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Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl

How to Defeat Champion Cynthia

Vincent Lau

This page includes strategies and tips for defeating Cynthia, the Champion of the Pokémon League.

After fighting your way through the Elite Four, you’ll reach your final opponent of the Pokémon League–and the main story. Veterans will know who to expect, but even if this is your first time in Sinnoh, you should recognize Cynthia, who made a few appearances earlier on.

Champion Cynthia

Pokémon Level Type
Spiritomb"Spiritomb" IconSpiritomb 61 pokemon_bdsp_ghost17.pngpokemon_bdsp_dark17.png
Roserade"Roserade" IconRoserade 60 pokemon_bdsp_grass17.pngpokemon_bdsp_poison17.png
Gastrodon"Gastrodon" IconGastrodon 60 pokemon_bdsp_water17.pngpokemon_bdsp_ground17.png
Lucario"Lucario" IconLucario 63 pokemon_bdsp_fighting17.pngpokemon_bdsp_steel17.png
Milotic"Milotic" IconMilotic 63 pokemon_bdsp_water17.png
Garchomp"Garchomp" IconGarchomp 66 pokemon_bdsp_dragon17.pngpokemon_bdsp_ground17.png

Cynthia has an extremely versatile team–one of the best teams among all the Champions. If you weren’t serious moments ago, you need to be now!

First into the fray is "Spiritomb" IconSpiritomb, a bizarre-looking ghoul. Its main claim to fame is originally having no weaknesses, thanks to its unique typing. However, since the 6th Generation, it’s weak to Fairy. So bust out your Fairy-type Pokémon/moves if possible. Watch out for Sucker Punch, which goes first if you use an attacking move.

"Roserade" IconRoserade is the fully evolved form of "Budew" IconBudew. Beware of its high Special Attack. If you can, hit it with physical-based Fire, Flying, Ice or Psychic moves. "Infernape" IconInfernape is perfect, especially with its high Speed to outspeed Roserade.

Cynthia also has a "Gastrodon" IconGastrodon, an evolved "Shellos" IconShellos. Grass-types are the way to go, as their moves deal 4x damage. Otherwise, it has no weaknesses. If you’re lacking Grass moves, use something that’s not Fire, Rock, Poison or Steel. But avoid Water due to Storm Drain.

When you’re up against "Lucario" IconLucario, we suggest smacking it with Fire, Fighting or Ground moves. Watch out that Lucario is quite fast and hits hard with its all-special moves. But its defenses are relatively poor. A swift victory is recommended, in case Lucario boosts its Sp. Attack with Nasty Plot.

"Milotic" IconMilotic is a pure Water-type, so Grass and Electric-types are advantageous. Of the two, Electric-types are preferable, as Grass-types will take heavy damage from Ice Beam. Ironically, "Torterra" IconTorterra should sit this one out, unless you’re confident. Also, Milotic will be burned by its Flame Orb, boosting its Defense via Marvel Scale and preventing further status conditions.

Finally, Cynthia’s trademark Pokémon is her "Garchomp" IconGarchomp. This monstrosity has high Speed and offensive capabilities, even compared to Lucario, but it relies solely on physical moves. Ice moves deal 4x damage to it, while Fairy and Dragon deal 2x. Be cautious as Garchomp has a Yache Berry, which will weaken your first Ice move by 50%. Also, the fiend is carrying Poison Jab to hurt fairies.

Annoyingly, there aren’t many reliable Pokémon that can handle Garchomp. You can try using an Ice-type like "Abomasnow" IconAbomasnow or "Mamoswine" IconMamoswine, although Abomasnow also hates Poison Jab. Both these Pokémon can also use Ice Shard to attack before Garchomp. You can either Ice Shard straight away for guaranteed damage or hope your Ice-type survives the first round to use Blizzard etc., then Ice Shard afterwards.

If you brought your Legendary dragon along ("Dialga" IconDialga or "Palkia" IconPalkia), now’s a great time to use your trump card. Dialga’s Roar of Time or Palkia’s Spacial Rend should KO Garchomp if you trained them a bit. Although keep in mind that Dialga is susceptible to Earthquake and Palkia will take heavy damage from Dragon Claw.

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Why does it say Milotic is a water/steel type?

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Thanks for pointing it out. I probably sneezed and dropped Lucario's Steel-type into the next row, ahahaha.

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User profile pic

Why does it say Milotic is a water/steel type?

User profile pic

Thanks for pointing it out. I probably sneezed and dropped Lucario's Steel-type into the next row, ahahaha.

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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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