Poké Spotlight: Getting To Know Xerneas Outside Of Pokémon GO

Part of the fun of the main series Pokémon games is the lore of each species, which Pokémon GO recreates with short descriptions in their Pokédex entries. However, looking into the roles these Pokémon play in other games, and even the anime, can enrich the experience of hunting these creatures in Niantic's mobile game. In honor of tonight's Xerneas Raid Hour, let's take a deep dive into this Legendary Pokémon's lore.

Xerneas in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Xerneas in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

Dex entry number 716, Xerneas is a pure Fairy-type species from the Kalos Region, introduced into the world of Pokémon with Generation Six. This Legendary Pokémon, like most, has no gender. Referred to as the "Life Pokémon," this is what Xerneas's Dex entry says:

Legends say it can share eternal life. It slept for a thousand years in the form of a tree before its revival.

Now, "tree" and "not tree" aren't Xerneas's only forms in the mythology. "Mode" is the term used for its forms rather than "Formes," as we've seen with Deoxys and others, as these play less of a practical difference. Xerneas has its Neutral Mode which displays icy blue antlers and markings on the chest and legs. When in battle, it takes on the Active Mode appearance with rainbow antlers and yellow markings on its chest and legs as seen above. In Pokémon GO, Xerneas is always in Active Mode when you click on it in your storage. However, before clicking on it, it is in Neutral Mode. You can interact with it in Neutral Mode if you make it your Buddy. Xerneas is thought to be based on both the extinct bush-antlered deer and the mythological tree Yggdrasil.

For fans of the anime, Xerneas features prominently in Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction, the seventeenth movie in the series along with its counterpart Yveltal, which is set to debut in GO later this month.

Other Pokédex entries offer new information about Xerneas:

  • Y: When the horns on its head shine in seven different colors, it is said to be sharing everlasting life.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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