Like most Pokémon games, Pokemon Masters requires a bit of strategy. Players are already starting to nitpick and dissect their favorite pairings for gameplay. For those unaware, Pokemon Masters is the latest release from the behemoth franchise that allows players to participate in co-op (aka sync pair) battles with their favorite characters from the series. While the game has been celebrated for its dynamic animation and the characterization it gives to its cast, it's also been heavily criticized for being an outright gacha game. The release of the game, as well as fans' cynicism towards the changes being announced for Sword and Shield, has led to some outcry as to whether Gamefreak still truly cares about its fans or not.
Regardless of the game's nature, it's a free-to-play mobile game, so of course, people might need to invest some money in order to optimize their gaming experience. Others might want to avoid doing that, and so want optimal teams on a budget. So, without further ado, here are the best sync pairs for gameplay.
Best Co-op & Physical Strike Pair
Since players will be facing Blue and his Pidgeot in the "Reach For the Top!" quest, it's best to have a rock-type user by your side. Not only that, but Midnight Lycanroc is currently the most powerful single-target physical striker in the game and has the highest total stats of any non-mega evolved Pokemon in the game. Lycanroc's signature move, "Hard as Diamonds!" increases its critical hit rate by two stages, which boosts Lycanroc's critical hit ratio and accuracy to 100%. With Stone Edge, Lycanroc becomes an absolute beast. Just throw in Amped Up 1, and you have a virtually unstoppable Pokemon that can single-handedly topple foes with ease.
Honorable Mentions: Brendan & Treecko, Noland & Pinsir
Best Special Strike Pair
Blue & Pidgeot
Karen and Mega Houndoom are a close second. However, what gives Blue the advantage is the fact that Pidgeot has the ability to access an ST move prior to mega evolving. Oh, and Pidgeot's already insane special attack stat? That gets an extra jolt with Pidgeot's X Special Attack. The status move "Smell Ya Later!" increases Pidgeot's evasion, accuracy, and critical hit ratio. These moves work well into Pidgeot's favor when using "Hurricane" (with a base 126 attack) and AOE Air Cutter that can really hit with an increased critical hit ratio.
Honorable Mentions: Karen & Houndoom, Barry & Emploleon
Best Support Pair
Hilbert & Oshawott
Don't let their innocent looks deceive you - Hilbert and Oshawott might just be the best cheerleaders in this game. Not only is Oshawott a bulky little guy with impressive stats, but it's also got some buffs that can seriously aid his teammates. Its high defense and special defense allows it to take multiple hits without fainting, which gives you ample time to utilize X Speed All (which raises teammates' speed by two stages and replenishes your move gauge at a higher rate), and "In This Together!" which will increase teammates' attack stats and is contingent on the amount of health Oshawott has. Its passive Imperious prevents Oshawott's stats from dropping while permanently increasing any hypothetical stat increases for the duration of the battle.
Honorable Mentions: Phoebe & Dusclops, Rosa & Serperior
Best Tech Tier Pair
Agatha & Gengar
Even without mega evolving, Gengar is a force to be reckoned with. This is due to its abilities as a debuffer, as Lick and Hypnosis both have a good shot of hindering its foes. Even when compared to other mega evolutions, Gengar easily stands above the rest due to its impressive special attack, allowing it to utilize Shadow Ball and absolutely decimate its target. Combine this with moves such as Hex and "Tried-and-True Hex," Gengar will be doling out double the damage than it normally would otherwise. Its passive "Wide Awake" can also be useful in niche battles as it prevents Gengar from falling asleep during the duration of the battle.
Honorable Mentions: Crasher Wake & Floatzel, Sophocles & Togedemaru
BONUS: Best Free Sync Pair
Rosa & Serperior
Everyone enjoys free things, right? This spunky trainer from the Unova Region is unlocked in chapter one and can be a huge asset to your party right from the get-go. When Snivy fully evolves into Serperior, it'll have the highest defense stats out of any pair in the game, which can make it an awesome support Pokemon and diversion that allows more fragile, attack-oriented Pokemon to battle unperturbed. Additionally, moves such as X Special Attack All can be incredibly useful in boosting Strike (Special) Pairs. Snivy's "Time to Energize!" ability also restores your move gauge by three.
Honorable Mentions: Korrina & Lucario, Barry & Empoleon