Chesnaught a problem
Look, I’ll level with y’all. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom just came out. There’s a beta for Diablo IV this weekend. The amount of time and energy I have to write some colorful words about 7-Star Tera Raid events is as low as it will ever be. Thankfully, this latest Chesnaught Tera Raid event in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet couldn’t be more straightforward. It’s like Game Freak knew that attention on their flagship franchise would see an all-time low this weekend.
In other words, let’s speed through the dirty details so we don’t have to delay our adventures in Hell or Hyrule any longer.
Chesnaught will always appear with the Rock Tera Type, and its moveset will remain the same no matter how much you fight it. Only one Chesnaught may be caught per save file, but you can run the encounter as many times as you want for the bonus loot. If you participate, make sure you bring a level 100 Pokemon with optimized EVs and IVs. For an example of what this process looks like, dip into our Azumarill build guide. I really should write a more generic build guide than the one for Azumarill.
Maybe I’ll do it when the ghost of one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time isn’t hanging over my head.
As expected, Chesnaught comes at us as a pure physical attacker. It knows Earthquake, Hammer Arm, Stone Edge, and Woodhammer. This gives Chesnaught access to Ground, Fighting, Rock, and Grass-Type attacks. As usual, Chesnaught will prioritize moves that will deal the most damage to your Pokemon.
Chesnaught’s additional mechanics here couldn’t be simpler. In addition to the above moves, it will double up its turns using moves like Iron Defense, Bulk Up, and Curse. In this context, Curse is categorically worse than Bulk Up, but I digress. The takeaway here is that Chesnaught will perpetually buff its Attack and Defense stats throughout the fight. Conversely, Chesnaught will never clear itself of negative stat debuffs. If you counter its buffs with your own debuffs, they’ll stick throughout the entire encounter.
Note that Chesnaught will erase your party’s positive stat boosts twice before the encounter ends. Expect this to happen shortly after its shield goes up, as well as soon after its shield cracks. Like many 7-Star fights, Chesnaught enters its shield phase relatively early and features sturdy defense here. Fortunately, all these elements put together makes Chesnaught remarkably easy to exploit.
How to counter Chesnaught
Since Chesnaught consistently buffs its Defense throughout the fight, special attackers will make the encounter much easier. As we mentioned in our preparation guide, Chesnaught’s Bulletproof ability means Fighting-Type Pokemon functionally can’t use special attacks. For this reason, Grass-Type Pokemon come highly recommended. We’ll talk more about this once we get to our MVP picks.
Along the same lines, stat buffs that don’t get blocked by Bulletproof really weaken Chesnaught. This monster already features low Special Defense, so harassing that stat reveals how frail Chesnaught is. In fact, you can generally rely on a Shell Bell-held item in order to keep you healthy. Between Curse and Hammer Arm, most well-built Pokemon will eventually outspeed Chesnaught without much problem. This makes it even easier to know when to use healing moves and when to keep going on the offensive.
That’s really all there is to it. Buffing your resistance to physical attacks helps a lot here, so at least one person in your party should use Reflect. Otherwise, use moves like Iron Defense or target Chesnaught’s attack stat.
The best Pokemon to bring for Chesnaught
Surprise, the meta monkey isn’t MVP for once. While Annihilape can work, Chesnaught’s Defense makes it a bit riskier to use. Instead, there’s one clear winner that almost everyone should bring.
All-around MVP: Appletun
Appletun just kills this fight. Its great bulk and Typing form a perfect counter, and even its low speed becomes no problem after Chesnaught voluntarily slows itself down. The key here is Appletun’s signature move Apple Acid. This special attack deals decent damage and lowers Special Defense, bypassing both Bulletproof and Chesnaught’s shield. Multiple Appletuns working together can quickly debilitate Chesnaught’s defenses and make absolute mincemeat out of it.
It’s hard to justify using practically any other Pokemon when Appletun has everything you need. If you want party support, give it Reflect. To make it reliably sturdy, one use of Iron Defense after every stat cleanse will make Chesnaught hit remarkably weak. Additionally, Giga Drain will give Appletun consistent healing once Chesnaught’s defenses get low. An unlucky critical hit might make things spicy for you, but that’s true of almost any other Pokemon.
Appletun works great as a solo and cooperative pick. Throw a Shell Bell on it for added healing and make sure to Teratalize as soon as you land three attacking moves on this boss.
You’ll clear this fight and get back to saving Hyrule in no time.
Honorable Mention 1: Lurantis
The relatively low difficulty of Chesnaught doesn’t necessitate any min-maxing. If your party already has three Appletuns in it, you’re almost guaranteed a victory. Still, In the event you did want to clear this thing as fast as possible, Lurantis technically brings some value.
If your party has stat debuffs and support on lock, Lurantis will deal devastating damage with Leaf Storm. Thanks to the Contrary Hidden Ability, this will also massively boost Lurantis’ Special Attack while it hits. Just watch out for Leaf Storm’s low PP count, which you should boost with PP Ups. Like Appletun, Lurantis also brings valuable self-sustain with Giga Drain. You honestly don’t need any moves aside from these two. Maybe consider Sunny Day and Solar Beam in case your other attacks run dry.
I actually solo-cleared this fight with Lurantis as well. If you don’t run out of PP, Lurantis will easily outpace Chesnaught’s outgoing damage with Shell Bell. If you built Lurantis to fight Pikachu, it works here too.
Honorable Mention 2: Arboliva
Speaking of Pokemon from the Pikachu encounter, Arboliva also has some relative value. Mainly, it can play a Support role if you really want to optimize. Reflect needs no introduction, but Charm also works if you want to drop Chesnaught’s Attack right off the bat. Additionally, the Grassy Terrain it lays via its Seed Sower ability boosts offenses for a party of Grass-Types. Chesnaught technically benefits from this boost as well, but its AI still doesn’t prioritize using Woodhammer after this buff activates.
That’s really all there is to it. Giga Drain once again comes in clutch for healing, and Terrain Pulse works for offense. This is another option for those who went hard against Pikachu and don’t want to build a Pokemon for Chesnaught specifically.
Many options work here
Ultimately, the picks listed here will practically guarantee this fight moves smoothly. That said, I was surprised to see Pokemon like Koraidon and even Annihilape find some success online. You’ll need to work harder against Chesnaught’s Defense boosts, but if you’re really determined, you can brute force it with the right party. I wouldn’t use Pokemon like those to farm this fight, but if you like meta-monkey memes, knock yourself out.
There’s honestly not that much else to say here. Game Freak clearly didn’t want to distract you too much from Zelda, so I won’t either.
Whether you decide to go to Paldea, Hyrule, or Hell this weekend, I hope you have a good time.