Legendary Pokemon are cool. There’s no denying it. And in Pokemon GO, you can catch lots of Legendary Pokemon. However, Legendary Pokemon are hard to get candy for. While the stardust costs are the same, candy isn’t. You can’t reliably walk a Legendary Pokemon like a normal buddy. And since they rotate in and out of raids, you either have to go ham or not get candy. Assuming the bastards even catch.
So with candy in short supply, what Pokemon are worth powering up? It’s easy to say “all of them to level 40”, but frankly, getting a handful to level 30 and then level 35 is generally enough, at least for raids. Instead, I’ve come up with a bit more of a casual list for casual people.
Darkrai or Yveltal or Giratina
I say ‘or’ here because you don’t need all three. Heck, you could have a combination of the three if you prefer. The main reason you want these is for the many Psychic bosses you’ll face. Between Lugia, Mewtwo, the Spirits of the Lake and Latios and Latias, there’s plenty to fight. And you’ll almost certainly want dark or ghost types to do so.
Out of the three though? I’d probably recommend Yveltal the most. Its flying sub-type allows it to dodge Close Combat that Mewtwo carries, and will only be really screwed over by Latias with Charm. But MOST counters to Latias will fall to one with Charm.
Reshiram and Zekrom
Reshiram and Zekrom are currently the best in class when it comes to fire and electric types. While you can argue that Thundurus is a tad better, and Moltres is easier to get, these two dragons have better resistances and are generally a bit tankier. They also currently have better moves.
However there is a potential downside here. Both these Pokemon have unreleased special moves. Which means that, at some point, you’ll either have to catch new ones with the new special moves, or have to use Elite TMs.
While Mega Swampert and Mega Blastoise have been threatening Kyogre for years, the colossal whale Pokemon is still a great option. Between strong moves with STAB and a great amount of bulk, you can’t go wrong with a Kyogre or two.
Kyogre also has a lot of use for both PvP and Team Rocket Grunts. It has a fast-charging attack, Surf, which allows it to pump out lots of STAB damage. But Kyogre’s fast move, Waterfall, is also very potent. It’s somewhat slow but hits hard.
Honestly, you only really need one powered up Dialga. Its combination of huge damage and huge mass means it’s the king of Master Legaue PvP. But Dialga is also a strong dragon type overall, which means it’s good for the many dragon type raid bosses out there. While its damage output isn’t as good as Rayquaza, you can stick a Dialga on the end of your party as an anchor. It should last a bit longer than most other dragons, allowing you to avoid everyone dying and re-lobbying at once during a raid.
Melmetal doesn’t have that much obvious use on the surface. After all, its moves are all kinda weird, and it doesn’t have a Steel fast move. However, Melmetal is very versatile in all aspects of Pokemon. You can use it as a tanky electric or rock type at the back of your standard raid party. It can easily sweep Team Rocket Grunts. And Melmetal, unlike all the Legendary Pokemon here, can be used in any league in PvP.
Melmetal is also an easy Pokemon to power up to level 50.
But Medic, why is Mewtwo not on this list?
Mewtwo is a stupidly amazing Pokemon, but, I dunno, I feel like there isn’t actually that much space to use them. An army of Mewtwo with Shadow Ball is great for other Mewtwos and Lugia, but there aren’t really that many raid bosses that are weak to Psychic types and require a whole army of Mewtwos.
Still worth powering some up though. Just to be on the safe side.
While these legendary Pokemon are very cool and very useful, before you power any of them up, it is worth considering something else: is a normal Pokemon easier? In some cases, maybe. In other cases, like using rock and fighting types, definitely. But if you have some spare candy and a Legendary with good IVs, then go for it!