Phione's status as a Mythical Pokémon is often disputed, with contradiction occurring even between official sources.
Phione is a blue Pokémon with a round head and a tiny body. Phione's head is crowned by a flotation sac with a long, ribbon-like antenna. Its mouth is small, and its eyes are large with blue sclera and gray irises. Above its eyes are two blue, circular markings connected to the eyes by a thin black line. Its long, flipper-like arms have rounded tips. Phione has a red, oval gem on its chest and a single rudimentary foot spike.
Phione inflates the sac on its head to drift in the water and search for food. When the water grows warm, it will drift in packs with other members of its species. No matter how far it has drifted, it will always return to the place where it was born.
Phione is also not needed to obtain the diploma, a trait otherwise exclusive to Mythical Pokémon.
Phione is banned from the Battle Frontier, the Battle Subway, the Pokémon World Tournament, and the Battle Maison, a rule which typically applies only to Mythical Pokémon and major Legendary Pokémon; the only non-Mythical Pokémon to have been event-only at one point, Zorua and Zoroark, were allowed in the Battle Subway, indicating Phione's battle facility ban may be due to it being Mythical.
Phione is also banned from most online competitions and online battles.
In Explorers of Time, Darkness and Sky, Phione has a 100% recruit rate, is never battled, and the player is not allowed to recruit more than one to their team, all of which are traits otherwise only exhibited by Legendary and Mythical Pokémon.
In Super Mystery Dungeon, Hoopa is able to summon Phione as an ally. Only Legendary and Mythical Pokémon are able to be summoned in this way.
In Pokémon Rumble Blast, Phione can only be unlocked once a certain number of customers have shopped at the Toy Shop, a trait otherwise exclusive to Legendary and Mythical Pokémon.
Phione was featured in Pokémon.com's 2012 Pokémon Power Bracket, a single-elimination tournament where all other Pokémon in the bracket were Legendary and Mythical Pokémon.
Phione can breed to produce another Phione; this is impossible with any other Legendary and Mythical Pokémon. However, Manaphy can also breed to produce Phione, and Manaphy is a confirmed Mythical Pokémon.
Pokémon.com's mailbag was once asked[dead link] if Phione was Legendary. The official answer was initially no, but was quickly changed to yes; the whole mailbag section has since been taken down with the restructure of Pokémon.com.
Phione is probably based on sea angels, specifically clione. Clione are remarkably popular in Japanese documentaries, especially in Hokkaido, on which Sinnoh is based (this may also explain their appearance in Chocovine Town).
Phione may be a combination of the final syllable of Manaphy and clione (sea angels). Like clione, Phione is pronounced in three syllables.
In other languages
From a combination of final syllable of Manaphy and clione (sea angels)