Like many other MOBA’s, Pokémon Unite has a laning mechanic, where every member of the team goes in a specific lane. This guide will cover how each lane works in Pokémon Unite, what Pokémon to choose for each lane and how to make a well-rounded team composition in both solo play and team-oriented play.
How Lanes work in Pokémon Unite
Every MOBA has its own unique way of dispersing players around the map. For example, in League of Legends, two players go in the bottom lane, one player goes in the middle lane, one player goes in the top lane and one player roams around the map as the jungler. Unlike other MOBA’s, Pokémon Unite has two different laning techniques that depend on whether the match is team-oriented or solo play.
Interestingly, in solo play, there are two players in the top lane, two players in the bottom lane, and one player going in the center lane. However, in team-oriented play, the optimal way to the lane is by having three players in the bottom lane, one in the top, and one player in the center. This is known as the “1-1-3 strategy” and is commonly seen in pro-play.
Two Pokémon are played in the top and bottom lane in solo play, because unlike team play, it is difficult to communicate with teammates, meaning players may not play as well and fall behind. Having two teammates on both lanes ensures that each lane has a balanced amount of power. In that way, one lane will not fall too far behind the other. If the 1-1-3 strategy were to be used in solo play, then, the three players in the bottom may not have enough coordination and the single player in the top lane may not be good enough to hold their lane.
Besides Zapdos, Drednaw is the most important objective in the game. Because of this, three Pokémon are used in the bottom with one in both the top and center lane, to ensure that the team can secure Drednaw easier. In team play, all three players in the bottom lane can easily communicate with one another. The top and middle players can both be chosen as the strongest members of the team and will have the experience points funneled into them.
Understanding the Team roles in Pokémon Unite
A good team composition involves a wide balance of Pokémon roles. Having one Pokémon from every one of the five Pokémon roles is an ideal way to balance a team in solo play. Pokémon UNITE roles can be divided into the following:
- Attacker: Ranged characters that deal large amounts of damage in a short amount of time, but lack health and defenses. An attacker’s moveset usually contains offensive abilities that maximize the amount of damage dealt.
- All-Rounder: Characters that are either melee or ranged that have well-rounded stats. All-Rounders have movesets that provide utility, offensive, and defensive abilities.
- Defender: Characters that deal little amounts of damage, but compensate with large amounts of health and great defensive capabilities. Defenders’ moveset provides utility and defensive abilities that aim to keep the defender alive for as long as possible while preventing the amount of damage done by the enemy team.
- Speedster: Speedsters are the Pokémon that are usually played in the center lane, due to their great amount of speed and great clear times for wild Pokémon around the center lane. A speedster’s moveset will provide them with abilities that maximize damage dealt and help them roam around the map easier.
- Support: Characters that stay with the team to provide buffs, and shields or heal teammates, as well as disrupt the opponent’s plays. A support’s moveset can provide utility to help the team as much as possible.
Pokémon Unite Team Composition Guide: Solo play vs Teamplay
In solo play, it is best to have every one of these roles if possible. However, some exceptions can be made there. For example, it is acceptable for a Cinderace or Greninja to go in the center lane, instead of a speedster, due to their great clearing speeds, which can sometimes excel the speed of a Speedster.
The optimal position for each role in solo play is that a defender and attacker go in the top lane to get Rotom quickly. It should be followed by rotating to the bottom quickly whether a supporter and all-rounder should go to the bottom lane to soak up the experience points with a speedster going in the center lane, to quickly move between each lane.
Unlike the solo play, team-oriented compositions may choose to prioritize having additional defenders/supporters. This is because defenders and supporters perform better with a team that communicates well and groups up consistently to secure objectives. The common positioning for a 1-1-3 team-oriented composition would have something along the lines of an all-rounder in the top to soak up all of the experience points for themselves and get a large level lead, support, an attacker, and a defender in the bottom path.
It should have three close team-oriented Pokémon with great defensive capabilities to hold down the bottom goal and a variety of Pokémon, which can be chosen in the center lane, depending on what the team needs. Some of the top current picks for the center lane in team-oriented play include Blastoise, Cinderace, and Greninja which all have great center laning abilities, despite not being Speedsters.
Best examples of Team Composition in Pokémon UNITE
An example of a healthy solo play team composition would include the following:
- Top path: Trevenant (Defender), Duraludon (Attacker)
- Center Path: Zeraora (Speedster)
- Bottom Path: Tsareena (All-Rounder), Wigglytuff (Supporter)
This team composition is good because it ensures that every role is covered. All Pokémon is played in their best positions. There is a healthy amount of both offense and defense. An example of a good team-oriented composition would look like the following:
- Top path: Lucario (All-Rounder)
- Center Path: Greninja (Attacker)
- Bottom Path: Hoopa (Supporter), Snorlax (Defender), Pikachu (Attacker)
This team is good for team-oriented play because it has Lucario soloing on top and Greninja in the center, which is both Pokémon that can consistently carry, and the combination of Hoopa, Snorlax, and Pikachu are all played in the bottom path because they can get an early lead and work well with one another.
Pokémon UNITE Team Composition: Tips and Tricks
In this section of the Team Composition Guide, we have laid out some key tips in Pokémon Unite.
- When playing solo ranked, the most frequently-called role by far is the center path due to the major influence it has on the game. Players should not take the center lane if someone else has already called the center lane. Not only is it bad to take a role called by someone else, but fighting for the center lane at the start of the game greatly reduces the overall amount of experience owned by the team. Therefore, they must weaken the team early game and ultimately throw the game for the teammates
- Players must try to learn to fill certain roles. Speedsters and attackers are played so frequently, that teams in solo play often lack any defensive capabilities. A well-balanced team, which is full of decent players, is better than an unbalanced team with talented players.
- When possible, players must try to communicate effectively with teammates, especially when playing characters like supporters or defenders. In this way, teammates can understand what is needed to be achieved and what the entire team should play towards, as their win condition.
Currently, there is no one optimal way to lane. Pokémon UNITE is a new game with lots of laning ideas and strategies being thrown around in the meta-game, therefore, one must feel free to try other team composition strategies! This must not be at the expense of other players. This guide should give some insight into team composition!
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