Pseudo-legendary Pokémon (Japanese: 擬似伝説 Pseudo-legendary) is a fan term commonly used to refer to any Pokémon that has a three-stage evolution line, 1,250,000 experience at level 100, and a base stat total of exactly 600. The term originates from the prefix pseudo-, which means "false". Pseudo-legendary Pokémon are often more powerful than other non-legendary Pokémon due to their high base stats.
Other variations of the definition also mention having two types or having at least one type immunity, or omit the need to have 1,250,000 experience at level 100.
List of pseudo-legendary Pokémon
There are six Pokémon considered to be pseudo-legendary Pokémon. The following shows the pseudo-legendary Pokémon by the generation of their introduction, as well as their types, and the Pokémon they evolve from.
With the exception of the Garchomp and Hydreigon evolutionary lines, pseudo-legendary Pokémon are usually situated adjacent to the legendary trios in the Pokédexes of their respective generations. In both the National Pokédex and Johto Pokédex, the evolutionary lines of Dragonite and Tyranitar are located just after the legendary trio of their respective Generation (they are located next to each other in the Johto Pokédex). Similarly, the Salamence and Metagross lines are located next to each other right before the legendary golems in both the National Pokédex and Hoenn Pokédex. Oddly, this tradition was not upheld in Generation IV, as the Garchomp evolution line is situated next to no notable Pokémon. In Generation V, the Hydreigon line is located next to the Volcarona line, which is adjacent to the legendary Pokémon.
Pseudo-legendary Pokémon usually have Attack as their highest stat. This is not the case with Hydreigon, which has Special Attack as its highest stat. Their respective base evolutions' base stat total are 300, while their second stage' base stat total are 420, excluding Pupitar and Gabite, which have 410.
In the games
Being the first pseudo-legendary, Dragonite has straightforward and well-rounded stats. It has a traditionally high Attack and above average stats otherwise. Dragonite does poses a unique personality in that while other pseudo-legendaries are commonly depicted as aggressive, and sometimes malicious, Dragonite is mostly depicted as kind and friendly.
- First pseudo-legendary Pokémon in National Pokédex order.
With a focus on power and durability, Tyranitar sacrifices Speed to have tremendous bulk and skill. It has the Sand Stream ability to always conjure up a Sandstorm, which takes advantage of its Rock typing to further increase its high Special Defense.
- Only pseudo-legendary Pokémon that can neither fly nor levitate.
- Slowest of the pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
- When a sandstorm is raging, Tyranitar's Special Defense becomes the highest of all pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
- Only pseudo-legendary Pokémon that is not the main Pokémon of a major boss at the end of the game it was introduced in. However, Tyranitar was used by Blue in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Versions, but only in his rematch.
Due to having the same typing as Dragonite, Salamence differs itself by being entirely focused on attacking prowess. It's stats are high in Attack, Special Attack, and Speed, while comparatively low in both Defense stats.
- Shortest pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
- Lowest defenses of all pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
Metagross has a large number of characteristics which are different from the other pseudo-legendary Pokémon. This is possibly due to how it is the only pseudo-legendary Pokémon that does not appear to be based on a reptile; rather, it is a robotic life form. This is likely why Metagross is the only pseudo-legendary Pokémon not to be used by Lance in any game, as he prefers Dragon-type and draconian Pokémon. In fact, it is the only pseudo-legendary Pokémon that cannot learn any Dragon-type moves.
Stats wise, like Tyranitar, Metagross focuses on power and durability, utilizing the most defensive type, Steel, to compliment its very high attack, high defenses, and relatively low speed.
- Only genderless pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
- Only pseudo-legendary Pokémon whose first stage of evolution, Beldum, cannot be caught in the wild in its debut generation (one is received from Steven Stone instead).
- Has the highest base Defense of all the pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
- Heaviest pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
- Only pseudo-legendary Pokémon that doesn't share at least one type with another pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
- Only pseudo-legendary Pokémon whose English name is the same as its Japanese name.
- Metagross and its pre-evolutions have a catch rate of 3 where-as all the other pseudo-legendary Pokémon families have a catch rate of 45.
Focusing on versatility, Garchomp has high speed, high HP, and high attack with a versatile selection of moves to use. It compliments these attributes with it's Ground typing, which is among the best offensive types in the game.
- Only pseudo-legendary Pokémon to have gender differences.
- Has the fewest resistances.
- Fastest with a base Speed stat of 102.
- Highest base HP, with 108.
- Lightest pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
- Garchomp and its evolutionary relatives are the only pseudo-legendary Pokémon line that do not have a base happiness of 35.
Due to being the only pseudo-legendary Pokémon to have a higher Special Attack stat than Attack, Hydreigon's stats give it a number of unique characteristics from the other pseudo-legendary Pokémon. Consequently, it has the highest base Special Attack of all the pseudo-legendary Pokémon, and likewise, the lowest base Attack of all the pseudo-legendary Pokémon. Similarly, it is the only pseudo-legendary Pokémon that does not have a base stat over 125, but it is also the only pseudo-legendary Pokémon that does not have a base stat under 90.
Its well rounded stats mirror Dragonite with Hydreigon also having a high attacking stat (Special Attack in this case), and above average stats in other categories.
- Only pseudo-legendary Pokémon with multiple elemental immunities (however its immunity to Ground is due to its Ability, Levitate).
- Of the Dragon-type pseudo-legendary Pokémon, it is the only one not to have a 4× weaknesses to Ice-type attacks.
- Hydreigon and its evolutionary relatives are the only pseudo-legendary Pokémon line that do not have a Hidden Ability in any of their forms.
- Dragonite and Tyranitar have the highest Special Defense of all pseudo-legendary Pokémon with a base 100 stat.
- Tyranitar and Metagross are the only pseudo-legendary Pokémon that are not Dragon-type.
- Tyranitar and Hydreigon are the only pseudo-legendary Pokémon that have a unique type combination.
- Metagross and Hydreigon are the only pseudo-legendary Pokémon that do not have any 4× weaknesses.
- Salamence and Metagross have the highest Attack of all pseudo-legendary Pokémon with a base 135 stat.
- Dragonite is used by Lance, the final Elite Four member in Generation I and FireRed and LeafGreen; it is used again by Lance as the Champion in Generation II and HeartGold and SoulSilver. In HeartGold and SoulSilver, Lance uses a Dragonite, but when he is battled again, he replaces two of his three Dragonite with the two other Dragon-type pseudo-legendary Pokémon, Salamence and Garchomp. He also uses it in the Pokémon World Tournament in Black 2 and White 2.
- Tyranitar is also used by Lance in Pokémon Stadium 2 (both Round 1 and 2), as well as by Blue, the Champion, but only in the second round of the Elite Four in FireRed and LeafGreen.
- Salamence is used by Drake, the final Elite Four member in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. Lance uses one in rematches in HeartGold and SoulSilver and in the Pokémon World Tournament in Black 2 and White 2.
- Metagross is used by Steven Stone, the Champion in Ruby and Sapphire, and ex-Champion in Emerald. It is also used by Caitlin during her rematch.
- Garchomp is used by Cynthia, the Champion in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum; she also uses it in the Pokémon World Tournament in Black 2 and White 2. Lance uses one in rematches in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
- Hydreigon is used by Ghetsis, who serves as the final boss in Black and White, as well as Iris, the Champion in Black 2 and White 2. Lance uses one in the Pokémon World Tournament in Black 2 and White 2.
- Ace Trainer Felix on Route 229 uses Salamence, and Ace Trainer Jamie on Route 224 has Metagross, serving as cameo appearances for the movie characters Butler and Rebecca, who used these pseudo-legendary Pokémon in their respective movies.
- Dragon Tamer Darien, who is located outside of Stark Mountain, uses a Dragonite, but is not related to any movies.
- In Black 2 and White 2, two veterans on Route 18 use a Tyranitar and Salamence.
Pseudo-legendary Pokémon are obtainable in the wild strictly in their first form for the first paired games of their generation. However, all pseudo-legendary Pokémon have since become available in the wild in their second evolutionary stage. Starting in Generation V, several pseudo-legendary Pokémon are available in the wild in their final stage.
As Shadow Pokémon
In story mode of Pokémon Colosseum, Shadow Metagross is used by Nascour and Shadow Tyranitar is used by Evice; it is notable that the two Cipher leaders have positions comparable to those of the final Elite Four member and Champion, respectively. Pokémon XD complemented the list of pseudo-legendary Pokémon as of Generation III by featuring Shadow Salamence (used by Eldes) and Shadow Dragonite (used by Miror B.). Another commonality is that all four pseudo-legendary Pokémon have Shadow Rush as one of their Shadow moves.
In the anime
All pseudo-legendary Pokémon have appeared in the anime.
- Dragonite debuted as a silhouette in Mystery at the Lighthouse, but appeared physically in Mewtwo Strikes Back.
- Tyranitar debuted in Celebi: Voice of the Forest and made its TV episode debut in Address Unown.
- Salamence debuted in Jirachi: Wish Maker and made its TV episode debut in Let Bagons be Bagons.
- Metagross debuted in Destiny Deoxys and made its TV episode debut in Like a Meowth to a Flame.
- Garchomp debuted in Top-Down Training!, belonging to Cynthia.
- Cynthia's Garchomp also appeared in the opening of Arceus and the Jewel of Life.
- Hydreigon debuted in White—Victini and Zekrom and Black—Victini and Reshiram; it was a Shiny Pokémon in the former. It made its TV episode debut in Iris and the Rogue Dragonite!.
- Generation III is the only generation so far to have introduced more than one pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
- All pseudo-legendary Pokémon that existed at the time were available as Shadow Pokémon in either Pokémon Colosseum (Tyranitar and Metagross) or Pokémon XD (Dragonite and Salamence).
- Among Pokémon commonly mistaken for pseudo-legendary Pokémon are Slaking, Flygon, Aggron, Volcarona, and Haxorus. For one reason or another, these Pokémon do not fit the criteria of those above and so are not pseudo-legendary Pokémon.
- Slaking, though not pseudo-legendary, has the highest base stat total of all non-legendary Pokémon. However, as its base stat total is not exactly 600, it cannot be considered pseudo-legendary.
- Ash is the first main character in the anime to own a member of a pseudo-legendary family; however, it could be considered his second if Larvitar is counted, but he only cared for it temporarily.
- The first stage of the first five of six pseudo-legendary Pokémon are available in Generation IV's Johto Safari Zone.
- Every pseudo-legendary Pokémon is immune to at least one type: Dragonite to Ground, Tyranitar to Psychic, Metagross to Poison, Salamence to Ground, Garchomp to Electric, and Hydreigon to Psychic and Ground.
- However, Hydreigon's immunity to Ground-type moves is due to its Ability, Levitate, rather than due to its type.
- All pseudo-legendary Pokémon have appeared in a movie.
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