Smeargle, known as the Painter Pokemon, possesses many unique qualities, yet is still overlooked by many. It is a Normal-type, and its Ability is Own Tempo, which prevents the status affliction Confusion. This was the norm until Generation V, where its second possible Ability became Technician, which powers up moves with a base power under 60. A contributing reason to why Smeargle are sparce in the newer games is because it’s from the Johto region; HeartGold and SoulSilver are the only Johto games in the DS series. Now, you can find Smeargle in Pokemon Black and White, but only when the bulletin board says there’s an outbreak on Route 5.
What makes Smeargle stand out from the rest is because of its signature move, Sketch. It’s a very unique move which copies the target’s last move. The move that was copied replaces Sketch and becomes one of Smeargle’s moves. All moves can be learned by Sketch, which makes Smeargle capable of learning just about any move. In fact, Smeargle has been used in competitive battles to use a stat-raising move such as Belly Drum, and Baton Pass to the next Pokémon, who will gain the stat changes. Smeargle learns Sketch starting at level 11, and learns one every ten levels until 91. If you’ve accidentally used Sketch, you can replace that move with another Sketch.
For the meticulous, you can go to the Move Remember tutor and pay a Heart Scale in exchange for re-learning Sketch. The only downside to Sketch is that most of the time, moves that will be copied will have no Same Type Attack Bonus, meaning less potential for a one-hit KO. Smeargle also learns a new Sketch every ten levels, and that’s the only way it can learn moves. It cannot learn any TM or HM moves, much like Unown. It relies on Speed to get the first hit in battles, but if you decide to EV train for Speed, the second stat should be HP. To back it up, use the Focus Sash; it functions the same way as Endure. This makes Smeargle more of a supporter Pokemon, seeing as it cannot do much damage with an Attack and Special Attack of 20. Its Defense and Special Defense are 35 and 45 respectively, making it susceptible to one-hit KOs. To make up for this, it levels up quickly, reaching 800,000 EXP at level 100, and is classified as a Fast growth Pokemon.
In terms of breeding, it is in the Field egg group, making it a versatile breeding partner. Unfortunately, Sketch cannot be transferred to the offspring. A classic battle strategy for Smeargle would be to have Spore, Belly Drum, Agility, and Baton Pass. Spore is the opening move, which is 100% accurate and makes the opponent fall asleep. Belly Drum and Agility can be used while the opponent is sleeping, and finally, a Baton Pass with maximized Attack and doubled Speed (two stages equals a 100% increase, making it twice as fast). Smeargle is quite a mystery in battle, but its versatility is well-received.