Becoming a Pokémon Master has been the goal of countless, dedicated trainers for decades now, and with Sword and Shield on their way to the Switch, a whole new generation will be taking up the burden of that very same quest. An integral component in one’s journey to become the very best (like no one ever was) is the existence of Legendary Pokémon.
These ultra-rare creatures have been around since the advent of the series with Red, Green and Blue, with the very first being the Genetic Pokémon, Mewtwo. As the years have gone on, there have been an additional 48 Legendaries, and they have being playing increasingly larger and more complex roles within each game’s story.
Although there is no truly consistent criteria for deeming a specific Pocket Monster as “legendary,” Most Legendaries seem to have a few things in common: they’re “one of a kind” (though that isn’t always the case), and figure heavily into the main plot (or at least a subplot.) We’d LIKE to say that another common trait amongst Legendaries is their extreme power… but believe it or not, that isn’t always the case.
Sure, there a still a ton of Legendary Pokémon that are god-like forces of destruction, but not all of them are lucky enough to be worth much in terms of cosmic power, and that’s exactly what we’ll be sorting out with this list of Pokémon: Every Legendary From Weakest To Most Powerful, Officially Ranked.
Instead of relying absolutely on in-game stats or move-sets, we’re going to predominantly tackle the rankings using each creature’s lore, with sources including, but not limited to, the anime, NPCs or even the in-game legends themselves.
35 Cosmog And Cosmoem
At the absolute bottom of our list lies Cosmog and Cosmoem. While these two will eventually evolve into an impressive and powerful creature, these are utterly pathetic Pokémon… and not just amongst fellow Legendaries. No, they’re some of the most pathetic in the franchise.
Cosmog’s own PokéDex entry describes the situation best: “even though its helpless, gaseous body can be blown away by the slightest breeze, it doesn’t seem to care.”
Yup: it’s so weak that it doesn’t even care.
Cresselia feels more like it should be a Mythical Pokémon rather than a Legendary. Mythical Pokémon, such as Mew and Celebi, tend to be cute, whimsical and kind of weak, and Cresselia fits right into that category.
This poor thing has hardly anything going for it other than an interesting design. Its lore is limited and its only truly outstanding feature is the fact that it can (apparently) repel nightmares from ruining one’s sleep.
That’s cool… we guess? But then again, even basic Generation 1 Pokémon have better PokéDex entries than that, so that’s pretty sad.
33 The Titan Trio
The Titan Trio, consisting of Registeel, Regice, and Regirock have a few things going for them, despite the low ranking: they all have awesome and memorable designs, and they’re quite useful when it comes to their in-game functions.
That said, the Titan Trio just aren’t that impressive amongst their Legendary kin, and the lore that’s attached to them drives that point home. In short, they were simply created by Regigigas in its own image, basically for the fun of it.
32 The Eon Duo
We’ll be the first to tell you that the Eon Duo, consisting of Latias and Latios, look really cool, even more so when they’re a trainer’s mount of choice. But here’s the thing: out of just about every Legendary on this list, these two have the least exciting story and array of powers. In fact, the only reason we’re ranking them higher than the Titans is because that particular trio doesn’t do anything but stay locked in a cave indefinitely.
When it comes to the so-called “Swords of Justice,” the member that’s actually the weakest is Keldeo, but since it’s Mythical rather than Legendary, we had to go to the next one: Virizion. Virizion is based on Aramis from the Three Musketeers, who was also the most vain member of the bunch. Virizion’s PokéDex entry isn’t promising, either, basically saying that “it was kind of fast, sometimes, we guess.” Honestly, while it’s not that unenthusiastic, it might as well be.
The Swords of Justice are, in a few ways, less impressive than previous entries on this list, since they seemingly possess no supernatural or earth-shattering powers, and their only claim to fame is fighting off humans who were abusive to Pokémon… which isn’t that hard when you’re part of a race that can spontaneously shoot fire from its mouth or put people to sleep with a song.
Anyway, Terrakion is actually the strongest member of the Swords of Justice in terms of physicality, but that’s not enough to come out on top in these rankings.
The noble leader of the Swords of Justice, Cobalion may not be the most vain (like Virizion,) or even the strongest (like Terrakion,) but those qualities don’t necessarily make a Legendary Pokémon the “most powerful” among its group.
Cobalion takes the cake (at least when limited to the Swords of Justice) due to its superb leadership qualities, along with its own skillset. Alas, like its brethren, it’s just not all that impressive when compared to time manipulating creatures and god-like beings that literally generate life.
28 Type: Null And Silvally
We have absolutely no idea how Type: Null and its evolved form, Silvally, are so low on this list, especially when considering its backstory… and yet, this is exactly where these two belong. A man-made Pokémon created to replicate the literal God of Pokémon who straight up created the universe, this dud of a creature is incomparable to what it was meant to be.
It has unique in-game properties, but in a world where scientists created a monstrous, all-powerful being while attempting to clone a tiny cat, you’d think they would have done a better job with this poor thing.
Generation II’s “Legendary Beasts” follow the three-type tradition of Gen I’s Legendary Birds, but each of the Beasts play a significantly unique role all to themselves. Well, all of the Legendary Beasts except Raikou.
While a strong Pokémon in terms of stats and gameplay, it just doesn’t have that much going on that would make it be worthy of ranking higher on this list, unlike the other members of its beastly trio. Worst of all, it never even got featured in a film or within the anime like Suicune and Entei did.
Entei is one of Generation II’s most iconic legendary figures (though obviously not the most iconic.) A large, lion-based creature with a smoke-like, billowing mane and the power of fire surging through its body, Entei is impressive to look at it, and even more impressive to face off against. More importantly, Entei’s film appearances show him to be an extremely powerful force of nature, but it’s not the best of the beasts, as we’ll soon find out with the last member of the trio.
Starring in one of the Johto anime’s most memorable scenes and even taking center stage in the Crystal Version of Generation II, Suicune seems to have a lot going on when compared to the rest of its beastly kin.
For an unknown reason, the Unown seem intrinsically linked to it, and it also appears to have the most unique arsenal of powers, even when compared to Entei, the trio’s de facto mascot. Suicune’s mysterious nature and assorted powers easily prove it to be the best beast.
We’ll be honest: Heatran doesn’t really have anything mysterious going on like Suicune, or the iconic looks of Latias, Latios or the Titan Trio. In fact, it’s actually kind of a boring looking creature. That said, despite its comparably boring skills and design, Heatran is a devastatingly powerful force of nature.
Described as “the embodiment of the planet’s molten core,” you can imagine the extreme heat and surging power that Heatran possesses, easily outclassing all who came before it on hits list.
23 Legendary Birds
Arguably some of the most iconic Pokémon to ever grace the series, Generation I’s trio of Legendary Birds served as the basic archetype for almost all of the other groups of Legendaries that followed them.
Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres are all formidable fighters and can easily turn most unfavorable situations around for embattled players, but what makes them so powerful is that, according to Pokémon 2000, their combined powers are essentially what makes Earth’s oceans function.
That’s definitely pretty powerful.
With the power Heatran and the world-altering effects of the Legendary Birds, we’re finally leaving the recesses of mediocre to flat-out weak Legendary Pokémon and into the extremely mighty ones, despite still being relatively early in the list.
Thundurus is the first Legendary we’ve discussed that has used its power for utter destruction. As a master of enormous thunderstorms, Thundurus razed its region countless times in awe-inspiring displays of power. It performed these catastrophes along with Tornadus, and we’ll be discussing why Tornadus outranks Thundurus next.
While Thundurus’ thunderstorms (along with their accompanying lightning strikes) are destructive, they practically pale in comparison to what Tornadus was capable of.
At first, extreme gale-force winds seem less impressive than the spectacle of supernatural thunderstorms, but hear us out: not only can wind be devastating and destructive on its own, it also has the capability to make the damage done by Thundurus’ storms even worse.
For example, if a bolt of lightning set something ablaze, Tornadus could take advantage of the fire and use its wind to guide and grow it, causing greater destruction than the lightning did alone.
Thundurus’s apocalyptic storms and Tornadus’ catastrophic wind laid waste to the unlikely region that they deemed to be their target. The destruction generated by this cruel duo is an obvious and effective example of the immense power under their control.
Landorus was unlike its brethren. Instead of joining in on the fracas, it decided to put a stop to it, and it did. Using its supreme powers, it punished Thundurus and Tornadus, easily claiming its superior rank in the process.
With the Legendary Birds controlling the ocean, and the storm-based chaos of Tornadus and Thundurus, it’s only fitting that Lugia, the “Beast of the Sea,” would come out on top with its weather-based supremacy. Lugia is the only being capable of quelling any apocalyptic fights between the Legendary Birds, and it also possesses enough power to generate the kind of destructive storms that Thundurus and Tornadus are known for. In short, it’s more powerful than all of them. In fact, Lugia is so powerful that it actually chooses to seal itself away, knowing how much devastation it could easily cause.
18 Guardian Deities
The Alolan region is heavily based on Hawaii. Everything from the culture, aesthetic and even the Pokémon themselves all seem to take inspiration from the Hawaiian islands, and it works brilliantly. The Legendaries follow suit, with four “Guardian Deities” each protecting one of the main Alolan islands.
Tapu Lele, Tapu Bulu, Tapu Fini and Tapu Koko are all equally powerful, and anytime they fought against each other, their battles would last for an exorbitantly lengthy amount of time because of it. That said, when the four work together, they’re an extremely potent force that few foes can match up against.
Most of the powerful Legendaries that we’ve discussed so far have had some sort of control of, or relationship with, the weather. Whether it was creating the currents within the ocean or using storms to destroy mankind, the previous Legendaries gave off a hint of god-like might.
With Groudon, we’re going even further beyond that already impressive bar. Controlling the weather is one thing, but what about creating entire continents? Well, maybe not creating continents, but expanding them at will. If that isn’t impressive enough, Groudon’s Primal form is, as the transformation greatly increases Groudon’s already overwhelming might.
The expansion of continents was an ability previously left to the cosmos and planet itself, but Groudon came on in and said “I’ll take it from here.” Groudon is certainly an extremely powerful Pokémon, but so is its ancient rival, Kyogre.
In terms of raw might, the two are generally well-matched, and Kyogre is also equipped with a Primal form. What gives Kyogre the edge, however, is that its ability to expand the oceans is something Groudon simply can’t match up against. As we see from our own rising seas, nothing can stop an ever-expanding ocean.
15 The Lake Guardians
We’re going to be upfront with you regarding the Lake Guardians, which consist of Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf: they’re pretty darn weak. Frankly, they don’t belong anywhere near this high on the list, but a very specific (and important) technicality lands them here: their ability to control and soothe Dialga and Palkia, two beings which are essentially gods.
They do have another interesting trait, but it’s not exactly “powerful:” according to legend, the Lake Guardians were responsible for giving humanity the ability have emotion, knowledge, and willpower.
The Titan Trio is near the very bottom of this list, since they’re not exactly that impressive in terms of supernatural might when compared to the rest of the Legendary Pokémon. However, the being that actually created the Three Titans most certainly is.
Its name is Regigigas, and it’s most impressive feat of raw power is that it supposedly pulled the continents into place using nothing but itself and a rope. Sure, Groudon expanding the continents is incredible, but a single being manually shifting them around? That’s a different story altogether.
Earlier, we mentioned that the ocean-expanding Kyogre found itself at odds with the continent-expanding Groudon back in ancient times. As you might imagine, a battle between these two forces of creation was surely cataclysmic, and you’d be right.
Someone had to stop, and Rayquaza was the one who did. Doing battle with, and soundly defeating, Primal Kyogre and Groudon was one thing, but Mega-Evolving to do so again is another. To top it all off, Rayquaza is the ruler of the atmosphere, which is as insanely cool as it sounds.
12 Solgaleo And Lunala
At the utter bottom of the list, we ranked Cosmoem and Cosmog as the weakest of the Legendary Pokémon… but we also mentioned that they would redeem themselves upon reaching their final evolution, and that would be either Solgaleo or Lunala.
These two ultra-powerful Pokémon are part of what’s known as the “Light Trio,” which brought light to Alola. Oh, and Alola’s Guardian Deities? Yeah, they were absolutely no match for Solgaleo and Lunala… yes, we did say “Light Trio,” but you’ll have to wait a little longer for the last member…
So far, we’ve discussed Legendary Pokémon that can control the weather, the atmosphere, the entirety of the ocean and all of the continents. While those are all impressive feats of creation and cosmic control, they’re nothing when compared with the ability to actually CREATE life.
Ho-Oh, the magnificent bird witnessed by Ash at the very start of his journey, has the uncanny ability to bring the deceased back to life, and even alter them in the process (which is what happened with the Legendary Beasts,) and this power is but one of many mystical abilities under Ho-Oh’s command.
Beyond the manipulation of the physical world and functions of the planet, and even beyond the creation of life itself, we have the wondrous power of Xerneas. Where Ho-Oh could restore or create life, Xerneas is capable of maintaining and spreading life, specifically eternal life.
Even it’s own demise isn’t permanent and, after releasing its life energy, it transforms into a tree for 1000 before it returns. As a bit of a bonus, it can also create enormous forests with great ease, which serves as the cherry on top regarding Xerneas’ rank.
Xerneas could create and maintain life, even eternal life, all while it’s own lifespan was more-or-less unending (minus a thousand year break as a tree) but its counterpart, Yveltal, is the polar opposite.
Equally as mighty as Xerneas, Yveltal takes a different approach to life: it absorbs it.
Instead of spreading, it takes. Instead of maintaining, it ends. In fact, it can’t even pass away without taking every other living thing in its vicinity along for the ride, sapping their life-force as it transforms into a cocoon for a 1000 years before returning.
Zygarde is something of an oddity on this list, particularly due to the fact this Pokémon, comprised of a single Core and many Cells, is a rather helpless creature. Once these two disparate parts combine, however, it’s a different story.
Forms ranging from “10%” to “50%” are impressive enough on their own, but Zygarde’s “Complete” form, its power far exceeds that of Xerneas and Yveltal, the two beings it’s destined to protect.
Its Complete form is so incredibly powerful, that Zygarde itself treats it as a last resort, only transforming into it when it deems that 50% isn’t enough.
7 Zekrom And Reshiram
There have been Legendary Pokémon on this list who can create or alter the composition and structure of the earth, and there have been others who can wield the weather as a weapon or command life, but Zekrom and Reshiram are capable of just about all of those feats on their own.
Equally powerful, these two forces of nature were partially responsible for creating the Unova region… and also destroying it. Zekrom and Reshiram also demonstrate the ability to fully control their respective types, which isn’t anything to sneeze at (though the creation/destruction of Unova makes it pale in comparison.)
Legend has it that Zekrom and Reshiram were once a single dragon, before being split into the two forms that helped create and destroy Unova. According to that same story, Kyurem was created from the “leftovers” of the split. It bears mentioning that Kyurem also has another origin story, which suggests that it might actually be an extraterrestrial.
Regardless of what origin story you believe, the reason that the admittedly weaker Kyurem outshines its brethren is that it can actually fuse with them, creating a being that far exceeds both of them in the process.
The final member of the “Light Trio,” Necrozma is ranked so far ahead of the others for one reason: its destructive power is beyond not just them, but practically every other Legendary on this list.
It can control Solgaleo or Lunala by fusing with them, and its power increases with every amount of light it absorbs. There’s also its ultimate form, which is literally pure destructive energy. With a body temperature of 10,000 degrees (which causes everything around it to melt), and the ability to fire lasers from every part of its body, Ultra Necrozma is a living cataclysm.
If you’re not impressed with generating life, expanding oceans or continents, mastering the weather or doing it all at once (and we don’t blame you), then you might be impressed by a Legendary Pokémon that controls all of space.
Yeah, planets and oceans aren’t good enough anymore. The cosmos is where it’s at, and Palkia is already there. Mastery of space is one thing, but Palkia is also capable of creating complete alternate realities. Oh, and the group that it belongs to, the “Creation Trio,” is responsible for creating the the entire Pokémon Universe.
Controlling space and being a one-third responsible for creating the universe is something worthy of praise. That said, there’s still a certain element of the equation that surpasses “space” and all it entails: time. Dialga is the master of time and, as you can easily imagine, that puts it in a league far beyond just about everything.
While it’s evenly matched with Palkia on paper, having total mastery of time gives Dialga a lethal edge, and the truth is that we don’t even know the extent of its power due to the fact that it resides in an alternate dimension.
Dialga and Palkia make up two-thirds of the Creation Trio, and they are the masters of time and space respectively. The last third of that equation is Giratina, and its supreme power puts it far above its kin.
Traveling through dimensions at will, Giratina can actually control any reality it comes across. While that’s a frightening thought, the real terror stems from its violent reputation and nature, along with the fact that it hails from a personal realm called “the Distortion World.”
Oh, and we forgot to mention that it’s the living embodiment of antimatter.
Put down the pitchforks. No, we’re not unabashed Genwunners (okay, we are,) there’s a legitimate reason that Mewtwo ranks above a being that represents antimatter. While canonically weaker than many on this list, if any other Legendary went up against Mewtwo in his home turf of the super-bugged out and unbalanced Red and Blue, not even the Creation Trio would stand a chance.
Thanks entirely to poor programming, Mewtwo and its powers are virtually unstoppable, and while it can’t compete with them using lore alone, it can wipe the floor with them in a decades old Game Boy game.