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Outside of its relatively high Speed, decent coverage, and nifty access to Tailwind for a fast attacker, Naganadel leaves a lot to be desired, relegating it to being a mere niche pick for hyper offense teams. With its noteworthy Special Attack, base 121 Speed that allows it to get the jump on numerous key threats, and Dragon / Poison / Fire coverage that lends it the ability to hit virtually everything in the metagame, Naganadel can be an easy way of applying pressure to numerous high-profile Pokemon in DOU such as Mega Metagross, Tapu Fini, Zygarde, Kyurem-B, and Tapu Bulu. Naganadel relies on its Speed to do its job quite heavily, and it even has an ability in Beast Boost that supplements that, as it gets a Speed boost for every KO; this reliance, however, is also easily punishable, as its frailty can leave it helpless when facing opposing speed control in Tailwind or Trick Room, though Beast Boost can help against the former somewhat. Naganadel's frailty also means it has no defensive value whatsoever, being unable to safely switch in most of the time, and at times, it has an overreliance on its coverage to get KOs. Often, unless on a team bent on applying overwhelming pressure, Naganadel is simply overshadowed by other threats such as Mega Gengar and Tapu Koko that provide more utility and flexibility to their teams.
name: Fast Attacker
move 1: Sludge Bomb
move 2: Draco Meteor
move 3: Fire Blast
move 4: Tailwind / Protect
item: Life Orb
ability: Beast Boost
evs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Sludge Bomb is Naganadel's most reliable attack: a STAB move that does generally good damage and is also notably useful for hitting key threats in Tapu Fini and Tapu Bulu super effectively. Draco Meteor is a secondary STAB move that provides Naganadel extra damage at a cost, and it is also quite nifty in allowing Naganadel to hit Kyurem-B and Ground-types like Zygarde and Landorus-T hard. Fire Blast allows Naganadel to smash Steel-types, primarily Mega Metagross but also Ferrothorn, Kartana, and Celesteela, which can take on Naganadel relatively unopposed otherwise. Tailwind lets Naganadel provide speed control support, helpful in keeping up the pressure its team applies, letting them outrun most foes unabated. Alternatively, Protect lets Naganadel defend itself, which is useful for positioning and stalling field effects, though sacrificing Tailwind comes at the cost of lessening Naganadel's offensive impact, which is antithetical to its main purpose.
Maximum Speed and Special attack investment and a Timid nature are used to maximize Naganadel's offensive capability, notably also allowing it to outrun Mega Metagross and Mega Salamence. Life Orb is used in order to boost Naganadel's damage output, which is handy in getting KOs and generally pressuring threats.
As much as possible, Naganadel should be put in a position where it can threaten foes in an aggressive manner, as its role is to apply pressure and nothing else. In the early- to mid-game, it can be used as a way of putting instant pressure and momentum thanks to its high Speed and vast coverage. Later on, as the opposing team gets weakened, it can also be a handy way of cleaning up an opposing team. When Naganadel can't quite get the KO it needs or has done its job and is in a bad position, Tailwind is an option to fall back to; it doesn't matter if Naganadel gets KOed in the process, as this also provides a free switch, often giving you back the momentum as you get the chance to respond with the appropriate threat for free while also being considerably supported by Naganadel's last-ditch Tailwind effort. As Naganadel is quite frail and is chipped down over time by Life Orb recoil, care should be applied when it comes to its health, as it can get KOed easily; one should try to bring it in only on free switches or predicted weak hits such as Tapu Fini's Muddy Water. At times, it can be important to pay attention to Naganadel's Beast Boost ability, as it can be useful in allowing Naganadel to outrun otherwise faster key threats such as Tapu Koko, Deoxys-A, and Choice Scarf Tapu Lele; occasionally, this ability can also be nifty in allowing Naganadel to outrun opposing teams even if their Tailwind is up, so take note.
Naganadel fits well in a team composition heavily based on applying overwhelming offensive pressure to win. With that in mind, Deoxys-A, the quintessential hyper offense Pokemon, works well with Naganadel, as it is capable of pressuring teams and handling the few unboosted threats faster than Naganadel such as Mega Gengar, Tapu Koko, and Mega Manectric and it has the coverage that lets it hit Tyranitar hard. On another note, Pokemon that generally appreciate having Tailwind support for their offensive jobs are good teammates, with generally strong attackers like Tapu Bulu, Choice Band Zygarde, and Mega Metagross all fitting the bill. Fire-type teammates are also good to have, as they can reliably punch through Steel-types, allowing Naganadel to use its STAB attacks more often; Mega Charizard Y is a good pick, as it also appreciates Naganadel's Tailwind allowing it to use its powerful sun-boosted Heat Wave more freely, while Volcanion can be nifty for also being able to threaten Tyranitar, Stakataka, and Heatran. Any checks to opposing Deoxys-A and Choice Scarf Tapu Lele are welcome additions; Steel-types such as Mega Metagross, Aegislash, and Genesect can reliably take their STAB moves quite handily and easily KO in return, while having your own Choice Scarf Tapu Lele can be useful enough in checking opposing Deoxys-A as well as other fast threats like Mega Gengar and Tapu Koko. As Naganadel is a liability in Trick Room, having teammates that can deal with the field condition are huge boons. Taunt users such as Mega Gengar and Tapu Koko and phazers such as Suicune and Kyurem-B can be handy to have for stopping Trick Room from being set up. However, if it does get set up, some handy bulky pivots such as Aegislash and Zygarde can be useful for playing around Trick Room and stalling it out. Tapu Koko, Tapu Bulu, and Tapu Lele can make good partners for Naganadel, as they can remove the Misty Terrain that weakens its Draco Meteor.
A Z-Crystal can be used in conjunction with either of Naganadel's STAB moves, forgoing Life Orb for the chance to get a quick KO with a burst in damage, but this is not usually worth it compared to the consistent damage boost to all of Naganadel's attacks. In terms of alternative move choices, Flamethrower can be used, as its 100% accuracy makes it usable as a strict coverage move over Fire Blast, but the loss of damage output is unappealing because it lessens Naganadel's ability to punish switches. Similarly, Hidden Power Ice can be used over Draco Meteor, as it still hits Landorus-T, Zygarde, and Mega Salamence without the risk of a miss and without being weakened by Misty Terrain, but Draco Meteor's ability to significantly dent neutral targets is much more useful in general. If desired, Naganadel can run a Choice Scarf set, which would allow it to outrun virtually the entire metagame and check numerous offensive threats, including most opposing Choice Scarf users such as Tapu Lele, Genesect, and Kartana. An EV spread aimed at giving Naganadel a Special Attack raise with Beast Boost can be used, though this comes at the cost of being unable to outrun Mega Salamence, which can heavily punish the teams Naganadel usually fits on with Tailwind.
Checks and Counters
**Psychic-types**: Deoxys-A and Choice Scarf Tapu Lele both outrun Naganadel and OHKO it with their STAB moves, though they have to watch out for Tailwind and Beast Boost, as they can easily be KOed if Naganadel has the Speed advantage. Both Necrozma and Cresselia can significantly dent Naganadel with their STAB moves, are generally capable of taking a hit if healthy, and can take away Naganadel's Speed with Trick Room.
**Heatran**: Heatran walls Naganadel entirely and can simply punish it by attacking it with an Earth Power or attacking its team with Heat Wave.
**Icy Wind, Tailwind, and Trick Room**: Naganadel does not want to lose its Speed advantage, as this is how it maintains its effectiveness and it is quite easy to pick off otherwise. Tailwind from the likes of Zapdos and Suicune and Trick Room from foes such as Stakataka and Hoopa-U can turn the tables on Naganadel's harassment. Icy Wind is super effective against Naganadel and slows it down, though a notable user in Assault Vest Kyurem-B has to be careful, as it can drop to Draco Meteor.
**Faster Pokemon**: Naganadel can see its ability to be a threat wane when threatened by faster foes, as its frailty leaves it easy to pick off, especially with Life Orb racking up recoil. Deoxys-A, Tapu Koko, Mega Gengar, and Choice Scarf users Tapu Lele and Genesect can dispatch Naganadel by virtue of their Speed, though they can easily become the hunted if Naganadel gets extra Speed from Beast Boost.
**Bulky Attackers**: Generally speaking, Pokemon that can take an attack from Naganadel can punish it hard due to its frailty and its reliance on its Speed. Bulky supporters Incineroar and Scrafty can use Knock Off, weakening Naganadel's damage output while also significantly hurting it. Zapdos and Stakataka can generally take Naganadel's attacks and use their respective speed control options in return, though the former needs a boost from either Misty Seed or Psychic Seed to be comfortable. Tyranitar can shrug off Naganadel's blows with its sand-boosted Special Defense and decimate it with Stone Edge.