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Darkrai in the Raid and Trainer Battle Meta

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Introduction

Starting October 17th, Darkrai will be taking over the raid scene in Pokemon GO. This Mythic Pokemon has been anticipated since the start of Gen 4 and is the most powerful Dark-type in the game. While Darkrai is known for giving people nightmares, if you bring the right Pokemon to the raid you should only have sweet dreams. However, if your allies bring Aggrons to the raid, well, welcome to nightmare city. 

The article below goes over Darkrai’s best counters and his use in both the raid scene and trainer battle meta.

Counters

Source: @RyanSwag

Darkrai is effectively a cooler Regi. Like a Regi, all you need are Fighting-type Pokemon such as Machamp, Breloom, and Hariyama and you’re set to win. What makes Darkrai cooler is that it’s easier to beat than the Regi’s and is significantly more relevant for raids and trainer battles. If you’re looking for a challenge, you should be aware that Darkrai cannot be trio’d without a cloudy weather boost. You’ll need at least 4 friends to ride this ride. 

If you’re looking for options beyond the 3 Fighters, Togekiss is an exceptionally tanky option for this fight. Counter + Play Rough Ursaring is also a beast against Shadow Ball Darkrai specifically. In the event of rain, Yanmega, Scizor, and Pinsir are able to get on the level of the greater Fighting-types. If you’re lacking these options, any Fighting-type with Counter or Fairy-type with Charm should suffice. 

Breakpoints and Bulkpoints

It’s not mandatory to hit these breakpoints or bulkpoints, but they are the levels where your attacker will have a noticeable improvement in their performance. If you are unfamiliar with what a breakpoint or bulkpoint is, we suggest checking out our guides on breakpoints and bulkpoints. If you’re curious about the breakpoints of other Pokemon or fast moves, you can find them using our breakpoint tool. You can find your Pokemon’s unique bulkpoints using our bulkpoint tool as well.

Weather boosts will also affect the breakpoints of Pokemon. We have noted the relevant breakpoints for weather boosted Pokemon down below. Friendship will also influence breakpoints. This article will assume a best friend status as you will need friends to take this boss down.

Pokemon Breakpoints Bulkpoints
Machamp 27, 32.5, 28.5☁️, 34☁️ 39, 40
Breloom 30, 38, 31☁️, 38☁️ 32, 36.5
Hariyama 28.5, 37, 27☁️, 32☁️ 36.5, 38
Togekiss 30, 35.5, 29☁️, 33☁️, 37.5☁️ 31.5, 34.5
Gardevoir 30, 35, 31☁️, 35.5☁️ 34, 39

Use in Raids

Source: GamePress DPS/TDO Spreadsheet

Best Moveset: Snarl + Shadow Ball or Dark Pulse

In raids, Darkrai is on par with Giratina Origin Forme as a Dark/Ghost-type attacker. Darkrai may not be as bulky as Giratina, but its pure Dark-typing offers it advantages against Psychic, Ghost, Ice, and Dragon-type attacks. If you already have a bunch of Dark and Ghost-type Pokemon maxed out, then it’d be reasonable to hold off on powering up Darkrai. That said, it is unlikely that we will get a more powerful Dark or Ghost-type Pokemon until Gen 6, and there are a lot of Psychic-type raid bosses that need countering. 

When it comes to Charge Move choice, Shadow Ball and Dark Pulse are very similar. Shadow Ball has 100 base power and Dark Pulse has 96 (after same type bonus), and both have a 3-second cooldown. Shadow Ball is the better move; however, Dark Pulse has a 1s earlier damage window, which suggests it can outperform Shadow Ball in some edge-cases. Additionally, Dark Pulse is better for trainer battles and rocket battles. Weigh these factors when deciding to use a Charge Move TM on Darkrai or not.  

Use in the Trainer Battle Meta

Best Moveset: Snarl + Dark Pulse & Focus Blast

Darkrai’s place in trainer battles is in the Master League. There it can dominate Psychic, Steel, Normal, and Ghost-type Pokemon- most importantly, Giratina. Darkrai will still run into issues against Dialga, but with Focus Blast it may clean up when shields are down. Solid counters to Darkrai include Machamp, Lucario, and Swampert. These three also make great counters to Dialga itself. Overall, Darkrai doesn’t redefine the Master League meta but offers a new option to harass Giratina and Dialga with. 

As for the Ultra League, Darkrai’s stats don’t pan out too well. Due to its low bulk, Giratina Altered Forme can overcome Darkrai with ease. Even Cresselia can overcome Darkrai, a Pokemon a Dark-type should be able to handle well. At least Darkrai has the Master League. 

Conclusion

It may have taken until Gen 5, but Darkrai is finally in Pokemon GO. It couldn’t have come at a better time either. With the 2x Candy Halloween Event going on, now is the prime to load up Darkrai Candy. Just get some friends, grab your Machamps, and conquer! If you end up with a good Darkrai, it performs well in both raids and in the Master League, making it well worth it to max out!

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