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The best late-game Pokémon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Add these Pokémon to your team before you take on the Pokémon League.

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Are you struggling to beat Sinnoh’s Elite Four and Champion? Or are you just scared to fight them in the first place? Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl get surprisingly difficult towards the end of the game as your opponents start using better Pokémon with optimized moves and held items. If you want the back half of these Nintendo DS remakes to be a bit easier, we recommend that you use the following Pokémon.

9, 8. Dialga or Palkia

Adding one of the two Legendary Pokémon featured on the game’s covers, Dialga or Palkia, to your team is valid — even if using Legendaries is considered a faux pas by some. You have to fight and possibly catch them during the game’s story, so they’re unavoidable. Dialga is a Steel/Dragon-type Pokémon, while Palkia is a Water/Dragon-type, so they should resist most Pokémon you face.

Dialga is exclusive to Brilliant Diamond while Palkia is exclusive to Shining Pearl.


Dialga and Palkia have the exclusive Dragon-type moves Roar of Time and Spacial Rend, respectively, providing a great counter to one of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s toughest Pokémon: Champion Cynthia’s Garchomp. If you don’t mind using Legendary Pokémon, Dialga or Palkia should be considered a must-have. Build the rest of your team around them and your starter!

7. Abomasnow

Abomasnow evolves from Snover, which can be caught on Routes 216 and 217.


Abomasnow’s Grass and Ice typing isn’t great defensively, but this giant winter tree is a strong attacker with access to powerful moves like Wood Hammer and Blizzard. Its ability Snow Warning causes Hail too, so a Blizzard from Abomasnow is guaranteed to hit.

This is an excellent counter to Cynthia’s Garchomp and should leave a dent in most teams that you face. Its pre-evolution Snover is a common encounter on Routes 216 and 217, and it evolves at level 40 shortly after you capture it, so you shouldn’t have trouble adding Abomasnow to your team. If you selected Turtwig as your starter, then adding yet another Grass Pokémon into your core party could be a mistake should you come up against any Fire enemies, so you may be better off picking another choice on this list if that’s the case.

6. Lucario

While the third Gym Leader Maylene uses a Lucario, you can’t get one until much later in the game.

The Pokemon Company

Lucario is a fan-favorite Fighting/Steel-type Pokémon with impressive offensive stats. It will be a powerhouse on any team because Fighting is good against Sinnoh’s Normal- and Rock-type Pokémon. You will have to go out of your way to get Lucario on your team, though.

In Canalave City, you have the option to take a boat to Iron Island and fight Team Galactic with a partner NPC named Riley. Once you complete this dungeon, Riley will give you an egg that hatches into Riolu, Lucario’s pre-evolution. It will evolve when leveled up with high friendship during the day. It’s a somewhat roundabout process, but this is one of the best Pokémon in the game. If you’re playing on Brilliant Diamond and do opt to use Dialga in your party, then their Steel typing will make your team rather vulnerable to Fire and Ground, however, all Steel Pokémon also have a slew of resistances, so they may balance out.

5. Spiritomb

Until Pokemon X and Y, Spiritomb had no weaknesses.


Spiritomb is a Dark/Ghost-type Pokémon, which means it only has one weakness: Fairy. That type isn’t super common in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, as the type didn’t exist when the original launched. As long as you avoid the occasional Mr. Mime and Clefable, Spiritomb is an excellent defensive Pokémon (with 108 base Defense and Special Defense!) with decent attack stats to back it up.

The catch? Capturing Spiritomb is a lengthy process. In Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, you have to get an Odd Keystone from an NPC on Route 208, place the Odd Keystone in Route 209’s Hallowed Tower, talk to 32 NPCs in the Grand Underground, and then go back to the Hallowed Tower to fight and catch Spiritomb.

You’ll need to set aside an hour or so around halfway through the game to get Spiritomb, but the end result is worth it.

4. Garchomp

Garchomp is Cynthia’s most iconic team member, but you can use one too.

The Pokemon Company

There’s a reason Cynthia’s Garchomp is so tough to fight: It’s one of the best Pokémon in the game. Some might say it’s one of the best Pokémon ever, regardless of the generation or game. This Dragon/Ground-type can annihilate almost any opponent it faces due to its high attack and speed. It can sweep Volkner’s gym and is one of the best answers to Cynthia’s own Garchomp.

If you have the HM Strength, you can catch Gible in Wayward Cave after you beat Byron. It won’t evolve into Garchomp until level 48, but it can destroy almost anything in its path once it does. Capitalize on its typing and 130 base Attack with moves like Dragon Rush and Dig, but even off-type TMs like Poison Jab, Crunch, Iron Tail, Fire Fang, or Rock Tomb can go a long way.

3, 2, 1 — Azelf, Mespirit, or Uxie

Any of Sinnoh’s Lake Guardians will make a great addition to your team.


These three Psychic-type Legendary Pokémon, also known as the Lake Guardians, will mop the floor against most foes after they learn the Psychic move. Each of these Pokémon has excellent stats: Mespirit is well-rounded, Azelf has higher attack stats, and Uxie has higher defenses. They can easily take down some of Cynthia’s other tough Pokémon like Roserade and Lucario.

You can find these three Pokémon at each of Sinnoh’s lakes after you defeat Team Galactic. Mespirit is the toughest to catch as it runs away from you after your first encounter and roams around Sinnoh, but Unie and Azelf will stay in place even after you fight them once. Be careful, as if you don’t catch them or knock them out, you won’t be able to fight them again until after you beat Cynthia.

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