Japanese Name: Zoroark
Species: The Illusion Fox Pokémon
First Appearance: Black & White
My Top Nickname: Youko/Kurama
My Top Pokéball: Dusk Ball
Zoroark, the Illusion Fox Pokémon, is arguably the one and only title holder of “Troll” amongst Pokémon for its signature Ability that no other Pokémon, save for its prior form, possesses. Arguably one of the more powerful of the Dark type Pokémon, its Pokédex entries paints an entirely different picture of a typical Zoroark’s character. The Pokédex states that bonds between Zoroark are strong, including those whom they deem as part of their pack, and that each individual Zoroark is capable of creating illusions large enough to create an entirely different environment around them.
In-game however, Zoroark’s Illusion ability is what earns it the title of “Troll” insomuch that Zoroark will disguise itself as whatever Pokémon happens to be the last on the team and will maintain that illusion until it is hit by an attack. I cannot begin to count the number of times I’ve been tricked by a Zoroark’s Illusion and using a Psychic type on what I presumed was a Fighting type or a Grass type against a Water type.
In its premiere game of Black & White, Zoroark, and even its prior form Zorua, were next to impossible to catch unless one happened to possess a set of event exclusive Pokémon. In the case of Zorua, this was a Celebi but for Zoroark it required not one but all three Legendary Beasts in their shiny forms. Now, here’s where things get a little… squeaky. If one wanted to do things the easy way, one could beat the game and thus unlock the National Pokédex and the ability to transfer in Pokémon from previous games to get the Shiny Beasts into the game.
If you were as impatient as I however, there was an alternate method that, unfortunately, requires the use of two Nintendo DS consoles to use. In Castelia City, there is a device known as the Transfer Machine that required a passcode to unlock it and would only allow the transfer of the Shiny Beasts and Celebi into Black & White but it was the quickest method of attaining Zoroark and Zorua in the original game.
Here’s where things get rather interesting. See, in the games, there is little to no connection between them and the anime, save perhaps for Yellow which featured a lot of elements from the anime but that’s neither here nor there. In Black & White however, it is heavily insinuated that the Zorua and Zoroark that you can meet and catch are the same ones from the 13th film, Zoroark: Master of Illusions. This is plainly seen in Zoroark’s reaction once you enter the Lostlorn Forest with one of the Shiny Beasts in the lead position on their team.
One of the aspects of Zoroark that make it a worthwhile Pokémon to have, and one that can greatly aid in its Illusion Ability, is its capability of learning attacks of different types such as Flamethrower, Dig, and Focus Blast just to name a few. As I said earlier, it’s not exceptionally hard to trick an opponent into thinking Zoroark’s illusion is the real deal.
However, if one wants to play to its type advantage than I can think of no better move than its signature attack, Night Daze or as its known in Japan Night Burst. This attack is not strictly the most powerful of Dark type attacks but dang if it’s not a sight to behold in game never mind the anime! In fact, it was how the attack is done in the anime that sold Zoroark for me in the original games and what drives me to have one on my team most of the time.
My choice of Dusk Ball is not an original one I admit, particularly for a Dark type that doesn’t even live in caves or appears only at night, but I stand by it. As to my choice of names for Zoroark, there’s a bit of story behind them. Youko for a female or Kurama for a male both tie together to a character who bares both names in the anime series Yu Yu Hakusho.
In that anime, Youko Kurama happens to be a fox demon of exceptional renown but that is not the reason I often choose to name my Zoroark after him. It was because of how Zoroark created most of Lostlorn Forest with its illusions. That and… yeah, it was the mane of red hair but what else was I going to name them, particularly a female? Kushina?
… Not that I don’t happen to have one named that alongside a Lucario named Minato but that’s neither here nor there!
Zoroark may not be the most powerful of Dark types, as that crown is held upon the head of Yveltal otherwise known as Death Incarnate, but it is certain to drive people absolutely mad.