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Lions and Tigers of the "Pokémon" Series

In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.

Pokémon's Lions and Tigers

Since we've previously tackled Pokémon's bears, it's only fitting we cover its lions and tigers (oh my) next. After all, there's something about big cats that radiate both majesty and power. Sure, Pokémon has its smaller felines like Meowth and Glameow, but when you're searching for something as strong as it is cool, these jungle animals are hard to ignore.

Usually Fire or Electric, Pokémon's largest cats often complement their agility with a plethora of offensive powers to quickly overwhelm foes. But with several creatures to browse, which predators reign supreme? Here's a glance at the many Pokémon lions and tigers!


Type: Electric
Base Stat Total: 580

One of the three legendary beasts of Johto, Raikou most heavily resembles a tiger, and many believe Ho-Oh reincarnated Raikou from a Jolteon who died in the Brass Tower. But fan theories aside, Raikou excels in Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed, making him a great indirect sweeper to hit hard and hit fast.

Like many legendaries, its default ability is Pressure, draining two PP from opposing moves rather than the usual one. Electric also excels defensively, being weak to only Ground while resisting Steel, Flying, and Electric attacks, helping cover Raikou's relative frailness.


Type: Fire
Base Stat Total: 580

Another of Johto's legendary beasts, Entei may have been revived from a perished Flareon, and it bears a regal, lion-like appearance. Entei also stars in the third Pokémon movie, Spell of the Unown: Entei, and counts as one of the few Pokémon who have toppled Ash's powerful Charizard.

Like Raikou, Entei wields the Pressure trait, and its stat distribution is pretty well-rounded, slightly favoring Hit Points, Attack, and Speed. Because Fire moves all counted as special attacks when Entei debuted, it was initially an underwhelming legendary, but now that all elements contain both direct and indirect strikes, Entei has plenty of options to make good use of its strongest traits.

Shinx, Luxio, and Luxray

Type: Electric
Base Stat Total: 523 (Luxray)

Stemming from Diamond and Pearl's Sinnoh region, Luxray is the third stage of the cute cub Shinx and one of few potent Electric types you'll find early on. Thankfully, he's a force to be reckoned with, bearing a sweet base stat total of 523. While Luxray moves surprisingly slowly, his physical attack is great, his special attack is good, and his defenses aren't terrible.

He'll take a few hits, but Luxray will give at least as good as he gets, and he's also got three potent abilities to select from. Intimidate impresses as always by cutting all opponents' Attack whenever Luxray enters the field, but Guts makes for a nice alternative, boosting Luxray's already-daunting Attack by 50% when it suffers a status effect, letting you punish foes for debuffs with unparalleled counterattacks. If you want a fun color swap, hunt for shiny Luxray to employ a rare golden lion in your battles.

Litleo and Pyroar

Type: Fire/Normal
Base Stat Total: 507 (Pyroar)

Many creatures like Luxray and Enteir draw inspiration from lions; Litleo and Pyroar base their entire design around them. Bearing the unique Fire/Normal blend, Litleo and Pyroar enjoy the infamous STAB (same type attack bonus) for both elements, letting you strike to maximum effect with a variety of great moves.

You can find Pyroar in X and Y's Kalos region, and depending on your monster's gender, it'll bear a different appearance when grown (just like real lions). Pyroar heavily emphasizes Speed and Special Attack, making it a good indirect sweeper, and it offers three abilities to choose from (Rivalry, Unnerve, and Moxie).

Litten, Torracat, and Incineroar

Type: Fire, Fire/Dark (Incineroar)
Base Stat Total: 530 (Incineroar)

Litten, the Fire starter of the Alola region from Sun and Moon, ultimately morphs into the imposing Incineroar. With a respectable base stat total, two helpful abilities to choose from (Fire-boosting Blaze and attack-lowering Intimidate), and his own signature Darkest Lariat attack, Incineroar offers several boons to any trainer's team.

Incineroar's tiger-inspirations aren't as obvious since he strangely walks on two feet, an interesting design choice that many fans didn't enjoy. I personally don't mind, finding it a unique concept, and I appreciate its elemental duo considering we haven't seen a Fire/Dark typing since Houndoom (be glad Incineroar wasn't yet another Fire/Fighting starter).


Type: Psychic/Steel
Base Stat Total: 680

The signature mascot of Pokémon Sun, Solgaleo surprisingly doesn't bear the Fire element despite its strong connection to the Sun. Unlike most legendaries, Solgaleo actually evolves; its former stages are Cosmog and Cosmoem, though they bear no resemblance to felines. These are the same pre-evolutions of Moon's mascot, Lunala, so have fun piecing that Pokémon mystery together.

Regardless of its strange typing and family tree, Solgaleo rends foes apart using its 680 stat total, with its best stats skewing towards HP and Attack. Additionally, Solgaleo bears the impressive Full Metal Body ability, a nifty trait that prevents other moves and abilities from lowering its stats. Solgaleo's also packing two signature moves, Searing Sunraze Smash and Sunsteel Strike, making it one of the best legendary Pokémon, and its Radiant Sun alternate form boosts its power even further.

Future of Lion and Tiger Pokémon

In both the real and Pokémon worlds, lions and tigers are prized for their strength and radiance, dominating the food chains of the environments they inhabit. Whenever Nintendo crafts a new creature based on a bigger cat, you know it'll be impressive, many even attaining legendary status

With several fresh faces rounding out today's list, our infatuation with the kings of the jungle remains as strong as ever, and we'll undoubtedly see more ferocious felines in the future. But for now, as we eagerly await Pokémon's next batch of large cats, vote for your favorite companion and I'll see you at our next Pokémon review!

© 2018 Jeremy Gill

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