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- Hoopa – 19% (+2)
- Blissey – 13.5% (+6)
- Lucario – 9.5% (+/-)
- Tsareena – 9% (+8)
- Dragonite – 8% (+5)
- Greninja – 5% (-12.5)
- Aegislash – 4% (-3)
- Absol – 3.5% (+2)
- Cramorant – 3% (+1)
- Cinderace – 2.5% (+1)
- Venusaur – 2.5% (+2)
- Decidueye – 2.5% (+2.5)
- Gardevoir – 2.5% (+2.5)
- Ninetales – 2% (+/-)
- Pikachu – 2% (+1.5)
- Slowbro – 2% (+2)
- Sylveon – 2% (-1)
- Azumarill – 2% (+0.5)
- Trevenant – 1.5% (+/-)
- Charizard – 1.5% (+1.5)
- Gengar – 1% (+/-)
- Duraludon – 1% (+/-)
- Machamp – 0.5% (-1)
Blastoise (-14.5), Greedent (-3.5), Garchomp (-1), Eldegoss, Talonflame, Zeraora, Mamoswine (-1), Mr. Mime, Wigglytuff, Crustle, Espeon and Snorlax saw no noticeable usage among top players.
Below is the monthly moving average of the top 10 most used Pokémon:
Tsareena entered the game in a rather dominant fashion. Then, through a series of nerfs, it saw its usage rates drop to nothing. Since then, what was once a potential Lucario alternative languished with the unused. With only a minor increase to its attack stat, Tsareena is seeing itself competing back in the big leagues.
Now that Tsareena and Aegislash have both received respectable, buffs Lucario has seen decreased usage. Blastoise and Machamp have also previously seen some niche use as Lucario alternatives, but it looks as though the blue dog has finally been sufficiently threatened by a sword and ballerina.
Blastoise has been a persistent part of the Pokémon UNITE meta while proving difficult for the developers to handle. When released, the turtle quickly because the premier jungler of the game, out damaging traditional ADCs without their trademark fragility. Through a series of nerfs, its dominant position deteriorated, relegating it to an occasional defender and niche Lucario alternative.
Then came patch 188.8.131.52. It took players a while to catch onto how strong Blastoise had become, as it was unlisted in the meta update following that patch. From there, it picked up due to its damage output and the unstoppable nature of rapid spin. This patch seems to have fixed that, reducing rapid spin to only resisting hinderances and Blastoise to a 0% usage rate.
Blissey continues its rapid rise in usage. Patch 184.108.40.206 saw an overhaul to how Blissey worked, increasing the viability of Egg Bomb and tying its effectiveness to Softboiled. While Blissey was beginning to see play prior to the patch, especially as a defender, the overhaul brought it into the higher tiers of usage.
Now, with Patch 220.127.116.11, Blissey finds itself in A Tier for the first time. Egg Bomb’s already middling damage did see a nerf in the patch but, its cooldown was dramatically reduced. Overall, the math for this works in Blissey’s favor, dramatically increasing Blissey’s DPS.
And the fact that an article is mentioning an increase to Blissey’s DPS is really all you need to know about how wild the meta is now compared to just a couple of months ago.
It had to happen. Greninja was an already strong Pokémon that had consistently sat on the knife’s edge of dominance. With only a buff to its unite move and a only small recalculation of experience gain in patch 18.104.22.168, its usage rocketed into the stratosphere.
That buff seems to be part of an increasingly prevalent trend among the developers: buffing or nerfing Pokémon through their unite move as opposed to changing their kit.
A change to Greninja’s unite move isn’t what put it in this spot, though. Surf was the target of this patch, with a noticeable decrease in damage. However, how this plays out in the long run is still unknown. Greninja players, more than most, are well known for their ability to shift the viability of move sets. Water Shuriken is still good, after all. If anything, Greninja’s greatest threat right now isn’t the small nerf it received but, instead, the next winner.
Dragonite is a previous staple of the score comp meta which was prevalent in Asia prior to Patch 22.214.171.124. After Score Shield was nerfed, that meta collapsed. Talonflame, Wigglytuff and Greedent had been logging record low usage rates for themselves. Dragonite managed to maintain some players and, with the recent increase to its attack stat, it’s back up in competitive play.
As a jungler option, Dragonite is currently leading. The jungle meta is historically one of the most volatile metas of the game. Dragonite dominated upon release, but after receiving significant nerfs, it dipped into a more niche role. Now, with its damage output back up, Dragonite is seeing a resurgence in contrast with the more traditional ADCs.
When a Pokémon is introduced with as little of an effect on the meta as Espeon, there is a good chance they see a buff. This was not one of those times. The latest Eeveelution has so far failed to impress, and it looks like there is a good chance it can join the ranks of Mamoswine as something that was introduced and then swiftly forgotten by the developers.
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.
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.