15 Iconic Pokémon That Should Have Been LegendaryThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Legendary Pokémon are some of the most popular ones out there.
Their immense strength and deep backstories make them much easier to connect with, compared to the various generic animals we see simply existing in the wild.
These Pokémon have been the basis of almost all the films, and some of my personal favorite in-game moments, like exploring deep into the Cerulean Cave or figuring out the braille riddles for the original Regi trio.
However, looking into the Pokedex entries and designs of some regular Pokémon, it becomes all too clear that there are other Pokémon that deserve the legendary treatment.
And here are some of my picks that I think should have been legendaries.
Note: I will not be considering any Mythical Pokémon or Ultra Beasts for this list. Although they’re not technically legendary Pokémon, they’ve got too many similarities.
15. Lycanroc Midnight Form
I never understood why Lycanroc’s Dusk form was decided to be the strongest.
It’s almost exactly the same as Midday Lycanroc, only orange.
If you ask me, Midnight Lycanroc should be the one that everyone is talking about.
That’s because Lycanroc’s Midnight form is a freaking werewolf.
Werewolves are one of the most iconic monsters in the history of the world, but none of the powers associated with werewolves are really explored with Lycanroc.
How cool would it be to see this guy bite another Pokémon, and see them turn into a Midnight form Lycanroc at night?
But that may be a little bit too dark for these kinds of games.
After all, it would look bad if the only way to win a battle was with a silver bullet.
I tried my best not to put any of the pseudo legendary Pokémon on this list, but I absolutely had to include Dragonite.
It’s the first ever fully evolved Dragon-type Pokémon, and essentially served as one of the bosses at the end of the first generation games.
But what really sealed the deal for me was its debut in the anime.
In the episode Mystery at the Lighthouse, Pokémon researcher Bill is obsessed with finding a mysterious giant Pokémon. Towards the end of the episode, we see a humongous silhouette of Dragonite sending out a haunting cry.
From then on, Dragonites have always been an absolutely fascinating creature.
And I wish all fans viewed them that way.
Mimikyu is easily one of the most popular Pokémon to come from Sun and Moon.
Its backstory is tragic, and it’s the result is a combination of terrifying and hilarious. And I gotta say, it really doesn’t make sense that there is a whole species of Pokémon that all make the exact same Pikachu costume.
Mimikyu makes much more sense as a singular entity.
It’s a Pokémon that’s appearance is so scary, it kills people who see it. How can there be a whole forest filled with them?
Are people who accidentally get a look at Mimikyu’s real body dying left and right?
Many Pokémon are on this list for their lore and their power.
Mimikyu is the only one here because of logic.
When Zarude was introduced, it looked like Pokémon was finally going to have a king of the jungle.
Little did Game Freak know that they already had a powerful primate that deserved to be in that spotlight.
Slaking is an unbelievably powerful Pokémon.
In fact, it already shares a lot with an already existing legendary: Regigigas!
Both are Normal-types, have a 160 Attack stat, a 670 base stat total, and they both have some of the worst abilities in the game!
But this would work perfectly for Slaking’s image. Can’t you just imagine wandering through an ancient temple in the jungle with a bunch of Pokémon going in and out with different fruits and berries?
And when you enter, there it is: Slaking in all its beautiful, lazy glory. It would be a sight to behold.
Many Pokémon are on this list for their destructive nature.
However, there are just as many legendary Pokémon known for their ability to heal and prevent destruction, like Landorus and Calyrex.
I feel that Milotic would be another great fit in this category.
All of Milotic’s Pokedex entries say two things: it is incredibly beautiful, and it’s able to purify hearts and make people forget their angry spirits.
This is especially notable in its entry from Moon where it says:
“In times of war, it shows itself, which soothes people’s minds and hearts.”
I know this means regular people, but I can’t help but imagine an actual battle happening and when Milotic appears, all of the soldiers stop and become calm.
This would make for a wonderful legendary Pokémon.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument with a ton of mystical energy surrounding it.
When it comes to history and research, there are always more questions than there are answers.
How could prehistoric people have moved these massive stones without having invented the wheel? Was it done supernaturally?
Or possibly by aliens?
Either way, the Pokémon based off of it deserved a lot more respect.
Stonjourner isn’t that great. While it has incredible Defense and Attack, it’s Special Attack and Special Defense are both a paltry 20. Yup.
The same as Caterpie and Weedle.
But Stonjourner should have been a mysterious powerhouse that no one fully understands that appears once a year.
Instead, we’re left with possibly the most forgettable Pokémon in Sword and Shield.
Almost every type of Pokémon has a legendary to represent it.
That is, except one.
Unfortunately since Ultra Beasts don’t count, there isn’t a single Bug-type legendary.
However, I do think it’s worth noting that there was one bug that could easily fit the bill.
Volcarona is arguably the strongest Bug Pokémon of all time. It has the highest base stat total for bug (excluding Mythical Pokémon and Ultra Beasts).
Plus, like many other legendaries, it’s connected to the weather.
Volcarona is said to be the embodiment of the sun, and check out this ‘dex entry:
“According to legends, it was hatched from a flaming cocoon to save people and Pokémon that were suffering from the cold.”
See? It’s all right there!
All we really needed were 20 more stat points and Volcarona would be the most legendary of bugs.
Torterra is known by many as the least popular of the three starter Pokémon from Sinnoh.
It’s understandable, because Empoleon comes from the adorable Piplup, and Infernape is one of the most popular starters ever.
But Torterra stood out to me for this list because of the Detective Pikachu movie.
In the film, the heroes are escaping an abandoned genetics lab where it’s revealed that the ground they are running on is actually a group of gigantic Torterra.
I was completely awe-struck in the theater.
This is exactly what all of Torterra’s Pokedex entries were referring to the small ecosystem on its back, but on a massive scale.
This is a Pokémon that I believe could be legendary.
There are a ton of legendaries that have weather and other natural phenomena associated with them.
Groudon and Kyogre summon sun and rain, respectively.
While Tornadus can literally summon tornadoes.
And Tyranitar belongs with them.
When you send it out, Tyranitar immediately summons a sand storm.
This is not only shown in the main games, but also in New Pokémon Snap as well!
Also, its Pokedex entries show how unbelievably powerful Tyranitar really is.
As a tribute to Godzilla, Tyranitar is said to destroy mountains and completely change the landscape.
And this is all without mentioning how good Tyranitar is competitively – because that alone is legendary.
Gyarados is one of the most consistently powerful Pokémon of all time, both in-game and competitively.
For me, the most charming thing about it has got to be training your weak Magikarp up to level 20 to get this terrifying leviathan.
And by charming, I mean frustrating.
But did you know that process was actually based on a legend?
In Chinese mythology, it’s believed that carps that leap over a legendary waterfall called Dragon Gate, are rewarded for their determination by being turned into a dragon.
This is lovingly paid tribute in the original Pokémon Snap where you can hit a Magikarp into a waterfall to reveal Gyarados.
This story, combined with so much competitive viability, shows how legendary Gyarados really is.
Here’s one of my favorite Pokémon of all time – but that’s not why it’s on this list.
Snorlax is here because when I was a kid, I genuinely thought it was a legendary Pokémon!
Think about it: it’s one of the only Pokémon you can interact with as a sprite in the original games, along with Mewtwo and the legendary birds.
Plus, it comes immediately before the legendary birds in the Pokedex!
Sadly, it turns out this big-bellied oaf was never a legendary.
But it should be!
I mean, its gigantamax form has it grow so large that it actually develops an ecosystem on its stomach.
Which brings up the question: which would be weirder to live on, Torterra’s back or Snorlax’s belly?
Arcanine is probably the most obvious choice on this list, since there’s a ton of evidence that shows it should have been a legendary Pokémon!
First of all, it’s based on a mythical Chinese lion-dog hybrid. Don’t believe me?
Just check its Pokedex entry in Pokémon Yellow.
Second, there’s an engraving in the second episode of the Pokémon anime. Featured in it are Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, and Arcanine.
Were there supposed to be 5 more numbered legendaries?
Or is Arcanine supposed to be a bird?
We’ll never know.
And finally, it’s listed as “the legendary Pokémon”.
People don’t just call it that.
That’s its species description!
Arcanine is absolutely supposed to be a legendary Pokémon, but for some reason Game Freak decided otherwise.
There are many Ghost Pokémon that I considered adding onto this list.
They all have various creepy and mystical stories around them, but one of Froslass’ Pokedex entries stood out for me above the rest.
“Legends in snowy regions say that a woman who was lost on an icy mountain was reborn as Froslass.”
Not only is “legend” the first word in the entry, but the fact that this was a singular woman and not multiple women makes me think that Froslass is much more unique.
Not to mention that a later entry states that Froslass was born from this woman’s regrets.
A single woman’s dying regrets basically turned into a new Pokémon?
That’s literally what legends are made from.
Lucario is easily one of the most popular Pokémon of all time, and Game Freak knows it.
It has been featured many times in the main games, it’s a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros., and it’s the only non-legendary Pokémon to have its own movie!
This begs the question: why isn’t Lucario legendary?
It absolutely should be.
Lucario is incredibly powerful, both with and without its mega form.
And it’s one of the few Pokémon to have the Steel/Fighting dual-typing. The other two with that typing are both legendary Pokémon!
Plus, Lucario is iconic. Possibly the most iconic Pokémon on this list.
And it deserves to be a legendary Pokémon.
However, there’s one more that I really think should be given legendary status.
Some legendaries are known for their massive power.
Some are known for how evil they are.
But some are known for their great kindness.
We need more of those, and I believe Drampa would be the epitome of that.
First of all, Drampa already looks like a dragon on a bed of clouds.
Second, it has a completely unique dual-typing with Normal and Dragon.
But most importantly, all of Drampa’s Pokedex entries emphasize its compassion.
Although it lives in the mountains, it will rarely come down and play with the local children. This love of children makes Drampa seem like Santa Clause.
The best example of this can be seen in the anime where we meet a Drampa called “Grandpa Forest” that saved a young Mallow and Lana.
Let’s be honest: Drampa not only looks like a legend, but it acts like a legend too.
And that’s why I think it’s a Pokémon that most deserves the legendary status.