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13 more of the best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Last time around I listed fifteen of the best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl for competitive battling; even though that article presented the most lustrous, non-legendary gems of the BDSP top tier competitive bracket, there are plenty of other top-notch Pokemon to bring into battle from the fourth generation that wouldn’t have been out of place on the list.

So without further ado, here are thirteen more of the best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl (non-Legendary).

Aerodactyl

Aerodactyl, the pterosaurian, Rock/Flying dinosaur who could be revitalized from an Old Amber fossil back in the original Generation I games is still a high-soaring, prehistoric force to be reckoned with generations later.

Aerodactyl doesn’t only sport the highest base Speed of any Rock Pokemon in the game – it’s also the fastest Stealth Rock setter in the non-Legendary tier of competitive battling excluding those who are equipped with Choice Scarf – factors which make it an excellent lead Pokemon. That being said, Aerodactyl is what’s known as a “kamikaze lead,” referred to as such because even though it can dish out high-speed damage, it’s often done with disregard to its own health and isn’t the best idea for it to be on the receiving end.

Thanks to the addition of Roost to its movepool in Diamond and Pearl, Life Orb/Roost Aerodactyl is another viable configuration which can surprise teams anticipating Aerodactyl’s expected “kamikaze lead” antics, giving Aerodactyl near Choice Band damage without it being relegated to choosing only one special attack at a time; Life Orb is a held item which makes its holder’s attacks do 1.3x damage at the cost of 1/10th of its max HP, which Aerodactyl can recover with Roost, a move which recovers 50% of the user’s health.

Otherwise, Aerodacytl equipped with a Power Herb, a single use item which allows users to pull off moves that are usually two-turn based in only one is plenty dangerous, allowing it to make quick, one-hit KO work of Pokemon like Celebi, Breloom and Machamp with a 140 base-power Sky Attack.

Aerodactyl can also run a SubRoost set, which revolves around its use of Substitute, Taunt to stymie the opposition from healing or pseudo-hazing and finally, healing when necessary with Roost.

Suggested Movesets:

Aerodactyl @ Focus Sash
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Stealth Rock
– Taunt
– Rock Slide
– Earthquake

Aerodactyl @ Leftovers
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 248 HP / 120 Atk / 28 Def / 112 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Substitute
– Roost
– Taunt
– Rock Slide

Weavile

If Aerodactyl can be considered a “kamikaze lead” then Ice/Dark dual-type Weavile, who might actually be more defensively fragile, is about as epitomic a glass cannon (or should that be Ice cannon?) as a Pokemon gets. Ice in particular is a very offense-oriented type, with four type weaknesses and a resistance only to its own type – which makes bringing Weavile onto the field especially difficult thanks to the prevalence of Stealth Rock, which chips away a 1/4th of its health on entry.

That being said, the Sneasel evolution is still one of the best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl because when you do bring it in, it makes its short duration memorable thanks to a chilling 125 base Speed and 120 base Attack, the latter of which ensures that its STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus) Ice moves can OHKO any Dragon in the main competitive battling bracket sans Kingdra.

Suggested moveset:

Weavile @ Life Orb/Expert Belt
Ability: Pressure
EVs: 40 HP / 252 Atk / 216 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Swords Dance
– Night Slash
– Ice Shard
– Low Kick

Breloom

Breloom was one of the more memorable Pokemon introduced in Generation III (Ruby/Sapphire) thanks to its unique Grass/Fighting dual-typing and its equally unique design – a bipedal, anthropomorphic fungal creature with a mushroom-cap head like Toad from Mario Bros. fame and a pair of clawed hands that according to its PokeDex entry, can deliver punches to rival any professional boxer.

What made Breloom one of the deadliest Pokemon in Ruby/Sapphire and still one of the best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is its lofty 135 base Attack and access to the downright lethal combination of Spore, a 100% accuracy Grass move that puts its recipient to Sleep and Focus Punch, a two-turn, whopping 150 base power move.

In addition, Breloom touts the Effect Spore ability, which gives it a 10% chance to Poison, Paralyze or Sleep whoever makes contact with it.

As if that wasn’t enough, in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Breloom can add the move Snatch to its arsenal, a move which can steal certain support moves, such as a Salamence’s Dragon Dance and use them for itself instead.

Suggested moveset:
Breloom @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 12 HP / 252 Atk / 244 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Substitute
– Focus Punch
– Spore
– Seed Bomb

Gyarados

Gyarados may not officially be a Dragon-type like Salamence and Garchomp, but much like Charizard, it’s a Dragon in spirit (and the first time it evolved from a Magikarp is a moment that still sticks with me to this very day). And that translates well to the competitive battling scene, where Gyarados is a Dragon Dancing (sea)monster that can tidal wave unprepared teams.

Suggested moveset:

Gyarados @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Dragon Dance
– Waterfall
– Stone Edge
– Earthquake

Although the above is a formidable offensive Gyarados set, what makes it even more impressive, as well as one of the best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is its versatility; with the help of its Intimidate ability and solid core of defensive stats (95 HP, 79 Defense, 100 Sp. Def), Gyarados can switch in safely against meta-staples like Heatran, Scizor, Infernape and Lucario and then tank with a defensive RestTalk set.

Gyarados @ Leftovers
Ability: Intimidate
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Impish Nature
– Rest
– Sleep Talk
– Waterfall
– Roar

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All in all, Gyarados, as it has been since Generation III, is an excellent Pokemon in competitive battling. Despite its many strengths however, use caution if the other team is packing Electric-types or sneaky Electric attacks, as Gyarados sports a glaring 4x Electric weakness thanks to its Water/Flying dual–type. The meta-prevalent Stealth Rock can also chip away at Gyarados’ HP with repeated switches.

Swampert

Swampert

Swampert, the final evolution of Ruby/Sapphire starting mon Mudkip, established itself as one of the game’s top tier competitive battling Pokemon and that remains true a generation later, where it’s one of the best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl as well.

Like many of the Pokemon on this list, Swampert is able to choose from a multitude of viable movesets. It can serve as a physical attack or special attack lead with Stealth Rock, augment its 110 base Attack with Choice Band, act as a solid defensive tank, switch things up as a mixed attacker or even surprise with Choice Specs or Curse-oriented sets.

Although Swampert can stand stalwart against myriad Pokemon in the meta, it has to watch out for Grass-type Pokemon and Grass-type attacks in general due to its 4x Grass weakness. Notwithstanding, Swampert is an excellent Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and a solid counter for meta staples like Heatran, Tyranitar, Metagross, Zapdos and Jirachi.

Suggested movesets:
Swampert @ Leftovers
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 240 HP / 252 Atk / 16 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Stealth Rock
– Earthquake
– Waterfall
– Ice Punch

Swampert @ Choice Specs
Ability: Torrent
EVs: 172 HP / 252 SpA / 84 Spe
Modest Nature
– Hydro Pump
– Earth Power
– Ice Beam
– Hidden Power Grass

Blissey

I’m no Pokemon professor, but hear me out: what happens when you take Chansey, one of the best Pokemon in Generation I and give it an evolution/better stats in Generation II?

You get Blissey, one of the most dominant Pokemon in the competitive battling meta ever. Thanks to a gargantuan 255 base HP and 135 base Special Defense, Blissey has solidified itself as the premiere Special Defense wall in the game since its introduction and such a distinction has endured to the Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl meta.

Blissey’s moveset hasn’t changed much over the years, although BDSP gives it the option to use a combination of Wish and Protect instead of its signature healing move, Softboiled.

New Pokemon game? Same old Blissey dominating the meta.

Blissey @ Leftovers
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 Spe
Bold Nature
– Wish
– Protect
– Seismic Toss
– Toxic

Starmie

Starmie

Much like Blissey, Starmie just stays being a solid competitive battling Pokemon, a theme that has recurred since the Generation I days. Thanks to Thunder Wave and Recover, Starmie has always offered valuable utility but what makes it one of the best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is its further ability to fill both offensive and defensive roles.

Starmie has a solid 115 base Speed and access to BoltBeam (both Ice Beam and Thunderbolt), the best type coverage combination in the game and also hits like a monsoon with its STAB Hydro Pump; for its final moveslot, it has the option for either some staying power with Recover or the always useful Rapid Spin.

Suggested moveset:
Starmie @ Life Orb
Ability: Natural Cure
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Hydro Pump
– Thunderbolt
– Ice Beam
– Recover

Jolteon

Jolteon

Another OG Pokemon who is still shockingly one of the best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is Jolteon, the Electric-type Eeveelution.

Thanks to its electrifying base 130 Speed and 110 Special Attack, as well as its Volt Absorb ability (which makes all electric attacks heal Jolteon for 1/4th its max HP instead of damaging it), Jolteon serves as an efficient special sweeper who can also mix things up as one of the fastest Substitute and Baton Pass support characters in the meta.

Jolteon @ Choice Specs
Ability: Volt Absorb
EVs: 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Shadow Ball
– Baton Pass
– Hidden Power Grass

Ninjask

Ninjask

As we mentioned in our last entry, Jolteon is the second fastest Substitute and Baton Pass support mons in the game. The title of fastest goes to Ninjask.

Being the Bug stan that I am (Scyther was one of my favorite Pokemon designs from Gen 1), Ninjask immediately stood out to me when it was introduced in Generation III. It was in the Ruby/Sapphire days that Baton Pass established itself as one of the most powerful dominant archetypes of all time and Ninjask was perfectly suited to the task of Baton Pass lead thanks to its base 160 Speed and the Speed Boost ability, which raised its Speed by 1 at the end of each turn – an ability which could be transferred to its teammates through Baton Pass as well.

Baton Passing ended up becoming such a dominant and controversial strategy that it was actually banned from standard formats in competitive battling simulators like Pokemon Showdown and communities like Smogon, which means Ninjask in DPP was moved into the Ubers bracket where Pokemon like Mewtwo and Giratina reside. But like I said, I’m a bit of a Bug stan, and consequently, a pretty big Ninjask guy as well. So here’s Ninjask’s Baton Pass set, one which makes it one of the best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

Ninjask @ Liechi Berry
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 224 Atk / 108 Def / 176 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Baton Pass
– Swords Dance/Protect
– Substitute
– X-Scissor

The strategy with the above set pretty much goes like this: Substitute; X-Scissor to test for an opposing Taunt; Swords Dance if you expect the opponent to switch or use a support move; Protect or Substitute if possible to stall some more. At this point you should be able to Baton Pass to a sweeper and wreak havoc.

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Although Ninjask is a potent mon, his weaknesses include Stealth Rock, which well, rocks the s— out of it thanks to its 4x Rock weakness. Pokemon like Skarmory and Bronzong can also swat Ninjask like an insect as well as make its setup mission very difficult. In addition, when your opponent sees you leading off with Ninjask, it knows what the deal is – you’re Baton Passing – and they’ll do everything in their power to stop you unless they want to get steamrolled.

If you’re playing in a format where Ninjask’s Baton Pass is banned, you’ll have to settle for something like the following set. Be forewarned: Ninjask isn’t nearly as fun or effective without Baton Pass.

Ninjask @ Power Herb
Ability: Speed Boost
EVs: 184 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 68 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Swords Dance
– X-Scissor
– Night Slash
– Dig

Bronzong

Bronzong

Even though Bronzong has the same exact Steel/Psychic dual–type combination as last installment’s Metagross, the two are markedly different Pokemon. For starters, Bronzong’s Levitate ability, which negates its weakness to Ground attacks (as well as Spikes), is about as useful as it gets for a Steel-type Pokemon. It can also opt for the Fireproof ability, which halves the damage done by fire attacks, which mitigates another one of its Steel-type weaknesses (though Levitate is almost universally preferred).

Whereas Metagross is gifted with potent Attack, Bronzong fills a more Tanky role, thanks to its serviceable bulk, favorable type advantages and the ability to set up Stealth Rock to boot. Bronzong’s greatest advantage however is its ability to counteract top tier meta staples such as the Dragon Dancers, including Tyranitar, with its Trick Room set. Paired with Gyro Ball, which is perfectly suited for Bronzong’s slow Speed and Explosion, which can threaten common switch-ins like Starmie and Blissey or even bulky Waters like Swampert.

Suggested moveset:
Bronzong @ Leftovers
Ability: Levitate
EVs: 252 HP / 128 Def / 128 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
Sassy Nature
– Stealth Rock
– Toxic
– Gyro Ball
– Earthquake

Togekiss

Togekiss

When Pokemon Diamond and Pearl was first released in 2006 for the Nintendo DS, Togekiss was markedly different from what it is now in the Nintendo Switch remakes – namely, a whole new type.

Yes, Togekiss is a Fairy/Flying dual-type Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl instead of a Normal/Flying type like it was in the original. No, that does not diminish Togekiss’ stature as one of the most annoying Pokemon in the game – nor does it detract from it being one of the best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s competitive battle meta.

Unfathomably, Togekiss might actually be even more annoying, with a newfound 4x resistance to Fighting-types tacked onto its considerable bulk and Serene Grace-ability-fueled paraflinching capability. Togekiss can also utilize a tricky Nasty Plot moveset or even shore up its lackluster 80 base Speed by using a Choice Scarf set.

All in all, Togekiss (who looked markedly less amicable in its DP beta design), who was already a force to be reckoned with in the original Gen IV games, is every bit as formidable if not more so now in BDSP.

Suggested movesets:

Togekiss @ Leftovers
Ability: Serene Grace
EVs: 252 HP / 188 Def / 68 SpD
Bold Nature
– Air Slash
– Thunder Wave
– Aura Sphere
– Roost

Kingdra

Kingdra

Alright, I know I have a soft spot for old school Pokemon who are still doing swimmingly in the competitive meta all these years later but I also have a soft spot for Kingdra in general, so his inclusion on this list of best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is a must.

As the only Water/Dragon type in the game before Palkia came along, Kingdra’s uniqueness, design and glaring lack of weaknesses made it one of my favorite new Pokemon in Generation II. Notwithstanding, a paltry movepool kept Kingdra from ascending past the underused/borderline tier in competitive battling in Generation II and III, a situation that was thankfully remedied in Diamond and Pearl.

In D/P, Kingdra gains a potent STAB combo in Outrage and Waterfall, both of which can sweep entire teams if it’s allowed to set up with Dragon Dance. The Chesto Berry moveset listed below enables Kingdra to lay down a few Dragon Dances, subsequently Rest off damage taken and then awaken instantly, ready to wreak havoc on the opposition.

Kingdra @ Chesto Berry
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 144 HP / 160 Atk / 40 SpD / 164 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Rest
– Dragon Dance
– Outrage
– Waterfall

Mamoswine

Mamoswine

If you’d told me back in the Generation II days that Piloswine would one day be a top tier choice in the competitive meta, I wouldn’t have believed you – until I saw its evolution, Mamoswine, of course.

Mamoswine is, much like Weavile, another case of an Ice-type Pokemon defying the notion that Ice can’t hang at the top of competitive meta, although the hulking, Twin Tusk Pokemon owes a lot of thanks to its Ground-typing, which gives it Stealth Rock neutrality as well as an immunity to both Sandstorm and Hail weather effects.

Ice Shard and Earthquake provide a potent STAB combo, one which is resisted by Bronzong in the top competitive meta. Mamoswine can either take full advantage of its whopping 130 base Attack with Choice Band/Life Orb or prove as an impressive leadoff Pokemon with Stealth Rock and Focus Sash equipped.

Mamoswine @ Choice Band
Ability: Oblivious
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 Def / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Earthquake
– Ice Shard
– Stone Edge
– Superpower


Did our second list of the best Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl (non-Legendary) help your competitive battling prowess? Which Pokemon from the lists are your favorites? Let us know in the comments.

Thanks to Smogon for moveset references.

Written By

Ninja Gaiden was my rite of passage at an early age. After finally beating that game (and narrowly dodging carpal tunnel) I decided to write about my gaming exploits. These days I enjoy roguelikes and anything Pokemon but I'll always dust off Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country and StarFox 64 from time to time to bask in their glory.

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