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Which Pokemon Brilliant Diamond And Shining Pearl Starter Should You Pick?

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Starter Pick

Picking your starter Pokemon is one of the most important moments in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Not only from a strategic standpoint but also from a casual one. 

My fondest moments of gaming from my childhood are those of the various starter Pokemon I’ve chosen from throughout the years. From the Mudkip that single-handedly carried me through Emerald to my original Gen IV starter, which just so happens to be the subject of today. 

So, you’ve booted up your game for the first time and you’re wondering what Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl starter to pick. Well, wonder no more because I’m here to tell you the whats and whys regarding all three of your starting options. 


Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Starter - Turtwig

Turtwig was my starter of choice the first time I played through Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. To this day, I maintain that Torterra is one of the coolest Pokemon designs ever created. 

In terms of useability, though, Turtwig might not be your best option for a first-time playthrough. 

Our focus here is going to be on the Turtwig line’s grass-typing and how well that deals with the first few gyms. 

You’ll have no problems taking care of Roark, obviously, but Gardenia, the second gym leader, will require you to bring some additional Pokemon in order to take care of her. 

Now, you could always just train up a Staravia to overcome that issue, but being forced to start team-building before the second gym is less than ideal. 

After that, you have to deal with the fighting-type and water-type gyms, both of which shouldn’t be too much of a problem with the exception of Crasher Wake’s Floatzel, which knows Ice Fang. 

Overall, Turtwig is the middle option when it comes to which starter is best. It’s not number one, but you could certainly do worse. However, choosing Turtwig forces your rival to pick Chimchar. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to be dealing with an Infernape later on down the road. 


Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Starter - Piplup

Sorry Piplup fans, but I’m putting everyone’s favorite penguin at the bottom of the barrel. 

I’m not saying that you can’t use Piplup, all I’m saying is that you’ll have a harder time compared to the other two starters. 

This is mainly because the second gym leader in the game uses grass types. Turtwig mirror matches that, whereas Piplup is weak against it. Plus, at that point, it’s unlikely that you’ll have gotten your hands on a Ponyta to counter it, forcing you to use a Starly. 

Piplup doesn’t get too much better down the road, either, having consistently difficult matchups against most of the gym leaders in the game. Although, like the other starters, you’re fairly well equipped to deal with Galactic grunts and their commanders. 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl aren’t hard games, and honestly, your starter choice won’t impact you too much in the long run. If you’re new to Pokemon or struggle with the format, though, try to avoid Piplup if you can. 


Pokemon Brilliant Diamond Shining Pearl Starter - Chimchar

The second-generation fire/fighting type has retained its superiority from the original Gen IV games, making it the best starter in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl by a country mile. 

The most obvious argument for the Chimchar line is the fact that you’re incredibly limited when it comes to fire-types in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, although not as much as in the original Gen IV games. 

As well as giving you some much-needed fire coverage, Chimchar is deceptively good at dealing with the first few gyms, making it ideal for challenge runs. 

You might think I’m talking nonsense right now, the very first gym is rock-type after all. Hear me out, though. 

Chimchar evolves into Monferno at level 14. When it evolves, it also learns Power-Up Punch. Power-Up Punch is a 40 damage physical attacking move that increases the user’s Attack by one stage when it’s used. 

Given that Roark’s team consists of a Geodude, Onyx, and Cranidos, all of which are weak to fighting, you’re going to make short work of them provided you train to level 14 before you face the gym. 

After that, you have Gardenia, the grass-type gym. You don’t need me to tell you why Monferno is good here. 

Then there’s the fighting-type gym which also shouldn’t give you too much trouble. 

The only time you’ll have to switch Monferno out is when you face Crasher Wake’s water-types in the 4th gym. At this point, though, you should have enough type coverage on your team for it not to be a problem. 

Combine all that with the fact that Infernape gets access to Close Combat in the level 30s and you have a clear winner in the “which Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl starter should I pick” conversation.

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