When it comes to Pokémon, Generation IV was home to many changes and improvements for the series, chief amongst them being the need for several new legendaries to be added to the series with every single generation.
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Diamond, Pearl, andPlatinumadded 14 new legendaries to the mix, and most of them were pretty cool additions. Today, we're going to be looking at all of these legendaries, and ranking them. There's some good, and there's some bad, so let's get right into it at the bottom of the list.
Updated on April 6, 2021, by Reyadh Rahaman: Since the release of the original Gen IV games, these mystical and unique organisms have maintained their powerful and interesting reputations in the franchise, however, their battling potential has shifted due to the many new mechanics and species that have been introduced in the Generations that followed. With the paradigm shifts, trainers seeking to use some older favorites in pokémon battles should read up on the current competitive strategies that best suit these spectacular Sinnoh species.
Regigigas is a pretty bad Pokémon all around. Sure, the lore surrounding it is pretty good, but just about everything else surrounding it is subpar. The design is awful, there's not a thing going on there.
Also, it's a complete joke competitively, with its ability Slow Start making it absolutely useless. Just like the other Regis, there isn't much here to love.
Though, despite some fans not appreciating Regigigas for their odd design and debilitating ability, they can still be used in battle if the opponent underestimates them. Since they can learn Thunder Wave, Substitute, and Protect, players can stall the opponent for a few turns until Slow Start's effect wears off and this legendary's power can be properly used by unleashing devastating Body Slams or Giga Impacts.
The counterpart to Dialga, Palkia is the ruler of space. Dialga and Palkia are pretty similar Pokémon, and really their ranking would just come down to a matter of preference.
Palkia really isn't doing anything too cool, which is why it takes a spot near the bottom of the list. It got Roar of Time'd down here.
While Palkia may not have the best moveset for the modern competitive scene, they can still be dangerous if their trainer has a bit of luck and stacks things in their favor. Palkia's signature move, the Dragon-type Spacial Rend, has a higher chance of dealing a critical hit, which makes it able to get by a foe's defensive boosts. A similar move, the Ghost-type Shadow Claw, can also be learned by this legendary. By teaching Palkia both of these moves and giving them a Razor Claw to hold, trainers can turn this Sinnoh sea dragon into a crit-machine.
Phione, the Water-type legendary, is such a weird little Pokémon. It can only be obtained from breeding a Manaphy, and is literally just a worse version of that Pokémon, losing some of its core features and stats.
The Pokémon Company really isn't even sure if this thing is a legendary, as they've changed their answer on that multiple times. Phione marked the first time that a legendary could breed though, so that must count for something?
As Phione is not available in Pokémon Sword, its competitive viability is non-existent, though, even if it was available to be bred, its middling stats of 80 in everything don't lend it very well to battles.
Finding a legendary in the game that was literally never mentioned anywhere is always a cool experience, though, Heatran is weird. It's found in the Survival Area's Stark Mountain and is accessible after a small story segment.
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Its inclusion is just kind of... unnecessary, and it just kind of exists. Also, it's one of the only legendaries that can be male or female, though cannot breed, which raises some questions by fans.
Since Gen IV, Heatran has been getting wrecked by Ground-type attacks due to their x4 weakness to this element, though, against most other attacks it is pretty resilient thanks to usable defensive stats, which come in at 106 each. With decently high Special Attack and access to solid Fire and Steel-type special moves, Like Magma Storm and Flash Cannon, this volcanic pokémon can be a great offensive force.
8 The Lake Trio
The Lake Trio are included on this list as a single entry because they all do the same thing. They're guardians of Sinnoh's lakes and become roaming Pokémon once you encounter them.
Azelf is definitely the best in terms of design, Mespirit looks tired, and Uxie looks dead, so it really didn't have any competition. Knowledge, emotion, and willpower came into existence from these Pokémon, who in turn came from Arceus.
Despite looking quite similar, each of the Lake Trio possesses different stat spreads and movesets, granting each a unique niche as supportive Psychic-type pokémon. Offensively inclined Azelf is an excellent lead that can be used to set up Stealth Rock on turn 1 and use a surprise Explosion on turn 2 to start any battle off with a bang. Balanced Mesprit can throw a wrench into the opponent's plans with tricky moves such as Flatter and Imprison. Finally, defensive Uxie can be useful in setting up Light Screen and Reflect to become a wall against most foes.
Dialga is the ruler of time. While Palkia's pink color scheme is a bit more unique than Dialga's blue, overall our angry little time god is better designed. Dialga is met at the climax of Diamond and is a force to be reckoned with.
It also played a pivotal role in the Mystery Dungeon series. Either way, Dialga is the better box art legendary over Palkia.
With excellent stats all-around, Dialga's typing and movepool offer great viability, even in the current competitive scene. This legendary can be useful as a wall, sweeper, or even used as support, depending on what their trainer needs. They also come with the potential to learn their signature move, Roar of Time, which is essentially a Dragon-type Hyper Beam and should be used in similar manners.
Generation Four was a time when everything needed multiple Formes for absolutely no reason at all, and Shaymin is no exception. While the little flower hedgehog was cute, it soon got a spunky little Sky Forme that changed its appearance and typing.
While its Land Forme follows the base 100 stat trend of some other mythical pocket monsters, Sky Forme has some differences that actually allow it to stay in the Uber tier of competitive gameplay until recently, making it a dangerous foe to try and go against.
In the current Generation, Shaymin cannot be acquired, however, if it could be, its signature move, Seed Flare, would have been a force to be reckoned with, as it has a huge base power of 120 and a 40% chance to drop a target's Special Defense by 2 full stages.
Oh, hello PokéGod. That's what Arceus is, the creator of all. It was the first Pokémon to ever come into existence, and from there it went to work, shaping the entire universe; a well-deserved flex.
It created just about every other Pokémon on this list to handle something for it, which is fair, it's got like, the largest business that you could ever imagine to run. Its design is fine, and it is an absolute beast competitively, having the ability to change into any type that it so desires.
Sadly, Arceus is also one of the pokémon who did not make it into Pokémon Sword & Shield, and that's probably a good thing for the competitive scene, as some of its combat strategies were pretty broken. Access to the highest-base damage priority move in the series, Extreme Speed, as well as excellent healing ones like Refresh and Recover, make them immensely viable. On top of this, their guaranteed Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) signature move, Judgment, can annihilate many threats swiftly.
Darkrai is mean, as it torments people with bad dreams relentlessly. It supposedly does this out of fear and self-defense, but likely tortured a child to death in Unova, so yeah, that's perfectly fine according to this children's game...for some reason.
Either way, its ability to cause nightmares and feed upon them is quite scary, and its spooky design is absolutely great. This is one Pokémon that you shouldn't mess with.
When Darkrai was available to players (Gen VII and prior), it possessed the best sleep-related battle tactic thanks to its unique ability, Bad Dreams, which decreases a sleeping foe's HP by 1/8th the max amount every turn. Darkrai can also learn the move Nightmare, which can stack with Bad Dreams to remove 3/8ths of the target's HP per turn. This combined with regular moves can debilitate and knock out many enemies with ease.
On the topic of not messing with Pokémon, Giratina was banished to Pokémon's version of the Shadow Realm because it was too much of a chaotic mess. It made its home there, and can shift into its Origin Forme, first discovered in Pokémon Platinum.
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This frightening Pokémon easily surpasses its other box legendary counterparts in just about every way imaginable.
With well-rounded stats and high base HP, Giratina can be viable in many different ways, similar to Dialga, though comes with a much better movepool that includes great Ghost-type attacks, such as the useful priority move Shadow Sneak and the wall-breaking Shadow Force. Furthermore, this spectral legendary can also learn the deadly Destiny Bond so that it can take its foe down with them when they faint.
Manaphy is the upgraded version of Phione, and is an absolutely excellent water mythical. It is an absolutely adorable Pokémon, and is quite a powerful one too.
It is shown to be a very kind Pokémon in the anime as well. It makes sense, though, Manphy is a single parent doing their best to raise its Phione child, you have to be quite the giver to deal with that job.
Like with Phione, Manaphy is not available in Gen VIII, however, if it was, it would be a major threat. Possessing the straight-up broken status move, Tail Glow, used to let Manaphy boost its Special Attack stat by 2.5 stages, which made any of its following special attacks hit harder than a rampaging Gyarados.
Constantly cleaning up Darkrai's horrible messes, we have Cresselia. It takes the top spot on this list for a number of reasons. As a counterpart to the aforementioned Darkrai, its Lunar Dance move has the capacity to soothe those horrible nightmares we mentioned earlier.
Beyond that, it has an absolutely fantastic design, and doesn't look like any other Pokémon out there. This Pokémon might not be the best when it comes to the competitive scene, but its other fantastic aspects more than make up for that. As such, it takes the number 1 spot on this list.
In addition to the ally-restoring Lunar Dance, Cresselia can be a great aid to their teammates with other supportive tactics, like using Safeguard to repel status conditions for a few turns and Trick Room, which would enable slower allies to strike first. While not a wall or other powerful battle archetype, Cresselia can be helpful for the injured or weakened, which, in turn, would grant a trainer the ability to return a debilitated powerhouse pokémon to their full strength and turn the tide of battle.