Dark-type Pokémon tend to be ranked as many people’s favorite Pokémon. Is it the cool and intimidating nature of the Dark-type designs, or is it the powerful trickster-like moves Dark-types bring to the table? For us at High Ground Gaming it’s both! We figured the best way to share our love of the Dark-typing is to make a list of the six best Dark-type Pokémon available in Scarlet and Violet’s base game.
Ranking from Good to Best Dark Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet
Even though our first Pokémon on this list is technically #6, all the Pokémon below are relatively strong compared to other dark Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet. Below, we’ve got the best of the best.
This list will not include legendary Pokémon because they are in a whole class of their own.
Houndoom was chosen because of its Dark/Fire typing. This type combination allows Houndoom to excel offensively and defensively against Pokémon with the Grass, Bug, Ice, Psychic, Ghost, and Steel typings. Even with its large number of resistances and offensive capabilities, it’s important to keep its weaknesses in mind. Fighting, Rock, Water, Ground, and Fairy types will all deal super effective damage to Houndoom. This can be tough to work with given the fact that a lot of these types are fairly common in PvP. Luckily, Terrastilization is a thing in Scarlet and Violet so trainers can remove a lot of these weaknesses by using a defensive terra type.
Houndoom’s two main abilities are Early Bird and Flash Fire. Early bird allows the user to wake up from sleep much faster than normal. To be exact, this ability cuts the number of turns the user will be asleep for in half. This ability also triggers when using self-induced sleep moves like Rest, so it can be pretty useful on some occasions. It’s second ability is Flash Fire. This ability allows the user to absorb all Fire-type attacks, taking no damage from them while also raising the damage of the user’s Fire-type moves by one stage. This damage-boosting effect does not stack.
Houndoom is also famed for its hidden ability Unnerve, which prevents the opposing Pokémon from eating berries. This ability can also come in handy since berries are a fairly common held item. Out of Houndoom’s three abilities, Flash Fire is probably the best because Fire-type Pokémon are crazy common in PvP.
Houndoom has a base stat total of 500. Its highest stat is its Special Attack stat which sits at a base value of 110. Houndoom’s Speed and Physical Attack stats are closely behind with base values of 95 and 90 respectively. Its lowest stat is its Defense stat which has a base value of 50, so watch out for those Earthquakes!
When selecting moves for Houndoom trainers will have an awful lot of moves to choose from. This is because Houndoom is a mixed attacker that can deal pretty good damage with either Physical or Special Attacking moves. Some of its best offensive moves are Flamethrower, Dark Pulse, Sludge Bomb, Sucker Punch, and Foul Play. It also has access to some pretty strong status moves like Nasty Plot, Destiny Bond, and Will-O-Wisp.
Umbreon stands out as one of the most defensive Dark-types in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. This pure Dark-type has nothing to fear from Psychic, Ghost, and even other Dark-type Pokémon. Unfortunately, it does have its weaknesses, those being Fighting, Bug, and Fairy-types. Even so, this isn’t too bad considering the fact that only two of these three types are popular picks in PvP.
Umbreon’s standard ability is ‘Synchronize’, which transfers a status condition to the enemy Pokémon when the user is first inflicted by it. This ability will also trigger when affected by a self-inflicted status move. This ability only works with the Burn, Poison, and Paralysis status conditions. Umbreon’s hidden ability is ‘Inner Focus’, which prevents the user from being flinched by moves like Headbutt and Bite. Out of these two moves, Umbreon’s best ability is definitely Synchronize. Since it can be activated by the user by giving Umbreon a Toxic or Flame Orb.
Umbreon has a base stat total of 525. Its Defenses are where Umbreon shines brightest thanks to its base values of 130 in Special Defense and 110 in Physical Defense. Umbreon’s HP stat isn’t too bad either with a base value of 95. Its lowest stats are its two Attack stats and its Speed stat all of which have a base value of either 60 or 65. Umbreon’s stats push it more towards a support-based/stall loadout and it definitely works when using that playstyle.
When building a move-set for Umbreon you’ll want to run Status moves like Moonlight, Toxic, Thunder Wave, Substitute, Light Screen, Reflect, and or Yawn. These kinds of status moves will make the most out of Umbreon’s bulky nature and long field presence. Umbreon can make use of either Physical or Special Attacking moves like Crunch, Shadow Ball, Last Resort, Dark Pulse, and Foul Play. Just keep in mind the value Umbreon brings generally isn’t from its offensive capabilities.
Weavile brings a fierce blend of the Dark and Ice types to Scarlet and Violet. It dominates against Pokémon that are Grass, Flying, Ground, Psychic, Ghost, and Dragon-type, while struggling against Fighting, Rock, Steel, Fire, Bug, and Fairy types. It’s a glass cannon-style Pokémon that hits multiple types really hard but also gets hit hard by multiple types, so don’t expect it to take more than a couple of hits while on the battlefield.
Weavile’s standard ability is ‘Pressure’, which increases the amount of PP opposing Pokémon use for their moves. This ability is generally pretty bad on Weavile since it isn’t really the kind of Pokémon you should expect to stick around on the battlefield for multiple turns. Pressure is best on Pokémon that have good stall potential. Weavile’s actually useful ability is its hidden ability Pickpocket. This ability allows the user to steal an opponent’s held item whenever the attacker makes physical contact with the user.
510 is Weavile’s base stat total and it definitely makes good use of it. Speed is Weavile’s trademark stat, clocking in at a base value of 125. This stat is followed closely behind by its high Attack stat of 120. Weavile’s weakest stat is its Special Attack stat which has a base value of 45. With a value that low it is best to avoid equipping any Special Attacking moves to Weavile.
Speaking of moves, Weavile has quite a few powerful options. Competitively, moves like Icicle Crash, Knock Off, Ice Shard, and Swords Dance are your go-to for Weavile. Moves like Poison Jab, Brick Break, X-Scizzors, and Fake Out are also great options. You’ll want some type of coverage moves for Weavile, and we highly recommend picking a defensive Terra-type like Ghost or Fighting for it so it can stick around longer.
Spiritomb brings a combination of the Ghost and Dark typings to Scarlet and Violet and it’s just as strong now as it’s ever been. Spiritomb’s typing makes it the bane of both Psychic and Ghost-type Pokémon. It is immune to Normal, Fighting, and Psychic-type attacks, but takes 2x damage from Fairy-types. This makes Spiritomb a fairly strong defensive option and a safe switch in choice when needed.
Spiritomb’s standard ability is ‘Pressure’ and unlike Weavile it can actually make good use of this ability thanks to it’s defensive type and stats. Its hidden ability is Infiltrator which allows the user to ignore the effects of moves like Light Screen, Reflect, and Safe Guard. Both of these abilities are pretty good on Spiritomb so run which everyone works best with the build you choose for it.
Spiritomb has a base stat total of 485. It’s well known for its high Defense and Special Defense stats, both of which have a base value of 108. Unfortunately, its Speed and HP stats could be better, only offering 35 and 50 respectively. This makes Spiritomb a great option for Trick Room teams and its HP can be increased through EV training.
Spiritomb’s move pool is pretty impressive. Since both of its Attack stats have a base value of 92 it can make great use of all the Physical and Special attacking moves in it’s arsenal. Some notable moves include Shadow Sneak, Sucker Punch, Hex, Shadow Ball, Dark Pulse, Foul Play, and Psychic. Spiritomb also has access to some great status moves like Calm Mind, Nasty Plot, Will-O-Wisp, and Disable. Whether you decide to train Spiritomb to focus on offense or support it is guaranteed to bring value to your team.
Kingambit is the only new Scarlet and Violet Pokémon on this list and it definitely deserves its high spot. This Pokémon has the duel typing of Dark and Steel which gives it resistance to Normal, Grass, Ice, Fly, Rock, Ghost, Dragon, Dark, and Steel-type attack moves. It’s only weak to two types those being Fire at 2x and Fighting at 4x. As if those nine resistances weren’t enough, Kingambit is also immune to both Psychic and Poison-type moves. This typing makes Kingambit one of the most defensive Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet and this is only further reinforced by its stat spread.
Kingambit has two standard abilities, those being ‘Defiant’ and ‘Supreme Overlord’. Defiant raises the user’s attack stat by two stages each time it is hit with a stat-lowering move. This is a great ability given how often people run Intimidate Pokémon in PvP. It’s second ability is probably its best one. Supreme Overlord grants a bonus of 10% additively to the power of the user’s attack moves for each one of the user’s allies that are fainted in the party. Its final ability is its hidden ability Pressure. While useful on Kingambit, you’d much rather run the attack-bosting abilities Kingambit has over Pressure.
Kingambit has a base stat total of 550 which is quite high for a non-Legendary Pokémon. Its highest stats are its Attack at 135, its Defense at 120, and its HP at 100. Its two lowest stats are its Speed at 50 and its Special Attack at 60. Due to its low-speed stat, it is a great choice for Trick Room teams, do keep in mind that Kingambit’s best ability, Supreme Overlord may be a bit tricky to coordinate while on a Trick Room team.
Kingambit has plenty of powerful options in its diverse move pool. It can learn Sucker Punch which makes up for its really low-speed stat, Iron Head, Night Slash, Retaliate, Low Kick, Zen Headbutt, Shadow Claw, Foul Play, Poison Jab, Kowtow Cleave, and much more. It also has access to some really great status moves like Swords Dance, Quick Guard, Stealth Rocks, Iron Defense, and Thunder Wave.
Zoroark is our number-one pick for the best Dark-type Pokémon in Scarlet and Violet. It sure is fitting too given the fact that Zoroark is a pure Dark-type. Just like Umbreon, it has an edge against Psychic and Ghost-types, while also suffering from a weakness to Fighting, Bug, and Fairy types.
One of the biggest reasons for this Pokémon hitting our number one spot is its unique ability ‘Illusion’. Illusion disguises the use as whatever Pokémon is currently in the last slot of the trainer’s party. This disguise is only visual, Zoroark’s typing and stats will remain the same. The illusion will be broken once Zoroark takes a hit from an enemy Pokémon. This ability allows the trainer to keep their opponent guessing and potentially buy a free turn for Zoroark to set up.
Zoroark’s stat is the other contributor to its number one placement. It has a base stat total of 510. Its highest stats are its Special Attack stat at 120, and its Physical Attack and Speed stat which both have a base value of 105. All of its remaining stats have a base value of 60. This makes Zoroark a very fast mixed attacker with the capability of surviving a few hits.
Zoroark can run a fairly decent variety of powerful moves like Foul Play, U-turn, Knock Off, Sucker Punch, Shadow Claw, Shadow Ball, Psychic, and even Flamethrower. Zoroark isn’t lacking in utility moves either. It can learn Detect, Nasty Plot, Swords Dance, Calm Mind, and Torment. Between its high offensive pressure, setup moves, and ability to catch an opponent off guard, Zoroark is a great pick for any trainer looking to add a Dark-type to their party.
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