Darkrai (Analysed halloween special)

" Go to sleep,
Little sheep.
Go to sleep little victim.
Close your eyes,
Say goodbye,
It’s coming in your dream.
You can’t run, you can’t hide.
I’m already inside. "
-Darkrai, lord of nightmare.

You really think I would rest during my break? HAHAHA! FOOLS! My brain is constantly working and how could I not do a Halloween special? I had many contenders, Delta Charizard, Delta Quagsire, but I ended up choosing the most badass of them all, Darkrai. Let’s see how my favourite Ins. Uber is doing in its tier.

Be warned, since there are no competitive usage stats available, I do not have any reliable ways to accurately predict the metagame. This analysis is theoretical and does not entirely reflect a Pokémon’s viability.

Typing, Stats, Ability & Movepool

Ability: Bad Dreams/Absolution
Hp: 70
Atk: 90
Def: 90
SpA: 135
SpD: 90
Spe: 125

Darkrai is a force to be recon with. Darkrai has two powerful abilities in Bad Dream and Absolution alongside high speed and Special Attack and a very good offensive movepool and good sleep move in Dark Void makes it an offensive powerhouse.

Not everything shine for Darkrai, of course, as it has paper thin Bulk for Uber standard, making it vulnerable to moon priority in Bullet Punch and Crystal Rush and Dark is resisted by common Pokémon in Arceus-Dark, Blaziken (even though I wouldn’t count on it), Mega Bisharp, Mega Hydreigon, Xerneas and Yveltal. Plus, even with high speed, Darkrai has no special priority and is slower than the common Mega Gengar, Shadow Mewtwo and Mewtwo. Nonetheless, Darkrai’s ability to put its check to sleep and setting up afterward makes it a nightmarish Pokémon in Hyper Offense and gimmicky New Moon teams.

Darkrai has good coverage in Thunder, Sludge Bomb, Hidden Power Ground, Spacial Rend somehow and Ice Beam. Support movepool is kinda shallow, but still includes classic status moves, its signature Dark Void and Taunt.

Sets Suggestion

Nightmare Lord

Darkrai @ Life Orb / Focus Sash
Ability: Bad Dreams
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
-Dark Void
-Dark Pulse
-Nasty Plot
-Thunder/Sludge Bomb/Ice Beam

This is the standard set. Dark Void, Dark pulse and Nasty plot are fairly obvious. Thunder allows to pass Kyogre and Ho-Oh, two good check for its partner Primal Groudon. Sludge Wave is there so it isn’t walled bye Fairies. Ice Beam allow to dent Primal Regigigigigigigigigigigigas, Rayquaza, Mega Hydreigon and Mega Salamence. Bad Dream is preferred as Weather teams are fairly unviable in Uber because of Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre at every corner. Thus, making New Moon in Uber bad. #SpiRIPomb

oooh, boy that one was soooooo bad!

Other Options

Well, there isn’t much reasons to use Darkrai outside of Nasty Plot and Dark Void in the first place. Focus Blast is a good coverage against opposing Dark types like Tyranitar or Mega Bisharp. Substitute can be used given the number of switches Darkrai force, but it leaves Darkrai with as a Mono attacker using Dark Pulse, which sucks. Aside from turning the table against Mega Gengar, Mewtwo and Deoxys, Sucker Punch is useless. The first one to say Nightmare and/or Dream Eater won’t wake up tomorrow.

Good teammates

  • As Darkrai is often found in Hyper Offense teams, a suicide lead like Deoxys-S is appreciated.
  • However, since Darkrai is pretty much self suffisent, it can be used outside this play style. Primal Groudon check most of Darkrai’s own check
  • Extremme Killer Arceus like the fact that Darkrai slaps most of its check.
  • The few Pokémon that safety checks Mewtwo, like Shadow Sneak Giratina and Areus-Ghost, quiver in fear of Darkrai. These two makes a very powerful core.
  • Because Darkrai beat most defoggers, Entry Hazards setters are notable teammates.
  • Zekrom blow past Ho-Oh and Kyogre if Darkrai doesn’t carry Thunder while Primal Groudon and Arceus Poison cover Xerneas if it doesn’t have Sludge Bomb.

Checks and Counters

  • Fairy types, even if Darkrai run Sludge Bomb, can check it somewhat reliably. Mega Diancie bounce back Dark Void and Scarf Xerneas is a major pain. Clefki is annoying for just about everyone and Arceus-Fairy is bulky enough to reliably tank sludge bomb and setup on Darkrai.
  • Tyranitar comfortably eats Dark Pulses and Sludge Bomb for lunch.
  • While having trouble digesting attacks sometimes, Mega Bisharp can do the same and get a quick Moxie boost. That thing is broken…
  • Sleep Talk users for kinda obvious reasons.
  • Priority because Darkrai is frail as its sprite suggest it.
  • Blissey. Scarier than whatever Darkrai can make me dream of. Oh, yeah, Chansey :fearful:
  • Mewtwo is just fast enough to outspeed it and Mega Mewtwo Y also has Insomnia. You know, just as being slightly faster and running Aura Sphere wasn’t, bad enough.
  • Cannot tell more, Xerneas has what it takes to beat almost any Darkrai. Scarf to revenge kill, Defensive to Sleep Talk and eat Sludge Bomb like a champ and, you know, generally dominating it.


Come on, we know it, Darkrai always was strong (aside from Gen 7) thanks to Dark Void. Its ability to put its check to sleep and turn them into setup fodder goes to show how broken it is.


One Word: YES.

1 Like

Nice job as usual. So just curiosity, how good is the set I normally run on a Darkrai? I went full-on dream demon. I’m not a competitive player, so I went more of a theme.

Darkrai @ Focus Sash
Ability: Bad Dreams
EVs: 4 Def / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Modest Nature
-Dark Void
-Dream Eater
-Nasty Plot
-Dark Pulse

darkrai kind of sucks without dark voids 80% accuracy which is now 50%! this is outrageous

1 Like

‘‘Arceus-Fairy is bulky enough to…’’

To do what?

Tank a Sludge Bomb.

1 Like


oh yea i forgot isnt the nightmare bad dreams a good strategy also? then you could do night slash spam or something.

Honestly I feel like one of the best counters is AV conk. He eats whatever darkrai throws at him and OHKOs with a Drain Punch or 2HKOs with a Mach Punch

1 Like

So… not good?

That strategy is totally invalidated by two things: Dark types and switch. Now, your Darkrai has vitrually 2 attacks.

Dream Eater and Nightmare are NOT viable anywhere!