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Even before the battle commences, there are a few strategic choices every player must make. These are your Cheer Skills and Support Pokemon. They offer a range of helpful enhancements that you can use to round out your playstyle, or to better handle certain matchups. In the Ferrum League and online matchmaking, you only get to choose between three pairs of Support Pokemon and a single Cheer Skill, which you have to set beforehand in your profile. However, you are free to choose from the full range of unlocked Cheer Skills and Support Pokemon in local matches.

Note: all unlock conditions provided are for the original Wii U edition of the game. All cheers and support Pokemon are available from the start in DX.

Cheer Skills[edit]

Nia the in-game advisor doesn't just provide helpful tips about the game, but also give you various bonuses at the start of the match! Cheer Skills focus only on your Synergy Gauge and Support Gauge, adding to them each round depending on the type of Cheer Skill you select. The caveat to this is that if you win by timing your foe out, you will not get the benefits of your Cheer Skill at all, so that's a good reason to end a match concisely.

Standard[edit]

This Cheer Skill only comes into effect from the second round onward. Winning the previous round maxes the Support Gauge for the Support Pokemon you didn't use the last round. Losing the previous round maxes both Support Pokemon as well give you an increase in Synergy. It's very uncommon for both Support Pokemon in a pair to be suitable in one matchup, so the winning bonus is not very attractive. It does grant the largest bonus of any Cheer Skill if you lose, so if you can find decent success with a playstyle that doesn't rely on Cheer Skills, this cheer will kick in when you're really having trouble against an opponent.

Synergy Focused[edit]

  • Unlocked by getting rank 1 in the Green League.

Your Synergy Gauge gets a minor increase every round, with a large boost on a loss. This cheer skill's effects are minor but consistent, building up small chunks of your Synergy every round. It is important to note that Synergy only matters if you manage to fill the gauge completely, so if you have trouble getting Synergy Burst even with the cheer skill, you're better off selecting another cheer. Usually helpful for characters with slower charging Synergy Gauges, less so for fighters that build meter so fast that the cheer's boost is negligible.

Pressure Focused[edit]

  • Unlocked by getting rank 1 in the Green League.

You will get a huge bonus to your Synergy Gauge only on the third round regardless of whether you won or lost the previous round. This cheer is used to give you an edge during the deciding round of a match, but has no effect otherwise. The large Synergy boost benefits slow-charging Synergy characters like Gengar that can really turn the tides once they enter Synergy Burst. The main issue with this cheer is you'd ideally want a buff that helps you win the first two rounds without risking it all on the last round, and if you can already achieve that this cheer skill is effectively useless. However, the promise of a sizable synergy boost lets you go all out to secure the second round as you don't have to worry about starting the third round at a disadvantage.

Support Focused[edit]

  • Unlocked by getting rank 1 in the Blue League.

From the second round onward, both of your Support Pokemon get maxed gauges. A popular cheer since it has a useful and versatile effect no matter the situation. Compared to Synergy-based cheers where the end goal is to enter Synergy Burst, this cheer can have varying effects on the tide of battle depending on what Support Pokemon you're using. For quick charging Supports, it will let you squeeze one more use out of their Support skill. For slow charging Supports, it will let you have access to their powerful effects from the start of the round, which you can save for the right opportunity to unleash them.

Special[edit]

  • Unlocked by getting rank 1 in the Red League.

From the second round onward, winning the previous round gives you a sizable amount of Synergy Gauge while losing maxes out both Support Pokemon gauges. The Special cheer skill is somewhat similar to the Standard cheer in that you can get a mix of Synergy and Support gauge in one cheer, but the reward for winning is much better while the benefit from losing is slightly worse. Out of all the cheers, Special specifically provides the biggest bonus for winning, so it can provide vital momentum to help you secure the following round. The effect from losing isn't too bad either, giving you a choice of Support Pokemon available at round start to respond to your foe's playstyle.

Whimsical[edit]

  • Unlocked by getting rank 1 in the Chroma League.

Every round gives a random effect. Either Support Pokemon can get maxed gauges and you may get a random amount of Synergy Gauge as well. There is also a likelihood of getting nothing at all, so it all comes down to luck. Due to the unpredictability of this cheer, it is never the optimal cheer skill for any matchup and thus can't be recommended as a strategic choice. However, it can potentially give the greatest reward of any cheer skill, so if you're in the mood to gamble, it could be an interesting cheer to try. Additionally, it is also the only cheer that doesn't get disabled when you win with a timeout, which, like Whimsical itself, can be handy occasionally but ultimately not going to come into play consistently.

Support Pokemon[edit]

Support Pokemon come in pairs, each of which have their own effects. A pair of supports usually share a strategic or thematic similarity, and you can choose to use either Pokemon as your support at the beginning of each round. Each support has a different charge rate and occasionally recharge rate, though certain characters can increase the Support Gauge to make them available faster. It's common to pick a Support Pokemon set just for a singular support Pokemon.

Litten & Popplio[edit]

Litten - Fire Fang[edit]

  • 20s charge time, 40s recharge time

Litten charges forward, baring large fangs of flame ahead of itself. This attack grows in discrete stages of power as its user's HP drops. When summoned while the user is healthy, it will simply cause a knockdown, while it can stun the foe if used when you're below 50% health. When your HP is in the red, Litten will follow-up the initial charge by carrying the foe upward and finishing off with an explosion. It has a somewhat small hitbox which can make it easy to evade, but your reward for striking with this support at low HP is excellent, as it launches foes up for a combo. It can still be useful at high HP since it causes a knockdown on hit, though it's not ideal to be used like this due to the long recharge time.

Popplio - Bubble[edit]

  • 30s charge time

Popplio bestows two buffs to the user: a brief Attack Up buff and a longer Double Jump buff. The double jump is the main attraction, as it lets you alter your direction in midair which can disrupt your foe's anti-air attempts. It interacts differently with each character's aerial options such as air dashes and hovers, so you can experiment with different characters on ways to mix up your aerial movement. The Attack Up buff is also useful against foes in Synergy Burst, though there are better supports that grant this buff. A less obvious benefit is the fact that Popplio gives two buffs at once, making it effective for instantly removing debuffs on your character.

Emolga & Fennekin[edit]

Emolga - Shock Wave[edit]

  • 20s charge time, 30s recharge time

Emolga fires an electric beam at the opponent, inflicting a speed debuff in addition to dealing damage. This is an extremely versatile and spammable support favored by both long-distance zoners and close combatants alike. The attack has incredible range and travels almost instantaneously. It knocks the foe down upon hit and pierces counters. Zoning characters use it to supplement their own projectiles and to stuff CADC approaches with Emolga's counter pierce property, while using the slow debuff to impede further advances. For close-range fighters, they appreciate having a long-range attack of their own and can make use of the knockdown and slow to close in on a foe.

Fennekin - Ember[edit]

  • 30s charge time, 40s recharge time

Fennekin creates an expanding fireball around the user. This support is a mainly defensive one. It grants you invulnerability at the start of the attack and hits in every direction around you. It has a bit of startup that foes can react to, but blocking the attack pushes them far enough to keep you safe after the move ends. While not a bad support itself, Fennekin is overshadowed by Umbreon as a defensive support due to the latter's versatility and speed.

Snivy & Lapras[edit]

Snivy - Leaf Tornado[edit]

  • 20s charge time

Snivy creates a tornado that homes in on the opponent. It causes a knockdown on grounded foes but juggles aerial ones. Snivy is a support that can be adapted for many situations, capable of performing several roles when needed. The most obvious use it is designed for is as an anti-air, being tall enough to suck in airborne foes and letting you combo out of it afterward. It is also good for projectile pressure, locking down guarding foes in blockstun and going through counters. Snivy's usefulness mainly comes from its short charge time, making it available for use often during the match.

Lapras - Surf[edit]

  • 40s charge time, 30s recharge time

Lapras charges forward at its foe, shielding the user against most projectiles while it does so. A decent support that is mainly used to eat up projectiles. It doesn't move very fast, so you can use it to cover your approach. It is also used in combos because it causes and extends wall splats, letting you pull off damaging wall combos.

Frogadier & Eevee[edit]

Frogadier - Water Pulse[edit]

  • 20s charge time

Frogadier fires water blasts in 2 volleys of 3 shots, having a slight delay between volleys. This support is excellent for pressure due to its quick charge rate and attack pattern. Frogadier jumps before launching its projectiles, and it has very good aim, so it is difficult to simply evade its shots. It also lets you attack in tandem with it to rack on the pressure, or to combo out of or into its attacks. A basic but effective mixup is to grab during the pause between volleys, since your foe can get hit by Frogadier if they drop their guard to break your grab.

Eevee - Helping Hand[edit]

  • 20s charge time, 40s recharge time

Eevee grants the user a moderately short Attack buff and a small amount of recoverable HP. The benefits of an Attack buff is quite obvious: increasing your damage means defeating the foe with fewer hits. However, there is an additional hidden trait of the Attack buff, that is, it cancels out the light attack armor fighters get in Synergy Burst! This makes Eevee more of a matchup-specific support, as it can be very handy against quick Synergy charging characters like Pikachu Libre.

Cubone & Diglett[edit]

Unlocked by clearing the Green League Promotion Test

Cubone - Bonemerang[edit]

  • 20s charge time, 30s recharge time

Cubone tosses a giant bone projectile that flies forward and returns to it after traveling a certain distance. This support is designed to fit well in to combos, having very low startup, putting the foe in a spinning state on hit and being able to potentially connect twice in a combo. Its quick charge rate gives you more opportunities to increase your combo damage with Cubone. Being a quick, wide projectile, the bonemerang can also be used to stuff approaches or as a long-range punish.

Diglett - Dig[edit]

  • 30s charge time, 20s recharge time

Diglett tunnels through the ground, homing in at the foe. In Field Phase, it rapidly juts out of the ground below the opponent, putting them into an extended juggle. In Duel Phase, it does a single burst out of the ground with a large radius and height that launches enemies skyward. In either case, Diglett's attack is either made to start combos or extend them, excelling at juggle combos while Cubone complements ground combos. Its not too great as a raw attack since Diglett's homing speed is pretty low, but it does let you follow behind it to pressure your foe.

Jirachi & Whimsicott[edit]

Unlocked by clearing the Green League Promotion Test

Jirachi - Wish[edit]

  • 40s charge time, 30s recharge time

Jirachi provides a moderate Synergy increase and grants the user a Synergy Burst buff, which increases attack and defense only during Synergy Burst mode. This support is a favorite of fast-charging Synergy characters since they can make use of Jirachi much more often. The Synergy Burst buff is particularly powerful, since it stacks with the universal stat augmentations that comes with Synergy Burst as well as other status buffs like a separate Defense buff, which can result in ridiculous total stat increases during burst mode. Unfortunately, Jirachi's effect is useless if you're nowhere close to a full Synergy Gauge, making it unpopular for slow Synergy building characters.

Whimsicott - Substitute[edit]

  • 30s charge time

Whimsicott creates a barrier around the user that shields them from projectiles, as well as heal some recoverable HP. This is naturally a great support against zoning characters, since it nullifies most projectiles that touches you, letting you approach without worrying about enemy ranged attacks. Beams are a special case as they can still go through the barrier, so be careful against characters that have it. While it has a similar effect to Pachirisu, Whimsicott has a faster charge time, longer duration and a heal, but can't nullify as many types of projectiles as Pachirisu.

Croagunk & Sylveon[edit]

Unlocked by clearing the Green League Promotion Test

Croagunk - Toxic[edit]

  • 20s charge time, 30s recharge time

Croagunk creates a ring around itself. Any foes that enter the ring gets hit by a poisonous attack that reduces Defense. This support is naturally a strong space control tool, especially in Duel Phase where it can cover a relatively larger fraction of the stage. It can be used to protect yourself, guarding you against all close-range assault, or to pressure the foe if you can pin them close to the wall. The Defense debuff causes enemies to take more damage, an obviously beneficial debuff to you.

Sylveon - Reflect[edit]

  • 20s charge time, 40s recharge time

Sylveon heals a bit of HP and grants a Defense Up buff. Increasing Defense not only makes you take less damage from enemy attacks, but also enables your shield to take more punishment. As far as supports go, Sylveon is very straightforward, but it doesn't help you approach, pressure or escape outside of making your mistakes less punishing. It is typically used by characters with a lot of HP like Machamp against specific zoning matchups, as they have enough HP to abuse the increased defense and appreciates it when approaching against projectiles.

Pachirisu & Magikarp[edit]

Unlocked by clearing the Blue League Promotion Test

Pachirisu - Follow Me[edit]

  • 20s charge time, 40s charge time

Pachirisu draws all enemy projectiles to itself, completely negating them. When Follow Me is active, most projectiles will simply fail to appear, with the exception of beam attacks. Compared to Whimsicott, which also has a projectile-canceling effect, Pachirisu's has a more brief effect, but it can absorb a greater variety of projectiles, which notably includes numerous other Support Pokemon.

Magikarp - Bounce[edit]

  • 50s charge time, 20s recharge time

Magikarp launches into the sky, targeting the enemy. If the user gets hit, it will drop back down and hit the foe, inflicting a Speed Down debuff. The effect disappears after a while or if either player causes a phase shift. Magikarp functions as a combo breaker, a defensive tool that prevents foes from punishing your mistakes with big combos, drastically lowering the damage they can do to you. Since Magikarp's effect is such a strong defensive ability, it compensates with a very lengthy charge time that limits its usefulness. However, it has a fairly fast recharge rate after being used the first time, which can be exploited with certain cheer skills that fill the Support Gauge early.

Mismagius & Ninetales[edit]

Unlocked by clearing the Blue League Promotion Test

Mismagius - Ominous Wind[edit]

  • 30s charge time

Mismagius advances while surrounded by a ghostly whirlwind, while giving the user a brief Attack buff. You recover very quickly after summoning Mismagius, so this support is meant to be used in tandem with your own attacks to pressure the opponent, such as with a basic grab/attack mixup. The Attack buff is identical to Eevee's but has a shorter duration, so it comes into play the most while Mismagius is attacking as well. As far as a pressure-based support goes, Mismagius is an uncommon pick simply due to the existence of better pressuring support Pokemon.

Ninetales - Will-O-Wisp[edit]

  • 40s charge time

Ninetales creates a wall with spiritual fire that harms enemies on contact and inflicts a Defense Down debuff on them. If the wall touches the foe the moment it is summoned, they will simply be pushed back, but getting hit by the wall afterward will cause it to explode, dealing multiple hits. Ninetales's attack effectively generates a large, long duration hitbox in front of you, which can have defensive and offensive uses. Mainly in duel phase, the wall is hard to move around, so foes are forced to keep their distance or approach from the air. You can also use the wall for mixups and to pin the foe if they're close to the edge of the stage. Unfortunately, Will-O-Wisp has very poor range, making the location you summon Ninetales very important.

Rotom & Togekiss[edit]

Unlocked by clearing the Blue League Promotion Test

Rotom - Thunder Shock[edit]

  • 20s charge time, 30s recharge time

Rotom stays idle after being summoned, but the moment the enemy is airborne, it will attack them with a jolt of electricity that causes a Speed Down debuff. There is a surprising number of ways to trigger this anti-air support, such as ground attacks that only briefly hop or hover over the ground. Rotom stays out for quite a while, which can really limit characters with strong aerial abilities. It is ineffective against distant foes since Rotom has to physically move to their location before attacking, which gives them time to land and block. There are also character-specific ways to intentionally trigger and waste Rotom safely, so it's not the best pick against seasoned foes.

Togekiss - Tailwind[edit]

  • 20s charge time, 40s recharge time

Togekiss heals some HP and grants a Speed Up buff, enhancing the user's movement speed. This is another straightforward buffing support, while its effect is quite useful in many situations. The buff results in a noticeable increase in walk speed, which can be really useful in Field Phase for dodging the opponent's ranged attacks and quickly close in. In Duel Phase, it lets you play a strong footsies game as it lets you quickly move in and out of your foe's range, baiting out attacks and punishing. Usually used by characters with poor speed or trouble against projectiles, but zoning characters can also make use of it for keepaway.

Farfetch'd & Electrode[edit]

Unlocked by clearing the Red League Promotion Test

Farfetch'd - Fury Cutter[edit]

  • 30s charge time

Farfetch'd makes three wide swipes with its leek to attack the enemy. A simple but versatile support, Farfetch'd is best used at close quarters as it doesn't have the greatest range. It can stop approaches with its huge sweeping slashes and start a combo, or continue one in some cases. Farfetch'd can also be used for pressure, as it lets you attack alongside it, and is sometimes used in guard crush setups.

Electrode - Explosion[edit]

  • 30s charge time

Electrode appears for a very brief moment. If the user is hit during this small window of time, it will retaliate with a damaging explosion. This support is purely a counter move, making it rather limited compared to other defensive supports, but makes up for it with the high damage it can inflict if successfully activated. It's not good against long-range attacks since Electrode takes time to close in on the target before attacking, though it still does considerable chip damage if they manage to block. You are protected by counter armor when summoning Electrode, so grabs and counter piercing moves will still harm you without triggering Explosion.

Dragonite & Victini[edit]

Unlocked by clearing the Red League Promotion Test

Dragonite - Draco Meteor[edit]

  • 40s charge time

Dragonite calls down a meteor strike to bombard the area in front of the user. This support creates a massive, flashy attack that deals a lot of damage if a foe is caught by it, while pushing away blocking foes and doing considerable chip damage. Though it has a lengthy charge time that limits its use, it is a great support foe clearing space around you or to lock the foe down.

Victini - V-create[edit]

  • 40s charge time

Victini grants a buff that makes all of the user's attacks become critical hits, heals a bit of HP and increases your Synergy Gauge. It then flies up in a spiral of fire behind the user that can hit enemies. Victini is a support that does a lot of things, but the main reason it is picked is the All Critical Hits buff. As Critical Hits do more damage and ignores Synergy Burst armor, it is basically the same as an Attack Up buff. Unlike an Attack Up buff, some attacks take on different properties on a critical hit, such as Garchomp's Pokemon Moves getting a longer animation and dealing drastically more damage. Victini can also be used as an attack in combos or even create unblockable setups, but this is difficult to do since it appears behind the user.

Espeon & Umbreon[edit]

Unlocked by clearing the Green League Tournament

Espeon - Morning Sun[edit]

  • 20s charge time, 30s recharge time

Espeon removes debuffs from the user as well as restores a variable amount of recoverable HP, granting more health the less time there is. While Espeon can heal more than other support Pokemon, it lacks a lasting secondary effect that other healing supports have, and the larger heals are still limited by how much recoverable HP you have, which is rarely a lot for most characters. One use is in matchups where you may get inflicted with debuffs often, with Chandelure being a special case as it can summon Espeon to get out of negative status after using Overheat.

Umbreon - Snarl[edit]

  • 40s charge time

Umbreon creates a field of dark energy around the user that drains the opponent's Synergy Gauge and inflicts a debuff that prevents them from getting critical hits. This is the most popular defensive support used by players, as it is relatively fast, has great range and nice secondary effects. It instantly relieves pressure from your foe and the debuffs weaken their offense for a short while after. It can also be used as a wide-hitting attack and even finds uses in combos.

Reshiram & Cresselia[edit]

Unlocked by clearing the Blue League Tournament

Reshiram - Blue Flare[edit]

  • 40s charge time, usable once per round

Reshiram sends columns of fire across the screen that does massive damage and inflict an Attack Down debuff. Reshiram is a straightforward attacking support Pokemon used to deal lots of damage. Its attack has incredible range and height that makes it hard to dodge, though it can be sidestepped in Field Phase. It is safe from punishment if the opponent tries to block it, as the flares will push them back a great distance. Powerful, but impractical due to its lengthy charge time and single use.

Cresselia - Lunar Dance[edit]

  • 40s charge time, usable once per round

Cresselia removes debuffs, heals a large amount of HP and increases Synergy Gauge significantly. It has a variety of useful effects, but can only be summoned once per round. These properties make Cresselia handy for characters with fast-paced playstyles, especially those with fast-charging Synergy Bursts or rack up self-damage through normal play. The long charge time is a major issue and prevents Cresselia from seeing much use at all on any character.

Magneton & Quagsire[edit]

Unlocked by clearing the Red League Tournament

Magneton - Tri Attack[edit]

  • 30s charge time

Magneton fires three beams slightly above the user than inflicts two random negative buffs on the opponent. Its attack is too high to hit standing foes, so this support is strictly used as an anti-air. As far as anti-air supports go, Magneton is rather impractical as it requires good timing and reactions, and it does nothing to grounded enemies. However, it does have a sizable albeit unpredictable reward if it lands a hit.

Quagsire - Mud Bomb[edit]

  • 30s charge time

Quagsire lobs a projectile at the foe which turns into a muddy puddle that attacks in pulses. This attack will only hurt grounded foes. The interval between each hit is very spaced out, enough for foes to act briefly in between hits, but not enough to escape easily. You can use this to control space or lock your foe down on wakeup.

Yveltal & Latios[edit]

Unlocked by clearing the Chroma League Tournament

Yveltal - Oblivion Wing[edit]

  • 40s charge time, usable once per round

Yveltal unleashes a blast at the ground that does a lot of damage and seals off the opponent's Synergy Burst. This is a very powerful support that can deal immense damage, and its ability to seal Synergy Bursts can affect the outcome of a match. However, it has a long charge time for a support Pokemon and is only available once per round, so it is rarely used. It can be powerful when used on an enemy's wakeup, since it covers the ground with a persisting attack.

Latios - Luster Purge[edit]

  • 20s charge time, usable once per round

Latios creates five barriers that gradually close in on the foe. It inflicts a Defense Down debuff to foes that run into the barriers. Latios does not directly attack the opponent. Rather, it restricts their movement by surrounding them with harmful barriers, which keeps your foe from escaping your pressure. It can also juggle the opponent between barriers when they are close together, but the barriers deal a pittance in damage.