Gengar, the Shadow Pokémon. To steal the life of its target, it slips into the prey's shadow and silently waits for an opportunity. Hiding in people's shadows at night, it absorbs their heat. The chill it causes makes the victims shake.


The Original Ghost Pokémon, Gengar’s ghost story is a long one. Its fantastic Special Attack and wide offensive coverage make Gengar a terrifying attacker, especially with the fantastic Ghost STAB that few Pokémon can resist. That is not the end of Gengar’s movepool, for it also possesses a huge bevy of tricks apropos for a ghost, crippling would be checks like Kingambit, Crawdaunt, Overqwil, and Mimikyu with Will-O-Wisp, stymying setup sweepers with Haze, and toppling tanks like Deoxys Defense, Forretress, and Blissey with Taunt or Trick. Gengar’s bag of tricks keeps getting bigger too, receiving Encore in the generational shift alongside the new Psychic Noise, making Gengar even more unpredictable. All of this is backed up by a fantastic base 110 Speed, getting the jump on every defensive Pokémon and even many offensive ones.

However, Gengar’s ghastly tale has long since run its course. Generational speed creep has left base 110 Speed less impressive than ever, with numerous threats like Dragapult, Greninja, Meowscarada, Roaring Moon, and Weavile all easily outstripping Gengar. Which leads to Gengar’s second problem, its non-existent bulk. While Ghost Poison does provide two valuable immunities, Gengar is so frail that it faces getting exorcised by any neutral attacker, let alone STAB super effective attackers. Gengar has barely any defensive utility and thanks to the loss of Levitate, it is ravaged by non-Toxic Spikes entry hazards. Fierce competition from Dragapult and Gholdengo hurts, especially in a generation so saturated with Dark types that either outspeed Gengar or can tank Dazzling Gleam without any issue. Gengar’s long history commands respect, especially when so many of its peers fell to the wayside before it, but like all Ghosts, Gengar too is a relic of the past.
Base 130 Special Attack is fantastic, with the amazing Ghost STAB backed by both Dazzling Gleam for Dark types and Nasty Plot turns Gengar into a Special Sweeper par Excellence.
Fantastic disruptive movepool, giving Gengar a move for just about every opponent imaginable
Great Base 110 Speed enabling Gengar to provide a lot of pressure by eliminating or disabling an opponent before they can act.

60/60/75 defenses are horrid, giving Gengar next to no defensive utility and have it struggle to switch in safely.
Base 110 Speed, while good is no longer as impressive, with many threats reliably outspeeding Gengar.
Stiff competition from many other Ghost types and hostile format further make it difficult to justify Gengar.



-Nasty Plot
-Shadow Ball
-Sludge Wave
-Dazzling Gleam
Ability: Cursed Body
Item: Focus Sash
EVs and Nature:
4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

Nasty Plot Gengar is a terrifying sweeper after a single, blasting most targets to dust with its boosted STABs and coverage, with its high Speed and immunity to common priority in Extreme Speed and Mach Punch warding off potential revenge killers. Shadow Ball is an amazing STAB move with only Normal and Dark types resisting it, leaving scarce few safe switch ins once Gengar sets up. Sludge Wave is secondary STAB, primarily for its ability to hit Normal and Fairy types hard, as well as have a STAB option for any Pokémon with the Bulletproof ability such as Chesnaught as opposed to Sludge Bomb. Dazzling Gleam is highly recommended for coverage, slamming Dark types like Crawdaunt, Hydreigon, Zarude, and Mandibuzz hard with the coverage against Dragons is nice. Gengar also stands out compared to most setup sweepers thanks to its ability to natively handle some Unaware tanks. Skeledirge and Clefable need to Terastalize to avoid being ripped to shreds by Gengar's STABs, making Gengar's Sweep even harder to stop.

Tera Types:
Gengar isn't beholden to Terastalizing given its already insane base coverage and being so frail that it prefers the immunities granted by its base Ghost typing. If Gengar does Terastalize, it is often to push even more damage. Tera Ghost is highly recommended given it maintains Gengar's immunities and pushes its already very spammable Ghost STAB to terrifying new heights. Tera Fairy is another recommendation, giving Gengar a super charged Dazzling Gleam alongside the Dark resistance, all around improving Gengar's matchup against Dark types. Tera Fighting is fantastic if running Focus Blast (or Tera Blast if Focus Blast's miss chance is not to your liking), Gengar's most powerful answer into opposing Fighting and Dark types, while possessing the same Dark resistance that is helpful in warding off Knock Off and Sucker Punch.

EVs and Items:
Standard sweeper allotment of Max Speed and Special Attack are recommended. Base 110 Speed is incredibly crowded speed tier with Ogerpon, Latios/Latias, Zoroark-Hisui and Iron Moth, so ensuring you at least speed tie with all these threats is of the utmost importance, and this is not even counting all the Pokémon ever so slightly slower or faster. Max Special Attack is so that Gengar gets the most out of Nasty Plot, or potentially revenge kill in the early match to bluff another Gengar set until later. Focus Sash is great for helping to guarantee Nasty Plot setup but requires very tight entry hazard control. Air Balloon is another great option, giving Gengar another immunity, increasing the number of opportunities it can pivot in. Life Orb, as always is great for any offensive Pokémon, providing a solid power boost and is vital for nabbing OHKOs after Nasty Plot on Arcanine, Gouging Fire, Hippowdon, Iron Moth, Landorus-Therian, Galarian Slowking, defensive Zapdos, Dragalge after Stealth Rocks, most Moltres, as well as guaranteeing the 2HKO on Dondozo with STAB. Tera Ghost + Life Orb is the only way Gengar can OHKO Skeledirge from full.

Allies that can preemptively eliminate Dark types greatly facilitate Gengar's sweeping attempts. Fighting types make for an obvious partner, trashing both the Fighting and Normal types that trouble Gengar while appreciating Gengar threatening the Psychic and Fairy types that give them issues, as well as opening up Gengar's moveset so it isn't beholden to such coverage. Scarf Galarian Zapdos is a mostly typical example, though given its ability to checks targets normally faster than Gengar as well as being a pivot into predicted Ground attacks do give it some additional merit. Using Psychic types as a lure to draw in Dark types for elimination with Tera Fighting/Fairy is another option, with their ability to handle bulky Poison types that may cause Gengar trouble like Toxapex, Tentacruel and Fezandipiti a bonus. Iron Leaves is a fantastic example, being a rare physical Psychic type that compliment's Gengar's special offenses, while having the reliable Close Combat to reliably eliminate opposing sponges.

Other Options:
Destiny Bond is great if running Focus Sash, enabling reliable prediction when Gengar is going to be KO'd and turn the tables on your opponent. Focus Blast's accuracy is aggravating, but more than makes up for it in power and coverage. Energy Ball annihilates two of the other popular Unaware tanks in Quagsire and Dondozo, but their Special Defense is already rather poor to begin with. Sludge Bomb is slightly weaker than Sludge Wave and is blocked by Bulletproof, but makes up for it with a meaty Poison chance that can help reach KOs on bulkier targets. Encore is great for setup, especially if switching Gengar into a move it is immune to, guaranteeing free setup as the opponent is forced to switch out.


-Shadow Ball
-Sludge Bomb
-Destiny Bond
Ability: Cursed Body
Item: Choice Scarf
EVs and Nature:
4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

With Choice Scarf, Gengar reduces its weakest point, breaking the confines of its crowded Speed Tier to pick off weakened opponents and disable others, directly and indirectly knocking out the opposition to the benefit of its team. Shadow Ball and Sludge Bomb are here for STAB; while their coverage is decent, the reason both are run is so that no one type is immune to Gengar’s strongest attacks, giving it the widest range of targets to pick off with the highest HP thresholds. Shadow Ball is great as always due to the very few types that resist Ghost while Sludge Bomb offers important Fairy coverage and has an meaty chance to Poison, causing considerable chip damage for Gengar or its teammates. Trick is amazing for defensive targets that this Gengar set is simply not equipped to handle. Walls like Blissey, Alomomola, Corviknight, Garganacl, Clodsire and Dondozo struggle if not outright incapable of performing their role when locked into a single move, even before Gengar deprives them of the Leftovers or Heavy Duty Boots that was giving them their own offense. Destiny Bond is akin to exploding; when Gengar has no use left, have it come in, ideally surprise an opponent with its faster Speed (or play mind games post Trick) and take them down with Gengar when they attack. Especially effective against bulky setup attackers like Curse Dondozo, and IronPress Zamazenta that can be hard to remove otherwise as well Choice and all out attackers like Hisuian Samurott, Assault Vest Primarina, and Iron Crown, though good prediction is required to get the most out of Destiny Bond.

Tera Types:
Scarf Gengar is rather apathetic to Terastalization, given its role is to pick off weakened targets, potentially disable part of the opponent’s defensive backbone with Trick and then die and ideally take out an opponent with it with Destiny Bond, all of which its base traits are sufficient for. Offensive Teras in Ghost and Poison are recommended for boosting STABs in niche scenarios for getting over damage thresholds to remove a particularly dangerous threat.

EVs and Items:
Max Speed and Special Attack are the name of the game. Gengar needs to outspeed as many targets as possible to be effective, and as much Special Attack as possible to easily reach knock outs. Everything else is secondary. Choice Scarf is the namesake of the set and as such the crux for its functioning.

As this set will be constantly switching in and out, hazard control is paramount. Cinccino and Maushold are excellent examples, able to clear hazards with Tidy Up and maintain offensive momentum while appreciating Gengar for its ability to readily handle opposing Ghost types. Fighting types again make for great partners given their ability to handle the Dark, Normal and Steel types that will switch into Gengar’s STABs while appreciating Gengar handling Fairy types and threatening Psychic types. Quaquaval is particular appreciative of Gengar’s services as a tricked wall is prime setup fodder for Quaquaval in the late game.

Other Options:
Scarf Thunder Wave is a great way to surprise a super speedy opponent and all but neuter them for the rest of the match, though often at the cost of Gengar being KOd. Will-O-Wisp is also fantastic for use on a Scarf Pokémon for pre-emptively defanging a physical threat and opening setup opportunities for Gengar’s team, though the loss in momentum does hurt.

Doubles and VGC Options

Gengar’s haunted by the competition even worse in the doubles format thanks to public enemy number one in Flutter Mane, that is essentially a better Gengar in every way. Slightly stronger, much faster and actual defensive utility thanks to its absurd Special Defense and sub-Fairy typing providing extra defensive utility. All Gengar has to show against Flutter Mane is Will-O-Wisp, Encore, Haze, and a Sub Poison typing that matches well against most Grass and non-Flutter Mane Fairy types, none of which make up for everything else Flutter Mane brings to the table. If you are using Gengar, you are using it in place of Flutter Mane, or as a back up Flutter Mane and even then, must question if it is worth it, given Gengar’s frailty and the large number of foes that outspeed it.

Ghost from the Past

-Sludge Bomb
-Shadow Ball
Ability: Cursed Body
Item: Poison Barb
Tera Type: Poison
EVs and Nature:
28 HP / 228 SAtk / 252 Spe
Timid Nature

Based on Gengar sets back in Gen 6 VGC, Gengar exercises its combination of offense and disruption to actively threaten the opposing team and shutdown select targets while being difficult to disrupt thanks to its own high speed and Ghost typing. Sludge Bomb is the preferred STAB amazingly enough, the huge influx of Grass types (non-Cornerstone Ogerpon, Rillaboom, Whimsicott, Tsareena), and some Fairies (Primarina, Sylveon, Whimsicott) and with both types being popular Tera options, Sludge Bomb is invaluable to have. With Ogerpon being such a popular redirector, Sludge Bomb further excels, punishing redirection attempts from Ogerpon but outright eliminating it. Shadow Ball is still heavily recommended given how spammable the Ghost typing is and prevents Gengar from being walled by Steel and Tera Steel types, while slamming Flutter Mane and Gholdengo hard. Will-O-Wisp is recommended, shutting down opposing physical attackers, especially Sucker Punch abusers like Kingambit, Urshifu-Single and to a lesser extent, Chien-Pao. Protect is all but requisite in doubles given the sheer utility it provides, stalling for both allied setup and out opposing field conditions, scouting for switches and Teras, and punishing doubling up on a slot. Pokémon without Protect are noticeably less durable and it shows.

Gengar's bulk is abysmal, so focusing almost everything on offense is recommended, as well as being able to disrupt opponents before they can move. The 28 HP is to guarantee surviving Specs Flutter Mane Shadow Balls (with 60 SAtk EVs) with a neutral Tera. Tera Poison is recommended, giving Gengar a significant offensive boost while removing its weakness to Ghost, helping survive against Flutter Mane.

Other Options & Partners:
Iron Valiant works well with Gengar, appreciating Gengar's ability to threaten opposing Psychic and Fairy types, while destroying opposing Dark types with its own STABs, and having higher base Speed and booster energy to help threaten the many faster Pokémon that threaten Gengar. Gengar's disruptive movepool also shines here, making both bulkier with Will-O-Wisp, wiping Intimidate with Haze, etc. Given Gengar’s biggest pain point is its Speed, Speed control is paramount for Gengar. Whimsicott is a great partner for Gengar, given its Tailwind patches up Gengar’s speed, while Fake Tears is amazing in getting Gengar to OHKO a target out of nowhere.

Thunder Wave is Gengar’s own Speed control option, and is persistent, which can be amazing in crippling frailer Pokémon for the rest of the match. Encore is absurd in doubles given the large number of moves that do nothing when repeated. Taunt is great for stopping opposing setup as well as Protect. Haze ruins Commander Dondozo and wipes allies’ Attack drops from Intimidate.

Countering Gengar

While Gengar is in many ways a conventional Special Sweeper, its large disruptive movepool makes it near anathema to traditional walls. While Blissey and Chansey may utterly wall Gengar, a surprise Encore, Taunt, Trick or more can cripple them in the short or long term, making checks that can’t take down Gengar quickly especially vulnerable, and even those that can be wary of Destiny Bond.

Gengar cannot fit every move in its moveset, and there will always be gaps. Ting-Lu, Alolan Muk and Clodsire tank even Nasty Plot boosted moves (bar the unreliable Focus Blast for Ting-Lu) and easily threaten back with STAB Earthquake/Knock Off, but dislike Will-O-Wisp. Skeledirge can’t switch into Gengar at all, but barring Ghost Tera + Life Orb, Gengar can’t OHKO Skeledirge back and is OHKOd by Shadow Ball. Kingambit is also a huge problem, tanking every move except Focus Blast well and able to bypass Gengar’s speed with Sucker Punch, but loathes Will-O-Wisp.

Gengar’s true achilles heel are faster Pokémon, those that can outspeed it and exploit Gengar’s horrid bulk before it can do anything to ruin their day. Dragapult, Greninja, Meowscarada, Roaring Moon, Cincinno, Azelf, and Weavile all naturally outspeed and are more than capable of shutting down Gengar before it can start. Boosted Pokémon like Booster Energy Iron Crown, and Iron Jugulis, Scarf Basculegion and Galarian Zapdos also can subvert Gengar before it can start, though do note no faster threat can switch in safely and Gengar’s Focus Sash must be broken for them to have a chance.

Locations in Games

Evolve Haunter

Evolve Haunter

Trade from FireRed/LeafGreen

Evolve Haunter

Trade from FireRed/LeafGreen

Old Chateau

Evolve Haunter

Evolve Haunter (White)

Black 2/White 2:
Trade from White

Evolve Haunter

Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire:
Trade from X/Y

Thrifty Megamart

Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon:
Thrifty Megamart

Let's Go, Pikachu!/Let's Go, Eevee!:
Evolve Haunter

Giant's Cap
Max Raid Battles: Giant's Mirror, South Lake Miloch, Stony Wilderness, Slippery Slope, Old Cemetery, Giant's Foot, Frigid Sea, Ballimere Lake

Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl:
Evolve Haunter

Legends: Arceus:
Obsidian Fieldlands: Space-time Distortion in Obsidian Fieldlands or nearby
Crimson Mirelands: Massive Mass Outbreak
Coronet Highlands: Massive Mass Outbreak
Alabaster Icelands: Massive Mass Outbreak

Mossfell Confluence
Tera Raid Battles: 5 Star Raid Battles, 6 Star Raid Battles

Anime Appearences

Gengar has made a few anime appearance. Most notably once was used by Ash during his World Coronation Series campaign.

# -English Episode Name- -Jp. Episode Name- Pics
1 Pokémon! I Choose You! Pokémon! I Choose You Pics
23 The Tower of Terror Capture at Pokémon Tower Pics
74 The Ancient Puzzle of Pokemopolis A Battle of Ancient Pokémon Pics
113 Hello Pummelo Winner's Cup! 6 vs. 6! Pics
114 Enter The Dragonite Final Battle! Dragonite's Appearance! Pics
123 Illusion Confuison Hoothoot and the Mysterious Forest! Pics
171 Beauty and the Breeder Sayonara Vulpix! Beauty Contest! Pics
183 A Ghost Of A Chance Burnt Tower! Morty Appears! Pics
184 From Ghost to Ghost Ecruteak Gym! A Ghost Battle! Pics
229 For Ho-oh the Bells Toll Suicune and Eusine! Legend Of Ho-oh!! Pics
360 Who's Flying Now? Fortree City's Feather Carnival! Pics
409 The Scheme Team! Scott & The Battle Frontier! Pics
P8 Not Aired Pikachu's Ghost Festival Pics
S21 Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Team Go-Getters Out Of The Gate Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Setting Out: Pokémon Rescue Team Ganbarus! Pics
558 Ghoul Daze It's Ghost Time After School! Pics
561 Playing the Leveling Field The Dancing Gym Leader! Fantina Appears! Pics
570 Shield with a Twist Hearthome Gym! VS Fantina! Pics
588 Not Aired Mysterious Creatures: Pokémon Pics
615 Bagged Then Tagged Ash and Dawn! Tag Battle!! Pics
798 Celebrating the Hero's Comet! Noivern Appears! The Legend of the Comet & the Hero!! Pics
S35 Pokémon Mega Evolution Special I Strongest Mega Evolution ~Act 1~ Pics
875 Scary Hospitality! The Scary House's Welcoming Services! Pics
903 A Festival of Decisions! Decisive Battle in the Ninja Village! Frogadier VS Bisharp!! Pics
M19 Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel Volcanion & The Ingenious Magearna Pics
946 Loading the Dex! Good Rotomorning, I am the Rotomdex, Roto! Pics
M20 Pokémon I Choose You! Pokémon I Choose You! Pics
985 Alola, Kanto An Alola! in Kanto! Brock & Misty! Pics
1016 Why Not Give Me a Z-Ring Sometime? Team Rocket, Get a Z-Ring!! Pics
1074 The Battlefield of Truth and Love! Jessie VS James! A Battlefield of Love and Truth!! Pics
1075 Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Strategy! Overcome Decidueye!! Pics
1090 Enter Pikachu! Pikachu is Born!! Pics
1091 Legend? Go! Friends? Go! On Lugia They Go, Ash and Gho! Pics
1100 Best Friend ... Worst Nightmare! Chloe, Yamper, and Sometimes Gengar Too! Pics
1103 Raid Battle in the Ruins! The First Visit to the Unova Region! Raid Battle at the Ruins!! Pics
1105 A Chilling Curse! Ash Has Been Cursed...! Pics
1107 Destination: Coronation! Ash Joins In! The Pokémon World Coronation Series!! Pics
1112 Panic in the Park! Massive Panic! Cerise Park!! Pics
1114 A Festival Reunion! A Battle Festival Exploding With Life! VS Mega Lucario!! Pics
1123 Solitary and Menacing! Bea, the Lone Warrior! The Grapploct Menace!! Pics
1124 Gotta Catch a What?! I Got Pikachu Pics
1126 The New Old Gang of Mine I Am Back! Nice to See You, Alola! Pics
1128 Octo-Gridlock at the Gym! Ash VS Bea! Overcome Octolock Pics
1132 Sword and Shield: The Darkest Day! Sword & Shield II: Darkest Day Pics
1140 Trials of a Budding Master! The Great Farfetch'd Trial! Pics
1146 Memories of a Warming Kindness! Love is a Psyduck! Pics
1148 When a House is Not a Home! The Lost Grookey! Who is its Trainer!? Pics
1149 Beyond Chivalry... Aiming to be a Leek Master! Aim to Become Leek Master! Stay With Me, Chivalry!! Pics
1154 Thrash of the Titans! Dragon Battle! Ash VS Iris!! Pics
1158 Errand Endurance! I'd Like To Keep An Eye On Their First Errand! Pics
1160 Leaping Towards the Dream! Let's Go! Project Mew!! Pics
1166 Excitement from the Ultra-Shocking Start! A Super-Electromagnetic Hyper Class Battle! Pics
1174 Battle Three with Bea! Rival Showdown! Ash VS Bea!! Pics
1179 Showdown at the Gates of Warp! Dialga & Palkia! The Decisive Space-time Battle!! Pics
1180 The Spectral Express! The Ghost Train Departs... Pics
1181 The Winding Path to Greatness! Gengar Does Its Best! The Road to Gigantamax!! Pics
1183 Suffering the Flings and Arrows! The Heracross Loss and the Pinsir in Love Pics
1188 Battling Turned Up to Eleven! Marnie from Spikemuth Pics
1189 Meeting Up with the Monarch! A Full Coverage of Leon's Special Training!! Pics
1192 The Future is Now, Thanks to Strategy! Ash & Clemont! Special Friendship Training!! Pics
1197 Catching the Aura of Fate! Lucario & Greninja! The Aura of Fate!! Pics
1198 Aim for the Eight! VS Raihan! A Fight with Masters Eight on the Line!! Pics
1201 Helping the Hometown Hero! A Triumphant Return! The Alola Champion!! Pics
1202 Chasing to the Finish! Last Mission! Get Regieleki & Regidrago!! Pics
1203 Friends, Rivals, Lend Me Your Spirit! Fire Training Battle! Ash VS Paul!! Pics
1207 Battling as Hard as Stone! Ash Heads Into Battle! VS Steven!! Pics
1210 TBC The Climax Begins: Ash's Masters Tournament Experience Pics
1211 It's Champion Time! The Semifinals I: Sweep Pics
1212 Bewitch, Battle, and Bewilder! The Semifinals II: Dazzle Pics
1213 Valor: A Strategic Part of Battling! The Semifinals III: Valor Pics
1214 Whittle While You Work! The Semifinals IV: Impact Pics
1217 TBC Climax! The Night Before the Decisive Match: Ash VS Leon!! Pics
1218 A Flood of Torrential Gains The Finals I: Torrent Pics
1219 Toying With Your Motions! The Finals II: Toying Pics
1220 Paring Pokémon While Parrying! The Finals III: Smashing Pics
1221 Partners in Time! The Finals IV: Partner Pics
1224 Heroes Unite! Pokémon! I Am Glad I Got To Meet You Pics
1225 These Could be the Start of Something Big! Ash and Goh! Setting Off Anew!! Pics
1233 Getting to the Heart of it All! What Banette Is Looking For! Pics
1235 Ash and Latios Ash & Latios Pics
1236 The Rainbow and the Pokémon Master The Rainbow and the Pokémon Master! Pics