With Pokémon Unite’s first season wrapping up in a few short weeks, many players have already ascended to the peak of the game’s ranking system: Master Rank. Many chose to make this climb with a team of other players that they know and trust, but others have completed this journey completely on their own. While attempting to climb the dense rating ladder that Pokémon Unite has to offer as a solo queue player may be daunting, it’s totally doable with the right approach and mindset. Here’s how to master Pokémon Unite in solo queue.
Use Low Ranks to Hone One’s Skills
Odds are, if one is near the bottom of ranked mode, high-level Unite play might still be pretty new. If someone is looking to start their competitive climb, take the lower ranks to try out characters and playstyles to see which one is the best fit.
Skill level among players pre-Veteran tier fluctuates wildly, so being the very best player in all matches may not matter in all cases. Taking the early stages as an opportunity to learn mechanics, team strategy, when to challenge certain objectives, etc. is a player’s best option to be more successful at higher ranks.
Once settled on a Pokemon/playstyle (or two), a player should do a dive deep into resources and guides to learn the ins and outs of their Pokemon/role. By continuing to reinforce one’s knowledge with a specific Pokemon should put them in a good spot to perform well later in the climb.
Don’t Sweat Items… Too Much
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding Pokémon Unite’s item upgrade system, but as someone just trying to reach Master Rank… it really doesn’t matter as much as one might think. Sure, having fully upgraded items will make each Pokémon the best they can be, but reaching that level (at this point) will require dumping unnecessary amounts of money into the game.
The main recommendation is to pick three items (ideally for a player’s “main” Pokémon) and try to upgrade them to at least level 20. Even though items can be upgraded all the way to level 30, level 20 is where each item’s main ability maxes out, with the levels beyond mainly serving to increase the item’s passive ability. Level 20 for at least three items is easily reachable with the plethora of missions, battle pass rewards and gifts available for players completely free of charge.
Oh, and if anyone is wondering about battle items; when in doubt, pick Eject Button.
Pick the “Right” Pokemon
There are tier lists all over the internet arguing who the best and worst Pokemon in the game are, but this section will serve to tell players that none of them matter. Tier lists are great for reference and learning why some Pokemon are better than others, but high-level tournament play has rarely been seen at this time and even solo Garchomp players have overcome their Pokemon’s shortcomings to make it to Master Rank. For the sole purpose of playing ranked mode, any Pokémon can make an impact in the hands of a good player.
Pokémon Unite has five types of Pokemon : Attacker, Defender, Supporter, Speedster and All-Rounder. These types can be boiled down to either being Laners (occupying either top or bottom lane) or Junglers (occupying the central lane). Each role/type of Pokemon has merit for any given team composition, but for the purpose of solo queue, the best Pokemon to pick is one that can directly impact the outcome of a game.
Pokemon that can either rack up KO’s or score a lot of points are generally the best bets to make the biggest contribution to a randomly assembled team. Junglers are excellent picks for their ability to help their team gain experience and rotate to help either lane, but this tends to be the most popular role due to its versatility and just how many solid Jungle Pokemon like Zeraora, Greninja and Cinderace have been given out for free.
Defender is a role that surprisingly goes untouched even in the higher ranks despite some of the best Pokémon in the game, such as Snorlax and Crustle, existing in this role. These Pokemon can provide excellent damage mitigation, goal-scoring and objective control making them invaluable for competitive play.
Strict supporters, such as Blissey or Eldegoss, aren’t recommended at least at lower levels because their passive playstyle often leaves the game hanging in the balance of having competent teammates. An excellent example of a (somewhat) supportive character that’s great for solo queue is Alolan Ninetales. Its high-damaging Avalanche/ Blizzard builds can be great for mowing through the lower tiers, while the invaluable crowd control and buffing they get from the Aurora Veil/Dazzling Gleam builds can sway many higher rank games in a player’s favor.
Some Parting Advice
The solo queue grind to Pokémon Unite’s Master Rank can be long and grueling when done solo, and learning to pace oneself and take breaks when they hit a rough patch is important to not get discouraged. Some teams may feel hopelessly outmatched and some ranks may feel like an inescapable prison, but learning from your defeats is way more productive than blaming every loss on a bad team or a fluke Zapdos loss.
With Season 1’s end coming near the end of the month, a Pokémon Unite solo queue Master Rank climb may be unlikely unless one has already started, but these tips can easily carry nearly anyone to the top for seasons to come. Players are certainly rewarded for their efforts with a whopping 20,000 Aeos Tickets for reaching Master Rank, so let that be motivation if one’s stock of Item Enhancers never seems large enough.
Featured Image from Game Rant