20. panamaxis

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    Balloon is a lot better than leftovers on Doryuuzu in most cases.
  21. XxbraedonxX

    XxbraedonxX

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    Chople Berry is better than Balloon. It allows SD Dory to beat Mach Punch/ Vacuum Wave Users VERY well, such as Tech LO Breloom, which does ~50% (you do 84% min back with +2 EQ to a standard 4/0), and CB Roobushin, which does ~72% (You damage this even more than Breloom, considering 252/0)
  22. Berserker Lord

    Berserker Lord unreliable analysis writer.

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    So, those bulky waters are able to take a +2 Earthquake from Randorosu? none that I know of. All of them are going to be 2HKOed by his Earthquake if he runs Life Orb even without Swords Dance if he decides to EQ your Water switch in, which will 2HKO them quite easily (even OHKO Burungeru), and thats against their Max/Max versions. More balanced sets are guranteed 2HKOs without any entry hazards.
  23. emirinho

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    Doryuuzu should be used with hippowdon rather than T-tar, because hippowdon can in some way protect him.
    In addition, there should be a bulky psychic guy in that team as well to protect him from fighting pokemon.
    If this tactic becomes successful in a battle, a sweep is ensured. :)
  24. Megan_Fox

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    Balloon should be the main option and LO should be slashed with it IMO, with Chople Berry in AC
  25. Gebloth

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    Balloon is the most popular and the most usefull item for Doryuuzu, also if you are going to put moves that are an alternative to perfect neutral coverage, Brick break is a good move, especially considering the fact that this allows it to beat Balloon Doryuuzu

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