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The Elite Four and how to beat Champion Cynthia in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Our complete guide to Pokémon BDSP's trainers, items, and wild Pokémon.

The Elite Four and a showdown with Champion Cynthia is your next and final main story challenge in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, following on from Victory Road in your adventure.

Below we'll take you through all the key details for the location, including any Pokémon encounters, trainers, and items that might be available, plus a walkthrough of your key objectives and anything else you'll need to know.

On this page:

How to beat the Elite Four: Pokémon, weaknesses and counters

One very quick thing first: before you step towards the Ace Trainer guarding the entrance to the Elite Four, be prepared for a battle with someone else - Barry! He'll run up to you and challenge you one last time. Defeat him and he'll say something about needing to do more training before taking on the Elite Four. Consider this a final test of your strength - you need to be able to easily defeat him in order to beat the Elite Four!

Barry pre-Elite Four battle:

TrainersPokémon
Barry (if you chose Piplup)Staraptor
Torterra
Heracross
Snorlax
Rapidash
Floatzel
Barry (if you chose Turtwig)Staraptor
Infernape
Heracross
Snorlax
Roserade
Floatzel
Barry (if you chose Chimchar)Staraptor
Empoleon
Heracross
Snorlax
Rapidash
Roserade

Right, with Barry out of the way (sorry Barry) it's time for the real deal. The Elite Four! Here are their Pokémon and the types of moves that are super effective against them. We'll talk about some basic strategies just below. To get through the whole thing, you're going to need lots of Hyper Potions, Full Restores, Revives, and a team of Pokémon averaging Lv.62 at a minimum. The higher level the better, as the last battle in particular is famously difficult!

Elite Four Arron: Pokémon, weaknesses and counters

PokémonLevelMovesWeaknesses
DustoxLv.53Toxic
Bug Buzz
Moonlight
Light Screen
Fire, Flying, Psychic, Rock
HeracrossLv.54Earthquake
Rock Slide
Facade
Brick Break
Fire, Flying x4, Psychic, Fairy
VespiquenLv.54Acrobatics
Attack Order
Aerial Ace
Defend Order
Fire, Electric, Ice, Flying, Rock x4
BeautiflyLv.53Bug Buzz
Shadow Ball
Psychic
Quiver Dance
Fire, Electric, Ice, Flying, Rock x4
DrapionLv.57Cross Poison
Night Slash
Earthquake
X-Scissor
Ground

Aaron is the easiest of the Elite Four and, given the poor typing matchups of the Bug-type and common weaknesses to things like Fire and Flying, he should go down pretty easily. The one sticking point is Drapion, which is pretty bulky and only has one weakness in Ground. If you have a Pokémon that knows Earthquake, it's perfect for dealing with that.

Elite Four Bertha: Pokémon, weaknesses and counters

PokémonLevelMovesWeaknesses
QuagsireLv.55Recover
Toxic
Earthquake
Surf
Grass x4
WhiscashLv.55Bulldoze
Ice Beam
Belch
Hydro Pump
Grass x4
SudowoodoLv.56Double-Edge
Head Smash
Sucker Punch
Low Kick
Water, Grass, Fighting, Ground, Steel
GolemLv.56Rock Polish
Heavy Slam
Earthquake
Stone Edge
Water x4, Grass x4, Ice, Fighting, Grond, Steel
HippowdonLv.59Ice Fang
Earthquake
Crunch
Rest
Water, Grass, Ice

Grass-type attacks are the best for Bertha. All five of her Pokémon are weak to Grass, and three of them are 4x weak to it. Roserade is one great, quite easily obtainable Grass-type if you didn't start with Turtwig - but watch out for its weakness to Ice, which can be exploited here. Also watch out for Whiscash's Windo Berry, which reduces damage from super-effective attacks once, meaning it'll probably survive a big Grass-type attack on the first try, and then use Belch, a move that does massive Poison-type damage if the user ate a berry the turn before. Watch out for her weirdly fast Golem, too. It has max Speed stats and EVs, so can overtake more Pokémon than you expect!

Elite Four Flint: Pokémon, weaknesses and counters

PokémonLevelMovesWeaknesses
RapidashLv.58Flame Charge
Iron Tail
Poison Jab
Hypnosis
Water, Ground, Rock
LopunnyLv.57Mirror Coat
High Jump Kick
Quick Attack
Fire Punch
Fighting
SteelixLv.57Thunder Fang
Fire Fang
Iron Tail
Crunch
Fire, Water, Fighting, Ground
DrifblimLv.58Strength Sap
Minimize
Baton Pass
Will-O-Wisp
Electric, Ice, Rock, Ghost, Dark
InfernapeLv.61Fire Punch
Thunder Punch
Close Combat
Mach Punch
Water, Ground, Flying, Psychic

Due to the sheer lack of Fire-type Pokémon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Flint's Pokémon don't have many common weaknesses, making his fight probably the toughest of the core Elite Four. Flint's Rapidash has Hypnosis, which is extremely annoying if he gets lucky and hits it multiple times, which it's more likely to do thanks to it holding a Wide Lens (which boosts accuracy by 10 percent). Be prepared to rotate your Pokémon a lot, and prepare for lots of Burns, too. Water, Rock, and Fighting-type attacks will cover you against all five of his Pokémon.

Elite Four Lucian: Pokémon, weaknesses and counters

PokémonLevelMovesWeaknesses
Mr. MimeLv.59Light Screen
Reflect
Psychic
Dazzling Gleam
Poison, Ghost, Steel
MedichamLv.60Zen Headbutt
High Jump Kick
Thunder Punch
Ice Punch
Flying, Ghost, Fairy
GirafarigLv.59Light Screen
Psychic
Thunderbolt
Trick Room
Bug, Dark
AlakazamLv.60Nasty Plot
Psychic
Future Sight
Shock Wave
Bug, Ghost, Dark
BronzongLv.63Gyro Ball
Earthquake
Payback
Trick Room
Fire, Ghost, Dark

Finally, Lucian uses Psychic-types and is a bit more conventional with them, with four of his five Pokémon weak to Ghost-type attacks. But watch out for Mr. Mime's Dazzling Gleam which is strong against Dark-types that usually counter Psychic, and Girafarig's Trick Room, which switches the way Speed mechanics works so the slow Pokémon moves first! That said, Alakazam is one of his most dangerous Pokémon and it's very fast, so if he brings that in right after using Trick Room, that might actually work in your favour anyway. Beware Bronzong has Levitate, making it immune to the otherwise super effective Ground-type attacks.

With Lucian down, you've beaten the Elite Four! But there's one battle left...

How to beat Champion Cynthia: Pokémon, weaknesses and counters

It's time to take on the Champion... Cynthia! And boy is she tough. Cynthia is famously known as one of, if not the toughest Champion in any Pokémon game, and that still rings true for her here. Her Pokémon are noticably higher level than the others, all of them have perfect IV spreads (their stats are super high) and perfect distribution of EVs making them even higher, along with complementary held items, natures, and lots of Full Restores that she can whip out just when you think you've won it.

There are few common weaknesses across her team, but Grass-type attacks will be really useful, dealing 4x damage to Gastrodon and likely knocking it out if you've got a half-decent attacker using them. It's also super-effective against Milotic which helps.

Fire is also useful, being super effective against both Lucario and Roserade, and Fairy is strong against both Spiritomb (its only weakness) and Garchomp.

Ah, the dreaded Garchomp! This thing is rapid, high level, and it has Swords Dance, which raises its Attack two stages with each use. If you leave it in battle it'll keep using this until it maxes out its Attack, and with the high speed that will likely mean it can sweep your entire team. If you have a really fast, high-damage attacker you can use Ice-types to try and one shot it with 4x super effective damage.

Otherwise, if you're struggling to out-speed it and want to just stall it until you get an advantage, a combination of Steel, FLying, and Fairy is your answer here. Start with a Fairy Pokémon against it and it'll use Poison Jab. Switch to a Steel type and it won't take any damage because it's immune to Poison. It'll try to use Earthquake which is super effective against Steel, at which point you switch into Flying and it'll evade any damage again. Then, back to Fairy, to Steel, to Flying, and so on. Eventually it'll run out of PP for Earthquake (it can only use it 10 times) and you can move in your Steel-type to chip it away and finish off! It's cheesy, but it works. Good luck.

How to beat Champion Cynthia: Pokémon, weaknesses and counters

PokémonLevelMovesWeaknesses
SpiritombLv.61Shadow Ball
Dark Pulse
Psychic
Sucker Punch
Fairy
GastrodonLv.60Scald
Earthquake
Sludge Bomb
Rock Tomb
Grass x4
LucarioLv.63Aura Sphere
Dragon Pulse
Flash Cannon
Nasty Plot
Fire, Fighting, Ground
RoseradeLv.60Dazzling Gleam
Shadow Ball
Sludge Bomb
Energy Ball
Fire, Ice, Flying, Psychic
MiloticLv.63Recover
Mirror Coat
Ice Beam
Scald
Electric, Grass
GarchompLv.66Dragon Claw
Earthquake
Swords Dance
Poison Jab
Ice x4, Dragon, Fairy

Defeat Cynthia, and congratulations are in order: you've finished the main story! Amazing!

There's still loads to see and do in Sinnoh, including exploring the Grand Underground, as well as the lengthy post-game. It's the end of our walkthrough though, so a big thank you for reading this far, and have fun with the rest of your playthrough! Remember we still have plenty of other relevant guides over in our main Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl walkthrough hub, too. Bye!

Special thanks to this trainer data sheet from community member Hematite and co. for filling in some blanks with moveset data!

About the Author

Chris Tapsell avatar

Chris Tapsell

Reviews Editor

Chris Tapsell is Eurogamer's Reviews Editor and most decorated Football Manager. He used to write guides, and will send you links to his favourite spreadsheets if you ask him about League of Legends or competitive Pokémon.

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