Playstyle Guide


Alright, so you’re trying to get better at this Pokemon Unite game, or maybe you’re trying to learn how to play a certain character on the fly. Think of this guide as a quick rundown on the fundamentals of character archetypes. A lot of stuff translates over between characters of a similar role. 

You’ll might see a handful of characters under multiple roles, but some unique hybrid characters might get their own section. 

This guide will be divided up into general archetypes and how to play them alongside some extra roles that aren’t necessarily archetypes but are still important to consider when building your comp and gameplan. 

Although I try to account for more character specific quirks where I can, keep in mind that this is a pretty generalized guide. These tips apply true and good, but some exact execution and bigger specifics per character are probably lost here. Regardless. it should be a good primer for people who are new to playing a type of Pokemon or wanting to get better at the game. 

General Playstyles and How to Play Them

Role: Backliner

Pokemon: Mewtwo Y*, Cinderace*, Cramorant (Surf sets), Chandelure, Decidueye*, Delphox*, Dragapult*, Dragonite (Hyper Beam + Dragon Dance set), Duraludon*, Espeon, Gardevoir*, Glaceon, Greninja* (Water Shuriken sets), Mew*, Ninetails, Pikachu, Sylveon, Venusaur (Solarbeam sets)

  • Your job is to deal damage from a range. Pretty simple. but a lot of people mess that up by trying to focus on scoring or something else that isn’t doing damage when they shouldn’t be. Pokemon in red are generally primary carries, meaning that they are usually supposed to be the main source of damage on a team and should generally be the guy you’re playing around. They’re a especially strong source of constant damage and many of these are also your best shot of ripping objectives in a timely manner.
  • Positioning wise, you want to stay behind your tanky character. If you get caught out, try to kite towards a position where you tank can peel for you if you can, but just running away entirely is fine too if it means that you live. Ideally, this is a tank Pokemon that can use CC or shielding to peel for you but you can make do with brawler types if your soloq teammates don’t like winning. No Pokemon on this list here should EVER be walking into a potential fight first (i.e center at the 2:00 mark), into a bush, or the enemy half of the map first unless you know for certain where the enemy is.
  • The distance you want to generally keep yourself is in the max range of your moves and you only play closer if you’re absolutely certain that you’ll be safe. This ensures that you can maintain your damage output while being as safe as possible. 
  • Divers and assassins are your biggest enemies and you’re likely their main target, especially if you’re a primary carry. Be wary of their positioning or potential places they could be so you can constantly adjust your positon accordingly to where they are. The map is your best friend here. Sometimes, you might not even show any vision of yourself and hide in a bush until you get vision of these threats if you’re a main carry. While anyone can flank, this is especially true against some characters that are very good at skipping past frontliners at a big teamfight. Those guys are Greninja, Gengar, Scyther, Talonflame, Dodrio, and Tsareena.
  • There’s a handful of Pokemon on this list that have moves where one of its main purposes is for self peel that I marked with an asterisk. For these Pokemon, make sure you hold onto their self peel options for when you actually need them instead of just using them for fun or unneeded extra damage. The only weird one of those is Delphox, since Flame Charge is a notable enough part of its damage profile and usually is off cooldown anyway if you’re hitting your Mystical Fires.


Role: Midliner

Pokemon: Dragonite (Hyper Beam + Dragon Dance), Ninetails (Aurora Veil sets), Sylveon (Hyper Voice sets) 

  • Generally same rules as the backliners but you have to play closer to the frontline in front of actual backliners for one reason or another. As usual, the one in red is a primary carry that you should probably protect or not play too risky if you’re the one playing it. 
  • In the case of Dragonite and Sylveon, their lower range will usually put them much closer to the frontline which is a weakness compensated by not being as squishy in practice compared to others. Dragonite has all arounder bulk and a passive while Sylveon’s Unite move can give it longevity. In the case of Ninetails, it will sometimes want to be closer to the frontlines to make sure its teammates are getting value out of Aurora Veil + Dazzling Gleam’s supportive capabilities.


Role: Assassin  

Pokemon: Absol, Crustle (X-Scissor + Shell Smash), Dodrio (mainly Drill Peck, but applies to Tri Attack too), Gengar, Greninja (Surf sets), Machamp, Scyther, Tsareena (mainly Stomo sets), Zeraora, Zoroark

  • Your job is to knock out important targets with big burst damage that goes especially well into squishies or weakened enemies. At the start of a game, identify your main targets in big teamfights and adjust that goal based on how the game’s playing out (i.e the enemy backliner is terrible so you’re better off targeting something else instead). This is usually a squishy enemy carry, though sometimes an all arounder or even an enemy assassin might be the target. As usual, Pokemon in red are potential primary carries. 
  • Unless it’s safe to do so, you have to, and there’s no other target try not to attack tanks. 
  • Like a backliner, you usually want to be one of the last people to show yourself or enter a teamfight. If applicable, try to take a flanking position that you can get a good ambush from. Stay out of enemy vision as much as possible all throughout the game while you wait for your opportunity to strike. 
  • Unite moves give the user a shield and Buddy Barrier being a frequent item means that when Unite moves are going off, a lot of people are going to have shields that make it hard to kill your targets fast enough. In general, CC, shielding, and movement options are what will make you not able to get the kill on your targets, so you want to wait until the things that can make those things happen are either preoccupied or on cooldown before you close in for the kill.  
  • The more distracted and low on resources the enemy is, the more guaranteed your kill is. This sounds very obvious and goes without saying, but there’s so many times where I see assassin players rush in without a thought as soon as they see a target. Patience and being opportunistic is key.
  • Ideally, you’re not picking fights you can’t win, but in some situations, you also still have to account for the possibility of you getting outplayed or miscalculating the situation. If it’s applicable to your character, be sure to also have an escape plan on the ready. 


All Arounder Bruiser/Diver

Pokemon: Aegislash*, Azumarill*, Blastoise (Rapid Spin sets), Blaziken, Buzzwole*, Charizard*, Dragonite (Outrage sets), Garchomp, Goodra, Lapras, Lucario*, Scizor, Trevenant, Tsareena*, Tyranitar, Urshifu Single Strike*, Urshifu Rapid Strike, Venusaur (Petal Dance + Giga Drain), Zacian*

    • Your main job with these characters is to be a constant damage presence on or near the frontline. Depending on your gameplan and how the fight plays out, many of these characters are also the ones trying to dive in and try to pick out enemies carries when possible. Some can even initiate fights for their team, although you should usually rely on your tank players for this if possible. 
    • Your good combination of damage and survivability lets your role be more flexible and adaptable to the situation than other roles. Keep the comps of both teams, the gamestate, and your team’s way of tackling the fight in mind.
    • In terms of different playstyles, this is probably the most diverse role on this guide. You definitely want to look into your character’s individual strengths to fine tune your gameplan towards that.  
    • Pokemon that have an asterisk also have the option of playing more like an assassin and following the assassin section if the situation calls for it. Pokemon in red tend to be primary carries that your team wants to play around.
    • Knowing your character’s limits is a very key skill to have that comes with experience when trying to figure out which fights you can take and knowing when to back out of a fight. This applies to everyone, but I’ve seen that people who play this archetype tend to power trip sometimes and end up going way too deep and taking a fight they didn’t need to take. 
    • If you have a Pokemon with sustain on your team (Eldegoss, Clefable, and Blissey), be sure to play with the ranges of their sustain options in mind. You and the tanks are the biggest recipients of healing and shielding unless your backline is getting dove on and needs their attention.
    • If your team needs a person off laning (solo holding one lane while your team does things elsewhere) or maybe even going for a backcap not during the final Ray fight, then the all arounder is usually the best candidate to do this.
  • Since this is a very diverse role, I’ll try to break these down further into a couple of more distinct categories. 


Fat All Arounder

Pokemon: Blastoise, Goodra, Greedent, Lapras, Trevenant

  • A special category of bruisers that happen to have the defender label ingame. These guys can be generally good damage and some CC presence while still pumping out good damage backed up by their big bulk from being in the defender class. You generally want to look towards these when you want another very bulky frontline presence. 


Assassin Oriented

Pokemon: Machamp, Aegislash, Azumarill, Buzzwole, Charizard, Lucario (Power Up Punch sets), Scizor, Tsareena, Urshifu Single Strike, Zacian

  • While these Pokemon have the ability to play as a general purpose bruiser in the thick of it, they have aspects to their kit that either specialize them into playing more like an assassin or gives them the option to do so when the situation calls for it.


General Purpose Brawler

Pokemon: Charizard, Dragonite (Outrage sets), Garchomp, Lucario (Extreme Speed sets), Scizor, Urshifu Single Strike, Urshifu Rapid Strike, Tyranitar, Venusaur, Zacian

  • The most archetypical of all arounders lie here. Worth noting that most of these Pokemon here generally don’t want to be the first to enter a fight and want to wait or bait out at least some enemy resources before going in if you don’t intend on being the guy who gets hit by all the unites right off the bat. To what degree depends on a Pokemon to Pokemon and situational basis. 


Main Tank

Pokemon: Umbreon (FP + Snarl set), Umbreon (Mean Look)*, Blastoise (Surf + Hydro Pump set), Crustle (Rock Tomb sets), Lapras, Mamoswine, Mr. Mime, Slowbro*, Snorlax*, Trevenant, Wigglytuff. 

  • The job of the main tank has a lot to it. Be the biggest damage sponge for your team with your big bulk and be the unbreakable wall that the enemy team can’t walk past without taking a flank route that’s away from the fight. You want to make space for your team and direct damage away from them with your presence and CC. 
  • Pokemon with a star are more specialized towards more defensive playstyles that protect backliners. Pokemon that are bold are more specialized towards offensive engages. Pokemon that don’t have any are roughly equally well rounded for both offensive and defensive plays.
  • If your goal is to let a backline attacker thrive, then you want to use your moves in a way that protects your backliner from divers while also creating space for them to do their thing by zoning people off. Take note of what Pokemon on the enemy team want to assassinate your backliners so you can plan accordingly. 
  • If you’re playing a more aggressive comp and gameplan, you’re looking to engage on the enemy with a CC move that locks down the enemy for your team to follow up on. 
  • Be smart about when you use your abilities. Make sure that your teammates are actually in a position to follow up on what you’re doing, whether it be actually doing damage off the CC or positioning you granted them or ripping an objective while you zone people off. 
  • Be the first to walk into an objective fight/Ray pit. You’re the one that has to get vision for the rest of your team to make sure that they can safely come in and start doing their damage. 
  • If your team is busy ripping an objective, you are most likely griefing your team if you’re investing your moves into helping them rip the objectives faster. Instead, save your moves for zoning and CCing off any enemy trying to contest the objective. 
  • Buddy Barrier is a pretty core item on many of these Pokemon playing this role. Uniting to save your teammate’s life with a big buddy barrier is a play you should have in mind. 


Off Tank

Pokemon: Blissey*, Umbreon (Wish), Clefable (mostly Follow Me)*, Eldegoss*, Greedent, Goodra, Lapras, Hoopa (while in Unite move)*, Garchomp (Dig + Earthquake set), Scizor

  • Off tanks are secondary tanks that help take some stress off the main tank. They’re definitely capable of their fair share of hits when needed, but don’t have the same bulk and/or CC presence as a main tank. A team needs at least one main tank with some CC presence, so in most cases you shouldn’t be relying on 2 off tanks to the frontlining work. 
  • Pokemon with an asterisk are the more support oriented Pokemon that lean more towards not having to off tank if they can help it and should be hanging out closer to the back or midline. Just because you can tank doesn’t mean you should tank. Judge the situation accordingly as to whether or not you should pay the front lines a visit. 
  • The all arounders and fat all arounders here are more or less bruisers, but are included here because of their less prevalent CC presence but still being a very bulky presence. 



Pokemon: Blissey, Clefable, Eldegoss, Hoopa, Comfey (Floral Healing) 

  • Enchanters are characters that do most of their work by supporting their teammates by buffing them with shields, healing, movement, etc. Your job is pretty self explanatory here: keep your teammates alive and strong for as long as possible. 
  • If you’re playing something that is more specialized into shielding your allies, your goal with the shields is to prevent damage. These moves usually tend to have sizable cooldowns, so don’t click your shield move whenever it’s off cooldown. Try to predict when damage is coming to your team, then put up the shield right before you think the damage is about to come. 
  • Even on healer sets that are on the spammier side, you want your healing to still serve a purpose and ideally be going onto the people who need it the most. Some questions to ask yourself before healing and shielding are: 
  • Will this healing actually save their life and change the course of a fight? 
  • Are they in immediate danger or are they already in a safe spot while someone else is fighting? 
  • Who is the most important character on my team to keep alive in any given moment? 
  • Although all these characters are capable of doing some off tanking, you usually want to still be behind your all arounder and main tank, but in front of your backliner. 
  • A common mistake I see is that people like to offlane with their Blissey. These Pokemon are especially team reliant to get value, so I recommend that they’re sticking to the damage characters as much as possible. 



Pokemon: Crustle (Shell Smash sets), Dodrio (mainly Tri Attack), Greedent, Sableye, Talonflame (Fly + Flame Charge)

  • Roaming is usually a role that’s most prevalent during the midgame. When you decide to play to a character’s roaming potential, you’re trying to be on the enemy side of the map looking for farm to steal, sneaking in backcaps, getting vision for your team to help inform their play and being a generally annoying presence that the enemy team has to waste their time on.  
  • Playing one of these characters does not mean you should just ignore your team, especially since some of these have very real and important strengths for teamfights. Knowing when you can run around and be annoying and when you should be helping your team directly instead is a critical skill to being an effective roamer that comes with time and constant reflection. 
  • In the lategame Rayquaza fight, roamers are usually the ones that are best suited to go for a backcap. This doesn’t mean that you should always backcap. Backcaps in the lategame fight are best utilized when you’re confident that the fight in center won’t fully break out and run its course while you’re gone and you don’t give the team the objective for free by leaving. 
  • The map is especially your best friend in this role. Constantly look at it, use your teammate’s comms, and consider the gamestate to get an estimate of where everyone on the enemy team is, then plan your jungle invade or backscore (or running to help your team) accordingly. 
  • If you’re going for a backscore on a tier 2 goal while the jump pad is up (after the 5:00 mark) but you’re not sure if someone’s waiting on it, you can pan your camera over to the enemy jump pad in their base while you score. You’ll still see the jump pad activate if someone uses it, and you can step off the goal in time to not get knocked up by someone jumping in. 
  • Goal Getter is bait. You’re most likely getting more value off another item. 



Pokemon: Sableye (any variant), Comfey (Sweet Kiss)

  • Your big role is to be annoying and interrupt people’s offensives in order to shut down their plays. Stay within arms reach of a fight happening so you can swoop in with a stun that can save a life or help confirm a kill. 
  • Your kit is extremely good at shutting down high profile targets on the enemy team with long stuns. Like an assassin player would, establish who might be your main targets during teamfights. 
  • Technically, most tanks can also play a disruptor role because they have CC but the only mon currently in here is especially specialized into it and isn’t tanky himself, so he doesn’t quite fit into the other roles on this guide. 


Backliner/Assassin Hybrid

Pokemon: Cramorant, Dragapult (Phantom Force sets), Greninja

  • You’re generally going to be hanging around in backline positions peppering down the enemy. But, your toolset enables you to be able to catch out an unaware backliner or straggler when the opportunity arises. 
  • This small category applies much more to Cramorant than Greninja and Dragapult. Surf Greninja doesn’t exactly like having to sit in the backline autoing like a normal backline attacker would, but it’s a situation that sometimes happens. Dragapult running Phantom Force is sometimes able to utilize the stealth to get in position to pick a target but normally wants to be behind its tanks. 


Miscellaneous roles to keep in mind



Pokemon: Cinderace, Decidueye, Delphox (Flame Charge + Mystical Fire), Garchomp, Gardevoir, Tyranitar, Venusaur, Zacian

  • A hypercarry is a Pokemon with very high damage and teamfighting potential to the point where in skilled hands, can even do the majority of the heavy lifting in a teamfight alongside just one secondary carry (anything else that isn’t listed here) of choice. Doing a full “protect the president” style is not exactly a highly recommended way of playing, but it’s there. 
  • Team comps that opt to run one or even two hypercarries are generally going to have to play around them so they can do as much work as possible. Play to your supports because chances are you being alive is a big win condition. Even if the fight doesn’t end up needing you, you still need to be alive because chances are you’re the best objective ripper on your team.   
  • Farm efficiently and farm hard. You want to be as strong as possible for the final fight. If it’s not a low EXP game, I would always try to shoot for level 14 by the time the 2 minute mark comes. Level 13 is fine too.. 


Objective Ripper

Pokemon: Absol (Psycho Cut), Cinderace, Blastoise* (Rapid Spin), Charizard, Cinderace, Decidueye, Dragapult, Dragonite, Duraludon, Garchomp, Gardevoir (Psyshock + Psychic set), Gengar (Hex + Sludge Bomb set), Glaceon, Greninja, Lucario (Power Up Punch + Close Combat set)*, Scyther, Syvleon (Hyper Voice + Calm Mind set), Zoroark*, Zacian

  • These are Pokemon that I would consider to be on the faster side when it comes to ripping objectives as fast as possible. Having fast objective rip means you don’t have to wipe the enemy team as hard during objective fights in order to maximize your chances of getting the objective. 
  • Pokemon with an asterisk can’t fully rip an objective very well by themselves, but they can rip out a good chunk of an objective very quickly before they’re stuck on cooldowns. 
  • Do not rip an objective in front of the enemy team if you’re not confident in your ability to secure (last hit) it, ESPECIALLY at Rayquaza if your team is already in a solid score lead. 
  • NEVER rip the final objective when most of the enemy team is alive without having a very strong secure option on hand on yourself or in your team. 
  • Unless you need to do a desperate flip, wait until at least 3-4 members of the enemy team are knocked out. This number can go down a bit if the remaining people alive are zoned out or don’t have good secure. If you’re behind, you shouldn’t always be afraid to rip it even if the last person alive has a move that’s good for stealing objectives. It’s on your team to out-secure and zone him out. 


Objective Securer

Pokemon: Absol, Aegislash, Cinderace, Decidueye, Delphox, Dodrio, Dragonite, Duraludon, Espeon (Psyshock sets), Gardevoir (Future Sight + Psychic set), Gengar (Dream Eater set), Glaceon (Icy Wind set), Greninja (mainly Surf set), Lucario (Power Up Punch set), Mew, Scyther, Talonflame, Urshifu Single Strike, Zeraora (mainly Discharge), Zacian 

  • These are Pokemon that I would consider to have an outstanding secure option. Secure is simply means last hitting ability. Better last hits means that you can claim an objective from higher health than the opponent.  In most cases, a secure move is a move that does big burst damage or an incredibly fast rush of tick damage that can shred the last bit of an objective before the enemy team is able to get their own secure move off. 
  • The better your secure and the better you are at securing, the more likely you are to win a flip situation. 
  • Some of these Pokemon here can also rip and are very reliant on their abilities to help them rip an objective faster. Just be sure to always make sure that you have your big secure move off cooldown and ready to go for when the objective starts getting to low health. If you already have a teammate with constant DPS doing most of the ripping, just don’t even bother using that big burst move to rip the objective and save it for the secure. 
  • If you’re using a secure move that has a lot of charge time or windup, predicting oncoming damage on the objective is an important skill to pick up. If you have comms, it’s very helpful to communicate when you’re bursting and when to have your rippers continue ripping.