The recent release of Pokemon Unite has a lot of people excited to jump in on the 5v5 MOBA action. At the moment, most games start with two Pokemon in the top lane, two in the bottom, and one in the central area. What does the Pokemon in the central area do, though? And how can they get the most out of their position? We’ll answer these questions and more with our Pokemon Unite Jungler guide.
What is the Central Area and why is it important?
In Pokemon Unite, the jungle – or central area – is the space between the two lanes. This is where neutral Pokemon like Ludicolo, Bouffalant, and Corphish reside. Not only are these Pokemon free experience and Aeos energy, but having a teammate dedicated to going right to the central area means less experience being shared in the regular lanes. If your team has a jungler in the central area and the opposing team doesn’t, there will be significantly more experience overall on your team.
Who can Jungle?
Every Pokemon can jump into the central area and defeat the Pokemon there. However, there are a few Pokemon who are a bit more suited to the role than others. When picking a Jungler, you generally want a Pokemon who has good mobility, and who doesn’t provide a lot of pressure in the regular lanes in the early game.
For example, Lucario is a very mobile Pokemon who excels in the jungle. The extra mobility allows Lucario to quickly go around the central area and defeat all the neutral Pokemon. Lucario can then use its mobility to jump into a lane and assist its team there.
A Pokemon like Gibble can get bullied around a lot in lane. While not unplayable, it does make it a bit harder for a little Gibble to evolve into the monstrous Garchomp. Being in the jungle is a good place for Gibble to grab some easy experience without interference from the enemy.
Here is a list of some of the better Junglers in Pokemon Unite at the moment:
What items should Junglers use?
A Pokemon Unite Jungler has a lot of flexibility when it comes to items. The two held items that I think have the biggest impact are the Float Stone and the Muscle Band. Float Stone provides movement speed when out of combat, thus allowing you to move faster between neutral Pokemon and the lanes. The damage from the Muscle Band will make defeating Pokemon faster.
For the battle item, the Fluffy Tail may seem like an obvious choice, but I have found myself getting more value from items like X-Attack or Eject Button. Try a few different item combinations to see which ones best complement the way you want to play.
How to start the game as the Jungler
If you intend to play as a Jungler in Pokemon Unite, it’s a good idea to let your team know in the Pokemon selection screen before the game starts. Simply press the minus button to open the dialogue options and select the one that says “I’ll go to the Central Area”.
When the game starts, head straight to the Lillipup in the central area. Leave the Aipoms for those in lane. After defeating Lillipup, take on the Ludicolo. Ludicolo can potentially spawn in two different places depending on which team you’re on. Fortunately, it seems that Lillipup will always run towards where Ludicolo spawns.
Defeating Ludicolo gives you a buff that allows you to defeat neutral Pokemon faster, which is perfect for clearing the central area. You can tell you have this buff if there is a blue circle orbiting your Pokemon’s feet.
Next, head to the Bouffalant, which should be either directly North or South of the Ludicolo. Bouffalant gives you another buff which causes your normal attacks to slow enemies. This buff is displayed as a red circle orbiting your feet. After Bouffalant, go East and defeat the two Corphish.
After beating Lillipup, Ludicolo, Bouffalant, and the Corphishes, your Pokemon should be level 5 and have one upgraded ability. This is a good time to look at the map and see where you can be most helpful. You will most likely be at a higher level than any of the Pokemon in lane, so if you jump into a lane there is a good chance you can drive the enemy back and allow your team to score. Generally, I look to see which lane has the enemies furthest from their own goal zone. This means there is more time to fight and potentially defeat them before they get to safety.
After that, what you do is up to you. Keep an eye on the minimap and see where you can be most useful. Do you see one of your goal zones completely unprotected? Go to that area and make sure the enemy can’t score for free. Are Drednaw or Rotom about to appear? Make plans to help your team secure them.
A Pokemon Unite Jungler has the ability to swing the game, and guide their team to victory. I would argue that the Jungler is the most influential role on the team. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Make sure you are there to assist your team, always looking for the most useful thing you can be doing at any given moment.