Whether you’re looking for their type advantages or the many status-inflicting moves that they’re known for, it’s a must to have a capable grass-type Pokémon on your team in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
Your options will be a bit more limited in the early game, as only the first three of these ten powerful grass-type Pokémon are available prior to acquiring the National Dex.
Each Pokémon on this list would be a great addition to your team. The first three choices can help you power through the main story. However, it’s the others available after you have the National Dex that could be crucial as you take on the tough rematches following the first defeat of the Pokémon League.
1. Torterra, Base Stats Total: 525
Special Attack: 75
Special Defense: 85
While we decided to go with Chimchar as the best starter in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, one of the best grass-type options is still his counterpart, Turtwig. Once it reaches the final evolutionary form of Torterra, you’ll find that it’s an absolute physical tank.
Being a dual grass-type and ground-type Pokémon, Torterra is resistant to ground-type and rock-type moves while being completely immune to electric-type attacks. However, this comes with a tradeoff as it’s still weak to fire-type, flying-type, bug-type, and extra vulnerable to ice-type moves.
Torterra’s learnset includes some grass-type classics, and you’ll get Earthquake upon evolution as well as access to Wood Hammer via the Move Reminder with a Heart Scale. With additional TMs, you can snag some strong rock-type moves to counter potential fire-type or ice-type enemies.
2. Roserade, Base Stats Total: 515
Special Attack: 125
Special Defense: 105
When choosing the best Pokémon team available for the main story, Roserade quickly slid into our list as one of the game’s earliest and strongest grass-type options. You can catch Budew as early as Route 204, but you’ll need to get the Shiny Stone later in the game from Iron Island to evolve it into Roserade.
The poison-type and grass-type combo is a classic seen throughout the first Pokémon games, and it’s usually accompanied by a plethora of potential status moves. While it doesn’t gain access to Stun Spore or Sleep Powder, poison-inducing moves like Toxic Spikes, Toxic, and Poison Sting are available by leveling up.
With TMs, you can change the moveset a bit with alternative poison-type moves like Sludge Bomb and Poison Jab. Roserade is also able to learn the fairy-type move Dazzling Gleam and ghost-type move Shadow Ball, which, fueled by its very strong Special Attack, can be extremely useful.
3. Abomasnow, Base Stats Total: 494
Special Attack: 92
Special Defense: 85
One of the only other viable grass-type options in the main story is Abomasnow, but even its unevolved form, Snover, doesn’t appear until Route 216, Route 217, and Mt. Coronet. With relatively balanced stats, the true power of Abomasnow comes in its type combination.
Abomasnow is one of the only dual ice-type and grass-type Pokémon in the game, and this unique pairing makes it uniquely suited to some of the opponents that you’ll face later in the game. Dragon-type Pokémon become more and more prevalent as the game continues, and something capable of delivering ice-type attacks that isn’t weak to dragon-type moves can be huge.
However, Abomasnow does have a major flaw that you’ll need to be very cognizant of while using the Pokémon. Abomasnow is weak to fighting-type, poison-type, flying-type, bug-type, rock-type, and steel-type moves. It’s also extremely weak to fire-type moves, so be careful when you’re sending Abomasnow into battle.
4. Tangrowth, Base Stats Total: 535
Special Attack: 110
Special Defense: 50
At this point, we’ve reached the best grass-type options that you’ll have after acquiring the National Dex in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Tangrowth, or the unevolved form Tangela, can only be found in the Swampy Cave and Bogsunk Cavern of the Grand Underground after unlocking the National Dex.
While unavailable in the early game, Tangrowth can be a gamechanger once you’re facing the post-game rematches of Gym Leaders and Pokémon League members. As a pure grass-type, you’ll get all the usual weaknesses and resistances that come along with that, and will need to be careful of fire-type, ice-type, poison-type, flying-type, and bug-type moves.
While Tangrowth boasts some of the best Defense available, it is still very vulnerable with a low Special Defense against special attacks like Flamethrower or Ice Beam. You can supplement the grass-type staples of its learnset with TMs, most importantly Rock Slide, which will help counter most of Tangrowth’s weaknesses.
5. Leafeon, Base Stats Total: 525
Special Attack: 60
Special Defense: 65
Leafeon won’t be accessible until you have the National Dex, but it’s one of the few that isn’t linked to the Grand Underground. You can catch one as a Daily Pokémon at the Trophy Garden in the Pokémon Mansion on Route 212, or you can visit Bebe’s House in Hearthome City to receive a gift Eevee.
After you’ve acquired that Eevee, head to Eterna Forest near the Moss Rock with sunlight beaming onto it near the southwest edge of the forest. Level up your Eevee near it with a Rare Candy or wild encounters, and it should trigger the evolution into Leafeon.
Leafeon is about as physical as Pokémon get with an extremely strong Attack and Defense, but its low Special Attack and Special Defense leave it open in other areas. Fortunately, you can offset those weaknesses with its solid Speed and diverse TM moves like Dig, Iron Tail, and X-Scissor.
6. Venusaur, Base Stats Total: 525
Special Attack: 100
Special Defense: 100
Sometimes the classics stand the test of time, and that’s been the case with Venusaur. The original grass-type starter Bulbasaur is available within the Grand Underground at Riverbank Cave, Grassland Cave, Swampy Cave, Still-Water Cavern, Sunlit Cavern, or Bogsunk Cavern, but only after you’ve acquired the National Dex.
Once evolved, you’ll have one of the most well-balanced grass-type Pokémon in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl on your hands. While it excels in Special Attack and Defense, Venusaur’s solid 80-plus base stats across the board keep it versatile.
That versatility is bolstered by grass-type staples such as Leech Seed, Sleep Powder, and Synthesis, which will help to prolong battles and let Venusaur take enemies down. You’ll want to supplement with TMs to snag moves like Toxic, Sludge Bomb, or Energy Ball.
7. Exeggutor, Base Stats Total: 530
Special Attack: 125
Special Defense: 75
Another first-generation staple is once again worthwhile as Kanto’s Exeggutor brings the unique grass-type and psychic-type combo to the battlefield. After unlocking the National Dex, you’ll have to head to the Great Marsh in Pastoria City in hopes of Exeggcute being one of those Daily Pokémon – that’s the only way to get it in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
Once you’ve caught an Exeggcute, use a Leaf Stone to evolve into Exeggutor and prepare to go to battle with a Base Special Attack that is only matched by Roserade in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. However, be aware that Exeggutor’s type-combo leaves it extremely vulnerable to bug-type Pokémon along with all the usual weaknesses of grass-type and psychic-type Pokémon.
Keep in mind that Exeggcutor doesn’t learn anything by leveling up, and you’ll have to mostly use TMs, the existing Exeggcute moveset at evolution, or the Move Reminder to fill out their moveset. However, you can build a strong set with staples of Psychic and Giga Drain before adding status or strategic moves.
8. Sceptile, Base Stats Total: 530
Special Attack: 105
Special Defense: 85
Hoenn’s starters remain some of the best battlers through the generations, and that rings true for Sceptile even without the Mega Evolution it received in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. You’ll need to head to the Grand Underground after completing the National Dex; starter Treecko can be found in Riverbank Cave, Grassland Cave, Still-Water Cavern, or Sunlit Cavern.
Once you’ve fully evolved that Treecko into a Sceptile, you’ll be working with the speediest option on our list and wielding solid Special Attack in the process. While you won’t have the same-type attack bonus that comes with being a dragon-type as Mega Sceptile, it’s still worthwhile teaching yours Dragon Pulse via TM 59.
From there, lean on its Speed by utilizing moves like Double Team and Protect to keep your opponent from striking you. You’ll have a wide variety of attacking moves to choose through its learnset or TMs, but be careful not to lean on a physical move as Sceptile has superior Special Attack.
9. Ludicolo, Base Stats Total: 480
Special Attack: 90
Special Defense: 100
So far, we’ve managed to stick to Pokémon available in both Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, but this next option happens to be a Shining Pearl exclusive. Players with Brilliant Diamond would need to trade with someone else, but Shining Pearl players will be able to go hunting as soon as they’ve got the National Dex.
In order to snag the unique combo of water-type and grass-type that is Ludicolo, you’ll first need to head to The Grand Underground and catch a Lotad or Lombre in Fountainspring Cave, Riverbank Cave, Grassland Cave, Still-Water Cavern, or Sunlit Cavern. After that, use a Water Stone to make the final step and land yourself a Ludicolo. With the water and grass combo, Ludicolo is extremely resilient against water-type moves, while the only moves that are super-effective against it are poison-type, flying-type, and bug-type.
While it has the lowest Base Stats of our options here, Ludicolo shines when you have one with the Rain Dish ability, and you’ll want to pair that with Rain Dance from Lombre’s learnset or a TM. While those two combine to replenish your health, prolong the battle with Giga Drain and supplement with strong moves from TMs like Surf, Energy Ball, Brick Break, or Ice Beam.
10. Vileplume, Base Stats Total: 490
Special Attack: 110
Special Defense: 90
Another first-generation classic rounds out our list, as one of the longstanding grass-type staples remains a strong option even all these years later. While it’s not exclusively in the Grand Underground, the other places where you’ll find an Oddish or Gloom aren’t accessible until you have defeated the Elite Four and received the National Dex.
Gloom can be found on Routes 224, 229, and 230 while Oddish spawn on Routes 229 and 230, and both can be found in the Grand Underground in Riverbank Cave, Grassland Cave, Spacious Cave, Swampy Cave, Still-Water Cavern, Sunlit Cavern, or Bogsunk Cavern.
Make sure that you’ve leveled up Gloom enough to learn Moonblast, Moonlight, and Petal Dance before using a Leaf Stone to evolve into Vileplume. You’ll have the option to trade out Petal Dance with Petal Blizzard after evolving into Vileplume, both of which are strong options. On top of that, Vileplume has several status-effect options like Sleep Powder learned by its unevolved forms, or Toxic by TM.
You can make your Vileplume even more powerful if you snag the Hidden Ability Effect Spore, either by catching an Oddish with the Hidden Ability Run Away and evolving it, catching a Gloom with the Hidden Ability Stench and evolving it, or using an Ability Patch. Effect Spore can poison, paralyze, or put to sleep any enemy that hits Vileplume. Finally, tack on a few strong attacking moves like Sludge Bomb and Drain Punch via TM to round out the moveset.
When you need to call on a mighty grass-type Pokémon, be sure to pick one of the best Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl options listed above.