Iris and Excadrill Against the Dragon Buster! (Japanese: ドラゴンバスター登場！アイリスとドリュウズ！！The Dragon Buster Appears! Iris and Doryuzu!!) is the 33rd episode of the Best Wishes series, and the 690th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on May 26, 2011 and in the United States on September 17, 2011.
Continuing their travels to the Nimbasa City Gym, Ash and friends meet a Trainer named Georgia, who’s obsessed with defeating Dragon-type Pokémon. This “Dragon Buster” challenges Iris to a battle, and her Beartic quickly beats Iris’s Axew. Georgia demands to fight against Iris’s other Dragon-type Pokémon, but of course Axew is the only one. Iris sends out Excadrill instead, and at first it actually seems willing to fight...but a Rock Smash from Beartic quickly sends the stubborn Pokémon back into hiding.
Iris opens up to her friends about her history with Excadrill, and we learn that it first went into hiding after being defeated by the same move a while back. Cilan suggests that perhaps Iris hasn’t been paying enough attention to Excadrill’s feelings while battling, and she tearfully vows to make amends. An all-night special training session ensues.
The next day, Iris asks Georgia for a rematch, and Georgia accepts. Excadrill acts like a brand-new Pokémon, battling Beartic fiercely! The match ends in a draw, but a very happy Iris and Excadrill are as close now as they were in days gone by—maybe even closer!
Ash, Iris, and Cilan are walking down a road when they are stopped by a girl who claims to be the Dragon Buster, Georgia, and after discovering Iris is a Dragon-type Trainer she demands a battle. The battle begins with Georgia sending out her Beartic. After Ash gets his Pokédex information, the battle begins with Axew going in for a Scratch Attack, but is quickly hit by Beartic's Slash. Beartic unleashes Icicle Crash, and Axew dodges all but one of them. The two counter each other with an Ice Beam and a Dragon Rage, but Beartic proves to be stronger and knocks Axew out. Georgia demands that Iris sends out another Dragon Pokémon, but Cilan informs Georgia that Axew is her only Dragon-type Pokémon, causing Georgia to insult Iris. This hits a nerve and Iris then sends out Excadrill, who, as usual, is in his drill-mode position. After getting knocked into a tree by Beartic's Slash, he gets up and gets ready to fight. Iris commands it to use Dig, but he uses Metal Claw instead, battling for himself, and not for Iris. Beartic uses Icicle Crash, and Excadrill knocks all of them out of the way. He dodges an Ice Beam by using Dig, which lands a direct hit. Excadrill uses Drill Run, but is knocked away by Beartic's Rock Smash, effectively ending the match. After making fun of Iris, Georgia walks away.
Ash and Cilan ask if she's alright, but Iris is only worried about her Excadrill, saying she caught it as a Drilbur near her Village of Dragons. She explains about her past and in a flashback explains how she was playing with a Deerling, Pidove, Patrat, Minccino, Sandile, Pansear, and Panpour when Deerling comes running with an injured Patrat on its back, and Iris follows to where it got hurt. She finds a Drilbur who has been stealing their berries, and is determined to teach it a lesson and defeat it. But, every time she swings from a vine to kick it, she is hit by Drilbur's Metal Claw, and is dragged away by Deerling. One lucky time, she counters Metal Claw, and sends Drilbur flying into some vines, and gets tangled in some hanging right over a ledge. They break, and it falls, but is caught by Iris swinging on by. Thankful for its life, it agrees to go with her, and together they defeat many opponents, including Fraxure, Sandile, Watchog, and Darumaka. During a battle festival in her hometown, it is up against a Druddigon. In the midst of the battle, it evolves into Excadrill, and defeats it with a Drill Run. Happy for their victory, they do a little dance. They are then introduced to the Dragon Master Drayden. Iris challenges him to a battle. He sends out his Haxorus, and she sends out Excadrill. His Metal Claw attacks seem to have no effect, and is whipped away by Haxorus. Iris commands Dig, which also does nothing. Excadrill is surprised by this. When he performs a Drill Run, Drayden counters it with Rock Smash, and Excadrill faints. After this, Excadrill is always curled up, refusing to answer or listen to Iris. When Iris mentions the battle, it closes its eyes in agony.
Back in the present day, Cilan explains that it probably doesn't listen to her because it distrusts her guidance in battle. Later that night, Iris is sleeping with Excadrill, still curled up. She mentions what Cilan said, and realizes that Excadrill had known it wouldn't win the battle with Haxorus but that she had kept on pressuring it to battle anyway. She tearfully apologizes and promises to be considerate of its feelings from now on, which causes Excadrill to cry under its armor. Later, it gets up and walks away from Iris, who wakes up and sees this. She finds it training in the forest, trying to learn Focus Blast, but it loses its sphere shape and turns into a blob, which explodes in its hands before it can release it. Iris volunteers to train with it, and it takes until sunrise to fully master the move. As they are celebrating, Ash and Cilan find her, telling her it's breakfast time. They are surprised to find that Georgia is at their breakfast table, and has eaten their food. They decide to have another battle, Beartic versus Excadrill. They counter each other with Metal Claw and Slash, but Beartic proves to be stronger, knocking it away. Beartic uses Icicle Crash, and Excadrill dodges with Dig. Dig lands, and Excadrill releases its new Focus Blast, which hits Beartic down. It uses Drill Run, which also lands, but it uses Ice Beam while being hit. Excadrill falls, frozen in a block of ice. It breaks free using Metal Claw to Iris's command. Beartic uses Icicle Crash, and Excadrill knocks some of them away with Focus Blast, but is still hit. Iris tells Excadrill that she still has faith in him, and he regains the strength to fight for Iris. Beartic uses Rock Smash, which Excadrill counters with Drill Run. Excadrill and Beartic faint, resulting in a tie. Georgia says that she couldn't care less as long as her Pokémon didn't lose to a Dragon-type, then she walks away, expecting another meal from Cilan next time. Even though Iris and Excadrill didn't win, they are still happy, and Iris says that they'll become stronger together. Excadrill confirms this by hugging his Trainer. Having regained their friendship, Ash and his friends continue their journey towards Nimbasa City.
The Live Caster for this episode features clips from BW037, which was originally the 26th episode of the Best Wishes series, but was delayed until after this episode's first broadcast, and the clips shown were seen for the first time in this segment, almost a month before the episode eventually aired.