Poké Monday 9/21/15: Chesnaught

As irrelevant as it is to this post, since I am a huge fan of Nowi from Fire Emblem Awakening, I just want to say: Happy Nowi Day!

Nowi Wins

Anyway, on with the relevant stuff.

RNG (Chesnaught) 

Tier: UU
Type: Grass/Fighting
Stats: 88 HP, 107 Atk, 122 Def, 74 Sp.Atk, 75 Sp.Def, 64 Speed
Abilities: Overgrow, Bulletproof (hidden)

Usable moves: Aerial Ace, Body Slam, Brick Break, Bulk Up, Dragon Claw, Drain Punch, Earthquake, Energy Ball, Façade, Focus Blast, Frustration, Giga Drain, Grass Knot, Hammer Arm, Hidden Power (Fire, Ice), Hone Claws, Iron Head, Leech Seed, Low Kick, Pain Split, Poison Jab, Power-Up Punch, Protect, Reflect, Rest, Return, Roar, Rock Slide, Seed Bomb, Shadow Claw, Sludge Bomb, Spikes, Spiky Shield, Stone Edge, Substitute, Super Fang, Superpower, Swords Dance, Synthesis, Taunt, Thunder Punch, Toxic, Wood Hammer, Zen Headbutt

Overview

Exclusive to the Chesnaught line is an ability known as Bulletproof, which protects it from the following moves (bolded moves are usable competitively):

Acid Spray, Aura Sphere, Barrage, Bullet Seed, Egg Bomb, Electro Ball, Energy Ball, Focus Blast, Gyro Ball, Ice Ball, Magnet Bomb, Mist Ball, Mud Bomb, Octazooka, Rock Wrecker, Searing Shot, Seed Bomb, Shadow Ball, Sludge Bomb, Weather Ball, Zap Cannon

That may be a small set of moves, but it’s something. At the very least, it makes Chesnaught a better check to Roserade and gives Poison-type special attackers like Dragalge a reason to avoid running Sludge Bomb. It also provides protection against the two most common Special Fighting-type moves, although hardly anything uses those types of moves without having some sort of coverage option to wreck Chesnaught.

Ability aside, Chesnaught presents itself as a premier physical wall, being one of the few Pokémon naturally resistant to the combination of Stone Edge and Earthquake (a.k.a. EdgeQuake) and sporting some nice physical bulk. It’s certainly not lacking in the offensive department with its base 107 Attack, but its special bulk and Speed are less than average. In terms of movepool, it has some neat support options in Spikes, Spiky Shield, and Leech Seed, as well as some neat offensive options in Drain Punch and Seed Bomb/Wood Hammer.

However, Chesnaught is not without its shortcomings. Once again, it is slow, it has a hard time taking special hits, and its typing leaves it with 6 weaknesses, one of which is a quad weakness (Flying), and several of which are common (Fire, Ice, Fairy). Not to mention its role as a tank/wall is hindered by its best recovery option being Synthesis. Sure, weather is less prominent with the lack of permaweather and the banning of Drought and Drizzle in NU, but even so, 8 maximum PP is hardly enough for a move with the purpose of keeping Chesnaught alive. Also, the lack of Drought is all the more reason not to use Synthesis.

To make matters worse, Chesnaught’s dual STABs are walled by many Pokémon: Poison-types, Bug-types, Flying-types, Chandelure, Doublade, and Whimsicott. This makes it difficult to pose an offensive threat to opposing teams (unlike Empoleon, which already has a leg up just by having Water STAB). It is quite slow and has notable power on the physical side, but it’s not one to carry the title of “wallbreaker” like, say, Dragalge or Darmanitan. Notably, it can’t even guarantee an OHKO against CroCune (the infamous Scald/Calm Mind/Rest/Sleep Talk set of Suicune) with Choice Band Wood Hammer (the chance is 50% without hazards). I suppose, at least, that Choice Band Chesnaught is the most powerful Grass-type physical attacker in the tier (besides Trevenant, which isn’t even worth running offensively, and Torterra, which is hardly worth running at all), and one of the few physical attackers in the tier to even have a chance of OHKOing CroCune without any boosting moves.

As a hindrance to defensive sets, each of its STABs has a problem of its own: Grass has a whole 7 resistances, and Fighting has an immunity in Ghost. Fortunately, the only Ghost-types that don’t mind Leech Seed are Gourgeist and Trevenant, so Chesnaught can afford to run Fighting STAB (Drain Punch) alongside Leech Seed on its defensive sets and pack teammates to deal with the aforementioned nuisances. It’s also worth being careful around Whimsicott because it is immune to Leech Seed, takes Drain Punch cozily, and threatens with the potential of Moonblast. (Even if it doesn’t OHKO, it’ll bring Chesnaught down to a range where it will have a hard time surviving.)

In summary, Chesnaught takes hits and can sometimes deal them back. It also has utility.

Set

Chesnaught @ Leftovers
Ability: Bulletproof
EVs: 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 Spe
Impish Nature
– Spikes
– Spiky Shield
– Leech Seed
– Drain Punch

With this set, Chesnaught makes the most of its physical bulk to lay down Spikes and inflict residual damage through Spiky Shield and Leech Seed, or direct damage through Drain Punch. Through Leech Seed and Drain Punch, it can keep itself alive as well as inflicting damage, and Leftovers helps the health gain even more. This is as much recovery as it can get without having to resort to Synthesis, although Liquid Ooze is a problem to this set, so avoid Tentacruel at all costs.

As for the EVs, it really only needs 8 Speed on a defensive set, which allows it to outspeed uninvested base 65s, which in itself only applies to Umbreon and Vaporeon. The rest of the EVs are pooled into Defense and HP to maximize physical bulk (obviously).

Other Options

Chesnaught can try to go the offensive route and carry a Choice Band, but, as mentioned, it’s just not strong enough to be considered a wallbreaker. I mean:

252+ Atk Choice Band Chesnaught Superpower vs. 252 HP / 16+ Def Filter Mega Aggron: 181-216 (52.6 – 62.7%) — 70.7% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock

-1 252+ Atk Choice Band Chesnaught Earthquake vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Arcanine: 174-206 (45.4 – 53.7%) — 2% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ Atk Choice Band Chesnaught Wood Hammer vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Cresselia: 178-211 (40.1 – 47.6%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

252+ Atk Choice Band Chesnaught Superpower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Forretress: 160-190 (45.1 – 53.6%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Leftovers recovery

There’s a handful of defensive threats that it would hate to face one-on-one. In fact, I say the best way to use Choice Band Chesnaught is to bring it in on something it scares and hit hard. It is worth noting that the best way to EV an offensive Chesnaught is with 172 EVs in Speed to creep past CroCune. An alternative creep is 228 Speed to cut past defensive Roserade (which is especially essential if running Overgrow over Bulletproof).

Sure, Chesnaught can use Swords Dance instead of Choice Band for more power and freedom to switch moves, but there are problems with that too:

  1. It would have to give up a coverage move (preferably Earthquake so it doesn’t get hard walled by Flying-types).
  2. It requires a turn to set up, which can be easily ruined with strong enough attacks, especially on the special side, or status conditions (notably burn and paralysis).
  3. Superpower would be something of a liability with the stat drops.
  4. Its Speed is too low to exploit Swords Dance properly.

Although…

+2 252+ Atk Chesnaught Superpower vs. 252 HP / 16+ Def Filter Mega Aggron: 243-288 (70.6 – 83.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO

+1 252+ Atk Chesnaught Stone Edge vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Arcanine: 260-308 (67.8 – 80.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+2 252+ Atk Chesnaught Wood Hammer vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Cresselia: 238-282 (53.7 – 63.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

+2 252+ Atk Chesnaught Superpower vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Forretress: 213-252 (60.1 – 71.1%) — 99.6% chance to 2HKO after Leftovers recovery

…and all of these calcs are without a boosting item. Another note: If using Swords Dance, it might be better to go full 252 to outspeed defensive Arcanine.

Also mentioned before is Synthesis, which gives it a reliable form of healing that isn’t exploitable by Liquid Ooze, although, again, the PP is ridiculously low, and it provides worse healing against most weather teams. (I mean, weather isn’t very common in UU, but hey, it’s a possibility.)

Taunt is another utility option that prevents defensive sets from being setup bait against hazard setters (notably Toxic Spikes Dragalge) and setup-heavy Pokémon like CroCune. Support ‘mons like Florges should also be wary of this option.

Sample Team

http://pastebin.com/QstsQrSR – In testing this Chesnaught build, I had two battles: one against someone who “play[s] for funsies” and another that I ended up losing due to a few misplays. Overall, it’s effective at doing what it does: staying alive and dealing damage.

This team contains:

  • Chesnaught (set above)
  • Blissey to take special hits that Chesnaught hates
  • Forretress for Stealth Rock and hazard control
  • Arcanine to take physical hits and Intimidate the opposition
  • Florges because I saw fit to add a Fairy-type to the team
  • Krookodile (initially Mega Beedrill) with a Choice Scarf for offensive pressure, especially on offensive threats this team hates, like Chandelure and Dragalge

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