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How big is the Buddy Barrier nerf in Pokemon Unite?

Wigglytuff often uses its Unite move in team fights for the Buddy Barrier (Image via TiMi Studios)
Wigglytuff often uses its Unite move in team fights for the Buddy Barrier (Image via TiMi Studios)
Shane Foley

The Pokemon Unite meta was severely shaken up when Buddy Barrier got nerfed in the recent patch.

This item has been a must-have on almost every character for most of the MOBA’s existence. Teams would often stack Buddy Barriers on themselves during team fights, giving themselves unreal amounts of shield, which allowed them to play riskier than normal. That meta may be changing for good, though.


Powerful Pokemon Unite item gets nerfed hard

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After the nerf, Buddy Barrier now gives less HP to users. Instead of giving 600 passive HP, it gives 400 now. In addition, the shield that it offers is only comprised of 25% of the user’s max HP instead of 40%.

After playing this new meta for a while, many gamers agree that this means frail Pokemon no longer need to run Buddy Barrier. Characters like Absol and Duraludon are so frail that they die in a bad position regardless of whether or not they have a Buddy Barrier active.

Another massive change with the buff is that multiple Buddy Barriers no longer stack. This means that the shield worth 25% of max HP is all any character gets once the item is used.

Buddy Barrier will now be an item used on bulkier Pokemon as opposed to every character in the game. Tanky characters still benefit from this item since it helps them tank damage.

Snorlax is another character that benefits significantly from Buddy Barrier (Image via TiMi Studios)
Snorlax is another character that benefits significantly from Buddy Barrier (Image via TiMi Studios)

Examples of these would be Snorlax and Wigglytuff. Both of these appreciate having some extra shield when they use their Unite moves in team fights. Snorlax can rest in front of an entire team, whereas Wigglytuff can run around and be an annoyance while supporting the team.

So far, this change looks like a welcome one by fans. Buddy Barrier stacking made it difficult for some teams to accomplish anything in team fights.

This mostly rings true for solo queue players. A team communicating with each other can easily coordinate when to pop their Unite moves. However, Solitary players often have to rely on their skill without the assurance that they will get a Buddy Barrier from their teammates.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other items that more frail characters can use. Energy Amplifier, for example, might become incredibly popular with Pokemon like Pikachu and Greninja, who can have their Unite moves charged quickly.


Edited by Srijan Sen

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