Pokemon Go Darkrai bannerSource: Niantic

In the same class as Mew, Celebi, and Jirachi, Darkrai is a Mythical Pokémon that packs a powerful punch. Back for one week only, you'll need to get your best Fighting-type, Fairy-type, and Bug-type Pokémon powered up if you want to take it on. You won't want to miss your chance to catch this one!

What is Darkrai?

Darkrai is a mythical Pokémon introduced in Generation IV, and it is incredibly powerful. It is the strongest Dark-type Pokémon, as well being one of the top ten Pokémon in all of Pokémon Go. It may look an awful lot like a Ghost, but Darkrai is a pure Dark-type Pokémon. Although it is drawn to and capable of creating nightmares, this is a defense mechanism on Darkrai's part - not a malicious act. It prefers to avoid contact with humans and other Pokémon while they are awake and will dematerialize into shadows to do so. If someone is suffering from Darkrai's nightmares, they can be cured with one of Cresselia's Lunar Wings.

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What are the best counters for Darkrai?

A pure Dark-type Pokémon, Darkrai is weak against Fighting, Fairy, and Bug-type moves. While there aren't a ton of strong Bug and Fairy types out there, there are plenty of Fighting-types to choose from, so that should be your main focus for this Raid. There are exceptions, of course, that depends on your roster, as well as Darkrai's moveset, but you can't go wrong with the following:

Lucario

Pokemon 448 LucarioSource: The Pokémon Company

The best Pokémon for taking on Darkrai (and the best Fighting type in the game) is Lucario. This Fighting and Steel-type Pokémon can do super-effective damage to Darkrai while also being resistant to its Dark-type attacks. Lucario is weak to Fighting-type moves, so a Focus Blast Darkrai could pose a problem. Unfortunately, Riolu - Lucario's prevolution is still pretty rare, so you probably don't have a full team of Lucario. Still, if you have even one, you're going to want to use it. You'll want your Lucario to know Counter and Aura Sphere for taking on this Legendary Raid.

Conkeldurr

Pokemon 534 ConkeldurrSource: The Pokémon Company

A pure Fighting type introduced in Gen V, Conkeldurr benefits from Trade Evolution, meaning you'll be able to evolve it easier and have plenty of candies leftover for powering it up. It is resistant to Darkrai's Dark-type moves and takes normal damage from Ghost and Fighting-type moves. It hasn't been in the game for an incredibly long time, though, so you might not have many of them. Still, if you have one, you'll want it to know Counter and Dynamic Punch.

Machamp

Pokemon 068 MachampSource: The Pokémon Company

Still one of the best Pokémon in the game, Machamp has the benefit of being a Gen I Pokémon, as well as having been featured in events. Add on top of that the new Trade Evolution feature, and there is just no excuse not to have at least a few strong Machamps in your roster. It's not quite as powerful as Lucario or Conkeldurr, but it's a top contender. It's also resistant to Dark-type moves and takes normal damage from Ghost and Fighting-type moves. You'll want your Machamp to know Counter and Dynamic Punch for this raid.

Hariyama

Pokemon 297 HariyamaSource: The Pokémon Company

Hariyama is a step down from Machamp power-wise but otherwise has the same strengths and weaknesses. While you should give preference to Lucario, Conkeldurr, and Machamp when building a team for Darkrai, if you need to fill another space, this Gen III Fighting-type is also a great counter. You'll want your Hariyama to know Counter and Dynamic Punch.

Blaziken

Pokemon 257 BlazikenSource: The Pokémon Company

Having had its own Community Day, most players have at least a couple of this Gen III starter. Blaziken is a Fire and Fighting-type with a resistance to Dark-type moves and normal damage from Ghost and Fighting-type moves. You'll want your Blaziken to know Counter and Focus Blast as opposed to its Community Day exclusive move Blast Burn - which means you might not have as many Blaziken prepped for this fight, but if you do, bring them along.

Gardevoir

Pokemon 282 GardevoirSource: The Pokémon Company

Gardevoir is a Psychic and Fairy-type Pokémon, leaving it weak to Darkrai's Ghost-type move Shadow Ball. Still, as the only Fairy-type on this list, it is resistant to the Fighting-types, making it an excellent substitute for Lucario against a Focus Blast Darkrai. Having been fairly common since the introduction of Gen III, you probably already have a couple. If you are bringing Gardevoir to this fight, the moveset you're looking for is Charm and Dazzling Gleam.

Heracross

Pokemon 214 HeracrossSource: The Pokémon Company

The only Bug-type to make it on the top counters list, it's Heracross's fighting type moves you'll want in this Raid. With Counter and Close Combat, Heracross is an excellent counter. Unfortunately, even though it is a Gen II Pokémon, Heracross is a Regional Exclusive, so many players don't even have one, much less multiple Heracross with high IVs. Still, if you do, this Bug and Fighting-type is resistant to both Fighting, and Dark-type moves so it can handle the hard-hitting Darkrai.

Back ups?

Maybe you don't have a full team of the best counters fully powered up and knowing the best moves. If you're lacking the Candies or the TMs to make a team of the best counters, there are still a lot of good backups to choose from. Consider any of the following:

  • Togekiss with Charm and Dazzling Gleam
  • Breloom with Counter and Dynamic Punch
  • Toxicroak with Counter and Dynamic Punch
  • Pinsir with Bug Bite and X-Scissor
  • Scizor with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
  • Yanmega with Bug Bite and Bug Buzz

Shadow Pokémon

The rebalance of Shadow Pokémon rescued from Team GO Rocket make them excellent glass cannons. Not only are their stats boosted, but during special events, it's possible to change their moves with TMs. If you happen to have Shadow versions of the following Pokémon with the right moveset, they will work very well in this Raid:

  • Shadow Gardevoir with Charm and Dazzling Gleam
  • Shadow Scizor with Fury Cutter and X-Scissor
  • Shadow Pinsir with Bug Bite and X-Scissor

How many players do you need to beat Darkrai?

Now that Darkrai has been downgraded from a Tier Six to a Tier Five, with the right Weather Conditions, best counters, and top-level players, it is technically possible for two people to take on Darkrai. However, for most players, you'll want at least four and maybe as many as eight. Weather is also an important factor. Darkrai's Dark-type moves and Ghost-type move are boosted in fog, but it can also know the Fighting-type move Focus Blast which is boosted in Cloudy Weather. That same Cloudy Weather will boost your Fighting-types and Fairy Types, while Rainy Weather will boost your Bug types.

Questions?

Do you have any questions about taking on Darkrai in Pokémon Go? Got any tips for your fellow Trainers? Drop them in the comments below, and be sure to check out our Complete Pokédex, as well as our many Pokémon Go guides so you too can become a Pokémon Master!

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