Choosing your starting Pokémon is one of the most important moments in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Not only from a strategic point of view but also from a relaxed point of view.
My best gaming moments from my childhood are from the various starter Pokémon I’ve chosen over the years. From the Mudkip that single-handedly carried me through Emerald to my original Gen IV starter, which just happens to be the subject of today.
So you have started your game for the first time and wondering which Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl starter to choose. Well, stop worrying, because I’m here to explain the whys and whys of your three starting options.
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.
In terms of usability, however, Turtwig might not be your best option for a first party.
Here we’ll focus on typing the Turtwig line weed and how she handles early gyms.
You will obviously have no problem taking care of Roark, but Gardenia, the second leader of the gymnasium, will ask you to bring additional Pokémon in order to take care of her.
Now you can still just train a Staravia to overcome this problem, but being forced to start building a squad before the second gym is less than ideal.
After that, you have to deal with the combat-type and aquatic-type gyms, which shouldn’t be too much of a problem except Crasher Wake’s Floatzel, who knows Ice Fang.
Overall, Turtwig is the middle option when it comes to choosing the best starter. It’s not number one, but you could definitely do worse. However, choosing Turtwig forces your rival to choose Chimchar. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want to deal with an Infernape later down the road.
Sorry Piplup fans, but I put everyone’s favorite penguin at the bottom of the barrel.
I’m not saying you can’t use Piplup, all I’m saying is 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. The Turtwig mirror matches this, while Piplup is weak against it. Also, at this point, it’s unlikely that you’ve got your hands on a Ponyta to counter it, forcing you to use a Starly.
Piplup doesn’t improve much on the road either, having consistently tough clashes against most of the game’s gym leaders. Although, like other newbies, you’re pretty well equipped to deal with galactic grunts and their commanders.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl aren’t difficult games, and honestly, your starting choice won’t have too much of an impact on you in the long run. If you’re new to Pokemon or struggling with the format, try to avoid Piplup if you can.
The second gen fire / fight type has retained its superiority over 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 are incredibly limited when it comes to the types of fire in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, but not as much as in the original Gen IV games.
Besides giving you much needed fire blanket, Chimchar is deceptively good at handling early gyms, which makes him ideal for challenge runs.
You might think I’m talking nonsense right now, the very first gym is rock type after all. Listen to me, however.
Chimchar evolves into Monferno at level 14. When evolving, he also learns Power-Up Punch. Power-Up Punch is a 40 damage physical attack move that increases the user’s attack level by one level when used.
Since Roark’s team consists of a Geodude, Onyx, and Cranidos, all of whom are weak in combat, you’ll make short work of it as long as you train up to level 14 before you go. ‘face the gym.
After that you have Gardenia, the grass type gym. You don’t need me to tell you why Monferno is here.
Then there’s the fight-type gym which shouldn’t be too much of a problem for you either.
The only time you’ll need to turn off Monferno is when you face off against the water types from Crasher Wake in the 4th Gym. At this point, however, you should have enough type coverage on your squad that this isn’t a problem.
Combine all of this with the fact that Infernape has access to Close Combat in levels 30 and you have a clear winner in the “Which Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Starter Should I Choose” conversation.
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