The secret to training powerful Pokémon in scarlet and purple

A Pokémon Trainer is seen charging his Tera Orb and raising it above his head.

Terrastallizing isn’t the only way to power up a Pokemon.
Screenshot: The Pokémon Company / Kotaku

For most players, Pokemon games are a pretty straightforward affair of attacking enemies’ weaknesses and scoring that sweet one-shot. But Pokemon it can get incredibly overwhelming once you start playing competitively. What is an intravenous line? What is an EV but the cute brown fox that can evolve into a bunch of other more colorful and elaborate foxes?

In fact, they refer to hidden numbers and back-end math that competitive gamers like to tweak and manipulate to create the strongest versions of their favorite ‘mons’. EV and IV stand for effort values ​​and individual values. These hidden numbers determine the final state of a Pokémon’s six stats, and understanding how they work and how to influence them can give you an advantage in competitive battles. Let’s take a closer look.

A group of students with their partner Pokémon are seen attending a Pokémon fighting class.  The instructor is standing in the middle of a battlefield while the students listen from the sidelines.

Listen up, students! It’s time to learn how to make your Pokémon the best.
Screenshot: The Pokémon Company / Kotaku

No Eevee… EV!

Manipulating effort values ​​is a huge investment of time, as they are completely based on what you expose a Pokémon to when you breed it. Each Pokemon has up to 510 total EVs to distribute among the six stats, but each stat can only have 252 EVs individually.

You increase EVs by using items like vitamins and feathers, each of which increase specific stats. Vitamins are the most effective out of the box, as each will increase an individual stat by 10 EVs. Before pokemon sword Y ArmorVitamins were only effective up to a Pokemon’s first 100 EVs, but now, these items will work to max an individual stat up to the ceiling of 252. Feathers aren’t that powerful, raising an EV by only one point. Pretty straightforward so far, but influencing a Pokemon’s EVs while training them in battle requires a bit more planning.

Each Pokemon you fight grants specific EV boosts when you defeat it, often reflecting its own base stats. The amount of EV you will get per stat depends on how powerful the Pokemon you are fighting is. For example, if your Pokemon beats Pichu, it will add one EV point to your creature’s Speed ​​stat. However, if you’re fighting his fully evolved form Raichu, that will give you three Speed ​​EV points. If you feel so compelled, you could go hitting a bunch of Pichu off guard to boost a Pokemon’s Speed ​​EVs, but you’ll hit the 252 specific stat cap much faster if you’re fighting more powerful Pokemon.

However, some Pokemon don’t dump all of their EVs into a single stat like Raichu does. Take Butterfree, for example. It splits its three EVs into Special Attack and Special Defense. So while there are better Pokemon to battle for any individual stat, defeating Pokemon that give you a variety of EVs is one way to increase multiple EVs at once. It’s just a matter of your stat-boosting goals and how you want to spend your time.

One thing worth noting about electric vehicles is that because modern Pokemon Games allow a whole party to gain experience after battles, the EVs gained are shared among your party as they gain experience, even if they are not on the field. So keep in mind what you’re training against and what Pokemon you have waiting to join the fight, as their EVs will be influenced by these battles, even if you’re not using them directly.

Grinding EVs can take some time, but you can speed up the process of increasing specific EV stats by equipping Pokemon with power items that correlate to a specific stat, such as the Power Anklet that increases speed EVs or the Power Belt. which increases defense EVs. . All of these can be purchased at Delibird Presents stores for $10,000 each.

A trainer is seen talking to a man in a snowy area and standing next to an Abomasnow.  The speech bubble of him says,

This man will help your Pokémon overcome their natural stat deficiencies.
Screenshot: The Pokémon Company / Kotaku

“The circumstances of birth are irrelevant”

The individual values, known as IV, are a bit more complicated. IVs are essentially Pokémon genetics, in the sense that they are stat boosts inherent to the specific Pokémon you have, ranging from zero points up to 31 points. Once unchangeable, the Pokemon The series has implemented various ways to influence them over the years.

Imagine you have two level 100 Raichus and one has 31 Speed ​​IV and the other has zero. Even if you trained these two Raichus in the exact same way and selected the same EV build, the one born with 31 speed IV would have a speed stat 31 points higher than the other. Many competitive players will breed Pokemon to try and achieve optimal IVs, as parent Pokemon pass down higher IVs based on their own to their offspring.

In newer games, Pokemon has given players the ability to “Hyper Train” their ‘mons to increase their IVs in exchange for Bottle Caps. This can be done in places like Montenevera in Scarlet Y Violet talking to a trainer near the city’s Pokémon Center. Bottle caps can be hard to come by. You can buy them at the Delibird Presents stores around Paldea, but they are quite expensive at $20,000 per cap. You can also earn them in high level tera raids, but often just as a random drop. So while it may seem more immediate to be able to use Hyper Training, acquiring those Bottle Caps can take time, which is why some players opt to max out Ditto’s IVs and use them to breed better versions of whatever Pokemon they’re dealing with. increase.

An image of Pokémon Violet shows Raichu's moves and stats, including effort values.

My Raichu is not EV/IV optimized, I’m just showing you the menu where you look at them. Do not yell at me. He is a good boy.
Screenshot: The Pokémon Company / Kotaku

Just tell them it’s nature Pokémon.”

But no matter what a Pokemon’s EVs and IVs are, a few additional factors will determine whether or not it’s inherently effective on certain builds compared to others.

Each Pokemon has a set of base stats inherent to its species that grow as you breed your creature, and the direction of those numbers will be determined by how its EVs and IVs develop. Raichu’s base stats position it as a fast Pokémon boosted by special attacks. He has a base speed stat of 110, and his special attack stat of 95 dwarfs his base physical attack stat, which is 85.

This helps you determine which attacks are likely to be most effective for you to learn. His physical attack stat is still respectable, but at a glance, Raichu is primarily meant to be a special attacker. Understanding EVs and IVs can help you turn those scales around, or at least make up for certain shortcomings. Raichu’s base Physical Defense stat is much lower than the rest, coming in at just 50, so if you want to help offset that, boosting his IVs through Hyper Training or fighting Pokemon that naturally increase Raichu’s EVs physical defense can help you increase a little. But those base stats can be influenced by another factor that can affect how you split up your EVs and IVs: Natures.

In addition to their universal base stats as a species, each individual Pokémon you come across will also come with a Nature. These appear on the status summary screens as a means of giving you an idea of ​​your Pokémon’s personality, but they also determine an increased stat and a decreased stat. As such, some players will breed multiple versions of a Pokemon in an effort to get one with the most desirable nature and stat distribution for the build they desire.

There are 25 Natures in total in Pokemon games right now, and the stats going up and down are as follows, courtesy of Serebii:

Hardy: No change
Solitaire: Attack/Defense
Brave: Attack/Speed
Adamant: Attack/Special Attack
Naughty: Special Attack/Defense
Bold: Defense/Attack
tame: no change
Relaxed: Defense/Speed
Impish: Defense/Speed
Lax: Defense/Special Defense
Shy: Speed/Attack
Hasty: Speed/Defense
Serious: No change
Jolly: Speed/Special Attack
Naive: Speed/Special Defense
Modest: Special Attack/Attack
Light: special attack/defense
Silent: special attack/speed
Shy: No change
Eruption: Special Attack/Special Defense
Calm: Special Defense/Attack
Soft: Special Defense/Defense
Sassy: Special Defense/Speed
Beware: Special Defense/Special Attack
Extravagant: no change

While Natures themselves are fixed, Sword Y Armor introduced Mints, a new set of items that can change the stat distribution associated with them. For example, a Modest Mint will increase a Pokémon’s Special Attack, but lower the Attack stat as if the Pokémon’s Nature had changed. This won’t change the actual personality he talks about in his summary (that would be brainwashing), but it will allow you to adjust his stats for whatever competitive scheme you may have in mind.

A Raichu is seen smiling at the camera in a grassy area.

He is happy because I just told him that we are going to change his EV/IV so that my city the comments will not roast it for its unoptimized construction.
Screenshot: The Pokémon Company / Kotaku

Different pokes for different people

All of these moving parts can be a lot to keep up with, and these mechanics really are there for the sickest of competitive psychopaths. It can be rewarding to get a Pokémon to the competitive state you want and see it excel in battles, but it’s also a huge investment of time to get your team’s numbers dialed accurately. But if you are curious about the world of competition Pokemon, understanding EVs and IVs is a good metric for whether or not this side of the scene is for you. And if not, you can still do cool tera raids with your friends, just like the current ones. charizard one happening in Scarlet Y Violet now.

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