In the new seventh generation, it seems like Dark-type Pokemon are on somewhat of a decline. While originally created to be a check for Psychic and Ghost-types, Dark-types have never evolved beyond that moment. Tragically, they have picked up a new weakness with the advent of Fairy-type pokemon. While they do have an interesting move pool and a variety of moves, plus an awesome setup with Darkrai, they have a niche, they just cannot hold their own as much. Whether you are using one for nostalgia or you are trying your best to make Dark pokemon viable, let’s talk about the new ones in Alola.
Oddly enough, there are only a few new Dark-type pokemon in Alola. Three of which, you have met in Kanto and one of which is a legendary. Let’s see what is good, what is bad, and rank them all! Let’s go!
5. Alolan Raticate
- National Pokedex: 20
Raticate. We all have questioned “WHY?” when you see someone using one, but you will never hate them as much as a cave full of Zubat. Raticate makes its debut in Alola with chubby cheeks, a fat body, and a new typing! Raticate is now Dark/Normal-type. You meet Rattata early in the game and it can make an early game addition to your party. Why, you may ask? Hustle. It can also have Gluttony or Thick Fat, but Hustle will boost your moves by 50% but drop your accuracy to 80% As it is Dark/Normal, it does have to be wary of Bug and Fairy-type Pokemon while it does have a 4x weakness to Fighting. Ouch.
Raticate have been evened out more with its speed dropping from 97 to 77, but HP rises from 55 to 75. Both Defenses now rise 10 points each to 70 for Defense and 80 for Special Defense. Also, both Attacks drop 10 points to 71 for attack and 40 for special. So, Ratice now lends itself to be more of an even pokemon without excelling in a specific area. One good thing to note about this new typing is that it nulls all Psychic and Ghost moves. Sadly, or rather disappointingly, the movepool for Alolan Raticate is exactly the same as the Kanto Raticate. The difference this round is that now can get STAB for all of the physical Dark-type moves. Crunch and either Double-Edge or Hyper Fang are good starts. Wild Charge and Shadow Claw are good moves for more coverage, but you are going to be dropping it by the time you get these TMs.
4. Alolan Persian
- National Pokedex: 53
Persian does not stand out as a Pokémon and sadly, Alolan Persian is the same. The Meowth-Persian line has been around since game one. Giovanni had a Persian both in the anime and the game, while Meowth became popular because of his pairing with Team Rocket. You don’t really use them in Kanto, and surprise, surprise, you will not probably find a use for this one in this game either. In the new Sun and Moon, Persian, comes as a Normal/Dark-type and has the abilities Fur Coat, which halves damage from physical moves and Technician which… maybe people love especially those who do online battling.
To say something about its stats, at least it has good speed? Its speed does stay at 115, which is fast. It’s Attack Drop down to 60 while its Sp. Attack rises to 75. So, other than the fact that it looks like the meme of the dog who ate a bee and had its face swell up like a basketball, nothing much has changed to make this pokemon relevant, viable, or better. Now that it does learn Dark Pulse for STAB if you can handle getting it all the way to level 69. You really should focus on making Persian learn other Special Moves. TM moves like Thunder, Thunderbolt, Shadow Ball, and even Dream Eater are good options. However it needs someone to set up Hypnosis. The only other trait about Persian, is that it only learns physical moves when leveling up, except for Power Gem at 32, which are sadly tied to its lower physical attack stat.
3. Alolan Muk
- National Pokedex: 89
Alolan Muk is one of the few reinvented Kanto Pokemon on this list where Gamefreak got it right. Looking like an acid trip gone wrong, Muk is now Poison/Dark type which eliminates all of its weaknesses other than Ground! The story has it that Muks in Alola are actually friendly and docile and no longer stink. Abilities are okay at best. Poison touch and Gluttony are its standard options. Power of Alchemy is a new ability introduced for this game where Grimer or Muk can copy the ability of an ally that has been defeated, so it is great for double and triple battles.
Muk is a fairy-type murderer now. He is scary powerful with a 105 in both HP and Attack and boasting a 100 in Special Defense and a 75 in Defense. Muk is here to stay. He can soak up damage and then be the harbinger of status. Toxic can be paired here with Venom Drench, which when it hits, drops Attack, Special Attack, and Speed. Since it gets some good Dark STAB moves you don’t have to rely on Explosion to do damage when you are done with him. Brick Break is good to have to check Ground-types and you can even Rest to piss off your foes after you drop their stats. Really, the new Muk is so much more viable now that it is not a Poison mono-type!
- National Pokedex: 799
Incineroar is what happens when you pick Litten as your starter and then raise it to level 34. Finally Torracat evolves giving you Incineroar along with a Dark-typing attached. It still sadly keeps Blaze as it’s Ability. Now that it has Dark-typing, Incineroar is weak to Water, Ground, Fighting, Rock. It does have the Hidden Ability Intimidate, but you cannot get it at this time. Incieroar has an amazing 115 in Attack followed by a 95 in HP, a 90 in both Defenses, and a tragic 60 in Speed. So know right now, that you will need to make some sort of investment in is Speed in order for it to not get destroyed.
Incineroar is extremely versatile with access to a variety of moves letting it be a Wallbreaker or a Defensive wall itself. Naturally no matter what you do, you will always want to put Darkest Lariat on it. The best thing about this move is that if your foe has set up on you, it ignores all stat changes. This is fantastic news for Pokémon that have boosted their defenses to try and survive its attacks. Flare Blitz is the other Fire-type STAB move that you want to put your money on. Cross Chop or Earthquake will allow you to get more neutral coverage if you are going to be using it as such. Leech Life is probably best since you can use it to heal yourself. If you are going to use it defensively, Will-o-wisp will just piss off your foes. U-turn in lieu of Leech Life is good to get out of bad situations.
- National Pokedex: 799
Guzzlord is an Ultra Beast that you can encounter and will also be the highest leveled. Roaring in at level 70, this Dragon/Dark-type Pokémon is and looks like, a real beast. It has a massive mouth, four arms and more! This Junkivore Pokémon has an astounding 223 base stat in HP second only to Chansey and Blissey. This HP stat is followed by a 101 in Attack, a 97 in Special Attack, and a 53 in both Defenses. Essentially this is just Blissey with a bit better stat distribution. All of its HP is going to make it able to sponge up damage and still deal out decent amounts of damage. It does have Beast Boost as its ability, but it is a bit wasted, because, its HP is not going to raise higher in the middle of battle. It does need to watch out for Ice, Fighting, and Bug, and it has a 4x weakness to fairy. Be sure to make Guzzlord learn a Steel or Poison-type move!
As for its movepool, it is quite impressive! If you are going the Physical route, then its normal movepool is great. Hammer Arm, Dragon Rush for STAB, Crunch for STAB, and then Stamping Tantrum, Trash, and even Heavy Slam are good. If you want to run it with Special Stats, it does learn Belch which is good for handling a 4x weakness to Fairy. Sludge Wave and Flamethrower will give you good coverage while it can also learn Snarl & Dark Pulse. It can also be taught Draco Meteor. Really though, it is up to you how you want to do it. The other good thing to note is that it can learn Rest and Sleep Talk so you could give it Crunch and Dragon Rush or Dragon Claw with leftovers, and essentially it cannot die.
Dark-types may be at a disadvantage throughout Sun & Moon now that Fairy-types are on the rise. That will not stop them though from being quite a threat provided that they can set up on you or have moves to protect themselves. Are you using a new Dark-type Pokémon in your game or an Alolan Pokemon? Be sure to let us know down below!