Note: This guide was written prior to Darkrai’s release. If any changes are made to it when it is released, the guide will be updated accordingly.
Darkrai is the Pokemon that dethrones Tyranitar as best Dark attacker in the game. Its basically a less bulky dark version of Mewtwo, the EX raid version of Mewtwo to be specific. They both have Focus Blast and Shadow Ball as charge moves, and a third charge move which grants STAB. Their fast moves are a pair of STAB moves. Mewtwo beats it in attack and stamina but Darkrai holds the edge in defence.
Darkrai has 285 attack, 198 defence and 172 stamina. Its attack is the most remarkable, the 7th highest in the game while the other two stats are unremarkable but not so terrible to destroy its viability. Far from it, Darkrai is a Pokemon you want to get as many of and power up. It should be the best, if not one of the best even when Yveltal and Hydreigon show up.
|Resists||Weak To||Normal Damage|
Darkrai is a pure dark type, as its name suggests. That means avoid using psychic moves on it, it’ll resist it hard. Instead look to utilise fighting, fairy or bug moves which preferrbly would come with STAB. Bug and Fairy may not be very useful given the relative dearth of top tier pokemon from those types so go with Fighting.
Both have STAB which is great but Snarl has higher DPS than Feint Attack so try to go for the former instead of the latter for optimisation. No terrible fast moves to avoid here so if you’re not keen to spend a TM here it is fine.
There are no bad moves here. You get STAB with Dark Pulse and if released before the Psychic type Lake trio of Uxie, Mesprit and Azelf, you have a great counter to them. Focus Blast is without a doubt the worst of the 3 charge moves but if you do end up with a Focus Blast Darkrai you can always use it to attack gyms. It’s resistance to Psychic moves helps against Chansey and Blissey but just be careful of Dazzling Gleam.
Finally, Shadow Ball and it is the best move you can give to Darkrai. It doesn’t get STAB from it but the DPS is without a doubt the best of the lot. Ghost attacks effectively fulfill the same duties as Dark, both are strong against Ghost and Psychic types. This is why I thought a comparison with Mewtwo was apt, Shadow Ball was the go to moveset for both. If you missed out on a Mewtwo with Shadow Ball then go for Darkrai with one.
Assembling The Team
Until Fairy really arrives in Generation 6, go with Fighting types as your main team to take on Darkrai. They aren’t weak to any of its moves and they hit back hard. Bug isn’t that strong except for a few exceptions.
The OG fighting type, Machamp is the go to guy when you need to take down gyms thanks to the popularity of thick normal walls like Blissey and Chansey. Its the best option overall, with the best moveset of Counter and Dynamic Punch the one you should use. You can also use Close Combat instead of Dynamic Punch but its not as good. Don’t use steel type moves , they don’t get STAB nor are they supereffective.
The glass cannon option, Breloom as a pure fighting attacker has the highest DPS and cheaper to get than Machamp since the former requires 50 candies against the latter’s 125. Breloom will go down faster than Machamp but if you don’t have enough Machamps to form a team, then take Breloom.
For Breloom, there’s only moveset you need and its the pairing of Counter and Dynamic Punch. Everything else will be subpar.
If Breloom is the glass cannon, Hariyama is the tank option. It doesn’t have the DPS of Machamp and Breloom but makes up for it with its high stamina stat and decent defence. This keeps it on the field long enough to dish out significant damage.It costs only 50 candies to evolve so it can be a cheaper option like Breloom. The moveset you should utilize is Counter and Dynamic Punch, just like Machamp. Avoid its steel moves, you can swap out Dynamic Punch for Close Combat but that is all.
It does less damage than the rest but I thought it would be worth a mention because its 4th in the list of best pure fighting attackers. With the moveset of Counter and Focus Blast, you can still do significant amounts of damage.
The downside is that it costs 125 candies and torchic isn’t that common. Machamp is a regular as a raid boss and Makuhitas are fairly common. However as I always say, if you lack enough good fighting types, you can throw in one or two Blazikens to fill up your roster.
The great thing about Darkrai is that none of its moves counter the Pokemon I have mentioned. You don’t need to worry about Darkrai pulling out a move like Dazzling Gleam to down your Machamp at all. Its a great addition to your squad so when it is released, get as many as you can.