Pikachu Guide: Builds and Best Items | Pokemon UNITE

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Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Guide: Builds and Best Items

The best guide on how to play Pikachu in Pokemon UNITE for Nintendo Switch and Mobile. Check here for the best builds, Held and Battle items, movesets, as well as the latest nerfs, buffs, counters, matchups, and more!

Pikachu Latest Buffs and Nerfs (12/20)

December 20 Update

Pikachu Move Changes (December 20)
Thunder Shock Image
Thunder Shock
• Damage increased from 481 → 519 (+8%)
Volt Tackle Image
Volt Tackle
• Damage increased from 1480 → 1575 (+6%)
Thunderstorm Image
• Unite Move charge rate increased. Charge time decreased from ~139s → ~88s (-45%).

Pikachu Previous Move Patches

Thunder Damage dealt increased from 2947 to 3290 (+11.6) Fixed a bug that Thunder might not be activated when you quickly activate Volt Tackle ►Thunder ► Standard Attack in this order.

Volt Tackle Damage increased from 1480 to 1575 (+6%) Damage dealt increased from 1015 to 1480 (+46%).

Thunder Shock Damage increased from 481 to 519 (+8%)

Volt Tackle Damage increased from 1480 to 1575 (+6%) Damage dealt increased from 1015 to 1480 (+46%).

Thunderstom Unite Move charge rate increased. Charge time decreased from ~139s → ~88s (-45%).

Pikachu Basic Info

Tier Rating: SS Rank Icon

Role: Attacker
Attack Type: Ranged
Damage Type: Special
Difficulty: Novice
"Pikachu is a Pokémon that excels at attacking opponents from far away with electricity. Sometimes the attacks even leave opposing Pokémon paralyzed!"

Pokemon Unite Tier List

Pikachu Best Lanes

Top Icon.pngTop Jungle Icon.pngJungle Bot Icon.pngBottom
4 Stars.png
5 Stars.png
3 Stars.png

Tips & Strategies for Every Lane

Pikachu Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths Weaknesses
✔︎ Huge Damage Sustain
✔︎ Wide Attack Range
✔︎ AOE Stun for Crowd Control
✖︎ Very Squishy
✖︎ Low AOE Burst
✖︎ No Escape

Best Builds for Pikachu


Balanced Build

Balanced Build
Moveset Held Items
Battle Item
Item Effects (at Level 30)
Sp. Atk: +39
Defense: +30
Sp. Def: +30
HP: +600

This is a stable build with a balanced offense and defense. Electro Ball and Thunderbolt is you primary moveset, providing both high single-target damage and a reliable crowd-control, respectively.

Choice Specs is your core damage item, increasing your moves' damage output for a decent amount. However, you can equip Wise Glasses, whichever has the highest level. Although it does not give a high Sp.Atk. boost compared to the others, Shell Bell is also an alternative, providing you instead with a decent heal and cooldown reductions for your moves. Buddy Barrier and Focus Band are your core defensive items, allowing you to survive longer in fights so you can keep casting your moves.

Eject Button is a standard battle item to have, giving you both an offensive and defensive tool. However, if you want more damage, equip X Attack instead.

Artillery Build

Artillery Build
Moveset Held Items
Battle Item
Item Effects (at Level 30)
Sp. Atk: +102
Cooldown: -4.50%

This build transforms Pikachu into a long-ranged AoE Sp. Atk. artillery. Your gameplay should be providing AoE damage and stuns from afar via Thunder and Thunderbolt, keeping distance away from the enemy as much as possible.

Choice Specs,Wise Glasses, and Shell Bell are your core items, boosting your moves' damage output. Also, the cooldown reduction from Shell Bell allows you to cast your moves more frequently.

Eject Button is a must-have battle item, providing your only escape or repositioning tool when things go awry.

Single Target Build

Single Target Build
Moveset Held Items
Battle Item
Item Effects (at Level 30)
Sp. Atk: +78
HP: +600

This is a high-damage single-target build. Since you'll be more of a single-target assassin, your gameplay should be taking out the enemy's squishy Pokemon using Electro Ball and Volt Tackle, particularly Attackers and Speedsters. Taking out the enemy's damage dealers quickly makes it easier for your team to win fights.

Choice Specs and Wise Glasses are your primary damage items, boosting your moves' damage output. Buddy Barrier is your only defensive and teamfight item, providing high bonus HP and decent shields when you cast Thunderstorm.

X Attack is nonnegotiable for this build, amplifying your damage output drastically.

Unite Move Build

Unite Move Build
Pokemon UNITE - Best Build Icon
Moveset Held Items
Battle Item
Item Effects (at Level 30)
Sp. Atk: +39
HP: +600
Cooldown: -4.50%
Unite Move Charge Rate: +6%

This is a new offensive build centered around Thunderstorm as a response to Pikachu's buff in the Update. Get aggressive once you get Thunderstorm, using it whenever it's available to get kills or securing objectives for your team.

By default, Electro Ball and Thunderbolt are your main moveset. However, you can be flexible with the first move choice, interchanging Electro Ball and Thunder depending on whether your team needs more single-target burst damage or an AoE crowd control. On the other hand, Thunderbolt is the best choice for your second move.

Choice Specs is your default offensive item, having Wise Glasses or Shell Bell as a substitute. Energy Amplifier and Buddy Barrier are your bread-and-butter item combination, providing cooldown reduction, faster recharge rate, durability, and damage increase after casting Thunderstorm.

Eject Button is the best choice for this build, giving you mobility to get aggressive or be defensive. However, if you manuveur well enough, you can equip X Attack instead for more damage.

Pikachu Best Items & Moveset

Item Description
Buddy Barrier.pngBuddy Barrier When the Pokemon uses its Unite Move, that Pokemon and the nearby ally Pokemon with the lowest HP are each granted a shield equal to (20/30/40)% of their max HP.
Energy Amplifier.pngEnergy Amplifier After the Pokemon uses its Unite Move, the damage the Pokemon deals is increased by (7/14/21)% for a short time.
Wise Glasses.pngWise Glasses Increases Sp Attack by (3/5/7)%.
Shell Bell.pngShell Bell Recovers a minimum of (45/60/75) HP when a move hits an enemy. You will recover more HP if your Sp Attack stat is higher.
Choice Specs.pngChoice Specs Increases the damage of moves by a minimum of (40/50/60) when they hit. The higher the Pokemon's SP. Atk. the more the damage is increased

Held Item Tier List: Best Items to Equip

Choice Specs, Wise Glasses, and Shell Bell are Pikachu's best offensive items that can be interchanged with each other, giving more flexibility to Pikachu. Buddy Barrier and Energy Amplifier have great synergy, providing more HP, cooldown reduction, faster unite move recharge rate, and damage increase after using Thunderstorm.

Best Battle Items

Item Description
Eject Button.pngEject Button Makes your Pokemon move quickly in the specified direction.
X Attack.pngX Attack Increases your Pokemon's basic attack damage by 1.2x, and move damage by 1.05~1.15x for 8 seconds.

Eject Button allows Pikachu to have a quick getaway when things get dicey, it also allows you to catch up to a fleeing low-health enemy.

X Attack adds to Pikachu's already high-damaging moves, making Pikachu a damage powerhouse.

Best Moveset

Move Description
Thunderbolt ImageThunderbolt Summons a powerful blast of lightning after a short charge, damaging and stunning enemy Pokemon in the area.
Upgraded: Increases the damage dealt by Thunderbolt.
Electro Ball ImageElectro Ball Hurls an electric orb, damaging and stunning enemy Pokemon within the area of effect. Deals extra damage based on missing HP of enemy Pokemon.
Upgrade: Increases the damage dealt by Electro Ball.

Thunderbolt is a must have for team battles as it locks down any enemies caught within the AOE with a long stun. Stopping enemies in teamfights is the top priority, if they are stunned they cannot use skills which is a huge advantage for you and your team.

Though not as huge as the Thunderbolt, the Electro Ball can stun enemies within an AOE as well as deal huge damage when timed correctly. The less health your enemy has, the more Electro Ball deals damage. Use this skill to chase down enemies on the run!

Which Moveset Do You Think is Best For Pikachu?

Let us know why in the comments!

Previous Poll Result

How to Play Pikachu

Pair Up with an Ally with High HP

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Pushing the Top Lane with Snorlax

Pikachu is a glass cannon - high damage output, but can easily be shattered. You'll want to pair up with tougher allies, preferably Defenders, and stunning any enemies that get close and escape. Doing this will also allow Pikachu to support bulky Pokemon like Snorlax or Slowbro by 0000 their lack of offense.

AoE or Single Target

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Using Thunder on an Immobilized Venusaur.png

The choice of Thunder or Electro Ball at Level 4 should be made based on if you need AoE damage for team fights or high damage single target stun. Similarly, at Level 6 the choice of Volt Tackle or Thunderbolt should be made based on crowd control or AoE necessity.

Disable Opponents with Stun Moves

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Disabling Snorlax with a Thunderbolt

Pikachu has a strong arsenal of stun moves that also packs a punch. A well-placed Thunderbolt will incapacitate opponents long enough for your allies to bombard them with attacks. So, use this to hold enemies in place to defeat them in one go.

Attack Safely from Range

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Fighing from a Distance Against Drednaw

Since Pikachu's attack range is quite large you can easily kite and poke enemies safely at the edge of the attack range, before stunning them and finishing them off with an Electro Ball or Thunder. Using Battle Items like Eject Button or X Speed can be used as an emergency retreat or X attack to ensure a KO.

Farm Wild Pokemon with Ease

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Firing an Electroball onto Grouped Enemies

Since Pikachu's moves deal high AoE damage and stun, Pikachu can easily clear the Vespiquen and Combee Camps for XP and points, as well as any opponent unlucky enough to be in the Electro Ball's path. If playing on Bottom lane, Drednaw can even be soloed due to Pikachu's long range and stuns which helps avoid Drednaw's knock up ability.

Save Thunderstorm for Team Fights

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Activating Unite Move.png

Since big team fights typically break out around important map objectives like Rotom, Drednaw and Zapdos, Pikachu's Unite Move Thunderstorm should be saved until then. While the damage is not great, it has a large area of effect and can be used to finish of the enemy team at low health.

Alternatively, Thunderstorm can also be used as an escape mechanism for Pikachu when the need arises. Activiting the unite move will give Pikachu a window of invulnerability to escape, as well as shoot lightning bolts to nearby enemies. No matter the situation, it is best to save the unite move for intense fights.

Utilize Thunderstorm's Low Recharge Rate

Thunderstorm's recharged rate improved drastically thanks to the Update, allowing you to use it more freely and frequently. You can further improve Thunderstorm's recharge rate by equipping Energy Amplifier with the bonus of dealing more damage for a short duration after using it.

Pikachu Combos

Control-Damage Combo

Control-Damage Combo
Thunderbolt IconElectro Ball IconThunderstorm Icon
Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Control-Damage Combo
This combo focuses on controlling a group of enemies and using your best AoE moves to deal insane group damage. Use Thunderbolt to keep a group in place and then use Electro Ball to hit them all at once. If they are still within range and your Unite move is fully charged, you can follow that up with Thunderstorm which hopefully clears off the rest of the enemies.

Burst Combo

Burst Combo
Electro Ball IconVolt Tackle IconStandard Attack Icon

Pokemon UNITE - Pikachu Burst Combo
The Burst combo focuses on making sure Pikachu moves away after every attack since Volt Tackle has the benefit of allowing you to move quickly away from the point of impact. Use Electro Ball first to keep your target in place and then use Volt Tackle. Then, begin retreating away while still launching your standard attacks when you can. Once fully recharged, continue with the combo.

Matchups and Counters for Pikachu

Hard Counter
Fair Matchup
AbsolBlisseyCharizardCinderaceCramorantCrustleGardevoirLucarioMr. MimeTalonflameWigglytuff
Good Matchup
Alolan NinetalesDecidueyeDragoniteEldegossGreninjaSlowbro

✘ : Counter | = : Even | : Advantageous
1. The chart is based on our own experience playing Pikachu.
2. Pokemon within each tier are unordered
3. Any Pokemon not shown here are still under investigation.

Close the Gap to Counter Pikachu

Pikachu has no escape moves to rely on once its cornered. Closing the distance between you and Pikachu increases your chances of winning a fight. Most likely if you chase a Pikachu, it will either stun you and run or attempt to use its UNITE move as a ditch effort to burst you down. If you survive the fight, punish Pikachu accordingly.

Best Counters

Pokemon Explanation
Zeraora ImageZeraora Rating: ★★★★★
Spark can be proc'd three times, making it a deadly gap closer.
Discharge just deals disgusting amount of damage and grants a shield to Zeraora, lowering the chances of being bursted down.
Gengar ImageGengar Rating: ★★★★
Hex can close a gap instantly, leaving Pikachu unable to react.
・ Gengar's UNITE move, Phantom Ambush can be chained with Hex for a Double TP wombo combo.
Machamp ImageMachamp Rating: ★★★
Bulk Up grants a CC Debuff, making Machamp imune to stun in the early game.
Barrage Blow combined with Submission makes Machamp an unstoppable train of anti-crowd control.

Even Matchups

Even matchups for Pikachu are those who can either match its amount in damage or survive its damage burst.


Pokemon with High Damage and Crowd Control
Cramorant Image Gardevoir Image Cinderace Image

Pikachu can go toe-to-toe against these Pokemon in an even setting. Whoever gets the jump first, most likely will win the match up as these Pokemon have good damage output.

Halt, Citizen!

Thick Defense and Crowd Control
Blissey Image Crustle Image Wigglytuff Image

Pikachu can dish out awful stuns to the enemy but once it gets a taste of its own medicine, the tables get turned. If debuffed, Pikachu can only watch in terror as the enemy team chip away at its health. Thick Defenders also pose a problem as they block the path to the more squishier Pokemon.

Best Matchups for Pikachu

Gets Shut Down Once Disabled

Fragile Attackers
Alolan Ninetales Image Greninja Image Decidueye Image

Although these Pokemon can take out Pikachu when given an oppurtunity, they are nonetheless susceptible to Pikachu's high-damaging and disabling moves. They become fragile Pokemon once they get disabled by any of Pikachu's moves.

Little to No Damage Output

Low Damage Output
Eldegoss Image Slowbro Image

These Pokemon have little to no damage output and pose no threat to Pikachu. They are juicy targets for Pikachu to shred through.

Best Teammates for Pikachu

Pokemon Explanation
Zeraora ImageZeraora Good melee support to Zeraora's rushing attack style
Pikachu on its own is a very volatile character. But, with Zeraora at its side, with its potent rushing and slashing attacks, stunning an opponent will spell its early doom with Pikachu's stunning attacks and Zeraora to finish it off.
Snorlax ImageSnorlax Can act as a shield for Pikachu
Pikachu can use its potent attacks behind Snorlax's block. When Block ends, Pikachu can then switch to defensive mode using its stun attacks while Snorlax becomes the offense, using its slamming moves.
Eldegoss ImageEldegoss Offers more survivability for Pikachu
Pikachu's main problem is its fragility - but with Eldegoss at its side, it can help solve that somewhat, allowing Pikachu to use its attacks more often.

Looking for teammates to synergize with you? Head over to our Friend Request Board to find other trainers to join you in your grind or just to hang out with!

Friend Request Board

Pikachu Moves and Ability

Pikachu Ability

Static ImageStatic The user unleashes electricity when taking damage, stunning nearby opponents. Will not take effect again until 10 sec. cooldown ends.

Move Slot 1 (R)

Thunder Shock ImageThunder Shock
(Lv. 1 or 3)
Move Type: Sure Hit
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 5s
Total Damage: 519 (Lv. 3)
Fires electricity at a target area, damaging and stunning enemy Pokemon.
Thunder ImageThunder
(Lv. 4)
Upgrade Lv. 11
Move Type: Area
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 8s
Total Damage: 1280 (Lv. 4) / 3290 (Lv. 15)
Summons a barrage of lightning strikes at the target area, dealing damage to enemy Pokemon.
Upgrade: Increases the number of lightning strikes.
Electro Ball ImageElectro Ball
(Lv. 4)
Upgrade Lv. 11
Move Type: Sure Hit
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 5s
Total Damage: 735 (Lv. 4) / 1869 (Lv. 15)
Hurls an electric orb, damaging and stunning enemy Pokemon within the area of effect. Deals extra damage based on missing HP of enemy Pokemon.
Upgrade: Increases the damage dealt by Electro Ball.

Move Slot 2 (ZR)

Electroweb ImageElectroweb
(Lv. 1 or 3)
Move Type: Hindrance
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 9s
Total Damage: 414 (Lv. 3)
Throws an electric net, stunning the enemy Pokemon.
Thunderbolt ImageThunderbolt
(Lv. 6)
Upgrade Lv. 13
Move Type: Hindrance
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 8s
Total Damage: 683 (Lv. 6) / 1358 (Lv. 15)
Summons a powerful blast of lightning after a short charge, damaging and stunning enemy Pokemon in the area.
Upgraded: Increases the damage dealt by Thunderbolt.
Volt Tackle ImageVolt Tackle
(Lv. 6)
Upgrade Lv. 13
Move Type: Hindrance
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 10s
Total Damage: 945 (Lv. 6) / 1575 (Lv. 15)
The user engulfs itself with electricity and leaps forward, damaging and knocking up enemy Pokemon hit by the Move.
Upgraded: Reduces the cooldown of Volt Tackle.

Unite Moves (ZL)

Thunderstorm ImageThunderstorm
(Lv. 9)
Move Type: Area
Damage Type: Special
Cooldown: 88s
Total Damage: 3096 (Lv. 9) / 4388 (Lv. 15)
Summons a lightning all around the user and increases Movement Speed. Any enemies around the user will get struck by lightning.

Pikachu Stats and Evolutions

Pikachu Evolutions

This Pokémon does not evolve.

Pikachu Stats

Level HP Defense Special Defense Attack Damage
1 3292 35 27 134
2 3399 40 31 140
3 3517 45 35 146
4 3646 51 40 153
5 3788 58 45 160
6 3945 65 51 168
7 4117 73 57 177
8 4307 82 64 187
9 4516 92 72 198
10 4747 103 80 210
11 5001 115 89 223
12 5280 128 99 237
13 5588 142 110 253
14 5927 158 122 271
15 6300 175 135 290

Attack Damage is the damage of the Basic Attack as tested against the Training Dummy.

Pikachu In-Game Stat Listings

Offense Endurance Mobility Scoring Support
4.5 Stars.png 1.5 Stars.png 2.5 Stars.png 2 Stars.png 1.5 Stars.png

Pikachu Skins (Holowear)

Hip-hop Style
PikachuHip-hop Style

Fashionable Style
PikachuFashionable Style

Purple Unite Style
PikachuPurple Unite Style

Orange Unite Style
PikachuOrange Unite Style

Festival Style
PikachuFestival Style

Holiday Style
PikachuHoliday Style

Concert Style
PikachuConcert Style

All Pokemon Skins (Holowear)

Pokemon UNITE Related Guides

Pokemon Partial Banner.png

List of All Pokemon

All Pokemon Guides and Builds

Best Build for Each Pokemon

Pokemon Roster
Pokemon UNITE - AbsolAbsol Pokemon UNITE - Alolan NinetalesAlolan Ninetales Pokemon UNITE - BlastoiseBlastoise Pokemon UNITE - BlisseyBlissey
Pokemon UNITE - CharizardCharizard Pokemon UNITE - CinderaceCinderace Pokemon UNITE - CramorantCramorant Pokemon UNITE - CrustleCrustle
Pokemon UNITE - Decidueye Icon.pngDecidueye Pokemon UNITE - Dragonite Icon.pngDragonite Pokemon UNITE - EldegossEldegoss Pokemon UNITE - GarchompGarchomp
Pokemon UNITE - GardevoirGardevoir Pokemon UNITE - GengarGengar Pokemon UNITE - GreedentGreedent Pokemon UNITE - GreninjaGreninja
Pokemon UNITE - LucarioLucario Pokemon UNITE - MachampMachamp Pokemon UNITE - MamoswineMamoswine Pokemon UNITE - Mr. MimeMr. Mime
Pokemon UNITE - PikachuPikachu Pokemon UNITE - SlowbroSlowbro Pokemon UNITE - SnorlaxSnorlax Pokemon UNITE - SylveonSylveon
Pokemon UNITE - TalonflameTalonflame Pokemon UNITE - Trevenant IconTrevenant Pokemon UNITE - Tsareena IconTsareena Pokemon UNITE - VenusaurVenusaur
Pokemon UNITE - WigglytuffWigglytuff Pokemon UNITE - ZeraoraZeraora
Upcoming Pokemon
No Confirmed Upcoming Pokemon!

Top 5 Master Rank Picks & Win Rate

All data is based on Season 02 Master Rank Top 100.
Last Updated: January 24, 2022
Pokemon Tier Most Played Average Win Best Lane
Lucario.png Lucario SS Tier 26% 77% Bot
Pokemon UNITE - Dragonite Icon.pngDragonite S Tier 10% 78% Jungle
Pokemon UNITE - Wigglytuff Icon.pngWigglytuff S Tier 10% 76% Bot
Eldegoss.png Eldegoss S Tier 9% 81% Bot
Pokemon UNITE - Defender Greedent Icon.pngGreedent S Tier 7% 79% Top

Top Picked Pokemon Per Role

Attacker Supporter All-
Defender Speedster
Venusaur.pngVenusaur Pokemon UNITE - Wigglytuff Icon.pngWigglytuff Lucario.pngLucario Greedent.pngGreedent Talonflame.pngTalonflame

Master Rank: Top Ranked Win Rates

Pokemon by Role

All Pokemon Roles
Attacker Icon.pngAttackers All-Rounder Icon.pngAll-Rounders Defender Icon.pngDefenders
Speedster Icon.pngSpeedsters Supporter Icon.pngSupporters

Pokemon by Characteristics

Attack Type
Melee Pokemon Ranged Pokemon
Physical Pokemon Special Pokemon
Stat Rankings
HP Ranking Defense Ranking
Sp. Def. Ranking Basic Attack Ranking

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    • Hi guys
      I am looking for some flyers who can join my HIGH-Flyer squad
      Squad ID- #466K171G
      Trainer ID- PK6T490
      Discord ID- Pokefan#8021

    • >>[13]
      that's not a good build, especially the battle item wth?

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