Pokemon Unite is a new free-to-play game from developers TiMi Studio Group and The Pokemon Company. This game takes the world of Pokemon and fuses it with various MOBA elements from games like DOTA 2 or Heroes of the Storm. Players pick from a roster of Pokemon, which serve as the game’s champions, and battle it out to score points for their team. Whichever team earns the most points or destroys all the enemy team’s point receptacles wins the match. Boasting 21 Pokemon at the time of writing this, it can be tricky to figure out which Pokemon to play as.
However, not all Pokemon are created equal and some simply perform better than others. This doesn’t mean you cannot be successful with any of the characters, every Pokemon can be dangerous in the right hands. But, some simply outshine the rest in their archetype and will certainly be more common picks as you play. Finally, this is my tier list. Meaning I am taking all my experience and knowledge of the game to judge these different Pokemon. I realize everyone has their favorites, so don’t treat this as the final word on every character. If you are absolutely killing it with Wigglytuff then more power to you!
I look forward to everyone being civil in the comments and telling me I’m stupid.
Pokemon Unite Tier List
I think everyone at this point knows how ridiculous Snorlax is. Far and away the best tank in the game, Snorlax has terrific crowd control that allows a skilled player to easily dictate the flow of hectic battles. Being able to just shove your opponents away from injured teammates or pin them into a wall makes securing kills easy. Snorlax also has a comical amount of health, which is only enhanced by its Unite move. If you need a defender on your team you literally cannot go wrong with a Snorlax.
Along with Cinderace, Lucario is one of the best damage-dealing Pokemon in the entire game. A versatile character that’s capable of being in any lane, he can be terrifying to face one on one. Much of this is thanks to his high damage output and the Steadfast passive. This ability boosts Lucario’s damage, movement speed, and makes him harder to kill when their health gets low. Lucario can apply a lot of early game pressure, being able to push lanes and challenge most Pokemon in their respective lanes. Once we shift to the late game, Lucario has a nice balance of skills such as Bone Rush which damages and shoves opponents. Plus the latest patch didn’t even touch Lucario, which means he is still insanely strong.
Yes, I know Eldegoss just got nerfed. No, I don’t think it will impact her too much.
Until another Pokemon is introduced that focuses primarily on healing, Eldegoss will remain the absolute best Support character. Being able to keep your teammates alive during a fight is critical — especially as you climb up the ladder in Ranked. This makes Eldegoss essential as it allows you to keep your allies healthy during battle while either giving them a temporary movement speed buff or shield. A good Eldegoss can save a losing fight, mainly thanks to its Unite move, Cotton Cloud Crash. Not only does this let you knock enemies either away (or into) your team, but it heals all your allies around Eldegoss.
I promise this isn’t a biased choice because I am a Gengar main. Okay, maybe a little bit of my bias is involved, but Gengar is still extremely strong. Possessing strong early, mind, and late-game abilities, Gengar is capable of dealing a ton of burst damage. A lot of this comes from its ability to reset the cooldowns of both the Sludge Bomb and Shadow Ball skills. This makes Gengar comically deadly in the right hands, as a skilled player can obliterate an unsuspecting player before they can even react. Combine that with Gengar’s Unite and you can devastate a team’s backline in seconds.
Everyone’s been on a team or against a team that gets absolutely rolled by a Cinderace player. One of the most terrifying Pokemon in the game, Cinderace’s ability options provide so much versatility. You can go a more mobile route with Flame Charge or play a little defensively thanks to Feint. Cinderace can also do an insane amount of damage, allowing her to burst down pretty much any Pokemon standing in their way. Blaze, Cinderace’s passive, is exceptionally strong in the early to mid-game. Being able to increase basic attack damage is always strong, but when combined with the rest of Cinderace’s abilities it makes her quite terrifying to face one on one.
Probably one of the easiest Pokemon to play in the game, Zeraora is capable of doing ludicrous amounts of damage in a short time. Volt Switch gives Zeraora some nice mobility to close the gap between you and another Pokemon, while Discharge makes even being around you deadly. This skill has the added benefit of providing a shield and its Unite skill is basically a guaranteed way to secure a kill on any non-defender Pokemon. Alternatively, players can combo Wild Charge with Volt Switch or Spark to deal additional damage to foes. Zeraora is just a strong Pokemon and one of the best starting points if you want to be a Speedstar player.
I feel as if a lot of people are sleeping on just how good Ninetales actually is. All about dealing high damage and constantly freezing your enemy in place, Ninetales can be really scary to lane against. However, while she does quite a lot of damage thanks to moves like Avalanche and Snow Globe, her real strength is Aurora Veil. When triggered, this skill will reduce incoming damage to you and all nearby all Pokemon. Players in the veil also get increased movement speed and basic attack damage is increased. This ability by itself is an absolute game-changer in team fights. A well-timed Aurora Veil can not only save your team from a big attack, but allow you to swiftly take down an enemy Pokemon or clear a lane.
When it comes to Speedster Pokemon, Absol is firmly in the middle of the back. While it has great damage and some solid mobility, this Pokemon is also extremely easy to dispatch. Absol also has a pretty high skill ceiling, mainly thanks to how its abilities revolve around either forcing the Pokemon to attack you or boosting this Pokemon’s critical-hit rate. This can make it difficult to learn — especially if you are just starting out. However, a good Absol player can focus on controlling the center lane and quickly killing any Pokemon foolish enough to leave their team. An excellent backline fighter, Absol is probably one of the more balanced Speedsters in the game.
The bane of Snorlax players everywhere, Greninja is a tank buster that attacks the percentage of an enemy’s health not a specific number. Because of this, Greninja is especially good against Defender class champions like Crustle, Snorlax, and Slowbro. Greninja can also be pretty tricky to actually pin down thanks to its fantastic escape options like Smokescreen, Double Team, and Surf. These are also terrific for hunting down any Pokemon trying to escape a fight or diving in, securing a tank kill, and getting out before another Attacker class Pokemon hits you.
I feel like a lot of people underestimate how strong Pikachu really is. Capable of doing a lot of damage if left alone, Pikachu can mop up squishier Pokemon with relative ease. Much of this is thanks to a mix of its passive and damage abilities like Electro Ball. Given Pikachu can stun Pokemon, this makes escaping this electric mouse pretty tricky for those without X Speed or Eject Buttons. Pikachu’s major weakness is against Defender archetype Pokemon, as its burst damage isn’t enough to bring down a Slowbro or Snorlax. This can be a bit of a liability at times, but in most cases (especially at low ranks) Pikachu absolutely dominates and is pretty simple to play.
I was originally going to put Charizard into the C Tier until the patch notes were released today and a bunch of buffs was given to this fiery dragon. This Pokemon has a remarkable amount of utility, especially once you hit the late game. Flare Blitz gives us a bit of protection or escape, while Fire Punch allows us to shove opponents away. His recent buff also increased the damage of Flamethrower, Fire Punch, and Fire Blast, giving us more viable skills to choose from as we gain experience. Charizard’s Unite move is also quite potent, as it lets us dive into the backline to harass healers like Eldegoss or low health damage dealers like Gengar. I’m not entirely sure if the new buffs will push Charizard higher on the tier list, but I definitely expect to see more of him going forward.
When it comes to Slowbro I am pretty torn. While my personal experience with this Pokemon has been mixed, I know a few people who utterly swear by this Pokemon. Unlike Snorlax and Crustle is who can fill a more traditional tank role by just soaking damage, Slowbro is all about picking a single opposing Pokemon and making their life a living hell in a team fight. Setting aside its powerful Unite move, Slowbro can drag Pokemon towards it, decrease their movement speed, or just buff their own damage. This makes Slowbro pretty scary in a big chaotic fight, as it ensures that squishy, key damage Pokemon are easy to eliminate.
The backbone of a good Crustle is the ability to use Rock Tomb without messing up your own team. This is one of the best crowd control abilities in the entire game, as it lets you just cut off a lane or isolate a Pokemon during a fight. But, it’s a double-edged sword since your teammates cannot pass through the wall. Because of this, Crustle has a much higher skill ceiling than Snorlax. Inversely, Crustle is probably the most aggressive tank and is capable of cutting up squishy Pokemon with its X-Scissor move.
Similar to Absol, Garchomp is one of the most balanced Pokemon in the entire game. A powerhouse up close, Garchomp can tear through a team’s frontline in seconds. Most of this is thanks to its Rough Skin passive and Dragon Claw ability. These combined make your basic attacks a force to be reckoned with. Dig is also a solid initiation attack that briefly stuns anything hit, allowing you to quickly follow up with other moves. All that being said, Garchomp is heavily focused on melee combat. Because of this, Pokemon with good mobility skills can dance circles around this Pokemon or just evade its attacks. This doesn’t make Garchomp bad at all, it just means you need to be smart about when you dive in for an attack.
When it comes to Cramorant I both love and hate this Pokemon. It’s not that I think this bird is bad, but it’s very reliant on hitting all its abilities. With no real movement skill or cooldown reset ability, Cramorant can be pretty underwhelming in fights at times. But when Cramorant has his abilities? You better watch out, because this bird has a surprising amount of damage and control. Moves like Surf can literally drag opposing Pokemon out of position while Hurricane can hurl them around. While you may not get the big damage numbers, Cramorant has some solid battlefield control tools that make him great for lane fighting.
I love Wigglytuff. It’s so much fun to just roll around the map and bonk enemies up into the air over and over again. But what makes her a solid Supporter is Wigglytuff’s area of effect abilities to decrease the defense of opponents or give every ally around it a shield. While Wigglytuff does not have the healing output of Eldegoss, their abilities can be quite devastating if timed correctly. Wigglytuff’s passive skill, Cute Charm, is also pretty tricky and can catch unsuspecting players off-guard. It can be a great way to pull enemies away from a fight or even protect a teammate.
Solar Beam! Solar Beam! Solar Beeeeeeeaaaaaammmmmmmm!!!
That’s basically the entire strategy around Venusaur, as this high-damage attacker can absolutely melt Pokemon if you can consistently land this ability. Combine this with Giga Drain and Venusaur can do a surprising amount of damage, allowing you to secure kills from those trying to retreat. The problem is Venusaur is very much a one-trick dinosaur that isn’t great against a lot of more mobile Pokemon. Also despite its size, Venusaur is quite weak and can easily be killed by a lot of Pokemon within seconds. This doesn’t make Venusaur bad, just a more niche Pokemon that can be easily punished due to its lack of mobility and health.
Let’s be honest, you’re playing Machamp either because you always liked this Pokemon or because you want to use Submission. What makes Machamp so scary is the sheer amount of damage he can output against certain teams running a lot of status effect moves. That being said, Machamp is a very predictable Pokemon to fight around because it’s always charging into battle, looking to isolate and kill a single player. Once you understand this, it makes playing around Machamp pretty simple. That being said, a skilled Machamp player who knows when and when not to push into a team to grab someone is terrifying.
Talonflame is a lot like Crustle to me. It’s a Pokemon that’s entirely reliant on landing your abilities and knowing when to use them. This Pokemon is very reliant on your ability to quickly and correctly aim in chaotic battles. If you cannot land your abilities consistently then Talonflame is basically dead weight.
Mr. Mime is…fine? He’s just fine. Look, the problem with Mr. Mime is everything he can do the defender Pokemon just do better. This mimic is all about buffing and crowd control, but both are kinda underwhelming. Yes, his Barriers can be a bit annoying, but they aren’t as oppressive as Snorlax’s. While his Unite move can make securing kills for your team easy, there are just better options if you want a Supporter Pokemon.
I’m simply putting Gardevoir here because I don’t have as much experience with her nor fully know where she will settle in the meta. Similar to what I do in other tier lists which involve a constant stream of new additions, I’ll update Gardevoir’s placement at the end of the month once I’ve had enough time to fully play with her abilities and see how she functions in Ranked and casual matches.