Pokémon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl: How to Beat the Elite Four

Image: Nintendo/The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl on Nintendo Switch offer fans the chance to return to the Sinnoh region, and there are plenty of trainers to face. Once you’ve made your way through Sinnoh and collected all the gym badges, it’s time to take on the Elite Four.

The Sinnoh Elite Four is renowned for its toughness, with competitive move sets and great sustain elements, but they’re not impossible. Want to know how to beat them? Check out our guide below…

How to beat the Elite Four in Pokémon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl


  • Poussox Lv.53
  • Hercross Lv.54
  • Vespiqueen Lv.54
  • Magnificent Lv.53
  • Draipon Lv.57

Aaron is the first of the Elite Four that you will face whenever you start a race against the group. Sporting powerful Bug-type Pokémon, it will attempt to weaken the player early by using status moves to drain your HP and use up your items.

Bring a strong Fire type in order to deal with most of the team. Aaron is the easiest to defeat for the Elite Four, but he can still trip you up if you’re unprepared.


  • Swamp lv.55
  • Hippowdon Lv.59
  • Sudowoodo Lv.57
  • Whiskey Lv.55
  • Golem Lv.56

Bertha, the oldest member of the Elite Four, is a powerful trainer who wants to be defeated so that the younger generation can prove themselves. Her team has a wide variety of types covered and has a lot of health, so it can be useful to keep a good general Pokemon on your team, just to defeat Bertha.

If you’re playing Shining Pearl, we’ve found Palkia with Surf to be a very effective Pokémon to use, especially when combined with the Lustrous Orb, which is found in the Spear Pillar.


  • Rapidash Lv.58
  • Inferanape Lv.61
  • Steelix Lv.57
  • Lopunny Lv57
  • Drifblim Lv.58

Flint is a good friend of Volkner, the latest gym leader, and is a tough test midway through the Elite Four challenge. Using a combination of Fire-types and Steel-types, Flint is tough to take down, though trainers who’ve chosen the Water-type starter, Piplup, will find themselves much easier.

Avoid burns here, as you still have two intense battles to fight before you can declare yourself champion. As with Bertha, Palkia is extremely effective here, one-hit knocking out many Pokémon on the team.


  • Mister Mime Lv.59
  • Girafarif Lv.59
  • Medicham Lv.60
  • Alakazam Lv.60
  • Bronzong Lv.63

Last member of the Elite Four before the Champion, Lucian’s team is made up of some of the most powerful Psychic-type Pokémon in the game. Impactful and status-inflicting moves are present throughout Lucian’s repertoire, we recommend so end this battle as quickly as possible and save as many healing items as possible before you take on your toughest challenge.

Lucian is probably the first time you will be extremely stuck. Starting with Mr Mime, Lucian uses a lot of defensive moves that reduce your damage. Here we found Luxray an effective all-rounder, especially when equipped with Dark-type moves. Be sure to save healing items and full healing after this battle, because it’s time for Pokémon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl’s greatest challenge.

Champion Cynthia

  • Spiritomb Lv.61
  • Garchomp Lv.66
  • Gastrodon Lv.60
  • Milotic Lv.63
  • Roserade Lv.60
  • Lucario Lv63.

Cynthia is the Elite Four champion and one of the toughest trainers in Pokémon history. After helping the player along their journey, she is your last battle before you can call yourself the champion of the Pokémon League. This team renowned for its robustness requires a wide variety of types in order to counter Cynthia’s strategy.

She’ll start with a Spiritomb, which doesn’t have a lot of counters, but we recommend a Gardevoir equipped with some fairy moves to handle it. Cynthia will often replace Spiritomb if you don’t knock him out fast enough, so be sure to hit him hard.

Roserade is simple, use your fire type for what should be a one-hit knockout. Gastrodon is a weak grass type, so either your starter, if you chose Turtwig, or something like a Roserade is a good idea. Garchomp is weak against Ice and Fairy, so if you chose to use Gardevoir for Spiritomb, she will again be useful here.

Lucario hits extremely hard, so make sure you have a fire type with something like Flamethrower in order to handle him in one or two rounds.

Milotic is probably the Pokemon that made you check out this guide. Tons of health, regenerative moves, and Marvel Scale, an ability that boosts her defense if she has a status condition. Milotic is a huge pain. Our best bet was hitting him with Electric-type moves with Luxray until he finally went down.

After that, you did. You are the Elite Four champion. Enjoy! You will never have to fight this Milotic again! …unless you come back for the Elite Four rematch.

This article is part of our Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl walkthrough and guide series, which includes all the Pokémon exclusive to each version of the game, tips on the best Sinnoh starter Pokémon to choose, and all the old and new Pokétch apps, plus how to get specific Pokémon such as Mew and Jirachi, Rilou and Lucario, Manaphy and Phione, Arceus, Eevee, Leafeon And Glaceon, Cresselia, Rotom, Ditto, Spiritomb, Heatran, Regigigas and, of course, the powerful Feebas.

We also cover how to catch 17 Legendaries in Ramanas Park, where to find the Defog HM and chain catch (or how to increase your chances of catching shiny Pokémon), as well as how to earn money quickly, how to beat the Elite Four, how the Trophy Garden works, and how to get the DS and Catching Charm sounds. We also have a complete and updated list of Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Mystery Gift codes, and we also tell you how to unlock the Mystery Gift feature.

And finally, Where to buy Pokémon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl on Nintendo Switch, if for some reason you haven’t picked up the game yet!

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