Gen 5 Excadrill (OU) [HEAVY WIP]

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#1
[OVERVIEW]
It took it a while to rise to dominance after its unban in 2015, but rest assured: Excadrill is the Pokémon that almost single-handedly changed the BW OU metagame and nowadays there is no doubt it sits next to threats of the caliber of Latios and Keldeo, as one of the best Pokemon in the tier. Excadrill's success mostly comes from having many great perks and just a handful of drawbacks. A smart stat distribution and a good typing in Ground / Steel make it one of, if not the best Rapid Spin user in the tier, taking advantage of its quadruple resistance to Stealth Rock and immunity to Toxic Spikes to reliably keep the field clear of entry hazards. Decent Speed and stellar Attack, further enhanced by Swords Dance, also mean Excadrill will be able to become pretty threatening for the opposing team, more often than not forcing the opponent to take a defensive stance and renounce to their hard-earned hazards. Excadrill's greatest appeal, however, comes from having not one, nor two, but three awesome abilities: Sand Rush, Sand Force, and Mold Breaker. These three abilities enable it to run a myriad of sets with varying roles and dramatically different defensive counterplay, albeit at the cost of making each variant a bit matchup-reliant, sometimes.


[SET]
name: Sand Rush
move 1: Swords Dance
move 2: Earthquake
move 3: Iron Head
move 4: Rapid Spin
item: Air Balloon
ability: Sand Rush
nature: Jolly
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

wip

Set Details
========

Just invest EVs in Attack and Speed to achieve maximum offensive prowess, while the remaining 4 EVs can go to Special Defense. A Jolly nature is preferred in order to be decently fast even when Sand Rush is not active, helping Excadrill's attempts at Swords Dancing and using Rapid Spin. Air Balloon is the item of choice due to the sheer utility it provides: thanks to it, Excadrill becomes ungrounded and therefore immune to Ground-type moves (including Spikes), which means common answers such as Landorus-T, Gliscor, and Hippowdon will not be able to threaten it with Earthquake as long as the item stays intact. In particular, Air Balloon is extremely useful against non-Superpower Choice Scarf Landorus-T: it will have to U-turn first to get rid of the Balloon, then come back later to actually threaten Excadrill with its STAB; this goes without saying that it will blatantly lose if Sand Rush is active.


Usage Tips
========

First of all, analyze the opposing team's structure to decide how you will utilize Excadrill during the battle. Excadrill's matchup can vastly fluctuate from being an utility spinner to the most feasible win condition at your disposal. The two most important factors to consider at Team Preview are whether the opposing team carries a Sand Stream user or not, and how much bulk they are packing. wip

Team Options
========

Sand Rush Excadrill finds its home in many Rain Offense and Bulky Offense teams due to a couple of reasons. First of all, Excadrill pairs exceptionally well with Rain behemoths such as Latios, Tornadus, and Thundurus-T due to typing synergy, access to entry hazard removal and due to being able to take advantage of Pokemon lured by them such as Jirachi and Tyranitar. Secondly, when battling a Sand team, Sand Rush effectively turns Excadrill into a nightmare to face, to the point the opponent may even find undesirable to overwrite Politoed's Drizzle with Sand Stream. wip

Sand Rush Excadrill can also work well when paired with Ninetales, Abomasnow or when inserted in a weatherless team due to its sand-abusing capabilities. Ninetales and Abomasnow in particular greatly appreciate Rapid Spin and can respectively weaken Water-type attacks or provide Hail as a mean to weaken common Excadrill counters. Another possibility would be pairing Excadrill with a Sandstorm user such as Smooth Rock Jirachi so that Sand Rush doesn't become useless against any team lacking a Sand Stream user. Anyway, keep in mind Sand Rush Excadrill is a great standalone Pokemon therefore rather than supporting it, you should think of taking advantage of what Excadrill itself offers. If your team doesn't need Rapid Spin and you are already well prepared against Sand teams, Garchomp and Landorus-T may be better choices.

[SET]
name: Sand Force
move 1: Earthquake
move 2: Iron Head
move 3: Rock Slide
move 4: Rapid Spin
item: Choice Scarf
ability: Sand Force
nature: Jolly / Adamant
evs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

This extremely straightforward set combines Earthquake, Iron Head, and Rock Slide with Rapid Spin in order to take as much advantage as possible of Sand Force while still acting as an offensive spinner. Earthquake is the strongest move of the set: combined with Excadrill's 135-base Attack and Sand Force, makes even Slowbro and Ferrothorn afraid of directly switching in, since both are 2HKOed after some prior damage. It also makes Jellicent think twice before making an attempt to spinblock. However, Earthquake is far from being spammable: most teams usually carry Ground-type immunities and that's where the secondary STAB comes in play. Iron Head, by virtue of packing good power and no immunities, will probably be the most used move of the set, inflicting good damage to common Excadrill answers such as Landorus-T and Gliscor. It also has a nifty 30% chance to flinch the opposition, which could come useful against things like Focus Sash Alakazam, who already relies on the imprecise Focus Blast to deal with Excadrill. Rock Slide offers much needed coverage against the likes of Thundurus-T, Rotom-W, and Gyarados while also easing the revengekilling of threats like Tornadus. Rapid Spin provides entry hazard control and while it is an awkward move to being locked in, it can still get the job done due to how threatening Excadrill is.

Set Details
========

Attack and Speed should be maximized in order to hit as fast and as hard as possible with the assistence of Choice Scarf, while the leftover 4 EVs can go to Special Defense. If Excadrill is the only Steel-type on your team, you should consider putting 20 EVs into Defense in order to always avoid the 2HKO from Choice Scarf Salamence's Outrage, even after Stealth Rock damage. As for the nature, it's up to player's preference: Jolly helps against opposing Choice Scarf Excadrill while also letting the mole outspeed Choice Scarf Heatran and +1 Jolly Dragonite, while Adamant is much more powerful and greatly enhances Excadrill's revengekilling capabilities, achieving a clear OHKO on Latios after Stealth Rock and two rounds of sandstorm damage. It also makes Excadrill more efficient at weakening its own checks, such as Landorus-T and Rotom-W.

Usage Tips
========

Choice Scarf Excadrill should be used mainly as a revenge killer and late-game cleaner. A more aggressive approach is possible against matchups in which hard checks such as Skarmory are not to be found, making the most of passive Pokemon such as SR Jirachi to enter the field and start chipping at soft checks such as Choice Scarf Landorus-T. After the removal of its checks Excadrill will be able to claim KOs with ease, especially with the aid of entry hazards and Sand Stream. Rapid Spin will be relatively more difficult to pull off than other non-Choice variants, nonetheless it is still viable thanks to the offensive nature of this set and due to Excadrill's qualities. Of course, using Rapid Spin comes at the cost of Excadrill being Choice-locked into an extremely weak move, therefore you should always think ahead of the negative consequences following the use of Rapid Spin (the coming of a dangerous wallbreaker afterwards, or even the loss of Excadrill itself if you misplay).

Team Options
========

Tyranitar or Hippowdon with Sand Stream are self-explanatory. You don't need to activate Sand Force to dish out decent damage, but having Sand Stream on your team is surely better than having to rely on an opposing Sand team. If you plan on using this set outside of Sand, then maybe you should consider using Choice Scarf Mold Breaker for better consistency. That said, there are many other team options this set pairs well with. Since Excadrill doesn't even come close to the 100 Speed tier (as opposite to faster Scarfers such as Garchomp and Mienshao), Volcarona will probably be extremely dangerous to deal with, and running something like Terrakion, Gyarados, or Dragonite to check it may be a good idea. Terrakion in particular synergizes well with Excadrill due to sharing many checks with it, while Gyarados (and Dragonite) greatly appreciate Excadrill's ability to get rid of Stealth Rock. Gravity Landorus-T forms together with Excadrill a nifty Groundspam core which will be extremely hard to deal with, especially considering the relative scarcity of Ground-type resists in OU. However, keep in mind Gravity is very prone to backfire following shifts in momentum, therefore counter-measures to opposing Ground-types are, if not mandatory, strongly recommended. Magnezone can trap Skarmory to prepare a sweep or just to allow Excadrill to Rapid Spin efficiently -otherwise, chances are Skarmory will just setup its Spikes again.


[SET]
name: Bulky Spinner
move 1: Protect
move 2: Toxic
move 3: Earthquake
move 4: Rapid Spin
item: Leftovers
ability: Mold Breaker
nature: to be decided
evs: to be decided

[SET COMMENTS]
Moves
========

Protect serves at least three different purposes: first of all, it enables Excadrill to Toxic stall its opposition in a similar fashion to what SubToxic Gliscor does. Secondly, it's great for scouting common Choice item users such as Landorus-T, Terrakion and Latios so that prediction becomes easier and the opponent's momentum is ruined, allowing Excadrill to pull a Rapid Spin off or spread Toxic whenever they choose the wrong move. Lastly, it helps gaining some additional rounds of Leftovers recovery – which is crucial, considering how Excadrill lacks natural recovery. Toxic, combined with Protect, forms the crux of this set and is generally used to put a timer on extremely dangerous Pokemon who would otherwise love to switch on Excadrill (think of Landorus-T and Garchomp, for example) and is especially useful for ruining Jellicent attempts at spinblocking. Earthquake, combined with Mold Breaker, will take care of the other major spinblocker in the tier, Gengar, while generally having good standalone coverage due to Mold Breaker ignoring Levitate-associated immunities. Rapid Spin rounds off the set and allows Excadrill to reliably remove the entry hazards from the field.

Set Details
========

wip

Usage Tips
========

Do not overestimate Excadrill's typing and bulk. While it may seem tempting to switch it into Latios or Tornadus, the damage they will deal even with resisted STABs and the relative inability of this set to respond accordingly will just put a strain on your spinner. You should leave the job to dedicated special walls such as Tyranitar and Chansey while Excadrill should only really enter the field when you are sure it will be able to Rapid Spin without incurring into excessive damage. For example, most Jirachi and Amonguss will never be able to dent Excadrill significantly, so they provide a perfect opportunity to use Rapid Spin and / or to spread some toxins. On the other hand, do not hesitate to sacrifice Excadrill's health if having hazards on your field would lead to a certain loss: for example, Excadrill can tank a rain-boosted Scald from Tentacruel and remove it and later its Toxic Spikes from the game, should these be too difficult for the team to handle.

Team Options
========
Being arguably the best spinner of BW OU, this Excadrill variant is more of a supportive Pokemon, rather than requiring support on its own. It finds its place on Stall teams or Balance teams featuring threats such as SubTran, which are interested in keeping entry hazards away as longer as possible. These teams also love Excadrill's ability to check Choice Band Tyranitar, which often is a huge threat for defensively oriented playstyles. That said, it still appreciates Wish support from the likes of Chansey and Alomomola to further enhance its durability, teammates able to deal with the Pokemon who completely invalidate it (Gliscor, for example), Sandstorm to kill things faster with Toxic and a backup plan against the things it can't really spin against: i.e. Rocky Helmet Skarmory, Ferrothorn and Rocky Helmet Garchomp, mainly. A Taunt Skarmory on your own could help against Skarmory and Ferrothorn, for example.

[STRATEGY COMMENTS]
Other Options
=============

Swords Dance Sand Force is an exceptionally powerful breaker that is held back by its Speed and therefore will only come in useful against slower teams. SD Garchomp pretty much outclasses it due to better bulk, Speed, movepool and Dragon-type STAB. Choice Band Sand Force may seem a good idea to not waste a turn SDancing and getting forced out but it will require extraordinary prediction skills to actually work. It hits stupidly hard, though. Mold Breaker Excadrill, in form of a dedicated Lead set or a Choice Scarf set, can be employed to set Stealth Rock even against Magic Bounce users such as Xatu and Espeon. Lead Excadrill faces competition from the likes of Terrakion and Aerodactyl who are able to Taunt, are noticeably faster and deter Xatu anyway thanks to Stone Edge, however it has Rapid Spin to differentiate itself. Choice Scarf Mold Breaker can be a pain for offense to deal with and can run Stealth Rock over Iron Head or Rock Slide in case the team needs a setter.

Checks and Counters
===================

Checks and counters are mostly set specific, with the main exceptions being Physically Defensive Skarmory and Gliscor who act as good catch-alls while also not being completely setup bait for Excadrill's team: Skarmory can setup Spikes and shuffle things away with Whirlwind, while Gliscor can either use Taunt or become itself a threat thanks to Swords Dance. Rocky Helmet Skarmory in particular takes the crown for being wip

A triggered Sand Rush Excadrill is probably the most dangerous out of all the mole's sets. It outspeeds everything, it is immensely powerful at +2 and it's also hard to kill due to its bulk and typing (it can literally survive the combination of Slowbro's Scald and Dragonite's Extreme Speed, for example). Therefore, hard counterplay is required when building a Sand team. Other than Skarmory and Gliscor, physically defensive Landorus-T and Rotom-W are among the best Excadrill counters out there. Landorus-T can one-shot Excadrill by using Superpower (or Earthquake, if Air Balloon is missing) while Rotom-W can do the same with Hydro Pump or try to spread some burns with Will-O-Wisp. Slowbro and Earthquake Tangrowth can take on a weakened Excadrill and remove it from the game. Bronzong completely shuts down Sand Rush Excadrill, in a similar manner to Skarmory. Physically defensive Zapdos equipped with Heat Wave can also attempt to check the mole, however in order to do so the field will have to be clear of Stealth Rock, otherwise it will prove to be unreliable; the exact same can be said about the very circumstantial Rotom-Heat and RestTalk Gyarados. Quagsire takes quite a bit from Earthquake yet it ignores any SD boosts thanks to Unaware. Specially defensive Skarmory, while heavily pressured, will be able to phaze away Excadrill most of the time. A special mention goes to Hippowdon, as a Sand Stream user that can stomach quite well anything Excadrill can throw at it and respond accordingly with Earthquake, if Air Balloon is not present. Other than that, in spite of its immense Speed under sandstorm, revenge killers do exist: Ditto and Mach Punch users such as Breloom and Conkeldurr are good examples. But there are also secondary, unconventional ways to stop a Sand Rush Excadrill rampage: by pairing your Sand Stream user with another inducer of a different weather (most of the time, it will be Tyranitar + Politoed), by using an emergency check such as Air Balloon Heatran, or by forcing Excadrill to use Iron Head and take collateral damage from the likes of Rocky Helmet Garchomp. One may also attempt to win without ever sending the Sand Stream user on the field, so that Sand Rush will never be activated and Excadrill will remain a mediocre offensive threat, however methods such as these should only be used as a last resort, for example after having been caught off guard by Iron Head flinches or by less common sets such as Life Orb.

Choice Scarf Sand Force shares many checks with Sand Rush, however the fact it commonly runs Rock Slide may invalidate Zapdos and to a certain extent Rotom-W, while Sand Force, for its part, means bulky Water-types such as Quagsire and Slowbro will take impressive damage from Earthquake. Nonetheless, Skarmory, Bronzong, Tangrowth, Hippowdon, Gliscor, and Landorus-T are still solid checks, especially if physically defensive variants. It's also worth noting that compared to Sand Rush, Choice Scarf Excadrill has a relatively low Speed, which means faster Choice Scarf users such as Garchomp, Landorus-T and Mienshao will be able to revenge kill it with ease.
Swords Dance Sand Force, albeit rare, is pretty much able to muscle past every defensive check bar few exceptions like physically defensive Bronzong, therefore it's much more advisable to play around it with a fast, offensive Pokemon such as Garchomp and Keldeo, rather than trying to wall it.

Mold Breaker Excadrill deserves a separated discourse since it may cripple (with Toxic) or knock out (by ignoring Levitate) checks to previous sets such as Rotom-W, Landorus-T, Bronzong, Slowbro, and Tangrowth. It is still shut down by Skarmory and Gliscor, though; and in the case of Bulky Spinner set, additional defensive Pokémons such as Ferrothorn, Starmie and Celebi will be able to shrug off anything it can throw at them due to the relative lack of power of the set.



///

*Hi! I want this to be as complete as possible, therefore if you actively play BW and have something to add, let me know!
*I am not 100% sure about the set order. maybe sand rush deserves to be #1.
*Anyway, please share your spread for Bulky excadrill because I don't think the spread I run is optimal (I made it to outspeed adamant Zor but who uses that anymore?)
* Please remember it's a wip. I'll do my best to make it as fluent as possible.
 
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#2
yeah so sand force excadrill isn't viable. Remove it completely, it isn't what makes excadrill so good. Get rid of every mention of Sand Force in the entire analysis.

set order should be Sand Rush -> Mold Breaker.
as it
You should probably follow the standard analysis format too, its quite difficult to read and you'll have to reformat everything anyway.

I'm skimming through and most of the information seems off as well. Don't mention Abomasnow it isn't serious. Excadrill's main purpose sits on rain teams where it is able to be an extremely powerful threat in reverse sweeping sand teams. Emphasize Excadrill being THE best spinner in OU, PERIOD.

Name the sets normal things, "Sand Rush" and "Bulky Spinner" work fine.

Most Lando-T, especially defensive, are a good check to Excadrill. Explain why Balloon is good and why it forces Lando lacking Superpower, especially scarf, to U-turn since it can't hit it with Earthquake. Gliscor doesn't check Excadrill nearly as well as Lando-T.

It's important to mention how good Excadrill is against Tyranitar as it is one of the few things that can switch into a CB Stone Edge, resists Crunch, and can abuse Sand Stream and counter-sweep.

The bulky spread is fine maybe?, I'm going through my builder and generally they are either fast or spdef
EVs: 224 HP / 32 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly
EVs: 216 HP / 12 Def / 252 SpD / 28 Spe
Careful

overall this needs a lotttttt of work, sand rush set is by far the most important and should have a lot of explanation.
 
#4
Re: SF Excadrill
Eww not really
Re: Abomasnow and obscure mons
The point is, we even have an analysis for SCEPTILE among all things, it's not necessarily a bad thing to mention Abomasnow (imho new players MUST learn what an Abomasnow is anyway)
Re: set names
Ok
Re: Lando vs gliscor
Yeah. Landorus-T fares way better than Gliscor against Sand Rush and Sand Force. But Gliscor also takes on toxic from bulky spinner
Re: additional information
The balloon exca vs scarflando scenario absolutely has to be added somewhere, I agree.
It's important to mention how good Excadrill is against Tyranitar as it is one of the few things that can switch into a CB Stone Edge, resists Crunch, and can abuse Sand Stream and counter-sweep.
This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for stalls running bulky spinner. Idk how it slipped by.

Re: Spreads
I need to know who are the authors of these spreads, and what they are supposed to do. The fast one is probably tailored to kill wish cm jirachi?

Ty for the feedback.

Ah and btw
I'm following the SM OU format except for the checks and counters paragraph, I did not know it was not suitable for old gens.
 
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