How to beat Roark in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl

Rock ‘n Roll with Roark.

Screenshot by Gamepur

Oreburgh City is home to the first gym in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Roark is a Rock-type specialist with no special puzzle. Either avoid or fight the two trainers in his gym before facing off against Roark himself. Besting him will earn you the Coal Badge and the ability to use Rock Smash from the Pokétch in the overworld. 

Coal Badge

Image via Nintendo

If you chose Chimchar, getting to level 14 is your best bet. You’ll get the same type ability boost (STAB) from Power-up Punch, a Fighting-type move that increases your attack stat, to make those super-effective attacks hit harder against Roark’s rocks. Piplup or Turtwig starters will have a breeze, but all three Pokémon can sweep this gym solo. Budew (Grass/Poison) and Bibarel (Normal/Water) are also good options if you need extra muscle.

His Geodude and Onix aren’t too impressive. Rock head doesn’t factor into any attacks, and Onix is incredibly slow. Cranidos has an insane attack stat so do your best to knock it out immediately. If any of his Pokémon use Stealth Rocks, all incoming Pokémon on your side of the field, assuming you have to switch, will take Rock-type damage when entering battle. 


Image via Nintendo

When you rematch Roark, he’ll have some upgrades in his team and a new strategy. Roark now runs a Sand team and some competitively trained Pokémon to support it. He’ll lead off with Tyranitar, who will set the sandstorm with its Sand Stream ability. Stealth Rock is on half of his team, so consider bringing a Defogger or Rapid-Spinner with you to deny entry hazards. 

You could bring Pokémon that negate weather effects or set their own. We advise you to consider the chip damage you’ll need on Probopass to break its Focus Sash. Fighting, Water, Ground, Electric, and Steel attacks will chew through Roark’s team and earn you one Stone Sticker A.