Pokemon FEAR Strategy Guide



Pokemon FEAR Strategy Guide by DemonicSnail

The following is a comprehensive guide to F.E.A.R. strategies. (And a massive wall of text.)

What are F.E.A.R. strategies? Originally, F.E.A.R. meant a level 1 Focus Sash Endeavor Quick Attack Rattata. This Rattata could take out the strongest level 100 legendaries, provided they didn’t have priority moves. On the first turn, Rattata would be dropped to 1hp and use Endeavor, bringing its opponent to 1hp. Then, it would use Quick Attack to do that last 1 damage before its opponent could KO it. This cheesy strategy works very well especially if your opponent isn’t expecting it. Since then, F.E.A.R. has evolved to include many other level 1 Pokemon that can take out level 100’s. Below is a list of several Pokemon that can work. Useful abilities are Sturdy and Prankster, useful items are Focus Sash, Berry Juice, and Shell Bell. Each Pokemon will be displayed in Pokemon Showdown text based style, with a description of how it works and how to beat it.


Rattata @ Focus Sash

Ability: Guts

Level: 1

– Endeavor

– Quick Attack

– Toxic

– Pursuit

Turn 1 Endeavor, turn 2 Quick Attack. If you are sure they will switch, use Pursuit turn 2. If they didn’t attack you the first turn , you can finish them with Toxic instead of Quick Attack (which will do only 1 damage). This is the original F.E.A.R. and it is very effective in many situations. It is countered by: Ghost types, Iron Barbs/Rocky Helmet, Substitute, priority moves, multi-hit moves and status moves.


Taillow @ Focus Sash

Ability: Scrappy

Level: 1

– Endeavor

– Quick Attack

– Toxic

– Pursuit

This works exactly the same as Rattata, except with the ability Scrappy, you are no longer countered by ghost types. This makes Taillow just a bit better than Rattata, even though you are still countered by Iron Barbs/Rocky Helmet, Substitute, priority moves, multi-hit moves, and status moves.


Nosepass @ Berry Juice

Ability: Sturdy

Level: 1

– Stealth Rock

– Toxic

– Pain Split

– Magic Coat

This is a strategy made semi-famous by Little Zubat (check him out on YouTube!) in which you can use Magic Coat or Stealth Rock turn 1, depending on if you expect an opponent to use Stealth Rock, Taunt, or a Status move. Once you are dropped to 1hp from Sturdy, your Berry Juice will kick in, healing you to full hp. Use Pain Split over and over, healing yourself and damaging your foe until your opponent is low enough to finish with Toxic (around 7.5% health). What’s nice about this strategy is it is much harder to deal with than a Rattata. If you try to switch out, you lose a spectacular amount of health to Stealth Rock and Pain Split. At worst, using this strategy will get you a KO and Rocks up. At best, the opponent will switch around and lose a ton of hit points to Pain Split and Rocks. This strategy is countered by: Steel Types, Poison Types, Immunity, Multi-hit moves, Substitute, Magic Guard, Mold Breaker/Terravolt/Turboblaze, status moves when not using Magic Coat, and attacking moves when using Magic Coat.


Swagnemite (Magnemite) @ Berry Juice

Ability: Sturdy

Level: 1

Shiny: Yes

– Thunder Wave

– Swagger

– Magic Coat

– Recycle

Again, credit goes to Little Zubat. This strategy works by using Thunder Wave the first turn, getting knocked to 1hp and going back to full with Berry Juice. Use recycle to get your Berry Juice back over and over until your opponent is completely paralyzed for a turn. This will get you a Berry Juice for free, and therefore another turn. Use Swagger to confuse/double Attack of opponent, then continue spamming Recycle and Swagger, depending on if you have your Berry Juice or not. Keep in mind you have Magic Coat, so if you see Rocks or Status incoming, you can reflect it back onto your opponent. Eventually, your opponent will KO himself because of confusion and massive Attack stat. If your opponent decides to switch out, you get a free turn to use Thunder Wave or Swagger. If you are playing under the Swagger Clause, switch out Thunder Wave and Swagger for Toxic and Protect, allowing you to use Toxic first turn and wait out your opponents by alternatively using Protect and Recycle. This strategy is countered by Own Tempo, Magic Guard, Mold Breaker/Terravolt/Turboblaze, Substitute, multi-hit moves, status moves when not using Magic Coat, and attacking moves when using Magic Coat. It is semi-countered by Electric types, you simply have to use Swagger instead of Thunder Wave and hope your opponent doesn’t snap out of confusion. This strategy is also countered by Poison and Steel Types as well as Immunity if using the Toxic stall set.


Pineco @ Berry Juice

Ability: Sturdy

Level: 1

– Toxic

– Toxic Spikes

– Pain Split

– Rapid Spin

Pineco is a fantastic setup Pokemon, who works almost exactly the same way as Nosepass. Turn 1 is Toxic Spikes (or just Spikes, your choice), then Pain Split until your opponent is low enough (7.5%) to finish with Toxic. Alternatively, you can use Toxic Spikes again to get two layers up and kill your opponent with a high speed or priority move from your next Pokemon. Pineco cannot learn Magic Coat, but he can learn Rapid Spin which is also useful. Additionally, Pineco can learn Sandstorm which is useful if paired with an Aron. Pineco is countered by status moves, multi-hit moves, Taunt, Substitute, Mold Breaker/Terravolt/Turboblaze, Magic Guard, Poison and Steel types, and Immunity.


Aron @ Shell Bell

Ability: Sturdy

Level: 1

Shiny: Yes

– Endeavor

– Toxic

– Protect

– Sandstorm

Aron is a very popular and relatively well-known level 1 strategy. This Pokemon works best with a bit of setup. If you already have Sandstorm or Toxic Spikes up (looking at you, Pineco!) You can sweep a lot of Pokemon. The trick is to get knocked down to 1hp every turn and use Endeavor to bring your opponent to 1hp, healing yourself to full with your Shell Bell. At the end of the turn, your opponent will die to either Sandstorm or poison damage. Toxic and Sandstorm are used if your opponent won’t die at the end of the turn (Levitators not getting poisoned or Sandstorm wearing off). Using Toxic or Sandstorm generally means you will get the KO but also go down the next turn. This strategy is countered by status moves, multi-hit moves, Substitute, Ghost types, Steel Types, (and Rock/Ground OR Flying/Poison/Immunity/Levitate depending on if you are using Sandstorm or Toxic Spikes), Mold Breaker/Terravolt/Turboblaze, Magic Guard, and Iron Barbs/Rocky Helmet.


Cottonee @ Focus Sash

Ability: Prankster

Level: 1

– Leech Seed

– Substitute

– Encore

– Endeavor

Cottonee has a little known F.E.A.R. strategy that works very well if you can predict your opponent’s moves. In general, turn 1 will be Leech Seed UNLESS you are sure your opponent will use Toxic/Will o’ Wisp, in which case you should lead with Substitute. Second turn should be Substitute if you used Leech Seed or Leech Seed if you used Substitute. Leech Seed will heal you to full HP every turn, and if your opponent switches out, you get a free Substitute and you can Leech Seed again! This stall goes on until your opponent dies and you don’t have a Sub up. If you don’t have a Focus Sash for the next opponent, you can still get a Leech Seed off before you die. If your opponent at any time uses a setup move, hit them with Encore to trap them and buy yourself turns. Endeavor can be used to take out an Encore-trapped opponent and survive with a Sub up for the next opponent. This strategy is countered by Grass types, Infiltrator, Substitute, Taunt, Magic Guard, priority moves, and multi hit moves.


Gastly/Ralts/Shuppet/Duskull/Misdreavus/Pumpkaboo/Inkay/etc. @ Focus Sash

Level: 1

– Trick Room

– Destiny Bond

– Toxic

– Protect

This strategy can be pulled off in the exact same way by many Pokemon. If you want to set up a Trick Room team, this is a good lead. Turn 1 Trick Room, get knocked to 1hp, turn 2 Destiny Bond (100% outspeed except priority moves). This lead means a 1 for 1 plus a Trick Room up. Trick room is awesome if running multiple level 1’s since they will outspeed anything without priority. Toxic and Protect are not mandatory, you can switch out for Magic Coat, Taunt, Curse, Perish Song, or whatever you want. These Pokemon are countered by priority moves, status moves, and multi-hit moves. They may be countered by other things depending on which Pokemon you choose and which moveset you run.


Solosis @ Focus Sash

Ability: Magic Guard

Level: 1

IVs: 0 Spe

– Trick Room

– Endeavor

– Toxic

– Magic Coat

If you are running a team of only level 1’s, you absolutely need Solosis. Without him, your team is very very vulnerable to Stealth Rock, which negates Sturdy and Focus Sash. If your opponent gets Rocks up, the only way to get them down is with a Defog or Rapid Spin. Since Defog cannot be used as a priority move (nice try, Murkrow), we have to use Rapid Spin. However, switching into a level 1 spinner (let’s use Pineco as an example) means you take damage from Rocks and go down before doing anything since Sturdy becomes useless. However, if you send out Solosis, it will not take damage from Rocks due to Magic Guard. You can get a Trick Room and Endeavor off, leaving your opponent at 1 hp. You send out Pineco and use Rapid Spin (first, due to Trick Room), dealing 1 damage and getting rid of the Stealth Rocks. If done correctly and if your opponent doesn’t switch out, you can take out the Stealth Rocks and the Stealth Rocker in one fell swoop. This strategy is countered by priority moves, status moves/Substitute (to some extent), Ghost Types, Taunt, and multi-hit moves.


Smeargle @ Focus Sash

Ability: Own Tempo

Level: 1

IVs: 0 Spe

– Spore

– Trick Room

– Endeavor

– Dragon Rage

Credit to /u/calze69! Turn 1 survive a hit with Focus Sash and use Spore (switch out for Dark Void if worried about Grass types and don’t mind 80% accuracy), turn 2 use Trick Room to outspeed everyone without priority. Use Endeavor to bring your opponent to 1hp, then Dragon Rage to finish them off. Dragon Rage can finish targets even if they have Leftovers, since it always does 40 damage. When the next opponent comes out, Spore, Endeavor, Dragon Rage again. When your Trick Room is about to run out, use it again when your opponent is asleep. This strategy is countered by Taunt, Insomnia, Grass Types (if running Spore instead of Dark Void), Fairy Types, Iron Barbs/Rocky Helmet, status moves, multi-hit moves, and priority moves. Keep in mind this strategy is tough to pull off if you are playing under the Sleep Clause, since your opponent can switch out.


I’m sure there are more great strategies similar to these out there, so post them in the comments! Keep in mind these strategies are more for fun than being foolproof and unbeatable. I’d recommend taking these strats to Ubers, where the hardest hitting but least strategic Pokemon are. Two Pokemon to watch out for are Mega Kangaskhan and Ferrothorn, who with their typing, abilities, and movesets have just about everything to counter F.E.A.R. teams. If you want to run an entire team of level 1’s, I would suggest a Nosepass lead, Pineco and Solosis to take care of Stealth Rocks and set up Toxic Spikes, Aron to sweep, Cottonee to deal with poison/steel types, and Taillow to deal with Ghosts or whatever else comes up.

One more time, these strategies are not foolproof! They are a fun, novel way to humiliate your enemies by winning with seemingly horrible level 1 Pokemon. So go out, have fun, and make your little cousin cry when his shiny level 100 Mega Kyogre loses to a tiny little Rattata.

TL;DR: How to beat level 100’s with level 1’s

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