First introduced in Generation 2, Dark-type Pokemon are the cool choice for Pokemon trainers. Literally referred to as the "evil" type in Japan, these Pokemon are up there with Poison-Types in their popularity among the bad guys. Almost every evil team leader has one or more Dark-types on their team, and they're popular among the "gruffer" trainer classes.

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Their muted color palettes and sharper, less friendly designs often mean they rank among the coolest Pokemon in the franchise. They're also interesting from a lore perspective. It is well known that the Pokedex has a dark side, and Pokemon like these allow it to flourish.

Updated November 2, 2021, by Ryan Woodrow: As the Pokemon roster continues to expand with new games on the horizon, Dark-types remain a favorite among fans. While none have been revealed for Pokemon Legends: Arceus yet, some fan-favorites are bound to return.

Similarly, Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl promise to feature all of the beloved Dark Pokemon from the Sinnoh Pokedex. Each Generation's roster brought something new to the type, allowing them to range from powerful, cool, misunderstood, and even a little cute. These popular creatures show great promise for what Game Freak may eventually deliver in the looming ninth Generation of Pokemon games.

8 Generation 1 - Galarian Moltres

pokemon sword and shield galarian moltres location

As Dark-type Pokemon weren't added until Generation 2, there are actually none among Generation 1's regular roster. Thankfully, some Generation 1 Pokemon later became Dark-Types thanks to Mega-Evolutions and regional forms.

Moltres is one such regional form. Moltres' regular design was never particularly interesting. It was a big bird that was on fire, not much to it. The Galarian Form variant mixes it up to be much cooler. Its fire now blazes a fierce red, and its facial features were sharpened to make a much more threatening Pokemon.

Moltres is a fairly powerful Legendary Pokemon, with a Base Stat total of 580. Its Galarian Form is more effective at defense than its Kantonian counterpart. Sacrificing a little attacking power for a big boost in both Special Defence and Speed.


7 Generation 2 - Tyranitar

Pokemon Tyranitar with James

As Generation 2 introduced the Dark-type, there is a lot of competition for the spot of "best". Umbreon and Sneasel are both fan favorites, but Tyranitar wins out by being the strongest. It's Johto's Pseudo-Legendary Pokemon, and it lives up to the name.

It's one of the coolest looking Psuedo-Legendaries, with spikes galore and a muted green coloring that would look ugly if it wasn't thematically appropriate. According to the Pokedex, its footsteps can cause mountains to crumble and it has instincts only for destruction.

Like all Pseudo-Legendaries, its Base Stat total comes to 600, an astonishing number that has seen Tyranitar have significant competitive usage over the years. It's insane 134 in Attack is the standout, but it's backed up with two strong defensive stats, too, both of which are over 100. Its Speed is a slightly pitiful 61, but it arguably doesn't need it given how hard it can hit.

6 Generation 3 - Absol

Pokemon Absol

Generation 3 is another with a wide selection of Dark-types. Shiftry is a powerful early-game Pokemon, and Sharpedo is a strong fan-favorite from that Generation. However, what sets Absol apart from those is the brilliant lore behind it.

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Absol is the only Dark-type Pokemon that isn't portrayed as being overtly mischievous. It is known as the Disaster Pokemon because it can sense when natural disasters are coming and appears before people to warn them. Unfortunately, as it always appears before a disaster, it has caused people to believe it is a herald of doom, hence the Dark-typing. On top of that, it is visually wonderful. The white and black contrast in a way that both look cool, and makes thematic sense. Its horn adds just enough flavor to make it beautiful in its subtlety.

Absol's Base Stat comes to a modest 465. It's not a super-powerful Pokemon, but with 135 in Attack, it can hit just as hard as Tyranitar with the right move. It's not great from a defensive standpoint, with both sitting at 60, but its Special Attack and Speed are both above average as a result.

5 Generation 4 - Darkrai

Pokemon Darkrai

The only Legendary Pokemon to be pure Dark-type, Darkrai is a strong representation of the type in a Generation with a few strong candidates. Weavile is a very cool design, and Spiritomb is an oddity that draws people in.

Darkrai has a lot going for it. It has a cool and detailed design, as much Mythical Pokemon do, and Generation 4 is the era where Mythical Pokemon events were enjoyable in-game mini-adventures. What tops it off, though, is that one of the best Pokemon movies centers around Darkrai, which makes it all the more notable.

One of the stronger Mythical Pokemon, Darkrai's 135 Attack is enough to leave any Pokemon quaking in their boots. Dark Void can potentially put multiple opposing Pokemon to sleep, a tactic that almost completely immobilizes opposing teams.

4 Generation 5 - Zoroark

Pokemon Zoroark

Another Pokemon that got the movie treatment, Zoroark is one of Generation 5's most recognizable Pokemon. While Generation 5 is often lambasted for having many sub-par Pokemon designs, the Dark-types are almost entirely great. Bisharp, Scrafty, Krookodile, and Hydreigon are all fantastic Pokemon among their ranks.

Zoroark has a unique ability where it will disguise itself as a different Pokemon when switched into battle. It takes some strategizing to make this work, but it can be a lot of fun to hoodwink an opponent into playing a bad move on a disguised Zoroark.

Along with its unique ability, it packs some powerful attacks. 105 in Physical Attack and 125 in Special Attack mean that it can easily slap about a Pokemon not expecting it. This is helped by the fantastic Speed it holds, also at 105. Its defenses aren't great, but given that it can hit hard and fast, that doesn't matter.

3 Generation 6 - Greninja

Pokemon Greninja with Ash

Generation 6 added the smallest pool of new Pokemon to date (not including alternate forms), so it's no surprise that Dark-types are hard to come by. In fact, other than Greninja, Yveltal and Malamar are the only Dark-types in the entire Generation.

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Greninja is a big fan-favorite Pokemon. Any Pokemon popular enough to be added into Smash Bros is worth shouting about. The "ninja" elements of the design have meshed really well with the typical design tropes of a water Starter Pokemon, so it's no surprise that fans gravitated towards it.

In its regular form, it has fairly average stats. The only thing worth shouting about is the 103 in Special Attack and 122 in Speed. However, if Greninja has the Battle-Bond ability and transforms into Ash-Greninja, then it will be welcomed with monstrous stats like 145 Physical Attack and 153 Special Attack.

2 Generation 7 - Incineroar

Pokemon Incineroar

Astoundingly, despite adding more new Pokemon than Generation 6, Generation 7 added fewer Dark-types into the franchise. Not counting Alolan forms, there are only TWO. Incineroar is one, Guzzlord is the other, and it doesn't take a genius to tell which one is more popular amongst the fans.

Incineroar is another Pokemon that has been honored with a spot on the Smash Bros roster, and it makes sense as its design is based on that of pro-wrestling. Incineroar is a "heel" wrestler, also known as a villain wrestler. It uses that to avoid the boring Fire/Fighting combo and roll with Fire/Dark to become an unexpected force in the competitive scene, especially with Intimidate and its hidden ability.

Its ability isn't the only thing that's made it a mainstay in competitive, though. 115 in Attack is enough to make any Pokemon weak to Incineroar sweat, and a 90 in both defensive stats means it can take a decent hit too and stick around for at least a few turns.

1 Generation 8 - Nickit

Pokemon group of Nickit

After a few Generations of relative drought, Generation 8 added a much wider selection of Dark-type Pokemon. Grimmsnarl, Obstagoon, and Zarude are all exceptionally cool Dark-types with many of the best qualities of the type. However, Nickit stands out amongst them because, unlike almost every Pokemon of the type, it is insanely cute.

Dark-types are usually beloved for their cool factor, but Nickit shows that even "evil" can have a cute side. That said, it's still an urban fox, so it raids Pokemon's food stores to feed itself. However, the overall design is very soft, and the burgundy coloring makes it feel like the kind of Pokemon that would be great for a cuddle.

As a pre-evolved Pokemon, Nickit isn't going to have much to offer. A Base Stat total of 245 won't see it used in any competitive battles ever. However, its evolved form, Theivul, boasts a decently fast 90 in Speed and a respectable 87 in Special Attack.

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