From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Speedrill has been a popular deck archetype in the Pokémon TCG through the '07-'08, '08-'09, and '09-'10 Play! Pokémon seasons. It has placed highly in many tournaments, including the 2009 Pokémon TCG World Championships. The deck's strategy focuses on getting as many Beedrill out as possible early in the game and attacking with Beedrill's Band Attack, which has the potential to do huge damage for a low Energy cost. Stephen Silvestro, the 2009 Masters Division World Champion, included a minor variation in his Luxdrill deck on the concept: Luxray LV.X, coupled with a miniature Galactic engine.
The exact origin of the deck is unknown, but it is believed to have first been popularized by Colin Moll of St. Louis. Shortly after the release of the Great Encounters expansion, a number of players began experimenting with Beedrill, seeing its potential to do good damage for not much Energy. However, since the deck required a large set up and cards such as Uxie and the Rising Rivals Beedrill weren't available at that time, the deck had trouble being competitive.
When the Rising Rivals expansion was released, though, players once again looked at Speedrill as a threat. It placed well in a number of tournaments, including Worlds 2009 where it won in the Master's division with Luxray LV.X.
Speedrill's strategy is really very simple. It all centers around setting up as fast as possible and recycling Beedrill as soon as they are Knocked Out. The deck will ideally have three or four Beedrill and a Claydol out on the field as early as turn two or three, hitting for 90 to 120 damage for only with Beedrill's Band Attack. With a mixture of Claydol's Cosmic Power Poké-Power and Beedrill's Flutter Wings Poké-Power, this set up is surprisingly easy to achieve.
In addition to considerable speed early in the game, Speedrill can function well even against heavy attackers such as Infernape LV.X, since it can recycle Knocked Out Beedrill through Night Maintenance and quickly get them back onto the field through Flutter Wings, Cosmic Power, and a host of helpful Trainer and Supporter cards. This makes it a real threat late in the game as well, since the ability to recycle Beedrill and hit for massive damage for a low Energy cost makes running away with the game nearly impossible for the opposition.
- Beedrill - This Beedrill, from the Great Encounters expansion, is the main attacker for the deck. With its Band Attack attack, Beedrill can hit for up to 120 damage for only , depending on the number of Beedrill in play. It has a second attack, Twineedle, as well. For , Twineedle is rather useless. It will hit for only 50 damage on average, which is usually less than Band Attack. Beedrill also has one other significant asset, that being its free retreat cost. With Band Attack's damage dependant on how many Beedrill are in play, Knock Outs on Beedrill should be avoided at all costs, generally, and Beedrill's free retreat makes it possible to switch out a heavily damaged Beedrill for a fresh one.
- Beedrill - This Beedrill, although less crucial to the deck, is still very important to the deck's set up. Although its attack, Needle Shock, isn't bad as a stalling mechanism late in the game, the true reason to play this card lies in its Poké-Power, Flutter Wings. Flutter Wings allows the player using it to search their deck for a Pokémon and add it to their hand once during their turn. It's comparable to a free Bebe's Search each turn, which makes this deck's setup lightning fast.
- Claydol - Although some decks can function without this staple card, Speedrill is not one of those decks. With this strategy being so reliant on speed, extra drawing support is extremely important, and Claydol provides just that with Cosmic Power.
- Kakuna - Only used for evolving into Beedrill; the best Kakuna to play for its Dangerous Evolution attack.
- Weedle - Exclusively used for evolving into Beedrill, can also help set up with its Call for Family attack.
- Baltoy - Used to evolve into Claydol.
- Uxie - Uxie is a staple card in most decks, that can help the Speedrill player get set up fast with its Set Up Poké-Power, which allows the player to draw cards until they have seven cards in their hand. Before Claydol hits the field, Uxie is going to give the Speedrill a big drawing boost.
- Azelf - Azelf is useful for getting a prized Beedrill or Weedle, since if a Beedrill is prized, Band Attack will only be able to do 90 damage maximum.
- Unown G - Unown G is critical when playing against Mother Gengar, since it can protect Benched Claydol from being targeted by Gengar's Shadow Room attack. It also prevents Basic Pokémon from being Knocked Out by Machamp's Take Out attack.
Typical deck list
The deck list appearing below is not official; it is meant to represent an average build of the archetype, not specifically constructed for any regional metagame. Being that this is merely an archetype, a player may wish to change any part of this deck when building his or her own version.
Variable tech cards
These are cards that may or may not be in the deck build depending on the player's style:
- Cherrim - Cherrim can add an extra 10 damage onto Band Attack, allowing it to reach 130 damage and potentially get tough KOs such as Kingdra and Machamp.
- PlusPower - PlusPower has the same function as Cherrim; it is easier to use but only works once.
- Super Scoop Up - Some Speedrill variants use Super Scoop Up to bring back heavily damaged Beedrill to the hand and play them down again with Broken Time-Space, effectively removing all damage from them.
With the 2010-2011 rotation, the Great Encounters expansion was rotated out. The main attacker of this deck, Beedrill, as well as a handful of supporting cards, are now out of the format.