16 Aug 2021 11:49 AM +00:00

Pokémon Unite Clefable Release Date - Was Clefable Cut From Pokémon Unite?

The Pokémon Unite roster is only set to grow bigger now that it has been released. Three post-launch characters are confirmed; Gardevoir has already arrived, Blastoise is likely not far behind, but the third remains a mystery. The rumours of a Pokémon Unite Clefable release date are growing, and while there's evidence to suggest they may just be true, the same evidence could be used to debunk its existence as well. Here's what we know about the Pokémon Unite Clefable release date.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty about why a Pokémon Unite Clefable release date is unlikely, we need to plug a few other bits and pieces we've done. If you're looking to get competitive in handheld mode, you need to know how to get 60fps. After that, take out guides on Held Items and Battle Items into your next match with you. It may sound obvious, but having that kind of information on hand can help you identify your opponent's strategy before you even loaded in.

Pokémon Unite Clefable Release Date - Was Clefable Cut From Pokémon Unite?

With post-release Pokémon already confirmed, it isn't surprising to hear rumours about which could be coming next. Although Gardevoir and Blastoise were confirmed to exist before the release of the game, the third and final of the first confirmed batch is still nothing but a large question mark. And no, it probably won't be fabled glitchmon Ten Question Marks—although we have imagined the chaos that could sow.

The simple reason why people think a Pokémon Unite Clefable release date is coming isn't just because of the third empty slot and the game's currently lacking Support roster, but because Clefable was actually a playable Pokémon when Pokémon Unite was first revealed.

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Evidence of a Pokémon Unite Clefable playable character in an early test build of the mobile game.
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It happened over a year ago at this point, but during the Pokémon Unite reveal stream, players from The Pokémon Company International (including Director Tsunekazu Ishihara) played a match that clearly showed Clefable duking it out in the 5v5 MOBA title. So where is it now?

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Although it's easy enough to think that a Pokémon Unite Clefable release will round off the current first wave of new character releases, there's a good chance it's already in the game: just as another Pokémon entirely—Wigglytuff.

  • Read more: Pokémon Unite tier list

Despite have very similar appearances, movesets, appearance locations in the original games, and even evolution methods, there are a couple of reasons why we believe a Pokémon Unite Clefable appearance was ultimately swapped out for Wigglytuff. Going off the brief Pokémon Unite Clefable footage featured in the initial reveal video and match, it uses the same Double-Slap/Pound move Wigglytuff uses in the current build of the game.

On a similar front, while both Pokémon traditionally have access to Sing (which puts a Pokémon to sleep), the original anime's running gag of having Jigglypuff (Wigglytuff's starting form) put people to sleep with its singing was probably viewed internally as the option that made more sense from a brand recognition standpoint. Its Unite Move "Star Recital" would ultimately make a bit more contextual sense this way as well.

This theory extends to Wigglytuff's Defense Curl and Rollout moves in Pokémon Unite. Jigglypuff has used similar moves in every entry of the popular fighting game Super Smash Bros. since its debut in 1999. That's another bonus point when it comes to brand recognition.

Clefable's popular Metronome move, which uses one of the franchise's hundreds of moves at random, probably wouldn't really work well in a skill-based game like Pokémon Unite, either. But another reason could simply centre around visibility concerns given the genre of the game.

Due to the camera angle of Pokémon Unite, it could be difficult to differentiate Wigglytuff from Clefable on the battlefield. They're strikingly similar from certain angles. Being a reactionary game with counter-based mechanics, if you can't be sure what you're fighting, you can't be sure how to fight back. Like failing to accomdate for colourblind players at least, having two virtually indistinguiable characters in a competitive game is a major design flaw that's easily avoided.

A direct comparison showing the visible similarities between Wigglytuff and Clefable in Pokémon Unite.
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All in all, there's plenty of reason to believe a Pokémon Unite Clefable release wasn't axed, but simply tweaked. It's still there in spirit. It's just that Wigglytuff was ultimately the more recognizable choice of the two and the switcharoo probably wasn't too expensive or time-consuming to implement.

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So will a Pokémon Unite Clefable release date ever happen? It's unlikely. In the end, the core similarities between the two probably made the switch from one to the other quite simple. Character animations and attacks were likely easy enough to switch out due to their similar appearance.

The work was already done as for the reveal, and may simply have been retroactively applied to the Pokémon we see in-game today. Clefable probably isn't even viewed as wasted cut content: it laid the foundation for the final product.