Pokémon Unite ‘Jungler’ Guide - How to Play and Win in the Center Lane
Pokemon Unite is the latest and most popular MOBA to hit the market in recent times. Of course, being based on the popular pokemon franchise, it was already expected that the game was going to be massive—and with over 7 million pre-registrations in the recently-released mobile version, it seems we’re right on this point.
Nevertheless, while the game features similar mechanics to other MOBAs out there, especially in the way the pokemons control and how the combat system works, Pokemon Unite is quite unique in the way teams win matches. Specifically, instead of having to destroy the opposing team’s central building, this game has 10-minute matches that are a race to score points. And when the timer expires, the team with the most points wins the match. Feel free to read our beginner’s guide to Pokemon Unite if you want to learn more about the basics.
However, what this game has in common with other MOBAs is the fact that the map is divided into lanes, with the central one corresponding to the “jungler” aspect. And just like in other MOBAs, there’s a trick to jungling in Pokemon Unite, which varies greatly from laning.
In this guide, we’re going to give you an overview about the jungling role in Pokemon Unite, as well as a few tips and tricks on how to defeat the enemy jungler and effectively support your team via ganking.
What is Jungling?
The term “jungling” comes from other MOBAs that have larger maps, including a sprawling jungle on each side, in which there are numerous neutral enemies that players can defeat to get experience and currency. In Pokemon Unite, while the actual jungle is much smaller and corresponds to the central lane, it’s still possible for a player to actually farm it effectively, and lend support to the rest of the team in the process.
The action of jungling is based on the fact that, by effectively defeating and farming neutral monsters (in this case, wild pokemon), junglers can actually keep up with laners in terms of currency farming and level. In Pokemon Unite, there is no currency and players don’t need to purchase items in every match. However, the wild pokemon in the middle lane give plenty of experience, which lets junglers level up quickly in order to get access to their skills.
The ultimate objective of a jungler is to level up just enough to gain access to important skills like gap closers or stuns, and then immediately proceed to gank a lane to help the team score easy kills. And as the match goes on, and the jungler enables more kills, their team will eventually snowball into victory, since defeating players not only lets you pick up their orbs and score points, but they also give experience to all players who participated in the battle.
Preparing for the Jungle
While anyone can actually play in the jungle, there are some Pokemon that are specifically better at this role than others. These jungler Pokemon often fall into the “Speedster” category, as they usually have skills not only to move across large distances quickly, but also to deal great damage in bursts, which is excellent for defeating weakened enemies.
With that being said, in order to prepare for the jungle, you need to both consider your choice of pokemon, as well as the items you equip them with. Some of the best jungler pokemon in Pokemon Unite include:
- Zeraora: The best jungler, bar none. His passive move lets it heal itself with every third attack, which makes it easier to jungle and lets it keep its HP up for ganking. Also, Zeraora starts the game with both a gap closer called “Agility” that also gives him a temporary attack speed buff after using it, and a strong burst skill called “Slash”, which deals multiple hits to an enemy, with the third launching them into the air. This combo makes Zeraora into a great ganking machine. And in the mid-game, after learning its devastating AoE “Discharge” attack, it only gets much stronger.
- Absol: A fantastic jungler that can deal tons of burst damage, much more than Zeraora, though he’s also very fragile and relies more on critical hits. Nevertheless, if outfitted correctly, Absol can be an absolute powerhouse in the jungle.
- Talonflame: This is probably the weakest out of all the three, but Talonflame has a lot going for it, including a massive gap closer skill that deals tons of burst damage, called “Brave Bird”. Talonflame can also learn “Fly”, which deals moderate damage, but makes it untargetable for a few seconds, which is great for keeping the enemy guessing and setting up ambushes.
After you choose your pokemon, you’ll also need to select which items to equip them, as these can make or break a build. Luckily, junglers are quite straightforward regarding the items they need, with the Float Stone and Muscle Band being the obvious choices. The former lets you move faster across the jungle when out of combat, while the latter increases the damage you deal with basic attacks, further speeding up the jungling. You can choose the third item as the situation demands.
When it comes to active items, the Eject Button is the best choice here, for reasons that will become apparent shortly.
Optimal Jungle Route
The success rate of a jungler often boils down to how fast they can clear the jungle, as this directly translates to unlocking skills earlier, and therefore being able to gank much faster. To this end, you’ll need to learn how to jungle effectively and quickly. Luckily, here’s a step-by-step breakdown on how we play the jungle.
- Once the match starts, immediately use the Eject Button to jump over the middle wall and immediately start attacking the Lillipup.
- After defeating it, immediately head towards the Ludicolo and take its buff, followed by moving towards Bouffalant to take the other buff.
- Move towards the right of your jungle, towards where Zapdos usually spawns, while defeating the Corphish that spawn on the north and south walls.
- At this point, you should have both of your skills unlocked, and your Eject Button should be coming off cooldown, so you can start looking towards ganking a lane.
This entire initial process should take around a minute to complete, and you should be ganking your first lane before the 2-minute mark. If done correctly, your enemies won’t ever see you coming. Just remember to save your CC and Eject Button for when you actually gank, in order to secure a kill or two every time you ambush a lane.
Feel free to share your own jungling tips in the comments below!