|Catch Rate||3 (0.4%)|
Darkrai is a mythical Pokemon attainable through two methods. However, with the shutdown of the Gen 4/5 Wi-Fi servers, and thus, the unattainability of the Member Card, one of these methods is now obsolete. Darkrai may now only be found in Diamond and Pearl on Newmoon Island through the use of the arduous Tweaking Glitch.
Forget the Regis. Forget Sun and Moon's 1% encounter-rate fishing Pokemon. In fact, forget the difficulty of finding any Pokemon you've ever wanted in a Nuzlocke, because Darkrai here takes the cake as the hardest Pokemon to obtain in a Nuzlocke, period. To date, there has been exactly one recorded encounter and capture of Darkrai during a Nuzlocke challenge, and for good reason. The difficulty of encountering Darkrai is centralized around the terrifying Tweaking Glitch, which takes hours to perform and even runs the risk of corrupting one's save file.
However, should you dare to venture into the void beyond Jubilife and spend upwards of two hours looking for a single Pokemon, be ready to reap the rewards. A lightning-fast Special Attacker with a powerful niche as a sleep-killer, very few can withstand the might of Darkrai.
Hold up. Before you even consider catching Darkrai, you must be prepared. First, note that Darkrai comes at Level 40, so while it is attainable as soon as you earn your Bicycle in Eterna City, it is ill-advised to go for him immediately, unless you want to be locked in the endless nightmare of his battle. It is recommended that you have at least completed the Galactic HQ portion of the plot in Veilstone, so that your Pokemon are a satisfactory level for fighting this legend, as well as the fact that you will have a Master Ball in reserve in case things go south.
Furthermore, performing this glitch has an absurd level of risk involving it. First, the glitch will take upwards of two hours to perform, so if you're impatient, catching Darkrai is not for you. Secondly, you will take yourself outside of the map into a place known as the Void in order to catch Darkrai. This means that if you save while you're in the Void, get stuck, and don't have a means of escape such as a Flying Pokemon, it's game over. Your Nuzlocke ends then and there, lost in an endless space with no escape. Even if you do manage to maneuver your way through the void, there are a small number of cartridges which will have their save files corrupted upon reaching the culmination of the glitch, once again creating an instantaneous game over.
Still interested in catching Darkrai? I like your guts. Let's do this. In order to perform this glitch, you shall need a couple of things:
- Explorer Kit - NOTE: The Explorer Kit must have been used at least once prior to performing this glitch
- An HM Slave and a Flyer (not necessary, but very useful in case you run into something)
- An extraordinary amount of patience, luck, or both.
- If you want, put two Pokemon into the day care. You'll be walking over 120,000 steps, enough to get a level 40 Pokemon up to approximately level 60.
So, now that you have all of these things, it's time to catch the Pitch Black Pokemon. First, save your game in front of the Jubilife Pokemon Center, as your first checkpoint. Then, get on your bike, set it to the fastest gear, and line up immediately below Square 3. Then, in rapid succession without running into a wall or out of this four-square formation, bike in this order: 3-1-2-4-3-4-3-Left Exit. Then, bike to the Jubilife TV station. If performed correctly, one of three things will happen: Either your game will freeze (don't worry, this is normal), half of the city will be replaced with the Void, but blocked off by an invisible wall (again, normal), or... half of the city will be replaced by the Void, but you will be able to enter it. This third effect is what you are shooting for. If either of the others happens, try again - it doesn't mean you can't tweak your way into the Void.
Now, starting immediately from below that girl, reset your pedometer and travel 20 spaces west, 10 spaces north, 5 spaces east, and 3 spaces south. Open up your menu (the bag or the Pokemon screen will work) in order to reset your graphics, and you will find yourself immediately north of the door to the Poketch company. Take one step down, and you will enter Poketch... from the wrong side.
Time for the next part of the glitch. Stand in the exact square marked in the picture to the right, then travel north (do not take any steps to the left or right) until you arrive exactly to the space that marks the entrance to Jubilife City. You will be able to tell this by the area marker on the upper-right hand corner of your screen. It took me about 430 steps to do so. Next, you must register your Explorer Kit (do not use it from the bag), and open it using the Y button. This is the tipping point, by the way. Once you do this, there is no escape until you either encounter Darkrai... or remain permanently lost in the void. If you should stomach your courage, hit the Y button to activate your Explorer Kit, save, and let your game crash. Relax, this is normal.
Reboot your game after the crash, re-register your Bicycle, and pay close attention to this next series of steps, taking great care to reset your pedometer after each step so you do not lose count. Go 416 steps south, 2 steps north, 81 steps west, and 275 steps south. Simple enough. Now for the fun part: you must travel approximately 64,550 steps to the west. This stretch shall take you about one hour, so go watch a little bit of Netflix while you tire your thumb out.
After this long stretch, passing through hail, fog, and even a potential cutscene, you shall arrive at the edge of a small island. Travel up until you line up with a square shown in the picture to the right, and get ready for some more traveling. Travel 780 steps west to start. After that comes another long stretch: 65,449 steps to the north. Once again, this takes an hour, so go watch another episode of Walking Dead or Stranger Things. You've got time.
After passing a forest as well as a replica of Jubilife City, your journey is almost over. You shall arrive at a small island with stairs and a weird grid thing in the water. Climb up the stairs and stand right in front of the forest's entrance. Save the game and turn it off then on again. When it turns back on, you will notice that your screen is entirely black. Do not worry - simply open your Bag or the Pokemon menu to reload the graphics. Once you do, enter the forest. Sitting there will be the mythical Pokemon... Darkrai.
You know what to do now, Nuzlocker. Fight it, weaken it, stay alive, and catch it.
So now that you caught (or killed, if it came to that) Darkrai, it's time to leave the island. How? Well, all you have to do is leave the deep forest, talk to the man in front of the boat, and he will take you to Canalave City. It's almost as if you had the Member Card with you, eh? So congratulations - you've got a Darkrai now. Get back to the main story and take down everything!
Important Matchups Edit
- Rival (Hearthome City): Pursuit is a guaranteed OHKO on everything except Ponyta, who only has a 37% chance to OHKO, and the starters, who are all 2HKOed by it, except for Monferno, who is instead 2HKOed by Quick Attack. Meanwhile, they can literally do nothing to you, because you outlevel them by 20 levels. Go wild.
- Gym #3 - Maylene (Veilstone City, Fighting-type): If you picked up Psychic from the Game Corner before entering this gym, it will be a piece of cake. If not, you might have a bit of trouble. Meditite is easy enough with or without Psychic - Pursuit 2HKOs, while Psychic OHKOs. Machoke is trickier, though, if you lack Psychic. Machoke 3HKOs with Brick Break, while you can only 4HKO with Quick Attack - keep back. Lucario is 2HKOed by Psychic, but if you aren't using it, stay as far away from Lucario as possible - it 3HKOs with its Fighting-type attacks, while you can hardly touch him with your attacks at that point.
- Gym #4 - Crasher Wake (Pastoria City, Water-type): This fight's difficulty can once again be skewered by a Game Corner TM - Thunderbolt, in this situation. Gyarados is laughably easy with Thunderbolt. Without it, though, take caution - Gyarados can't hit you hard with Brine or Bite, but Dragon Rage will 3HKO, and you can only 5HKO with Pursuit. Floatzel is easy enough no matter what - Thunderbolt OHKOs if you got it, and if you don't, it can 6HKO at best while your Pursuit 3HKOS (4HKO if you're still Intimidate-nerfed from Gyarados). Quagsire is a joke - go wild on it.
- Rival (Pastoria City): Pursuit will likely OHKO Starly - seriously, why hasn't he evolved it yet? - and if you don't want to risk its survival, use Thunderbolt if you got it. Buizel, Ponyta, and Roselia are all 2HKOed by Pursuit, but OHKOed by the Game Corner move that is Super-Effective against them (with the exception of Ponyta, who is OHKOed by either of them). Monferno is 3HKOed by Quick Attack (Psychic OHKOs), should you still have it, while it can only 6HKO with Mach Punch. Pursuit 3HKOs the other two starters, while they do little to you.
- Gym #5 - Fantina (Hearthome City, Ghost-type): If you have Thunderbolt, use it, as it will OHKO Drifblim while avoiding the Aftermath damage that Pursuit's 2HKO causes. Pursuit also 2HKOs Gengar with minimal risk to Darkrai (except a small chance of poison through Poison Jab, but that can be remedied with an Antidote). Finally, Fantina's dreaded Mismagius is rendered powerless to the Pitch Black Pokemon, with Pursuit 2HKOing and all of Fantina's attacks doing next to nothing to Darkrai.
- Rival (Canalave City): The level curve is starting to catch up to Darkrai now, ain't it? Staravia is a joke - you 2/3HKO with Pursuit, and Thunderbolt destroys it. If you don't have Psychic, keep away from that Heracross - Brick Break 2HKOs. Roselia, Ponyta, and Buizel are, once again, simple matters of "use the move that's super-effective against them except for Ponyta, where you can use anything" or a slightly-less simple but still effective matter of "3HKO with Pursuit." Monferno is now too dangerous to take on without Psychic, so keep away from it. Prinplup and Grotle, however, are simple kills with Pursuit (or Thunderbolt in Prinplup's case) - just watch for crits and any damage you may have taken before.
- Gym #6 - Byron (Canalave City, Steel-type): Oh, if only this were Generation 6... Darkrai can't do very much in this gym without Focus Miss, and even then, that move is too unreliable. The best it can do is take out Bronzor, but even that will take a few turns. Bastiodon and Steelix are out of the question - Darkrai does next to nothing to those metal monsters.
- Saturn (Lake Valor): Kadabra? Meet Pursuit. Bronzor is also an easy kill, although like Byron's, it takes a couple of turns - use Hypnosis to make it easier through natural health loss via Bad Dreams. As for Toxicroak, fighting it depends on if you have Psychic or not. If you do, that's an OHKO. If you don't, Toxicroak's Revenge will OHKO you in return.
- Mars (Lake Verity): Thunderbolt will likely OHKO Golbat, while its Air Cutter can only 6HKO. Bronzor is doable, but like the others before, it takes a while if you don't sleep it first. Be careful if fighting Purugly, as it receives a free Fake Out hit, Slash is deceptively strong, especially if it scores a critical hit, and Hypnosis can hit Darkrai with a taste of its own medicine.
- Gym #7 - Candice (Snowpoint City, Ice-type): Snover is easy - take it out with Pursuit or Psychic. Be very, very careful if you fight Medicham - your Thunderbolt only has a 50% chance to 2HKO, while Medicham's Force Palm will 2HKO, and if it uses Bulk Up before that, it is very likely to OHKO. Sneasel is 2HKOed by Thunderbolt - just be aware of a potentially massive source of damage from Avalanche. Keep away from Abomasnow - GrassWhistle can put you to sleep and Wood Hammer and Avalanche are both 2HKOs, while Psychic and Ice Beam can only 3HKO.
- Cyrus (Galactic HQ): Murkrow gets torn to shreds by Ice Beam or Thunderbolt easily enough, and Golbat is within OHKO range of the same moves. Sneasel, meanwhile, is deceptively strong. Although your Thunderbolt can 2HKO, it causes a lot of damage with Ice Punch, so if your health is low, it's best to let another Pokemon take care of Sneasel.
- Saturn (Galactic HQ): Kadabra is an easy kill - use Ice Beam or Thunderbolt to 2HKO. Bronzor will have to be chipped down to death with Hypnosis and Bad Dreams, but it can't touch you very much otherwise. Finally, Toxicroak is another easy kill, but only if you have Psychic - that move OHKOs Toxicroak, but its Brick Break will 2HKO Darkrai, so only try fighting it if you have enough health left.
- Mars and Jupiter (Spear Pillar, tag battle with rival): First things first, put Mars' Bronzor to sleep immediately. If you fail to do so, it may set up Light Screen, which will make things far more difficult than they should be. As for direct combat, Darkrai can't really fight either of the Bronzor without Barry's assistance, so consider knocking out Barry's Munchlax yourself to persuade him to switch into a better Pokemon. Make sure you only do this while the Bronzor are out, though, or else you may take a bit of damage from their other Pokemon. Both of their Golbat can be OHKOed by either Thunderbolt or Ice Beam (Psychic has slightly less power and thus is not recommended), while they can't harm Darkrai seriously. Against Purugly, place it to sleep before anything, and Bad Dreams, in conjunction with two Ice Beams/Thunderbolts/Sludge Bombs/Psychics, will net you a 2HKO. Skuntank is a bit trickier of a fight, however - it can cause a bit of damage with Poison Jab, and you can only 3HKO without Bad Dreams assistance. Get it to sleep, however, and you are golden.
- Cyrus (Spear Pillar): Ice Beam or Thunderbolt should OHKO Honchkrow, so go with that. The normally terrifying Gyarados falls flat to a single Thunderbolt. Crobat will go down to two of either Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, or Psychic, but be careful - Crobat is one of the few things that can directly outspeed Darkrai, so if you're low on health, watch out - Cross Poison 4HKOs. Finally, Weavile is just too dangerous - it will 2HKO with X-Scissor or Brick Break, and it will possibly outspeed you without EV training. Meanwhile, your attacks can only 3HKO before the Sitrus Berry - best to keep back.
- Dialga/Palkia (Spear Pillar): As powerful as Darkrai is, Palkia and Dialga just overwhelm it. If you want, you can put them to sleep for a better chance at catching them if you don't want to use (or already have used) the Master Ball, although Darkrai should remain at the back lines for this fight.
- Gym #8 - Volkner (Sunyshore City, Electric-type): Raichu somehow outmatches Darkrai in supportive ways - although you will 3HKO it, it can do things such as set up Light Screen, paralyze with Thunder Wave, and cause good damage with Brick Break. Let something else take care of the Raichu lead. Ambipom can't do much even with a Nasty Plot-boosted Shock Wave. However, you only have chances to 2HKO it, so if you don't pick it off before it drops a Nasty Plot and an Agility, you may have to face a boosted enemy - don't wait to kill it. Octillery is just sad in an Electric-type gym - use Thunderbolt. Finally, we have Luxray. You win in the long run by 3HKOing with Ice Beam, and you outspeed, but watch out if you have low health - Luxray's Thunder Fang will 3HKO as well.
- Rival (Pokémon League): Ice Beam or Thunderbolt will OHKO Staraptor before it can launch a Close Combat. Avoid Heracross - Close Combat OHKOs, while Psychic cannot. Snorlax is just too bulky for Darkrai's Special Attacks, so keep away from it. Ice Beam and Psychic will 2HKO Roserade, while the most dangerous thing it can do is place you to sleep. Thunderbolt will OHKO Floatzel, and if you don't have it, Dark Pulse will 2HKO - just be wary of its Brick Break, which 3HKOs. Dark Pulse will 2HKO Rapidash, while its Fire Blast 3HKOs. Don't fight Empoleon without Thunderbolt, which 2KHOs, as its Brine will 3HKO while you are at full health. Furthermore, if you are below half HP, avoid Empoleon, as Brine's effect will allow it to KO you if you have less than half of your health remaining. Keep away from Infernape - Close Combat OHKOs. Only fight Torterra if you know Ice Beam - that is the only move you have that can do more than 3HKO, while Torterra has Synthesis and some heavy-hitting moves in the form of Leaf Storm and Earthquake.
- Elite Four Aaron (Pokémon League, Bug-type): Psychic can OHKO Dustox if you are trained to a point near or equal to Cynthia's levels, and Dark Pulse will 2HKO. Beautifly is very fragile - Ice Beam and Thunderbolt both OHKO, and even Dark Pulse should if you are overleveled. Ice Beam and Thunderbolt both have small chances to OHKO Vespiquen, while its Attack Order only has a 30% chance to 2HKO. Don't fight Heracross - its Close Combat has a chance to OHKO, and will certainly OHKO if you didn't grind up to Cynthia's levels. Drapion is just a bit too dangerous - you have nothing that can hit it super-effectively, and its X-Scissor causes significant damage.
- Elite Four Bertha (Pokémon League, Ground-type): Quagsire is simple whether or not you have Ice Beam, as Dark Pulse will 2HKO it. Sudowoodo is also 2HKOed by Dark Pulse, but watch out for its Hammer Arm - it packs a surprising punch, being able to possibly 2HKO. Ice Beam will OHKO Golem, so go wild if you have it, keep back if you don't. Whiscash is an easy fight, with Dark Pulse being a clean 2HKO. Ice Beam will also 2HKO Hippowdon, while its Earthquake can only 3HKO.
- Elite Four Flint (Pokémon League, Fire-type): Dark Pulse will 2HKO Rapidash easily enough, but its Flare Blitz verges on 2HKO territory, so tread with care. Steelix is immensely easy if you have Ice Beam, as that will 2HKO, while its best-case scenario is to 4HKO Darkrai with Fire Fang under sun. Drifblim is another joke - Dark Pulse should OHKO. Stay away from Lopunny under all circumstances - you cannot OHKO it, but Mirror Coat will ruin Darkrai. Only fight Infernape if there is no sun set up and if you know Psychic. Psychic will 2HKO Infernape, but you have nothing else that can take it down fast enough, because Infernape's Flare Blitz will 2HKO without sun, and tear Darkrai to shreds under it.
- Elite Four Lucian (Pokémon League, Psychic-type): Darkrai has been waiting for this moment. Dark Pulse will OHKO Mr. Mime, Girafarig, and Alakazam without even breaking a sweat. You should stay away from Medicham, as it can 2HKO you with Drain Punch. As for Bronzong, it should be a safe enough fight if it doesn't set up Calm Mind, as Dark Pulse will 3HKO without any boosts to its Special Defense. However, if it does use Calm Mind, let something else finish off Lucian.
- Champion Cynthia (Pokémon League): Dark Pulse 2HKOs Spiritomb, while its Silver Wind can only 4HKO, making it safe enough. Ice Beam and Psychic both 2HKO Roserade, but its Sludge Bomb can 3HKO, so it's doable, but requires a little bit of safety. Dark Pulse will 3HKO Gastrodon, while Gastrodon can usually only 4HKO. Stay away from Lucario - Aura Sphere hurts. Milotic is too dangerous to take on - even though Thunderbolt 2HKOs, a Mirror Coat counterattack will OHKO in retaliation. Now we arrive at Garchomp, one of the toughest opponents of the game... and Darkrai, as long as it knows Ice Beam, completely annihilates it, so go wild.
- Post-Game: Despite Darkrai's dominatory behavior before here, Heatran shows no mercy to this Mythical Pokemon.
Darkrai comes pre-packaged with Hypnosis, Quick Attack, Pursuit, and Nightmare. At level 47, it learns Double Team, which is not going to be very useful on Darkrai. Level 57 gives Haze, which is another no. And at level 66, exactly equal to Cynthia's Garchomp, Darkrai receives the legendary Dark Void, which will replace Hypnosis if you still have it (and you should, since sleep is Darkrai's best asset).
Darkrai's TM moveset is astounding. The one TM you will absolutely need for it is Dark Pulse, Darkrai's best STAB move. Note that the TM is found unbelievably late within Victory Road, and while Dark Pulse is available on its level-up moveset, it comes at level 93, so go ahead and use the TM when you finally receive it. To handle a Fighting-type weakness, Psychic is a fantastic option. To complement sleep, Dream Eater is another, more powerful attack with recovery, although Psychic has better general use. For coverage, Darkrai is capable of using Ice Beam and Thunderbolt for a wide range of damaging effects. One can also go for the Department Store variants, Blizzard and Thunder, although Boltbeam works well enough. Sludge Bomb is also another nice attack, if you're just looking for a filler move. Focus Blast can hit Steel-types which Darkrai could not normally hit, and Charge Beam provides a potential Special Attack boost, allowing Darkrai to cause massive damage. Darkrai's physical moveset isn't bad, either. Return is a nice option, if you manage to raise its friendship enough. Brick Break and Drain Punch also serve as nice Fighting-type attacks, with Drain Punch even providing recovery. For other coverage, there are such moves as Shadow Claw, Aerial Ace, Rock Slide, and Poison Jab.
- Doctor Sleep: Dark Void, Dark Pulse, Dream Eater/Nightmare, One filler move
- Special Attacker: Dark Pulse, Dark Void, Ice Beam/Thunderbolt, Psychic/Sludge Bomb/Focus Blast
Recommended Teammates Edit
- Ghost-types: Darkrai is lacking defensively, and a powerful Fighting-type attack or even a stray X-Scissor can take it down. This is why it pairs well with Ghost-types, as they have immunities to Fighting-types and resistances to Bug. In return, Darkrai resists Dark-type or Ghost-type threats which otherwise terrify your own Ghosts.
- Bulkier or Defensive Pokemon: Like I said, Darkrai's defenses mean that if you can't pick up a kill fast enough, you're risking a fatality. A more defensive Pokemon can take hits that Darkrai otherwise wouldn't. In exchange, if something comes along such as another bulky Pokemon that just outmatches your own, Darkrai can come in, place it to sleep, and clean up the mess.
Darkrai's stats Edit
|At Lv. 50||At Lv. 100|
|130 - 177||250 - 344|
|85 - 156||166 - 306|
|85 - 156||166 - 306|
|126 - 205||247 - 405|
|85 - 156||166 - 306|
|117 - 194||229 - 383|
- What Nature do I want? When it comes to Darkrai, Speed is key. A Speed-boosting nature would be a godsend. You could also make do with a Special Attack-boost, hitting targets to amazing effect.
- How good is Darkrai in a Nuzlocke? As expected of a Mythical Pokemon, it is very, very fun to use. It requires great patience to attain it, but hell - as of May 2017, it's been attained and used in a recorded non-randomizer Nuzlocke exactly once, so using it allows the player to attain bragging rights of astronomical acclaim. If you're actually in it to use the Pokemon and not for the bragging rights, Darkrai is strong enough to pack numerous OHKOs and 2HKOS. However, for a legendary, it is unfortunately frail, and a strong super-effective attack can easily KO it if you can't KO first. Still, despite Darkrai's flaws, it makes up for it in terms of strength and of exactly how fun it is to use.
- Weaknesses: Fighting, Bug
- Resistances: Ghost, Dark
- Immunities: Psychic
- Neutralities: Normal, Flying, Poison, Ground, Rock, Steel, Fire, Water, Grass, Electric, Ice, Dragon