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Best starter Pokemon for Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

The Gen IV starters follow the typical Fire-Water-Grass theme (Image via The Pokemon Company)
The Gen IV starters follow the typical Fire-Water-Grass theme (Image via The Pokemon Company)
Shane Foley
ANALYST

As the release date for Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shinning Pearl draws closer and closer, many gamers are planning which starter they’re going to select to start their journey.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl promises to be a very faithful remake of the Generation IV games. This will be a great chance for fans to see old favorites like Lucario, Garchomp and Staravia. The Sinnoh region is also home to some of the strongest opponents around, like Cynthia, so players need to be prepared for the challenges this game will throw at them.


Which Pokemon should players pick to begin their journey through Sinnoh?

The three starters of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be Turtwig, Chimchar and Piplup. These will evolve into Torterra, Infernape and Empoleon respectively, and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Looking at Turtwig, its evolution in Torterra gets a unique typing of Grass and Ground. This makes it very hard to hit for super effective damage, although it’s double weak to Ice-type moves.

Torterra also gets a really nice moveset. It can both hit hard (Earthquake, Wood Hammer) and keep itself healthy (Synthesis, Leech Seed). It's a great Pokemon for the early game, since the first Gym Leader uses Rock-types, but it does poorly against Byron, Candice, and most of the Elite Four.

Chimchar evolves into Infernape, who joins Blazekin and Emboar as Fire and Fighting starters. Infernape is definitely the glass cannon of the three: it dies quickly, but it also does loads of damage. Standout moves in its moveset are Flare Blitz, Close Combat, and Mach Punch, which always moves first.

Piplup’s final evolution, Empoleon, is another phenomenal type combo of Water and Steel. Outside of Fighting and Electric moves, Empoleon doesn’t have much to worry about. It takes super effective damage from Ground, but it also beats Ground Pokemon with its Water moves.

Emploeon has very few weaknesses due to its Water and Steel styping (Image via The Pokemon Company)
Emploeon has very few weaknesses due to its Water and Steel styping (Image via The Pokemon Company)

Clearly, each of these Pokemon have some strong attributes. When making this decision, though, trainers should always think of which other Pokemon they might catch throughout their journey.

This makes Empoleon a much worse selection. It certainly is a great Pokemon in its own right, but there are simply too many other great Water-types in Sinnoh. Trainers can pass up on Empoleon and still end up with a Gastrodon, Floatzel, or even Gyarados (let alone Palkia for players of Shining Pearl).

Therefore, while each option is good, objectively the best starter for Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be Infernape. Three of the Gym leaders (Gardenia, Byron and Candice) get destroyed by Infernape. On the other hand, the only Gym Infernape won’t work well against is Crasher Wake’s. Also, the only other early game Fire-type is Ponyta, making Infernape even more valuable.


Edited by Danyal Arabi
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