The Pokémon Company shares tips on which Pokémon to include on your team and how to use them in Pokémon UNITE Unite Battles

Pokémon UNITE is continuing to add new content, including new playable characters, on a regular basis. Read on below to learn more:

Pokémon UNITE Strategy: Team Play and Composition Strategy

Grab four friends and plan your next Unite Battle with these tips on which Pokémon to include on your team and how to use them.

By George “Goof” Gebhardt, Contributing Writer

Playing Pokémon UNITE as a full team with four other friends can be a lot more fun and lead to even more victories. By coordinating the Pokémon and tactics you plan to use, you can really step up your game and play to each person’s skills. Path advantage, objective control, and scoring potential are important factors that influence which Pokémon you should pick for your Pokémon UNITE team. Every choice will impact how your team plays throughout various stages of the game, so you should plan accordingly.

Read on for tips on how to play better with a team, then check out some example five-player teams you can construct for your next Unite Battle!

How to Pick Pokémon for Each Path

In Unite Battles, each team fights for control of the top and bottom paths as well as the central area. On the top and bottom paths, neutral wild Pokémon inhabit the areas between each team’s goal zones.

Whichever Pokémon deals the last hit to a wild Pokémon is awarded Exp. Points and Aeos energy. It’s important to have Pokémon on your team secure these Exp. Points to start building an advantage over your opponents—especially early in battle.

Naturally, your opponents will compete with you to defeat wild Pokémon and deprive you of Exp. Points. To come out on top of this “last hit” battle, your team should bring at least one Pokémon to each path that knows a move that instantly deals high damage. Some good examples are Snorlax’s Tackle or Lucario’s Meteor Mash. Both Pokémon also benefit from their natural bulk and mobility, making them hard to take down early in the game.

While Snorlax and Lucario have seen a lot of competitive play so far in the Pokémon UNITE scene, alternatives like Wigglytuff and Slowbro can certainly work in their place. What is imperative is having a Pokémon that can deliver the final blow, whichever works for you.

Because two Pokémon generally go to each path, we need a partner for each of our heavy hitters. In competitive play, an Attacker will typically assist Snorlax or Wigglytuff on the bottom path, and a Supporter will join Lucario on the top path. Alolan Ninetales and Cramorant are currently tournament favorites for the bottom path, but other Attackers, like Venusaur, are not uncommon. Experiment using this general outline to build combinations that can dominate the paths.

One important tip: Coordinate with your path partner to use your moves simultaneously. This can double your “last hit” potential, making sure your team is the one that earns the Exp. Points from knocking out wild Pokémon.

Objective Control and How to Secure Drednaw

In higher-level competitive play, you’ll discover that the first major objective of the game is to defeat Drednaw, which spawns on the bottom path at the seven-minute mark of a match. Securing this Drednaw is paramount because of the large amount of Exp. Points that is awarded to the team that defeats it. Thus, to secure this critical objective, we’ll need some Pokémon that are strong three minutes into a match.

Damaging Drednaw quickly when the opportunity presents itself is among the most important factors at this phase of the game. The Exp. Point advantage and momentum from securing this first Drednaw defeat will carry on later into the game, putting you in a favorable position to win other pivotal battles. Greninja, Cinderace, Blastoise, and Zeraora are among the best at this, and they’re typically played in the central area due to the plentiful Exp. Points that can be earned there. With a level advantage and the Muscle Band held item, these Pokémon are sure to quickly take out Drednaw if any opposing Pokémon are currently knocked out or otherwise preoccupied. Try your favorites in the central area, but make sure your team has someone to take out Drednaw quickly when the opportunity comes.

At this stage of the game, most Pokémon on your team will be Lv. 5 or 6. Pokémon who don’t learn critical moves until Lv. 7 may be a liability when Drednaw first appears. This weakness certainly doesn’t make them useless, but be sure to consider how many Pokémon like this you include in your team and plan your strategy around them. For example, if your strategy involves using Venusaur’s powerful Solar Beam at this stage, which it learns at Lv. 7, be sure to pair it with teammates capable of holding off the opposing team until the move becomes available.

Along the same lines, Pokémon that learn their Unite Move earlier than others, such as Wigglytuff and Blissey, can be extremely strong if you can stall the Drednaw fight long enough for them to learn their Unite Move. Conversely, for Snorlax and Zeraora, two favorites of competitive play, their greatest weakness lies in the late availability of their Unite Move, which they don’t learn until they reach Lv. 10. Keep these things in mind when planning your team. When the time comes during a Unite Battle when you know your team has the upper hand, be sure to push the advantage.

In the same way that it’s important to have a Pokémon that can secure the last hit on wild Pokémon during the first three minutes of the match, it’s important to have a powerful move available to your team to secure the final hit on Drednaw. Two popular examples in current competitive play are Lucario’s Power-Up Punch and Greninja’s Surf. Because these moves deal a large amount of damage instantly, they’re ideal for making sure that critical last hit against Drednaw goes to your team. Every team should be sure to include moves like these to secure the various objectives of Pokémon UNITE that work this way.

Tip: Start attacking Drednaw when your teammate in the central area learns their Unite Move. This will give you a big advantage in the team fight.

How to Score in the Mid-Game

So far, we’ve talked about how to compose a team that excels at securing a lead in both Exp. Points and levels. While these are essential, they won’t be enough on their own to earn your team a win. Your team must also be capable of generating a point lead by scoring your gathered Aeos energy in the enemy’s goal zones.

To accomplish this, you’ll need to select Pokémon that are good at scoring goals. The attributes of a Pokémon that make it good at scoring are fairly simple. One, it needs to have a slot for the Score Shield held item. It’s essential for competitive play, and most teams should have two Pokémon holding this item. This allows you to apply pressure with your scoring-oriented Pokémon choices on both the top and bottom halves of the map.

The second key attribute for Pokémon that are good at scoring is the ability to escape from dangerous situations on the opponent’s side of the map. This means access to superior mobility, moves that grant the unstoppable condition, and even general bulkiness in the form of high HP and defense values. Machamp and Lucario both have many of these qualities and are great examples of Pokémon that excel at scoring.

Specific moves can also help Pokémon secure goals in Pokémon UNITE. A Wigglytuff that uses Sing can be nearly impossible to stop from scoring in the early game—enemies that are asleep will have an even harder time breaking Wigglytuff’s Score Shield.

Shields provided by moves (including Unite Moves) and the shield provided by the Buddy Barrier held item can also be stacked with Score Shield’s effect to force mid-game goals. The effect of Score Shield won’t end until all shields on the Pokémon attempting to score have been depleted, regardless of their source. This can make goal-scoring a team effort. Consider having a teammate play a Pokémon like Eldegoss for its move Cotton Guard, which can shield the whole team, to take full advantage of these shielded goal plays.

Tip: Some Pokémon can add their own shield to Score Shield’s effect. Try starting Snorlax’s Block move and then canceling it immediately to use the shield it provides while scoring. Lucario’s Ability, Steadfast, also works well!

Example Pokémon UNITE Team Compositions

Want a head start on developing a smart team with your friends? Check out these three example teams. Then, find out what works in your battles and what doesn’t, and make a few tweaks to start racking up more victories.

Well-Rounded Aggressive Team

This is a basic team that excels at mid-game scoring and objective control, and it’s one you might see regularly in tournament play. It has Snorlax and Lucario serving as both last-hitters in their respective paths as well as mid-game scorers. Then, it has Cinderace to deal damage to the first Drednaw and beyond, plus a good supporting cast with Ninetales and Eldegoss.

Lucario

Moves: Bone Rush, Power-Up Punch
Held Items: Score Shield, Focus Band, Attack Weight
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Strong last-hitter on the top path
  • Can secure Drednaw defeat with Power-Up Punch
  • Good mid-game scoring potential

Eldegoss

Moves: Cotton Guard, Pollen Puff
Held Items: Exp. Share, Muscle Band, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Supports Lucario on the top path
  • Provides sustained healing when facing Drednaw
  • Mid-game scoring support with Cotton Guard

Cinderace

Moves: Feint, Blaze Kick
Held Items: Focus Band, Muscle Band, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Benefits from earning Exp. Points in the central area
  • Strong team fighter
  • Can secure a Drednaw defeat at Lv. 9
  • Very strong frontline damage

Snorlax

Moves: Heavy Slam, Block
Held Items: Focus Band, Score Shield, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Strong against the first Drednaw, with Heavy Slam available at Lv. 6
  • Strong last-hitter on the bottom path
  • Good complementary mid-game scorer with Lucario

Alolan Ninetales

Moves: Aurora Veil, Dazzling Gleam
Held Items: Focus Band, Muscle Band, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Strong partner with Snorlax on the bottom path
  • Provides good crowd control to protect Cinderace

Quick Drednaw Team

This team can defeat the first Drednaw of the game in seconds. It suffers from its central area Pokémon, Zeraora, lacking an early-game Unite Move. But it makes up for that with both Blissey and Wigglytuff learning their Unite Move at Lv. 8. While this team has weak mid-to-late-game scoring potential without Lucario, its strong team fighting capabilities can open windows for scoring goals or defeating Zapdos.

Wigglytuff

Moves: Sing, Dazzling Gleam
Held Items: Score Shield, Focus Band, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Good last-hitter on the top path
  • Early-game Unite Move for Drednaw
  • Excellent early-game scoring potential and moderate mid-game scoring potential
  • Great at objective control

Blissey

Moves: Soft-Boiled, Helping Hand
Held Items: Exp. Share, Focus Band, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Fluffy Tail
Strengths:

  • Supports Wigglytuff on the top path
  • Provides sustained healing against Drednaw
  • Early-game Unite Move for Drednaw
  • Good at contributing damage to objectives with Helping Hand

Zeraora

Moves: Volt Switch, Discharge
Held Items: Focus Band, Score Shield, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Fluffy Tail
Strengths:

  • Uses central area Exp. Points well.
  • Very good damage to Drednaw with Fluffy Tail and Discharge

Snorlax

Moves: Heavy Slam, Block
Held Items: Focus Band, Score Shield, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Strong against the first Drednaw, with Heavy Slam available at Lv. 6
  • Strong last-hitter on bottom path
  • Good complementary mid-game scorer with Alolan Ninetales

Alolan Ninetales

Moves: Aurora Veil, Dazzling Gleam
Held Items: Focus Band, Muscle Band, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Strong partner on the bottom path with Snorlax
  • Good crowd control abilities make this Pokémon hard to knock out, even when alone in the backline

Solar Beam Team

This well-rounded team has only one weakness—Solar Beam being learned relatively late, when Ivysaur hits Lv. 7. Wigglytuff’s strong path presence should help Bulbasaur and Ivysaur get through their tough early game. Once Ivysaur learns Solar Beam, Drednaw should be easy pickings. Wigglytuff and Lucario are the best early- and late-game scorers, respectively, so an early lead in Exp. Points will put this team in a good position to win the game.

Lucario

Moves: Bone Rush, Extreme Speed
Held Items: Score Shield, Focus Band, Muscle Band
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Strong last-hitter on the top path
  • Good mid-game scoring potential

Eldegoss

Moves: Cotton Guard, Pollen Puff
Held Items: Exp. Share, Muscle Band, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Supports Lucario on the top path
  • Provides sustained healing when facing Drednaw
  • Mid-game scoring support with Cotton Guard

Greninja

Moves: Smokescreen, Surf
Held Items: Focus Band, Muscle Band, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Uses central area Exp. Points well
  • Strong team-fight presence
  • Since this team lacks Power-Up Punch, Surf is useful instead for securing objectives

Wigglytuff

Moves: Sing, Dazzling Gleam
Held Items: Score Shield, Focus Band, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Good last-hitter on the bottom path
  • Strong enough to cover for Bulbasaur’s weak early game
  • Early-game Unite Move for Drednaw
  • Excellent early-game and moderate mid-game scoring potential

Venusaur

Moves: Solar Beam, Sludge Bomb
Held Items: Focus Band, Muscle Band, Buddy Barrier
Battle Item: Eject Button
Strengths:

  • Very powerful Ranged Attacker in the mid-game
  • Solar Beam combos well with Wigglytuff’s Sing

Good luck in your next team Unite Battles, and don’t be afraid to try new teams and techniques to fit your team’s goals! For more Pokémon UNITE tips and analysis, be sure to keep checking Pokemon.com/Strategy.

About the Writer

George “Goof” Gebhardt
Goof is the captain of a dominant team in the Pokémon UNITE competitive scene. He has been playing MOBA-style games for 15 years. Pokémon games, including the TCG, have always been a passion of his. You can find him on Twitter at @goof_gg.

Source: Pokemon.com

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