Generation 4 is full of mysteries. These games are focused on explaining the Pokémon World origins and are designed to trap you into a mystical atmosphere while exploring the in-depths of Sinnoh. That’s why we think Pokémon Platinum is such a unique game.
Another important feature of Pokémon Platinum and Gen 4 is that this game is challenging compared with newer generations like Gen 6 or Gen 7. It has the hardest Pokémon League and the hardest Champion: Cynthia. Our objective is to defeat her.
Knowing that, we would be happy to do a guide with more than 40,000 words talking about everything this game has to offer, but instead of that, we will only talk about the essentials of this game: The battles. The objective of this guide is to help you by advising on what you’ll see in this game, but we want you to play the game and enjoy its incredible story as much as we do.
So, let’s get started!
Prologue: Your Starter and Your First Battle
Pokémon Platinum starts with Professor Rowan giving you a welcome to the Pokémon world giving you some advice on what you’ll find in the adventure.
Here, you can select if you are a girl or a boy, and then you’ll be able to name yourself and your rival (We will use Barry as your rival’s name for the rest of the guide).
Getting Your Starter
The game starts with you in your home getting visited by Barry with the idea of getting a Pokémon. After knowing Twinleaf Town, you have to go to Route 201 when you receive your starter. After a conversation with Professor Rowan, in where the professor’s helper will appear too, Rowan will allow you to get a Pokémon, that can be one of these three:
|Turtwig, Lv. 5||Grass||Tackle, Withdraw||Overgrow|
|Chimchar, Lv. 5||Fire||Scratch, Leer||Blaze|
|Piplup, Lv. 5||Water||Pound, Growl||Torrent|
This is an important decision, but we will try to make it easier for you by giving some tips about what starter you have to pick:
- If you pick Turtwig, you’ll get Torterra, a Grass/Ground-type Pokémon, and one of the strongest Pokémon of the game. It can learn Earthquake that can outstand Torterra’s main issue: Fire-type. It can also be helpful through the gameplay, being good against the first gym and one of the Pokémon League Elite Four.
- If you pick Chimchar, you’ll get Infernape, a Fire/Fighting-type Pokémon. The adventure can be rough initially, but you’ll be better against some gym leaders and Barry because you can beat his Empoleon easily with Close Combat.
- If you pick Piplup, you’ll get Empoleon, which is pretty helpful because he can learn Surf and Waterfall, as well as some Flying-type and Ice-type moves that can easily beat Dragon-type Pokémon.
After your decision, you have to fight against Barry for the first time, he will pick the Pokémon that is good against yours, but this will not be a problem because your Pokémon will learn moves that can easily beat Barry’s Pokémon.
This fight is easy; you can beat him using your attack move and get the advantage of the combat with your status move.
- If you pick Turtwig, Barry will pick Chimchar.
- If you pick Chimchar, Barry will pick Piplup.
- If you pick Piplup, Barry will pick Turtwig.
After this battle, you are now able to go through Sinnoh collecting both badges and Pokémon.
We will give you some tips for these first routes since you can find the Pokémon to help you the most through the adventure. First of all, you have to search a Shinx and a Flying-type Pokémon, mostly Starly, and this is why:
- Shinx evolves into Luxray, one of the strongest Pokémon in this generation, capable of learning a wide range of moves that will be helpful in this adventure.
- Starly evolves into Staraptor, a powerful Flying-type Pokémon that can be your Fly user. It also can learn Brave Bird and Close Combat and works to outstand every Grass-type, Bug-type and Fighting-type Pokémon you’ll find in the adventure.
- Anyway, suppose you don’t want to have Staraptor on your team. In that case, you can opt for other options like Zubat, which evolves into Crobat, Murkrow that evolves into Honchkrow, Hoothoot that evolves into Noctowl or even Togepi (you’ll get an egg with it in Eterna City) that evolves into a Togetic. All of them have different moves and attacks.
All the Battles Against Barry Explained
We will explain how you can defeat Barry every time you battle against him; he will build his team through the game and is a strong one, so let’s get started. His team consists of a Staraptor, a Floatzel, a Roserade, a Snorlax, and a Heracross. These are the things you have to know to defeat him:
- His starter: You will find something that can outplay Barry’s starter easily: If he has an Infernape, you can beat him with a Floatzel or any Water-type Pokémon. If he has a Torterra, you can win him with Flying-type Pokémon, and any Ice-type attack will probably beat him in one turn. If he has an Empoleon, you can beat him with any Fighting-type or Ground-type attacks. Grass-type attacks will not damage Empoleon as much as you can think.
- His Floatzel can be beaten with a Luxray or with a Grass-type that can handle a hit, like Roserade, because Floatzel is faster than most Pokémon of this generation.
- His Roserade can be defeated with Fire-type attacks, this Pokémon has good defenses, but it will not be as effective as it can if you fight it with a Ground-type Pokémon.
- Snorlax is the big issue of his team; fighting-type attacks are your only option, if you have an Infernape, you can easily stand a fight against it, but otherwise, you’ll probably need to have a Machamp in your team.
- Staraptor will not be an issue if you have Empoleon; an Ice-type attack will leave Staraptor out of the game. Another option is an Electric-type attacker or a Rock-type Pokémon. Just don’t let Staraptor attack your Grass or Bug-type Pokémon.
- Lastly, Heracross, you have to use Flying-type attacks against it because it will not stand a single hit. Another option is Fire-type attacks, but it is not as effective as the Flying-type attacks.
That’s all you have to know about Barry. From now on, you can defeat him every time he challenges you to a battle.
First Badge: Roark, Oreburgh City’s Gym Leader
Now it’s time to get into the first badge of the game, obtained in Oreburgh City. The gym is closed, and you have to look for the leader, Roark, in the Oreburgh Mine. After you get him, you can fight for the badge.
This is the Roark’s team:
|Geodude, Lv. 12||Rock/Ground||Rock Throw, Stealth Rock||Rock Head|
|Onix, Lv. 12||Rock/Ground||Rock Throw, Screech, Stealth Rock||Rock Head|
|Cranidos, Lv. 14||Rock||Headbutt, Leer, Pursuit||Mold Breaker|
This is the strategy we recommend you, depending on your starter:
- With Turtwig, This will be an easy battle because Turtwig will learn Razor Leaf and Absorb and Rock-type Pokémon are weak against Grass-type moves.
- Chimchar: We recommend you evolve Chimchar into Monferno. Otherwise, this fight will be a nightmare. Monferno can learn Mach Punch that will defeat all Roark’s Pokémon. If you haven’t evolved Chimchar yet, then we recommend you to catch a Machop with at least at level 12. You can find it on Route 207.
- Piplup: Again, an easy match, Bubble will get rid of Roark’s team, but it will be way better if you evolve Piplup into a Prinplup because it will learn Metal Claw. If you haven’t evolved Piplup yet, we recommend using a Machop with at least level 12.
After this combat, our next destination will be Eterna City.
Second Badge: Gardenia, Eterna City’s Gym Leader
To get to Eterna City, we have to pass through Eterna Forest, which has loads of good Pokémon, like Misdreavus, Gastly, Murkrow, and more. We recommend some of them if you need a special attacker.
Now with the fight against Gardenia, she will have:
|Turtwig, Lv. 20||Grass||Razor Leaf, Grass Knot, Sunny Day, Reflect||Overgrow|
|Cherrim Lv. 20||Grass||Grass Knot, Leech Seed, Safeguard, Magical Leaf||Flower Gift|
|Roserade, Lv. 22||Grass/Poison||Grass Knot, Magical Leaf, Poison Sting, Stun Spore||Natural Cure|
Follow this strategy to defeat her:
- Grotle: An easy fight if you caught a Starly (that should be a Staravia, evolves at level 14) and taught it Pluck. If you have a Zubat, evolve it to Golbat (at level 22) and fight with it.
- Monferno: Easy win, just use your Fire-type attacks, and you’ll be done.
- Prinplup: You can use it if it has some Flying-type attacks (Like Pluck), but if you don’t want to be risky, we recommend using Flying-type Pokémon (Staravia, Golbat, Murkrow) or even a Ponyta.
The next destination will be Hearthome City.
Third Badge: Fantina, Hearthome City’s Gym Leader
After passing the Cycling Road, Route 206, Route 207, and Route 208, you’ll be in Hearthome City, fighting against Fantina, a Ghost-type leader.
Time to fight against Fantina, this will be her team:
|Duskull, Lv. 12||Ghost||Will-O-Wisp, Shadow Sneak, Future Sight, Pursuit||Levitate|
|Haunter, Lv. 12||Ghost/Poison||Confuse Ray, Shadow Claw, Hypnosis, Sucker Punch||Levitate|
|Mismagius, Lv. 14||Ghost||Confuse Ray, Psybeam, Shadow Ball, Magical Leaf||Levitate|
This is where we can use the Gastly or the Misdreavus that we caught on Eterna Forest. But if we don’t have one, then things will be much more challenging.
- Grotle and Luxio can learn Bite, and the fight will be easier with it.
- Mismagius will instantly defeat Prinplup with Magical Leaf, so we don’t recommend doing this battle with it.
- Monferno can’t handle Psybeam, and you can’t use Fighting-type moves against Mismagius, so you’ll have to opt for other Pokémon.
So, our recommendation is to have a Luxio with Bite. Otherwise, this battle will be tough.
Fourth Badge: Maylene, Veilstone City’s Gym Leader
This will be a hard fight because Maylene has some strong Pokémon, and we’ll need a bit of strategy (or being stronger than her) to defeat her Pokémon.
This is Maylene’s team:
|Meditite, Lv. 28||Fighting/Psychic||Fake Out, Rock Tomb, Drain Punch, Confusion||Pure Power|
|Machoke, Lv. 29||Fighting||Strength, Karate Chop, Rock Tomb, Focus Energy.||Guts|
|Lucario, Lv. 32||Fighting/Steel||Drain Punch, Force Palm, Metal Claw, Bone Rush||Steadfast|
The easy way to defeat her: Staravia, Crobat or any other Flying-type Pokémon. Psychic-type attacks will damage her Pokémon too. We recommend not sleep, burn or poison Machoke since it has Guts, and that will make it stronger than usual.
The main problem here is Lucario. We recommend using Fire or Fighting-type attacks against it. Monferno (or Infernape if you evolved it) will help you, but if you don’t have it, then we recommend using Ponyta.
Fifth Badge: Crasher Wake, Pastoria City’s Gym Leader
Crasher Wake isn’t a menace if you have an Electric and a Grass-type Pokémon, but you’ll have problems otherwise. From now on, the rest of the gyms will be really hard.
This is Crasher Wake’s team:
|Gyarados, Lv. 33||Water/Flying||Rock Throw, Stealth Rock||Intimidate|
|Quagsire, Lv. 34||Water/Ground||Rock Throw, Screech, Stealth Rock||Damp|
|Floatzel, Lv. 37||Water||Headbutt, Leer, Pursuit||Swift Swim|
As we said, this battle can be easy or hard, depending on your team. You can get out of Gyarados without any problems with an Electric-type attack, and the same thing with Floatzel. Having a Luxray here is essential since it can handle most Floatzel attacks without fainting. And about Quagsire, it will not be an issue if you attack it with some Grass-type attacks.
Sixth Badge: Byron, Canalave City’s Gym Leader
This gym is challenging, but only because the gym puzzle itself is long, and it can get your team tired. The battle itself is manageable if you have a balanced team.
This is Byron’s team:
|Magneton, Lv. 37||Electric/Steel||Flash Cannon, Thunderbolt, Tri Attack, Metal Sound||Magnet Pull|
|Steelix, Lv. 38||Steel/Ground||Earthquake, Flash Cannon, Sandstorm, Ice Fang||Rock Head|
|Bastiodon, Lv. 41||Rock/Steel||Metal Burst, Stone Edge, Iron Defense, Taunt||Sturdy|
Magneton is easy to get down with a Ground-type attack; it will not be an issue. Steelix can be manageable, too, with Surf or your strongest Water-type attack. The problem here is Bastiodon.
Bastiodon is really strong. It can handle whatever you can do to it, so your strat here have to use brute force against it with some Fighting-type attacks, you know already: Infernape or if you don’t have one, Machoke. Don’t use Staraptor and Close Combat because Bastiodon has Stone Edge. Don’t use Fire on it because Rock-type can handle this kind of attacks.
Seventh Badge: Candice, Snowpoint City’s Gym Leader
Candice has some Ice-type Pokémon waiting for you. This battle will be a walk in the park if you have a Fire-type Pokémon, but if you don’t, then let’s explain what you can do here:
This is Candice’s team:
|Piloswine, Lv. 40||Ice/Ground||Earthquake, Avalanche, Stone Edge, Hail||Oblivious|
|Sneasel, Lv. 40||Dark/Ice||Aerial Ace, Faint Attack, Ice Shard, Slash||Keen Eye|
|Abomasnow, Lv. 42||Grass/Ice||Focus Blast, Avalanche, Wood Hammer, Water Pulse||Snow Warning|
|Froslass, Lv. 44||Ice/Ghost||Double Team, Blizzard, Shadow Ball, Psychic||Snow Cloak|
As we said, this will be a walk in the park with a Fire-type Pokémon on your team, but be careful with Piloswine since Earthquake can get rid of your Fire attacker.
We recommend using Water-type attacks here; it is the safest choice. If you have an Empoleon, it will be way better since it can learn Metal Claw and Drill Peck.
Sneasel can be defeated with a Fighting-type Pokémon, too; you’ll probably need only one hit. Abomasnow isn’t a problem either.
Lastly, Froslass. Some Dark-type attacks will be enough to get rid of it. It will be perfect if you have a Houndoom, but you don’t need it to defeat Froslass.
Last Badge: Volkner, Sunyshore City’s Gym Leader
Be sure you have a Ground-type Pokémon because this last gym will be the hardest. Volkner has no mercy.
This is Volkner’s team:
|Jolteon, Lv. 46||Electric||Charge Beam, Thunder Wave, Iron Tail, Quick Attack||Volt Absorb|
|Raichu, Lv. 46||Electric||Charge Beam, Signal Beam, Quick Attack, Focus Blast||Static|
|Luxray, Lv. 48||Electric||Thunder Fang, Fire Fang, Crunch, Ice Fang||Rivalry|
|Electivire, Lv. 50||Electric||Thunder Punch, Fire Punch, Giga Impact, Quick Attack||Motor Drive|
Discard any Rock-type Pokémon against Raichu since Focus Blast from Raichu will do a lot of damage to it. Earthquake against Raichu is your best bet.
Against Jolteon, use your Ground-type Pokémon, but be careful with your Rock-type Pokémon since it has Iron Tail.
Luxray is a tough one; if you fight against it with a Ground-type, it will use Ice Fang. We recommend trying to get it down with your strongest attack, or if you have a Normal-type Pokémon that can learn Earthquake, it will be a good strategy.
Another tip is to use a Fire-type Pokémon since Luxray doesn’t have a strong attack against it.
Electrivire will be easy if you have a Torterra or a Golem. Use Earthquake on it.
Before entering the league, we recommend buying a lot of Max Revives. You can do the league basically with a powerful Pokémon, but if you have a balanced team, then you have to listen to our tips.
Elite Four Aaron, Bug-type
|Yanmega, Lv. 49||Bug/Flying||Double Team, U-Turn, Air Slash, Bug Buzz||Speed Boost|
|Scizor, Lv. 49||Bug/Steel||Iron Head, X-Scissor, Night Slash, Quick Attack||Swarm|
|Vespiquen, Lv. 50||Bug/Flying||Attack Order, Defend Order, Heal Order, Power Gem||Pressure|
|Heracross, Lv. 51||Bug/Fighting||Close Combat, Megahorn, Stone Edge, Night Slash||Swarm|
|Drapion, Lv. 53||Poison/Dark||Cross Poison, X-Scissor, Aerial Ace, Ice Fang||Battle Armor|
You have to get Yanmega down as fast as you can since it has Speed Boost. Fire, Electric or even a Flying-type attack can quickly get it down. Scizor will not handle a single Fire attack so that you can get it down quickly.
Heracross and Vespiquen know Rock-type attacks to counter Flying-type Pokémon, but you are done with them if you hit them with Fly.
Drapion is an issue since it can counter your Ground-type Pokémon with Ice Fang. If you have an Empoleon, then you can get rid of it quickly, but if you haven’t then, we recommend Earthquake and trying to handle its damage.
Elite Four Bertha, Ground-type
|Whiscash, Lv. 50||Water/Ground||Earth Power, Sandstorm, Zen Headbutt, Aqua Tail||Oblivious|
|Gliscor, Lv. 53||Ground/Flying||Earthquake, Fire Fang, Ice Fang, Thunder Fang||Hyper Cutter|
|Golem, Lv. 52||Rock/Ground||Fire Punch, Thunder Punch, Earthquake, Sandstorm||Rock Head|
|Hippowdon, Lv. 52||Ground||Earthquake, Stone Edge, Crunch, Yawn||Sand Stream|
|Rhyperior, Lv. 55||Ground/Rock||Avalanche, Megahorn, Earthquake, Rock Wrecker||Lightning Rod|
You can efficiently deal with Bertha if you have a Grass or a Water-type Pokémon. Whiscash is weak against Grass attacks, and Golem and Rhyperior will have a bad time with a Water-type attack.
Gliscor, on the other hand, can’t handle Ice-type attacks. Ice Beam, Ice Fang or even Avalanche and you will be done with it.
Bertha’s big issue here is Hippowdon. Even if you hit it with Water-type attacks, it will handle them like a champion, so we recommend some brute force and trying to faint it quickly before it can attack you.
Elite Four Flint, Fire-type
|Houndoom, Lv. 52||Dark/Fire||Flamethrower, Sludge Bomb, Dark Pulse, Sunny Day||Early Bird|
|Flareon, Lv. 55||Fire||Overheat, Giga Impact, Quick Attack, Will-O-Wisp||Flash Fire|
|Rapidash, Lv. 53||Fire||Flare Blitz, Solar Beam, Bounce, Sunny Day||Run Away|
|Infernape, Lv. 55||Fire/Fighting||Flare Blitz, Thunder Punch, Mach Punch, Earthquake||Blaze|
|Magmortar, Lv. 57||Fire||Flamethrower, Thunderbolt, Solar Beam, Hyper Beam||Flame Body|
First of all, you can use your Water-type Pokémon here, but be careful with Infernape, Rapidash and Magmortar, since they have some moves to outplay your Water-type user. For Infernape, we recommend Ground or Flying-type attacks, and for Rapidash and Magmortar, we recommend Ground or Rock-type attacks.
And just don’t let Houndoom use Sunny Day. This shouldn’t be a problem for you afterwards.
Elite Four Lucian, Psychic-type
|Mr. Mime, Lv. 53||Psychic||Psychic, Light Screen, Reflect, Thunderbolt||Soundproof|
|Espeon, Lv. 55||Psychic||Psychic, Quick Attack, Shadow Ball, Signal Beam||Synchronize|
|Bronzong, Lv. 54||Steel/Psychic||Psychic, Gyro Ball, Calm Mind, Earthquake||Levitate|
|Alakazam, Lv. 56||Psychic||Psychic, Focus Blast, Recover, Energy Ball||Synchronize|
|Gallade, Lv. 59||Psychic/Fighting||Psycho Cut, Drain Punch, Leaf Blade, Stone Edge||Steadfast|
Here, we recommend attacking with a Luxray with Crunch; it’s a great option. You can basically win this battle with a Dark-type Pokémon. First of all, try to get Mr. Mime down as fast as possible; otherwise, it will use Light Screen or Reflect and halve your damage.
Use Fire with Bronzong, and don’t be afraid of its Earthquake because it is slow. Use Flying-type attacks with Gallade but be careful with the Stone Edge and use Dark-types with the rest of Lucian’s team.
|Spiritomb, Lv. 58||Ghost/Dark||Silver Wind, Dark Pulse, Shadow Ball, Psychic||Pressure|
|Roserade, Lv. 58||Grass/Poison||Sludge Bomb, Energy Ball, Extrasensory, Toxic||Natural Cure|
|Milotic, Lv. 58||Water||Mirror Coat, Dragon Pulse, Ice Beam, Surf||Marvel Scale|
|Lucario, Lv. 60||Fighting/Steel||Aura Sphere, Shadow Ball, Stone Edge, Extreme Speed||Steadfast|
|Togekiss, Lv. 60||Normal/Flying||Air Slash, Aura Sphere, Water Pulse, Shock Wave||Hustle|
|Garchomp, Lv. 62||Dragon/Ground||Dragon Rush, Flamethrower, Earthquake, Giga Impact||Sand Veil|
Cynthia’s battle is one of the hardest battles of all time, including newer and older games. But if you have a balanced team covering a good range of types and a good level, you don’t have to be afraid of the challenge. First of all, her Spiritomb. This Pokémon doesn’t have any weaknesses, so you have to focus on giving it your best hit. You can’t hit it with Psychic, Ghost or Normal-type attacks, don’t forget that.
Next: Roserade. It isn’t a big deal, just hit it with your best Flying or Fire-type attack, and you’ll be done.
Milotic is the choke point here, so we recommend not using Grass-type Pokémon against it since it can counter you with Ice Beam. Try to use Physical attacks instead of Special attacks since it has a Mirror Coat and can outplay you easily with it.
Lucario isn’t much of a problem; we learned how to get rid of a Lucario with Maylene, focusing on attacking it with Fire, Ground or Fighting-type attacks. Togekiss can be defeated with your best Electric attack; it doesn’t have anything harmful to your Electric user, so don’t be afraid and faint it quickly.
And lastly, Garchomp. At first glance, we can think of an Ice-type attack to try to get it down as quickly as possible, but Garchomp is really fast and can quickly get down your Ice-type Pokémon with Flamethrower. Our recommendation is to go brute force against it and use its dead time after a Giga Impact to attack it whenever you can.
Battle Against Cynthia in a Video
Question: How hard is Pokémon Platinum?
Answer: Pokémon Platinum is one of the hardest official games in the saga. This happens mostly because of the second half, where you get a lot of difficult battles.
Question: Which is the hardest battle on Pokémon Platinum?
Answer: The battle against Cynthia is the hardest battle of the game, her Milotic and her Garchomp are the toughest Pokémon in her team. But you can find harder battles in the post-game.
Question: Which starter is better to pick?
Answer: It will always depend on what do you want in your team since every starter has its own key features: Empoleon is a Water/Steel-type Pokémon that is also a big defensive wall, Torterra is a Grass/Ground-type Pokémon that can outplay any Electric-type Pokémon of Sinnoh and Infernape is a Fire/Fighting-type Pokémon that has the best attack of the three but is weak in the first half of the game.
Conclusion: Hall Of Fame and the Post-game
Pokémon Platinum, along with its other versions (Diamond and Pearl), are one of the most memorable games of the saga. Some of the battles in this game are remembered until this day, mainly because of the difficulty and ambiance of the game.
You are probably thinking you have completed the game, but wait for a second, because you are not done yet: you still have a lot of sites to explore, a battle frontier to dominate, a lot of legendary Pokémon to catch, and a Pokédex to complete, so don’t relax yet.
But for this moment, you are now the Sinnoh Champion; you deserve it. Welcome to the Hall of Fame.
- Pokemon Infinite Fusion Guide: Messing with Arceus’ Creations Introduction - May 2, 2023
- Pokemon Opalo Guide: Welcome To The Land of the Wind! - March 11, 2023
- Pokemon Crown Guide: Pokémon Meets Skyrim! - January 31, 2023