The Pokémon series has hundreds of Pokémon of varying types, each with access to different natural abilities and moves. Players have learned how to abuse certain tactics and one of the most famous has made an appearance in Pokémon Sword & Shield.
One of the most infamous Pokémon tactics is called F.E.A.R., which allows a level 1 Pokémon to defeat a level 100 Pokémon, thanks to a combination of moves and items. This strategy has existed since the days of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, yet Game Freak never acknowledged it until the release of Pokémon Sword & Shield, when a random NPC can turn one of the most wicked maneuvers in the series against the player.
What Is F.E.A.R.?
F.E.A.R. stands for Focus Sash, Endeavor, Quick Attack, and Rattata. It's not a very accurate acronym, nor is Rattata a necessary part of the process, but the name stuck over time.
The basic premise of F.E.A.R. is that a Pokémon can defeat almost any other Pokémon with the correct setup. In order to perform the F.E.A.R. strategy, the player needs a Pokémon that can use both Endeavor and Quick Attack, while making it hold the Focus Sash.
The Focus Slash prevents the Pokémon from being knocked out if it's hit by an attack that would KO it in a single action, leaving it with a single hit point. Endeavor forces the enemy Pokémon's hit point score to match that of the user. This combination means that the enemy Pokémon will hit the weak one, causing it to drop to one hit point. The player's Pokémon can use Endeavor to cause the enemy Pokémon's hit points to drop to one, then use Quick Attack on their next turn to cause it to faint.
The F.E.A.R. tactic isn't foolproof, as there are moves with faster priority than Quick Attack. The tactic also wouldn't work on a Ghost-type Pokémon, as it would be immune to Normal-type moves.
Where Can A F.E.A.R. (Or F.E.A.C.) User Be Found?
There is a F.E.A.R. (or rather, a F.E.A.C.) user in the Galar region. If the player visits all of the homes in Hammerlocke, then they will come across a Pokémon trainer named Black Belt Brian, who uses a level 2 Cottonee in battle. Brian's Cottonee possesses a Focus Sash and it will use Endeavor when it gets the chance. The problem with Brian's tactics is that he only has a single Pokémon, meaning that the second Pokémon the player uses should easily be able to dispose of it.
Black Belt Brian's Cottonee is the only canon acknowledgment of the F.E.A.R. tactic and it mostly acts as a fun bit of fanservice to those who are aware of the strategy.
Pokémon Sword & Shield are available now for Nintendo Switch.