Learn the best strategies to incorporate each of these Pokémon into your team.
By George “Goof” Gebhardt, Contributing Writer
Three new Unite licenses have been added to the Pokémon UNITE roster since the release of the game's mobile version: Decidueye, Greedent, and Sylveon. Not only are all three of these Pokémon fan favorites in their own right, but each brings bold new strategic options to the battles on Aeos Island. Let's take a deep dive into incorporating each of these Pokémon into your team.
Decidueye, first introduced in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, is the final Evolution of Rowlet, the Grass-type first partner Pokémon from the Alola region. In Pokémon UNITE, Decidueye fills the role of a Ranged Attacker that is unparalleled in its ability to dish out physical damage to multiple opponents from a safe distance.
In exchange for Decidueye's offensive prowess, it lacks defense, with Decidueye tying with Greninja for the lowest maximum HP at Lv. 15. Also, compared to other Attacker Pokémon such as Cinderace and Greninja, Decidueye completely lacks mobility, with the exception of a very short movement speed increase provided by its move Shadow Sneak.
To get the most out of Decidueye, you should employ a cautious approach to battle, using your teammates for protection whenever possible and supporting them from the back line. Remember to always keep your distance when attacking, as Decidueye's Long Reach Ability increases the damage it deals to distant opponents.
Leafage – An average damage-dealing move with a cone-shaped area of effect. It's very useful for dealing damage in the early-game to the swarms of wild Combee and Vespiquen.
Move 1 Upgrades:
Razor Leaf – This move increases the potency and speed of Decidueye's basic attacks, and it also allows Decidueye's basic attacks to target multiple opponents for a short time. This move is the best choice when the team composition is centered around Decidueye dealing as much damage as possible.
Spirit Shackle – Spirit Shackle is a ranged move that excels at safely dealing damage from a long distance. It must be charged to deal its full damage, but when fully charged it also stitches the opponent's shadow to the ground, causing them to take damage and be slowed when they move a set distance from that spot. Picking Spirit Shackle instead of Razor Leaf may be the best choice for strategies in which Decidueye must be more independent and may not be able to use its basic attacks safely.
Astonish – A single-target damaging move that also slows the target's movement speed. Useful for early-game skirmishes.
Move 2 Upgrades:
Leaf Storm – This move generates a tempest of leaves that shoves opponents at close range and slows all opponents in the area of effect. Leaf Storm has a long attack animation and deals low damage, but it can be useful for setting up tricky plays such as shoving opponents into walls.
Shadow Sneak – Decidueye sends out a shadow that takes hold of an opposing Pokémon in the area of effect, dealing damage to it, decreasing its movement speed and Defense, and increasing Decidueye's movement speed for a short time. This move is great for scouting, escaping, and bursting down single targets, and it is the clear choice in competitive play.
Nock Nock – A long-range, artillery-style Unite Move that deals heavy damage from a great distance. Unlike most other Unite Moves, Nock Nock is considerably less effective when Decidueye is under attack. Instead, you should use it from a safe distance.
Recommended Held Items for Decidueye
Muscle Band – The obvious choice for Decidueye. This held item greatly increases the damage Decidueye deals to high-value map objectives such as Drednaw and Zapdos, as well as provides bonus damage against opposing Pokémon.
Buddy Barrier – This held item provides a great bonus to Decidueye's HP in the early game. In a pinch, it also helps Decidueye stay in the fight long enough to use its Unite Move.
Third Held Item – Choose either Focus Band or Scope Lens. Scope Lens enhances Decidueye's strengths by further increasing its damage. Alternatively, Focus Band may be more useful when playing solo if you need a little extra survivability to account for Decidueye's fragility.
Eldegoss – Eldegoss provides protection with its Cotton Guard move and mobility with its Leaf Tornado move, two areas in which Decidueye is lacking. In turn, Decidueye dishes out the heavy damage that Eldegoss lacks.
Talonflame – This Pokémon makes short work of Decidueye throughout the game. Because Talonflame has high burst damage and high mobility, it's difficult to play around it on your own with Decidueye. Try to avoid engaging Talonflame one-on-one.
Zeraora – Much like Talonflame, Zeraora effectively exploits Decidueye's low defenses and mobility. In a late-game team fight, it's best to wait until Zeraora's Unite Move, Plasma Gale, has been expended before engaging it in battle.
Despite its friendly appearance and role as a Defender, Greedent packs quite a punch in Pokémon UNITE. With an overwhelming combination of mobility and durability, Greedent is perhaps the most difficult Pokémon to take down on Pokémon UNITE's roster. Depriving the opposing team of Exp. Points and Aeos energy is extremely beneficial in Pokémon UNITE, and there's no Pokémon better than Greedent at pushing deep into the opponent's territory, scoring, and escaping unscathed. Plus, Greedent's Cheek Pouch Ability allows it to heal on the go and store Berries to enhance its moves.
Tackle – The Pokémon leaps to the designated area, dealing damage to opposing Pokémon in the area of effect and decreasing their movement speed for a short time. This move is extremely versatile in the early game and is great for escaping sticky situations.
Move 1 Upgrades:
Bullet Seed – Greedent spits Berry seeds in the designated direction, dealing continuous damage to opposing Pokémon in the area of effect. Greedent can move and reposition itself while it's spitting Berry seeds, and the damage Bullet Seed deals is increased by the number of Berries that Greedent has stashed away, making this move a great pick for taking out enemy Attackers.
Belch – Greedent consumes all the Berries stashed in its tail when it performs this cone-shaped damaging move. The more Berries Greedent had stashed away, the more Belch's cooldown is reduced. This makes it possible to perform two back-to-back Belch attacks, which can be devastating in team fights. This move is a sure pick for teams that aim to make 5-on-5 pushes.
Defense Curl – This move produces a Berry for the Pokémon and grants it a shield for a short time, which greatly enhances its early-game survivability. When used in conjunction with Tackle, this move allows for some aggressive positioning in the early game.
Move 2 Upgrades:
Covet – Greedent becomes unstoppable, the cooldown of Greedent's other move resets, and Greedent begins dropping Berries that can trigger its Cheek Pouch Ability. Eating these Berries will increase Greedent's movement speed for a short time, and the more Berries it eats, the more its movement speed is increased. This move combos well with Belch and is very useful for escaping the opponent's side of the map after invading it.
Stuff Cheeks – This move dispenses Berries that will trigger Greedent's Cheek Pouch Ability when it eats them. Any HP healed by these Berries that exceeds Greedent's maximum HP will be converted into a shield. This move pairs well with Bullet Seed by increasing Bullet Seed's damage and keeping Greedent healthy, allowing it to be a persistent threat in skirmishes.
Berry Belly Flop – Greedent eats a Berry to recover HP, then leaps to a designated location, dealing damage and throwing opposing Pokémon in the area. Greedent then eats a special Berry that resets the cooldown of its other moves and allows it to stash an unlimited amount of Berries in its tail for a short time. It's incredibly powerful for large team fights centered around crucial map objectives such as Zapdos and Drednaw.
Recommended Held Items for Greedent
Buddy Barrier – Buddy Barrier is a no-brainer on Greedent. Its Unite Move often puts it directly in the middle of the enemy team, and the shield this item provides will help Greedent withstand the resulting incoming damage.
Attack Weight – Greedent's moves benefit greatly from bonus Attack. Because Greedent is among the best scorers in the game, Attack Weight is a great choice.
Score Shield – Score Shield amplifies Greedent's score-heavy playstyle and stacks with the effect of Attack Weight.
Cinderace – Greedent draws a lot of attention from the opposing team, allowing Cinderace to level up while they're distracted. In the later stages of the game, Cinderace capitalizes on the chaos Greedent causes and can deal heavy damage to anyone targeting Greedent in fights.
Cinderace – While Cinderace makes a great ally for Greedent, it also excels at taking Greedent down. Cinderace's basic attack range is long and thus unavoidable despite Greedent's extreme mobility. The high damage output from this Attacker limits the amount of time Greedent can spend behind enemy lines, which is where Greedent is most effective.
Eevee's various Evolutions are fan favorites, so it's little wonder that Sylveon is my favorite recent addition to Pokémon UNITE. As a Ranged Attacker that packs a surprising amount of durability, Sylveon is able to go toe-to-toe with popular All-Rounders. This unique quality makes Sylveon a welcome addition to the roster. Sylveon boasts an impressive early game, has early access to its Unite Move at Lv. 8, and deals consistent damage throughout the game. This Pokémon fits best in organized play as a supporting damage dealer. Sylveon's Ability, Pixilate, increases its Sp. Attack and Sp. Defense whenever it takes or deals damage.
Swift (Eevee) – This move shoots out four star-shaped rays that each deal damage to the first opponent they hit. While each individual projectile fired by Swift can be a bit difficult to aim, successfully landing all four hits on a single target deals substantial damage.
Move 1 Upgrades:
Hyper Voice – A cone-shaped damage move that hits multiple times and deals heavy damage to opponents the farther they are from Sylveon. This is a very strong tool for taking out opposing Pokémon that are lacking in mobility.
Mystical Fire – Creates four small flames that surround Sylveon before shooting toward opponents one by one, each dealing damage and decreasing the opposing Pokémon's Sp. Atk for a short time. Each time a flame hits, this move's cooldown is reduced. This move is great for dueling opposing Pokémon, but it's not the best choice for securing last hits on wild Pokémon.
Baby-Doll Eyes – A projectile that deals moderate damage in a small area, decreasing the Attack and movement speed of the first opposing Pokémon it hits.
Move 2 Upgrades:
Calm Mind – Sylveon increases its Sp. Atk, Sp. Def, and movement speed for a short time. This is best used to power up Hyper Voice just before unleashing it on an opposing Pokémon. The Calm Mind+ upgrade at Lv. 12 further bolsters Sylveon's already exceptional bulk by nullifying a single instance of damage from an opponent's move and granting Sylveon a shield. This is incredibly useful against popular moves like Lucario's Power-Up Punch or Talonflame's Fly, which deal high damage in a single hit.
Draining Kiss – Fires a projectile that slows a nearby enemy and then bounces back-and-forth between the target and Sylveon. This is another great move for one-on-one fights, and it's best paired with Mystical Fire.
Fairy Frolic – Sylveon jumps into the air, where it briefly becomes invincible. When it lands, Sylveon deals damage to nearby enemies and restores its own HP. For a short time after landing, some of the damage dealt by Sylveon will also restore its HP. Sylveon is already hard enough to take down; by restoring its own HP, Sylveon can deny opponents their hard-fought KO and drastically swing a team fight in your favor.
Recommended Held Items for Sylveon
Buddy Barrier – Buddy Barrier will help keep you in fighting form while your Unite Move restores your HP. Sylveon also benefits from the base HP this held item provides.
Focus Band – A good choice on many Attackers, Focus Band pairs especially well with the HP recovery provided by Sylveon's Unite Move.
Muscle Band (with Mystical Fire) – Sylveon needs to get up close and personal to use Mystical Fire most effectively, which puts it in prime position to consistently deal damage with its basic attacks. Muscle Band is often held by Ranged Attackers, and it's especially effective when held by Sylveon.
Wise Glasses (with Hyper Voice) – Improves the damage of Hyper Voice by a substantial amount. Hyper Voice benefits from being used at maximum range to increase the damage it deals. This strategy doesn't allow Sylveon to deal nearly as many basic attacks, though.
Mr. Mime – Mr. Mime does a great job of setting up for Sylveon by stunning opponents with Confusion and Barrier. The two Pokémon pair well together in the early game and continue to complement each other throughout the game.
Greninja – When it comes to battles at maximum range, Greninja has no problem getting the better of Sylveon. Water Shuriken tends to get the better of Hyper Voice in mid-game exchanges, which severely limits Sylveon's positioning options. And because Water Shuriken hits multiple times, Sylveon's Calm Mind+ is unable to protect it in the late game.
These three additions to Pokémon UNITE have each introduced new playstyles and made further contributions to the depth of Unite Battles, with each Pokémon having various flexible build options. I'm thrilled by their inclusion in Pokémon UNITE and excited to think about what strategies Trainers will discover next.