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Zekrom, Reshiram, Kyurem, Black Kyurem, and White Kyurem
The Tao trio, sometimes called the Tao dragon trio or the energy trio, is the collective term used to refer to the three powerful legendary Pokémon of the Unova Region: Reshiram, Zekrom, and Kyurem. According to Unova myths, the legendary trio was created during the war plaguing the region.
Much like members of other legendary trios, the three Pokémon have similar appearances. Each has Dragon as their primary type. Both Reshiram and Zekrom have a base stat total of 680 while Kyurem's is 660 in its standard forme; however, both Black Kyurem and White Kyurem have a base stat total of 700.
Each of the members of the trio has control of their own types and sides. Reshiram represents the concept of yang and controls Fire, Zekrom represents the concept of yin and controls Thunder, and Kyurem represents the concept of wuji (the absence of yin and yang) and controls Ice; in its alternate formes it can also control Reshiram's fire and Zekrom's thunder to some extent.
Artwork featuring Reshiram and Zekrom
The mythologies of the trio are implied to be connected, despite having no true relation. The origins of Zekrom and Reshiram are told in legends, as they were once a single powerful Dragon Pokémon used by twin heroes in order to create the Unova region. But the brothers each sought something different in life—truth for the older brother and ideals for the younger—and they began to argue, then fight, over whose side was right. The single dragon, in response, split into two Pokémon: Reshiram, who sided with the older twin, and Zekrom, who sided with the younger twin.
The two dragons were equally matched as they battled and neither conquered the other. As a result, the brothers set aside their differences and equally declared that there was no right side, either. But the sons of the heroes resumed the fight, and Reshiram and Zekrom destroyed the region with their fire and lightning powers. They subsequently disappeared afterward.
At the beginning of Black and White, one of them resides in Dragonspiral Tower, who is called upon by N to create his ideal world. The player is tasked with finding the other dragon in its corresponding stone (Light Stone in Black and Dark Stone in White) and revive it to resolve the history the twins began in the past.
Kyurem's origins were believed to be much different than those of the other two. The third dragon came down to the Pokémon world from an icy meteor and crashed into a place called Giant Chasm. An old legend in Lacunosa Town describing Kyurem claims that it would take people and Pokémon away from the town and eat them; this is why the town is now surrounded by a giant wall, and why none of its residents set foot outside their homes after dark. During Black 2 and White 2 however, an NPC claims that this story of Kyurem's origin might not be true. Drayden tells the player character that when the original dragon split into Reshiram and Zekrom, a third dragon was "created", or "leftover": Kyurem. The Pokédex entry for Kyurem also states that it is waiting for a hero to fill in the missing parts of its body with "truth and ideals", implying that Kyurem wishes to reunite with Reshiram and Zekrom. This is partially completed in-game with the creation of its alternate formes, Black Kyurem and White Kyurem, created by Kyurem fusing with Reshiram or Zekrom (but not both). The description for the DNA Splicers confirms this, stating that Kyurem and the second dragon were once one.
Zekrom and Reshiram using Fusion Bolt and Fusion Flare, their first signature moves
Zekrom and Reshiram using Bolt Strike and Blue Flare, their second signature moves
Base stat comparison
- Yin and yang are dependent fundamentals in Taoism, which Reshiram and Zekrom are directly connected to. Reshiram and Zekrom's species names in Japanese are "White Yang" and "Black Yin," respectively, and the names of their battle music are also respectively "Blazing White Yang" and "Electrifying Black Yin." Kyurem, on the other hand, is an analogy to wuji—a separate concept of Taoism—under the assumption that the absence of the warmth Reshiram and Zekrom generate (and thus their conceptual yin and yang) equals the infinite absence wuji implies. Wuji is also said to be represented by an empty circle; Kyurem's species name is the Boundary Pokémon.
- It is so far the only legendary trio with no known trio master as of yet.
- This legendary trio is the first since the legendary birds to return to the three types being Fire, Electric, and Ice, even though these types are secondary to the Dragon type.
- Additionally, each member of the trio learns one aspect of the move Tri Attack.
- Each of the three has a type combination unique to itself.
- Reshiram's blue eyes represent Kyurem's ice, Kyurem's yellow eyes represent Zekrom's electricity, and Zekrom's red eyes represent Reshiram's fire.
- Although the Tao trio are the version mascots of the Generation V games, none of the members is the mascot of the game matching its Pokédex color. Reshiram is the mascot of Pokémon Black, Zekrom is the mascot of Pokémon White, and although Kyurem's alternate formes match the colors of Black 2 and White 2 they are still listed as gray due to its base form.
- Reshiram, Zekrom, and Kyurem are the only legendary Pokémon to have more than one signature move, along with Keldeo.
- Kyurem possesses the most signature moves out of all the members of the Tao trio. It has access to Glaciate in its default state, Freeze Shock as Black Kyurem, and Ice Burn as White Kyurem.
- Reshiram and Zekrom have the highest catch rate of any legendary Pokémon with a base stat total above 600, with 45. This is because the player is forced to catch them to proceed the storyline in Black and White.
- All three members learn the move Imprison twice: once at level 8 and again at level 64.
- Each member of the Tao trio has a secondary Sugimori artwork depicting their Abilities activated. Kyurem has two of them, one for each alternate form.
- The Tao trio have their own battle transition. A few lights will gather in the center of the screen, and a swirl vortex will zoom in from the center.
- Like the legendary beasts in HeartGold and SoulSilver, each member of the trio shares battle music that is slightly remixed to match their secondary typing.
- Zekrom's theme has a crackling thunder effect and Reshiram's theme has a burning fire effect. While Kyurem's theme does not have a similar special effect, it has an extra slapped bass part playing in the background.
- All three members of the Tao trio can speak telepathically in the anime; they, along with the Swords of Justice, are the only legendary trios to have this ability for all three members.
The first time any member of the Tao trio made an anime appearance was in In the Shadow of Zekrom, when Zekrom appeared before Ash and Pikachu inside of a thunder cloud, however, this was only a silhouette. Zekrom was not fully seen until White-Victini and Zekrom. Reshiram also debuted in this movie under the control of Damon, while Zekrom is under the control of Ash. Zekrom and Reshiram battle throughout the second half of the movie, finally making peace after the Pillars of Protection are destroyed and the Dragon Force is launched into space. As the movie closes, Zekrom and Reshiram are seen flying away over the ocean, and make a brief appearance in the credits. Kyurem makes it's anime debut in Kyurem VS the Sword of Justice, in which it is summoned by Keldeo, who wishes to challenge it in hopes of proving to the Swords of Justice that it is worthy of the title as one of the Swords of Justice. Kyurem brings Keldeo to a quick defeat after slicing off it's horn with Shadow Claw, thus paralyzing it with fear. Kyurem flies away, soon to encounter our heroes on a train bound for Roshan City. The Pokémon attacks the group, however, it is forced to flee after the train enters a tunnel. Later on in the movie, it is revealed that Kyurem now has the help of it's counterparts, Black Kyurem and White Kyurem.