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The new Pokemon UNITE ranked season has begun and as a challenge, I looked at how fast I could climb to Master tier. In the process of doing so, I have come up with a few tips to help any player climb in the new season.

Learn Lucario to climb in Pokémon UNITE

Pokemon UNITE halloween cover
Lucario has been a menace since the Halloween event a few months ago. | Provided by Pokémon UNITE

Lucario is one of the best Pokémon in Pokémon UNITE and learning how to play it is essential to your climb. The reason Lucario is so strong is his self-sustainability in the face of tough situations, and his ability to secure a lane. Playing Lucario provides a foundation in order for later scaling Pokémon to survive in lane. Lucario paired with Cinderace, Eldegoss or Venusaur will help those Pokémon get to their evolution power spikes safely. Lucario does not need any time to get stronger, as he is already in his evolved form from the beginning of the game.

Another reason to consider Lucario is his flexibility. Depending on different situations, Lucario can choose to upgrade Quick Attack into either Power-Up Punch or Extreme Speed. Both are good in different situations. When the enemy side is immobile and features Pokémon such as Venusaur, Gardevoir, or Ninetails, then Power-Up Punch is the way to go. It does a large burst of damage after a short charge-up.

On the other hand, Extreme Speed can be used to catch up and burst mobile targets. Carries such as Cinderace and Greninja cannot stand up to Lucario’s pure burst from Extreme Speed. Beyond these advantages, Lucario also has Bone Rush, which allows it another form of mobility and damage. No other Pokémon is able to take out targets as Lucario does in Pokémon UNITE, and having one on a team can be the difference between a win or a loss in your climb.

Stealing objectives is one of the best ways to climb in Pokémon UNITE

The team that secures neutral objectives, secures the game. Rotom, Drednaw and most importantly Zapdos, can provide advantages to a team that are game changing. So bursting and securing these objectives is a priceless trait in a solo climb.

The Pokémon that are great at securing/stealing objectives have large burst damage in a small area like Talonflame, Greninja and Cinderace. Talonflame can come down from the sky with the Fly ability, securing objectives for their team. The same can be said with Greninja’s and Cinderace’s UNITE moves. A team can always feel safe starting a neutral objective when one of these Pokémon are on their side.

In a solo environment, anything can go wrong. The teamfights are chaotic and have no communication. All three of those Pokémon can work in a lane but are more useful when starting in the jungle position. The ability to influence the game without having to interact with teammates of a volatile skill level is the most important factor of any solo climb. When either your team or the enemy team starts an objective, the fight really doesn’t matter as much as securing said objective. As any of the Pokémon listed above, remain patient in a bush until the chance presents itself to steal that game-changing Zapdos or Drednaw.

Another strategy that is in line with stealing neutral objectives is bursting it before the opponent can get into position. Fluffy Tail is a battle item that allows a player to target any neutral objective and do more damage to it. Catch the opponent off guard with a Fluffy Tail activation on a neutral objective and burst it before they can react. Crustle’s Stealth Rock ability is a prime example, as it does a large amount of damage over time, shredding any neutral objective that lays above it.

Play only one or two Pokémon

Talonflame in Pokemon UNITE
Talonflame’s high mobility and invulnerability during Fly allows him to steal neutral objectives well. | Provided by Pokémon UNITE

When starting to learn any game, depth beats breadth. Learning to understand every facet of a single Pokémon will always win more games than a shallow understanding of many. In a solo situation, coordination matters less. This means picking a Pokémon to round out a composition is not worth it if you cannot play it.

When learning in-depth about a specific Pokémon, two main things stand out: How many ways to properly use a skill, and when power spikes occur. At the end of the process, every game should be more or less routine independent of the outcome. Let’s take one of the more popular support Pokémon, Wigglytuff, as an example.

Wigglytuff starts the game out as Jigglypuff, and at that point the player must recognize that they are quite weak. Pound can help secure objectives, but Defense Curl is weak until it is upgraded to either Sing or Rollout. The only thing that should be on the player’s mind is to get to Level 4 and evolve to Wigglytuff. At around the same time, the Vespiqueen camp will spawn in the middle of the lane, and reaching Level 4 will allow the Wigglytuff to use Sing on a group of enemies, securing the Vespiqueen objective. Anytime before Level 4, the Wigglytuff should look to secure every last hit on their side. Any fighting before evolving to Wigglytuff is usually a losing battle.

Play towards evolutions, skill upgrades and UNITE moves. When deciding to fight, make sure it is around a power spike, and you will have a much higher chance of winning.

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