Pseudo-Legendary Pokémon in the Pokémon GO Meta Game

Pseudo Legendary Pokmon Battle Royale BY Simbiothero
Pseudo Legendary Pokmon Battle Royale BY Simbiothero

Imagine a set of Pokémon so powerful, that they can rival or even beat out legendary Pokémon. These Pokémon are so strong they created an elite class of Pokémon known as the Pseudo Legendary Pokémon.

Pokémon Go introduces them as some of the rarest and most coveted Pokémon in the game. More often than not, their introduction totally shakes up the meta game and forces a flurry of power ups and TM usages.

Each generation has its own pseudo legendary (with the exception of Gen 3 having two of them) and every single time, they totally dominate the game in many ways. But which ‘pseudos’ are the best? Just how much do they affect the meta? Do they give competition to the legendaries in Pokémon Go? And what’s to come in the future?

These are questions that are bound to pop up in the minds of any trainer having at least one pseudo legendary Pokémon in their team. After all, they are arguably the best non-legendary Pokémon, and a Community Day hosting any of these have been among the most exciting ones.

This article aims to give a thorough coverage of all the pseudo legendary Pokémon currently in the game and the future arrivals. Let’s see why these Pokémon are truly the bearers of legendary power.

What exactly is a Pseudo Legendary Pokémon?

Going by the main series games, a pseudo legendary Pokémon is a part of a three-stage evolution line and has a base stat total (BST) of 600. As such, these Pokémon are often referred to as the 600 Club. At the time of this writing, the pseudo legendary Pokémon include Dragonite, Tyranitar, Salamence, Metagross, Garchomp, Hydreigon, Goodra and Kommo-o.

In Pokémon Go, these Pokémon are characterized by the following traits:

  • The super rarity of spawns in the wild.
  • A part of the 10 km egg pool.
  • 5 km buddy distance.
  • Some of the most common candidates for Community Day.
  • High stats.

Note: The points highlighted above are purely based on observations and Niantic can change them at any point in the game (though we hope that they don’t!)

It is pretty obvious that these Pokémon occupy an important role in the game. How pivotal is that role? Hop in to find out.

Gen 1

Dragonite

Pokemon GO DragoniteDragoniteDragonFlying
Max CP 3792
ATK 263 DEF 198 HP 209
Weak to Strong Against
Dragon Ice Fairy Rock Dragon Bug Fighting Grass

The OG dragon is also the first pseudo legendary. Dragonite had totally ruled the game during its release. It was THE Pokémon to catch for a good amount of time. While its usage has seen a slight decline after the release of subsequent generations of Pokémon, it is still a beast! Though it did have its own community day in February 2018, it didn’t do it much favors in terms of the meta as it already had the ideal Dragon type moveset.

Boasting of great stats and the best possible Dragon type moveset, Dragonite forms an excellent addition to any line-up, be it PvE or the Master League in PvP. Some of the top tier users of the devastating Dragon Tail and Outrage combination do not have enough bulk. But Dragonite shrugs that away with good bulk to shell out an impressive TDO. This bulk coupled with a huge ATK makes it absolutely amazing for the Master League as a lead to scaring off your opponents. Add the fact that many of the legendary raid bosses are Dragon types, you can always count on Dragonite.

Looks can be deceiving, and this cute and cuddly looking dragon is exemplary to that!

Ideal moveset

  • Dragon Tail paired with Outrage

Gen 2

Tyranitar

Pokemon GO TyranitarTyranitarRockDark
Max CP 3834
ATK 251 DEF 207 HP 225
Weak to Strong Against
Fighting Bug Fairy Water Steel Ground Bug Fire Flying Ice Ghost Psychic

The literal Godzilla of Pokémon Go boasts of a performance that is as monstrous as its appearance. This beast is the staple Pokémon for many trainers in both the Rock and the Dark typing. While it is not the best performer in either of those, it is always among the top 5. Why? Coz it has one of the best distribution of stats in the game and is one of the pseudo legendaries to have every single one of its stats above 200.

The Larvitar community day of June 2018 gave Tyranitar a much-needed Rock type fast move in the super-powerful Smack Down. Coupled with Stone Edge, Tyranitar is today one of the best Rock type Pokémon with a fantastic DPS and TDO. While there are other Rock type Pokémon with higher ATK stat or more bulk, Tyranitar’s overall stat distribution makes it the most reliable pick in many situations.

Tyranitar is sadly tainted with many weaknesses. With the Fighting type being a common thing in both gym attack and PvP, Tyranitar completely falls flat against these attacks. Nonetheless, that doesn’t take any sheen off Tyranitar as it deals out heavy damage in other scenarios.

Tyranitar’s placement in the Dark type meta is rather interesting. With Bite and Crunch, Tyranitar is the bulkiest Dark type. However, the combination of Bite and Crunch is actually pretty underwhelming per se. While Bite is good, the Pokémon would have performed better if this fast move is paired with Foul Play or Dark Pulse. In other words, Tyranitar does not have the best Dark type moveset and is still one of the top performers in this meta! Imagine Tyranitar getting a move upgrade and imagine the sheer destruction that it can cause.

Godzilla on a rampage!

Ideal moveset

  • Bite paired with Crunch for Dark type
  • Smack Down* paired with Stone Edge for Rock type

Gen 3

Salamence

Pokemon GO SalamenceSalamenceDragonFlying
Max CP 3749
ATK 277 DEF 168 HP 216
Weak to Strong Against
Dragon Ice Fairy Rock Dragon Bug Fighting Grass

Salamence was always destined for greatness. This dragon has the highest ATK stat of any pseudo legendary Pokémon in the game with a mind-boggling 277! It was only held back by a poor moveset and though Draco Meteor is an absolute nuke, its low DEF stat didn’t help. As a result, Salamence often went down before it could even get to Draco Meteor. That’s when the April 2019 community day gave Salamence Outrage.

Outrage is just outrageously powerful. It lets ‘Mence get the chance to fire off at least one Outrage before it faints. This makes Salamence the best non-legendary Dragon type Pokémon to be used in raids. However, it has a glaring weakness to Ice type attacks and due to its average bulk, it goes down fast when facing Pokémon with these attacks.

With all that being said, if you want to dish out crazy amounts of Dragon type damage in little time, Imagine Dragons… Imagine Salamence.

Ideal moveset

  • Dragon Tail paired with Outrage*

Metagross

Pokemon GO MetagrossMetagrossSteelPsychic
Max CP 3791
ATK 257 DEF 228 HP 190
Weak to Strong Against
Fire Ground Ghost Dark  Ice Rock Fairy

Most Steel type Pokémon are oriented towards defense and naturally, come with high DEF stats. Very few Pokémon from this type can combine defense and attack into their arsenal, and among those few, Metagross is king.

Metagross is unique in many ways. It is a fresh departure from the traditional Dragon typing found in almost every pseudo legendary (except Tyranitar, but even it has a reptilian look). This thing is a metal arachnid behemoth with no 4x weakness and has a whopping 10 resistances to boot! Also, it is the only pseudo legendary to resist Dragon type attacks. What a monster!

However, Pokémon Go wasn’t kind to Metagross until its October 2018 community day. With the utterly demolishing power of Meteor Mash, it went from almost nothing to cementing its position as one of the best generalists, rivaled only by some of the top tier legendaries. A Meteor Mash Metagross is so good, that it totally outclasses one of the best Pokémon in the game: Dialga, a legendary with a higher ATK stat than Metagross. Meteor Mash packs massive damage even when resisted. And this robotic tank can take enough hits even against super-effective moves to fire off at least one Meteor Mash. Nothing absorbs damage and dishes out even more damage better than Metagross does.

Metagross is the true ruler of the Iron Throne and will remain so for a long time.

Ideal moveset

  • Bullet Punch paired with Meteor Mash*

Gen 4

Garchomp

Pokemon GO GarchompGarchompDragonGround
Max CP 3962
ATK 261 DEF 193 HP 239
Weak to Strong Against
Dragon Ice Fairy Dragon Fire Electric Rock Poison Steel

 

It’s a plane. It’s a shark. It’s a dragon.

It’s Garchomp.

Probably the most popular pseudo legendary, Garchomp is fearsome to look at and it justifies that in battle. It comes with amazing bulk for a Dragon type and that just means you got to go through it for a longer period of time.

Garchomp’s utility is a matter of great interest due to its typing. This Pokémon is yet to get its community day at the time of this writing and for now, it is blessed with the coveted Dragon Tail and Outrage moveset. Is it the best Dragon type? Well, it is outclassed in DPS by Rayquaza and Salamence and you would still prefer those Hoenn dragons for better damage. However, Garchomp has the highest STA stat of all pseudo legendaries. This Pokémon is built for durability. It still has its 4x weakness to Ice types though. Do keep a note of that.

Things get more interesting in the Ground. Garchomp has access to Mud Shot, the fast move with the fastest energy generation in the game. Pair that and Chomp is going to charge up powerful moves at the bat of an eyelid. Due to its fantastic typing, Garchomp triple resists Electric type attacks and as such, is the most useful counter against Electric Pokémon (who have a single weakness to Ground) on an offensive point of view and more importantly, on a defensive point of view. This simply means that Garchomp takes lesser damage from electric attacks and resists more types than Groudon. Now that’s something!

If the monster from the Jaws film wasn’t scary enough, think of a land shark!

Ideal moveset

  • Dragon Tail paired with Outrage for Dragon type
  • Mud Shot paired with Earthquake for Ground type

Gen 5

Hydreigon

Pokemon GO HydreigonHydreigonDarkDragon
Max CP 3625
ATK 256 DEF 188 HP 211
Weak to Strong Against
Fairy Dragon Ice Bug Fighting Dragon Ghost Psychic

 

Honestly, Hydreigon is probably the scariest looking of all pseudo legendary Pokémon, and definitely the evilest. Hydreigon sports the very fascinating Dark and Dragon typing. This puts it in competition with its fellow pseudo legendaries from both types.

As a Dragon type, it is outclassed by all the currently existing powerful dragons. Dragon Pulse is not even close to Outrage in any manner whatsoever. It just doesn’t stand up to any of the existing Dragon type pseudo legendaries or legendaries.

On the dark side, however, things are definitely looking up. With a higher ATK stat and a better Dark type moveset than Tyranitar, Hydreigon edges it out with better DPS due to its superior moveset. Dark Pulse beats Crunch any day. In addition, as a Dark type attacker, Hydreigon has fewer weakness. However, it should be noted that Tyranitar’s ATK stat isn’t much lower than Hydreigon’s. More importantly, it has way more bulk.

On a defensive front, it takes 4x weakness from the Fairy type. Sadly, Charm is powerful enough to bring it down. It remains to be seen how much Hydreigon can improve in its potential community day. As of now, enjoy using it in your raid line-up for countering Psychic and Ghost types as it resists both, just like Tyranitar.

Hail Hydra!

Ideal moveset:

  • Bite paired with Dark Pulse for Dark type.

Note: * denotes community day exclusive move.


Gen 6 (not yet in the game)

Goodra

Pokemon GO GoodraGoodraDragon
Max CP 3505
ATK 220 DEF 242 HP 207
Weak to Strong Against
Dragon Ice Fairy Dragon

 

Goodra has a very balanced set of stats. Its ATK stat isn’t stellar but it is the tankiest of all pseudo legendaries! This thing is a wall and has a mono-typing. How does this help? Coupled with a huge DEF stat, it doesn’t have a 4x weakness like the other Dragon type pseudo legendaries. As such, it is touted to be an amazing gym defender and a Pokémon on whom you wouldn’t need to use shields on. We eagerly await Goodra!

A gooey dragon so slimy that attacks just slip off it? Yes, please!

Ideal moveset

Yet to be released.


Gen 7 (not yet in the game)

Kommo-o

Pokemon GO Kommo-oKommo-oDragonFighting
Max CP 3309
ATK 222 DEF 240 HP 181
Weak to Strong Against
Fairy Dragon Ice Psychic Flying Dragon Dark Rock Ice Normal Steel

 

Kommo-o has a unique typing of Dragon and Fighting. Its ATK and DEF aren’t much different from Goodra’s but it trails behind the defensive dragon in the STA stat. As such, it rakes up the lowest max CP of all the pseudo legendary Pokémon. While it does have a good number of resistances, it also has a 4x weakness to the Fairy type. Sadly for Kommo-o, there are going to be many more Fairy types running rampant in Pokémon Go by the time Gen 7 comes up. Plus, many of these fairies are legendary Pokémon.

With its relatively low ATK stat, it is not expected to give much competition to fellow Dragon or Fighting types. Its defensive role is troubled with a number of weaknesses and a 4x weakness to relevant Pokémon. Its viability can be fully understood with the moveset it receives.

A fighting komodo dragon is a really good concept. How much heart will this proud warrior show? Watch this space for more!

Ideal moveset

Yet to be released.


Conclusion

The pseudo legendary Pokémon will always make an impact in the meta. As we have seen, some of them offer more utility than legendary Pokémon. This itself is enough to demonstrate how dominating these Pokémon can be.

Regardless of who your favourite pseudo is, you are always bound to find some use out of it. Every single one of them has an excellent design and with their stats and moveset, they are always a worthy addition to your team. The icing on the cake is that some of these (Tyranitar, Salamence, Metagross and Garchomp) have mega evolutions. If and when Niantic implements this, expect the pseudo legendaries to literally go to legendary heights and rule the meta in ‘mega’ proportions.

My name is Niladri Sarkar. A lvl 40 Team Valor Member, I'm a Pokémon trainer by passion and an engineer by profession. Naturally, I have a thing for Pokémon stats and moveset mechanics. I regularly enjoy "mashing" and "chomping" my way through gyms and raids with my aces, Metagross and Garchomp.