Pokémon Scarlet and Violet continue their seven-star tera raids with Chesnaught, and like most event raids, you’ll need a strong Pokémon and a good strategy to catch the Kalos region grass starter. As of right now, Chesnaught is otherwise unobtainable in the Switch games, though that might change with DLC and a Pokémon Home update. The limited-time event will be held twice before it goes into the vault, but there’s still time to do some prep work before the big day. Let’s run down the who, what, when, and where of Scarlet and Violet’s Chesnaught event.
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When is the Chesnaught tera raid?
The Chesnaught raid will be available twice. The first time will be this weekend, from 8 p.m. Eastern Time on May 12 until 7:59 p.m. on the 14. Then it will return the following weekend on May 19 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, remaining open until 7:59 p.m. on the 21. It’s a small window, but at least you’ll have two chances to fight Chesnaught.
What to expect during the Chesnaught fight
As is the case with all seven-star raids, Chesnaught will be at level 100, and any Pokémon you bring to the fight should also be at max level to match its power. Its base typing is grass and fighting, but it will have a rock tera type during the raid. This means it will fight with a predominantly grass and fighting moveset, but will have the strengths and weaknesses of a rock-type Pokémon and probably have at least one rock-type attack to deal with. The trick to the fight is bringing a Pokémon who can both resist Chesnaught’s base typing, as well as weaken its tera type.
For example, you could bring a water-type Pokémon like Greninja to weaken its rock tera type, but it would be especially weak to Chesnaught’s grass and fighting moves. This is why you have to change the way you fight a terastallized Pokémon, because their type changing fundamentally alters how you fight them.
We don’t know Chesnaught’s full moveset just yet, but based on its possible attacks and stats, we can assume it will be a physical attacker and will have substantially higher physical defense than special defense. So it’s best to look for Pokémon and attacks that can weaken rock Pokémon with special moves. Rock can sometimes be brittle typing, and has a handful of often physical-based weaknesses like fighting and ground attacks, but given Chesnaught’s affinity for physical defense, it’s best to bring a Pokémon that excels in special-based moves.
Rock Pokémon are weak to fighting, grass, ground, steel, and water, and Chesnaught’s moveset will likely account for a lot of those. Grass attacks will weaken ground and water monsters, while its fighting moves will be able to handle steel. Looking at Chesnaught’s possible weaknesses and moves, it looks like grass Pokémon will actually be one of the safer plays because they’ll be able to resist most of Chesnaught’s moves and weaken the rock tera type. So let’s run through a few options.
Grassy Terrain is your friend
If you and your friends are going to run a grass-centric team, you can’t go wrong by setting the stage with Grassy Terrain right off the bat. This will increase the power of grass moves across the fight, which means Chesnaught’s moves will be more powerful. But if your whole team is resistant to grass moves, they shouldn’t take too much damage. Chesnaught, meanwhile, will still be weak to these attacks and take additional damage for every Leaf Storm or Solar Beam you throw at it.
There are a handful of Pokémon that learn Grassy Terrain, but some that will be best to counter Chesnaught are ones with good defense and strong special attack. Appletun is a good choice because its grass/dragon typing makes it especially resistant to grass moves, and it’s bulky with strong special attack. The apple pie dragon also has some good support moves, such as Reflect, which will lower the power of Chesnaught’s physical attacks. Teaching it Recover will also give it some survivability, so it can be slotted into the support role pretty well. Its signature move Apple Acid will allow you to exploit the grass weakness and lower Chesnaught’s special defense, which will be a net boon to your whole team.
Gogoat has become a fan favorite for the raid ahead of its launch, mainly due to its hidden ability Grass Pelt, which increases its physical defense by 50% when Grassy Terrain is active on top of an already high base HP. Using EV and IV training, you can spec Gogoat into a pretty solid tank for Chesnaught’s grass attacks, while still having some decent grass attacks to hit back harder. Leaf Storm is powerful, but will lower the user’s special attack. So using special attack boosting moves like Growth will help you level out those debuffs.
If you want a few unorthodox picks, a few past raid bosses might be able to handle Chesnaught. Decidueye, who will not only be resistant to the boss’ grass moves, but also immune to its fighting attacks because of its grass/ghost typing, is a solid option. However, if you missed the initial raid back in March, Decidueye isn’t currently available in Scarlet and Violet. But if you’ve got the archer owl, it’s a good counter to both strengthen your team’s grass attacks with Grassy Terrain and pack a punch on its own. Do keep in mind it does primarily operate with physical attacks, though it still has some good special options like Leaf Storm. There are some better offensive Pokémon, but Decidueye’s typing makes it a good defensive option. Iron Leaves is also inherently strong against Chesnaught’s typing and has grass moves/terrain abilities, but doesn’t have the same immunity Decidueye has. If that sounds appealing to you, the raid to catch Iron Leaves is ongoing as of this writing, but will be over on May 14, which is before the second Chesnaught raid begins. So if you want someone who can both deal damage and tank through Chesnaught’s moves, those are some options.
All of these choices have their perks, but Lurantis is likely to dominate the raid when it launches because of its hidden ability, Contrary. This ability inverts stat changes, meaning attacks that typically lower a stat will increase them instead. Leaf Storm is a powerful special attack that checks off every box we need to take Chesnaught down, but its drawback of lowering special attack with each use is a big detractor. However, Contrary allows Lurantis to get stronger with each use, meaning it will just hit harder and harder as the match goes on. With any other Pokémon, using this powerful move requires some stat boost maintenance to keep them hitting hard, but Lurantis lucks out because it inherently becomes more powerful where others would falter. Add in Grassy Terrain and Lurantis is one of the most powerful counters to Chesnaught. Give it good support with something like Appletun and use your cheers, and a well-built Lurantis will snowball into the star of your team.
Be prepared for Bulletproof
One thing to keep in mind is that Chesnaught will likely have its signature ability, Bulletproof, rather than its standard one, Overgrow. This passive ability protects the boss from “ball and bomb” moves, which refers to a handful of attacks that often have either term in the name (Shadow Ball, Egg Bomb, etc.). Alas, Aura Sphere and Focus Blast, both of which would have been good choices for this raid as special moves that weaken rock-type Pokémon, also fall into the “ball and bomb” category despite not having those words in the name. So don’t build around those moves.
Reminder: you can only catch one Chesnaught
As is the case with every seven-star raid in Scarlet and Violet, you can only catch one Chesnaught per save file. The Pokémon is also shiny locked, so if you want a slightly different colored version of it, you’ll have to capture this one and breed it with a Ditto until you hatch a shiny Chespin. So don’t reset the raid multiple times in hopes of facing a shiny.