Patch 18.104.22.168 continues to mix up the meta among the top 100 players as Season 2 of Pokémon UNITE comes to an end.
Last week Dragonite fell from grace, creating a power vacuum in the jungle. Charizard sprung to life with mobility increases for its basic attacks, Flamethrower and Fireblast. Lucario went from people claiming the patch left him unplayable to the game needing to release Patch 22.214.171.124 just to fix how strong the initial patch inadvertently made him.
So with those events, where do things stand now?
Other Pokémon that saw play include:
- Blissey – 4% (+0.5)
- Greninja – 4% (+3)
- Gardevoir – 3% (+1)
- Snorlax – 2% (+0.5)
- Mime – 2% (+0.5)
- Blastoise – 2% (+/-)
- Machamp – 1.5% (+0.5)
- Tsareena – 1% (+1)
- Decidueye – 1% (-0.5)
- Ninetails – 1% (+1)
- Mamoswine – 1% (+1)
Charizard (-7), Trevenant (-1), Cramorant, Zeraora, Garchomp, Absol, Crustle, Sylveon and Gengar did not see play and are thus untiered.
The end of the All-Rounder Meta
This week confirmed last week’s trend: a clear downgrade in the prevalence of all-rounders. For the longest time in Pokémon UNITE “Lucario” and “all-rounder” were synonymous, but with the introduction of Tsareena and Dragonite, we saw all-rounders comprise as much as 50% of the meta. Today the role sits at 21%. While 21% is very close to the historical average, the all-rounder role is far more varied than it has ever been as Lucario, Dragonite, Machamp, and Tsareena are all seeing play in the high-level meta.
Lucario’s precarious perch
Lucario remains among the most played Pokémon and has cemented the 1-1-3 meta in high-level competitive play. Ten percent is a lot of players, but for Lucario, this is the lowest play rate it has logged outside of the first week of the game. People are experimenting with Blastoise, Machamp and Tsareena as real competitors in the top lane. While their numbers are still low, the fact that people even think it is possible to contest the lane with something other than Lucario indicates we might not be far from another shake-up in the game.
A more open meta
Whenever a game receives a major balance patch there is a shift in the meta. Right now in Pokémon UNITE, 21 of its 30 playable characters are seeing usage among the top 100 players, while only 16 of 29 had been seeing play before the balance patch. Not only are more Pokémon being played, but the dominant Pokémon aren’t as present. If you were to add up the play rates for the five most played Pokémon you would only account for 46 of the top 100 players, a figure that is far below the average for that statistic (65 of 100).
The top lane is seeing meaningful innovations for the first time in months. The jungle is a four-way slugfest between Dragonite, Cinderace, Talonflame and Greninja. Defenders across the board are seeing more play. Things will settle down over the weeks, but where things stand now it’s clear the last patch was able to make real changes to how this game is played.