What draws you to the Darkness aspiring Gym Leader? Do you do a lot of shopping at Hot Topic, like Piers? Did your perpetual loneliness lead you to turn down a gig with the Elite Four, like Nanu? Whatever brings you here, welcome! Darkness Pokémon have some of the strongest attacks in Gym Leader Challenge, combined with some of the best damage modifiers. This lethal combination makes any Darkness type deck truly frightening to play against! Piloting a Darkness deck takes a lot of finesse, however, as each attacker has its own unique strength and needs to be used at just the right time. Think you have what it takes to be a Darkness type Gym Leader?

Support Pokémon

Darkness Pokémon have a little bit of everything available to them in the support category. Galarian Weezing is arguably the best Ability lock Pokémon in the format because of Koffing (SHF)‘s quick and reliable Ascension Attack. Galarian Weezing can shut down Ability reliant decks like Grass and Water all by itself! Liepard gives Darkness much needed consistency, while Thievul, Golbat (BST) and Crobat offer modest draw support in addition. Hydreigon‘s Dark Squall Ability allows you to rain as many Darkness Energy as you want from your hand to your Pokémon in play. With Poison Pokémon cast as Darkness type ever since Sword and Shield, Darkness can also utilize a Poison-heavy strategy with Pokémon like Toxicroak, Galarian Weezing and Garbodor (RCL).


Guzzlord makes a strong case for “The Best Attacker in GLC,” with its gnarly Red Banquet attack, which takes a bonus Prize every time it takes a knock out. Many Darkness decks are built around Guzzlord as the main attacker, using Beast Ring, Dark Patch, and Double Colorless Energy or Twin Energy Energy to power it up. With Fighting Fury Belt or Cape of Toughness attached, Guzzlord can reach a dizzying 190-200 HP as well! Guzzlord pairs well with low maintenance attackers like Hoopa, Weavile, Zoroark and Spiritomb who aren’t as Energy hungry as Guzzlord. For the late game, you won’t find a better closer than Galarian Moltres. Its Fiery Wrath can do up to 270 damage if your opponent has taken five Prizes! Even after the opponent has taken two Prizes, Galarian Moltres will usually be netting a KO, especially with a damage buff like Dark Claw or Muscle Band.

Deck Lists

Red Banquet

This Darkness deck is consistent and low to the ground, hitting hard and fast with Hoopa, Weavile and Zoroark while cleaning up with Guzzlord and Galarian Moltres. Galarian Weezing offers the deck an alternative strategy with some early disruption while you build up a board state that will be challenging to stop. With Dark Claw, Muscle Band, and Devoured Field, Guzzlord can hit up to 150 damage with Red Banquet, allowing it to OHKO almost any threat in GLC for a two Prize take.

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Credit: Lance H.

Some players just want to watch the world burn. If you’re feeling tricky, try this Poison and disruption focused deck that Tricky Gym moderator, Lance, who was able to finish in the Top-8 of the first Full Grip Games GLC 1K with a similar list. The goal here is to consistently inflict Poison boosted by Virbank City Gym and Toxicroak while you limit the opponent’s hand with disruption cards like Reset Stamp, Red Card, and Delinquent! For an extra level of chaos, you can utilize Tool Cards like Cursed Shovel and Billowing Smoke to discard even more of the opponent’s resources!

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