Naganadel, The Poison Pin Pokémon. It stores hundreds of liters of poisonous liquid inside its body. It is one of the organisms known as UBs. One kind of Ultra Beast, it fires a glowing, venomous liquid from its needles. This liquid is also immensely adhesive.
Being one of the new Ultra Beasts released in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Naganadel is a powerful wall breaking Pokémon. It has a strong movepool, including access to Nasty Plot, and solid typing in Dragon and Poison. Naganadel also packs strong offensive stats to make use of Beast Boost's incredible offensive capabilities. However, all these have made it so Naganadel is at home in Ubers. Despite being in the realm of the strongest Pokémon in the game, Naganadel still holds onto its ability to break threats and still pull off snowball sweeps, but it needs to be played carefully.
Beast Boost - Raises the Pokémon's highest stat by 1 stage when it KO'es a Pokémon - Naganadel's only ability, Beast Boost is an incredible ability allowing Naganadel to gain a free +1 to Special Attack or Speed based on the nature you pick, both of which are solid options.
Nasty Plot Wall Breaker
With EVs set to maximize Naganadel's offensive abilities as well as a Timid nature to get a Speed boost from Beast Boost, Naganadel aims to break through walls and go for a snowball sweep or late game clean up. Draco Meteor is the only Dragon STAB and the main wall breaking move in combination with Dragonium Z for a 195 base power Dragon STAB nuke. This has to be planned out however as Pokémon such as Xerneas can switch into it and waste the best tool at your disposal. Some targets to hit with the Dragonium Z boost are Primal Groudon, Primal Kyogre, Ho-Oh, and Lugia. Sludge Wave is the primary STAB move used, hitting a lot of threats in Ubers hard, Dusk Mane Necrozma, Dialga, and Primal Groudon being some of the threats that resist it. This is where Fire Blast comes in, hitting Steel threats hard that would otherwise stop Naganadel cold. Nasty Plot is the last move, allowing Naganadel to look to wall break and sweep. Be careful with Nasty Plot as well as a lot of the time, going for a powerful attack such as a Draco Meteor may be better to punish Choice Scarf Pokémon that switch in expecting a Nasty Plot. The best time to go for the Nasty Plot is after bulky threats have been reduced to the KOing range of Naganadel and faster Pokémon have been removed.
Other Options and Partners
Choice Scarf - An option to harass some faster threats such as Deoxys that try to pick off Naganadel after it attacks. This does give up a lot of Naganadel's pressure due to lacking Nasty Plot, generally in favor of U-Turn, but is an option.
VGC, Double, & Triple Battle Options
Each of the new Ultra Beasts have added a new dynamic to VGC and double battles. Like Stakataka, who we covered a few weeks ago, Naganadel can support the team with reliable speed control setup (in this case, Tailwind, as opposed to Stakataka’s Trick Room) but also be a strong offensive presence. The fact that Naganadel is not dead weight after setting up Tailwind is incredibly valuable to take advantage of Tailwind’s full number of turns. Though not as strong in doubles as it is in singles, due to its frail defensive stats against two opponents and Tapu Fini’s common Misty Terrain weakening dragon-type attacks, this poison-type dragon can threaten many of the most common Pokemon in VGC 2018 with its poison attacks and coverage moves.
Naganadel has great offensive stats, so maximum special attack and speed is really the only way to use it. A Timid nature naturally outspeeds Mega Salamence, but Modest can be considered. Despite then being outsped by Pokemon like Kartana and Mega Metagross, a Modest nature can be preferable once you have Tailwind up, especially since Beast Boost will boost special attack instead of Speed. Naganadel’s defensive stats are nothing noteworthy, but the final four EVs in special defense can give opposing Download Porygon2 an attack boost instead of special attack. Due to its relatively frail defenses, Naganadel is typically best holding a Focus Sash to ensure it can survive any one hit. Beast Boost is the only available ability for Ultra Beasts, but can assist in a sweep by boosting either its special attack or speed.
Sludge Bomb is Naganadel’s best move in VGC 2018 due to the presence of the Tapus. Although Tapu Fini’s Misty Terrain severely hinders it, Draco Meteor is very strong otherwise and can threaten neutral damage on many opponents. Flamethrower is another option, however, to hit steel types like Kartana, Ferrothorn, and Celesteela for lots of damage. Tailwind is Naganadel’s primary support move, while Protect keeps Naganadel and its Focus Sash safe from Fake Out or double targets.
Other Options & Team Ideas
-Life Orb boosts your general damage output and can increase the odds on certain damage rolls, but you do have to worry about random Choice Scarfers (like Tapu Lele), especially in best of 1 games on Battle Spot.
Bulky Attackers - Due to Naganadel having to either boost or use its Dragonium Z to break through bulky threats; Naganadel struggles to handle bulky attackers. Ho-Oh is the main in with its massive Special Defense and access to two forms of recovery but other notable ones are Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre. Revenge killers/Priority - Without a way to boost speed outside of Beast Boost, Naganadel is easy to revenge kill. This makes threats like Yveltal, Deoxys, and Mewtwo things to consider when teambuilding and trying to plan how to approach the game. This also makes priority users a major threat, namely Arceus and Rayquaza. Dusk Mane Necrozma - With its strong bulk and Psychic typing, Dusk Mane Necrozma can check Naganadel. However only defensive version can do this as DM Necrozma can't outpace Naganadel and has to be wary of a +2 Fire Blast.
Locations in Games
Black 2/White 2:
Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
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