Should You Pull? Sygna Suit Cyrus & Darkrai

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TL;DR: Should You Pull?

What Does It Do?

Sinnoh has taken full center stage, and the big-bad of the region is here in a Sygna Suit that basically proves that whoever the heck is making these suits really doesn’t care who they make them for, just so long as the price is right. I mean, come on; Cyrus is well known for trying to basically erase the universe, and now he plans to drop the entire island of Pasio into a sleep that is hinted to be fatal if it goes on long enough. Also; when did Cyrus even order this suit? Realistically, it had to have taken at least a week to have it custom-made, so did he literally just hide out in his lair for a week after he caught Darkrai, awaiting his new suit? And another thing, why does he- ...what? Oh, right. Here’s the review: 

Looking at base stats, Cyrus & Darkrai have very high Special Attack, which is very important for their role. They also have good Speed, low bulk, and an Attack stat that genuinely doesn’t matter. Their moveset starts with Dark Pulse, which is one of the main reasons that their Special Attack is so important, as it has a comparatively low base power for a main attacking move. Dark Void is the infamous signature move of Darkrai, which inflicts AoE Sleep on the opposing team at a fairly meager 80% Accuracy. Perpetual Nightmare! Is Cyrus’ Trainer Move. It grants +2 Special Attack, +1 Critical Rate, and +1 Accuracy at 2 base uses. Finally, Dark Wish sets a Dark Zone on the field, which boosts all Dark Type attacks for a limited period.

Moving on, we come to their passive skills. First up is Sync Snooze, which puts the opposing team to sleep when Cyrus & Darkrai use their Sync Move. This is an outstanding skill for a Tech unit in particular, as it allows for a devastating attack on a single unit while debilitating any units that may not be asleep at the time, opening up an easy follow-up with no time wasted. Bad Break 9 drops the opponent team’s Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, Speed, Accuracy, or Evasion by 1 stage every time that Darkrai uses Dark Void. It’s nice, but not game-changing. Finally, Shared Nightmare launches what is basically a low-powered Dark Type attack that follows any use of Dark Pulse and affects any sleeping opponent.

Cyrus & Darkrai have a lot going for them. They have AoE Sleep, Dark Zone, and high general damage all wrapped up in one. When the stars align, they have great Dark Type damage that can potentially devastate many stages, but they can also focus on a more supportive role to open up tremendous openings for team mates while keeping high offensive pressure themselves.

On the other hand, Cyrus & Darkrai have a lot on their plate at any given time. In order to maximize their dark powers, they need to buff up, set Dark Zone, and put their target to sleep. And when you consider the fact that ⅔ of those setup options are temporary and one of them can only be performed by Cyrus & Darkrai currently, it’s pretty clear that Cyrus & Darkrai only have short windows in which to hit for maximum power. And these limitations become all the more annoying when you consider the fact that they fall just short of self-maxing their Special Attack and Critical Rate, and will want help lowering enemy stats if you want to go for a Sync Nuke build. Yes, Cyrus & Darkrai are powerful, but if you strip away too many of the layers that support that power, their damage is pretty lackluster overall. That said, they are also a bit of a swiss-army-knife of a Sync Pair, able to use at least one of their skills to come in and wreak havoc on just about any battle.

Champion Stadium: Master Mode

As we’ve long seen with Serena & Delphox, AoE sleep is massively useful. Add to this their general offensive presence, and you’ve got a Sync Pair that can wreck stages or simply set the stage for another attacker to do the job.

Legendary Arena & Gauntlet

While The AoE portion of Dark Void is lost on most Legendary Arena stages, Sleep in general can still be a win-condition.

Extreme Battles

The gimmick of the stage kind of determines the viability of Cyrus & Darkrai, though Sleep is a fairly viable tactic in general, as is zone-boosted raw damage. And while Sinnoh isn’t anywhere near the rarest regional theme skill, it still can be handy to have a few more Sinnoh-based attackers for stages with region-based boosts, as the majority of them are limited.

Battle Villa 

A great offensive pairing with Sycamore & Xerneas for additional power, solid offensive presence in general, and easy Sleep tactics make Cyrus & Darkrai great for the Villa. The limited MP of Dark Wish hurts their performance, but they can still get along just fine without it.

How To Use It?

Sync Grid

These are generally the most important tiles on Cyrus & Darkrai’s grid:

  • Umbral Power 3 (⅗) provides a large damage boost at relatively low cost, making it a staple tile for most builds.
  • Good Night-mare 5 (⅗) is pretty far out of the way, but it offers a huge damage-boost when Darkrai attacks sleeping opponents.
  • Dark Pulse: Good Night-mare 5 (⅗) is another huge damage-boosting tile that’s fairly easy to get to.
  • Power Play (⅗) offers huge Sync Move power, but only if you have a way to rack up stat-drops efficiently. 
  • While most Zone-setting support is usually relegated to the next section for other Sync Pairs, Dark Wish: MP Refresh 2 (⅗) is a better investment here due to the amount of upkeep that Cyrus & Darkrai need to perform in order to maximize their damage output.
  • Dark Void: Fast-Track 4 (⅖) is nice for many builds, as it allows Darkrai’s speed to snowball as it uses Dark Void.

Next are the tiles that are nice to have, but are either niche or not generally worth going out of the way for:

  • Grand Entry 2 (⅖) is nice for ensuring the coveted +6 Special Attack, though it’s mainly picked up due to the fact that it’s on the way to Power Play.
  • Dark Void: Move Gauge Refresh 4 (⅖) can make more supportive variants easier on the move gauge, or can just be helpful for keeping sleep active more consistently.
  • Umbral Acceleration 2 (⅖) can be useful for slower teams, but isn’t must-have most of the time.
  • Perpetual Nightmare! MP Refresh 2 (⅖) can be nice, as a single MP Refresh can grant a full +6 Special Attack and +3 Critical Rate, though it’s generally better to just pair up with a Support unit that can do the job, as even if successful that’s one additional move use before Cyrus & Darkrai can actually get down to business.
  • Pinpoint Entry 1 (⅖) can be useful for helping to ensure that an early Dark Void lands if you don’t pick up Troublemaker as a lucky skill, but its utility doesn’t really go any farther than that.
  • Super Preparation 1 (⅗) can add some nice damage, but only on Dark weak stages and only on a small number of attacks on average.
  • Dark Pulse: Critical Strike 2 (⅖) has a nice damage boost, but it’s expensive to get to. Most offensive builds beyond ⅖ will forego this for the the two Good Night-mare tiles.

Finally, these are the tiles that are probably best to ignore unless they somehow play into a bigger strategy in some way:

  • Acuity (⅖) and Wide Awake (⅕) both have slight utility for AoE Accuracy lowering/Sleep stages respectively, but won’t have utility in the vast majority of battles.
  • Dark Pulse: Aggravation 1 looks like a great tile on paper, as it adds even more debilitating power to Cyrus & Darkrai. However, Sleep and Flinch don’t stack, and Darkrai does not have a way to score a power-boost when attacking a flinching target. It can be useful for occasionally catching an opponent that wakes up earlier than expected, but most of the time it’s fairly low-value, if not counterproductive to pick up.
  • Bad Break 1 (⅗) offers a small chance to drop one random stat that might not even be directly useful on every attack, and is pretty expensive to reach. It’s simply not worth it.
  • Since the majority of Cyrus & Darkrai’s damage comes from their effect-reliant grid tiles, this is a Sync Pair that really wants ⅗. They’re okay without these tiles, but if you intend to use Cyrus & Darkrai for anything other than their Tech-effects, then be prepared to attempt to pull them to ⅗ or reserve some candy for them.

Lucky Skills

Critical Strike 2 is the gold-standard for its damage buff to Dark Pulse and Sync Moves alike. Troublemaker 1 is also a solid choice if your goal is to use Cyrus & Darkrai for Sleep support, though their grid can really make it superfluous. From the Deluxe set, Super Powered 3 is also a choice for maximum damage output, though it’s strictly useful on Dark-weak stages.

Team Comps

When using Cyrus & Darkrai for their sheer damage output, you’re going to want a Support unit that can help them finish up their incomplete buffs, or better yet take care of the job themselves so that Darkrai can get down to business as quickly as possible. For this job, Sabrina & Alakazam, Elesa & Rotom, and Jasmine & Celesteela are three of the stand-outs, though they’re far from the only choices. Sync Nuke builds will appreciate help with Stat drops, in particular Special Defense, so a few of the top picks here include Dawn & Alcremie, Champion Iris & Hydreigon, Leaf & Venusaur, and Ghetsis & Kyurem. Another odd yet viable option is Serena & Delphox for their ability to handle the Sleep tactics, opening up Cyrus & Darkrai to focus on Dark Wish and sheer damage.

Working alongside other attackers, Marnie & Morpeko is arguably the top pick for their ability to leverage Dark Zone at a low cost, their low move gauge usage, and their ability to take advantage of a similar buffing profile from Support units. Karen & Houndoom can take advantage of both Dark Zone and Sleep for heightened damage, and can also drop the opposition’s Special Attack for Sync Nuke sets. Other options include Masked Royal & Incineroar, who can take advantage of Dark Zone while providing outstanding Speed support, and Sidney & Absol, who also appreciate Dark Zone.

Is It Worth Pulling?

Despite the high requirements to keep their damage up, Cyrus & Darkrai are able to do so for the most part. They also have the ability to take a back-seat and work on debilitating the opposing team while simultaneously boosting the team’s Dark Type damage, so they really can carve out their own utility in many stages. However, they are pretty unwieldy when going for maximum damage, have direct competition for Sleep in the long-available Serena & Delphox, and don’t have many great Sync Pairs that they can buff with Dark Zone, so they are definitely a mixed-bag. 

Right now, Cyrus & Darkrai have some pretty steep competition from Sync Pairs like Lucas & Dialga or Marnie & Mawile, not to mention the upcoming 2.5 year Sync Pairs. Add to this the fact that many recent Pokefair pairs have seen returns not long after their initial release, and it might be a good idea to wait for the moment. Still, anyone who does pull is likely to see very real utility in Cyrus & Darkrai, as this swiss army knife of a Sync Pair is ready to join the fray in many different capacities, meeting their gem cost with very high potential value.

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Long-time Gamepress fan and writer for Pokemon Go and Pokemon Masters sub-site