Game Guides

5 Best Pokémon to catch if Piplup is your Brilliant Diamond starter

Build the ideal team around this cute penguin.

The Pokémon Company

Experimenting with various team comps in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is a blast. But in order to cover all your bases, you’ll need to have a balanced team that corresponds to the starter you pick. It’s common for players to pick Chimchar as a starter since it’s so powerful, but what should your team look like if you go with Piplup instead? In this guide, we’ll help you build a balanced team focused on Piplup, with tips on where to find the best Pokémon throughout the Sinnoh region. If you follow these tips, your team will be absolutely unstoppable throughout your journey in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.


Empoleon is the final evolution of Piplup.

The Pokémon Company

After picking Piplup as your Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl starter, you’ll want to work on leveling it up so you can reach its full potential. At level 16 it evolves to Prinplup, and then its final evolution happens at level 36 when it becomes Empoleon. This Water/Steel-type is versatile, performing well against Normal, Psychic, Flying, Fire, and Dragon types, making it ideal for many battles.


Staraptor is a flying-type and is the final evolution of Starly.

The Pokémon Company

Staraptor is an excellent choice, regardless of the starter you pick in Brilliant Diamond. You can get the first form of this Pokémon, Starly, very early on within Route 201. In fact, Starly is so common, you probably already have one if you’ve played a little. At level 14 it evolves into Staravia and at level 34, it becomes the mighty Staraptor. This Flying/Normal-type Pokémon is effective against Ground, Psychic, Grass, Dragon, and Water types.


Gardevoir is a ground/dragon type and is the final evolution of Gible.

The Pokémon Company

Once again, Garchomp is the perfect addition to a party regardless of the starter you choose. The first form is Gible, which can be acquired as early as the Wayward Cave. Then, at level 24, it evolves into Gabite, and then into Garchomp at level 48, which means it’ll take you a little while to reach its final form. Garchomp is a Ground/Dragon-type that’s effective against Fire, Flying, Rock, Dark, and Electric Pokémon. You will have to play a little while before you can acquire this creature, but the wait is definitely worth it.


Abomasnow is a grass/ice type and is the final evolution of Snover.

The Pokémon Company

Next up is Abomasnow, a Grass/Ice type that evolves from Snover at level 40. You can find Snover in many areas including Route 216. Abomasnow is a powerful creature, working well against Water, Dragon, Ground, Psychic, and Grass types. This complements the rest of the team nicely. But with balanced stats overall with a lean towards the offensive, Abomasnow is a solid choice to cover Grass. If it has a flaw, it’s that Snover isn’t available until somewhat late in the game.


Luxray is an electric type and is the final evolution of Shinx.

The Pokémon Company

We highly recommend Luxray, which is the final evolution of Shinx. You can get Shinx early in the game on Route 202. Then, make sure you use this Pokémon enough to reach level 14 so it’ll evolve into Luxio, then at level 30, it turns into Luxray. This Electric-type is ideal for battling Water and Flying Pokémon, but its Intimidate ability will reduce the enemy’s attack. Not to mention the fact that Luxray’s 120 base attack means that moves like Thunder Fang will pack a punch.


Gardevoir is a psychic and fairy type and is the final evolution of Ralts.

The Pokémon Company

For the final Pokémon, we recommend Gardevoir, a Psychic/Fairy type. The initial form is Ralts, which can be found on Route 203. At level 20, it evolves into Kirlia, and then into Gardevoir at level 30. We advise using this Pokémon, as it’s great against Psychic, Flying, Dragon, Steel, and Water. Gardevoir’s base speed is solid at 80, but it’s 125 Special Attack means that all of its Psychic and Fairy moves will devastate almost any opponent.

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are available for Nintendo Switch right now.

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