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Defeating gym leaders in any Pokémon game is the only way to progress through the storyline and get to the Elite Four. The gym leaders are tough, so trainers may have questions on how to defeat them, or they may just need a push in the right direction. Well, if that is you, then you are in the right place. This guide will help you defeat the gym leaders in the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl so you can go against the Elite Four. Read through the whole thing or jump to the leader you are having problems with. You can also scan through to see which Pokémon you should train ahead of time. You can read this article to get an idea of which Pokémon are the best in the Sinnoh region.
1. Coal Badge (Roark)
Once the leader of Oreburgh City's gym actually arrives in the gym, you can challenge him. Roark, like most opening gym leaders, is a rock-type leader. He is pretty easy if you have the right Pokémon.
He has a level 12 Geodude (rock/ground-type), a level 12 Onix (rock/ground-type), and a level 14 Cranidos (rock-type). Cranidos may be a little tougher than the other two since Roark uses potions on him. He is also at a higher level than the other two.
The types to use here are fighting, grass, and water. Turtwig and Piplup would be the best starters in this battle, but what if you chose Chimchar? Well, if you caught a Machop on Route 207, you can use that against Roark and defeat him once Machop is trained up a bit.
Once you crush Roark, he will hand over the Coal Badge and TM76, which is Stealth Rock. This is a move that damages any Pokémon that switches into battle and even lasts the whole battle (the amount of damage is determined by the type of Pokémon that switches in).
2. Forest Badge (Gardenia)
The second badge is in Eterna City and is held by Gardenia, a grass-type leader. You have to play hide and seek to get to her, but it's good practice for the eventual battle. (Keep in mind that when you go against Roserade, it has a Sitrus Berry, so if you use Pluck, you get to eat it instead.)
Gardenia has a level 19 Cherubi (grass-type), a level 19 Turtwig (grass-type), and a level 22 Roserade (grass/poison-type). Remember that note about pluck earlier? Well I forgot to mention that it also does a great deal of damage against Roserade.
Bug, fire, and flying are all good types to use against Gardenia, so Chimchar can show off here. Don't have a bug, fire, or flying-type Pokémon on your team? Well, this is easily solved. Grab a Ponyta from the routes east of Eterna City to set fire to her little grass minions.
Once defeated, you gain the Forest Badge and TM 86, which is Grass Knot. This move does more damage the heavier the target Pokémon is.
3. Cobble Badge (Maylene)
Veilstone City is a wonderful little town with its department store and Galactic HQ building. Right, there is a gym too, how could I forget? Maylene is the leader here, and she equips herself with fighting-type Pokémon.
She has a level 27 Meditite (fighting/psychic-type), a level 27 Machoke (fighting-type), and a level 30 Lucario (fighting/steel-type). Lucario will probably give you the most trouble with its steel type and high level.
Use psychic, flying, and ground-type moves to win this badge easily. Use Psychic on Meditite and Machoke. Be sure to pluck that berry from Lucario before he uses it.
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Once Maylene loses, you gain the Cobble Badge and TM 60, which is Drain Punch. The badge gives you the ability to use Fly outside of battle. Drain Punch deals damage to your opponent and heals you by half of the damage inflicted.
4. Fen Badge (Crasher Wake)
Pastoria City has the water-type gym, which might be one of the easier gyms depending on your party. The leader here is Crasher Wake, and he needs to wear a shirt even if it is his gym (no shirt, no shoes, no service, even if it is a pool). Anyway, here's how to win.
He has a level 27 Gyarados (water/flying-type), a level 27 Quagsire (water/ground-type), and a level 30 Floatzel (water-type). Seems easy enough if you aren't low in levels and have the right Pokémon, but what would those be?
Pokémon with grass or electric moves would do well here. Use grass-type moves against Quagsire (and the Barbroach of the other trainers in here). Since Quagsire is half ground-type, electric moves won't be effective against them, so get a strong attacker or a grass-type.
When you blow Crasher Wake out of the water and defeat him, he will give you the Fen Badge, which allows you to use Defog outside of battle. He will also give you TM 55, which is Brine. This move does more damage if the opponent's HP is more than half full (twice the damage to be exact).
5. Relic Badge (Fantina)
Hearthome City is home to Fantina and her ghost-type Pokémon. You have to beat them to get the Relic Badge. Ghost types require special attention as some moves will be ineffective against them. You must choose your Pokémon wisely or you could end up not being able to attack.
Fantina has a level 32 Drifblim (ghost/flying-type), a level 34 Gengar (ghost/poison-type), and a level 36 Mismagius (ghost-type). But what will help you against these Pokémon?
Try dark, electric, and ghost moves for starters. Dark is your best bet, but you don't need a dark-type Pokémon. Just use dark-type moves such as Bite. Choose a Pokémon with high attack or high speed stats to try to avoid damage by the ghost Pokémon. Victory shall eventually be yours.
Once defeated, Fantina will hand over the Relic Badge, which allows you to use Surf outside of battle. You will also get TM65, which is Shadow Claw. This is a good move as it has a high chance of critical hits. Double damage is always welcome, isn't it?
6. Mine Badge (Byron)
Canalave City holds another gym badge for the Sinnoh region. Byron is the gym leader, and he won't give up the badge without a fight (we can hope they will just hand it over and save themselves the embarrassment of losing). Byron uses steel-type Pokémon, so here is how you can prepare against them.
He has a level 36 Bronzor (steel/psychic-type), a level 36 Steelix (steel/ground-type), and a level 39 Bastiodon (rock/steel-type). Get ready for some change-ups during this battle.
Set a fire-type in the lead to deal with Bronzor (and Steelix if he switches right to that). Once they are defeated, use a water, ground, or fighting-type to take down Bastiodon. You shouldn't have too much trouble with this strategy.
Once you win, you'll receive the Mine Badge, which gives you the ability to use Strength outside of battle. You also get a TM91, which is Flash Cannon. This move has a 10% chance of lowering your foe's special defense stat.
7. Icicle Badge (Candice)
Candice is the gym leader of the extremely cold Snowpoint City, and she has the seventh badge you need to obtain. Like the icy area around the city suggests, she is an ice trainer who will freeze your little Pokémon.
She has a level 38 Snover (ice/grass-type), a level 38 Sneasel (dark/ice-type), a level 40 Medicham (fighting/psychic-type), and a level 42 Abomasnow (ice/grass-type). This may seem difficult, but as with every gym leader, there is a trick to defeating her quickly.
What melts ice? That's right, fire. Try using a fire-type to melt her Pokémon (not literally, that would be tragic). Fire is especially useful against Snover and Abomasnow due to being dual ice/grass types. For Medicham, use a flying-type Pokémon. You could potentially use a fighting Pokémon against Sneasel if you don't want to use fire.
Victory will get you an Icicle Badge and TM 72, which is Avalance. This move does double damage to a Pokémon if it has already done damage to the user in that turn.
8. Beacon Badge (Volkner)
The last gym leader, located in Sunyshor City, is Volkner, The eighth badge will be a little difficult to obtain, and making your way over to Volkner might take you awhile to figure out. As an electric-type gym leader, he will try to shock you into submission, but he doesn't only have electric-type Pokémon.
Volkner has a level 46 Raichu (electric-type), a level 47 Ambipom (normal-type), a level 47 Octillery (water-type), and a level 49 Luxray (electric-type). Only half of his team are electric, but that doesn't mean he can't be defeated just as easily as the other seven gyms leaders. It will just take a little more effort on your part.
Ground, fighting, and electric moves will do well against Volkner. Use electric moves on Octillery, ground moves on Raichu and Luxray, and fighting moves against Ambipom. Grass moves also work well against Octillery.
Victory will award you the Beacon Badge. This allows you to control any Pokémon of any level. It also allows you to use Waterfall outside of battle. Volkner will also give you TM57, which is Charge Beam. This move does damage to the opponent and has a 70% chance of raising the user's special attack stat.
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on November 19, 2018:
I remember playing this game! It was a lot of fun. I always got Chimchar as my starter so it was tough fighting Roark. I didn't know you could get Machop before facing him.
Whitney Wickham from Scottsdale, Arizona on July 31, 2018:
Very informative! Are you excited for the new game arriving on the Switch by chance?
Karan Karjivkar on February 16, 2018:
Nice post. Love it.
Anonymous on August 31, 2015:
Really good help, funny while at same time vveerryy helpful
Helena on April 23, 2015:
Awesome I am up to Byron, and I am having real trouble beating him . This really helped!
yash on August 20, 2012:
hi thanks I only started and have only reached gardenia thanks for helping a starter
bob on May 06, 2012: