Best Monotype Runs for Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum

As I am writing and submitting this blog post, Pokémon Go is releasing Sinnoh Pokémon onto the streets. Now, I love the different generations for one reason or another but Generation 4 seems to have a special place in my heart as that was when I got back into Pokémon after a long hiatus. In particular, Pokémon Platinum ranks as one of my favorite Pokémon games as they took Diamond and Pearl and improved everything about those games making a stellar classic.

But we’re here to determine which types are the best for a Monotype (or Single Type) Run which is a run where you only catch and train one type of Pokémon. And unfortunately, the Sinnoh games are hit or miss. Although more Pokémon are introduced, Diamond and Pearl only have 150 Pokémon available so you get some pretty average runs. Platinum thankfully adds 60 more Pokémon to Sinnoh which makes a lot of types doable or splendid.

I’ve written previous articles on Monotype Run so check those out. But for those who are unfamiliar here are the rules.

  1. Only Pokémon of a certain type may be caught and trained.
  2. You must catch the first Pokémon available of that type if your starter does not match that type (you’ll then have to disregard that starter).
  3. You may train a Pokémon that evolves to said type as long as you do it ASAP.
  4. No trading allowed
  5. Only Pokémon caught before Elite Four are counted.

Monotype Chart 2.02Without further ado, let’s take a look! A list of full team combinations can be found below as well.

 

The Best Types

Starting with the top tier I’d say the Water, Poison, Normal, Psychic, Steel, and Fighting types are types you should go for due to their commonality, early availability and type coverage. This is the first time in the series where Poison can defend itself against Psychic attacks thanks to Drapion and Stuntank and when you have Roserade, Toxicroak, Crobat, and Tentacruel backing you up you’re in for a good time. Fighting types meanwhile have a near consistent occurrence-rate as you have Chimchar as your starter and then later you got Medicham, Toxicroak, and, of course, Lucario. Water is splendid as usual but this run is unique as you got Empoleon who is incredibly rare and amazing.  Empoleon’s presence also makes the Sinnoh games a hidden gem for a Steel team, definitely don’t miss it here.

Meanwhile, Platinum improves these types further and make Ground and Flying types entertaining…thanks tooooo Gliscor! Gliscor’s amazing type combo improves both of those types and come-on, it’s Gliscor, they’re the best.  You also can train a Mamoswine for Ground and  a Togekiss and Yanmega for Flying.

 

The Worst Types

Like routine, Dragon and Ice are types I strongly urge against. Even with Platinum these types suffer due to late game availability (especially Ice), limited selections, and poor coverage. Additionally, if you’re playing Diamond or Pearl, Fire and Electric are pretty abysmal. Sure, you can catch both types early on but there are hardly any of them. Platinum improves their diversity and makes them more doable but it will definitely not be a walk in the park.   Dark types are also rather dismal if your playing Pearl or Platinum as they’re available mid-game at best and there’s a lackluster diversity. Thankfully, in Diamond, you can catch a Murkrow in Eterna Forest after the first gym.

 

Spiritomb

If you already skipped ahead and looked through the list, you may have noticed Spiritomb is missing from the Dark and Ghost type lists. That’s because he’s one of the hardest non-legendary Pokémon to catch. You need to get the Old Keystone, which itself is not too difficult, but you also have to talk to 32 people in the underground. They have to be actual people too and not NPCs! Thankfully, you’ll only need one other person with Diamond/Pearl/Platinum to do it. However, because you need an additional copy of the game in order to get Spiritomb this technically disqualifies Spiritomb based on our rules. Nevertheless, Dark type still has neutral coverage thanks to Drapion.

 

Team Combinations

Bug

Ideal Team: Vepiquen, Wormadam (Steel and Ground form), Heracross, Dustox, Mothim/Yanmega (Platinum)/Scyther (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Kricketune, Beautifly

First Pokémon: Kricketot via Route 202 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire not neutralized

 

Dark

Ideal Team:  Drapion, Weavile

Optional Pokémon: Absol (Platinum), Honchkrow (Diamond), Stuntank (Diamond), Houndoom (Platinum), Umbreon (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Murkrow can be caught at Eterna Forest after the first gym in Diamond. In Pearl, you can catch a Skorupi in the Great Marsh well after the third gym. In Platinum, you can acquire an Eevee in Hearthome City just before the third gym.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Dragon

Ideal Team: Garchomp, Dialga (Diamond)/Palkia (Pearl)/Giratina (Platinum), Altaria (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Gible in Wayward Cave. In Diamond and Pearl you need strength which is after the 6th gym. In Platinum, strength is not required and you can catch one after the second gym.

Covers Weaknesses? Only in Diamond thanks to Dialga but in the other two versions, Pearl has a Dragon weakness and Platinum has both a Dragon and Ice weakness

 

Electric

Ideal Team: Luxray, Raichu, Jolteon (Platinum), Rotom (Platinum), Magnezone (Platinum), Electabuzz (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Pachirisu

First Pokémon: Shinx in Route 202 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Only in Platinum, in Diamond and Pearl the Ground type is not neutralized.

 

Fairy (technically doesn’t exist yet but if it did…)

Ideal Team: Mr. Mime, Clefable, Azumarill, Gardevoir (Platinum), Togekiss (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Cleffa/Clefairy in Mt Coronet after the second gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Steel or Poison not covered

 

Fighting

Ideal Team: Infernape, Heracross, Toxicroak, Medicham, Lucario, Gallade (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Machoke

First Pokémon: Chimchar via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Fire

Ideal Team: Infernape, Rapidash, Flareon (Platinum), Houndoom (Platinum), Magmar (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Chimchar via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ground and Water not neutralized

 

Flying

Ideal Team: Gyarados, Vespiquen/Yanmega (Platinum), Drifblim, Honchkrow (Diamond), Gliscor (Platinum), Tropius (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Staraptor/Noctowl/Chatot/Togekiss (Platinum), Pelipper/Mantine

First Pokémon: Starly via Route 201

Covers Weaknesses? Only in Platinum, in Diamond and Pearl the Electric and Rock types are not neutralized.

 

Ghost

Ideal Team: Haunter, Drifblim, Dusclops (Platinum)/Mismagius (Diamond), Rotom (Platinum), Froslass (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Giratina (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Drifloon on Fridays at the Valley Windworks before the second gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark moves are not neutralized

 

Grass

Ideal Team: Torterra, Roserade, Wormadam, Abomasnow, Leafeon (Platinum), Tropius (Platinum)

Optional Pokemon: Carnivine

First Pokémon: Turtwig via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire and Flying not covered

 

Ground

Ideal Team: Torterra, Hippowdon, Garchomp, Gastrodon/Quagsire/Whiscash, Gliscor (Platinum)/Steelix, Mammoswine (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Onix, Wormadam

First Pokémon: Turtwig via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Ice

Ideal Team: Abomasnow, Weavile, Glaceon (Platinum), Mammoswine (Platinum), Froslass (Platinum), Glalie (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Snover/Sneasel in Diamond and Pearl on Route 216 after the sixth gym or Eevee in Hearthome City in Platinum just before the third gym.

Covers Weaknesses? No, all versions weak to Fire and Steel. Diamond/Pearl additionally weak to Rock and Fighting

 

Normal

Ideal Team: Starraptor/Togekiss (Platinum), Clefable, Snorlax, Girafarig, Ambipom, Lopunny

Optional Pokémon: Bibarel, Chatot, Noctowl, Blissey, Purugly (Pearl), Lickilicky (Platinum), Porygon (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Starly and Bidoof in Route 201

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Poison

Ideal Team: Roserade, Crobat, Drapion, Toxicroak, Tentacruel, Dustox

Optional Pokémon: Haunter, Stuntank (Diamond)

First Pokémon: Zubat via Route 203 and 204 and Budew via Route 204 both of which can be caught before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Psychic

Ideal Team: Mr. Mime/Gardevoir (Platinum), Bronzong, Medicham/Gallade (Platinum), Kadabra, Girafarig, Espeon (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Chimecho

First Pokémon: Abra via Route 203 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Rock

Ideal Team: Graveler, Onix, Rampardos (Diamond and Platinum)/Bastiodon (Pearl and Platinum), Probopass (Platinum), Sudowoodo, Rhydon (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Geodude either Oreburgh Gate or Ravaged Path before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, in all versions Water, Ground and Fighting moves are not neutralized. In Diamond, the Rock type is additionally weak to Grass and Steel moves.

Notes: Please be aware that you can only get Rampardos OR Bastiodon in Platinum!  It depends on your Trainer ID number.  If the last digit is even you get a Bastiodon and if it’s odd you get a Rampardos.

 

Steel

Ideal Team: Empoleon, Bastiodon (Pearl and Platinum [need an ID that ends with an even number])/Probopass (Platinum), Bronzong, Lucario, Steelix, Magnezone (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Dialga (Diamond), Wormadam

First Pokémon: Piplup via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes, provided you get a Bronzong that has the Levitate Ability.

 

Water

Ideal Team: Empoleon, Quagsire/Whiscash/Gastrodon, Gyarados/Mantine, Tentacruel, Octillery, Vaporeon (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Golduck, Milotic, Azumarill, Floatzel, Lumineon, Palkia (Pearl)

First Pokémon: Piplup via Starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

7 thoughts on “Best Monotype Runs for Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum

  1. George

    I’m really enjoying all these lists! As someone who’s done a mono-Steel run of Platinum I noticed that you left Scizor out of the Steel list, which is a really good team member.

    Reply
    1. Andy Post author

      Thank you! I’m glad you’ve been liking them. I love the Steel run too in platinum, especially with that sweet Empoleon. Unfortunately, I had to leave out Scizor because my personal rules are no trading (this makes it more of a challenge and it prevents the lists from going crazy). However, you can get a Steelix in this game which is odd Gamefreak didn’t do that for Scizor as well…

      Reply
  2. SupremeSplatavius

    I’m planning on doing a Steel run of Platinum, but even though I’d have a Steelix by the Electric Gym, I noticed that the only Steel type that I can get at the time of the Grass Gym (not including the unevolved Piplup/Prinplup) is the lackluster Trashy Wormadam. I just don’t feel like training up a Burmy, just to chuck it the PC afterwards.

    Do you think I’d be able to just over-level my Piplup/Prinplup and spam Peck to win?

    Reply
    1. Andy Post author

      Yeah I think so. I agree though that the first part of the game is a bit rough. But I think if you level up enough you should be fine. Although I do have a question, what is the last digit of your Trainer ID? If it’s even then you can find a Shieldon fossil (Armor fossil) in the Underground which you can get the kit for at Eterna City and then revive it back at Oreburgh City. That will give you some variety at least.

      Reply
      1. SupremeSplatavius

        I haven’t got the game yet, but I do know some good Rom sites and have downloaded a working Emulator. I’ll keep this in mind though, thanks.

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