Pokémon Trainer (SSBB)
in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
|Shares character slot with||Charizard|
|Other playable appearance||in Ultimate|
|Final Smash||Triple Finish|
Pokémon Trainer (ポケモントレーナー, Pokémon Trainer) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He was confirmed on the Smash Bros. DOJO!! on August 13, 2007. His design is taken from that of Red, the male protagonist of the Generation I Pokémon games and their remakes. Rather than fighting directly as the Trainer, the player instead controls his three Pokémon, Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard, all three of them being starter Pokémon with the latter two being in different evolutionary stages; and can switch between the three via use of his down special move, Pokémon Change.
Various accommodations in the background are made for Pokémon Trainer in several stages, where the Trainer stands and commands his Pokémon. In moving stages like Halberd and Delfino Plaza, Pokémon Trainer only appears on the stationary sections. He will move above the pit in the Yoshi's Island stage when his Pokémon is on the opposite side of the pit (for example, if Pokémon Trainer is on the right and his Pokémon is on the left).
Unlike a majority of the characters, the Pokémon Trainer has different voice actors, which depend on the region and language. The voice actors respectively are as follows:
- In English: Michele Knotz
- In French: Virginie Demians
- In German: Dina Kuerten
- In Italian: Francesca Giudice
- In Japanese: Tomoe Hanba
- In Korean: Lee Sun
- In Spanish: Isabel Navarro
Pokémon Trainer is ranked 29th in the tier list, right above the bottom spot of lower-mid tier. Pokémon Trainer's individual Pokémon have their own merits, and the variety in choices helps in preventing hard counters. Pokémon Trainer, however, suffers from severe, unique afflictions that no other character has to deal with. The first is the stamina problem, which, when it occurs, will force the player to fight with severely reduced damage output and finishing ability, or make a Pokémon change that will either give their opponent a free hit or make the player give up an opportunity to capitalize on the opponent's vulnerability. Additionally, when a Pokémon is KO'd, the player is forced to send out the next Pokémon in the lineup. The forced switching from this and stamina leads to two more issues: it prevents the player from only using the Pokémon best suited for the matchup (for example against King Dedede, the player will not be able to just stay on Squirtle, and will be forced to use the other Pokémon who are hard countered by Dedede), and it forces players looking to pick up the Pokémon Trainer to master all three Pokémon playstyles (so instead of just having to learn one character as with anyone else, a player will have to learn three vastly different characters, thus significantly hindering development with the character). Moreover, the Trainer's Pokémon have their own significant weaknesses and flaws. While Squirtle is often considered to be a potentially viable character due to its good mobility, attack speed, and air game, it has difficulty at KOing opponents; Charizard suffers from slow aerial movement speed and laggy attacks; and Ivysaur is crippled by its abysmal air game and tether recovery, slow and difficult-to-land KO moves, and very short reach on its attacks.
In the end, all of the Pokémon Trainer's issues result in overall poor matchups beyond low tier, with many hard counters (although he does have favorable matchups against Donkey Kong and especially Ness). Due to the abilities of TheReflexWonder, however, the amount of money the Pokémon Trainer has won in tournaments has been surprisingly high, though when TheReflexWonder is not counted, his tournament results have been near nonexistent.
Pokémon Trainer's unique ability to be three characters in one allows for many different positive effects. For instance, the three separate characters can be used together in conjunction for a powerful effect, especially since altogether the Pokémon Trainer has nine special moves, if Pokémon Change is excluded. Since all the Pokémon have varying weights and sizes, certain Pokémon can be switched to during opportune moments. For example, if the Pokémon has high damage, Charizard can be switched to since it has a higher weight. Squirtle and Ivysaur both are excellent at racking up damage, and the high damage opponent can then be KO'd by one of Charizard's high knockback moves. All of the Trainer's Pokémon experience type effectiveness, however. The invincibility granted by Pokémon Change can be used to avoid attacks on the ground, such as Final Smashes, or cure status ailments. However, Pokémon Change happens automatically after a Pokémon is KO'd. If the player wants to switch back to the Pokémon they were just using they must endure 4+ seconds of Pokémon Change to get back to that last Pokémon in use, and this can be a hindrance, as not all frames of the move grant invincibility, leaving the Pokémon being brought into battle somewhat vulnerable at the end. Also, the move cannot be used in midair or while invincible. Certain Pokémon are bad for certain situations, either forcing the player to use the wrong Pokémon for certain bad situations or go through multiple Pokémon Change uses. Also, after 1 minute and 20 seconds, stamina is brought into play, significantly weakening a Pokémon's moves.
The one thing that the entire team shares is a strong grab/throw game, though each one has different ways of implementing it. Squirtle's grab has roughly average range, but its strength is in grounding an opponent in their shield with an overwhelming attack rate before rushing in for a grab. From there, it has a KO option and excellent setup options with decent damage all around. Ivysaur does things differently by focusing more on tricking the opponent into a grab; Ivysaur has one of the best pivot grabs available and will often have retreated to the edge in the process, and from there has the option to use its powerful back-throw for a KO (or up-throw, should the match-up recommend it). Charizard's long neck can outgrab most of the characters in the game due to owning the second longest non-tether grab range in Brawl (second to King Dedede), giving it good match control options. It also has the option to grab-release, since the spacing will become perfect for a down-tilt , and potentially a KO.
As the Pokémon Trainer is a "three-in-one" character, he has several unique characteristics in battle.
The three Pokémon all share the same damage meter, but they each have their own individual Stamina stat, which makes the Pokémon weaker the longer it has been in action. It is possible to choose which Pokémon the player begins the match with. By clicking on the Pokémon of the player's choice on the portrait (not the icon), the player will start with that Pokémon. Selecting Pokémon Trainer himself makes the starting Pokémon randomly chosen. In battle, the cycle of Pokémon switching goes in the order: Squirtle, Ivysaur, Charizard. If a Pokémon is KO'd, the next Pokémon in the line will be summoned on the revival platform.
Whichever Pokémon is currently battling will have its picture shown in the bottom of the screen, next to the damage percentage and the series logo. The picture then changes to the newly sent out Pokémon's portrait upon switching. If Pokémon Trainer is defeated when there are 2 or more people/teams still Brawling on the stage, he will remain on the stage, covering his face with his hand.
Pokémon Trainer says a special catchphrase as he withdraws the Pokémon currently on stage. His three possible catchphrases are "Get back!", "Good job!", and "Amazing job!", depending on the amount of time the Pokémon has spent on screen. Pokémon Trainer also says a catchphrase when he releases a new Pokémon from the revival platform; his three possible catchphrases are "Go, _______!", "Hang on, _______!", and "Just a little more, _______!" This references what Trainers say when sending out Pokémon in the Pokémon series games, and just like in those games, the phrases are dependent on how much damage the opponent has.
- The Trainer releases a Poké Ball and says "Go for it!".
- Up taunt: Raises an arm up while holding a Poké Ball and opens his mouth.
- Side taunt: Quickly jabs an arm to the side.
- Down taunt: Brings an elbow downwards in a victorious manner.
|Up taunt||Side taunt||Down taunt|
- Up taunt: Backflips, spreads out its arms and opens its mouth saying "Squirtle, Squirtle".
- Side taunt: Spins on its tail and squirts out water and says "Squirtle".
- Down taunt: Goes into its shell and hops while spinning.
|Up taunt||Side taunt||Down taunt|
- Up taunt: Spins its bud, and shakes off some leaves.
- Side taunt: Stands on its front legs and walks around while saying "Saur, Ivysaur".
- Down taunt: Spins around and extends its vines doing a dance, it throws around some leaves while saying "Ivy, Ivy".
|Up taunt||Side taunt||Down taunt|
- Up taunt: Stomps and roars to the sky, while flapping its wings.
- Side taunt: Stomps and makes a bizarre purring sound, and also flaps its wings once.
- Down taunt: Stomps violently.
|Up taunt||Side taunt||Down taunt|
- Rubs his leg.
- Steps to the side
- Stands up straight.
|Pitch||Group chant||Group chant|
While each Pokémon has their own individual animations, the Pokémon Trainer himself uses the same set of animations for each Pokémon.
- Up: First raises his right hand (which is holding a Pokeball) into the air, then switches to his left hand.
- Left: Tosses a Pokeball in the air then catches it and holds it out in front of him.
- Right: The Trainer pets the Pokémon. Unlike the up and left victory poses, the animations differ between Pokémon.
- Up: Squirts water in three directions, does a backflip, then poses.
- Left: Does some poses, spins around doing a breakdance move, and ends on its bottom scratching its head.
- Right: Pokémon Trainer kneels down and hugs Squirtle, who says "Squirtle Squirtle".
- The Pokémon Trainer says "Good job, Squirtle!" in all three poses.
- Up: Jumps and lands on its belly.
- Left: Stands in a battle-ready pose.
- Right: Pokémon Trainer pets it, and Ivysaur jumps on him, but Pokémon Trainer puts it down and continues to pet him.
- The Pokémon Trainer says "Way to go, Ivysaur!" in all three poses.
- Up: Roars up to the sky while flapping its wings.
- Left: Stomps the ground and fires a fireball into the sky.
- Right: Pokémon Trainer pets its head and hugs its neck.
- The Pokémon Trainer says "You did it, Charizard!" in all three poses.
In competitive play
Pokémon Trainer overall has a mediocre matchup spread. He only hard counters Ganondorf, counters 7 characters, soft counters 4 characters, and goes even with Sonic, while being soft countered by 9 characters, countered by 11 characters, and gets hard countered by Meta Knight, Marth, and King Dedede. Pokémon Trainer's matchups all depend on how well each of the 3 Pokémon fares against them. While he does have favorable matchups against Donkey Kong, Ness, and lower-tiered characters, the forced switching mechanic made others drastically harder (which included examples such as King Dedede, who can chaingrab Charizard and Ivysaur to death, both who lack the proper tools to combat the former’s attributes).
Most historically significant players
- See also: Category:Pokémon Trainer players (SSBB)
- Coontail - Although better known for his commentary, Coontail was also known as a high-level Pokémon Trainer player. However, because he lived in the incredibly strong New York/New Jersey region, he was never able to gain strong results using the character in local tournaments.
- TheReflexWonder - Played Pokémon Trainer along with Wario throughout his competitive Brawl career. The only Pokémon Trainer player ever to achieve significant results with him on a national level, including a 9th place finish at WHOBO 4, and used him to dominate low tier events. Reflex is credited for reversing many negative opinions regarding the Trainer's low-tier viability.
Tier placement and history
Due to the Pokémon Trainer's stamina and forced switching mechanic, that required players to learn three vastly different characters to play the Trainer (thus making the Trainer require drastically more work and effort than any other character to learn and master, for no greater reward), the Trainer has always been an extremely unpopular character in tournaments. Besides the absurd learning curve, the stamina and forced switching mechanics directly brought the Trainer's potential down, and made matchups much harder than they would be otherwise. A significant example is King Dedede, a character Squirtle would go even with or win the matchup against as a solo character, but because of the forced switching to Charizard and Ivysaur, who are hard countered by Dedede, the Dedede matchup turns into a hard counter against the Pokémon Trainer. The Pokémon Trainer was brought farther down by one of his required Pokémon, Ivysaur, being widely considered as a strong candidate for worst character in the game if it was a solo character.
The emergence of TheReflexWonder's tremendous success in his region with the Pokémon Trainer marked a bit of a reversal in the community's view of the Pokémon Trainer however. Many players additionally began thinking that Squirtle was a character with high tier potential as a solo character. As a result, the Pokémon Trainer rose five spots on the third tier list to 27th, formally being out of the low tiers. And in the fourth tier list, the Trainer would rise three more spots to his peak at 24th. Beyond that point though, with the Pokémon Trainer's practically nonexistent tournament results outside TheReflexWonder, general consensus became that TheReflexWonder's anomalous success with the Pokémon Trainer was entirely due to TheReflexWonder's own incredible abilities as a player, rather than the Pokémon Trainer having unrealised potential. This view was further supported by the fact that TheReflexWonder achieved greater success in tournaments with Wario than he did with the Pokémon Trainer. This resulted in the Pokémon Trainer falling four spots back down to 28th in the fifth tier list. Since then, the aforementioned view of TheReflexWonder has remained strong and no other Pokémon Trainer player has achieved significant tournament success. This resulted in the Pokémon Trainer hovering between 28th and 29th right above the low tiers on each subsequent tier list.
Role in The Subspace Emissary
After fleeing from Wario in The Ruined Zoo, Lucas bumps into Pokémon Trainer, who advises him to stand back, and proceeds to take on a group of Primids with his Squirtle alongside Lucas. After this battle, he goes on his way, but Lucas follows him. As the story progresses, they develop a strong friendship.
Pokémon Trainer is searching for two Pokémon, Charizard and Ivysaur, that are identified when he shows Lucas their cards. He and Lucas set out to find them. Outside of an old temple, they survive a brief encounter with Wario. After venturing deep into the ruins, finding Ivysaur, and battling and capturing Charizard, Pokémon Trainer and Lucas fight a giant monster named Galleom.
When Galleom is defeated, it grabs both Lucas and Pokémon Trainer, causing the latter to faint, and jumps high into the air, revealing an armed Subspace Bomb in its head. Lucas uses PK Thunder to detach its arm, and he and Pokémon Trainer free-fall towards the ground. Just before they would hit the ground, Meta Knight flies in and grabs them both, and takes them to safety away from the Subspace explosion, with Marth and Ike.
Later, Pokémon Trainer and Marth watch as the Ice Climbers fall from the mountain. As the Shadow Bugs swarm over the cliffs, he joins Marth, Ike and Lucas in repelling the Primids. As he retreats, tossing a Poké Ball from hand to hand, Mario, Pit, Link, Kirby and Yoshi arrive at the Canyon entrance.
Pokémon Trainer later joins the rest of the fighters in their assault on the Subspace Gunship, and is aboard one of the smaller ships when they navigate their way into Subspace. However, when they reach Tabuu, he trophifies all of the fighters with his Off Waves. Pokémon Trainer is later revived by King Dedede, Ness and Luigi, and can be chosen to fight Tabuu in the final battle.
In The Subspace Emissary, Pokémon Trainer starts with only Squirtle, later gaining Ivysaur and then Charizard. When only Squirtle is available, attempting to use down special will have no effect, and Pokémon Trainer in the background will merely "flip" a Poké Ball in his hand twice.
Stamina is not present at any point in this mode, allowing prolonged use of a single Pokémon without penalty. Also, Pokémon Trainer will often Space Jump around the level to catch up with his Pokémon, seen as an orange-yellow streak across the screen.
For Stickers, all three Pokémon share the same trophy base, and so the boosts will apply to all of them.
- The Ruined Zoo (Squirtle only)
- Path to the Ruins (Squirtle only)
- The Ruins (Squirtle only for the first part of the level, Ivysaur is added partway through, and Charizard is added upon the level's completion)
- The Ruined Hall
- Entrance to Subspace
- The Great Maze (if rescued in Subspace (Part I))
In Event Matches
- Event 5: Become the Champion!: As the Pokémon Trainer, the player faces off against another Pokémon Trainer and must KO all three of his Pokémon on Pokémon Stadium 2. If any of the player's Pokémon gets KO'd in this match, they cannot be used again.
- Event 14: Sproutrage of the Flower Pikmin: Olimar must protect six Pikmin from Pikachu and the Pokémon Trainer until they all bloom into flowers.
- Event 20: All-Star Battle x1: The Pokémon Trainer is one of the eight opponents fought in this event along with Wario, Meta Knight, Pit, Zero Suit Samus, Olimar, Lucas, and Diddy Kong.
- Co-Op Event 2: Master the Pokémon Tag Battle: Pikachu and the Pokémon Trainer must work together to defeat a team consisting of another Pikachu and the Pokémon Trainer on Pokémon Stadium 2. If one of the Pokémon Trainer's Pokemon gets KO'd in this match, it cannot be used again.
- Co-Op Event 21: The True All-Star Battle: Both players select a character and take on the entire roster on Battlefield.
- Pokémon Trainer
- A person who raises Pokémon and trains them as partners in battle. In battle, a Trainer gives orders to the Pokémon and uses items. It's not an exaggeration to say battles can be won or lost on a Trainer's single strategic move. Trainers pour their hearts into their Pokémon and share anger, sadness, and joy as they adventure in hopes of becoming Pokémon Masters.
- A person who raises Pokémon and trains them as partners in battle. In battle, a Trainer gives orders to the Pokémon and uses items. It's not an exaggeration to say battles can be won or lost on a Trainer's single strategic move. Trainers pour their hearts into their Pokémon and share anger, sadness, and joy as they adventure in the hope of becoming Pokémon masters.
- : Pokémon FireRed/LeafGreen
- Triple Finish
- The Final Smash of the Pokémon Trainer. Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard join forces to simultaneously use Hydro Pump, SolarBeam, and Fire Blast. This is the only time all three of them appear on the screen together, so this move boasts the strength of three in one. A window will appear on the screen, but don't worry about it.
- : Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Pokémon Trainer in Battlefield.
Pokémon Trainer swapping his Pokémon in Pokémon Stadium 2.
Squirtle in Rumble Falls.
Squirtle drowning in Brawl.
Squirtle Wall clinging.
Ivysaur in Skyworld.
Ivysaur landing the sweetspot with Vine Whip.
Charizard in Pokémon Stadium 2.
- On the Tourney mode and Adventure Mode character-selection screens, the player can toggle between character-related options using the "-" button on the Wii Remote, the right Control Stick on the Classic Controller, or "C" on the GameCube Controller and Nunchuk. This feature allows the player to choose the starting Pokémon for Pokémon Trainer.
- After clearing Classic mode and gaining the player character's trophy, in the screen that follows before the roll-call (showing all one's previously collected character trophies), the player may notice that the Pokémon Trainer is the only misplaced character in the line-up, always appearing at the end, after Sonic. This is probably because the Pokémon Trainer isn't exactly a fighter; and the individual Pokémon's Trophies are not shown.
- If all lives are depleted, Pokémon Trainer will remain on the field, holding his head and hat down in defeat. The pose resembles poses that other Pokémon Trainers would use when they were defeated in some of the console Pokémon games.
- In Classic Mode, one needs to finish with each Pokémon separately to obtain each of their individual trophies.
- The Trainer will point his hand up, right, or down to reflect the chosen special move or taunt.
- In The Subspace Emissary, the Trainer is shown fainting when Galleom grabs him and Lucas. When Meta Knight saves them and lands safely, he regains consciousness and thanks Lucas by shaking hands with him. This is the only time a playable character is shown fainted, but not KO'd.
- Additionally, the Pokémon Trainer's trophification from Tabuu's Off Waves is the only time the Pokémon Trainer himself is KO'd in the entire game.
- The Pokémon Trainer and Lucario are the only characters in Brawl that have a different voice actor in every language.
- There are unused animations for Pokémon Trainer jumping, falling, and landing, likely meaning that he was originally intended to follow his Pokémon through the Subspace Emissary levels, rather than Space Jumping as he does in the final game.
- Pokémon Trainer is one of only three characters in Brawl that cannot use their down special move in midair, the others being Peach and Donkey Kong.
- Pokémon Trainer's page at Smash Bros. DOJO!!
- Pokémon Trainer in The Subspace Emissary.
- Pokémon Trainer Character Guide on SmashBoards.
|Fighters in Super Smash Bros. Brawl|
|Veterans||Bowser · Captain Falcon · Donkey Kong · Falco · Fox · Ganondorf · Ice Climbers · Jigglypuff · Kirby · Link · Luigi · Mario · Marth · Mr. Game & Watch · Ness · Peach · Pikachu · Samus · Yoshi · Zelda / Sheik|
|Newcomers||Diddy Kong · Ike · King Dedede · Lucario · Lucas · Meta Knight · Olimar · Pit · Pokémon Trainer (Charizard · Ivysaur · Squirtle) · R.O.B. · Snake · Sonic · Toon Link · Wario · Wolf · (Zero Suit Samus)|