A PvP Analysis on Community Day Chesnaught

Howdy folks! Our first Community Day of 2023 is already here, and it features the long-awaited return to starters and their powerful exclusive moves. First up, we have CHESNAUGHT, and first up before that, we have our Bottom Line Up Front….


  • Yes, Grass starter exclusive move Frenzy Plant IS an overall improvement for Chesnaught at all levels in PvP.
  • Superpower is still key to winning many matchups, and proper timing of when to throw a Frenzy Plant or wait to have energy for back to back Superpowers is key to reaching Naught’s full potential.
  • Great League Chesnaught remains more of a Limited/Cup consideration, but in both Ultra League and even Master League, Chesnaught has the potential to make some noise even in Open formats!

Alright, now for the deeper dive….

CHESNAUGHT – Stats and Moves

Chesnaught GrassFighting

Great League Stats

Attack Defense HP
120 (118 High Stat Product) 125 (126 High Stat Product) 125 (127 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 1-15-15, 1499 CP, Level 19)

Ultra League Stats

Attack Defense HP
153 (152 High Stat Product) 162 (165 High Stat Product) 163 (164 High Stat Product)

(Highest Stat Product IVs: 1-15-14, 2500 CP, Level 33.5)

Master League Stats

Attack Defense HP
182 (171 at Level 40) 184 (173 at Level 40) 184 (173 at Level 40)

(Assuming 15-15-15 IVs; CP 3340 at Level 50; CP 2954 at Level 40)

Any discussion on Chesnaught’s typing has to start with its most fatal flaw: a double weakness to Flying damage. In a PvP landscape that just had multiple Wing Attackers suddenly surge, the timing of Chesnaught’s attempt to rise up couldn’t be much worse. Chesnaught is also vulnerable to Fire, Ice, and Poison on its Grass side, and Psychic and Fairy on its Fighting side, but it is that double weakness to Flying that is by far its most notable, make-or-break vulnerability.

On the plus side, Chesnaught comes with six resistances to help offset its six vulnerabilities, taking only “not very effective” damage from Dark, Rock, Ground, Grass, Water, and Electric damage. This gives it some very good utility, and in particular against things like Galarian Stunfisk, Excadrill, and Dunsparce by resisting their Ground and Rock damage. Very, very few competitive Pokémon resist both of those things (which is a large part of what makes them so dangerous!).

As for the stats, they are about average for a good Grass type. It is very slightly bulkier than Venusaur, Lurantis, and Tangrowth (moreso Lurantis than the others), but not as much as Meganium, Serperior, or Virizion. Nothing particularly special, but more that workable for PvP. Its stats are very “tidy”, with all three being very close to each other (and Defense and HP always being exactly or at least nearly identical), which doesn’t really matter but I at least thought was neat. 🤷‍♂️

Neater still? The moves!

Fast Moves

  • Vine WhipGrass type, 2.5 DPT, 4.0 EPT, 1.0 CoolDown
  • Smack DownRock type, 4.0 DPT, 2.67 EPT, 1.5 CD
  • Low KickFighting type, 2.0 DPT, 2.5 EPT, 1.0 CD

Just as it powers the other competitive Grass starters, Vine Whip is the standard way to go here. As I often remind, an average PvP fast move has a sum of 6 when you combine the Damage Per Turn (DPT) and Energy Per Turn (EPT) values, so it’s easy to see that while Vine Whip does below average damage, its overall value exceeds 6 (2.5 + 4.0)… it is a very good PvP move, especially considering that by way of the Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB), that 2.5 DPT is actually closer to 3.0 anyway.

By that same token, you can see that Smack Down, though lacking STAB, is also an above average fast move. It throws the excess into damage rather than energy (as the inverse of Vine Whip), and Rock provides some handy coverage for a Grass type against Fire, Ice, Bug, and especially Flying types. Vine Whip is the preferred move in most scenarios, but Smack Down has some niche uses that make it worth considering keeping a Smack Down Naught or two on your bench as well. We’ll touch on it a bit more later.

And finally, Low Kick has below average DPT and EPT. It’s a move that needs a rather significant buff to ever be viable, but until then, stay away from it.

– Exclusive (Community Day) Move

Charge Moves

  • SuperpowerFighting type, 85 damage, 40 energy, Decreases User Attack & Defense by 1 Stage
  • Frenzy PlantᴱGrass type, 100 damage, 45 energy
  • Energy BallGrass type, 90 damage, 55 energy
  • Gyro BallSteel type, 80 damage, 60 energy
  • Solar BeamGrass type, 150 damage, 80 energy

Yep, Frenzy Plant is what Chesnaught gets this Community Day, just like all past Grass starters, and its 2.22 Damage Per Energy (DPE) makes it the overall strongest of the three exclusive starter moves. (Blast Burn has 2.20 DPE, and Hydro Cannon has “only” 2.00 DPE.) While exotic Grass types like Abomasnow, Jumpluff, Lurantis, Ferrothorn and others have certainly taken their own bite out of PvP over the years, they usually rely on special non-Grass typings and moves to do their damage. Frenzy Plant has almost singlehandedly kept actual Grass damage relevant in PvP throughout the history of Pokémon GO PvP to date.

It’s a clear upgrade to existing Energy Ball, dealing 10 more damage AND costing 10 less energy. The only advantage Energy Ball has is its 10% chance to lower the opponent’s Defense, but uh… nah. Frenzy Plant pushes Energy Ball right off the raft and slides into its spot.

And there’s really no reason to run both Grass moves, as Superpower is the other part of that equation that makes Chesnaught uniquely powerful. (Super powerful, you might even say. Go ahead and groan… it only makes me stronger! 😈) There are other Grass types with Fighting coverage, of course, like Breloom and, more relevant of late, Lurantis. But only Chesnaught provides the potent combination of a strong Fighting move and the raw power of Frenzy Plant.

So how does that look in PvP?


Starting off with the 1v1 shielding scenario, the bread and butter for starting a proper PvP analysis. Chesnaught’s to-date best of Superpower/Energy Ball somehow actually looks better on the surface than new Superpower/Frenzy Plant, but that’s not quite accurate. SP/EB shows wins against Walrein and Shadow Walrein that show as losses instead for SP/FP. How can that be? As is often the case with self-nerfing moves like Superpower, it comes down to move timing. Because the best way for Naught to overcome Walrein is to build up energy for two Superpowers and throw them both at the endjust before Wally reaches its second, KO Icicle Spear. There’s no time to mix in Energy Ball or Frenzy Plant (unless you have an energy lead, of course), and if you try, Walrein wins the race. So bump up Superpower/Frenzy Plant’s winrate by two more wins, and now it’s slightly better than Energy Ball (as you would expect), with the speed of Plant tacking on a legit new win versus (at least some versions of) Defense Deoxys.

To see real improvement in Great League, we turn instead to 2v2 shielding, where the cost savings of Frenzy Plant adds up more. It’s still not a highly impressive number of wins, but Frenzy Plant is a clearer upgrade now over Energy Ball, with new wins versus DDeoxys (again), Sableye, Cofagrigus, Lickitung, and somehow even Toxicroak. (Despite Toxi resisting Grass AND Fighting damage, the Toxicroak win is totally legit.) And once again, Energy Ball shows unique wins over Walrein and Vigoroth that are actually just the result of delayed Superpowers, so tack on three more wins to Frenzy Plant’s win total to take it now to 19-21, which is at least respectable.

No weird timing games in 0v0 shielding, but also no real improvement, as everything a combination of Superpower and Frenzy Plant can beat, Energy Ball and Superpower already could.

So in the end… the overall effects Frenzy Plant has in Great League are almost disappointingly minor, at least until you push into using both shields. There ARE other nuances that come with unbalanced shield scenarios (0v1, 1v2, etc.), but overall this isn’t something that is likely to raise Chesnaught’s GL stock too terribly much. It’s still only ranked #75 overall, still behind such Grasses as Lurantis, Trevenant, Tropius, Abomasnow, and fellow starter Meganium. That said, yes, Frenzy Plant IS better, and I recommend you still build one FP Chesnaught for use at least in future Cups. It has a bit more value in certain Limited formats. Just don’t expect it to suddenly be everywhere in Open.

…at least in Great League. As we move upwards, things get a bit more interesting….


Admittedly, Chesnaught is already decent in Ultra League even with existing moves as Grass type that can also kick the butts of things like Registeel, Cobalion, Aurorus, G-Fisk, and a host of Normal and Dark types (to include Guzzlord, Drapion, Umbreon with Psychic {the move} and more). But Frenzy Plant just makes it that much better, tacking on Defense Deoxys, Cofagrigus, and potentially even Scizor (with Frenzy Plant baiting to set up a double Superpower closer). And yet again, there’s a win that shows for Energy Ball that is actually still a win for Frenzy Plant: Drapion, when it shields either Grass charge move and then eats back to back Superpowers at the end. So take that SP/FP record to 26-19… even better! That’s Venusaur type territory in overall impact.

In fact, sticking with that point for a second, what separates Chesnaught from Venusaur? Most of their wins are shared, not surprisingly, but there are some key differences, and again, none are probably too surprisingly. Venusaur and its Poison subtyping resists Fairy and Fighting damage, so it beats Charmers (Sylveon, Alolan Ninetales, Granbull) and Fighters (Toxicroak, Virizion) that Chesnaught cannot. Naught’s advantage is in utilizing that Fighting typing and/or damage, so the wins it gets that Venusaur cannot match include Registeel, Cobalion, Guzzlord, Umbreon, Scizor, and Drapion. Another interesting difference is versus Dark Pulse/Shadow Ball Cofagrigus, which Chesnaught typically beats and Venusaur typically does not. This one is rather simply to explain too, though… Chesnaught’s slightly superior bulk allows it to live long enough to reach a third Frenzy Plant, while Venusaur can only muster two before succumbing to its wounds. But mainly, the difference is this: if your team is more vulnerable to Fairies and/or Fighters, stick with Venusaur. If, however, those aren’t as much of a concern, Chesnaught may become your new favorite now for its ability to punch its way out of unfavorable Steel matchups and handle many of the big-name Darks as well.

Real quick before we move on to Master League, let’s check out Chesnaught in a couple other common shielding scenarios.

In 2v2 shielding, where the improvement was particularly noticeable in Great League, here the difference is a bit more tempered, with Frenzy Plant adding wins versus Aurorus and Snorlax (as compared to Energy Ball), but that’s about it. And with shields down, Frenzy Plant can outrace Tapu Fini, while Energy Ball allows Fini to live long enough to reach a knockout Moonblast. Ouch.

So overall, while the improvement that comes with Frenzy Plant is again not massive, it pushes an already underrated Pokémon into more competitive territory. I think Ultra League may end up being where Chesnaught sees the biggest bump in usage, as Steels and Darks (and even Normals) have a very large impact on the UL meta… right in Chesnaught’s wheelhouse.

This is also a good enough place to circle back on Smack Down. Looking strictly at just the numbers, it’s a clear downgrade from Vine Whip. But there’s more to the story there. While it’s still not enough to save Chesnaught from most Flyers (Pidgeot and even things like Mandibuzz and Gliscor emerge bruised but still victorious), it DOES bring down Talonflame and Charizard (even with Wing Attack) and Gyarados without needing a single charge move. It does still beat several notable Waters (Swampert, Jellicent, Poliwrath, Gyarados) and Darks (Umbreon, Obstagoon, Guzzlord) and Normals (Greedent, Dubwool, Snorlax) too, and somehow also still Galarian Stunfisk and even Sczior. But it does shed a ton of wins in the process, including most of the Steels that made it special in the first place. Smack Down is a valid, viable strategy that can catch some opponenets completely flatfooted, but it’s a niche that is fraught with risk. Still, for future Limited metas in UL, I could see it having far more utility. It’s a worthy consideration for your bench if you somehow end up with two good Ultra League Chesnaughts.

Frenzy Plant Chesnaught as a Grass-Type Raid Attacker (Quick Analysis) | Pokémon GO Hub


Master League is relatively bereft of Grass types. There’s Zarude if you’re a marathon runner and have somehow acquired 296 XL Candy for a one-time Mythical, or Virizion as a more realistic build (though it’s more of a Fighter with Leaf Blade than anything). Chesnaught, to this point, hasn’t been able to really compete. But with Frenzy Plant, perhaps that’s about to change? Whereas in the past Naught was only able to tangle with Waters and (some) Grounds with special wins against only Zarude, Snorlax, and Melmetal (thanks to Superpower), NOW with Frenzy Plant you can add on Grounds that eluded it before (Mamoswine, Dragon Tail Garchomp), Dialga (woohoo!), and somehow even Yveltal. (Running without Flying moves, at least… which, I think, is typical, no?) Even crazier is that it only needs Superpower for Dialga and Mamoswine… all the rest (even Melmetal, Landorus, Snorlax, Zarude, and Yveltal) it can beat with ONLY Frenzy Plant. In fact, trying to use Superpower versus Snorlax actually shows a loss… straight Frenzy Plant is THE way to go for that one, and bumps that on-paper 15-18 record up to a more impressive 16-17. That’s better than Zarude! 💪

As for other shielding… in the 2v2 shield, Frenzy Plant adds on a win versus Groudon (and Yveltal if you fully commit to just Frenzy Plant… counterintuitively, trying to sneak in Superpower spells your own doom), and with shields down, Frenzy Plant can beat Garchomp and Mamoswine that Energy Ball cannot.

I’m not sure if this WILL put Chesnaught on the Master League map, but it certainly COULD. Now beating Dialga while also shutting down Swampert and completely stifling Excadrill is a pretty big freaking deal, no?

You could also try and use Chesnaught during the final days of Master League Premier Classic, where it looks even better and would not (yet) require any XL candy. (It’s ranked #12 overall, for what that matters at this point.) And while this list isn’t quite finalized for the future Master League Premier (Level 50, but no Legendaries/Mythicals/Ultra Beasts), Master League Premier looks promising too. 👀

All that to say… definitely evolve up any hundo Chespins you get. I do think you’ll have opportunity to get use out of them in PvP down the line (or even in the here and right now!).


To reiterate, I think Chesnaught is worth building for each League. But if you have to prioritize, I do think Great League probably brings up the rear, with Ultra League and Master League on a higher “tier”, as Chesnaught looks more likely to break out a bit in Open UL and ML than in Open GL.

Alright, that’s it for today! Sorry this comes so late in the game — Community Day is mere hours away from our APAC friends! — but I spent a good amount of time working on yesterday’s analysis on Master League Classic’s swan song, which I thought was important. At least I got this out before Community Three Hour Tour Day started, eh? Eh? 🥺

Until next time, you can always find me on Twitter with near-daily PvP analysis nuggets or Patreon, if you’re feeling extra generous.

Good hunting! Stay safe out there, and catch you next time, Pokéfriends!

Author & tags

PoGO/PvP Investigative Journalist, GO Hub and Silph Arena/Road Contributor, amateur cook, author of 'Nifty Or Thrifty' and 'Under The Lights' article series and #PvPfacts!

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