Pokémon Unite Held Item Tier List
4 months ago
Held items are possibly the most important part of a Pokémon’s kit to get correctly in Pokémon Unite. Tragically, however, all held items are not created equally. We here at Unite Stadium have built a tier list to definitively inform players of which held items are most powerful, and in a later article, we’ll take a dive into which items you should be upgrading first based on which role you play in Pokémon Unite. But first, the overall tier list.
Buddy Barrier: The most powerful item in Pokémon Unite. The shields given by this item to teammates when a Pokémon uses their Unite Move can be critical in a team turning a lost fight in their favor. Even at level one the shields gained are considerable, and every role and Pokémon in the game can find value from running Buddy Barrier in their build. Until the shield values are diminished greatly, Buddy Barrier will remain at the top of the list.
Muscle Band: While not quite as versatile as Buddy Barrier, the Muscle Band still comes in at a close second. A staple in auto-attack based Attackers - and still finding a home with Pokémon like Gardevoir and Garchomp - the Muscle Band passive and attack speed increase when leveled are a great boon for just about any Pokémon. Until another item gives an attack speed increase, Muscle Band will be a must have for many Pokémon.
Focus Band: Letting users survive since 2021, the Focus Band passive helps in all phases of the game. In lane, it gives Pokémon sustain to take skirmishes and come out unscathed; in teamfights it will give Pokémon a boost of HP when they reach critical health, letting them get more cooldown rotations and value off before they’re taken down, if they are. Able to be taken on just about every Pokémon and get loads of value, Focus Band is a powerful held item.
Energy Amp: While Energy Amp can’t be taken on as many Pokémon as some might like, it’s an exceptional item for Special Attackers. Giving both Unite Move cooldown reduction and regular cooldown reduction, it is unique in allowing Pokémon to use all of their moves at an increased rate. Combined with increasing Pokémon damage dealt directly after using their Unite Move, it’s a fantastic item for teamfighting and claiming those Drednaw.
Wise Glasses: With both a flat Special Attack damage increase and a scaling passive % Special Attack increase, the Wise Glasses help Special Attackers a great deal in all stages of the game. The flat damage increase helps early clear, and while some might consider it to fall off in the later stages of the game, the % increase passive kicks in to really give Special Attackers a boost for teamfights.
Score Shield: The first item in the ‘Good’ tier, the Score Shield is on the edge of moving upwards to the next tier. With a passive health boost for Pokémon, its true power is in the shield it grants when a Pokémon attempts to score. While this item may be weaker for coordinated play - with somewhat low respawn timers and the jump-pad at five minutes - the shield and unstoppable effect can occasionally be the most important thing to finally get a fifty-point score over the edge in ranked ladder play.
Scope Lens: Similar to the aforementioned Muscle Band, this item is marketed towards autoattack based Attackers. Unlike the Muscle Band however, Scope Lens has a very difficult time finding a home elsewhere. Giving critical hit chance and increased critical hit damage, Absol players may praise the item and title it the “Best item in the game”. However, it has a defined purpose in Pokémon Unite as a Cinderace or Greninja item and it stays neatly in that position.
Shell Bell: Shell Bell gives a flat special attack increase, and while this can feel good early game, it falls apart late game without the % scaling that comes with an item like Wise Glasses. It still offers the highest amount of cooldown reduction in the game, meaning it’s still an item choice for those Pokémon that absolutely need shorter cooldowns to have an impact. While the healing it gives is a small bonus for laning, it’s negligible in teamfights.
EXP Share: The EXP Share was underwhelming at the games release but has since seen play in builds for Support Pokémon and even sometimes Defenders in coordinated play. Because of the value that it can find in coordinated play - allowing you to funnel neutral Pokémon EXP into a carry Pokémon - it has found its home at the end of the ‘Good’ tier. In ranked ladder play, the item is inconsistent and too much of a risk for the solo player.
Attack Weight and Special Attack Specs: High risk high reward, these items function the same by increasing the respective damage stat each time a Pokémon scores, with a cap of six possible stat increases. The lack of consistent scoring is what kills these items, with Pokémon able to utilize the shields and healing of a goal to prevent even multiple Pokémon from scoring at once. While some players have ran item builds with one of these items, Score Shield, and utilizing low point scoring to score several times, it is the lack of consistency and amount of scoring you have to do to make it worth it that puts these items low on the tier list. Lucario and Mr. Mime are two Pokémon who stand out in being able to take advantage of these items.
Float Stone: The Float Stone can be useful for jungle Pokémon to traverse the map at a faster pace, and since the small damage increase helps with their clear. However, outside of certain junglers the Float Stone is left behind by other items for damage output or survivability.
Assault Vest: Assault Vest gives the largest amount of Special Defense in the game, and even gives you a passive shield to block incoming damage from Special Attacks. While in a different meta with several Special Attackers on one team it would be a considerably better item, the current state of the game is inclined towards physical damage dealers like Lucario and Greninja. A nerf to Muscle Band or those Pokémon might see Assault Vest become a necessary item for Defenders, but even with those changes the lack of a pre-game draft restricts this items viability greatly.
Aeos Cookie: The Defenders version of the Attack Weight and Special Attack Specs, the Aeos Cookie suffers from many of the same problems but has the added issue of other defender items such as Buddy Barrier and Score Shield already giving Pokémon a large Health stat increase, AND another passive on top of that. Until those items are nerfed, and this item is buffed, it will remain as an item not worth using in any builds.
Leftovers: While thought to be a good item initially, it has since been heavily overshadowed by Focus Band. Since Leftovers health regeneration forces you to be out of combat for a certain time, utilizing it results in you wasting vital time to regenerate, and doesn’t activate during teamfights, meaning it can’t prevent you from dying.
Rocky Helmet: The worst item in Pokémon Unite. Its passive is lackluster, needing you to take loads of damage in order to activate. This results usually in the Pokémon fainting before it really has a chance to participate in the fight if it tries to get the passive activated before fighting, and in the middle of a teamfight the damage output is still negligible. While the Defense it gives could be considered useful, the Health increases of other items is still stronger and the passives that come with those items even more so.