Ah, the dark type. The edgiest type of Pokémon. It’s not really an element like fire or water, it’s just straight-up dark energy. In fact, in Japan, the dark type’s literal translation would be ‘evil’. But, we love and support our dark Pokémon in this house, and while they have enough edginess to rival Shadow the Hedgehog, there’s so much more to them than that. They’re powerful fighters with awesome attack moves to take on any battle. And who doesn’t enjoy that deliciously villainous vibe? Here are the best of the best of the dark type Pokémon.

Updated by Michael Connor Smith on March 19, 2020: Introduced during the 2nd Pokémon generation, Dark-type Pokémon hold some of the most creative and unique creatures in the series. Competitive Pokémon has seen a ton of prevalent dark-types in its day, as some of the strongest creatures around have an affinity for darkness.

This list was updated to include Pokémon from Sword and Shield, as the game released after its publication. There are eight new Dark-type Pokémon included in the Galar Pokédex, and some of them truly deserve spots on this list alongside the best of the best.

15 Incineroar

Who would have thought we’d see Incineroar in Smash? But it’s happened, and while this final evolution of Litten is known for its fiery nature, it’s a dark type as well. Incineroar has good, well-rounded stats, making it a good fighter to keep in the team. As an evolution of a starter Pokémon, owners of Pokémon Sun or Moon have easy access to this one.

Descriptions of Incineroar say that it’s been known to sometimes attack opposing trainers. Yikes. It’s very aggressive and hard to control, but who wouldn’t want a beefed up, uncomfortably humanoid cat on their team?

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14 Weavile

Weavile is an interesting mix of ice and dark type, two of the smallest types in the series. They’re both pretty underrated, too. According to the Pokédex, Weaviles hunt in groups like funky two-legged wolves, and they leave scratch marks in trees and boulders to communicate with each other.

Weavile’s best stat is its speed, so it can almost always get in the first hit, giving you the advantage. It also has strong attack, so combined with its speed it’s a swift and powerful fighter.

13 Obstagoon

Generation 3's Zigzagoon and Linoone got a much needed new regional form, but the new addition to the evolutionary line, Obstagoon, takes it a step further. Galarian Zigzagoon are obtainable as early as the first few routes in Sword and Shield, and Obstagoon has the ability to carry your team through your entire adventure.

Its stats are fairly well balanced, with a slightly more defensive focus. But, its various abilities are able to boost its attack stat through various means, creating a deadly offensive Pokémon with some solid defenses to boot.

12 Grimmsnarl

An evil fairy goblin is certainly one of the more unique editions to the Sword and Shield Pokédex, and it's also one of the strongest. After finding its evolution line in areas like the Glimwood Tangle, evolving them into Grimmsnarl is certainly not a waste of time.

For starters, Prankster is one of the strongest abilities in the entire series and can create some extremely difficult Pokémon to fight against. With its great attacking stat, coupled with great moves like Darkest Lariat and Brick Break, Grimmsnarl has the ability to give an entire Pokémon team a run for its money.

11 Greninja

The final evolution of the starter Froakie, Greninja is a combination of dark and water type. Its hidden ability, Protean, allows it to change to the type of the move it is currently using. So if you use a ghost-type move like Lick, Greninja will become a ghost-type pokémon until its next move of a different type.

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This allows for some real tactical moves, considering which types will make you vulnerable to different attacks. It also allows the same-type bonus when you use that move to attack. Besides its abilities, Greninja is… well, a frog ninja. What’s not to love?

10 Morpeko

No Pokémon region is complete without a Pikachu clone, and Morpeko fills in that role this time around. However, like Mimikyu, there's more than meets the eye with this bean-shaped ball of malice.

Morpeko has two forms, as indicated by its split color scheme, and is the primary Pokémon of your rival, Marnie. Its Hangry-mode is actually banned in competitive play, and its normal form is a solid Pokémon choice. Its stats may not be a stand out trait, but its moveset is able to make up for it with versatility.

9 Zoroark

For starters, a werewolf-looking creature with a red punk ponytail looks pretty cool. Zoroark is the ‘illusion fox’ Pokémon, reminiscent of the Kitsune in Japanese folklore. It’s got great speed, attack, and special attack, so it’s a good fighter right off the bat.

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A purely dark Pokémon, Zoroark has a load of dark moves that it can learn as well, such as Feint Attack and Foul Play. It can use illusions to its advantage by tricking opponents, and makes a really good addition to your dark team.

8 Houndoom

From a dark fox, to a dark dog. Again, Houndoom has good speed and attack stats, and its dual typing means diversity in its moveset. Fans love the design of Houndoom, since it’s essentially a really big dog, but the most metal looking dog you’ve ever seen. Who knows what it would do to the mailman?

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Being a partial fire type, it’s got some awesome attacks. Oh, and if you’re burned by its flames, the pain will last forever. Wow. That certainly is… dark.

7 Bisharp

In the competitive meta of Pokémon Sword and Shield, Bisharp has stood proud at the very top for quite some time, and for good reason. It has one of the best attacking stats around, made even more deadly with its ability, Defiant. This ability alone is enough to allow Bisharp to control the flow of battle.

Its defenses are also pretty good, with it being a steel-type and all, making it able to dish out some hefty damage while also taking a beating itself. Moves like Night Slash, Power-Up Punch, and Throat Chop are excellent choices for taking down enemies with style and ease.

6 Hydreigon

You can’t deny, an edgy dragon is a pretty cool idea, and Hydreigon doesn’t disappoint. All its stats are in the green, especially special attack. It’s known as the ‘brutal Pokémon’. Save for a few weaknesses, the combination of dark and dragon type means that a lot of opposing attacks will be ‘not very effective’ on Hydreigon. That will make defense easier in most matches.

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Hydreigon can be taught Draco Meter, a devastating fan-favorite move that lowers special attack while dealing serious damage. It also learns a lot of normal moves to avoid that pesky ‘not very effective’ message on the enemy.

5 Darkrai

It seems our favorite dark types have some pretty nasty powers; Darkrai can cause those around it to have deep, terrible nightmares. A true dark Pokémon, it’s known in the Pokédex as the ‘Pitch-Black Pokémon’. You can’t get much darker than that!

Being a legendary boosts Darkrai up the ranks, making it a much sought-after Pokémon.

It’s also the only Pokémon that can use Dark Void, a move which puts opponents to sleep, and can affect multiple in the case of double battles.

4 Tyranitar

Tyranitar has decent stats in all areas, with only its speed being slightly lower. It can learn a decent mix of moves with several types, particularly dark, rock, ground and normal. It’s very strong, and has hefty defense as an ‘armor Pokémon’.

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According to some Pokédex entries, it will even bring down a mountain just to make a nest. It sounds like a mountain-destroying beast would make a good teammate. Many fans also appreciate its slightly brighter color scheme, as a fresh break from the moody kind of colors we’re used to seeing in dark type Pokémon.

3 Yveltal

Obviously, legendary Pokémon tend to be far stronger than normal ones, but Yveltal has some seriously powerful things going for it. First, its stats are nothing short of monstrous, with every single one of them being above average, and its special attack is off the charts.

The ability Dark Aura boosts all Dark-type attacks used by 1.33x, which makes moves like Foul Play and Sucker Punch hit like a truck. It can be debated which legendary from X and Y is more deadly, but there's no denying the terrifying power of Yveltal.

2 Absol

Absol is a big fan favorite, despite its name as a ‘disaster Pokémon’. It’s pretty special, able to sense oncoming natural disasters and warn people with its horn. However some Pokédex entries describe it a little more negatively, saying ‘it brought disaster’, and people began to associate it as such. Maybe that’s the reason it rarely even leaves the mountains. Apparently, the elderly actually ‘detest it’. Despite all that, Absol does have high attack, and can really pack a punch in a fight.

1 Umbreon

Umbreon is not only a popular dark type, but one of the most popular Pokémon in general. The kinds of places that sell awesome Pokémon merch will often have Umbreon plushies and onesies up there with the greats like Eevee and Pikachu.

This eeveelution has great HP, defense and special defense, and can learn a variety of different moves. It learns Sand Attack at level 5, which is great for reducing accuracy of enemy attacks. It’s got a cool vibe, great attacks and stats, and deserves the spot at number one.

NEXT: Pokémon: Every Grass-Type Starter, Ranked

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