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Pokémon In-Depth: EVs and Training

Updated on December 13, 2015
Picture was remade by me using
Picture was remade by me using

Pokémon is NOT just for kids

While Pokémon has been around since the mid 90's, it's far from dead. Pokémon has ingrained itself deep within both American and Japanese cultures, and everybody pretty much knows what it is. However, what a lot of people don't know is just how complex Pokémon has become.

Chess has gained popularity among many due to the strong logic and intense game strategies behind its workings. But when you compare it to the inner workings of Pokémon, chess looks more like a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. Not only are the strategies far more limitless, but you're challenged with only having 6 "pieces" to play with at once, instead of the standard 16 of Chess. These pieces aren't limited to just one range of movement, either. They have moves/abilities/stats/natures that all factor into their performance and how they can be used in battle. Many things factor in the outcome of a battle, in this hub, we're going over one of those factors: Effort Values aka EVs.

What Is an Effort Value, and How Do I Get One?

Its been hinted in game that a Pokémon raised to a level is stronger than a Pokémon caught at that same level. This is because as you defeat other Pokémon, not only do you gain experience, but you also gain a hidden stat modifier, known as an Effort Value, or EV for short. Every Pokémon in game has a base EV point yield in a stat or two. When you defeat that Pokémon, you gain that point yourself. These numbers vary from 1 to 3, and are often corresponded to the stage of evolution that Pokémon is. Example: Machop has an EV yield of 1 in Attack, Machoke has 2, and Machamp has 3. Some Pokémon's EV yields can be split between stats, like Venomoth has yield of 1 in Sp Attack, and 1 in Speed

But just because you defeated a Machoke doesn't mean your Attack stat will now be +2 more. It takes a total of 4 EVs in a particular stat to add +1 to its number. So if I grind for hours and hours and kill a ton of Machoke I can raise my Pokémon's attack to over 9000, right?

The games have capped the max amount of EVs you can gain for any Pokémon to 510, and that, in turn, has been split to say that one stat can have no more than 252 of those EVs (In current Gen 6 and beyond, earlier games were capped at 255) So, if you defeated enough Machoke to earn the maximum of 252 EV points, you've guaranteed a +63 point boost to that stat. These points won't be in effect all at once, but rather are distributed over the course of that Pokémon's leveling up to 100

Gaining Effort Values

So, if a stat maxes out at 252 points, that means you'd have to defeat between 126-252 Pokémon that give points in that particular stat you wanted to max it to its fullest. And that's just half the battle?? You'd be at this for days doing it the traditional way! And way back when, that's pretty much what it took. Since the release of the newer games, gaining Effort Values has been made easy through such means as Vitamin Drugs, Strength Training, Power Items, Pokérus, and even Horde battles (WOO!)

So, what exactly do all of these methods have to offer, and how can you know which is the best for you? Lets go over them one at a time:

How do YOU EV train?

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HP Up, Protein, Iron, Calcium, Zinc and Carbos, raise HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense and Speed respectively by 10 each. These high-costing Poké-drugs have been around since Gen 1, but are they really that practical? Sure, it gives your Pokémon a boost of 10 EV's to a particular stat, but at 9800 Pokédollars a pop? You'll be grinding trainers for DAYS just to save up enough to level off one of your team members! Not to mention, once a Pokémon reaches 100 EVs of a particular stat, the vitamins no longer have an effect in that area. If you ask me, its just better to sell any you come across, they have a nice return value of 4800

There is also a newer alternative to the vitamins known as Wings, that do pretty much the same thing, but only raise a stat by 1. Unlike the vitamins, wings don't ever lose their effect, but there are still easier ways of getting those important EVs up


Strength Training

A wonderful little feature introduced in the Gen 6 games. For the first time, we're able to get a visual on where our Pokémon's EVs lie! (Though unfortunately it doesn't give us an exact number...) Strength Training allows a player to train a specific stat anytime, anywhere, and a lot faster than the conventional method of wild encounter. There are courses set in each stat, and each tier of difficulty giving more EVs than the last. It makes EV training fun, interactive, and almost rewarding as we get to see our precious Pokémon's stats raise before our eyes!

But is it really worth the 3-5 hours it'll take to max out a Pokémon's EVs completely? Compared to the conventional method, yes. However, with a little work and proper set up, a person can complete an EV session within 1-2 hours


Horde Battling

Another wonderful feature made possible in Gen 6 are the horde battles. Yes, it does make capturing a single Pokémon a bit of a challenge, and waiting for all those multi-strike attacks to pass between all of your opponents before you attack can be annoying, but horde battling has great effect with EV training.

Instead of defeating a single Pokémon and gaining 1-2 EVs from it at a time, you're facing off with five opponents at once. Use a broad range move like Earthquake or Surf, and you've just gained five times as much effort value in the same amount of time as a single encounter battle! But aren't horde's randomly encountered? It'll take just as long to come across a horde as it would going conventional! This is true, yes, however, there are ways to work around this. If a Pokémon in your team knows Sweet Scent, this can be used when you are in the tall grass to bring about a horde every time (expect in rain); likewise the item Honey can be used in tall grass for the same effect

But wait, there's more!

Stat Boosters

What? There's yet more ways to earn EVs? More like ways to enhance the gain with wild and trainer encounters. All games come equipped with an after story-line challenge series of battles where you fight one trainer after another using limited Pokémon and items, earning Battle Points (BP) for every success. The name of this facility differs between games, some examples are the Battle Tower, the Battle Frontier, or the Battle Maison. The BP earned in these facilities can be spent on an array of TMs, moves, or items. Six items in particular hold a great value to EV training, these are the Power items.

Each Power item adds an additional 4 EV points in its designated field per Pokémon fainted. An example: Power Band adds an additional 4 EVs to the defense stat. Your lead Pokémon faints a Machop, gaining 1 EV to its Attack, and an additional 4 EVs to its Defense. Nifty, right?


But that's not all!!

We all know that not all germs are harmful, but can a virus be helpful? It can when it's a Pokémon virus! Yes, I'm talking about Pokérus. Perhaps you've heard about it? Maybe a few of your Pokémon have contracted it. So...just what is Pokérus and how does it affect your Pokémon?

According to Nurse Joy, "...Little is known about the Pokérus, except that it is a microscopic life-form that attaches to Pokémon. While infected, Pokémon are said to grow exceptionally well." That growth is not measured by EXP and leveling, but in the EV gain. Much like the Macho Brace, Pokérus doubles the EVs gained in battle, including EVs gained through the above mentioned Power items!

EV Gain
+Power Item
Total Gain
Basic Pokémon
Stage 1 Pokémon
Stage 2 Pokémon
Legendary Pokémon

Now, if you add Horde Battles into this equation...

EV Gain
+Power Item
Total Gain
Basic Pokémon Horde
Stage 1 Pokémon Horde

With all these elements in play, EV training can be fully executed in a couple of hours!

Oh Noes! I messed up!

Accidentally Earthquaked a horde of Gulpin instead of Scraggy? Now you've got all these extra EVs in the stat you didn't want! Surely there is a way to correct this mistake? But of course! There is a special punching bag available in the Super Training courses called the Reset Bag. Have the target Pokémon punch the bag long enough, and all of its EVs will be set to zero.

Now, if resetting all your hard earned EVs is a bit too much, you can lower specific stats by 10 each using certain berries: Pomeg, Kelpsy, Qualot, Hondew, Grepa and Tamato, each affecting HP, Attack, Defense, Sp Attack, Sp Defense and Speed respectively

EVs Aren't Enough Alone

While Effort Values, are certainly a big part of a Pokémon's overall strength, are only as good as the stats they affect. Its pointless to invest a lot of EV training to an Attack stat that has a base value of 30, while say it's Sp Attack has 70. Crafting the right Pokémon takes a lot of research, planning, and preparation. Not to mention EV training can be a huge waste of time if a Pokémon's IVs aren't any good. Lots of time goes into crafting the perfect Pokémon, but the difference they make can really affect the outcome of a battle.

And That's All for Now!

With this new knowledge, will you begin EV training your Pokémon?

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      A simple and inglneitelt point, well made. Thanks!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Always the best content from these pridigoous writers.


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