Yes, I am a self-professed Pokémon nerd. I’ve played all the games, have both versions of each game, and I can name every Pokémon by Pokédex order. Needless to say this has helped me pick up tones of babes.
As Pokémon is the second largest gaming franchise on the planet (second only to Mario) it makes sense that its competitive battling scene is simply huge. I quite often see a lot of people on the internet that are looking to get into Pokémon Battling, but see all these numbers and subsequently get scared out.
Which is why I’m doing this series to explain it in as simple terms as possible. First I want to address a controversial aspect of the competitive scene: tiers.
Smogon University is a website that opened in 2004, and its goal was to provide advice and strategies for competitive Pokémon battling. One of the things Smogon players use is a tier ranking, in which Pokémon are assorted based on the usage of Pokémon and their proficiency in battle in relation to their competitors.
For example, Salamence was largely outclassed in the fourth generation of Pokémon by Garchomp, as it was a faster threat that proved to be a more effective physical attacker, however Garchomp’s ability sand veil made it more difficult to hit in a sandstorm; this combined with its formidable speed and attacking power made it a little too difficult for some players to fight when on a sand team. As a result Garchomp was banned.
The banning of Pokémon for being too powerful is a large part of what Smogon has made controversial. Personally, I’m not pro-tier. I think that if you’re willing to send Sandslash out against Palkia then you deserve everything you get, however I can understand why some players want to be able to play competitively with Pokémon that they enjoy using without having to worry about getting outclassed by better Pokémon. For that reason my advice is, if you don’t like Smogon’s tiers, don’t use them, they don’t have any real authority over you and it’s completely your call.
Just don’t be surprised if people complain about your Darkrai destroying their team.
The next thing I want to explain is EVs and IVs as this is usually where players are put off of the competitive scene.
EVs or Effort values are points that go into your Pokémon’s stats based on what Pokémon they beat in battle, if you beat a magikarp you will get an EV point in speed, if you beat an Audino you will get one in HP etc. Every 4 EVs will give your Pokémon 1 additional point in the chosen stat.
Your Pokémon can have a maximum of 508 usable EVs and each stat can hold a maximum of 252 IVs. With Gen 6 introducing super training it is now far easier to understand:
Say you have a Pokémon like Jolteon, who is a speedy attacker, the common EV spread to maximise his usefulness would be 252 EVs in speed, and 252 in special attack as those are what he excels out, with either a modest or timid nature which would give a boost to his special attack or speed, while reducing his physical attack (which is fine because he won’t be using it).
So to create this Jolteon you would acquire an Eevee or Jolteon who has never battled before and has no EVs and play the super training mini game with your Pokémon until you have maximised their potential EVs. Here is a video explanation:
It really is that simple.
IVs or individual values are more akin to your Pokémon’s genetics, Pokémon will have a point between 1 and 31 as their IV in each of their stats, and the higher to 31 they are, the closer to the absolute max a Pokémon can have. Now the difference is not too drastic, but many people will selective breed their Pokémon for set IVs to make sure their Pokémon has the maximum advantage based on what they want it to do.
I’ve done it myself once with my Hydreigon, which has the absolute maximum special attack possible for that Pokémon. You don’t have to IV breed to stay competitive on the field, however there’s no reason not to if you want that extra competitive edge. However I will be the first to admit I’m not too knowledgeable when it comes to IV breeding so I would recommend you do additional research!
So these are just some of the basics, join me next time when I explain the basics of how to structure a team!