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Those hoping to become the very best in Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl will need to prove themselves against a string of powerful Pokemon Trainers. First, they'll need to defeat all eight of Sinnoh's gym leaders, which itself is no easy feat. Next, they'll have to brave the perils of Victory Road and then take on a quartet of veteran trainers known as the Elite Four. Even after doing so, however, one big challenge still remains, with players also required to beat Sinnoh's reigning Pokemon Champion, Cynthia.

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Though players encounter Cynthia at various points throughout Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, it's only after players have defeated the Elite Four that she's revealed to be the regional champion. Looking at her team though, it's easy to understand how she earned the title, as it's full of powerful Pokemon and boasts exceptional type coverage. As a result, those hoping to beat Cynthia and take away her crown are going to have their work cut out for them.

Updated December 4, 2021 by Tom Bowen: After completing the game and unlocking the National Dex, players will be able to rematch some of the many strong opponents they fought along the way to becoming Sinnoh's newest Pokemon Champion. Cynthia is one such opponent and boasts a team that's considerably stronger the second time around. Players can even challenge Cynthia to a second rematch as well, in which her team will once again receive a huge boost in levels. This guide has been updated to provide information about her revised teams, as well as some suggestions on how players should approach the two rematches with Cynthia.

How to Prepare for Cynthia

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Preparing for the battle with Cynthia is made all the more difficult by the fact that it comes immediately after players have taken on the Elite Four. This means that the team that players assemble to defeat Aaron, Bertha, Flint, and Lucian also needs to be able to beat Cynthia as well. Needless to say, players should be sure to bring plenty of healing items so that they can recover HP in and in between battles. Given that the games' strongest moves tend to have lower PP than others, this should also include a few Ethers as well. Unfortunately, however, PP restoring items cannot be bought like Potions and Revives, meaning players will need to have found and saved a few throughout their journey.

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Unlike the Elite Four before her, Cynthia has no real type preference, with her six Pokemon representing nine different types between them. Thankfully, the fact that all but one of them are dual-type Pokemon often makes hitting weakness a little easier. Providing players have a Pokemon with a strong grass-type attack somewhere in their team, Milotic and Gastrodon shouldn't cause too much trouble, while ice-type attacks can be used to take care of both Garchomp and Roserade. The latter can also be easily beaten with fire-type moves, which will also come in handy against Lucario. Annoyingly, Spiritomb's only real weakness is to fairy-type attacks, though players can simply use brute force to take it down if need be.

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Given that both Palkia and Dialga can learn Blizzard using TM14, which is found at Lake Acuity or purchased at the Department Store in Veilstone City, they should be the player's go-to Pokemon for ice-type attacks. Those who chose Infernape as their starter should already have fire-type attacks taken care of, but for everyone else, Rapidash is a more than capable stand-in. Haunter / Gengar can learn Dazzling Gleam using TM21, which players can find at the Team Galactic HQ or the Department Store. Both Pokemon can also learn Giga Drain, which is found on Route 209 by using Surf. If they don't plan on taking a Haunter / Gengar or a designated grass-type specialist, players can instead use one of the Grass Knot TMs (TM86) that they got after beating Gardenia. All three starters can learn it, as too can Kadabra / Alakazam.

How to Beat Cynthia

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Champion Cynthia (13,464)
Spiritomb (Lvl. 61)
Ghost / Dark
Dark Pulse
Psychic
Shadow Ball
Sucker Punch
Lucario (Lvl. 63)
Fighting / Steel
Aura Sphere
Dragon Pulse
Flash Canon
Nasty Plot
Roserade (Lvl. 60)
Grass / Poison
Dazzling Gleam
Energy Ball
Shadow Ball
Sludge Bomb
Gastrodon (Lvl. 60)
Water / Ground
Earthquake
Scald
Rock Tomb
Sludge Bomb
Milotic (Lvl. 63)
Water
Ice Beam
Mirror Coat
Recover
Scald
Garchomp (Lvl 66)
Dragon / Ground
Dragon Claw
Earthquake
Poison Jab
Swords Dance

Cynthia will start with Spiritomb, so, ideally, players will lead with a Pokemon that knows Dazzling Gleam or another strong fairy-type attack. They'll want to try and take it out in a single hit if possible, as otherwise, Cynthia will withdraw it and throw out Lucario. Players should switch to their fire-type attacker here, though if they happened to bring along a Gastrodon for the Elite Four, this is also a solid choice as it will be able to take Lucario out with Earth Power. Assuming Roserade comes next, players can stick with their fire-type attacker if it's already out, or switch over to Palkia / Dialga and take care of it using Blizzard or another powerful ice-type attack like Ice Beam.

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Gastrodon and Milotic usually come out next, so players should switch over to their grass-type attacker and go to town on them. The latter can be a little annoying to deal with due to its ability to use Rest to recover HP, but, given that it weighs 357 lbs, Grass Knot should hit with 100 attack power, which should be enough to take it down with a single hit. If players didn't defeat it earlier, Spiritomb will return next, after which, Cynthia will use her last and most powerful Pokemon, Garchomp. Thankfully, however, ice-type attacks will deal four times as much damage against it due to its typing, so Palkia and Dialga should be able to take care of it pretty quickly with Blizzard.

What to Do After Beating Cynthia

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Once players have beaten Cynthia, Professor Rowan will show up and register their Pokemon into the hall of fame. After the credits are over, players will then be returned to Twinleaf Town, where their rival has left a message for them telling them to get on a ship at Snowpoint City. Doing so will take them to a new Island where they can battle strong trainers, though that's just one of many pieces of post-game content in Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl. Players can also catch a variety of Legendary and Mythical Pokemon and work towards completing their Sinnoh Pokedex. Doing so will unlock the National Dex, as well as rematches against all eight gym leaders, the Elite Four, and, of course, Cynthia.

How to Prepare for the Rematches with Cynthia

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When compared to some of the other rematches in Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, the ones with Cynthia aren't all that different from the original encounter. The only major differences — besides the huge increases in levels, that is — are that Togekiss comes in for Gastrodon for both rematches and Porygon-Z replaces Roserade during the second. On paper, this could cause problems, but in reality, players should already have an electric-type on hand to deal with Togekiss, while any half-decent fighting-type should be able to handle Porygon-Z.

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It's also worth noting that Lucario's move set changes in both subsequent battles, with Psychic preventing players from using a fighting-type to counter it in the first. Players can still use fire and ground-type Pokemon, however, so this shouldn't require any major shakeups. In the second rematch, Lucario does gain access to Earthquake, which will effectively rule out most fire-types as viable counters, though players could still opt for a fire/flying-type like Charizard (evolve Charmander) if needed. Cynthia's Spiritomb also knows Will-O-Wisp instead of Psychic in both rematches, though this arguably makes it easier to deal with rather than harder.

Cynthia's Rematch Teams

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Champion Cynthia Rematch #1 (31,200)
Spiritomb (Lvl. 74)
Ghost / Dark
Dark Pulse
Psychic
Shadow Ball
Sucker Punch
Lucario (Lvl. 76)
Fighting / Steel
Aura Sphere
Dragon Pulse
Flash Canon
Psychic
Roserade (Lvl. 74)
Grass / Poison
Dazzling Gleam
Energy Ball
Shadow Ball
Sludge Bomb
Togekiss (Lvl. 76)
Fairy / Flying
Air Slash
Aura Sphere
Dazzling Gleam
Thunder Wave
Milotic (Lvl. 74)
Water
Ice Beam
Mirror Coat
Recover
Scald
Garchomp (Lvl 78)
Dragon / Ground
Dragon Claw
Earthquake
Poison Jab
Swords Dance
Champion Cynthia Rematch #2 (35,200)
Spiritomb (Lvl. 84)
Ghost / Dark
Dark Pulse
Shadow Ball
Sucker Punch
Will-O-Wisp
Lucario (Lvl. 86)
Fighting / Steel
Close Combat
Earthquake
Extreme Speed
Meteor Mash
Porygon-Z (Lvl. 85)
Normal
Hyper Beam
Ice Beam
Shadow Ball
Thunderbolt
Togekiss (Lvl. 86)
Fairy / Flying
Air Slash
Aura Sphere
Dazzling Gleam
Thunder Wave
Milotic (Lvl. 84)
Water
Ice Beam
Mirror Coat
Recover
Scald
Garchomp (Lvl 88)
Dragon / Ground
Dragon Claw
Earthquake
Poison Jab
Swords Dance

MORE: Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl: Complete Guide & Walkthrough

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