Fallen Legends

By Lotus. Released: 2019/05/27.
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Art by internet.


As generations come and go, many of Ubers's legendary Pokémon have had their spotlight taken away as the world changes around them. Changes such as the introduction of new Pokémon and new formes, nerfs to their strongest options, and brand new mechanics all contribute to the fall of dangerous threats once considered metagame staples. This article will showcase many of the now niche or unviable options referred as "Fallen Legends", describing what brought them to the top and what took them back down again.

Latios & Latias

Latios Dragon-type Psychic-type Levitate Levitate HP 80 Atk 90 Def 80 SpA 130 SpD 110 Spe 110 BST 600

With Soul Dew boosting Special Attack and Special Defense by 50%, Latios was extremely common and one of the most viable Pokémon in ADV and kept its place as a prominent Pokémon for generations. Until Choice Scarf and other faster Pokémon were introduced in DPP, Latios had Speed advantage over most Pokémon in ADV, threatening a large number of Pokémon with just Ice Beam and Thunder, and had a defensive typing that was not very exploitable. Mewtwo with Self-Destruct and Deoxys-A were the only Pokémon that could outspeed and revenge kill it, and defensive answers were rigidly limited to Pokémon like Snorlax, Blissey, and the less common Deoxys-D and Regice. It was also a good answer to Groudon and Kyogre offensively and defensively, two Pokémon that were also introduced in ADV and remained as dominant forces. Its influence on the metagame was visible from a lot of Pokémon using Thunder Wave to remove Latios's Speed advantage over many Pokémon, Psychic-type attacks not being used at all due to its resistance to them, and most teams consciously preparing for it. When Dragon-type moves became more justifiable in future generations, Latios became more destructive with its Calm Mind + Draco Meteor set, which could threaten to immediately OHKO many Pokémon while overpowering most slow Pokémon with a Calm Mind boost. Combined with the prevalence of entry hazards, this set was extremely difficult to properly handle.

Latias Dragon-type Psychic-type Levitate Levitate HP 80 Atk 80 Def 90 SpA 110 SpD 130 Spe 110 BST 600

Despite having lower offensive stats than Latios, Latias was also one of the best Pokémon in ADV and remained prevalent until BW. The differential factor was primarily its much better bulk, allowing it to provide better security on teams that desire a more durable check to Groudon and Kyogre as well as effectively utilize a mono-attacking set that overcame status with Refresh; it could also use other sets that Latios primarily used, making it an equally threatening Eon that had different dimensions of counterplay. Latias could also justify offensive sets like Latios past ADV, since Soul Dew and Calm Mind combined to make Latias threatening in its own right as well.

Generation 7 nerfed Soul Dew, making it only an item that boosts the Eon twins' STAB moves by 20%. Greatly weakened after the nerf of the item that allowed them to be viable in Ubers, the Eon twins met a massive downfall.


Deoxys-S Psychic-type Pressure Pressure HP 50 Atk 95 Def 90 SpA 95 SpD 90 Spe 180 BST 600

Although Deoxys-S's role remained one-dimensional, the importance of its role used to be much greater. The metagame was much more offensive in nature in past generations, and thus entry hazards were a huge factor that determined the tide of many games. Deoxys-S was a specialist when it came to laying down entry hazards to start pressuring the opposing team early or setting up dual screens for its teammates, and this worked out well the majority of the time. Deoxys-S's moveset was more flexible, and it was able to fit moves like Ice Beam, Fire Punch, and Superpower alongside utility moves in order to punish Pokémon that it commonly led against as well.

However, from Generation 6 onward, Defog became able to remove entry hazards and screens from the field. Most teams could now easily remove what Deoxys-S completely dedicates itself to set at the beginning of the game. While hyper offense was still a solid archetype in ORAS that could heavily pressure most Defog users, the archetype and Deoxys-S went downhill together as offensive powerhouses like Xerneas and Mega Salamence became more manageable from SM onward with the introduction of better checks, as well as the Aerilate nerf in the latter's case. Commonly seen bulky Pokémon like Primal Groudon, Necrozma-DM, and Zygarde often combine to make offensive teams more difficult to function today, thus making Deoxys-S much less viable.


Palkia Water-type Dragon-type Pressure Telepathy HP 90 Atk 120 Def 100 SpA 150 SpD 120 Spe 100 BST 680

Palkia had its glorious moments until BW as one of the most prominent offensive threats. Palkia could easily pressure any team with its STAB combination and wide array of coverage moves, fully capitalizing on entry hazards that could be set down very easily. Most notably, Palkia could function well under any weather due to its ability to threaten any Pokémon that sets that weather. Palkia also had a reputation of being one of the safest initial switch-ins to any Kyogre variant due to its 4x resistance to Water and lack of weakness against any other attack. Palkia had Speed advantage over many prominent legendary Pokémon sitting at a middling base stat of 90, opening room to threaten foes like Giratina-O that it could strike first or pressure checks like Dialga.

Unfortunately, the introduction of Primal Groudon made Palkia even harder to utilize as an offensive threat, forcing it to predict between Primal Groudon switching into Water-type moves and Fairy-types switching into Spacial Rend. In addition, its merit of checking Hoenn legendaries became less notable, as Arceus formes now perform the role of Primal Groudon check, while Primal Kyogre is more commonly and more reliably handled by Pokémon like Primal Groudon and Ferrothorn.


Dialga Steel-type Dragon-type Pressure Telepathy HP 100 Atk 120 Def 120 SpA 150 SpD 100 Spe 90 BST 680

Dialga is another Sinnoh legendary Pokémon that kept its prominence in Ubers until ORAS but faced a downfall in further generations. Dialga performed as one of the better Stealth Rock users due to the limited number of Pokémon that could contend against it, and its ability to pivot against premier threats like Kyogre was valued in many teams. However, when Fairy-types were introduced and the Steel typing was nerfed in Generation 6, Dialga's defensive capabilities became more questionable, as it could no longer effectively handle Dark- and Ghost-type moves and ended up as a Steel-type that could not handle Xerneas well at all. In the same generation, Primal Groudon rose as the most common Stealth Rock user and the easiest one to fit on teams, and this made it much riskier for players to use Dialga, forcing them to pair it with solid backups to Primal Groudon, in addition to other backups needed for Xerneas. While Dialga could handle Primal Kyogre quite decently, this role was also better covered by Primal Groudon or the Eon twins that checked other threats as well. Dialga's offensive presence still differentiated itself from the aforementioned Pokémon, however, and it was still a Pokémon that is difficult to switch into for a good portion of teams.

The true downfall of Dialga happened in USM, when Necrozma-DM was introduced as the easiest Steel-type to fit on teams in the tier and was much harder to take down than Dialga, fulfilled a commonly expected role of checking Xerneas as a Steel-type, and possessed much more diversity due to its access to setup moves and Ultra Burst.


Darkrai Dark-type Bad Dreams Bad Dreams HP 70 Atk 90 Def 90 SpA 135 SpD 90 Spe 125 BST 600

A lot of factors contributed to Darkrai being a threatening Pokémon until ORAS. On top of its high Speed, wide range of coverage moves, and access to Nasty Plot, Darkrai was commonly known as an infamous threat with its signature move, Dark Void. Unlike other sleep moves, Darkrai's Dark Void had a passable 80% accuracy, and this meant that it could capitalize on its high Speed to easily incapacitate a slower Pokémon, allowing itself or its teammates to exploit it. This made Darkrai end up a Pokémon that players felt obligated to adequately prepare for yet often grimace to its mere presence in the field. Though Darkrai's relatively poor bulk and the presence of many Choice Scarf users limited how much damage Darkrai could net on the opposing team in practice, it was still an incredibly frustrating Pokémon to deal with without a Pokémon using Sleep Talk or other answers like Arceus-Fighting. Despite the introduction of Fairy-types in ORAS, Darkrai still remained as a primary offensive threat due to Steel-types no longer resisting Dark, opponents still being forced to fodder one of their Pokémon to sleep, and Xerneas being a shaky check if lacking a Choice Scarf.

However, Generation 7 has crippled Darkrai by nerfing Dark Void's accuracy to 50%, forcing it to run a slightly more accurate yet still unreliable Hypnosis. Furthermore, Magearna was released in the same generation as one of the hardest counters to Darkrai, and Choice Scarf Xerneas became the most common variant as the metagame progressed. This enticed players to use a more consistent and versatile Dark-type, Yveltal, as a wallbreaker and other faster threats like Ultra Necrozma in place of Darkrai that don't rely on hitting a shaky Hypnosis to have a setup opportunity.


Arceus-Ghost Ghost-type Multitype Multitype HP 120 Atk 120 Def 120 SpA 120 SpD 120 Spe 120 BST 720

Arceus-Ghost's offensive typing was solid enough for it to be a commonly seen offensive threat in BW as well as a primary spinblocker. Checks to it had to deal with an environment where they would have to switch into Arceus-Ghost when a lot of entry hazards were up and Arceus-Ghost itself would block Rapid Spin. This was not to mention that checking Arceus-Ghost was difficult due to its immense bulk, immunity to Extreme Speed, and offensive prowess coming from the offensive set's perfect coverage and ability to boost with Calm Mind. Though it was threatened by common foes like Darkrai and prone to eventually succumbing to the immense pressure from prevalent entry hazards and status, its ability to threaten the Eon twins and Giratina and checking Extreme Killer Arceus and Arceus-Fighting meant that there were more than enough merits to using Arceus-Ghost. In Generation 6, despite being less common, Arceus-Ghost was still a relevant threat that could take advantage of Steel-types' loss of Ghost resistance and function as a viable offensive threat by utilizing both Calm Mind and Swords Dance.

However, Arceus-Ghost's offensive prowess is now almost completely overshadowed by Marshadow, which is faster, possesses a secondary typing in Fighting, does a better job with harassing offensive teams, and has room to customize its set to viably circumvent its checks. While Arceus-Ghost is still a marginally decent Pokémon, the Giratina formes are more reliable bulky Ghost-types, and Mega Gengar is generally better in terms of utility.


Arceus-Fighting Fighting-type Multitype Multitype HP 120 Atk 120 Def 120 SpA 120 SpD 120 Spe 120 BST 720

Extremely common Pokémon like Dialga, Darkrai, and Extreme Killer Arceus as well as other good support Pokémon like Tyranitar and Ferrothorn shared a vulnerability to Arceus-Fighting. Similarly to Arceus-Ghost, Arceus-Fighting ran a Calm Mind set using near-perfect coverage to triumph over many Pokémon with its ability to outlast most of its checks amidst the chaos of offensive pressure. Airborne checks except the Eon twins struggled to switch into Arceus-Fighting due to Stealth Rock being common yet difficult to remove in BW, and offensive checks like Mewtwo and Shaymin-S were relatively uncommon and generally struggled against the majority of the metagame.

The introduction of Fairy-types, particularly Xerneas, was too much for Arceus-Fighting. Xerneas wasn't the only culprit to Arceus-Fighting's downfall, however; Yveltal was also problematic due to it simply threatening Arceus-Fighting with Oblivion Wing, and making Arceus-Fighting's proud role as Dark-type check almost meaningless. The extreme prevalence of Mega Gengar in XY also contributed to Arceus-Fighting's immediate downfall outside of BW, and the progression of the metagame didn't give Arceus-Fighting any chance to come back.


Genesect Bug-type Steel-type Download Download HP 71 Atk 120 Def 95 SpA 120 SpD 95 Spe 99 BST 600

As mentioned before, entry hazards were stacked very often in games, and Genesect could exploit this extremely well due to it threatening a significant number of Pokémon while holding a Choice Scarf. U-turn alone was enough to force switches against common Pokémon like the Eon twins and Darkrai and net huge damage on many neutral targets with a Download boost. Though Genesect was relatively frail, it was still a justifiable switch-in to the aforementioned Pokémon it threatened out, as well as to Extreme Killer Arceus, which was more prominent during BW. Aside from that, with proper team support, Genesect usually ended up contributing to wearing down the opposing team more rapidly than the opposing team wore it down due to the enormous number of switches it could force.

Genesect's glory was very short lived. The aforementioned change to Defog's mechanics removed what Genesect largely relied on to make its forced switches so threatening to opponents, and the increase in the use of bulkier teams meant that Genesect could no longer heavily damage a foe with a little prediction. While it remained decently relevant until XY, Genesect lost any niche it had in ORAS when an omnipresent Primal Groudon was introduced to make Genesect easy to check by default. From ORAS and beyond, many sweepers were usually faster than Genesect when at +1 or lacked a weakness to Genesect's moves. In addition, the Eon twins lost their relevance after the Soul Dew nerf, making Genesect's effectiveness as a revenge killer more questionable. The importance of bulky Steel-types to defensively check Xerneas and Arceus formes also increased throughout the future generations, making Genesect even harder to justify on serious teams today.

Is there any Hope?

Not all of the Pokémon mentioned remain entirely unviable in Ubers today, except Pokémon that took too much collateral damage from generation shifts like Genesect and Arceus-Fighting and currently hold no viable niche whatsoever (and these Pokémon will not be addressed in this section for this reason).

The Eon twins managed to survive the Soul Dew nerf. Or, more precisely, Latias did. Latias currently remains a niche Mega Stone user that can utilize its defensive presence against both Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre and use its access to Healing Wish to support its offensive teammates. Regular Kyogre is unviable, though it attempts to utilize Choice Scarf in hopes of annihilating offensive teams or Choice Specs to do the same to defensive teams; however, such sets are difficult to pull off with Primal Groudon's existence, and the use of regular Kyogre essentially gives away the use of a Choice item. Deoxys-S remains one of the viable suicide leads today, but it struggles with its mentioned problems of a rigid moveset and remains as a one-dimensional Pokémon supporting an archetype that relies on good matchup to be successful.

The Sinnoh legendaries still hold their niche in Ubers. Palkia offensively checks Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre like it did to their regular formes in older generations, though it suffers from reliance on prediction to even land Hydro Pump or Spacial Rend. Dialga is an uncommon Steel-type Stealth Rock user that is difficult to take advantage of, but it similarly struggles with Fairy-types' existence, and its usage itself often becomes questionable due to its inability to check Xerneas and offensive Primal Groudon being a better Stealth Rock setter in most instances. Darkrai can attempt to differentiate itself from Yveltal or Calm Mind Arceus-Dark with its superior Speed, use of an unreliable yet potentially deadly combination of Hypnosis and Nasty Plot, and a different domain of coverage moves like Thunder, Sludge Bomb, or even Incinerate, but pulling off such a trick is just too difficult in practice. Arceus-Ghost can attempt to differentiate itself from Marshadow by using Swords Dance and Ghostium Z, giving it a stronger burst than any Marshadow variant, but even this strategy is quite niche due to Necrozma-DW functioning better with Ultra Burst when under Sticky Web support.


These Pokémon may make a surprise comeback in future generations if the metagame will shift in their favor. There are plenty of Pokémon, even the ones from lower tiers, that secured their place as prominent Pokémon during generational shifts, so every Pokémon in Ubers technically has hope. Ubers rewards patience and values consistency, but it seems that the Pokémon addressed above were unfortunately not the case.

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