Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Gym Leader, Rival, and Elite Four Battle Guide

Last Update: November 22, 2021 2:20 PM


Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Battles Preview Image

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl faithfully recreate the gym battles that are in the original DS game. Surprisingly though, the difficulty for the remakes wasn’t turned down, making the gym battles refreshingly difficult. Each gym provides a challenge for players, especially if you don’t plan out typing in advance.

Rival Battles in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Starting Woes

Barry always picks the Pokemon that has the type advantage over your starter. So your battles with him will look different depending on who you choose as your first Pokemon. This will also affect two of the Pokemon on his team; here is who Barry will have based on which starter he chose. Here are the variable Pokemon Barry will use:

Chimchar: Buizel & Roselia
Piplup: Ponyta & Roselia
Turtwig: Ponyta & Buizel

Regardless of your starter, he will pick up a Starly, Snorlax, and Haircross throughout the game. Barry will challenge you five times in all, but if you wish, you can rechallenge him later on during the weekend events and after beating the League a certain amount of times.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Battles Barry

Barry Locations and Team Composition

As you grow, so does Barry and his team. He will become increasingly more difficult and appear in spots that could put you in  a tight spot without proper preparation.

Route 203

Barry will appear when you begin making your way from Jubilife City to route 203.

  • Lvl 9. Starter
  • Lvl 7. Starly

This fight is super simple. You can easily overpower him using just your starter Pokemon and some potions. To make the fight easy though, try to pick up a Starly of your own or a Shinx to help you power through the fight quickly.

Hearthome City

After you visit the contest hall, you will be told to make your way to Veilstone City, and Barry will appear as you near the city’s fountain area. Here he will have picked up the two-variable Pokemon:

  • Lvl 21. Second Evolution Starter
  • Lvl 19. Starly
  • Lvl 20. Roselia, Pontya, & Buizel

At this point in the game, you should have access to several Pokemon that can help you out in battle, especially if you unlocked the Grand Underground. Roselia can easily be taken down with a flying type, Ponyta with a water type, and Buizel with an electric type.

Pastoria City

The third fight will happen after you beat Crasher Wake and begin to chase the Team Galactic grunt to Lake Valour.

  • Lvl 31. Second Evolution Starter
  • Lvl 26. Starly

In addition, the variable Pokemon that is the typing who’s strong against Barry’s starter will be level 27, while the Pokemon who is weak to his starter will be level 26. This battle pretty much happens right after you finish the gym, so make sure you get healed up before confronting the Team Galactic grunt near the Great Marsh.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Battles

Canalave City

This time Barry will intercept you as soon as you try to cross the bridge dividing Canalave City.

  • Lvl 31. Final Evolution Starter
  • Lvl 32. Staravia
  • Lvl. 32 Heracross

The variable Pokemon are the same deal in this battle; the, one who’s strong against his start is one level higher at level 34, while the weaker typing will be at level 33. You can deal with his Heracross by using a flying, fire, or fairy-type Pokemon.

While Barry will fight with you at the Spear Pillar, you won’t have to deal with him again until you reach the Pokemon League.

Pokemon League

Barry will challenge you before you take on the Elite Four, and unless you beat him, he will keep you from finishing the game.

  • Lvl 51. Final Evolution Starter
  • Lvl 49. Staraptor
  • Lvl. 51. Heracross
  • Lvl. 52, Snorlax
  • Lvl 49. Roserade,Rapidash, & Floatzel

This is by far the toughest Rival fight, aside from the rematches. Snorlax is now thrown into the mix and is a normal type Pokemon that is neither weak nor strong against other typings. He is 50% resistant to fire and ice-type moves, thanks to his ability. Two of his moves are  Hammer Arm can use Crunch, giving him both a dark and fighting type move. It’s pretty easy to work around this as there are several types of Pokemon like water that can help take down Snorlax.

How to Rematch Your Rival After Beating the Game

If you rechallenge Barry, later on, he will have this same team, but his team will rise into the low sixties and then into the high sixties and seventies for his final battle. These battles are optional, and you will need to seek them out if you want to take them on. If you want to find Barry after beating the game, then travel to the Fight Area that can be reached by taking the ferry from Snowpoint City.

Gym Leaders in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

As always, there are eight gyms in the game, and many of the gym leaders will have a Pokemon on their team with a surprisingly strong move or ability. The gym leaders all have the ability to use two potions, although this varies as they won’t use them both in some battles.

Oreburgh City: Roark

Roark is the rock type gym leader and has three Pokemon on his team:

  • Lvl 12. Geodude
  • Lvl 12. Onix
  • Lvl 14. Cranidos

This is an extremely easy gym as every one of these Pokemon can be wiped out with a water or fighting type. If you choose Piplup or Turtwig as your starter, you are good to go; if not, just catch a Buizel. 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Battles Roark

Rematch Team:

  • Lvl 68. Tyranitar
  • Lvl 66. Aerodactyl
  • Lvl 70. Armaldo
  • Lvl 68. Probopass
  • Lvl 64. Relicanth
  • Lvl 72. Rampardos

Roark’s rematch team is a lot harder to deal with, and you will need to plan accordingly, especially since water-types won’t do much damage against Relicanth. It’s best to bring a grass-type with you to this fight and round out your team with a fighting-type just for extra insurance.

Eterna City: Gardenia

Gardenia is a grass-type user and has also has three Pokemon on her team:

  • Lvl 19. Cherubi
  • Lvl 19. Turtwig
  • Lvl 22. Roserade

The first two Pokemon can be blazed through with a fire type like Monferno or by using a Starly. The only thing to really watch out for is being poisoned by Roserade, be sure to stock up on antidotes before the fight.

Rematch Team:

  • Lvl 66. Jumpluff
  • Lvl 70. Sunflora
  • Lvl 69. Cherrim
  • Lvl 68. Breloom
  • Lvl 68. Torterra
  • Lvl 72. Roserade

In this fight, ice and fire types are going to be your best friend. Just like before, you need to watch out for poisoning from Roserade; you will also want to be cautious of Jumpluff, who can put your Pokemon to sleep, and Breloom, who can paralyze them. Make sure to pick up some antidotes, awakening, and paralyze heal before the battle.

Veilstone City: Maylene

Maylene is the fighting type gym leader, has three Pokemon, and is a notoriously hard fight:

  • Lvl 27. Meditite
  • Lvl 27 Machoke
  • Lvl. 30 Lucario

Maylene’s Pokemon are pretty easy to take down until you get to Lucario; just use a psychic or flying type to take them down. When Lucario comes out, though, be cautious as his move drain punch can easily K.O. most of your team, and keep in mind that he is part steel-type.

Rematch Team:

  • Lvl 64. Hitmontop
  • Lvl 66. Breloom
  • Lvl 68. Heracross
  • Lvl 70. Infernape
  • Lvl 72. Medicham
  • Lvl 74. Lucario

This is another match that you are going to want strong psychic Pokemon in. Be careful of Hitmontop as he has Sucker Punch, a dark type move. You should also bring a water-type with you to deal with Infernape and a flying-type to take down Medicham.

Pastoria City: Crasher Wake

Wake is the water type trainer and a pretty easy three Pokemon fight:

  • Lvl. 27. Gyrados
  • Lvl. 27. Quagsire
  • Lvl 20. Floatzel

This fight is pretty easy for the most part, and electric or flying type can make quick work of Wake’s whole team. The only thing to watch out for is the fact that Quagsire is immune to electric-type moves.

Rematch Team:

  • Lvl 69. Politoed
  • Lvl 67. Kingdra
  • Lvl 68. Ludicolo
  • Lvl 70. Huntail
  • Lvl 70. Gyrados
  • Lvl 72. Floatzel

This is actually a pretty easy fight, provided you bring a grass and electric-type Pokemon. Politoed, Kingdra, Huntail, and Floatzel all have strong ice-type moves that can destroy grass-type Pokemon if hit.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Battles Fantina

Hearthome City: Fantina

Fantina uses three ghost-type Pokemon:

  • Lvl 32. Drifblim
  • Lvl 34. Gengar
  • Lvl 36. Mismagius

If you have a dark-type Pokemon, you can easily power through Fantina with little to no problem. You can easily acquire a Houndoom from the Grand Underground for this fight or get a Murkcrow.
Rematch Team:

  • Lvl 68. Drifblim
  • Lvl 65. Banette
  • Lvl 70. Dusknoir
  • Lvl 70. Mismagius
  • Lvl 72. Froslass
  • Lvl 72. Gengar

This is another fight that dark-types will excel in, but you will need to be careful of Mismagius’s Dazzling Gleam move as it’s super effective. In addition, Gengar now has a Focus Blast which will also cause trouble for dark-types. You should also consider bringing in a fire-type to quickly wipe out Froslass.

Canalave City: Byron

Bryon is a steel type gym leader, and every one of his Pokemon have a double-typing:

  • Lvl. 36. Bronzor
  • Lvl 36. Steelix
  • Lvl 39. Bastiodon    

It’s best to bring along both a water-type and fire-type to the battle. The Fire-type can deal with Bronzor, while the water-type can take down Steelix and Bastiodon.

Rematch Team:

  • Lvl 69. Skarmory
  • Lvl 69. Steelix
  • Lvl 70. Magnezone
  • Lvl 70. Empoleon
  • Lvl 71. Aggron
  • Lvl 72. Bastiodon

Byron’s team is a bit all over the place in his rematch; white water and fire-types are still great for half his team, you will want to rethink your strategy for the rest. A ground-type is a great all-around Pokemon to bring into play and to deal with Empoleon bringing out a sturdy grass-type. 

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Battles Candice

Snowpoint City: Candice

Candice is the ice-type gym leader, and she has four Pokemon on her team:

  • Lvl 38. Snover
  • Lvl 38. Sneasel
  • Lvl 40. Medicham
  • Lvl 42. Abomasnow

For the most part, you can power through Candice using a fire-type Pokemon like Camrupt. The trouble comes in with Medicham, who you will need to bring out a flying, fairy, or ghost-type for.

Rematch Team:

  • Lvl 68. Abomasnow
  • Lvl 70. Jynx
  • Lvl 68. Mamoswine
  • Lvl 70. Froslass
  • Lvl 70. Glaceon
  • Lvl 72. Weavile

You will want to bring back the fire-types to take care of a majority of Candice’s rematch team. Be careful of Mamoswin, though, as he can use Stone Edge. In addition to fire-types, bring a Fairy or fighting-type for Weavile.

Sunyshore City: Volkner

The final gym leader in the games is Volkner, an electric type trainer with four Pokemon:

  • Lvl 46. Raichu
  • Lvl 47. Ambipom
  • Lvl 47. Octillery
  • Lvl 49. Luxray

Volkner is pretty weird as he throws in Ambipom, a normal type, and Octillery, a water-type, into the mix. For Raichu and Luxray, you can use a ground-type Pokemon like Flygon; just be aware that Raichu can use Surf, and Luxray knows Ice Fang. For Octillery, bring along a grass-type that can quickly whittle it down; keep in mind that it can use Aurora Beam, though.

Rematch Team:

  • Lvl 70. Pelipper
  • Lvl 70. Raichu
  • Lvl 70. Luxray
  • Lvl 66. Lanturn
  • Lvl 68. Jolteon
  • Lvl 75. Electivire

You should go ahead and bring an electric-type or at least a Pokemon with an electric-type move to deal with Pelipper. and a grass-type for Lanturn. Many of the other Pokemon can be dealt with using a ground-type, but be wary of Raichu’s surf.

Elite Four in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

The elite four are always going to be a challenge, so you will want to bring plenty of potions and revives with you. Keep in mind that you need to have a well-rounded team that can face all four members and the champion. There are hundreds of team combinations out there that can be used; just make sure you balance out the weaknesses and switch your party leader between rooms.

Aaron: Bug-type

Good counters for Aaron are flying, fighting, fire, Poison, Steel, ghost, or fairy-type moves.

  • Lvl 53. Dustox
  • Lvl 53. Beautifly
  • Lvl 54. Vespiquen
  • Lvl 54. Heracross
  • Lvl. 57 Drapion

Bertha: Ground-type

To beat Bertha, you will need water, grass, and fighting type moves:

  • Lvl 55. Quagsire
  • Lvl 56. Sudowoodo
  • Lvl 56. Golem
  • Lvl 55. Whiscash
  • Lvl 59. Hippowdon

Flint: Fire-type

Flint can be counter with water, ground, dark, and fighting type moves:

  • Lvl 58. Rapidash
  • Lvl 57. Steelix
  • Lvl 58. Drifblim
  • Lvl 57. Lopunny
  • Lvl 61. Infernape

Lucian: Psychic-type

Lucian can be countered using dark, bug, and ghost type moves:

  • Lvl 59. Mr. Mime
  • Lvl 59. Girafarig
  • Lvl 60. Medicham
  • Lvl 60. Alakazam
  • Lvl 63. Bronzong

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Battles Cynthia

Cynthia: League Champion

Cynthia uses a combination of different Pokemon types, so you will need to have a little bit of everything in order to counter her. She also has a full team of Pokemon:

  • Lvl 61. Spiritomb
  • Lvl. 60. Roserade
  • Lvl. 60. Gastrodon
  • Lvl. 63 Lucario
  • Lvl. 63 Milotic
  • Lvl 66. Garchomp



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More Info About This Game
Learn more about Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
Nintendo Switch
Release Date
November 19, 2021 (Calendar)
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