Octillery – Battle Styles

Date Reviewed: March 30, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 4.00
Expanded: 3.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

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We’re to the final four!  Octillery (SW – Battle Styles 037/163, 178/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH089) is our 4th-Place pick. It is a Rapid Strike Pokémon, and as we’ll see, the other Rapid Strike cards are going to be very important.  Other than its Battle Style, it is a baseline Pokémon: no Rule Box, only worth one Prize when KO’d, etc.  It is a Water type, and that is okay.  The typing isn’t likely to matter for this card, though there’s a small chance it could be an issue if Jolteon (SW – Vivid Voltage 047/185) somehow caught on.  As a Stage 1, Octillery isn’t too difficult to run; not as easy as a Basic, but far easier than a Stage 2.

Octillery has 110 HP; high enough to avoid being especially fragile, but still a probable OHKO while Active, and even somewhat vulnerable to it on the Bench.  Its [L] Weakness is somewhat dangerous; most major Lightning attackers are likely to score a OHKO even without Weakness, but those doing 60 to 100 damage get a OHKO when they otherwise wouldn’t have.  No Resistance is the worst, but is typical, so it is fine.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can probably manually retreat, but high enough you’d prefer to avoid it if you can.  Tower of Waters or Air Balloon can zero it out, thankfully.

Let’s get the attack out of the way: Octillery can use “Waterfall” to do 50 damage for [WCC].  This is overpriced and underpowered.  Thanks to Rapid Strike Energy, we wish it was priced at [WW], [WC], [CC], [WF], or [FF], and even then, 50 damage with no beneficial effect is too low.  This is filler, and I suppose it is better than something even more expensive, or overly complicated.  Now for the main course, the Ability: “Rapid Strike Search” does just what it sounds like it does.  Once, during your turn, you may search your deck for a Rapid Strike card, add it to your hand, then shuffle your deck.  You cannot use more than one Rapid Strike per turn, even if you have multiples of it in play.

Rapid Strike Search can snag Pokémon, Trainers, or Energy cards, so long as they are Rapid Strike cards.  Since it will only ever be one Rapid Strike card, you can’t whip out big combos on a whim, but you should enjoy a far more stable and somewhat speedier setup.  Snag an Evolution since Quick Ball can’t.  Need draw power?  This is why Korrina’s Focus might actually be needed in most Rapid Strike decks.  Facing a deck relying too much on Special Energy?  Get a clutch Fan of Waves.  Ensure you have that Rapid Strike Energy when you really need it.

Octillery evolves from Remoraid.  You can use any card named “Remoraid”, you don’t have to use Remoraid (SW – Battle Styles 036/163).  You probably still should, since you should be running a decent amount of additional Rapid Strike support.  If you’re running additional Stage 1 Pokémon, then Ditto {*} is still an option in Expanded.  You can Bench Octillery directly from your discard pile through the effect of Rapid Strike Style Mustard, but only if you have room on your Bench and Rapid Strike Style Mustard is the last card in your hand.  You also get to draw five cards as well.  This is great, but we’ve seen something similar before in the forms of Archie’s Ace in the Hole and Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick.

From those older Supporters, we know how good this can be but we also know that reliably pulling it off requires a lot of additional Trainers we do not have in Standard.  What is more, it isn’t efficient enough to usually be worth it on anything that isn’t otherwise slow or clunky to play, like a Stage 2 or Mega Evolution.  In other words, it is great that Rapid Strike Search can snag Rapid Strike Style Mustard from your deck, but you really should save it for a Stage 2, or maybe a VMAX.  While there are some Rapid Strike Pokémon belonging to those Stages, I’m not sure they’re worth Benching this way.  At least, not as their primary means of entering play.

A nice thing for today’s Octillery in Expanded is, if a Rapid Strike deck proves viable and if you don’t want to go with a slim line for space purposes, but want a more fleshed out one for reliability’s sake, you can probably sneak in Octillery (XY – BREAKthrough 33/162).  This Octillery has the Ability “Abyssal Hand”, which lets you draw until you have five cards in hand.  One of today’s Octillery and one of this other one, and you’ve got great insurance against hand disruption.


  • Standard: 4/5
  • Expanded: 3/5

It is hard to justify running a Rapid Strike deck without Octillery.  The Ability isn’t mind-blowing, but it is very, very good.  Octillery was actually my 2nd-Place pick, but 4th-Place is fine.  Indeed, I almost worry it is too high.  I think it will become the backbone of Rapid Strike decks, but if none of them deliver, then that won’t matter.  Mostly, though, it is a sign that the best cards in this set are all somewhat specialized.  There were standout cards, but even the best of them don’t scream “Number One Card Of The Set!”  At least, not to me.

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