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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Excadrill #56

Emerging Powers

Date Reviewed: Oct. 17, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.00
Limited: 3.50

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Excadrill 56/98 (Emerging Powers)

Hello, and welcome to another week of Pojo’s CotD. We’re looking at Stage 1s from the Emerging Powers set this time around (and eagerly awaiting the new Noble Victories set which looks like being awesome).

We kick off with a look at one of the two Excadrills from Emerging Powers. Excadrill is a pretty cool Pokémon in the game, so let’s hope that translates into a decent card.

Well, at first glance, things don’t seem so bad. 110 HP is acceptable for a Stage 1, even if it does make it easy prey for the Unova Dragons. Actually, Zekrom would need a PlusPower to one-shot Excadrill, thanks to its useful Lightning Resistance, so that’s a bonus too. The Water Weakness isn’t too bad either, as that same Zekrom has been pretty successful in keeping Water Pokémon out of the metagame recently (well, that and the fact that we don’t have any really good Water Pokémon to use). The Retreat Cost of two seems fair for this kind of Pokémon, and is at least payable with Double Colourless Energy.

Excadrill’s first attack, Metal Claw, costs a single Energy of any type and does 30 damage. That’s a decent cost/damage ratio, but it’s going to be no more that something to use while you wait for the Energy to do something better, in this case Drill Run. But just how good is Drill Run? Well, it’s very expensive at a cost of three Fighting Energy, and the Damage output of 80 seems to be below average these days. You do get the nice effect of discarding an Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon, but there are so many attackers around at the moment that have very low Energy needs (Yanmega Prime), or use Energy acceleration (Typhlosion and Emboar based decks), that this strategy won’t always be especially useful. Pokémon like Magnezone, Cinccino, and Zoroark will be OHKO’d by Drill Run anyway (thanks to Weakness) so the Energy discard will be moot. I suppose it could annoy something like Gothitelle, but there are better counters out there.

And then, of course, there is the Donphan in the Room. Which is . . . errrrrr . . . Donphan. A far more durable Fighting Pokémon with an extra 10 HP and the damage-reducing Exoskeleton PokéBody. Its first attack hits harder and faster than Excadrill, while its second does an extra 10 damage. All the while we have Donphan, there seems little point in putting this card in a deck, and even when it gets rotated, Excadrill does seem underpowered and a little too fragile to be truly competitive.


Modified: 2 (one of those cards that isn’t bad exactly, but is never going to be good enough either)

Limited: 3.25 (decent HP Stage 1 with a fast attack, and the Energy disruption will work much better here)


Welcome back, Pojo readers! I hope that all of you had great weekends. We're going to continue reviewing Emerging Powers this week, so be sure to check back for new reviews of cards from that set. We're going to kick things off today and tomorrow by reviewing both of the Excadrills in the set. Today's Card of the Day is Excadrill (#56).

Excadrill is a Stage 1 Fighting Pokemon. As a Stage 1 Fighting-type, Excadrill has Donphan Prime as its major competition when filling a deck slot. Therefore, you're going to want to make sure that Excadrill can do something that Donphan Prime can't. 110 HP is fairly good for a Stage 1, although Reshiram and a Gothitelle with many Energy will still sadly OHKO. Water Weakness makes Beartic, Kingdra, and Samurott a problem, Lightning Resistance spots Zekrom from OHKOing you (and forces Magnezone Prime to remove three Energy with Lost Burn), and a Retreat Cost of 2 is fairly decent and payable, but you may still want to use Switch.

Excadrill has two attacks, Metal Claw and Drill Run. Metal Claw does a vanilla 30 damage for a single Colorless Energy. You're better off using Donphan Prime in Modified for this sort of attack (Earthquake does twice as much damage), but it's very solid in Limited. Likewise, Drill Run does 80 damage for three Fighting Energy, discarding an Energy attached to the Defending Pokemon. This attack is also comparable to Donphan's Heavy Impact (which does 90 damage for the same price), but Donphan generally has a damage-reducing Poke-Body and more HP in order to stay alive, where Excadrill will be slightly more frail. That being said, if you're very high on Fighting-types in Limited, this attack is amazing, as it will deal a lot of consistent damage and slow your opponent down to boot. Overall, Excadrill is a serviceable Fighting-type, but it's ultimately outclassed by Donphan Prime.

Modified: 2/5 Excadrill isn't bad, but Donphan Prime does everything better. Donphan Prime's Earthquake is strictly better for the single Energy cost, although Heavy Impact is about on par with Drill Run. Even still, Donphan Prime is generally better to use given that it has 10 more HP and Exoskeleton, two things that really add to its survivability in the format.

Limited: 3.75/5 Excadrill is great in Limited if you can heavy support the Fighting-type. Metal Claw is fairly good attack while you're waiting to power up Drill Run, which is nearly unstoppable once set up. That being said, Drill Run requires a ridiculous three Fighting Energy, meaning you can't simply throw it into any deck and expect it to perform. If you end up drafting Excadrill along with some Gigaliths or Krookodiles (or even Boldores and Krokoroks), Excadrill will be an excellent competitor in this format.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

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