A Beginner's Guide to Pokémon Unite

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A Beginner's Guide to Pokémon Unite

With its arrival to mobiles, Pokémon Unite has exploded in popularity in the last week. In this article, I explain how the game works and give some advice to beginners!

By Divinity, 10/01/21, translated by Romeu, with help from our readers

Versions:

One of the biggest franchises of all time surely is Pokemon. After 25 years of history ranging from GameBoy, Anime, Movies, Miniatures and TCG games, it is now available in another world: the MOBA games. Usually played in a classic 5v5, the MOBA genre within the Pokémon universe is presented to us in the form of

Pokémon Unite

, a game that was previously only available for

Nintendo Switch

and is now available on the mobile platform, being a cross game -platform and thus enabling global reach through accessibility.

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The Game

After the 5 players on your team choose the Pokémon they will use, you will face the enemy team on a map that has three fixed paths:

top

,

middle

(which we also call jungle) and

bottom

.
Image content of the Website
The way to score is simple: your team needs to collect Pokeballs during the game by defeating Pokemon across the map or defeating the enemy team. After that, whoever has Pokeballs needs to go to one of the enemy scoring zones, hold the Poké Ball for a while until all of them load, and then you will score. At the end of the match, the team that delivered the most Pokeballs will be the winning team.
Image content of the Website
Image content of the Website
The more Pokeballs you carry, the longer it will take to score in these zones. If you get attacked while trying to score, the time resets. Therefore, it is vital to your strategy to know when to go to the enemy zone to score and also to prevent your enemies from scoring. Also, when you score, your Pokemon gains some experience and recover some HP, which is vital to stay on your path for a long time. If your Pokemon enters a friendly zone, it gains shield, and when leaving it recovers part of its health. You can go in and out to regain life. Also, on your path there are Pokéberries, which when consumed will give you a good amount of life.
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If your Pokemon is defeated, you return to your base in a few seconds with full health, but lose some Pokeballs you had.

The Map

The match takes place on a map with three different path. Each path has an important quirk for the course of the goal-based game. The

top

and

bottom

path have scoring zones, so defending or attacking them is vital to the game, as well as completing the objectives I'll explain below. These path have several Pokemon for you to farm, gain experience and level up. The

middle

path, however, turns out to be the famous "jungle" of other MOBAs. Here it is recommended that you have a fast character who can defeat Pokémons with speed and move around the map with ease. The Pokémons give a good amount of experience to the player in this part of the map, besides having two special Pokémons that, when defeated, guarantee a temporary buff for whoever defeated them. These are the famous "blue buff" and "red buff", presented here by

Ludicolo

(increases pokemon damage against Pokemon with low health) and

Bouffalant

(when you deal damage to an enemy, it slows down by few seconds).
Image content of the Website
Image content of the Website
It is critical that jungle Pokémon are farmed by the player who is actively on this path, so he can help other players on path that have zones, making you gain an advantage and even defeating objectives.

The Goals

One of the most important factors in gaining an advantage in a match is completing goals. For that, you need an essential piece of information: the clock. Pokémon Unite consists of a game of

10 minutes

. At the

7 minute

mark the first two goals of the game appears:

Rotom

and

Dreadnaw

.
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Rotom will always appear in the top path

Rotom

when defeated guarantees experience for the player who defeated him, in addition to counting 20 Pokeballs. The last effect of Rotom is that, when defeated, it starts walking towards the nearest enemy zone, giving a temporary buff, where in that zone, for 14 seconds, your team can score without needing time to charge the Pokeballs. The biggest problem for this is that Rotom will be vulnerable and can be attacked and prevented from reaching the zone, so someone from your team will need to escort it until it reaches the scoring zone, or in worse cases, someone to protect your zone of an enemy invasion with Rotom.

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Dreadnaw will always appear in the lower path
However, the favorite of Pokémon battles is

Dreadnaw

, which when defeated grants 20 Pokeballs, a shield for your entire team worth 15% of your Pokémon's health for a short period and experience of about one level for every player on your team. As it is a global buff, it ends up being ideal in your strategy to defeat Dreadnaw in preference to Rotom for the amount of resources acquired. The 7 minute mark is the only sure moment these objectives will appear, however, as the game progresses they may appear again, the only condition is that at the

2 minute mark

they disappear. The reason for Rotom and Dreadnaw to disappear when you have

2 minutes

to finish the match is nothing more, nothing less than the ultimate goal of the game:

Zapdos

.
Image content of the Website
Zapdos will always appear in the center of the map at the 2 minute mark
This is where the team's strategy and tuning is extremely important.

Zapdos

grants huge value to the match. Upon defeating him, the player who made the last hit will earn 30 Pokeballs, while the rest of the team will earn 20 Pokeballs. Its last buff is the most important, as it is an "Improved Rotom", allowing ALL enemy zones to score without having to charge the Pokeballs for a period of

30 seconds

. Just get there, hit the pokeball, and you instantly score.

"But it doesn't seem to need much strategy. Just fight and win Zapdos, right?"

Not quite, since when the clock hits 2 minutes, every pokeball scored will be worth

DOUBLE

. While one team tries to defeat Zapdos, the other can score in the undefended zones and get double the score, after that, they just need to stop the team that was focused on Zapdos. Another possible situation is that important players for a fight have died a little before the 2 minutes and cannot enter the fight for Zapdos for the time it takes to be summoned again. There are many paths and many strategies. Good luck.

Pokémon Types

At the moment the game has 5 different types:

Attackers

,

Defenders

,

Speedsters

,

All-rounders

and

Supporters

.
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Attackers

are offensive Pokémon, very aggressive and will deal plenty of damage to the enemy team, being either melee or long range. Usually used at the top path with its partner being a

Defender

.
Image content of the Website

Defenders

are strong Pokémon that serve to tank damage and resist it with reduction effects or crowd controls. If you go with Defenders or

Supporters

Pokémon, it is crucial that you leave the last move to finish a Pokémon for your partner, be it an

Attacker

or an

All-Rounder

, as the experience goes to the last one who hit and who has the most impact in the high-level game are the ones that deals the most damage and need to have their abilities improved.
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Supporters

are generally used on the lower lane. It serves to help the team complete objectives and help your path partner to score. It usually has barriers or crowd control to disrupt the enemy team's plans.
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All-Rounder

are Pokémon that end up playing a good role in various situations, being extremely aggressive as well as going to the defense. It is usually the partner of some Supporter in the lower lane and ends up having a huge impact in the fights between the teams.

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Speedsters

are usually seen going through the middle path, the jungle. The speed of these Pokemons facilitates the farm, being able to quickly level up and, with their mobility, being able to be on any path giving assistance to their allies. Definitely, a good Speedster can end up completely winning the match for the amount of resource and value that his presence in a fight presents, especially during objectives.

The Resources

Okay, now comes the most questionable part: how best to use your resources in the game. Pokémon Unite has multiple currencies and the model below is based on you being a free-to-play player, meaning you will not be putting real money into the game. As such, your resources are more limited to what the game provides you, and beware, it's not much.
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The first one is this golden coin, the

Aeos coins

. You earn an extremely limited amount per week. At the beginning of the game, you earn a high amount by completing the missions and especially the tutorial mode (do it! It earns plenty of coins). With it, you can purchase Pokémon or items, but I highly recommend buying Pokémon, as items you can buy with the second in-game currency:

Aeos tickets

.
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With Aeos tickets, you can buy items, which are extremely important for the strength of your Pokémon during matches, and also clothes for your Pokémon trainer, in which case, I bought a red and black set there that is a hit. Speaking of items, you earn during the game a coin called

Item Enhancer

, an item that you can you use to upgrade items that can be used by your Pokemon to receive buffs and abilities during battles.
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Items have 30 levels. When an item reaches level 10 or level 20 they gain enhanced abilities. From level 21 to 30 what happens is only the status buffs become improved. So, the golden tip is to know which items you are going to use and only upgrade them to level 10, and then to level 20, as the power boost is not that big from 20 to 30 compared to spending that you will have an appeal that you might miss. When you reach level 10, 12 or 14 on your account, you receive an item called

Super Item Enhancer

, and I strongly recommend you not to use them. It automatically makes an item go to level 30, but items have been constantly balanced because it's a new game, and you could end up wasting a massive resource on something that might not be so useful anytime soon.
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With the help of

Energy Rewards

, you can weekly exchange energy generated by playing games on resource. You can earn things like Aeon coins, tickets, some tokens to collect and exchange for exclusive skins, exclusive trainer clothes and even be lucky enough to release a skin straight away.
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Conclusion

A more detailed look at Pokémon Unite's gameplay will be available in the next guide, where I'll talk about what are the best items at the moment, the Battle Items and the best compositions/Pokémon at the moment to play. There's a lot of Pokémon to get into the game, and we already know Sylveon will be next. My favorite Pokémon is

Gardevoir

, and it's already in the game. And yours? Answer there in the comments if it is already in the game and what is your favorite Pokémon!

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See you next time!
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Divinity

MTG and LOR Caster that writes about CardGame logic and technical concepts.

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