A helpful way for players to build their team is to look at the starter Pokemon they chose. Building a team around the starting Pokemon can create a well-rounded party of heavy hitters. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl provide players with many great choices, and whether Piplup, Chimchar, or Turtwig was the initial choice, there is always a perfect match to accompany them. Here are some of the best companions for Sinnoh's penguin Pokemon, Piplup.
Updated on April 2, 2022, by Kirkland Fortner: Everyone loves Piplup! There is a good reason for that. Piplup is arguably the best choice for a starter in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl not only because the baby penguin design is unbearably cute, but also because the Water/Steel-type which comes with its final evolution is extremely powerful. That said, we're adding a few more entries to this list so that players will have even more options for great Piplup pairings.
Every team needs a good Grass-type, and with four stats over 100, Tangrowth is not only one of the best Grass-types in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, but it also stands as one of the best Pokemon overall. Powerful moves like Power Whip and Giga Drain compliment Piplup's Water-type, making Tangrowth a solid option for players needing a Grass-type Pokemon.
Tangrowth's unevolved form, Tangela, as well as Tangrowth itself, can be caught in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl's Grand Underground. Tangela will evolve into Tangrowth once it has learned the move Ancient Power, and leveled up while knowing this attack.
Houndoom is one of the best Fire-type Pokemon in the Gen 4 remakes. With a Special Attack stat of 110 and access to powerful moves like Inferno and Flamethrower, it can take out most opponents in just a few turns. Houndoom's Dual typing of Fire/Dark also provides it with immunity to Psychic-type moves, as well as a load of other resistances.
An evolved Houndoom can be caught in the Grand Underground, as well as in tall grass on Route 214 and Route 215 using the Poke Radar.
Rhyperior has a strange stat combination. It boasts an enormous Attack stat of 140 and Defense stat of 130, rivaling even some of the best legendary Pokemon, but falls short in most other stats. A Speed stat of 40 also means Rhyperior is outpaced by most opponents, and its 4x weakness to Water and Grass-type moves can also get it into some serious trouble. Rhyperior can be worth picking up, though, if only for its Attack stat.
Rhyperior's base evolution, Rhyhorn, and its mid-evolution Rhydon can be found in tall grass on Route 228 and Route 227, and can also be caught in the Grand Underground. Rhyhorn evolves into Rhydon at level 42, and then must be traded while holding Protector to evolve into Rhyperior. Players can level up Rhyhorn quickly thanks to Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl's Exp. Share being permanently active.
With its immunity to Ghost and Ground-type moves, Staraptor pairs especially well with a late-game Empoleon due to its weakness to Ground-type moves. Staraptor can come in handy at several points throughout the game, notably during Hearthome City's Ghost-type gym battle and the Elite Four's battle with Ground-type trainer Bertha. To top it off. Staraptor's Attack and Speed stat are also top-tier.
One of the biggest positives of using a Staraptor is accessibility. Staraptor's unevolved form, Starly, can be caught at the very beginning of the game on Route 201, giving players plenty of time to level and evolve their new teammate.
Gallade is a Psychic/Fighting-type Pokemon that goes great with a team built around Piplup. Gallade's resistance to Fighting-type moves complements Empoleon's weakness to Fighting-type. Gallade has a great Attack stat and a strong, varied move pool at its disposal.
Gallade can be a bit of trouble for players to get ahold of. Kirlia and Ralts, Gallade's prior evolutions, can be caught on Route 203, Route 204, or in the Grand Underground once players have access to the Poke Radar. Ralts will evolve into Kirlia at level 20, but players will have to use a Dawn Stone on a male Kirlia to get a Gallade. Be careful when leveling, as Kirlia will evolve into Gardevoir at level 30 unless prevented from doing so.
Rapidash's Fire typing allows it to cover bases that Empoleon's Water/Steel typing can't. Rapidash has decent stats across the board and excels in battle with its 100 Attack and 105 Speed. Fire-types are rare in Sinnoh, so this one is a great addition to the team.
Ponyta, Rapidash's pre-evolution, can be caught in the Grand Underground as well as Route 206, Route 210, Route 211, Route 214, and Route 215. Ponyta will evolve into Rapidash at level 40.
Honchkrow is a Dark/Flying-type that pairs exceptionally well with Piplup. One of Empoleon's biggest downsides is its weakness to Ground-type moves, and Honchkrow has immunity to them entirely. Players can use this to their advantage at several points throughout their game.
Murkrow, Honchkrow's unevolved form, can be found in the Grand Underground and evolved into Honchkrow using a Dusk Stone. It is important to note that this Pokemon is exclusive to Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and cannot be caught in the wild in Shining Pearl; however, it can be traded over.
With Garchomp's stats, very few Pokemon teams wouldn't benefit from his inclusion. Garchomp is a Dragon/Ground-type pseudo-legendary and has been one of the toughest Pokemon in the franchise since its debut in the original Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. With immunity to Electric-type moves and an enormously powerful move pool, Garchomp's only downside is its 4x weakness to Ice-type moves.
Garchomp's previous evolutions, Gible and Gabite, can both be caught in the Grand Underground, though Gible can most easily be found in Wayward Cave. Gible will evolve into Gabite at level 24, and Garchomp at level 48.
Roserade is a great all-around Pokemon and, with high Special Attack and Special Defense stats, can be a real asset in battle, especially by Poisoning opponent Pokemon. As a Grass/Poison Pokemon, it gives players great options in its move pool.
Roselia, Roserade's pre-evolution, can be caught in the game's Grand Underground or Route 212, Route 221, Route 224, Route 225, Route 229, Trophy Garden, and Great Marsh. Its base evolution, Budew, appears in the Grand Underground, Route 204, Route 212, the Great Marsh, and Eterna Forest. Budew evolves into Roselia with high Friendship. Players will need a Shiny Stone to evolve Roselia into Roserade.
Luxray is a beast in battle. It has a lower stat total than some of the other Electric-types in these games, but its 120 Attack stat sets it apart from the rest. This Pokemon is useful from the beginning of the game to the end.
Luxray's prior evolution, Shinx, can be caught in the Grand Underground and is also available at the very start of players' adventure on Route 202 and Route 203. It can also be found on Route 204 and Fuego Ironworks. Shinx will evolve into Luxio at level 15 and Luxray at level 30.
Floatzel is a great partner for Empoleon thanks to its pure Water typing, allowing it to deal with Ground-types that give Empoleon a hard time. It only has 2 weaknesses, meaning it won't feel threatened a lot of the time. It's fast and more offensively focused, unlike Empoleon who's a bit slower. This Speed stat can be compounded even more in Rain, thanks to Floatzel's Swift Swim Ability.
Wild Buizel can be found at Routes 205, 213, 224, and the Valley Windworks and can then be evolved to Floatzel.
Hippowdon compliments Empoleon in a lot of ways. For one, it's a pure Ground-type. Ground is probably the best offensive type in the game, as it hits 5 types for super effective damage, (Electric, Rock, Steel, Poison, and Fire). Of those 5 types, Steel, Fire, and Electric are especially good to hit, since Empoleon is weak to them. In addition, only 3 types can resist Ground (Bug, Flying, and Grass).
But that's not the end of it, Hippdowdon has the Ability Sand Stream, which instantly summons a Sandstorm upon sending it in. Due to Empoleon being a Steel-type however, it will not take damage from Sandstorm, meaning the player gets all the benefits of a Sandstorm with none of the drawbacks.
Wild Hippopotas can be found in the Maniac Tunnel on Route 214.
Clefable makes for a great check against the Fighting-types that Empoleon is weak to. Pure Fairy is also never a bad type to have, as it only has 2 weaknesses (Poison and Steel). Additionally, it has 3 strengths (Fighting, Dark, and Dragon) and only 3 types can resist it (Fire, Steel, and Poison).
Clefable also has the amazing Ability that is Magic Guard, completely nullifying the effects of Status Conditions and making it immune to the damage the Life Orb item gives, making it quite powerful.
Wild Clefairy can be found at Mt. Coronet.
Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are available for the Nintendo Switch.