Welcome to the third installment of sixth generation's Pokemon of the Week! This time around, we'll be focusing on a Pokemon that some of you began your Kalos adventure with. This week, we discuss Chesnaught
Chespin's head is covered by a thick wooden shell that protects it from damage. The spikes on this shell are usually soft, but if flexed they can become hard enough to pierce rocks. Upon evolving, Quilladin's wooden shell has covered most of its body, which helps it take attacks from predators. It will counterattack with the sharp quills on its head. Quilladin help toughen up their bodies by running into one another, but this is not an aggressive act, as these Pokemon are very kind-hearted and never start fights. Once they are ready to evolve, Chesnaught gains massive spiny armor that can protect it even from bomb blasts. It retains the kind nature, and will protect allies from danger using its own body as a shield.
Base Stats: 88 HP / 107 Attack / 122 Defense / 74 Sp. Attack / 75 Sp. Defense / 64 Speed
There's always one, isn't there? Game Freak always seems to make one of the starters suck much worse than the other two, and the unlucky winner this time was Chesnaught. While Grass/Fighting is only shared with two other Pokemon, Chesnaught has to compete with Breloom, who has a much more frightening offensive presence, a better movepool, and many more options at his disposal, as well as Virizion, who has a blistering 108 Speed and can go physical or special.
Chesnaught has tried to carve a niche among these as the defensive Grass/Fighting type, but... it falls short. Base 88 HP is pretty mediocre for a wall, and base 75 Sp. Defense isn't doing it any favors. Base 122 Defense is pretty good, and Bulletproof gives it an immunity to some common moves such as Sludge Bomb, Aura Sphere, Gyro Ball and Shadow Ball, but this doesn't come into play too often. Access to Spikes is certainly a plus for team support, and Synthesis allows it to stay alive a bit longer, but it definitely is not OU material. Nevertheless, I'm sure it will find a place on many lower tier teams as a good support Pokemon.
Impish nature (+Defense, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Defense / 4 Attack
Stone Edge / Leech Seed / Roar
Chesnaught's role as a Spiker is the best thing it has going for it, and it can do it fairly well. Spikes is obvious as the reason you're even considering Chesnaught, providing team support to help score crucial KOs. Synthesis aids in keeping Chesnaught alive long enough to get multiple layers of Spikes down, and is one of the few things Chesnaught has over most other spikers - instant recovery (and unlike Skarmory, it is not trapped by Magnezone, nor does it even fear it). Hammer Arm is Chesnaught's most powerful STAB option that doesn't cause recoil, and it keeps Chesnaught from becoming setup bait, while simultaneously threatening a multitude of common Pokemon.
Stone Edge in the last slot is Chesnaught's best option to deal damage to common users of Defog. Leech Seed, however, can provide troublesome situation for an opponent, forcing it to either stay and fight while losing HP, or switch and cause a teammate to potentially suffer Spikes damage. Roar causes a more direct forcing of opponents to switch, racking up passive Spikes damage while the opponent doesn't get to choose what comes in. Keep in mind that not choosing Stone Edge allows Xatu to switch in for free, so be sure to have an answer for that if necessary (depending on what tier each of them end up in and what tier you're playing in).
|Chesnaught@ Choice Band|
Adamant nature (+Attack, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 Attack / 232 Speed / 24 HP
Shadow Claw / Spikes / Poison Jab
A Choice Band set can be a good surprise for anyone expecting Chesnaught to sit around as a defensive Pokemon. Wood Hammer is Chesnaught's most powerful STAB, though beware of the recoil it causes. Grass isn't always the best type to be locked into either, so be sure and keep the opposing team in mind. Hammer Arm is your secondary STAB option, dealing with Steel types and some Grass types that would resist Wood Hammer. Stone Edge occupies the third slot to bring down Flying types, preferably on the switch, since most of them will outspeed and kill you in one shot.
Shadow Claw is a good, safe option for the last slot to cover Ghost types looking to switch in on a Fighting type attack. Spikes, while far from ideal on a Choice set, can prove very handy to carry sometimes, as a means of support before Chesnaught dies. Finally, Poison Jab can hurt Fairy types, though the most common ones are all hit harder by another move on your set (Azumarill hates Wood Hammer, Togekiss is hurt more by Stone Edge, and Mawile is just immune to Poison Jab altogether).
The EVs are tailored to outrun max Speed neutral nature Tyranitar and all max Speed neutral nature base 60's. They can be modified, however, to increase Chesnaught's bulk, which can make this set a formidable tank. If you're going that route, a 252 HP / 252 Attack, 4 Speed spread makes the most sense.
Impish nature (+Defense, -Sp. Attack)
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Defense / 4 Sp. Defense
Spiky Shield / Shadow Claw / Spikes
Chesnaught is a Grass type, so a SubSeed set is an obvious option. Chesnaught has a few niche things over some other users of this strategy, however. The first of which is Bulletproof, providing it an immunity to a few key moves that can sometimes give it a chance to setup. The second is the Fighting typing, and while it's not the best defensive typing, it does give Chesnaught resistances to Rock and Dark, which can be valuable at times.
The idea here is to Substitute on a Pokemon that switches out of Chesnaught, and decide what to do from there. Leech Seed is usually your best option, restoring health lost from the Sub, while draining the opposing Pokemon of their health. Hammer Arm stops Chesnaught from becoming Taunt bait, while also dealing with many Grass types that would otherwise wall this set. Grass/Poison types still give you problems, however, so keep the opposing team in mind.
When behind a Sub, most opponents will try to break that Sub as quickly as possible, as Subs provide easy setup opportunities. For this reason, Spiky Shield can be incredibly useful for a few reasons. It not only deals 1/8th of the foe's health to them in damage if they try to use a move that makes contact, but it provides more Leftovers recovery, and more Leech Seed damage on an opponent. This can make Chesnaught's Subs even harder to break, and cause a bit of mental warfare with an opponent. This can be made even more effective by laying entry hazards and punishing staying in and switching out. The problem here is that non-contact moves are unaffected, and Spiky Shield can leave you as setup bait in some situations. Shadow Claw is a great option if Spiky Shield doesn't appeal to you, dealing with Trevenant and other Ghosts, as well as providing perfect neutral coverage. Finally, Spikes can cause a catch-22 for a Seeded opponent that can't break Chesnaught's subs, as it'll constantly be losing health from Leech Seed, but teammates will be punished for switching in.
When using this set, a few precautions need to be taken. You have to keep your opponent's team in mind, as many Grass types simply don't care about this set all that much, if at all. If you opt out of Shadow Claw, Xatu will, once again, wall this set, as will Espeon. Entry hazard support is helpful for this set, especially Toxic Spikes, as it further punishes opponents that can't break a Chesnaught Sub, while also stacking with Leech Seed to begin doing scary amounts of damage over a couple turns. Adding in other hazards makes it even harder to deal with. Be sure to only attempt to set this set up once the checks and full counters have been eliminated from the opposing team.
Here's the part I'm sure most of you care about; just how should you be using Chesnaught starter in-game? Well, fret naught, I'm here to help! (I'm so sorry)
Poison Jab / Power-Up Punch / Brick Break
As with almost everything in-game, a Pokemon's best bet is to function as a sweeper. Hammer Arm is your most powerful move without causing annoying recoil, though it will reduce your Speed and can miss at some inopportune times. Seed Bomb is your most reliable STAB, not lowering your Speed like Hammer Arm will. Rock Slide hits Flying types (though most should be switched out of, since they're naturally faster than Chesnaught). In the last slot, Poison Jab can be used to take on the hoardes of Fairy types that X and Y has you face down. Power-Up Punch is helpful for picking off weakened foes or for attempting a sweep against an in-game opponent on Turn 1 by doing some damage while also receiving a x1.5 Attack boost. Brick Break can be used if you need a Fighting STAB that doesn't miss or lower Speed, and it has the added function of smashing screens.
Wow is this thing ugly. Only a mother could love that face. I mean... sometimes it can be portrayed as cool or even kind of cute, but just looking at the in-game model, it is horribly ugly. Not as much as Quilladin, but it's up there. The armor is kind of cool, but the design as a whole kind of looks like some weird reject Transformer or something. I don't know, this one just is not for me. As much as I love Fighting types, I'm sorry to say that you'll probably never find your way onto my teams, Chester.
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It may not be good competitively, but I only like Greninja for the competitive power, and Delphoz is just... Well, useless.
As soon as I get X and Y, I'm picking the beaver fever.
My bro got Chesaught
My sis who is just getting into pokemon got Greninja.
I was outsmarted by an 11 year old.