Pokémon Unite has been out for almost a year now, allowing players to embody some of their favourite creatures in contests of skill and strategy (which can be completely flipped in the final 2 minutes). The MOBA has been releasing several new Pokémon to play per season throughout its lifespan, averaging from 2-to-3 Pokémon per 40-day season.

However, there has been something quite odd. There have been no new additions to the Speedster class of Pokémon.

Talonflame, Zeraora, Gengar and Absol are the only Pokémon who occupy this category. In comparison:

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  • Supporters have received 2 new additions, Blissey and Hoopa.
  • All Rounders have been given 4, Dragonite, Tsareena, Aegislash and the game’s newest character, Azumarill.
  • Defenders have been given the greatest increase, going from only 3 Pokémon to 7 with the addition of Greedant, Mamoswine, Blastoise and Trevenant.
  • Finally, Attackers have also gotten 4 new units since launch, Gardevoir, Sylveon, Decidueye and Duraldon.

In a total of 14 new additions, not even one has been a Speedster. Even with recent leaks, it still appears that a new Speedster is a ways off.

Based on their track record it is unclear whether they plan to add a new Speedster soon, but let’s look at the list of possible Pokémon that could come to Pokémon Unite as new Speedster units.

Sceptile

Sceptile Official Art. Pokémon Series, GameFreak

Pokémon Unite currently houses many of the series fan favourite starter Pokémon – from the original Kanto trio of Charizard, Blastoise and Venasaur, to newcomers such as Decidueye and Cinderace – so why not add one more to the mix?

Sceptile is the grass type starter from Generation 3, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, evolving from Treecko and Grovyle. This Pokémon’s entire identity revolves around speed, sitting as the starter with the highest base speed stat of all 24 starter Pokémon, so it would be a perfect fit for the next Speedster.

With moves such as Leaf Blade, Dragon Claw or False Swipe, this Pokémon could deal close range damage quickly and then escape, or it could pack a heavier punch with Leaf Storm. A buffing move such as Double Team may also work in this Pokémon’s favour, to differentiate it from other Speedsters.

Ninjask

Ninjask Official Art. Pokémon Series, GameFreak

As with Sceptile, Ninjask was introduced in Generation 3 as the evolution of Nincada. It is the second-fastest of all Pokémon, with a base speed stat of 160 only being beaten out by a legendary Pokémon in Speed Form Deoxys. This makes it a perfect fit for a Speedster.

Moves such as X-Scissor or Bug Bite would allow the Pokémon to get in close for large chunk damage before it quickly skitters away with Double Team or Agility. Pokémon Unite also has not seen a smaller flying type of Pokémon yet, so Ninjask would aid in helping diversify the roster.

Ninjask also has an interesting interaction with its split evolutionary form, Shedinja, who in the mainline games is a new Pokémon born from the shell of Nincada when it evolves into Ninjask. Due to the way Pokémon Unite handles evolutions, the ability to switch between the quick, hard-hitting Ninjask and the nearly impenetrable wall that is Shedinja (like the stance switching style of the Pokémon Aegislash) may become a key selling point of this Speedster.

Dugtrio

Dugtrio Official Art. Pokémon Series, GameFreak

Now they may not look it, but Dugtrio is one of the fastest Pokémon in Kanto and is in the top 50 fastest Pokémon by base speed stat. Despite its funny appearance and strange demeanour, Dugtrio isn’t a Pokémon to be trifled with and so its inclusion into ‘Pokémon Unite’ would be both an interesting and understanding pick for a Speedster.

Dugtrio is also unique amongst quick Pokémon for being a Ground-type, with it being the only one in the top 50 fastest. This would give it a unique and diverse move set when compared to other Speedsters.

Dig would prove a good damage-dealing move and an escape tool for a squishy Speedster, while Earthquake or Fissure could deal out massive damage at the cost of being left out in the open while it is being cast.

Accelgor

Accelgor Official Art. Pokémon Series, GameFreak

What would fit better into the Speedster category than a ninja? Accelgor was introduced in Generation 5 via a unique trade interaction with the Pokémon Karrablast. As previously stated, this Pokémon’s identity is in its being a ninja and while Pokémon Unite technically already has a ninja Pokémon in Greninja, Accelgor would be the perfect fit for the Speedster role.

U-Turn could offer some interesting dynamics in fights where a hit-and-run tactic could be adopted. Other strange moves such as Power Swap could result in Accelgor proving to be interesting as a fast disrupter moving around the battlefield as opposed to a pure damage dealer. Final Gambit is also a very interesting move that could be used for insane damage but could also come with very high recoil attached to it.

Swellow

Swellow Official Art. Pokémon Series, GameFreak

Admittedly, this is an indulgent pick. Swellow is my favourite Pokémon, but that isn’t the only reason I picked it.

Honestly, Swellow can substitute for several other bird Pokémon such as Staraptor or Pidgeot, but Swellow has the highest base speed of them all aside from Talonflame (who is already a Speedster). Due to there already being a bird-like Speedster Pokémon, whatever Pokémon comes after Talonflame would need to be more diverse in move set and tactics.

Swellow could play host to moves such as Boomburst and Air Slash that act as long-range damage options as opposed to Talonflame’s close-range Brave Bird and Fly. Reversal would also be an interesting option allowing Swellow to remain dangerous even at low health.

Even outside of these 5 options, there are numerous different Pokémon that could be added to ‘Pokémon Unite’ as new Speedsters. Hopefully, they get added sooner rather than later, as the first anniversary quickly starts approaching and having no new Speedsters within that first year would certainly be a puzzling omission.

The new season of Pokémon Unite has just launched, featuring new events, new holowear and a new battle pass. See Culture of Gaming’s coverage here.

Pokémon Unite is available on smartphones and the Nintendo Switch now.

Jack Carson