The best team to bring against Cynthia in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Cynthia is the Sinnoh Leage Champion (Image via The Pokemon Company)
Cynthia is the Sinnoh Leage Champion (Image via The Pokemon Company)
Shane Foley

Anyone who will be playing Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl should be forewarned: perhaps the strongest trainer in Pokemon history is waiting for them after the Elite Four.

Gamers who have played the original Generation IV games know how difficult it is to beat Cynthia. Unlike other Champions, who have common typings on their teams (Lance with Flying, Steven with Steel), Cynthia has an incredibly balanced team. All of her Pokemon are strong, most notably her overpowered Garchomp.

Which Pokemon are best to use against Cynthia?


According to early leaked footage, it looks like Cynthia will be using her Pokemon Diamond and Pearl team, so she will have Gastrodon instead of Togekiss.

To beat Cynthia, the first thing that trainers are going to need is Fairy coverage. Back in the day, Spiritomb had no weaknesses, and there was nothing that could hit Dark and Ghost for super-effective damage.

Now that Fairy-types exist, though, trainers have a clear counter to Spiritomb. Fortunately, Fairies also can deal with Garchomp, but it’s not that simple. While Garchomp takes super-effective damage from Fairy moves, it can still do loads of damage with Earthquake or Giga Impact.

A great Pokemon that solves both of these problems is Togekiss. Due to its dual typing of Fairy and Flying, it resists 3/4ths of Garchomp’s moveset (Dragon Rush, Earthquake and Brick Break). Trainers will still have to pray that Garchomp doesn’t click Giga Impact, but with a little luck they should pick up the KO.

Garchomp is arguably Cynthia's biggest threat (Image via The Pokemon Company)
Garchomp is arguably Cynthia's biggest threat (Image via The Pokemon Company)

That still leaves four Pokemon on Cynthia’s team to deal with: Roserade, Gastrodon, Milotic and Lucario. Out of these, the biggest threat is likely Lucario, so it’s best to find a counter to this Pokemon next.

Lucario is weak to Fire, Fighting and Ground-types. Out of these, though, trainers are going to want a Fire-type to beat Roserade along with Lucario.

The best option for this role is Infernape, since it has the Attack stat and movepool to annihilate both of these Pokemon. Anyone who doesn’t pick Infernape as their starter, though, might want to consider Houndoom.

Houndoom is also great here, since the other options are Rapidash or Flareon, both of which are considerably weaker.

Trainers could also trade a Magmar with a Magmarizer to get a great Fire-type in Magmortar, but it’s only exclusive to Pokemon Shining Pearl.

After adding these Pokemon, only two threats remain: Cynthia’s Water-types. Using Electric-types is a pitfall here, though, since Gastrodon is also Ground-type. Basically, this means that Grass coverage is necessary.

Fortunately, Generation IV offers plenty of good Grass-type Pokemon. Not only can trainers use Torterra as their starter, but otherwise they can choose from Roserade, Tangrowth or Abomasnow.

In theory, these three Pokemon can beat Cynthia with a little luck. Considering how overpowered Cynthia’s team is, though, it’s always good to have back up. This is an example of a good team to bring against Cynthia:

  • Togekiss to counter Spiritomb and Garchomp
  • Infernape for Roserade and Lucario
  • Roserade for Milotic and Gastrodon
  • Weavile as a back up plan for Garchomp
  • Medicham for damage on everything save Spiritomb
  • Dragon Dance Gyarados, which has good coverage for most of Cynthia's team

Edited by Mason J. Schneider
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