Appendix:F.E.A.R.

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F.E.A.R. is a last-resort strategy used in competitive battling since Generation IV, 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 level 100) while it itself is only at level 1 or 2, the reason for this strategy's bragging rights.

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. 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. Focus Sash will not work twice, so a Pokémon can only use this strategy once.

From Generation V onward, the Ability Sturdy was altered to function like a Focus Sash, but can activate multiple times providing the Pokémon regains all of its HP. With this change came new notable users of F.E.A.R.; a level 2 Probopass can use Pain Split to wear down the opponent's HP whilst healing itself, while Aron can use a combination of Endeavor and a held Shell Bell for multiple uses of Endeavor. Generation V also introduced Solosis, a Pokémon able to combine Magic Guard and Endeavor, but also set up Trick Room for its allies.

Countering F.E.A.R.

While an impressive strategy, F.E.A.R. is simple to counter. The following are several 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 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 Pokémon: 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 or Taillow* with Scrappy will still be able to use Endeavor against a Ghost-type Pokémon.
  • A Pokémon with Quick Attack, Extreme Speed, 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. However, from Generation V onward, Feint and Extreme Speed have +2 priority, and are not countered by +1 priority moves.
  • If the foe acts last due to battling in Trick Room*, holding a Full Incense, using a decreased-priority move, or doing something similar, its attack will leave the F.E.A.R. Pokémon with approximately 12 hit points after the first turn and the F.E.A.R. Pokémon will only have 1 hit point, causing an easy sweep on the second turn.
  • 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, status conditions, Abilities, and weather 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 or Abomasnow activates its Ability.
    • Note that F.E.A.R. Phanpy, Aron, Corsola, Wormadam (Sandy and Trash Cloaks) and Swinub are immune to sandstorm (and the last one to hail as well.)
  • Embargo and Magic Room prevent the foe from using any item, in this case Focus Sash.
    • Do note that, somewhat counter-intuitively, Knock Off will NOT serve to KO a F.E.A.R. Pokémon if it is at 100% HP unless Embargo is in effect. The F.E.A.R. Pokémon's Focus Sash will be knocked off after it has been successfully activated, and the Pokémon will still be able to use Endeavor to reduce the foe's HP.
  • Black Sludge*, Leftovers, and a HP-restoring Berry return some HP to the user's 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.
  • Shedinja and its Wonder Guard Ability will make Endeavor unable to hit.
    • Note that Sucker Punch and Shadow Sneak can be used to KO Shedinja, but only after its probably existent Focus Sash has been activated or otherwise rendered useless.
  • Multi-strike moves, such as Bullet Seed and Triple Kick, will continue hitting after the Focus Sash or Sturdy triggers, causing the strategy to fail.
  • In Double and Triple Battles, having multiple Pokémon use moves that will hit the F.E.A.R. Pokémon will cause it to faint, since the Focus Sash will only activate for the first attack. However, Follow Me, Rage Powder, and Greninja's Mat Block can aid the F.E.A.R. Pokémon.
  • Although Sturdy acts like a Focus Sash from Generation V onward, the Abilities Mold Breaker, Turboblaze and Teravolt ignore this effect, countering any attempt to use F.E.A.R. with Sturdy.
  • If the F.E.A.R. Pokémon is holding a Shell Bell with the Ability Sturdy, moves which remove or negate items, such as Magic Room or Trick, can disrupt the strategy.
  • As Endeavor makes contact, the F.E.A.R. Pokémon can be finished off when its opponent is carrying a Rocky Helmet or has the Ability Rough Skin or Iron Barbs.
  • Pokémon with the Ability Queenly Majesty or Dazzling are unaffected by opposing F.E.A.R. Pokémon's priority moves.
  • When Psychic Terrain is in the effect, Pokémon that are on the ground will not be affected by priority moves.

List of F.E.A.R. Pokémon

# Name Gen Priority move Access of Endeavor Notes Lowest possible level
019 RattataRattata Rattata IV Quick Attack, Sucker Punch Level Pokémon most well-known to utilize this strategy. 1
025 Pikachu Pikachu IV Quick Attack, Feint* Event Can only know Endeavor either when received as a Shiny Pichu event from Generation IV or as a PGL Pikachu from the Pikachu Cup Online Competition event in Generation VI. For the Pichu, it is shiny and obtained at level 30, then requires at least one level to evolve. For the Pikachu, it is not shiny and obtained at level 10. F.E.A.R. Pikachu are always in Cherish Balls. Feint is not countered by +1 priority moves (Generation V on), and can hit through Protect. 10
056 Mankey Mankey IV Vacuum Wave Tutor Can only know Vacuum Wave via Move Tutor in Platinum or HeartGold and SoulSilver. 1
062 Poliwrath Poliwrath IV Vacuum Wave Breed/Tutor* Can only know Vacuum Wave via Move Tutor in Platinum or HeartGold and SoulSilver. For the lowest level, it must be caught as Poliwhirl at Route 22 or Viridian City in HeartGold and SoulSilver. 10
084 Doduo Doduo IV Quick Attack Level 1
115 Kangaskhan Kangaskhan IV Sucker Punch Breed Not countered by Ghost-type Pokémon if Ability is Scrappy. 1
151 Mew Mew IV Sucker Punch, Vacuum Wave Tutor Can only know Sucker Punch or Vacuum Wave via Move Tutor in Platinum or HeartGold and SoulSilver. 5
220 Swinub Swinub IV Ice Shard Tutor Not countered by Sandstorm or Hail. 1
222 Corsola Corsola IV Sucker Punch Tutor Can only know Sucker Punch via Move Tutor in Platinum or HeartGold and SoulSilver. Not countered by Sandstorm. 1
231 Phanpy Phanpy IV Ice Shard Breed Not countered by Sandstorm. 1
232 Donphan Donphan IV Ice Shard Breed Not countered by Sandstorm. If Ability is Sturdy, Focus Sash can be replaced with another item (Generation V on). 25
235 Smeargle Smeargle IV Any priority move Sketch Smeargle learns almost any move via Sketch, including Endeavor and all priority moves. 1
237 Hitmontop Hitmontop IV Quick Attack, Vacuum Wave, Bullet Punch, Mach Punch, Sucker Punch, Feint* Level Can only know Sucker Punch or Vacuum Wave via Move Tutor in Platinum or HeartGold and SoulSilver. Feint is not countered by +1 priority moves and can hit through Protect (Generation V on). 20
252 Treecko Treecko IV Quick Attack Level/Breed* 1
276 Taillow Taillow IV Quick Attack Level Not countered by Ghost-type Pokémon if Ability is Scrappy. 1
304 Aron Aron IV Other/None Breed Give a Shell Bell, Sturdy and Sandstorm support, can be used multiple times (Generation V on). Not countered by Sandstorm and poison. 1
335 Zangoose Zangoose IV Quick Attack, Feint* Tutor Feint is not countered by +1 priority moves and can hit through Protect (Generation V on). Not countered by poison if Ability is Immunity. 1
341 Corphish Corphish VI Aqua Jet Breed 1
390 Chimchar Chimchar IV Vacuum Wave Tutor Can only know Vacuum Wave via Move Tutor in Platinum or HeartGold and SoulSilver. Not countered by burn. 1
396 Starly Starly IV Quick Attack Level 1
413 WormadamWormadamWormadam Wormadam IV Sucker Punch Tutor Can only know Sucker Punch via Move Tutor in Platinum or HeartGold and SoulSilver (Generation IV to VI). Not countered by Sandstorm or Hail if Ability is Overcoat (Generation VI on). Sandy and Trash Cloaks are not countered by Sandstorm. Trash Cloak is not countered by poison. 20
427 Buneary Buneary IV Quick Attack Tutor 1
428 Lopunny Lopunny IV Quick Attack Tutor 2
468 Togekiss Togekiss IV Extreme Speed Tutor Extreme Speed is not countered by +1 priority moves (Generation V on). 2
492 ShayminShaymin Shaymin IV Quick Attack Tutor Can only know Quick Attack as Shaymin Sky Forme at level 28. Level 30 Shaymin can be found at Flower Paradise in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum if the player has received Oak's Letter. Level 15 Shaymin is only available as Japanese or Korean event Shaymin in Generation VI. 30*/28*/15*
498 Tepig Tepig VI Sucker Punch Tutor 1
546 Cottonee Cottonee VI Nature Power Level Nature Power has +1 priority with Prankster, becomes Tri Attack in link battles. Not countered by Dark-type Pokémon (Generation VI only). 1
547 Whimsicott Whimsicott VI Nature Power Level* Nature Power has +1 priority with Prankster, becomes Tri Attack in link battles. Not countered by Dark-type Pokémon (Generation VI only). 1
550 Basculin Basculin V Aqua Jet Tutor Not countered by Pokémon with Dry Skin, Storm Drain, or Water Absorb if Ability is Mold Breaker. 1
556 Maractus Maractus V Sucker Punch Tutor 1
566 Archen Archen V Quick Attack Level Not countered by Sandstorm. 1
647 Keldeo Keldeo V Aqua Jet Tutor 15
659 Bunnelby Bunnelby VI Quick Attack Tutor 1
676 Furfrou Furfrou VI Sucker Punch Tutor 1
802 Marshadow Marshadow VII Feint, Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch Level Not countered by Quick Attack, Mach Punch, Vacuum Wave, Feint, or Extreme Speed. N/A

Catching Pokémon with F.E.A.R.

By using F.E.A.R. while skipping the priority move, players can lower a target Pokémon's HP to 1, similar to using False Swipe, and more easily catch it than by battling it normally. After the wild Pokémon's HP has been lowered to 1, the player may freely begin throwing Poké Balls and have a high chance of successfully capturing the Pokémon. A Cottonee may also inflict a priority paralysis (with Prankster) to further increase the catch rate.

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