In Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl (BDSP), players can choose between 3 starters:
- Turtwig: Grass-type
- Chimchar: Fire-type
- Piplup: Water-type
Historically, starter Pokemon have always been solid choices for building out your team of Pokemon. Their final evolutions have high base stats, compete in competitive play, and have great typings that offer powerful offensive and defensive benefits.
But for players who want to min-max their starters to their highest potential, you’ll need to take advantage of a Pokemon’s Nature.
Explaining Pokemon Natures
To make it short, a Pokemon’s Nature will increase one stat by 10% while decreasing another by 10%.
So a Pokemon specializing in Special Attack will want a Nature that improves its Special Attack while decreasing its Attack stat. The 10% difference adds up when leveling your Pokemon. And when you have a team of 6 Pokemon with the best Nature for each one, your team will be very powerful.
And the starters in BDSP benefit from having the right Nature.
How to Change a Starter Pokemon’s Nature in BDSP
Since starter Pokemon are offered to you at the beginning of the game, the best way to get the right Nature is to “save scum.” You’ll have to save the game before selecting your starter. Once you begin the first battle, you can check your starter’s stats during battle to see if it has the right Nature.
If it doesn’t, you’ll have to reload and try again until you get the Nature you want.
This is time-consuming and not fun. So we recommend waiting until the postgame to breed starters with the right Nature. The BDSP games are easy enough that you can beat the main story without needing to focus on having a min-maxed team.
Now let’s get on to the best Natures for Turtwig, Chimchar, and Piplup.
The Best Nature for Turtwig
Turtwig is a Grass-type starter. Turtwig evolves into Grotle at level 18, and its final evolution is Torterra at level 32. Torterra changes from being a pure Grass-type to being a dual Grass and Ground-type.
Since Torterra is the final evolution in the Turtwig line, we’ll want to see how Torterra’s base stats are affected by Turtwig’s Nature. Here are Torterra’s base stats.
As you can see above, Torttera is a tank of a Pokemon specializing in HP, Attack, and Defense, while having low Speed and Special Attack. Due to Torterra’s base stats, Turtwig has three options for its best Nature:
- Adamant: Attack up, Special Attack down
- Careful: Special Defense up, Special Attack down
- Impish: Defense up, Special Attack down
The best Nature for Turtwig, Grotle, and Torterra is Impish, which improves their stellar Defense and reduces their weak Special Attack stat.
Impish is the best Nature for Turtwig, Grotle, and Torterra because it increases their survivability even more. Their Attack stat is already high enough, so they don’t need any more attack power. Because of their slow Speed, Turtwig and its evolutions will almost attack last on every turn. So it would be best if you focused on using the Impish Nature because it’ll help Torterra improve its survivability so it can continue to deliver more potent hits.
For reference, here is Torterra’s best move set:
- Stealth Rock
- Wood Hammer
Since Torterra already has a low Special Attack stat, its best move set won’t use Special Attacks. So it’s ok to let Torterra’s Special Attack be lower.
The Best Nature for Chimchar
Chimchar is a Fire-type starter. Chimchar evolves into Monferno at level 14; its final evolution is Infernape at level 36. Both Monferno and Infernape are dual Fire and Fighting-type.
Since Infernape is the final evolution in the Chimchar line, we’ll want to see how Infernape’s base stats are affected by Chimchar’s Nature. Here are Infernape’s base stats.
As you can see above, Infernape is a speedy Pokemon with high Attack and Special Attack while being somewhat of a defensive liability. Infernape is all about hitting first and aiming for one-hit KOs. Due to Infernape’s base stats, Chimchar has four options for its best Nature:
- Adamant: Attack up, Special Attack down
- Hasty: Speed up, Defense down
- Jolly: Speed up, Special Attack down
- Naive: Speed Up, Special Defense down
The best Nature for Chimchar, Monferno, and Infernape is Jolly, which improves their Speed and reduces their Special Attack. Even though Infernape has equal stats in Attack and Special Attack, most of its best moves are physical attacks that benefit from the Attack stat. You can safely reduce Special Attack to focus on speeding up Infernape, so it almost always attacks first with hard-hitting physical moves like Flare Blitz and Close Combat.
For reference, here is Infernape’s best move set:
- Flare Blitz
- Close Combat
- Stone Edge
While moves like Flamethrower and Fire Blast are powerful options for Inferape, they require too much investment in the Special Attack stat. It’s better to let Chimchar, Monferno, and Infernape have high Speed and Attack so they can attempt to end battles in one turn. Because of Monferno and Infernape’s dual Fire and Fighting-type, it gets the 50% damage boost from the Same Type Attack Bonus (STAB) using moves like Flare Blitz and Close Combat.
The Best Nature for Piplup
Piplup is a Water-type starter. Piplup evolves into Prinplup at level 16, and its final evolution is Empoleon at level 36.
Since Empoleon is the final evolution in the Piplup line, we’ll want to see how Empoleon’s base stats are affected by Piplup’s Nature.
As you can see above, Empoleon is a somewhat defensive Pokemon that focuses on Special Attack and Special Defense. Empoleon isn’t as fast as Infernape or tanky as Torterra, but it’s still a well-balanced Pokemon. Due to Empoleon’s base stats, Piplup has four options for its best Nature:
- Calm: Special Defense up, Attack down
- Modest: Special Attack up, Attack down
- Rash: Special Attack up, Special Defense down
- Timid: Speed up, Attack down
The best Nature for Piplup, Prinplup, and Empoleon is Calm, which improves their Special Defense and reduces their Attack.
Calm is the best Nature for Piplup, Prinplup, and Empoleon because it increases their Special Defense even more. Their Attack stat is already high enough, so they don’t need any more attack power. Because of their slow Speed, Piplup and its evolutions will almost attack last on every turn. So it would be best if you focused on using the Calm Nature because it’ll help Empoleon improve its survivability so it can continue to deliver stronger hits.
For reference, here is Empoleon’s best move set:
- Stealth Rock
Since Empoleon has a low Special Attack stat, its best move set won’t use physical attacks, so it’s ok to let Empoleon’s Special Attack be lower.