As fans know quite well, Pokemon carry types. That's true in any medium the franchise has come in -- including the anime. Much like with any type, the Dark-type has seen its fair share of Pokemon owned by characters in the anime.

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But it might stand out a bit more than the other types to fans. There's something about the Dark-type that just seems like it's carried by a lot of the anime's strongest Pokemon. That's to be seen with this list where the fifteen best are showcased.

Note: This list is exclusive to Pokemon owned by specific trainers, so free roamers such as Yveltal and Guzzlord are ineligible.

15 Harrison's Houndoom

Harrison Houndoom Pokemon Anime Johto

It's a bit bizarre that Harrison isn't talked about as one of Ash's better rivals, considering how he introduced Ash to Pokemon from Hoenn.

While his Houndoom isn't one of them, it's certainly one of his best Pokemon. It proved that point against Ash, where it Countered a Hyper Beam from Snorlax, which is a tall task in itself. It even managed to stay on the field for a considerable amount of time before eventually losing to Ash's Bayleef.


14 Alain's Bisharp

Bisharp landing from an explosion in the Pokemon anime

Alain has two other Dark-type Pokemon in his arsenal, Tyranitar and Weavile, that he used in the Kalos League Finals against Ash. However, neither of them performed at the level of Bisharp, who might have been the X factor of that fight.

While Tyranitar was first-blooded and Weavile knocked out one opponent, Bisharp managed to knock out two of Ash's Pokemon, one of which was the massively type-advantaged Hawlucha.

13 Nanu's Persian

Nanu's Alolan Persian standing up to scare a small Litten in the Pokemon Sun & Moon anime

Nanu's Alolan Persian isn't quite like the others; it has a height quite akin to that of a Totem Pokemon. It has a big bag of tricks, from special attacks like Power Gem and Dark Pulse to physical moves like Night Slash.

While Nanu's other Pokemon haven't appeared since his battle with Ash, Persian has been on Nanu's side through most of the anime's story arcs. To be the ace of a Dark-type kahuna is a feat not many can claim.

12 Cameron's Hydreigon


Even though Cameron is terrible with numbers--see his bringing five Pokemon to a full battle--he at least has a literal three-headed monster in Hydreigon.

He shocked Ash in his battle against him by bringing out Unova's pseudo-Legendary off-rip. It was as powerful as it looked, knocking out two of Ash's Pokemon from the jump. While it doesn't know any Dark-type moves, its Dragon Rush and Tri Attack aren't moves to be messed with.

11 Gladion's Zoroark

mohn's zoroark pokemon anime

Gladion has two candidates for this list, not including Silvally with a Dark Memory. While his Umbreon is plenty capable--it survived a Z-Move, which is rare in the anime--his Zoroark has a bit more to offer.

It has experience on its side, being formerly owned by Gladion's father, Mohn. It also has its Illusion ability, which does wonders for its usefulness as both a navigator and a battler. Finally, it can execute its own Z-Move; the Ghost-type standard, Never-Ending Nightmare.

10 Paul's Drapion

Pokemon Diamond Pearl Anime Paul sinnoh League

Had Paul won his Sinnoh League match against Ash, his Drapion easily would have been the MVP. It knocked out three of Ash's Pokemon in that fight (Buizel, Staraptor, Torterra), and in intimidating fashion, too.

While it utilizes its Poison-typing and former Bug-typing much more than its Dark-typing, it's a pain to deal with nonetheless. Its coordination and power are off-the-charts, which is great for a strategist like Paul.

9 Misty's Mega Gyarados

mega gyarados pokemon

After Misty conquered her fears and took control of a Gyarados, it became arguably her strongest Pokemon. It proved its case in the Sun and Moon anime, where it battled Ash's Pikachu with its brand-spanking-new Mega Evolution.

Its Hurricane is a sight to behold, and it even knows Crunch to take advantage of its new Dark-type STAB. While it eventually lost to a super-effective Gigavolt Havoc, it made Pikachu's time tougher than it had the right to be given the disadvantage.

8 Astrid's Absol

Pokemon Anime Absol and Trainer

Astrid could be considered one of the more underrated characters in the Pokemon anime in regards to pure battling prowess. She made it to the quarterfinals of a League, and a big part of that was thanks to her ace, a Mega Absol.

Mega Absol had gone toe-to-toe with Alain's Mega Charizard X before, which was no small feat. While it lost to Ash's Hawlucha, it kept it on its toes with Psycho Cut. It's a shame it didn't get more screentime.

7 Ash's Krookodile

Ash's Sunglass-wearing Krookodile in the Pokemon Anime

The golden boy's first appearance on this list will be the Krookodile that was once a Krokorok peskily following him on his journey. Ash Ketchum's Unova roster is subpar when compared to his rosters from other regions, but its ace is up there with some of his strongest.

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While its replaced all its Dark-type moves for extensive coverage, having unexpected access to Aerial Ace and Dragon Claw has been extremely useful in battles.

6 Ash's Incineroar

Ash Incineroar Evolve From Torracat Pokemon Sun Moon Anime Exhibition Match vs Kukui

Being the one Pokemon to defeat Professor Kukui's Incineroar, it has a case for being the strongest Pokemon in all of Alola, besides any free-roaming Legendaries. While it hasn't been seen as an Incineroar yet, its time as a Torracat was definitely impressive.

Unfortunately, Torracat isn't a Dark-type, and it hasn't been shown to use any Dark-type moves at any point. Still, with the power it already had as a second evolutionary stage, it's hard to believe that power didn't skyrocket upon fully evolving.

5 Kukui's Incineroar

Kukui's Incineroar Professor Kukui Pokemon Sun Moon Anime

It isn't a Legendary, but Professor Kukui's Incineroar had somewhat of a legendary status in Alola, sustaining an impressive win-streak in the Battle Royale Dome. While it's been proven to be beatable by Ash's own Incineroar, it deserves props for being that insurmountable goal to many a Litten and Torracat for that long.

It might be the best representative of the Dark-type among the Pokemon on this list, with its Throat Chop and signature Darkest Lariat being its main methods of attack.

4 Malva's Houndoom

Malva Pokemon XYZ Anime Elite Four

The anime's version of the Elite Four is no joke, and Kalos might have the strongest four (or three, since Drasna hasn't appeared in the anime) considering they all have Mega Evolutions.

While the Kalos Elite Four doesn't have a Dark-type representative, the Fire-type leader Malva has a Mega Houndoom. It put up a good fight against Alain's Mega Charizard X, who at that point had defeated nine other trainers consecutively without healing.

3 Lysandre's Mega Gyarados

Mega Gyarados Shiny XYZ Anime Pokemon

Evil team leaders' Pokemon rosters are kind of a mixed bag, ranging from Giovanni's typical Gym Leader team to Cyrus not even having a canonical team before capturing a bunch of Legendaries.

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While Lysandre's team wasn't that fleshed out either, he might have the strongest officially owned Pokemon out of all the evil team leaders: a shiny Mega Gyarados. It went on a rampage in the Flare arc's climactic fight, where it took Mega Charizard X, Ash-Greninja, and Pikachu attacking it at once to knock it out.

2 Ash's Greninja

Ash and his Battle Bond Greninja in the Pokemon Anime

Ash's third spot on this list has to be reserved for the one-and-only Ash-Greninja, a marvel of Pokemon nature so rare that literally no other Greninja in the anime has replicated it.

It's insanely powerful too. The rest of Ash's Kalos roster are no slouches, but Greninja has proven that it can go toe-to-toe with Mega Evolutions, type disadvantages, the whole shebang. It frustrates so many fans that Ash decided to release this once-in-a-lifetime Pokemon.

1 Tobias's Darkrai

Sinnoh League Diamond Pearl Anime Legendary

Speaking of fan frustrations, Tobias's whole existence is a point of contention for most fans of the anime. To many, he was nothing more than an insurmountable roadblock to prevent Ash from winning a League.

Regardless, he's arguably the most powerful Trainer in the anime, and 99% of the reason behind that is his Darkrai. The fact that it swept an entire League by itself aside from Ash's Sceptile, Swellow, and Pikachu can't be ignored.

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