What’s the best Legendary Pokemon of all time? It’s a question that’s been asked by trainers countless times, and we’re here to answer it with our Top 15 ranking.
Pokemon has come a long way from Red and Blue on the Game Boy. There are Mythics, Shadow Pokemon, and of course, those incredibly rare Shiny variants that players will spend hours and hours hunting down.
But arguably the most desirable addition to any Trainer’s Pokedex remains Legendary Pokemon. There have been a total of 59 of them so far, with at least three introduced in each generation of the franchise.
These creatures are the most powerful you’ll find in the games, and they also have some of the most epic designs of all time. It’s no wonder fans lap up leaks about them with every generation, and are so desperate to get their hands on them once they’re released.
We’ve gone through the entire list of Pokemon Legendaries to weed out the best of the best, coming up with a Top 15 ranking which you can read below. We’ve taken into account power, character design, lore, and their popularity among fans.
We won’t be including the likes of Arceus and Mew, though, as they’re technically classed as Mythic Pokemon, not Legendary – although rest assured, they’d definitely be here if they were Legendaries.
The newest addition to the Legendary scene in Pokemon is Calyrex, the ancient ruler of the Galar region that made its debut in the Sword & Shield expansion pack The Crown Tundra. It has great lore behind it, and is one of the strongest Legendary Pokemon thanks to its multiple forms.
Shadow Rider Calyrex is the obvious standout, with the signature move Astral Barrage dealing plenty of damage and the ability Grim Neigh boosting its already ridiculous 165 Special Attack stat. Ice Rider Calyrex might suffer from slow Speed, but an incredible 165 Attack means it can also be a formidable force.
It’s got one of the most unique designs on this list, and its versatility makes it a definite standout.
Zekrom and Reshiram are counterpart Legendaries from Gen V’s Black & White, based on the concept of yin and yang. While both are powerful additions to any trainer’s team, Zekrom is without a doubt the coolest of the two, with a sleek black design and Dragon/Electric-typing that make it very popular.
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It can dominate in battle with its 150 Attack and 120 Special Attack stats. Zekrom has also proven a hit outside of the main games, serving as the main partner of antagonist Nobunaga in the underrated spin-off game Pokemon Conquest, and stealing the show in the animated movie Pokemon White – Victini and Zekrom.
Alongside Lunala and Necrozma, Solgaleo is part of the light trio which first appeared in the Alola region from Pokemon Sun and Moon on the Nintendo 3DS. It’s one of the most elaborately designed Legendaries, and benefits from the elegance of its lion inspiration.
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Solgaleo has an impressive 680 base stat total with high HP and Attack, and its signature move Sunsteel Strike deals damage regardless of any defensive abilities. This makes it a good offensive addition to your line.
The franchise’s latest Fairy-type Legendary, Zacian, appeared as the mascot of Pokemon Sword. It has one of the most interesting Legendary designs, even holding a sword in its mouth – which was a little strange at first, but it’s gone on to become a defining feature and made it a fan-favorite.
Zacian also benefits from having a Crowned Sword form when given a Rusted Sword to hold. This makes it one of the most powerful Fairy-types to ever grace the series, with a whopping 720 base stat that includes an earth-shattering 170 Attack stat. It also gains Steel-typing, giving it a huge amount of type resistances.
Ho-Oh is the guardian of the skies and has the ability to resurrect the dead, which is how the three Legendary Beasts from Gen II came to be – which, frankly, is more than enough to earn it a place on our list.
As for the anime series, Ho-Oh was actually the first Legendary that viewers laid eyes on. It appeared flying through the skies above Ash at the end of the very first episode, meaning it still has a special place in the hearts of fans to this day.
Introduced in Pokemon X & Y on the Nintendo 3DS, the stag-like Xerneas has the power to grant eternal life, which is arguably the most sought-after and powerful ability in the world. Unfortunately, when it uses too much life energy, it turns into a tree and sleeps for 1,000 years.
Xerneas was the first Fairy-type Legendary in the franchise, making it a favorite among players. Fairy-types are strong both offensively and defensively against Dragon-types, which are often some of the most powerful Pokemon in the games, so it’s a great addition to your team.
It also has an impressive stat-boosting signature move called Geomancy, which increases its Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed by two stages.
Pokemon lore dictates that Kyurem is the empty shell that remained when Reshiram and Zekrom were split apart, but it’s still considered to be a Pokemon. While the former two Pokemon represent yin and yang, Kyurem represents the concept of wuji – the absence of yin and yang.
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While its normal form may be weaker than both Zekrom and Reshiram, it outshines them both because it has the ability to fuse with either one of them using its DNA Splicers to become one of two ultimate forms: White Kyurem or Black Kyurem.
Dialga is a huge dinosaur that’s covered in metal armor, and has the ability to control time itself with the diamond on its chest. It doesn’t get much cooler than that, and beats out its space-controlling counterpart Palkia in terms of design alone.
Being the only Dragon/Steel-type in the game gives Dialga a huge advantage as it’s resistant to nine types, making it a powerhouse on the battlefield. Its signature move Roar of Time may require missing a turn, but it’s an incredibly powerful attack that you’ll want in your arsenal.
If that’s not enough, Dialga also took on Arceus, the literal representation of God in the Pokemon universe, with the help of Palkia and Giratina during the epic finale of the movie Arceus and the Jewel of Life. It’s totally badass.
While the original Legendary trio Zapdos, Articuno, and Moltres hold a special place in fans’ hearts thanks to the nostalgia factor, they’ve all been one-uped by following Legendaries. One of these is Lugia, who serves as the master of Kanto’s Legendary birds.
Referred to as the ‘guardian of the seas’, Lugia is the only one who can control the Legendary birds, and is capable of creating and calming storms with its wings. It’s also received plenty more attention than its counterpart Legendary, Ho-Oh, beating it out in terms of popularity.
Interestingly, the Gen II ‘mon has also featured as the mascot for three separate Pokemon titles: Pokemon Silver on the Gameboy Advance, the Pokemon SoulSilver remake on Nintendo DS, and the cult classic Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness on the Gamecube.
As far as character design goes, Suicune has got it in the bag. Its purple mane resembles the aurora borealis, while two streamer tails add to its cool factor. It represents the downpour that occurred after the burning of the Brass Tower, a piece of lore that also rebirthed Raikou and Entei.
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The Water-type Legendary has become a standout of the Pokemon franchise, having been granted plenty of beefy storylines across movies and anime episodes, leaving its fellow Johto Legendaries firmly in the dust.
Suicine’s popularity is evident in other games, too: It earned itself a coveted spot as a playable fighter in Pokken Tournament on the Nintendo Switch, and regularly appears as a powerful trophy in the Smash Bros series, with its Aurora Beam freezing players across the stage.
Since making their debut in Gen III’s Hoenn region, the insanely powerful weather trio Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza have gone on to become three of the most desirable Legendaries in the Pokemon universe, so they all deserve a place on this list.
Groudon rules over the land, and as such is a rare Ground-type Legendary. It excels in both Attack (150) and Defense (150) stats, and has a brilliant ability known as Drought that summons harsh sunlight, powering up Fire-type moves and weakening Water-types – like its fellow Legendary, Kyogre.
Throw the ability of Primal Reversion into the mix, which gives it a whopping 770 total base stat, and it’s an absolute beast on the battlefield.
The rivalry between land-based Groudon and water-based Kyogre has raged since ancient times, so deciding which of the two primordial beasts would place higher on this list was a difficult one. But the Water-type Legendary won in the end for a few reasons.
Kyogre is arguably the strongest Water-type Pokemon you’ll find in Pokemon, which makes sense considering it’s described as the personification of the sea itself. Despite its type and size, it also has the ability to fly.
The Gen III ‘mon also has a type advantage over its Legendary counterpart Groudon, so a battle between the two would likely go in the former’s favor. As a result, it earned a higher spot on this list.
Giratina might be one of the most terrifying Pokemon in the history of the franchise. While its fellow Sinnoh creation trio Legendaries Dialga and Palkia represent time and space respectively, Giratina is the embodiment of antimatter, and is able to travel through dimensions at will.
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The draconic Pokemon has control over an alternate dimension known as the Distortion World, and has two separate Formes, one for offense and one for defense. Its signature move, the Ghost-type Shadow Force, is a powerful addition that can wreak havoc in almost any battle.
Being a mix of both Dragon-type and Ghost-type also makes it one of the most desirable Legendaries in the games, as only a select few Pokemon boast that combination.
Pokemon has introduced a ton of dragon Legendaries over its decade-and-a-half lifetime, with many of them like Zekrom and Giratina becoming some of the most popular creatures in the franchise. But Rayquaza is the top dragon-type for us.
It was the first Pokemon to have the ability to Mega Evolve, as discovered in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, and was powerful enough to save humanity by ending the conflict between Groudon and Kyogre, its fellow weather trio Legendaries from the Hoenn region, proving that it reigns supreme.
While its appearances in other games have been almost as rare as its appearances in the Pokemon universe, it did pop up as a formidable boss fight in Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Nintendo Wii.
Could we really have chosen any other Pokemon to top this list? Whether you’re a newcomer to the fandom or you’ve been around since the very beginning, most gamers will agree that the iconic Mewtwo is the ultimate Legendary.
Aside from having epic powers like telekinesis and mind control, Mewtwo has the coolest backstory of any Pokemon: It’s a clone of Mew that was created by scientists following a series of “horrific gene splicing and DNA engineering experiments”. This left it with a vicious nature, and it cares only for defeating its foes.
Mewtwo remains a favorite on the competitive scene, was the first (and only) Legendary to appear as a fighter in the Smash Bros series, and has two amiibo, truly proving its popularity among fans.
It also delivered the most memorable quote in Pokemon history during the 1998 movie Mewtwo Strikes Back: “I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.”
There’s truly no question that Mewtwo is the definitive Legendary Pokemon.