- This article is about Pokémon Trainer's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. For other uses, see Pokémon Trainer.
|“||The trainer returns with Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard. You can choose to play as a male or female trainer!||”|
|—Description from the Super Smash Blog.|
The Pokemon Trainer is a veteran fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, first playable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The character now has alternate costumes that allow players to play as either a male (known as Red) or female (known as Leaf) Pokémon Trainer.
When unlocked, Red and his Pokémon are fought at Pokémon Stadium.
- Stamina mechanic has been removed, eliminating need to change Pokémon to recharge stamina.
- Pokémon Change can be used in midair.
- Ability to switch Pokémon makes them unpredictable.
- Squirtle is very light, being launched easily.
- Charizard is very heavy, with poor recovery.
Changes from Brawl
Pokémon Trainer has received several key changes for his transition from Brawl to Ultimate. Notably, the Stamina mechanic has been completely removed, and Pokémon Change has been granted high utility due to the addition of aerial switching and significantly faster Pokémon switches. As such, switches between their three Pokémon have now become a unique advantage for the Pokémon Trainer alone, and his Pokémon are now free to fight indefinitely without being limited by Stamina during battle.
- The Pokémon Trainer's model is significantly more detailed than it was in Brawl, having stylized body proportions and sharper, slimmer eyes. Additionally, the Trainer's Pokéballs have been resized to fit in his palm. Both these changes now make their designs similar to the style of more recent Pokémon titles.
- The female Pokémon Trainer from FireRed and LeafGreen appears as an alternate costume
- The Pokémon Trainer now turns in battle to face the direction of the fight.
- The designs and proportions of Squirtle and Ivysaur now match their appearances in the more recent Pokémon titles. They are much more expressive than they were in Brawl.
- Triple Finish has a different text box and animations, making it identical to how they appear in the Generation VII games.
- The Trainer now claps on the results screen.
- On the results screen, the Pokémon Trainer himself/herself is shown and announced as the winner of the fight rather than the Pokémon that was in battle. His/Her face is also used as the stock icon for all three Pokémon.
- The Stamina mechanic has been removed, eliminating the necessity of switching out Pokémon to restore their power.
- Pokémon Change can now be used in the air and is much quicker, due to no longer having to load each individual Pokémon for every switch. Like in Brawl, it also offers brief invincibility upon switching out, though the quicker switch time allows it to potentially combo into another Pokémon's moves, or function somewhat as an alternative "air dodge". It also allows the user to essentially choose the recovery that suits a situation best.
- Spamming Pokémon Change will grant no invincibility frames for a period of time.
In competitive play
Pokémon Trainer's preception has been positive ever since the game's release. The changes to the character's infamously counter-intuitive mechanics, specifically the removal of Stamina and type effectiveness, alongside the significantly faster switch time for Pokémon Change, had players excited for the character's return from Brawl. However, players also noted that Pokémon Trainer's playstyle had some detractors due to Ivysaur being overtuned compared to its teammates while Charizard was considered a very lackluster character, leading to optimal play requiring unbalanced use of the three Pokémon and a more predictable and exploitable game plan. Although the character initially saw average representation due to his high learning curve, players such as Leffen, Wishes, and HIKARU found success at several national tournaments.
However, as more players began learning how to utilize all three Pokémon, Pokémon Trainer saw an increase in representation. This positive trend culminated in an explosion of results during the summer of 2019 thanks to the efforts of players such as Puppeh, moxi, and most notably Tweek, who placed top 3 at several major tournaments including EVO 2019 and Super Smash Con 2019. Although Pokémon Trainer has since seen a decline due to buffs to other characters as well as the release of DLC, thanks to his above-average representation as well as an overall positive perception in the community, many players consider Pokémon Trainer to be at least a high tier character with some players even considering the character to be top tier.
Classic Mode: The Future Champion
Pokémon Trainer's route refers to the player's goal of becoming the Pokémon Champion in the Pokémon games. Like in Pikachu's route, the opponents are all Pokémon and all rounds are on Pokémon stages. Each round will start with the Pokémon chosen on the character select screen regardless of which one was active at the end of the previous round.
Role in World of Light
The male Pokémon Trainer was among the fighters summoned to fight the army of Master Hands.
During the opening cutscene, the Pokémon Trainer was present on the cliffside when Galeem unleashed its beams of light. Working together with Bowser and his Fire Breath, he sent out Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard in an attempt to fight back against the beams with Triple Finish, to no avail. All four were vaporized and placed under Galeem's imprisonment along with the rest of the fighters (excluding Kirby).
The male Pokémon Trainer can be found at the southeast near the maze that resembles Pac-Maze. Defeating him also allows access to all of his Pokémon as well as his female counterpart. Uniquely, the Trainer is controlled on the overworld during World of Light, rather than his Pokémon.
- Default: Male Pokémon Trainer is based on his appearance in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen.
- Red: Female Pokémon Trainer is based on her appearance in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. Squirtle resembles the Pokémon Wartortle, its evolved form. Ivysaur resembles its in-battle sprite from Gold, Silver, and Crystal. Charizard resembles Charmeleon, its pre-evolved form.
- Green: Male Pokémon Trainer resembles Ethan as he appears in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal. Squirtle resembles its shiny coloration. Ivysaur resembles its monochromatic sprite from the Gen I games.
- Pink: Female Pokémon Trainer resembles May as she appears in Pokémon Emerald.
- Yellow: Male Pokémon Trainer resembles Lucas as he appears in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Squirtle resembles its in-battle sprite from Gold, Silver, and Crystal. Ivysaur resembles its shiny coloration. Charizard resembles the Shiny colorations of Charmander and Charmeleon.
- White: Female Pokémon Trainer resembles Hilda, the female protagonist of Pokémon Black and White. The white color scheme of her Pokémon coincides with Pokémon White. Charizard resembles the Pokémon Aerodactyl.
- Blue: Male Pokémon Trainer resembles Calem, the male protagonist of Pokémon X and Y. He has tanned skin, much like one of the customizable options in X and Y. The blue color scheme of his Pokémon coincides with Pokémon X. Charizard resembles the Pokémon Zubat and its evolved form, Golbat.
- Purple: Female Pokémon Trainer resembles Selene as she appears in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. She has tanned skin, much like one of the customizable options in Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon. The purple color scheme of her Pokémon coincides with Pokémon Moon and Ultra Moon. Charizard resembles its original Shiny coloration from Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal.
- Pokémon Change is the only one of Squirtle and Charizard's Special Moves that does not begin with the letters "W" and "F", respectively.
- This is excluding Triple Finish for both of them.