Pokemon Unite is, perhaps surprisingly, an incredibly well-done game that now offers a wide (and still expanding) roster of Pokemon for you to compete with. Of course, with a roster as big as this game has, you’ll need a Pokemon Unite tier list to decide where you should be spending your hard-earned Aeos Coins.
Pokémon Unite Tier List Disclaimers
As with any MOBA, there are a lot of things to consider when ranking the different playable characters. After all, if there was an option that was objectively the best pokemon, that would be the only one people would play.
Before we get into the actual discussion of why we’ve placed certain pokemon where they are, we should clarify some important things to take into consideration.
Lanes and Battle Types
These aren’t the areas we’re judging pokemon based on. Instead, these are the things that we really can’t account for in any tier list. We’ll go on to discuss which pokemon experience weak early game performance, which pokemon can provide decent crowd control, and which pokemon can deal massive damage.
First, though, we want to talk about all the factors that are dependent on you. Just like in any game, characters in Pokémon Unite perform better when they’re played to their full potential by players who truly enjoy them and understand their ins and outs.
The Importance of Skill Level in Pokemon Unite
There are a few different game modes in Pokemon Unite, with Ranked being the most competitive. No matter which mode you play though, you’ll be facing off against a variety of differently skilled players, and those skill levels can drastically change how good a pokemon is.
It perhaps goes without saying that an expert player who mainly uses Charizard is going to be better than a completely new player using this all rounder for the first time. Still, it’s an important concept to remember.
Of course, there are some pokemon that are fairly easy to use regardless of your experience. In the early days of the game, Lucario was one of the best all rounder pokémon because it could perform well even if you just mashed buttons.
In our rankings, we try to consider the learning curve of a pokemon to see how it stacks up in the current meta. We also urge you to remember that even a C-Tier pokemon can be great if you practice enough.
Staying In Your Lane
While there are a whole lot of subcategories that you could group pokemon into, there are two main categories that we should be concerned with – lanes and battle types. In general, if you use a pokemon as intended, it’s going to do better than it would if you have no goal in sight.
Battle type is the term Pokémon Unite uses to explain the general roles pokemon fill according to their strengths. Attacker pokémon are better at attacking, defender pokémon are better at attacking, you get the picture.
A lane is a route you can take with your pokemon. In most game modes there are three lanes – top, bottom, and center (also known as ‘jungle’). Each lane has a different focus, or objective, so most pokemon are better suited to a specific lane because of its objective.
Fortunately, Pokémon Unite makes battle types very clear and even recommends which lane (or path in Pokémon Unite) you should take. Unfortunately, many players disregard this information.
Our rankings are made with the specific roles and paths taken into strong consideration. If you try to play a center-path speedster like Gengar as a bottom-lane supporter, you might find things don’t go so well for you.
We aren’t going to be getting into every nuanced piece of the current Pokemon Unite meta, but it is important to understand that your pokemon’s build plays a large role in their success. We’ll try to cover what this means as briefly as possible.
Your Pokemon is more than just a collection of stats and a static move pool. Instead, the items you use, moves you select from your move pool, and emblem loadout you utilize will all play a role in how much your pokemon lives up to their full potential.
Basically, the choices you make in these areas can make a huge difference in how well your pokemon performs. As with the other factors we’ve discussed, a poor understanding of builds can drop you down a few tiers and a good understanding of builds can boost you up a bit.
Pokémon Unite Preference
At its core, Pokemon is a franchise that lets you connect with your partner pokemon. One of the best pieces of this community is that every pokemon is someone’s favorite, even Trubbish. So yeah, that plays a role in the performance of pokemon in Pokémon Unite.
Much like your skill level, the amount you enjoy a pokemon will change how you play it. If you see a pokemon you love in a lower tier, don’t worry, you’ll be able to make any pokemon perform like a champion.
Pokémon Unite Tier List
We’ve developed an overall tier list that considers pokemon based on their ability to fulfill their roles and help their team achieve victory. We can’t really compare healing supporter pokémon to burst damage attacker pokémon, but we can definitely tell you which pokemon are performing the best in the current meta.
Below, we’ve broken down our tier list into digestible chunks. First, we’ll look at all the pokemon that have managed to find themselves in the S tier, then we’ll segment up our tier list by roles, or battle types.
But first, we need to explain the different tiers we’re using today.
S Tier – Pokemon in this tier are beyond fantastic. They exert an incredible amount of influence over the battlefield, are generally good regardless of player skill level, and are probably the most in need of a nerf.
A Tier – This is where you’ll find great pokemon that are great at the game and fall just short of making it into the S tier.
B Tier – You’ll notice this has the most pokemon in it. The B tier is for average pokemon. You might consider this the ‘meets expectations’ tier.
C Tier – Pokemon in here are subpar. They might have taken too many nerfs, be too difficult to manage, or might simply pale in comparison to what other characters in their role are able to do.
D Tier – Our last tier only has two pokemon in it. While these are not objectively bad pokemon, they aren’t performing anywhere near where they could be.
S Tier Pokémon Unite Characters
There are only five pokemon that we’ve deemed worthy of the S-tier honor. Mew, Dodrio, Eldegoss, Urshifu, and Delphox all perform on a level that makes them highly competitive, incredibly powerful, and a huge threat to the enemy team.
Ironically, the only battle type represented twice is attacker pokémon. It probably isn’t a big surprise that Mew, a mythical Pokemon, has made it here, but Delphox’s incredible late-game performance is more than enough to bring it to the top of the list as well.
Mew – Mew’s stats and abilities almost make it feel closer to an all rounder or speedster pokémon since its moves provide a lot of benefits to allies and its passive lets it move faster as it continues to attack. It generally functions as a burst damage mage but isn’t so squishy that it falls apart in close combat.
Its unique ability to reset its moves allows you some of the most dynamic gameplay as you support your allies or rush to take down enemies. Then, its unite move gives your allies stealth, makes you invisible, and deals some massive damage to enemies in the area.
Dodrio – Dodrio is arguably the best current speedster pokémon in Pokémon Unite. Its passive ability allows it to continuously gain movement speed and dish out extra damage when used as in an ADC (attack damage carry) roll.
Dodrio can also reliably score goals whether it’s being run in lane or jungle and it does so with special benefits thanks to its unique triple-scoring ability.
Eldegoss – Eldegoss is not only one of the best healers, but it’s also one of the best pokemon in the game right now. It’s rare that you can use a supporter to carry, not just in Pokémon Unite, but in any MOBA out there. And yet, with the right build and skill level, you can definitely win matches with little to no help.
Urshifu – Urshifu can be run in one of two builds, single or rapid strike style (commonly referred to as dark or water). Its dark build is one of the best pokemon in the game and frequently receives tournament bans because of its incredible power level.
Its water bear form is still impressive though and, again, easily outranks other pokemon when it’s leveled well in the early game.
Delphox – Delphox is a pokemon that does so well not because of its impressive movement speed, passive ability, or damage output (all of which are great) but because of how incredibly low its rest times are for its regular moves and its unite move.
Mew definitely outdoes Delphox, but that’s only because of how incredibly broken Mew really is in this game right now.
Attacker Tier List
Venusaur – If you choose to go with the Petal Dance and Giga Drain build for Venusaur, you have an incredible potential for crowd control and the health drain to keep yourself in the fight no matter how many enemies are in play.
Glaceon – While Eevee can have a weak early game performance, it’s well worth it to get yourself a Glaceon that performs as one of if not the best burst damage status-inflicting attackers in the game right now.
Sylveon – Sylveon isn’t the best eeveelution in the game but it certainly performs well enough to put it at the top of the B tier. Its stat spread will see it in more of a tanky all rounder role, but that doesn’t dwarf how good this pokemon really is.
Alolan Ninetales – Alolan Ninetales, much like Pikachu who you’ll find slightly lower in this tier list, is a great attacker that is only mostly an attacker. Really, its main use is as an offensive supporter since it’s best at freezing enemies.
Duraladon – Duraladon is a great attacker that can deal damage while taking hits. It does have a bit of a high learning curve, but dedicated fans can move it higher in the ranks with ease.
Gardevoir – Gardevoir is a very strong attacker whose playstyle will remind you a lot of Delphox.
Cramorant – Cramorant is a great support attacker but if you’ve seen any Pokémon Unite memes, you probably know that it is constantly being nerfed.
Greninja – Greninja is listed as an expert pokemon in Pokémon Unite and that is completely accurate. While it’s certainly a great attacker that can carry the team, it is not beginner friendly and has a high learning curve which means you won’t end up with a good win rate any time soon.
Espeon – Espeon performs well as another support attacker. It also has great potential to deal good amounts of burst damage at a range. However, it is a bit hard to get off the ground due to Eevee’s weaker early game.
Cinderace – The attacker tier list is full of a lot of amazing pokemon, which makes it kind of sad that we have to put Cinderace in the C tier. Still, there are other pokemon that fill the mid-ranged attacker role far better than Cinderace does. Played as an agile center path character it can get a lot done, but so can about 10 other pokemon, and they’ll do it better.
Decidueye – Decidueye is an excellent pokemon but its ranged potential doesn’t justify just how easily it can be taken down. With a Rapid Fire Scarf, it can certainly move up in the ranks, but that means surviving enough to pull out a good performance.
Pikachu – Pikachu is only technically an attacker pokémon. In reality, its move pool makes it more of a supporter pokémon since its main benefit is stunning enemies rather than dealing damage.
Dragapult – Dragapult struggles because of its very low movement speed. While it has some great damage, it’s certainly in need of a balance patch.
Speedster Tier List
Absol – You might notice we don’t have any A-tier speedsters. Absol could move into that tier but it doesn’t have anything impressive enough to push it over the edge.
Gengar – Much like Absol, Gengar is a good pokemon but it isn’t great enough to give us an A-rank in the speedster tier list. It can perform well in the jungle, but it isn’t the best pokemon in the game.
Talonflame – Talonflame has a lot of potential and an incredible ability to maneuver around the map, especially if it’s playing in a jungle role. That being said, with that amount of movement comes a high learning curve that many players will probably end up avoiding after a few punishing games.
Zoroark – Faint attack Zoroark is great at tearing through opponents with ease and quickly getting out of dangerous situations to regroup with the team when necessary.
Zeraora – You can get a unite license for Zeroara for free, which, in a semi-pay-to-play game, should probably tell us something. It’s incredibly difficult to use and its level scaling should be fixed to become more competitive.
All Rounder Tier List
Machamp – Machamp is a great all rounder brawler that can pull off a surprising amount of speed for a pokemon that’s essentially all muscle. Its ability to hold its own in a team fight, its spectacular early-game performance, and its high damage output throughout a game all put it very high on our all rounder tier list.
Tyranitar – Tyranitar is an absolute beast of a pokemon. While it can struggle to gain experience and evolve in the lower game, once you get it to its final stage you’ll have a pokémon that the enemy team will need to put all of their resources into stopping.
Garchomp – We put Garchomp at the top of the B tier because we could easily see it move into the A or even S tier if it continues outperforming other all rounders. Whether you’re playing this with a ground or dragon focus, you’re sure to let off good damage and take down enemies with ease.
Scizor – While Scizor itself might go a bit higher into the S tier, this pokemon does play as two different pokemon styles over the course of its evolution. Scyther is a great speedster but it brings the overall character lower.
Azumarill – Azumarill would’ve been in A tier but it struggles in competitive play and its water pulse builds just don’t function as well as they once did.
Lucario – Lucario has received a lot of nerfs that have brought it from its former status as a broken S-tiered pokemon to where it is now. It still performs well, but it is definitely overshadowed by better contenders in this battle type.
Tsareena – Upon release, Tsareena was an absolutely incredible pokemon. Unfortunately, it feels incredibly squishy in the current meta which can make it very hard to get through the early game.
Dragonite – Dragonite is certainly a great all rounder pokémon but it’s too much of a ranged attacker, and struggles too much in close combat brawls, to really see the play that you would expect from a pseudo-legendary.
Aegislash – Aegislash has a very high learning curve. If you can manage to master its moves well and understand how it achieves objectives, you’re golden. Many players will probably find themselves giving up before they dump enough time into this character to reach that skill level.
Buzzwole – On its own, Buzzwole is an excellent pokemon. Unfortunately, it lacks the ability to deal with multiple opponents at a time, something that is absolutely crucial in the late game of Pokémon Unite.
Charizard – Pokémon Unite is probably the only game where Charizard doesn’t receive the love it deserves. This pokemon has received so many nerfs and doesn’t do anything near the damage it should be doing even with an exciting move pool like the one it has.
Defender Tier List
Blastoise – Blastoise is a great pokemon with some excellent crowd control moves that perfectly define the defender role. It could easily make it into S-tier, but so could any of the other A-tier members of our defender tier list, which defeats the purpose of an S-tier.
Snorlax – Snorlax, as you’d probably guess, is one of the tankiest characters in Pokémon Unite. Even with its slow movement speed it can still get around the map, secure objectives, and hold its own in team fights.
Mamoswine – Our third and final A-tier defender is Mamoswine. With Icicle Fang and High Horsepower equipped it’s almost unstoppable and, more importantly, has incredible stopping power.
Trevanant – Trevenant is a great pokemon. Were it a different battle type, it would probably see itself in the A-tier. Fortunately, defenders are doing so well in the meta right now that even as impactful as Trevanant is it still sits in the ‘average’ category.
Slowbro – Slowbro just barely misses the A-tier in our list thanks to its lack of decent crowd control. While it does see a lot of competitive play, it’s a defender pokémon that shouldn’t be caught on its own in team fights lest it gets sent back to base.
Greedent – Greedent performs a lot differently than most defenders since its moves and abilities support a lot more movement than you’d expect. Because of this, it doesn’t feel quite like your average defender and most players will have a hard time getting as much value as might be possible.
Crustle – Crustle could be doing a lot better right now. Unfortunately, it’s a pokemon that isn’t often played to its full potential due to a steeper-than-desired learning curve and very unforgiving build management.
Supporter Tier List
Blissey – Blissey could really move into the S-tier, but its similarity to the next pokemon on our list means it really can’t move beyond A. It’s an amazing healer that can keep a party standing on its own though, and for that, we love it.
Clefable – Clefable has a great move pool, but definitely the most important move to be choosing is Moonlight. With it, you can provide such an incredible amount of healing that you can get just about any team composition through a weaker early game performance.
Hoopa – Since Hoopa was released it has received a lot of balance patches and buffs that make it not just viable, but a great choice for many players looking for a trickster supporter.
Mr. Mime – Mr. Mime has received a lot of nerfs recently, and while we aren’t seeing that make a huge impact on its ability to perform, we are seeing a huge drop in performance in actual competitive play.
Comfey – As one of the newest pokemon in Pokémon Unite, it’s almost a requirement that we put it into the B-tier. Its recent balance patches have changed how it works a lot, and it’s currently playing excellently. However, it’s likely that we’re going to see more changes before it cements itself in a tier, much like we’ve seen with every new pokémon.
Wigglytuff – Wigglytuff is definitely the tankiest supporter we have in the game right now. Unfortunately, that does come at the cost of some mobility that we see other supporters really benefiting from right now.
Sableye – Much like Greedent, Sableye takes a really interesting approach to its role that can make it harder to manage than other pokemon with the same battle type. We certainly think it excels at its support role, but again, achieving the full potential there is going to be difficult.
We’ve loved putting together a Pokémon Unite tier list but we want you to remember that this roster is huge, and that means we can’t main every pokemon the game has to offer. If you’re playing one of our D-tier pokemon like it belongs to the S-tier, that means you’ve put the time and effort into mastering it that we just don’t see people doing often enough.
Dane started off gaming at the tender age of 3 with the first Atari console. His favorite video game genres are turn-based RPGs (can I get a shout out for Tactics Ogre?) and fighting games. Read more...