Building a balanced team in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is the key to success. Sure, you can brute force your way through battles with whichever Pokémon you think look the coolest, but having a variety of types to cover all of your weaknesses will certainly make things go more smoothly. Of the three starters, Chimchar is arguably the best thanks to its high speed, attack, and special attack that’s enhanced with a secondary Fighting-type when fully evolved. But what should the rest of your team look like? Here’s a look at the five Pokémon that complement Chimchar to help you get the best possible team composition for your adventure in the Sinnoh region.
Chimchar eventually evolves into Infernape at level 36 and is one of the best Fire types in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Despite a wide and powerful moveset, this creature does have quite a few weaknesses including Ground, Water, Flying, and Psychic. You’ll need a diverse team to compensate there, but in most cases, Infernape is fast enough to wipe most enemies with a powerful Fire or Fighting attack.
Having an Electric-type on your team is ideal and few are better than Shinx. You can find Shinx as early as Route 202, making this particular Pokémon easy to acquire very early on. Gardivire and Jolteon might be better Electric Pokémon, but because Shinx is so easy to acquire, it’s a solid option to coast you through most of the game. You can also find this creature in the Grand Underground later on, for what it’s worth. Shinx evolves into Luxio at level 15 and then into Luxray at level 30, so it’s a good idea to put this Pokémon in your party ASAP. Its overall stats are above average, but its Speed is rather slow for an Electric Pokémon. Just be sure to lean into any physical attacks it acquires.
Gyarados is a classic Water-type and for good reasons. Its pre-evolution, Magikarp, is easy to catch once you get a Fishing Rod in Canalave City. When it reaches level 20, it evolves into the monstrous Water/Flying sea serpent. That does make it doubly weak against Electric attacks, but if you can load it up with decent HMs and TMs along with its innate Dragon-type moves, you’ve got a formidable creature on your hands. Beforehand, consider using a Buizel to cover your Water-type.
We like Roserade due to its Grass/Poison typing, which frequently comes in handy throughout Sinnoh. This Pokémon does well against Water, Psychic, Flying, and Electric. You’ll likely come across its first form, Budew, early on Route 204, but you can also find Roserade in the Grand Underground. Keep in mind, if you have Budew, you need to increase its friendship to high during the daytime to get it to evolve into Roselia. Then, you need a Shiny Stone to evolve Roselia into Roserade. Outside of the Grass-starter Turtwig, Roserade is the single best Grass Pokémon in the game!
It’s always a good idea to have a dedicated Flying-type in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, and there are few better than Staraptor. This Pokémon performs well against Ground, Psychic, Grass, and Water but is weak to Electric attacks. To acquire Staraptor, you’ll want to evolve a Starly, which are found on Route 201. At level 14, it evolves into a Staravia, and then at level 34, it becomes Staraptor. Since you can find the first form so quickly, and you pretty much need a Pokémon to learn Fly for you, this is the best and most reliable option for almost the entire game. An alternate choice, particularly if you don’t go for Roserade, is Crobat, the fully-evolved form of Zubat that’s Poison/Flying.
Finally, we highly suggest bringing Garchomp into your team. This is a Ground/Dragon Pokémon that packs a serious punch. It’s effective against Fire, Rock, Dark, Steel, and Electric, which compliments the rest of the team well. You can find its first form, Gible, in the Wayward Cave. At level 24, it evolves into Gabite, and at level 48, it transforms into Garchomp. This will definitely be a later addition to your team comp, but it outclasses almost everything else in the game. In the meantime, check out our list of honorable mentions below for other options in this sixth slot.
- Cranidos (Diamond Only)
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are available for Nintendo Switch right now.