Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl: How to beat all gym leaders and the Elite Four

Pokemon Bdsp Fighting Volkner
Pokemon Bdsp Fighting Volkner (Image credit: iMore)

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl has some truly challenging battles when it comes to Gym Leaders, the Elite Four, and finally the reigning Champion. You'll need to take advantage of each Pokémon's strengths and weaknesses to come out on top. To help you strategize, here's a list of each gym leader or Elite Four member's Pokémon, along with suggestions for the best team to defeat them.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl All Gym leaders and how to beat them

As with all Pokémon games, there are a grand total of eight Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl gym leaders, and each one tends to gravitate around a specific type of Pokémon. Here are the Pokémon they'll throw out, along with tips for beating them.

Roark - Oreburgh City

Pokemon Bdsp Gym Leader Roark With Pokemon (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
GeodudeRock12Ground, Ice, Water, Fighting, Steel, Grass
OnixRock12Fighting, Steel, Ice, Ground, Grass, Water
CranidosRock14Fighting, Steel, Ground, Grass, Water

I highly recommend your party be between Level 10 and Level 14 during this fight. Piplup and Turtwig can make quick work of any opponent here with their respective Water or Grass attacks. If you get Chimchar up to Level 14 and evolved into Monferno before fighting Roark, this monkey will learn a Fighting move that will also be deadly to the gym leader's team.

Roark Rematch

You can come back and fight Roark again after you've become the Champion, have seen all Pokémon in the Sinnoh region, and have talked to Professor Rowan. Here are the Pokémon he'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
TyranitarRock/Dark68Fighting, Steel, Ground, Bug, Grass, Fairy, Water
AerodactylRock/Flying66Ice, Steel, Water, Electric, Rock
ArmaldoRock/Bug70Rock, Steel, Water
ProbopassRock /Bug68Fighting, Ground, Water
RelicanthWater/Rock64Fighting, Ground, Grass, Electric
RampardosRock72Fighting, Steel, Ground, Grass, Water

Gardenia - Eterna City

Pokemon Bdsp Gym Leader Gardenia (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
CherubiGrass19Ice, Fire, Bug, Flying, Poison
TurtwigGrass19Ice, Fire, Flying, Bug, Poison
RoseradeGrass/Poison22Ice, Fire, Psychic, Flying

You're going to want your Pokémon to be between Level 15 and Level 18 to make quick work of this team. To make things go more smoothly, I recommend having Zubat or Drifloon in your party so you can use their Poison and Flying attacks.

Gardenia Rematch

Down the road, you can come back and fight Gardenia again. Here are the Pokémon she'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
JumpluffGrass/Flying66Flying, Ice, Poison, Fire, Rock
SunfloraGrass70Ice, Bug, Flying, Poison
CherrimGrass69Ice, Fire, Bug, Poison, Flying
BreloomGrass/Fighting68Ice, Flying, Poison, Psychic, Fire, Fairy
TorterraGrass/Ground68Ice, Fire, Flying, Bug
RoseradeGrass/Poison72Ice, Fire, Psychic, Flying

Maylene - Veilstone City

Pokemon Bdsp Gym Leader Maylene (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
MedititePsychic/Fighting27Ghost, Flying, Fairy
MachokeFighting27Psychic, Flying, Fairy
LucarioFighting/Steel30Fighting, Fire, Ground

When you get here, things will go better if your Pokémon are between Level 20 and Level 23 (or higher). Additionally, having Staravia or Machop on your side will make beating this team a whole lot easier as long as you use their Flying and Fighting attacks.

Maylene Rematch

Down the road, you can come back and fight Gardenia again. Here are the Pokémon she'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
HitmontopFighting64Row 0 - Cell 3
BreloomGrass/Fighting68Ice, Flying, Poison, Psychic, Fire, Fairy
HeracrossBug/Fighting54Psychic, Flying, Fire, Fairy
InfernapeFire/Fighting61Ground, Water, Flying, Psychic
MedichamPsychic/Fighting72Ghost, Flying, Fairy
LucarioFighting/Steel74Fighting, Fire, Ground

Crasher Wake - Pastoria City

Pokemon Bdsp Gym Leader Crasher Wake (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
GyaradosWater/Flying27Electric, Rock
QuagsireWater/Ground27Grass
FloatzelWater30Grass, Electric

Try to get your team members between at least Level 20 and Level 23 for an easier battle. Roselia, Roserade, and Luxray can be really helpful during this battle due to the effectiveness of Grass and Electric attacks.

Crasher Wake Rematch

Down the road, you can come back and fight Crasher Wake again. Here are the Pokémon he'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
PolitoedWater68Grass, Electric
KingdraWater/Dragon68Fairy, Dragon
LudicoloWater/Grass68Bug, Flying, Poison
HuntailWater70Grass, Electric
GyaradosWater/Flying70Electric, Rock
FloatzelWater72Grass, Electric

Fantina - Hearthome City

Pokemon Bdsp Gym Leader Fantina (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
DrifblimGhost/Flying32Ghost, Ice, Dark, Electic, Rock
GengarGhost/Poison34Ghost, Dark, Psychic
MismagiusGhost36Ghost, Dark

You'll want your team to be between Level 25 and Level 27 (or higher) before going into this battle. Golbat or Crobat will be especially helpful here with their Dark attacks.

Fantina Rematch

Down the road, you can come back and fight Fantina again. Here are the Pokémon she'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
DrifblimGhost/Flying68Ghost, Ice, Dark, Electic, Rock
BanetteGhost65Ghost, Dark
DusknoirGhost70Ghost, Dark
FroslassIce/Ghost72Ghost, Dark, Steel, Fire
GengarGhost/Poison72Ghost, Dark, Psychic
MismagiusGhost70Ghost, Dark

Byron - Canalave City

Pokemon Bdsp Gym Leader Byron

Pokemon Bdsp Gym Leader Byron (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
BronzorPsychic/Steel36Dark, Ground, Ghost, Fire
SteelixSteel/Ground36Ground, Fighting, Water, Fire
BastiodonSteel/Rock39Fighting, Ground, Water

Get your team between Level 28 and Level 32 at least to make quick work of this team. Monferno, Infernape, Gastrodon, and Rapidash will be especially helpful during this fight with their respective Fire and Ground attacks.

Byron Rematch

Down the road, you can come back and fight Byron again. Here are the Pokémon he'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
SkarmorySteel/Flying69Fire, Electric
SteelixSteel/Ground69Ground, Fighting, Water, Fire
MagnezoneElectric/Steel70Fighting, Fire, Ground
EmpoleonWater/Steel70Fighting, Ground, Electric
AggronSteel/Rock71Fighting, Ground, Water
BastiodonSteel/Rock72Fighting, Ground, Water

Candice - Snowpoint City

Pokemon Bdsp Gym Leader Candice (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
SnoverIce/Grass38Fighting, Steel, Fire, Flying, Poison, Bug
SneaselIce/Dark38Fighting, Bug, Fire, Steel, Fairy, Rock
MedichamPsychic/Fighting40Ghost, Flying, Fairy
AbamasnowIce/Grass42Fighting, Flying, Steel, Fire, Poison, Bug

Get your team between Level 32 and Level 35 to make Candice easier for you. The battle will quickly be won if you have Lucario as your Fighting type, Staraptor as your Flying type, and a powerful Fire-type like Infernape, Rapidash or Houndoom.

Candice Rematch

Down the road, you can come back and fight Candice again. Here are the Pokémon she'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
AbamasnowIce/Grass42Fighting, Flying, Steel, Fire, Poison, Bug
JynxIce/Psychic70Dark, Bug, Fire, Steel, Ghost, Rock
MamoswineIce/Ground68Firhing, Steel, Fire, Water, Grass
FroslassIce/Ghost72Ghost, Dark, Steel, Fire
GlaceonIce70Fighting, Fire, Steel
WeavileDark/Ice72Fighting, Steel, Bug, Fire, Fairy

Volkner Sunyshore City

Pokemon Bdsp Gym Leader Volkner (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
RaichuElectric46Ground
AmbipomNormal47Fighting
OctilleryWater47Grass, Electric
LuxrayElectric49Ground

Volkner has the most variety of any Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl gym leader. Make sure your team is at least between Level 38 and Level 43 for this fight. You'll want a decent Fighting-type like Lucario or Machoke for that Ambipom fight. Octillery can be taken down Turtwig, Roserade, Luxray, or Raichu thanks to their Grass and Electric attacks. The rest can get taken down with a strong Ground-type like Gastrodon, Rhyhorn, Rhyperior, or Hippowdon.

Volkner Rematch

Down the road, you can come back and fight Volkner again. Here are the Pokémon he'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
PelipperWater/Flying70Electric, Rock
RaichuElectric70Ground
LuxrayElectric70Ground
LanturnWater/Electric66Grass, Ground
JolteonElectric68Ground
ElectivireElectric75Ground

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl How to beat the Elite Four & the Champion

Pokemon Bdsp Clothing (Image credit: The Pokémon Company (screenshot))

Now you've traveled around Sinnoh and taught those gym leaders who was boss, but you're not at the top next. You'll need to defeat Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl's Elite Four and the reigning Champion to beat the game and prove you're the very best. You won't be able to heal between battles, so stock up on plenty of healing items before initiating this string of battles. Your opponents will use Full Heals and other healing items, so prepare yourself for a long battle. To make things easier, have at least 10 of each of these, if possible:

  • Max Potions
  • Full Restores
  • Max Elixirs
  • Max Revive
  • Sacred Ash

The best team for beating the Elite Four

Pokemon Bdsp Lucario Vs Garchomp (Image credit: iMore)

The best team is a varied one that's catered specifically to defeating each opponent's Pokémon types. Make sure your team is at least between Level 55 and Level 60 before starting the first battle.

Several different Pokémon can help you beat them, but in my opinion, the ideal team is Infernape, Gyarados, Luxray, Gengar, Staraptor, and Garchomp. This group gives you Fire, Fighting, Water, Flying, Electric, Dark, Ground, and Dragon attacks to really mess up your opponents quickly. Lucarioor another powerful Fighting type can also be a good option here.

Elite Four Aaron

Pokemon Bdsp Elite Four Aaron (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
DustoxBug/Poison53Flying, Psychic, Fire, Rock
HeracrossBug/Fighting54Psychic, Flying, Fire, Fairy
VespiquenBug/Flying53Flying, Ice, Fire, Electric
BeautiflyBug/Flying53Flying, Fire, Ice, Electric
DrapionPoison/Dark57Ground

Make sure you have a decent Fighting and Fire Pokémon on your team to make quick work of this battle. If you chose Infernape, he'll be your superstar here. Otherwise, make sure to have a good Flying type like Staraptor and perhaps an Electric type like Luxray.

Aaron Rematch #1

Down the road, you can come back and fight Aaron again. Here are the Pokémon he'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
YanmegaBug/Flying65Flying, Ice, Fire, Electric, Rock
ScizorBug/Steel65Fire
VespiquenBug/Flying66Flying, Ice, Fire, Electric
HeracrossBug/Fighting67Psychic, Flying, Fire, Fairy
DrapionPoison/Dark69Ground

Aaron Rematch #2

You can actually battle the Elite Four three times during the course of your game. Here are the Pokémon Aaron uses in the second rematch.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
YanmegaBug/Flying75Flying, Ice, Fire, Electric, Rock
ScizorBug/Steel75Fire
VespiquenBug/Flying77Flying, Ice, Fire, Electric
HeracrossBug/Fighting77Psychic, Flying, Fire, Fairy
FlygonGround/Dragon75Ice, Fairy, Dragon
DrapionPoison/Dark79Ground

Elite Four Bertha

Pokemon Bdsp Gym Leader Bertha (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
QuagsireWater/Ground55Grass
HippowdonGround59Ice, Grass, Water
SudowoodoRock56Grass, Fighting, Water, Ground, Steel
WhiscashWater/Ground55Grass
GolemRock/Ground56Ground, Fighting, Steel, Grass, Water, Ice

If you have a Torterra or an Empoleon, it will make quick work out of these guys. Otherwise, a good Water type like Gyarados and Floatzel will hit hard along with a good Grass type like Roserade.

Bertha Rematch #1

Down the road, you can come back and fight Bertha again. Here are the Pokémon she'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
WhiscashWater/Ground55Grass
GliscorGround/Flying69Ice, Water
GolemRock/Ground56Ground, Fighting, Steel, Grass, Water, Ice
HippowdonGround59Ice, Grass, Water
RhyperiorGround/Rock71Ground, Ice, Fighting, Grass, Steel, Water

Bertha Rematch #2

You can actually battle the Elite Four three times during the course of your game. Here are the Pokémon Bertha uses in the second rematch.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
WhiscashWater/Ground76Grass
GliscorGround/Flying79Ice, Water
NidokingPoison/Ground78Ground, Ice, Psychic, Water
HippowdonGround78Ice, Grass, Water
MamoswineIce/Ground78Firhing, Steel, Fire, Water, Grass
RhyperiorGround/Rock81Ground, Ice, Fighting, Grass, Steel, Water

Elite Four Flint

Pokemon Bdsp Elite Four Flint (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
RapidashFire58Ground, Water, Rock
InfernapeFire/Fighting61Ground, Water, Flying, Psychic
SteelixSteel/Ground57Ground, Fighting, Water, Fire
LopunnyNormal57Fighting
DrifblimGhost/Flying58Ghost, Ice, Dark, Electic, Rock

Once again, Empoleon's Water attacks are a great choice for this fight if you have it. If you don't, a Gyarados will be good here. You'll also want to use Ground attacks provided by a powerful Pokémon like Garchomp or Mamoswine.

Flint Rematch #1

Down the road, you can come back and fight Flint again. Here are the Pokémon he'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
HoundoomDark/Fire68Fighting, Water, Ground, Rock
FlareonFire71Ground, Water, Rock
RapidashFire69Ground, Water, Rock
InfernapeFire/Fighting71Ground, Water, Flying, Psychic
MagmortarFire73Ground, Water, Rock

Flint Rematch #2

You can actually battle the Elite Four three times during the course of your game. Here are the Pokémon Flint uses in the second rematch.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
NinetalesFire78Ground, Water, Rock
HoundoomDark/Fire78Fighting, Water, Ground, Rock
RapidashFire79Ground, Water, Rock
InfernapeFire/Fighting81Ground, Water, Flying, Psychic
ArcanineFire81Ground, Water, Rock
MagmortarFire83Ground, Water, Rock

Elite Four Lucian

Pokemon Bdsp Gym Leader Lucian (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
Mr. MimePsychic/Fairy59Poison, Steel, Ghost
GirafarigPsychic/Normal59Dark, Bug
MedichamPsychic/Fighting60Ghost, Flying, Fairy
AlazakamPsychic60Dark, Ghost, Bug
BronzongPsychic/Steel63Ground, Dark, Fire, Ghost

You'll want a Dark, Fighting, or Ghost type for this battle. I suggest bringing Gengar; just be aware that his weakness is Ghost, so don't put him in halfway through a fight. You can make these battles easier by making Gengar put them to sleep via Hypnosis and then wailing on them with Ghost-type attacks.

Lucian Rematch #1

Down the road, you can come back and fight Lucian again. Here are the Pokémon he'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
Mr. MimePsychic/Fairy59Poison, Steel, Ghost
EspeonPsychic71Dark, Ghost, Bug
BronzongPsychic/Steel70Ground, Dark, Fire, Ghost
AlazakamPsychic72Dark, Ghost, Bug
GalladePsychic/Fighting75Fairy, Ghost, Flying

Lucian Rematch #2

You can actually battle the Elite Four three times during the course of your game. Here are the Pokémon Lucian uses in the second rematch.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
Mr. MimePsychic/Fairy79Poison, Steel, Ghost
EspeonPsychic81Dark, Ghost, Bug
BronzongPsychic/Steel80Ground, Dark, Fire, Ghost
AlazakamPsychic82Dark, Ghost, Bug
SlowbroPsychic/Water82Dark, Grass, Bug, Ghost, Electric
GalladePsychic/Fighting85Fairy, Ghost, Flying

Champion Cynthia

Pokemon Bdsp Champion Cynthia (Image credit: iMore)
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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
SpiritombGhost/Dark61Fairy
GarchompGround/Dragon66Ice, Fairy, Dragon
GastrodonWater/Ground60Grass
MiloticWater63Grass, Electric
RoseradeGrass/Poison60Ice, Fire, Psychic, Flying
LucarioFighting/Steel63Fighting, Fire, Ground

Cynthia has a very good mix of Pokémon types, making her the most challenging opponent, indeed. The Fairy-type category didn't exist when the original Diamond and Pearl released. If you can bring one into this fight, it will be the only weakness that Spiritomb has.

Infernape and Torterra are the best evolutions from any starters during this battle as Fire and Grass are repeat weaknesses. You'll also want Staraptor or Gryarados's Flying attacks, Gengar's Psychic attacks, and Garchomp's Dragon attacks will be strong against Cynthia's Garchomp. Luxray will make quick work of Milotic with its Electric attacks. Remember to keep the type system in mind and have plenty of heals to keep yourself afloat.

Cynthia Rematch #1

Down the road, you can come back and fight Cynthia again. Here are the Pokémon she'll use at that time.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
SpiritombGhost/Dark74(None) Fairy
RoseradeGrass/Poison74Ice, Fire, Psychic, Flying
TogekissFairy/Flying76Ice, Steel, Poison, Electric, Rock
LucarioFighting/Steel76Fighting, Fire, Ground
MiloticWater74Grass, Electric
GarchompGround/Dragon78Ice, Fairy, Dragon

Cynthia Rematch #2

You can actually battle the Elite Four three times during the course of your game. Here are the Pokémon Cynthia uses in the second rematch.

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NameTypeLevelWeaknesses
SpiritombGhost/Dark84(None) Fairy
Porygon-ZNormal85Fighting
TogekissFairy/Flying86Ice, Steel, Poison, Electric, Rock
LucarioFighting/Steel86Fighting, Fire, Ground
MiloticWater84Grass, Electric
GarchompGround/Dragon88Ice, Fairy, Dragon

The best there ever was

Woo! You've done it! Paying attention to Pokémon's weaknesses and ensuring your team is leveled up sufficiently goes a long way, huh? Congrats, Champ!