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Pokémon Unite: Is Zapdos Finally Going to Get Nerfed?

Will the legendary thunder bird Pokémon finally be knocked down a few notches in the next game’s patch?

by Elliott Gatica

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Pokémon Unite has been out for almost a month now and is doing numbers on the internet. It has received a lot of praise for being a MOBA that has bite-sized games and acts as a good introduction to the genre. The game has also been getting a lot of praise for being rather easy to pick up.

However, it doesn’t come without its more controversial aspects. Aside from being in the great “pay-to-win” debate, the game has had its criticisms involving the game’s balancing. Whether it’s the upcoming Snorlax nerfs or the past Gengar nerfs, there has been that one part of the game that many players, including myself, find rather game breaking. 

Is Zapdos going to get nerfed in the next update?

Unfortunately, Zapdos will not be receiving the nerfs people have been calling for since the game’s release. Hopefully, this Pokémon and its comeback mechanics will be addressed soon. 

Unless you’re a Quick Battle player, this will affect the many games played. Remoat Island is the only map for Standard and Ranked battles. This means that Zapdos is the prized catch in the middle of the map. Matches are 10 minutes long, with the legendary bird spawning in at the 8-minute mark. 

There is no direct way to tell what team is winning or by how much other than the pop-up cues like having those “huge lead” or the very alarming “We’re REALLY struggling” messages. In the grand scheme of things, those messages are basically useless once Zapdos comes into play. It’s cool that Zapdos acts as a tide-turning mechanic in the late game, but it’s a bit too overclocked from how it’s supposed to function. 

Your team can be heavily in the lead to the point where everyone’s Pokémon is ahead by 2 or 3 levels compared to the other team. All your team really needs to do is hold off the enemy team until time runs out so they won’t get Zapdos. If the enemy team somehow gets the last hit to take down Zapdos, those 8 minutes before it spawns would basically be for naught. The ending score would probably end up looking like 500 to 700.

You’ll just be hearing the announcer repeat “WHAT A GOAL” and seeing all the goal posts being destroyed. It’s disheartening to see a team that clearly had a commanding lead over the other be destroyed in a matter of seconds from that one last hurrah. The Zapdos mechanic is actually really interesting, but it shouldn’t be able to be the winning factor against a team that has been dominating for the entire match. 

Us Pokémon Unite players do want this game to prosper with a healthy meta and proper balancing. This is one of those cases where there’s something too broken and can cause real upsets. When I’m in a game and my team scores the Zapdos kill, it feels really dirty to go ahead and add insult to injury, especially when comfortably in the lead.

The Blissey update for Pokémon Unite will come out tomorrow, August 18. 

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