The debate over which is the best Legendary Pokemon is as old as the franchise itself.
When Generation II and the Johto region arrived, fans were given the choice between two games. Silver saw Lugia grace the cover, while Gold showcased Ho-Oh as its mascot.
Players often choose which version of a Generation they will purchase based on a variety of factors, including which Legendary they prefer. While fans are able to get both creatures via trading and from later games, the Lugia vs. Ho-Oh conversation has never gone away.
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the opinion of the writer.
Which Legendary Pokemon is better - Ho-Oh or Lugia?
It is often up to personal preference which Legendary is considered better. Both Lugia and Ho-Oh are extremely powerful. They both have their place in the anime, the lore, and the games.
Ho-Oh is the trio master of the Legendary beasts of Johto. Lugia is the trio master of the Legendary birds of Kanto. That showcases the immense strength and respect both have gained in the series.
The biggest differences come from their usefulness in battle. Lugia is more of a defensive juggernaut. Ho-Oh has more of an attacking prowess when comparing the two.
In terms of popularity, both are pretty even, with high profile appearances across games, the anime series, and the movies. In terms of battling, however, Lugia may be the better option.
Ho-Oh is a Fire/Flying-type Pokemon. Lugia is a Psychic/Flying-type Pokemon. Despite not being a Water-type, Lugia is the "guardian of the seas," and it has access to a ton of Water-type attacks.
Lugia may have more weaknesses, but pitting them together, Lugia is quicker and can deal supereffective damage to Ho-Oh. Ho-Oh is able to learn Zap Cannon in Generation II, as well as Shadow Ball.
That is a very limited selection compared to Lugia. Lugia can learn moves like Thunder, Hydro Pump, and AncientPower. Ho-Oh can learn AncientPower as well, but if Lugia were to attack with it, Ho-Oh has a 4x weakness to Rock.
Overall, both Pokemon are incredible. They are both insanely strong Legendaries. They are both popular and just plain cool in terms of design. But Lugia takes the slight edge when comparing the two of them as battlers.