Pokemon Unite is starting to develop its early meta and playing the center area of the map plays a big part in it.
Just like many other MOBAs, Pokemon Unite has a jungle where certain Pokemon excel in farming and roaming around the map. The jungle role in Pokemon has proven to be the go-to place for strong fighters such as Lucario, Zeraora, and Gengar who can clear wild Pokemon camps fast and help impact the lanes with ganks and other types of assistance.
In many ways, the central area is where players can act as the playmaker and in general have one of the most important roles of the game. To help learn a bit more about the jungle in Pokemon Unite, here’s a small beginner’s guide for anyone who wants to play the role.
The jungle area in Pokemon Unite is very simple. Each side of the map will have a jungle area right outside of the base, where two buffs will be available through Ludicolo and Bouffalant. This part of the jungle will also contain a few Corphish, which will be easy to take down and do give a solid amount of XP.
After the first part of the jungle is the middle area, where there will once again be some Corphish to farm but most importantly Zapdos. Zapdos won’t spawn before there are two minutes left of the game, but will always be the most important objective on the map.
With the jungle layout in mind, let’s take a look at the early-game clear and what comes after that.
So far, playing the central area in Pokemon Unite is fairly simple and depends a lot on roaming after getting past the first few minutes. Before then, there is a clearing route to keep in mind to make the first levels as efficient as possible while you clear the jungle.
The very first wild Pokemon to take down will be Lillipup between the two buffs, followed up by taking down Ludicolo as the first big buff. Ludicolo will give a damage buff, which will help clear the remaining jungle camps a bit faster. After getting that, rotate down and take Bouffalant. This will give another big chunk of XP and a defensive buff. Before exiting the jungle, make sure to clean up the two Corphish camps before roaming out to a lane.
After clearing the jungle the first time, a few levels will be gained. This will make most Pokemon ready for an early fight in either the top or bot lane. Make sure to assist the one where there is the biggest chance to get a kill or score some goals. There’s also a chance that one lane will need assistance at defending, which will also be worth prioritizing. Picking the lane to roam is all about game sense and making sure every second is spent wisely.
After helping out the lanes, make sure to keep clearing the jungle to get as much XP and as many points as possible. When the time comes, the next step is to prioritize the bigger map objectives.
The two big map objectives to keep an eye on as the jungler are Rotom in the top lane and Drednaw in the bot lane. These two objectives will be crucial to secure, as both give game-changing advantages.
In most cases, Drednaw will be the objective to prioritize when it spawns after the first three minutes. The team to last hit Drednaw will get a solid shield on each member and a nice chunk of XP. This makes Drednaw a really strong Pokemon to take down in the early game, as it will instantly provide the last-hitting team with an advantage that can be snowballed into other leads.
After securing Drednaw, it’s important to turn focus to the top lane where Rotom will also be spawned. Rotom will travel towards the nearest opponent’s goal and help out with the scoring. If Rotom reaches the goal, it will allow players to score instantly without the need to charge up. Rotom is a really strong Wild Pokemon to secure, but Drednaw will in most cases provide more value and should be targeted first.
In the late game, Zapdos is the objective that every jungler will have to keep an eye on. Zapdos is the ultimate objective to secure and can make or break a game. If you are ahead in the game, don’t try to force Zapdos and risk the enemy stealing it. Instead, try to scout the area and be ready if the other team goes for it.
The jungler will often be the one to do the most damage to Zapdos, so make sure to sit on some cooldowns to burst it down when it gets low.
While there are only 21 Pokemon available so far, there are plenty of potential junglers to choose from in Pokemon Unite. In general, the best Pokemon to pick for the jungle are the all-rounders which will be able to perform in any of the three roles in the game. It’s also possible to play some of the speedsters in the jungle since those Pokemon can move around the map quickly and make plays happen at a rapid pace.
One of the strongest picks for the central area jungle so far looks to be Lucario, who is strong in the early game and has a quick jungle clear. The same goes for Zeraora, a Pokemon that everyone will have free access to.
It’s also a viable option to go for a special attacker like Gengar, who will start out a bit slower but will ramp up after a few levels. Whenever Gengar gets its Unite Move, it will be one of the absolute strongest Pokemon in the game and will have the fastest clear. Gengar will be a bit harder to unlock, as it has a cost of 10,000 Aeos Coins.
With the continuing development of Pokemon Unite, there should be new viable jungle options coming out in the near future.