Chesnaught drawing by Lizamas on Newgrounds
Chesnaught drawing by Lizamas on Newgrounds

Hey Trainers, Generation 6, aka Kalos is coming to Pokémon GO in December!
With Kalos’ addition, every generation of Pokémon has representation in GO, from Kanto to Galar. It’s quite a milestone!

The Kalos starter Pokémon are Froakie, Fennekin and Chespin, the latter of which will be covered today. More accurately, it’s evolutions.Often overshadowed by Greninja (which is in Smash Bros and has a key role in the Pokémon animation), Chesnaught stands out due to it’s rare typing and solid bulk, as well as a wide range of moves.

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Granted, in GO the more limited move amounts hampers the last point, but it’s still quite good in it’s own way.

Chesnaught Overview

Chesnaught GrassFighting
Level 40 CP 2954
ATK 201 DEF 204 HP 204
Weak to Strong Against
Flyingx2 Fire Fairy Ice Poison Psychic Dark Electric Grass Ground Rock Water
  • Fast Moves: Vine Whip Grass, Smack Down Rock, Low Kick Fighting
  • Charge Moves: Energy Ball Grass, Superpower Fighting, Gyro Ball Steel, Solar Beam Grass

It’s got a great movepool, with Vine Whip to charge up it’s hard hitting options. Energy Ball and Superpower are clearly the go-to charge attacks, due to their power and relatively low costs. Energy Ball’s defence drop chance makes it threatening even on shields, while Superpower can be charged up twofold for a strong switch out tactic.

It should be noted that Chesnaught could eventually get the Community Day exclusive move, Frenzy Plant. This article is focused on the short term with the current meta, which is also why no other Kalos Pokémon will be considered in the matchups section. You definitely could save a Chespin for Frenzy Plant, but in my experience the highest ranked Community Day Pokémon are found day of instead of being saved. Hold on to rank 1s and perfect IV Chespin, of course.

Smack Down can be used as an alternative fast attack to take Flying types by surprise, but you lose a significant portion of Chesnaught’s best matchups.

Gyro Ball can be used to beat unsuspecting Fairy types, but it’s STAB coverage is too great to pass either up.
Solar Beam is a remarkably strong move that Vine Whip can charge in decent time, but Energy Ball is significantly more reliable.


Matchups

Great League

Chesnaught is the core breaker that many have been waiting for, with superb matchups against Azumarill and Galarian Stunfisk.

Against Azumarill it wins in all even shield matchups, only losing the 1-2 against Ice Beam/Play Rough variants. Chesnaught’s an extraordinarily safe Azumarill counter, in spite of it’s Ice and Fairy weaknesses.

In Chesnaught’s matchup against Galarian Stunfisk, it’s a little more precarious due to Superpower’s debuffs. You’ll want to double fire Superpower, if you can charge up enough. Chesnaught resists Galar Stunfisk’s Ground and Rock moves, but Superpower’s debuffs can make it hit quite hard. Proceed with caution, but the odds are in your favour.

Chesnaught generally deals with Water, Dark and Rock very well, with it’s typing allowing it to soak up hits and it’s fast charging double Superpowers making it a solid Fighting type, in spite of it’s lack of Counter.

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Although minor, there’s a use case for Smack Down. The matchup is flipped for Galvantula and Mandibuzz with 1-1 shields, and Chesnaught can even beat Altaria and Alolan Marowak with 2-1 shields. It becomes very shield reliant, however, and it sacrifices it’s Azumarill and Galarian Stunfisk matchups completely. Extra spicy, a Pokémon double weak to Flying beating multiple Flying types.

Though, it’s double Flying weakness is quite the Donphan in the room. Flying is abundant in Great League, with Skarmory, Altaria and Tropius (just to name a few) absolutely tearing it’s main set to shreds while absorbing it’s hits like nothing. There’s also many common Charm and Confusion users, such as Wigglytuff and Hypno, that pare it down with savage fast attacks. Alolan Marowak is a rough matchup using Vine Whip too, it goes without saying.

In short, Chesnaught has some stellar wins against ubiquitous meta staples, while anything with a type it doesn’t like destroys it without a thought. Maybe have Chesnaught as a lead so it has an escape route.

Ultra League

Chesnaught struggles against the open Ultra League meta with Vine Whip, only having a handful of good matchups. Empoleon is one of it’s strongest, even being able to take a Drill Peck in the 0-1 shield matchup… if barely.

Then there’s Pokémon like Obstagoon and Swampert, which obviously lose to a Grass Fighting Pokémon. Beyond them, the list of Pokémon that beat Chesnaught outnumber the list it beats. Charizard, Togekiss, Articuno, Cresselia, Giratina… It’d be overkill to list them all, you get it. It loses against pretty much any legendary, and badly too. Anything that’s not a win is a savage loss.

However, Smack Down is stronger in Ultra League than Vine Whip. Beating even Fire Spin Charizard and Articuno in the 1-1 matchup is quite the accomplishment for a Pokémon weak to both of their STAB. Smack Down Chesnaught is quite a spice pick, it could be great even!

Ultra Premier Cup

Chesnaught’s quite similar to how it was in open Ultra League, countering the same Pokémon. Only difference is, most of it’s counters (i.e. legendaries) have been removed, making it generally safer. Of course, Charizard is more popular here, so Smack Down is preferable. Unlike open Ultra League, Vine Whip is quite close to Smack Down in terms of overall wins, but they’re different wins.

Chesnaught may be tough to use, but it can fill a niche, beating Water well with Vine Whip and Flying well with Smack Down. It depends what your team can cover; Empoleon or Charizard.


Quilladin Footnote

Let’s quickly go over Chespin’s awkward teenage form, Quilladin.

Quilladin Grass
Level 40 CP 1719
ATK 146 DEF 156 HP 156
  • Fast AttacksVine Whip Grass, Low Kick Fighting
  • Charge AttacksBody Slam Normal, Energy Ball Grass, Gyro Ball Steel

It’s Grotle, but with Vine Whip, to keep it short.

It beats Water and Ground remarkably, but that’s pretty standard for a Grass type. It doesn’t do anything special, Quilladin’s quite vanilla. If you want to save your Chesnaught for Frenzy Plant, Quilladin’s a fine standby until then.

It’s still gonna be mainly relevant in Silph Cups, I won’t go too in depth.


Conclusion

Chesnaught is a very tough Pokémon to use, with many harsh weaknesses and a couple of massive strengths. With Vine Whip it needs team support to handle Flying types, of course, while in Great League it can handle the massively popular Azumarill and Galarian Stunfisk with ease. It can rock Ultra League with Smack Down, claiming some remarkable wins with it’s unique coverage. It could be a shining star in some Silph cups. Just be careful, Chesnaught is mainly in the “spice” category.

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