M&M Mix and Mega Suspect #8: Naganadel

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A Naganadel in its natural habitat.
The Mix and Mega Council has decided that we will be conducting our third suspect test of USUM on Naganadel.

Naganadel has evidently been an potent threat within Mix and Mega since its introduction in November. Its boisterous Special Attack stat and incredible Speed are enough to be weary of alone; however, when combined with its amazing offensive movepool, it can be clear that Naganadel is a top tier threat. Albeit, Naganadel is much more than that. Diancite and Red Orb, while both providing Naganadel insane utility, both provide somewhat polarising roles. Diancite is the standard "go-to" attacking force. With 187 Special Attack and 181 Speed, Naganadel is virtually impossible to stop without -ate boosted priority or a defensive Steel-type like Magearna, Aggronite Mew or Dusk Mane Necrozma. Due to this, these Pokémon can thus see excessive usage, even when they're already justifiably prevalent threats (see: Magearna). This can cause centralisation of an unhealthy degree; although, this is not the sole issue Naganadel provides. Red Orb allows Naganadel to overwhelm these threats. Nasty Plot + Fire Blast from a Red Orb Naganadel is sufficient to take out effective Diancite variant checks like Venusaurite Magearna in one hit. This has resulted in sub-par sets such as Blue Orb Magearna seeing usage. Ultimately, this has spiralled into creating a blatantly unhealthy metagame, limiting creativity and imagination.

Blissey can successfully wall most sets unboosted; however, even this has issues once Naganadel has used Nasty Plot a few times. Naganadel's Poison-typing allows it to avoid Toxic, and hence Blissey cannot reliably Seismic Toss and recover health simultaneously while Naganadel repeats Nasty Plot and attacks. Additionally, relying on Blissey to make the metagame playable is not optimal and hence this argument can also be considered insufficient.

Overall, this vote comes down to several paramount factors:
I.IIIWhether running reliable defensive answers to Naganadel doesn't restrict teambuilding to an overwhelming and/or negative extent.​
II.IIWhether the lack of distinction of Mega Stone from team preview is fair in preparing Naganadel counter play.​
III.IWhether the likes of otherwise viable sets such as Sablenite Blissey and Dusk Mane Necrozma can adequately check both common Naganadel sets.​
IV.IWhether Naganadel can reliably set-up Nasty Plot against a sufficient amount of threats within the metagame.​
V.IIWhether Naganadel requires this aforementioned boost to severely impact the outcome of a match.​
VI.IWhether there's reason for its inclusion other than preserving as many Pokémon as possible.​
Naganadel will be banned from bearing Mega Stones during the suspect testing process.

Some quick high-level replays showcasing Naganadel in action:

Diancite |
| Magic Bounce | 73/133/33/187/33/181
Red Orb |
| Desolate Land | 73/103/93/177/73/121
The suspect test will last fourteen days, concluding on April 28th.

Note: This suspect is solely for Naganadel's ability to hold mega stones.

There are multiple methods for obtaining reqs for this suspect test.

Firstly, the most reliable option of playing ranked games until you obtain a GXE of 81 in 35 or more games is recommended. This ladder environment will be reset once it is posted, and it will exist without interference from Mega Stone-holding Naganadel. These requirements are relatively easy in comparison to previous suspect tests, so please ensure you try this prior to relying on the latter method.

Secondly, there is an option to earn it via room tournaments. I'll be hosting two suspect tours within the Other Metas room on Pokémon Showdown within the next two weeks. I will announce the times of each of these tournaments in the thread, at least 24 hours in advance. The winner and runner up of each tournament will gain automatic voting requirements unless they have previously obtained them.

Post your suspect requirements proof in this thread, without your vote. You do not require a specific username, any alt may be used, as long as you provide a screenshot of requirements and proof that the alt is yours. You may post your opinion on the subject or what you will be voting, as this thread is not limited to posting reqs. However, it is important to mention that solely voting here and not following the instructions given within this paragraph and the following one will ensure your vote doesn't count.

Once the suspect period is over, I will tag everyone who has obtained reqs by this point. I will then outline a process of blind voting, which will be clarified once this time arrives. For now, follow the above "Requirements" subheading to ensure that you've posted your reqs correctly. If this is difficult to understand, please message me on my Smogon profile and I will clarify it for you.

A super-majority of 60% ban is required for Naganadel to be banned from holding Mega Stones.

- Naganadel is being suspected from holding Mega Stones.​
- Naganadel will be unable to hold Mega Stones during the testing process.​
- The GXE requirement is 81, the game amount must amount to or exceed 35.​
- Post requirements in this thread. This is not where your vote is posted though. Read the "Voting" subheading for more information.​
- Suspect Test will conclude on April 28th.​
- A ban vote of 60% is required to remove Naganadel's ability to hold Mega Stones.​
- Naganadel will be permitted to hold Mega Stones in every round of OMGS playoffs, as the results of this test won't be released until after these have commenced.​

Thank you The Immortal :D!
Naganadel @ Red Orb
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Nasty Plot
- Fire Blast / Flamethrower
- Sludge Bomb / Sludge Wave
- Thunderbolt / Hidden Power Ice / Hidden Power Ground

Naganadel @ Diancite
Ability: Beast Boost
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
- Nasty Plot
- Draco Meteor
- Sludge Bomb / Sludge Wave
- Fire Blast / Flamethrower

Of the two, I think Red Orb Naganadel is the more serious problem. Diancite sets are simply another of our many fast setup sweepers; it's quite potent, but not unmanageable either defensively or offensively. It's weak to all forms of priority (Even golisopod deals a ton with 252+ Atk Golisopod First Impression vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Naganadel: 233-275 (81.1 - 95.8%) -- 56.3% chance to OHKO after Stealth Rock ], it has difficulty taking on Defensive Steel-type Pokemon such as Magearna, Aggronite Mew, and Necrozma dusk mane, as well as specially bulky threats like Ho-oh. Finally, the decrease in bulk means that even if your team can't afford one of these hard answers, it's relatively easy to get by with just minor optimizations, like running psychic on your Blissey or Extreme Speed on your Lucarionite Zygarde.

Red Orb sets, however, are an entirely different kettle of fish. They resist Pixispeed 4x and can ko pixispeeders with a super effective Poison attack, they're bulky enough to eat a Pinsirite Extreme speed (252+ Atk Aerilate Entei Extreme Speed vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Naganadel: 199-235 (69.3 - 81.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO), they resist bug and ice, and they're horrifically offensively Potent. A +2 Fire blast sweeps most of the metagame: It ohkoes Arceus, it 2hkoes blissey, it OHKOes offensive Primal Groudon after stealth rock, and it koes all aggronite steels that try to check the first set. Even specialized checks such as Venusaurite Gliscor need only a bit of chip to be KOed, while Ho-Oh cannot check unless it runs earthquake and Blue Orb steels aren't really otherwise viable. This Pokemon runs over most balances, and under Sticky Webs it can blow past many offenses as well thanks to it being too fast to outspeed, to strong to offensively check (particularly after a boost), and too bulky to KO with standard priority.

In fairness, both sets do have quite a few checks, both those that were already viable and those that have arisen since. Here's a list of some of some viable answers:
Diancite Naganadel: Bulkytei, Aggronite Mew, Necrozma-DM, Magearna, Zygarde, Weavile
Red Orb Naganadel: Gliscor, Arceus-Rock, Terrakion, Primal Groudon, Hippowdon, Golisopod, Tapu Lele
Both: Shaymin-S, Lunala, Blue Orb Magearna, Ho-Oh, Ditto, Ferrothorn

When Suspect Ladder goes up, I will be voting ban; even though I think the metagame will survive keeping it, it will be improved by it leaving.

Phew, that was a blast. At first I hated this ladder (i.e certain people were a bit lucky, screwing me out of 2 of my 4 wins), but during the final moments of the run I finally got through.

As for Naganadel, I will personally be voting ban - this is not for its Diancite set, but rather for how its Red Orb set can pressure the very few checks and counters that Naganadel already has. Whilst I haven't experienced as much trouble as other people have, this is probably because of my absolutely overwhelming usage of Magearna (something that comes to around about 95%) - so it's kinda a given that the Blue Orb set that Magearna has started to adopt has grown on me as one of the few answers to both. The problem with Naganadel that I have is that it sorta restricts one of the elements that helps out with a number of nearly broken Pokemon, mainly Lucarionite Zygarde. Naganadel can easily switch into Pixispeed and Refridgerate priority and then strike back hard, being able to effectively OHKO all viable users of it. This can cause serious momentum loss, and the spam of webs that incorporate Red Orb Naganadel has empathised this, since it also deals with one of Naganadel's best countermeasures, being faster Pokemon in general. Unfortunately, for something to have so few counters, with direct changes to their movepool, one can immediately identify that Naganadel is unhealthy for the metagame and should go. However, there is certainly not a lack of countermeasures - and I won't be surprised if they've been hidden under our noses for this long. Regardless - the point still stands.
Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 1.53.39 AM.png

Naga's red orb set is incredibly oppressive. Its versatile 4th moveslot allows players to mix and match a specific check they wish to overwhelm. You don't like Zygarde, run hp ice. You don't like Blue orb Magearna or Primal Groudon, run hp ground. You don't like Skarmory or Ho-oh, run thunderbolt. To make matters worse, venu grounds like Gliscor or Hippowdon are often forced to recover if they switch in on Naga's fire move as if they are aggressive and attack outright, they risk being forced out without full hp and thus succumbing to a +2 naga the next switch in.

Because of how strong it is in the current meta and because I shudder to think about what could happen when players begin to develop that 4th moveslot to specifically enable Naga to break for the rest of their team, I will be voting to ban this thing.
I have to run blue orb magearna in this meta, and fuck Blue Orb Mag. It's viable but Red Orb Nag has prevented me from using pins mag because I'm so afraid of it.

I wanted to use that so bad aghhhhh

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Being a bit extra by putting both, but I'm unsure if it needs to be the one I have currently or just that I've gotten it
For the record, you only need to have gotten it. We want to encourage play on the suspect ladder, not force people to refrain from laddering to keep their reqs.
Probably gonna vote ban when the time comes. Haven't had big problems with it myself, but it does seem that it restricts teambuilding a good amount. (The thing with me is that I don't really make new teams. I just make different versions of my existing teams by changing 2 or 3 mons.) I also don't see a good reason for Naganadel staying, as it doesn't keep anything unhealthy in check... or maybe it does idk. Nobody's brought anything up yet.

Howeeeever since Naganadel's been gone, I've personally seen A LOT more Pinsirite Magearna. Around 50% (or more) of the different Magearna that I've seen have been Pinsirite, and the rest of the ~50% were split between the other stones (Cameruptite, Latiasite, Sablenite and a couple Blue Orbs). I think it was stresh who created or made this pos popular, so props to him, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the usage statistics now.
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