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All Lion and Tiger Pokemon Ranked

All Lion and Tiger Pokemon Ranked

Pokemon love to take inspiration from mighty and majestic animals in real life. And there’s nothing more fierce and intimidating than lions and tigers.

In today’s Pokemon list, we’re focusing on the big cats. Here are the best lion and tiger Pokemon and their ranking!

We’ve ranked them based on their lion and tiger origins and character design, as well as how they perform in the games.

Some of them are inspired by lions, tigers, or a mix of both, like Entei and Arcanine. Read on to know why they’re actually based on big wild cats!

With that being said, let’s start this roar-tastic list!

Update (January 22, 2023): We’ve added new Pokemon from Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

12. Shinx

Best Lion Pokemon Shinx
Source: Bulbapedia

Let’s start this list with the cute, tiny, and shiny Shinx! It’s an Electric type that was introduced in Gen 4.

Upon first glance, you probably don’t think of Shinx as a tiger or lion Pokemon. Its ear shape is different, and its snout doesn’t look too cat-like.

However, when you look at Shinx’s name and origins, it is actually based on a lion cub and the mythical creature Sphinx. Shinx also has elements of a lynx kitten, as well as the constellation Leo.

Its human-like ears are probably a reference to how a Sphinx has a human head. Shinx’s face fur also resembles a lynx’s face fluff. Lastly, the star details on Shinx remind us of the Leo constellation.

If you want a lion cub Pokemon that can dish out the sparks, Shinx might be a fun Pokemon for you. It learns Thunder Shock and Charge early on. 

However, its Defense is a bit low, so you might struggle with that. This cub must be protected!

11. Luxio

Best Lion Pokemon Luxio
Source: Bulbapedia

Sparking at number 11 and continuing the Electric lion Pokemon line is Luxio! 

Shinx evolves into Luxio starting at level 15. If Shinx was a baby lion, Luxio is now an adolescent lion. Although still not that obvious, it has started to grow its mane and take more of the shape of a lion.

It still retains its Sphinx and lynx cat elements. Its tail still has the star shape tip, which probably still references the Leo constellation.

When Luxios gather their tails together, they generate so much electricity to power their claws!

Combat-wise, Luxio has an edge with Volt Switch, which lets it switch with another Pokemon after attacking. Still, the Defense stat of this line has not improved.

10. Litleo

Best Lion Pokemon Litleo
Source: Bulbapedia

Little lion cub Litleo dashes in at number 10!

This Normal/Fire lion Pokemon gets the category Lion Cub, so there’s no doubt it’s actually based on lions. The Pokedex also notes it as a hot-blooded Pokemon, with its mane heating up in battle.

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Sp Attack and Speed are the highest stats for this cub. So expect it to dish out fast and fiery moves, like Take Down and Fire Fang.

Like the Leo Constellation in real life, the Pokemon games have their own similar star phenomena. They call theirs the Litleo Constellation, with a meteor shower called Litleonids happening every 11 or 12 years.

You’re a star, little lion!

9. Luxray

Best Lion Pokemon Luxray
Source: Bulbapedia

At number nine, Luxray unleashes its sparky mane!

While Shinx and Luxio weren’t too obvious with their lion features, Luxray now sports a full mane. With its sharp eyes that can detect almost anything, Luxray is a fearsome predator.

Its pre-evolutions had not-so-stellar Defense stats, but at least there’s a way to make Luxray sturdier. With an Intimidate ability, it can lower its foe’s Attack. And with the move Charge, it can up its own Sp Atk.

If you teach it the TM Eerie Impulse, it can further lower the enemy’s Sp Atk, making hits on Luxray weaker. Not bad, Luxray!

8. Chien-Pao

Source: Bulbapedia

If you haven’t played Pokemon Scarlet and Violet yet, particularly its post-game content, this entry will be a surprise.

After collecting 32 stakes scattered across Paldea, you unlock the shrines that seal the Treasures of Ruin. These are the secret Legendary Pokemon of Scarlet and Violet, which were sealed because of the curse and destruction they caused.

Each Legendary represent an ancient relic that got cursed due to humanity’s negative emotions. Chien-Pao is the Dark/Ice Legendary Pokemon of the group.

It resembles a snow leopard and a Smilodon or a saber-toothed cat. Ice crystals in the shape of diamonds adorn its body, while its fangs look like two pieces of a broken sword’s blades.

Chien-Pao is actually the true form of the sword. The sword has slain a lot of people in the past, and the hatred of its victims gave life and form to it.

As an Ice Legendary, Chien-Pao has incredible control over ice and snow. In fact, it can control a hundred tons of snow, according to the Pokedex.

Stats-wise, it has high Attack and very high Speed, making it the fastest among all Dark type Pokemon.

7. Arcanine

Best Lion Pokemon Arcanine
Source: Bulbapedia

I know what you’re thinking. Why would Arcanine be on this list if it’s a canine?

Here’s a quick mythology lesson. Arcanine is actually based on shisa and komainu statues. These stone figures look like dogs and lions combined together. They are placed in temples, houses, and such, often in pairs, to guard everyone from evil spirits.

So technically, Arcanine is part lion!

The theory of its shisa and komainu origins solidify some more in Pokemon Legends: Arceus.

In it, this fire lion Pokemon actually gets a new form! Hisuian Arcanine gains statue features and actually becomes a Fire/Rock type.

On the battle side of things, its offensive and team player capabilities are pretty good. Attack is its highest stat, with noteworthy Speed. Its Intimidate ability lowers the enemy’s Attack stat too. 

Overall, Arcanine as a fire lion Pokemon is quite a surprise in our list!

6. Landorus – Therian Forme

Best Tiger Pokemon Landorus Therian Forme
Source: Bulbapedia

I know, I know – this Pokemon doesn’t look like a lion or a tiger either! But hear me out – Landorus is possibly based on a tiger.

Black and White introduced the concept of the Forces of Nature, who are Legendary Pokemon able to control the power of the wind, lightning, and earth. Legends: Arceus added their fourth member.

In their regular Incarnate Forme, they look like genies floating on a cloud. But when they transform into their Therian Forme, they take on an animalistic look.

In Chinese mythology, there is the concept of the Four Symbols. Each of the main cardinal directions gets a guardian.

East gets the Azure Dragon, while south gets the Vermilion Bird. Black Tortoise goes south, and the west has the White Tiger.

In their Therian Formes, the Forces of Nature literally turn into these creatures! Landorus might not look like a white tiger, but its orange skin and stripes do resemble a regular tiger.

Landorus shows its might with moves like Earthquake and Earth Power. When it turns into a tiger Pokemon, it ups its Attack stat too. 

The Pokedex notes that wherever Landorus goes, the land will be bountiful due to its blessing. Grace us with your presence, oh great tiger!

5. Entei

Best Lion Pokemon Entei
Source: Bulbapedia

Surprising you at number five is Entei, the fire type Legendary from Gen 2!

Why is Entei included in this list, you ask? Simple – Entei and the rest of the Legendary Beasts trio are actually based on the big cats of the wild. 

From Ken Sugimori and Muneo Saito’s conversation, the trio are based on lions, tigers, and leopards.

For Entei, he’s a fire lion Pokemon, with some characteristics of a mastiff dog. Its long, brown fur and jowls do resemble that of a dog!

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Entei’s origin is a bit bittersweet. The burning of the Brass Tower took the lives of three unknown Pokemon, but Legendary bird Ho-oh gave them a new chance in life.

Each three Pokemon represents one element related to the Brass Tower incident. For Entei, it represents the flames that engulfed the tower.

With that flame, Entei dominates its foes with exceptional fire moves. Sacred Fire can frustrate even the most fire-resistant Pokemon. Entei’s high Attack and HP help a lot in combat as well.

The biggest downside to Entei is its not-so-good longevity, since its PP for these strong fire attacks are quite low. Hang in there, Entei!

4. Raikou

Best Tiger Pokemon Raikou
Source: Bulbapedia

Thunder and lightning, very very frightening – Raikou zaps in at number four!

Another Gen 2 Legendary joins our list. As mentioned earlier, the Legendary Dogs aren’t actually full canines. With Raikou, it’s based on a tiger.

If Entei represents the fire in the tower, Raikou stands for the lightning that started the whole thing.

The tiger and electric elements are more obvious on Raikou, given its yellow fur and black stripes. Its long fangs also resemble that of a saber-toothed cat.

And like a quick zap of lightning, Raikou’s advantage over other lion and tiger Pokemon and Electric types is its high Speed. Its Sp Atk is equally high too. So moves like Thunder, Thunderbolt, and Zap Cannon are exceptional.

3. Pyroar

Best Lion Pokemon Pyroar
Source: Bulbapedia

Marching in with their glorious manes at number three are the majestic Pyroars!

Evolving from Litleo after level 35, Pyroar now looks more like a grown lion.

Depending on Litleo’s gender, Pyroar can have different manes. A female Pyroar will have a long and slender mane, while a male one will have a bushy mane all over its head. 

Its red and yellow mane colors represent its Fire/Normal typing. The male Pyroar’s mane also looks like the character daimonji and kanji for fire.

It also shows its fiery characteristics with its stats and moves. Pyroar has good Attack and Speed stats. You can hotly maneuver through things with Flamethrower and Hyper Voice!

While there are other stronger Fire types and fire lion Pokemon, what gives Pyroar its edge is its overall character design. If you’ve been wanting a lion Pokemon for ages now, your prayers have been answered in the form of Pyroar.

2. Solgaleo

Best Lion Pokemon Solgaleo
Source: Bulbapedia

Known as the beast that devours the sun, Solgaleo shines bright at number two!

Solgaleo is one of the most unique lion Pokemon in the series. From its name, you might think that it’s a Fire type. Surprisingly, it gets Psychic/Steel as its typing instead.

According to its lore, Solgaleo is merely an emissary of the sun instead of its personification. It can shine so bright that it can make nighttime seem like midday!

Sol is Latin for sun, and leo is Latin for lion. The gal part might be a reference to Galileo, who pushed for the idea that the Earth revolves around the sun instead. Clever name!

Combat-wise, using Solgaleo is a bit niche. You can still have fun with it with moves like Sunsteel Strike, Zen Headbutt, and Morning Sun. Its Full Metal Body ability stops foes from lowering its stats as well.

So while other Steel or Psychic Pokemon are more adept with their stats and moves, Solgaleo is still a pretty fun lion Pokemon to have. Wouldn’t you want the sun devourer to be on your team?

1. Incineroar

Best Tiger Pokemon Incineroar
Source: Bulbapedia

Entering the ring and incinerating its competition, here’s Incineroar winning our list!

For others who think Incineroar is just one big cat Pokemon, there is actually evidence that it’s based on a tiger – and a wrestling tiger, at that!

The manga and anime Tiger Mask features a heel wrestler who was popular for his aggressive role. It was all for show, of course, but he had a change of heart when a little boy wanted to grow up to be a bad guy like him!

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Interestingly, Incineroar is known to be violent and hard-headed to its trainer. It thrives and gets energized when the crowd cheers for it! 

But it has a soft heart for kids and young Pokemon. Incineroar feels secretly happy when they cheer for him. It will also refuse to fight anyone who is weak or injured.

This fire tiger Pokemon is pretty fun in combat too. Due to its unique Fire/Dark combo typing, you can try different things with your strategy.

Incineroar can also be bulky and resilient, especially with its Intimidate ability.

You wrestled the other lions and tigers and won the belt, Incineroar!

Pokemon Incineroar
Source: Bulbapedia

We’ve done sheep, snakes, and even dinosaurs. What animal in the Pokemon world will we feature next? Stay tuned for more!