Hardest Battles in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl During the Main Game

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl probably gets my vote for the hardest Pokemon games ever made. It's still not that hard, since this is a Pokemon game we are talking about, but still. Because of that, I think it would be interesting to see what are the hardest Pokemon battles in this game. In this list, only the battles of the main game will count. If you can do this battle before fighting Cynthia for the first time, it can be on this list. If post games battles were included, all the gym leaders, and Elite Four rematches would be on this list.
The Top Ten
1 Cynthia

I mean, come on! It's Cynthia! Even if you don't think Cynthia is that hard, can you really disagree that she is the hardest trainer to defeat in Sinnoh? Her team is stronger than in the original games. Let's see everything that makes her team so strong.

We have a Spiritomb that is only weak to Fairy (a type I didn't even have on my team!) and tanks hits very well. A Roserade with great coverage moves that hits really hard. A bulky Gastrodon that is only weak to Grass (another type I don't have!) and is immune to Water with Storm Drain. It has moves like Scald and Sludge Bomb to counter those Grass types. A Lucario that can sweep your team with Nasty Plot and its high special attack.

A Milotic with exceptionally high special defense and a physical defense boosted by Marvel Scale and a Flame Orb. It has the ability to recover, hit Grass types with Ice Beam, burn your Pokemon with Scald, and hit your special moves back with Mirror Coat.

Finally, we have her Garchomp. It was already the most infamously strong Pokemon for a trainer in any Pokemon playthrough, and now it's even stronger! It has a Yache Berry to survive Ice-type attacks. This berry might only have an effect for one turn, but that's more than enough for Garchomp to set up Swords Dance and sweep your entire team! Even if you have a Fairy type that can somehow take an Earthquake, like Togekiss, it has Poison Jab just to laugh at the face of everyone who thought a Fairy type would be enough to beat Cynthia's Garchomp now that this type exists in Sinnoh!

The only way to beat Cynthia's Garchomp reliably is with a Pokemon with Ice Shard, a Bronzong with Levitate and full health (which I did have), or with lots of friendship to your Pokemon since it can allow your Pokemon to get random crits, dodge random attacks, and randomly live through one hit. So yeah, Cynthia is the hardest trainer during the main story of Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl!

2 Lucian

Lucian was meant to be the strongest Elite Four member, and my goodness, he really is! I had a lot of trouble battling against him! Half of my team was knocked out, and two of my Pokémon were left with just a little bit of health.

Keep in mind, this fight is likely much easier with items, but I wanted to challenge myself and didn't use any. Boy, did it deliver! I love Lucian's strategy and how effective it is. Firstly, I appreciate that he has a Mr. Mime with a Light Clay that can set up both Light Screen and Reflect. This makes it tough to hit him hard on either the special or physical side.

Then there's Medicham. This Pokémon caused me the most trouble! With Pure Power, a Muscle Band, and moves like High Jump Kick, it hits like a truck! It's likely that this mon is behind Mr. Mime's screens, making it even harder to knock out. And just in case one hard-hitting Pokémon wasn't enough, Lucian has a fast and hard-hitting Alakazam with Nasty Plot.

Now, let's say you finally managed to defeat those two ultra-scary mons! Lucian has one more trick up his sleeve. Girafarig can set up another Light Screen after Mr. Mime's has faded away, and it has Trick Room. Why does it have Trick Room? To help the next Pokémon! Lucian's extremely bulky Bronzong with Levitate and Gyro Ball. And if the Trick Room fades away, Bronzong can set it up again!

There are so many strategies with so many strong Pokémon. This makes Lucian an incredibly powerful trainer!

3 Bertha

Bertha was the first trainer to KO more than one of my Pokémon during my playthrough of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond. And I had the god that is Gastrodon on my team!

She has so many strong Pokémon on her team that you shouldn't mess with her! She has a Quagsire with Water Absorb, just to make your Water-type less comfortable. It can even play defensively with Toxic and Recover.

She also has a Sudowoodo that can hit exceptionally hard with Head Smash, all the while having no recoil thanks to Rock Head. A Golem can set up a free Rock Polish thanks to Sturdy.

A Whiscash with a Rindo Berry and Ice Beam deals with the Grass-types it would normally be weak against. An extremely bulky Hippowdon can hit you hard with Earthquake and heal itself with Rest before instantly waking up with a Chesto Berry. It also has Ice Fang.

Bertha is just a simple, no-nonsense use of Ground-types (and Sudowoodo) to their fullest.

4 Flint

Flint is probably the hardest Fire type trainer in the franchise, and it's less because of the fact he barely has any Fire types, but more because of how well he uses his Pokémon.

His Lopunny is kind of underwhelming, and you probably have at least one Pokémon to hit Steelix on the special side to defeat it quickly, but his other mons can be quite strong. He has a Drifblim, which can't do anything if it's his last mon since its only damaging move is Will-O-Wisp. The fact it can cripple your team with Will-O-Wisp, use Minimize, and Baton Pass the evasion moves to other Pokémon can be quite scary. Not to mention Baton Pass is good for pivoting.

Rapidash is just a really fast mon that can hit hard and put you to sleep with Hypnosis. And then there is his Infernape. It's really fast, hits hard, has Thunder Punch for coverage against Water types, has STAB Close Combat and Mach Punch, and it has a Focus Sash, just so that you will need to beat it in two hits!

Most Fire type specialists suffer from the fact they have to use a type that you can easily sweep with a Ground or Water type, but Flint's strongest Pokémon are actually those that are Fire types. Perhaps those Fire type specialists should just use better sets.

5 Aaron

Even though Aaron is the weakest member of the Elite Four, this just shows how strong the Elite Four is, because Aaron isn't a pushover at all. Dustox, Beautifly, and Vespiquen are easily the weakest members of the team, but even then, you should beware of Dustox's Light Screen and Beautifly's Quiver Dance. In the long term, those Pokémon can make you weaker when you get to Aaron's other Pokémon.

If, like me and many others, you have a Staraptor or at least some kind of other Flying type like Crobat, you should probably save it for Heracross. That bug hits hard, has Rock Slide for coverage against Flying types, and it hits even harder than usual since that Heracross is holding a Flame Orb and has the ability Guts. This means it can burn itself to hit harder and make it immune to other status effects.

In case you rely too much on Flying, Rock, or Fire types during this fight, Aaron has a Drapion that is only weak to Ground. It has a Scope Lens to deal insane damage with critical hits.

6 Maylene

Maylene is, in my opinion, the hardest Gym Leader of Sinnoh and the strongest trainer outside the League.

First, her Meditite not only can hit hard thanks to Bulk Up and the ability Pure Power, but if you rely on special Psychic-type moves, it has Light Clay and the move Light Screen to reduce the power of special moves for a while!

Her Machoke is also super scary! It has a super big and varied movepool, consisting of Bulldoze, Knock Off to counter Psychic-types, Low Sweep for a big STAB, and Rock Tomb for Flying-types. On top of this movepool, it has an Expert Belt that increases the damage of super-effective hits!

Finally, we have her Lucario. A Lucario on this team when she is only the third Gym Leader is quite strong, and it has Bulk Up to potentially sweep your team.

Maylene is overall not a pushover if you ask me!

7 Fantina

Fantina is definitely not a gym leader to get too comfortable with. Despite being the fifth gym leader, it can be hard to find a Pokemon that is particularly strong against her. Your best bet is probably a Dark type since it resists and is super effective against Ghost. At this point, there aren't that many options. You have Skuntank, Murkrow if you picked Brilliant Diamond, and Houndoom. You could also overlevel your Skorupi to get a Drapion earlier, but as someone who had a Skorupi on their team, I don't think it would be the best way to win. Grinding isn't fun and would make the rest of the game too easy.

Because of that, I had no Dark types against Fantina and had to use other strategies. Fantina's team by itself is quite strong. While I didn't have as hard a time with Drifblim as others probably did since Luxray somehow killed it in one hit with Electric moves, I'm sure that with moves like Will-O-Wisp, Hex, and Strength Sap, this Pokemon can be quite a menace if you don't defeat it quickly. It can heal itself, render your physical attackers useless by burning them, and deal big damage to those burned Pokemon with Hex.

For those who think a fast Ghost type would be enough to beat that gym, good luck outspeeding Gengar and Mismagius, which are probably the fastest Ghost-type Pokemon available! They also hit like a truck, especially that Gengar with Sludge Bomb. Oh, and both Gengar and Mismagius have Dazzling Gleam, just so that your Dark type won't resist their Ghost-type attacks. Gengar also has a Colbur Berry to lower the damage taken from Dark-type moves.

However, Fantina has an unexpected weakness. Despite Gengar and Mismagius being special attackers, they use physical Ghost-type moves. This means her Ghost-type attacks actually won't deal that much damage. It wouldn't be as bad an idea to use a Pokemon weak to Ghost-type moves against her as you might think. I know because the Pokemon I used that ended up doing the most during that... more

8 Crasher Wake

Something brilliant about Crasher Wake's team is that if you rely on only one water counter on your team, you won't be able to win against his team easily. If all you have to beat Water types is a Grass type, his Gyarados is there to give you a hard time, with neutrality to Grass and Ice Fang. That thing also has Flail, which can hurt a lot if you get Gyarados to low health!

What if you have an Electric type though? As someone who had Luxray as his water counter, I can easily answer your question! He has a Quagsire immune to your Electric type attacks, with STAB Mud Shot. That thing also has a Damp Rock and Rain Dance, as well as Scald, which is a deadly combo!

Basically, the way Gyarados and Quagsire prevent you from having too much of a good time if you only have one water counter is quite good! However, if you are one of those people who have both Roserade (or Torterra if it's your starter) and Luxray on your team, you would have an easy time.

After that, there is his Floatzel, and it can be quite dangerous since it benefits from the rain Quagsire set up. This boosts its Water moves and activates its ability Swift Swim, which doubles its speed under rain. And it has Ice Fang, so again, Grass types be careful!

9 Volkner

Volkner is the last gym leader of Sinnoh, and he is decently strong. I'm sure to some people, even if you used Ground Types, the best type against Electric, it wouldn't be a cakewalk. Not only does he have some non-Electric types on his team, one of them being Octillery, which is strong against most Ground types, but he also has coverage moves.

His Raichu has Surf, and if you think Torterra and Garchomp can easily win this, I should tell you that Octillery has Aurora Beam, and Luxray has Ice Fang. He doesn't have any Grass moves though, so my Gastrodon wrecked Raichu and Luxray. You would probably be able to do the same with Quagsire or something like that.

However, since there are quite a few people who underestimate the power of those Water/Ground types and prefer to have Garchomp and Floatzel instead, not everyone will have as easy a time as I did. I should also mention that Raichu has a Shuca Berry to be able to survive a Ground type attack and that his Ambipom has a Chople Berry to survive at least one Fighting type attack.

That Ambipom can be quite dangerous. Fake Out does quite a lot of free damage, and it's just a fast mon that hits hard, especially if you somehow allow it to use Last Resort. Overall, Volkner has a decently strong team.

10 Roark

Roark is a tricky one to talk about. If you get the right Pokemon to deal with him, it is rather easy. However, this early in the game, if you picked Chimchar, you might have a bad time since the options for Pokemon that are good against him are quite limited.

I picked Chimchar, and the only Pokemon that were part of my main team were Starly and Shinx. My Chimchar DID learn Power-Up Punch, but Geodude and Onix's defensive capabilities are so good, and Rock-type attacks do so much damage to Chimchar, that you probably won't be able to get to his Cranidos before his two other Pokemon knock you out.

Speaking of Cranidos, even if you have a type advantage over Roark, you still have to be extremely careful against Cranidos since that Pokemon has a super high attack stat for this point in the game and can even use Bulldoze to slow you down. Plus, a Geodude with Rollout can be scary if you can't take down this Pokemon quickly.

With Piplup and Turtwig as your starter, it shouldn't be a problem. Otherwise, Budew, Psyduck, and Machop are good options against him. If, like me, you don't want to use these Pokemon and only want to use your main team, you can always level up your Chimchar until it evolves into a Monferno at level 14, which is the same level as his Cranidos. Once it evolves, it becomes super easy since you can just spam Power-Up Punch. You will be able to 2HKO his Geodude and Onix. The additional Fighting type not only gives STAB to fighting moves but also gives you neutrality to Rock-type attacks instead of a weakness. After all the boosts from Power-Up Punch, his Cranidos will easily go down in one hit.

So overall, for making you have to create a strategy going into this battle when you pick Chimchar, I think Roark deserves to be on this list. However, with the right picks or some preparation, this fight is easy, so take that the way you will.

The Contenders
11 Gardenia
12 Byron
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