Pokémon Unite combines the lovable pocket monster-collecting franchise with the grinding difficulty of League of Legends. This Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (or MOBA) has managed to stand out from the crowded competitive market since it was released in July 2021. With 32 unique Pokémon for players to battle with and more constantly being added, trainers can get a bit overwhelmed by what’s out there.
Not every Pokémon is a perfect fit for each trainer, but some are just stronger, faster, or more practical than others. Here’s a tier list of the fighters in Pokémon Unite, so you know which ones not to waste your time with.
Fighters that fail to in their selective roles fill out the very low end of Pokémon Unite’s roster. Charizard, Gengar, and Gardevior were at one point some of the strongest DPS fighters, but a series of nerfs over the past few patches have severely hindered their ability to keep up in team fights. Their inability to burst down squishy targets and escape with their lives has relegated them to ELO purgatory.
On the other hand, Blissey, Snorlax, and Wigglytuff can’t soak up enough damage to be considered useful in games. These tanks all have fairly weak forms of crowd control that keep them from excelling and being strong contenders. Wigglytuff's Rollout and Snorlax’s Heavy Slam can keep clumped-up enemies from getting away, but they are just too situational.
Pokémon that aren’t absolutely garbage but still aren’t as strong as their competitors populate this corner of the meta.
Absol, Ninetales, Mr. Mime, Garchomp, and Aegislash are still solid choices, but their skill cap limits their practicality. Absol can dive and weave through enemy lines, while a Ninetales freezes them in the perfect place. But if that Mr.Mime misses his wall or Garchomp doesn’t burst out of the ground on target, your whole team is basically a gaggle of sitting ducks.
Buff beasts like Crustle, Slowbro, and Trevenant can survive a scuffle in the heat of battle, but their crowd control is incredibly specific and limited. A good Crustle player can jump into an enemy team, single out the weakest attacker and bring them into your team, but that requires a lot of skill. If you see these guys in your ranked match, you don’t need to panic until you see them start missing abilities.
These are on the better side of things, able to withstand the brunt of an assault without flailing under the pressure.
Attackers like Pikachu, Hoopa Decidueye, Machamp, and Sylveon all excel at taking down backline targets. Eevee’s pink evolution and the four-armed brute have the audacity and abilities to head straight for that low HP damage dealer and take them out of the fight with their swift bursts of power. Decidueye has no problem sniping an enemy on the other side of a lane, using the owl’s Unite ability to take down whatever stands in its hooting way. Pikachu might not be as strong in the one-versus-one as the rest of these contenders, but the electric mouse’s net can root enemies in place, and a strong Unite move can finish them off with no problem.
As we move up the totem pole, All-Rounders who excel at defense and offense start to make their stand. Dragonite, Venusaur, and Tsareena can all survive a full-blown assault or skirmish with enemies in side lanes. Dragonite excels in the jungle, able to dive into the fray after clearing out enough camps. Venasaur, the vine-whipping behemoth, has one of the strongest auto attacks in the entire game and Petal Dance will allow it to speed around the map like an overgrown race car. Tsareena may lack the defensive fortitude of the other two, but buffs in a recent patch have made her a formidable duelist.
For tanks, Blastoise, Mamoswine, and Greedent are always a good pick. The cannon-wielding turtle can Surf away when things get rough and its Unite move will bop everyone into the air. The prehistoric pig may lack that getaway, but Earthquake allows it to dive an enemy and pull them in closer. The chubby squirrel is arguably the most versatile tank in the game, able to belch berries to deal insane damage while keeping himself alive when they heal. Greedent’s Unite ability gives it insane movement speed, allowing players to recreate their Tokyo Drift fantasies.
In Pokémon Unite, the best and most used characters are the ones that deal the most damage and have the highest speed. Zeraora has been top tier since the game was in beta, able to dash around like a yellow Spider-man and deal insane damage along the way. Pair him with an Eldegoss, who uses healing buffs that deal damage to keep your squishy ally from falling in the fray.
Lucario, Cinderace, and Talonflame all have insane burst damage and can end a late-game team fight singlehandedly. Talonflame can dive and weave around the enemy team while Cinderace kicks small fireballs that annihilate low HP enemies in a split second. Though Lucario may lack the range of Cinderace or the flight of Talonflame, the uptight dog can duel any Pokémon and have enough abilities to escape from the fight.
Not all these Pokémon have been top spot contenders, but in a meta dominated by strong duelists, they excel. Greninja has the burst of many of their best contemporaries, but the attack speed buff that comes from his Unite move, as well as the defense that Double Team offers make it one of the best. Then comes Cramorant, a long-range bird that has been pretty mediocre throughout the past year. But with a few buffs and meta tweaks, this fish swallower has become one of the best monsters to use. Just stand on the backline and watch as your spit shreds even the hardiest of enemies.