Best Pokémon team in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Piplup
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Piplup (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl take place in the Sinnoh region. Veterans of the Pokémon series may already know some of the best Pokémon in Sinnoh, but things have changed since the days of the original Diamond and Pearl. The Underground provides access to Pokémon that aren't in the regional Pokédex, Fairy types are a thing now, and some trainers in the game have extremely powerful Pokémon (we won't spoil who). Whether you're a newcomer or a Pokémon master, here are some tips for building the best team for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl on the Nintendo Switch.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl: Basic of team building

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Starter Balls

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Starter Balls (Image credit: The Pokémon Company (screenshot))

One of the best things about Pokémon is that you can build a team that suits you. If you like powerful physical attackers, for example, you can smash through the game like a bruiser. While teams can vary greatly in structure, there are some basic principles of team building that will help you out.

It's a good idea to have a variety of types on your team. We touch on type advantages in more depth below, but you don't want to overload your party with a single type. If your entire team is Fire type, you could get swept by a Garchomp. When picking Pokémon, make sure that your party doesn't share a weakness. If you balance your Fire type with a Steel type, both of your Pokémon are likely weak to Ground.

You'll also want to mix things up with a variety of styles. You need to balance attacking Pokémon with support Pokémon. If your mean damage dealer faints, you'll need a bulky Pokémon to last a couple of turns while you revive your attacker.

Some Pokémon, like Garchomp, can fill different roles depending on how you train them. A Garchomp with investments in HP and Defense can take a hit and set up Stealth Rocks. If you make Garchomp an all-out attacker instead, you can sweep through your opponents.

Taking advantage of type advantages

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Luxray

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Luxray (Image credit: The Pokémon Company (screenshot))

Hop and some other trainers in Pokémon Sword and Shield were mocked for being surprised that trainers knew about type advantages. But type matchups are just as important in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl as they've ever been. You need to have a mixture of types on your team to face different opponents.

One of the biggest changes in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl compared to the original Sinnoh titles is that Fairy type, which didn't exist when the originals came out, is now included. Fairy type is good against Fighting, Dragon, and Dark. It's weak to Poison and Steel. Its introduction greatly changed the balance of the competitive scene, and a good Fairy Pokémon can help you greatly on your journey through Sinnoh.

We have a complete guide on type advantages to help you out.

Making a dream team

Pokemon Bdsp Lucario Vs Garchomp

Pokemon Bdsp Lucario Vs Garchomp (Image credit: iMore)

There are more than six Pokémon that can carry you through Sinnoh, but here's a dream team that should make things easier. If you train these six Pokémon, you should be able to make your way through the story and defeat the Elite 4.


Infernape, which is the final form of Chimchar, is an easy starter to train. It's a mixed attacker, meaning you can use both physical and special attacks. Infernape can learn powerful moves like Close Combat, and it even has a priority move with Mach Punch. Don't sleep on Power-Up punch, which it learns early on. This move can build momentum quickly and is a great way to increase your attack in battles.


Roserade, which evolves from Roselia, resists ground types that threaten Infernape and is super effective against water and rock, both of which are good against Infernape. Roserade has a massive special attack stat and is relatively quick. It also learns Leech Seed, Toxic, and Toxic Spikes if you prefer to play a stall set.


What's a good Pokémon team without a "route one bird?" You can catch a Starly early on in Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl and watch it grow into a speedy Staraptor. Close Combat is a powerful fighting move, and Brave Bird packs a wallop, though you'll have to watch out for recoil damage. Startaptor also makes a good lead when it has the Intimidate ability. This lowers that attack of your opponents when you switch Staraptor in or start a battle with it.


Garchomp is another heavy hitter that veterans of Sinnoh games will recognize. It's the final form of the Gible line. To get one, you'll have to enter the secret entrance of the Wayward Cave underneath Cycling Road on Route 206. You'll need to be able to use Strength as well, which requires you to beat the Canalave gym leader.


Azumarill won't be available until a bit later in the game, but it will come in extremely handy when you start facing Dragon types. Fairy type wasn't around the first time people visited Sinnoh, so now is Azumarill's time to shine. Make sure to get one with Huge Power to increase its attack.


This adorable floating UFO hits like a truck and resists a ton of types. It only has three weaknesses, all of which are covered by the rest of your team twice. Even if you can't evolve your Pokémon into a Magnezone until a bit later, Magneton is a powerful little zappy friend.

Using your favorites

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Amity Square

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Amity Square (Image credit: The Pokémon Company)

The most important thing about a Pokémon game, and any of the best Switch games, is that you enjoy playing. Generally speaking, you'll be able to get through the story mode with any group of well-trained Pokémon. The postgame will have opponents that require balance, more advanced strategies, and in-battle items, but you can always build up your team after playing through the story.

If you love a certain Pokémon and it's in Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl, keep it in your team. Even if it's not the strongest Pokémon, it's good to have your buddy around. Additionally, some Pokémon have effects that help out of battle, like Pickup getting you rare items.

Sean Endicott