Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Profiles: Pokemon Trainer

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate set to release in December. And since 'everybody is here,' Shacknews is taking some time to break down each of the game's characters individually, continuing with the Pokemon Trainer.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the latest entry in Nintendo's ongoing premier platform fighter series. It's also slated to be the company's biggest release of the holiday season. After almost 20 years of battle between top characters of some of gaming's biggest franchises, Ultimate will bring together every single fighter from every Smash Bros. game to date (along with a few more) in one single game.

With so many characters to choose from, Shacknews is taking a look at each and every one of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters individually, leading up to the game's big release on December 7. Because many aspects of the game are subject to change, including character damage and special move properties, these profiles should not be considered final and can be updated at any time. Any guide that has been updated will be clearly marked.

Here's what we have up so far:
#01 - Mario
#15 - Ice Climbers
#38 - Sonic
#64 - Inkling

Today, we look back at a long-awaited return to the Super Smash Bros. roster.

Who is the Pokemon Trainer?

The Pokemon Trainer is essentially *you* in any iteration of the Pokemon RPGs. He's not Red or Blue, but he (or she) is more of a generic version of a mainline Pokemon protagonist.

But how about the Pokemon at the Pokemon Trainer's disposal. Those should look familiar to long-time followers of the series. They're all different evolution stages of the original three starter Pokemon. There's Squirtle, the Water-type; Ivysaur, the Grass-type; and Charizard, the Fire-type. While Charizard was featured as a standalone character in Smash 4, the band is all back together in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The Pokemon Trainer's three partner Pokemon are all fiercely loyal, battling it out to the very end as their Trainer stands in the stage background, strategically switching out his Pokemon at will.

Pokemon Trainer's Moves and Fighter Overview

The Pokemon Trainer is mostly unchanged from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, except for one major difference. Their Pokemon no longer get fatigued. In Brawl, the idea was that Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard would get fatigued over time and their moves would become less effective, necessitating strategic switches. This is no longer the case. Now players can approach the character like they did in Brawl or they can simply opt to battle with their favorite Pokemon the whole way.

Here are the Pokemon Trainer's special moves:

Squirtle

  • Water Gun (Neutral B): Squirtle will fire off a water blast that can be charged to deal heavier damage and push opponents further towards ledges. This can be used to keep recovering opponents at a distance.
  • Waterfall (Up B): This is a reliable recovery move that will catch any opponents in its path for multiple hits.
  • Withdraw (Side B): Squirtle will retreat into his shell and fire himself off to the side, making himself a heavy projectile that deals moderate damage.

Ivysaur

  • Bullet Seed (Neutral B): Ivysaur will fire a barrage of seeds vertically, but while it might be hard to connect on a straight shot upwards, catching opponents with a full blast can deal heavy damage. If the opponent is at a high damage percentage, Bullet Seed has the potential to kill.
  • Vine Whip (Up B): Ivysaur can fire his grass whip at a 45 or 90-degree angle to tether onto ledges, making this a strong recovery option. This can deliver greater damage if the opponent is smacked with the tip.
  • Razor Leaf (Side B): This is a projectile with a slight arc at the end, which deals moderate damage.

Charizard

  • Flamethrower (Neutral B): A barrage of fire that causes moderate damage.
  • Fly (Up B): Charizard will corkscrew vertically, dealing moderate damage to enemies, but covering minimal distance. It's the weakest of the Pokemon recovery moves.
  • Flare Blitz (Side B): Charizard will perform a fiery corkscrew horizontally and cap it off with an explosion. This can deal massive damage and even kill higher-percentage opponents.
  • Pokemon Change (Down B): Allows Pokemon Trainer to switch between Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard. This can now be performed in the air, allowing for combos and for quick switches to Pokemon with better recovery options.
  • Triple Finish (Final Smash): All three Pokemon Trainer starters come together and deliver a powerful triple-team blast.

The other thing to note is that Charizard mains will have to cope with losing one of their big moves: Rock Smash. Rock Smash was a reliable defensive option, but that's now gone in favor of the Pokemon Change move. To make up for that, Flare Blitz is now wickedly powerful and can even be used as a potential finisher.

The other two starters have also received some improvements. Squirtle's Water Gun now covers a greater distance, while Ivysaur's Bullet Seed is significantly more powerful.

Also, don't sleep on the ability to switch Pokemon in mid-air. This allows the Pokemon Trainer to escape more dangerous situations, switch to better recovery options on the fly, and also opens the door to some longer chain combos.

Esports Observations

This actually won't take very long. A coalition of pros, including former Pokemon Trainer main Luis "Reflex" Torres, and the Smash 4 Charizard Discord all came together to deliver detailed frame data for the new iteration of the character.

Visit the Pokemon Trainer frame data Google Doc for all of the information.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to arrive in December on Nintendo Switch. Shacknews will continue looking into each of the game's characters from now through the big day, so be sure to come back for more breakdowns over the coming weeks. Need impressions on the game as a whole? Check out our recent hands-on from San Diego Comic-Con.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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