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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


 Chesnaught EX (Promo XY-18) 

Date Reviewed:
July 29, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.93
Limited: N/A

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Chesnaught EX (Promo XY-18) 

As you would expect, all the XY starter/evo lines got their own EX cards, appearing in the Kalos Power tins. Not sure that the word ‘Power’ is completely appropriate, but if they called them ‘Tins of Mediocrity’, they would be unlikely to fly off the shelves. 

Why so mediocre? Well Chesnaught may be a big EX with massive HP (not that it will help him much against Pyroar or Charizard), but everything else about the card is just very underwhelming. From the over-priced, flip-dependent Pin Missile, to the pricey and self-damaging Wild Tackle, there is nothing that would induce you to use Chesnaught ahead of the many uber-strong EX cards that we already have. Even if you wanted to use Grass to take advantage of the new Herbal Energy (for some reason), the Type has better EX cards available in the shape of our old favourites Virizion and Genesect. 

Another EX for collectors, rather than players. 


Modified: 1.75 (not good enough for an EX)

Limited: N/A (promo)


Hello again and welcome back, beautiful wonderful readers! Today we're continuing on down the line of promos with the final evo for our Gen VI Grass starter, the mighty Chesnaught-EX! Does Chesnaught's official debut as an EX trump his other Stage 2 guys, or does it just fall short of that line that makes a good EX?
Well to be honest, he's rather...mediocre, especially given the cost of his strikes. Pin Missile is a hefty 3-Energy for an attack that does 40 damage for every heads you flip out of 4 coins. That's a range of 0-160 damage, and chances are you're going to average out about 80 damage with that attack; that's pretty decent for a 3-Energy strike, sure, but the attack itself is far too reliant on coin flips to be consistent. You could end up dealing 160 damage one turn and then flubbing on the next with 0, or you could just be terrible and get 0 damage constantly until Chesnaught-EX gets KO'd.
His Wild Tackle isn't much improvement. For an extra Grass energy, he now does 120 damage with a small 20 damage recoil. Considering the output, 20 recoil isn't much (as opposed to Charizard-EX promo's Brave Fire doing the same damage for 30 recoil), but keep in mind 20 damage is the difference between not being KO'd by a Muscle Banded Charizard-EX (FLF12) using Wing Attack and definitely being KO'd by it!
Now comparing it to the Chesnaughts we've gotten, he's definitely better than the Starter Set version (which is meant to be a beginner's learning tool anyway), but is he better than his Ability-loving Stage 2 cousin from the XY set? That Chesnaught had Spiky Shield, which could inflict 30 damage onto attackers even if Chesnaught got KO'd, and it had a slight recovery move in Touchdown, though the damage output of 90 is less for the same amount. 
Given what's coming up in Furious Fists, I'd say the Stage 2 Chesnaught has more going for it than its EX counterpart; they both have roughly the same health and weaknesses, and while Chesnaught (XY) can't stack up as much damage as Chesnaught-EX can with the same energy, its Ability will more than make up for it. Never mind that once the Stadium supporting Evolutions comes out (oh yeah, that's what we're looking at) the Stage 2 Chesnaught will have slightly more HP than Chesnaught-EX and Herbal Energy to really play the tank!
Overall, this is just another mediocre Pokemon-EX, but if nothing else he's a great collectible for those who love their Chesnaughts.
Modified: 2/5 (decent damage output, but ultimately he's going to fall short of his Stage 2 counterpart despite requiring less resources)
Expanded: 2/5 (not that there's much more support for an EX in the first few BW sets anyway)
Limited: N/A (oh yeah, that's right, promos don't get played in Limited...)
Arora Notealus: Chesnaught seems to have this theme of reaching out with his claw hand going through his cards right now. Where's my Chesnaught holding a football and using Tackle?
Next Time: It's a witch, it's a witch, oh the witch is back!


As a reminder September 3, 2014 will mark the official annual rotation, when the Standard format shifts from the 2013-2014 Modified (BW:Next Destinies to XY: Flashfire, BW Promo BW33+, McDonald’s Collection 2012, and all XY Promos) to the 2014-2015 Modified (BW: Boundaries Crossed and later, BW Promos BW55+, McDonald’s Collection, and all XY Promos); nothing from XY: Furious Fists will be legal for sanctioned Standard play until that time.  If I believe I can make a sufficiently educated guess, I’ll score for both Modified Formats and the new Expanded Format (Black & White and later sets, all BW Promo and XY Promo series cards, all McDonald’s Collection cards) that also begins then. 

Today we look at Chesnaught-EX (XY Promo XY18).  I have a certain fondness for Chesnaught in general simply because I am a fan of Marvel Comics “Juggernaut” character (well, circa the 1990s and early 2000s) and green is my favorite color.  Yeah, I’m simple like that.  I won’t let that unduly influence the review, however. 

Being a Grass-Type is solid; while not the dominant Weakness for Water- or Fighting-Types, since Black & White it seems like the card design team has done a decent job of splitting Weakness between the respective “sub-Types” of the TCG so that things weren’t too uniform.  Popular and potent Pokémon like Blastoise, Keldeo-EX and Suicune all sport Grass-Type Weakness, but nothing still Modified legal sports Grass Resistance.  Grass-Types have some direct and some indirect support, though its nothing compared to Darkness- and Fire-Types (soon to be Fighting- and Fire-Types).  Of course, being a Fighting-Type (in the video games Chesnaught are Grass/Fighting hybrids) would likely have been better, especially given how much XY: Furious Fists is helping them. 

Being a Basic is still the best since Evolutions still don’t get worthwhile Evolving Pokémon and the other potential “fix” of making the final Stages stronger has been tried before and it doesn’t work too well.  Being a Pokémon-EX is a drawback in that it means Chesnaught-EX will give up an extra Prize when KOed, can’t tap certain pieces of support, and is the target of certain counter cards, though it also means the designers are allowed to give it better than normal stats and effects… like its 180 HP, the max printed on Basic Pokémon-EX and 50 higher than anything any current Basic has printed on it.  There are a few cards that top it that are still legal, but those are all either via combos that don’t usually see play, are M Pokémon-EX or are Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted 26/124). 

Fire attacks will cut through its HP like butter; Fire Weakness means a simple 90 damage does the deal.  The slight silverlining is that a lot of Fire-Types are going to overkill it and at least potentially waste resources doing so, but obviously not as much as if they were pushing for a OHKO of something not Fire Weak with 180 HP.  The lack of Resistance is unfortunate but doesn’t hurt the card too much, still Darkness- or Lightning-Type Resistance - the only two that easily convert to the TCG due to TCG Types often being two or more video game Types - would have been kind of awesome though not overly useful.  The Retreat Cost of four is probably the worst it could have, but the format is such that even with a free Retreat Cost, you would want a method of changing out your Pokémon without manually Retreating, and most decks will have that and/or something to zero-out such costs, so in the end its a minor inconvenience.  Plus until it rotates out, you can enjoy Heavy Ball. 

Chesnaught-EX has two attacks.  The first is the oh-so-familiar Pin Missile; this version requires [GCC] and gives you four coin flips, good for 40 points of damage per “heads”.  There are 16 possible results that result in five different damage totals: 1 out of 16 (6.25%) yields zero damage (abysmal), 4 out of 16 (25%) yields 40 damage (bad), 6 out of 16 (37.5%) yields 80 damage (a little low), 4 out of 16 (25%) yields 120 damage (good) and 1 out of 16 yields (6.25%) yields 160 damage (great).  That’s mean, median, and mode damage of 80 points, and the going rate is about 90 for three so that you can get a 2HKO against Pokémon-EX without an assist.  The second attack is much simpler; Wild Tackle requires [GGCC] and does 120 points of damage, plus 20 to itself.  You’ve paid enough to get 120 straight out, and with a drawback at this price, you really need 150 to justify the effort of then adding 20-to-30 damage semi-reliable for OHKOs of opposing Pokémon-EX, so while the attack isn’t especially bad, its not good.  In fact, both attacks feel pretty mediocre, and would have been acceptable if the other attack was amazing or the card had a good Ability. 

About the only Grass-Type Pokémon-EX that isn’t clearly better than Chesnaught-EX is probably Celebi-EX, sometimes used in combos.  Genesect-EX and Virizion-EX are clearly superior due to their Abilities and great attacks.  Shaymin-EX is a bit less clear, but ultimately I’ll take the end-game glass cannon and questionable Energy acceleration it offers over Chestnaught and its French-vanilla attacks.  Venusaur-EX would be even with this except it can Mega Evolve, so it too just seems more useful.  As a promo, this can’t even hope to be used in Limited, though if it were re-released into a set or something, I would definitely run it but not in the typical +39 build unless I was feeling especially daring.  A little bad luck with the coin flips can allow your opponent to overwhelm even its 180 HP, and while the self-damage isn’t large, coupled with your opponent’s actions it could easily become deadly.  Once you take at least one Prize (preferably two), it would likely be safe to send this hypothetical Chesnaught out to take the remaining Prizes rapidfire, turn after turn (after turn?). 


Modified (NXD-On): 1.75/5 - Definitely not up to snuff; so many other Grass-Types do a better job. 

Modified (BCR-On): 1.75/5 - Definitely not up to snuff; so many other Grass-Types do a better job. 

Expanded (BW-On): 1.75/5 - Definitely not up to snuff; so many other Grass-Types do a better job. 

Limited: N/A - If reprinted as something used in Limited events, I would give it a 4/5 but remember, just make room for the basic Grass Energy you need to meet the few Grass-Type Energy requirements (even if nothing else in your deck uses it), but don’t try to just +39 it. 

Summary: Even though I scored it low, I don’t want to give the wrong impression; Chesnaught is probably fairly well balanced, its just that most of what we used is overpowered for how the game currently works.  If this card had released in place of Mewtwo-EX back in BW: Next Destinies, it probably would have been good enough to see some play.

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