Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's competitive scene is being dominated by a wee crow first introduced over 20 years ago

Pokemon anime Murkrow
(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet's competitive battles are being dominated by one of its most unassuming creatures - a hat-wearing crow. 

As pointed out by Hopcatsmash on TikTok, the Dark/Flying-type Pokemon Murkrow is currently the second most popular Pokemon to use in competitive play in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. You'd be forgiven for not expecting this little crow to be a crowd-pleaser - in fact, the little monster's stats are pretty bad, but somehow this little guy is being picked by players over the likes of much more powerful Pokemon such as Dragonite or Garchomp. 

According to the TikTok embedded below, most people are opting to use Murkrow due to its hidden ability Prankster as well as its support moves, some of which are the best in the game. As the video explains, the way Prankster works is that it allows the Pokemon to use non-damaging moves first, meaning the creature's support moves usually be used ahead of an attack from the opponent. 


♬ original sound - HopCat

Speaking of these support moves, Murkrow can use Tailwind, which doubles your entire team's speed for four turns, and Haze, which eliminates all stat changes. As well as these two moves, Murkrow also has Foul Play, which uses the opponents' attacks against them, so you don't need to worry about using Murkrow's awful stats. As Hopcatsmash also points out, it may be tempting to use Murkrow's evolution instead, Honchkrow, however, this Pokemon loses the Prankster ability, which is pretty essential here. 

This isn't the first time we've noticed an unexpected Pokemon being used in the gen 9 game. Last week, we reported that a literal flamingo is tearing up Pokemon Scarlet and Violet speedruns - that flamingo is the flying/fighting-type Flamigo. At the time of writing this, several of the top speedruns on speedrunning.com primarily use the Pokemon and have managed to beat the game in record time. 

Find out what other pocket pals you'll get to meet with our Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Pokedex guide. 

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.