The world of Pokémon is an ever-expanding universe with new creatures being added to the franchise every once in a while. Still, despite all the newcomers, some Pokémon have endured the test of time and have proven to be stronger and more powerful than others. They are mostly associated with the stories of the creation of the world of Pokémon, which is how they have managed to withstand the test of time. Here are the 20 strongest Pokémon in the franchise.
Well, why not, really? We start off our list with a highly unlikely candidate, but Ditto is a truly admirable Pokémon and an example of Generation I’s creativity that has not been outmatched so far. Due to the fact that he can transform into anything, we think that Ditto is extremely useful.
Ditto is a Normal-type Pokémon introduced in Generation I. It is not known to evolve into or from any other Pokémon. It can breed with any Pokémon other than the Pokémon in the Undiscovered group and other Ditto, including some Pokémon with unknown gender, to produce Eggs of the other’s species. Now, what makes Ditto so special is his transformation ability, which enables him to turn into any other Pokémon or an object, for that matter. He is never as strong as the original, but he is pretty useful if you ask us, and that is why we put him on our list here.
Ditto has had several appearances in the anime, with the most famous individual Ditto being Duplica’s, the one that appeared during the first season of the anime. Several other Ditto have appeared in the series and we even had the chance to see a Shiny Ditto (blue-colored, owned by Narissa) in the anime.
As far as regular Pokémon go, Alakazam is one of the best you’ll find in the game. This Psychic-type Pokémon introduced in Generation I has exceptional offensive capabilities, it is highly intelligent and it even has an even more powerful Mega Evolution that makes it quite interesting.
Alakazam is a Psychic-type Pokémon that debuted in Generation I. It is one of the most powerful non-(Pseudo-)-Legendary (Psychic) Pokémon in the franchise. It is the final evolution of Abra, evolving once you level up a traded Kadabra; Abra evolved into Kadabra starting at level 16. Alakazam can also evolve into Mega Alakazam using an Alakazite.
The Pokémon has appeared in the anime on several occasions and has always been a formidable foe. A notable Alakazam is the one used by Luana, a Gym leader specialized in double battles. In the games, the Pokémon had great ATK stats, but was defensively very weak, which means that you had to have a good tactical approach with him. He could only be obtainable via trading, making it difficult for players to obtain it if they could not connect with another player.
18. Eon Duo
The Eon Duo is a term that refers to Latios and Latias; they are also called the Lati Twins. They debuted in Generation III and were quite useful with relatively good stats, which is why we have listed them here, despite the fact that they are weaker than most other Legendary Pokémon and even some Pseudo-Legendary ones.
Latios is a dual-type Dragon/Psychic Legendary Pokémon introduced in Generation III. While it is not known to evolve into or from any other Pokémon, Latios can Mega Evolve into Mega Latios using the Latiosite. Latias is a dual-type Dragon/Psychic Legendary Pokémon introduced in Generation III. While it is not known to evolve into or from any other Pokémon, Latias can Mega Evolve into Mega Latias using the Latiasite.
Both Latios and Latias have appeared in the anime, debuting in their own movie before later appearing in the anime series; their Mega evolutions have also appeared in the anime. In the games, you could only obtain one of them in a certain game (meaning that you had to trade the other from another game), and they were quite useful additions to your team.
17. Legendary Birds
Although not as strong as other Legendary Pokémon and even weaker than some more powerful Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon, the Legendary Birds still manage to pack a punch when needed and that is why they deserve a spot on our list. On top of that, they’re an essential element of Kanto’s mythology.
Legendary Birds is a collective term used to refer to the trio of Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. They are also known as the Winged Mirages. In the Crown Tundra, their Galarian versions have been referred to as Legendary Wings. Articuno is a dual-type Ice/Flying Legendary Pokémon introduced in Generation I. In Galar, Articuno has a Psychic/Flying regional form.
Zapdos is a dual-type Electric/Flying Legendary Pokémon introduced in Generation I. In Galar, Zapdos has a Fighting/Flying regional form. Moltres is a dual-type Fire/Flying Legendary Pokémon introduced in Generation I. In Galar, Moltres has a Dark/Flying regional form.
They have made several appearances in the animated series, mostly in the movies, but not exclusively as of recently. In the games, they are obtainable (but only one of each), although you have to travel to remote or secret locations and give it your best to find and catch them.
16. Legendary Beasts
The Legendary Beats were introduced in Generation II, as that generation’s version of Kanto’s Legendary Birds; they even had the same types as the birds. They were created by Ho-Oh and are usually seen roaming the Johto region as its protectors.
Raikou is an Electric-type Legendary Pokémon introduced in Generation II. It is not known to evolve into or from any other Pokémon. Along with Entei and Suicune, it is one of the Legendary beasts resurrected by Ho-Oh after the burning of the Brass Tower. Of the three Legendary beasts, Raikou is said to represent the lightning strike that ignited the fire that consumed the Brass Tower. Entei is a Fire-type Legendary Pokémon introduced in Generation II.
It is not known to evolve into or from any other Pokémon. Entei is said to represent the flames that burned the Brass Tower. Suicune is a Water-type Legendary Pokémon introduced in Generation II. It is not known to evolve into or from any other Pokémon. Suicune is said to represent the rains that quenched the flames of the burning Brass Tower.
The Legendary Beasts have appeared in the anime, both in the show and in the movies; we even saw their Shiny forms in the anime, which is a rare occurrence in the anime series. As for the games, Suicune could be obtained by a chance encounter while roaming around the Johto region or in the Tower (in Crystal), while the other two could be found while roaming the Johto region.
Now, we move onto a Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon, as they are – in a lot of cases – stronger than some real Legendary Pokémon. Salamence, the main Dragon-type Pokémon from Generation III, is an example of such Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon.
Salamence is actually a dual Dragon/Flying-type Pokémon with excellent stats. It is a great fighter and is exceptionally strong when compared to most other regular Pokémon, despite a strong weakness against Ice-type moves. It is the final evolution of Bagon and Shelgon and evolves from Shelgon at level 50. It can further evolve into Mega Salamence using the Salamencite. Although very difficult to obtain, Salamence is one of the best Pokémon you can have in the game.
Salamence has appeared in the anime on several occasions and was always a formidable foe. Two of the most famous Salamence in the series are the one owned by Drake, the Dragon Master of the Elite Four, and the one owned by the villainous J.
Our list continues with another Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon, this time from Generation II. Although it is not a Dragon-type Pokémon, Tyranitar and its evolution line “replaced” the Dratini line from Generation I as the strongest non-legendary Pokémon in the generation.
Tyranitar is a dual Rock/Dark-type Pokémon who first appeared in Johto and is part of Generation II. Tyranitar is a giant dinosaur and was, for a while, the strongest Dark-type Pokémon in the series, as the Dark type was first introduced in Generation II. It is the final evolution of Larvitar and Pupitar, evolving from the latter at level 55. If you use a Tyranitarite on it, it evolves into Mega Tyranitar. Like Salamence, it is difficult to obtain but is one of the strongest Pokémon in the games.
Tyranitar and its evolution line have also appeared in the anime on several occasions, with the most famous example being the mother Tyranitar of Ash’s Larvitar, seen first in a flashback and later appearing so that Ash could return the Larvitar to her.
Dragonite is the last non-Legendary or Mythical Pokémon on this list. He was the first Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon in the series and despite being a Generation I Pokémon, Dragonite remains one of the strongest Pokémon in the whole franchise.
Dragonite is a dual Dragon/Flying-type Pokémon first introduced in Generation I as the strongest, non-Legendary Pokémon in the generation. He is a big, light orange dragon with small wings. He is the final evolution of Dratini and Dragonair, evolving from Dragonair at level 55. Despite being difficult to obtain, Dragonite is certainly worth it and is one of the best Pokémon you can have on your team. Unlike a lot of other Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon, Dragonite doesn’t have a Mega Evolution or a Gigantamax form.
Since they are quite peaceful, Dragonite often helps humans and works with them, which is why they have often appeared in the animated series. Some of the trainers who owned a Dragonite are Drake, the leader of the Orange League (not the Dragon Master); Lance of the original Elite Four; Iris, one of Ash’s traveling companions; and finally, Ash himself, who caught a freshly-evolved Dragonite during an episode of Pokémon Journeys.
The first mythical Pokémon on our list, Celebi seems to be more cute than dangerous when you see it for the first time. And although it is small and fragile, Celebi is actually a very powerful Pokémon that has amazing powers, which is why it is on our list.
Celebi is a dual Psychic/Grass-type Pokémon that serves as the guardian of the Ilex Forest. It was introduced in Generation II and was the protagonist of Celebi: The Voice of the Forest but has also made several other appearances throughout the anime series. It most often inhabits forests and is usually described as resembling a fairy, although it is not a Fairy-type Pokémon.
Celebi has several interesting powers, which is why it was often a target of different villains who wanted to abuse them. It has the power to instantly purify any Shadow Pokémon it encounters, but it also has the ability to travel through time, which was the main plot element of The Voice of the Forest. Although it is not physically imposing, these powers certainly make it deserving of a place on this list.
11. The Tower Duo
The Tower Duo are the principal Legendary Pokémon of the Johto region. They are Lugia and Ho-Oh and they were also the mascots of the Pokémon Gold and Silver video games, in which they had their debut appearances as Generation II Pokémon.
Lugia is a dual Psychic/Flying-type Pokémon that looks like a large dragon. Although it dwells in the seas and is known as the “guardian of the seas,” Lugia can fly and uses its wings for both swimming and flying. Ho-Oh, the “guardian of the skies,” is a dual Fire/Flying-type Pokémon that looks like a giant bird. They both do not evolve from any other Pokémon, nor do they evolve into any other Pokémon.
As per the Pokémon world’s mythology, Lugia is the trio master of the three Legendary birds (Articuno, Moltres, Zapdos) from Generation I, while Ho-Oh is the trio master of the three Legendary beasts (Entei, Raikou, Suicune) from Generation II, as he is also responsible for their creation.
Introduced in Generation IV, Darkrai is a very curious Legendary Pokémon that lives on Newmoon Island and is part of the mythology of the Sinnoh region. It is very powerful, yet very playful and is known for giving people nightmares.
Darkrai is a fully Dark-type Legendary Pokémon, although he has many external traits of a Ghost-type Pokémon. He has reality-bending powers and can travel through different dimensions. Despite its short stature, it is enormously powerful and was even able to hold off the fight between the mighty Palkia and Dialga in The Rise of Darkrai, until Ash did what he had to.
Along with Cresselia, who lives on Fullmoon Island, Darkrai forms the Lunar Duo, which is sometimes called the Subconscious Duo due to the fact that Darkrai can access people’s and Pokémon’s dreams and give them nightmares, while Cresselia is responsible for pleasant dreams.
As far as this little fellow is concerned, Regigigas is a Legendary Pokémon introduced in Generation IV. It plays an integral part in the mythology of the Sinnoh region and is said to have played a part in the creation of the world of Pokémon. Regigigas is the master of the Legendary titans (or giants).
Regigigas is actually a Normal-type Legendary Pokémon. It does not evolve from any other Pokémon and does not have any additional forms; it has the power over all of the Legendary Titans. It looks like a golem and shares some visual traits with the other titans (especially the eyes), but is ultimately different as it does not embody any specific type of Pokémon.
Regigigas is exceptionally strong and its size makes him one of the most imposing Pokémon in history. It is said that it is so powerful that it was able to pull and move whole continents, which is connected to the legends stating that it played a part in the creation of the world of Pokémon as we know it.
8. Reshiram and Zekrom
Individually, Reshiram and Zekrom are equally strong and as members of the Tao trio, they are grouped together. Since Kyurem, the last remaining member of the trio, is somewhat stronger than these two individually (just like Rayquaza is stronger than Groudon and Kyogre), we are going to mention it later.
Reshiram and Zekrom are both dual-type Dragon Pokémon. Reshiram, who embodies the concept of the yang, is a dual Dragon/Fire-type Pokémon, while Zekrom, who embodies the concept of yin, is a dual Dragon/Electric-type Pokémon. They both debuted in Generation V and are part of the mythology of the Unova region. It is said that they were created when the region was plagued by a big war.
Similar to other trio members, the two of them are natural rivals. They are not known to evolve further, but they do have – each of them – a different form, which is activated by using the DNA Splicers on either of them and Kyurem, resulting in a process called Absofusion that removes Reshiram or Zekrom from the party until the fusion is undone. They will then become either White Kyurem (when Reshiram is used) or Black Kyurem (when Zekrom is used).
7. The Light Trio
Introduced in Generation VII, the Light Trio is a group of Legendary Pokémon from the Alola region. According to Alolan legends, the Light Trio is responsible for bringing light to the Alola region and for the creation of the Z-Moves, which played a prominent role in Generation VII games. The trio consists of Solgaleo, Lunala, and Necrozma. All three can also create Ultra Wormholes.
Solgaleo is a dual Psychic/Steel-type Pokémon that looks like a lion. Its counterpart is Lunala, who is a Psychic/Ghost-type Pokémon that looks like a bat. They both evolve from Cosmog, i.e., Cosmoem, and thus form the Cosmog evolution line. Necrozma, on the other hand, is a Psychic Pokémon and does not evolve from any other. None of the three Pokémon have any further evolutions, but the former two have one additional form each, while Necrozma has three.
Out of Necrozma’s three forms, two are fusions with the other members of the Light Trio – Dusk Mane Necrozma, a Psychic/Steel-type fusion with Solgaleo using the N-Solarizer, and Dawn Wings Necrozma, a Psychic/Ghost-type a fusion with Lunala using the N-Lunarizer – while his last form, Ultra Necrozma, is a Psychic/Dragon-type form obtainable when either Dusk Mane Necrozma or Dawn Wings Necrozma uses Ultra Burst.
The last member of the Tao Trio, Kyurem is an extremely powerful and dangerous Legendary Pokémon that was introduced in Generation V. It has been depicted as a somewhat destructive counterpart to Reshiram and Zekrom.
Kyurem is a dual Dragon/Ice-type Pokémon, which makes it especially useful in the video games, as it eliminates the Dragon-type’s biggest weakness (alongside Fairy-type moves), and embodies the absence of the yin and the yang (so-called wuji), which explains its chaotic nature and the danger it usually presents. Kyurem’s dominion is ice and he is able to freeze anything he comes into contact with.
Kyurem, as a Pokémon, is usually feared by others, both Pokémon and trainers. Along with his base form, which is scary enough as it is, Kyurem also has two other forms, which are activated by using the DNA Splicers on it. Either Reshiram or Zekrom, resulting in a process called Absofusion that removes Reshiram or Zekrom from the party until the fusion is undone. It will then become White Kyurem (with Reshiram) or Black Kyurem (with Zekrom).
5. Groudon and Kyogre (Primal Forms)
The remaining members of the Weather Trio are Groudon and Kyogre, the creators and rulers of land and water, respectively. They are Legendary Pokémon first introduced in Generation III and have since appeared in both the movies and the anime.
Groudon is a Ground-type Pokémon that is considered to be the creator and ruler of all land in the Pokémon world. Kyogre, on the other hand, is a Water-type Pokémon and the ruler of the seas. Due to their constant need to achieve domination, Groudon and Kyogre are fierce rivals who fight quite often; this is why Rayquaza intervened during their clash because he was the only one powerful enough to stop them from destroying the world. They are ancient Pokémon that have been in hibernation for a long time but can be awakened using special items.
In the redesigned Generation III games, Groudon and Kyogre have gone through the process of Primal Reversion, which supposedly activated their ancient, primal powers. These versions can be awakened using a Red (Groudon) and Blue (Kyogre) Orb. While Primal Kyogre remains a pure Water-type Pokémon, Primal Groudon becomes a dual Ground/Fire-type.
Rayquaza is a dual Dragon/Flying-type Pokémon first introduced in Generation III. He is the internal Trio Master of the Weather Trio and the only Pokémon able to control and subdue Kyogre and Groudon. He is the legendary ruler of the skies, being able to control the weather in the atmosphere.
Rayquaza is immensely powerful and is – in a way – the protector of Earth, as seen in the movie Destiny Deoxys, where he fought a Deoxys he thought was there to invade the planet. A Shiny iteration appeared later in the anime. Although Pokémon trios are usually all equally strong, Rayquaza is more powerful than Groudon and Kyogre, his two counterparts.
In the redesigned Generation III video games, Rayquaza is given the ability to Mega Evolve. It is now believed that he is the first Pokémon ever to have Mega Evolved.
3) Mew and Mewtwo (The Mew Duo)
The fan term Mew Duo refers to the Pokémon Mew and Mewtwo, two Pokémon introduced in Generation I. Mew is a Mythical Pokemon, while Mewtwo is a Legendary Pokémon.
Mew is the ancestor of all Pokémon, being responsible for the creation of new species. For a long time, scientists thought that Mew was just a myth before he was actually discovered in South America. He plays a major role in the first Pokémon movie and makes several appearances later on. He is a Psychic-type Pokémon and is able to learn every possible attack.
As for Mewtwo, he is actually an artificial Pokémon, a clone created by Team Rocket from a piece of Mew’s DNA. He was created to be used as a weapon by Team Rocket, but he became self-conscious and escaped his creators, starting to resent humans in the process and wanting to take revenge on them. He is also a major character in the first movie and has made several later appearances. Mewtwo is also a Psychic Pokémon and has two Mega Evolutions – Mewtwo X (a dual Psychic/Fighting-type) and Mewtwo Y – both of which have appeared in the anime.
2. The Creation Trio
The Creation Trio is a group of Legendary Pokémon created by Arceus, first introduced in Generation IV as part of the Sinnoh mythos. All three of them are extremely powerful, and they are grouped together as “one Pokémon” because their powers are completely equal.
All three are dual-type Dragon Pokémon, with Palkia being a Water/Dragon-type, Dialga a Steel/Dragon-type, and Giratina a Ghost/Dragon-type Pokémon. When they were created, each of them got their own respective realms to control. Palkia was given control of space and Dialga of time, while Giratina was banished to the Distortion World due to its violent nature; there, Giratina controls antimatter in a world where time doesn’t pass and space is completely distorted. All three of them appeared in the Diamond and Pearl movie trilogy.
Although considered to be rivals, Palkia and Dialga aren’t generally violent and will only attack if threatened, as shown in the movies. Giratina, on the other hand, is violent and tends to cause chaos and havoc without any meaningful reason. The Lake Guardians, also created by Arceus, have the task of calming down Palkia and Dialga in case they get enraged.
Arceus is the god of the Pokémon world, the first Pokémon ever, and quite possibly the last one to ever exist. He inhabits a special world of his own (known as Arceus’ World) and is usually credited as the creator of the whole Pokémon universe, along with some other Legendary Pokémon; Arceus himself is a Mythical Pokémon and is known as “The Original One.” He was first introduced in Generation IV and is a Sinnoh-based Pokémon.
Arceus is a Normal-type Pokémon with no known evolutions but with the ability to change shape and type when carrying a Plate or a specific Z-Stone. He is omnipotent and omniscient, although the full extent of his powers was never revealed. He had a major role in the movie Arceus and the Jewel of Life, and another cameo appearance in another movie.
He is credited with creating both the Creation Trio and the Lake Guardians, two groups of Legendary Pokémon that had a strong influence on how the world of Pokémon evolved. This is why he is considered to be the Trio Master (a fan term for a Pokémon that can control various trios in the franchise) of both groups.
Fun fact: In an episode of House, M.D., the title character, Gregory House, mentions Arceus in a mocking response to a member of his team, saying that he did indeed create the universe. You can see the scene for yourselves:
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