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I defeated Cobalion and friends because I didn't buy ultra balls so if I ever feel like it, can I fight and catch them again or are they dead for good?

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Yes, you can catch them again

As with most legendary Pokemon, if you faint the Pokemon when you could've caught it, you must beat the Elite 4, then they will respawn in the same locations as before, and you can catch them since you fainted them the first time, however, be warned as they will now appear at level 65, instead of 45, like their in game encounters.

You must beat the Elite 4 though, so if you haven't fought the E4 yet, you must before they will respawn
This also applies to running away from them.
Source: Looking at the answers for other questions like this with other legendaries, as well at looking at Cobalion, Virizon, and Terrakion pages to find out if they move, and at what level they are when they respawn.

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Pretty sure isnt enough to answer, although you are correct
Who can turn this answer into a comment.
I'm not sure whether this should be converted or not. Maybe wait for a editor or mod to take their decision.
That is a good answer, worthy of BA.
This answer is correct and worthy of ba other than saying you have to beat the E4 twice that is not true.
Just fixed it.