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Top PvE Legendary to Power-Up in Pokemon Go!

Legendary Pokémon are often considered the best Pokémon in the game, so powering up these Pokémon is usually always a safe bet.  However, what if you are limited on resources such as stardust or candy? What legendary Pokémon should be powered-up!?  This list should help determine which legendary will give you the most bang for your buck.  Keep in mind, this list is focused on a PvE perspective, stay tuned for a PvP version coming soon.

#10 DARKRAI

Darkrai
FAST MOVE(S)CHARGE MOVE(S)
SnarlDark Pulse
Shadow Ball

Darkrai is the premiere Dark-type Pokémon, excelling against Ghost- and Psychic-type Pokémon. Being a Dark-type Darkrai double resists Psychic-type moves, and single resists Ghost-type moves.

Most of the Psychic-type legendaries have already been released, but Niantic always recycles past legendary with shiny releases and special weekend events. If you don’t already have a full team of Dark-types, Darkrai might be the Pokémon for you.

Darkrai isn’t higher up on the list because Tyranitar is a Pokémon that is very comparable as a Dark-type and is abundantly more affordable being available as a Level 4 Raid Boss for the majority of the inception of raids. It is also possible that Hoopa (Unbound Forme) and Yveltal may supplant Darkrai as the #1 Dark-type Pokémon, both being Generation 6 Pokémon.

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#9 Giratina-Origin Forme

Darkrai
FAST MOVE(S)CHARGE MOVE(S)
Shadow Claw
Dragon Tail
Shadow Ball
Dragon Pulse

Giratina-Origin Forme, not to be confused with its Altered Forme, is the premiere Ghost-type Pokémon. Although it falls behind in the DPS department compared to Gengar and Chandelure, neither can compare to the sheer amount of TDO Giratina-Origin Forme has.

Giratina-O is hand-in-hand with Darkrai as the premiere Ghost- and Psychic-types counter and it is likely Giratina remains the best Ghost-type in the game, although Lunala might have something to say about that in Generation 7.

Giratina-O lands above Darkrai because of its higher TDO and because the uncertainty of its Ghost-type status is further away than Darkrai losing its Dark-type status. If you must, Giratina-O can also be used as a Dragon-type attacker, but there are much better candidates in that department.

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#8 KYOGRE

Darkrai
FAST MOVE(S)CHARGE MOVE(S)
Waterfall
Surf

The best Water-type Pokémon in the game, and should remain so for the duration of the game, you can’t go wrong powering-up this beast.

As a Water-type, Kyogre excels against Fire-, Rock-, and Ground-type Pokémon. Kyogre winds up near the bottom of the Top 10 List because there aren’t many Level 5 Raid bosses that Kyogre is the top counter for.

Moltres, Entei, Ho-Oh, Regirock, Groudon, and Terrakion are all past bosses, and out of those raid bosses it has contenders as being the top counter.  Nevertheless, Kyogre is worthy of being on this list, and makes for a great generalist, you won’t be disappointed powering one up!

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#7 GROUDON

Darkrai
FAST MOVE(S)CHARGE MOVE(S)
Mud Shot
Earthquake

Arguably the best Ground-type Pokémon in the game, Groudon excels against Fire-, Rock-, Steel-, Poison-, and most importantly Electric-types. With Zekrom right around the corner (at the time of this article’s publication), Groudon will make an excellent counter.

Being a Ground-type, Groudon double resists all Electric attacks. Like Kyogre, Groudon rounds off the bottom of our Top 10 list because outside of being the premier Electric-type counter, Groudon often competes as a top counter against Fire-, Rock-, Steel-, and Poison-types. Groudon does get the edge over Kyogre for being effective versus 5 types instead of 3.

Lastly, Landorus’s Therian Forme has not been released, but it should be better than Groudon in terms of DPS. This does bring some ambiguity into the mix, as unofficially released movesets are always subject to change.

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#6 MOLTRES

Darkrai
FAST MOVE(S)CHARGE MOVE(S)
Wing Attack
Fire Spin
Sky Attack
Overheat

The best Flying-type Pokémon in the game, and arguably the second-best Fire-type in the game. Moltres excels as a dual-type, having an excellent Flying- and Fire-type moveset. As a Flying-type Moltres is effective against Grass-, Bug-, and Fighting-types, and as a Fire-type, Moltres is effective against Grass-, Bug-, Ice-, and Steel-types.

The hard part of taking advantage of Moltres is that the Charge Move Sky Attack is a Raid Day exclusive move, making it rare. Not to mention, if you want to take advantage of both its typings, unlocking the second Charge Move will be expensive costing 100 candy and 100,000 stardust. Being able to excel as two types lands Moltres at a very respectable #6.

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x2

#5 RESHIRAM

Darkrai
FAST MOVE(S)CHARGE MOVE(S)
Fire Fang
Dragon Tail
Overheat
Draco Meteor

The new best Fire-type Pokémon in the game, Reshiram excels against Grass-, Bug-, Ice-, and Steel-types, and like Moltres, carries a dual-typing (Fire- and Dragon-Type). Reshiram is a safe bet to power-up because it is highly likely that Reshiram remains the best Fire-type in the game. So if you’re lacking excellent Fire-types, Reshiram might be the way to go.

Another plus to Reshiram is that it is also a very usable Dragon-type as well. Although it’s lacking the Dragon Tail/Outrage optimal moveset, Reshiram still has an amazing attack stat and will a solid addition to any Dragon lineup.

Lastly, for what’s it worth, Reshiram takes neutral damage from Fairy- and Ice-types, something rare amongst Dragons, thanks to its Fire-typing.

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#4 ZEKROM

Darkrai
FAST MOVE(S)CHARGE MOVE(S)
Charge Beam
Dragon Tail
Wild Charge
Outrage

Raikou move over, Zekrom is slated to take the throne as the premiere Electric-type Pokémon in Pokémon GO, being effective against Flying- and Water-types. With its release just around the corner (approximately less than a week from the publication of this article), it is important to specify how good Zekrom will be.

Even with what is considered to be a bad Fast Move in Charge Beam, Zekrom still beats out Raikou, Electivire, and Zapdos, who all have access to Thunder Shock, the superior Fast Move. Like Reshiram, Zekrom is likely to remain the top Electric-type for the duration of Pokémon GO, so this is another safe bet to add to your Electric team.

Zekrom is also a very good Dragon-type, and gets access to at least Outrage as a Charge Move. This is what puts Zekrom above its counterpart Reshiram.

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#3 Rayquaza

Darkrai
FAST MOVE(S)CHARGE MOVE(S)
Dragon Tail
Air Slash
Outrage
Aerial Ace

Often considered one of, if not the best Dragon-type Pokémon in the game, Rayquaza soars in at #3 on the legendary list. (Rayquaza boasts a duel-typing in that of Dragon- and Flying-type).Having an amazing Attack stat coupled with the best Dragon-type moveset Dragon Tail/Outrage, Rayquaza is often a top counter against all Dragon Raid bosses. Being a Dragon-type, Rayquaza is also an amazing generalist, and competes with Mewtwo as the #1 generalist.

In Windy weather, Rayquaza can often be found and very usable against almost any raid boss, if you don’t already have a full team of 6 optimal counters. Rayquaza is also an excellent Pokémon to use to clear Gyms if that’s your thing.

Lastly, Rayquaza can be used as a Flying-type Pokémon, but unfortunately has a terrible moveset. It’s currently the 3rd best Flying-type behind Moltres and Honchkrow, which should tell you how bad Aerial Ace is. Nevertheless can still be used as a Flying-type in a pinch.

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x2

#2 MEWTWO

Darkrai
FAST MOVE(S)CHARGE MOVE(S)
Confusion
Psycho Cut
Psystrike
Shadow Ball
Ice Beam
Thunderbolt
Flamethrower

The original EX-Raid exclusive legendary boss, Mewtwo was highly coveted and is still one of the rarer legendaries in the game.

At first, Mewtwo’s best Charge Move was Shadow Ball, making it a supreme counter against other Psychic raid bosses including itself due to its ability to resist Psychic-type moves. However, it wasn’t until August of 2019, when both the Charge Move Psychic got reworked, and when Mewtwo received its exclusive move Psystrike, did Mewtwo become an even greater menace as a Psychic-type.

Mewtwo was now able to release its full potential. With the double Psychic-type moveset of Confusion/Psystrike or Psychic, Mewtwo demolishes Fighting- and Poison-types. It is arguably the best generalist as well due to its extremely high Attack stat.

Just like Rayquaza, in Windy weather, Mewtwo can often be used as a fill-in if you don’t already have a full team of 6 counters. Mewtwo isn’t a one-trick pony either. Mewtwo can still be run with Shadow Ball (EX-Raid exclusive/Elite Charge TM), Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, and Focus Blast, making it a Swiss-army knife. Mewtwo is a Pokémon you want to power-up.

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#1 DIALGA

Darkrai
FAST MOVE(S)CHARGE MOVE(S)
Dragon Breath
Metal Claw
Draco Meteor
Iron Head

Dialga roars in at #1. What makes Dialga so special is its dual Steel/Dragon-typing. This gives Dialga a luxury that no other Dragon currently in the game has (another Steel/Dragon type isn’t introduced until Generation 8 with Duraludon), Dialga takes neutral damage from Dragon-type attacks.

With so many of the Level 5 Raid bosses being Dragon, this makes Dialga extremely viable. Other Dragons often have to swallow the double-edged sword of taking and dealing super effective damage and Dialga doesn’t. It also shares the ability to only take neutral damage from Fairy- and Ice-types just like Reshiram.

Dialga also makes for a great generalist for Raid battles carrying a whopping 10 resistances, 2 of which are double resistances. If you must, you can run the Steel-type moveset, but Metagross is a better option.

It may not have the moveset flexibility of Mewtwo, but its defensive capabilities paired with strong neutral damage are unmatched. Every Trainer should have Dialga as part of their team, and if you haven’t already powered-up one, what are you waiting for! It’s a shame that Dialga hasn’t been available in raid battles in over a year.

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A Legendary Continuation

Now that we’ve covered your top 10 for PvE (Raids) be sure to check back soon as we will revisit this topic for those interested in powering up Legendary for PvP! 

As always, stay safe Trainers and follow your local laws and guidelines!

For more legendary reads, check out some of our Legendary Raid Guides!

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