After going through the tutorials and figuring out the basics of Pokemon Unite, you’re given a choice of five Pokemon to unlock and get you started in Unite Battles. This first choice will directly impact how well you’ll perform in your first battles, and if you’re like us, you’re going to want a primer on all five of these “starter” Pokemon. Here’s our look at each one, as well as our choice for the best one to choose if you’re new to the MOBA scene.
If you check out our Pokemon Unite beginner’s tips and tricks guide, you’ll see that the playable characters in Pokemon Unite are broken down into five types: Attacker, All-Rounder, Speedster, Defender, and Supporter. Each of the five starter Pokemon you can choose from represents one of these five types, with each having its own role in battle. Below you can find a breakdown of each one, including statistics, moves, and basic strategies.
Also, a quick note before we get started: Yes, Zeraora is technically also available in the beginning as a free download, but its availability is temporary and must be redeemed via in-game message. These Pokemon are strictly the five presented to you after completion of the tutorial.
Being the most popular Pokemon in the world, it makes sense that Pikachu is a quick and easy Pokemon to learn as most people will pick it up first. Pikachu thrives on the front lines, dealing damage and scoring points for its team, but it will need backup for prolonged fights. Be careful not to jump headfirst into battle, especially alone, or else you’ll be seeing the respawn screen more often than you should.
- Offense – 9
- Endurance – 3
- Mobility – 3
- Scoring – 4
- Support – 3
- Thunder Shock – Area of effect attack that damages and slows anyone in contact. Cooldown is 5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 4 to one of the following:
- Electro Ball – Area of effect attack that damages and slows anyone in contact. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move’s damage is boosted.
- Thunder – Multiple thunderbolts strike and damage any Pokemon they contact. 8 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 more thunderbolts are summoned.
- Electro Web – Attack that damages and “roots” (immobilizes) Pokemon it contacts. Cooldown is 9 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
- Volt Tackle – Charges into enemies, damaging them and sending them into the air temporarily. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 cooldown is reduced.
- Thunderbolt – Strong electric blast that damages and stuns enemies it contacts. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 damage output is increased.
- Passive Skill: Static – When damaged, all enemy Pokemon around Pikachu are slowed for a short time.
- Unite Move: Thunderstorm – Multiple powerful lightning bolts strike all around Pikachu.
Charizard is the definition of a well-rounded Pokemon, holding its own on offense, defense, and in scoring. However, being an All-Rounder means the fiery Pokemon can only fly so high before getting burned, making him a liability in the later stages of a match. Our strategic recommendation would be to stay on the offensive early, gaining experience and charging up moves before falling back and defending for the rest of the match.
|Evolution Levels||Charmander Start | Charmeleon at Lvl. 5 | Charizard at Lvl. 9|
- Offense – 7
- Endurance – 6
- Mobility – 5
- Scoring – 6
- Support – 1
- Flame Burst – Fire attack that leaves the opponent burned for a short time. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 5 to one of the following:
- Flamethrower – Fiery breath that damages and burns any Pokemon in its path. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move’s damage and burn damage is boosted.
- Fire Punch – A blazing punch that does additional damage to enemies already burned. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 Charizard’s basic attack reduces Fire Punch’s cooldown when it connects.
- Fire Spin – Circle of fire traps Pokemon inside, damaging and slowing them down. Cooldown is 10 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following:
- Fire Blast – Blast of fire that deals initial damage, then leaves a circle of fire that damages Pokemon inside it over time and slows them down. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the damage dealt is increased.
- Flare Blitz – Charizard charges forward encased in fire, gaining a shield and throwing opponents on contact. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move also slows down Pokemon it damages.
- Passive Skill: Blaze – Critical Hit damage is increased when Charizard is at half health
- Unite Move: Seismic Slam – Charizard flies into the air, aims at a target, picks it up, and slams it into the ground.
Talonflame’s Speedster nature means it’s going to move around the arena with ease, making it perfect for attacking wild Pokemon and racking up the energy for goals. Once it’s time to score a goal make sure a Defender or Supporter is with you, because trying to score alone when even one of your opponents is in your path could be disastrous. The term “glass cannon” describes the Speedster type well, and Talonflame is no exception.
|Evolution Levels||Fletchling Start | Fletchinder at Lvl. 5 | Talonflame at Lvl. 9|
- Offense – 5
- Endurance – 3
- Mobility – 10
- Scoring – 7
- Support – 1
- Peck – A quick charge forward followed by three quick peck attacks. Cooldown is 5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 5 to one of the following:
- Flame Charge – Flies forward surrounded by flames, attacking and increasing its speed. 6.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move also decreases the opponent’s speed.
- Aerial Ace – Charges toward an enemy causing damage and increasing damage of next basic move. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the damage dealt is increased.
- Acrobatics – Attacks an area from multiple directions and allows the player to choose the direction of escape when the move is finished. Cooldown is 7 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following:
- Fly – Flies straight into the sky, and a second use brings it back down for big damage. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move throws enemies in the area when Talonflame comes back down.
- Brave Bird – Engulfs itself in flames and flies to a specified area for damage. The move causes recoil damage to Talonflame and reduces cooldown in basic attacks.11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 recoil damage is reduced.
- Passive Skill: Gale Wings – Talonflame moves faster when it’s at high HP.
- Unite Move: Flame Sweep – A long-distance charge while covered in flames, shoving enemies aside after contact.
Snorlax is the Pokemon for defensive-minded players, with moves like Heavy Slam able to break up enemy skirmishes and Block giving teammates a breather when needed, although it can also be used offensively to prevent enemy players’ retreat. Placing Snorlax in front of a goal and playing defense is the best way to be successful with the giant Pokemon, but it can’t be left alone for too long. Despite its maximum endurance, Snorlax can get overwhelmed before too long, and he’ll end up sleeping off the damage he receives while waiting to respawn.
- Offense – 3
- Endurance – 10
- Mobility – 4
- Scoring – 3
- Support – 5
- Tackle – Charges forward with its belly for an area-of-effect attack, slowing damaged Pokemon’s movement speed for a short time. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
- Heavy Slam – Slams its body down, damaging and throwing opponents around it. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move’s damage is boosted.
- Flail – Flails its body around, hitting all Pokemon around it. The move also increases basic attack damage depending on current HP; the lower the HP, the higher the damage boost. 6.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move’s damage is boosted.
- Rest – Falls asleep where it stands and heals HP while blocking the path of all Pokemon not on its team. Cooldown is 10 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 8 to one of the following:
- Block – Spreads its arms out, creating a wall and giving it a shield. Opposing Pokemon are knocked back when contacting the wall. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 damage received while this move is active is reduced.
- Yawn – A huge yawn that lulls opposing Pokemon around it to sleep, stunning them. 12 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 it also decreases the movement speed of any Pokemon it hits.
- Passive Skill: Gluttony – Increased effects from used Berry items.
- Unite Move: Power Nap – Falls asleep and rolls around, damaging any Pokemon it contacts.
Supporter classes take time to get used to, but Eldegoss is a terrific beginner’s support. Its Synthesis and Pollen Puff moves are fantastic for healing, while the Cotton Spore makes for a great disruption move later in the game. Supporters are never meant to charge headlong into battle, preferring to stay behind while healing and waiting for the right time to drop that one disruptive move. If you’re an offensive-minded player, Eldegoss can wait.
|Evolution Levels||Gossifluer Start | Eldegoss at Lvl. 4|
- Offense – 3
- Endurance – 4
- Mobility – 5
- Scoring – 5
- Support – 8
- Leafage – Throws leaves at opponents, damaging them and slowing them down temporarily. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 4 to one of the following:
- Pollen Puff – Puff of pollen sticks to a Pokemon. If stuck to a teammate, it heals the teammate, and if stuck to an opponent it damages the opponent. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 allies take less damage when stuck while opponents take damage over time instead of once.
- Leaf Tornado – A cyclone of leaves attacks enemies and leaves a small vortex behind, increasing movement speed of allies who walk through it. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 it also decreases the accuracy of enemy Pokemon it hits.
- Synthesis – Restores HP of both itself and nearly allies. Cooldown is 8 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
- Cotton Guard – Cotton appears and absorbs damage, restoring some HP when the move completes. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 movement speed increases while using the move.
- Cotton Spore – Spores gather around Eldegoss reducing damage received. Spores will burst after a short time dealing damage to nearby enemies and slowing their movement speed. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the bursting spores also throw Pokemon into the air.
- Passive Skill: Cotton Down – Damaging it over a certain amount will cause cotton to burst around it, increasing its HP and movement speed.
- Unite Move: Cotton Cloud Crash – Eldegoss lifts into the air then crashes back down, healing ally Pokemon and damaging opponents when it lands.
Which Pokemon is the best pick for newcomers?
Out of those five Pokemon, there is a clear choice in our minds which one should be the first Pokemon chosen out of the game for Pokemon fans who aren’t familiar with the MOBA genre, and it’s this one:
We know it’s a cliche pick, but honestly Pikachu’s attack-heavy moveset makes it the perfect candidate to break the ice for non-MOBA players. You’ll use it throughout the arena, fighting both wild Pokemon and opposing team members and getting the flow of battle while learning the lay of the land. You’ll be able to see how Defenders and Supporters back you up, giving you an idea of how to use them should you decide to give those types a change. Most of all you’ll be in the thick of the action for the majority of the match, getting an idea of the flow of a MOBA match from early game preparation to the final stand. The Speedster Talonflame is another good choice, but its dependence on constant mobility has a slightly higher learning curve.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.