Much like most schools, there’s many different cliques. There’s the cool kids, the smart kids, and jocks, and the geeks; in this case, a new kid just came into town. You guessed it, that new kid is Excadrill! Being brought to the scene by Sander Wojkic, the control master, he capitalized on his Player’s Cup II qualification with this deck that packs a surprise factor on the ladder! Excadrill is always something that has seen play in the Tier 3 bracket, but as of lately it’s been making a splash in an effort to counter some of the top dogs in the metagame – mostly Pikarom and Eternatus. Before Vivid Voltage is set to release, this Excadrill is probably the best Fighting-type attacker besides Marshadow and Machamp Tag Team GX, mostly due to its efficiency for being able to attack for a single energy. Being a 1-Prize attacker means that the game also will go on for longer than most other matchups, and gives the opponent less of a reward for getting a couple speedy KOs on our Pokemon. Today, we’re going over all things Excadrill.

Strategy


Using Cinccino’s Make Do ability and Excadrill’s Drill Bazooka attack, we want to whittle our deck down as low as possible in order to trigger Excadrill’s 2nd attacks clause, which makes it do a lot more damage. Eleventh Hour Tackle can do 180 damage for a single energy card, which can often win games on its own! Our entire deck is basically one Prize Card Pokemon so the game tempo is going to be a little slower, mostly because games last longer this way. Using recovery cards like Ordinary Rod and Brock’s Grits, we can control the number of cards in our deck in order to ensure that we don’t deck out.

Deck List


Pokémon (18)

Trainers (36)

Energy (6)

4x Minccino 2x Vitality Band6x Fighting Energy
4x Cinccino 1x Brock's Grit
1x Crobat V 4x Crushing Hammer
4x Drilbur 2x Ordinary Rod
4x Excadrill 3x Boss's Orders
1x Dedenne-GX4x Great Ball

1x Pal Pad

4x Professor's Research

1x Great Catcher

4x Marnie

4x Quick Ball

2x Pokémon Communication

1x U-Turn Board

1x Tool Scrapper

2x Martial Arts Dojo

Key Cards



4-4 Excadrill – Our main attacker in this deck is a 140HP Stage 1 attacker, which is pretty refreshing in today’s bulky GX/VMAX format! That means our main attacker is only giving up a single pPrize Card after being KO’d, which means we are going to need to setup a lot of these in a game in order to win. Excadrill’s Fighting-type is what makes it so strong naturally against top contenders such as Eternatus and Pikarom – if this Pokemon wasn’t Fighting-type it wouldn’t be nearly as good as it This card was blessed with two attacks that we gotta love : Drill Bazooka will be our starting attack, often discarding many cards from our deck followed up by Eleventh Hour Tackle in the late game.


4-4 Cinccino – The main draw engine of this deck revolves around Cinccino’s Make Do Ability: This ability helps us to draw more cards, which effectively helps us to trigger Eleventh Hour Tackle’s clause quicker. This Pokemon also helps us lessen our reliance on draw Pokemon such as Dedenne GX or Crobat V, which means we’ll mostly have a field of singe Prize Card Pokemon.


4 Crushing Hammer – We play four copies of this card to slow down ADP; we can remove their Water Energy and try to prevent them from attacking as long as possible. Since we’re a single Prize Card deck, Altered Creation can really halter us, so if we can do anything to slow down their strategy we should do that.


2 Ordinary Rod – We’re going to be discarding many resources with Drill Bazooka, so it’s important that we can recycle key Pokemon/Energy back into the deck using these cards.


1 Brock’s Grits – This is played for the same reason as Ordinary Rod, except it is a Supporter that can be recycled with Pal Pad.


1 Pal Pad – Useful for recycling back in Supporter cards that got accidentally discarded with Drill Bazooka – can get us back recovery options like Brock’s Grits, or aggressor options such as Boss’ Orders.


2 Vitality Band / 2 Martial Arts Dojo – Both useful cards for fixing math in order to 2HKO bulky 320HP VMAX Pokemon. You really don’t have time in this deck to whiff a KO, so sometimes these cards can come in handy. The Vitality Bands in particular were Ryan’s idea to add to the deck; he noticeably took out Judge Whistle in order to make room for these.


1 Tool Scrapper – Used for removing Metal Goggles, Big Charm, and Cape of Toughness. Can also help bop off useful Items such as Air Balloon.


4 Great Ball / 4 Quick Ball / 2 Pokemon Communication – We play a hefty suite of Item search cards so that we can setup our Cinccino and Excadrill as fast as possible.


1 U-Turn Board – All of the Pokemon in our deck have a Retreat Cost of © (except Excadrill – but that doesn’t matter because they’ll be attacking). Since no Pokemon in our deck have a higher Retreat Cost, U-Turn Board is the best mobility option this deck can play because we can potentially reuse it (due to the card’s clause). It’s also a great card to use as a pivot when attached to a Pokemon.


6 Fighting Energy – You’re probably wondering why we have such a low count of energy cards in this deck – we really want to focus on playing setup cards, so we cut back on energies. However, our Excadrill only requires a single energy in order to use either of their attacks, so we don’t need that many. Alongside Ordinary Rod and Brock’s Grits, we have enough recovery options.

Matchups


ADP – Very Unfavourable
This matchup tends to be extremely poor due to Altered Creation GX. One of the biggest strengths of the Excadrill deck is the fact that it is a single Prize Card attacker, which means that the opponent will have to KO a lot of these in order to win the game. Against ADP, they only need to take 2-3 KOs on our Pokemon in order to win the game, and they do that very fast! In that time, we don’t really get enough turns to whittle our deck down to <3 cards, which means we never get to use Eleventh Hour Tackle to the full effect. Considering the fact we only really have 4 turns in this matchup, we can only do 480 damage(ish), which is unfortunately not enough to win against ADP. Terrible matchup, however we can win this game if our opponent gets off to a slow start, and we can remove some Water Energy using Crushing Hammer.

Eterntaus VMAX – Highly Favourable
Eternatus is weak to Fighting-type, which means if we can get off a Drill Bazooka with a Vitality Band + a Martial Arts Dojo, we can OHKO an Eternatus. If we can trigger the effect on Eleventh Hour Tackle, we can OHKO an Eternatus VMAX. Their single Prize Card attackers in the deck don’t do enough damage in order to OHKO us, so they’re forced to attack with Eternatus. We also play Crushing Hammers and can potentially deny them energy drops provided coin flips go our way; the Eternatus player literally can’t win provided we see an average amount of cards per game, let alone a subpar amount of cards. We can win this matchup with our eyes closed.

Pikarom – Highly Favoured
This matchup is another free handout, because the opponent plays a deck that is entirely weak to Fighting-type Pokemon! Pikarom, a 240HP Tag Team GX, will get OHKO’d by a non-damage-modified Drill Bazooka, which means we can draw 3 Prize Cards as early as the second turn of the game. Even if our opponent plays Big Charms for longevity, we play Tool Scrapper and other damage modifications in order to reach those OHKOs. The most dangerous thing our opponent can do is Tag Bolt two Drillbur off the field, so try and have three Excadrill/Drillbur in play at all times if you predict your opponent will make this play. Other than that, this matchup is a piece of cake!

Baby Blacephalon – Even/Slightly Favoured
Baby Blowns tends to be a very close matchup, seeming as we’re limited by using a Stage 1 Pokemon, and the opponent is limited by how many Welders they can find in a game. The opponent has to expend a lot more resources than us (Welder, Fire Energy, etc), but in return they are able to whip up an attacker faster than us, and thus they are more reactive. Their Cramorant can also be annoying at times if we can only get a single Drillbur into play, so be wary of that. Overall, play the long game with the opponent and try not to bench down any GX/V Pokemon so you can force a favourable Prize Trade.

Zacian/LucMetal (LMZ) – Slightly Favourable
I don’t know how to exactly describe this matchup, but you just have so much time that it becomes easy to get down to<3 cards in your deck. 180 damage is often too much damage for the opponent to take to the face, and their deck more often than not will faulter under that much consistent pressure. Now, that’s not to say that they don’t have tricks either. Mallow and Lana can set you back so many turns, so provided they are able to streamline MaL you may be in trouble. You also need to watch out for their Lillie’s Poke Dolls, because they can just buy infinite amounts of time with those (and sometimes it can deck you out in the end). Play this matchup conservatively, and the switch to aggressive in the late game for your best chance of winning.

Conclusion


I’m sure you’re already running to your computer and loading up your PTCGO Codes as we speak, so I’ll let you hop to it. Excadrill seems like it can take down a lot of the top contenders in our current format (except ADP), so you might need some more Pokemon Online codes in order to build this deck.