Classification Pitch-Black Pokémon
Type Dark
Implied Gender Genderless
Style Technique
HP 540
Synergy Gauge Size 200CC
Stance Effects High: Charges Synergy Gauge

Low: Avoid High Attacks

Unlockability Starter
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More Details From Darkrai at Pokken Arena
"Go away!"
―Darkrai (The Rise of Darkrai)

Darkrai is a Dark-type Mythical Pokémon of the Sinnoh Region introduced in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, and it is classified as the Pitch-Black Pokémon. It is a fighter in Pokkén Tournament DX, and the arcade version of Pokkén Tournament. It was announced on July 14th, 2016 during a NicoNico livestream and first released on arcades alongside Version A14 on July 20th, 2016.

Overview Edit

Being a Technique-oriented Battle Pokemon, Darkrai possesses several unique Traits including the Phantom Count and Nightmare Phase which give it a very wide variety of options to use against opponents. Played at the highest level, it can be both a formidable zoner and an extremely potent close-range fighter, a combination not truly represented anywhere else in the game's roster. Additionally, the aforementioned Nightmare Shift Trait enables Darkrai to contend with opponents in Burst Mode without having to activate its own.

It excels at laying traps in the arena and triggering their secondary effects at a distance to keep opponents away. Once in Nightmare Phase, Darkrai gains access to more moves and a fighting style favoring more close-range combat, in addition to a high degree of invincibility frames and incredibly high damage output.

However, Darkrai is not without its faults. Many of its moves have large start and end lag, and in standard Duel Phase it suffers from poor close-range options. Its reliance on successfully landing Dark Void to trigger Nightmare Phase (known as Bad Dreams Rising, internationally) makes its initial tactics somewhat easier to predict by an opponent, and coupled with its frame data leaves it prone to being overwhelmed by faster opponents that can close the distance gap quickly.

Special Characteristics Edit

Phantoms and Nasty Plot Edit

Many of Darkrai's moves produce traps on the battle stage, referred to as Phantoms. These Phantoms each differ in their basic properties. However, all but one type of Phantom will exhibit a change in response to the use of the Pokemon Move Nasty Plot, Darkrai's backward Pokemon Move (bA in Field Phase or 4A/6A in Duel Phase depending on the direction Darkrai is facing).

Nasty Plot is a move with Counter properties, and should it come into contact with a Normal Attack during its animation, it will warp Darkrai backward without taking damage and produce a Shadow Phantom in its place.

Generally, only two Phantoms may occupy the stage at once (either two of the same type, or two different ones). However, the Thorns Phantom may also be present in addition to the aforementioned two, and is unaffected by their presence.

The five different kinds of Phantoms Darkrai can employ are as follows:

  • Shadow: Creates a Phantom that resembles Darkrai. If you use Dark Pulse at normal power (tapping A without charging), the Shadows will also fire their own Dark Pulse and then disappear. If activated by Nasty Plot they explode in place. You can also set by holding Y or by getting hit when using Nasty Plot.
  • Dark Hands: Produced using Y and Up in Field Phase. Creates a circular field on the ground with hands emerging from it that stuns the enemy if they enter. When activated by Nasty Plot, the hands rise high into the air and the entire zone rapidly homes in on the opponent.
  • Rift: Produced by all of Darkrai's strong (X) moves, they resemble cracks that appear in mid-air. The location in the air where the Rift appears depends on the directional inputted alongside "X". Furthermore, different Rifts appear at different distances from Darkrai itself. If an opponent is overlapping with the space where the Rift appears, they take damage and knockback, but the Rift remains in place. When activated by Nasty Plot, a stream of energy is released from the Rift to inflict damage and knockback if the opponent if nearby. The direction of this energy stream varies with the type of Rift.
  • Barricade: Formerly Darkrai's Neutral Y in Field Phase, but performed by holding Back X in DX. Creates a mirror-like barricade that stuns on contact. If activated by Nasty Plot the mirror becomes a pair of biting teeth which slowly home in on the opponent.
  • Thorns: Creates a wall of thorns that stuns the opponent on contact by using Y while airborne. This is the only Phantom that is completely unaffected by Nasty Plot, and can thus occupy the stage along with any two Phantoms that are influenced by Nasty Plot. In Field Phase it can be placed in the air as a circular zone of thorns, or on the ground as either a vertical or horizontal wall of thorns, with the direction being controlled via directional inputs. In Duel Phase, it always produces the circular zone above the enemy, with its horizontal distance being controlled by either putting in any or no directional input. The zone's height above the ground varies with how high off the ground Darkrai is when producing the Phantom.

The Phantom Count (Phantom Force) Edit

The Phantom Count, often colloquially referred to as Phantom Force, is a trait unique to Darkrai. Many of Darkrai's moves produce traps on the battle stage, referred to as "Phantoms". Each time Darkrai produces a Phantom, Darkrai's Phantom Count increases by 1 (up to a maximum of 4). This is visually represented by the appearance of glowing orbs that spin around an axis at the center of Darkrai's abdomen.

These orbs act as a currency that may be exchanged for various effects. However, this exchange process will drop Darkrai's Phantom Count back to zero when activated.

Darkrai can exchange the Phantom Count for effects in one of two ways. By holding the A button (the input for Dark Pulse) rather than simply tapping it, Darkrai releases Dark Pulse as a horizontal field of energy emitting from its abdomen. This field's diameter increases the higher Darkrai's Phantom Count is at the time of use. However, as it emerges at the height of Darkrai's abdomen, it cannot strike airborne opponents. Those successfully hit by this charged Dark Pulse will be stunned briefly, allowing for a follow-up attack.

The second manner in which Darkrai can exchange its Phantom Count is by holding X (Strong Attack) until after the corresponding attack animation ends, and then releasing it. This will cause Darkrai to perform a bow, and experience a beneficial effect. The types and extent of the effects Darkrai experiences increase with the Phantom Count at the time of use, and are as follows:

  • Count=0: Recover 10 HP
  • Count=1: Recover 30 HP
  • Count=2: Recover 30HP and +Def for 4 seconds.
  • Count=3: Recover 60 HP and +Atk/Def for 8 seconds.
  • Count=4: Recover 60 HP and gain Synergy, +Atk/Def for 8 seconds.

In some releases of Pokken Tournament DX, a glitch can occur where the maximum Phantom Count can be slightly altered while in battle, allowing Darkrai to have a Phantom Count of 5 or even 6. It is still unknown how this glitch occurs, and this is only temporary, as once the Phantom Count is bought below 4 again the Maximum Count is reset to 4. However, this glitch does not affect the potency of the moves that register the Phantom Count. For example, if Darkrai has a Phantom Count of 6, using a charged Dark Pulse deducts the Count by 4 and leaves Darkrai with a Phantom Count of 2.

Bad Dreams Rising (Nightmare Shift) Edit


Darkrai activating its ability Bad Dreams to trigger Nightmare Phase.

Bad Dreams Rising, most often referred to by its Japanese name Nightmare Shift, is yet another trait exclusive to Darkrai. It is a unique form of Phase Shift triggered by Darkrai successfully landing Dark Void (Forward A) on an opponent. Accomplishing this shifts the Phase to Nightmare Duel Phase (often abbreviated as simply Nightmare Phase) which imbues many of Darkrai's moves with new properties, in addition to granting access to two new moves. Nightmare Phase can also be triggered if already in Duel Phase by successfully landing Dark Void, and will end when the phase shifts once again, or if Darkrai takes too much damage. Also of note is that Dark Void cannot KO an opponent. Curiously, in the event two Darkrai are battling each other, Nightmare Phase does not affect both simultaneously. Each Darkrai must successfully land Dark Void on the other for both to gain its effects during Nightmare Phase.

Nightmare Phase is effectively fought inside the opponent's dream, and so Darkrai gains access to the Pokemon Moves Nightmare (Up A) and Dream Eater (Down A) in this Phase (note that these inputs are simply unusable in Standard Duel Phase; no moves are assigned to them there).


Darkrai performing the move Dream Eater while in Nightmare Phase.

  • Nightmare is a Normal Attack that causes Darkrai to vanish briefly, gaining invicibility while doing so, and then rush toward the opponent to deal high damage. Darkrai can transition into a brief aerial combo at the end of this move as well. Due to being a Normal Move, it fails against Counters and lands a Critical Hit against Grabs.
  • Dream Eater is a Command Grab that deals massive damage and absorbs HP and Synergy, but immediately ends Nightmare Phase. Upon returning to Field Phase, Darkrai will pose briefly and then teleport backwards, making a follow-up on your opponent after the phase shift impossible.

As aforementioned, several other effects are in place during Nightmare Phase, and are as follows:

  • Darkrai's forward and back dashes become Teleportation animations with invincibility. The forward dash in particular has very low start lag, and can be used to appear behind the opponent as well.
  • All of Darkrai's Pokemon moves can be cancelled into its Teleportation.
  • Dark Void becomes a damage-dealing move that strikes the ground and produces a very high column of darkness that can damage both grounded and airborne foes.
  • The Rift Phantoms now automatically activate when used without the need for Nasty Plot. This allows Darkrai to perform combos using its Rifts (Phantoms produced by its Strong Attacks via the X button and directional inputs).
  • The damage caused by Darkrai's Burst Attack, Infinite Eclipse, increases in Nightmare Phase, dealing 252 damage when all hits connect and thus drawing with Machamp for the second-highest damaging Burst Attack, behind Mega Blaziken's 262 damage from Gatling Flame Kicks.

Synergy Burst Edit

Aesthetics Edit

Darkrai gains a swirling purple aura with rainbow accents. Any visual changes as a result of being in Nightmare Phase will also remain present in Burst Mode.

Character-Specific Burst Mode Effects Edit

  • Darkrai will now always Nightmare Shift when causing a Phase Shift from Field Phase to Duel Phase, regardless of whether or not Dark Void was used to do so. If the Phase Shift was caused during a Guard Break, Bad Dreams Rising will not activate.

Burst Attack - Infinite Eclipse Edit

Infinite Eclipse is a Normal Burst Attack. As such, it will land a Critical Hit when used on a Grabbing opponent. Additionally, its startup overrides Counter Armor. Like with many of Darkrai's other moves, Infinite Eclipse is influenced by Nightmare Phase, dealing increased damage as a result. When all hits of the Burst Attack land during Nightmare Phase, Darkrai draws with Machamp for the second-highest-damaging Burst Attack in the game, behind only Mega Blaziken's Gatling Flame Kicks.
Infinite Eclipse

The startup involves Darkrai performing a bow, and then producing a spherical energy field around itself. Similar to Shadow Mewtwo's Burst Attack, this field has a large diameter counts as one massive hitbox, able to strike both airborne and grounded opponents even if they are not immediately beside Darkrai. Successfully catching an opponent in this energy field damages them and triggers the full move animation.

However, Darkrai loses its invincibility shortly after producing the energy field, despite the entire field itself functioning as an active hitbox. As such, if an opponent is outside the range of the energy field, they can launch their own projectiles through the field to hit Darkrai inside of it, including Burst Attacks that are projected away from the user during startup such as Gardevoir's Fairy Tempest and Decidueye's Shining Feather.

Move ListEdit

This is Darkrai's full moveset. Damage for every move needs to be added.

Standard MovesEdit

Move Type Button Input Description
Grab Attack Y+B
Counter Attack X+A Can be cancelled with a direction and R.
Charged Weak Attack [Y] Causes Darkrai to disappear. Creates a Shadow Phantom resembling Darkrai.
Charged Strong Attack [X] Buffs Darkrai depending on amount of Phantom Force available.
Ranged Attack Y, Y Arcade: Creates a barrier and stuns the opponent. Can be cancelled with a Pokémon attack.

DX: Fires 3 purple spheres that home in on the opponent. Can be cancelled with a Pokémon move.

Side Ranged Attack Side+Y Creates a Shadow Phantom resembling Darkrai. Can be cancelled with a Pokémon attack.
Forward Ranged Attack Forward+Y Shifts phases and creates the Dark Hands Phantom.
Backward Ranged Attack Backward+Y Functions as a Counter. Creates a Dimensional Rift Phantom, can be angled.
Jumping Ranged Attack B, Y Creates a Thorns Phantom. Can be angled. Chargeable.
Homing Attack X,X,X Can be cancelled with R or B. Pierces shields and counters when charged.
Jumping Attack B, X Shifts phases.
DUEL PHASE ONLY (Click here to go to Duel Phase Input Notation Page)
Weak Attack Y Can be cancelled with a Pokémon attack normally and with R in Nightmare Phase.
Forward Weak Attack 6Y
Backward Weak Attack 4Y
High Stance Weak Attack 8Y
Low Stance Weak Attack 2Y Can be cancelled with a Pokémon attack normally or R during Nightmare Phase.
Midair Weak Attack B, Y Can be cancelled with R during Nightmare mode.
Strong Attack X Can be cancelled with a Pokémon attack normally or R during Nightmare mode. Creates a Dimensional Rift Phantom.
Forward Strong Attack 6X Creates a Dimensional Rift Phantom.
High Stance Strong Attack 8X Creates a Dimensional Rift Phantom. Pierces counters when charged.
Low Stance Strong Attack 2X Creates a Dimensional Rift Phantom.
Midair Strong Attack B, X Creates a Dimensional Rift Phantom.

Pokémon MovesEdit

Button Inputs Name Description
A Dark Pulse Stuns opponents and activates clones. Stronger and cancellable with R in Nightmare Mode. If charged, pierces counters and increases power depending on amount of Phantom Force.
Forward + A Dark Void Triggers a Nightmare Shift on contact. Can't KO, but pierces shields if fully-charged. During Nightmare Phase, deals massive damage on contact, hits both grounded and airborne foes.
Back + A Nasty Plot Serves as a counter that creates a Shadow Phantom resembling Darkrai if hit. Activates all Phantoms on stage, except Thorns.
Up+A (Nightmare Phase Only) Nightmare Normal Attack. Darkrai disappears and becomes invincible on activation, then rushes forward surrounded by an energy wave. Can be followed up with any airborne move options, or Cancelled out of with R button.
Down A (Nightmare Phase Only) Dream Eater Command Grab Attack. Darkrai reaches forward to initiate. Deals massive damage, absorbs HP and increases Synergy Power. If successful, shifts phase to Field Phase and Darkrai bows before Teleporting backward, preventing follow-up attacks on the opponent.
Midair A Shadow Claw Cancellable with R during Nightmare Phase. Follow-up with chargeable Flip Kick with A, or chargeable Horizontal Swipe with X/Y. Swipe has large range. Both follows Counter Pierce when fully charged.
Burst Attack (L+R) while in Burst Mode.) Eternal Eclipse Pierces counters. Stronger if used during Nightmare Phase. Single use per Synergy Burst.

Version HistoryEdit

Version G08 (Arcade)Edit

  • Knockback of Shadow Claw to Kick reduced.
  • Reduced knockback of Dream Eater.
  • Stun of first hit of homing attack increased.
  • Increased critical hit stun of strong attack.
  • Reduced knockback of repeated hits from Ranged Attack.
  • Front Ranged Attack altered to always disappear if an opponent attacks it.
  • Phase change more likely to occur after a Low Stance Weak Attack.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented indirect attacks from being completed after Dark Void is used.
  • Fixed an issue preventing phantoms from disappearing if their attacks were blocked.

Version H05 (Arcade)Edit

  • Fixed an issue where a phantom would appear even if Nasty Plot was successfully used.

Release of Pokkén Tournament DXEdit

  • New Weak Attack introduced.

Trivia Edit

  • Despite their rivalry in both the main series games and the anime, Darkrai is able to battle with Cresselia as a Support Pokemon.
  • Darkrai is one of only three Legendary Pokemon species featured in the game, along with Suicune and the Mewtwo that is rampaging as Shadow Mewtwo for most of the Story Mode.
  • The way Darkrai uses Dark Void in Pokken Tournament, from an aesthetic standpoint, is directly based on how the move looked when Darkrai used it during its debut movie, The Rise of Darkrai. Furthermore, the appearance of Darkrai's Burst Attack, Infinite Eclipse, appears to be directly based on a scene from the same movie where Darkrai appears as a giant glowing apparition in Ash's nightmare and closes in on him.
  • Darkrai's Battle Entry animation where it rises from its own shadow is directly based on a scene in The Rise of Darkrai movie, specifically the scene in which Darkrai first appears to the main characters.
  • Darkrai is one of two Pokemon in Pokken Tournament that can enter and exit its own shadow, the other being Gengar.
  • While used in Nightmare Phase, Darkrai's Burst Attack ties with Machamp's for the second-highest damage of all Burst Attacks in the game, only behind Mega Blaziken's Gatling Flame Kicks.
  • In the Training Mode, Darkrai is able to perform an infinite combo using its Rift Phantoms in Nightmare Phase while the Phase Shift Points (PSP) are disabled.
  • Darkrai's eventual inclusion in the game was first discovered on the Wii U version, wherein data was added via a patch corresponding to the National Pokedex Numbers of various Pokemon, including Darkrai (491).
  • Darkrai is the only Mythical Pokémon playable in Pokkén Tournament. However, Jirachi, Victini, Mew* and Celebi* are Mythical Pokémon that do make an appearance as Support Pokémon.(Via DLC*)
Characters in Pokkén Tournament
AegislashBlastoiseBlazikenBraixenChandelureCharizardCroagunkDarkraiDecidueyeEmpoleonGarchompGardevoirGengarLucarioMachampMewtwoPikachuPikachu LibreSceptileScizorShadow MewtwoSuicuneWeavile
Unlockable characters in the Wii U version in italics. Characters not in the Wii U version in bold.
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