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How to beat all Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym Leaders

Published: 19/Nov/2021 8:00

by Brent Koepp

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The Pokemon franchise has returned to the Sinnoh region after 15 years. Here is how to beat all Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym Leaders.

Although Studio ILCA is bringing a flurry of new features to the Gen IV remakes, the team has also gone to great lengths to create a faithful adaptation of Game Freak’s original 2006 DS titles.

In Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, Trainers face off against eight Gym Leaders across the Sinnoh region. Here is how to beat each of them to get to the Elite Four and the Pokemon League Champion.

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Contents

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Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym Leaders Badge Holder screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
In BDSP, players will take on eight Gym Leader across Sinnoh.

How to beat Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym Leaders

Gym #1: Oreburgh City Gym 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym #1 Oreburgh Gym screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
The first gym in the game is in Oreburgh City.

In Gen IV, players encounter their first Gym once reaching Oreburgh. The locale can be found after visiting Jubilife City and then following Route 203 into the Oreburgh Gate cave.

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You will not be able to take on the Gym Leader just yet, however, as you will first need to go find him studying rocks in the Oreburgh Mine. After talking to Roark, he will return to his gym to prepare for battle.

Gym Leader Roark

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym Leader Roark Cinematic
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
The first Gym Leader in Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl is Roark.

Gym Leader Roark team

Pokemon Type
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Geodude

Geodude (Lv. 12)

Rock / Ground
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Onix

Onix (Lv. 12)

Rock / Ground
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Cranidos

Cranidos (Lv. 14)

Rock

How to beat Gym Leader Roark – weakness & counters

Trainers looking to have an advantage going into this fight should make sure to bring a Pokemon that knows Water-type and Grass-type moves as they are a direct counter to Rock/Ground-types.
Trainers who choose Turtwig or Piplup will have an edge in the first Pokemon League battle. Chimchar fans, don’t fret as you can also use Fighting-type moves to defeat Roark – you will just need to evolve your Starter to Monferno at level 14.
Pokemon Weakness

Geodude 

Water (4x Damage)

Grass (4x Damage)

Fighting

Onix 

Water (4x Damage)

Grass (4x Damage)

Fighting

Cranidos 

Water

Grass

Fighting

Ground


Gym #2 – Eterna City Gym

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym #2 Eterna Gym screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
Players will find the second Gym in Eterna City.

After obtaining the Coal Badge from defeating Roark in Oreburgh, players should head back to Jubilife City to reach Route 204 South. Now that you have access to the Rock Smash HM, you can pass through the Ravaged Path to get to Route 204 North.

After reaching Route 205, Trainers will have to take a detour and fight Team Galactic at the Valley Windworks. After resolving the quest they can resume Route 205 until they hit the Eterna Forest. After clearing the woodlands, you will finally arrive at Eterna City – home of the second gym and its leader Gardenia.

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Gym Leader Gardenia

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym Leader Gardenia cinematic screenshot.
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
The Eterna City Gym Leader uses Grass-types.

Gym Leader Gardenia team

Pokemon Type
 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Cherubi profile image

Cherubi (Lv. 19)

Grass
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Starter Turtwig

Turtwig (Lv. 19)

Grass
 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Roserade

Roserade (Lv. 22)

Grass / Poison

How to beat Gym Leader Gardenia – weakness & counters

Gym Leader Gardenia mainly centers her team around Grass-types, so in order to swiftly beat her Trainers should be using Fire, Bug & Flying-type moves. Although not as common in the game so far, Poison-type is also potent.

Those who picked Chimchar are in for an easy fight, while the other two Starters will need to look for alternatives. Below we will list the best counters that will bring down the Gardenia Gym Leader in no time at all.

Pokemon Weakness

Cherubi

Fire

Flying

Bug 

Turtwig

Fire

Flying

Bug 

Roserade

Fire

Flying

Bug 


Gym #3 – Veilstone City Gym

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Veilstone Gym screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
The Veilstone Gym is primarily themed around Fighting-type Pokemon.

After visiting Hearthome City, players are thrown for a curveball when they are unable to challenge the Gym Leader at the current point in the story.

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Instead, Trainers will need to make their way to Veilstone City after passing through Solaceon Town and Route 215.

Once you arrive at Veilstone, you can now take on Gym Leader Maylene instead for your third badge. Players should prepare to throw down as the fierce Trainer’s team is entirely centered around Fighting-type Pokemon.

Gym Leader Maylene

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym Leader Maylene
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
Gym Leader Maylene packs a punch with her Fighting-type team.

Gym Leader Maylene team

Pokemon Type
 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Meditite profile image

Meditite (Lv. 27)

Fighting / Psychic
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Machoke profile image

Machoke (Lv. 27)

Fighting
 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Lucario profile image

Lucario (Lv. 30)

Fighting / Steel

How to beat Gym Leader Maylene – weakness & counters

Because most of Maylene’s team is made up of Fighting-type Pokemon, Trainers should focus on building their team around Flying and Psychic-based moves.

Pokemon such as Kadabra and Staravaria are both great examples of characters who can really do an incredible amount of damage in this fight.

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Where things get interesting is her final fighter slot Lucario due to the Sinnoh favorite being a Steel dual-type. This can easily be countered by bringing a Fire-type into the mix.

Pokemon Weakness

Meditite

Ghost

Flying

Fairy

Machoke

Flying

Psychic

Fairy

Lucario

Fire

Fighting

Ground


Gym #4 – Pastoria City Gym

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Pastoria City Gym screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
The Pastoria City Gym requires players to solve a watery puzzle.

Passing through the Grand Lake Hotel, players will find themselves stepping foot on a beach shore which eventually connects to Route 213. Following the ocean-edge path will eventually lead you to Pastoria City.

After exploring the Great Marsh and the Safari Zone, Trainers are going to head to the Gym to take on Crasher Wake. Living up to its name, prepare for a torrent of Water-type ‘mon.

Gym Leader Crasher Wake

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym Leader Crasher Wake
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
Crasher Wake uses a tsunami of Water-type Pokemon to defend his title.

Gym Leader Crasher Wake team

Pokemon Type
 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gyrarados profile image

Gyarados (Lv. 27)

Water / Flying
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Quagsire profile image

Quagsire (Lv. 27)

Water / Ground
 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Floatzel profile image

Floatzel (Lv. 30)

Water

How to beat Gym Leader Crasher Wake – weakness & counters

Pokemon Weakness

Gyarados

Electric (4x Damage)

Rock (4x Damage)

Quagsire

Grass (4x Damage)

Floatzel

Grass

Electric


Gym #5 – Hearthome City Gym

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Hearthome City Gym puzzle screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
Trainers will have to answer quizzes in this spooky Gym.

After being denied a battle at the beginning of the story, players will now be able to face off against Gym Leader Fantina back in Hearthome City.

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Trainers need to make their way back to the familiar locale and can do so by hitting up Route 210 and 211 east. You can also just use Fly HM in your Poketch and go directly to the much-anticipated showdown.

Entering the spooky gym, it becomes quickly apparent that Fantina will be challenging you with a Ghost-type team.

Gym Leader Fantina

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym Leader Fantina Cinematic screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
The stylish Gym Leader will give players chills with her Ghost-type team.

Gym Leader Fantina Team

Pokemon Type
 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Drifblim profile image

Drifblim (Lv. 32)

Ghost / Flying
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gengar profile image

Gengar (Lv. 34)

Ghost / Poison
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Mismagius profile image

Mismagius (Lv. 36)

Ghost

How to beat Gym Leader Fantina – weakness & counters

Pokemon Weakness

Drifblim

Ghost

Dark

Electric

Ice

Rock

Gengar

Ghost

Psychic

Dark

Ground

Mismagius

Ghost

Dark


Gym #6 – Canalave City Gym

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Canalave City Gym screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
Despite being a seaside town, Canalave City Gym is themed around Steel.

Now that you’ve acquired the Surf HM, it’s time to return to Jubilife City where you can now enter the west exit into Route 218. Use the Hidden Move to travel across the small lake of water.

Once you reach land again, you will immediately stumble upon a tunnel that takes you directly to Canalave City. Despite being a seaside town, the Gym battle here will mainly focus on Steel-types.

Gym Leader Byron

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym Leader Byron cinematic screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
Byron is actually the father of Oreburgh Gym Leader Roark.

Gym Leader Byron Team

Pokemon Type
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Bronzor profile image

Bronzor (Lv. 36)

Steel / Psychic
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Steelix profile image

Steelix (Lv. 36)

Steel / Ground
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Bastiodon profile image

Bastiodon(Lv. 39)

Rock / Steel

How to beat Gym Leader Byron – weakness & counters

Pokemon Weakness

Bronzor

Ghost

Fire

Ground

Dark

Steelix

Fighting

Ground

Fire

Water

Bastiodon

Fighting (x4 Damage)

Ground (x4 Damage)

Water


Gym #7: Snowpoint City Gym

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Snowpoint Gym
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
The late-game Gym can be found in Snowpoint City.

After making it through the north path of Mt Coronet, Trainers will eventually find themselves on Route 216. Users need to then proceed to Route 217 which is being hammered with a blizzard.

After trekking through the snow, you will eventually arrive at Snowpoint City where you will find its Gym Leader Candice. Prepare for a fight that involves Ice-type Pokemon.

Gym Leader Candice

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym Leader Candice.
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
The seventh Gym Leader focuses heavily on Ice-type ‘mon.

Gym Leader Candice Team

Pokemon Type
 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Snover

Snover (Lv. 38)

Ice / Grass
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Sneasel

Sneasel (Lv. 38)

Dark/ Ice
 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Mismagius profile image

Medicham (Lv. 40)

Fighting / Psychic
 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Abomasnow

Abomasnow (Lv. 42)

Ice / Grass

How to beat Gym Leader Candice – weakness & counters

Predictably, the Snowpoint City Gym mainly centers around Ice-type Pokemon which means Fire moves will be your go-to. However, since Candice also has dual-type characters with Psychic and Dark, players should make sure to have a Fighting-type ‘mon on hand to take on Sneasel.

Just like Eterna Gym, those who chose Chimchar as a starter are going to sweep up easily as by level 40 they should have Infernape already, which has both Fire and Fighting.

Pokemon Weakness

Snover

Fire (4x Damage)

Fighting

Flying

Rock

Sneasel

Fighting (4x Damage)

Fire

Rock

Bug 

Medicham

Flying

Ghost

Fairy

Abomasnow

Fire (4x Damage)

Fighting

Flying

Rock


Gym #8: Sunyshore City Gym

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Sunyshore City Gym puzzle screenshot
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
Players will need to solve an electric Puzzle to reach the Gym Leader.

Following the defeat of Team Galactic, Trainers will make their way back to the Hotel Grand Lake. Take the east exit to enter Route 222. After completing your trek across the long straightaway, you will eventually arrive at Sunyshore City.

In order to unlock the fight, players will need to make their way up to the Lighthouse where Volkner can be seen looking through a telescope. After talking to him, he will tell you to meet him at his Gym to face off in battle.

Gym Leader Volkner

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Gym Leader Volkner
ILCA / The Pokemon Company
The final Sinnoh Gym Leader is Volkner.

Gym Leader Volkner team

Pokemon Type
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Raichu profile image

Raichu (Lv. 46)

Electric
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Ambipom profile image

Ambipom (Lv. 47)

Normal
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Octillery profile image

Octillery (Lv. 48)

Water

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl Luxray profile image Luxray (Lv. 49)

Electric

How to beat Gym Leader Volkner – weakness & counters

For the final Gym Battle, Trainers will need to mix things up if they want to win. Although Volkner is themed around Electric Pokemon, his actual team is all over the place.

Players should bring in a few strong Ground-type ‘mon as they will counter half of Volkner’s team. However, you will also need Fighting and Grass (or Electric) picks as well to round out the battle.

Pokemon Weakness

Raichu

Ground

Ambipom

Fighting

Octillery

Grass

Electric

Luxray

Ground

Now that you’ve beaten all eight Gym Leaders and are headed for the Elite 4, check out some of our other BDSP guides:

How to get Jirachi | How to get Mew | Version exclusives | All Legendary Pokemon | How to get the Poketch | Best starter to pick | All Styles | How to beat all Gym Leaders | How to walk with your Pokemon