Indeed, with him you will be able to play Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard, and switch between them at will during the match. These beloved characters are from the Pokémon franchise, appearing in the original games Red and Blue in 1996. They are all a different evolution of the first three starting Pokémons of the game: Squirtle is the first evolution of his line, Ivysaur is the second evolution of Bulbasaur and Charizard is the third and final evolution of Charmander. And this is masterfully represented in their gameplay in Ultimate, with each of them having a different fighting style. This makes Pokémon Trainer a very flexible and powerful character as a whole, by adapting to the opponent or situation in order to take the victory.

To kick it off we have Squirtle, a light and very small fighter with extremely fast movement and close-range attacks. Each of his hits however doesn’t do a lot of damage so he relies on a series of fast chained attacks. So as Squirtle, you need to continuously dance around your opponent and avoid their hits thanks to your small hitbox, and punish them with all your attacks, especially your particularly fast aerials. To complete his kit, he has a few more tools he can use with his specials. Squirtle’s neutral is his Water Gun, a charged attack to push opponents away without damaging them, useful to counter certain recoveries. His side-special is Withdraw, where he will hide in his shell, protecting him from any damage, and dash to the left or right, great for some safe damage. And finally, his up-special is his Waterfall, where he will rise diagonally, potentially taking enemies in the flow. This is a mediocre recovering tool but can be used at the end of an aerial combo as a finisher. Apart from that move, Squirtle has very few kill moves due to his weak smash attacks, making it hard for him to actually take the stock. So when the opponent’s percentage is high enough, it’s time to switch Pokémon with down-special, an ability all three of them share.

Then comes Ivysaur, an overall medium character in weight, speed and power, with a great mid-range combat. He relies on his vines to hit his opponent while staying at a reasonably safe distance. Ivysaur can harass easily with his forward- and back-air, which have a incredible range. His smash attacks and grabs also have an incredible reach, with some sweet power to go with it. Ivysaur’s specials grants him even more ranged potential, even allowing some long-ranged pressure. His neutral is his Bullet Seed, where he rapidly fires seeds directly above him, to seriously damage any enemy coming from the air. His side-special is his Razor Leaf, a long range projectile which will damage and impair the opponent enabling a potential follow-up attack. And last but not least is his up-special Vine Whip, both a great finisher and recovery. Indeed Ivysaur can use these vines to whip an opponent overhead out of the screen or can use it to recover at a ridiculous distance only if there is a ledge to grab on. But if you’re having some trouble to secure the kill or want an even better recovery, it’s time to switch to the final Pokémon.

To finish the trio, we have Charizard, a very powerful heavy weight fighter but with slow attacks. He does however have good mobility options with a decent move speed and a third available jump. You will need to take Charizard to end the battle with his attacks and abilities with ridiculous damage and knockback. Your best tools are your fast back-air and side-tilt or slow but extremely powerful side-smash and up-smash to knock them out of the park. But Charizard has even more dangerous weapons in his arsenal with his specials. Firstly his neutral is his Flamethrower, where he will breathe fire onto his opponent, damaging and impairing them from a safe distance. Then comes the big guns, his side-special Flare Blitz, where Charizard winds-up a forward charge engulfed in flames, and explodes at the contact of an enemy. A great horizontal recovery that can kill at merely 60% but will damage Charizard by 6% at every use. To finish off, his up-special Fly is again a great finisher and recovery tool. Charizard will spiral into the sky covering decent vertical distances and will also hit any enemy above potentially killing them at 100%. This tool is of course less powerful than his side-special but much safer as opponents have less time to react to it.

As you can see, Pokémon Trainer covers a variety of fighting styles that can theoretically be played separately, but it is by combining them that you bring out his true potential. With three times the amount of tools and abilities in his kit, Pokémon Trainer has many creative combinations to discover. But the general tactic is to start off with Squirtle to get some quick damage, then to switch to Ivysaur to zone them in the mid-game, and finally to take Charizard to finish the job. Nonetheless, you can play only one Pokémon to try to counter your opponent’s fighting style. Finally, a crucial trick to know as Pokémon Trainer is his switch dodge, which takes advantage of the invincibility frames of your down-special instead of a shield or roll to avoid your opponent.

In conclusion, if you manage to combine masterfully only the strengths of Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard, you get a very powerful overall character. Furthermore, with three different fighting styles, Pokémon Trainer can be particularly hard to master but allows him to have no real counter pick, bringing him up to a higher tier. So even if you are not particularly indecisive, I highly suggest you pick up Smash’s 3-for-1 special as he is not only strong but also loads of fun.