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Each Pokémon has six stats - HP, Attack, Defense, Speed, Special Attack and Special Defense. Effort Values are like points - each time you battle a wild Pokémon or an in-game trainer's Pokémon, it will increase your stat's EV count by a certain amount of points, for example, beating a wild Gardevoir or a trainers Charizard will increase your Special Attack EVs by 3. For every 4 EVs you earn, the base stat raises by one point (note this applies to Pokémon at lv100 only - at any other level, you may not notice an increase until more EVs are acquired). In other words, take the number of EVs, divide it by 4, and round it down to the nearest whole number. This gives you the stat increase.
Each stat can have a maximum of 255 EVs. So that means if you were to fight a wild Gardevoir 100 times, you'll only have 255 EVs instead of 300 (100 x 3). A Pokémon with 255 EVs for Defense (Or 254, 253, 252 since they are divided by four and round down to the same number) will have 63 points more than a Pokémon with 0 EVs for Defense.
Be careful though, a Pokémon can only hold a maximum of 510 EVs. That means, the sum of the EVs for HP, Attack, Defense, Speed, Special Attack and Special Defense must not exceed 510. Therefore, it's possible to max out two of a Pokémon's stats, whether it be Attack and Defense, or HP and Speed, or whatever. Careful planning means that you can have 252 for one, 252 for another, and 6 in another, meaning you max out two stats, and increase the last by 1. I suggest speed if you haven't done it already, as one point can make all the difference if you and your opponent are using the same Pokémon with EV boosted stats. For example, I both you and your opponent are using a Golem Yours has boosted HP/Defense and his has Attack/HP. Well if their both LvL 100 then the speed stats would be the same, so that 1 point causes you to go first.
Using EV's Effectively
It is obvious that maxing out EVs is a great training method to make your Pokémon that much stronger. With 510 EVs to distribute between 6 stats, however, how should one go about gaining EVs? The distribution of EVs on a Pokémon is more commonly known as its EV Spread. When planning what EV Spread should be used for a Pokémon, you have to consider the moves that the Pokémon knows.
As stated before, EVs are gained when you battle and defeat wild Pokémon or in-game Trainers, excluding the Trainers in the Battle Frontier and Battle Tower facilities. As a rule of thumb, if you gain Experience in a battle, you are gaining EVs as well, just that EVs are hidden values and are not shown to you.
The fact that EVs are hidden means that there is no way for you to know how many EVs your Pokémon has accumulated. As such, you should manually keep track of the EVs that your Pokémon have gained, so as to avoid learning the wrong amount of EVs.
There is, however, one in-game method to check if your Pokémon has already maxed out its EVs. In Diamond or Pearl, go to the lady behind the counter at Sunyshore Market and speak to her. In Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald, go to the stall in the lower left and speak to the woman there. If your lead Pokémon has already maxed out its EVs, you can get an Effort Ribbon from her. Apart from this, there are no other methods of telling how many EVs your Pokémon have.
EV Training a Pokémon refers to letting the Pokémon gain the correct EVs according to your plans for the Pokémon's EV Spread. In short, you would have to battle 510 Pokémon to max out your Pokémon's EVs, assuming each of the 510 Pokémon give only one EV each.
EV Booster Shot
With 510 EVs to gain, EV-training can be a daunting task. Thankfully, there are a variety of items and features which will go a long way towards helping you gain those EVs.
When a Pokémon is holding a Macho Brace, it will gain double the EVs per Pokémon beaten. As such, defeating a wild Pidgey will net you 2 Speed EVs instead of just 1. Note that your Pokémon's Speed is halved when it is holding the Macho Brace. However, it is just a temporary effect, so once the Macho Brace is removed, the effect will be gone.
Introduced in Diamond and Pearl, there are six new items that speed up EV training for a certain stat. Unfortunately, like Macho Brace, these items cut the user's Speed while wearing that item. Listed below are the effects of the Power items:
- Power Weight - Gains 4 extra HP EVs after every battle
- Power Bracer - Gains 4 extra Attack EVs after every battle
- Power Belt - Gains 4 extra Defense EVs after every battle
- Power Lens - Gains 4 extra Special Attack EVs after every battle
- Power Band - Gains 4 extra Special Defense EVs after every battle
- Power Anklet - Gains 4 extra Speed EVs after every battle
Each of the Power Items can be bought at the cost of 16 Battle Points at the Battle Tower, but well worth it when you are EV training for commonly used EVs like Speed and Attack.
Vitamins, unlike the Macho Brace, instantly give a Pokémon EVs, instead of helping it to gain them faster. There is a specific vitamin for each stat. Listed here are the effects of the vitamins:
- HP Up - Increases HP by 10 EVs
- Protein - Increases Attack by 10 EVs
- Iron - Increases Defense by 10 EVs
- Carbos - Increases Speed by 10 EVs
- Calcium - Increases Special Attack by 10 EVs
- Zinc - Increases Special Defense by 10 EVs
Vitamins can be obtained in a variety of ways. They can be found as hidden items throughout the land, some may be obtained by a Pokémon with the Pickup ability, they can also be purchased in Some shops, or as prizes in the battle subway.
What's the use of vitamins? As listed, any one vitamin will give 10 EVs to its corresponding stat. Since it takes 4 EVs to change any stat point by one, this is most effective if given in twos. 20 EVs = 5 stat points. However, there is a limit of 10 vitamins per any given stat limiting it to 100 EVs or 25 stat points per attribute by vitamin enhancement. Plan well ahead and you can save yourself half the trouble and time of actual battle to completely EV train your selected Pokémon.
The Exp. Share is a useful tool for EV-training more than one Pokémon simultaneously. This is because the Exp. Share gives the Pokémon all the base EVs gained from the Pokémon which has been defeated, even if the Pokémon does not take part in the battle. For instance, if a Flygon with a Macho Brace defeats a wild Pidgey, it would gain 2 Speed EVs. Suppose you have a Milotic in your party holding an Exp. Share. The Milotic would gain 1 Speed EV.
Like Macho Brace, Pokérus doubles the EVs gained. So if a Flygon has both Macho Brace and Pokérus, it would gain 4 Speed EVs from defeating a Pidgey, and not just 2 or 1. Note that Pokérus can be lost, but your Pokémon still gains double the EVs after losing it.
So, by battling a Pokémon who awards 3 of your target EVs and by wearing the appropriate Power Item, you can gain 7 EVs per battle. Throw Pokérus into the mix and you have a grand total of 14 EVs earned per battle.
Roles in Battle
Pokémon have roles in the battlefield much like normal battlefields do, mostly depending on their Base Stats, Movepools and finally their Trainer's decisions; you! Thus, many Pokémon could have multiple roles and you are required to choose the desired one. I will now list you the roles, Pokémon may have.
- An Annoyer is a Pokémon whose moveset is made to inflict non-direct damage to an opponent; by this term, I mean moves such as Toxic, Confuse Ray, Leech Seed, Will-O-Wisp etc. These Pokémon usually have good defenses as well as a decent amount of Hit Points. Consider sharing the EV's among these three stats and having a Bold or Calm nature. Annoyers include Pokémon such as Venusaur and Crobat and most notably Thundurus and Whimsicott as there Prankster ability gives them priority(priority means they will always strike first) with all non-damaging moves.
- Baton Passer
- A Baton Passer Pokémon, usually works best in a Baton Passing Team. Baton Pass permits Pokémon to pass on added effects to their allies such as those of Calm Mind, Cosmic Power and even Mean Look. A Baton Passer usually has one or more moves or abilities to boost his stats. The types and EV administration can vary very much, but it is generally preferred to have good Defenses and Hit Points. Umbreon and Ninjask make excellent Baton Passers.
- A Hazer is a Pokémon whose signature move is Haze. He uses Haze to counterattack Pokémon that use stat increasing moves such as Swords Dance, Cosmic Power etc. A good Speed is preferred but not necessary. A good Defense and a Decent amount of Hit Points would be wise to have just in case the opponent has already pumped himself up (especially those Baton Passing Teams). A subcategory of Hazer, the Pseudohazer, uses moves like Roar and Whirlwind to produce an effect similar to Haze by forcing a switch. Blastoise, Crobat and Vaporeon can -among other things- take up the role of the Hazer.
- Healers are few but are able to counter Shufflers extremely well. They use moves such as Aromatherapy and Heal Bell to neutralize abnormal status conditions, as well as protective moves like Reflect and Light Screen. These Pokémon must be able to last long enough to support the rest of the team so boosted defenses and Hit Points would do the thing. Miltank, Blissey, Chimecho and Vileplume can all be Healers.
- Physical Sweeper
- A Physical Sweeper is a Pokémon made to inflict massive physical damage, the fastest way possible. These Pokémon's stats concentrate on Attack and Speed, so Adamant and Jolly natures are most suitable for them. Physical moves include Bug, Fighting, Flying, Ghost, Ground, Normal, Poison, Rock and Steel. Heracross, Tauros and even Charizard make surprisingly good Physical Sweepers. A newer physical sweeper introduced in 5th gen is Excadrill, but he is most notably used on Sandstorm teams as his ability "Sand Rush" allows his speed to double in a sandstorm which proves very menacing when comboed his incredibly high attack stat.
- A Subpuncher makes use of the Substitute and Focus Punch Combo; since it will not be hit after using Substitute, Focus Punch will always hit. Normal and Fighting type Pokémon make a good use of this. Since Focus Punch is a Fighting move, this sub-role is categorized under the Physical Sweepers.
- Rapid Spinner
- A Rapid Spinner has only one purpose: counter Spikers. Rapid Spin is a move that ruins Spikes and frees the Pokémon from a continuous trapping condition (Whirlpool, Fire Spin etc). Starmie, Blastoise, Forretress, and Excadrill can all be Rapid Spinners.
- A Shuffler has a single purpose in battle: affect all of the opponent's party with a status condition. He could be a Toxishuffler, Pyroshuffler or Parashuffler, using Toxic, Will-O-Wisp or Thunder Wave respectively. After inducing the opponent with the desired status condition, it forces a switch with moves such as Whirlwind and Roar. It is best preferred to have a good Speed stat and decent Defenses in order to accompdtsh its purpose. A Timid or Jolly nature would be best for Shufflers like Butterfree and Manectric.
- Classified under the Shuffler category, the Spiker earns its name by its signature move, Spikes. Its purpose is to use three layers of Spikes along with a status inducing move and force a switch. Skarmory is the best Spiker up until now.
- Special Sweeper
- A Special Sweeper uses high Speed and Special Attack stats to blast its opponent with the strongest of special moves; Modest and Timid are perfect natures to pick for these Pokémon. Special moves include Dark, Dragon, Electric, Fire, Grass, Ice, Psychic and Water. Alakazam, Sceptile and Typhlosion are examples of Special Sweepers.
- A Sunnybeamer is a Pokémon that takes advantage of Sunny Day to attack with Solarbeam every turn. Many Grass and Fire types can have this moveset which is considered Special Sweeping.
- This is simple; we all know the terrific combo Rain Dance and Thunder make; almost all Electric Pokémon could have this set, which is classified under the Special Sweeper category.
- A Staller is a special kind of Tank that uses moves that poison, burn or paralyze. They are also called Toxistallers, Pyrostallers and Parastallers, and use either Toxic, Will O' Wisp and Thunder Wave respectively, along with protective moves such as Protect or Detect and recovery moves such as Rest. They benefit from high defenses and Hit Points, as well as items like Leftovers. Preferred Natures are Bold, Impish Careful and Calm. Torkoal, Dusclops and Azumarill make fine Stallers. The best, however, is probably Registeel or Regirock, with their high base Def. and Sp. Def.
- A Tank is a Pokémon made to last and stall time. It usually possesses high defensive stats along with a move that raises defenses such as Cosmic Power, items such as Leftovers and probably a recovery move, Rest or Recover. Preferred Natures are Bold, Impish Careful and Calm which all favor Defense or Special Defense. Torkoal and Blastoise make fine Tanks.
Great Move Combos
End-Reving An End-Rever is a Pokémon that uses Endure and Reversal. If you recall from memory Reversal's power increases as your HP decreases. When you Endure a hit, your HP will be at 1, so that gives Reversal maximum power. This is usually used with Salac Berry, and if you recall, a Salac Berry raises your Speed when your health reaches 25%. This way, your Speed rises when you Endure and you are probably fast enough to take down your opponent. This strategy can be used for Flail and Endeavor, which do approximately the same thing. Watch out, since if your opponent switches to a Ghost type, then Reversal, Flail, and Endeavor become useless. Sandstorm and Hail will also defeat this strategy.
Sub-Reving A Sub-Rever is a Pokémon that uses Substitute (Sub) and Reversal (Rev). Since Endure's accuracy falls to 50% if you Endure twice in a row, you need to predict if your opponent's attack will KO you or not. When you use Substitute, you create a copy of yourself for the cost of 25% of your maximum. Substitute never KO's the user, so after four Substitutes, your HP will be extremely low. Note how this works almost like Endure, but you can use Substitute repeatedly without fail (unless no one broke your Substitute, then you just attack the opponent). After four Substitutes, Salac Berry will activate and you can then Reversal, Flail, or Endeavor. A downfall to this strategy, even though it is often considered better than EndReving, are moves that attack multiple times. You will be KO'd by moves such as Rock Blast and Bonemerang. A Ghost type can still defeat you, and so can Sandstorm or Hail.
Belly-Rest If you do not know, Belly Drum sacrifices half of your maximum HP while maximizing your Attack. If you don't know how much Belly Drum maximizes by, I can tell you that it's enough to OHKO (One Hit Knock Out) most Pokémon. Belly Drum followed by Rest means that you will replenish your HP sacrificed, making you an awesome Sweeper. Usually, BellyRest involves using a Mint Berry or a Chesto Berry to remove the Sleep Status Effect.
This strategy requires exact timing. You have to predict a switch and use Belly Drum. Also, you can induce a Sleep/Paralyze Status Effect, and/or the Confusion/Attract Status Problem. This way, you are lowering the chances your opponent has of attacking, or forcing a switch, giving you a free Belly Drum.
Para-Fusion Para-Fusion hurts, literally. This is the strategy of using both Paralysis and Confusion, giving your opponent a 33% chance to attack! This is best used with Seismic Toss since you need a Pokémon with good defenses to be able to survive using both of these moves, and Seismic Toss always deals 100 HP off your opponent (assuming your team members are Lv. 100) no matter what the user's Attack stat is.
Swagger-Up/Flatter-Up Swagger confuses the opponent and raises its Attack by two stages. Flatter confuses the opponent and raises its Special Attack by two stages. Psych Up copies all of the Stat Changes that your opponent has, and if you raised your opponent's Attack or Special Attack, then you can copy it. Note that you do not copy your opponent's Confusion since that is a Status Problem. This is a way to boosts up your Attack or Special Attack if you cannot learn Swords Dance or Tail Glow. Umbreon is a good candidate for Swagger + Psych Up. Its defenses are so high that it doesn't mind raising its opponent's Attack. No Pokémon can legally have both Flatter and Psych Up, so you might want to switch out then Psych Up your opponent.
Note that Psych Up by itself is extremely good. Predict a Belly Drummer, Psych Up, and you'll be Belly Drummed without losing half of your maximum HP!
Rick-Band Choice band raises your Attack by 1.5x but it only allows you to use one attack only until you switch out. Trick switches your item with your opponent's. However, if you Trick Choice Band with a non-Physical Sweeper, then your opponent is forced to use the move that had used against you while you used Trick. This strategy will seriously hinder your opponent's strategy.
A good TrickBander is Alakazam, since it has great Speed to allow it to pull it off. Notice that you no longer have Choice Band, so you are not required to use Trick again. It's a neat strategy that does not require a lot of anticipation.
Perish-Trapping This works best with two Pokémon. Those two candidates are usually an Umbreon Baton Passing Mean Look to someone who knows Perish Song and a healing move or Protect. Some good Candidates are Lapras, Wigglituff, Celebi, Altaria, and Misdreavus.
Minty-Rest, Chesto-Rest, Lum-Rest Minty-Rest is Rest + Mint Berry attached, and ChestoRest is Rest + Chesto Berry attached. This gives you a free 100% HP Recovery. It's that simple. Use it when you think you will faint (but time it so you don't faint). LumRest is Rest + Lum Berry attached.
Thunder-Dance An effect of Rain Dance is that Thunder will never miss. Think about it...Lightning appears in storms, right? Anyways, you can have someone from your team use Rain Dance and make your team benefit from it. For example, use water Pokémon, Pokémon with Hydro Pump, Pokémon with Thunder, and Pokémon with the Rain Dish or Swift Swim Trait. Note: This works best with Chinchou and friends as they all can learn BOTH of these moves.
Sunny-Beam An effect of Sunny Day is that Solarbeam will not require a charge. Remember that Solarbeam takes in sunlight on the first turn, then attacks on the second. Now, it just attacks because Sunny Day provides the sunlight that Solarbeam needs. You can also include fire Pokémon, Pokémon with Fire Blast, Exeggutor (because of the Chlorophyll Trait), and of course, someone with Solarbeam.
Ingrain restores HP every turn, and so does Leech Seed and the item Leftovers. Mega Drain/Giga Drain will also restore some HP that you have dealt to your opponent Obviously, this is an Annoyer/Drainer to the max. Ingrain also means your opponent cannot Roar or Whirlwind you out, because your roots are implanted in the ground. Best used on a Pokémon with a Big Root and a high S-Attack (in other words don't use Belloom as he is a P-Attacker) However, beware that this can be countered by Rayquazas Ability, Air Lock, which removes all effects from the sun, meaning that if you use Solarbeam, even with the sun up, it will still need to charge before use, as well as Rayquazas 0.25 resistance to Grass type moves.
Spore-Punch Breloom is famous for this. It is fast enough to use Spore, sending your opponent to sleep 100% of the time. Then, it uses Focus Punch, because your opponent cannot attack and make Focus Punch lose power. That means your opponent has to switch in order not to get annihilated, but when they switch, they don't attack, and your Breloom gets a free Focus Punch no matter what unless your opponent switches in a Ghost type which negates the fighting type move.
Quick-Devor QuickDevor is one of the most humiliating combos available to a player. It requires a Lv. 1 Rattata holding a focus band. He must know endeavor and quick attack. The use of his combo is pretty obvious. On your first turn your opponent will hit the Rattata bringing him down to 1 hp while you use endeavor. Now that his hp is 1 as well you hit him with quick attack. Be very, very careful with this combo, as it can easily be countered by Ghost Type Pokémon or by a switch in after Endeavor is used.
Weather and its Effect in Battle
Weather can be caused either through an ability or a move a Pokémon knows. There are four varieties of weather Sandstorm, Rain, Sunny, and Hail. Weather's strategies can vary from changing the weather to gain the advantages it gives your team or simply used to keep your opponents favorable weather out of play. Different weather works well for different Pokémon.
Debatably the best weather. It can be started with the move Rain Dance which will stay for 5 turns before disappearing or the much more favorable option by bringing out semi-permanent (as other weathers or abilities can cancel it out) rain with Drizzle ability Pokémon such as Politoed or Kyogre. Many Pokémon have beneficial abilities in this weather such as Swift Swimmer's that double in speed under rain or Pokémon with Rain Dish and Dry Skin abilities which when under rain regain health. Other types that benefit in the rain can include Steel types, as they halve fire type moves power halved under rain and do not have to worry about that weakness, also Electric types benefit as Thunder gains 100% accuracy under the rain. Rain also halves the accuracy of solarbeam making it a powerful defense against the grass type Sunny Day teams.
Another form of weather. Can be started via the move Sandstorm which will stay for 5 turns before disappearing or summoning it using a Pokémon with the SandStream ability which summons a semi-permanent storm (it can be negated through other weathers). The SandStreamers are Hippowdon and Tyranitar. The effects of Sandstorm are as follows:
- Rock types gain a 50% boost to their Special Defense
- All non Rock, Steel, and Ground type Pokémon without the ability Sand Veil or Magic Guard take 1/16 damage at the end of every turn.
- Evasion of Pokémon with Sand Veil ability is raised 20%
- Pokémon with the Sand Rush ability have double their regular speed
- Pokémon with Sand Force have all their Rock, Ground, and Steel type moves power boosted by 33%
So with this we know that using Pokémon with Steel, Rock, and Ground typing is recommended, so that brings to mind using Pokémon like Golurk, Excadrill, Garchomp, Reuniclus(does not take damage from the storm thanks to Magic Guard), Gigalith, Carracosta, Lucario, Forretress, and Ferrothorn and that's only to name a few of each typing which means there are many options with Sandstorm teams. Also another thing to be noted is you never want all of the Pokémon in your party to be immune to the storm as if you do so your type diversity falls and you will be weak to many Fighting, Grass, Water and Ground moves. To avoid this from happening use Pokémon with resistances to the above types and give them leftovers as the leftovers will negate the damage taken from the sandstorm.
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