In 2021, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl brought the fourth generation of games to the Nintendo Switch. This pair are remakes of the 2006 Nintendo DS titles Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and return players to the Sinnoh region, re-imagined for a modern console. In Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, trainers are once again tasked with building a powerful team of the best Pokémon while filling out the region’s Pokédex.
If you’re gearing up for your Sinnoh adventure and are already planning your team, or you’re just wondering who the shining stars of the Sinnoh Pokédex are, then below are our picks for the best Pokémon in Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl. We’ll explore why they’re awesome, their strengths and weaknesses against other types, and some fun facts trainers should know.
Infernape, the Fire/Fighting-type Pokémon, earns a spot on our list for several reasons. It’s the final evolutionary form of Chimchar, the game’s Fire-type starter, and offers a well-rounded move pool. Add its dual typing into the mix, and you’ve got a highly versatile combatant.
With high Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stats, Infernape can out-fight and outmaneuver many opponents. It can also dish out plenty of damage with powerful moves like Close Combat, Flare Blitz, and Raging Fury. Its Fire typing is especially advantageous against Bug, Steel, Grass, and Ice types, making it a formidable offensive sweeper.
However, be cautious when facing Flying, Water, Ground, and Psychic types, as these have an advantage over Infernape’s Fire/Fighting typing. Nonetheless, with its sheer power and adaptability, Infernape is undoubtedly one of the best Pokémon in Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl.
Fun Fact: Infernape’s design is inspired by the Monkey King, who is a main character in the Chinese epic story Journey to the West.
Garchomp, the Dragon/Ground-type pseudo-legendary, secures a spot as one of the game’s best Pokémon due to its exceptional stats and versatility. Its dual typing grants it a powerful STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus) for moves like Dragon Claw and Earthquake, which are super effective against a wide range of opponents. Garchomp’s high Attack and Speed stats also allow it to outspeed and KO many adversaries.
While Garchomp has a relatively small pool of weaknesses, its biggest vulnerability lies in its 4x weakness to Ice-type moves. It’s also vulnerable to Dragon and Fairy types. However, careful planning and team support can mitigate this, and there’s no denying that Garchomp is an invaluable addition to any roster.
Fun Fact: Garchomp’s design is a cross between a wyvern and a shark, giving it a fearsome yet fascinating look. It’s also the only pseudo-legendary Pokémon to have visual differences between males and females.
Milotic is a Water-type Pokémon renowned for its beauty, making it a valuable prize for collectors. It’s also a surprisingly good battler, however. Milotic’s impressive Special Defense and Special Attack stats allow it to absorb hits and strike back with moves like Surf and Ice Beam. Access to moves like Recover further improves its sustainability in longer fights.
While it has a weakness to Grass and Electric-type moves, its overall durability and type versatility more than make up for it. Milotic’s elegant appearance and evolution from the unassuming-looking Feebas make it a fan favorite and one of the best Water-type Pokémon in Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl.
Fun Facts: Milotic appears to be the counterpart to Gyrados, another serpentine Pokémon that evolves from a fish. Milotic and Gyrados also both have 540 total base stat points and identical HP, Defense, and Speed stats.
Togekiss, the Fairy/Flying-type Pokémon, stands out as one of the best supportive Pokémon in the game. It’s the final form of Togepi, the adorable egg Pokemon introduced in Generation II. Togekiss’ high Special Attack and Special Defense stats make it a reliable special attacker and wall.
Its hybrid typing is also highly useful in battle. With Fairy-type attacks Dazzling Gleam, Togekiss can effectively deal with Fighting, Dark, and Dragon types. Its Flying-type attacks are super effective against Bug, Fighting, and Grass-type opponents, so it’s very versatile on offense.
Togekiss is weak to Poison, Rock, Steel, Electric, and Ice-type moves, however, which are very common in the game. On the other hand, it’s totally resistant to Ground and Dragon-type attacks. Its type versatility and strong stats make Togekiss a valuable asset.
Fun Facts: Togekiss is known as the Jubilee Pokémon and is associated with spreading happiness and good fortune. Male Togekiss are seven times more common than females.
Lucario, the Fighting/Steel-type Pokémon, combines excellent Attack and Special Attack stats with a unique dual typing. Its access to powerful moves like Close Combat and Aura Sphere allows it to handle a variety of opponents.
Lucario has eight different type resistances, and that’s not even counting its complete immunity to Poison-type attacks. Lucario’s dual typing gives it resistance to Normal, Grass, Ice, Rock, Dark, Grass, Bug, Steel, and Dragon-type moves.
However, be cautious when facing Ground, Fire, and Fighting-type opponents with Lucario. Its type versatility, broad resistances, and offensive capabilities make Lucario one of the best Pokémon in Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl for competitive trainers.
Fun Facts: Lucario is known for its unique ability to sense the auras of other Pokémon and humans. Lucario’s distinctive canine appearance is similar to Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead.
Gyarados, the iconic Generation I Water/Flying-type Pokémon, is a formidable physical attacker with access to moves like Waterfall and Dragon Dance. It has high Attack and Special Defense stats, making it a bulwark with good offensive and defensive potential. Its Intimidate ability can also lower the Attack stat of opposing Pokémon upon entering battle.
As a dual Water/Flying type, Gyarados should watch out for Electric and Rock-type moves. Other than that, however, it doesn’t have many weaknesses and has quite a few type resistances. Gyrados’ iconic status, overall power, and sweeping potential make it a welcome addition to any team.
Fun Fact: Gyarados’ name was originally “Skulkraken” in the beta versions of Pokémon Red and Blue.
Empoleon, the final evolution of Piplup, is a force to be reckoned with. This Water and Steel-type Pokémon boasts an impressive combination of resistances and a well-rounded move pool. Its Steel typing grants it immunity to Poison attacks, and it’s resistant to a whopping ten other types, including Normal, Grass, Ice, Flying, Psychic, Bug, Dragon, Steel, and Fairy. Empoleon’s Water typing also gives it the upper hand against Fire, Ground, and Rock-type Pokémon.
Empoleon’s versatility and huge set of type resistances allow it to excel in both offensive and defensive roles. With moves like Hydro Pump, Flash Cannon, and Ice Beam, it can handle various threats. Its excellent Defense stat makes it a reliable tank, while Special Attack lets it hit hard.
Fun Fact: Currently, Empoleon is the only Water/Steel-type Pokémon, making it one of the most unique creatures in the entire series.
Manaphy is a Water-type Mythical Pokémon. This cute, unassuming-looking creature is a true gem and is actually one of the strongest Pokémon in the game, with 600 total base stat points. It has a unique trait called “Hydration,” which automatically heals status conditions in rainy weather.
Manaphy has a perfectly even base stat distribution (100 points for each), so you could say it’s well-rounded. Despite its standard typing, it can also learn a variety of moves, including Surf, Ice Beam, and Psychic, giving it wide coverage against many types. Its only major weaknesses are Grass and Electric-type moves, so be cautious when facing Pokémon of these types.
Fun Facts: Manaphy can breed with Ditto to produce Phione, another Water-type Mythical Pokémon. This makes Manaphy one of the few Mythical Pokémon capable of reproduction. It’s the last Pokémon listed in the Sinnoh Pokédex (number 151).
Uxie, Mesprit, & Azelf
The legendary Psychic-type Pokémon Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf are the lake guardians in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Although similar in type and design, each has its own unique traits. Uxie is known for its knowledge, and it has the power to erase the memories of anyone who gazes into its eyes. Mesprit is associated with emotions and can drain someone of their feelings or throw them into disarray. Azelf is the embodiment of willpower, possessing the ability to manipulate the wills of others.
In battle, the trio’s strength lies in their Psychic typing and high stats, making them formidable fighters. Each has 580 total base stat points, although their distributions differ. Since all three are Psychic types, they share the same vulnerabilities and resistances: They are strong against Fighting and Poison types but vulnerable to Bug, Dark, and Ghost types.
Fun Facts: The lake guardians have the highest base friendship of any Legendary Pokémon.
The Legendary Pokémon Giratina exudes an aura of awesomeness like no other. This enigmatic creature hails from the Distortion World, an alternate dimension. Giratina’s unique Ghost/Dragon typing makes it a powerful force, as you’d expect from a Legendary Pokémon. Its hybrid typing grants it resistance to many common moves, while its Ghost typing renders it immune to Normal and Fighting-type attacks.
This dual-typing, coupled with its beefy stats, gives Giratina an edge in battles, making it a challenging opponent. Its signature move, “Shadow Force,” can bypass protective moves like Protect and Detect, further solidifying its reputation as a terror on the battlefield. We also think it looks pretty cool.
Fun Facts: Giratina’s name may come from the Latin word giras, meaning “to turn,” reflecting its connection to the parallel Distortion World. It’s the game mascot for Pokémon Platinum, the counterpart to the original Diamond and Pearl games for the Nintendo DS.
Dialga & Palkia
Last but not least are the legendary mascots of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl: Dialga and Palkia. Dialga is a Steel/Dragon-type Pokémon, while Palkia is a Water/Dragon-type. These two are immensely powerful (no surprises there) and are the focal points of the game’s storyline.
Dialga’s Steel/Dragon typing provides an impressive nine type resistances, including Normal, Grass, Ice, Psychic, Bug, Dragon, and Fairy. It is also fully immune to Poison attacks and is only weak to Fighting and Ground-type moves. Admittedly, Palkia’s Water/Dragon typing grants it a less impressive type resistance setup. It’s strong against Fire, Water, and Steel and only vulnerable to Dragon and Fairy-type moves.
Of the two, Dialga is the most impressive due to its typing, but they’re both powerful attackers and tanks, no matter how you slice it. Both Dialga and Palkia also boast extremely high base stats, particularly their Special Attack, giving them devastating sweeper potential. Exclusive signature moves like Roar of Time (Dialga) and Spacial Rend (Palkia) can obliterate opponents.
Fun Facts: These legendary Pokémon have control over time (Dialga) and space (Palkia), adding a fascinating dimension to the game’s lore. The pair was inspired by the Japanese Shinto creator deities Izanami and Izanagi.
In Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, assembling a powerful and well-balanced team of the best Pokémon is crucial to your success as a trainer. The Pokémon mentioned above are our top choices due to their impressive stats, diverse move pools, strategic advantages, and creative designs.
Remember that a well-rounded team is essential, however, and balanced type matchups are vital for success in battle. With any of these Pokémon on your side, we’re confident that you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Sinnoh Champion. Now go forth, brave trainer, and conquer!