All About Darkrai Pokémon

Last Modified Jun 16, 2021 08:53 GMT

Introduced in generation four with the Pokemon Platinum game, Darkrai is a legendary dark type Pokemon. An exclusive Pokemon event available through the member card which was a GameStop event held in North America. It made its first appearance in film through the tenth Pokemon movie, The Rise of Darkrai. The counterpart to Cresselia, Darkrai is the embodiment of nightmares and will be attracted to nightmares or inflict them onto people. While its design may lead you to believe it is evil, it does not mean any harm according to the Pokedex. This guide will showcase Darkrai’s appearances in film and media, its battle capabilities, as well as other general facts about Darkrai.

Darkrai Pokemon

About Darkrai

Darkrai first appeared in the tenth Pokemon movie, where it seemed to have malicious intentions, but its alignment was constantly in question. In the end, Darkrai helped defend the protagonists against Palkia and Dialga’s attacks. While introduced in generation four, and available in the original Pokemon Diamond and Pearl games through glitches, Darkrai was only commercially available through events in Pokemon Platinum. Where the player was able to redeem a code to obtain the member’s card and experience the Darkrai event in-game. A standalone, mythic, legendary Pokemon, Darkrai was desired by players to complete the regional Pokedex as well as motivating players through its exclusivity.

First appearance in animePokemon the Movie: The Rise of Darkrai
First appearance in gamePokemon Platinum
Region Sinnoh
Evolution Not known to evolve into or from any Pokemon
1st Evo levelN/A
2nd Evo levelN/A
Pokedex EntryTo protect itself, it afflicts those around it with nightmares. However, it means no harm.

Darkrai Base Stats


Appearance of Darkrai

A shadowy, ghost-like Pokemon, Darkrai is known to feed off of nightmares. It has a smoke-like appearance around its shoulders with black trails billowing away from it, as well as a white headpiece that enforces the wispy design. Its arms are ribbon-like and end in a disheveled pattern, while its robe follows a similar appearance. It has one striking blue eye and the collar around its head is red. Most of its body is black, save for the white head and the red collar. It seems to be capable of flight and is often depicted floating around.

Appearance of Darkrai

Behavior of Darkrai

While it feeds on nightmares and intentionally inflicts nightmares on the people it encounters, it is not particularly malevolent. Darkrai feeds on these nightmares, but according to the Pokedex, it means no harm. These nightmares are more for self-preservation and defense. Mildly self-serving, it is shown to have some empathy in its movie when it protects the protagonists from the onslaught of Dialga and Palkia. However, it is mostly a loner and tries to keep to itself.

Strengths and Weaknesses

An unbelievably powerful Pokemon in battle, Darkrai is often banned in many formats except for Uber where the power level of Pokemon is absurdly high. Its signature move, Dark Void had one of the highest accuracies to put other Pokemon to sleep. Coupled with its ability, bad dreams, it was a force to be reckoned with in competitive battles. With its high speed, high special attack, and ability to completely negate almost any Pokemon’s moves, many formats that allow Darkrai need to have specifically tailored teams to beat Dark Void. Interestingly enough, Dark Void was nerfed in generation eight to make its accuracy lower than even Hypnosis. This was in response to how Darkrai was banned in competitive formats, but Smeargle was able to use Dark Void. Darkrai’s biggest weakness was its relatively low health pool, if you managed to connect an attack against Darkrai it was most likely going to wipe it out.

Mega Darkrai

Mega Darkrai does not exist in any of the mainline games. As it is banned in more than half of competitive formats, it is not likely that we will receive a Mega Darkrai any time soon. Even with the nerf to its signature Dark Void move, Mega Darkrai would be almost impossible to clear with its already high base stats. As most mega evolutions gain a boost to 100 total base stats, Mega Darkrai would cause even more problems in competitive formats.

Shiny Darkrai

Shiny Darkrai replaces its black robes with a dark purple hue. Its collar changes from red to pink and it maintains most of its wispy appearance. The eyes for Shiny Darkrai become a brighter blue, but not much else changes for this Pokemon. The dark purple is similar to the black that regular Darkrai has, and Shiny Darkrai still maintains its ghost-like appearance. Like all shiny Pokemon, Shiny Darkrai keeps the starry entrance animation upon entering battle. As a mythic, legendary Pokemon, Shiny Darkrai is highly desired for fans of the series.

Shiny Darkrai

Pokemon Rise of Darkrai

The movie Pokemon: Rise of Darkrai is set in the movie exclusive town of Alamos, Dialga and Palkia begin fighting and create a space-time rift around the city as their battleground. In Rise of Darkrai, Darkrai tries to keep to itself in the movie, often attacking the protagonists as they approach Darkrai, but it is not out of hate or evil-doing, rather trying to keep itself safe. As the plot of Rising of Darkrai progresses, Darkrai understands the intentions of the heroes and helps to protect them from the attacks of Dialga and Palkia, even seemingly sacrificing themselves to keep the heroes safe. The rise of Darkrai does not end on a sad note, but rather with Darkrai surviving and happy with the fact that Alamos Town is safe in the end.

Pokemon Rise of Darkrai

Best Moveset

As a mythical, legendary Pokemon, it is difficult to even find a format that Darkrai is legal in. Especially a bracket that allows the use of its signature move Dark Void. Many formats allow the post-nerf edition of Dark Void, but it becomes outclassed by Hypnosis making Darkrai a rather irrelevant pick. Nevertheless, if you want to succeed with Darkrai in a format where it is allowed, you will want the moves Dark Void, Dark Pulse, Nasty Plot, and Thunder/Sludge Bomb. Darkrai’s best selling point is its high special attack and its access to Dark Void. Dark Void is a no brainer considering its high accuracy in the pre-nerf version, Dark Pulse is a high power special attacking dark move so it benefits from STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus), Nasty Plot helps Darkrai set up a sweep, and Thunder/Sludge Bomb are special attacking moves to help with type coverage.

Dark VoidDark Pulse
Nasty PlotThunder/Sludge Bomb

How to Catch Darkrai in Pokemon Go

In order to catch a Darkrai in Pokemon Go, you will need to pay special attention to the raid rotations available in Pokemon Gyms. Sometimes it will just be a Darkrai weekend, and you will be able to find Darkrai in 5-star raid battles. As is typical with raid battles of this difficulty, you will need a good group of trainers to overcome this raid battle. As it is a mythical, legendary Pokemon, you cannot find Darkrai through hatching eggs or simply encounter it in the wild. Keep your eyes peeled for a Darkrai raid near you to catch this exclusive Pokemon.

How to Catch Darkrai in Pokemon Go


  1. Darkrai is mentioned in the main story of Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum where a young boy in Canalav City. The player has retrieved a Lunar Wing from Cresselia to wake the boy up from his nightmare.
  2. The father of the son who is afflicted by Darkrai is named Eldritch harkening towards H.P Lovecraft’s literature where people are often faced with unspeakable evils and driven to madness.
  3. The name Darkrai is a portmanteau of the words dark, and the Japanese word, kurai which also means dark. Meaning its name once it is translated is dark dark.


Q. Why is Darkrai Banned?

With its signature move Dark Void having one of the highest accuracies available for the sleep status effect, Darkrai was banned in many competitive formats because of its overwhelming capabilities. In single battles it is banned due to its impressive statline, in VGC all mythical Pokemon are banned, and in many other instances, players were fed up with getting swept by a single move.

Q. Is Darkrai a legendary Pokemon?

Darkrai is a legendary Pokemon. It is also a mythical Pokemon as it was intended to only be available through events. Of course, data-miners found a way to reach the event in the Diamond and Pearl games, but even still, Darkrai is a mythical legendary Pokemon.

Q. Is Darkrai good or evil?

This is more subjective than anything else. If you only look at Darkrai’s behavior of inducing nightmares in its victims, it seems mildly evil. Whereas, it is shown to be good in the movie Pokemon: Rise of Darkrai. Darkrai is more self-serving than anything else and if anything, it is neutral in its alignment. Perhaps neutral leaning towards good.


Congratulations, you now know just about everything there is to know about this mythical legendary Pokemon. Darkrai is a fan favorite among players of the series as it has incredible potential in battle as well as a good design with even a major role in a Pokemon movie. This event-exclusive Pokemon has been rather controversial throughout the history of competitive battle, but with the generation eight nerfs, it is more of a stat-stick than anything else. Despite this, Darkrai will likely stay in the hearts of fans throughout Pokemon’s history.

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