Pokemon Sword and Shield

Excadrill - Moveset & Best Build for Ranked Battle


This is a strategy guide for using Excadrill in competitive play for the games Pokemon Sword and Shield. Read on for tips on the best Nature, EV spreads, Movesets, Builds, and Held Items to use with Excadrill, as well as its strengths and weak points.

Excadrill - Related Guides
Pokemon SWSH - Excadrill Evolution and LearnsetEvolution and Learnset Pokemon SWSH - Excadrill Best BuildBuild for Ranked Battle

Basic Information for Excadrill

Types and Abilities

Pokemon Type 1 Type 2
Pokemon Sword and Shield - Ground Type Pokemon Sword and Shield - Steel Type
Sand Rush Boosts the Pokemon's Speed in a sandstorm.
Sand Force Boosts certain moves'power in sandstorm.
Mold Breaker (Hidden) Moves can be used regardless of Abilities.

Excadrill Weaknesses and Resistances

Takes 4x damage
Takes 2x damage
Pokemon Fire Image Pokemon Water Image Pokemon Fighting Image Pokemon Ground Image
Takes 0.5x damage
Pokemon Normal Image Pokemon Flying Image Pokemon Psychic Image Pokemon Bug Image Pokemon Dragon Image Pokemon Steel Image Pokemon Fairy Image
Takes 1/4x damage
Pokemon Rock Image
Takes 0x damage
Pokemon Electric Image Pokemon Poison Image

What is Type Effectiveness?

Base Stats

HP Attack Defense Sp. Atk Sp. Def Speed
110 135 60 50 65 88

Best Nature for Excadrill

Best Natures
(+Spd, -SpAtk)
(+Atk, -SpAtk)

What are Natures?

Singles Movesets for Excadrill

Choice Scarf Moveset & Best Build

Choice Scarf Excadrill.png

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Atk. 252 / Def. 4 / Spd. 252
Final Stat Values HP 185 / Atk. 187 / Def. 81 / Sp. Def. 85 / Spd. 154
Ability Mold Breaker
Held Item Choice Scarf
Moveset Iron Head
Rock Slide
Horn Drill

By making it hold a Choice Scarf, it can outspeed most Pokemon who are not holding one, and often finish its opponent off before taking major damage.

For difficult-to-take-down foes such as Galarian Corsola and Toxapex, Horn Drill can be used for a chance of taking them down in a single blow, making it a valuable trump card in tough situations.

Other Viable Moves

Brick Break Mostly used when Excadrill is Dynamaxed. Its Max Move counterpart, Max Knuckle, has the useful effect of boosting Excadrill's Attack. Used against Normal and Dark-types.

Assault Vest Moveset & Best Build

Assault Vest Excadrill.png

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Spd. 216 / Atk. 172 / HP 108 / Def. 4 / Sp.Def. 4
Final Stat Values HP 186 / Atk. 187 / Def. 80 / Sp.Def. 85 / Spd. 154
Ability Mold Breaker
Held Item Assault Vest
Moveset Earthquake
Iron Head
Rock Slide

Able to outspeed a Mimikyu with Adamant Nature, and with the boosted Special Defense from Assault Vest allowing it to withstand Hydro Pump from Wash Rotom, this is a build that can take out both of these two threats in one hit each.

Other Viable Moves

Brick Break Mostly used when Excadrill is Dynamaxed. Its Max Move counterpart, Max Knuckle, has the useful effect of boosting Excadrill's Attack.

Focus Sash Moveset & Best Build

Nature Jolly (+Spd, -SpAtk)
EV Spread Atk. 252 / Def. 4 / Spd. 252
Final Stat Values HP 185 / Atk. 187 / Def. 81 / Sp. Def. 85 / Spd. 154
Ability Mold Breaker
Sand Rush
Held Item Focus Sash
Moveset Earthquake
Iron Head
Rock Tomb
Horn Drill

Let Excadrill hold Focus Sash so it can survive against moves that can potentially one-shot it. This build also takes advantage of Excadrill's high Attack and Speed. Use Rock Tomb on an opposing Pokemon if it is faster to lower its Speed.

For Excadrill's benefit, plan ahead and make situations that will be beneficial to it, especially when it is going face-to-face against an opponent.

About Excadrill's Ability

Mold Breaker allows Excadrill to attack without being affected by an opponent's Ability, like with the previous build's example.

Sand Rush on the other hand doubles Excadrill's Speed during Sandstorm. It is then possible to face Gyarados and Togekiss even when their Speed is boosted by two levels.

Other Viable Moves

Swords Dance Great combination with Sand Rush during a Sandstorm. Use it before Dynamaxing to easily trample opponents. Can also be used as Max Guard while Dynamaxed.
Stealth Rock Useful against opposing Pokemon holding Focus Sash.

How to Use Excadrill Effectively

A Physical sweeper that takes advantage of Mold Breaker

Excadrill has the powerful ability Mold Breaker which allows it to ignore its opponent's Ability, allowing it bypass Mimikyu's Disguise. This ability usually allows Mimikyu to take one hit with minimal damage, giving it a chance to set up Swords Dance, but Excadrill's ability to avoid wasting a turn on this makes it an ideal Mimikyu counter.

A Physical sweeper that takes advantage of Sand Rush

Excadrill can double its Speed with Sand Rush and fight during a Sandstorm. Even when facing opponents that have boosted their Speed, it is still possible to outspeed them during a Sandstorm thanks to Sand Rush.

Additionally, it will be easier to maneuver Excadrill when a Sandstorm has already been setup before it is switched-out. Team it up Hippowdon or Tyranitar.

Overcome disadvantages with OHKO moves

Excadrill can learn both Horn Drill and Fissure, which guarantees that the opposing Pokemon is knocked out if the move lands. While it is true that these moves have low accuracy (and that Excadrill's kit relies on the items mentioned in the builds, so accuracy-boosting items will be a waste if it only benefits one move), it can be a roll-of-a-dice move and turn the tide of the match if these moves hit.

Best Pokemon to Use With Excadrill

Pokemon that Excadrill can retreat to

It is recommended to include Pokemon in your team that Excadrill can switch out to when it is at a disadvantage. These can be attackers that can eliminate such a threat and keep Excadrill safe.

Flying-type Pokemon works best as they are not affected by any Ground-type move, which is one of Excadrill's weaknesses.

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Zapdos ImageZapdos ・As a Flying-type, it is unaffected by Ground-type moves.
・Can go against Water-type Pokemon.
Moveset & Best Build for Zapdos
Pokemon SWSH - Hydreigon ImageHydreigon ・Unaffected by Ground-type moves with its Ability Levitate.
・Resists Fire and Water-type attacks.
Watch out for Fighting-type moves.
Moveset & Best Build for Hydreigon
Pokemon SWSH - Dragapult ImageDragapult ・Unaffected by Fighting-type moves and resists Fire and Water-type moves by half.
・Can support Excadrill with Will-O-Wisp, Reflect, and Light Screen.
Moveset & Best Build for Dragapult
Pokemon SWSH - Wash Rotom ImageWash Rotom ・Unaffected by Ground-type moves with its Ability Levitate.
・Switch back to Excadrill with Volt Switch.
Moveset & Best Build for Wash Rotom
Pokemon SWSH - Lapras ImageLapras ・Can nullify any Water-type attacks with Water Absorb.
・Use Freeze-Dry to damage Ground and Water-types.
Moveset & Best Build for Lapras
Pokemon SWSH - Gyarados ImageGyarados ・Has a large move pool that covers most Pokemon that Excadrill is not good against,
Moveset & Best Build for Gyarados
Pokemon SWSH - Togekiss ImageTogekiss ・As it is an excellent Special Attacker, it goes well against opponents that has bad Special Defense stats.
Moveset & Best Build for Togekiss

Pokemon with Sand Stream Ability

Teaming up Excadrill with Pokemon that has Sand Stream takes advanatge of Sand Rush, where Excadrill's Speed is doubled during Sandstorm. This is better than using Max Rockfall, as the Dynamax turns can now be used in a more effective way.

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Tyranitar ImageTyranitar ・Can set up Stealth Rock and Taunt.
・Can also play the role of an attacker.
Moveset & Best Build for Tyranitar
Pokemon SWSH - Hippowdon ImageHippowdon ・Able to set up Stealth Rock and can also use Yawn.
Moveset & Best Build for Hippowdon

Counters for Excadrill

Weakness Pokemon Fire Image Pokemon Water Image Pokemon Fighting Image Pokemon Ground Image

Weather its hits with a defensive Pokemon

Excadrill can only learn Moves from a limited selection of types, so opponents with high Defense who won't be hit super effectively can limit Excadrill's effectiveness.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Landorus (Therian Forme) ImageLandorus (Therian Forme) Ranking: ★★★★★
・Lower its Attack stat with Intimidate.
・Able to one shot Exacdrill with Earthquake with the right build.
Moveset & Best Build for Landorus Therian Forme
Pokemon SWSH - Tapu Fini ImageTapu Fini Ranking: ★★★★★
・Highly durable and can attack Excadrill with Water-type moves.
・Can fit most teams.
Moveset & Best Build for Tapu Fini
Pokemon SWSH - Corviknight ImageCorviknight Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can handle most of Excadrill's attacks with 1/2x or less damage.
・Can use Body Press to hit Excadrill super effectively.
Moveset & Best Build for Corviknight
Pokemon SWSH - Celesteela ImageCelesteela Ranking: ★★★★
・Unaffected by Ground-type moves because of its Flying typing.
・Very durable, especially with Leech Seed + Protect combination.
・Can avoid one shot moves.
Moveset & Best Build for Celesteela
Pokemon SWSH - Galarian Corsola ImageGalarian Corsola Ranking: ★★★★
・Can drain Excadrill's attacking power with Will-o-Wisp and Strength Sap.
Watch out for Fissure.
Moveset & Best Build for Galarian Corsola
Pokemon SWSH - Mandibuzz ImageMandibuzz Ranking: ★★★
・Can even handle Rock-type moves from Excadrill.
・Can take advantage of Excadrill's high Attack with Foul Play.
Pokemon SWSH - Rillaboom ImageRillaboom Ranking: ★★★
・Can resist most of Excadrill's attacks thanks it its typing.
・Can lower Excadrill's Speed with its attack Drum Beating.
Moveset & Best Build for Rillaboom
Pokemon SWSH - Ferrothorn ImageFerrothorn Ranking: ★★
・Can handle a number of physical attackers other than Excadrill as well.
Lacks a wide variety of effective moves to use on Excadrill.
Moveset & Best Build for Ferrothorn

Outspeed it and aim for the weak spots

Excadrill doesn't have especially high Defense or Special Defense, so fast Pokemon who can outspeed it and hit with a Super Effective attack can take it down swiftly.

Best Pokemon to Use

Pokemon Description
Pokemon SWSH - Urshifu Rapid-Strike Style ImageUrshifu Rapid-Strike Style Ranking: ★★★★★
・Fighting-type attacks hit hard.
・Can change weather with Max Geyser.
Moveset & Best Build for Urshifu Rapid-Strike Style
Pokemon SWSH - Gyarados ImageGyarados Ranking: ★★★★★
・Can lower Excadrill's Attack with Intimidate.
・Can dish out super effective Water-type moves
・Can survive Excadrill's Rock-type moves.
Moveset & Best Build for Gyarados
Pokemon SWSH - Cinderace ImageCinderace Ranking: ★★★★
・Can one shot Excadrill with Pyro Ball.
・Watch out for Rock and Ground-type moves.
・Can fit most teams.
Moveset & Best Build for Cinderace
Pokemon SWSH - Zapdos ImageZapdos Ranking: ★★★★
・Unaffected by Ground-type moves because of its Flying typing.
Moveset & Best Build for Zapdos
Pokemon SWSH - Galarian Darmanitan ImageGalarian Darmanitan Ranking: ★★★
・If it holds Choice Scarf, can outspeed and deliver a one-hit KO with Flare Blitz.
Moveset & Best Build for Galarian Darmanitan

Best Teams Featuring Excadrill

All our Best Teams are available for free rental, and usable in Ranked Battle with no EV Training necessary.
All Best Teams for Ranked Battle

Best Team for Ranked Battle from a World Top 3 Player

Best Team for Ranked Battle from a World Top 3 Player
Pokemon SWSH - Dragapult ImageDragapult Pokemon SWSH - Excadrill ImageExcadrill Pokemon SWSH - Grimmsnarl ImageGrimmsnarl
Pokemon SWSH - Togekiss ImageTogekiss Pokemon SWSH - Snorlax ImageSnorlax Pokemon SWSH - Cloyster ImageCloyster

This is the primary set used by a former World Top 3 from a previous game in the series. Despite that daunting promise, it's an easy set to use for beginners, as the order to use Pokemon and which moves should be used are readily apparent. Not only that, but the set is carefully sculpted to be highly effective and dangerous even in the upper echelons of the Master Ball tier.
Best Team for Ranked Battle from a World Top 3 Player

Related Links

Pokemon Sword and Shield - Best Builds for Ranked Battle

All Competitive Builds for Ranked Battle

Competitive Guides for Pokemon Sword and Shield

Competitive Pokemon Battle Guides
Pokemon SWSH - Tier ListTier List Pokemon SWSH - Best BuildsBest Builds Pokemon Sword and Shield - Ranked Battle Series 10 Contenders.pngSeries 10 List of Contenders
Pokemon SWSH - Doubles Tier ListDoubles Tier List Pokemon SWSH - Competitive Team BuildingTeam Building Pokemon SWSH - Rental TeamsRental Teams

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