06 Sep 2021 12:45 PM +00:00

Pokémon Unite Greninja Build - Best Items and Moves

What is the best Pokémon Unite Greninja build? A mainstay in the franchise ever since it got a little costume change, the ninja tree frog Greninja has already made a name for itself in Pokémon Unite. Its Expert difficulty listing in-game in no joke. If you're choosing this as your first true main, you're probably going to have a hard time winning matches until you truly learn to master its brain-teasing abilities. To get you there faster, we've rounded up what we believe to be the best Pokémon Unite Greninja build options around.

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If you're looking to fill your brain with even more Pokémon Unite knowledge, you can do no better that memorizing the game's many Held Items and Battle Items. Paired with a look at the Pokémon Unite statistics screen at the end of each match, you'll know exactly how to improve you game, how you can exploit your opponents, and even identify their game plan before the match begins.

The Best Pokémon Unite Greninja Build Options

Below, we'll cover a variety of the best Pokémon Unite Greninja build options you can choose right now. As these are primarily based on a person's individual playstyle, we've included a selection: one that focuses on using Greninja as mobile ninja, and another that sticks it on the bottom lane like the average ranged attacker.

Greninja is a ranged attacker that uses the Attack stat. Bear that in mind if you decide to switch out any of the items below to suit your personal preference. To learn exactly why this distinction matters, check out our Pokémon Unite Physical vs Special attack split guide.

Stats related to each Pokémon Unite Greninja build.
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Pokémon Unite Greninja Build - Surf's Up!

Best Items Best Moves
Eject ButtonLv. 1: Bubble
Float StoneLv. 3: Substitute
Muscle BandLv. 5: Smokescreen
Attack WeightLv. 7: Surf

Best for: Bottom lane carry

Perhaps the most popular build right now forgoes Greninja's iconic Water Shuriken (outside of its Unite Move, at least) for Surf. It doesn't have the high single-target potential a roaming assassin prefers, but Surf's wide range, crowd-control, and ability to reset on a kill makes the nimble tree frog great for washing away whole teams with a series of resetting waves. Surf's up!

While certainly not the highest-damage build out there, this one turns the otherwise ranged character into a solid pseudo-melee option. The main allure is repeated uses of Surf, taking one character down to reset its cooldown so that Greninja is ready to ride the waves again.

It won't be as exhilarating as using Water Shuriken in the early/mid-game phase, but when three, four, or even five enemies group up together, the aim becomes to knock them down like dominos, chaining a killing wave from one into the next.

This can be great for defending goals, lunging from the bushes to force a push, or even creating a torrent in the opponent's main Zapdos pathway where they'll struggle to defend against the crashing waves. The more enemies you hit, the more you heal, and with Greninja's Torrent passive increasing damage dealt when it's at half HP, learning to strike a balance can really pay off.

Smokescreen aids with some really early duels and even as a scoring mechanism to activate Attack Weight. Every buff and boon it gives will help take down individual opponents, but when Surf starts to stand out in team battles, it's best saved as either an escape route or a way to chase the last few who survive.

You'll be relying on your boosted Basic Attack for this: a long-range strike slows the opponent, whereas a close-range strike will punish them based on lost HP. Either works a treat.

Greninja in Pokémon Unite.
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Pokémon Unite Greninja Build - Covert Ops

Item Effect
Eject ButtonLv. 1: Bubble
Attack WeightLv. 3: Double Team
Float StoneLv. 5: Smokescreen
Muscle BandLv. 7: Water Shuriken

Best for: Jungle/roaming

This Pokémon Unite Greninja build augments the Pokémon's solo dueling efforts. Learn to drop low and sustain yourself off Water Shuriken heals and tactical retreats and you'll master Greninja's Torrent passive, hitting like a truck and teasing your opponent with your knack for dodging death. It's a great way to bait carries away from the team.

Froakie's starting kit allows you to practice its final build long before it becomes necessary. Bubble has similar range and slowing properties to Water Shuriken, and Substitute is a handy dash that allows it to push further or safely pull back. Poke and pressure the opponent early on to gain a slight advantage: the earlier you unlock Water Shuriken, the easier time you'll have holding them back further.

This build focuses on cementing Greninja as a top-tier duelist. The incredible damage of Water Shuriken paired with its healing properties gives Greninja a way to walk into battle even at low HP without immediately striking fear into its own teammates.

Immediately Smokescreen to reposition and make your choice of either launching a boosted Basic Attack from range for the additional slow or a close-range shot for increased damage. The less HP the target has, the more damage a close-range shot will do. Just weigh up what will happen if they don't fall to the ground and use that as a basis for how to proceed.

The progression screen showing at what level Pokémon Unite Greninja evolves.
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When Does Greninja Evolve in Pokémon Unite?

In Pokémon Unite, Greninja goes through its whole evolutionary chain. Froakie is a late bloomer, evolving into Frogadier at level five, but it evolves again into Greninja soon after, at level seven. This means the early game can be difficult for Froakie to live through, but with careful play, it can reach its full potential more quickly than the game's other all-rounders.


What Is the Best Counter to Greninja in Pokémon Unite?

Pokémon Reason
TalonflameTalonflame can get the drop on Greninja and take off just as it attempts to flee with its clones, dunking again when the time is right. There is no safe distance with a Talonflame.
PikachuHitting Greninja with a slow or paralysis effect will render its confusing clones virtually useless, and Pikachu's speed will keep it attacking the retreating frog.
LucarioLucario can run circles around Greninja, avoiding its skill shots and quickly giving chase.

Greninja struggles to combat high-mobility Pokémon or those that can shrug off its own lackluster crowd control. If it can't burst down a fast opponent before it gets close, it will struggle to fend them off. Skill shots are its main source of damage. Avoiding these will reduce its effectiveness.


What Are the Best Pairs for Greninja in Pokémon Unite?

Pokémon Reason
CrustleIt may not sound it, but Crustle's stuns are reliable. They're always against a way. If you see one coming in, you'll know exactly where to place your skills.
SlowbroSlowbro can stun and lift Pokémon consistently, giving Greninja plenty of time to drop its best moves. This is especially true early on, which will go a long way in helping a little Froakie level up fast.
GardevoirLate in the game, a Gardevoir Unite Move can spell disaster for the enemy team. While they're being pulled together, Greninja can drop its many skill shots into the space below, dealing incredible area damage.

Greninja's reliance on skill shots and precise aim makes picking the best pairs relatively easy. The best pairs for Greninja in Pokémon Unite are those that make landing these skills an easier endeavor. Stuns and knock-ups make the best setups.

How to unlock Pokémon Unite Greninja.
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How Do I Unlock Greninja in Pokémon Unite?


Despite its power, Greninja isn't a Pokémon you'll have to shell out your hard-earned (or bought) Aeos Coins and Gems for. Though you can buy Greninja from the Unite Battle Committee shop for a dangerously high 10,000 Aeos Coins or 575 Aeos Gems, you can collect Greninja for free as the last reward of the 14-day log-in event.

Read more: Pokémon Unite tier list

If you've decided Greninja might not be for you after all, consider trying some of the game's offensive-minded Defenders after looking over our Snorlax build and Crustle build guides. You can get that last one for free as well.