Despite their lack of flashy play potential or impressive stat lines post-match, the Defender class is one of the most important classes in any game of Pokemon Unite. They are the anchors of team fight and are sometimes the only way for a team to shut down an aggressive carry like Zeraora or Gengar. They have resistance, crowd control, and are the best bet if a player finds themselves alone in a lane.
There are currently three Defenders in Pokemon Unite: Snorlax, Slowbro, and Crustle. Despite their very unique playstyles, there are some clear strengths and weaknesses in each of them, which help to determine which Defender Pokemon is the strongest in the current Pokemon Unite meta. Here are all three Defender Pokemon, ranked.
A bit counterintuitive to the Defender’s role, Crustle is a bit of an offensive Defender who is able to handle lanes by itself if needed. What Crustle lacks in sustainability and toughness, it makes up for in utility and firepower.
Crustle's Rock Tomb is the best part about this character and what will inevitably make it a higher-tier pick. This utility shuts down disengagements from enemies, either allowing Crustle to come in for a finishing X-Scissor attack, or allow an ally to net the final blow.
Crustle should be played aggressively once the player reaches level 4. This is when Crustle evolves from Dwebble and learns Rock Tomb, combining for a huge early-game power spike. This gives players the opportunity to get their lane ahead early and play aggressively right out of the gate.
All of this combines to make Crustle a very viable Pokemon overall. However, the Defender class just happens to be chock-full of very strong Pokemon, putting Crustle at the bottom of the barrel in terms of overall ranking. Even so, don’t sleep on the big, square, rock bug for a second.
Slowbro is the king of crowd control and survivability in Pokemon Unite. Every facet of Slowbro’s kit works to annoy and slow enemy Pokemon, all while surviving through any incoming damage. Slowbro literally forgets to take damage. Pretty broken, right?
Slowbro also has two viable options in his build as far as moves are concerned. While his level 4 move Surf seems to be clearly better than Scald, Slowbro has flexibility at level 6 depending on the needs of the team. If Slowbro is stuck consistently holding down the top lane by its lonesome, opting for the survivability of Amnesia is likely the best move. But, if Slowbro has a damage dealer in close proximity and needs more crowd control to set up fights, players should consider Telekinesis at level 6.
Focus on being supportive, farming when possible, and defending your lane’s goal when playing Slowbro. Players shouldn’t play Slowbro looking to dominate on the stat sheet or rack up big kills, two things that this Pokemon will certainly struggle with. But, if supportive and unkillable are two words that resonate with a player’s style of play, Slowbro may be a Pokemon to consider in the Defender class.
Overall, Slowbro’s versatility and consistent strength throughout the duration of a game, make it an extremely viable choice for any team and the #2 overall Defender Pokemon.
Topping the list of Defender Pokemon in Pokemon Unite is everyone’s favorite sleeping giant, Snorlax. Embodying most completely what a Defender Pokemon ought to be, Snorlax combines survivability, crowd control, and bursts of solid damage all at a high level. Anytime a player faces a well-built Snorlax, they should have an escape plan or backup waiting in the wings.
There is an ideal build for Snorlax at the time in the current meta and that is to combine Heavy Slam (level 6) and Block (level 8). Either of these moves on their own would be stellar, but combined they can hold up an enemy for a seriously long time, and even provide some burst damage along the way. It’s certainly debatable, but Block may be the single most overpowered move in Pokemon Unite at the current moment.
These moves also allow Snorlax to solo hold a lane for an extended time, or to enter a crowded team fight and immediately turn the tide. This is also in large part to Power Nap, Snorlax’s Unite Move, which is one of the surest ways to turn the tide of a team fight and is one of the best overall Unite Moves in the game.
Snorlax is one of the few Pokemon in Pokemon Unite that can fit into almost any situation, add value, and doesn’t require a whole lot of wits to master. All in all, Snorlax is the most complete Defender Pokemon from top to bottom and comes in at #1 on this author’s ranking of Defender Pokemon in Pokemon Unite.
Finding which of these will be the best fit for a player will inevitably boil down to each player’s playstyle and tendencies. We encourage new players to get a feel for each class in Pokemon Unite at the outset, and then move to test each of these Pokemon in the Defender class if that is one the player would like to move forward with. However, in a pinch, Snorlax is currently the best option in Pokemon Unite and will instantly add value to any team.
All images via: TiMi Studio Group