Pokemon Diamond and Pearl In-Game Tiers

  1. Introduction
  2. High Tier
  3. Middle Tier
  4. Low Tier
  5. Bottom Tier

Introduction

The best possible Pokemon for an in-game team are the ones that are obtained at the start of the game, can OHKO enemies easily, take little damage from nearly any enemy, can learn many HMs, can heal themselves, can learn useful moves upon level up, don't need excessive TMs, and have a useful ability. Such a Pokemon doesn't exist, of course, but this means that Pokemon closer to this ideal are obviously the best ones to use.

The goal of this in-game tier list is to recommend a select group of Pokemon for an efficient run through the game. The ones that fit most of the above requirements are placed in the high tier. Very inefficient Pokemon will be put in the low tier. Things that are neither efficient nor inefficient, for example Pokemon that have some opportunity costs but don't end up as good as high tiered ones, will be put in the middle tier.

Don't confuse an efficient run with a speed run. Speed runs are often ones that are segmented and recorded with luck manipulation through resets, and aim for the absolute fastest time recorded, but the real time spent on them is usually much more. Just assume you want to play through in a relatively fast time frame. The most efficient team size for these runs is only one member, but if one doesn't assume something more like 3 members, the resulting in-game tier lists become incredibly centralized around Pokemon you get early on in the game rather than anything encountered later on. Also note when reading through this guide that some of the moves and abilities listed for a Pokemon may only be obtained by their evolutions. Some Pokemon may be placed in higher tiers due to their evolutions capabilities as well.

High Tier

Abra
Abra
Availability: Early
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has very high Special Attack and Speed stats, however, needs to be traded to fully evolve.

Azelf
Azelf
Availability: Late
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Very wide
Additional Comments: Although it is available very late in the game it is available at a high level of 50 which compensates for this. Also has very high Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stats.

Bidoof
Bidoof
Availability: Very Early
Stats: Decent
Movepool: Wide
Additional Comments: Very useful in-game Pokemon because it learns a vast amount of HMs, such as Cut, Rock Climb, Rock Smash, Strength, Surf, and Waterfall.

Buizel
Buizel
Availability: Early
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has high Attack and Speed stats.

Chimchar
Chimchar
Availability: Beginning
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Very wide
Additional Comments: Has great offensive stats, a high Speed stat, and learns a vast amount of TMs and useful moves upon level up.

Cranidos
Cranidos (Diamond Only)
Availability: Early
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has an incredibly high Attack stat capable of OHKOing many Pokemon.

Dialga
Dialga (Diamond Only)
Availability: End
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Is only available once you have completed the game.

Gastly
Gastly
Availability: Early
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Wide
Additional Comments: Has a very high Special Attack and Speed stat, however, needs to be traded to fully evolve.

Machop
Machop
Availability: Early
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Average
Additional Comments: Has a very high Attack stat and good defenses, learns useful STAB attacks upon level up, and has a useful ability in No Guard. However, it needs to be traded to fully evolve.

Palkia
Palkia (Pearl Only)
Availability: End
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Wide
Additional Comments: Is only available once you have completed the game.

Piplup
Piplup
Availability: Beginning
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has a good typing and has a high Special Attack stat.

Shinx
Shinx
Availability: Very Early
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has great offensive stats and a useful ability in Intimidate.

Starly
Starly
Availability: Very Early
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Wide
Additional Comments: Has a very high Attack and Speed stat and learns powerful moves upon level up such as Close Combat and Brave Bird.

Turtwig
Turtwig
Availability: Beginning
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has a high Attack stat and learns powerful moves upon level up such as Earthquake and Wood Hammer.

Middle Tier

Bronzor
Bronzor
Availability: Early
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has great defensive stats, great typing, learns Hypnosis upon level up, and has useful abilities.

Croagunk
Croagunk
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has a high Attack stat and useful ability in Dry Skin.

Magikarp
Magikarp
Availability: Early
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Despite being useless as a Magikarp, once it evolves it is an incredibly useful Pokemon. Gyarados has a very high Attack stat, great defenses, learns Dragon Dance upon level up, and has a useful ability in Intimidate. However, it has a poor level up movepool and relies on HMs and TMs.

Marill
Marill
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has an incredibly high Attack stat with the ability Huge Power and has good bulk.

Medidite
Meditite
Availability: Early
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has an extremely high Attack stat with the ability Huge Power capable of OHKOing Pokemon easily. However, it has a poor level up movepool.

Misdreavus
Misdreavus (Pearl only)
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has above average Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed stats.

Murkrow
Murkrow (Diamond only)
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Decent
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has very high Attack and Special Attack stats.

Pikachu
Pikachu
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Wide
Additional Comments: Has an above average Attack, Special Attack, and Speed stat, and learns a wide variety of moves through TM.

Ponyta
Ponyta
Availability: Early
Stats: Decent
Movepool: Very shallow
Additional Comments: One of the few Fire-types in the game if you don't choose Chimchar as a starter; however, has a shallow movepool outside of Fire-type attacks.

Shellos
Shellos
Availability: Early
Stats: Average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has a very high HP stat, above average defenses, and learns Recover upon level up.

Low Tier

Bonsly
Bonsly
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has below average stats and a shallow movepool.

Budew
Budew
Availability: Early
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has poor offensive stats as a pre-evolution and has a shallow movepool outside of Grass-type attacks. However, outside of Turtwig, it is the best Grass-type in-game.

Buneary
Buneary
Availability: Early
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has below average offensive stats.

Chatot
Chatot
Availability: Late
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has below average offensive stats, a shallow movepool, and is available late in the game.

Clefairy
Clefairy
Availability: Early
Stats: Decent
Movepool: Very wide
Additional Comments: Has decent stats all-round and a very wide movepool, but its movepool relies on TMs.

Drifloon
Drifloon
Availability: Early
Stats: Decent
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has a shallow movepool and is only available on one day of the week (Friday).

Geodude
Geodude
Availability: Early
Stats: Decent
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has a bad typing, low Speed stat, and needs to be traded to be fully evolved.

Gible
Gible
Availability: Late
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Available too late in the game and evolves at a high level of 48.

Girafarig
Girafarig
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has a shallow movepool and below average offensive stats.

Glameow
Glameow (Pearl only)
Availability: Late
Stats: Decent
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Below average offensive stats and a shallow movepool outside of Normal-type attacks.

Hoothoot
Hoothoot
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has below average offensive stats and a shallow movepool.

Mesprit
Mesprit
Availability: Late
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Very wide
Additional Comments: Available too late in the game and must be found in the wild randomly to be captured.

Psyduck
Psyduck
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has below average stats and a shallow movepool.

Stunky
Stunky (Diamond only)
Availability: Late
Stats: Average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Has high HP and Attack stats and learns useful moves upon level up; however, it is found quite late in the game.

Uxie
Uxie
Availability: Late
Stats: Decent
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Despite having excellent defensive stats, its offensive stats are quite poor.

Wingull
Wingull
Availability: Late
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has below average offensive stats and a shallow movepool, but learns 3 useful HMs in Fly, Surf, and Defog.

Wooper
Wooper
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has below average offensive stats and a shallow movepool, but has good defenses and a useful ability in Water Absorb.

Zubat
Zubat
Availability: Early
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has poor offensive stats and a shallow movepool.

Bottom Tier

Aipom
Aipom
Availability: Early
Stats: Decent
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Only capturable from honey trees (which takes 6 hours for a Pokemon to appear), has a low encounter rate, and you would have to rely on luck to find one.

Barboach
Barboach
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Decent
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has below average offensive stats.

Burmy
Burmy
Availability: Early
Stats: Poor
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Only capturable from honey trees (which takes 6 hours for a Pokemon to appear), has poor stats overall, and has a shallow movepool.

Carnivine
Carnivine
Availability: Late
Stats: Decent
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Available too late in the game and has a shallow movepool outside of Grass-type attacks.

Chansey
Chansey
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Very shallow
Additional Comments: Has very poor offensive stats, a very shallow movepool, and very low Defense and offensive stats.

Cherubi
Cherubi
Availability: Early
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Only capturable from honey trees (which takes 6 hours for a Pokemon to appear), has below average offensive stats, and a shallow movepool outside of Grass-type attacks.

Chingling
Chingling
Availability: Early
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has poor offensive stats and a shallow movepool.

Combee
Combee
Availability: Early
Stats: Poor
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Only capturable from honey trees (which takes 6 hours for a Pokemon to appear), has a shallow movepool, and has poor offensive stats.

Feebas
Feebas
Availability: Late
Stats: Very poor
Movepool: Very shallow
Additional Comments: Available too late in the game, too hard to capture, too hard to evolve, and practically useless until it does evolve.

Finneon
Finneon
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Poor
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has poor offensive stats and a shallow movepool outside of Water-type attacks.

Goldeen
Goldeen
Availability: Late
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has below average stats and a shallow movepool.

Heracross
Heracross
Availability: Early
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Wide
Additional Comments: Only capturable from honey trees (which takes 6 hours for a Pokemon to appear), has a low encounter rate, and you would have to rely on luck to find one.

Hippopotas
Hippopotas
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Poor
Additional Comments: Has a shallow movepool and an ability that hinders the rest of the team.

Kricketot
Kricketot
Availability: Early
Stats: Poor
Movepool: Very shallow
Additional Comments: Has very poor stats besides its Attack stat, has a very shallow movepool, and is useless until it evolves.

Mantyke
Mantyke
Availability: Late
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Available too late in the game and has below average offensive stats.

Mime Jr.
Mime Jr.
Availability: Mid-game
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has a shallow level-up movepool outside of Psychic-type attacks.

Munchlax
Munchlax
Availability: Early
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Wide
Additional Comments: Only capturable from honey trees (which takes 6 hours for a Pokemon to appear), only has a 1% chance of appearing, and is only available on certain trees which depend on your ID/SID combination.

Onix
Onix
Availability: Early
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has a shallow movepool and poor Speed and Special Defense stats.

Pachirisu
Pachirisu
Availability: Early
Stats: Poor
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has poor stats overall and a shallow movepool.

Remoraid
Remoraid
Availability: Late
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Available too late in the game and has below average offensive stats.

Riolu
Riolu
Availability: Late
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Obtained too late in the game and at too low of a level.

Shieldon
Shieldon
Availability: Early
Stats: Below average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Has below average offensive stats and a terrible typing.

Skorupi
Skorupi
Availability: Late
Stats: Average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Available too late in the game and has a shallow movepool.

Sneasel
Sneasel
Availability: Late
Stats: Above average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Available too late in the game and has a shallow movepool.

Snover
Snover
Availability: Late
Stats: Average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Available too late in the game and has an ability that hinders the rest of the team.

Spiritomb
Spiritomb
Availability: Early
Stats: Average
Movepool: Shallow
Additional Comments: Very hard to obtain since it can only be caught once 32 people have been talked to in the underground over Wi-Fi.

Tentacool
Tentacool
Availability: Late
Stats: Average
Movepool: Decent
Additional Comments: Available too late in the game.

Wurmple
Wurmple
Availability: Early
Stats: Poor
Movepool: Very shallow
Additional Comments: Has poor stats overall and has a shallow movepool.