Not all Pokémon are created equally, I mean, we have chandeliers, chickens, and Igglybuff. There’s a range here. Then there are the legendaries, who also have some disparities between them. I mean, who’s going to argue that Regice is on the same tier as Primal Kyogre? You just aren’t. There are the good legendaries, and there are the bad.
In this list, we’ll be examining 20 legendary Pokémon that just don’t hold a candle to their counterparts in a competitive sense. Whether it be abilities, stats, or movesets, these Pokémon will just not be found in the higher ends of the tier list (quick note, the official tier list consist of Ubers, OU, UU, RU, NU, and PU. More on that later though!). Shoutout to Smogon for all the analyses, competitive makes no sense to me even as a grown-up!
We’ll also be taking a look at 10 Pokémon that honestly deserve the legendary status based off whatever random criteria I decide it fits, anything from "it’s so pretty" to "I thought this was a legendary as a child," will apply, so get ready. Without any further ado, let’s start judging some imaginary creatures based on some imaginary statistics. Yay!
Regigigas is honestly just the worst. Everything looks great on paper until you get down to its ability, Slow Start. Slow Start halves attack and speed for five turns in battle. That is literally terrible! The trade-off for Regigigas’ great stats isn't worth it, there are plenty of other Pokémon that can do the job much better than this one. But don't worry, he's not alone. You'll be seeing a few more Regis on this list.
Phione is um, awful? Only available by breeding Manaphy, Phione has base 80 in every single stat, which essentially makes it a rundown Manaphy, who has base 100 in every stat. There's just no reason to use Phione (considering it doesn't even have a tier placing, most people agree) over other, better Pokémon. While it has an interesting backstory, it doesn't have anything going for it in competitive play. Still, being one of the few Pokémon that even the Pokémon Company couldn't decide if it was legendary or not has to count for something, right?
Lucario is one of those Pokémon that Game Freak just cannot seem to get over, and constantly put it in the spotlight anytime they can.
This was one of the Pokémon I thought was legendary as a child.
It also has a constant, powerful presence in the meta. Honestly, this Pokémon has a lot of qualities some of the actual legendaries on this list lack. I’m not going to say its design isn’t absolutely awesome as well. Like, come on.
Cresselia is a defensive beast, however, due to having such little attacking ability, it needs an incredible amount of help to be viable. While it can support well, it has a tough time managing to actually damage some of its more powerful enemies. It usually ends up in the lower tiers such as RU (rarely used) because of this issue. When you're sharing a tier with an actual lawnmower (hey Rotom), you know things could be going a bit better.
Entei is trying his best, that's what counts. Entei's main reason for ending up in RU Borderline is due to the fact that it has a small move pool, leading to only one viable moveset. This makes Entei very predictable, and thus, easy to counter. Its sole fire typing also makes it very susceptible to damage from the likes of entry hazards. Entei does have the ability be a very powerful Pokémon in the right hands (aka don't give it to me, competitive play to me is like trying to disarm several thousand bombs at the same time for some reason), but also has the potential to go down very quickly.
Another Pokémon that I thought was legendary as a child (probably because it has an entire movie based around it), we have Zoroark! The Pokémon’s ability to pretend to be other Pokémon is very unique, and has actually played a role in both the games and the anime. Its design is also very unique, and while it isn’t the best in battle, you’re literally reading a list of 20 bad legendary battlers. Zoroark is a very unique Pokémon that would wear the legendary badge quite well.
I told you there'd be more Regis on the list (oh don't worry, this isn't the last either). How do I put this gently… Registeel is just awful.
The Pokémon has ok stats, and is strong defensively, but is weak to like… everything.
It's a sensitive soul. The pure steel typing can help in some ways but its many weaknesses hinder most of Registeel's viability. While it does have some effective defensive sets, using this Pokémon in even UU (under used) is a bit of a stretch. It's sad that a titan made out of pure steel is such a lowly Pokémon competitively. Don't worry Madam Rock and Madam Ice will be making an appearance shortly.
Uxie is a competitive BEAST. But only in NU (never used). Oh, and only defensively. Yeah, it's stats are generally lacking everywhere. While it's a good to stealth rock setter, it lacks the offensive strength needed to be a presence. While it can wall some of the other NU threats, you won't see it making many appearances in OU (overused). Similarly to the Regis, you'll see a very similar Pokémon to Uxie showing up on our list very shortly.
Ok, I may or may not think that Aurorus should be legendary because that design is so awesome! While it may be hanging around PU nowadays, just look at that double mane! Ugh, iconic! It just gives off such a vibe of superiority but also at the same time a vibe of I will shelter you and your young until the storm subsides. Honestly, Aurorus is completely ignored by most and that is a huge injustice I will no longer stand for.
Ahh, my sweet little majestic water dog horse. Suicune is definitely one of the stronger of the weak Pokémon on this list.
The Pokémon generally has good matchups and some strong stats, and even has a good movepool.
What holds back the Pokémon is its pure water typing, which leaves it weak to many common types, along with little to talk about in the way of recovery moves. This leaves the Pokémon in a fragile spot, keeping it in the UU meta.
While Mega Diancie slots very well into the Ubers meta, vanilla Diancie is a different story. Its rock/fairy typing makes it a very easy target, it has little ability to recover, and it's just slow. Any Pokémon with coverage options can easily take Diancie out. It just doesn't have the ability to stay healthy enough to make use of its huge attacking power and strong defenses. This is a Pokémon that just has the odds stacked against it. Hey, at least it's pretty!
Spiritomb is uh, scary. I mean it literally contains 108 spirits inside of it. Wut? Its design is also incredible, and off-putting. It’s just a cool Pokémon that has some really interesting lore surrounding it. Fun fact, it’s bound to its keystone as a punishment for misdeeds 500 years ago. I wanna know what it did, spill the tea! With a great design and interesting backstory, I think there is so much left to explore concerning Spiritomb. A legendary title would fit it beautifully.
Two different forms and they're both in RU. That's uh, that's an accomplishment, Meloetta. Meloetta can be incredibly powerful once it sets up properly, however, prevalent dark moves in the RU meta often keep it from doing so, and similarly to many Pokémon on this list, it lacks the recovery to eat the hits it needs to. Its two forms don't do much for it either besides a different typing. For a mythical Pokémon, Meloetta is lacking in some key areas.
Ah, my favorite PU bird. Well, at least you're doing pretty ok down there. Articunos's typing and stats really hold it back from flying into some of the higher tiers. Its huge stealth rock weakness is a big detriment to its ability to really use its ok stats. Emphasis on the ok. There isn't really one specific drawback to Articuno that keeps it in PU, it just generally is not a good Pokémon, and would take up valuable space in a higher tiered team.
One of the most iconic Pokémon of all time, Gyarados holds the status of legendary in many players’ hearts. With a very powerful regular and mega form, along with a fabled red coloring, Gyarados is a Pokémon known to be feared in the game’s world.
Along with that, this Pokémon’s crazy transformation from lowly Magikarp is what we all aspire toward in life!
We need some reclassifications of Pokémon, starting with making this one a legendary.
Starring in RU's Borderline tier, we have Tornadus! Incarnate form, that is. While its Therian form is a solid OU pick, Incarnate goes largely unnoticed in the UU tier. Tornadus doesn't have the bulk to compete with most of the UU threats you'll be regularly seeing, and will largely rely on attack and support sets to maximize its potential. Along with that, it has a big weakness to stealth rock, another bane to its viability. Due to its borderline placement, it is forced to compete in a tier it generally can't fare well in.
A bad Regi? IMPOSSIBLE. Literally, though, this thing barely works in PU. While it has an incredible special defense stat, that's literally it. Every other stat ranges in the "omg ew" to "subpar" range. It can't attack, can't take any entry hazards or physical attacks and is slower than um, oh, everything.
Along with the awful stats, it's typing is another huge drawback to Regice.
Basically, this Pokémon can't do anything, which is expected considering that it's literally a block of ice.
Ok, we aren’t talking about stats with this one, because yikes. Big yikes. However, one of Golurk’s Pokédex entries reads, “Golurk were created to protect people and Pokémon. They run on a mysterious energy.” (Bulbapedia). With that little bit of lore in mind, along with Golurk’s ancient-looking design, it gives the Pokémon an interesting, strange vibe that is not held by any other Pokémon. It’s absolutely just the right amount of mysterious and intriguing to be considered a legendary Pokémon.
Cobalion… eh. This Pokémon is a solid UU pick, and is generally pretty ok.
Its typing allows it to take entry hazards like a champ, but leaves it weak to many attacking types.
Its stats are ok, but it often needs boosts to stay competitive. Its defense stat is good, while it's special defense isn't. Basically, this Pokémon is a huge bag of trade-offs, for better and for worse. It's definitely not the best Pokémon on this list, but not the worst. Just a solid meh.
Ah, the onion fairy. Solid 100s around the board stat wise. It's certainly not a terrible choice. However, it's 100s essentially means it's just ok everywhere. It won't be living big super effective hits, and it also won't be out-speeding much. Celebi is very vulnerable to fast, powerful Pokémon, and keeping it alive can lead to issues. However, Celebi's large movepool allows for lots of different strategies to work with, allowing for an easy slide into a comfortable position in UU.
Aegislash, the Royal Sword Pokémon, is just that, royal!
This Pokémon is so cool!
Also, it’s not in PU! That’s all I need, call it a legendary! Depending on the moves it’s using, the Pokémon will change forms, which coupled with King’s Shield actually allows it to sit comfortably in Ubers. I mean, also, that design? I’m shook, as the kids say. Sign Aegislash up for legendary status, because it deserves it.
Mesprit is a versatile Pokémon that has lots of different strategies at its disposal. But it's like… not good, ya feel? It's 80 speed stat allows it to outspeed… nothing, which leaves it open to tons of different attackers, and that 80 HP stat isn't keeping it alive through any big hits. While it's an incredible choice for PU (I don't know how big of an accomplishment that really is), there isn't much reason to use it in any other tier.
While Shaymin Sky is out here living it's best life in Ubers, Shaymin's landform is slugging it in RU. While Shaymin's signature move, Seed Flare, is incredibly powerful, it has low PP and has the ability to miss, making it a risky choice. Shaymin, who shares its 100 stats around the board with all the other tiny mythicals, is out-sped by many powerful Pokémon. It also has too many things it needs to cover in a single set, with four moves just not being enough to make things work. Hey, at least your flying buddy is doing good.
What a weird guy. Sigilyph is such an odd Pokémon that I want it to be legendary. It gives me Unown vibes with that ridiculous eye it’s rocking. How weird would it be to look out your window and see this looking back at you? And hey, it isn’t even in PU! I mean, it’s NU but whatever. One Pokédex entry reads, “The guardians of an ancient city, they use their psychic power to attack enemies that invade their territory.” (Bulbapedia). There’s so much left to explore there!
Ahhhhh, here you are. We all knew we'd see you soon. There's not much to say about Regirock, as its PU status is explained through all of its counterparts. It's defense and special defense is flipped with Regice, and then everything is basically the same.
It's doing alright in PU, so there's that.
It mainly relies on stealth rock and toxic to get things done, when it's not getting destroyed by common types such as water and grass. God, what a disappointing set of legendaries. Literally, every single one of them is on this list. They're all terrible in their own special way.
Virizion, the one who is wearing thigh high boots because she’s an icon, also ends up in a low tier, RU in her case. Virizion’s troubles come mainly in the form of low physical defense. While her speed and special defense are above average, she’s still quite end-able. Along with that, Virizion lacks a punch without being boosted, meaning she gets eliminated and doesn’t pick up eliminations herself. At the very least, she’s not the only Sword of Justice on the list. She is the lowest, though.
This duo is weird. Remember that one time where when you show one to that old man and he spins his way back to a different planet?
What is going on here?
These two meteorite Pokémon have something going on beneath the surface that we have yet to unlock, I’m sure of it. Also, apparently Lunatone strikes fear into people that look at it? Ok, now I’m even more into this idea than I already was. Sign me up.
Hoopa is another Pokémon that has one form struggling and the other thriving. While Unbound is having a great time in OU, Hoopa is barely hanging onto an RU placement. Hoopa is a specially strong Pokémon, however, its speed and defense stats are pitiful, and moves like Pursuit can deal massive damage to it. Along with that, its ability really does nothing that would be useful in the competitive landscape. Just, try to stay Unbound Hoopa, please.
We end off the weak boys list with arguably my favorite fire-bird on the list. Moltres is one of the most powerful Pokémon on this weakness list, as it is a major threat in UU, but just can’t seem to crack that OU barrier. Its stealth rock weakness is pretty glaring, and it has some pretty big weaknesses to common types. It’s only other real bane is a shallow movepool. Otherwise, Moltres is actually a threat in a not terrible tier, something different for the list!
Musharna is another one of those Pokémon that I thought was legendary as a child. Its interactions with dreams is a trait it shares with Darkrai, although in a much less creepy way.
It’s another one of those mysterious Pokémon that feels like it deserves a bit more attention than it is receiving.
And considering that the Regis exist, they’re really letting anything be a legendary nowadays, so why not?