Which Starter Should You Choose?

Every mainline Pokémon game starts off with a difficult choice: Which starter should the player select? This choice can have a lot of ramifications for how the game progresses, and the recently released Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes are no different.

In Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, players choose between Turtwig, Puplip and Chimchar as they begin their journey through the Sinnoh region. Each possesses their own strengths and weakness, and the best choice, ultimately, comes down to preference and how one wants to build their team. With that in mind, here's a breakdown of the three starters and how to choose between them.

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Should You Choose Turtwig?

Turtwig is the Grass-type starter in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. At level 18, Turtwig evolves into Grotle, followed by Torterra at level 32. That final evolution makes the Pokémon a Grass and Ground-type.

Players new to Pokémon in general should definitely consider choosing Turtwig. Two of the first four Gym Leaders specialize in Pokémon weak to Grass-types, which means it'll be pretty easy to take them out. That being said, those who choose Turtwig should watch out for later in the game, as Torterra's Grass/Ground combination makes them incredibly weak to Ice-type attacks.

Should You Choose Piplup?

Piplup is the Water-type starter in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. At level 16, Piplup evolves into Prinplup, followed by Empoleon at level 36. That final evolution makes the Pokémon a Water and Steel type.

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Generally considered the most balanced of the Sinnoh starters, Piplup's Water type really helps against the first Gym Leader, making them a good early choice. However, Piplup is also effective against the Elite Four later in the game. Still, the Sinnoh region has a lot of Water-type Pokémon available, meaning Piplup can be a bit more replaceable when building a team. With those factors in mind, Piplup is a good choice for pretty much any type of player, though the Pokémon's long-term usefulness will definitely depend on how one builds their team.

Should You Choose Chimchar?

Chimchar is the Fire-type starter in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. At level 14, Chimchar evolves into Monferno, followed by Infernape at level 36. Unlike the other two starters, this Pokémon gets its second type -- Fighting -- when becomes Monferno.

Of the three starters, Chimchar is the most challenging in the early game. While Turtwig has an advantage at two of the first four gyms, Chimchar is actually weak at those same ones. This means players will have to be a bit more cognizant of the team they're building at the start of the game, when their options are limited. That being said, Chimchar really shines later in the game, especially since Fire-type options are pretty limited in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

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Liam Nolan (3515 Articles Published)

L.D. Nolan is the Features Team Lead at CBR. Prior to writing online, he worked in academia. He's currently trying to work his way through a pile of unread books that threatens to come crashing down, burying everything he loves and cares about, including his cat. You can find him on Twitter @LD_Nolan.

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