Two legendary Pokémon, Articuno and Lugia, are now appearing in Raid Battles in Pokémon GO.
If you’re able to take down one of these legendaries, you can capture an Articuno or a Lugia of your very own, but can one of these legendaries subsequently be used to defend a gym?
Unfortunately, legendaries can not be used as gym defenders in Pokémon GO.
This is something Niantic announced when they revealed that legendaries were coming to the game a few days ago. They said on their website, “While Legendary Pokémon will help them take on the toughest Raid Bosses and Gym Battles, they’re not willing to leave their Trainer’s side, so they can’t be left to defend Gyms.”
Although that might be disappointing, it’s also easy to understand Niantic’s reasoning there. Legendaries stationed in gyms would be incredibly difficult to take down, and the game could also get to the point where virtually every single gym was filled with nothing but legendaries as the defenders. Making it so that legendaries can not defend gyms prevents this from happening.
Although you can’t use your legendary Pokémon to defend a gym, you can still use it as a gym attacker.
Right now, the only two legendary Pokémon that are available in Pokémon GO are Articuno and Lugia, which were released at the end of Pokémon GO Fest Chicago. The Pokémon are currently appearing in Raid Battles across the country at a pretty high frequency, though they will likely become more rare after this weekend.
At some point in the near future, Niantic says that it will add Zapdos and Moltres to Raid Battles as well, but they have not yet specified when this will happen. Obviously, Zapdos and Moltres won’t be able to defend gyms either, as the restriction applies to all legendaries.