Some types make their presence known by name. Grass, Fire, Water, Electric, they all get the point across. Some are more subtle and frequently dependant upon secondary typing to achieve the same fame. Normal's the most immediate example, sure. But Flying's not far behind.
"Oh, this Pokemon flies," some will say. "Well, that's nice dear." And then they turn away forever, leaving behind a type that can be championship material in the right hands. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl offers a plethora of winged pals not just in the post-game but all throughout the initial tour of Sinnoh, so stick around a bit and see which birds are well worth befriending.
5 Xatu (National Dex)
Xatu's entire shtick revolves around one of its two potential abilities: Magic Bounce. Have you ever been poisoned, paralyzed, frozen in ice, badly burned, or put to sleep? Hopefully, the answer is no to all of the above (unless the sleep was for surgery or something). But these things do happen, all of the above and more.
Not to Xatu. Magic Bounce knocks most instances of status infliction right back at its opponents. On occasion, this could be a bad thing; some Pokemon actually thrive on such feats. By and large, however, it's not good news. Special Attack and Speed are the orders of the hour for the dressed-up penguin, and Psychic should thus be a fixture in any move pool. Its best option for Flying-type STAB ("Same Type Attack Bonus") is probably Air Slash, as it's one of a precious few special-based Flying attacks.
Despite its somewhat ice-loving appearance, Xatu has nothing to do with Ice-type critters, which is for the best since the Fire-elemental Heat Wave is one of its finest moves. Sinnoh has a serious shortage of Fire Pokemon which can lead some players to abandon the popular type outright, but you're still going to want something from the fiery category of ferociousness on your roster somewhere.
4 Honchkrow (Sinnoh Dex)
With its lovely 125 Attack stat, the Dark/Flying-type Honchkrow is better equipped than Xatu to take advantage of all those physical Flying moves. Brave Bird is a heck of a thing, with 120 base power boosted to a whopping 180 through STAB. But speaking of stabbing, Honchkrow will be smacked with recoil to the tune of one-third of whatever it delivers.
But enough with the numbers. Honchkrow is cool! It's a bird with a hat that isn't really a hat because the hat is technically part of its body. Imagine rocking a permanent hat. When it extends one wing, Honchkrow looks like some sort of mystical wizard. When it takes off in a soar, it looks dapper. Sting probably has an outfit like Honchkrow's feathers in his wardrobe somewhere. Honchkrow is basically an Englishman in New York.
Give your flying Englishman Sucker Punch for a Dark-type move and find a Murkrow with Insomnia so it never falls asleep. Actually, that's kind of a terrible thing to do to a Pokemon; maybe refrain.
3 Crobat (Sinnoh Dex)
Crobat is Poison/Flying. Electric, Ice, Fighting, and Rock attacks are not its friend. But Crobat can be your friend if you max a Golbat's happiness. That's all it takes. Make a Golbat happy. People should be doing that regardless.
It's in the realm of resistances that Crobat shines the brightest. Poison and Fairy are at half-strength here. Grass, Fighting, and Bug strike at one-quarter impulse. Ground does nothing, which is pretty much true of every Flying-type Pokemon in case you're looking for further reasons to nab one. And Speed! Oh, Crobat's Speed is impeccable. 130 is handily among the highest players will ever encounter outside of legendaries.
Let Crobat do what it does best: give it Toxic to badly poison its enemies, Brave Bird to do what Honchkrow does but in bat form, Cross Poison for its high critical-hit ratio, and Giga Drain to suck the lifeblood out of all those who dare to stand in its way.
2 Staraptor (Sinnoh Dex)
The boldest bird in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, Staraptor's Normal/Flying typing might not sound like much but it's so good at its job, and so easy to acquire (seriously, Starly is everywhere), that it's a routine member of plenty of parties. Staraptor is one of the strongest "starter birds" of any region, marrying high Attack with enough Speed to blitz prey and Roost when necessary.
Staraptor is amongst the most straightforward Pokemon in the Sinnoh Dex. It's everything it appears to be, with the prolific Brave Bird and Normal-type menace Giga Impact both serving the aerial predator well. Some players prefer to tuck a Choice Scarf under Staraptor's chin, significantly upping its Speed but preventing it from using any move beyond the first it selects in battle until it switches out or the fighting fades. If that doesn't sound like fun, Tailwind can take up a slot in its move pool to double its Speed — as well as the Speed of an ally on the field in double battles! — for four whole turns.
As an aside, the best Nature that Staraptor can possess is Jolly. It bolsters the avian ace's Speed by ten percent but reduces Special Attack by the same degree. This isn't a problem so long as trainers don't saddle Staraptor with special-based techniques. With a base stat of 50, Staraptor should never, ever be packing one of those, to begin with.
1 Ho-Oh (National Dex)
It's hard to argue with Ho-Oh. Its Attack and Special Defense make for an odd mix, but that's part of the charm. It turns Pokemon's one true phoenix into a cornerstone member of many teams who can withstand special sweepers and pop every pocket monster with a distinctive physical weakness straight into submission.
Ho-Oh's signature move, Sacred Fire, goes from 100 to 150 base power courtesy of its incredibly obvious STAB. Recover keeps it flying high and if you're tired of watching us recommend Brave Bird, try Sky Attack instead. It takes a turn to charge, but its sheer might, high critical-hit ratio, and 30 percent chance to make the target flinch paints it like a hyper-powered Hyper Beam. Plus, it's a phoenix swooping down from the heavens. That might be the single most metal thing Game Freak has ever delivered.
Shining Pearl owners shouldn't sob if they're "stuck" with Lugia instead. The bird's a beast with better Defense at the expense of a slightly lower Attack. Both of Johto's old "box legendaries" boast impeccable Speed but Lugia eschews Fire in favor of Psychic. If your young avatar began their journey with Infernape, Lugia is likely the more desirable of the pair. Either way, you can't go wrong with them. Just be prepared to wait a long time for the chance to catch; these are post-game Pokemon through and through.
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