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Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Gym Leaders, Elite Four, and Cynthia Teams

Take on the toughest trainers in Sinnoh

The Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Gym Leaders are some of the most difficult we’ve ever seen - and that's before you even get to the Elite Four and Champion Cynthia. In an effort to up the challenge, Sinnoh’s strongest trainers have been buffed with specially EV-trained Pokemon, competitive movesets, and tactical item strategies.

Take the first Elite Four trainer, Aaron, for instance. Where in the original Diamond and Pearl his Heracross was pretty vanilla with Swarm for its ability, in the Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes it makes use of the Guts ability and a held Flame Orb to massively boost its attack stat.

Combine that with the addition of Facade to its moveset - which doubles to 140 base power when the user has a status condition - and you’re dealing with a real powerhouse.

This is just an idea of the new kinds of challenges you face as you challenge Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s Gym Leaders, let alone the Elite Four and Cynthia.

While it was always Mars’s Purugly that gave me the most trouble back in the day, here are the updated teams for all the Gym Leaders in Sinnoh.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Gym Leaders Teams

Just like in every classic Pokemon game, there are 8 Gym Leaders to face as you continue your adventure through Sinnoh.

Each Gym Leader has their type speciality, of course. But unlike some of the older games in the series, the super-effective type coverage of their movesets is a lot more varied.

Trying to take on the Fighting Gym Leader with only a Psychic type could lead to you getting battered with an Expert Belt-boosted Dark type Knock Off, for instance.

Or getting cocky as you try to take advantage of the Steel Gym Leader’s secondary Water weakness could lead to a shock in more ways than one, as a Thunder Fang or Thunderbolt hits you hard.

If you need to train up, you could take a trip into Sinnoh's Grand Underground, or use an evolution stone on one your Pokemon.

We’ve included as much information as possible with each of the Gym Leaders’ Pokemon to give you the edge you need in battle.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Roark Team

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Roark Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Geodude 12 Rock/Ground Stealth Rock Rollout Defense Curl N/A
Onix 12 Rock/Ground Stealth Rock Rock Throw Bind N/A
Cranidos 14 Rock Leer Bulldoze Headbutt N/A

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Gardenia Team

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gardenia Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Cherubi 19 Grass Growth Safeguard Dazzling Gleam Grass Knot
Turtwig 19 Grass Reflect Work Up Razor Leaf Grass Knot
Roserade 22 Grass/Poison Stun Spore Poison Sting Grass Knot Petal Blizzard

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Maylene Team

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Maylene Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Meditite (Holds Light Clay to make screens last longer) 27 Fighting/Psychic Light Screen Bulk Up Flash Drain Punch
Machoke (Holds Expert Belt to deal extra super-effective damage) 27 Fighting Knock Off Rock Tomb Low Sweep Bulldoze
Lucario 30 Fighting/Steel Bulk Up Screech Metal Claw Drain Punch

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Crasher Wake Team

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Crasher Wake Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Gyrados 27 Water/Flying Crunch Ice Fang Brine Flail
Quagsire 27 Water/Ground Rain Dance Haze Mud Shot Scald
Floatzel 30 Aqua Jet Bite Ice Fang Brine N/A

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Fantina Team

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Fantina Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Drifblim 32 Ghost/Flying Will-O-Wisp Strength Sap Hex Fly
Gengar (Holds Colbur Berry to weaken Dark moves) 34 Ghost/Poison Sludge Bomb Confuse Ray Dazzling Gleam Shadow Claw
Mismagius 36 Ghost Magical Leaf Confuse Ray Phantom Force Dazzling Gleam

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Byron Team

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Byron Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Bronzor 36 Steel/Psychic Trick Room Sandstorm Confuse Ray Flash Cannon
Steelix 36 Steel/Ground Sandstorm Earthquake Gyro Ball Thunder Fang
Bastiodon 39 Rock/Steel Flash Cannon Stone Edge Iron Defense Thunderbolt

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Candice Team

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Candice Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Snover (Holds Icy Rock to make hail last longer) 38 Grass/Ice Avalanche Razor Leaf Mist Water Pulse
Sneasel (Holds Chople Berry to weaken Fighting Moves) 38 Dark/Ice Hone Claws Metal Claw Dig Avalanche
Medicham 40 Fighting/Psychic Bulk Up Brick Break Rock Slide Ice Punch
Abomasnow 42 Grass/Ice Giga Drain Blizzard Earthquake Aurora Veil

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Volkner Team

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Volkner Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Raichu (Holds Shuca Berry to weaken Ground Moves) 46 Electric Surf Volt Switch Charge Beam Nuzzle
Ambipom (Holds Chople Berry to weaken Fighting Moves) 47 Normal Fake Out Double Hit Thunderbolt Last Resort
Octillery 47 Water Aurora Beam Charge Beam Octazooka Focus Energy
Luxray 49 Electric Crunch Iron Tail Thunder Fang Ice Fang

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Elite Four Teams

After you’ve made it past Sinnoh’s Gym Challenge, the Elite Four awaits. These hardened trainers have competitive teams with awesome type coverage and tailored movesets.

Prepare well and bring your strongest team to have any chance of prevailing.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Aaron Team - Bug Types

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Aaron Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Dustox (Holds Black Sludge to restore health) 53 Bug/Poison Light Screen Toxic Bug Buzz Moonlight
Heracross (Holds Flame Orb to activate Guts) 54 Bug/Fighting Brick Break Earthquake Rock Slide Facade
Vesiquen 54 Bug/Flying Aerial Ace Acrobatics Attack Order Defend Order
Beautifly 53 Bug/Flying Quiver Dance Bug Buzz Psychic Shadow Ball
Drapion 57 Poison/Dark Earthquake Cross Poison Night Slash X-Scissor

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Bertha Team - Rock/Ground Types

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Bertha Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Quagsire 55 Water/Ground Earthquake Surf Toxic Recover
Golem (Lives OHKOs because of Sturdy ability) 56 Rock/Ground Rock Polish Earthquake Heavy Slam Stone Edge
Sudowoodo 56 Rock Sucker Punch Low Kick Head Smash Double-Edge
Whiscash 55 Water/Ground Bulldoze Ice Beam Belch Hydro Pump
Hippowdon 59 Ground Rest Ice Fang Earthquake Crunch

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Flint Team - Fire Types

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Flint Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Rapidash 58 Fire Hypnosis Iron Tail Flame Charge Poison Jab
Steelix (Holds Life Orb to boost power at cost of HP) 57 Steel/Ground Crunch Iron Tail Fire Fang Thunder Fang
Lopunny 57 Normal High Jump Kick Quick Attack Mirror Coat Fire Punch
Drifblim 58 Ghost/Flying Will-O-Wisp Strength Sap Minimize Baton Pass
Infernape (Holds Focus Sash to survive on 1 HP) 61 Fire/Fighting Mach Punch Close Combat Thunder Punch Fire Punch

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Lucian Team - Psychic Types

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Lucian Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Mr Mime (Holds Light Clay to make screens last longer) 59 Psychic/Fairy Light Screen Reflect Psychic Dazzling Gleam
Medicham 60 Fighting/Psychic High Jump Kick Zen Headbutt Thunder Punch Ice Punch
Alakazam (Can't be damaged by Toxic, Burn, etc) 60 Psychic Nasty Plot Psychic Future Sight Shock Wave
Girafarig 59 Normal/Psychic Trick Room Light Screen Psychic Thunderbolt
Bronzong 63 Steel/Psychic Trick Room Earthquake Gyro Ball Payback

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Cynthia Team and Weaknesses Strategy

Legendary in the Nuzlocke challenge run community as one of the most difficult Pokemon League Champions to defeat, Cynthia is just as tough in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

Boasting a combination of the Sinnohdex’s hardest hitters and most impenetrable walls on her team, Cynthia requires careful planning to take down, even without self-imposed handicaps.

Her lightning-fast and brutally strong Garchomp now holds a Yache Berry so it can tank an Ice type hit as its most common weakness.

While her special attacking tank, Milotic, holds a Flame Orb to boost its Defence thanks to the Marvel Scale ability. This gives it a formidable trio of 100+ in Defence, Special Defence and Special Attack.

That’s not even mentioning Lucario and Roserade, two of the most dangerous Special Attackers around, and forgetting her difficult-to-damage Spiritomb - which is only weak to Fairy - and bulky, Water-immune Gastrodon.

Cynthia’s Spiritomb and Yache Berry Garchomp make a strong Fairy type like Mr Mime in Diamond or a Huge Power Azumarill an absolute must on your team.

Then, a fast Fire type can outspeed and deal with the Grass type Roserade and Steel type Lucario. Hopefully you have Infernape, or you have to risk using a Fighting type like Medicham, Gallade, or Toxicroak - all of which are slower than Roserade and Lucario. However, Toxicroak also has the added advantage of resisting Grass, Poison, and Fighting, and if it has the Dry Skin ability, is immune to the Water attacks of Milotic and Gastrodon.

Finally, a Grass type is a decent choice against Gastrodon and Milotic, but will get hit hard by Sludge Bomb and Ice Beam, respectively. It might be slow as molasses, but consider evolving a Snover into Abomasnow for a Grass/Ice type which resists Ground and Water and is damaged normally by Ice.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Cynthia Team
Pokemon Level Type Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4
Spiritomb 61 Ghost/Dark Sucker Punch Dark Pulse Psychic Shadow Ball
Gastrodon 60 Water/Ground Sludge Bomb Earthquake Rock Tomb Scald
Roserade 60 Grass/Poison Sludge Bomb Dazzling Gleam Energy Ball Shadow Ball
Milotic (Holds Flame Orb to activate Marvel Scale) 63 Water Ice Beam Mirror Coat Recover Scald
Lucario 63 Fighting/Steel Nasty Plot Aura Sphere Dragon Pulse Flash Cannon
Garchomp (Holds Yache Berry to weaken Ice attacks) 66 Dragon/Ground Swords Dance Earthquake Dragon Claw Poison Jab

About the Author

James Billcliffe avatar

James Billcliffe

Guides Editor

James suffers so you don't have to. Whether it's raging so hard at Sekiro that he bit his own hand, or confronting a 20-year fear of zombies to complete Resident Evil 2 eight times, he creates guides and reviews for the biggest blockbuster games.

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