How Labyrinth’s Fandom Is Stronger Than Ever After 35 Years


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Following their collaboration on the film Dark Crystal, illustrator Brian Froud and puppeteer extraordinaire Jim Henson agreed to work together on a new project. Froud had a strong image in his mind of a baby surrounded by goblins, influenced by the classic folk tales wherein goblins traditionally trick children or steal them from their homes. Together, Froud and Henson imagined a tale of a girl named Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) who wishes her brother away to a fantastical realm and must journey through many hardships to retrieve him from the clutches of the sinister yet alluring Goblin King, Jareth. Monty Python alumnus Terry Jones was on screenwriting duties, George Lucas would be the executive producer, and none other than David Bowie would star as Jareth and provide a number of songs.

It seemed like the perfect combination for a smash hit, yet when Labyrinth opened 35 years ago, in the summer of 1986, it proved to be a critical and commercial disappointment. With a reported budget of $25 million, Labyrinth grossed only $12.9 million during its initial domestic run. It would be the last feature film Henson ever directed, and according to his son Brian, it contributed to a downward turn in his career. It seemed that Labyrinth would disappear from the pop-culture consciousness, reduced to another ’80s kids movie that failed to capture audiences’ attention in the era of the blockbuster…

And yet Labyrinth has endured, and three and a half decades later, the film is a beloved classic as well as a wildly influential fantasy drama that’s inspired generations of fans. Thanks to many years of TV broadcasts, Blockbuster rentals, and pushy family members with good taste (many thanks to my own grandmother), Labyrinth re-emerged into the mainstream more cherished than ever. After years as a second-hand rarity, the movie became available on VHS and DVD in the late ’90s and greatly expanded its reach beyond its initial fanbase. 

Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie in Labyrinth.

Descent into the Underworld

The indelible fingerprints of Henson’s Labyrinth can be found throughout the past three decades of pop culture, from Disney movies of the ’90s to the works of Guillermo del Toro and Neil Gaiman (especially Mirrormask for the latter) to many a romance novel. Just about every geek convention on the planet will feature at least a handful of Labyrinth cosplayers. Even Bowie returned to the world of Jareth, in a manner, with a Louis Vuitton advert from 2013. 

S. Jae-Jones is a New York Times best-selling author of the Wintersong series, a fantasy romance with heavy echoes of Labyrinth (as well as many of the stories that inspired the film, such as Christina Rossetti’s poem Goblin Market and the myth of Hades and Persephone). Jones was first introduced to Labyrinth as a child.

“My Korean grandmother was my caretaker for the vast majority of my childhood, and whenever she needed a break, she often put on Labyrinth for me,” Jae-Jones tells IGN. “As a kid, I think I liked it because the protagonist was named Sarah, which is also my first name.”

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When writing Wintersong, Jones was drawn not only to memories of Labyrinth but the broader narrative tropes its story falls under, notably “the descent into the underworld.”

“In Labyrinth, Sarah journeys to the Underground a spoiled, selfish brat and emerges (theoretically) as an adult, changed by the experiences she’s gone through (again, theoretically),” she continues. “Writers — particularly writers of epic fantasy — will often talk about Joseph Campbell’s monomyth and The Hero with a Thousand Faces, but not a lot of time is spent on the underworld story, where the likelihood of the protagonist being femme is much higher. I love an underworld story because I love stories about metaphorical death. What must die so the protagonist can live? What must change so they can re-emerge into the land of the living?”

Folklore and Feminism

It’s not hard to see what keeps people returning to Labyrinth, from its visually sumptuous production and costume design to the absolute everything of Bowie (and those leggings). Yet its most enduring appeal lies beyond the surface. ’80s nostalgia hasn’t left much room for young women, in large part because so many of the most indelible stories from that period of our youth didn’t heavily focus on the feelings and interests of teenage girls. Even in 2021, Labyrinth feels remarkably unique as a fantasy story about an adolescent girl whose emotions, burgeoning adulthood, and interests are taken 100% seriously. 

Haley Baker Callahan, a video essayist who talks about pop culture and art theory on her channel under the name Tricksterbelle, explored Labyrinth’s ideas of folklore and feminism in a 2016 video. For her, what remains timeless about the film is its earnest exploration of the autonomy and choices of an adolescent girl, something that remains dishearteningly uncommon in modern mainstream cinema.

“It is a classic Hero’s Journey, but on a more intimate level than your epics like Star Wars and Harry Potter,” says Baker Callahan. “It has this fun, wacky adventure with cute characters, but it’s also about a girl taking responsibility and deciding what kind of person she wants to be. And it’s so rare that you see these kinds of stories with female leads, statistically.”

It’s those ideas and the potential for further exploration that has kept Labyrinth’s fandom thriving for decades, long after even Jim Henson probably expected it to disappear into obscurity. The film’s following remains powerful today, but it’s also been an internet mainstay since the early ’90s, when mailing lists and now-defunct fan-sites like Jareth’s Home Page offered a community for like-minded folks to share artwork, critical essays, images, and theories. 

Fan Fiction and Masquerade Balls

Fan groups across Google and Yahoo! flourished during this period, as did fanfiction. Labyrinth is still one of the most popular movie topics on fanfiction.net, with over 10,000 works listed under its name, and crossovers with other films and pop culture entities are frequent. It’s extremely common to find fics in fandoms across genres and time that take inspiration from Labyrinth or even have crossovers with it. Predictably, Jareth/Sarah is the preferred pairing (with the teenage Sarah aged up to an adult for obvious reasons), but not always for romantic purposes. That certainly doesn’t hurt if that was your fan desire, but as with fan fiction in general, the goals are often far more ambitious than adding an old-school happy-ever-after.

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“The open ending [of the film] that doesn’t cut Sarah out from the magic goes a long way to setting the tone of the fic that would come after it,” Baker Callahan explains. “Many of the fanfic I’ve seen deals with themes of dealing with power, and the subsequent loss of it. Sarah has to fix the Labyrinth somehow, or Jareth is stuck as an owl. Those themes of autonomy tend to stick around.” 

Labyrinth fandom has expanded beyond the online world in exceptional ways. Since 1997, a special annual event takes place, the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball. Open to fans and cosplayers worldwide, the ball is a unique way to celebrate the film and to relive one of its most iconic moments, wherein Sarah falls into a drugged trance and sees herself dancing with Jareth in a lavish scene that inspired many generations of fans.

Taking influence from the Venetian tradition of masquerade balls as well as Celtic lore, the event has a built-in storyline and encourages attendees to “create their own characters and their own mythologies” to add to the “court of strange mythological creatures and characters.” The ball’s focus isn’t just on recreating the film, however; it’s about expanding upon its ideas and influences to create something new and expansive. Therein lies much of the thrill of Labyrinth: It can be whatever you want it to be.

The best fantasy stories leave the door open for audiences to continue the story in whatever ways they please, having created a world of such expanse and potential that we cannot help but want to remain. Whether it’s to rectify the film’s errors or find freedom in its opportunities, Labyrinth fandom has retained its fervor for a reason, and new generations step into the realm of the Goblin King for the same reasons. Bowie’s hair may be entirely a creation of the ’80s but a story of female liberation from a patriarchal system that denies her her own mind and choices remains dishearteningly prescient. The aesthetics of the film hypnotize but it’s Sarah’s victory over Jareth that we love so much. As Baker Callahan puts it, “In this journey of self-discovery and maturity, she wins by rejecting the influence of an older, male, authority figure.

“Considering how the dominant culture loves to dismiss the interests and decisions of teenage girls, it’s a revelation how the film treats those decisions and interests as vitally important to the story,” she continues. “Even little things like Sarah using her lipstick and jewelry as tools is validating her interests as useful. The main antagonist is just playing defense the whole time. The only win Jareth gets is when he essentially drugs her, which is unfortunately still very relevant. (We can dress the scene up in fantasy all we want but the fandom hasn’t called it the ‘roofie peach’ for nothing.) I think it’s key that the story doesn’t dwell on that moment, but [instead on] Sarah remembering her purpose and achieving victory anyway. And that victory isn’t won in a climactic battle or a tense game of wits, but a clear assertion of her independence.”

However you read Labyrinth — as the story of a young heroine fighting against a patriarchal bully; as a tale of blossoming adolescence and coming to terms with one’s desire, or as a simple fantasy movie with big dresses and cute talking worms — it’s undeniable that it remains a potent narrative. Thirty-five years and thousands of fanfictions later and it barely feels like fans have scratched the surface of its creative possibilities. That will only continue thanks to various official manga sequels and spin-off comics, plus a planned stage adaptation. 

In 2020, it was announced that Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson would helm a sequel to Labyrinth, with Jim Henson’s children, Brian and Lisa, onboard as producers. While fans may be divided on the need for a follow-up, it’s easy to see the myriad options such a story could explore. Those ideas that made Labyrinth beloved in the first place are still relevant and the parts that have changed still offer interesting routes for allegorical interpretation. Jareth may have had no power over Sarah, but Labyrinth’s thrall over audiences has never weakened.

Halo Infinite Beta: ODST Difficulty And Recharge Map Are Live

343 Industries has released a new, more challenging difficulty for folks to try out in the Halo Infinite technical test. A new map has been added as well.

The new difficulty is ODST, which is a step above Marine. Cranking things up to ODST will make bots more effective at dodging both grenades and rockets, and cause them to try and Grappleshot you in order to bring you in for a melee kill.

Now Playing: Halo Infinite Technical Preview Livestream

The new map is Recharge, which joins the ongoing rotation of Slayer maps currently a part of the technical test: Bazaar and Live Fire.

In a tweet, 343 Industries wrote that players have collectively killed 1.2 million bots in the first day of the technical test.

So far, Halo Infinite’s technical test has encountered a number of hiccups, which is to be expected–that’s what the test is for. 343 Industries is working on the ongoing issues, but also hopes players understand that this is just a test, not a full game launch. The studio is not working around the clock to fix bugs during the test.

Halo Infinite’s technical test will continue until August 2. Don’t worry if you didn’t make it in–343 Industries released gameplay of a full Halo Infinite match, so you can at least see what the game is like. Even running on Xbox One, it looks really good.

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Black Adam Using New Tech To Make Dwayne Johnson Fly, Producer Says

Black Adam isn’t the first name that comes to mind when most people think of the most powerful comic book characters, but he’s given Shazam and Superman both a run for their money in the comics, and now Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is set to play him in the upcoming Black Adam film. According to a Collider interview with producer Hiram Garcia, some new technology is going to help Johnson look his best.

“There were a lot of aspects to this film that were important to us, from big dramatic storylines that we wanted to explore to make sure we were properly representing an antihero of Black Adam’s caliber, to the visual effects and displaying Black Adam’s powers in a way that we think the fans will love,” Garcia said.

“This is a character with amazing abilities. He has super speed, can fly, and has world breaking strength to name a few. We wanted to make sure moviegoers feel that throughout the entire movie,” Garcia continued. “You’re not going to see him use super speed just once and then it stops, this is part of his arsenal. It’s common to see abilities fall to the wayside when dealing with characters like that but one of our many goals was to keep continuity there and push the bar in terms of how we do it. For example, the technology we’re using to make Black Adam fly has never been done before. It’s completely unique. It was critical for us to ensure that it felt special, authentic, and real. Jaume [Collet-Serra, director of Black Adam and Jungle Cruise] took that to heart. Our special effects team are Oscar winners, and we certainly put them to work.”

The wide-ranging interview covers a variety of topics, from the film’s rating to Dwayne Johnson’s position as one of the best-loved actors in Hollywood, and is absolutely worth reading on its own. Black Adam started production in April, and officially wrapped filming earlier this month. Black Adam is scheduled to hit theaters almost exactly one year from now, on July 29, 2022.

Pokemon Unite Supporter Guide: Move Lists, Stats, And Strategies For All Supporter Type Pokemon

Some Pokemon thrive on jumping right into battle and dealing as much damage as they can. Others prefer to stand on the sidelines, offering support through stat boosts, healing, and other perks while disrupting the opponents’ plans. If the latter is more your style, the Supporter type in Pokemon Unite is for you. These Pokemon aren’t focused on KOs and goals as much as they are on making sure their allies stay strong and healthy as the match progresses. The Supporter type is a unique but rewarding way to play, so check out our tips on how to be the best ally you can be.

Eldegoss

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Supporter classes take time to get used to, but Eldegoss is a terrific beginner’s support. Its Synthesis and Pollen Puff moves are fantastic for healing, while the Cotton Spore makes for a great disruption move later in the game. Leaf Tornado is available to Eldegoss if it needs to deal some damage, and the aforementioned Pollen Puff does damage opponents while healing, but this Pokemon is much better off lingering behind and waiting for an opportunity. Supporters are never meant to charge headlong into battle, preferring to stay behind while healing and waiting for the right time to drop that one disruptive move. For Eldegoss, it has plenty of moves in its arsenal to be that disruption.

Role: Supporter

Style: Ranged

Difficulty: Novice

Stats

  • Offense – 3
  • Endurance – 4
  • Mobility – 5
  • Scoring – 5
  • Support – 8

Evolution levels: Gossifluer Start | Eldegoss at Lvl. 4

Special Moves

  • Leafage – Throws leaves at opponents, damaging them and slowing them down temporarily. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 4 to one of the following:
    • Pollen Puff – Puff of pollen sticks to a Pokemon. If stuck to a teammate, it heals the teammate, and if stuck to an opponent it damages the opponent. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 allies take less damage when stuck while opponents take damage over time instead of once.
    • Leaf Tornado – A cyclone of leaves attacks enemies and leaves a small vortex behind, increasing movement speed of allies who walk through it. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 it also decreases the accuracy of enemy Pokemon it hits.
  • Synthesis – Restores HP of both itself and nearly allies. Cooldown is 8 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
    • Cotton Guard – Cotton appears and absorbs damage, restoring some HP when the move completes. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 movement speed increases while using the move.
    • Cotton Spore – Spores gather around Eldegoss reducing damage received. Spores will burst after a short time dealing damage to nearby enemies and slowing their movement speed. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the bursting spores also throw Pokemon into the air.
  • Passive Skill: Cotton Down – Damaging it over a certain amount will cause cotton to burst around it, increasing its HP and movement speed.
  • Unite Move: Cotton Cloud Crash – Eldegoss lifts into the air then crashes back down, healing ally Pokemon and damaging opponents when it lands.

Mr. Mime

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Mr. Mime is unique even as Supporters go, having the ability to create barriers that obstruct an opponent’s path. Strategic use of these walls in the early parts of a match can cattle-chute enemies right into a waiting Attacker and Speedster’s barrage, scoring some easy KOs. In the late-game, however, Mr. Mime’s Guard Swap is the main event. Between the quick swap of defensive stats, the ability to buff allies with the move, and its Psychic attack focusing on opponents that have been Guard Swapped, it quickly becomes the most important move in Mr. Mime’s repertoire. You won’t be dealing a lot of damage with this maniacal mime, but you will be creating the pathway to victory for your team.

Role: Supporter

Style: Melee

Difficulty: Intermediate

Stats

  • Offense – 3
  • Endurance – 8
  • Mobility – 2
  • Scoring – 3
  • Support – 8

Evolution levels: None

Special Moves

  • Fake Out – Slaps its hands together, knocking opponents back. Cooldown is 7 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 4 to one of the following:
    • Confusion – Psychic blast launched directly in front of it, knocking opponents back. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 damage dealt is increased.
    • Psychic – Psychic burst deals damage to opponents who had been hit with Guard Swap as well as opponents standing near them, also lowering Special Defense. If a Pokemon is hit twice by Psychic, it is stunned temporarily. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 it deals continuous damage and decreases opponents’ movement speed as long as it’s active.
  • Light Screen – Creates a wall of light that opponents cannot pass through. Cooldown is 8 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
    • Barrier – Creates a light barrier that opponents cannot pass through. This move can be used twice before the cooldown begins. 2 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move gains an extra use before cooldown.
    • Guard Swap – Temporarily swaps Defense and Special Defense stats with the Pokemon it hits. If the affected Pokemon is an opponent, the move also deals damage over time and decreases its speed. If the affected Pokemon is an ally, the move also increases its movement speed. 4.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 when used against an ally, it restores HP for both the ally and Mr. Mime.
  • Passive Skill: Filter – Defense is temporarily increased after using special moves.
  • Unite Move: Showtime – Pantomime show that deals area-of-effect damage over time and instantly stuns all opponents around it.

Wigglytuff

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Wigglytuff’s musical melee skills offer a ton of support to a Pokemon Unite team. Its Defense Curl/Rollout can knock an opponent into the air and disrupt its attack pattern, while Pound/Double Slap unleash multiple quick hits that lower an opponent’s speed. Its passive skill, Cute Charm, can be used as an effective tool in drawing enemies into an ally ambush, as it forces a close-range opponent to come to Wigglytuff after attacking. Make sure to save its Unite Move, Starlight Recital, until Wigglytuff is surrounded by allies, as the buffs and shields it provides will add a lot of protection to the whole team as they charge into a battle. Wigglytuff won’t be dealing a ton of damage with its attacks, but where it lacks in power it makes up for in defensive boosts to the whole team.

Role: Supporter

Style: Ranged

Difficulty: Novice

Stats

  • Offense – 2
  • Endurance – 5
  • Mobility – 5
  • Scoring – 4
  • Support – 9

Evolution levels: Jigglypuff Start | Wigglytuff at Lvl. 4

Special Moves

  • Pound – A quick slap to an opponent, dealing damage and lowering the opponent’s movement speed. Cooldown is 5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 4 to one of the following:
    • Dazzling Gleam – Shoots a powerful light beam straight head, hitting opponents twice. 4.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 10 the first hit lowers the opponent’s movement speed.
    • Double Slap – Multiple quick attacks to an opponent, dealing damage and lowering the opponent’s movement speed. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 10 the move adds more attacks.
  • Defense Curl – Curls into a ball and rolls forward, hitting opponents into the air and creating a shield around Wigglytuff. If rolling forward sends Wigglytuff into an obstacle, it will change direction and its other special move’s cooldown will be removed. Cooldown is 8 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
    • Rollout – More powerful version of Defense Curl. Curls into a ball and rolls forward, hitting opponents into the air and creating a shield around Wigglytuff. If rolling forward sends Wigglytuff into an obstacle, it will change direction and its other special move’s cooldown will be removed. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 12 any opponents knocked into the air are airborne for a longer duration.
    • Sing – A sweet song slows an opponent’s movement speed. If the opponent stays in the area of effect long enough, it falls asleep with lowered defense and special defense. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 12 the duration of the opponent’s sleep state is increased.
  • Passive Skill: Cute Charm – Opponents that attack Wigglytuff at close range become infatuated and move toward it automatically.
  • Unite Move: Starlight Recital – Provides a shield to nearby allies, clearing status effects and preventing new status effects for a short time.

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Pokemon Unite Defender Guide: Move Lists, Stats, And Strategies For All Defender Type Pokemon

While the flashier moments in Pokemon Unite focus on other classes, the Defenders are an important part of a team’s makeup. Having a lot of attack-minded Pokemon is fine, but if no one is bringing up the rear to make sure your team’s goals are being protected, the opponents will score at will and all of that attack power will go to waste. Each of these Defenders can fill that role, so check them out and see which one is best for you.

Crustle

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Crustle may be a Defender, but it’s the most offensive-minded of the three. It has plenty of tools to help support the team in defense, creating barricades with Rock Tomb and throwing Stealth Rock into a group of opponents to slowly inflict damage. However, should Crustle be defending a goal against one or two opponents, Shell Smash converts some of its high Defense into attack power, turning it into a wrecking ball. Some well-placed X-Scissor attacks while Shell Smash is active can decimate a lot of the other Pokemon on the field, so use that combo liberally when the time comes. Crustle is a sneakily attack-savvy Defender that can turn a battle around with one smash of its shell.

Role: Defender

Style: Melee

Difficulty: Novice

Stats

  • Offense – 3
  • Endurance – 8
  • Mobility – 3
  • Scoring – 4
  • Support – 6

Evolution levels: Dwebble Start | Crustle at Lvl. 4

Special Moves

  • Rock Slide – Drops rocks on a targeted area, dealing area-of-effect damage to opponents and stunning them. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 4 to one of the following:
    • Rock Tomb – Opens the ground and creates a barricade of rock. Second use destroys the barricade. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the opponent’s movement speed is decreased on hit.
    • Shell Smash – Crustle smashes its own shell, temporarily converting some Defense and Special Defense for Attack and Special Attack and increasing speed. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the amount of Defense and Special Defense converted increases.
  • Fury Cutter – A quick slash with its claws. Consecutive hits on the same Pokemon with this move increases the damage dealt. Cooldown is 3.5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 8 to one of the following:
    • Stealth Rock – A group of small rocks is thrown. After contact is made with an opponent or the maximum distance is traveled, covers an area with rocks that deals slowly increasing area-of-effect damage over time. 8 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move’s duration is increased and any damaged opponent’s movement speed is decreased.
    • X-Scissor – Dashes forward with a crossed claw attack, damaging and knocking back opponents. The damaged opponent is stunned if it hits an obstacle while being knocked back. 8 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move’s cooldown is reduced.
  • Passive Skill: Sturdy – Defense and Special Defense increase as HP decreases.
  • Unite Move: Rubble Rouser – An explosion of rocks creates a shield around it, dealing damage to nearby opponents over time. More explosions appear if Crustle takes damage while the move is active

Slowbro

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As its name indicates, choosing Slowbro means you’re not going to be zooming around the arena at lightning speeds. Slowbro is much more at home defending the bottom lane and scoring quick goals whenever the opportunity appears. It does have some offensive prowess, using the area-of-effect attack Scald to chip away at multiple enemies or crashing into a group with Surf. Also, its ability to keep its HP high with Slack Off or Amnesia, coupled with its passive skill Oblivious, means you don’t have to worry too much if you’re left with little health after a fight. Also, reeling in a weakened opponent with Telekinesis and having a teammate nearby ready to finish it off is very satisfying. Slowbro may not travel too far in front of it, but it will make sure no Pokemon gets behind it.

Role: Defender

Style: Melee

Difficulty: Intermediate

Stats

  • Offense – 3
  • Endurance – 8
  • Mobility – 3
  • Scoring – 3
  • Support – 8

Evolution levels: Slowpoke Start | Slowbro at Lvl. 4

Special Moves

  • Water Gun – Water is shot straight ahead, damaging and lowering the movement speed of opponents. The move can be charged, and the longer the charge the further it travels, inflicting more damage and slowing opponents down more. Cooldown is 5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 4 to one of the following:
    • Scald – Creates a puddle of scalding water, doing area-of-effect damage to any opponents in the puddle. Damaged opponents’ speed and attack power are lowered, indicated by steam rising from them. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the puddle covers more ground.
    • Surf – Sends three waves of water toward opponents, each one dealing damage. Slowbro rides the first wave, pushing it forward. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the two waves behind Slowbro are larger and knock opponents up into the air.
  • Slack Off – Lies down to rest, recovering HP. The longer Slowbro lays down, the more HP is recovered. Cooldown is 11 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
    • Amnesia – Restores health, increases defense and damage for next Scald/Surf use, and makes Slowbro immune to status effects. 12 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 it also increases Slowbro’s special attack.
    • Telekinesis – A two-step move: first it raises one opponent into the air, then on the second button press Slowbro brings the opponent to its position. 12 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move’s speed and range increase.
  • Passive Skill: Oblivious – Damage received is gradual instead of instant, making it “cancellable” by recovering HP with successful attacks. Attacks that recover gradual damage also weaken the opponent’s special defense.
  • Unite Move: Slowbeam – Shoots a beam at one opponent, locking it in place and connecting with multiple hits. Slowbro gains a shield and is unstoppable while the move is active.

Snorlax

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Snorlax is the Pokemon for defensive-minded players. Heavy Slam breaks up enemy skirmishes and Block gives teammates a breather when needed, although it can also be used offensively to prevent enemy players’ retreat. Placing Snorlax in front of a goal and playing defense is the best way to be successful with the giant Pokemon, but it can’t be left alone for too long. Despite its maximum endurance, Snorlax can get overwhelmed just like every other Pokemon in Unite, and he’ll end up sleeping off the damage he receives while waiting to respawn.

Role: Defender

Style: Melee

Difficulty: Novice

Stats

  • Offense – 3
  • Endurance – 10
  • Mobility – 4
  • Scoring – 3
  • Support – 5

Evolution levels: None

Special Moves

  • Tackle – Charges forward with its belly for an area-of-effect attack, slowing damaged Pokemon’s movement speed for a short time. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
    • Heavy Slam – Slams its body down, damaging and throwing opponents around it. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move’s damage is boosted.
    • Flail – Flails its body around, hitting all Pokemon around it. The move also increases basic attack damage depending on current HP; the lower the HP, the higher the damage boost. 6.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move’s damage is boosted.
  • Rest – Falls asleep where it stands and heals HP while blocking the path of all Pokemon not on its team. Cooldown is 10 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 8 to one of the following:
    • Block – Spreads its arms out, creating a wall and giving it a shield. Opposing Pokemon are knocked back when contacting the wall. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 damage received while this move is active is reduced.
    • Yawn – A huge yawn that lulls opposing Pokemon around it to sleep, stunning them. 12 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 it also decreases the movement speed of any Pokemon it hits.
  • Passive Skill: Gluttony – Increased effects from used Berry items.
  • Unite Move: Power Nap – Falls asleep and rolls around, damaging any Pokemon it contacts.

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Pokemon Unite Speedster Guide: Move Lists, Stats, And Strategies For All Speedster Type Pokemon

Looking at the roster of available Pokemon in Pokemon Unite, you may find yourself drawn to the speedier members of the roster. MOBA veterans who play classes like Assassin will fit in nicely here, while brand-new MOBA players may be keen on the Speedster’s ability to move quickly around the battlefield and hold their own against any opponent.Be warned though, newcomers: most of these Pokemon are classified as “expert” difficulty for a reason. You may want to figure out the game’s flow with another type first. If you don’t want to wait and think Speedster is the class for you, these tips will have you running circles around your competition.

Absol

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Absol is one of the more versatile Pokemon in the Unite roster. It’s an adept “jungler”–a role that focuses on battling wild Pokemon for energy–as it sports a few moves that attack enemies directly in front of it, perfectly suited for encounters with tougher wild Pokemon like Rotom and Drednaw. When it’s time to score Absol can also handle crowds with moves that attack multiple Pokemon in arcs, increasing its mobility in the process. It also helps that Absol is a critical hit machine, pairing moves that boost its critical hit rate with its passive skill Super Luck to land a ton of crits. Absol is a versatile Pokemon that can serve a lot of roles, so keeping an eye on the flow of battle is key to succeeding with it.

Role: Speedster

Style: Melee

Difficulty: Expert

Stats

  • Offense – 7
  • Endurance – 4
  • Mobility – 8
  • Scoring – 5
  • Support – 1

Evolution levels: None

Special Moves

  • Feint – Dashes at an arc-shaped trajectory, damaging Pokemon in the arc’s path. Defense statistics and shields do not apply to this attack. Cooldown is 8 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 5 to one of the following:
    • Night Slash – Two-part attack, the first slashes outwardly and the second dashes to a designated location dealing damage. The first hit lowers opponents’ movement speed, while the second increases Absol’s critical hit rate. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move gains Lifesteal, healing Absol when it damages an opponent.
    • Pursuit – Dashes to the designated area and changes its next basic attack to a forward charge. If that basic attack connects from behind, damage is increased and cooldown is reduced. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 Absol’s movement speed is increased.
  • Slash – Slashes area directly in front of the user and increases critical hit rate. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following:
    • Psycho Cut – Psychic-powered blades attack area in front of Absol. If the attack connects, Absol’s next three basic attacks have increased damage. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 this attack also increases Absol’s movement speed if it connects.
    • Sucker Punch – Attack decreases movement speed of both Absol and opponent while delaying damage dealt. If Absol is attacked before this damage occurs, the opponent is also knocked back. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 basic attack speed is boosted if this connects.
  • Passive Skill: Super Luck – Critical Hit rate increased.
  • Unite Move: Midnight Slash – Multiple slashes followed by bursts of dark energy that damages all nearby opponents.

Gengar

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Just like the Pokemon itself, Gengar is a trickster on the battlefield. A master of status effects, Gengar has access to moves that can inflict burns, poison, and sleep on an opponent, making it great for disrupting opponents and causing havoc. Its passive skill Levitate increases his speed when not in combat, meaning that Gengar can patrol the entire arena efficiently and move wherever the team is in need. A late-game combo to consider is Sludge Bomb (which inflicts poison) and Hex (which deals increased damage to poisoned opponents), as it will immediately weaken or even knock out anyone on the opposing side and give your team a huge advantage. Gengar isn’t the easiest Pokemon to learn, but his potent combos and ability to cover ground quickly make him a great option on any team.

Role: Speedster

Style: Melee

Difficulty: Expert

Stats

  • Offense – 7
  • Endurance – 4
  • Mobility – 8
  • Scoring – 6
  • Support – 1

Evolution levels: Gastly Start | Haunter at Lvl. 5 | Gengar at Lvl. 9

Special Moves

  • Will-O-Wisp – Multiple flames damage and inflict a burn on opponents. Cooldown is 5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 5 to one of the following:
    • Shadow Ball – Dark energy projectile damages and lowers movement speed and special defense of opponents it contacts. 4.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 damage dealt is increased.
    • Sludge Bomb – Sludge is thrown into a designated area, damaging and inflicting poison on the opponent. 8 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the duration of the poison status effect is increased.
  • Lick – Tongue attack that pulls opposing Pokemon closer to it. Cooldown is 7 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following:
    • Dream Eater – Psychic energy puts opponents to sleep, letting Gengar appear behind them and attack. This attack restores some of Gengar’s HP and reduces cooldown on its other special move. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 damage dealt and HP restored are increased.
    • Hex – Gengar disappears and reappears in a designated spot, dealing damage. If the opponent is poisoned when attacked, damage is increased. 7.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 damage dealt is increased.
  • Passive Skill: Levitate – Increased movement speed when not engaged in combat.
  • Unite Move: Phantom Ambush – Two-step move, the first has Gengar jump to a designated spot and start sneaking, the second deals area-of-effect damage to opponents in the area while increasing Gengar’s movement speed.

Talonflame

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Talonflame’s Speedster nature and mobile moveset mean it’s going to move around the arena with ease. Moves Like Acrobatics, Aerial Ace, and Flame Charge all send it charging ahead, good for both chasing after weakened Pokemon and getting it out of a jam. The speed boost Talonflame gets from being at high HP levels helps as well, so choosing your spots with a “stick and move” strategy will keep Talonflame alive and speedy. Just make sure not to get caught in a group of enemies alone, or else you’ll be staring at the respawn screen in no time.

Role: Speedster

Style: Melee

Difficulty: Intermediate

Stats

  • Offense – 5
  • Endurance – 3
  • Mobility – 10
  • Scoring – 7
  • Support – 1

Evolution levels: Fletchling Start | Fletchinder at Lvl. 5 | Talonflame at Lvl. 9

Special Moves

  • Peck – A quick charge forward followed by three quick peck attacks. Cooldown is 5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 5 to one of the following:
    • Flame Charge – Flies forward surrounded by flames, attacking and increasing its speed. 6.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move also decreases the opponent’s speed.
    • Aerial Ace – Charges toward an enemy causing damage and increasing damage of the next basic move. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the damage dealt is increased.
  • Acrobatics – Attacks an area from multiple directions and allows the player to choose the direction of escape when the move is finished. Cooldown is 7 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following:
    • Fly – Flies straight into the sky, and a second use brings it back down for big damage. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move throws enemies in the area when Talonflame comes back down.
    • Brave Bird – Engulfs itself in flames and flies to a specified area for damage. The move causes recoil damage to Talonflame and reduces cooldown in basic attacks.11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 recoil damage is reduced.
  • Passive Skill: Gale Wings – Talonflame moves faster when it’s at high HP.
  • Unite Move: Flame Sweep – A long-distance charge while covered in flames, shoving enemies aside after contact

Zeraora

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Zeraora is an absolute terror, widely considered to be one of the best characters in the game. Its passive skill Volt Absorb is a big reason for this, as its damage output is increased whenever it takes damage. It can also heal itself with Spark, confuse opponents with the movement of Volt Switch and Wild Charge, and buff its basic attack speed. Using Wild Charge’s extra area-of-effect damage lets Zeraora deal damage to multiple targets at a time too, so it can hold its own in a group for a little while. It’s not immortal–that low Endurance does mean it won’t last long on its own against a group–but there aren’t many Pokemon with a moveset as potent as that of Zeraora.

Role: Speedster

Style: Melee

Difficulty: Expert

Stats

  • Offense – 7
  • Endurance – 3
  • Mobility – 8
  • Scoring – 6
  • Support – 1

Evolution levels: None

Special Moves

  • Agility – A quick dash forward that increases basic attack speed. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
    • Volt Switch – A quick dash that deals damage and increases basic attack speed. If this move is used again within a short period of time Zeraora will return to where the move was activated the first time. 8 second cooldown. At Lvl. 12 damage is increased and the boost to basic attack speed lasts longer.
    • Spark – Jumps towards an opponent with an electrified attack. If the basic attack button is pressed while Zeraora is in the air, it will change course and attack the next closest opponent. This move can be used three times before cooldown. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 12 the move heals HP if Zeraora switches targets mid-air.
  • Slash – A pounce attack that turns into a slashing combo, the final hit throwing opponents back. Cooldown is 8.5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 8 to one of the following:
  • Discharge – Lets out an electrical discharge that damages opponents and gives Zeraora a shield. If a damaged opponent is also paralyzed, the move will pull the opponent closer to Zeraora, inflicting more damage and leaving it stunned. 8.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 14 the move also decreases opponents’ movement speed on hit.
  • Wild Charge – A forward charge that turns into a combo when it makes contact. Zeraora takes damage when move is activated. If Volt Switch, Spark, or a boosted basic attack was used before Wild Charge, the combo is longer. 8.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 14 the move deals area-of-effect damage to opponents close to whoever is being hit with the combo.
  • Passive Skill: Volt Absorb – Deals more damage after being hit.
  • Unite Move: Plasma Gale – Fires an electric blast that deals damage and creates a lightning field that deals damage over time.

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Pokemon Unite All-Rounder Guide: Move Lists, Stats, And Strategies For All All-Rounder Type Pokemon

Pokemon Unite brings with it a brand-new way to play Pokemon, eschewing the normal catch-em-all RPG tropes for an action-focused MOBA experience. As such, the way Pokemon are categorized and implemented in the game is very different from what a seasoned Pokemon trainer might be familiar with. Take the All-Rounder type, a group of Pokemon who don’t excel at offense or defense, but perform well enough in both to be used in either situation. The All-Rounder is a good choice for players dipping their toes into the MOBA ocean for the first time, and here we look at all four All-Rounders in the game so far.

Charizard

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Charizard is the definition of a well-rounded Pokemon, holding its own on offense, defense, and in scoring. However, being an All-Rounder means the fiery Pokemon can only fly so high before getting burned, making him a liability in the later stages of a match. Our strategic recommendation would be to stay on the offensive early, gaining experience and upgrading to a Flamethrower/Fire Blast set before falling back and defending for the rest of the match. Fire Blast will keep opponents at bay thanks to its large area-of-effect, while Flamethrower can target approaching opponents trying to avoid Fire Blast. If you do prefer being on offense, however, Flare Blitz is a great special attack in one-on-one scenarios.

Role: All-Rounder

Style: Melee

Difficulty: Novice

Stats

  • Offense – 7
  • Endurance – 6
  • Mobility – 5
  • Scoring – 6
  • Support – 1

Evolution levels: Charmander Start | Charmeleon at Lvl. 5 | Charizard at Lvl. 9

Special Moves

  • Flame Burst – Fire attack that leaves the opponent burned for a short time. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 5 to one of the following:
    • Flamethrower – Fiery breath that damages and burns any Pokemon in its path. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move’s damage and burn damage is boosted.
    • Fire Punch – A blazing punch that does additional damage to enemies already burned. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 Charizard’s basic attack reduces Fire Punch’s cooldown when it connects.
  • Fire Spin – Circle of fire traps Pokemon inside, damaging and slowing them down. Cooldown is 10 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following:
    • Fire Blast – Blast of fire that deals initial damage, then leaves a circle of fire that damages Pokemon inside it over time and slows them down. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the damage dealt is increased.
    • Flare Blitz – Charizard charges forward encased in fire, gaining a shield and throwing opponents on contact. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move also slows down Pokemon it damages.
  • Passive Skill: Blaze – Critical Hit damage is increased when Charizard is at half health
  • Unite Move: Seismic Slam – Charizard flies into the air, aims at a target, picks it up, and slams it into the ground.

Garchomp

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Garchomp may be an All-Rounder, but its moveset and skills make it one of the most efficient attackers in the game. Its area-of-effect attacks can cause damage to multiple opponents at once, even more so when the Dig/Earthquake combo is activated. Its high endurance allows it to absorb a good amount of damage, while its decent mobility should help it escape in most situations. Dragon Rush is a good way to exploit its passive skill Rough Skin, as while charging forward might leave Garchomp to counterattacks, the passive ability means all of those counters will damage the opponent too. Evolving all the way to Garchomp at Lvl. 10 will take time, so you may spend a decent part of each match on the defensive, but once the big dragon makes its entrance, charge forward and don’t look back.

Role: All-Rounder

Style: Melee

Difficulty: Intermediate

Stats

  • Offense – 7
  • Endurance – 7
  • Mobility – 5
  • Scoring – 5
  • Support – 1

Evolution levels: Gible Start | Gabite at Lvl. 6 | Garchomp at Lvl. 10

Special Moves

  • Sand Attack – A sand-throwing attack that slows opponents’ movement and basic attack speed. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
    • Dragon Rush – Charges in a specific direction, knocking back Pokemon it contacts. At Lvl. 11 opponents’ movement speed is reduced if they are knocked back the max distance by this attack.
    • Dig – Digs underground then pops up for area-of-effect damage upon contact with an opponent. Can be paired with Earthquake for a larger area-of-effect. At Lvl. 13 Garchomp’s speed is increased while underground.
  • Bulldoze – Stomps the ground for an area-of-effect attack. Cooldown is 5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 8 to one of the following:
    • Earthquake – Shakes the ground with a huge jump for area-of-effect damage. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 14 all opponents hit by the move have movement speed reduced.
    • Dragon Claw – A two-part attack, the first part damages opponents while knocking them back, while part two deals increased damage and increases Garchomp’s basic attack speed. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 attack damage is increased.
  • Passive Skill: Rough Skin – A small percentage of melee damage done to Garchomp is inflicted on the attacker as well.
  • Unite Move: Livid Outrage – A powerful multi-hit attack while charging forward, but leaves Garchomp stunned for a short time after use. The final hit also throws opponents into the air.

Lucario

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Lucario is a Pokemon that should not be attempted until you’re completely familiar with how Pokemon Unite works. Its moveset deals with extra setup and preparation, particularly with a move like Bone Rush that can be used to sneak up on unsuspecting opponents, so a full understanding of the arena and the flow of battle is recommended. That diligence will be rewarded though, as Lucario boasts some of the most potent attacks in the entire game. A well-placed Power-Up Punch/Bone Rush combo late in the game could turn the tide in your favor, particularly if used right after an Aura Cannon while Power-Up Punch is enhanced. On offense or defense, Lucario can save the game for you.

Role: All-Rounder

Style: Melee

Difficulty: Expert

Stats

  • Offense – 6
  • Endurance – 5
  • Mobility – 7
  • Scoring – 6
  • Support – 1

Evolution levels: None

Special Moves

  • Quick Attack – Lunges forward at great speed for an attack. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 5 to one of the following:
    • Extreme Speed – Dash attack that restores HP and resets cooldown if used directly next to an opponent. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 Lucario’s Attack is increased for a short time after use.
    • Power-Up Punch – A charged punch that damages and knocks back opponents. Also changes the next basic attack to its boosted version. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 Lucario is not affected by hindrances while charging.
  • Meteor Smash – Dashes forward with a punch, damaging opponents and pushing them back. Cooldown is 7 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following:
    • Bone Rush – Multi-hit attack which leaves opponents stunned. Final attack sends bone flying into the air, on next use Lucario rushes to where bone landed before attacking. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 all cooldowns are reset when Lucario rushes to bone.
    • Close Combat – Multi-hit combo that damages opponents and knocks them back. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 Lucario gains a shield after use and is immune to hindrances during use.
  • Passive Skill: Steadfast – When Lucario’s HP is low, its movement speed increases and a shield is gained.
  • Unite Move: Aura Cannon – Lucario fires an energy blast for massive area-of-effect damage. If the player chose Power-Up Punch, the next use has increased damage.

Machamp

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Machamp is a damage machine, able to wreck through any amount of opponents and wild Pokemon that stand in his way. Its moveset allows him to buff basic attacks for big damage, while also increasing critical hit rate for some monumental damage. By pairing Dynamic Punch with Close Combat, every time you use a special move you become immune to hindrances like stun or knockback, meaning basic attacks will go unpunished for a few seconds. Its passive skill, Guts, powers Machamp up when afflicted by a status effect, so approaching it isn’t safe even when it’s burnt or poisoned. Machamp is an absolute powerhouse, so those who like dealing a lot of damage will have a lot of fun.

Role: All-Rounder

Style: Melee

Difficulty: Intermediate

Stats

  • Offense – 8
  • Endurance – 5
  • Mobility – 5
  • Scoring – 5
  • Support – 1

Evolution levels: Machop Start | Machoke at Lvl. 5 | Machamp at Lvl. 9

Special Moves

  • Karate Chop – Karate chop attack that deals damage. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 5 to one of the following:
    • Close Combat – Series of punches with the final punch dealing more damage. Machamp can move while attacking and is immune to hindrances while using the move. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move’s damage is boosted when used against a Pokemon with a status condition.
    • Cross Chop – Dashes forward with a double chop. Temporarily increases Machamp’s Critical hit rate. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 Machamp’s attack power increases.
  • Bulk Up – Makes Machamp immune to hindrances, increases attack power, movement speed, and basic attack speed, and boosts next basic attack. Cooldown is 10 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following:
    • Dynamic Punch – Jumps to targeted area and slams the ground, dealing area-of-effect damage. Increases movement and attack speed and makes Machamp immune to hindrances after use. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 attack and movement speed buff boosted.
    • Submission – Makes Machamp immune to status effects, increases movement speed, and next normal attack becomes an area-of-effect move with increased damage that stuns opponents. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move increases attack speed and Critical Hit rate.
  • Passive Skill: Guts – Attack power is increased when afflicted by a status condition.
  • Unite Move: Barrage Blow – A two-step move that first increases Machamp’s attack, defense, and speed, then unleashes multiple area-of-effect blows that push back damaged opponents.

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Pokemon Unite Attacker Guide: Move Lists, Stats, And Strategies For All Attacker Type Pokemon

With the release of Pokemon Unite, a whole new group of gamers are going to get a taste of a MOBA for the first time ever. This is no ordinary Pokemon game, as it features a completely different format, battle system, and objective, but we are here to lead you through. In this guide we’re talking about the offensive-minded character of Pokemon Unite, the Attacker types. Seven different Pokemon from across the franchise’s history make up this class, focusing on dealing damage quickly and often. If being in the heat of battle is your style, then the Attacker is for you.

Alolan Ninetales

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Alolan Ninetales is classified as an Attacker, but “disruptor” may be a better term. A lot of its moveset revolves around using the environment to its advantage, whether it’s blocking paths with Avalanche or creating Blizzard cyclones. Its ability to freeze opponents in place with successful attacks is a boon as well, as it can then get in close to frozen opponents and let the passive Snow Warning take effect. Add the protection of Aurora Veil for it and its teammates and you’ll be in business. While some Attackers take a more direct and easier approach to dealing damage, Alolan Ninetales’s unpredictable moveset makes it a good choice if you’re looking for a more unconventional Pokemon to take into battle..

Role: Attacker

Style: Ranged

Difficulty: Intermediate

Stats:

  • Offense – 8
  • Endurance – 3
  • Mobility – 3
  • Scoring – 5
  • Support – 6

Evolution levels: Alolan Vulpix Start | Alolan Ninetales at Lvl. 4

Special Moves:

  • Powder Snow – Direct ranged attack that decreases movement speed of opponents it damages. Cooldown is 5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 4 to one of the following:
    • Avalanche – Forms an icy wall that cannot be passed through, dealing damage to opponents near it when it collapses. At Lvl. 11 it decreases movement speed of damaged opponents.
    • Dazzling Gleam – Attacks with a cone-shaped beam that damages and stuns opponents. 7.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 damage dealt and stun time is increased.
  • Icy Wind – Gust of cold wind that decreases movement speed of opponents it damages. Cooldown is 8 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
    • Blizzard – An icy cyclone deals damage over time to all opponents inside of it while also decreasing movement speed and shoving opponents back. If the move hits an obstacle, it will split to either side of it and create two smaller cyclones. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the time between hits while the cyclone is active is decreased.
    • Aurora Veil – Creates aurora force field that decreases damage dealt to all allies inside. Also increases Alolan Ninetales’s movement speed and boosts all basic attacks. 13 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 damage to allies is decreased further.
  • Passive Skill: Snow Warning – Temporarily freezes opponents after consecutive successful special moves and boosted basic attacks. Opponents who get too close to Alolan Ninetales take damage and have movement speed decreased.
  • Unite Move: Snow Globe – Snow and ice attack that deals area-of-effect damage to opponents. Damage is increased if the opponent is Frozen.

Cinderace

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You may look at Cinderace’s Endurance stat below and wonder if it can stay alive long enough to have any effect on a match. If so, you are underestimating a truly amazing Attacker. Cinderace’s ability to inflict burns on opponents with Ember and Pyro Ball gives it a big advantage, slowing chipping away their health. Meanwhile Feint is a potential momentum-shifting move, as it can instantly change Cinderace from being stunned or knocked into the air to invincible with increased speed. We wouldn’t recommend leading Cinderace into battle alone–that’s when the low endurance will rear its ugly head–but with a Defender or Supporter next to it there are few Attackers that can be as dangerous as Cinderace.

Role: Attacker

Style: Ranged

Difficulty: Novice

Stats:

  • Offense – 8
  • Endurance – 3
  • Mobility – 6
  • Scoring – 5
  • Support – 1

Evolution levels: Scorbunny Start | Raboot at Lvl. 5 | Cinderace at Lvl. 7

Special Moves:

  • Ember – Small flame attack damages one opponent and burns them, inflicting damage for the opponent’s next three actions. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following:
    • Pyro Ball – Ball of fire shot in a straight line, damaging and inflicting a Burn on every Pokemon it hits. Cooldown is 7 seconds. At Lvl. 11 Cinderace’s basic attacks reduce this move’s cooldown up to three times.
    • Blaze Kick – A dive kick targeted at a designated area that knocks opponents back and inflicts a burn. Cinderace returns to its original position after the move is complete. Cooldown is 8 seconds. At Lvl. 11 basic attack speed is increased if this hits.
  • Low Sweep – Low sweep attack that damages opponents. Cinderace’s next boosted basic attack will cause reduced movement speed. Cooldown is 7.5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 8 to one of the following:
    • Flame Charge – Charges into enemies and deals damage. Cinderace’s next basic attack range and damage are increased. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 basic attack speed is increased.
    • Feint – Increases Cinderace’s movement speed and makes it temporarily invincible. Can be activated to cancel hindrances affecting Cinderace. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 Cinderace’s next three basic attacks restore health.
  • Passive Skill: Blaze – When Cinderace is at half health Critical Hit damage is increased, Special Moves boost Basic Attacks, and successful attacks add a stack of flames to opponents resulting in a burst of damage on the fifth stack.
  • Unite Move: Blazing Bicycle Kick – Giant fireball is kicked to a selected location, causing area-of-effect damage to opponents. Temporarily increases Cinderace’s speed.

Cramorant

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Cramorant should always be at the front of the group. Its attacks can target multiple Pokemon at a time and inflict status effects, while its passive skill Gulp Missile offers an extra automatic counter hit to whichever enemy attacks it first. So long as Cramorant stays in the area of its own attacks, it can continuously reload that passive skill and always have a counter on tap. Its decent endurance makes it a better frontline candidate than other Attackers. With its strong Offense and no evolutions it will be dealing a ton of damage for the entire match. Cramorant is the kind of Pokemon that can set the tone early in a match and never let up, making it a force to be reckoned with.

Role: Attacker

Style: Ranged

Difficulty: Expert

Stats:

  • Offense – 8
  • Endurance – 6
  • Mobility – 6
  • Scoring – 3
  • Support – 1

Evolution levels: None

Special Moves:

  • Whirlpool – Area of effect attack that damages anyone in contact. Area of effect shrinks over time, but damage increases. Cramorant can grab prey for Gulp Missile by entering area of effect. Cooldown is 5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 4 to one of the following:
    • Surf – Attacks with a wave in one direction, then reverses for a second attack. Pokemon damaged twice are knocked back by the second wave. Cramorant can grab prey by entering wave. At Lvl. 11 the wave can lock an opponent’s moves for a short time.
    • Dive – Creates a puddle that Cramorant dives into, dealing damage and knocking back Pokemon it hits. Can be used three times before cooldown begins. At Lvl. 11 damage is increased.
  • Feather Dance – Decreases attack power and movement speed of affected Pokemon for a short time. Cooldown is 8 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
    • Hurricane – A strong wind throws Pokemon caught in it, damaging them when they hit the ground. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 opponents’ Defense and Special Defense are reduced on hit.
    • Air Slash – Shoots sharp winds for damage while jumping back to create distance. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move’s cooldown is reduced for every shot that connects.
  • Passive Skill: Gulp Missile – Automatically counters opponents’ attacks with the Pokemon in its mouth. Using other moves restores “ammo” after use. The more HP Cramorant has, the better Pokemon will appear in its mouth for counterattack.
  • Unite Move: Gatling Gulp Missile – Forms a puddle under Cramorant, who grabs multiple Arrokuda and shoots them at nearby opponents. Cramorant cannot use other moves while Gatling Gulp Missile is active.

Gardevoir

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Gardevoir, like Cinderace, is not an Attacker that should be entering a fight by itself. While its damage output is very high, its defense is far too low to be able to handle anything more than a one-on-one encounter. Teleport allows for a quick exit in the early stages of a match, while Moonblast offers a ton of versatility in the late-game by creating distance and stunning the closest enemy to Gardevoir instantly. Psyshock offers incredible power and multiple hits, so it’s a great move to throw into a group while setting up a Moonblast. It’ll need some protecting, but Gardevoir packs a tremendous psychic punch and makes for a prime choice at Attacker.

Role: Attacker

Style: Ranged

Difficulty: Intermediate

Stats:

  • Offense – 9
  • Endurance – 3
  • Mobility – 3
  • Scoring – 6
  • Support – 3

Evolution levels: Ralts Start | Kirlia at Lvl. 6 | Gardevoir at Lvl. 10

Special Moves:

  • Teleport – Warps to designated position and increases attack power of next basic attack. Cooldown is 11 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
    • Psyshock – Three quick psychic blast area-of-effect attacks. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 each attack’s damage is boosted.
    • Future Sight – Activates a delayed explosion that damages opponents and reduces this move’s cooldown on hit. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 cooldown is removed.
  • Confusion – Psychic attack that shoots in a straight line. Cooldown is 4.5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 8 to one of the following:
    • Psychic – Psychic attack that creates a psychic field doing area-of-effect damage and lowering the movement speed of all opponents inside the area. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 cooldown is reduced.
    • Moonblast – Cone-shaped psychic beam that sends Gardevoir backwards and stuns the opponent closest to Gardevoir. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move grants Gardevoir a shield.
  • Passive Skill: Synchronize – Whenever Gardevoir receives damage over time or its speed is slowed, the affliction is reflected on the Pokemon who caused it.
  • Unite Move: Fairy Singularity – Creates a singularity that pulls Pokemon in then explodes, knocking opponents back and dealing major damage.

Greninja

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Greninja wields an interesting moveset, one focused on disruption and obstruction as much as it focuses on dealing damage. Moves like Substitute, Double Team, and Smokescreen give Greninja options for getting around the battlefield while distracting opponents with smoke or copies of itself, allowing for a quick counterattack while the opponent is vulnerable. Its offensive arsenal is potent despite the non-damage moves, with both Water Shuriken and Surf healing Greninja as they attack the opposing team. Greninja is far from a straightforward choice, but its ability to throw a wrench into an opposing team’s plans could be a momentum shifter for your squad.

Role: Attacker

Style: Ranged

Difficulty: Expert

Stats:

  • Offense – 8
  • Endurance – 4
  • Mobility – 6
  • Scoring – 6
  • Support – 1

Evolution levels: Froakie Start | Frogadier at Lvl. 5 | Greninja at Lvl. 7

Special Moves:

  • Bubble – Sprays bubbles at opponents, damaging them and lowering movement speed. Cooldown is 9 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 5 to one of the following:
    • Water Shuriken – Creates and throws multiple shurikens made of water. Movement speed is increased while using the move, and every successful hit restores some of Greninja’s HP. 8 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 more shurikens are created.
    • Surf – Rides a wave into opponents, damaging them and restoring some of Greninja’s HP. If this move knocks out an opponent, the cooldown is reset. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 more HP is restored on hit.
  • Substitute – Quickly moves forward, leaving a small doll as a distraction. Cooldown is 8 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following:
    • Double Team – Quick movement away from current position while creating copies to help in battle. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 cooldown is reduced.
    • Smokescreen – Rolls in the designated direction while leaving a trail of smoke behind, rendering Greninja invisible and increasing its speed. Greninja’s next attack is boosted. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 damage output is increased after smoke disappears.
  • Passive Skill: Torrent – Increases movement speed and attack damage when HP is less than half.
  • Unite Move: Waterburst Shuriken – Greninja throws a giant water shuriken down to the ground from above.

Pikachu

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Being the most popular Pokemon in the world, it makes sense that Pikachu is a quick and easy Pokemon to learn as most people will pick it up first. Pikachu thrives on the front lines, pressuring the entire opposing team with moves like Thunder and Thunderbolt, but it is a glass cannon thanks to that low Endurance number. If you’re worried about being left alone with enemies, Electro Ball’s speed drop could give you an out to regroup. Pikachu will not survive alone against multiple opponents, but it can pack a wallop if it’s well protected.

Role: Attacker

Style: Ranged

Difficulty: Novice

Stats:

  • Offense – 9
  • Endurance – 3
  • Mobility – 3
  • Scoring – 4
  • Support – 3

Evolution levels: None

Special Moves:

  • Thunder Shock – Area of effect attack that damages and slows anyone in contact. Cooldown is 5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 4 to one of the following:
    • Electro Ball – Area of effect attack that damages and slows anyone in contact. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move’s damage is boosted.
    • Thunder – Multiple thunderbolts strike and damage any Pokemon they contact. 8 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 more thunderbolts are summoned.
  • Electro Web – Attack that damages and “roots” (immobilizes) Pokemon it contacts. Cooldown is 9 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following:
    • Volt Tackle – Charges into enemies, damaging them and sending them into the air temporarily. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 cooldown is reduced.
    • Thunderbolt – Strong electric blast that damages and stuns enemies it contacts. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 damage output is increased.
  • Passive Skill: Static – When damaged, all enemy Pokemon around Pikachu are slowed for a short time.
  • Unite Move: Thunderstorm – Multiple powerful lightning bolts strike all around Pikachu.

Venusaur

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Venusaur is not content to attack just one enemy at a time. Each of its attacks are tailored to inflict as much damage as possible to as many opponents as possible. Petal Dance damages anyone standing near Venusaur, while Sludge Bomb creates an area that slowly saps the enemy’s HP. Also, thanks to his passive skill Overgrow’s attack boost at low HP, Venusaur is never truly out of the fight until it’s knocked out. Venusaur can wreak havoc on the entire opposing team, so make sure he’s in the thick of the action whenever possible.

Role: Attacker

Style: Ranged

Difficulty: Intermediate

Stats:

  • Offense – 9
  • Endurance – 4
  • Mobility – 4
  • Scoring – 5
  • Support – 1

Evolution levels: Bulbasaur Start | Ivysaur at Lvl. 5 | Venusaur at Lvl. 9

Special Moves:

  • Seed Bomb – Hurls a seed at a designated spot for an area of effect attack. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 5 to one of the following:
    • Sludge Bomb – Sludge is thrown at a designated spot, creating an area that does damage over time and lowers the movement speed and special defense of opponents inside the area. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move’s area of effect is increased.
    • Giga Drain – Steals HP from nearby opponents while also reducing damage Venusaur receives for a short time. 8 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 more HP is stolen on hit.
  • Razor Leaf – Multiple sharp leaves are thrown into a designated area, damaging all opponents in the area. Cooldown is 9 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following:
    • Petal Dance – Petals appear around Venusaur, increasing its movement speed and inflicting damage over time to opponents nearby. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the area of effect is increased.
    • Solar Beam – Shoots a cone of energy forward. Time between activation and attack is delayed slightly while the move charges. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 both the move’s charge time and cooldown are reduced.
  • Passive Skill: Overgrow – Increases attack damage when HP is low
  • Unite Move: Verdant Anger – Powerful seed bomb explodes, sending smaller seed explosions in an area-of-effect move that damages all Pokemon in that area.

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Flash Gordon: Taika Waititi’s Animated Movie Is Now Live-Action

Taika Waititi’s animated Flash Gordon project is being reworked into a live-action feature. While promoting Disney’s latest film Jungle Cruise, producer John Davis shared that Waititi has changed his approach to his sci-fi adaptation of the influential comic strip.

“[The 1980 Flash Gordon] is one of [Waititi’s] favorite movies,” Davis told Collider. “He initially said to me, ‘Let’s do it animated.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ Then we got into it and started developing it and he said, ‘No, let’s do it live-action.’ I said, ‘Even better.'”

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Waititi has spoken about his adoration for the 1980 adaptation of Flash Gordon before. While guesting on Joe and Anthony Russo’s Instagram series Pizza Film School, Waititi cited the Sam J. Jones-starring space opera as one of the primary influences for his 2017 Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok.

While Waititi has a busy schedule ahead between the upcoming release of his soccer comedy Next Goal Wins and post-production work on Thor: Love and Thunder, Davis is confident that the director will return to Flash Gordon sooner rather than later, citing how involved Waititi is with the project already.

“[Waititi] is writing it. So when somebody writes a script that they’re going to direct, they’re obviously going to really like the script, right? So you get a big leg up, right?” Davis said. “We’ve been through the development process, not the writing process, but he’s laid out in great detail the characters, the movie, the way in, what it’s about, the tone, all of that stuff… Look, he does a lot of movies, right? Believe it or not, he can do a couple of movies a year.”

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Flash Gordon began as a Depression-era comic strip that followed the adventures of polo player Flash Gordon and his struggle against Ming the Merciless, the tyrannical ruler of planet Mongo. While the 1980 adaptation performed poorly at the box office, the film has since found a cult following. A live-action Flash Gordon television series also had a one-season run on Syfy (then known as Sci Fi) from 2007 to 2008.

Hollywood has been attempting to mount a Flash Gordon feature for several years now, with Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn and Overlord director Julius Avery attached at different points. Waititi was tapped to develop an adaptation in 2019.

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J. Kim Murphy is a freelance entertainment writer.