Which Legendary Galarian Bird Is Best (& Why)

Pokemon’s new Crown Tundra DLC has reimagined each of the Legendary Kanto Birds, but which of the three new Legendary birds is strongest?

Pokémon Sword & Shield‘s newest DLC, The Crow Tundra, has reintroduced many Legendary Pokémon from previous generations back into the game. In addition to classic Legendaries of the past, The Crown Tundra DLC has also introduced several other never-before-seen Legendary Pokémon. There’s the new legendary trio, Calyrex, Glastrier, and Spectrier, as well as two new Regis, Regidrago and Regieleki. The Crown Tundra has also seen the Legendary Kanto birds get a full Galarian make over. Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres are back and have each received new forms, typings, and stats in Pokémon’s latest expansion pack.

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The Kanto Birds were introduced in the original Pokémon Red & Blue. They were the first Legendary Pokémon players could catch in the game and the entire series overall. The Kanto Birds were a powerful group of Legendaries, and the Galarian Birds follow suit. These two groups of Legendary Birds may look similar, but between their stats and their typings, they’re completely different.

Related: Pokémon Sword & Shield’s Worst Gigantamax Designs

Articuno was originally a Flying/Ice-type with beefy defense stats, specifically special defense. Galarian Articuno, on the other hand, is a Flying/Psychic-type with good speed and a lot of special attack. Zapdos has gone from a Flying/Electric-type to a Flying/Fighting-type, and as such, its hefty Special Attack has become a hefty Attack stat. Moltres was a Flying/Fire-type, but its Galarian form is a Flying/Dark-type. Its impressive Attack stats have now become a good Special Attack and a great Special Defense.

Galarian Moltres Quickly Established Itself As Pokémon’s Best Legendary Bird


Pokemon Crown Tundra


The three Galarian Birds each have a lot going for them, but Moltres has separated itself from the other two. The Pokémon is currently the eighth most used in VGC, according to Pikalytics. Moltres benefits from having the best Defensive stats of the three birds, specifically its 125 Special Defense. It has a good Special Attack stat, but Moltres’ typing in The Crown Tundra gives it a pool of useful support moves to make it really lethal, like Nasty Plot. Moltres’ ability, Berserk, also makes it a perfect Weakness Policy Pokemon. Berserk boosts a Pokémon’s Special Attack stat when it takes a hit that drops its health to half or less. If a person were able to activate Berserk and a Weakness Policy at the same time, Moltres would become seriously dangerous. Its signature move, Fiery Wrath, has a 30% chance of causing other Pokémon to flinch, which is a nice plus.

Articuno is probably the second best of the group. It’s the frailest of the three birds, but it boasts a 125 Special Attack stat and a 95 Speed stat that give it a bit of punch to back it up its weaker side. Articuno’s ability, Competitive, can boost a Pokémon’s Special Attack two stages when another stat is dropped, which could make its already big Special Attack gargantuan. Its Psychic-typing gives Articuno a good pool of support moves, like Trick Room, Ally Switch, and Hyponosis, but its weak Defense stats mean it likely won’t last long enough on the field to be a useful support Pokémon in The Crown Tundra. Thankfully, Articuno’s signature move, Freezing Glare, has a 10% of freezing other Pokémon, so it does still have some support capabilities.

Zapdos, unfortunately, appears to be the worst of the Galarian Birds. The Pokémon has a ton of Attack with a 125 stat, 100 Speed, and the ability to raise its hefty Attack stat two stages when any of its stats are lowered with Defiant. Zapdos has all the makings of a great physical attacker, but its typing stacks the odds against itself. Original Zapdos was only weak against Ice and Rock-type attacks thanks to its Flying/Electric-typing, but Galarian Zapdos takes double damage from Electric, Ice, Flying, Psychic, and Fairy-types. Zapdos doesn’t have bad Defense stats, but it’s typing is just too limiting. It turns the Legendary Pokémon into a glorified Hawlucha. Pokémon fans interested in trying out any of these three Legendary Birds can do so by checking out The Crown Tundra DLC, which is currently available for Pokémon Sword & Shield.

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Updated: November 11, 2020 — 2:37 pm

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