Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl return players to Generation 4's Sinnoh region. The original Pokemon Diamond and Pearl spawned some of the franchise's most beloved starters and Pokemon, and have remained some of the most loved titles in the series.

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Whether players are returning to Sinnoh or starting their first journey through the region, the choice of which Pokemon to pair with their starter can be tough. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl give players a multitude of options when crafting their team to take on the many gym leaders, and eventually the Elite Four. Turtwig is a fan-favorite choice for starter Pokemon, and its final evolution's dual Grass/Ground-typing give players the chance to make some strategic decisions in the team composition.

10 Metagross

Pokemon Metagross in battle

Metagross is one of the toughest Pokemon in the franchise and will do well on almost any team. With its massive 135 Attack stat, which can rival even some of the game's strongest legendaries, it can be a huge asset in battle. Metagross' Psychic/Steel-typing also gives it an advantage in battle, with an immunity to Poison-type moves.

Beldum, Metagross' unevolved form, can be found on Route 228 in tall grass as well as in the game's Grand Underground. Beldum will evolve into Metang at level 20, and Metagross at level 45.

Metagross' Stats

  • HP: 80
  • Attack: 135
  • Special Attack: 95
  • Defense: 130
  • Special Defense: 90
  • Speed: 70
  • Total: 600

9 Clefable

Pokemon Clefable in battle

Clefable is easy to overlook, but this Pokemon can prove extremely useful to players. As a pure Fairy-type Pokemon, Clefable's immunity to Dragon-type moves comes in handy during tough battles.

Cleffa and Clefairy, Clefable's previous evolutions, can both be found in tall grass in the Trophy Garden and Mt. Coronet. Cleffa will evolve into Clefairy at high friendship and into Clefable when given a Moon Stone.

Clefable's Stats

  • HP: 95
  • Attack: 70
  • Special Attack: 95
  • Defense: 73
  • Special Defense: 90
  • Speed: 60
  • Total: 483

8 Milotic

Pokemon Milotic in battle

One of the best Water-type Pokemon in the game, Milotic is a pure Water-type Pokemon, which means it only has two weaknesses: Grass and Electric-type moves. Milotic's huge Special Attack and Special Defense stats also give it an edge in battle.

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Milotic can be a difficult Pokemon for players to get ahold of. Feebas, Milotic's pre-evolution, can be caught using a fishing rod on Mt. Coronet. Feebas will evolve into Milotic when it reaches max beauty and then levels up, or if is traded holding a Prism Scale.

Milotic's Stats:

  • HP: 95
  • Attack: 60
  • Special Attack: 100
  • Defense: 79
  • Special Defense: 125
  • Speed: 81
  • Total: 540

7 Rapidash

Pokemon Rapidash Running

Rapidash is a pure Fire-type Pokemon, making it a good cover for Torterra's weaknesses like Ice, Bug, and Fire-Type moves. Rapidash's Attack and Speed stats also give it an edge in battle.

Ponyta, Rapidash's unevolved form, is very accessible and can be found in tall grass on Route 206, Route 210, Route 211, Route 214, Route 215, as well as in the Grand Underground. Ponyta will evolve into Rapidash at level 40, which shouldn't be hard to achieve due to Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl's Exp. Share always being turned on.

Rapidash's Stats

  • HP: 65
  • Attack: 100
  • Special Attack: 80
  • Defense: 70
  • Special Defense: 80
  • Speed: 105
  • Total: 500

6 Crobat

Pokemon Crobat in battle

Crobat is a Poison/Flying type and has great stats. Its typing gives it an immunity to Ground-type moves, which comes in handy at several points throughout the game, especially during battle with the Elite Four's Bertha.

Golbat, Crobat's pre-evolution, is one of the most common Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. It can be found at Wayward Cave and Oreburgh Mine at any time, and on Route 203, Route 204, Route 206, Route 207, Route 208, Route 209, Route 211, Route 216, and Route 217 at night. Zubat will evolve into Golbat at level 22, and Crobat once the player reaches high friendship with the Pokemon.

Crobat's Stats

  • HP: 85
  • Attack: 90
  • Special Attack: 70
  • Defense: 80
  • Special Defense: 80
  • Speed: 130
  • Total: 535

5 Houndoom

Pokemon Houndoom in battle

Houndoom is a Dual-type Fire/Dark Pokemon. Its typing gives it an immunity to Psychic-type moves, which can be extremely helpful for players, especially during the battle with Elite Four's Psychic-type trainer. Houndoom's Special Attack stat also helps it plow through opponents in battle with its Fire-type moves.

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An already evolved Houndoom can be caught on Route 214 and Route 215 once players have access to the Poke Radar. Houndoom can also be found in the Grand Underground. If players do catch a Houndour, Houndoom's unevolved form, it will evolve into a Houndoom at level 24.

Houndoom's Stats

  • HP: 75
  • Attack: 90
  • Special Attack: 110
  • Defense: 50
  • Special Defense: 80
  • Speed: 95
  • Total: 500

4 Lickilicky

Pokemon Lickilicky in battle

Lickilicky evolves from Lickitung and is a pure Normal-type Pokemon, meaning it has few weaknesses and also few resistances. It does have an immunity to Ghost-type moves, which is very useful throughout Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

Lickitung can be found in tall grass at Lake Valor and in the Grand Underground. It will evolve into Lickilicky after it has learned the move Rollout.

Lickilicky's Stats

  • HP: 110
  • Attack: 85
  • Special Attack: 80
  • Defense: 95
  • Special Defense: 95
  • Speed: 50
  • Total: 515

3 Gyarados

Pokemon Gyarados roaring in battle

Gyarados is one of the most fearsome Pokemon in the series. It is a Water/Flying type that evolves from the infamously useless Magikarp. It is entirely immune to Ground-type moves, but does have a 4s weakness to Electric-type moves. If players are able to avoid Electric-type Pokemon, Gyarados can be one of the best pairings for Turtwig due to its massive Attack alone.

Magikarp and Gyarados (the latter with a lesser likelihood) can be caught in almost every body of water in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl using a fishing rod. Magikarp will evolve into Gyarados at level 20.

Gyarados' Stats

  • HP: 95
  • Attack: 125
  • Special Attack: 60
  • Defense: 79
  • Special Defense: 100
  • Speed: 81
  • Total: 540

2 Gallade

Pokemon Gallade in battle

Gallade is a Psychic/Fighting-type Pokemon whose highlights are its Attack and Special Defense stats. Gallade has few weaknesses (Ghost, Fairy, and Flying-type moves), making it useful for players who are as familiar with the typing matchups. Gallade is also one of the best Fighting-type Pokemon, out-speeding other popular choices like Machamp or Poliwrath.

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Gallade can be a difficult Pokemon to get ahold of. To get Gallade, players must catch a male Ralts/Kirlia, and evolve Kirlia using a Dawn Stone. Ralts and Kirlia can both be found in the Grand Underground, or on Route 203 and Route 204 once players have access to the Poke Radar.

Gallade's Stats

  • HP: 68
  • Attack: 125
  • Special Attack: 65
  • Defense: 65
  • Special Defense: 115
  • Speed: 80
  • Total: 518

1 Staraptor

Pokemon Staraptor flying in battle

Staraptor makes a great addition to any Pokemon team thanks to its high Attack and Speed stats, and its Normal/Flying Normal-typing which give it immunity to both Ghost and Ground-type moves. Staraptor can be a great asset to players during Hearthhome City Ghost-type gym battle, and the Elite Four's battle with Bertha.

Starly, Staraptor's pre-evolution, is widely available and can be found on Route 201, Route 202, Route 203, Route 204, Route 209, and Route 212. Starly will evolve into Staravia at level 14, and into Staraptor at level 34.

Staraptor's Stats

  • HP: 85
  • Attack: 120
  • Special Attack: 50
  • Defense: 70
  • Special Defense: 60
  • Speed: 100
  • Total: 485

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are currently available for the Nintendo Switch.

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