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One of the most important aspects of Pokémon UNITE is knowing which Held Items make your Pokémon the strongest. With more than a dozen options but only three choices permitted at a time, determining what items to use may be tough. However, Upcomer’s Pokémon UNITE Master ranked player Warren Younger has the optimal tier list of which items to use on your climb up the ranks in Pokémon UNITE.

Pokemon UNITE Held Item Tier List
The four-part tier list. The top two sections are competitively viable. The last two, not so much. Template via Tiermaker

The Holy Trinity – Buddy Barrier, Muscle Band, Focus Band

The three items in question, Buddy Barrier, Muscle Band and Focus Band, are so powerful that a wide majority of the cast will elect to run them over everything else. At the top of the list is Buddy Barrier. On top of being the best HP stat item in the game, the special ability of this item has so much value that even hyper-carry attackers elect to run it. When the holder uses their UNITE move, they gain a shield equal to 40% of their max HP. This allows for holders to get their UNITE moves off even at low HP, and then stay alive long enough to fully utilise the move. On top of that, the item also gives an ally a shield too. So, in team fights, this item works even better.

Muscle Band is the premier offensive item in the game. On top of granting attack power and attack speed, the item’s special ability gives the holder even more bonus damage on every auto-attack. Focus Band is the best defensive item in the game, granting defense and special defense to the holder. Its special ability affects the holder rapidly over three seconds, once they drop below a certain HP threshold.

Combined, these items grant the holder great defense, top offense and the power to carry fights once they pop their UNITE move. The Holy Trinity is the optimal selection on nearly every Pokémon, from Cinderace to even Eledegoss. At the very least, every Pokémon’s best in the slot includes two of these three options.

A Tier – Score Shield, Wise Glasses, Scope Lens, Float Stone

For the last slot, some Pokémon benefit more from one of these still-strong items. For example, Score Shield on someone with a lot of base HP like Snorlax is even more optimal than something like Muscle Band. The reason is that Score Shield grants the holder a shield equal to a percentage of their max HP when scoring, making the user invincible until their shield is popped. This allows Pokémon like Snorlax to easily score uncontested.

When it comes to damaged items like Wise Glasses or Scope Lens, these may be better than Muscle Band depending on the Pokémon. If the holder is more crit-based or special attack-based, those items may fare better. Or if a player wants to go full offense, they can substitute Focus Band for these powerful offensive tools.

B Tier – Rocky Helmet, Shell Bell, Assault Vest, Energy Amplifier

The items in this tier suffer from simply being worse options than those from the above tiers. Rocky Helmet and Assault Vest are just outclassed by the other defensive options of Buddy Barrier, Focus Band and Score Shield.

Energy Amplifier is like the opposite of Buddy Barrier. Instead of getting a shield when using a UNITE move, this item gives more damage. The issue though, is that the extra damage doesn’t outweigh the shield since the UNITE move usually does more than enough damage to get the job done.

Shell Bell isn’t necessarily outclassed but it’s niche at best. Shell Bell is the only true lifesteal option but it only stacks with special attack and only grants lifesteal when an ability hits. This item is more like Spellvamp, and it has a cooldown too. Special Attack players may want to use this item in the future, if it’s buffed.

C Tier – Leftovers, Aeos Cookie, Attack Weight, Special Attack Specs, EXP Share

This tier consists of items that are either useless in the metagame, outshined by better versions or are not playable in a solo queue setting. Starting with Aoes Cookie and Attack Weight, these items only do something when the user scores points. In the current metagame where scoring multiple times just doesn’t happen, these items don’t do what they are intended to do. In a perfect world, these items would let the user snowball their stats, but in practice it never happens.

Leftovers are the default held item given to everyone when they start playing the game. However, passive healing is not very good, as berries, goals and recalling all give out health faster.

EXP Share is a weird case. The item, when a team has perfect coordination, is actually really good. The item gives passive exp to the holder as long as they have the lowest exp on the team. When a user has a coordinated team to make sure the holder is always last, it makes it so their lane partner can soak up all the exp, giving both users in the lane an overall advantage. But unless players are queuing up as five, this is just not possible most of the time, making the item useless outside of a perfect scenario.


ASU alum with a B.A in Sports Journalism, Warren is one of the premier TFT Journalists in the scene and is a decent TFT player as well who has peaked Challenger and has had multiple accounts in Master+ over all sets. Warren also specializes in other esports content including League of Legends, Valorant, Smash Bros, and more.


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