The Diamond and Pearl remakes are some very divisive games in the community, but one thing is for sure: they bring us some of the most difficult battles in the franchise. To become the champion of the Sinnoh region, you’ll need to have the best team possible in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
With full considerations of typing matchups, base stats, availability, and more, we’ve put together just that team (with a few options for how you can change things to suit your style, of course).
What Makes a Great Team Composition in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl?
In any Pokemon game, a strong team is composed of powerful creatures that balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We also have to plan for the obstacles ahead of us, which means Gym Leaders, Elite Four, and any main story battles that might prove to be difficult.
A good team, the team we’re going to be putting together, will have answers for every important battle we go against in the Sinnoh region.
We won’t just be choosing the best pokémon in the region, we’ll be choosing the pokemon who pair best with each other.
The Battles of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
As trainers progress through the Sinnoh region, they’ll come face-to-face with a number of powerful trainers. Gym leaders, elite four members, Team Galactic, and even your rival will give you a real run for your money if you’re not prepared.
We won’t go into the exact pokemon used by every trainer in this region, but if we’re going to plan out the best team for Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, we need to know what we’re up against.
So, below we’ve broken down the important trainers you’ll come across.
Roark: Rock-type pokemon
Gardenia: Grass-type pokemon
Maylene: Fighting-type pokemon
Crasher Wake: Water-type pokemon
Fantina: Ghost-type pokemon
Byron: Steel-type pokemon
Candice: Ice-type pokemon
Volkner: Electric-type pokemon
Many of these gym leaders have some sort of way to cover their weaknesses. Whether it’s a dual-type pokemon like Lucario that loses its flying weakness but is now weak to fighting-type moves or Volkner’s unexpected water-type pokemon Octillery, there are a few extra things that we’ll be considering.
Still, it’s important to remember what types we’re going up against and in what order. The later battles might be more difficult, but we’ll also have more chances to round out our team composition by the time we get there.
Elite Four Members
Aaron: Bug-type pokemon
Bertha: Ground-type pokemon
Flint: Fire-type pokemon (only has two fire type pokémon)
Lucian: Psychic-type pokemon
Champion Cynthia: No specialty. Her team is Spiritomb, Roserade, Gastrodon, Lucario, Milotic, and Garchomp.
The elite four is meant to be difficult in any pokemon game, but in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, they’re arguably even more so. Each pokemon in these teams has a competitively chosen build, including items, natures, IVs, and even EVs.
The jump from the eighth gym leader to the first member of the elite four is pretty astounding in terms of challenge, so we’ll definitely want to make sure we have a diverse team that’s ready to take on what’s to come.
Your rival is an interesting trainer to plan for since their teams change based on your starter pokemon. Luckily, he always has a team built around balance and coverage.
Barry’s first team is always going to be the starter that’s strong against yours and a Starly. After that, he adds in two pokemon so that he has grass, fire, and water all represented on his team. Those two pokemon will be chosen from Buizel, Roselia, and Ponyta.
From there, Barry will go on to catch a Heracross and a Munchlax.
In your final battle just before you attempt the Pokemon League, Barry’s team will consist of fully evolved versions of his team up to this point. He never gets rid of any pokemon, so as long as you stay prepared for the six, you’ll be able to take him down in one final battle.
The last thing we’ll consider is Team Galactic. They’re typically much more of a nuisance than a threat, but the admins can present a bit of a challenge.
The most challenging pokemon you’ll have to worry about from team galactic are listed below:
Having electric-type moves, fighting-type moves, and ground-type moves at your disposal is going to set you up pretty well to deal with just about any of these. Of course, if you have a strong team you’ll be able to take these trainers on without too much difficulty.
Choosing Your Starter Pokemon
The first real choice we’ll make in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is a starter pokemon. We get to choose from Turtwig, the grass-type pokemon, Chimchar, the fire-type pokémon, and Piplup, the water-type pokemon.
Each of these pokemon has its benefits, so this choice will come down to your preferences. Still, we’re going to make a recommendation so let’s look through the benefits of each starter.
Turtwig’s final evolution is Torterra, a grass and ground-type pokemon that’s built for strong physical attack and defense. Its moveset definitely supports this build, allowing it to live up to its full potential.
The Turtwig line’s weaknesses in Sinnoh are pretty interesting. Fire pokemon are incredibly rare, although many pokemon can learn fire-type moves. Then, Bug and Ice are two specialties of very late-game trainers.
Still, Turtwig does great in the early game, taking down Roark and Crasher Wake with ease. Its ground-type moves also do a great job of dealing with steel types and electric types.
Unfortunately, while Torterra’s 109 base attack and 105 base defense are nothing to shake a stick at, it has the lowest base stat total of any fully evolved starter. This doesn’t mean it isn’t an option, it just means the other two are better when we’re looking at a pure numbers game.
The Chimchar line goes on to become the fire and fighting-type pokemon, Infernape. With a base stat total of 534, Infernape has the highest stats out of the 4th gen starters.
This line is also one of only two fire types available before you unlock the national dex in the post-game. In the mainline story of BDSP, your only choices for fire types are the Ponyta line and the Chimchar line.
So, the question here is, how necessary are fire-type moves in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl? Well, they’re really not. Fire is strong against grass, ice, bug, and steel, and while each of those has a specialist in these games, we can easily find other solutions.
In fact, with flying and fighting represented in our team composition, fire becomes almost useless. Since we’ll definitely want a flying pokemon early on to take down Maylene and Gardenia, we’re sure to have half of the fire’s benefits covered.
Our final line is the water and steel-type Piplup line. With a base stat total only four short of Infernape, Empoleon is an excellent choice to take us through Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
Empoleon may have slightly lower stats than Infernape, but its stats are better spread out. Instead of an even attack stat and special attack stat, Empoleon favors a high special attack and a high special defense.
Empoleon also has the most resistances of any of the three starters, with an immunity to poison thrown in for good measure. Ground, electric, and fighting-type moves may present a constant problem for us, but luckily, we’re not doing a solo run. The rest of our team will provide solutions to any weaknesses we run into.
Ultimately, while either Turtwig or Chimchar are great options, Piplup is the best starter in the region, providing us with an incredible foundation on which to build our team.
Building the Best Team in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, let’s build that exceptional team. With a great starter at our side, we just need to find solutions for any additional battles, taking into consideration when those battles come up and which pokemon we’ll have available.
We’ll be choosing pokemon primarily for type coverage, but we’ll be making sure they have the best base stat totals that they can within their respective typings.
With progression in mind, we’ll want to think about the first four gyms before anything else. Rock, Grass, Fighting, and Water are a decent spread, but we already have a solution for the first type.
We can then pick up a pokemon early on to deal with both the Grass and Fighting gyms, Starly. Having a flying-type pokemon means taking down two gyms and protecting our soon-to-be Empoleon from fighting-type moves.
We can then find another great piece of coverage in Wayward Cave. The Gible line gives us access to a 600-base stat pseudo-legendary pokemon as well as the ground-type to take out rock, electric, poison, and steel-type pokemon.
This means we have a solution for several more battles along the road and we have excellent coverage for most of the Starly line’s weaknesses.
We now have two pokemon weak to ice-type moves. Even though Empoleon has steel-type moves, we should have a backup solution to balance out the team. If we don’t want to get blindsided by a stray ice beam, we’ll want to pick up a fighting or rock-type pokemon.
The best option here may seem strange, but it’s actually Medicham. While its base stats are lower than any other pokemon we’ve brought onto our team, it has excellent setup moves and it’s the only fighting type line in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl that isn’t weak to ground-type moves.
With two slots left, we only have three types to cover – Psychic, Flying, and Ghost. All three of those can be covered well enough by Luxray, a pokemon we’ll have caught early in the game.
While Luxray may only get STAB bonuses on electric-type moves, its move pool is full of powerful dark-type moves that we can use to our advantage.
Then, with our last slot, we’ll be putting in Abomasnow. While we could really choose any pokemon to put here, we’ve opted to create some additional ground coverage. Since ground is the most common type we’ll battle against, it makes sense to have a pokemon that can dish out super effective damage to it without taking it in return.
HP – 84
Attack – 86
Defense – 88
Sp. Atk – 111
Sp. Def – 101
Speed – 60
HP – 85
Attack – 120
Defense – 70
Sp. Atk – 50
Sp. Def – 60
Speed – 100
HP – 108
Attack – 130
Defense – 95
Sp. Atk – 80
Sp. Def – 85
Speed – 102
HP – 60
Attack – 60
Defense – 75
Sp. Atk – 60
Sp. Def – 75
Speed – 80
High Jump Kick
HP – 80
Attack – 120
Defense – 79
Sp. Atk – 95
Sp. Def – 79
Speed – 70
Sp. Atk –
Sp. Def –
It’s probably impossible to create the perfect pokemon team for Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Still, we’re proud to say that we’ve come up with one of the best team compositions out there, one that you can use for your own playthrough.
This is a team with several extremely powerful pokémon in it that has coverages for every single battle you’ll come across, with priority given to the types you’ll be seeing the most of.
If you decide to use either of the other starters, be sure to consider the same things that we did when coming up with this option and you’ll be sure to develop a solid team.
Dane started off gaming at the tender age of 3 with the first Atari console. His favorite video game genres are turn-based RPGs (can I get a shout out for Tactics Ogre?) and fighting games. Read more...