Main picks of top 100 Pokémon UNITE players | May 18 meta update

Main picks of top 100 Pokémon UNITE players | May 18 meta update

Blastoise's rapid spin to the top

The meta of Pokémon UNITE has been very top-heavy the last few weeks with Greninja, Hoopa and Lucario all seeing high levels of play. On the other hand, the meta for defenders and attackers has been highly decentralized, with no Pokémon seeing a dominant presence among top players. As Season 4 settles in, will these trends continue?

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S Tier:

  • Blastoise – 15.5% (+7.5)

A Tier:

  • Lucario – 14% (+/-)
  • Greninja – 14% (-6.5)
  • Hoopa – 12.5% (+1)

B Tier:

  • Blissey – 6.5% (+5.5)

C Tier:

  • Greedent – 4.5% (+1.5)
  • Aegislash – 4% (+2.5)
  • Ninetales – 3.5% (-0.5)
  • Cinderace – 3.5% (-0.5)
  • Dragonite – 2.5% (+0.5)

D Tier:

  • Slowbro – 2% (-1)
  • Pikachu – 2% (-3)
  • Venusaur – 2% (+1.5)
  • Gengar – 2% (+2)
  • Eldegoss – 2% (+2)
  • Machamp – 1.5% (-1.5)
  • Tsareena – 1.5% (+0.5)
  • Talonflame – 1% (+1)
  • Absol – 1% (-2)
  • Cramorant – 1% (-3.5)
  • Duraludon – 1% (+/-)
  • Azumarill – 1% (+/-)
  • Decidueye – 0.5% (-0.5)
  • Charizard – 0.5% (-0.5)
  • Sylveon – 0.5% (+0.5)

Crustle, Garchomp, Gardevoir (-1), Mamoswine, Mr. Mime, Snorlax, Trevenant (-4.5), Wigglytuff and Zeraora (-1) all saw no noticeable play among top players. Data was collected on March 15, so Espeon had not yet been released.

Below are the monthly moving averages for the top 10 Pokemon:

Main Pokémon chosen by top 100 players in the current Pokémon UNITE meta. | Provided by Maxwell Kappes

An oppressive meta

A healthy meta in a video game is defined by several characters within each role having viability. There should never be characters that are better at their role than any other option. As Patch has matured, there has been a clear shift towards the supremacy of a few characters at the expense of the many.

The tiers in these posts are designed to reflect this. Anything in A tier is more likely to be on a competitive team than not, and anything is S tier is near-mandatory. Generally a healthy meta would have many Pokémon ranked in the B and C tier. These tiers are defined by their representatives seeing noticeable but not oppressive usage. Teams are consistently dynamic in options and play style and no one Pokémon is definitively better than all others at its role.

The B tier has only had one Pokémon in it the past few weeks. The A tier and S tier are growing again. Lucario and Hoopa have been the de-facto choice for their roles since their release, but now Blastoise and Greninja are joining them in being near obligatory on any team.


A wide but shallow variety

Despite this increasingly stifling meta, the amount of Pokémon seeing play is historically high. The problem is most of these Pokémon are sitting in D tier, with only one or two players each to their name. Off-meta picks like Machamp and Slowbro sit here, outdone by Lucario and Blastoise but with adherents trying to keep them in the conversation.

The attacker meta is really the only exception to this troubling trend. Attackers have normally been a choice between two Pokémon. In Season 1, it was Cramorant or Ninetales. In Seasons 2 and 3, it was Pikachu or Venusaur. Now, there doesn’t seem to be a correct answer. Ninetales saw a buff on March, while Cramorant saw one in April. These buffs have allowed them to compete on an even playing field with Pikachu and Venusaur, while Sylveon and Gardevoir still regularly see limited usage.


Methodology: This data is collected using both the rankings tab in Pokémon UNITE and the Pokémon UNITE API. A Pokémon is considered a “main” of a player if is it the most played Pokémon in their most recent 16 ranked matches. In the event of a tie or near tie the data will reflect that. If more than two Pokémon are tied, the 32 most recent matches will be considered instead.

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Maxwell Kappes
Maxwell Kappes covers Pokemon Unite for UpComer. When he isn't busy having Zapdos stolen from him he's speaking at anime conventions, making bad jokes at a local open-mic night, or playing his favorite video game: Microsoft Excel.