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Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl

Choosing Your Starter Pokémon

Vincent Lau

This page details how to choose your very first Pokémon.

The first time you leave Twinleaf Town, towards Route 201, you’ll be ushered to Lake Verity, which is a short distance west. Once there, you’ll spot Professor Rowan and his assistant, before they leave in a hurry. However, the pair have left behind a suitcase.

When you approach the suitcase, wild Pokémon will suddenly attack you, since you carelessly entered the tall grass. Luckily for you, there are three Poké Balls in the dropped suitcase, containing Pokémon you can use to defend yourself with.

The Three Starter Pokémon

Like usual, you can only choose one of the three starter Pokémon. These Pokémon are exceptionally rare; you cannot obtain a different one without trading. After making your choice, your rival will automatically choose the starter with a type advantage against yours.


Turtwig is slow, but reliable.

The Tiny Leaf Pokémon. This Grass-type Pokémon resembles a turtle, so no surprise that it’s on the slow side. However, it has solid defensive stats and a robust Attack stat.

Its fully evolved form, "Torterra" IconTorterra, gains the Ground-type. This makes it incredibly susceptible to Ice moves, but makes it an ideal Electric-type counter. It can also retaliate against Fire-types somewhat.


Chimchar is agile and packs a punch.

The Chimp Pokémon. This cheeky monkey is a Fire-type with impressive Speed and good offensive stats. Conversely, it’s defensive stats leave a lot to be desired.

"Infernape" IconInfernape, it’s final form, gains the Fighting-type. Perhaps an overused combination, but it’s useful for overcoming Rock-types. Besides that, it can deal super-effective damage to its nemesis, "Empoleon" IconEmpoleon.


Piplup is more balanced compared to the other two.

The Penguin Pokémon. This adorable Water-type strikes a balance between the other two, with decent offensive and defensive capabilities, although it’s also on the slow side.

Its fully evolved form, Empoleon, gains the Steel-type, which grants it a lot of useful resistances, including immunity to Poison. Offensively, Steel isn’t as useful, but you can always teach it Ice-type moves.

Which Starter to Pick?

There is no wrong answer; the game isn’t hard enough for you to prioritize any of them. So just choose your favorite or the one that matches your style:

  • "Turtwig" IconTurtwig if you prefer taking less damage.
  • "Chimchar" IconChimchar if you prefer dealing more damage.
  • "Piplup" IconPiplup if you like being balanced.

In terms of story progression, you may find it slightly easier to start with Turtwig or Piplup, since the first Gym is Rock-themed. However, there is an opportunity to catch another Grass-type beforehand.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Pokemon Company International
  • Platforms,
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    29 October 2021
  • Last Updated
    23 April 2022
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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This strategy guide for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl contains all the information Pokémon trainers will need to complete the game and catch every single Pokémon!

In this remake of the classic Pokémon Diamond & Pearl, you’ll journey through the mystical Sinnoh region to become a Pokémon master. Along the way, you’ll confront the scheming Team Galactic and witness the awesome power of the Legendary Dialga or Palkia.

Currently included in our guide:

The following will be available via free updates to our guide:

  • A complete walkthrough of the main story and postgame.
  • A full guide for Super Contest Shows.
    • How to cook the best quality Poffins.
  • Explanation of advanced mechanics, such as IVs and EVs.
  • A detailed Sinnoh region Pokédex.

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