Individual Values - IVs
IV stands for ‘ Individual Value ’, which, unlike EVs (covered below), cannot be affected through training and, unlike Natures, are not shown to you in an obvious manner.
Think of it like this, some humans are naturally better at some things than others, your friend might be stronger through no effort on their part while you are stronger, as such every Pokémon you encounter in the game has its own Individual Statistical quirks that are personal only to that individual creature.
So how do you work out IV statistics? Well, there are IV Calculators online and they are the only true way of reading a Pokémon's IV values aside from training and hoping for the best.
As a note, it's been recorded that Pokémon caught in the wild more frequently have middling to low IVs, whereas Pokémon received through breeding tend to skew to middle or higher IV statistics.
Effort Values - EVs
EVs, or ‘ Effort Values ’, are something you can absolutely mediate and are crucial to ensuring your Pokémon reaches its maximum potential. This said they can be slightly confusing to understand, so strap in and we’ll do our best to work them out together.
What are EVs?
If IVs represent a Pokémon's natural talent, then EVs represent learned skills. EVs are another invisible statistic that contribute to the individual growth of any Pokémon, with the EVs your Pokémon gains being directly relevant to the Pokémon they beat in combat.
Sounds good, so how do they work?
Like so: every Pokémon you meet in combat has a certain EV stat and value that they dispense upon being defeated in battle, like an invisible form of XP. Say you trounce a Rattata, he gives out 1 Speed EV.
For every 4 Speed EVs your Pokémon has earned, they will earn one additional point in their speed statistic by the time they hit lvl 100. In fact, from Pokémon Black and White, you can still train, tweak, alter and gain EV points at lvl 100 - you'll see the benefits in your stat screen after a battle.
That sounds like it could get out of hand...
That would be why GameFreak have set the following limits on EV gain:
- A Pokémon can only earn a total of 510 Effort Values (a total of 127 total extra stat points).
- The amount of EV's a Pokémon can earn in a specific stat is capped at 255 Effort Values (which earns a total of 63 Extra Stat Points).
- As mathmaticians will have noticed, 255 is not comfortably divisible by 4, and 63 + 63 does not equal 127. Therefore the best 'spread' of EVs is as such: 252 EV's in Stat 1, 252 EV's in Stat 2, 4 EV's in Stat 3, and 2 EVs left unassigned. Adding one extra point in a third stat may sound pointless, but it's less pointless than leaving six points effectively redundant.
So decide what you want to train in - boosting a Shuckle's two defense stats can turn it into an iron wall - and then get building those EVs!
Wow, that sure is a lot of fighting...
You're not wrong, but thankfully there are numerous ways to make the effort of gaining EVs all the simpler.
Use drugs such as Iron and Zinc to instantly add up to 10 Evs to one stat. You can do this up to ten times, for 100 EVs, meaning you only actually have to train the remaining 155 points. HP Up = HP. Protein = Attack. Iron = Defense. Calcium = Sp. Attack. Zinc = Sp. Defense. Carbos = Speed.
Wings, found on bridges, can be used to increase a Pokémon's EV stats and have no limit, though they only add one point at a time. Health = HP. Muscle = Attack. Resist = Defense. Genius = Sp. Attack. Clever = Sp.Defense. Swift = Speed.
The Macho Brace - a Pokémon that wins a fight while wearing this item will gain double the EVs they would otherwise receive, halving the number of fights required.
There are also a number of items earned in Gear Station that cut speed, but grant EV gain independantly of the Pokémon defeated in battle. They are:
|Power Weight||+4 HP EVs|
|Power Bracer||+4 Attack EVs|
|Power Belt||+4 Defense EVs|
|Power Lens||+4 Sp. Attack EVs|
|Power Band||+4 Sp. Defense EVs|
|Power Anklet||+4 Speed EVs|
Your Pokémon will still gain EVs, even boosted ones from the items above, if you switch them out during a fight.
PokéRus boosts EV gain further, doubling any sort of battle gain should your 'mon be afflicted with the 'disease'. Beating a Rattata while wearing the Power Anklet and infected with PokéRus will turn 1 Speed EV into 10. Make use of PokéRus when you have it!
The gym in Join Avenue can train a Pokémon's EVs as well, and it's remarkably straight forward for a change. Classes describe the exact stat and point increase in the title, so Attack Training lvl. 24 will raise your Pokémon's Attack EVs by 24, Speed Training lvl. 32 raises Speed EVs by 32 and so on and so forth. Easy.
The Join Avenue Bistro also raises EVs, with the menu contributing as such:
|Good Luck A Lunch||+20 HP EVs|
|Good Luck B Lunch||+20 Attack EVs|
|Good Luck C Lunch||+20 Defense EVs|
|Good Luck D Lunch||+20 Speed EVs|
|Good Luck E Lunch||+20 Sp. Attack EVs|
|Good Luck F Lunch||+20 Sp.Defense EVs|
|Off Menu A||+48 HP EVs|
|Off Menu B||+48 Attack EVs|
|Off Menu C||+48 Defense EVs|
|Off Menu D||+48 Speed EVs|
|Off Menu E||+48 Sp. Attack EVs|
|Off Menu F||+48 Sp. Defense EVs|
So have a think as to what your Pokémon could do with. HP, Attack, Defense, SP. Attack, Sp. Defense, Speed? Should you use EVs to increase a predominant statistic or increase a lacking element to cover a weakness? It may sound daunting, but think about your Pokémon's attacks and style and you should work something out.
I did it wrong! What do I do!
You calm down for a start. There are ways to decrease stats. One is is through Dream World berries. Dream World is a browser based side attraction to Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 though, and collecting Berries isn't a speedy process so try not to mess up.
|Pomeg Berry||-10 HP EVs|
|Kelpsy Berry||-10 Attack EVs|
|Qualot Berry||-10 Defense EVs|
|Hondew Berry||-10 Sp. Attack EVs|
|Grepa Berry||-10 Sp. Defense EVs|
|Tamato Berry||-10 Speed EVs|
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 actually give you a much better way of lowering a Pokémon's EVs, and that is Join Avenue . For starters, you can buy berries, but you can also visit the beauty Salon if you have one set up to decrease EVs by a lot.
|Slender Make-Up||-50 HP EVs|
|Calm Make-Up||-50 Attack EVs|
|Gentle Make-Up||-50 Defense EVs|
|Mellow Make-Up||-50 Sp. Attack EVs|
|Warm Make-Up||-50 Sp. Defense EVs|
|Slow Make-Up||-50 Speed EVs|
|Slender Make-Up 2||-100 HP EVs|
|Calm Make-Up 2||-100 Attack EVs|
|Gentle Make-Up 2||-100 Defense EVs|
|Mellow Make-Up 2||-100 Sp. Attack EVs|
|Warm Make-Up 2||-100 Sp. Defense EVs|
|Slow Make-Up 2||-100 Speed EVs|
|Slender Make-Up 3||Resets HP EVs to 0|
|Calm Make-Up 3||Resets Attack EVs to 0|
|Gentle Make-Up 3||Resets Defense EVs to 0|
|Mellow Make-Up 3||Resets Sp. Attack EVs to 0|
|Warm Make-Up 3||Resets Sp. Defense EVs to 0|
|Slow Make-Up 3||Resets Speed EVs to 0|
Great! I think I get it. So, erm, where do I earn these EVs?
Suppose that would help... Here you go, these are the easiest 'mon to find and beat up for EVs. Use the boosting elements discussed above and you'll max out quicker than you think. Just keep a piece of paper handy so you can jot down what you gain and keep count as you're earning.
|Attack||Route 1||Patrat & Lillipup||+1|
|Sp. Attack||Celestial Tower||Litwick & Elgyem||+1|
|Sp. Defense||Route 17||Frillish||+1|