The Chansey Epidemic

Okay, so maybe it’s not quite an epidemic yet.. but you’ll feel otherwise once you’re sitting across from a 66% evasion Chansey. With VGC 18 Dallas Regionals right around the corner, let’s take a look at how you can be ready for this gimmick that you will actually lose to.

The Problem

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The above is exactly the situation we do not want to find ourselves in.

The core of a generic Chansey team is as follows:

Chansey is the focal point of the team, and what is going to cause problems in the late game. The entirety of the team will be setup to support Chansey, and assure that the team is able to make it through the early/mid game, and into the stage where Chansey can begin to clean up. This is done via a few tricks with its partners, and through the use of Toxic or condition spreaders.

The first goal the team will be looking to accomplish is to get off a Guard Split from either Carbink or Shuckle, depending on the team comp. When used, Guard Split averages the Defense and Special Defense stats between the user and the target. Both Shuckle and Carbink have very high stats in these departments (Shuckle: 230/230, and Carbink 150/150) which when averaged onto Chansey, partner quite well with its enormous HP pool.

To achieve this initial transfer of stats, it is necessary that your Guard Splitter does not die during turn 1. To assist with this, both Shuckle and Carbink are able to run Sturdy ability to survive an OHKO. Their inherent tankiness, along with defensive EV investment to improve Guard Split means that you won’t even necessarily have to rely on Sturdy, but it’s nice to have there.

Smeargle will often lead with Fake Out if the team is using Carbink, as it allows for Carbink to get off an easy turn 1 Trick Room. Once Trick Room has been set up, Smeargle will either switch out, or use Explosion to free up a slot in the field. Chansey will then make its way into the battle, and the 0 Speed invested Carbink will get off Guard Split to get the ball rolling.

At this point, Chansey is now quite tanky, but the real fun hasn’t even begun. Chansey will then proceed to use Minimize, Defense Curl and Soft-Boiled until it hits 66% evasion, and 6 stages of Defense off of Curl, all the while repeatedly healing off of Soft-Boiled. An Eviolite is Chansey’s item of choice, which will make it that much harder to try and KO before it has reached full-setup.

Once Chansey reaches its final form, the strategy from there on out is to poison the opponent via Toxic on Shuckle/Chansey and Baneful Bunker on Smeargle, and proceed to spam Seismic Toss as Chansey to slowly KO the entire opposing team.

At a general level, that is the entirety of the strategy. Where it gets even more difficult, the player will be looking to bring creative solutions to help accelerate/protect this game plan, and it can be tough to prepare for them all.

Mime Jr. has seen use as a team mate recently to provide Skill Swap+Soundproof protection from checks like Perish Song and Roar. Reuniclus & Alakazam also provides a similar service in Skill Swap+Magic Guard to protect Chansey from status threats.

While all of this is going on, it is very important to keep an eye on the round timer. This team will have very little trouble stalling to round time, so players must mentally prepare ahead of time, so they know the game plan and exactly how the opponent’s side is expected to play out.

The Solution

This plan may sound like an absolute headache to deal with at this point. That’s fair, because it is. That said, there are some solutions to the team, that really don’t even require obscure team building.


  • Tapu Fini is popular on many teams currently and is eligible for the move Haze, which clears all stat changes from Pokemon on the field.
  • Outside this use case, Haze can be useful against Snorlax teams to counter Belly Drum and Curse.
  • Haze saw 7% usage on Tapu Fini in December on Showdown, so it is a strategy that people are bringing to the fight.
  • Milotic is also a popular Haze user, at 11% in December.

Clear Smog

  • Clear Smog behaves the same way as Haze, though it is targeted and bypasses accuracy checks.
  • Clear Smog is most commonly utilized on Amoonguss, which saw a 25% usage of the move in December on Showdown


  • Roar bypasses accuracy checks, and forces the target Pokemon to switch out of battle, clearing all stat changes.
  • Arcanine, Manectric, and Suicune are all semi-common VGC18 Pokemon, that are capable of using Roar.
  • Roar does not appear >10% on any of the above users in December Showdown stats, though that does not rule out the option.
  • Roar is countered via Skill Swap Soundproof.

Perish Song

  • Perish Song gives all Pokemon in battle a 3 turn clock, after which they are KO’d.
  • This may be used via a Shadow Tag Gengar-Mega/Gothitelle strategy, to trap Chansey until Perish Song is about to exhaust.
  • Perish Song may also be used to try and force a switch out of the Chansey player, to clear Perish Song, thus removing all stat changes.
  • Perish Song is commonly utilized on Politoed, Gengar, Marowak and Lapras.

Knock Off

  • Knock Off is an elegant solution to the initial bulk of Chansey while it attempts to set up. Chansey will generally be holding an Eviolite, so removing that will make the task of an early KO that much easier.
  • Knock Off has a number of valid usage targets in VGC18 in Landorus-Therian, Kartana, Scrafty and Incineroar (all seeing high Knock Off usage in December).

Heavy Slam

  • Heavy Slam is a direct counter to Minimize, as the move’s damage is doubled when used on a Minimized target, and fully bypasses accuracy check.
  • Heavy Slam’s most common user in VGC18 is Celesteela, and makes for a strong counter to Chansey, as it is generally a move of choice anyhow on Celesteela, so the counterplay does not come at the cost of poor set-building.


  • While Toxic doesn’t entirely solve the problem (due to Soft-Boiled), it will put Chansey on a clock and require it to heal more often.
  • Toxic’s most common VGC18 user is Amoonguss, though this is not a very popular move choice.


  • Taunt is an obvious choice, and is used on so many Pokemon, it is not worth listing them. If you don’t use a Taunt Pokemon on your team, this is worth looking into anyhow!
  • Taunt will stop Chansey from utilizing 75% of its moveset, as Taunted Pokemon may only use damaging abilities for the next 3 turns.
  • If you can land a Taunt on Chansey before it begins to go off, this will greatly inhibit its set up, and allow for a potential early kill or force a switch out by the trainer.

Fighting Pokemon

  • Last but not least, a simple Fighting Pokemon very well may do the trick!
  • If an interjection can begin early enough that the Chansey is not yet set up, a Kartana or Landorus-Therian can provide a quick and efficient means to get rid of the in-progress Chansey.
  • Before a Guard Split, AV Landorus has a guaranteed 2HKO Superpower against a fully Defense-invested Eviolite Chansey
    • 252+ Atk Landorus-Therian Superpower vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Chansey: 412 (58.6%) – 486 (69.1%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • Before Guard Split, Kartana also is looking at a guaranteed 2HKO Sacred Sword
    • 252 Atk Kartana Sacred Sword vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite Chansey: 334 (47.5%) – 394 (56%) — 82.4% chance to 2HKO

Many More!

  • While this is a list of some of the strong Chansey counters, that don’t require team building to stray too heavily, there are many other options such as No Guard, Whirlwind, and Psych Up (still not an inclusive list).

Final Words

Yes, this article has been a frightening look into the world of Minimize Chansey, but hopefully you’ve also learned how your team already does, or can easily adapt to counter this strategy. Now that Chansey is in the spotlight after its MSS performance, teams will be prepared to tear it down at Dallas. So… don’t play it.

-Griff @ Pikalytics



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