30 Best Dark-Type Pokémon From Every Game: Design A Shadowy Team

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If you’re looking for the coolest, most bad-ass Pokémon to scare your opponents, dark types are the place to start.

It was one of the first new types to be added to the series along with steel in Pokémon Gold & Silver, standing up against the overpowered psychics and giving the games more much-needed balance.

Dark-type is where the most dangerous, chaotic, and overall edgy creatures converge. And it’s the type chosen by some of the most well-loved trainers ever to grace our screens, like Karen from Johto’s Elite 4 and the painfully cute Marnie from Pokémon Sword & Shield.

For those of you who aren’t afraid of the dark, I’ve put together my picks of the best dark types in all of Pokémon. Find your favorite here, train them up, and you can strike fear in the hearts of all trainers. Plus look incredibly cool while doing it.

30. Krookodile

Krookodile Pokémon anime screenshot

We start with a Pokémon few people would have expected so down on this list, given the relatively high value its versatile Ground/Dark typing and solid offensive stats give it in competitive play.

But this isn’t a “strongest Pokémon” list, and this lizard has a lot to answer for when it comes to its design.

I mean, who thought painting a crocodile red and putting a mask on it was cool enough for a Pokémon? And what are those cartoonish proportions?

For a Pokémon that can literally swim in desert sands, this is disappointing. Strong and great for its typing, but let’s keep looking at some more options.


29. Cacturne

Cacturne from Pokémon anime

Another denizen of the desert with a considerably more interesting design is Cacturne.

If there’s one thing both scarecrows and cacti have in common, it’s standing in a single place without moving an inch. And that’s exactly what this grass/dark type does for most of the day.

However once the night falls, gangs of Cacturne will quietly skulk through the desert, following caravans and lonely travelers waiting for the right moment to strike. Spooky stuff.

It’s amazing to think such a sinister creature evolves from the spherically cute Cacnea.


28. Spiritomb

Spiritomb in Pokémon anime screenshot

Known as the Forbidden Pokémon, this gen IV creature is said to have been formed by 108 spirits binding themselves to a crack in a rock.

Quite a dark past already.

This Ghost/Dark monster used to be a popular Pokémon in competitive play thanks to its typing, which made it immune to three types and weak to none.

But then Fairy monsters came along to shatter the status quo, and this guy was quickly forgotten. Still great to run with but not as strong as before.


27. Sableye

Sableye Pokémon

Introduced in gen III, Sableye quickly became the favorite of many who found its lifeless eyes and demonic look quite appealing.

This jeweled imp is known (aplty) as the darkness Pokémon.

And it owes all the bling on its body to the many gems and minerals that comprise its diet. People in the Pokémon world fear its unnatural appearance, believing it to rob humans of their spirit. But we all know that’s just prejudices against its Dark/Ghost-type.

Despite having unremarkable stats all around, Sableye is valued as a utilitarian Pokémon thanks to its Prankster ability and access to status-altering moves, as well as its resistant Mega Evolution.


26. Skuntank

Skuntank Pokémon anime screenshot

Creatures all over the world have been using their foul aroma as a deterrent ever since smelling was a thing.

This critter has perfected scent to the point where it’s Stench ability is capable of making even the strongest Pokémon flinch.

Skuntank is a surprisingly competent dual Poison/Dark-type with access to some really interesting moves such as Toxic, Taunt, and Explosion.

It also has access to the Aftermath ability, which damages an attacking Pokémon for 1/4th of its max HP if they knock out Skuntank with a contact move. Pretty sweet.

But like with real-life skunks, you should keep your distance from this critter unless it’s your own.


25. Drapion

Drapion Pokémon

Look I know, its funny body shape isn’t exactly “cool” and nobody gets what “Ogre Scorp Pokémon” is even supposed to mean.

But you have to give this gen IV critter a chance!

Not only are its claws strong enough to rip a car in half thanks to a solid Attack stat, but its access to moves like Earthquake and Aqua Tail provide excellent coverage against most types.

The Sniper ability takes its offensive capabilities further by powering up any critical hits this Poison/Dark-type manages to land.

And that’s only scratching the tip of the darkness iceberg. The more you learn about Drapion, the more you’ll get why desert dwellers call it the “Sand Demon”.


24. Mightyena

Mightyena from Pokémon anime

In the first couple of Pokémon generations, getting a dark-type took a little bit of effort.

You had to progress considerably before you even got to see one of these guys in action.

Everything changed once generation 3 rolled around and Poochyena became readily available for trainers just starting their adventure throughout the Hoenn region.

Not only was it incredibly cute, but its type became a great asset during the first sections of the game.

Even after stronger, more unique dark monasters became available, many trainers decided to keep their now-evolved Mightyena in their party until the end. Its bite is nothing to mess with.


23. Thievul

Thievul Pokémon screenshot

Among the most recent dark-type additions to make the list is Galar’s resident Fox Pokémon, Thievul.

This sly fox with a tiny mustache uses its excellent sense of smell to detect threats while carrying out its heists all over the region.

It’s especially wary of Boltund, its natural enemy.

In combat, this penchant for stealth and quick thinking is represented by the Run Away ability, which guarantees escaping from any random encounter out in the field. Surprisingly a very useful ability to have.

A more offensive option is Stakeout, which lets it deal double damage to Pokémon being switched in during trainer battles.


22. Crawdaunt

Crawdaunt Pokémon screenshot

I’ve always loved Crawdaunt because of just how similar its behavior is to that of a real-world lobster, always itching for a fight to prove its place in the power hierarchy.

This gen III critter is hyper-territorial, getting into brutal battles against any Pokémon coming into whatever water body Crawdaunt calls home.

This aggressive nature makes the Rogue Pokémon very hard to raise, but also a very powerful asset.

It’s valued for its amazing Attack stat, which is backed up by the Hyper Cutter ability keeping it from being lowered by its opponent.


21. Shiftry

Shiftry Pokémon

My favorite Pokémon designs have always been those inspired by the myths and legends of real-world cultures, especially those of Game Freak’s home country of Japan.

Shiftry is known as the Wicked Pokémon, and it’s a perfect example. It’s based on the Japanese myth of the Tengu, long-nosed ogres with the power to create horrible windstorms. Just like Shiftry is said to do.

Thanks to its offensive Grass/Dark typing, Shiftry’s solid Attack and Sp. Attack really get a chance to shine. Especially if fighting under intense sunlight, as the Chlorophyll ability will make it faster than ever.


20. Pangoro

Pangoro from Pokémon

After Dreamwork’s 2008 Kung Fu Panda became a worldwide phenomenon, it was just a matter of time before Pokémon paid homage to the martial artist.

Pangoro tends to resolve conflicts with violence and brutality. That said, this aggressiveness is often directed at bullies and other wrongdoers. It’s a fighter with a heart of gold.

In combat, this Fighting/Dark-type shines as a competent physical attacker, especially with the Scrappy ability letting it damage Ghost-types even with Fighting-type moves. Quite an ability!


19. Incineroar

Incineroar in Pokémon anime screenshot

Known as the Heel Pokémon, Incineroar is the mature form of the adorable Fire/Dark-type starter Litten from Gen VII.

This fierce anthropomorphic feline is known for its immense fighting spirit, which makes the flames on its waistline flare whenever it gets excited at the prospect of a battle.

This violent personality often makes it hard to manage, and it’s known to get carried away to the point of attacking trainers directly.

Despite having such an aggressive personality, Incineroar’s stats are pretty balanced. This makes it a versatile fighter that can’t quite find a niche in which to excel.

It can take a beating and give one in return. But its terrible speed keeps it from realizing its true potential.


18. Bisharp

Bisharp Pokémon screenshot

Pokémon’s fifth generation is known for featuring some very questionable designs. And the Sword Blade Pokémon might be one of the most unique.

Looking like a sword-based super sentai character, Bisharp is supposed to resemble a Bishop like the ones you’d see on a chessboard.

It evolves from Pawniard at the rather high level of 52. And once it does, it takes its place as the Commander-in-Chief of the Pawniard army.

This Dark/Steel-type excels at dealing physical damage thanks to its solid Attack stat and access to Swords Dance, which can raise it even further.


17. Honchkrow

Honchkrow from Pokémon anime

Another Pokémon widely known to lead younger members of its evolution line is Honchkrow.

This Dark/Flying-type is an avian Godfather, taking advantage of its Murkrow followers to do its bidding without so much as a thought for their safety.

The merciless nature of the system makes sure only the strongest Murkrow survive long enough to become the next Honchkrow.


16. Sharpedo

Sharpedo group swimming in the water, anime screenshot

First introduced in Hoenn to populate the seas as a new water monster, Sharpedo is notorious for its incredibly aggressive behavior and all-around dangerous anatomy.

Not only can this Water/Dark dual type propel itself at enough speed to punch a hole in any seafaring vessel standing in its way, but its Rough Skin is liable to damage anyone just by coming into contact with it.

This is represented in combat with excellent offensive stats and high speed, all of which is taken to an extreme by the Pokémon’s Mega Evolution.


15. Houndoom

Houndoom Pokémon

While Pokédex descriptions have a slight tendency to go down dark paths, few things are as terrifying as Houndoom’s.

What at first glance looks like your regular, run-of-the-mill demonic Rottweiler, takes a turn for the worst once you check your portable Pokémon encyclopedia. It explains that this little guy spews Napalm-like burning poison capable of causing immeasurable pain that never goes away.

So that’s fun, right?

As if that wasn’t enough, gen VI introduced Houndoom’s Mega Evolution, which takes its already high offensive capabilities to a whole other level. A truly bad-ass dark type for your team.


14. Zoroark

Zoroark Pokémon anime

Less gruesome but just as menacing is Zoroark, Gen V’s Illusion Fox Pokémon.

This reclusive creature makes its home deep within the forests of the Unova region and uses its powerful illusions to divert would-be hunters and explorers away from its nest.

While these illusions are generally used to avoid conflict, it can also trap its enemies in gruesome illusions as punishment for meddling in its affairs.

In combat, this dark-type monster will go into battle disguised as another Pokémon from its party, often causing its foes to make grave tactical mistakes.


13. Weavile

Weavile from Pokémon anime

Where Zoroark protects itself and its young through its illusions, gen IV’s Weavile takes a more strategic approach.

It coordinates the movements of its entire pack by leaving markings on their environment.

They have over 500 different signs with complex meanings, making this system comparable to a written language. Just some fun facts for you Weavile fans.

Even without the support of its pack, the Sharp Claw Pokémon is perfectly capable of defending itself against the strongest of opponents, thanks to its aggressive Dark/Ice-type and exceptional Attack and Speed stats.


12. Zarude

Zarude Pokémon anime screenshot

Very little is known about one of the most recent additions to Pokémon Sword & Shield, the Dark/Grass-type mythical Pokémon Zarude.

Dubbed the Rogue Monkey Pokémon, this angry-looking primate has the power to grow special vines from its arms that it can use both to damage opponents or heal allies.

Zarude is at its best when fighting under intense sunlight, as its Leaf Guard ability will prevent it from being affected by status ailments.

It may be hard to rank such a mysterious Pokémon, but the excitement surrounding its arrival is reason enough to feature it on our list.


11. Obstagoon

Obstagoon Pokémon Sword Shield battle screenshot

With a bad attitude and a stylish black & white look based on the ultra-famous rock band KISS, Obstagoon is one of the most unique yet creative additions to the Pokémon roster.

This Dark/Normal dual type is known as the Blocking Pokémon for its signature move Obstruct, which blocks all incoming damage and lowers the foe’s defense considerably.

While that may make you think Obstagoon is all about defense, it’s actually pretty aggressive. This guy can get abilities such as Reckless, Guts and Defiant all revolving around heightening its offensive capabilities.


10. Grimmsnarl

Grimmsnarl Pokémon in-game

I’ve never been a fan of Pokémon that look like gorillas. And few things have been as disheartening in my long career as a gamer than my emo-kid Morgrem getting beefed and hairy when evolving into Grimmsnarl.

And yet, no amount of personal beef will keep me from recognizing an amazing Pokémon when I see one.

Having both amazing offensive stats and access to several protective moves like Reflect and Light Screen make this Dark/Fairy-type a multifaceted beast. Great choice for any teaim.

Plus, Grimmsnarl’s ability to use their hair as a weapon reminds me of Bayonetta, one of my favorite video game protagonists in recent memory.


9. Hydreigon

Hydreigon in Pokémon anime

Based on legends of multi-headed reptiles like the Japanese Yamato no Orochi and the Greek Hydra, Hydreigon travels the skies raining death and destruction on anything that moves.

Few can oppose it thanks to its insanely high stats that aren’t quite legendary, but surpass those of any common Pokémon, especially in terms of Sp. Attack.

Thanks to its resistant Dark/Dragon-type and Levitate ability making it immune to Ground-type moves, Hydreigon can generally do as it pleases. Unless challenged by something like Sylveon. And even then, the battle would be difficult for both.


8. Urshifu – Single Strike Style

Urshifu Pokémon artwork official

Introduced in The Isle of Armor expansion for Pokémon Sword & Shield, Urshifu is a powerful beast that’ll attack without holding back.

One heck of a dark monster to add onto your time.

Depending on the way you raise it during its infancy as Kubfu, it’ll evolve into the Rapid Strike Style or Single Strike Style, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

While the former is Fighting/Water-type, only the latter qualifies for this ranking with its Fighting/Dark dual typing.


7. Yveltal

Yveltal Pokémon screenshot

Known as the Destruction Pokémon, Pokémon Y’s Yveltal is a veritable manifestation of the Law of Entropy governing the universe and a force of chaos capable of destroying every living being on the Pokémon world.

We really ought to thank Xerneas for providing a counterweight to such a destructive force!

If you manage to get extinguishing all life out of its mind, Yveltal is an amazing Dark/Flying-type beast with heavily offensive stats that make it a force to be reckoned with.


6. Guzzlord

Guzzlord Pokémon in the anime

Where Yveltal is concerned with extinguishing all life in the universe, our next entry is more concerned with consuming it until there’s nothing left.

Known as the Junkivore Pokémon, Guzzlord is rarely seen doing anything other than stuffing its very, very big mouth with whatever is easier to get.

The grinders inside its mouth tear apart everything from trees to cars before it disappears deep within the void that is its stomach.

As all Ultra Beasts, this Dark/Dragon-type boasts prodigiously high stats. Especially in terms of HP.


5. Absol

Absol from Pokémon anime

Absol is one of those unsung heroes of history, forever misunderstood by those around it despite doing everything in its power to keep them from harm.

This pure Dark-type is known as the Disaster Pokémon for its tendency to arrive right before calamity strikes.

With time, people concluded it must be the one responsible. When all it’s doing is trying to warn humans of impending danger! Absol is just so misunderstood.

Luckily, trainers who’ve caught an Absol know better and recognize it only brings disaster to opponents in battles, thanks to its exceptional Attack stat and varied moves. Not to mention its awesome mega evolution.


4. Greninja

Greninja Pokémon screenshot from anime

Few Pokémon other than Pikachu have achieved the level of mainstream fame and notoriety that Greninja has over the last couple of years.

With a protagonist role in the Pokémon anime and featured in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as one of Pokémon’s representative characters, this Water/Dark dual-type starter from gen VI has carved itself a spot on the collective unconscious.

And anyone who thinks of Pokémon in the future will inevitably remember Greninja.

Even if this weren’t the case, Greninja is already bad-ass enough to warrant a high spot on our ranking. And that’s not even counting its Ash-Greninja form!


3. Darkrai

Darkrai from Pokémon

I remember a time when, as a Pokémon fan, you couldn’t help but hear the name “Darkrai” everywhere.

This guy was in the news, in the forums, in the anime – it even made it into Pokken Tournament!

Known as the Pitch-Black Pokémon, this mythical being is known for causing people nightmares on nights with a full moon.

This is reflected in combat through the Bad Dreams ability, which saps HP from its opponent whenever they fall asleep and until they’re woken up. Terrifying stuff.

Give this fella dream eater and you have a recipe for success every time.


2. Umbreon

Umbreon Pokémon screenshot

It may not be as notorious as Greninja or powerful as Darkrai, but Umbreon is easily one of the most well-loved Pokémon in the entire franchise.

And it’s possibly the most popular of the Eeveelutions (or at least up there!)

This pure dark-type feline is known as the Moonlight Pokémon, which makes sense considering it comes into being when an Eevee evolves under the light of the moon.

With a bulky build and access to healing moves like Wish and Heal Bell, Umbreon is a definite asset on any team. Try one out, you won’t be disappointed. Especially if you can find a shiny version.


1. Tyranitar

Tyranitar in Pokémon anime screenshot, best dark monster

Be it in the Pokémon Go app or the main releases, Tyranitar consistently finds itself among the most appreciated and powerful Pokémon of them all. Even beyond dark types!

Not only does it have amazing offensive stats and a Mega Evolution that makes it even more of a powerhouse, but this Rock/Dark-type also has an amazing move pool.

It includes powerful same-type moves like Crunch, and others to provide coverage like Earthquake or Fire Punch.

This guy is powerful and if you can stand waiting to level him up to evolve, it’s well worth snagging one.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.