Super Smash Bros Ultimate Pokemon Trainer Guide – How to Play, Moves List, Counters

Our Super Smash Bros Ultimate Pokemon Trainer Guide discusses everything about him including move list, combos, recoveries, spirits, changes, and tips.

This guide makes up a part of our series of detailed character guides for Super Smash Bros Ultimate. In our Super Smash Bros Ultimate Pokemon Trainer Guide, we talk about what changes have been brought on board for the character including the animations, moves and counter picks.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate Pokemon Trainer

For all those unfamiliar, Pokemon Trainer lets you deploy and control one Pokemon out of an option of three at any given time: Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard. These Pokemon can be switched on the go within the battle thus suiting different play-styles and used for different strategic purposes.

For all that matters, this time around, there will also be a female version of the Pokemon Trainer that you can select. However, before you can try your luck at the character, or should we say characters, you will need to unlock the Pokemon Trainer.

Unlocking Pokemon Trainer

There are three ways of unlocking the character. First method is to play through the Jungle Japes Zone in the World of Light mode. After going through the area, you will unlock the Trainer. You can also play the Classic Mode as either Bowser or Donkey Kong to unlock Pokemon Trainer.

Note, if you have already unlocked Sonic, then play as Mario in the Classic Mode for unlocking the Trainer. Lastly, playing multiple sessions of the versus mode as Snake will also get you the character in question. Once you have encountered the Pokemon Trainer in either of the Classic Mode or Versus Mode, you will need to defeat him at the Pokemon Stadium to unlock him.

Changes in SSBU

Switching between the three Pokemon is much easier and faster now, thanks to the Stamina mechanic being completely removed this time around. This Pokemon Change move can now be executed even while airborne and will allow you to remain in air for longer so this serves as an aerial dodge.


Thanks to the less amount of frames that this move now takes up, Pokemon can be changed between combos for more flashy and extended attack strings. Lastly, the Pokemon Change will grant you brief invincibility on the first few starting frames, so you can even perform it in the neutral for the purpose of remaining intangible alone. However, it should be noted that there is a cool-down time of 2 seconds for switching Pokemon.

The Final Smash for the Pokemon Trainer, ‘Triple Finish’ has a different animation this time around which sees the three Pokemon unleashing their fire, water and solar power with full force.


This is the Pokemon that you start a match with by default. In addition to a new side taunt, the dash-around and neutral attacks have also received new animations. Moreover, it has also received a new down tilt and forward smash moves that differs in animation from their appearance in the previous entries of the series. Lastly, its neutral air attack now sees him spinning a cartwheel.

Squirtle’s speed in all the movement departments: walking, dashing and descending from, has been increased. However, its air acceleration has slightly been reduced. The jump-squat now takes a frame less to initiate. Charging the Water Gun is now significantly quicker and has more range that could reach full-screen when fully charged. Finally, its Withdraw move comes out faster and will stop as it makes contact with a foe.


Ivysaur’s neutral aerial attack has received some tweaks to the animations that see him perform a 6-hit leaf strike. The dash also looks different with Ivysaur now charging with a headbutt. In its Bullet Speed move, it will now send out a smaller amount of seeds. A lot has changed when it comes to the Pokemon’s move-set.

Along with an increase to Ivysaur’s dash and air speed, it also now weighs less. The neutral attack is now less punishable while the Forward Tilt and Down Smash have both been given more range with the former also receiving a damage buff. The neutral aerial has more range and less landing lag while the back air has reduced range and requires more start-up frames. The Up Air attack is now more punishable on block while the Bullet Speed special attack is now much safer.

The Razor Leaf attack is faster and covers more range. Lastly, the Vine Whip can be used multiple times while airborne and its angle can be altered so that its vertical and diagonal distance is decided manually. Also, the grounded version of this move will not extend the hitbox to the front of Ivysaur like the one it did in previous games.


This particular Pokemon now dashes differently and has new taunts with different animations. The animation for its down throw was also changed so that Charizard also hovers a little above the opponent while it is setting them ablaze. The color of Charizard’s flame in its Flare Blitz move has changed from blue to orange.

When it comes to how his moves work, the dash was increased considerably while the fall and air speed have also been given a boost. The walk speed, however, was reduced by a little. The jump-squat now initiates much faster and the Pokemon covers more vertical distance with his mid-air jump. This time around, Charizard will take a little damage the longer it spends its time in water.

Charizard covers more horizontal distance with his Up Tilt unlike before and all air attacks now have less landing lag. The neutral air attack comes out faster while the forward air move has a higher knock-back effect. The back aerial lets Charizard cover a greater vertical distance.

The Flare Blitz special move deals more knock-back and chip (shield) damage while the Fly’s special move has a large hitbox and would not produce as much of a knock-back effect as it did previously. Lastly, his Rock Smash special attack has been removed from his move list.

Recommended Spirits

Judging closely by the playstyle of the Pokemon Trainer, you are advised to choose the following Spirits by decreasing precedence. Overall, they will grant you with more damage potential with your special and aerial attacking moves.

  • Chun-Li
  • Shine Sprite
  • Rathalos
  • Reaper and Reappette

Counter Picks

Dealing with the Pokemon Trainer is now a little bit difficult thanks to the ability of the character to get invincibility frames every time he spams the Pokemon Change move. With that said, there are some characters who can see through that and have a good capability of getting in close and deal with the aerial pressure of the Pokemon Trainer.

  • Bayonetta
  • Cloud
  • Zero Suit Samus
  • Captain Falcon

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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...