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Come Back To Pokemon Unite For Its Incredible New Catch ‘Em Game Mode

Pokemon Unite’s newest game mode is such a perfect fit that it’s hard to believe we had to wait nearly an entire year for it. In Catch ‘Em Battles you can swap out your chosen Pokemon for any wild Pokemon you catch, meaning the likes of Zapdos, Articuno, Drednaw, Tauros, and many more are now playable. My only problem with Catch ‘Em is that it’s a limited-time Quick Mode and not a full-fledged new Standard queue. I love classic Pokemon Unite, but the ability to catch and swap Pokemon makes it even better.

Catch ‘Em Battles are five-minute rounds played on the Mer Stadium Map where teams of four compete to deposit the most Aeos Energy into each other’s goals. Instead of merely defeating wild Pokemon for experience like a normal game, landing the final blow on a Pokemon in Catch ‘Em Battles gives you the ability to swap your Pokemon for the captured one. You only have a limited amount of time to use captured Pokemon, but each one has the potential to swing the game in your team’s favor.

A few of the Wild Pokemon, like Aipom and Audino, are still relegated to XP farms, but the rest are free game for swapping. They include Electrode, Tauros, Drednaw, Ludicolo, Avalugg, Articuno, Zapdos, and Regigigas. Each Pokemon has their own unique stats and health pools, as well as a pair of devastating special moves.

Catch ‘Em Battles are frenetic and unpredictable, but always a thrill. Fighting over a Zapdos is a lot more exciting when you know that the winner is going to instantly transform into the Legendary bird and start dropping Thunder attacks on you like mortar shells. There’s nothing more thrilling than getting pushed back into your goal and seeing a giant Regigigas show up out of nowhere and start stomping on the enemy team. No two Catch ‘Em Battles are ever the same, and I’ve had a great time just experimenting with all the new Pokemon and their wild interactions. One of my favorite moves is to swap to Electrode in the middle of a team fight and use Self Destruct to unleash a giant AOE attack on my unsuspecting opponents, or charge in as Tauros then swap back to Aegislash or Lucario for a sudden in-your-face assault.

Catch ‘Em Battles are way too clever for a limited-time Quick Mode, and I’d like to see a lot of these ideas make it into the permanent game. Some of the buffs that come from Wild Pokemon in the jungle and lanes can be difficult for new players to understand, but the swapping mechanic is a great incentive to fight for these objectives. It’s extremely important to take down Drednaw when it appears but most players tend to ignore it. If you can become Drednaw everytime it you defeat it, more people would understand the benefit of taking objectives.

There’s also a lot of potential for the swap mechanic in future game modes. I’d love to be able to choose two or more Pokemon at the start of a match then swap between them throughout the game. It would be a totally unique mechanic for a MOBA and would fit the Pokemon theme perfectly. Pokemon Go battles let you choose three Pokemon and swap between them with a short cooldown each time, and a similar mode would work wonderfully in Pokemon Unite.

A lot of regular Pokemon Unite players are finding it hard to get excited about a new Quick Mode when there are still so many aspects of the game that need a lot of attention, but I see this as a great opportunity to get more players interested in the game. After all, you don’t need a huge collection of Unite Licenses and powered-up Held Items to be successful or have a good time in Catch ‘Em Battles. It’s a great mode to bring casual players back to the game or impress newcomers, and Unite always needs more players coming in to stay healthy and relevant. Witch Catch ‘Em Battles, you can go head-to-head Zapdos vs. Articuno. Regardless of Unite’s issues, that’s a great proposition for Pokemon fans.

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