These Pokemon are considered as auto-picks or mandatory in almost all compositions
Pokemon Unite is currently one of the hottest growing MOBAs in the gaming market. Even if it was just officially released last July 2021, the game has managed to amass a relatively large and loyal player base that has dug up and established the meta. As of writing this article, there are only 21 available Pokemon that can be picked in Pokemon Unite, which is incredibly meager compared to other MOBAs hero pool size standards. It would make sense to pick only 2 or 3 of these Pokemon as the strongest in the pool. However, I will try to include Pokemon from all the plethora of roles in the game, so the list will be extended to 7.
And as a side note, this list was made before the balance patch that took effect on the 4th of August. A majority of the Pokemon in the game have experienced nerfs, buffs, and tweaks that might change how this list was compiled. I tried my best to consider the new update when selecting the strongest picks, but it is difficult to say for certain how the meta will alter only after the update happened for a few days.
On one hand, there is a possibility that this list might be completely useless and irrelevant. On the other hand, the meta might also not change and the list will stay the same. You can watch the video below to get a more detailed insight into what the new update might look like.
But without further ado, Here is a comprehensive list of the strongest Pokemon that are almost always picked in higher ranked games and that you should perhaps consider picking up to climb the echelons of this new game.
Snorlax must always be present in all compositions if you want to have the advantage over the enemy. His kit and utility are too insane, and there is no other reason to pick him over most other defensive Pokemon. His CC, engage and sustain for tanking the team is very strong and impactful. Heavy Slam is an amazing early-game engagement skill that will help your team snowball and ensure your late-game damage dealers get a comfortable start. Block is simply one of the most broken moves in his kit and, honestly, the entire game. The skill is also an effective counter to annoying Pokemon like Gengar since it allows Snorlax to absorb all the bursts for his team. Snorlax is also very beginner-friendly in that the Pokemon is not that difficult to use and master. As a plus, he is not changed (buffed or nerfed) in the latest patch, which means he should theoretically still be one of the strongest picks in the meta.
Lucario is currently the most stable pick in Pokemon Unite since he can pretty much fit into any lane without losing matchups. Lucario’s early game damage is massive, and early-game characters like him should theoretically fall off as the game progresses. However, this is not the case for Lucario since his natural raw damage and agility also make him more than decent in the late game.
The skill that makes supplies Lucario’s damage is Power-Up Punch. The skill is also perfect for contesting (securing or stealing) objectives like Drednaw since the skill deals increased damage with more missing HP of the target opponent. Needless to say, when there is Lucario in your lineup, the enemy team is already at a slight disadvantage when trying to fight for an objective. The only downside of Lucario is that he has a higher skill ceiling than most other picks, so playing him optimally will require a bit of practice. On the flip side, this makes Lucario a fitting character for one-tricking since he can solo-carry and rewards players with a high mastery.
Machamp is almost replaceable and similar to Lucario in that you can easily snowball and solo carry games by outputting a lot of damage. Machamp is probably a lot weaker than Lucario in the early stages of the game before he gets Submission, which is why he is often placed in the bottom lane with a support like Eldegoss to babysit him in the early game. But once Machamp gets Submission he is a completely different beast. The skill allows you and your team to essentially delete an enemy Pokemon, and thus you can easily pick off high-priority heroes before a teamfight starts and turn it into a favorable 5v4.
Machamp’s kits are also difficult to avoid and escape. If he has a target enemy, he can most definitely reach it and eliminate it. Do you feel that the enemy Cinderace is obliterating your entire team? Well, Machamp can end your team’s misery with a press of a button. And despite having all these powerful single-target traits, his unite move, Barrage Blow, has the capability to turn around a teamfight by dealing a ton of AOE damage. His kit is just incredibly strong, overall solid, and uncounterable, so you should consider picking him up, especially if you want to one-trick a Pokemon and solo carry your games.
For those of you who played Pokemon Unite, you know why he is on the list. Gengar is infamous for being one of the most broken and annoying picks in the game as he has the ability to snowball and solo carry games, especially in lower elos. The problem with Gengar is that enemies have to play properly to counter him: be aggresive before he is level 9 since it is when unlocks the troublesome Hex + Sludge combo. Therefore, you will have to capitalize on Gengar before he reaches level 9 by applying some aggression early on. However, Gengar might be less effective in higher elos since players can capitalize on his weakness. Despite this, he is still an incredibly strong pick in all levels of play due to his solid skillsets. Note that Gengar did receive some nerfs in the new patch, specifically on his Hex move, but we can’t say for sure how much weaker he is now after this change.
Cinderace is a very stable pickup and can be played in almost any lane. Currently, there is also no better attacker than Cinderace. Having a Cinderace on your team will highly assist in your team’s objective contesting capabilities since he can churn through them very quickly with his high physical attacks. The most popular build that makes Cinderance OP is Blaze Kick + Feint. Feint is a very elusive and sustain skill that allows you to stay longer in fights and deal much more damage. Of course, this skill counters Gengar’s annoying hex + sludge bomb combo, so consider picking this hero if you constantly find a Gengar mowing down your games. Combine this skill with the blaze kick and you have yourself a criting, high-damaging, and hard-to-kill character that will eliminate you in seconds. Cinderace is also a relatively simple and intuitive Pokemon to play and the skill ceiling is not that terribly high.
With regards to the special attacker role, Ninetales is probably the best of the bunch. Aurora veil is the primary reason why many players in the higher ranks pick Ninetales in 90% of all team compositions. Aurora Veil does everything from decreasing incoming damage, increasing outgoing attacks, boosting the movements speed of your entire team with just a press of a button. Simply put, the skill will help you to win a majority of your teamfights in all stages of the game. The skill also counters virtually all melee and movement-dependent Pokemon that need to get up in your face to deal damage. Although Ninetales might not be able to dish out damage like a Cinderace, her kit and utility make up more than enough of her weaknesses. Ninetales is also not that difficult to learn and make an impact on your games.
Last but certainly not least, we have Eldegoss. In higher tier games, Eldegoss has a close to 100% pick rate and is considered mandatory in all compositions. The shield, buffs, and sustain that this support provides makes will tip the balance of any teamfight in your team’s favor. If Eldegoss is not picked off early on a fight and can stay alive to spam his skills, his team will virtually be unkillable. A highly skilled Eldegoss will make a 5v5 fight feel like it’s a 5v6 or even a 5v7. You can go for a full damage or attacking composition and, chances are, will not still be able to penetrate through the sustain of Eldegoss. Despite all these powerful traits, Eldegoss is still rarely picked in low to mid-tier games since people who are not that experienced in Pokemon Unite or MOBAs, in general, might not understand why Eldegoss is so broken.
If you want to grasp the sheer OP-ness of Eldegoss, you need to look at the perspective of other similar support healing characters in other MOBAs. Healers or supports in MOBAs are usually limited by their mana. Sona from League of Legends, for instance, can provide her team with heals, MS buffs and attack damage boosts with her supportive kits, similar to that of Eldegoss. However, once her mana is used up, she becomes virtually useless. This mechanic explicitly exists so that Sona wouldn’t be walking base that heals your team endlessly. But in Pokemon Unite, there is no mana system. Eldegoss, by the definition of other MOBAs, is literally a walking base that infinitely heals your team. Lastly, there is currently no way to counter Eldegoss’ kits. And the only way you can combat an Eldegoss is with your own Eldegoss, hence why it is always virtually picked in higher ranks.
Eldegoss did receive some heavy nerfs in the latest patch so that he can’t provide as much heal and shields to his team. However, he technically can still output unlimited heals in the long run, so it will be interesting to see if people will still run him just for this ability.
Featured Image: Nintendo Enthusiast
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