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Pokémon Sun and Moon are less than a week from launch, and we at Gamnesia wanted to celebrate—that’s why, for the eighteen days leading up to the games’ launch, we’ll be revealing our team’s Top Ten Pokémon of each of the eighteen Types! Today we turned our attention to the devilish and dangerous Dark-Types, a host of powerful monsters ready to crush even the mightiest of Psychic Pokémon. Our team has gone through the list of such creatures, and we’ve put together our ten favorites for all to see.
And here they are: our Top Ten Dark-Type Pokémon!
“It is merciless by nature. It is said that it never forgives the mistakes of its Murkrow followers.”
— Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver Versions
Dubbed the Big Boss Pokémon, Honchkrow is the mafia don-inspired evolution of Murkrow through use of a Dusk Stone. Managing to obtain this new form apparently gives Honchkrow a pretty big level of clout among its fellow Pokémon, as it quickly recruits numerous Murkrow to act as its underlings; a single deep cry can summon a whole flock of the pitch black pre-evolutions, leading to Honchkrow’s nickname as “Summoner of Night.” Its design and apparent attitude certainly reflect this lore, and we’re fans of every part of it.
“It savagely threatens foes with bared fangs. It chases after fleeing targets tenaciously. It turns tail and runs, however, if the foe strikes back.”
— Pokémon Emerald Version
Poochyena was the first commonly available pure Dark-Type Pokémon to be introduced to the games, showing up in early routes of the third generation to quickly become a lifelong partner for new trainers. Its bark may be worse than its bite, according to Pokédex entries like the one above, but its Bite attack is still a pretty potent move. Like the dogs, wolves, and hyenas that it was designed after, Poochyena also has a strong sense of smell, allowing it track its prey and hunt them down with ease. It also has an awesome evolution in Mightyena, which has always served us well but just isn’t quite as lovable as a puppy Pokémon like this is.
“This brutal Pokémon travels the skies on its six wings. Anything that moves seems like a foe to it, triggering its attack.”
— Pokémon Black Version
A mighty Dark/Dragon Pokémon first seen in the Unova region—and the only evolutionary line to have such a Typing matchup—Hydreigon is known as the Brutal Pokémon and is based on the multi-headed, demonic drake Yamato no Orochi from Japanese legend. While it only has three heads compared to Orochi’s eight, Hydreigon’s trio of mouths are still put to horrible use to consume and destroy everything in its path. It’s also a pseudo-Legendary, having the best set of stats possible for a non-Legendary creature, which is sure to spell doom for any opponent it faces off against.
“Each has the ability to fool a large group of people simultaneously. They protect their lair with illusory scenery.”
— Pokémon White Version
One of the first Pokémon ever revealed from the fifth generation, Zoroark is a master of illusion and deception, to the point where it is classified as the Illusion Fox Pokémon. Its Illusion Ability perfectly reflects this bit of lore, as whenever it is sent into battle it will appear as a different Pokémon on your team, at least until one of your opponent’s attacks breaks through the illusion and reveals the trickster for what it truly is. But while it could easily use these powers for evil, many choose instead to use them to protect their homes and their fellow Pokémon from attackers—though rumor has it that those who try to hunt it will be trapped and punished within one such illusion.
“It feeds on gemstone crystals. In darkness, its eyes sparkle with the glitter of jewels.”
— Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen Version
Sableye consume gems, causing large parts of their body to take on a gem-like appearance and properties—especially the eyes, which is where much of the public’s fear of this Pokémon rises from. Although they live in the darkness and rarely venture out to trouble humans, the light reflected off their jeweled eyes appears as “a sinister glow in the darkness” and has led to the superstition that this glow indicates Sableye is in the process of stealing a person’s spirit. That never stopped us from welcoming a Dark/Ghost-Type Pokémon to our teams, of course, and the introduction of its Mega Evolution in Gen VI certainly provided even more appeal to this creature.
“If you are burned by the flames it shoots from its mouth, the pain will never go away.”
— Pokémon Gold Version
Houndoom’s name says it all: it is a demonic dog, carrying within it a cursed flame that seems drawn straight from the fires of Hell. Okay, yeah, that may be a bit of embellishment, but Houndoom is definitely worth it, with its bone-covered exterior and the descriptions of its blaze’s pain absolutely meant to evoke thoughts of a demon beast. People are even said to have mistaken its howl with the cry of the grim reaper. For those of us who had captured a Houndour, this evolved form became an invaluable partner in battle, and the Mega Evolution provided it in the latest generation made Houndoom an even stronger—and an even
“Evolution made it even more devious. It communicates by clawing signs in boulders.”
— Pokémon Platinum Version
An evolved form of Sneasel introduced in Gen IV, Weavile is the Sharp Claw Pokémon, a crafty little creature who communicates with others of its kind by slashing special, encoded marks into trees, ice, and rocks. Serving as the series’ sole Dark/Ice-Type evolutionary line, Weavile may have a good number of weaknesses, but its power against Dragon-Types made it quite useful in the years before the Fairy-Type arrived, and even now it still can battle against them and Psychic-Types with great efficiency. It has also appeared in
Pokkén Tournament, where it has become a favorite fighter of several of our staff members.
“Every time Absol appears before people, it is followed by a disaster such as an earthquake or a tidal wave. As a result, it came to be known as the disaster Pokémon.”
— Pokémon Ruby Version
Poor, misunderstood Absol was introduced as a pure Dark-Type in Generation III, and its lore has always stood out to us—its horn gives it the power to foresee natural disasters, and whenever it does so it quickly races down to humans in an attempt to warn them. These efforts resulted in failure or miscommunication often enough, however, that people began to instead believe that Absol was the cause of these terrible events, even going so far as to classify it as the Disaster Pokémon. We all feel pretty sorry for this creature as a result, as it only wanted to do the right thing, but it is cool to see this lore supported in the games: Absol tends to appears in areas where, at some point in the game’s storyline, a grave disaster will strike. That’s a pretty awesome and subtle detail.
Fortunately, plenty of trainers have had a chance to catch and befriend Absol, so it seems like public perception of it has changed as of late. It’s a powerful ally as well, able to learn a variety of attacks in addition to its Dark-Type moves, and it even has its own Mega Evolution, which sees it sporting two angelic wings that give a glimpse at this Pokémon’s true desire to help others.
“Folklore has it that on moonless nights, this Pokémon will make people see horrific nightmares.”
— Pokémon Pearl Version
The Nightmare Pokémon of the fourth generation, Darkrai has the power to afflict people with nightmares during the new moon, though it seems to do so out of a desire to protect itself rather than to torment others. As a Mythical Pokémon, it can only be gained through special events like those we’ve been having throughout this twentieth anniversary of the
Pokémon franchise, meaning that many of us have never had the chance to own and use our own Darkrai before now. That doesn’t mean we didn’t fall in love with this creature and its design a long time ago, though; there’s just something fascinating about the wispy, ghost-like appearance of this pure Dark-Type.
In battle, Darkrai’s nightmare powers come into full effect thanks to a combination of its signature move Dark Void, which has a rather high chance of putting any and all opponents to sleep, and its unique ability Bad Dreams, which saps HP from sleeping Pokémon at the end of each turn. Of course, Darkrai can further compliment this terrifying combo with Dream Eater, plus the wide variety of additional attacks it can learn through leveling up and via TMs. It may not be causing nightmares out of malicious intent, but my gosh can it use them to their utmost efficiency. We can’t help but stand in awe of Darkrai as a result.
But if a Mythical Dark-Type can’t manage to take our #1 slot, what possibly could? What Pokémon could we adore more than all others? Well, if you’ve seen our past lists, you might not be surprised by the answer:
“When darkness falls, the rings on the body begin to glow, striking fear in the hearts of anyone nearby.”
— Pokémon Silver Version
We freakin’ love our Eeveelutions, as should be clear by now, and it seems that Umbreon is our most treasured of them all—over half of our staff’s participants voted to rank it as our number one Dark-Type, which is
far more support than any other member of the Eevee family received. It’s not hard to see why: not only was it one of the very first Dark-Type Pokémon, and the only pure Dark-Type in its Generation II debut, but Umbreon’s lithe design mixed with the curious golden markings all over its black skin stands out to this day, a simple yet beautiful look for Eevee to take on when it evolves at night. It is said Eevee takes this evolutionary path as a result of bathing in the moon’s energy, and that same energy causes its markings to glow ominously when it prepares to attack.
In battle, Umbreon is more than prepared to take damage as well as dish it out, boasting a high Special Defense and a number of good Dark- and moon-based moves, as is befitting of the so-called Moonlight Pokémon. But what continues to draw us in isn’t really its battling capabilities so much as the bonds we’ve formed with this Eeveelution over the years and the mysterious beauty of its appearance. It’s a hard thing to put into words, but I’ve no doubt that if you’ve used an Umbreon on your team before, you know exactly just how alluring a creature it can be.
All of Eevee’s forms have our love, but Umbreon stands atop both them and the rest of the Dark-Types in our mind. We are thrilled to name it our number one Dark-Type Pokémon.
Thus concludes our team’s list for our favorite Dark-Types! How did you like it—does it have every creature you would include, or did we miss out on a major player? Give us your own lists and thoughts in the comments, and come back tomorrow for yet another Top Ten list of a different Pokémon Type!
And be sure to check out the rest of our Top Ten Type Pokémon lists: