Best starter to pick in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl

Meg Bethany Koepp
pokemon brilliant diamond & shining pearl startersThe Pokemon Company / ILCA

By far the biggest decision of every Trainer’s journey is choosing their starter Pokemon. Turtwig, Piplup, and Chimchar are the Sinnoh region’s – but which one is the best in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl?

Despite Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl being remakes of the 2006 Nintendo DS titles, both returning and new fans are absolutely delighted to jump into the Sinnoh region. Its updated 3D graphics, adorable chibi art style, and fresh features make it feel like an entirely new installment.

Article continues after ad

Before you rush off to explore the depths of Gen IV, you need to pick your starter ‘mon. But do you choose Chimchar, Turtwig, or Piplup in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl? We’re here to help with the tricky decision.




Which starter to pick in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl

Starter types & evolutions

It should be noted that there’s no “right” or “wrong” starter – you could think Turtwig is the best of the bunch, whereas another Trainer may be a hardcore Chimchar fan.

But they do all have their own type, evolutions, and advantages, which are outlined below.

Article continues after ad
Starter Pokemon Type Evolutions
turtwig pokemon


Grass grotle pokemon

Grotle, level 18

torterra pokemon

Torterra, level 32

chimchar pokemon


Fire monferno pokemon

Monferno, level 14

infernape pokemon

Infernape, level 36

piplup pokemon


Water prinplup pokemon

Prinplup, level 16

empoleon pokemon

Empoleon, level 36

Starter advantages

If you’re looking to start your Pokemon League journey with a bang, both Piplup and Turtwig are perfect for kicking Gym Leader Roark’s butt as their Water and Grass-types are a direct counter to his Rock.

Chimchar can also devastate his team, but you’ll need to evolve it into Monferno at level 14 and have it learn Mach Punch first.

Sign up to Dexerto for free and receive:
Fewer Ads|Dark Mode|Deals in Gaming, TV and Movies, and Tech

Monferno is also a great counter to Gym #2’s Gardenia as she has her very own Turtwig on her lineup, which you can mess it up quickly with the monkey’s Fire-type moves.

Article continues after ad

Best starter in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl

chimchar in pokemon brilliant diamond & shining pearlThe Pokemon Company / ILCA
Chimchar’s evolutions pack a mighty punch.

Overall, the best starter to pick in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl is Chimchar.

Not only is it effective against early Gyms, but its final evolution Infernape is a beast against later Gym Leaders as well due to its ability to learn both Fire and Fighting-type moves.

Infernape is also a great pick for going head-to-head with the Pokemon Champion (who we won’t name for those who didn’t play the original) after beating the Elite 4 due to the opponent’s Grass and Steel-type team.

Article continues after ad

And there you have it! Now you should have an idea of who you’re picking for your adventure across the Sinnoh region.

For other Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl guides and walkthroughs, check out these:

All Rare Candy locations | Where to find Munchlax | Hardest Pokemon to catch in the Sinnoh region | Where to find Cresselia | How to find Heatran | How to get the National Pokedex