Greninja Guide: Builds and Best Items | Pokemon UNITE

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The best guide on how to play Greninja 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, and more!

Greninja Latest Nerfs & Buffs (04/28)

April 28 Patch Notes Ver.

April 28 Update (Version

Greninja Move Changes (April 28)
Waterburst Shuriken Image
Waterburst Shuriken
• UNITE Move Cooldown Reduced from 163s to 134s (-18%).

Greninja Previous Move Patches

Stat Updates Attack and max HP decreased.

Standard Attack Boosted attack bugfix Basic Attack: Bug Fixes

Smokescreen Fixed a bug causing the Smokescreen+ effect to trigger even before the move is upgraded. Attack damage boost after using decreased from about 1.75x to about 1.2x (-75%). Increased the cooldown period from 11 seconds to 13 seconds (+18%).

Water Shuriken Cooldown lengthened from 5s to 6s. (+1s) Bugfix: opposing Pokemon movement speed decrease. Fixed a bug affecting the decrease to opposing Pokemon's movement speed. Cooldown period decreased from 7 seconds to 5 seconds (-29%). Damage per hit increased from 755 to 890 (+18%).

Double Team Damage to opposing Pokemon decreased. Improvement the movement of the illusory copies. Cooldown period decreased from 11 seconds to 9 seconds (-18%).

Torrent Attack increase buff weakened.

Water Burst Shuriken Bugfix: opposing Pokemon movement speed decreased. Cooldown increased from around 164s to around 166s. (+2s) Adjusted the move to allow it to trigger more quickly. UNITE Move Cooldown Reduced from 163s to 134s (-18%).

Greninja Basic Info

Tier Rating: SS Rank Icon

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

Pokemon Unite Tier List

Greninja 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

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths Weaknesses
✔︎ Speedster-like mobility and stealth for superb Jungling
✔︎ High attack damage
✖︎ High skill ceiling with many skill-shot accuracy based moves
✖︎ Very Fragile
✖︎ Takes a long time to reach power spike

Best Builds for Greninja

Greninja Builds

The Best Build for Greninja is the one with the gold crown!

Carry Build

Carry Build
Pokemon UNITE - Best Build Icon
Moveset Held Items
Battle Item
Item Effects (at Level 30)
Attack: +15
Critical-Hit Rate: +6%
Critical-Hit Damage: +12%
Attack Speed: +7.50%
HP: +450
Recommended Lane
Pokemon UNITE - Top Lane Recommendation No Top Lane Pokemon UNITE - Jungle Recommendation Yes Jungle Pokemon UNITE - Bot Lane Recommendation No Bot Lane

This is Greninja's standard attack damage carry build that involves maneuvering around and confusing targets with Double Team, then quickly following up with Water Shuriken while circling them. Note that the illusions created by Double Team will shoot out their own Shurikens, adding more damage. The key to this build is proper positioning, ensuring each shuriken and each standard attack hit the target.

Muscle Band and Scope Lens are your core damage items, giving you ample firepower throughout the game. They also help you secure Wild Pokemon faster so you can get to your move upgrades faster. For defense, Buddy Barrier boosts Greninja's HP, increasing its overall survivability. Additionally, the item works great with your Unite Move, especially once you start using it aggressively.

Eject Button acts as an escape tool for bad situations and a repositioning tool to better land Water Shuriken. If you have a hard time lining up shurikens, you can equip Slow Smoke instead to keep opponents in place.

Assassin Build

Assassin Build
Moveset Held Items
Battle Item
Item Effects (at Level 30)
Attack: +15
Defense: +30
Sp. Def: +30
Critical-Hit Rate: +6%
Critical-Hit Damage: +12%
Attack Speed: +7.50%
Recommended Lane
Pokemon UNITE - Top Lane Recommendation No Top Lane Pokemon UNITE - Jungle Recommendation Yes Jungle Pokemon UNITE - Bot Lane Recommendation No Bot Lane

This is an assassin build centered around bursting down targets with a combination of Double Team and Surf. This build makes Greninja play more of a melee Attacker.

Muscle Band and Scope Lens help you chip away your targets' HP enough so you will likely knock them down with Surf. Successfully doing so will reset the move's cooldown, allowing you potentially knock down multiple targets in a row. On the other hand, Focus Band provides decent durability and survivability to help you in fights. The item acts as a safety net when you fail to knock down the target.

Eject Button adds more mobility on top of the Dash moves you already have. As an alternative, you can equip Full Heal, which allows you to get immunity from disables as you engage the enemy.

Balanced Build

Balanced Build
Moveset Held Items
Battle Item
Item Effects (at Level 30)
Attack: +15
Defense: +30
Sp. Def: +30
Attack Speed: +7.50%
HP: +450
Recommended Lane
Pokemon UNITE - Top Lane Recommendation Yes Top Lane Pokemon UNITE - Jungle Recommendation Yes Jungle Pokemon UNITE - Bot Lane Recommendation No Bot Lane

This is a balanced build that focuses more on survivability and ranged attacks. Combining Water Shuriken and Smokescreen gives Greninja a ninja-like playstyle that involves sniping down opponents and giving them a hard time targeting you. The build can be used in the Top Lane.

Muscle Band boosts your attack damage and increases your attack speed, enabling you to trade blows with the enemy. The item also synergizes with Water Shuriken, as the move's cooldown is reduced every time you deal ranged damage. Focus Band and Buddy Barrier are your survival tools during the early-game and mid-game as you try to level up and get stronger, ensuring a safe transition to the late game.

Eject Button gives extra mobility, enabling you to escape enemies during the early game and get aggressive once you hit your power spike. X Speed can be an alternative to Eject Button as a mobility tool.

Greninja Best Items & Moveset

Best Held Items

Item Explanation
Buddy Barrier.pngBuddy Barrier Buddy Barrier provides a decent boost to Greninja's HP. It encourages Greninja to use its Unite Move due to the shield it gives, allowing it to deal damage and prolong fights.
Focus Band.pngFocus Band Focus Band increases Greninja's static defenses and is an effective survivability tool during fights.
Scope Lens.pngScope Lens Scope Lens improves Greninja's attack damage via critical-hits. It works well with Surf since critical-hits allow Greninja to quickly shred through an enemy's HP before executing it with the move.
Muscle Band.pngMuscle Band Muscle Band is a must-have item for Greninja, increasing its attack damage and attack speed. It's benefitial for Greninja since each attack reduces Water Shuriken's cooldown after using it.

List of Held Items

Best Battle Items

Item Explanation
Full Heal.pngFull Heal Full Heal ensures Greninja's survivability through immunity, allowing it to ignore most disables in the game.
Slow Smoke.pngSlow Smoke Slow Smoke gives Greninja more crowd control options for lining up its moves or escaping from dangerous situations.
Eject Button.pngEject Button Eject Button gives Greninja more mobility, adding to its illusiveness. It's useful in various situations, such as escaping enemies or chasing them.
X Speed.pngX Speed X Speed functions similarly to Eject Button but with the bonus of gaining immunity from slows for a duration.

List of Battle Items

Best Moveset

Move Explanation
Water Shuriken ImageWater Shuriken Water Shuriken allows Greninja to burst down enemies in quick succession. It also gives it more sustainability because of the additional heal from each shuriken hit.
Double Team ImageDouble Team Double Team can confuse opponents while providing a quick escape from dangerous situations, as well as a great dash move that can deal incidental damage from the illusions it generates.

The combination of Water Shuriken and Double Team has a nice little interaction. The illusions generated from Double Team mimics Greninja's actions, including moves. Using Water Shuriken means your illusions also throws Water Shurikens, allowing you to deal incidental damage.

Greninja's effectiveness lies on how well you've mastered the Pokemon, not necessarily on which moveset you chose. Any move combination will do as long as you know how they work.

Which Moveset Do You Think is Best for Greninja?

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Previous Poll Result

How to Play Greninja

High Skill Ceiling

Positioning is everything when it comes to using Greninja effectively. Keeping aware of Greninja's position in relation to the opponents will help set up smoother KOs, and snowball the game in your teams favor.

Farm Safely Until Level 7

Pokemon UNITE - Greninja Farming Vespiquen in the Bot Lane

Greninja reaches its peak offensive potential at Level 7 when it learns Surf or Water Shuriken. Avoid engaging in team fights early on to focus on farming Wild Pokemon in lane, or by jungling.

Use Water Shuriken to Pressure Opponents

Pokemon UNITE - Greninja Pressuring Mamoswine with Double Team

When you reach Lv. 7, use your Standard Attack or Water Shuriken to weaken your opponents. In particular, the timing of Water Shuriken is crucial as it can deal huge damage when all shurikens hit one target.

Use Smokescreen or Double Team to Confuse Opponents

When engaging enemies, do not use Smokescreen or Double Team immediately. Try to preserve it as a means of escaping in case the battle goes bad. However, if you know that the target Pokemon is weak or you can overpower it, you can use these moves cut their escape and finish them off.

Use Smokescreen Or Double Team To Traverse Jungle Quickly

Pokemon UNITE - Greninja Using Double Team to Traverse the Jungle

Greninja isn't as fast as the other attackers, but you can use Smoke Screen or Double Team to traverse the jungle quickly when rotating or supporting another lane. Make sure to use it early or near the middle, as you want to have it ready by the time you enter combat.

Hunt and Steal Objectives

Pokemon UNITE - Greninja Fighting Drednaw Alone

If you are using Water Shuriken and Double Team as your moveset, hunting down Wild Pokemon will be easier. With this, always prioritize eliminating Drednaw, Rotom, and Zapdos to give your team a huge boost when they aren't being contested.

Time Waterburst Shuriken

Pokemon UNITE - Greninja Stealing Drednaw with Waterburst Shuriken.gif

Waterburst Shuriken is a great tool for stealing boss Pokemon away from your enemies. With proper timing, you can easily deal the last hit on objectives and escape unharmed. You can also surprise enemies and take them out after stealing the objective from them.

Greninja Combos

Early Pressure Combo

Early Pressure
Substitute IconBubble Icon
Greninja Early Pressure
Chip away the 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.

Chase Combo

Chase Combo
Double Team IconStandard Attack IconSurf Icon

Greninja Chase Combo
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.

Full Damage Combo

Damage Combo 1
Smokescreen IconStandard Attack IconWater Shuriken IconWaterburst Shuriken Icon
Full Damage Combo
Start with Smokescreen, then attack the opponent for the boosted attack. Follow this up with your Water Shruiken and, if needed, the Unite Move as well.
Damage Combo 2
Waterburst Shuriken IconDouble Team IconWater Shuriken Icon
Pokemon UNITE - Greninja Damage Combo 2
Initiate with Waterburst Shuriken, landing behind enemies. Use Double Team to create illusions around the enemies, then finish the combo with a quick Water Shuriken. You can add a few attacks afterwards to reduce Water Shuriken's cooldown.

Matchups & Counters for Greninja

Greninja Matchups

Hard Counter
Fair Matchup
AbsolAegislashAlolan NinetalesCharizardCinderaceCrustleDecidueyeDragoniteGardevoirGengarMr. MimeSnorlaxTsareenaWigglytuff
Good Matchup
Matchup Notes
Hard CounterHard Counter Even MatchupEven Matchup Easy MatchupEasy Matchup
1. The chart is based on our own experience playing Greninja.
2. Pokemon within each tier are unordered
3. Any Pokemon not shown here are still under investigation.

Hard Counter With Crowd Control

Greninja cannot easily KO other Pokemon if he is unable to move, or is hindered from using his high mobility movesets.

Best Counters

Pokemon Explanation
Slowbro ImageSlowbro Rating: ★★★★★
• Can instantly remove Greninja from a fight with Telekinesis.
Surf can counter Greninja's speed boosts and push away from vulnerable teammates.
Zeraora ImageZeraora Rating: ★★★★
• Can easily burst down Greninja with its Discharge and Spark combo.
Lucario ImageLucario Rating: ★★★★
• Lucario's signature mobility allows it to chase Greninja down easily.
Pikachu ImagePikachu Rating: ★★★
• Pikachu's range and disabling moves threaten Greninja despite its mobility.

Even Matchups for Greninja

Even matchups are always a matter of skill, luck and timing. Here are some tips to help push Greninja ahead against other Pokemon on equal footing.

Anticipate Crowd Control

Pokemon with High Crowd Control
Alolan Ninetales Image Wigglytuff Image Mr. Mime Image Snorlax Image
How to Beat
• Save Greninja's burst damage for after an opposing Pokemon exhausts their crowd control abilities.
• Skillfully dodge opposing skill shots and safely secure KOs.

Bait and Disengage from Burst Damage Pokemon

Burst Damage Pokemon
Absol Image Gengar Image Gardevoir Image Dragonite Image Tsareena Image
How to Beat
• Bait out opposing high damage moves with Greninja's mobility.
• Skillful disengages can turn the tide against these Pokemon.
• Use Smokescreen and Double Team for these matchups

Outskill the Enemy

Pokemon with High Damage Output
Cinderace Image Decidueye Image
How to Beat
• Use your dash moves to get good positioning and disengage when you want to bait out moves.
• Get the first strike during these encounters and eventually come out on top.

Easy Matchups for Greninja

Can't Handle Greninja's Agility and Damage

Durable but Can Still Get Shredded
Azumarill Image Blastoise Image Blissey Image Greedent Image Mamoswine Image Trevenant Image
How to Beat
• Shred these Pokemon's health with Greninja's speed and attack power.
• Evade their moves and attempts to lock Greninja down.

Easy Targets

Fragile Pokemon
Eldegoss Image Hoopa Image Duraludon Image
How to Beat
• Burst these Pokemon down with Greninja's attacks with minimal effort.

Best Teammates for Greninja

Pokemon Explanation
Slowbro ImageSlowbro
Wigglytuff ImageWigglytuff
Can setup your moves with disables
All of Greninja damage moves are skill shots, which requires you to have good aim or else you might miss the move. This is where Slowbro or Wigglytuff comes in. They have some of the best disables in the game, making it easier for Greninja to land moves.
Snorlax ImageSnorlax
Crustle ImageCrustle
Can provide protection
Greninja is great at dealing damage but is fragile. Having defenders to protect him keeps him alive in fights longer.
Gardevoir ImageGardevoir Can synergize Unite moves
Greninja's Unite move is a high damaging skill shot. Having Gardevoir's Unite move to pull enemy Pokemon in one spot will let your Unite move get more value when you follow up with it.

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!

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Greninja Moves

Move Slot 1 (R)

Bubble ImageBubble
(Lv. 1 or 3)
Move Type: Ranged
Damage Type: Physical
Cooldown: 9s
Total Damage: 748
Attacks with spray of bubbles, decreasing the movement speed of opposing Pokemon for a short time when it hits.
Surf ImageSurf
(Lv. 7)
Upgrade Lv. 11
Move Type: Melee
Damage Type: Physical
Cooldown: 9s
Total Damage: 1033 / 1625
Has the user ride a wave, dealing damage to opposing Pokemon and restoring the user's HP. If this move knocks out an opposing Pokemon its cooldown is reset. This move deals increased damage to opposing Pokemon with low HP. Upgrade: Increases the amount of HP restored.
Water Shuriken ImageWater Shuriken
(Lv. 7)
Upgrade Lv. 11
Move Type: Ranged
Damage Type: Physical
Cooldown: 6s
Total Damage: 2725 / 5340
Throws shurikens made of water in quick succession. Decreases the movement speed of opposing Pokemon for a short time and restores the user's HP when it hits. Also increases the user's movement speed while using this move. Upgrade: Increases the number of attacks for this move.

Move Slot 2 (ZR)

Substitute ImageSubstitute
(Lv. 1 or 3)
Move Type: Dash
Damage Type: Status
Cooldown: 8s
Leaves behind the Substitute doll for the user while it's moving forward
Smokescreen ImageSmokescreen
(Lv. 5)
Upgrade Lv. 13
Move Type: Dash
Damage Type: Status
Cooldown: 13s
Creates a smokescreen and has the user roll away from its current location. Immediately afterward, the user begins sneaking and has its movement speed increased for a short time. This also makes its next basic attack a boosted attack. Upgrade: Increases Attack for a short time when the user stops sneaking.
Double Team ImageDouble Team
(Lv. 5)
Upgrade Lv. 13
Move Type: Dash
Damage Type: Status
Cooldown: 9s
Quickly moves the user away from the current position, creating illusory copies of them to aid in battle. Upgrade: Reduces this move's cooldown

Unite Moves (ZL)

Waterburst Shuriken ImageWaterburst Shuriken
(Lv. 9)
Move Type: Area
Damage Type: Physical
Cooldown: 134s
Total Damage: 2100 / 3240
Has the user throw a giant water shuriken toward the designated area, dealing damage to opposing Pokemon in the area of effect and decreasing their movement speed for a short time when this Unite Move hits. The water shuriken then immediately explodes, dealing damage to opposing Pokemon in the area of effect once again and throwing them. Once this Unite Move ends, the user may jump in a designated direction.

Standard Attack

Standard Attack Image Standard Attack At long range, reduces the cooldown Bubble, Water Shuriken, or Surf when it hits. At close range, deals increased damage the lower the opposing Pokemon's remaining HP is. Becomes a boosted attack every third attack. As a boosted attack at long range, deals increased damage to opposing Pokemon and decreases their movement speed for a short time. As a boosted attack at close range, deals more damage

Ability (Passive)

Torrent ImageTorrent All Evolution Stages
When the Pokemon is at half HP or less, its Attack and movement speed are increased.

Greninja Stats & Evolutions

Greninja Evolutions

1st Evolution 2nd Evolution Final Evolution
(Lv. 1)
(Lv. 5)
(Lv. 7)

Greninja Stats

Level HP Defense Special Defense Attack Damage
1 3000 50 30 146
2 3031 53 32 151
3 3068 56 34 156
4 3112 60 36 162
5 3273 75 45 186
6 3337 81 49 195
7 3629 108 65 238
8 3721 117 70 252
9 3832 127 76 268
10 3965 139 83 287
11 4125 154 92 310
12 4316 172 103 338
13 4546 193 116 372
14 4821 219 131 412
15 5152 250 149 460

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

Greninja In-Game Stat Listings

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

Greninja Skins (Holowear)

GreninjaHero StyleHero Style
Zirco Trading:
Aeos Gems 1050
GreninjaFashionable StyleFashionable Style
Zirco Trading:
Aeos Gems 350 / Holowear Ticket 18
GreninjaTheater StyleTheater Style
GreninjaWanderer StyleWanderer Style
Zirco Trading:
Aeos Gems 2199

All Pokemon Skins (Holowear)

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Top 5 Master Rank Picks & Win Rate

All data is based on Season 04 Master Rank Top 100.
Last Updated: May 4, 2022
Pokemon Tier Most Played % Average Win %
Pokemon UNITE - Greninja Icon Greninja SS Tier 29% 75.6%
Pokemon UNITE - Hoopa Icon Hoopa SS Tier 15% 75.1%
Pokemon UNITE - Lucario Icon Lucario SS Tier 14% 73.6%
Pokemon UNITE - Blissey Icon Blissey S Tier 8% 78.0%
Pokemon UNITE - Blastoise IconBlastoise S Tier 5% 75.0%

Top Picked Pokemon Per Role

Attacker Supporter All-
Defender Speedster
Pokemon UNITE - Greninja Icon Greninja Pokemon UNITE - Hoopa Icon Hoopa Pokemon UNITE - Lucario Icon Lucario Pokemon UNITE - Blastoise Icon Blastoise Pokemon UNITE - Absol Icon Absol

Master Rank: Top Ranked Win Rates

Pokemon by Role

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Attacker IconAttackers All-Rounder IconAll-Rounders Defender IconDefenders
Speedster IconSpeedsters Supporter IconSupporters

Pokemon by Characteristics

Attack Type
Pokemon UNITE - Melee Type Partial BannerMelee Pokemon Pokemon UNITE - Ranged Type Partial BannerRanged Pokemon
Pokemon UNITE - Physical Type Partial BannerPhysical Pokemon Pokemon UNITE - Special Type Partial BannerSpecial Pokemon
Stat Rankings
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