Naganadel Lore & Design

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The popular Naganadel is finally in Pokémon GO, having trainers abuzz with excitement at the opportunity to grab this iconic Poison/Dragon species.

Being part of Ash Ketchum’s Alola Championship winning team in the anime, fans have always marveled at the quirky and unique design of this Ultra Beast (UB). How is it a dragon? What’s with the syringe?

Regardless of its inspirations, which we shall delve deep into soon, it is undoubtedly unique.

To begin with, Naganadel is the only UB to evolve and have a base stat total (BST) of 540, unlike the other UBs that crunch 570. A 540 BST is akin to a starter Pokémon. No wonder Poipole’s Ultra Sun Dex entry reads:

“This Ultra Beast is well enough liked to be chosen as a first partner in its own world”

Neat! Now, let’s get into Naganadel.

What’s in the name?


Naga, aside from the well-known terms for a half-human, half-serpent entity, also denotes dragons in Japanese while ‘Nadel’ directly means needle in German.

Its Japanese name, Agoyon, gives more info. It pulls from ‘Ago’ meaning needle in Italian, or from ‘Aiguillon’, meaning stinger in French, and the -gon implying dragon. Also, ‘yong’ is dragon in Korean.

So basically, it’s a needle-stinger-dragon.


This is pretty obvious, isn’t it? Naganadel and Poipole have the broad underside of their body, insect-like features, and syringes shooting out a sticky substance… all just like a wasp.

Take a look at shiny Naganadel!

This design just screams WASP

Similar to social wasps, Naganadel and Poipole live in hives, something shown in the anime as well:

Not just any wasp, the Paper Wasp… for one

Naganadel not only bears a striking resemblance to the Paper Wasp, but it also secretes a sticky substance from its syringes, just like this species.

Paper wasps use this secretion to build their hives, which turn out as thin as paper, hence the name. Not surprisingly, Naganadel does this as well!

Super Glue

I’ve talked about this “sticky substance” often, but this is actually something similar to super glue, a ferociously strong adhesive material. In fact, its Ultra Moon Dex entry reads:

“One kind of Ultra Beast, it fires a glowing, venomous liquid from its needles. This liquid is also immensely adhesive”

Which is why Naganadel is also structured like a super glue tube!

This “venomous liquid” bit leads to the Poison typing of Naganadel.

Tarantula Hawk Wasp (Pepsis Grossa)

The largest species of wasps, notorious for having one of the most painful stings in the world (along with the Paper Wasp). They’re huge, considered the ‘dragons’ of the wasp world.

Aside from the aesthetics, these wasps have creepy lore, laying their eggs inside other bugs, where they’re born, and they then eat the bug inside out… whoa, that got dark.

But why is this relevant? Because some of the common bugs that get subjected to this wasp’s diabolical methods are caterpillars. And do we know any humongous caterpillar that’s also an Ultra Beast? 

No, not Cowboy Hat Caterpie, it’s Guzzlord!

You see, Guzzlord was revealed by Pokémon designer James Turned to be based on Lovecraft’s Monsters, particularly Douglas Adams’ character Agrajag.

This abomination constantly morphs forms and is based on a caterpillar as well. Where does Naganadel fit in here? 

There are several TCG picks with Naganadel and Guzzlord together, with horrific inspirations, and confirming Naganadel’s Tarantula Hawk Wasp antics.

Parting words

Ultimately, Naganadel is a sci-fi fantasy of a large stinger wasp elevated to a dragon’s status. It’s rather simplistic to some of the other designs, but still looks cool!

But, if you’re curious about how intricate and awe-inspiring Pokémon designs can be, have a look at these:

Mega SalamenceDialga & Palkia Origin | Garchomp | Baxcalibur | Hydreigon | ZygardeDruddigon | Drampa | Enamorus

Spoiler alert: You’ll be shocked!

Until next time, all the best and have fun, trainers!

Author & tags

My name is Niladri Sarkar. A Team Valor Trainer, I'm a Pokémon Battle Mechanics Specialist & a Dragon Master on Smogon's Pokémon Showdown where I particularly excel with Dragon types and Weather teams in Ubers / OU. I love to apply my vast knowledge and experience to the ever changing meta of Pokémon Go, specialising in DPS/TDO math, movesets, the Master League and Dragon types. Garchomp is my best Pokémon pal through and through.

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