Drilbur Guide: A Mole Lot To Love

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Drilbur, the Soft Pokémon, is a Ground-type Pokémon introduced in Gen 5. It is the pre-evolution of Excadrill.  Drilbur is based on a mole, while its claws can be based on shovels or on burrs. Drilbur is a very kind Pokémon; it likes to be around humans, but it also likes to dig holes, and many people hate it for that.

It can dig into the ground at an extreme speed (30 mph). To dig the holes it likes to use, it straights its body and uses its big claws to spin like a drill.  Drilbur is a bipedal and small, mostly black, Pokémon. It has two little feet with three toes each. As we said, Drilbur is mostly black, but it also has a navy blue stripe pattern in its body.

This Pokémon has a white face with a big nose that ends in a pink tip. Its eyes are rather small and are in the base of its nose. Lastly, Drilbur doesn’t have hands; it has three big claws in each arm. 

Drilbur’s name comes from the combination of Drill and Burrow.

Drilbur Summary of Appearances in Pokémon Versions and Media (Games, Anime, Movies)


In the games, you can find Drilbur in the following places: 

  • Gen 5: In Black and White, you can find it in the Wellspring Cave, Chargestone Cave, Mistralton Cave and in the Twist Mountain, while in B2W2 it doesn’t appear in the Wellspring Cave or in the Twist Mountain but you can find it in the Relic Passage.
  • Gen 6: You can have a Drilbur only by breeding an Excadrill. You can find Excadrill only in Steel-type Friend Safaris.
  • Gen 7: This Pokémon is unobtainable in this Gen and the only way you can have one in SM or USUM is by using the Pokémon Bank and transferring it from X, Y or ORAS.
  • Gen 8: You can find it in the Galar Mine, Stony Wilderness, Giant’s Mirror, Giant’s Cap, Dusty Bowl, and in the Hammerlocke Hills. 

In the anime, Drilbur is most known as an Excadrill; Iris had one. Drilbur made its debut in the episode Iris and Excadrill Against the Dragon Buster! in various flashbacks. After that, Drilbur has various small appearances under the ownership of various trainers.

It also appears in three movies: White—Victini and Zekrom and Black—Victini and Reshiram, Kyurem VS. The Sword of Justice, and Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel

In the manga, its debut in Pokémon Adventures was in An Odd Speech, under the ownership of an unknown trainer. 

In the TCG, Drilbur has 7 cards in the following collections: An Uncommon in Emerging Powers and a Common in Emerging Powers, Dark Explorers, Primal Clash, Unified Minds, Cosmic Eclipse, and in Vivid Voltage. 

Drilbur Evolution Line: When Does Drilbur Evolve?


Drilbur can evolve into Excadrill at level 31, but Excadrill can’t evolve. 

Drilbur Stats

Drilbur, only because it isn’t a fully evolved Pokémon, can only be used in LC (Little Cup) tiers. There, it is such a great sweeper, and it can also work as an entry hazard setter or a hazard remove (because it can learn a Rapid Spin), but it has a big problem; it is really slow, and we need to buff its Speed ​​​​with EVs and a good nature.

Let’s check its stats: 


 HPattackdefenseSp. AtkSp. Defspeed
Base Stats608540304568
Favorable Nature324295196174207258

Its stats clearly tell us that Drilbur is designed to be a Physical sweeper because its defenses are rather bad, and its Special Attack is really bad too. But to be a good sweeper, a Pokémon needs an outstanding Speed, and Drilbur, even if it isn’t bad, is slow compared to other great options like Anorith, Abra, or Diglett. 

But Drilbur has something the other sweeper options don’t have: It can learn Rapid Spin. Rapid Spin can remove all the hazards in the field, which can be useful in a battle since you can demolish a whole strategy only by removing a Sticky Web or some Stealth Rocks. 

Let’s see Drilbur’s abilities: 


  • Sand Rush: During a Sandstorm, Drilbur’s speed will get doubled.
  • Sand Force: During a Sandstorm, Rock, Ground, and Steel-type attacks executed from Drilbur will have a 30% buff.
  • Mold Breaker (As its hidden ability): This ability makes Drilbur ignore the effects from foe’s abilities. As an example: An Earthquake from Drilbur can hit a Pokémon which has Levitate, or can hit Pokémon that have Dry Skin with Water-type attacks. 

Every single ability we choose with Drilbur can be useful, but the problem is that we can’t use Sand Rush or Sand Force if we don’t have a Pokémon that sets the Sandstorm.  Of course, Drilbur can learn Sandstorm, but we are basically wasting a slot move that we can use to have Swords Dance buff Drilbur’s Attack or Stealth Rock to set a hazard in the field and help it with some damage.  


As we said, Drilbur needs some help with its Speed, and we will help it by giving it a nature that buffs its Speed. 

Let’s see which natures can we use: 

  • Timid (Increases Speed, Reduces Attack) 
  • Hasty (Increases Speed, Reduces Defense) 
  • Jolly (Increases Speed, Reduces Special Attack) 
  • Naive (Increases Speed, Reduces Special Defense)

Timid isn’t an option since we need the most Attack Drilbur can have to win, and Hasty and Naive aren’t good options either because a weak Drilbur is an inefficient Drilbur. So our choice is Jolly; we will not use Drilbur’s Special Attack. 

Moves per Level (Gen 8)

Drilbur can learn the following moves by leveling up: 

1rapid spinNormalPhysical50100%40
8Hone ClawsdarkStatus—%15
12Fury SwipesNormalPhysical1880%15
16metal clawsteelPhysical5095%35
24Crush ClawNormalPhysical7595%10
28rock sliderockPhysical7590%10
36Swords DanceNormalStatus—%20
40drill runGroundPhysical8095%10

With this list we have half of the movie set done: we will use Earthquake, Rock Slide, and Swords Dance. 

Now, let’s see the moves Drilbur can learn by using TM/TR on it: 

Moves per TM/TR (Gen 8)

TM/TR (GEN VIII)moveTypeCategorypowerAccuracyPP
TM22rock sliderockPhysical7590%10
TM43Brick BreakFightingPhysical75100%15
TM48Rock TombrockPhysical6095%15
TM49Sand TombGroundPhysical3585%15
TM53Mud ShotGroundspecial5595%15
TM65Shadow ClawghostPhysical70100%15
TR00Swords DanceNormalStatus—%20
TR22Sludge Bombpoisonspecial90100%10
TR27Sleep TalkNormalStatus—%10
TR46Iron DefensesteelStatus—%15
TR57Poison JabpoisonPhysical80100%20
TR67Earth PowerGroundspecial90100%10
TR76Stealth RockrockStatus—%20
TR87drill runGroundPhysical8095%10
TR94high horsepowerGroundPhysical9595%10

Drilbur Strengths

Drilbur's Abilities

Drilbur is a Ground-type Pokémon, which means it can resist the attacks from the following types: 

  • It gets only ½ of the damage against Rock-type.
  • It gets only ½ of the damage against Poison-type.
  • Also, Ground-type is immune to the Electric-type. 

Also, Ground-type attacks will be effective against the following types: 

  • Steel-type, Fire-type, Poison-type, Rock-type, and Electric-type. 

Ground-types are always a menace because it is one of the types with the strongest Physical attacks and the most effective against other types, and Drilbur is not an exception to this fact.  Ground-type can get rid of many Fire, Poison, and Electric-types that are the most in the LC tier, like all the Fire-type starters, Electrike, Elekid, Croagunk, and many more. 

Also, Drilbur can learn many strong Rock-type attacks, which make it perfect against those harmful Flying-types, like Fletching, Doduo, Hoppip, Noibat, Pidgey, Starly, and the list can continue. 

Flying-types are one of the common types to find in the first routes in the games, so that’s why they are pretty usual in the LC tier; one of the rules to use Pokémon in the Little Cup tier is that they have to be obtainable at Level 5. 

As you can see, Drilbur can cover many weaknesses only by having a balanced move set and only having the Ground-type. But, it still has some flaws; let’s check out those weaknesses!

Drilbur Weaknesses

The Ground-type is pretty strong against a lot of types, but it is also weak to common threats in Little Cup: 

  • It takes x2 damage against Water-type. 
  • It takes x2 damage against Grass-type.
  • It takes x2 damage against Ice-type.

Also, Ground-type attacks will do nothing against the following types: 

  • Grass-type, and Bug-type.
  • Also, Flying-types are immune to the Ground-type attacks. 

Water and Grass-types are very common in this tier because of the Water and Grass-type starters. All of those are a big menace against Drilbur, mostly those that are faster than Drilbur since a strong Surf or a Magical Leaf will make our Drilbur basically useless. 

To protect it against those types, your team has to be well balanced, with Fire and Electric-type Pokémon. Another alternative is to set Sticky Webs and buff Drilbur Attack while giving it something like X-Scissor to get rid of the Grass-type, but this is only in certain circumstances. 

Ice-type isn’t common in the LC tier, besides Amaura, Bergmite, Cubchoo, and Snover. The good thing is that Ice-type Pokémon are usually pretty slow, and with a good Sticky Web setup, you can make Drilbur faster than them, and with a strong Rock-type attack like Rock Slide, the Ice-type Pokémon will not have a single chance to get Drilbur down. 

Don’t let Drilbur in the field against Bug-types. They can learn a lot of Grass-type attacks, and they are also pretty common in this tier. Also, most of them can be really fast. Anorith, Paras, Sewaddle, Shelmet, or Wimpod are problems we want to avoid. Instead, include in your team a Fire-type attacker to get rid of Bug-type Pokémon. 

Drilbur Best Moveset

Drilbur Best Moveset

Drilbur can work perfectly with the following move set: 

  • Earthquake
  • rock slide
  • rapid spin
  • Something to buff its stats like Swords Dance or to use in the field like Stealth Rock. 

With Mold Breaker as its Ability, Eviolite as its item (But you can use Leftovers or any healing item and it will work perfectly with Drilbur), and Jolly as its Nature. 

EVs: 212 Atk / 236 Spe / 30 Def / 30 SpD 

Let’s start with its move set. Earthquake is the most powerful Ground-type attack, and it is better than other Ground-type attacks like High Horsepower. Furthermore, we can perfectly use it since this Drilbur is meant to be battling in a single battle.

Therefore, this move will help us get rid of the Fire, Poison, Steel, Rock, and Electric-types while doing a lot of neutral damage to the rest of Pokemon. 

Rock Slide will help us with the Flying and Ice-type Pokémon, and it can also work as an alternative against the Fire-type Pokémon. This is the most powerful Rock-type attack Drilbur can learn. 

Now, Rapid Spin is why you have to choose Drilbur for your Little Cup team. Knowing that Drilbur can be extremely potent and fast in this tier, Rapid Spin is perfect for it since it can remove hazards from the field, like Sticky Webs, Stealth Rocks, Poison Spikes, and Spikes. 

This is really helpful if you have a Fire or Ice-type Pokémon and don’t want to expose it to some Stealth Rocks, or you have another sweeper in your team and want to remove Sticky Webs. Fortunately, not many LC Pokémon can learn that move, which is a great advantage to Drilbur. 

Side Note: Drilbur can work perfectly as a sweeper, but you can also set it as a Rapid Spin tanky user by balancing its EVs with many HP, Defense, and Special Defense. We recommend building it with Stealth Rocks if you do this, as they are a perfect combo for Drilbur.

Lastly, The last move slot can be filled with Swords Dance or Stealth Rock. We recommend Swords Dance if you dedicate some EVs to defending Drilbur, while our recommendation is Stealth Rock if you want to hurt all the other team’s Pokémon every time they switch. 

Mold Breaker is our choice for Drilbur’s Ability. Sand Rush and Sand Force are good abilities too, and you can use them perfectly. You have two options; either you use the Swords Dance/Stealth Rock slot moves to set a Sandstorm, or you can have another Pokémon, which sets the Sandstorm too. 

The problem with using these two abilities is the dependence on the Sandstorm, and the weather is pretty easy to change for the other team. Any Sunny Day user can change the weather and ruin our strat. So that’s why it’s pretty easy to use Mold Breaker, and it also gives us a lot of advantages against those Pokémon with abilities like Sturdy. 

A good thing about Drilbur: You can set the EVs in a lot of ways. The EVs we set here are perfect if you want the Drilbur Sweeper; buffing its Speed ​​and Attack is pretty necessary, and the last 60 EVs in Defense will make Drilbur a chunky Pokémon (and even more if combined with the Eviolite). 

Lastly, Eviolite will buff Drilbur’s defenses by an x1.5, but you can also heal it with the Berry Juice, the Heal Bell, or some Leftovers. They are pretty useful if you want a bulkier Drilbur like the one we explained in the side note. 

A team that can work perfectly with Drilbur has to have a Sticky Web setter; Dewpider is a perfect option. Also, a Fire-type Pokémon can be perfect for covering the Drilbur flaws can have against the Grass and Bug-type Pokémon.

Water-types can also be covered with a strong Electric-type Pokémon like Elekid. Drilbur will need fast companions in the team to make it work. 

Drilbur In a Video

In this video, we can see a Little Cup match where one of the guys has a Drilbur as its main argument to attack. Also, you can see in the description a good build for Drilbur and some interesting companions to it. 


Question: In Which Animal is Drilbur Based? 

Answer: Drilbur, as well as its evolution, Excadrill, are based on moles. 

Question: What is Drilbur’s Hidden Ability? 

Answer: Drilbur has Mold Breaker as its Hidden Ability. It is really useful in battles compared to Sand Force or Sand Rush. 

Question: What is Drilbur Strong Against? 

Answer: Drilbur is a Ground-type Pokémon, and it is strong against Fire, Steel, Poison, Rock, and Electric-type Pokémon. It can also resist Rock and Poison-type attacks, and it is immune to the Electric-type.

Drilbur Guide: Conclusion

Drilbur is such a great Pokémon to have in the Little Cup tier. You can use it in several ways, set it as you want to, and it will work perfectly for you. Using Drilbur as your Sweeper in LC is something you definitely have to try. 

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