Ivysaur (フシギソウ, Fushigisou) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl in a sense; it is one of three Pokémon that are played through Pokémon Trainer, the other two being Squirtle and Charizard. Ivysaur originated from the original Pokémon game for Game Boy as the first evolved form of Bulbasaur, one of the initial Pokémon the player can start out with at the beginning of the adventure. When Ivysaur moves, it sheds very small leaves, similar to Pit's feathers shedding when he jumps.
Ivysaur is perhaps the most difficult Pokémon to play out of the three. It cannot overpower its foes with deadly force like Charizard can, nor can it overwhelm foes with a high rate of attack like the nimble Squirtle. Moreover, Ivysaur is in extreme danger in any recovery situation, as it is can be edge-hogged pre/mid-tether. Finally, Ivysaur's KO moves are all quite limited and require either good mindgaming or excellent spacing to land safely.
Despite its flaws, Ivysaur can do well when effectively using its moveset to frustrate foes. Ivysaur has one of the best damage rackers in the game with its neutral special, Bullet Seed. Constantly spotdodging or fooling foes to land this move is a top priority for good Ivysaur play, even at higher damage percentages. One hit of the special button can often rack up an easy 30%, and upward of 50% when landed right. Ivysaur's grab game can also assist at putting it in charge - Ivysaur's vines give it one of the best pivot grabs this side of Yoshi, and its running grab sports decent range as well (the standing grab, however, has surprisingly low range and a laggy "miss" animation). Once having grabbed, Ivysaur can use either a down or forward throw to maintain control of the match. Razor Leaf also contributes with its good range, speed, and piercing capabilities, but the unpredictable flight path can cause Ivysaur trouble from time to time. Ivysaur actually has a quite good jab combo too, as it sports decent damage, begins quickly, is endless, and is a good frontal deterrent to mid-close range attackers. Ivysaur's other primary problem is its back aerial; repeated use of this move can shut down plenty of approaches, but does little damage.
As previously stated, although damage is not too much of a problem, KOing can be. Ivysaur's two most KO capable smashes are powerful but slow (with its up smash as the most powerful of its kind in Brawl); and the same goes for its two aerial power moves, meaning that its up aerial telegraphs itself almost as much as Zelda's, and its forward aerial only begins to KO at around 130%. Their primary faults are laggy landings should they not end in time. A sweetspotted Vine Whip can make for a superb surprise KO, but its set trajectory is rarely ideal, and being an up-special, it is dangerous to use in midair. Ivysaur can pop off a dash attack for a quick and rather powerful headbutt KO, but getting shielded makes it risky. Getting KO's is worsened by the Pokémon Trainer stamina trait, should Ivysaur get tired, and Ivysaur is also burdened with its weakness to fire-based knockback. While Squirtle is the only character in the game to do water-based knockback (discounting Mario with his F.L.U.D.D.), there are many more characters than just Charizard who utilize fire-based knockback in their more powerful moves (R.O.B., Ike, Luigi, Snake, Mario, Captain Falcon, Mr. Game & Watch, etc.), and have an easier time KO'ing Ivysaur as a result (one of the most notorious examples of this is Luigi with his Fire Jump Punch, who can KO Ivysaur at as low as 40%.). It also has quite a long rolling dodge animation, making it vulnerable to punishment by an opponent.
Ivysaur's worst weaknesses, though, are its atrocious air game and recovery. Ivysaur has a tough time using aerials against opponents offensively, and is frequently at risk to being pushed to the edge while airborne. Its back aerial and neutral aerial can help alleviate the defensive issue, but the neutral aerial has low range while its back aerial requires it to be facing away from the opponent, which can't always be done when already in the air. Ivysaur has very slow air speed, which also hurts its aerial game. The result is that anytime Ivysaur is off the stage, the Pokémon is in a bad tactical position and is generally forced to either begin edge games with Vine Whip and back/neutral air, or to simply get back to the stage (the safer option). While its midair jump is decent, Ivysaur relies on its tether recovery to return to the stage due to its poor air speed, but can easily be edgehogged while attempting to use the Vine Whip to recover, although this can be prevented by shooting a Razor Leaf to clear the edge-hog off the stage.
In the end, Ivysaur can best be described as a poor version of Olimar; both are great at racking up the damage close-in and at irritating at mid-long range, but Olimar has a much easier time landing KO's with his superior (and almost-always disjointed) attack options, including better smashes, better aerials, and a better grab.
In competitive play
Role in The Subspace Emissary
While in the ruins, Lucas and Pokémon Trainer discover Ivysaur in trophy form at the end of a torch-lit hallway. Pokémon Trainer then easily captures it, adding it to his team. Since Ivysaur is not seen again in a cutscene, it is the only character that is not seen outside of its trophy form during cutscenes in The Subspace Emissary (not counting the credits).
In Event Matches
Note: Ivysaur is only featured in one event that does not include the Pokémon Trainer.
A Seed Pokémon that is the evolved form of Bulbasaur. It has a flower bulb on its back, the weight of which has made it develop strong legs and hips. If the blossom gets too big, the Pokémon can't stand on two legs alone. At a certain level, it evolves into Venusaur. When this happens, the bulb absorbs nutrients and blossoms into a large-petaled flower.