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F.E.A.R. is a last-resort strategy used in competitive battling, normally usable only once per battle. A "F.E.A.R. Pokémon" is a Pokémon compatible with a certain moveset capable of defeating a full-HP opponent at virtually any level (most notably LV 100) while itself is only at LV 1 or 2, the reason being for bragging rights. The most well-known Pokémon used for this strategy is a Rattata.

F.E.A.R. generally stands for:

The original term, coined by strategists as humor, was "F***ing Evil Annoying Rodent".

The strategy (and original profanity-laden term) was originally conceived on GameFAQs' Pokémon Diamond message board in early 2007.

How to use F.E.A.R.

After one of the player's Pokémon faints, the F.E.A.R. Pokémon can be sent out against an opponent's Pokémon with (preferably) full HP (though other situations will work, albeit possibly not as well). During the first turn, the F.E.A.R. Pokémon will use Endeavor, and the opponent will most likely use an offensive attack to try to defeat the F.E.A.R. Pokémon (assuming, of course, that the opponent isn't aware of this strategy). The F.E.A.R. Pokémon would indeed faint, if it were not holding the Focus Sash, which allows the user to hold on to 1 HP after a hit which would otherwise knock it out from max-HP. When the Pokémon uses Endeavor, the HP of the opponent's Pokémon will equal the HP of its own (which is now, assuming Focus Sash triggered, equal to 1). During the following turn, the F.E.A.R. Pokémon can use Quick Attack to wipe out the remaining 1 HP of the opponent's Pokémon. Obviously, this strategy works only once per battle, seeing as Focus Sash will not work twice.

Countering F.E.A.R.

While an impressive strategy, F.E.A.R. is very widespread, making it next to useless, as many teams are able to counter it and players are aware of how it works and how to stop it from working. The following are six ways to counter the F.E.A.R. strategy:

  • Knowledge: The simplest strategy and perhaps the most effective. If the opponent knows the F.E.A.R. strategy, they won't attack as needed for it to work (a damaging move), or they will switch out for a Pokémon immune to it or easily able to counter it. Besides the other three counters listed here, a player could switch out after the opponent's F.E.A.R. uses Endeavor, leaving it with 1 HP and another Pokémon to sweep the F.E.A.R. However, if the F.E.A.R.-using player predicts correctly, this problem can be solved using Pursuit.
  • Ghost-types: As Ghost-types are immune to Normal- and Fighting-type attacks, Endeavor and Quick Attack are useless against them. It should be noted however, that a F.E.A.R. Kangaskhan with Scrappy will still be able to use Endeavor against a Ghost-type Pokémon.
  • A Pokémon with Quick Attack, ExtremeSpeed, Sucker Punch, Ice Shard, or other automatic, first-hit effects: If the opponent uses an increased-priority move at the same time as the F.E.A.R. Pokémon does, the large difference in level will almost always result in the opponent's Pokémon landing the hit first, leaving the opponent with little HP, but leaving the F.E.A.R. player with one Pokémon down.
  • A move that damages foes upon switching in (like Spikes or Stealth Rock) can cancel out the Focus Sash effect, thus causing the foe to be unable to withstand a one-hit KO. This only works if the F.E.A.R. Pokémon isn't released prior to that move.
    • Note that Doduo, Taillow, Starly, Togekiss, and Shaymin in its Sky Forme are immune to Spikes.
  • Moves, abilities, and statuses that deal damage every turn (like Sandstorm or Burn) can cancel out Focus Sash's effect. This can also work without using a turn if a Pokémon like Tyranitar, Hippowdon, or Abomasnow activate their abilities. (Note that F.E.A.R. Phanpy, Corsola, Wormadam (Sandy Cloak) and Swinub are immune to Sandstorm (and the last one to Hail as well.))
  • Embargo prevents the foe from using any item, in this case Focus Sash.
  • Similarly, Knock Off will get rid of the F.E.A.R. Pokémon's Focus Sash, and KO them at the same time before it can use Endeavor to reduce HP.
  • Leftovers return some HP to the users Pokémon, and more than likely, more than the opposing F.E.A.R. can deal with its increased-priority move.
  • F.E.A.R.: Ironically, a way to combat a F.E.A.R. Pokémon is having it face another F.E.A.R. Pokémon (or some other low-level Pokémon). Having roughly the same HP, both F.E.A.R.s would do little damage towards each other. It isn't, however, practical or useful to carry a F.E.A.R. Pokémon just for the sake of combating another F.E.A.R., as both Pokémon are about evenly-matched.
  • If an attacked Pokémon is holding any HP restoring berry, the F.E.A.R. Pokémon would not do enough damage to defeat it.

F.E.A.R.-capable Pokémon

# Icon Name Priority move Notes
019 019 Rattata Quick Attack, Sucker Punch
056 056 Mankey Vacuum Wave Pokémon Platinum move tutors required for Endeavor and Vacuum Wave.
062 062 Poliwrath Vacuum Wave Cannot be obtained at level 1, Pokémon Platinum move tutors required for Vacuum Wave.
084 084 Doduo Quick Attack
115 115 Kangaskhan Sucker Punch Pokémon Platinum move tutors required to get Endeavor on a lv. 1 Kangaskhan that knows Sucker Punch.
151 151 Mew Sucker Punch, Vacuum Wave Pokémon Platinum move tutors required to get Endeavor, Sucker Punch, and Vacuum Wave, cannot be obtained at level 1.
172 172 Pichu Quick Attack Only learns Endeavor through the 12th movie event, where it is obtained at level 30.
220 220 Swinub Ice Shard Pokémon Platinum move tutors required for Endeavor.
222 222 Corsola Sucker Punch Pokémon Platinum move tutors required for Sucker Punch and Endeavor.
231 231 Phanpy Ice Shard
235 235 Smeargle Any priority move Smeargle learns any move via Sketch, including Endeavor and any priority move.
237 237 Hitmontop Quick Attack, Vacuum Wave, Bullet Punch, Mach Punch, Sucker Punch Cannot be obtained at level 1, Pokémon Platinum move tutors required for Sucker Punch (and Endeavor at a lower level).
252 252 Treecko Quick Attack
276 276 Taillow Quick Attack
335 335 Zangoose Quick Attack Pokémon Platinum move tutors required for Endeavor.
390 390 Chimchar Vacuum Wave Pokémon Platinum move tutors required for Endeavor and Vacuum Wave.
396 396 Starly Quick Attack
413 413413G413S Wormadam Sucker Punch All forms, Pokémon Platinum move tutors required for Endeavor and Sucker Punch, cannot be obtained at level 1.
427 427 Buneary Quick Attack Pokémon Platinum move tutors required for Endeavor.
468 468 Togekiss ExtremeSpeed Cannot be obtained at Level 1, Pokémon Platinum move tutors required for Endeavor.
492 492492S Shaymin Quick Attack Only learns Quick Attack in Sky Forme, and only learns Endeavor via move tutor in Land Forme. Cannot be obtained at level 1.

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