Since the type’s introduction in Gen 2, Dark Type Pokémon continue to be some of the most useful monsters for any trainer to have in their current roster. Thanks to a prevalence toward higher-than-average stats and some typically powerful abilities (with few opposing Pokémon having stable resistances to them), Dark Type Pokémon don’t just look cool, they have some amazing utility as well. But of course, part of the thrill in catching a new Pokémon comes from the fact that they each have their own unique designs and aesthetic. In terms of the most intimidating and edgiest-looking Pokémon, it’s hard to beat the Dark Type monsters.
Recent generations of Pokémon games (specifically, Gen 9 via Scarlet and Violet) feature some of the most powerful Dark Type Pokémon to date. As a result, this list is somewhat more current-leaning, with several older generations of Dark Type monsters left out. Still, Dark Type Pokémon keep getting more and more powerful, making them a must-have inclusion on a roster in newer games. These are the 10 best Dark Type Pokémon across all 9 generations.
10. Houndoom (Gen 2)
What’s not to love about Houndoom? These monsters look like a Doberman Pinscher crossed with a ram’s skeleton, and their striking appearance only gives way to some incredible abilities. Houndoom is a dual Dark and Fire Type Pokémon with some great attacks as well as a nice bonus to its speed. If there’s one thing that’s dangerous in a battle, its a Pokémon with both high special attack power and high speed. Houndoom has them both, earning its place on this list. While Houndoom was already great in its debut in Pokémon Gold/Silver, the most recent version of this dual-type hound (in Scarlet/Violet) only serves to reinforce its utility in combat.
9. Hydreigon (Gen 5)
Another dual-type Pokémon to end up on this list is the imposing Hydreigon. This Dark and Dragon-Type Pokémon is a formidable foe when encountering it in the field. Once players can add it to their Pokedex and include it in their roster, it becomes an even greater threat. The Dragon-Type advantage for Hydreigon makes it resistant to most other attack types, making it a great last-ditch monster to pull in a battle. In addition to its great defense, Hydreigon also has some incredible offensive capabilities between its Dragon and Dark-Type abilities.
8. Darkrai (Gen 4)
Like some of the best Dark Type Pokémon on this list, Darkrai has some incredibly useful abilities. This legendary Dark-Type monster can significantly debuff and hinder foes with debilitating status effects caused by inducing sleep. The Dark Void ability can affect multiple Pokémon across double battles, while the Bad Dreams ability puts opponents to sleep and then poisons them as an added bonus while afflicted with the sleep status effect. These two immensely powerful attacks, combined with its excellent stats, make Darkrai a legendary Pokémon to be feared.
7. Kingambit (Gen 9)
Another Gen 9 addition to appear on the All-Time list of best Dark Type Pokémon, Kingambit is not to be underestimated. An evolution of Bisharp, this Dark Type monster has both excellent stats as well as some of the best abilities for a final draw in a long battle. Its ultimate ability, Supreme Overload, boosts Kingambit’s attacks by 10% per downed teammate, making it the ultimate pinch hitter in a long and drawn-out battle. On top of this unique utility, Kingambit features excellent all-around stats and some high attack power that more than make up for its lackluster speed.
6. Tyranitar (Gen 2)
Similar to Kingambit, this mighty Pokémon features some incredibly well-rounded stats with the one exception of its speed. Still, what it lacks in swiftness it more than makes up for in its offensive and defensive capabilities. After all, it’s not called the “Armor Pokémon” for nothing. Also arriving in Gen 2 along with Houndoom, Tyranitar is basically one of the first legendary Dark Type monsters in the entire Pokémon roster. In addition to its Dark Type abilities, it also has a lot of variety in its moveset by featuring Rock, Ground, and Normal-Type moves.
5. Meowscarada (Gen 9)
The most recent of the Dark Type starters on this list, Meowscarada is an incredible ultimate evolution of an unassuming starter in Pokémon Scarlet/Violet. Coming from the adorable Grass-Type Sprigatito, players my find themselves at a slight disadvantage using its larval form in Scarlet/Violet‘s early hours, but this quickly changes once it has evolved into the formidable Meowscarada. A dual Grass and Dark-Type, it has some great speed and attack power that more than make up for its lack of other compelling qualities. It may have one prominent use in battles, but it is an absolute master of its domain in that regard.
4. Urshifu (Gen 8)
Urshifu is an excellent dual-type that comes to fans courtesy of Gen 8. Its Single-Strike variant gives it Fighting and Dark-Type abilities (as opposed to its Rapid-Strike version with Fighting and Water-Type), and from here it becomes an almost immovable force in battle. Sure, Urshifu’s Dark-Type distinction renders it weak to Fairy attacks, but with Fairy-Type Pokémon not featuring heavily (or even with other members in your roster that are strong against Fairy-Type), Urshifu is one of the best tanky monsters in the game. With high vitality and defense, in addition to some respectable speed and attack stats, this legendary Pokémon ranks among the series’ best.
3. Greninja (Gen 6)
Just like Meowscarada, Greninja is the final evolution of the larval Froakie — one of the starter Pokémon in Gen 6. Another dual-type Pokémon on this list, its combination of Water and Dark-Type abilities would be great on its own, but Greninja has a trick up its sleeve with the Protean Hidden Ability. Protean allows Greninja to alter the type of any of its moves on the fly, providing players with near limitless tactical possibilities in combat. Part frog, part ninja, all awesome, this Pokémon is an excellent addition to any roster in the games it appears in.
2. Incineroar (Gen 7)
The final evolution of Litten, Incineroar is one of the best Dark-Type monsters in the entire Pokémon franchise thanks to its excellent stats as well as being the ultimate version of another starter Pokémon in Gen 7. Where this Pokémon truly shines is in double battles, with many of its most powerful abilities capable of turning the tide of battle by affecting multiple opponents. Litten and Torracat are more cute than fearsome, but all that is thrown out the window when the monster reaches its final form and becomes an unpredictable beast on the battlefield. Few of the Pokémon on this list are iconic enough to make appearances outside the Pokémon franchise, but Incineroar has that distinction.
1. Roaring Moon (Gen 9)
At the very top of our list of greatest Dark-Type Pokémon of all-time is the formidable Roaring Moon. For starters, this monster simply looks incredible, highlighting the brilliance of 9 generations of Pokémon design in one fell swoop. Another dual Dark and Dragon-Type Pokémon similar to Hydreigon, Roaring Moon has more than its incredibly appealing appearance to set it apart. Several of its moves, including Protosynthesis, make this monster capable of wiping out entire teams on its own. Not only is Roaring Moon one of the best Dark-Type monsters in the franchise’s history, it may as well be considered one of the best Pokémon period.