Pokmon Go Legendary Pokmon had been hotly anticipated for some time, and finally arrived one year after the game released.
Fans of the classic games will remember them fondly – from the flying trio Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres to the elusive Mewtwo and Mew in Red, Blue and Yellow to Gen 2’s Gold, Silver and Crystal, Legendary beasts Raikou, Entei, Suicune and final Pokdex entries Lugia, Ho-oh and beyond.
These are the game’s rarest creatures, and despite many teases and leaks, for a year no one was able to locate them within Pokmon Go (though one did appear unofficially).
However, from summer 2017, things have changed, and following the huge Gym rework and the addition of Raids, have now seemed them appear as part of a release schedule over the summer, which we delve into later in the article along with our advice for how to battle and catch Legendaries, too.
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Legendaries are primarily caught in Raid battles, and much challenging than standard encounters, so will require as many players as possible to take them down.
Living in major cities with gyms at popular landmarks will naturally attract players without organising before hand – just look out for the blue and white Egg, and get there for the countdown, and provided you are in a popular spot, other players should be there waiting for it to begin.
Otherwise, joining Facebook or Discord groups for your town or area is a popular way to organise groups. In battle, you essentially want to field powerful Pokmon with strong opposing Types.
You can also get Legendaries by completing a week’s worth of Research quests. Like Legendaries in Raids, these rotate regularly, and focus on previously released Legendaries for those who missed them. Both types are listed below.
Currently active Legendary Pokmon
If interested, here are the Legendary Pokmon previously made available. Note that some are making a comeback as Research rewards, with the currently active one listed in the section above.
Ninatic finally unlocked Legendary Pokmon in Pokmon Go following Pokmon Go Fest. Summer 2017 saw Legendary birds Moltres, Articuno and Moltres come and go, with Legendary beasts Raikou, Entei, Suicune here for Autumn – and the start of a Gen 3 Legendary rollout over the winter, starting with Groudon.
Though they are similar to standard Raid Battles in many ways, there are several differences in both their appearance and capture:
How to capture Legendary Pokmon
Like other Raid encounters, once a Legendary’s defeated you have to then catch it. This is difficult seeing as, according to research available from Pokmon Go community The Silph Road, your chances are pretty slim.
If that’s not clear enough, here’s a handy image, created by reddit user and Silph Road member Epimetheos:
With the above in mind, what can you do to increase your chances of catching Legendary Pokmon? It’s recommended you:
Before we even heard their presence was confirmed in the big Gym rework, we already knew the various Legendaries were in the game.
That’s thanks to some good old-fashioned datamining. NesstendoYT on YouTube was one major player, who dug through the game’s files to discover that the above first generation Legendary Pokmon are indeed listed in the game:
Their absence in the game led to plenty of speculation, particularly with one of the strongest and most famous Legendary Pokmon – Mewtwo – being the focus of one of the game’s first trailers, showing crowds of people teaming up to fight it, whittling down its health as a timer ticks down before capturing the Pokmon in a packed Times Square, suggesting that Mewtwo and other Legendaries could be unlocked through public events rather than random encounters.
That’s since been confirmed of course – but it’s interesting Mewtwo pops up again at the end of the trailer… maybe that’s the Legendary Raid that needs to be tackled in Chicago?
As for Gen 2’s Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Lugia, Ho-oh and Celebi, they’ve appeared in datamining efforts, too, with their stats showing up alongside the likes of the birds, Mew and Mewtwo.
These stats reveal them to be among the best Pokmon in our Pokmon Go tier list, with Mewtwo and Ho-Oh having some of the highest base attacks in the game, more so than existing creatures Alakazam and Dragonite.
The datamine also revealed that these creatures have no capture rate at all, so perhaps that lends itself to the theory that Legendaries will automatically be caught after defeating them in a Legendary Raid?
The Ultra Bonus Unlock announcement has been announced, and it’s… a Mewtwo release date for regular raids! Also, for a limited time you can find region exclusives in 7km Eggs.
What else is new for September? There’s new Field Research, Shiny and Spinda forms to catch.
Recently we’ve also seen the arrival of Celebi and Lucky Pokmon.
Looking to the future, there’s the next Community Day and the eventual arrival of Pokmon Go Gen 4 Pokmon. Can’t be long now, right?
We knew for some time that Legendaries were coming, but what’s the story, and how did we get to this point?
When did we think Legendaries were coming? The Legendary teases:
In an interview with Wired Germany (via Den of Geek, Niantic CEO John Hanke said “with certainty that we will see [legendaries] more this year” – so that at least narrowed it down to 2017!
The biggest suggestion to date came from a five word acceptance speech from Niantic during the 21st Annual Webby Awards: “This summer will be legendary”, a heavy hint we were set to see something soon:
That seemed to have been corroborated by the latest trickle of information, where Niantic suggested that “Legendary Pokmon and battles between players” were set to arrive some time this summer.
Whether this was going to happen at the same time as the implementation of the new Raids feature or a little while after was unknown, although things certainly did at least appear to be tying together quite nicely at that point.
The first Legendary Pokmon spotted in Pokmon Go – but how did it appear?
Back in early August of 2016, before any of this official news was even close to being announced, a player topped a Gym in Ohio with an Articuno, which is said to be the first Legendary appearance in the game. Multiple players verified the sighting, but how the player got the creature is in question. Amazingly, the owner claimed she received the Pokmon as part of an apology from developer Niantic after contacting them via email about an issue.
Other possibilities could be an exploit that has edited the creature’s data to appear in the game, an error that has seen one spawn accidentally, or a glitch turn another Pokemon into the famed Legendary, similar to a case reported by a user who had their wild Caterpie transform into a Charizard once in their possession.
What else we know about Legendary Pokmon in Pokmon Go
Finally, it’s also worth pointing out – for history’s sake, at the very least – that all this time there’s been a hunt of Legendary Pokmon in plain sight, with users who have progressed to level 5 and interacted with a gym find themselves invited to one of three teams – Team Instinct, Team Mystic, or Team Valor – which are shown to be tied to Zapdos, Articuno and Moltres respectively. Could participating in teams play a part in how you unlock these particular Pokmon? It could still be the case that those Legendary Birds are tied to special Team-specific Raids at some point down the line.
The addition of Pokmon Go’s Buddy system also paves the way for players to earn Candy and power up rare creatures without the need to catch any more – perfect for ultra rare Pokmon such as Legendaries. Meanwhile, the eventual arrival of Ditto – which was just as elusive as the Legendaries for sometime – is at least a sign that Niantic have been slowly working their way towards introducing all of the game’s missing Pokmon.
In the meantime, an upcoming update will introduce Pokmon trading to help flesh out the gaps in your Pokdex, and our Pokmon Go guide, tips and tricks page to pick up a few pointers you might not know.