Trainer’s School: Chandelure Character Guide

The creepy Luring Pokémon will wall you out with fiery attacks

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This is part of a series of written guides on Pokkén Tournament Deluxe for Nintendo Switch. I’ve always loved this game and I’ve wanted to give back to the community and generate more interest in it. I’ll be creating more guides like this in the future and I hope this gets new players invested in the fighting game that taught me about fighting games. These character guides are meant as surface-level breakdowns of each of the playable Pokémon in the cast. If you would like to try out Pokkén Tournament Deluxe, and learn more information about the game, be sure to check out the community Discord! Access to the character-specific Discords will help you find any information that isn’t listed in this guide, and you can also ask the players there for specific advice.

The twelfth character guide in the Trainer’s School series is also the halfway point for the entire roster! This week, we’ll be focusing on Chandelure, a Ghost/Fire-type Pokémon who made her debut in the fifth generation of RPGs. The Luring Pokémon is a devious prankster renowned within the setting for stealing souls and burning them up, leaving behind only the victim’s body. While her primary typing is Ghost, a majority of her moves in Pokkén revolve around Fire-type moves such as Incinerate, Overheat, and Flame Burst. Chandelure is a glass-cannon zoner who makes use of her unique body type to move around in the air creatively.

Chandelure: Overview

Playstyle: A pure, fragile zoner with unique aerial movement and a gameplan revolving around debuffs.

Values: 510 Hit Points, 480 Shield Health, 200cc Synergy Gauge

Poké Moves: Will-O-Wisp (Duel 5A, Field n.A,) Smog (Duel 6A, Field f.A,) Flame Burst (Duel 4A/4[A], Field b.A/b.[A],) Incinerate (j.A,) Minimize (]A[,) Hex (Duel only, 2A,) Overheat (Duel only, 8A.)

High Stance: Hovers over low-hitting moves, being invincible to them from frame 1.

Low Stance: Crouches over high-hitting moves, being invincible to them from frame 1.

Unique Features: While in the air, j.R causes Chandelure to ‘swing’ from the invisible ceiling- this is called Pendulum Motion. Pendulum Motion and Incinerate can cancel into aerials. Chandelure’s neutral jump- simply pressing B- has a manipulable trajectory by holding any direction. Furthermore, continuing to hold the direction during a cardinal jump will make Chandelure travel further than normal. The trajectory of a cardinal jump can even be halted by holding the opposite direction after jumping. The puddle that Incinerate leaves on the ground does no hitstun, but both the projectile and the puddle drain the opponent’s Support Gauge. Chandelure can also move forward and backward while holding a Stance. Several of Chandelure’s moves, mainly the 6Y/f.Y, Field j.Y/Duel j.8Y laser, and 2Y, have sweet spots that make them do more damage at a distance. During Minimize, Chandelure is invulnerable for a whopping 104 frames (this is roughly 1.44 seconds.) Chandelure can move during this motion, and can cancel Minimize with R, B, or a special move, but she is still vulnerable to grabs.

Pause! Chandelure and buffs/debuffs

Several of Chandelure’s moves cast debuffs:

  • Normal throw: a 9s Defense debuff.
  • Will-O-Wisp: a 9s Attack debuff.
  • Smog: Both the hit and the smog cloud itself deal an 8.5s Defense debuff.
  • Final Flicker (Burst Attack): A 21s Attack and Defense debuff.

Hex will do more damage when it grabs a debuffed opponent. Normally, Hex deals 0PSP, but if the opponent has two debuffs, Hex will automatically Phase Shift. Hex will remove the opponent’s debuffs on hit in exchange for this bonus damage. Overheat is a powerful red armor reversal that will throw crush and counter pierce. If Chandelure has any buffs when Overheat is cast, she will lose them on use. If she doesn’t have any buffs active, she will instead debuff her Attack and Speed for 20 seconds. While debuffed, Overheat will do less damage, be extraordinarily more unsafe (-8 normally, -20 when debuffed) and will not have any red armor. ]X[ is a release move that is invincible to low-hitting moves on frame 9 that can both reduce the duration of Chandelure’s debuffs while increasing the duration of her opponent’s debuffs. While dancing with ]X[, Chandelure can move, and can also cancel the animation with R or a jump.

Remember as always to consult the frame data sheet for specific moves and their properties.

Despite being a Power-type character, Chandelure is one of the most fragile characters in the roster, second only to Shadow Mewtwo’s 480 HP. With the second smallest health bar in the game and the smallest shield, Chandelure has a difficult time surviving pressure up close. This means she must rely on her jump, moves that are low- or high- invincible, command armor, and Pendulum Motion to escape pressure. Being a zoner, Chandelure is encouraged to keep her opponents away, filling the screen with fireballs and laser beams. Several of her moves, like s.[Y], the iconic f.[Y]/6[Y], and Flame Burst are also counter-pierces, which means Chandelure is especially effective at hampering approaching movement with anyone who relies on their counter armor and CADC. Furthermore, she can also harass opponents with long-lasting debuffs and being hard to hit in general, and she can cash out on debuffs using Hex. Chandelure is overall a very tricky character, but is potentially one of the most powerful zoners in the game.

Field Phase

Obviously, f.Y and Field j.Y are the crux of Chandelure’s gameplan as far as pure zoning is concerned. The full-screen laser projectile will counter-pierce, do additional damage, and instantly Phase Shift when charged, and there’s even more bonus damage when it hits from full screen. Having said that, the grounded version cannot be used as an anti-air, and all versions of it are substantially minus, so you can be punished by an opponent that has outmaneuvered you. This means that you should work on limiting your opponent’s movement with moves like Flame Burst, Will-O-Wisp, Smog, and b.Y. Once you’ve hampered your opponent’s approach and forced them to stay away from you, you can let loose with an n.Y or s.Y confirm into the laser.

Moves like b.Y and both versions of Flame Burst are very useful when trapping your opponent.

The uncharged Flame Burst will put in a lot of work as an anti-air, and both versions of Will-O-Wisp will function as a valuable barrier in front of Chandelure. Will-O-Wisp is a set of fireballs with no projectile priority- this is the factor in Pokkén that determines whether a projectile cancels out other projectiles, or whether Scizor can Hover Dash through a projectile. Will-O-Wisp will not interrupt projectiles, nor can other projectiles clear it from the stage. The fact that it also counter pierces and debuffs your opponent’s Attack makes it very strong in nearly any scenario- to defend yourself, stop CADC approaches, as an okizeme tool, etcetera. Smog is likewise also important for the same reasons- the sneeze will counter-pierce, and both the sneeze and smoke will debuff your opponent’s Defense. The smoke will also explode when it comes into contact with any projectile your opponent haphazardly tosses out.

In Field Phase, Chandelure’s movement is both enhanced by the 3D plane and by moves like s.[Y]. Flinging yourself away from your opponent with Pendulum Motion and your enhanced jumps is a great way to avoid your opponent’s grounded approaches, and since Pendulum Motion and Incinerate can be cancelled into aerials, you have a surprisingly wide variety of options in the air. S.[Y] can also be cancelled into out of your normal s.Y projectiles, and it also counter-pierces, meaning you can stuff reckless CADC approaches if your opponent gets too close. Since you’re generally never in a position where you need to approach the opponent, you will generally only use your Homing Attack to throw-crush and your CADC to sidestep or retreat. If your opponent is blocking up close or you have the opportunity to grab them, throwing them into the next Phase will result in a significant Defense debuff.

Duel Phase

In Duel Phase, Chandelure trades some of her Y projectiles for close-to-midrange moves that all have some type of low-high invulnerability or a way to punish the opponent. (Once again, you can view all of these specific properties on the frame data sheet.) Even without these projectiles from Field, Chandelure is still mainly designed to play at a distance, and moves like 2Y will even have additional strength or safety when the long-range sweetspot hits. Your heavy moves, like 4X/[X], 8X, and 6XX/6X:X, are mainly designed for whiff-punishing- use them on reaction to score a knockdown, or in 8X’s case a short combo. (Chandelure’s bread-and-butters are fairly short, but more on that later.)

Hex is a very powerful command grab- very few characters have ranged command grabs that can compete with it.

2Y and the burning hits on 6XX/6X:X can also be used to poke from afar. It cannot be emphasized enough that Chandelure is not designed to play up close- she should be using her movement and armor to escape close-quarters confrontations, rather than engage. Her frame data is fairly poor, with her fastest move being the i15 4YY series. Much like in Field, you are going to rely on your traps and projectiles to wall out your opponent. The j.Y you used in Field is now your j.8Y in Duel, and f.Y is now 6.Y, so you still have that powerful full-screen laser at your disposal. You also now have access to Overheat and Hex, the former being your red armor throw crush close-quarters escape option and your latter being a long-ranged throw with massive damage as discussed in the Pause! segment above. 2Y itself is already a decent poke that keeps your opponents out at a mid-to-far range, but if you happen to land the sweetspot hit (at the tip of the flame,) you can use that additional stun to combo into Hex.

Otherwise, your gameplan is more or less the same as it was in Field. While you can no longer sidestep or swing to the side with s.[Y], your opponent likewise must move linearly towards you, meaning it’s much easier to limit their movement. The threat of Will-O-Wisp and 6[Y] will force your opponent to respect you and keep them from advancing with CADC recklessly, and Flame Burst and 8Y will keep them out of the air. Remaining consistent with this pressure is the key to walling out your opponent with zoning. Don’t rely specifically on a single projectile, especially against skilled or unpredictable opponents. Get into a habit of placing Will-O-Wisp and Smog smoke down whenever you score a knockdown; fire off 6[Y] at fullscreen; try 8Y and Flame Burst on reaction for antiairs; when they approach on the ground, keep them out with 2Y and then Hex them. Should they manage to get in, you can use Minimize to make yourself invulnerable (remember to keep holding A after CADC or another special in order to prime it) and then cancel it into a reversal option like CA, Smog, or Overheat. If you’re completely unable to fend off pressure with a reversal, try jumping and swinging away with Pendulum Motion, and cover your escape with Incinerate into another normal.

Synergy Burst

Chandelure will often rely on her 12-second Synergy Burst in order to keep herself alive or to slightly enhance her long-range pressure. At 200cc, Chandelure will likely fill the meter up fairly quickly due to the different ways she can cause Shifts or win Attack Triangle exchanges. Since Chandelure is very fragile, using the Burst Mode declare wave or the additional HP recovery to reduce pressure is a viable tactic. Chandelure gains the following slight enhancements during Burst:

  • 6XX becomes a fullscreen laser beam that will stun the opponent on hit. Unlike 6[Y], this laser still will not counter pierce. (6X:X is still a just frame.)
  • Will-O-Wisp gains an additional hit, and will also stun the opponent on hit.
Final Flicker is genuinely terrifying. Chandelure straight-up kills you!

While Chandelure only gets these few enhancements compared to other characters, they are still very crucial. Will-O-Wisp becomes an even stronger okizeme option than it already is, and 6XX likewise becomes an even better approach/whiff punish. Furthermore, the stun lets you confirm into a free grab, Hex, or even your Burst Attack. The amount of options you gain access to after the stun will greatly enhance your zoning gameplay and damage, even if your overall gameplan remains the same after Burst activation. Chandelure’s Burst Attack, Final Flicker, is a command counter that is also invincible on frame 13. Final Flicker counter pierces, and the technique steals your opponent’s soul- and with it, any of their dark green health. Should they survive, the Attack and Defense debuff they will accrue will last for a whopping 21 seconds, making it difficult for them to surmount any comeback of their own. The counter armor also allows you to parry any close-quarters confrontations, but be aware that a prescient player has 13 frames to throw you out of the Burst Attack should they get in.

Strengths and Weaknesses

While the ‘top 5’ characters in Pokkén are generally always up for debate (if you asked me, I would likely have a different opinion than other top players, who themselves would only agree on a few slots,) Chandelure is often one of the characters who is up there. Chandelure has a powerful zoning moveset with several tools that shut down one of the best universal movement options in the game- a tool that rushdown characters and up-close bruisers like Blaziken and Machamp tend to rely on in order to make their life against zoners easier. Even though Chandelure is very fragile, she also has several escape options such as Minimize, her command armor, and her unique jump and Pendulum Motion that allow her to slip away from her opponent’s grasp. Of course, Chandelure is by no means a character who is easy to win with- players at higher levels will have to get used to both employing and mixing up their zoning patterns, as well as recognizing when they have to escape from their opponent. Characters with equally unique mixup and approach options, such as Sceptile, Mewtwo, and Gengar, are among the characters that can compete with Chandelure- coincidentally, these are all also characters that are consistently considered high- or top-tier. Her two major weaknesses are how vulnerable Overheat leaves her, and her generally poor frame data up close.

Support and Cheer Pairings

Fortunately for Chandelure, her weaknesses can be mitigated by several different Support Sets. Espeon/Umbreon is one of the more obvious Sets that synergize well with Chandelure- if you’re at a loss as a beginner, this is a decent Set to start out with. Espeon will heal back Chandelure’s fragile health pool, and using it after Overheat will completely negate the self-debuffs. Umbreon likewise grants Chandelure an invincible reversal that will also steal your opponent’s Synergy and pass on a debuff, making Hex even more intimidating. You can also use Supports like Eevee, Mew or Victini to temporarily grant yourself some buffs that you can spend on a free Overheat, or Sets like Yveltal-Latios to continuously trap and debuff your opponent. You likely won’t be hurting much for Synergy, so you can use Standard or Support Cheers to start, and transition into Special once you feel comfortable and are scoring more wins.

Target Combos

These are some easy combos that you can get started with right away- they are bread-and-butter combos, not necessarily the most difficult or the most optimal. If you want to learn more about what your character has to offer, I suggest exploring the longer combo guides found in the Pokkén character Discords, as they will often be the most up-to-date with the current version of the game. The sample combos in the tutorial mode are also very good at helping you figure out your character’s combo theory.

Here are a handful of 8X confirms. In order: 8X 6XX, 8X 8Y 4A, 8X 8Y 5A, 8X 5YY 5A, and 8X 5YY 6A.

Most of Chandelure’s combos are fairly short and earned off a heavy hit. I have included a clip with a handful of potential confirms after 8X, for instance, but you have other starters to choose from. Since most of Chandelure’s normals are pretty bad, and her gameplan is primarily zoning-based, this is to be expected. Also remember that, when practicing some of these combos, they are more effective from the furthest range you can land the starter (5YY 5A or 5Y 2A, for instance, will only work at the furthest ranges that 5Y can hit.) I will include a handful of short combos as ideas of what you can do off a normal confirm.

5Y 2A or 5YY 5A

8X 6XX or 8X 8Y 4A or 8X 8Y 5A

5X 6XX or 5[X] 6[Y]

Conclusion

Chandelure is a glass cannon zoner with several disruptive and powerful projectiles. While fragile, Chandelure has a variety of options that she can use to escape pressure, and many of her more damaging tools can pass debuffs onto opponents. Both Phases tend to play very similarly for Chandelure. In Field, Chandelure has the added benefit of the 3D plane to aid her mobility while also tossing out additional traps that may hamper her opponent’s approach. In Duel, she can take advantage of the limited 2D plane to force her opponent to circumnavigate counter-piercing and debuffing projectiles and lasers. Burst Mode gives Chandelure additional stun properties on certain moves which can open up more punish opportunities, and Final Flicker is an additional command counter super move that keeps her safe while continuing to debuff her opponent. While Chandelure has very few weaknesses, they are glaringly obvious- fortunately, her own debuffs and lack of close-quarters safety can be mitigated by Sets such as Espeon-Umbreon.

That wraps up the Chandelure guide- we are halfway through the Pokkén roster, and two-thirds of the way through with all of the Power-type Pokémon. The next guide will focus on the iconic Pokémon Red version mascot, arguably one of the most famous Pokémon of all time besides Pikachu and Mewtwo- the Flame Pokémon, Charizard!

Written by

Nathan “Lite the Iron Man” Dhami can be found on Twitter (@LiteTheIronMan,) on Twitch (twitch.tv/litetheironman,) and at your local.

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