Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1
On the surface, Beedrill does not seem like it would be very useful in a Nuzlocke, or at all for that matter. Its base stat total is low for a fully-evolved Pokémon, its movepool is shallow, and its typing leaves it vulnerable to Psychic-types, the very type that Beedrill’s Bug-type moves could be used to counter. To make things worse, Weedle and Kakuna are not fun to train, to say the least, and Beedrill will still be stuck with the highly unreliable Fury Attack until it learns Twineedle at level twenty. As such, the Weedle line will be closer to an experience sink than a useful team member early on, which is a problem because the early game is where it needs to shine given how underpowered it will be later on. With all of this taken into account, it is easy to see why Weedle is often quickly discarded by those unlucky enough to encounter Weedle in Viridian Forest as opposed to the significantly more useful Caterpie or Pikachu. However, it is a solid example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. While its strengths are niche and there are many other Pokémon that would be more valuable for a team slot, Beedrill is far from useless. It can sweep three of the game’s gyms if used correctly, and its Twineedle is still going to be a boon against the game’s Psychic-type Pokémon even considering Beedrill’s weakness to Psychic-type moves. Beedrill is most certainly capable of surprises if you’re willing to give it a chance.
Weedle: Route 2 (rare), Route 24 (uncommon), Route 25 (uncommon), Viridian Forest (common).
Kakuna: Route 24 (rare), Route 25 (rare), Viridian Forest (FireRed: uncommon; LeafGreen: rare).
Beedrill: Evolve Kakuna.
Weedle’s Match-ups in Important Battles
Weedle/Kakuna/Beedrill versus Rival in Route 22: The only circumstance under which Weedle or Kakuna should participate in this battle is if you’re confident enough in the other Pokémon on your team that you can use this battle to switch train Weedle/Kakuna. Poison Sting may also be helpful if it manages to poison its target, but there are much more efficient ways to win this battle than poison stalling. Also, keep in mind that your Rival’s Pidgey and Charmander will have Gust and Ember, respectively. If it wasn’t already obvious, Bug-type Pokémon like Weedle and Kakuna need to avoid super-effective Flying- and Fire-type moves. If you have a Beedrill already, it would still be wise for it to avoid Pidgey and Charmander since the Poison Bee Pokémon’s only move (of those that Weedle/Kakuna don’t have) at that point would be Fury Attack, which is unreliable. On the other hand, Squirtle and Bulbasaur are passive enough that Beedrill should be able to beat either of them with Fury Attack spam. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 9 (for Weedle/Kakuna)/Level 10 (for Beedrill); Poison Sting, String Shot, Harden, Fury Attack (for Beedrill).
Beedrill versus Brock in Pewter City Gym: It is strongly recommended that you keep the Poison Bee Pokémon as far away from this battle as possible. Even Butterfree, who has a double weakness to Onix’s Rock Tomb, would be a better choice to take on Brock. You could theoretically set up Harden six times on Geodude (who has no Rock-type moves) and attempt to poison stall. However, even Geodude (who only has Tackle as an attacking move) deals more damage to Beedrill than the Poison Bee Pokémon can do in return. Moreover, Onix can still land a critical hit with Rock Tomb and obliterate Beedrill. This strategy would also require many Potions (and of course Poison Sting) to pull off, which is an issue since not everyone will have access to both. That said, if you find yourself in a pickle early on and have the resources to execute this, then the option is there. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 14; Poison Sting, String Shot, Harden, Fury Attack.
Beedrill versus Rival on Nugget Bridge: Beedrill should stay away from your Rival’s Pidgeotto, who has Gust. A critical hit Gust is likely the end of the Poison Bee Pokémon, so let another Pokémon handle your Rival’s lead. As for Abra, its only move is Teleport, so any Pokémon with an attacking move (such as Beedrill) can take it down. Beedrill might be able to take on Rattata depending on how lucky you get with Fury Attack, but Hyper Fang hurts and Beedrill may not be able to take a critical hit following a Tail Whip. Avoid poisoning Rattata; it has Guts. Moreover, you must be wary of Quick Attack if Beedrill’s health is low. Beedrill’s Special Defense at this point in the game is enough for it to tank some Ember attacks from Charmander, but the Poison Bee Pokémon can do little in return. Keep Beedrill away from Charmander. However, the Poison Bee Pokémon should be able to take on Squirtle or Bulbasaur without too much trouble. Bulbasaur can’t directly damage Beedrill, but you must be wary of Leech Seed and Sleep Powder. Unless you get particularly unlucky with Fury Attack, your Beedrill should be able to take down Bulbasaur without too much trouble. That said, it never hurts to have a backup plan. Squirtle, unlike Bulbasaur, isn’t immune to being poisoned, so Poison Sting would be helpful to use in an attempt to poison your Rival’s starter. Squirtle’s Water Gun is a possible 6HKO and, more importantly, is a reliable 6HKO. Beedrill should be both faster and able to do the same amount of damage (or more), but Fury Attack is unreliable. It would help to have a backup plan just in case something goes awry. Against both Squirtle and Bulbasaur, it may be helpful to set up Focus Energy to give Fury Attack a possible boost in damage. Keep in mind that each individual hit of Fury Attack can land a critical hit, so a boosted critical hit ratio would be especially useful to Beedrill. Most of Beedrill’s trouble in this battle came due to its subpar moveset; fortunately, the Secret Power TM can be found on Route 25 as long as you stand far enough in front of Camper Flint that he moves toward you when initiating a battle with you, which will open up the path to obtaining the Secret Power TM. Teaching this TM to Beedrill would make it much more helpful in battle; moreover, you don’t have to worry about wasting the TM since you can purchase it at the Celadon Department Store later. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 17; Poison Sting, Harden, Fury Attack, Focus Energy.
Beedrill versus Misty in Cerulean City Gym: If you’re unlucky enough that you don’t have an Ivysaur, Pikachu, or Oddish/Bellsprout at this point, there’s still no need to panic as long as you have Beedrill. With Focus Energy and Twineedle, the Poison Bee Pokémon can sweep Misty without too much trouble (unless you have particularly bad luck). Water Pulse from Staryu should be a 5HKO, but it’s likely to use Harden more often than Water Pulse. Beedrill can set up Focus Energy and then attack using Twineedle until Staryu falls, which shouldn’t be too long considering Twineedle is usually a 2HKO. Misty’s Starmie is almost certainly faster than Beedrill, but Water Pulse is only a 3-4HKO compared to Twineedle’s 2HKO. Starmie will go down even faster if you manage to land a critical hit, which is why Focus Energy is good to set up beforehand. Unless you get unlucky with critical hits, setting up Focus Energy on the first turn and spamming Twineedle for the remaining turns should be enough to net a victory here. However, it never hurts to have at least a semblance of a backup plan as well as healing items (if you can use them). Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 21; Harden, Focus Energy, Secret Power, Twineedle.
Beedrill versus Rival on the S.S. Anne: Despite Beedrill’s massive moveset upgrade from the previous battle, the Poison Bee Pokémon should still stay away from your Rival’s Pidgeotto. Gust still hurts a lot when used on a physically frail Bug-type Pokémon. Raticate shouldn’t be too difficult to take down as long as your Beedrill has Brick Break (which it should). Brick Break is a likely OHKO whereas Raticate can only 3-4HKO in return with Hyper Fang. However, you must of course be wary of critical hits as well as Quick Attack (if Beedrill is running low on HP). As for Kadabra, Beedrill can OHKO with Twineedle, but Kadabra is likely faster and can 2-3HKO with Confusion, which means that a critical hit could be the end of the Poison Bee Pokémon. Tread lightly, and use a better counter if you have it. Charmeleon and Beedrill can 3-4HKO each other with Ember and Brick Break, respectively, and Beedrill is likely faster than its opponent. However, only use Beedrill against Charmeleon as a last resort; there are much better ways to handle it. Wartortle may be annoying with Withdraw, but it can’t survive an onslaught of Beedrill’s Twineedle for very long. Moreover, Wartortle can’t do much damage in return; its Water Gun is only a 6HKO. Ivysaur may be annoying with Leech Seed and Sleep Powder, but its only method of dealing direct damage to Beedrill comes in the form of Vine Whip, which Beedrill can tank all day. With some uses of Twineedle (and/or Secret Power), Beedrill should take Ivysaur down eventually. Still, it never hurts to have a backup plan. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 22; Focus Energy, Secret Power, Twineedle, Brick Break.
Beedrill versus Lt. Surge in Vermilion City Gym: Beedrill is not a very good choice for this gym; it would be much more efficient to bring in a Ground-type and sweep Lt. Surge. Even if you lack that, there are much better options here than Beedrill, such as Guts Raticate and Ivysaur. Beedrill can likely take on Voltorb, whose Shock Wave should be a 5HKO, one-on-one with Twineedle. Pikachu is even frailer than Voltorb and doesn’t hit as hard, so Beedrill can 2HKO pretty easily with Twineedle. However, Double Team (unless one use of Twineedle is enough to beat Pikachu) and Static may be problematic. Even so, the real trouble begins with Lt. Surge’s Raichu. It is almost certainly faster and can 4HKO with Shock Wave. While Beedrill should be able to deal more damage with Twineedle, which is usually a 3-4HKO, Raichu (as mentioned) should be faster and can set up Double Team. You’ll want to use something that can take out Raichu quickly or disable/limit it with status effects, neither of which Beedrill is likely to accomplish. It may be possible to take down Raichu with Beedrill with some luck and/or support from teammates, but it would be much more efficient to use a Ground-type here. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 24; Focus Energy, Secret Power, Twineedle, Brick Break.
Beedrill versus Rival in Pokémon Tower: Beedrill still shouldn’t be used against your Rival’s lead, Pidgeotto, whose Gust is a 2-3HKO. Beedrill only has a chance to 3HKO in return with Brick Break, and critical hits are always a concern. Another Pokémon should handle Pidgeotto. On the other hand, Exeggcute should be easy for Beedrill to take down. It does have Confusion, but that should still only be a 4HKO on the Poison Bee Pokémon. Due to its double weakness to Bug-type moves, Exeggcute literally can’t tank a Twineedle to save its life. One use of Twineedle, and your Rival will be down one Exeggcute. However, Beedrill should stay very far away from your Rival’s Gyarados, who has Intimidate and can 2-3HKO with Thrash. Even with its Attack stat completely intact, Beedrill can only 5HKO with Secret Power. Let another Pokémon handle Gyarados, preferably an Electric-type. Beedrill may or may not be able to take on your Rival’s Growlithe depending on some factors, but do keep in mind that it would be best to use a Pokémon that isn’t weak to Fire-type moves to take down Growlithe. That said, Beedrill can 3HKO with Brick Break if your team is in a bind. However, Beedrill will likely need to be at full health and will certainly need to have its Attack stat intact since it will likely fall to four hits from Ember. The Poison Bee Pokémon should also be able to take on your Rival’s Kadabra, but you may need to use a different Pokémon if your Beedrill isn’t at full health since Kadabra’s Confusion is likely a 3HKO or (if you’re under-leveled and/or rather unlucky with Beedrill’s nature and IVs) possibly a 2HKO. Even so, Beedrill should be able to cleanly OHKO with Twineedle, so feel free to go for it if you have the guts. As for your Rival’s starter, Beedrill may be faster than Charmeleon, but it’s not guaranteed and Ember hurts (it should be a 3HKO). Brick Break is a possible 3HKO, but it’s not worth the risk. On the other hand, Beedrill should be able to handle Wartortle, especially if Twineedle manages to poison its target. The aforementioned Twineedle should result in a 3-4HKO whereas Wartortle can only 6HKO with Water Gun in return. However, if Beedrill gets/is low on HP, remember to be wary of critical hits. Lastly, Beedrill should be able to handle Ivysaur with some use of Twineedle (or Aerial Ace if you have it). However, like in the previous battle, Ivysaur’s Leech Seed and Sleep Powder can be annoying. Even so, Ivysaur (despite now having Razor Leaf as opposed to Vine Whip) still can’t do much direct damage to Beedrill, so you won’t have to worry about that. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 26; Focus Energy/Aerial Ace, Secret Power/Aerial Ace, Twineedle, Brick Break.
Beedrill versus Giovanni in Celadon Game Corner: Even with Brick Break, it would be best for Beedrill to stay away from Giovanni’s Onix, whose Rock Throw should be a 2-3HKO when used against Beedrill. The Poison Bee Pokémon may be able to take down Onix if you get lucky with Rock Throw’s low accuracy, Onix uses moves other than Rock Throw, and/or Onix doesn’t land any crits, but it’s probably not worth the risk, especially if you have a Water- or Grass-type Pokémon on your team. That same Water- or Grass-type should also be used against Rhyhorn. That said, the Spikes Pokémon lacks a Rock-type move, so Beedrill can 3HKO with Brick Break. You just need to be wary of Rhyhorn’s Scary Face, which it is fond of using. However, Beedrill (despite its access to Brick Break) should stay away from Kangaskhan at all costs. The Poison Bee Pokémon is physically frail, which means that Kangaskhan will have no trouble utterly obliterating it with Mega Punch. Use a more appropriate counter for Kangaskhan. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 27; Focus Energy/Aerial Ace, Secret Power/Aerial Ace, Twineedle, Brick Break.
Beedrill versus Erika in Celadon City Gym: This battle is certainly doable with a Beedrill that lacks Aerial Ace, but having a super-effective Flying-type coverage move for Vileplume and Victreebel will be very much appreciated by the Poison Bee Pokémon. Beedrill is aided here by its immunity to Poison Powder, double resistance to Grass-type moves, and resistance to Poison-type moves. This slew of advantages ensures that Beedrill will not be put on a timer nor be hit hard by anything that Erika’s Pokémon have in their arsenal. In fact, the only move that can hit Beedrill for neutral damage is Tangela’s Constrict, which is laughably weak and comes from a Pokémon that should be dying quickly to Twineedle. Against Victreebel, it may be helpful in the long run to set up Focus Energy if you have it, but keep in mind that Beedrill is likely getting paralyzed that first turn due to Stun Spore. Beedrill can 3HKO or 4HKO Victreebel with Aerial Ace or Twineedle, respectively. Victreebel can only 6HKO with Acid in return. Tangela, as mentioned, can’t do anything to Beedrill. It will set up Ingrain and then simply roll over and die in the face of Beedrill’s Twineedle, which is a 2-3HKO. If you so choose, you could heal Beedrill’s paralysis and/or use some X Items (if your rules allow them) during the time Tangela is on the battlefield (assuming it comes out before Vileplume does, which it should). Vileplume is Erika’s final Pokémon, and its Attack stat is significantly worse than that of Victreebel. As such, its Acid should only be a pitiful 7HKO while Giga Drain remains an absolute joke. Beedrill can 3-4HKO with Aerial Ace or 4-5HKO with Twineedle, whichever you prefer. Vileplume does have Sleep Powder, so keep that in mind. Throughout the battle, the paralysis and sleep status effects should be an annoyance, so Beedrill may require some healing. If that isn’t an option for you, then you’ll want to bring a good backup plan. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 29; Focus Energy/Aerial Ace, Secret Power/Aerial Ace, Twineedle, Brick Break.
Beedrill versus Koga in Fuchsia City Gym: Not only does Beedrill have a handy resistance to Poison-type moves, but it also has an immunity to Toxic and (if you gave it the Aerial Ace TM) a never-miss move that can cut through Muk’s attempt to Minimize itself. That said, the Poison Bee Pokémon can’t stand up to either of Koga’s Koffing (due to Selfdestruct) nor can it do very much damage to the bulky Muk (especially after Acid Armor) and Weezing. If Beedrill is to play any role in this battle, it should either come as a guaranteed way to take down Muk after it has set up Minimize too many times. However, that strategy assumes you’ve given Beedrill your Aerial Ace TM, which isn’t necessarily true. Moreover, Muk still has Acid Armor to make Aerial Ace much weaker. Despite Beedrill’s resistance to it, Muk’s Sludge should do double the damage of anything Beedrill can do to Muk. As such, Beedrill should only be used to finish off Muk, as mentioned. Aerial Ace can also be a useful tool in the face of Weezing’s Smokescreen. However, much like Muk, Weezing can overpower Beedrill easily despite the Poison Bee Pokémon’s resistance to Poison-type moves. Overall, Beedrill should have a very limited role (or no role at all) in this battle. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 39; Focus Energy/Aerial Ace, Secret Power/Aerial Ace, Twineedle, Brick Break.
Beedrill versus Fighting Dojo in Saffron City: With Aerial Ace and a double resistance to Fighting-type moves, Beedrill should be able to sweep through the Fighting Dojo without too much trouble. (Just watch out for Seismic Toss, which deals damage equal to the user’s level and isn’t based on type match-ups.) However, if you decided to give the Aerial Ace TM to another Pokémon, Beedrill will have to rely on Brick Break to get through here. Brick Break is still reasonably powerful, but the difference in power between the neutral Brick Break and the super-effective Aerial Ace will be felt. Against the leader’s Hitmonlee, Aerial Ace should net you a 2HKO whereas Brick Break should only be good for a 3HKO. Even so, Hitmonlee’s best move is High Jump Kick, which will hardly scratch Beedrill. As long as Beedrill is faster than Hitmonchan, your Poison Bee Pokémon should be fine with that match-up as well. Aerial Ace should be a 3HKO while Brick Break should be a 4HKO. Hitmonchan does have Fire Punch to hit Beedrill super-effectively, but it should only result in a 5HKO. As mentioned, Beedrill should be fine as long as it is faster. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 39; Focus Energy/Aerial Ace, Secret Power/Aerial Ace, Twineedle, Brick Break.
Beedrill versus Rival in Silph Co.: As with the other Rival battles, keep your Beedrill away from Pidgeot. Wing Attack hurts. Charizard falls into that same boat; its Flamethrower will annihilate the Poison Bee Pokémon with just one use. However, Beedrill is more than capable of taking on Exeggcute, who has a double weakness to Twineedle. One use of Twineedle and Exeggcute should be gone (unless you are particularly unlucky). Unlike Exeggcute, Gyarados will take very little damage from Beedrill’s attacks and has Intimidate to boot. You can try and poison it with Twineedle, but it’s nevertheless a good idea to use a more appropriate counter for Gyarados. Growlithe also has Intimidate and has upgraded from Ember to Flame Wheel, which means that Beedrill should stay away. If Intimidate is negated, Brick Break is a 3HKO, but Flame Wheel should also be a 3HKO (and possibly a 2HKO) assuming Growlithe doesn’t land a critical hit. A Water-type should handle Growlithe. On the other hand, Beedrill should have no trouble taking down your Rival’s Alakazam with Twineedle. The Psi Pokémon would normally be scary, but its only attacking move at this point is Future Sight, which takes several turns to execute and is only a 4HKO. Even if Alakazam manages to set up Reflect, Twineedle should end Alakazam before the Psi Pokémon can even land a Future Sight. As for your Rival’s Blastoise, it would be best for another teammate to handle it. Beedrill can’t do much damage to Blastoise; Twineedle is only a 6HKO. That said, Blastoise can only 5HKO in return with Bite or Water Gun, so Beedrill can attempt to poison Blastoise and then tag in another teammate. However, it would be much more efficient to use a Grass- or Electric-type here if that’s an option for you. Against Venusaur, Beedrill should thrive. Venusaur’s only way to hurt the Poison Bee Pokémon comes in the form of Razor Leaf; your Rival’s starter has even dropped Leech Seed in favor of Sweet Scent. Even with a critical hit, Razor Leaf should take less than one-sixth of Beedrill’s total HP. The Poison Bee Pokémon can 3-4HKO in return with Aerial Ace (or 5HKO with Twineedle if Aerial Ace isn’t an option). Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 39; Focus Energy/Aerial Ace, Secret Power/Aerial Ace, Twineedle, Brick Break.
Beedrill versus Giovanni in Silph Co.: The only Pokémon that Beedrill might be able to handle here is Nidorino, and even that isn’t a guarantee. Beedrill should be both faster and able to 4HKO with Secret Power, and Nidorino’s Horn Attack is a 4-5HKO. Beedrill should be able to come out on top in most scenarios, especially if Nidorino wastes a turn with Helping Hand. However, Beedrill should avoid every other Pokémon at Giovanni’s disposal. Rhyhorn can annihilate Beedrill with as little as three hits of Rock Blast, meaning you’ll likely be down a Poison Bee Pokémon in a single turn unless you get lucky with how many times Rock Blast hits. Use a Water- or Grass-type against Rhyhorn. Kangaskhan should quickly overpower Beedrill since its Mega Punch is usually a 2HKO. Even with Brick Break, Beedrill should only be able to 3HKO. On top of that, Beedrill is very likely slower than Kangaskhan. Beedrill can hardly scratch Nidoqueen, who can 3HKO the Poison Bee Pokémon with Body Slam; Beedrill needs to avoid Nidoqueen as well. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 39; Focus Energy/Aerial Ace, Secret Power/Aerial Ace, Twineedle, Brick Break.
Beedrill versus Sabrina in Saffron City Gym: No Snorlax? No problem. Beedrill is just as capable of defeating Sabrina. However, the strategy required to pull this off will likely require some luck and will require Agility (which Beedrill learns at level 40). Not to mention that you’ll need to train Beedrill up to the level cap (or even higher if your rules allow it). On top of that, a Beedrill with an Attack-reducing nature will be at high risk of failing to OHKO Alakazam with Twineedle, at which point you’ll be down one Beedrill. (Even if your Beedrill’s nature doesn’t lower its Attack, EV training in Attack is recommended.) This strategy is not for the faint of heart, so use a bulky Pokémon with Shadow Ball (preferably Snorlax or Hypno) if you can. However, for those that have no other viable Sabrina counter (or are doing a Bug- or Poison-type only Nuzlocke), Agility Beedrill is here for you. First, make sure Beedrill is at level 43 (or higher) and is packing Twineedle (not Pin Missile, which is too unreliable), Brick Break (for Reflect), and Agility. On the first turn, Beedrill should be sent out against Sabrina’s lead, Kadabra. Ideally, Kadabra will use Reflect as you set up Agility. At this point, you must use Brick Break to destroy Kadabra’s Reflect; if you don’t, then Twineedle won’t be doing enough damage. Kadabra is prone to use Future Sight on the turn that you use Brick Break, but that won’t hit too hard when it lands and should only be an issue when Venomoth comes out as long as everything goes according to plan. Twineedle should be used on the third turn of battle to OHKO Kadabra. Next up should be Mr. Mime, who should also fall to Twineedle. If Mr. Mime doesn’t fall, then Beedrill should still be able to take one non-crit Psybeam. Unless the Psybeam gets Beedrill into low enough health to activate Swarm, Beedrill definitely shouldn’t be able to OHKO Alakazam if it can’t even OHKO Mr. Mime. Hope that Mr. Mime falls. If that’s the case, then Mr. Mime should be followed by Alakazam, who will ideally fall to Twineedle as well. Last up is Venomoth, but Sabrina has essentially been beaten already. If you’ve managed to pull off this strategy, then pat your Beedrill on the back and either bring in a more appropriate Venomoth counter or 2HKO the Poison Moth Pokémon with Aerial Ace (that is, if Beedrill hasn’t sustained any damage outside of Future Sight, which should hit on the turn that Venomoth comes in if Kadabra had used it). Keep in mind that Venomoth’s Psybeam is a 3-4HKO. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 43; Secret Power/Aerial Ace, Twineedle, Brick Break, Agility.
Beedrill versus Blaine in Cinnabar Island Gym: Beedrill would be better off sitting in the box than even entering this gym, let alone fighting the gym leader. You can forget about it playing any role in this battle other than being a sacrifice. Even Fire Blast from Ponyta will shave off the majority of Beedrill’s health, and the Poison Bee Pokémon doesn’t even have a super-effective move to use. On top of that, Growlithe and Arcanine have Intimidate to lower Beedrill’s all-important Attack stat. Blaine lives surrounded by water, just use a Water-type. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 46; Secret Power/Aerial Ace, Twineedle, Brick Break, Agility/Return/Toxic.
Beedrill versus Giovanni in Viridian City Gym: Beedrill fares slightly better here than it did against Blaine, but that’s not saying much. Beedrill is notoriously frail on the physical side, which becomes an issue when every one of your opponent’s Pokémon can use either a STAB Earthquake or a super-effective Rock Blast. Beedrill most certainly can’t go near either of Giovanni’s Rhyhorn, both of which carry Rock Blast. Dugtrio is blisteringly fast and can 2HKO Beedrill with Earthquake, meaning a critical hit is likely the end of the Poison Bee Pokémon. Beedrill can probably 2HKO with Twineedle, but it isn’t worth the risk. Nidoking and Nidoqueen both carry STAB Earthquake and Beedrill can’t do much damage to either of them in return. Overall, Beedrill should stay out of this battle. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 47; Secret Power/Aerial Ace, Twineedle, Brick Break, Agility/Return/Toxic.
Beedrill versus Rival in Route 22: Beedrill still needs to avoid Pidgeot and Charizard for very good reasons, as has been mentioned previously. The Poison Bee Pokémon must also fear Rhyhorn, who carries Rock Blast. Due to this, the Spikes Pokémon can easily annihilate your Beedrill. Your Rival’s Alakazam has improved its moveset from the previous battle; it now can use STAB Psychic to wipe Beedrill off of the face of the Earth. Beedrill might be able to OHKO with Twineedle if you somehow have set up Agility while your Rival had a different Pokémon out (which would be very difficult to do considering how poorly Beedrill fares against most of your Rival’s team). Even then, an OHKO isn’t necessarily guaranteed. It’s best to use a different Pokémon against Alakazam. On the other hand, Beedrill should be able to take down Exeggcute without too much trouble. The Egg Pokémon’s only attacking move is Solarbeam, which takes two turns to execute and will hardly scratch Beedrill. Twineedle should OHKO. Gyarados still doesn’t have any physical moves, which means that Beedrill won’t die immediately when sent out against it. However, what Gyarados does have is Hydro Pump, which should result in a 3-4HKO on the Poison Bee Pokémon. Beedrill’s Secret Power would most likely be a 5HKO (or Beedrill can 4HKO if it has Return) if its Attack stat is intact, which isn’t guaranteed due to Gyarados’ Intimidate. Beedrill should only fight Gyarados if the Atrocious Pokémon has already been weakened significantly. An Electric-type Pokémon would be much better for taking down Gyarados. Growlithe also has Intimidate, and it has Flame Wheel on top of that. A more appropriate counter, such as a Water-type Pokmémon, would be recommended here. However, Beedrill can still 3HKO with Brick Break if you can bypass Intimidate, but Flame Wheel is also a 3HKO. As for Blastoise, you might be able to beat it, or at least cripple it, with Beedrill. The Shellfish Pokémon’s best move to use against Beedrill would be Water Gun, which should be a 5HKO. However, the Poison Bee Pokémon will need to poison Blastoise through some method (whether that method is Twineedle or Toxic) to stand a chance against the Shellfish Pokémon because Twineedle should only be a 6HKO. Beedrill fares even better against Venusaur, who still doesn’t have Leech Seed and has now ditched Sleep Powder as well. Razor Leaf will hardly scratch Beedrill, who should be able to 5HKO with Twineedle or 4-5HKO with Return (if you have it). Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 50; Secret Power/Aerial Ace, Twineedle, Brick Break, Agility/Return/Toxic.
Beedrill versus the Elite 4: Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 60; Secret Power/Aerial Ace, Twineedle, Brick Break, Agility/Return/Toxic.
Beedrill versus Lorelei: Between Brick Break and Twineedle, Beedrill can hit every one of Lorelei’s Pokémon for super-effective damage. Despite this, Beedrill won’t be hitting any of her Pokémon particularly hard (except Jynx). You would be better off using a more appropriate counter for Lorelei if you have it, especially since Hail will likely be chipping away at Beedrill’s health throughout the battle. That said, Beedrill can hold its own in this battle for at least a little while. The Poison Bee Pokémon can 2-3HKO Dewgong with Brick Break whereas Surf should only be a 4HKO in return. Moreover, Beedrill should be faster. Beedrill can 3-4HKO Cloyster with Brick Break, but Cloyster will likely spend some turns on Protect and/or set up Spikes. A Pokémon that can hit Cloyster’s low Special Defense stat would be a better counter here. Even so, Cloyster can only 5HKO Beedrill with Dive, which takes two turns to execute. Slowbro has a lot of physical bulk, but Beedrill should still be able to 3HKO it with Twineedle. However, Slowbro has Yawn and can 3HKO in return with Surf, meaning that Beedrill probably won’t be beating Slowbro one-on-one. As for Jynx, Beedrill should be able to take it down with one or two uses of Twineedle. Still, Jynx can 3HKO in return with Ice Punch. On top of that, Attract and Lovely Kiss can be problematic, so tread lightly. Beedrill can also take on Lapras to some extent since Brick Break should be a 3HKO. That said, Lapras can 3-4HKO in return with Body Slam or Surf, and its Confuse Ray can be annoying. Overall, Beedrill can deal at least a good chunk of damage to every Pokémon on Lorelei’s team, but the Poison Bee Pokémon can’t do much outside of that. A sweep would only be possible with luck and a lot of healing, so you’ll want to use a better counter here or at least bring another Pokémon or two that can help Beedrill defeat Lorelei’s team. Throughout the battle, especially against Lapras, Beedrill can attempt to poison its opponent with Twineedle or Toxic, but that’s only recommended if you both have another Pokémon that can stall and have no better option than stalling.
Beedrill versus Bruno: Beedrill boasts a double resistance to Bruno’s Fighting-type moves, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good idea to use Beedrill here. Bruno’s first Onix (which is at level 51) has Rock Tomb, which should result in a 3HKO on Beedrill. The Poison Bee Pokémon can 3HKO in return with Brick Break, but it’s not worth the risk, especially considering Rock Tomb’s Speed-lowering power. It would be best to use a Water- or Grass-type against the first Onix. This goes for the second Onix as well, but do keep in mind that this one (which is at level 54) lacks a Rock-type move. Even so, its Earthquake should result in a 3HKO on Beedrill, which is the same amount of damage that Beedrill can do in return with Brick Break. While Bruno’s Hitmonchan may not be able to hit Beedrill hard with Mach Punch or Sky Uppercut, the Punching Pokémon is also carrying Rock Tomb and Counter. Beedrill should be able to 2-3HKO with Aerial Ace, but Hitmonchan can easily use Counter on the same turn to KO Beedrill in return. If it doesn’t do that, it can still use Rock Tomb (which is a 2-3HKO) to hurt Beedrill and lower its Speed. It is inadvisable to use physical moves on Hitmonchan, so keep Beedrill away. Hitmonlee lacks both Counter and Rock Tomb, but it also has Mega Kick to 2HKO Beedrill (meaning a critical hit means the end of the Poison Bee Pokémon). Beedrill should be able to 2HKO in return with Aerial Ace, but it probably isn’t worth the risk. Like Hitmonchan, Bruno’s Machamp has Rock Tomb, which is a 2HKO on Beedrill when it comes off of Machamp’s high Attack stat. On top of that, Beedrill can’t even risk poisoning Machamp, who has Guts. Overall, Beedrill should stay away from this battle.
Beedrill versus Agatha: Beedrill should stay out of this battle as well. While Beedrill is immune to Toxic and resists Poison-type moves, it also can’t do very much damage to any of Agatha’s Pokémon. The Ghost-types, in particular, must be avoided because they wall Beedrill even more than Arbok and Golbat do. Beedrill’s only viable option to hit the likes of Gengar and Haunter is the weak (when not super-effective) Aerial Ace. However, a Beedrill with Aerial Ace can do reliable damage to Agatha’s first Gengar, who loves to spam Double Team. Even then, Beedrill should be used only as a last resort. Golbat is completely off-limits; its Air Cutter is a 2HKO on Beedrill and has a high critical hit ratio to boot. Agatha’s Arbok has Intimidate to lower Beedrill’s crucial Attack stat and can 3HKO the Poison Bee Pokémon with Iron Tail. Beedrill is only able to 3HKO in return if it has Return, which you very well may have given to a stronger teammate. Beedrill might be able to get a hit or two off on Arbok, but it would be much better to use a more appropriate counter here. Gengar and Haunter, being Ghost-types, should be avoided, as has been mentioned. All in all, it’s best to keep Beedrill as far away from this battle as possible.
Beedrill versus Lance: Every one of Lance’s Pokémon is packing Hyper Beam, which is a problem for a physically frail Pokémon like Beedrill. On top of that, Aerodactyl and Dragonite will utterly annihilate Beedrill just with Wing Attack. The Poison Bee Pokémon must certainly avoid those two. With Intimidate and Hyper Beam, Gyarados is a major threat to Beedrill, who can only hope to 4HKO in return (and that’s only if you chose to give Beedrill Return and can negate Intimidate). Against either of the Dragonair, Beedrill can take one (non-critical hit) Hyper Beam and will only fall to four uses of Outrage. Beedrill can also 3HKO with Return or 3-4HKO with Twineedle. However, there are much better options for taking on Lance’s pair of Dragonair, and Beedrill still must fear the possibility of a critical hit Hyper Beam. Overall, Beedrill should stay out of this battle.
Beedrill versus the Champion: As with any Rival battle, keep Beedrill away from Pidgeot and Charizard. Beedrill must also avoid Rhydon, who has Rock Tomb and enough physical Defense to tank Beedrill’s Brick Break with ease. Alakazam still has STAB Psychic, meaning another teammate should handle it unless Beedrill somehow set up Agility prior to the Psi Pokémon entering the battle (which is highly unlikely and Beedrill may not be able to OHKO Alakazam with Twineedle anyway). Beedrill also can’t stand up to Gyarados, who still has Intimidate and is now packing Thrash (which should result in a 2HKO on Beedrill). On a happier note, Beedrill should be able to take down Exeggutor with Twineedle. However, a critical hit from Exeggutor’s Egg Bomb should send Beedrill packing, so be wary. On the other hand, Arcanine should most certainly be avoided due to Flamethrower-related reasons. Beedrill completely walls Venusaur, who can only hurt the Poison Bee Pokémon with Solarbeam. Twineedle is only a 6HKO, but it should still be enough to take down Venusaur. If you have it, Aerial Ace would be better as it should result in a 4HKO. Lastly, there is the matter of Blastoise, who is usually okay for Beedrill to take on. However, the Shellfish Pokémon is now carrying Hydro Pump, which should 2HKO Beedrill. It’s best to keep the Poison Bee Pokémon away from Blastoise. It made it this far, you wouldn’t want to risk it dying unless it’s necessary.
Everything in Between
Pre-Boulder Badge: You won’t be getting much use out of Weedle or Kakuna at this point; they’re more of a drain on your team’s experience than anything else. Even when Kakuna evolves into Beedrill, its best attacking move will be the unreliable Fury Attack. Even so, you’ll want to have a fully-evolved Beedrill by the time you leave Pewter City if you want it to be of any use.
Caves and Mountains: Beedrill needs to avoid Rock-types at all cost. Early in the game, Beedrill can’t do much to them since it’ll only have Poison Sting and Fury Attack. Rock-types become easier to deal with once Beedrill learns Brick Break, but the Poison Bee Pokémon still won’t be able to deal with most of them. At that point, Geodude/Graveler should have Selfdestruct (which will annihilate the frail Beedrill) and most Rock-types, in general, will have STAB moves. Beedrill must also stay out of Mt. Ember (though it can take on the Machop there) due to the abundance of Fire-type Pokémon. By that same token, Moltres is off-limits. As for the swarms of Zubat/Golbat that you’ll find, they should only become a problem for Beedrill once they learn Flying-type moves. In Mt. Moon, Beedrill only fares well against the trainers that don’t have Rock-types, Rattata (who might have Guts and will have powerful STAB Normal-type moves), or Magnemite.
Vermilion City Area: Beedrill can hold its own on the S.S. Anne as long as you steer clear of the trainers with Fire-type Pokémon. However, you must be wary of the engineers east of Vermilion City; they carry Magnemite, which Beedrill can only fight using Brick Break. You must also keep Beedrill out of Diglett’s Cave. The Poison Bee Pokémon is frail and lacks an immunity to Magnitude. Just bring a Flying-type with you here.
Mid- to Late-Game: Beedrill can’t hit the Ghost-types of Pokémon Tower very hard and must fear the Marowak at the end. Keep Beedrill far away. Keep Beedrill away from Snorlax, too. The Poison Bee Pokémon is frail, so it won’t be taking a Headbutt very well. As long as you avoid the likes of Fearow, Pidgeotto, and Dodrio, Beedrill can be of use on the routes south of Lavender Town. However, note that the bikers will be tough to handle because their Pokémon resist Brick Break and Twineedle. This also goes for Cycling Road. In both cases, you must watch out for exploding Koffing. Beedrill must also be careful of the Voltorb and Electrode in the Power Plant for similar reasons. Speaking of the Power Plant, keep Beedrill away from Zapdos at all costs. Beedrill can do many things, but tanking Drill Peck is not one of them. The Pokémon Mansion contains more exploding Koffing in addition to a plethora of Fire-type Pokémon, so Beedrill should stay out.
Checks and Counters
Rock-types: Being both weak to Rock-type moves and physically frail, it makes sense that Beedrill is unable to take on the majority of Kanto’s Rock-type Pokémon. Bruno’s Onix comes to mind. Fortunately, these Pokémon are rather easy to take down with common Water- and Grass-type Pokémon. Blastoise, Vaporeon, Lapras, Venusaur, Vileplume, and Victreebel are all helpful when it comes to taking down opposing Rock-type Pokémon. In return, Beedrill can face the Grass-type Pokémon that often give Water- and Grass-type Pokémon trouble.
Fire-types: Beedrill is also weak to Fire-type moves, and the Fire-type Pokémon that use them, such as Blaine’s team, also happen to avoid Beedrill’s only STAB move, Twineedle. The aforementioned Water-types, such as Blastoise or Vaporeon, are great for taking on these threatening Fire-types.
Flying-types: Flying-type Pokémon are another type of Pokémon that will pose a threat to Beedrill. Your Rival’s Pidgeot and Charizard come to mind. Having a Rock- or Water-type would be good for taking on this type of Pokémon. The likes of Golem, Aerodactyl, and Blastoise come to mind. In return, Beedrill can take on the Grass-types that give most Water- and Rock-types trouble.
Faster Psychic-types: Beedrill’s Twineedle is great for taking down Sabrina’s Psychic-types, but that’s only made possible thanks to Agility. When the opposing Psychic-type is faster and there’s no opportunity for Beedrill to use Agility, a problem arises since Beedrill is weak to Psychic-type attacks. As such, it never hurts to keep another counter to Psychic-types around to take down the likes of your Rival’s Alakazam. Hypno and Snorlax, in particular, come to mind.
Strong physical attackers: Especially later in the game, Beedrill’s low base Defense stat will be working against it. As such, it has much to fear from powerful physical attackers like Snorlax and Giovanni’s Kangaskhan. Due to this, you’ll benefit from keeping a physical tank around, such as the likes of Golem and Slowbro. These Pokémon will be able to take hits from the physical attackers that Beedrill struggles against.
Poison-types: While Poison-type Pokémon can’t hurt Beedrill that much (except for Koffing with Selfdestruct), Beedrill oftentimes can’t hurt them, either. As such, it never hurts to keep a Psychic-type around. The likes of Alakazam and Hypno come to mind. In return, Beedrill can (sometimes) defeat opposing Psychic-types.
Overall Grade: D
While Beedrill can defeat three gyms singlehandedly, it’s hardly the best option for those gyms. It can be useful, but its role is rather niche. Not only that, but it also can’t take many hits, especially in the late game, and has terrible Attack and Speed for a glass cannon. Even though the majority of other Pokémon in the Kanto region can perform better than Beedrill, the Poison Bee Pokémon is still far from useless, as can be seen above. Its plethora of negative traits make Beedrill tough to use, but those with the guts to give it a shot very well may be surprised by its usefulness.
Resources to Utilize
Beedrill’s learnset: https://pokemondb.net/pokedex/beedrill/moves/3
Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1. For questions about this guide or for specific advice for your playthrough, send them a message on Reddit.