Chesnaught, The Spiny Armor Pokémon. Its Tackle is forceful enough to flip a 50-ton tank. It shields its allies from danger with its own body. When it takes a defensive posture with its fists guarding its face, it could withstand a bomb blast.
As the 5th generation of Pokémon comes to a close we enter the 6th, and with it a host of new Pokémon including three new starters. Starters with very different playstyles. We have Greninja who's offensive power is devastating and swift. Chesnaught, who can shrug off hits like they are nothing. And Delphox who is arguably good at nothing, competitive-wise (though we'll see more about that next week). Today however we will be looking at Chesnaught. Chesnaught will probably never be a top tier Pokémon but it is surprisingly usable. Its typing and stats are solid letting it completely laugh at many physical attackers such as Landorus, Tyranitar, Breloom, and Garchomp. It gets a HUGE selection of support moves and even a workable offensive movepool. It may lack the endless utility of Pokémon such as Skarmory or Forretress, but it should always be considered for a slot on your team. Also it's adorable.
Overgrow: When HP is below 1/3rd, Grass’s power increases to 1.5 times. Overgrow is an okay ability, but it is absolutely nothing compared to the sheer utility Bulletproof has.
Chesnaughts roasting over an open Heatmor
- Leech Seed / Roar
*Despite the set name, keep Chesnaught should not be allowed near Fire!! Chesnaught has extremely good typing, stats and movepool to counter a wide array of physical attackers. Even Mega Tyranitar quakes with fear in the presence of the Spiny Armor Pokémon. The only real issue here is what moves to use... and Chesnaught has a LOT of options. Leech Seed is great for keeping Chesnaught around for a long time and should usually be paired with Spiky Shield to add to the damage and healing. Roar however is an option if you need to dispose of things like Aegislash or Gyarados. Hammer Arm can be used to deal some solid damage to Heatran switch ins or decimate a foolish Tyranitar. If Leech Seed isn't doing enough for you Synthesis is also an option for healing. Weather effects only last 5 turns now so it is semi reliable. Regardless of the options one move you should always have is Spikes. Spikes forces the opponent to pay hard for switching around. It also works very well with Roar. 252 HP and 252 Defense is suggested to take hits as well as possible. You could try running Special Defense EVs to survive hits from Surfs but in general you're better off just using Celebi. Chesnaught is a solid defensive force on its own but it can't go at it alone. Tentacruel pairs very well defensively with Chesnaught as it has good Special Defense and resists most of the Spiky warrior's weaknesses. Blissey also works well, passing Wishes to Chesnaught and tanking Psychic, Fire, and Ice moves like they are nothing. Jellicent also does well, preventing things from Rapid Spining Chesnaught's Spikes while also tanking many things it can't handle.
I'm the Juggernaught...
- Swords Dance
TSwords Dance Chesnaught is a decent option... if you don't like winning. To be honest the only use Chesnaught will ever see in the higer tiers is as a defensive Spiker, a role it is actually really good at. In lower tiers, or if you just feel like it Chesnaught can run a Swords Dance set. It hits very hard after a boost, almost OHKOing Skarmory with a boosted Hammer Arm. Wood Hammer slams Hippowdon and Gliscor while Stone Edge beats Talonflame and Togekiss. Chesnaught has enough power and bulk to be successful, but sadly it doesn't have enough speed. 60 Speed outruns 8 Speed Skarmory. Running more doesn't help much as Hammer Arm will lower your speed, and there isn't much you would even outpace anyway. Chesnaught will never, ever sweep but it is an okay wallbreaker. Its goal is to get in, Swords Dance, attack, then die so another sweeper can finish the job. Many common physical walls simply can't hurt Chesnaught due to its defenses and typing. Don't take this the wrong way, Spiker Chesnaught is still 10x better. But I guess you could catch a Skarmory off guard and do 80% to it before it knows what's happening.
Bulk Up, Belly Drum, Pain Split, Power Up Punch, and Substitute.
Double & Triple Battle Options
Virtually none. No moves to take advantage of, and it will drop to the first Heat Wave or Blizzard. Keep this thing in singles.
Defog Togekiss is probably the best counter. Defog removes Chesnaught's Spikes, Roost heals off Leech Seed damage, Air Slash OHKOs, and it has enough bulk to survive a Stone Edge. Tentacruel also does well with Rapid Spin and Sludge Bomb although repeated Wood Hammers will take their toll. It does have Liquid Ooze to deal some extra damage if Chesnaught uses Leech Seed. Forretress has almost nothing to fear, easily taking its STAB moves and Rapid Spinning away Spikes and Leech Seed. Mega Gengar that runs Sludge Wave over Sludge Bomb also hard counters Chesnaught as Bulletproof doesn't stop Sludge Wave. Talonflame slaughters Chesnaught without mercy with its STAB Flying moves. Latios and Latias easily tank a hit and retaliate with Draco Meteor OHKOs. Dragalge survives everything Chesnaught has and wipes it out with Sludge Bomb. Actually beating Chesnaught isn't hard but minimizing the damage it deals with Spikes, Leech Seed, and Spiky Shield is a little more difficult.
A Round Spike
This set is inferior to a similar spiker in the lower tiers, which would be Ferroseed; albeit with a worse typing in the case of Quilladin. Being pure Grass, it gives it standard weakness to very common typings, but a water resistant is never turned down, along with an immunity to spore and sleep powder. Bulletproof furthers immunity to certain attacks, some not so common, but at least it has a small niche of attacks that it won’t be hurt by. So the set is straight forward: Set up three layers of spikes, which is easier said than done due to the new defog buff that gets rid of all entry hazards. To further its longevity, Quilladin has access to Leech Seed, and Synthesis which work great at slowly stalling out the opponent. Seed Bomb is an option so you are not Taunt bait, but it will be very weak. It can either run a physically defensive set which it will be its best bet for excelling, or it can run a mix wall set to check weaker offensive pivots from both spectrums.
Chespin-ned to the Ground
- Power-Up Punch/Bulk Up
All Chespin really has going on for him is that he is cute, and with that cute appearance comes zero deception; he is all cute and no crunch. If you want to use Chespin competitively, just be forewarned that he doesn’t have stellar stats that would make him shine over other grass types. Nonetheless, gen VI has a new form of damage and boost in one move called Power-Up Punch which raises his attack one stage while dealing negligible damage. Alternatively Bulk up can be used in its place, which will boost both attack and defense. Wood Hammer is Chespin’s strongest stab option at the cost of recoil, and should be considered always in an offensive set. Stone Edge provides solid coverage against his fire and flying weakness. Alternatively, Shadow Claw hits Ghost or Psychics, especially Misdrevious for super effective, and has the potential to 2HKO it, but that would be very unlikely since Misdrevious usually carries will-o-wisp. The last slot is a tossup between longevity in the form of health provided by synthesis, or more coverage with shadow claw. Brick Break gets an honorable mention as it could deal solid damage against Porygon, who I predict will be fairly common again. Substitute is a great asset that will protect him against getting status, specially a very crippling paralysis, or burned. Item choices range from eviolite for more bulk, or life orb for dealing a bit more of damage. Salac Berry is another option that can be used in tandem with substitute, but LC is fairly fast paced, and it will at best out speed non scarfed Pokémon capping out at a solid 21 for speed.
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