Pokémon Unite is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed jointly by The Pokémon Company and Tencent. Since its Nintendo Switch launch on July 21, 2021, the Pokémon spin-off has quickly become one of the most popular free-to-play games on the market. A mobile version of Pokémon Unite is also in the works, with a release date of September 22, 2021.
The gameplay in Pokémon Unite is quite simple, but different from other MOBA games. The typical leveling system is present, with players fighting wild Pokémon to gain experience. However, there is no item shop within matches; rather, you progress your Pokémon’s build by choosing a skill each time they level up, similar to how you’d learn a move in the mainline series.
Pokémon Unite also has a feature called “Held Items,” which you can modify before the match starts. These are fixed items that will buff your Pokémon’s stats during a match.
The game focuses on farming wild Pokémon. Every time you defeat a Pokémon, you toss the titular Unite Ball at it, gaining Aeos Energy. You can then carry this ball of Aeos Energy and dunk it into one of the opposing team’s goals. To win the match, your team must have a higher final score than the opposing team once the time runs out.
As with any good MOBA, in Pokémon Unite there are roles that each member has to fulfill. These roles consist of five categories: All-Rounders, Attackers, Defenders, Supporters, and Speedsters. There are a lot of options—so where do you start?
That’s where we come in. Read on for our Pokémon Unite tier list, where we break down our top characters for each role. Since you’ll need Aeos Gems to fully experience the game, make sure to get some Nintendo eShop Cards from OffGamers right here, for your cause!
On to the list!
Lucario is the best all-rounder right now because it can dominate on any lane. It is mostly utilized in Jungle/Mid in the early game since its basic attack is fairly powerful. Once its level gets higher, it can help dominate either lane.
The build for Lucario depends on how you plan to use the character. If you’re a Mid/Jungle player, make sure to select the moves Extreme Speed and Bone Rush. Both consist of quick movements and high mobility, which allow you to give chase to a retreating opponent. This is very helpful once you reach a higher level than the opposing Pokémon, as you farm Aeos Energy in the middle.
Another build centers around Power-Up Punch, as it’s a powerful attack that buffs Lucario’s physical attacks. It is a good move to have if you have a good support Pokémon healing you.
For Held Items, you should focus on basic attack buffs like Muscle Band, Float Stone, and Scope Lens.
Lucario’s Unite Move, Aura Cannon, is best used when there is an ongoing battle. This is a pretty straightforward Unite Move, but it’s truly powerful. Be careful with your targeting, though, as you can easily miss your opponent with this move.
As for the other All-Rounder Pokémon, we have Machamp, Garchomp, and Charizard. Machamp and Garchomp are both good picks for All-Rounders. Charizard has also been buffed recently, bringing up to par with the other two. In other words, there’s great parity in this role.
Pikachu is not only the best Attacker in the game right now; it’s also the easiest one to master. What makes Pikachu great is that its attacks are consistently powerful throughout the match.
Since Attackers tend to work best in the top lane, Pikachu can easily dominate it, especially if your team has a reliable tank to help cover you. The best moves to use are Electro Ball and Thunderbolt, as both can stun opponents, making Pikachu extremely dangerous in a 1 vs. 1 scenario.
As for Held Items, get the items that will boost Pikachu’s SP. ATK. These items include Shell Bell, Sp. Atk Specs, and Wise Glasses.
Pikachu’s Unite Move, Thunderstorm, is best used for large brawls. The move unleashes powerful bolts in an area of effect (AoE), which is very effective when battling several opponents at once.
Most Attackers in Pokémon Unite are good options overall. Cinderace, Greninja, and Alolan Ninetales are three of the best alternatives for Pikachu, but they may be a bit harder to master. The other Attackers, Cramorant, Gardevoir, and Venusaur, are also good Attackers, but can easily be defeated depending on the opponent’s team.
As for Defenders, your top choice is either Snorlax or Crustle. However, Snorlax has a slight edge since it has a clear advantage in the early game. In particular, Snorlax has a Rest move that restores its HP while hindering enemy movements. This can be hard for your opponents early on in the match since it’s hard to defeat Snorlax unless you gang up on it.
Snorlax is best used to tag along with a powerful Attacker like Pikachu. Once you level up, get Heavy Slam and Block as these two have the most use as a Defender. Heavy Slam can throw enemies and stop them in their tracks. It is surprisingly powerful in the latter part of the match as well. Block, on the other hand, is useful when supporting your team when retreating. It’s also good for isolating an opponent’s Pokémon from its teammates.
For Held Items, we recommend using Leftovers for additional HP and HP recovery, Rocky Helmet to deal passive damage to the enemy, and Focus Band for stronger defense.
Snorlax’s Unite Move, Power Nap, is an amazing deterrent against enemies trying to score points on your goal, since it will be invulnerable while throwing off Pokémon within its area of effect.
Crustle was mentioned earlier because it is also a great Defender, and can be as powerful if not more so than Snorlax. However, it is more of a support Pokémon intended to corner opponents, which is more of an advanced technique. Slowbro is another Defender with solid support moves, but it lacks an offensive punch.
Eldegoss is a must-have for any team in Pokémon Unite. This is because it’s the only consistent healer in the game. It was pretty overpowered as a support Pokémon, and has since been nerfed. Still, no Defender comes close to its capability.
There are several builds you can do with Eldegoss, but if you are going to focus on a Support role, then Pollen Puff and Cotton Guard are the best moves to assist your teammates. Pollen Puff can heal your team or deal damage against the opponent when attached, so aim carefully. Meanwhile, Cotton Guard gives your teammates additional armor and restores HP slightly.
It is highly recommended to have Held Items that will increase your Sp. Atk, since doing so will also increase HP recovery for your team. Viable options include Shell Bell, Wise Glass, or even Float Stone so you can retreat quickly.
Cotton Cloud Crash, Eldegoss’ Unite Move, is an amazing all-around move since you can use it to escape from battle, heal your teammates, and damage opponents. Best of all, you are invulnerable while using it.
We have Wigglytuff and Mr. Mime as the other top Supporters. They are good options, as they can buff their teammates, though Mr. Mime is probably the most powerful in terms of damage output. However, having two supporters on a team is an obvious disadvantage, so it’s hard to pick either of them.
Speedsters are Pokémon with abilities that can swiftly defeat an opponent. Gengar tops all other Speedster Pokémon, as it becomes incredibly powerful once it reaches the end of its progression in the late game.
Sludge Bomb and Hex is the build Gengar is mostly known for due to the fact that it can continuously damage targets and ultimately defeat them quickly. Another build is to have Shadow Ball or Dream Eater; these moves are good for chasing retreating opponents or farming in the middle.
As for Held Items, it is best to get items that will increase SP. Attack like Sp. Atk Specs and Wise Glasses.
Phantom Ambush is a good Unite Move for ambushing opponents, as it will slow down targets while granting Gengar a speed buff. Use this move to start a clash with the enemy team and defeat their Attacker quickly.
Most if not all speedsters are incredible. You may decide to pick Zeraora or Absol, for example, and you’d still be fine. Both have powerful AoE attacks with the right build. Talonflame has great mobility and damage, but can lack the moves needed to defeat other Pokémon.
Which Pokémon Unite Characters Do You Prefer?
That concludes our tier list! Pokémon Unite is still in its early stages as a game, and more Pokémon will be released in the future to further develop the meta.
We highly recommend you try all the Pokémon Unite characters to find one that works for you. Already have a favorite? Let us know your recommended Pokémon builds in the comments below!