Team Respawn are back for 2022, and our first feature of the year is looking at the best cover Legendary Pokémon. This week we’re limited to picking one from the first four generations only, and next week we’ll consider the pool from the latter four. Don’t be fooled by the names our in-game Team counterparts were after, as things are not always as they seem!

MAGMA

“O Chosen One, into thine hands bring together all three. Their treasures combined tame the Beast of the Sea.” I am the Chosen One. And the Chosen One you must be in order to capture Lugia in Pokémon Silver. Armed with a Silver Wing from the very Pokémon itself, I battled through the treacherous Whirl Islands, a seemingly never ending maze of whirlpools and dungeons until as if designed by fate I stumbled into the chamber of the great guardian of the seas. Lugia.

This elegant yet highly intimidating Water/Psychic type is in my opinion one of, if not the best, Legendary Pokémon. Lugia is incredibly strong, it can control the weather furthermore combined with its epically devastating signature move, Aeroblast. It’s no wonder Lugia can even make Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres fly away in fear. It’s too bad the mythology of Lugia from the movie doesn’t carry into the game. As it would of added a story depth, similar to how Lugia’s opposite Ho-Oh and its connection to the three Legendary beasts.

“Seriously! How do I fly with hands?!”

AQUA

This was easy, it’s got to be the great green Dragon, Rayquaza. A Pokémon with a billion pronunciations of its name. Rayquaza is the final member of the “Super Ancient Trio” most famous for turning up after Kyogre and Groudon start having a fight about what’s better, land or water. The serpent drops down from the sky and basically tells the kids “Shut the hell up!” and they do! Its power makes it one of the few Legendaries I’ll actually choose to have on my team, the great greens attack stats for example are through the roof and its base stat for speed is nothing to be sniffed at. Rayquaza has always been and probably will always be my absolute favourite legendary in Pokémon and I mean, why wouldn’t he be? Just look at that face, It looks like he just told a joke and no one is laughing… relatable.

Who’d have thought a dragon made of plumbing kit would look so cool?

PLASMA

As Magma and Aqua took my first and second choice, and because I can’t be seen agreeing with them I’m going to go for my third choice, the Pokémon franchises biggest chicken, Ho-Oh. Gold and Silver are by a country mile my favourite games out of the first four generations and ascending the Tin Tower to capture the majestic gold beastie is a much more enjoyable experience than the tedious deep dive to retrieve Lugia from the seafloor. Ho-Oh’s signature move, Sacred Fire, had a really cool (ironically) animation in the game, so naturally I used it at every opportunity and felt smug as hell while using it as my main means of transport with Fly.

“Can’t make a wife out of a HO-OH”

Do you agree with our choices? Let us know in the comments, and Team Respawn will return next week to look at the cover Legendaries from generation 5 to 8, as well as pick our overall winners. Thanks for reading!

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