When looking for a Rapid Spin user, Sandslash shouldn't be your first choice. This is mostly because Sandslash has many flaws that make it a poor option on most teams. One of these is Sandslash's inability to deal with many of RU's spinblockers, such as Golurk, Rotom, and Misdreavus, while its competitors, Kabutops and Cryogonal, can. In spite of Sandslash's ability to set up Stealth Rock, it is largely outclassed by other Stealth Rock users such as Uxie, Steelix, and Mesprit. Due to Sandslash's miserable Special Defense, it becomes an easy target for even resisted special attacks. Sandslash also loses to many prominent threats, including Sceptile, Slowking, and Lilligant. Its poor Speed does not help its case either; it is often too slow to pull off a Rapid Spin.
However, Sandslash does have a few redeeming qualities. It can reliably beat the most popular Ghost-type, Spiritomb, one-on-one. Sandslash can also set up Swords Dance to inflict decent damage on the opposing team. Its physical bulk, while not amazing, is sufficient to allow it to survive enough physical hits to pull off Rapid Spin. In addition to Rapid Spin, Sandslash also has access to Stealth Rock to further support its team. Thanks to these characteristics, Sandslash can also slide onto teams that desperately need to absorb Volt Switch from Pokemon such as Magneton and Manectric. This also makes it a decent fit on teams that do not want their Rapid Spin user vulnerable to Spiritomb. Overall, Sandslash has a very specific niche, and it should only be considered as a last resort if the other Rapid Spin users are too difficult to fit on your team.
This is Sandslash's best bet at accomplishing anything in RU. While Kabutops and Cryogonal are significantly better choices on a vast majority of teams, Sandslash aims to be used sparingly, enduring physical hits while using Rapid Spin when it's necessary. It also serves as an emergency check to physical sweepers at full health, and it doesn't have a Volt Switch or Stealth Rock weakness, unlike Kabutops and Cryogonal.
Rapid Spin is the sole reason Sandslash should be used, and as such, it finds itself a spot in this set, allowing Sandslash to remove entry hazards that may cripple its team. Earthquake serves as a powerful and reliable STAB move for Sandslash to hit fairly hard with, especially against Spiritomb. Be wary though, Sandslash can potentially lure in Grass-types, such as Sceptile, Lilligant, and Rotom-C, that will easily score a KO. Stone Edge provides good coverage alongside Earthquake, while Night Slash allows Sandslash to also nail Rotom and Misdreavus. Swords Dance is useful because it allows Sandslash to handle Pokemon such as Spiritomb, Rotom, and Misdreavus more effectively. Stealth Rock is another option for the final moveslot, as it enables Sandslash to provide extra support for its team.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Sandslash doesn't have many other options. The most notable one is Sandstorm, which lets Sandslash run a gimmicky set with Sand Rush and Swords Dance to sweep. It can also run Protect to scout the opponent's move and is useful to allow Sandslash to utilize its Leftovers recovery. Sandslash is capable of running a defensive set to take on a few physical attackers more easily while supporting its team with Stealth Rock and Toxic. It also has Sunny Day to support sun teams while providing Rapid Spin support. X-Scissor and Rock Slide are additional options for extra coverage. Finally, Sandslash can also run Knock Off to remove Eviolite from Magneton, Rhydon, Roselia, and Ferroseed. As it stands, Sandslash's utility is already severely limited, and implementing any of these options could diminish any marginal usefulness Sandslash originally possessed.
Checks and Counters
Most spinblockers are very capable of stopping Sandslash from pulling off a Rapid Spin, especially if it lacks Night Slash. If it lacks Lum Berry, burning it with Will-O-Wisp is an effective way to stop it from defeating any spinblockers while gradually chipping away at its HP. Bulky Water-types such as Alomomola, Poliwrath, and Slowking can tank hits from it while also dealing a significant amount of damage with Scald. Sandslash loses to common entry hazard setters such as Mesprit, Uxie, Qwilfish, and Roselia, ultimately rendering it useless. Sceptile, Lilligant, and Rotom-C can hit Sandslash super effectively with their Grass-type STAB moves. Jynx and Cryogonal can easily eliminate Sandslash with a powerful Ice Beam. It is also useful to constantly pressure Sandslash with repeated attacks and Spikes, as forcing it out will consistently weaken it. Finally, using Trick with a Choice item can make Sandslash easier to deal with by locking it into Earthquake or Rapid Spin.