Published on February 11th, 2015 | by DaWoblefet26
AchiEVing Perfection: Creating Specialized EV Spreads, Part Two
Welcome to part two of our series of articles about creating specialized EV spreads. In this section, we’ll cover the “how-to” of making specialized EV spreads, broken up into two chunks. The first chunk covers how to use a damage calculator, and how to use it to do things like survive an attack 100% of the time, always KO an opponent’s Pokémon with an attack, or always outspeed a specific Pokémon. The second chunk covers two very basic tricks about how to get more stat points out of your EV spreads. If you’re looking for what these EV things are or why we bother to make anything more complex than 252 / 252 / 4, check out part one of the series for the answers to those questions and more.
Before We Leap Straight Into Everything…
There’s a few things that will help you understand the content of the article a bit better.
- “EVing a Pokémon” means “to give a Pokémon an EV spread” which means “to train a Pokémon a certain way to increase its stat points”.
- We always assume that the opponent’s Pokémon has 31 IVs and your opponent understands how to EV train. With guides like Huy’s covering how to breed perfect Pokémon in ORAS and Simon and Mikoto Misaka’s guide to capturing flawless legendary Pokémon in ORAS, you should count on your opponent bringing in flawless Pokémon to fight your own.
- When I talk about how much damage a Pokémon deals to the foe’s Pokémon, I often use percentages instead of the actual numbers to show how much damage our Pokémon dealt to the opponent’s. This is the same way Pokémon Showdown displays damage since it’s easier to visualize.
- When doing damage calculations you almost always disregard critical hits. Even though you can EV your Pokémon to survive an attack when it lands a critical hit, that only happens 1/16 of the time. Taking attacks well is good, but those extra EVs in bulk could have been used elsewhere to hit harder, be faster, or take attacks better on the physical or special side. Unless you’re using a strategy that involves guaranteed critical hits, like Frost Breath or Focus Energy + Scope Lens, critical hits are too luck-based to include in damage calculations.
- Tournaments in VGC have used level 50 Pokémon even before the games auto-lowered the levels for you. At first, you might not suspect that there’s much of a difference – after all, every Pokémon is still on an even playing field, however it does effect damage calculations.
Level 50: 252+ SpA Hydreigon Draco Meteor vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T: 142-168 (86 – 101.8%) — 12.5% chance to OHKO
Level 100: 252+ SpA Hydreigon Draco Meteor vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Landorus-T: 273-322 (85.3 – 100.6%) — 6.25% chance to OHKO
As you can see, at level 100 Landorus-Therian takes about 1% less damage from Hydreigon’s Draco Meteor. This might seem initially insignificant, but it actually means Landorus-T is OHKOed 1/8 of the time instead of 1/16 of the time by this Hydreigon’s move at level 50. The way stats are calculated, a Pokémon’s stats at level 50 aren’t exactly half of what they’d be at level 100. Remember to use level 50 Pokémon in your damage calculations rather than level 100 Pokémon.
Using a Damage Calculator
Now that we’ve got the fundamentals out of the way, let’s get into the fun stuff: using a damage calculator. Rather than simply tell you how to use one, you can follow along in the video to help see exactly what you’re reading about. I’ve included timestamps in the article that go along with each point I cover in the video. Please note that when I mention “this particular team”, it’s a completely different team each time. I say “this particular team” to remind you guys that these EV spreads are tailored towards the goals of the “particular team” the Pokémon is on.
0:23: Accessing Pokémon Showdown’s Damage Calculator, created by Honko. Typing “/calc” at any time in any of Showdown’s many chat rooms will also direct you to the calculator. There is an alternative damage calculator out right now with the new ORAS Mega Evolutions implemented into its code as well. While its creator, gamut, does do a fantastic of staying on top of user requests, I still personally prefer Honko’s calculator because it’s supported by Showdown.
2:04: Choosing a Pokémon to use, remembering to set its level to 50. You can scroll down to select a Pokémon, or type the first few letters of a Pokémon’s name and it will pop up. I recommend using the blank sets, as the EV spreads from OU, UU, Ubers, etc. are tailored to Smogon formats.
4:14: Performing a damage calculation. This can be absolutely anything you want. Have fun playing around and seeing how much damage your attacks will do or how well your Pokémon can eat up attacks.
7:19: Using the damage calculator to show the wide variety of damage an attack can do. In this example, we check how much damage Mega Mawile’s Play Rough does to a Zapdos with no EVs anywhere, 252 HP EVs, and even up to 252 HP EVs, 252 Defense EVs, and a Bold Nature. When an attack does more than 100% damage to a Pokémon, it is guaranteed to be KOed by that attack, and when the maximum amount of damage is under 100%, you know that Pokémon can always survive that attack from full HP.
9:10: See how damage Zapdos can do back to Mega Mawile, or in this case, how much damage Zapdos does to Mega Mawile before it attacks. I don’t have any specific goals for my Zapdos’s Special Attack right now, so I just play around with the numbers to show the wide range of damage it can do.
10:07: Calculating the damage of a spread move, any attack that hits more than one Pokémon on the field. In VGC, which is purely Double Battles, make sure to click the Doubles tab in the middle of the screen to account for the spread move damage power reduction. You ONLY click the Singles tab if the opponent’s Pokémon is the only one you’re targeting – a Pokémon is still a target even if it dodges the attack due to missing, an immunity (e.g. Earthquake versus Talonflame), Protect, Telepathy, or anything similar. Here are some examples:
- You have a Landorus-Therian and Salamence versus an opponent’s Ferrothorn. Landorus-T’s Earthquake is a spread move here, so you click the Doubles tab when calculating damage.
- You have a solo Landorus-T versus a Rotom-Wash and a Ferrothorn. Landorus-T’s Earthquake is a spread move here against Ferrothorn, so you click the Doubles tab. If you use Rock Slide with Landorus-T and Ferrothorn uses Protect, Rock Slide is still a spread move, and you click the Doubles tab to calculate damage against Rotom-W.
- You have a Landorus-T and a Life Orb Hydreigon versus a Druddigon and a Mega Mawile. Hydreigon moves first, uses Draco Meteor, and knocks out Druddigon, but Hydreigon is at low enough HP to faint from Life Orb recoil itself. Landorus-T then uses Earthquake, and Earthquake is NOT a spread move, because only Mega Mawile and Landorus-T are left on the field. If you wanted to run a damage calculation for this situation, you would click the Singles tab.
11:28: Comparing two attacks. You probably noticed that Zapdos’s Heat Wave only does a bit more damage than Thunderbolt to Mega Mawile. Keep this in mind when attacking Mega Mawile. If you don’t care about hitting both opponents with Heat Wave, Thunderbolt does very similar damage, but won’t miss. There are all sorts of little quirks like this, and testing out your moves in the damage calculator helps you learn how much damage your attacks can do in a certain situation before you need to know that information mid-battle.
14:26: Choosing an item. This is pretty self-explanatory. Some of the damage calculator’s items are pretty irrelevant for the purposes of damage calculation, like Enigma Berry and Safety Goggles, so don’t use them. Don’t give Mega Evolved Pokémon damage-increasing items, unless you’re playing around with Ditto or Smeargle.
15:13: Choosing an Ability. Only Mega Pokémon come with their Abilties on the blank set option. Don’t forget to give Azumarill Huge Power, give Sylveon Pixilate, or give Breloom Technician. Like with items, there’s no point in giving Pokémon Abilities they can’t get, unless you’re messing around with Skill Swap or Role Play shenanigans.
16:12: Calculating with a Pokémon or move not currently implemented into the damage calculator. You’ll usually only need to know this right after a new Pokémon game’s release, when new information hasn’t made its way into the damage calculator just yet. The quickest way to put in a new move is to use another move of the same type and category (physical or special). For example, if you wanted to see how much damage Blast Burn would do from your Mega Charizard Y, simply choose Eruption instead – they are both special Fire-type moves with 150 Base Power. To choose Pokémon that aren’t in the damage calculator yet, use Bulbapedia’s list of base stats and type in the Pokémon’s correct base stats into the damage calculator. Alternatively, you can find the base stats of Pokémon by typing /dt Pokémon into one of Pokémon Showdown’s chatrooms, with “Pokémon” being whatever Pokémon’s base stats you want to check. For example, if I wanted information on Mega Salamence, I would type /dt Mega Salamence.
18:33: Surviving an attack 100% of the time. In the example, I show Latias surviving Choice Specs Sylveon’s Hyper Voice, but it can be absolutely anything depending on what your goals are for that Pokémon on that particular team. To give an example, look at Aaron Zheng’s (Cybertron) Gothitelle, which he used both during the World Championships in 2014 and to win the Philadelphia Regional soon after:
Gothitelle @ Chesto Berry
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 252 HP / 12 Def / 244 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Heal Pulse
– Trick Room
Cybertron’s Gothitelle was primarily used to abuse its Ability Shadow Tag to limit his opponent’s switching options, and to set up Trick Room so his slower Pokémon to move first. However, his Gothitelle was trained to survive a Choice Specs Dark Pulse from Hydreigon – and Gothitelle can’t do anything back to Hydreigon, right? Aaron explains his thought process in his team report:
Going back to the Hariyama+Gothitelle lead, it was great getting a free Trick Room up the first turn while taking about 90% worth of damage with Gothitelle, just to heal it all back up the following turn with Rest while Hariyama OHKOed the attacker.
In our example, Latias could easily set up Tailwind and still be able to attack once, or be able to get two attacks off to weaken Sylveon or its partners. To find the EV spread, all you have to do is simply guess-and-check until you have the correct numbers you need. For basic EV spreads like these, maxing out HP first is usually a good place to start. Then, keep adding Defense or Special Defense EVs until you survive the attack.
21:16: OHKOing or 2HKOing a Pokémon with an attack 100% of the time. In the example, you see that it only takes 68 Special Attack EVs to foil Azumarill’s plans to use Belly Drum – either it won’t have enough HP to set up Belly Drum, or you can be sure you’ll OHKO Azumarill after it sets up Belly Drum. Since Thundurus’s role on this particular team is to support the team with Thunder Wave speed control, we designed it to be bulky, but this little bit of offensive power helps Thundurus to secure a very important KO for this team.
Scrafty @ Lum Berry
EVs: 236 HP / 148 Atk / 108 Def / 12 SpA / 4 SpD
IVs: 0 Spe
– Fake Out
– Drain Punch
While Snarl might be interesting to discuss when talking about Wolfey’s Scrafty, let’s take a look at his 148 Attack EVs. With this investment, Scrafty could 2HKO 4 HP Mega Kangaskhan with Drain Punch. However, the reasoning for this goal was more complex than just that:
I knew that I wanted Scrafty to be able to deal with Kangaskhan, yet I couldn’t decide how much attack to invest because of the wide range of bulk Kangaskhan is capable of using. For this reason, we chose to invest 148 Attack EV’s, which always 2HKO’s 4 HP/0 Defense Kangaskhan. The reason I thought this was so clever is I didn’t actually care whether or not Scrafty 2HKO’d Kangaskhan: I just wanted to be able to tell how much bulk a Kangaskhan was running in a 2 out of 3 match easily. By using the minimum possible to guarantee the 2HKO on bulk less Kangaskhan, I was able to tell in a glance whether an opposing Kangaskhan was bulky or offensive; information that was incredibly valuable as it allowed me to judge how much Mawile’s attacks would do or whether or not I could expect my Hydreigon to outspeed. Of course, there is a chance of a very low roll and me misjudging the opposing Kangaskhans bulk in theory, but every time I used this method to harbor a guess I ended up being correct.
24:29: Outspeeding a Pokémon using the VGC ’15 Speed tiers. In our example, Mamoswine was chosen for that particular team to serve as a way to get rid of troublesome Dragons, Landorus-T, and Thundurus. Looking at the Speed tiers, Mamoswine can reach a 198 Speed stat using the Adamant Nature and holding a Choice Scarf. However, Pokémon like Mega Sceptile, Greninja, and Mega Pidgeot aren’t particularly common for the team to face or difficult for Mamoswine’s teammates to defeat. After looking at Pokémon slower than Mamoswine, Jolly Mega Salamence seems to be the most annoying problem, but is 9 points slower than Mamoswine. Because we don’t care about anything in that Speed range, we can lower the amount of Speed EVs to give us more EVs for Attack or bulk. Since the Choice Scarf multiplies the holder’s Speed stat by 1.5x, we find the actual stat Mamoswine needs to reach by taking 190/1.5, which gives us 126.6666… We can’t have a decimal for a stat though. A 127 Speed stat would be required to outspeed Jolly Mega Salamence. Now all we have to do is find the magic number, which in this case is 212 Speed EVs.
Yet another example from the 2014 World Championships is Ryosuke Kosuge’s (gebebo) Mega Mawile from his 5th place team, which relied on outspeeding and outdamaging the opponent’s team with options like Tailwind Aerodactyl and Choice Band Garchomp.
Mawile @ Mawilite
EVs: 92 HP / 244 Atk / 4 Def / 4 SpD / 164 Spe
– Play Rough
– Fire Fang
– Sucker Punch
Specifically, before Tailwind, Mega Mawile’s 164 Speed EVs let it reach a 91 Speed stat. With Tailwind blowing behind his team, gebebo’s Mega Mawile hit a 182 Speed stat – one point above max Speed Mega Lucario. This made Mega Mawile significantly speedy under Tailwind, being able to OHKO the likes of Garchomp, Hydreigon, and Mega Lucario instead of taking a chunk of damage before striking back.
30:17: Underspeeding a Pokémon, and how to find the Speed stat of a Pokémon not on the Speed tiers. This example is reminiscent of the weather wars of 2012, when you would often find slow Tyranitar to make sure Sandstorm remained the permanent weather condition instead of the rain from Politoed’s Drizzle. However, minimum Speed Politoed isn’t on the VGC ’15 Speed tiers – we have to figure it out ourselves. Most damage calculators (and Showdown’s teambuilder) come with built-in stat calculators, we can figure Politoed’s minimum speed. In this case, simply change Politoed’s 31 Speed IV to a 0 Speed IV, and give it any Speed-lowering Nature you can think of. Now that we know Politoed’s minimum Speed is 67, we just need our Tyranitar to have a Speed stat of 66, which is just a 0 IV in speed. Now Tyranitar will always underspeed Politoed to guarantee sand gets up, but still outspeeds other Tyranitar that might be using a Brave Nature and 0 Speed IVs. Similar to the same strategy Ray used in his winning team from the 2012 World Championships.
Underspeeding the opposing Pokémon for weather wars isn’t the only application of this concept. Sometimes, you’ll want to underspeed your own Pokémon for some combos. Wolfey’s team again provides a fantastic example of this concept, where he specifically gave his Mega Mawile a Speed stat of 64 with an Adamant Nature, 17 Speed IVs, and 4 Speed EVs.
Mawile @ Mawilite
EVs: 252 HP / 132 Atk / 60 Def / 60 SpD / 4 Spe
IVs: 17 Spe
– Play Rough
– Iron Head
– Sucker Punch
Despite Mega Mawile being one of Wolfey’s primary forms of offense in Trick Room, Wolfey chose not to go with a Brave Nature and 0 Speed IVs. Why, you ask? Well, Wolfey’s Gothitelle had a Sassy Nature and 0 Speed IVs, so it reached a 63 Speed stat. If Mega Mawile and Gothitelle were on the field together in Trick Room, Gothitelle would always move first. This meant Gothitelle could use Psychic to soften up an opponent for an attack from Mega Mawile, or break a substitute using Gothitelle’s weaker attack before following up with the more powerful Play Rough or Iron Head.
Bringing It All Together
34:18: Let’s make an EV spread for a Rotom-Wash.
Here are the goals we’ll try to achieve:
- Outspeed Adamant Bisharp so it can use Will-o-Wisp to halve the damage Rotom-W or its partner will take from Bisharp’s move
- OHKO 4 HP Landorus-Therian with Hydro Pump
- Make Choice Specs Sylveon’s Hyper Voice a 3HKO, including Sitrus Berry recovery
To start off, using the Speed tiers we find out that Adamant Bisharp reaches a 122 Speed stat. To outspeed Bisharp, we need Rotom-W to reach a 123 Speed stat. This requires 132 Speed EVs.
Next up, we want to OHKO 4 HP Landorus-Therian with Hydro Pump. After playing around with the numbers, it looks like 60 Special Attack EVs is the minimum amount of EVs it takes to accomplish this goal.
Last, we want to make sure Sylveon’s Choice Specs Hyper Voice is never able to knock out Rotom-Wash in two hits. Since we have a Sitrus Berry, we can automatically tack that recovery onto Rotom-W’s max HP stat to save some time. Sitrus Berry recovers 1/4 of your HP, so take Rotom-W’s HP stat (157) and divide it by 4. Then, add the result. In this case, we have 157/4=39.25, and 157+39.25=196.25. Wait a minute, a Pokémon can’t have 0.25 of an HP, right? Nope. In Pokémon, if you see a decimal, you’re almost always going to chop it off, or truncate it. Truncating isn’t the same as rounding, though. If Rotom-W had 196.75 HP, then it’d still only have 196 HP, not 197.
We know that our Rotom-W has 196 HP if you consider the Sitrus Berry. So, if we want to survive two Hyper Voices, each Hyper Voice would have to do less than half to Rotom-W’s 196 HP. 196/2 is 98, so each Hyper Voice can only do at most 97 damage. Now all we have to do is invest enough EVs to make sure Sylveon’s Hyper Voice only does 97 damage. After playing around with the numbers, 252 HP / 148 Special Defense with a Calm Nature accomplishes this goal.
… or not. Unfortunately, while we did accomplish every goal on our list, we used up too many EVs. 132 Speed + 60 Special Attack + 148 Special Defense + 252 HP = 592 EVs, which is 84 more EVs than any Pokémon can have at once. So, what do we do now? Well, if we were just a few EVs over the 508 EV limit, we might be able to just compromise here and there and accomplish our goals “most of the time” instead of 100% of the time. 84 EVs is a lot, though, so that “most of the time” probably isn’t going to be very consistent in the middle of a battle. We’re going to have to change one of our goals completely.
In this case, I’ve decided to change the Choice Specs Sylveon goal, as I feel this team has a better matchup against it than against Bisharp or Landorus-Therian. After thinking about it some more, I think making Ludicolo’s Giga Drain a 3HKO would be a good idea. However, I’m not all that sure about what kind of EVs Ludicolo use. Do they use max Special Attack, or do they focus more on bulk to complement the Assault Vest? To find out what’s popular on Ludicolo, we can look at popular sets from Nugget Bridge team reports. After glancing through the Ludicolo tag, you might notice Blake Hopper’s (Bopper) Ludicolo spread from his 11th place World Championships team report was also featured on many high placing Regionals teams, like Talon’s and majorbowman’s:
Ludicolo @ Assault Vest
Ability: Swift Swim
EVs: 252 HP / 84 Def / 148 SpA / 4 SpD / 20 Spe
– Giga Drain
– Ice Beam
– Fake Out
Ludicolo’s 148 Special Attack EVs with a Modest Nature allows it to OHKO 4 HP Garchomp 100% of the time with Ice Beam, but now we’re going to turn this Ludicolo’s popularity back at itself.
It’s important to remember that this is Ludicolo’s popularity at the time this article was written. Perhaps at the time you’re reading this, nobody is using Ludicolo, or absolutely everybody is using it to counter a popular threat. I strongly recommend using recent, popular EV spreads from well-recognized or well-placing trainers in your damage calculations if you want to calculate against EV spreads you think will be reused in future tournaments.
Just like with Sylveon, we use the Sitrus Berry trick to know our Rotom-W has 196 HP. And just like before, we want Ludicolo’s Giga Drain to do 97 damage. After playing around with the numbers, 252 HP / 84 Special Defense with a Calm Nature seems to accomplish this goal using the minimum amount of EVs. While this is less EVs than before, though, it still seems that we’re 24 EVs over the 508 limit. Let’s try using 60 Special Defense EVs and see how much damage Rotom-W takes.
The maximum damage Ludicolo can do to us with Giga Drain is 98. However, it can’t do 97 damage at all, and the rest of Ludicolo’s damage rolls wouldn’t deal enough damage to 2HKO Rotom-W. It would be unlikely to do 98 damage twice in a row. Since there are 16 damage rolls, to hit the same one twice would be 1/16*1/16 odds, or 1/256. That gives Rotom-W a 99.609375% chance to survive two Giga Drains. While it’s not 100%, I’m pretty comfortable with those odds. Now all that’s left to do is place the remaining 4 EVs into Defense, and we’re finally done.
252 HP / 4 Defense / 60 Special Attack / 60 Special Defense / 132 Speed, Calm Nature
- Outspeeds Adamant Bisharp
- OHKOes 4 HP Landorus-Therian with Hydro Pump
- Survives two Giga Drains from Bopper’s Ludicolo when including Sitrus Berry recovery
Level 50 Stats
IVs/2 + EVs/8 should equal a whole number
Remember how I mentioned at the beginning of the article about level 50 Pokémon doing a bit more damage than level 100 Pokémon? There’s another difference between the two. If you check out other EV spread guides like Smogon’s or Serebii’s that talk about EV training Pokémon at level 100, you’ll read that your EVs need to be evenly divisible by 4 to be efficient.
We can use the same concept here with level 50 Pokémon. We’ll say it has 31 HP IVs. Rather than explain the entire stat formula and why exactly the numbers are the way they are, we can use the IVs/2 + EVs/8 trick and get all the information we need.
Plug in our numbers:
Great, that’s nice and even, just like we want it to be. Let’s try taking out 4 EVs like before.
Plug in our numbers:
Round down the remaining decimal, adjust the EV investment.
Plug in our numbers:
We reached the same stat, but we saved 4 extra EVs.
Here are some tips on how to save time with EV spreads:
- Play around with your EVs in Pokémon Showdown’s teambuilder. Guess-and-check is a perfectly viable method to use for this; just make sure your level is 50, and then play around with your EVs until you have the same stat points as before while using less EVs.
- Remember that because most IVs are going to be 31, your EVs when divided by 8 just need to have a decimal of 0.5 following them. If you follow this method, you’ll probably memorize the numbers you want to remember on your own. Alternatively, here’s a list of every amount of EVs that works efficiently with 31 (odd-numbered) IVs:
4, 12, 20, 28, 36, 44, 52, 60, 68, 76, 84, 92, 100, 108, 116, 124, 132, 140, 148, 156, 164, 172, 180, 188, 196, 204, 212, 220, 228, 236, 244, 252
When Your IVs Aren’t 31
With all this though, we’ve been assuming we live in a perfect world where all our IVs are 31. Though that is ideal, maybe you were in a rush to soft reset for Terrakion and settled for IVs of 31 HP / 24 Attack / 7 Defense / 12 Special Attack / 31 Special Defense / 31 Speed. Or maybe you have to use 30 IVs in some stats for a specific Hidden Power Type, like Sylveon with Hidden Power Ground or Thundurus with Hidden Power Ice. In these kinds of situations, we can still use our formula to help us out.
Let’s say I was planning to give that Terrakion I caught a basic 252 Attack / 252 Speed / 4 HP EV spread. Because I haven’t changed the role Terrakion plays on my team, we still want to max out Speed and Attack. However, if you’ll notice, Terrakion has a 24 IV in Attack. Let’s see what happens if we invest 252 EVs in that stat:
Plug in our numbers:
We want our EVs when divided by 8 to equal a whole number, instead of leaving behind a decimal of 0.5. In this case, 248 EVs should do the trick.
Plug in our numbers:
Now, we can place our leftover 4 EVs in either Defense or Special Defense to make those leftover EVs more useful. Just like before, instead of hand-calculating your EV numbers every time, you can play around with the numbers in Showdown or look at this list of every amount of EVs that works with 30 (even-numbered) IVs:
8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 72, 80, 88, 96, 104, 112, 120, 128, 136, 144, 152, 160, 168, 176, 184, 192, 200, 208, 216, 224, 232, 240, 248
Remember, this trick isn’t a substitute for getting Pokémon with flawless IVs. With 248 Attack EVs, 24 IVs, and a Jolly Nature, Terrakion’s Attack stat is 177, 4 less than it would have with a 31 IV in Attack (181).
Let’s say my friend Xavier Liao (finally) just made himself an amazing EV spread for Heatran and wanted to show it off to see what I thought of it. He was a lucky man and managed to soft reset for a Heatran with 31 IVs in everything but Attack and with a Modest Nature. finally says his EV spread of 252 HP / 32 Special Attack / 16 Special Defense / 208 Speed outspeeds Adamant Bisharp, survives 4 Sp. Atk EV Rotom-W’s Hydro Pump with enough HP to use Substitute afterwards, and has the rest in Special Attack for more firepower. Let’s see if we can get any more stat points out of finally’s EV spread.
Since all of finally’s IVs were 31, we can look at our first list.
4, 12, 20, 28, 36, 44, 52, 60, 68, 76, 84, 92, 100, 108, 116, 124, 132, 140, 148, 156, 164, 172, 180, 188, 196, 204, 212, 220, 228, 236, 244, 252
32, 16, and 208 are all not on this list. To fix this, we’ll use the number immediately below finally’s number on the list. In this case, 28, 12, and 204 are the numbers we want.
- 252 HP / 28 Special Attack / 12 Special Defense / 204 Speed
Since we took out 4 EVs from three stats, we now have 12 EVs to put somewhere else. In finally’s case, he didn’t have any specific goals with Special Attack other than additional firepower, so we can put 8 EVs there. Now we have 4 EVs left.
- 252 HP / 36 Special Attack / 12 Special Defense / 204 Speed
Since those 4 EVs would be wasted in any of the stats that already have EVs in them, we have two choices remaining: Attack or Defense. finally is only using special moves on his Heatran, so putting the extra 4 EVs into Attack would be pointless. We’ll put the extra 4 into Defense.
- 252 HP / 4 Defense / 36 Special Attack / 12 Special Defense / 204 Speed, Modest
Overall, we managed to get +1 Defense point and +1 Special Attack point. It might not seem like much, but now we have two extra stat points that you didn’t have before.
Choosing a Nature
We’ve been talking a lot about EVs, but what about Natures? Don’t worry, those are super important too. Mathematically speaking, the Nature of your Pokémon multiplies one stat by 1.1 (110%) and multiplies another stat by 0.9 (90%). For example, the Adamant Nature increases your Attack stat by 1.1, but decreases your Special Attack stat by 0.9. This makes it ideal for Pokémon like Landorus-Therian, Bisharp, or Azumarill, who won’t use their Special Attack stat and appreciate a boost to their already high Attack stats. There’s a Nature that increases and decreases every stat except for HP, and you can check out a full list of them on Bulbapedia.
Choosing a Nature is just like choosing anything else for a Pokémon – what am I trying to do with this Pokémon, and how can my Nature help accomplish that Pokémon’s goals? Here’s a few examples:
My Mega Kangaskhan has Ice Punch, and I want to take Landorus-Therian by surprise who think they’ll be able to survive a Double-Edge after Intimidate. Since I can’t outspeed Choice Scarf Landorus-T no matter what I do, I’ll settle for outspeeding a Jolly Landorus-T. After looking at the VGC ’15 Speed tiers, I know Adamant Mega Kangaskhan only reaches a 152 Speed stat, but Jolly Landorus-T reaches a 157 Speed stat. Because of this, we choose the Jolly Nature, which increases Speed but lowers Special Attack. Our Mega Kangaskhan only has physical moves, so it doesn’t mind a drop in Special Attack.
I plan on getting my Mega Camerupt in under Trick Room and dealing as much damage as possible as quickly as I can. In this case, I choose the Quiet Nature. This is actually rather clever. Since we’re using Trick Room, where the slowest Pokémon moves first, the lowering of Speed actually makes Mega Camerupt faster. The Quiet Nature has also boosted Mega Camerupt’s Special Attack as well, and now its Heat Wave is even more dangerous. This trick doesn’t just work on Mega Camerupt, though. Cresselia, Conkeldurr, Mega Mawile, Amoonguss, and others enjoy the drop in Speed that Natures like Brave and Sassy provide if you plan on bringing them in under Trick Room.
I’m using an Infernape with a Focus Sash, and I decided I don’t want to use Flare Blitz on it. After all, any time I use Flare Blitz, I take recoil damage, making my Focus Sash useless. Instead of using Iron Fist with Fire Punch though, I notice that even with no Special Attack EVs, Overheat does more damage to Mega Mawile than Fire Punch. In fact, Fire Punch can’t get an OHKO while Overheat can. Since I still want the physical move Close Combat to OHKO Mega Kangaskhan and Tyranitar, I’ll choose a Nature that doesn’t lower either Attack or Special Attack. I also want a Nature that raises Speed to be able to outspeed Jolly Mega Kangaskhan, so Infernape can smash it with Close Combat. This leaves us with two choices: Hasty, which raises Speed but lowers Defense, or Naive, which raises Speed but lowers Special Defense. We’re holding a Focus Sash on Infernape, so we survive any attack that would knock it out in one hit. To figure out which Nature to use, look at your team and determine what physical or special attacks might come Infernape’s way, especially attacks that Infernape resists type-wise. Then, experiment with and without Hasty / Naive against those attacks in the damage calculator, and see if adding the Nature makes a 2HKO more likely to occur than a 3HKO.
Boosting the Highest Base Stat
Usually with Natures, you’re going to want to boost your highest base stat. This makes sense mathematically, because 110% of a bigger number will be larger than 110% of a smaller number. However, while you might get more stat points overall by doing this, sometimes it’s better to use a different Nature. How do you know when?
- Your Pokémon can’t hit a certain Speed stat without using a Speed-raising Nature.
- Your Pokémon can’t hit a particular defensive or offensive stat without a boosting Nature.
These two points might sound the same, but the first exception shows up a lot more often than the second. After all, we used Speed-boosting Natures in two of the examples above. Knowing how fast and slow your Pokémon are is incredibly important knowledge to have during battle.
finally is back with an EV spread for his Choice Scarf Landorus-Therian. With an EV spread of 124 HP / 252 Attack / 132 Speed and a Jolly Nature, Landorus-T outspeeds max Speed Choice Scarf Smeargle, which means it also outspeeds Timid Mega Manectric. finally then placed 252 EVs in Attack to deal as much damage as possible, and had enough EVs left for HP to survive some random non-STAB Ice Beam and Hidden Power Ice thrown its way.
However, finally forgot that Landorus-T’s base Attack is much higher than its base Speed. Don’t be fooled just because his Landorus-T is holding a Choice Scarf and is super fast – it doesn’t need a Jolly Nature here.
The quickest way to see if you can get more stat points by switching your Nature is by writing down how many EVs it takes to reach your desired stat points with both Natures. finally’s Landorus-T has a 197 Attack stat and a 140 Speed stat (Smeargle reaches a 139 Speed stat, so if both are holding Choice Scarves, Landorus-T would be faster). Let’s see how many EVs it takes to reach those stats with both a Jolly and an Adamant Nature.
- Jolly Nature: 252 Attack EVs, 132 Speed EVs. Total EVs: 384 EVs
- Adamant Nature: 116 Attack EVs, 228 Speed EVs. Total EVs: 344 EVs
Switching to an Adamant Nature not only gave Landorus-T the same stat points as before, but there’s now 40 extra EVs to place somewhere else. It also just so happens that putting the rest of the EVs in HP allows you to survive a Rotom-W’s 0 Sp. Atk EV Hydro Pump 15/16 of the time. Our final EV spread is this:
164 HP / 116 Attack / 228 Speed, Adamant Nature
Overall, we managed to get +5 HP and +1 Attack, but we could have placed those extra 5 stat points anywhere we wanted. Switching Natures is often times the best way to get extra stat points.
This is the core of creating every specialized EV spread possible, and I hope you’ll be able to create some of your own specialized EV spreads to get an advantage in battle. However, this isn’t everything. Keep your eyes peeled for part three, where you can find a ton of specific tricks and shortcuts to really squeeze out every stat point from the EV spreads you create.
I’d like to give special shoutouts to some fantastic people who helped with the creation of parts one and two of this series.
- Ansel Blume (Stats). After we first started talking post-Worlds 2013, we made so many personal advancements with EV spread creation that it was crazy. For this series in particular, Stats put up with me bombarding him with example ideas and offered some fantastic examples himself.
- Cory. Unique to this list because I can actually go over to his house if I want help with something, Cory was extremely instrumental in teaching me how to use video and audio editing programs for the YouTube video. Without his help, I probably would have been done with the video in about March. He’s more of an overall gamer than a Pokémon nerd like myself, so if you’d like to watch some good Let’s Plays or check out his skills on Guitar Hero, check out his YouTube channel.
- Ashley Haramaki (Cometkins), for creating the stunning article artwork. I continue to be impressed by the amazing work she can create.
- Tommy Yee (tlyee61), for reminding me to mention gamut’s damage calculator and helping develop the series’ name.
- Xavier Liao (finally), for giving me permission to use him as an example in the article.