From the very first game, every Pokémon title has encouraged its players to complete that game’s Pokédex by catching every little critter possible. Starting with 151 in just the first two versions of the game, this was never an easy task from the start. However, the games added a second layer of challenge by including very special — and difficult-to-catch — Pokémon called Legendary Pokémon. These extra-powerful, rare, and hard-to-find creatures are some of the most satisfying to track down and add to your roster. That’s assuming you’re able to, of course.
There are a total of 30 Legendary and Mythic Pokémon according to the Pokédex in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, though not all can be caught on a single version of the game. As is tradition with the Pokémon series, there are exclusive monsters for each version, and this applies to Legendaries as well. Additionally, all but the two mandatory Legendaries, Dialga and Palkia, can’t be caught until you’ve conquered the Pokémon League, and others ask even more and won’t appear until you’ve registered every Pokémon possible into the Sinnoh Pokédex.
Note: There are also three Mythical Pokémon — Darkrai, Shaymin, and Arcues — that have not been added into the game as of the time of this writing. Once they are, we will add them to this list.
Legendaries in both versions
The majority of the Legendary Pokémon can be found in either version of the game and will either be hidden around the overworld, underground, or in the Ramanas Park area, which is new to Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Ramanas Park is where all of the version-exclusive Legendary Pokémon will be found and can only be accessed after beating the main game.
Our first Legendary is Mesprit. This Pokémon can be found at Lake Verity, close to where you start the game. Once you’ve beaten the Elite Four, this area will open up, and you can find Mesprit inside the cavern at this location. You will interact with it first, which counts as logging it in your Pokédex, but flee. To actually get a chance of catching it, you will need to track it down a second time by using the Marking Map app in your Pokétech.
From one lake to another, Uxie is found at Lake Acuity, another new location that opens up post-Elite Four. Just like Mesprit, interact with it inside the cavern to cause it to roam the map, and use the Marking Map to find it for a chance at the catch.
Our final lakeside Pokémon, at least for now, is Azelf, near Lake Valor. You know the drill at this point. Beat the Elite Four, head to the new location, head into the cavern to cause it to flee, and then hunt it down with your Pokétech.
Changing things up a bit, once the story has been beaten, you will be able to head to the Fight Area in the Battle Zone region. Head here first to pick up the National Pokédex. Once you have it, get to Canalave City and find Sailor Eldritch’s house. Inside, you will find some kids having bad dreams. Outside, Sailor Eldritch will explain he’s lost the will to sail his boat due to his kid being sick and ask you to head to Fullmoon Island to get a special feather that can wake up his son. This will let you go to the island and find Cresselia right in the middle of this spit of land. Interact and track it down with the Marking Map to attempt a catch.
Get yourself the National Pokédex for this one, too, as well as three specific Pokémon. You will need Regirock, Regice, and Registeel, the locations of which we will cover below, and take them along to Snowpoint City. A new area will be open here now called Snowpoint Temple, which you should enter and you will spot the Regigigas snoozing. He won’t wake up for anything, and thus won’t fight you, unless you have these specific Pokémon. If you do, you can fight, and catch, it on the spot.
While you’re picking up the National Pokédex in the Fight Area of Battle Zone, find and speak to a man named Buck. He will tell you how to get to a new area called Stark Mountain. Follow his instructions to complete this little guided section, but don’t worry that you don’t get to catch Heatran during it. Just head back to the mountain on the east side of the Survival Area and Heatran will be there again to battle and capture.
With the National Pokédex in hand, a new secret area will unlock on the right side of Route 214. Once you find and enter Sendoff Spring, travel through until you hit Turnback Cave, but don’t turn back just yet. There is a little puzzle here that you will need to solve by reading the pillars in the rooms to navigate the randomly generated cave. To reach the center room with Giratina, you need to reach the goal within 30 moves. The numbers are your clues on which direction to go and should be thought of as directions, like a clock face. For example, if a pillar has the number 12, that would represent north or up; nine would be west.
The only way to get Manaphy is through the Mystery Gift feature in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. To use this feature, which provides you with special gifts from the developers themselves for events and things like that, head to Jublilife City and go into the TV Station. On the third floor, you need to speak to the TV producer who will ask you to pick an option from different programs they want to improve. Just pick the Everyone Happy Wifi Connection option to unlock the Mystery Gift function in your menu.
Once you have it, pop open the Mystery Gift option and select Get Via the Internet to automatically receive a Manaphy egg you can catch. Do this one quick, since it will only be available until February 21!
Jirachi is a fan-favorite Mythical Pokémon and is super easy to get, assuming you’re a Pokémon fan. The only way to get this one is to just find and talk to an old man in a field of flowers on the southern corner of Floarama Town. However, he will only hand over this rare creature if you have save data on your console from either Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield. If you do, it’s yours, but if not, you’re out of luck outside of finding someone in real life or online to trade with.
Ramnas Park is a major new area that opens up once you collect your National Pokédex. It is home to a ton of Legendary Pokémon, but obviously can’t be reached until the end game when you’ve won the Pokémon League and completed the Sinnoh Pokédex. Once all those requirements are met, head to the park and pick up a Discovery Slate from the counter at the entrance for either three small Mysterious Shards or one large one. Use this slate on the pedestal, and Regirock will appear inside the Discovery Room for you to battle and catch.
Perhaps the most famous of all Legendary Pokémon, Mewtwo won’t show up for just any trainer. Not only do you need to do everything required to get the National Pokédex, but you also have to have already caught at least eight other Legendaries, plus the correct slate, to coax him into appearing. The slate is the easier part, just needing the Genome Slate, which you can trade Mysterious Shards for. After that, you will also need to catch the three Legendary Titans, which include Latios, Latias, and any of the three Legendary Beasts if you’re playing on Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, or one of the three Legendary Birds for Pokémon Shining Pearl, all of which are included in their respective sections in this guide.
With all that taken care of, bring the Genome Slate to the Genome Room, place it on the pedestal, and Mewtwo will appear to do battle. Make sure you’re ready, because this psychic Pokémon is as dangerous as ever.
Kyogre, despite not being quite on the same level of notoriety as Mewtwo, has the same unlock requirements. You need the National Pokédex and to have caught Latias, Latios, and either one of the Legendary Beasts or Birds, depending on your version of the game. This time, you will need to trade for the Oceanic Slate in Ramanas Park and use it on the pedestal in the Ocean Room that you can find by surfing to the cave entrance to the northeast of the Discovery Room. He’s a tough catch, but a strong Legendary to add to your team.
Getting a Phione is a rather unique process compared to the other Legendary and Mythic Pokémon. Rather than catch it, you need to create it. You will do this by putting a Manaphy and a Ditto together in the daycare center (located in Solaceon Town) until they breed. The resulting egg, once hatched, will produce your very own Phione.
Get yourself the National Pokédex and then make your way back to Ramanas Park. This time, you’ll want to trade for a Discovery Slate and bring it into, you guessed it, the Discovery Room. Place it on the pedestal, and Regice will spawn for you to add to your collection.
Latias won’t appear until you have the National Pokédex and have already caught the three Legendary Titans inside Ramanas Park. Once you have, grab yourself a Soul Slate from the entrance, and take it over to the Soul Room. Plop it down in the usual spot, and Latias will appear to take you on.
Groudon is another Legendary that has a lot of requirements. Like Mewtwo, you need the National Pokédex, all three Legendary Titans, Latios, Latias, and either all three Legendary Beasts if you have Brilliant Diamond or all three Legendary Birds on Shining Pearl. Once you’ve accomplished all that, grab yourself a Tectonic Slate from the counter at Ramanas Park, make your way to the Tectonic Room, and summon Groudon by placing it on the pedestal.
If Mewtwo isn’t the most iconic Legendary Pokémon, Mew would be the one to contest that position. However, unlike Mewtwo, Mew can only be obtained if you have already bought and played a different Pokémon game. Go back to the man you get the Jirachi from who stands in the flowers in the southern corner of Floarama Town. Standing right beside him is a woman who can give you a Mew, but she’ll only hand over this iconic creature if you have save data from either Pokémon: Let’s Go! Pikachu or Pokémon: Let’s Go! Evee on your device.
Registeel just needs you to have the National Pokédex and a Discovery Slate. As usual, take the slate through Ramanas Park to the Discovery Room, set it down, and call out Registeel.
Latios has the exact same requirements as Latias: To acquire the National Pokédex and all three Legendary Titans in Ramanas Park. From that point, trade for a Soul Slate to bring to the Soul Room and summon Latios to battle.
Another of the most iconic Legendary Pokémon in the series, Rayquaza also comes with the most requirements, like a few others. You’ll need the National Pokédex, all three Legendary Titans, Latias, Latios, and either all three Legendary Beasts for players on Brilliant Diamond or all three Legendary Birds in Shining Pearl. The specific slate you need to take into the park this time is called the Stratospheric Slate, which, obviously, goes in the Stratospheric Room. Pop it into place to call upon this Legendary Pokémon.
Brilliant Diamond exclusive Legendaries
Dialga is the first Legendary you will encounter in Brilliant Diamond, though it comes near the end of the game when you’re in the Spear Pillar area. Don’t worry about missing it since it is impossible to miss while going through the main story.
With the National Pokédex in your bag, as well as the three Legendary Titans from Ramanas Park, you can trade for the Johto Slate. Take it into the Johto Room, do the usual, and Raikou will spawn just for you.
Entei has all the same requirements as Raikou, including getting the Johto Slate, so just repeat the process to capture this Pokémon.
Suicune works exactly like Entei and Raikou. Get the National Pokédex, Johto Slate, and bring it to the room for a battle.
Ho-oh is the hardest of the exclusive Brilliant Diamond Legendaries to get, but it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. You need the National Pokédex, all three Legendary Titans, Latios, Latias, and the three Legendary Beasts. Pick up a Rainbow Slate from the counter, head to the Rainbow Room in Ramanas Park, and summon Ho-oh to capture it.
Shining Pearl exclusive Legendaries
Palkia works exactly like Dialga in Brilliant Diamond. Just go through the story, and you’ll run into it at the Spear Pillar zone.
Articuno is the first of the three Legendary Birds and, just like the three exclusive Legendaries in Brilliant Diamond, all have the same requirements. All you need is the National Pokémon and to have caught the three Legendary Titans in Ramanas Park. Once done, trade for the Kanto Slate at the counter and bring it to the Kanto Room to summon Aritcuno.
Again, simply follow the same steps as you would to fight Articuno for Zapdos.
Perform the previous steps one last time to complete the trilogy of Legendary Birds with Moltres.
Lugia is the Ho-oh equivalent for Shining Pearl. Once you’ve got the National Pokédex, all three Legendary Titans, Latios, Latias, and the prior three Legendary Birds, you can trade for the Squall Slate at Ramanas Park. Take it to the Squall Room and summon your very last Legendary Pokémon.