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Zekrom, Reshiram, Kyurem, Black Kyurem, and White Kyurem
The Tao trio is a collective fan term used to refer to the three powerful Legendary Pokémon of the Unova Region: Reshiram, Zekrom, and Kyurem. Other fan terms include Tao dragon trio and energy trio. 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 form; however, both White Kyurem and Black 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 forms 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. Professor Juniper theorized that the meteorite from the story could have been a Dragon Stone, similar to the ones that Reshiram and Zekrom were revived from. 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 forms, White Kyurem and Black 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.
In the anime
The Legend of Reshiram was a story told by Cedric Juniper and N in Ash and N: A Clash of Ideals!. It comes from the White Chapter of Pokémon Mythology.
- When a person appears who is searching deeply for the truth, Reshiram will appear. At first, Reshiram will battle with that person as a test of their strength and heart. And if it decides that person is a hero, it will pass on the wisdom it has accumulated over thousands of years and then bare it fangs against the hero's enemies. From that point on, Reshiram will treat the hero with kindness, as a parent would treat a child. But although the person called the hero will be able to attain great riches and power, the goodness in their heart will be lost, and the country built by the hero will be consumed in flames. Then, Reshiram will depart.
The Legend of the Hero was a story told by Cedric Juniper in Explorers of the Hero's Ruin!. It comes from Section Eighteen of the Chapter of Darkness in Pokémon Mythology.
- When the hero turns darkness into light and the hero's heart becomes one with the Pokémon, Zekrom shall descend and lend the hero his power.
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
In the games
Pokémon Black and White
In Pokémon Black and White, either Reshiram or Zekrom will be encountered at N's Castle upon awakening from their respective Dragon Stone. These Pokémon are required to be captured in order to proceed with the storyline: if defeated or fled from, they will simply reappear for a rematch. Kyurem can be caught at the Giant Chasm after the player defeats the Elite Four.
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Reshiram and Zekrom can be encountered post-game at the Dragonspiral Tower after the player has encountered N at the ruins of his castle. Kyurem will appear as either Black Kyurem or White Kyurem during the storyline at Giant Chasm, but cannot be caught. Kyurem can be caught later in its normal form post-game after the player has caught Reshiram or Zekrom.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
In Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, either Reshiram or Zekrom will appear at the Fabled Cave depending on the version if the player has a level 100 Pokémon in their party. Kyurem will appear at the Gnarled Den if the player has both Reshiram and Zekrom in their party.
In the anime
Zekrom made its debut appearance in the first episode of the Best Wishes series, In the Shadow of Zekrom!. It appeared above the sky of Nuvema Town, causing a bizzare thunderstorm in the town and causing Pikachu's electricity to malfunction, and also causing it much pain. Notably, it always appeared above wherever Ash was. Later, in The Name's N!, N speculated that Ash's encounter with Zekrom must not have been coincidence, and that Zekrom appeared to Ash for a reason.
Reshiram later appeared in a flashback in The Name's N!, when N begins to remember his experience at N's Castle, when Reshiram appeared and incinerated the castle during N's crowning by Ghetsis, which he later speaks of in The Secrets From Out Of The Fog! when talking of his experience as a former Team Plasma member. It later appeared genuinely in What Lies Beyond Truth and Ideals!, when Ghetsis revived it from the Light Stone and took possession of it using Colress's machine. Ghetsis then unleashed it unto everyone in hopes of using it for utter destruction. It then left in peace after N communed with it, and supposedly told it something before it left, though N kept that a secret.
Reshiram and Zekrom later appeared in Ash's dream in Farewell, Unova! Setting Sail for New Adventures!, when Ash was riding one but was thrown off by Zekrom (carrying Iris) using Thunderbolt, causing Ash to fall off and soon awaken Ash. This was revealed to be Pikachu using Thunderbolt on him.
In movie canon, Reshiram and Zekrom made a major appearance in White—Victini and Zekrom and Black—Victini and Reshiram. In these two variants of the same movie, Reshiram and Zekrom share opposite roles. Either Reshiram or Zekrom is summoned by Damon and used to fight off those who oppose him while he raises the Sword of the Vale. It allied with Damon when he wished to restore the Kingdom of the Vale. The opposite dragon depending on the version is awakened by Ash, and allies with him upon his wish to help Victini. The two dragons battle, but Ash ultimately defeats Damon. However, the two dragons then realize that Damon's actions had unleashed a corrupted Dragon Force that has put the world into jeopardy, and the duo reveal this to Damon by blowing away the clouds. They then help relocate the Sword of the Vale in order to stop the Dragon Force. They then leave, and fly off, forming a rainbow in the process. It is unknown as to whether or not these are the same Reshiram and Zekrom that appeared in the mainstream anime.
Kyurem makes a separate appearance in Kyurem vs. the Sword of Justice. In this movie, Kyurem is sought after Keldeo, in hopes that the latter can defeat Kyurem in a match to become one among the Swords of Justice. Kyurem accepts Keldeo's challenge, but proves far too great a match for the young Pokémon to handle, and it gained massive advantage. When Terrakion interfered to protect Keldeo, Kyurem froze it, along with Cobalion and Virizion in ice. Keldeo then escaped and took refuge on the top of a train. Kyurem, refusing to let the battle end unfairly, doggedly pursued Keldeo. When Keldeo reappeared for a rematch, Kyurem revealed to Keldeo that it knew that it was lying about being a Sword of Justice. The two then battle, and Keldeo learns how to use Secret Sword in the process. Though Keldeo does not win, it still wins Kyurem's respect as Keldeo vowed to protect its friends. When Kyurem's den was falling apart, it used ice to freeze it so that no further disaster would occur. In this movie, Kyurem is shown to be able to change between Black Kyurem, White Kyurem, and normal Kyurem at will. It is also notable for controlling an army of Cryogonal who would do its bidding: their presence also often marked Kyurem's arrival at a location.
- 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 confirmed trio master.
- According to Drayden and Ghetsis in Black 2 and White 2, however, Kyurem is the remainder of the original dragon after it was split into two. Also, Kyurem shifts into its two forms by fusing with either Reshiram or Zekrom. In this case, Kyurem could be an internal trio master, much like Rayquaza and Landorus.
- The secondary types of the Tao trio are the same as the primary types of the Legendary birds.
- Additionally, each member of the trio learns one aspect of the move Tri Attack.
- 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 forms 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, Ice Burn as White Kyurem, and Freeze Shock as Black 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.
- 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 type. 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.
- Neither White Kyurem nor Black Kyurem can be traded.