When it comes to Pokemon, there’s a ton to talk about. We have 802 Pokemon in total, who are all subdivided into eighteen totally different types. From there, Pokemon can be categorized by basic stats, natures, and even their genetic makeup and egg group. That being said, while there are over eight hundred of these things, there is a group that stands out from the pack: Legendaries. Legendary Pokemon, for those who are unaware, are Pokemon with amazing stats that can’t be bred and can only be found in the game. They also have the distinction of playing a major role in how the Pokemon world was created in some way.
There’s always a few that come out with every generation, but there are some that stand out from even this pack. This could be because some Legendary Pokemon are just so awesome, you can’t help but love them immediately. Unfortunately, some other Pokemon stand out because they’re kind of terrible. Pokemon can be made or broken by things as simple as their design or as complex as the breakdown of their stats. Regardless, before you decide who your favorite Legendary Pokemon is, you need to know which eight are the best of the best and which eight are the worst of the worst.
16. Best – Dialga
Dialga is literally the stuff of legends. In the lore, Dialga has the ability to control time and lives in another dimension. That’s already pretty darn cool, but its type is what really makes this Legendary Pokemon one of the best in the bunch. Dialga is Steel/Dragon, which allows Dialga to escape the major drawbacks of Dragon Pokemon: a weakness to itself and Ice-type Pokemon. That basically allows Dialga to have all of the perks of the Dragon type (high Attack, Special Attack, and Speed) while suffering none of the drawbacks. As for its Steel type, that allows Dialga to have some of the strongest Defense stats in the game and has a ton of resistances. That basically makes Dialga kind of a brick house that only experiences hiccups dealing with Fighting and Ground types.
15. Worst – Tornadus
Tornadus is one of the Forces of Nature along with Thundurus and Landorus and has the distinction of being the only pure Flying-type in the franchise. He’s got two Formes: Incarnate and Therian, and he can change his appearance along with that Forme. That being said, Tornadus is pretty terrible despite having a unique Typing. For one, his design makes him look like a Lovecraftian horror rather than a Pokemon. For another, while Tornadus can potentially deal out a good hit, he really can’t take one: its HP, Defense, and Special Defense are all pretty terrible. That leaves Tornadus especially vulnerable to its double weaknesses of Ice, Electric, and Rock. Because it’s a pure Flying type, it doesn’t have another type that could kind of balance out that type’s weaknesses. You’d be better off getting a Flying Legendary that has another type to balance it out. Rayquaza, perhaps?
14. Best – Solgaleo
Solgaleo is part of the Cosmic duo along with Lunala, and it’s honestly just a solid choice for your team. I’m currently playing Ultra Sun and I can’t wait to get my hands on my Solgaleo. It has a great design and is a totally different sort of look than its typing (Psychic/Steel) suggests it would have. He also gets a third eye in Radiant Sun mode. It’s got great HP and Attack and a good move-set that allows you to capitalize on those stats well. Included in those moves is Sunsteel Strike, a move only Solgaleo can learn. As for where Solgaleo is lore-wise, he’s referred to as “the beast that devours the sun,” which is pretty cool. If you’re looking for a Pokemon who hits hard, has a cool move-set and typing, and has one of the best designs among the Alola legendaries, Solgaleo is who you want.
13. Worst – Diancie
Diancie is a weird one to put in the Worst category because while her design and typing (Rock/Fairy) are really interesting, it’s really flawed in a lot of ways. First, we need to keep in mind her move-set, which is a bit limited, and her quadruple weakness to Steel. However, those weaknesses don’t really set Diancie apart as being super terrible. The thing that really makes Diancie terrible is that if you’re trying to use her competitively, you can’t because she’s banned. Her stats are so out of this world, on the same level as Mega Kangaskhan, and while her move-set is pretty mediocre, you can make up for that with screening support and her incredible defenses. She’s literally too powerful to be used fairly, and that’s what makes her terrible. That being said, she lacks certain Fairy moves that would have allowed her to have more defined sets, which makes her a lot less user-friendly than some of the other adorable Legendaries, like say, Celebi or Victini.
12. Best – Lugia
While the three Legendary Kanto birds are underwhelming, to say the least, they are a great example of how okay things can give way to much better things. All three Pokemon couldn’t stand up to their boss, Lugia, in the second Pokemon movie, which is saying something. Lugia is a Psychic/Flying type, which does give it some glaring typing weaknesses like Rock, Ghost, Electric, Ice, and Dark types. However, Lugia also has some great Defense and Special Defense, so it will deal with those weaknesses a lot better than another Pokemon. Lugia also can learn Aeroblast, a movie unique to this Pokemon. Lore wise, Lugia can calm storms and make them appear with a flutter of its wings, so this guy is nothing to mess around with.
11. Worst – Heatran
Heatran is just sort of mediocre. Design wise, he looks sort of…too normal to be Legendary, which is saying something because this Pokemon came out at roughly the same time as Shaymin, a Legendary which is basically a green hedgehog with flowers on it. If he wasn’t a Legendary, it would be different and he would look cool, but he’s just not cool enough. In the story’s mythos, Heatran isn’t really all that special, either. He’s just a big fire thing that’s made of lava and that’s it. Its stats are okay, but compared to the other Fire-type Legendaries out there, Heatran is just okay. He’s Fire/Steel, which is pretty interesting if hugely vulnerable to Ground, but typing doesn’t make a whole Pokemon worth it. Heatran has his well-deserved fans, but he’s not much to write home about.
10. Best – Rayquaza
Rayquaza is a generation three legend of a Pokemon with a great move-set and an amazing signature move called Dragon Ascent. He can also Mega Evolve and looks amazing, especially when he’s shiny (I count the day I got my shiny Rayquaza as one of my happiest as a Pokemon trainer). Rayquaza has stats on par with Mewtwo and is generally the definition of a Legendary Pokemon in regards to stats and rarity. Lore-wise, Rayquaza is called the “sky-high Pokemon” and he lives in the ozone layer. Yes, the Pokemon world has the equivalent of a flying basilisk living in their ozone. Very few people have seen this Flying/Dragon type, and when people do see him, he looks like a meteor. Rayquaza is just a great Pokemon in general and a stand-out among all the Legendaries.
9. Worst – Phione
Phione is adorable, but to be quite honest, I still don’t know why it exists. He’s the only Legendary you can get via breeding: all you need to do is get a Manaphy and breed it with a Ditto. This in itself is weird because breeding a Manaphy and a Ditto should theoretically create another Manaphy, but it doesn’t. Phione can’t breed like Manaphy can either, so its place in the mythos is even weirder. However, we don’t know a ton about it aside from the fact that it likes warm water and that there’s a lot of them. Phione is essentially a Manaphy that looks different and doesn’t do its job as well as an original Manaphy. On top of all this, there’s some debate on Phione’s status as a Legendary, to begin with, because of all of this. Add in the fact that this Water type is banned from competitions and you’ve got a weird Pokemon with a tenuous place in the canon that you just don’t need to deal with unless you find him cute…which he admittedly is.
8. Best – Zekrom/Reshiram
We need to talk about Zekrom and Reshiram, two-thirds of the Tao trio. Zekrom represents ideals while Reshiram represents truth, and the third, Kyurem, is kind of an amalgamation of the other two. Zekrom is an Electric/Dragon type while Reshiram is Fire/Dragon. They have really cool designs while still looking a lot like dragons, giving them a really original look. While they look and are typed differently, the Pokemon fandom loves them both equally. They both have great stats all around (on par with Mewtwo), but people who are drawn to Zekrom pick him because of his awesome design, while people who like Reshiram better are drawn to him because of his typing, which has been a long-anticipated one. It honestly depends on what you prioritize here.
7. Worst – Regigigas
Regigigias honestly upsets me on a few levels. For one thing, his design is just strange and inexplicable, kind of like a mecha or something. I’d honestly expect him to be a machine rather than an organic thing, which is saying something because this universe made Pokemon out of ice cream cones and a set of keys. For another thing, you need to have Regirock, Regice and Registeel in your party to even get close to Regigigias, so when you get him, you think that he’ll be a good addition to your party, but he won’t be. It has kind of an underwhelming move-pool and the worst ability out of all the Legendaries that I can think of called Slow Start. Slow Start makes Regigigias operate at half of its Attack and Speed for the first five turns of battle, and it resets every time he’s switched out. Honestly, just find yourself a better Normal-type legendary, because they’re out there.
6. Best – Giratina
There is just no sleeping on the Lord of the Distortion World. Giratina is part of the Creation Trio of the fourth generation, and according to the lore, Giratina is probably the most powerful because of its ability to control antimatter. I have a personal soft spot for Giratina because of my longstanding love for the Sinnoh region and the trainers that tame him, but Giratina has a lot more to offer than a good title. Giratina is a Ghost/Dragon type, which makes it weak to Ghost and Dragon, along with Ice, Dark, and Fairy. That can be a little tricky to deal with, but Giratina makes up for its typing weirdness with some amazing defensive stats. It also has two Forms: Altered and Origin Formes. Giratina can also learn Shadow Force, which is a pretty rare move and can break through Protect.
5. Worst – Moltres/Articuno/Zapdos
The Generation 1 Bird Legendaries have always been pretty great because they hit upon our ever-growing appetite for nostalgia. They’re even the mascots of the three teams in Pokemon Go! (Shoutout to Team Instinct, which is clearly the best team, by the way.) However, no matter how awesome these guys were in the nineties, they just don’t stack up against the other Legendary Pokemon that have come up in later years. Articuno has the weakest stats out of all three birds, which already don’t stack up to the rest of the Legendaries. Moltres is particularly useless because of its quadruple weakness to Rock and glaring vulnerabilities to Water and Electric. Its signature movie isn’t very good either. As for Zapdos, which was always my favorite and the mascot for Team Instinct, he’s okay, but if you’re looking for a great Electric bird with better stats, you might be better off with Tapu Koko.
4. Best – Mewtwo
We can’t talk about great Pokemon in general without mentioning Mewtwo, who is legendary in all respects. He’s got brand recognition thanks to him being a Kanto legendary and in the first movie and has made appearances in the anime. Lore-wise, Mewtwo was created via gene splicing and experiments on Mew, the Pokemon he’s based on. Mewtwo came out of all that a really angry creature, but extremely smart with the ability to talk to humans. Nowadays, Mewtwo has signature moves, two Mega Evolutions, some incredible stats, and a lot of love. Needless to say, this whole franchise wouldn’t be the same without Mewtwo, and in a story that’s constantly producing Pokemon that outdo the generation before it, the fact that Mewtwo has managed to stay relevant when other Legendaries haven’t shown a lot about how useful he is.
3. Worst – Regice
Sorry, Regice, but your design is just terrible. In comparison to these other Pokemon, Regice is literally just…ice, and that’s not really all that creative at all. Sure, it’s cool that Regice has a body temperature of -382 degrees and formed during the Ice Age, but honestly, ice is just ice, no matter how you slice it. Regice has good Special Defense and okay Special Attack, but it also has some pretty laughable stats, like its Attack and Speed. Regice is a good wall, but that’s about it, and if you’re looking for a wall/defender type Pokemon, other Legendaries and even regular Pokemon can do that better, and at least other Pokemon have the benefit of being able to attack well.
2. Best – Arceus
How can we talk about the best Pokemon Legendaries thus far without mentioning the literal God of Pokemon, Arceus? Arceus is the original Pokemon and lore-wise, he really is the Pokemon God. This Pokemon existed before any other, born from an egg made out of absolutely nothing, and with its thousand arms, it made the whole Pokemon world. He made three lake guardian Legendary Pokemon (Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf), and the Creation Trio (Dialga, Giratina, and Palkia). Arceus has some of the best all-around stats in the whole game, and while he’s a Normal-type, give him one of the 18 plates and you can make him any type you want. Arceus is the only one that can learn the move Judgement, which can change its type along with Arceus so it’s always a STAB move. In short, everyone needs an Arceus.
1. Worst – Entei
Entei is one of the Legendary Beasts from the Johto region and Generation 2, along with Raikou and Suicine. Sure, these guys are pretty cool and the fandom consensus is that these guys have a lot to do with the original Eeveelutions is worth keeping in mind. However, that’s not a good enough reason to get Entei on your team. For one thing, good luck catching him, because doing so is nearly impossible. For another, even if you do catch him, he’s got less than ideal Defense stats and double weaknesses to Ground, Rock and Water types. On top of that, Entei’s Special attack is pretty awful and nowhere near where a Legendary Pokemon’s should be. Honestly, you’d be better off getting yourself a different Fire-type Legendary with a cooler backstory.
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