Number 10: Kyurem
I must admit that I am not the biggest fan of the Generation 5 designs. To this day I also have not beaten Black and White 2 due to lack of interest. This is not me hating on the games so keep those pitchforks away thank you. Regardless, I know a good Pokémon when I see one and that brings me to my number 10, Kyurem. Kyurem is a legendary Dragon/Ice Pokémon and to this date the only one with this unique typing. Both are some of my favourite types so the combination already intrigues me. This combination does still keep all the weaknesses of both types except the Fire type however. In the original Black and White Kyurem was found in the Giant Chasm, where he could be caught and that was pretty much it. There wasn’t much lore behind the Pokémon, and many people assumed he would play a bigger role in the fabled Pokémon Gray. This game of course never happened and instead we got Black 2 and White 2, where it did indeed play a major role. Kyurem is the only Pokémon able to fuse with others, namely the mascots of the original game Reshiram and Zekrom. All three Pokémon are based on the concept of Yin and Yang, with Kyurem being Wuji, explaining their connection. Regular Kyurem can hold his own in battle very well—he’s a legendary Pokémon after all—and has access to many Ice and Dragon moves, including his exclusive move Glaciate. Combine him with Reshiram or Zekrom however, and you also get benefits like their special moves. One form is more specialized in normal attack, while the other is in special attack. I do think the original Kyurem looks.. kinda boring to be honest, but combine him with his two companions, especially Zekrom, and he looks a whole lot better.
Number 9: Regice
From one legendary to the other, Regice is part of the Regi trio from Generation 3. Regice is one of the few pure Ice types, meaning that its weaknesses are obvious. Surprisingly despite being pure ice, it does not learn a lot of ice moves by regular levelling, but can be taught multiple by using TMs. It is less of a physical fighter and more focusing on special attack and especially special defense to the point where his special defense stat is the highest among all legendaries, but it only really helps a lot against Fire. Regice’s design is simplistic but works very well, as it is literally designed after an ice golem from the Hebrew legends. The Regis were manmade and created as servants, referencing their name as Regis is Latin for loyal. But the main reason I like Regice quite a lot is because of my history with the original games. All of the Regis were hidden very well and you had to do specific things for them after unlocking their tombs. For example, using fly in the middle of the tomb or running clockwise in a room. As a kid I had absolutely no way of knowing this, but because Pokémon was quite the hype back in the day, everyone at school was talking about and eventually with the help of the internet, I finally found out how to get my hands on the fabled Regis. It is mostly for that reason Regice is number 9 on my list, but the Herbew legends inspiration is very welcome as well.
Number 8: Swinub line
The Swinub line consist of three Pokemon, originally from Generation 2 with Mamoswine from Generation 4. I don’t really have a favourite among those three so I’ve put the entire evolution line as number 8. All three share the same type combination, namely Ice and Ground. This combination exclusive to this line make it so that they lose many of the weaknesses ice has.. but in turn gain the weaknesses of the Ground type. Grass, Water and Steel, types normally unimportant to Ice types, are now strong against these Pokémon. Fortunately they are completely immune to Electric type moves. Swinub starts as a sort of guinea pig/wild boar combination, evolving slowly into Piloswine who has both yak and mammoth traits, and finally Mamoswine who is mostly a mammoth. All forms do truly remind me of northern animals, which is fitting as Swinub is originally found in the northern mountains of Johto. The first two in the evolutionary line look adorable, while Mamoswine looks more ferocious. By levelling they learn some of the better moves of both types, and have access to a big variety of TMs. They are less focused on special stats and instead on physical stats such as HP and attack. They are simple Pokémon: what you see if what you get, and they deliver on your expectations well.
Number 7: Alolan Vulpix and Ninetales
Another entry with two Pokémon which I can’t really decide between; the adorable Vulpix or the majestic Ninetales. Originally from Generation 1 as fire Pokémon, when emigrating to Alola they suddenly transform into ice Pokémon due to the difference in environment. While Alolan Vulpix remains Ice only, Ninetales also gains the Fairy type which gives her quite a lot of resistances and less weaknesses, but it’s better if she stays away from Steel Pokémon because they’d gladly slice her up. Both Pokémon are based on the Japanese mythology youkais called Kitsune, with Ninetales in particular being based on the nine-tailed fox. Clever name I know. They both discard their red/golden fur in exchange for a white coat. While being part Fairy however, the only move Ninetales learns is Dazzling Gleam at evolution, so other fairy moves have to be taught through TMs. Their stats are very solid, hanging slightly more towards being a special attacker and defender than physical. Overall two very solid Pokémon designed after mythological beings, and that work well as both Fire and Ice Pokémon.
Number 6: Articuno
We’ll stay in the first generation for now as we take a look at the final Legendary, Articuno. Yes, there are only three Ice legendary Pokémon, how sad. Articuno is part of the three legendary birds of the Kanto region, and one of my first legendaries I’ve ever caught. Designed after multiple birds including the Simurgh, Articuno is a blue coated bird with a long tail and a cocky attitude, and with a good shiny form that makes the blue coat more light-blueish. Jeez I hated fighting this cocky bird in the first Pokémon Mystery Dungeon when I was younger. Being a bird, it should come as no surprise that Articuno’s other typing is Flying, which as usual removed some weaknesses but makes her vulnerable to lightning and especially weak against rock types. The name deprives from Artic and Uno, the latter being Spanish for one as Articuno being the first of the legendary birds. It also plays a pretty big role in the second Pokémon movie, which I haven’t watched in forever so.. I kinda forgot what happened again except for that beautiful flute play. Articuno is a pretty standard Pokémon overall. Learns enough Ice and Flying moves and able to learn them through TMs, and stats are spread pretty much equally with a small advantage to special. Solid Pokémon overall, and my sixth favourite Ice Pokémon.