Greninja Guide: Builds and Moves | Pokemon UNITE

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This is a guide on how to play Greninja in Pokemon UNITE. Learn about all of Greninja's moves and skins, and how to use Greninja with our builds complete with best movesets, items, and combos, as well as matchups, and what counters to use against them.

Greninja Tier Rating and Stats

Greninja Basic Information

Greninja.jpgGreninja Tier: Role:
B Rank Icon Attacker
Attack Type: Difficulty:
Ranged Expert
Damage Type:
"Greninja is a Pokémon that uses smokescreens and illusory copies of itself to hide."

Tier List: Best Pokemon to Use

Greninja Stats

Offense Defense Mobility Scoring Support
4 Stars.png 2 Stars.png 3 Stars.png 3 Stars.png 0.5 Stars.png

HP, Defense, Sp. Defense Details
Level HP Defense Special Defense
1 3000 50 30
2 3034 53 32
3 3075 56 34
4 3124 60 36
5 3304 75 45
6 3376 81 49
7 3702 108 65
8 3805 117 70
9 3929 127 76
10 4077 139 83
11 4255 154 92
12 4468 172 103
13 4724 193 116
14 5031 219 131
15 5400 250 149

Greninja Evolutions

First Evolution Second Evolution Final Evolution
(Lv. 1)
(Lv. 5)
(Lv. 7)

Greninja Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths Weaknesses
✔︎ Mobile for a non-speedster
✔︎ Can be built as a jungler
✖︎ Best played at below half health
✖︎ Unite Move requires skill and accuracy

Strong Mobility, Jungle Viability

For an attacker, Greninja is very mobile, especially with his skills. He can move around the map with ease, and due to this he can even be built as a jungler due to mobility and life steal.

Easy to Use, Hard to Master

Greninja is best played at below half health due to his passive, so its a balance of keeping low health enough to activate his passive and not die. His Unite Move is an honest-to-goodness skill shot as well so it requires accuracy that may be harder for less skilled players.

Best Lanes for Greninja

Top 4 Stars.png
Jungle 3 Stars.png
Bottom 4 Stars.png

Either Lane is Okay for Greninja

As an attacker, Greninja can be in either lane, as he is an attacker, but it's best he goes with a Support rather than a Tank because he can take some damage due to being able to heal it anyway.

Greninja Can Jungle If Needed

If built as a mobile character, Greninja has enough early game damage with Bubble to play as a jungler. His skills allow him the mobility needed to traverse the jungle and attack lanes from the middle.

How to Use Greninja

Greninja can be seen as a very straightforward Attacker type Pokemon which focuses on attacking from a range with a lot of mobility to spare.

When using Greninja, it is important to focus on raising your level and defeating opposing Pokemon. Knowing this, it is also important to be aware of your current position since Greninja is a squishy Pokemon that can be defeated easily when in the wrong position.

Focusing on these key points will enable you to snowball the game and get the win.

Early Game Level 1-5

Starter (Level 1-3)

Bubble ImageBubble
Slot 1 (R)
Substitute ImageSubstitute
Slot 2 (ZR)

Early in the game you should always get the Bubble Move first. This is because Substitute is a movement type Move and since you need to focus on raising your level, you will need more damage early in the game.

Once you reach level 3 and learn Substitute, this is the time when you can start early fights in lane. When fighting an opposing Pokemon, it is highly recommended that you keep your distance and use Substitute to escape when they try to get close.

Into the Mid-Game (Level 4-5)

Smokescreen ImageSmokescreen
Slot 2 (ZR)
Double Team ImageDouble Team
Slot 2 (ZR)

Entering this phase as early as possible is very important to Greninja since they have the ability to snowball a game when they get a lead early on.

Smokescreen is the Move that you want to get once you reach level 5. This Move will allow you to stay invisible in a small area where to cast it. It also increases Greninja's attack for a short duration when you leave the smoke. This Move can be very useful in multiple combat scenarios.

Double Team is the Move to get when you prefer a more movement oriented playstyle. This is especially more valuable when you are lacking a Speedster in your team. You can utilize this to get around the map easily and defeat the opposing Pokemon.

Mid-Game: Level 6-8

Surf ImageSurf
Slot 1 (R)
Water Shuriken ImageWater Shuriken
Slot 1 (R)

At this phase of the game, Greninja is at their most powerful state. Upgrading Bubble will significantly increase Greninja's damage and snowball potential.

Surf is the offensive upgrade that allows Greninja to snowball the game. This Move does not only deal damage, but if you defeat an opposing Pokemon with this Move, the cooldown is instantly reset. Knowing this, you can utilize this mechanic by using it on low HP Pokemon to keep resetting the cooldown and use the Move multiple times in a fight.

Water Shuriken is the more balanced upgrade which offers offensive and defensive benefits to Greninja. This Move launches multiple water shurikens in a single direction that damages enemies hit. This Move also increases your movement speed and heals you for each shuriken that hits an enemy.

Late Game: Level 9+

Waterburst Shuriken ImageWaterburst Shuriken

Waterburst Shuriken is Greninja's Unite Move which deals AOE damage to enemies within range.

When using this Unite Move, Greninja jumps up into the air and throws a giant water shuriken at a target location which deals AOE damage to enemies within range. This is a very simple and straightforward attack since is does not have any other special effects.

Aiming and timing the use of this move is crucial because of its long cooldown. It is recommended that you use this move to hit at least two or more opposing Pokemon to maximize the damage output or you can use it to finish off an opposing Pokemon that needs to be defeated.

Greninja Builds

Damage Build

Moves and Upgrades

Lv. 1 (R) Lv. 3 (ZR) Lv. 5 (ZR) Lv. 7 (R)
Bubble ImageBubble Substitute ImageSubstitute Smokescreen ImageSmokescreen Water Shuriken ImageWater Shuriken
This build focuses on making Greninja a damage dealer. The proper use of Smokescreen can easily confuse opponents about your current position and Water Shuriken can be used to attack opponents safely.

Battle Item

Item Tips
X Attack.pngX Attack X Attack increases your damage even further, allowing you to burst down enemies quicker with your skills.

Held Items

Items Tips
Muscle Band.pngMuscle Band Muscle Band increases your Basic Attack Damage and Basic Attack Speed. Since Greninja mainly focuses on Basic Attacks, it is a great Held Item to pick up increase your damage output.
Scope Lens.pngScope Lens Scope Lens increases the critical hit damage of a Pokemon. While Greninja has no skills that concretely synergize with this, as an Attacker it's still a pretty useful item for him to have.
Attack Weight.pngAttack Weight The Attack Weight is a good item for Greninja to have as it further increases damage you get whenever you score, allowing you to snowball late game.

Jungle Build

Moves and Upgrades

Lv. 1 (R) Lv. 3 (ZR) Lv. 5 (ZR) Lv. 7 (R)
Bubble ImageBubble Substitute ImageSubstitute Double Team ImageDouble Team Surf ImageSurf
This build focuses on making Greninja a jungler in the event that you have no speedster in your team. Using Double Team and Surf, Greninja can move quickly around the map to clear the jungle and perform ganks.

Battle Item

Item Tips
Eject Button.pngEject Button Eject Button gives you the ability to teleport short distances. This is an extremely useful Battle Item which can be used in a multitude of scenarios. You can use this to further confuse your enemies as you move around the battlefield.

Held Items

Items Tips
Float Stone.pngFloat Stone The Float Stone is one of the core Held Items for any Pokemon. The Float Stone gives you a significant boost in your movement speed especially when you are out of combat.
Shell Bell.pngShell Bell Shell Bell heals the user's HP when their Special Attacks hit an opponent. Bundled with Surf's life steal, this sustains Greninja both in the jungle and during ganks.
Attack Weight.pngAttack Weight Attack Weight increases your damage per score. Since you'll be ganking and scoring, this item is useful in letting you snowball late game.

Greninja Combos

Early Game

Harassing Combo

Step # Move
Chip away at opponents' health with Bubble then flee using Substitue as soon as they retaliate. You can also chase targets down by using Substitute to teleport towards them instead.

Mid and Late Game

Chase Combo

Step # Move
Start with Double Team to close the distance on an opponent, then follow it up with a Surf. It's best to use this combo to finish off low health opponents in order to get the refresh for the Surf move.

Damage Combo

Step # Move
Standard Attack ImageStandard Attack
Use this as a damage dealer by starting with a smokescreen and then attacking opponents opponent with an empowered normal. Follow this up with your Water Shruiken and if needed, the Unite Move as well.

Greninja Matchups and Best Counters

Hard Counters
Zeraora Image Garchomp Image Cramorant Image Slowbro Image Lucario Image Talonflame Image Pikachu Image Machamp Image
Cinderace Image Gengar Image Alolan Ninetales Image Wigglytuff Image Absol Image Mr. Mime Image Venusaur Image Eldegoss Image Crustle Image Snorlax Image Charizard Image Gardevoir Image
Easy None

Matchup and Counter Explanations

Best Counters for Greninja

Pokemon Explanation
Zeraora ImageZeraora Zeraora's mobility and damage burst is often too much for Greninja in any stage of the game.
Garchomp ImageGarchomp Garchomp's ability to close the distance is a problem for Greninja as well.
Cramorant ImageCramorant Cramorant is a major threat against Greninja because of its high damage and long range.
Slowbro ImageSlowbro Slowbro's amazing crowd control is another hard counter for Greninja, who needs to be unhindered in combat to perform well.
Lucario ImageLucario Similar to Zeraora, Lucario is a great counter for Greninja. Its signature mobility allows it to chase Greninja down easily.
Talonflame ImageTalonflame Talonflame can easily close the distance on Greninja and burst it down with empowered attacks, making it a great hard counter.
Pikachu ImagePikachu Pikachu's long reach and disabling moves poses a lot of problems for Greninja, who relies on free movement to take enemies down.
Machamp ImageMachamp Machamp can simply take the fight to Greninja with its powerful moves and basic attack damage, making it one of the most straightforward and effective hard counters.

Fair Matchup Explanations

Pokemon Explanation
Cinderace ImageCinderace This is a skill-based matchup. Even though Cinderace has an edge on overall damage and reach, Greninja's high mobility can force Cinderace into disadvantageous positions in fights.
Absol ImageAbsol Absol's incredibly high burst damage can cause problems for Greninja. This matchup revolves around player skill and split-second decisions.
Alolan Ninetales ImageAlolan Ninetales Alolan Ninetales has great control that can reach an overaggressive Greninja. This matchup boils down to player skill, proper move usage, and timing.
Wigglytuff ImageWigglytuff Greninja must always be excercise caution against Wigglytuff. The bulk of Greninja's damage comes from basic attacks, which is heavily countered by Wigglytuff's Passive Ability. A poorly-timed attack often leads to death.
Mr. Mime ImageMr. Mime An experienced Mr. Mime can pose problems for Greninja. While it is possible to burst Mr. Mime down, incorrect move usage and timing can often lead to devastating counterattacks.
Venusaur ImageVenusaur Neither Venusaur or Greninja has an inherent advantage over the other. This is another matchup that boils down to player skill.
Eldegoss ImageEldegoss Eldegoss' ability to sustain itself can also cause problems for Greninja. This matchup is determined by proper move usage, player skill, and positioning.
Crustle ImageCrustle Crustle can tank Greninja's initial damage burst and turn things around with proper move usage. Like most fair matchups, the better player is the winner.
Snorlax ImageSnorlax Snorlax's moveset and ability to stall for an incredibly long time is very detrimental for Greninja. While Snorlax itself can't exactly kill a Greninja, moves such as Block and Yawn can render Greninja entirely useless in fights if used correctly.
Charizard ImageCharizard Charizard is another matchup that revolves around the player's skill. Each of these Pokemon can easily take the other out through careful move usage and timing.
Gardevoir ImageGardevoir Late game, you can reasonably chase down and cause problems for Gardevoir with your burst damage and mobility, but before that the playing field is even, depending on positioning and player skill.

How to Counter Greninja

Use Disabling Moves

The key to eliminating any mobile Pokemon is to shut it down with Status Effects. Locking Greninja in place for even a split second can be extremely detrimental for their overall effectiveness in a match.

Dodge Greninja's Moves

Most of Greninja's damage moves are skill shots and can be dodged. Stay on your toes whenever Greninja targets you to survive its initial attack.

Anticipate Double Team and Smokescreen

Double Team and Smokescreen are Greninja's primary sources of mobility. Try to anticipate when it'll use these moves and plan your counterattacks accordingly.

Greninja Moves and Ability

Greninja Moves

Level Move 1 (R) Move 2 (ZR)
1 or 3
Bubble Icon
Substitute Icon
Smokescreen Icon Double Team Icon
Surf Icon Water Shuriken Icon
Waterburst Shuriken Icon

Move Slot 1 (R)

Bubble ImageBubble
(Lv. 1 or 3)
Move Type: Ranged
Damage Type: Physical
Cooldown: 9s
Total Damage: 748 (Lv. 3)
Blows a spray of bubbles, reducing the movement speed of Pokemon it hits.
Surf ImageSurf
(Lv. 7)
Upgrade Lv. 13
Move Type: Melee
Damage Type: Physical
Cooldown: 9s
Total Damage: 1033 (Lv. 7) / 1625 (Lv. 15)
Creates a wave and rides it, damaging enemy Pokemon and healing Greninja. Successfully knocking out an enemy Pokemon resets this move's cooldown.
When upgraded, increases the HP restored by Surf.
Water Shuriken ImageWater Shuriken
(Lv. 7)
Upgrade Lv. 13
Move Type: Ranged
Damage Type: Physical
Cooldown: 7s
Total Damage: 2340 (Lv. 7) / 4530 (Lv. 15)
Rapidly throws water shirukens, stealing HP from enemy Pokemon it hits. Increases movement speed when this move is activated.
When upgraded, increases the number of shirukens.

Move Slot 2 (ZR)

Substitute ImageSubstitute
(Lv. 1 or 3)
Move Type: Dash
Damage Type: Status
Cooldown: 8s
Dashes forward, leaving a substitute behind.
Smokescreen ImageSmokescreen
(Lv. 5)
Upgrade Lv. 11
Move Type: Dash
Damage Type: Status
Cooldown: 11s
Creates a smokescreen and leaves the area, granting invisibility and bonus movement speed.
When upgraded, increases attack when leaving the smoke.
Double Team ImageDouble Team
(Lv. 5)
Upgrade Lv. 11
Move Type: Dash
Damage Type: Status
Cooldown: 11s
Quickly moves away from the current position, leaving copies of Greninja that aids in battle.
When upgraded, reduces cooldown of Double Team.

Unite Moves (ZL)

Waterburst Shuriken ImageWaterburst Shuriken
(Lv. 9)
Move Type: Area
Damage Type: Physical
Cooldown: Percent Based
Total Damage: 2100 (Lv. 9) / 3240 (Lv. 15)
Jumps into the air and hurls a giant water shiruken at the target area, damaging enemy Pokemon within the area of effect.

Standard Attack

Standard AttackStandard Attack Becomes a boosted attack with every third attack. At long range, a boosted attack deals increased damage to opposing Pokemon and decreases their movement speed for a short time. At close range, a boosted attack deals more damage the lower the opposing Pokemon's remaining HP is.

Ability (Passive)

TorrentTorrent When its HP falls below half, its Attack and speed increase.

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Machamp.pngMachamp Wigglytuff.pngWigglytuff Alolan Ninetales.pngAlolan Ninetales Cramorant.pngCramorant
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