Beedrill, The Poison Bee Pokémon. It has three poisonous stingers on its forelegs and its tail. They are used to jab its enemy repeatedly. May appear in a swarm. Flies at violent speeds, all the while stabbing with the toxic stinger on its rear. Beedrill is extremely territorial. No one should ever approach its nest-this is for their own safety. If angered, they will attack in a furious swarm.
Here we have Beedrill, a classic Generation 1 Pokemon. It is quite well known, and has always been pretty easily obtainable in the games it appears in, given you can usually get a Weedle in the first few routes, and it becomes fully evolved by level 10. However, just because Beedrill is well known and accessible does not make it good… quite the opposite really. Beedrill has always been considered a pretty terrible Pokemon. Poor stats all around including just below average at best attack and speed, and abysmal physical bulk have made Beedrill very hard pressed to accomplish much, given it gets KO’ed quickly and struggles to KO anything in return. Shaky defensive typing and limited movepool options don’t exactly further its cause. As a result, it seemed as though Beedrill would forever be doomed to be a useless Pokemon… until OR/AS came knocking, and bestowed upon it a brand spanking new Mega Evolution! This Mega Evolution finally gave Beedrill something to make it worth using… but only if you’re using the Mega Evolution. Standard Beedrill is still outright terrible, so if you’re not Mega Evolving it, you probably want to find another Pokemon to use.
Swarm: When HP is below 1/3rd its maximum, power of Bug-type moves is increased by 50%. - Swarm is your generic “powers up a STAB when at critically low health” ability. It’s one of those things that is capable of having situational usefulness, but in practice it’s hard to make work since getting below 33% HP while not being KO’ed is a tall order. It’s especially difficult for Beedrill, given its awful bulk, especially on the physical side. That said, given its frailty, if it utilizes a Focus Sash it may be able to at least get SOME usage out of Swarm… but it’s still not a great ability overall.
Here we have a set that is nothing more than a desperate attempt to make a bad Pokemon mildly useful. For such a set, Beedrill typically is used in the lead position, and should only be used if there are no better options available… which in most formats, is never the case. Regardless, Beedrill has access to Toxic Spikes, which can help wear down opposing Pokemon, especially those that are more Stall-oriented. With a Focus Sash, it might even be able to set up two layers! ...Just watch out for Taunt, Fake Out, and basically every anti-lead strategy. Regardless, next up Beedrill has access to Endeavor, which in conjunction with a Focus Sash can leave your foe at just 1 HP after they inevitably bring you down to 1 HP, as Beedrill’s abysmal physical bulk makes it hard pressed to survive. Just be aware that it’ll often be KO’ed the very next turn. Tailwind has useful support capabilities as well, in that it will double the speed of your team for 3 turns. The short duration can e a problem, but if you’re going to be KO’ed that turn by a slower foe, you can get the most out of your Tailwind turns. Finally, X-Scissor affords Beedrill at least a little bit of offensive presence in the event that it anticipates a Taunt, and with Focus Sash you might actually be able to net a Swarm boost for it to do a little extra damage.
Jolly Nature and 252 Speed EVs causes Beedrill to make its best effort towards outspeeding opposing Leads, so that maybe it can get off a support move or two before being Taunted or KO’ed. 252 Attack EVs ensure that X-Scissor does enough damage to be more than a slight tickle, while the remaining 4 EVs are dumped into Special Defense. A Focus Sash ensures Beedrill lasts more than one turn, because its pitiful bulk doesn’t leave much room to survive. Finally, Swarm is the ability of choice, due to the fact that Focus Sash can allow you to reach Swarm’s critical HP with some degree of reliability.
-U-Turn has utility for its damaging and pivoting purpose, but Beedrill doesn’t utilize it all that well; it’s too frail to take a hit to allow it to safely switch in something against faster targets, and it’s not so fast to be able to scout.
Beedrill is so overwhelmingly bad that listing every single Pokemon that counters it would be a waste of time. As a result, I’ll be general. If you’re using a Steel or Rock type, it will destroy Beedrill without fearing much in return. Things like Gigalith, Golem, and Mawile all wall Beedrill into infinity. Ghost types like Dusknoir and Misdreavus are immune to Endeavor and resist X-Scissor, so they don’t fear much. Fast users of taunt such as Electrode, Misdreavus, and Murkrow can stop Beedrill from setting up Toxic Spikes or Tailwind. Poison types like Arbok, Ariados, Venipede, and more can switch into Beedrill’s Toxic Spikes to get rid of them entirely. And of course, the many, many faster threats such as Kadabra, Meowstic, Dodrio, Persian, and more can outspeed and destroy Beedrill to revenge kill it if its Sash is broken. You may notice that none of the Pokemon mentioned are those used in standard formats. That is because, to be blunt, you really don’t need anything special to put a stop to Beedrill. If your team has trouble with standard Beedrill, then you may need to scratch that team and rebuild it from the ground up.
Mega Evolution is a blessing to those who receive it. You get +100 BST, and a brand new ability, which is often enough to give a Pokemon a new lease on life. Of course, the +100 BST can only do so much if your stats are low to start, so in the case of Beedrill, who had already low stats, how could they possibly turn Beedrill into a threat? Well, the good folks at Gamefreak decided to get creative; by lowering Beedrill’s special attack, which it already doesn’t use, Beedrill was able to get an effective +130 BST boost, and they put the entirety of it into attack and speed. Now its underwhelming base 90 attack and base 75 speed skyrocketed into fantastic base 150 attack and base 145 speed. Not only that, but they finally gave it a solid ability as well, by giving it Adaptability to boost the power of its STAB attacks. As a result, this once pitiful bee is now a blazing fast missile of destruction. However, it’s not all good news. Although Mega Evolution pumped up Beedrill’s attack and speed, it did nothing whatsoever for its bulk, so the previous issues of frailty haven’t gotten any better. As a result, it’s got extreme glass cannon syndrome. It also has to deal with a Stealth Rock weakness stripping it of 25% of its HP every time it switches in, which can be problematic when Mega Beedrill loves to employ hit-and-run tactics with a frighteningly powerful U-Turn. Its movepool is still limited as well, so there are a few things that can manage to wall it. Regardless, Mega Beedrill is still a powerful offensive threat; it can punch giant holes into an opponent’s team, but just be sure not to let them do likewise to it or it’ll be swatted out of the sky quickly.
Adaptability: Increases the Same Type Attack Bonus from *1.5 to *2. - Adaptability is amazing. It’s one of those abilities that every user (barring Feebas whose acquisition of the ability is something of a joke) absolutely loves. This causes Mega Beedrill’s STAB attacks to be ridiculously powerful, as their power is doubled outright. Couple that with type effectiveness and you can find things hard pressed to eat your STAB attacks and live to tell the tale. Such an awesome ability.
Giga Beedrill Break
With its relatively shallow offensive movepool, this is pretty much Mega Beedrill’s only set that you’ll see. This may make it predictable, but this set actually gives Mega Beedrill everything it needs to succeed. First and foremost, Protect is crucial to Mega Beedrill’s success, as although it’s blessed with a fantastic speed tier as a Mega Evolution, its base form’s speed tier sucks, and it’s still incredibly frail. As result, Protect affords Beedrill the turn it needs to Mega Evolve safely, and start abusing its newfound speed. From there, the offensive fun begins. U-Turn is the crux of Mega Beedrill’s set. With its high attack and Adaptability, U-Turn hits pretty hard despite its average base power, and allows Mega Beedrill to pivot out to grab the momentum of the match; if the opponent switches, U-Turn allows you to hit the switch-in and pivot out to an appropriate counter, often forcing a double switch, and even if the opponent stays in, you can still manage to switch in something else while still being able to damage your opponent. However, just be sure to keep Stealth Rock off the field, as Mega Beedrill’s weakness to it can make U-Turning detrimental to its health. From there, Poison Jab is Mega Beedrill’s strongest STAB attack, which takes full advantage of Adaptability. Not only that, but it has a decent 30% chance to Poison the opponent (the same frequency as the dastardly Scald to put it in perspective), which can add a bit of chip damage and help wear down some bulkier foes. For its final moveslot, Mega Beedrill has just two viable options; Drill Run and Knock Off. Drill Run is valuable in that it has great complementary coverage to Mega Beedrill’s STAB attacks; notably, it can hit the Poison and Steel types who resist both of Mega Beedrill’s STAB attacks for super effective damage. Knock Off on the other hand, while only hitting the aforementioned Poison and Steel types neutrally, has added utility in the item removing effect, as very few things like to switch into Knock Off.
Jolly Nature and 252 Speed EVs allows Mega Beedrill to maximize its speed, letting it outspeed most of the unboosted Metagame, and speed tying with Mega Sceptile. 252 Attack EVs ensures Mega Beedrill hits as hard as possible, while the remaining 4 EVs are put into Special Defense. In all honesty, it does not matter what ability standard Beedrill uses prior to Mega Evolving; you always want to Mega Evolve Beedrill as soon as possible, so you’ll never end up using either.
-Swords Dance allows Mega Beedrill to ramp up its power to ridiculous levels, but the problem is that due to its poor typing and pitiful bulk, it really doesn’t have many safe options to set up. Plus, U-Turn will cost you those boosts as you switch out.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
To put it very nicely, Mega Beedrill is not good in doubles, but it is truly awful in VGC 2016. While it has very small niche in being able to OHKO Xerneas with Poison Jab, its defensive stats and the common usage of Trick Room makes the poor bee dead weight otherwise. In formats without the Primals and other restricted legendaries, Beedrill has a little more of a chance. Like in singles, U-Turn can be a very useful move. Getting damage off while being able to shuffle in Intimidate or get the team in better positioning can be important. Despite this role, Beedrill is typically outclassed by many other mega evolutions, but can still be fun to use if you keep it safe from getting hit.
Call an Exterminator!
This set is very straightforward. Jolly nature with 252 Speed EVs ensures Beedrill outspeeds as many Pokemon as possible. It will at least speed tie with Mega Sceptile, as well as any Pokemon built to outspeed Adamant Scarf Landorus by 1 with Tailwind support. The rest of the EVs just maximize Beedrill's attack so it can actually fulfill its role. Protect is even more important on Beedrill than it is on most other Pokemon in doubles. While Protect is important for all the usual reasons as well, Beedrill desperately needs a safe way to get the speed boost from mega evolving. U-Turn provides Beedrill a way to get off quick damage and safely retreat to get the team into a better position, while X-Scissor hits slightly harder, but may leave Beedrill open to attack. Poison Jab is Beedrill's best poison STAB move to take advantage of Adaptability. Drill Run can be used to hit common Pokemon in Battle Spot or Smogon Doubles like Heatran or Mega Mawile, while Knock Off hit ghost types super effectively and has the added bonus of removing the item of the intended target.
Countering Mega Beedrill
Unlike its non-Mega counterpart, Mega Beedrill is substantially harder to deal with, although not insurmountable. Where Mega Beedrill is most commonly found, Forretress is one of the best counters to it. At best, Mega Beedrill can only 6HKO Forretress, while Gyro Ball can 2HKO Mega Beedrill. Even if Mega Beedrill pivots out, Forretress can utilize the turn to spin away hazards, set up its own, or just Volt Switch on whatever Mega Beedrill brings in to potentially force a double switch. Although standard Aggron doesn’t like switching into Drill Run due to its 4x weakness, once it’s Mega Evolved, Drill Run becomes only a 5HKO, so Mega Beedrill pretty much has to pivot out with U-Turn or be 1HKO’ed by Heavy Slam. Meanwhile, Mega Aggron can set up Stealth Rock as it pivots out, or just Roar the switch-in as well. Doublade matches up decently with Mega Beedrill lacking Knock Off, as Drill Run 4HKOs Doublade the majority of the time, while Iron Head can 1HKO Mega Beedrill about 68% of the time. Do note, however, that Knock Off can and will cripple Doublade for the rest of the match. Cobalion can be 2HKO’ed by Drill Run, but it’s got enough bulk to never be 1HKO’ed, and can 1HKO Mega Beedrill with Stone Edge, so it makes a decent check. Crobat resists both of Mega Beedrill’s STAB attacks and is immune to Drill Run, and is at best 4HKO’ed on defensive variants. Meanwhile, an uninvested Brave Bird will soundly 1HKO Mega Beedrill, so it will force Mega Beedrill out. Likewise, Gligar can take hits all day due to resisting both of Mega Beedrill’s STAB attacks, as it is only 7HKO’ed by Mega Beedrill while it 2HKOs Mega Beedrill with Earthquake. However, much like was the case with Doublade, Gligar does not enjoy having its Eviolite knocked off. Defensive Arcanine, thanks to Intimidate, is only 4HKO’ed by Drill Run or Poison Jab, while it soundly 1HKOs Mega Beedrill with Flare Blitz. Offensive Arcanine gets special mention due to its access to Extreme Speed; with a Life Orb, Arcanine does no less than 75% damage to Mega Beedrill with Extreme Speed’s priority, making it an efficient means to revenge kill Mega Beedrill with a little prior damage (such as even a single instance of Stealth Rock damage). Suicune has enough bulk to only be 4HKO’ed by Poison Jab, and although Scald only 3HKOs, the threat of a Scald burn is usually enough to force Mega Beedrill out. Alomomola is in a similar situation; it’s only 4HKO’ed by Poison Jab, but its Scald only 5HKOs. However, the threat of a burn usually forces Mega Beedrill out, and Regenerator helps keep Alomomola healthy even after Mega Beedrill U-Turns out. Donphan usually forces Mega Beedrill out due to the fact that U-Turn is its strongest attack against the sturdy elephant, and even that only 4HKOs, while Donphan’s Earthquake can 1HKO about 62% of the time. In terms of checking Mega Beedrill, there are a few things with it despite its speed. Powerful priority can help circumvent Mega Beedrill’s great speed to revenge kill it; Entei’s Choice Band Extreme Speed can 1HKO about 87% of the time, while Lucario’s Life Orb Extreme Speed deals no less than 82% of Mega Beedrill’s HP, enough to 1HKO after Stealth Rock. Sharpedo can utilize Protect to net a Speed Boost, and then 1HKO Mega Beedrill with a STAB attack after outspeeding it. Any Choice Scarf user whose speed is over base 80 is capable of outspeeding Mega Beedrill. This includes Hydreigon, Mienshao, Darmanitan, Heracross, and Krookodile, among others, all outspeed Mega Beedrill with their scarf sets, and can 1HKO it. It’s also worth noting that Mega Aerodactyl naturally outspeeds Mega Beedrill, and can 1HKO it with a STAB attack. Sableye can be a nuisance by virtue of Prankster Will-o-Wisp burning Mega Beedrill to cut its attack stat in half. And of course, it should go without saying that Stealth Rock makes dealing with Mega Beedrill much easier; as it tends to frequently pivot out with U-Turn, Stealth Rock will punish it for this by stripping it of 25% of its HP every time it switches in.
In more inclusive formats, Mega Beedrill encounters more obstacles. Skarmory can shrug off pretty much anything Mega Beedrill throws at it, at best being 7HKO’ed by Knock Off, while being able to Roost off damage and soundly 1HKO with Brave Bird if for some reason Mega Beedrill doesn’t U-Turn out. Ferrothorn is only 5HKO’ed by Knock Off and U-Turn will only do up to 38% HP, while Iron Barbs (and potentially Rocky Helmet if it goes that route) can punish Mega Beedrill for U-Turning out on it. Meanwhile, Gyro Ball 1HKOs Mega Beedrill and Leech Seed can screw many switch-ins if Mega Beedrill U-Turns out. Defensive Garchomp is largely in the same boat; although it can be worn down due to the lack of reliable recovery, U-Turn will only do up to 39% HP, while the combination of Rocky Helmet and Rough Skin can wear Mega Beedrill down, and Earthquake 1HKOs. Landorus-T is at best 8HKO’ed by Mega Beedrill thanks to Intimidate, and its Earthquake can 1HKO Mega Beedrill without investment. Mega Scizor is at best 4HKO’ed by Drill Run, while its Technician Bullet Punches have a 31% chance to 1HKO Mega Beedrill. Hippowdon is at best 5HKO’ed by U-Turn (which forces it out anyway), and has Slack Off to heal off damage, so it can wall Mega Beedrill with ease, while also having a 25% chance to 1HKO with Earthquake. Physically defensive Gliscor is only 8HKO’ed, and doesn’t care about Knock Off once Toxic Orb poisons it. Meanwhile, it can 2HKO with Earthquake and Poison Heal will keep it healthy. Powerful priority such as Mega Pinsir’s Aerilate Quick Attack, Talonflame’s Brave Bird or Dragonite’s Choice Band Extreme Speed can soundly 1HKO Mega Beedrill by bypassing its speed. Thundurus is capable of utilizing Prankster Thunder Wave to neuter Mega Beedrill by stripping it of its great speed. Scarf users such as Keldeo, Terrakion, and Excadrill are all capable of outspeeding and 1HKOing Mega Beedrill. Finally, there are many things that although they may be 2HKOed, can take a hit from Mega Beedrill and 1HKO it back in a pinch. Things like Mega Metagross, Mega Charizard X, and Kyuremb-B all fall into this category. As a result, although Mega Beedrill is fast and strong, its power is not unprecedented, and its defenses make it very easy to KO, especially with Stealth Rock wearing it down.
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