While players are encouraged to choose a team that they feel drawn to, comprised of the Pokémon that they like most, it can help to have a strategy of building one of the stronger teams available in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. This will be especially true as you reach later stages of the game.
It’s important to note that while tons of Pokémon are available when you’ve acquired the National Dex, your options earlier in the game won’t be the same. You can adjust your team after that point, but there’s a much smaller pool to choose from when you’re playing through the main story.
Before we get to the list, there are two great options that we haven’t included here. Mew and Jirachi, two mythical and extremely powerful Pokémon, can be acquired early on. Now, onto the best team to make in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
1. Infernape, Base Stats Total: 534
Special Attack: 104
Special Defense: 71
There’s a reason why we chose Chimchar as the best starter in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, as that adorable little chimp’s final evolutionary form is among the best in the entire game. Infernape is the speediest Pokémon on this team, and that can make it very powerful.
As a dual fighting and fire-type Pokémon, it gets STAB boosts to both of those move types, and that means that you can wail on opponents with moves like Flare Blitz and Close Combat. As you’re working through the story, Power Up Punch can also be extremely useful in sweeping opposing trainer teams.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is light on fire-type Pokémon, and Infernape brings a perfect combination for the game’s strong steel-type trainers. Infernape is especially useful when taking on Gym Leader Byron in Canalave City and against the Pokémon League Champion.
2. Garchomp, Base Stats Total: 600
Special Attack: 80
Special Defense: 85
While it may be the last Pokémon of the best team that you can acquire, it is more than worth the effort to get a Garchomp before facing the Elite Four. The earliest point at which you can get a Gible, which will eventually evolve into a Garchomp, is after getting the HM Strength and the sixth gym badge.
Once you’ve done that, head to Route 206 and go underneath Cycling Road to find a secret entrance to Wayward Cave. Once in, Gible are a rare spawn on the B1F level of Wayward Cave, and you’ll be on the path to one of the best Pokémon that the game has to offer.
With an insane Base Stats Total of 600, Garchomp holds the best HP and Attack on this team and brings some crucial type advantages. As a dual dragon-type and ground-type, be especially careful against ice-type Pokémon, but Garchomp’s learnset and varied TM move options can deal with most enemies in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
3. Luxray, Base Stats Total: 523
Special Attack: 95
Special Defense: 79
While one of the earliest Pokémon you’ll come across is Shinx, their final evolutionary stage of Luxray is by far the best electric-type option you’ll find in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. With an extremely strong 120 in Attack and still solid 95 in Special Attack, pretty much all electric-type moves will be viable – but physical ones will be strongest.
With dark-type moves like Bite and Crunch, you’ll also have some good coverage against psychic-type enemies throughout the game. You can further diversify your type coverage with Luxray by teaching it Iron Tail, which is extra strong when you pair the move’s 100 Power with Luxray’s own Attack.
Fortunately, you won’t have any trouble getting a Shinx to evolve into Luxray as they’re found on Route 202, Route 203, Route 204, Fuego Ironworks, and multiple areas of The Grand Underground. All options work, but you can save some training time by catching one in The Grand Underground as they’ll likely be of the highest level.
4. Lucario, Base Stats Total: 525
Special Attack: 115
Special Defense: 70
There’s only one way to acquire Lucario in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, but the good news is that the story does most of that work for you. Once you arrive on Iron Island, you’ll receive an Egg from Riley, which will ultimately hatch into Riolu.
Simply start training with your Riolu, and once the Pokémon’s friendship is high enough, it will evolve into Lucario. While you end up with some type crossover by having two fighting-type Pokémon, it’s more than worthwhile to get Lucario’s crucially powerful steel-type arsenal.
Lucario will help you to counter fairy-type and ice-type Pokémon, the latter of which can sometimes give Infernape trouble if they know water-type moves. Both of Lucario’s stats in Attack and Special Attack are extremely strong, and with TMs, you can diversify with moves like Shadow Claw, Psychic, or Dragon Pulse.
5. Gyarados, Base Stats Total: 540
Special Attack: 60
Special Defense: 100
Next, we have a classic in the form of Gyarados. As always, you can snag a Magikarp the moment that you acquire the Old Rod by fishing in basically any body of water throughout Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
Once you level it up, Magikarp will evolve into Gyarados and bring an excellent Base Stats Total and Base Attack Stat to earn its place on the best team. As it levels up, you can outfit the moveset for Gyarados with powerful moves like Aqua Tail, Hurricane, and Hyper Beam.
On top of that, with TMs, you can make the type coverage of Gyarados incredibly diverse with moves like Iron Tail, Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, Earthquake, Flamethrower, Dragon Pulse, and Stone Edge. Be mindful of whether trying to stick to physical moves when choosing your learnset, but some of the type diversity may require having some special attack moves.
6. Roserade, Base Stats Total: 515
Special Attack: 125
Special Defense: 105
While some players may turn to Turtwig’s final form, Torterra, your best grass-type option in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is actually going to be Roserade. With a dual grass-type and poison-type base fueled by a 125 in Special Attack, Roserade can be an attacking machine.
Poison can be crucial against fairy-type Pokémon throughout the story, but it also gives you the option of poisoning enemies with Roserade and then using healing moves like Synthesis or Leech Seed to prolong the battle until that poison finishes off your enemy. Keep in mind that Roserade’s HP and physical defense aren’t ideal, so be careful when using that tactic.
You can catch a Budew early on Route 204, Eterna Forest, Route 212 North, or any of the Great Marsh Areas. However, you won’t be able to acquire the Shiny Stone needed to finish evolving into Roserade until you reach Iron Island. While it can be acquired in The Grand Underground, that method is less reliable and can take much longer than simply finding the one on Iron Island.
How to build the best team in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl
While these six Pokémon constitute an ideal team through the main story in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, it’s likely that you’ll come across another that you really insist on keeping in your team. Don’t fight that urge; find a way to make your favorites work in your team to enjoy the game even more.
Whether you use this group or others, the most important factor in building the best team for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is going to be types and type effectiveness. With the introduction of fairy-type and steel-type from this generation, there are plenty of enemies throughout the story that feel extra powerful due to those type matchups.
You generally want a team to have as much type variance and coverage as possible. Having too many Pokémon of a specific type makes you vulnerable to their weaknesses, but you’ll also want that diversity in their movesets as well.
Just because you don’t have a specific type of Pokémon doesn’t mean that you don’t have access to a move of that type, so always check the TMs that you receive to see whether someone from your team can learn that powerful new move.
You’ll also want to utilize the Move Relearner in Pastoria City, as some Pokémon – like Gyarados – can only gain access to moves like Ice Fang with the Move Relearner by giving him a Heart Scale. Ice Fang is learned at a lower level than Magikarp evolves into Gyarados, and that means that it’s the only way to get that strong physical ice-type move on Gyarados. This is just one of many examples
The final thing that you want to remember is that your team isn’t required to stay stagnant. You don’t have to decide on the perfect squad out of the gate and ignore all others the whole time. Don’t be afraid to change your plans, and good type coverage can let you tackle the story with just about any squad.
Now that you know the strongest Pokémon to include in the best team on Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, which ones will you integrate into your team?