The 10 Hardest Legendary Pokémon to Catch, Ranked
Thanks to Scarlet and Violet, and many more Legendary Pokémon, these are the 10 hardest Pokémon to catch across all generations.
Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet continue the long tradition of unique creature capture across the series. But since red, blue, green, and yellow began, the mainline series has always had the allure of legendary creatures that outshine the rest.
These species are expected to be rare and difficult to catch to match their distinguished status. The game organizes this level of challenge through catch rate stats that players don't normally see. The hardest Legendary Pokémon to catch range from Mewtwo, which started in the Kanto region, to the Hoenn region.
The same rules apply at the other end of the range, as Lugia is just as challenging (if not more so) than its Gold/HeartGold counterpart, Ho-Oh. This dual psychic/flight type can be found as a scripted story event, though the trek to combat it is also a test.
Before players attempt to venture out at capture level 3, they need to traverse the winding paths of the Whirlpool Islands, and then make sure their team is strong enough to withstand the sheer special attack focus of Lugia's Necromancer Water, and Signature flight attack. Even so, it's fitting for a Pokémon considered the master of the Kanto Legendary Bird Trio.
In a roundabout way, the Joto area's Legendary Pokémon can be considered an easy creature to find, while other games make it one of the hardest to find Pokémon in the mainline games. In the Gen 2 Johto games, the Ho-Oh could be found as part of the story as a scripted event, but catching it in combat was torture in itself.
In addition to the catch rate of 3, the Ho-Oh is so powerful that waiting for the catch rate to hit the player's favor can easily turn into a war of attrition. If their team is well equipped and can't last long enough in battle to eventually succumb to the Pokéball, it can cause many soft resets. Depending on the game, Ho-Oh may be locked in a now-cancelled Legendary event.
In the Hoenen region, one of the Legendary Pokémon with the lowest catch rate is the Legendary Giant's Rock-type, Regirock. Like all of the hardest species in this category, it has an incredibly low capture rate 3. However, another thing about how hard it is for trainers to get a Regirock is the "side quests" that lead to it.
In the less streamlined days of online guides, many had to figure out that to capture these titans, players had to find hidden caves and islands, decipher a cryptic code, and perform extremely specific actions in the world to trigger them The opening of the nest. In terms of sheer catch odds for Regirock, the only Hoenen native and non-Legendary Pokémon series that is so difficult to catch is the Beldum series.
The Legendary Beast Trio is a favorite of many die-hard Pokémon fans, and they were the first to incorporate the "roaming" Legendary mechanic. It's a neat way to achieve another layer of challenge and spur exploration, a feature that's arguably synonymous with Suicune, Raikou, and Entei.
Suicune is probably the easiest of the three to catch, since they have the same catch rate, but depending on the game, it can be considered a semi-elaborately scripted side event. Still, this is another saga not to be taken lightly.
A member of the Fire family of Legendary Beasts, Entei is another memorable challenge City area. Like its two counterparts, Entei is triggered by initial story events before being released to roam the wilds in mostly sporadic appearances.
Besides Suicune, these other two Pokémon are generally seen as harder to catch due to their low catch rate and their ability to flee from battle. This makes Entei's low capture rate even more difficult to deal with, requiring players to be creative in keeping legendary creatures in combat long enough for a successful capture.
Johto's Legendary Beast Trio is Raikou. The Electric Saber cat is a competent special attacker in the mainline Pokémon games, and like its companions, requires some dedication from players who want to catch it.
Aligning capture chances with player favorability is difficult from the start, but keeping an eye on the ever-running Raikou in addition to Suicune and Entei could prove to be a daunting task. Its exact ranking among its peers in terms of power is debatable, but it's more important to put everything that captures this Pokémon into context.
Although there are certainly more Moltres and co. has grown strong with generations of play value. The Legendary Pokémon will forever be unforgettable thanks to being the franchise's first "trio". Moltres are the dual fire/flying type of the group and are difficult monsters to catch, especially in-game.
The original gen 1 series of games have definitely shown their age, making playing through their mechanics a frustration in itself. Players will need to trek through the Victory Path (or Ember Mountain in the reforge) to find it, though, that Moltres is the weakest of the three in terms of strength, which should help to a degree.
Often cited by many veteran fans as the best Legendary Pokémon in the series, it's no wonder Mewtwo poses such a challenge to players in the game. It is without a doubt one of the most iconic creatures in the Kanto region, with an interesting sci-fi-centric lore behind its creation.
Mewtwo has served as the climactic final test in several entries in the mainline series since the original Gen 1 games, as it can only be accessed in the post-game Cerulean Cave. It's packed with other premium Pokémon, and Mewtwo created one of their own Impressive with its sheer special attack and coming out at level 70.
While Moltres is generally considered the weakest of the legendary bird trio, Zapdos is generally considered the strongest among players. The electric/flying dual type is great against opponents of other flying types, its special attack matches Moltres' impressive total stats in the same category, and it has great speed.
Going into a fight trying to grab it would be brutal for a team not prepared to exploit its weakness. Ironically, however, for players who do check Zapdos (Rock, Ice), it becomes the easiest of the three to subdue until it is finally caught. This is also due in part to the fact that the dungeon it's in is fairly easy to navigate.
In general, Ice-type Pokémon are known for being relatively weak in defense. Regardless, Articuno's status as a legendary creature more than makes up for it, as it's the sturdiest of the trio in terms of both physical and special defenses. Having said that, it also has a significant 4x disadvantage to Rock compared to Motlres.
Despite this, it is probably the hardest to catch given its low catch rate and location. Compared to Victory Road's Moltres and Power Plant's Zapdos, Articuno's ubiquitous Seafoam Islands in its native Kanto region are arguably the most complex dungeons.