In need of the best Pokémon Unite Pikachu build options out there? We have two of them, and they're sure to have you climbing the ranked ladder even this late into the launch. Pokémon Unite is already filled to the brim with creatures that come along and decimate you with a quick one-two punch.
Pikachu is a ranged attacker that uses the Sp. Atk stat. Bear that in mind if you switch out any of the items below to suit your personal preference. You can read more about the Pokémon Unite Physical vs Special attack split here.
Before we break down how the little electric mouse can rip through a team and lightning-fast speeds, why not freshen up on the Pokémon Unite fundamentals? Learning how to cancel abilities can help you save your cooldowns. Knowing the stats and effects Held Items and Battle Items give means you can deduce the team's strategy from the loading screen. Knowledge is power.
The Best Pokémon Unite Pikachu Build Options
Eject Button, Shell Bell, Wise Glasses, Sp. Atk Specs
Electroweb, Thunder Shock, Electro Ball, Thunderbolt
Eject Button, Wise Glasses, Float Stone, Sp. Atk Specs
Electroweb, Thunder Shock, Thunder, Thunderbolt
Here's a quick rundown of the two Pokémon Unite Pikachu build options detailed below. If you're not fond of reading the minute details, just know that whether you're looking for sustained lane damage or powerful area attacks, these builds have you covered.
Pokémon Unite Pikachu Build - Pesky Pika
Lv. 1: Electroweb
Lv. 3: Thunder Shock
Lv. 4: Electro Ball
Sp. Atk Specs
Lv. 6: Thunderbolt
Best for: Lane pressure
One of the most popular Pokémon Unite Pikachu build options right now enables the charismatic electric mouse to deal consistent and reliable damage purely to keep the pressure on. You'll be chasing opponents deep into their lane to ensure they have little time to farm, dropping area damage Electro Ball and Thunderbolts on them like you're Zeus. Just watch for gankers.
As you can probably tell from the choice of Held Items here, Pikachu puts Sp. Atk to work. Without a way to reduce the Sp. Def of opponents, you'll be relying on Pikachu's raw power when being bold enough to camp the opposing team's goal.
Shell Bell helps Pikachu stay on the offensive. Any damage it takes before the opponent decides to flee can be recouperated by farming other Pokémon and players. It's useful for another reason, though: the offensive stat boost and the included cooldown reduction. These can go a long way in either dealing the killing blow or ensuring you always have another skill just ready to scare away another opponent.
Pokémon Unite Pikachu Build - PikaThor
Lv. 1: Electroweb
Lv. 3: Thunder Shock
Lv. 4 Thunder
Sp. Atk Specs
Lv 6. Thunderbolt
Best for: Area Damage
Another powerful Pokémon Unite Pikachu build leverages the mascot's versatile area damage moveset. By using both Thunder and Thunderbolt (which have the same cooldown time) this particular breed of Pikachu can deal staggeringly high area damage from a safe distance, using Eject Button and Float Stone to quickly go wherever the opposing team decides to group up.
This Pokémon Unite Pikachu build only swaps out the Shell Bell for a Float Stone purely to increase Pikachu's ability to run around the map, chasing wherever the opposing team no matter where they decide to flock to next.
Pikachu's area attacks are obviously designed to shred the entire team in one go: the fewer targets you have in your sights with each Thunder or Thunderbolt, the more you're wasting the Pokémon's talents.
When Does Pikachu Evolve in Pokémon Unite?
Although Pikachu has a baby form in Pichu and an evolved form called Raichu, the Pokémon Unite Pikachu acts just like the series mascot by simply refusing to evolve whatsoever. It starts as a Pikachu in each Pokémon Unite match and won't evolve at any level.
What Counters Pikachu in Pokémon Unite?
Most Garchomp players run a Dragon Rush/Dig combo that can quickly (and frequently) close any gap Pikachu attempts to make, ignoring slows. Even with Earthquake, Garchomp can get in and slow Pikachu in return, stopping any hope of it running free.
Machamp can virtually ignore slows and charge straight into battle, giving Pikachu little hope of keeping it at arm's length.
While relatively squishy, Gengar can slow Pikachu in return and burst it down without too much trouble.
Pikachu depends on slows to keep its prey a safe distance away while it bursts them down with thunderbolts. As such, anything that can shrug off its attempts to slow a target will do just fine taking this little mouse on in mortal combat.
What Are the Best Pikachu Pairs in Pokémon Unite?
Snorlax is a bulky defender with a bunch of ways to pin and peel targets, stopping them from destroying softer attackers like Pikachu while setting them up to use their high-damage attacks.
Ninetales possesses enough crowd-control to stop an army. This obviously can help Pikachu get into battle, chase targets, and outrun those that challenge it.
Pikachu relies on keeping targets pinned long enough for it to deal the killing blow. Its initial burst likely won't be enough for healthy targets, making other crowd control effects the key to unlocking its potential. Not only can the best pair help Pikachu secure a kill, but they can help it escape by distracting or stunning an enemy jungler that attempts to end its run.
How Do I Unlock Pikachu in Pokémon Unite?
Despite being the mascot of the whole franchise, Pokémon Unite expects you to pay for the privilege of using it. It's a smart move. A real carrot on the stick. But at only 6,000 Aeos Coins or 345 Aeos Gems in the Pokémon Unite License shop, it's far from the most expensive Pokémon in the game.
You'll also be able to unlock Pikachu for free when the Pokémon Unite launches on mobile. Pre-register for the game and log in after September 22 to claim a free Pikachu Unite License. Do so on an account that's linked with your Nintendo Switch one and you'll gain access to the yellow mouse on both platforms.
Read more: Pokémon Unite Tier List
If Pikachu's low durability just isn't working out for you, you might want to consider using a speedster instead. We have builds for Zeraora, Absol, and Gengar that can have you zipping around the battlefield and dashing back out with ease before you're punished for pushing too early.