Since the original Pokémon Red & Green came out in Japan over 20 years ago, players have enjoyed hunting down the hardest Pokémon to find. No Pokémon have remained more elusive than Legendaries, however. And why not? They tend to be one-of-a-kind creatures with sky-high bases stats, unique typing with excellent type coverage, and are enormously difficult to catch even after weakening them to a sliver of their health. Legendaries are status symbols that serve as a player’s proof of their dedication and perseverance.
It should come as no surprise then, that the inclusion of Legendaries has served as a series tradition all these years, and that Pokémon Sun & Moon, released November 18th, 2016, have a whole slew of new Legendaries to collect. We thought we might help you select some of the best ones for your team, as there are so many new ones to choose from! Be aware, however, in this article, there will be spoilers for the quests, as it’s unavoidable with the territory.
- Pokédex #: 800
Here’s a Pokémon you may have easily missed in your playtime. In fact, it would be incredibly easy to be unaware that it even exists! See, once you beat the Ultra Beast side-quest after the main story is finished, Looker mentions that he saw a giant black Pokémon fly over Ten Carat Hill over on Melemele Island. However, Anabel explains to him that there’s no way what he saw was an actual Pokémon, and thus the point ends there. Most people just take Anabel at her word, but if you ignore her and explore the Farthest Hollow section of the area, you’ll eventually encounter Necrozma in a random battle!
Necrozma holds a wonderful ability in Prism Armor, which reduces damage from super-effective attacks by 25%. Since Necrozma has a singular typing in Psychic, it has no quadruple weaknesses, meaning super-effective attacks only do 75% more damage to it, rather than the normal double damage. Combine that with already solid defenses and you’ve got a great defensive Pokémon. It’s got an amazing signature move in Prismatic Laser, which has a base power of a whopping 160, making it stronger than Hyper Beam and Giga Impact while also being able to hit for Psychic-type damage! Just be careful about using it though because it requires Necrozma to recharge the next turn.
- Pokédex #: 794
There’s no reason to doubt that Buzzwole lifts. Sorry Pokémon Moon players; this beefcake bug is exclusive to Sun players only. Those with the right version will be able to find one once they start the Ultra Beast hunts with Looker and Anabel after you beat the game. If you’re nice, though, you can actually catch 2, so you may consider sharing with a poor Moon player.
Buzzwole is the model powerhouse Pokémon. Both its attack and defense stats are off the charts, so even hits that hurt for super-effective damage might bounce right off that glistening chest. Plus, its Bug/Fighting dual typing gives it great offensive coverage to threats like Rock and Psychic types that might normally be an issue for its respective types. Just keep clear of Flying type Pokémon as, even with that Herculean strength, it’ll still take 4x damage from Flying moves.
8. Tapu Koko
- Pokédex #: 785
You may not remember this, but Tapu Koko was actually one of the very first Pokémon you encounter in the game. Of course you don’t fight it, but it’s the Pokémon that saves you when you fall off the bridge with Nebby (Lillie’s Cosmog) before you even choose your starting Pokémon. However, you won’t actually get the chance to nab it until the very end of the game. After you beat the Elite 4 and become champion, you’ll sneak away with Lillie at the after party and encounter Tapu Koko in a final battle. Make sure you have plenty of Ultra Balls before you fight the Pokémon League though, because you won’t get a chance to save and purchase more once you win!
Tapu Koko serves two important functions. First of all, it’s one of the fastest Electric Pokémon with a decent attack stat. You see, most Electric types are rooted in their offenses being regulated to special attack, making them prime targets for setting up Pokémon with high special defense. You’d have to rely on Electivire for a solid physically attacking Electric type, who, while not necessarily slow, got outpaced frequently by its competition. Tapu Koko manages to bring Electric’s trademark speed back to the table and hit hard with physical Electric moves like Wild Charge. The other reason is for it to bring out Electric Terrain with its Electric Surge ability, powering up all Electric moves on the field and preventing any Pokémon from going to sleep. This makes it hit even harder than it already does and can’t be stopped since it’ll have immunity to both sleep and paralysis (due to its Electric typing).
- Pokédex #: 792
This familiar face comes straight from the box of Pokémon Moon. Lunala evolves from Lillie’s favorite Pokémon, Cosmog, at a certain point of the story of Pokémon Moon (Sun gets Solgaleo instead). You won’t miss it either; there’s a story event towards the end of Moon where it forces you into an encounter with Lunala. If you want to get a second one to trade for a Solgaleo, however, you’ll find a second Cosmog at the Lake of the Moone in front of the pedestal. Catch it, evolve it into Cosmoem at level 43, then get it up to level 53 so it’ll evolve to your second Lunala.
Lunala may not seem great at first. Its stats are sky-high, no doubt, with an amazing special attack and solid defensive stats to back it up. But, well, it is hard to ignore how its Psychic/Ghost typing gives it two quadruple weaknesses to both Dark, and fellow Ghost types. However, that same typing also gives it excellent offensive coverage otherwise, and those weaknesses are softened somewhat by Lunala’s wonderful ability, Shadow Shield, which reduces the amount of damage it takes when it has full health. This turns Lunala into an excellent tank in spite of these weaknesses.
6. Tapu Lele
- Pokédex #: 786
Don’t let it’s sweet and friendly appearance fool you; Tapu Lele is pretty fearsome! As it should be; Tapu Lele is the guardian of Akala Island and supposedly its scales have the power to even end wars! You have one chance to snag it, and it’ll be after you beat the game. Simply return to the Ruins of Life on Akala Island, touch the totem at the very end, and Tapu Lele will engage you in battle. It has a horribly low catch rate though, so bring plenty of Ultra Balls or Dusk Balls if you can and strap in for a long battle.
What defines Tapu Lele is its ability, Psychic Surge. This brings out Psychic Terrain as soon as it’s thrown onto the field, which not only boosts the attack power of Psychic moves of any grounded (read: non-Flying type) Pokémon, but also prevents the usage of priority moves against any grounded Pokémon. This makes life hell on Earth for Pokémon like Scizor, which thrive on smacking down Fairy types with their Steel-priority move, Bullet Punch. Just by entering the field, Tapu Lele can halt the momentum of almost any team that relies on priority-abusing sweepers.
- Pokédex #: 791
You probably recognize this handsome fellow from the cover of Pokémon Sun. While it may not quite look like it, Solgaleo is actually the final evolution of Cosmog, the species name of Nebby, that cute little pile of mist that follows Lillie around in the main story of the game. Don’t worry about finding one; you’ll encounter one during the story towards the end of the game and be given the chance to catch it. If you’d like another one, though, you can actually find your own Cosmog after you beat the game at the Lake of the Sunne, sitting out in front of the pedestal. Once you catch it, raise it up to level 43 to evolve it to Cosmoem, then again to level 53 to evolve it to Solgaleo.
There are a bevy of reasons to use Solgaleo. First of all, of course, would be its well spread stats. While it leans towards a higher attack power, it has enough special attack that you have options to mix in a special move or two into its move set. Solgaleo’s Steel/Psychic typing is also proven to be excellent, giving it a slew of resistances and negating its common Fighting and Bug weaknesses, respectively. Of course, we can’t forget its signature move, Sunsteel Strike, which hits like a truck and negates any ability that its opposition might have to defend against it!
4. Tapu Bulu
- Pokédex #: 787
According to Nintendo, Tapu Bulu does not to fight or intimidate its opponent, as it’s meant to be a rather gentle creature. Well, we must apologize, because you’re not going to want to keep Tapu Bulu out of your party! This cloven guy can be found at the Ruins of Abundance on Ula’Ula Island once you beat the game. Just check the totem and it’ll bring you into battle. Be careful not to KO it though, because it’s your only shot!
Much like the other island guardians found in the games, Tapu Bulu’s ability, Grassy Surge, allows it to set up a terrain as soon as it enters the battlefield. Grass Terrain already boosts the strength of Tapu Bulu’s immensely strong physical attacking Grass moves like Wood Hammer, but the added grass will even heal Tapu Bulu every turn for 1/16 of its health! We recommend letting it learn Leech Seed to drain even more health from its enemy for a whopping 1/8 health restored every turn. You can even stack this on top of Horn Leech, a physical Grass move that drains health from its victim for even more recovery in a turn!
- Pokédex #: 797
Steel/Flying has proven to be one of the better defensive dual-types in the franchise, only taking super-effective damage from Fire and Electric type attacks. So, when they give that typing to an Ultra Beast, you can rest assured it’s going to be one tough cookie. And while Celesteela may look a bit funky, trust us, if you need a tough shield for your team, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better one. You’ll have to be patient about tracking one down though; you can only find one in Moon and you’ll have to wait until you beat the game and can start hunting down Ultra Beasts with Anabel and Looker. Sun players will have to find a friend with Moon who’d be willing to part with one, most likely for a Kartana (Sun’s Celesteela counterpart).
While it may lack the pure defense of Skarmory, the original Steel/Flying type, Celesteela has much more well-rounded stats, with vastly superior HP and special defense. This means Celesteela can tank a much more diverse pool of opponents. Plus, it has pretty solid attacking stats, with roughly equal attack and special attack, meaning it can mix up its attacking options better. Combine this with draining moves like Leech Seed and Giga Drain and even if its opponent manages to make a dent in it, Celesteela can continually heal itself without worry!
- Pokédex #: 795
This sassy insectoid hails straight from an Ultra Worm Hole where apparently bugs rule the realm. That’s the only way we can begin to explain how Pheromosa’s seemingly frail self could command such a dominant presence. If you have Pokémon Moon, you’ll be able to find a Pheromosa once you start the hunt of the Ultra Beasts with Looker and Anabel after you complete the game. Sorry, Sun players, you’ll have to find someone with Moon with an extra one and trade for it. Maybe if you have an extra Buzzwole laying around…
Pheromosa’s defenses stink. No arguing that. It really doesn’t matter though; Pheromosa’s speed is absolutely unbelievable, as it’s the fastest Pokémon that can be found naturally in either Sun or Moon. Heck, the only Pokémon from previous generations that can even outpace it are Deoxys’ Speed form and Ninjask without any boosts. Not even famously fast Pokémon like Electrode and Alakazam can outrun it. You stack that on top of its ridiculous attack and special attack stats and you have a Pokémon that can easily build momentum for your team by quickly demolishing anything that comes your way in a single shot. Even better, its ability, Beast Boost, rewards it with a stat boost of its highest stat upon KO’ing a Pokémon, meaning that you can raise it so Pheromosa doesn’t even have to worry about being outpaced by speed boosted Pokémon or boost its dominant attacking stat to hit things even harder!
- Pokédex #: 718
Zygarde was actually introduced in Pokémon X & Y, but in this game it was given an entirely new form that changes it into a new Pokémon. So, we felt it fair to include it. However, don’t think you’ll be able to just go out and find a Zygarde like you managed to do in X & Y. In order to get Zygarde-Complete, you’ll have to find all the Zygarde Cells hidden throughout the overworld and assemble them together in the Caravan on Route 16 to make a Zygarde with the Power Construct ability. It’ll be a seemingly regular Zygarde at first, but when its HP drops to less than 50%, it’ll transform into Zygarde-Complete.
Fans have discovered that Zygarde-Complete is, without a doubt, the bulkiest Pokémon in the game. Zygarde-Complete already has all the solid stats of regular Zygarde, just that it also has double HP. Once it transforms into Zygarde-Complete, it’ll stay in that form for the rest of the battle, so one of the best strategies we’ve heard is to have it use Rest to fill its health back up and equip it with a Chesto Berry so it’ll wake right back up. From there, it has almost perfect coverage with its signature move, Thousand Arrows, which will hit even Flying-Type Pokémon with Ground-Type damage!
Well, that should get you started with raising your Legendaries, at the very least! The world of competitive Pokémon is as vast and deep as the ocean though, and there are tons we’re sure we don’t even know of! Please, if you’ve got some recommendations, let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear what strategies you’ve come up with!