In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
What are Legendary Trios in Pokémon?
Each Pokémon region contains one or more mythical triads, groups of legendaries that relate to each in some fashion. They often share a type or mirror each other's stats/abilities, cleverly distinguishing and connecting them at once.
But not all trios are created equal, with some bearing superior stats, type pairings, and moves—which reign supreme? Taken as a whole, these are the ten best legendary Pokémon trios!
10. Lake Guardians
Members: Uxie, Mesprit, Azelf
Part of the problem with the Lake Guardians is they're, well, boring. They're all just Psychic, which already had tons of legendary members (the Mews, Lugia, Celebi, Deoxys, Latias, Latios, and Jirachi), so they just weren't anything new or special.
But at least their stat distributions are different; Uxie focuses on defenses, Mesprit is balanced, and Azelf favors attack stats. I'll take Azelf if I must, but for a pure-Psychic ace, Mewtwo blows them out of the water.
9. Legendary Beasts
Members: Raikou, Entei, Suicune
The Johto beasts arrive with pure Electric, Fire, and Water elements, solid types with fairly few weaknesses. I also like that the beast trio have different strengths; Raikou is best at special attack and speed, Entei HP and attack, and Suicune with both defenses.
With decent types and stat spreads, I enjoy the beasts, but wish they had better abilities or some signature moves to help them stand out from the crowd. Although in terms of lore, there's a cool theory that Ho-Oh resurrected a Jolteon, Flareon, and Vaporeon that perished in the Burned Tower and morphed them into the beasts.
8. Legendary Birds
Members: Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres
Two members (Articuno and Moltres) of the original legendary trio suffer from quad weaknesses to Rock, a common attack type, although Zapdos and Moltres both counter their Electric/Fire weakness to Ground with Flying. So their elements are a mixed bag, and sadly their stats are all pretty similar to one another, fairly well-spread but favoring special attack.
Thankfully, they received new Galarian forms in gen 8, which keep their stat distributions but offer new typings, abilities, and signature attacks. Articuno is now Psychic, Zapdos Fighting, and Moltres Dark, with Articuno's alternate form being especially useful since she sheds the defensively-weak Ice type.
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7. Legendary Titans
Members: Regirock, Regice, Registeel
With the additions of Regieleki and Regidrago in gen 8, the Hoenn golems were the first trio to gain new members (they also have have their trio leader Regigigas). While I appreciate their type variety (Rock, Ice, and Steel), Rock and especially Ice are both terrible on defense (and are better employed as attack types).
This makes it rather easy to hit Regirock and Regice for super-effective damage. Registeel's Steel fares better, but leaves him without a useful STAB (same-type attack bonus) element.
Elemental gripes aside, I do love the trio's stat spreads. All three are slow, but hit hard and have solid defenses (Rock favors physical, Ice special, and Steel is balanced), which helps compensate for their numerous weaknesses.
6. Forces of Nature
Members: Tornadus, Thundurus, Landorus
Each of the Nature Forces is at least part Flying, with Thundurus and Landorus adding Electric and Ground respectively. These are pretty decent dual elements; Thundurus's Flying negates Electric's weakness to Ground, while Landorus's Ground negates Flying's weakness to Electric (though it also creates a quad weakness to Ice).
Perhaps to compensate for Landorus's quad vulnerability, his stats are a little higher than the others (600 compared to 580), and all three come in two forms: Incarnate and Therian, which offer different abilities and slightly adjusted stat spreads. In short, they're versatile and powerful guardians, just watch out for those pesky Ice moves.
5. Aura Trio
Members: Xerneas, Yveltal, Zygarde
Now we're getting to the big guns, with upcoming monsters having at least 660 or more stats instead of 580. Xerneas, the first Fairy legendary, shares the exact same stats as Dark/Flying Yveltal (both favoring offense), but their types and signature moves help set them apart. Couple this with abilities that boost Fairy and Dark moves by 33%, and you've got some impressive sweepers.
Then we get to Dragon/Ground Zygarde, whose first two forms are actually weaker than his counterparts. But if he ends a turn with 50% or less health, he morphs into his Complete Forme, wielding a fierce 708 base stat total. Impressive, yet lessened by taking up the ability slot, requiring a certain trigger, and suffering a quad weakness to Ice.
4. Creation Trio
Members: Dialga, Palkia, Giratina
These three share the Dragon type but have different secondary elements; Dialga Steel, Palkia Water, and Giratina Ghost. Dialga and Palkia have similar stats and great defensive pairings, with few elements able to type-trump them (especially before Fairy's arrival). They also have unique special moves.
Giratina's typing suffers more weaknesses, but his superior defenses and two possible forms (Origin and Altered) help compensate. My only true complaint here are the lackluster Pressure abilities, which simply drain extra PP from enemy attacks, and will hopefully be replaced if the creators ever receive alternate forms.
3. Tao Trio
Members: Reshiram, Zekrom, Kyurem
Like the Creation trio, the Taos are all Dragons, with Reshiram also being Fire, Zekrom Electric, and Kyurem Ice. They're all skilled at aggression (Reshiram favors special attack, Zekrom attack, and Kyreum is balanced) and have great signature moves—what's not to love?
Well, Kyurem's Ice element is again weak on defense, but none of the three have any quad weaknesses. Really, Kyurem's effectiveness depends on whether you count his Black and White form upgrades (obtained by fusing with one of the others), which boost his stats from 660 to 700 and focus on either attack or special instead of balancing both.
Plus, gen 5 was right before the Fairy type was introduced, meaning the Tao trio were harder to beat upon their debut.
2. Light Trio
Members: Solgaleo, Lunala, Necrozma
The X&Y legendaries operate similarly to the Tao trio, bearing one member (Necrozma) who can fuse with the other two to surpass them in power. Necrozma really is the ace, carrying a whopping four forms with different stats, types, and abilities.
Speaking of which, his abilities are awesome: most of his modes have Prism Armor, which weakens enemy super-effective hits, but Ultra Necrozma has Neuroforce, which instead strengthens his own type-trumping attacks by 25%. Coupled with Ultra's whopping 754 stat total and devastating signature moves, there simply aren't many who can survive his onslaught.
Solgaleo and Lunala bot deserve mention too, wielding strong signature attacks and abilities; Solgaleo is immune to stat reduction while Lunala takes reduced damage at full health.
1. Weather Trio
Members: Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza
The Hoenn legendaries easily reign supreme as the best trio, largely because of the auto-weather effects Kyogre and Groudon generate on entry. These create either rain or harsh sunlight, empowering their attacks and letting Kyogre spam auto-hit Thunders while Groudon uses no-charge Solar Beams.
Rayquaza doesn't fare quite as well, as his ability simply negates weather and he suffers the classic quad weakness to Ice...but this is solved when you look at his devastating Mega form, whose new ability negates Flying's weaknesses, making him much harder to kill. Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre also receive enormous upgrades, not only boosting their stats, but further empowering their already-great abilities with even stronger weather effects.
Primal Groudon is especially noteworthy, adding the Fire type to Ground, but effectively negating his new quad weakness to Water thanks to his upgraded weather, making him surprisingly sturdy. Factoring in their mega modes, the elemental trio are arguably not just the best trio, but the best legendaries period.
Paired Legendaries in Pokémon
In addition to today's trios, you'll find many several legendary duos, like Lugia/Ho-oh and Mewtwo/Mew. Heck, occasionally you even get quartets, like the Swords of Justice, and there's also the extra-dimensional Ultra Beasts to explore.
Trios remain some of my favorite Pokémon because of their power and lore connections, but for now, vote for your favorite group and I'll see you at our next Pokémon countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill