Dark counterpart

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Dark counterpart
"Dark Grepher" in the artwork of "Darklight".
"Dark Grepher" in the artwork of "Darklight".
  • ダーク
  • Dāku (romanized)
  • Dark (translated)
  • Ténèbres
  • Finsterer
  • Oscuro
  • 다크
  • Sombrio
  • Negro
  • Oscuro
Anime appearances
Manga appearances

The Dark counterparts, also called Dark Monsters[1], are a series of DARK-Attribute monsters that are primarily identifiable as DARK versions of pre-existing monsters, by sharing their Japanese names with the addition of the word "Dark". These monsters typically have a twisted or sinister appearance compared to their original forms, which can be especially striking if their original forms had bright colors. Almost all Dark counterparts share the same ATK, DEF, and Level with their non-DARK counterparts, as well as having related effects that typically support DARK-Attribute monsters.

Dark counterparts were formally introduced to the OCG in Phantom Darkness; when Phantom Darkness was released in the TCG, additional exclusive Dark counterparts were added to the booster pack, which were later introduced into the OCG in Extra Pack.

On Upper Deck Entertainment's site, a product blurb for Phantom Darkness described this series as the following: "The sinister Yubel has twisted the strongest monsters into Dark versions of their former selves, giving new power to DARK monsters."[2]


Dark counterpart Original monster
Dark Armed Dragon Armed Dragon LV7
Dark Doriado Elemental Mistress Doriado
Dark General Freed Freed the Matchless General
Dark Grepher Warrior Dai Grepher
Dark Honest Honest
Dark Horus Horus the Black Flame Dragon LV8
Dark Nephthys Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys
Dark Simorgh Simorgh, Bird of Divinity
Dark Valkyria Dunames Dark Witch
Dark Voltanis Voltanis the Adjudicator
Darklord Zerato Archlord Zerato
Darknight Parshath Airknight Parshath
Number 10: Dark Illumiknight Number 10: Illumiknight
Paladin of Dark Dragon Paladin of White Dragon
Rainbow Dark Dragon Rainbow Dragon
The Dark Creator The Creator

Disputed cards[edit]

"Dark Elf" is commonly mistaken as a Dark counterpart due to its name, its shared appearance with "Mystical Elf" with a darker color scheme, and having the opposite original ATK and DEF of that monster. However, its existence greatly predates this series' debut in Phantom Darkness, and it was introduced as a recolored counterpart.

"Shadowpriestess of Ohm" is occasionally mistaken as a Dark counterpart, due to its release in Phantom Darkness with a DARK-related effect, as well as its passing resemblance to "Lady of Faith" (whose Japanese name is translated as "High Priestess"), "Doriado", and "Elemental Mistress Doriado". However, it shares only its Level with "Doriado", its overall appearance cannot be confirmed as similar enough, and its TCG and Japanese names lack the word "Dark". Additionally, "Elemental Mistress Doriado" has been ruled out as a counterpart due to the existence of "Dark Doriado" with its name and related effect.

It is possible to assume "Arcana Force EX - The Dark Ruler" is a Dark counterpart to "Arcana Force EX - The Light Ruler" due to their shared names/appearances and the former being a DARK monster in the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime. However, "The Dark Ruler" possesses multiple physical dissimilarities that go beyond its mildly different color scheme, such as having two eyes on its main head.

"Dark Mirror Force" might be viewed as a Dark counterpart to "Mirror Force", due to their shared names and similar effects. However, they are Trap Cards, and there are many other "Mirror Force"-inspired cards.

There are several other archetypes that can be considered similar to this series, such as "Malefic" and "Shaddoll", as well as the "Twilightsworn" monsters of the "Lightsworn" archetype and the "Evilswarm" monsters of the "lswarm" archetype. However, these are independent themes, and none of their members specifically support DARK-Attribute monsters.

Pairs of LIGHT/DARK monsters such as "Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon" and "Tiras, Keeper of Genesis" might have its DARK monster considered a member, with both cards sharing stats and having similar naming schemes. However, they typically have considerably different appearances, effects, and/or a lack of "Dark" in one of their names.

Playing style[edit]

Dark counterparts have no external support but are highly playable and powerful, particularly "Dark Armed Dragon", which supported one of the most competitive tournament Decks around ("Tele-DAD"). "Dark Armed Dragon" can also be supported by "Monarch" Spell/Trap cards, such as being searched by "Return of the Monarchs" or being revealed while in your hand to activate "Tenacity of the Monarchs", due to having 2800 ATK and 1000 DEF.

Dark counterparts usually have effects similar to their counterparts (with the exceptions of "Dark Grepher" and "Dark Valkyria", whose counterparts are Normal Monsters), but reworked to go with the theme of manipulating DARK monsters you own or control, typically either Summoning them, sending them to the Graveyard, or banishing them (from the Graveyard) to trigger effects.

Although they do not explicitly support Dark counterparts, several cards released in Phantom Darkness work very well with them. "Doomsday Horror" gains power from banished DARK monsters and can "reload" your Graveyard with the banished DARK monsters. "Escape from the Dark Dimension" can Special Summon one of the banished DARK monsters, and "Allure of Darkness" increases your draw power while banishing another DARK monster. "Veil of Darkness" can also vastly increase a DARK-user's draw power while flooding the Graveyard with DARK monsters to use as a resource.

The deck itself has no natural play style on it's own, and alone the Dark Counterparts cannot make a functioning deck. However many players from Phantom Darkness until now have found decks or strategies to support these cards. Or sometimes it is better to say that the Dark Counterparts help those decks instead.

"Destiny HERO" was a fantastic choice for the deck, as cards like "Destiny HERO - Malicious", "Destiny HERO - Plasma" and "Destiny HERO - Disk Commander" would have fantastic effects for DARK monsters, and could easy be sent to the Graveyard with "Destiny Draw" and then "Destiny HEROs" like "Malicious" or "Destiny HERO - Fear Monger" could manipulate the Graveyard for cards like "Dark Armed Dragon", "The Dark Creator", and "Darklord Zerato".


As you would expect from a deck that relies on the Graveyard, cards like "Masked HERO Dark Law" and "Macro Cosmos" will extremely disrupt the deck. Also your cards send a lot of cards from the deck to the Graveyard, Add cards from your deck to your hand, and Draw Cards. So "Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring" and "Thunder King Rai-Oh" will slow your deck down.

"Dark Armed Dragon" is one of your most powerful and easy to summon monsters in your deck. However If you no longer can manipulate your Graveyard, or you have so many DARK monsters in your Graveyard you cannot possibly have only 3 left in a Late Game This has become somewhat less of an issue with "Dark Armed Dragon" becoming unlimited in theOCG/TCG.

Most decks that use a large number of Dark Counterparts usually have to play a large amount of Monsters and Spells. At the same time either a handful or no Trap Cards. This means any play that you make that gets interrupted might leave you entirely defenseless.


  1. Official Card Game Art Works
  2. "Phantom Darkness". Upper Deck Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 25 June 2021.