Pokemon Brilliant Diamond vs Shining Pearl: Which is Better?


Players have been arguing which Pokemon version is better for each generation since the start of the franchise and this debate continues with the release of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. While the truth is that it’s ultimately subjective, there are still definite pros and cons to each version of the Sinnoh remakes. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the differences between Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl to help you decide which one is better for you!

The Cover Legendaries

Ever since Gold and Silver released, Pokemon games have featured different legendary Pokemon for each version. As with the original games, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl feature Dialga and Palkia, respectively. This leaves players with a pretty large decision to make, as each Pokemon is massively powerful in its own right and you won’t be able to get the other version’s legendary Pokemon without trading.

Here’s a list of some of the big pros and cons of each:



  • Dragon/Steel typing only has 2 weaknesses, but nine resistances and one immunity
  • Bulkier on average than Palkia
  • Massive special attack stat lets it put huge dents in nearly anything
  • Enormous movepool gives it great coverage


  • Slower than Palkia
  • Its ground and fighting weaknesses are common coverage move types, particularly in the cases of Earthquake and Focus Blast
  • As a Hyper Beam clone, Roar of Time, Dialga’s signature move, isn’t terrific in most situations



  • Dragon/Water typing only has 2 weaknesses
  • Faster than Dialga
  • Massive special attack stat lets it put huge dents in nearly anything
  • Enormous movepool gives it great coverage
  • Spacial Rend, its signature move, is one of the best dragon type special attacks in the game.


  • Frailer than Dialga, especially on the physical side
  • While Fairy is a slightly rarer typing for coverage moves, Dragon/Water typing also only has 3 resistances and 0 immunities.
  • While Dialga’s steel typing cleanly covers most fairy type Pokemon, arguably the hardest counters to dragons, Palkia is generally left with neutral damage against them

Both Pokemon are incredibly strong and competitive amongst other legendary Pokemon, but I would personally rank Dialga on top of the two. The addition of fairy typing in the sixth generation really helped it shine, since it not only negated a new weakness, but gave it a great way to deal with what would otherwise be one of its better counters.

The Exclusive Pokemon

As with previous paired versions of Pokemon games, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl offer a slough of version-exclusive Pokemon that each can only be found in one of the two games. Here’s an exhaustive list, including legendary Pokemon from older games that can only be caught after you’ve completed the story:

Brilliant Diamond

  • Caterpie family
  • Ekans family
  • Growlithe family
  • Seel family
  • Scyther family
  • Murkrow family
  • Gligar family
  • Kekleon
  • Electabuzz family
  • Larvitar family
  • Seedot family
  • Mawile
  • Zangoose
  • Solrock
  • Cranidos family
  • Stunky family
  • Dialga
  • Suicune
  • Entei
  • Raikou
  • Ho-oh

Shining Pearl

  • Weedle family
  • Sandshrew family
  • Vulpix family
  • Slowpoke family
  • Pinsir
  • Misdreavus family
  • Teddiursa family
  • Stantler family
  • Magmar family
  • Bagon family
  • Lotad family
  • Sableye
  • Seviper
  • Lunatone
  • Shieldon family
  • Glameow family
  • Palkia
  • Articuno
  • Zapdos
  • Moltres
  • Lugia

As you can see, both versions have some very strong Pokemon in their own right. Personally, Tyranitar and Scizor were enough to get me to choose Diamond, but there’s nothing wrong with being more of a Salamence or Pinsir fan!

So Which Version is Better?

There isn’t a straightforwardly superior version, so whether you choose Brilliant Diamond or Shining Pearl really comes down to which version has more of your favorite Pokemon, regardless of whether you like them for their designs or raw power.

Even if you end up missing some of the other version’s Pokemon down the line, you can always trade!

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Pokemon Brilliant Diamond vs Shining Pearl: Which is Better?


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