While fresh duds and some great quality-of-life changes are definitely exciting, today’s Pokémon Unite update also included a huge list of gameplay adjustments. As usual, some Pokémon were helped and some were hindered, but it’s hard to argue that anyone was more affected than Snorlax and Wigglytuff. Both saw a massive downgrade as the developers reduced the benefits of putting opponents to sleep.
Before today, the Sleep status was a massive tool in the Snorlax and Wigglytuff player’s repertoire. Not only did it keep a slumbering opponent from acting for a set period, but that inaction also opened them up to potential beatdowns. It was a versatile ability too, as it provided a great way to escape from a more powerful Pokémon if you were caught behind enemy lines. With this latest patch, however, sleeping Pokémon now wake up when hit rather than taking it lying down.
The intentions behind this change are a little hard to parse. While both the English and Japanese patch notes refer to how Sleep worked previously as a bug, only the latter go into greater detail about how it was presumably supposed to function prior to today’s update. It’s strange to think such a significant bug survived for months without developer intervention, especially with it becoming such a major part of Wigglytuff’s meta game specifically.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Sleep moves are entirely useless. The status remains a great distraction and movement denial tool, and I’m sure folks will still get some use out of scoring points while opponents take a forced nap. It’s just wild to see it changed after all this time.
Kotaku contacted the developers for more context but didn’t hear back before publication.
Another big adjustment isn’t even listed in the official patch notes. When Greninja uses Double Team, the two clones the move creates can now activate abilities of their own. This turns them from simple decoys to offensive tools that increase Greninja’s damage output, especially when using a powerful attack like Surf or Water Shuriken.
According to the hard numbers deduced by fans, each clone deals 25% the damage of the real Greninja, meaning it’s possible to do an additional 50% if both clones manage to hit the opponent. Not too shabby!
As usual, it’s going to take some time before the true ramifications of today’s Pokémon Unite update come to light. It’s easy to pass a quick judgment, but these things don’t happen in a vacuum. We’ll need the context of multiple matches to truly figure out the winners and losers, even if things like the Sleep change seem drastic on paper.
But hey, maybe I’m just feeling charitable because my baby Crustle was barely touched.