Welcome to Nugget Bridge - Premier Competitive Pokémon VGC Community

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more! This message will be removed once you have signed in.

  • entries
  • comments
  • views

EV Training Hot-Spots in Black 2 & White 2

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


blog-unova_bw2.jpgPokémon Black 2 and White 2 Versions introduced more locations and Pokémon from previous generations that couldn't be found in Unova in BW games. Because of that, EV training locations differ from those in previous 5th Gen games. I have stated Pokémon's locations, their level range, encounter rate and method of encountering. I also put EV gain from battling each Pokémon and calculations for EV gain modifiers so you'll know exactly how many EV you'll get. Many of these Pokémon live in other locations, but I have mentioned locations where they have lowest possible level to make things easier.

[if you're not sure what we mean by EV Training, check out our Beginner's Guide to EV Training and if you're looking to optimize your EVs, don't forget to check out our Advanced EV Spreads article. -Ed.]

Ways to Modify EV Gain:

Pokérus - doubles EV gained

Macho Brace - doubles EV gained, halves holder's Speed

Power items - give 4 additional EV points to a corresponding Stat, halves holder's Speed

In BW2, you can find some of those items in-game. The rest can be bought for Battle Points in Battle Subway and Pokémon World Tournament:

  • Macho Brace: Nimbasa City, eastern gate (gift)
  • Power Weight (+HP): Route 4 White2 only (in-game trade, attached to the Pokémon)
  • Power Bracer (+Atk): can't be found
  • Power Belt (+Def): Plasme Frigate White2 only (pokeball)
  • Power Lens (+SAtk): can't be found
  • Power Band (+SDef): Plasme Frigate Black2 only (pokeball)
  • Power Anklet (+Speed): Route 4 Black2 only (in-game trade, attached to the Pokémon)

Calculations for EVs per Battle:

Base 3 points:

  • Pokérus / Macho Brace: 6 EVs
  • Pokérus + Macho Brace: 12 EVs
  • Pokérus + Power Item: 14 EVs

Base 2 points:

  • Pokérus / Macho Brace: 4 EVs
  • Pokérus + Macho Brace: 8 EVs
  • Pokérus + Power Item: 12 EVs

Base 1 point:

  • Pokérus / Macho Brace: 2 EVs
  • Pokérus + Macho Brace: 4 EVs
  • Pokérus + Power Item: 10 EVs



Pokémon: Grimer

Location: Castelia City Sewers

Encounter Rate: 100%

Level: 5-15

EVs: 1 HP

Method: Surfing Spring and Summer only

Note that in Autumn and Winter, the water within the sewers is drained so you will have to change the date in your DS.



Pokémon: Palpitoad and Stunfisk

Location: Route 8

Encounter Rate: 30%/70%

Level: 45-60

EVs: 2 HP per each

Method: Surfing

Not recommended for low level Pokémon.



Pokémon: Banette and Golurk

Location: Victory Road (1st Floor)

Encounter Rate: 70%/30%

Level: 47-50

EVs: 2 Atk per each

Method: Walking



Pokémon: Golurk

Location: Dragonspiral Tower (2nd Floor)

Encounter Rate: 100%

Level: 55-58

EVs: 2 Atk

Method: Walking

Be careful when training low level Pokémon. You will probably want to EV train Attack in BW because it is much easier. There are no other 100% Atk EV places, but if you find a decent one, please, let me know. For a good split area:


Pokémon: Patrat

Location: Route 19

Encounter Rate: 50% (walking) / 100% (shaking grass)

Level: 2-4

EVs: 1 Atk

Method: Walking or shaking grass encounter

The other Pokémon that you can encounter is Purrloin so either try avoid it or train your Speed on it at the same time (+1 Spd EV).



Pokémon: Sandshrew and Yamask

Location: Relic Castle

Encounter Rate: 20%/40%

Level: 18-21

EVs: 1 Def per each

Method: Walking

Sandshrew and Yamask give a 60% encounter rate when combined. You need to pay more attention when EV training in Defence, as nowhere in the game(s) guarantees Defence EVs at 100%.

Special Attack


Pokémon: Litwick

Location: Celestial Tower (1st Floor only)

Encounter Rate: 100%

Level: 27-30

EVs: 1 SpAtk

Method: Walking

Special Defence


Pokémon: Frillish

Location: Route 4, Virbank City, Virbank Complex

Encounter Rate: 100%

Level: 5-15

EVs: 1 SpDef

Method: Surfing



Pokémon: Baltoy

Location: Relic Cave (Volcarona's Chamber)

Encounter Rate: 100%

Level: 27-30

EVs: 1 SpDef

Method: Walking



Pokémon: Basculin

Location: Route 19

Encounter Rate: 100%

Level: 5-15

EVs: 2 Speed

Method: Surfing

Good luck with your EV training!

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

1 Comment

You can find the Power Bracer (W2) and Power Lens (B2) at a house on Route 13. The house entrance is 11 squares west and 17 squares south of where you land from fly in lancunosa town. To get there, go just below the cut trees south of Cobalion, then head west into the narrow opening in the trees. This path leads to some stairs which head to a patch of grass. Across the patch of grass is a beech. Follow the beach until you see a house. Head into the house. One of the people in the house has the power item.

Share this comment

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • EV Training Hotspots in Pokémon X & Y
      By Gonzo
      Hello! My name is Konrad "Gonzo" Janik also known as your favourite EV training aid! This time, I want to share with you a list of good hotspots for Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. The code of the games cannot be decrypted yet, so I am not listing any Pokémon introduced in 6th Generation games because their EV yields remain unknown. The rarity of listed Pokémon is estimated and not 100% precise. Unfortunately, it is all we can get so far. This guide will be updated as soon as we get more information.
      I stated Pokémon's locations, their approximate levels, encounter rate (well, not really) and method of encountering. I also put EV gain from battling each Pokémon and calculations for EV gain modifiers so you'll know exactly how many EVs you'll get. A new type of wild Pokémon encounters -- horde battles -- are also listed. There are many other hordes, but I picked the most common ones, made of a single Pokémon species with the lowest possible levels. The guide is divided into four sections: Introduction, Hordes, Friend Safari and alternative methods.
      1. Introduction
      Important changes in EV Training compared to older games:

      The maximum amount of EVs in a single stat prior to XY was 255. In 6th Gen it was reduced to 252, so now you don't have to worry when maxing out a single stat.
      Horde encounters are the fastest way to EV train your Pokémon.

      Ways to Modify EV Gain:

      Pokerus - doubles EVs gained, can be combined with Macho Brace and Power Items
      Macho Brace - doubles EVs gained, halves holder's Speed, can be combined with Pokerus
      Power Items - give 4 additional EV points to a corresponding stat, halves holder's Speed, can be combined with Pokerus

      In XY, you can find Macho Brace lying on the ground at Route 15, Power Weight (+HP), Power Bracer (+Atk), Power Belt (+Def), Power Lens (+SAtk), Power Band (+SDef) and Power Anklet (+Speed) can be purchased in Battle Maison (Kiloude City) for 16 BP each.
      Calculations for EVs per Battle (Don't forget to multiply by 5 for horde encounters!):
      Base 3 points:

      Pokérus / Macho Brace: 6 EVs
      Pokérus + Macho Brace: 12 EVs
      Pokérus + Power Item: 14 EVs

      Base 2 points:

      Pokérus / Macho Brace: 4 EVs
      Pokérus + Macho Brace: 8 EVs
      Pokérus + Power Item: 12 EVs

      Base 1 point:

      Pokérus / Macho Brace: 2 EVs
      Pokérus + Macho Brace: 4 EVs
      Pokérus + Power Item: 10 EVs


      Avoid Pokémon introduced in 6th Generation when EV training, as their EV yields are currently unknown.
      If you need simple 252/252/4 spreads, use Hordes. Using vitamins is unnecessary - two Horde encounters give you the same amount of EVs as 10 Vitamins.
      If you need a more complicated EV spread, use Hordes + Friend Safari or find wild Pokémon that can give you the amount of EVs needed.

      2. Hordes
      In XY, if you use Sweet Scent or Honey, you have 100% chance to encounter a horde. A horde is a group of 5 Pokémon at a level around one half of the Pokémon you can encounter at the same location in regular one-on-one encounters. Method is not listed as this works in tall grass and caves only. Recommended for fast and easy maxing stats.

      Location: Route 5
      Encounter Rate: common
      Level: 5
      EVs: 1 HP per each

      Location: Connecting Cave
      Encounter Rate: common
      Level: 7
      EVs: 1 HP per each

      Location: Route 14
      Encounter Rate: common
      Level: 16
      EVs: 1 Atk per each

      Location: Route 19
      Encounter Rate: common
      Level: 24
      EVs: 2 Atk per each
      In case it's raining on Route 14 or 19, you can't use Sweet Scent and Honey to encounter hordes. Alternatively use:

      Location: Frost Cavern
      Encounter Rate: common
      Level: 20
      EVs: 1 Atk per each

      Location: Route 10
      Encounter Rate: common
      Level: 11
      EVs: 1 Def per each
      Location: Route 18, Terminus Cave
      Encounter Rate: common/uncommon
      Level: 23/23
      EVs: 1 Def per each/2 Def per each
      Special Attack

      Location: Frost Cavern
      Encounter Rate: Common
      Level: 20
      EVs: 1 SpAtk per each
      Smoochum horde can be found in Frost Cavern as well. It's very rare, but the EV yield is the same as Vanillite's, so you can just use them if you find them.
      Special Defence

      Location: Route 7
      Encounter Rate: common
      Level: 6
      EVs: 1 SpDef per each

      Location: Route 8
      Encounter Rate: common
      Level: 9
      EVs: 1 Speed per each
      Taillow horde can be found on Route 8 as well. It's very rare, but the EV yield is the same as Wingull's, so you can just use them if you find them.
      In case it's raining on Route 8, you can't use Sweet Scent and Honey to encounter hordes. Alternatively, use:

      Location: Connecting Cave
      Encounter Rate: common
      Level: 8
      EVs: 1 Speed per each
      3. Friend Safari
      After you beat Elite 4, you'll gain access to Kiloude City where you can find Friend Safari. Each of your 3DS friends generates three Pokémon of one type that can be encountered there. At the beginning, you can find just two species, and a third can be found after your friend beats the Elite 4, so non-Pokémon 3DS players will give you just two Pokémon. The list of Pokémon depends on Friend Codes you have, so after you go and discover your friends' species, just check their EV yields. The best way to do this is to use Bulbapedia's, Serebii's or Veekun's Pokedex, as all of them list the EVs you can get from beating specific Pokémon. This method is recommended for adding smaller amounts of EVs, impossible to get via Hordes.
      4. Alternative Methods
      (this section will be expanded when we have accurate encounter rates)
      Poke Radar
      If you don't want to use Hordes or Friend Safari, you can try something old-fashioned. Finding random Pokémon in grass quite inconvenient, so you can try using Poke Radar to chain specific Pokémon with desired EVs. When 100% accurate encounter rates are found, I'll expand this section. For now, I need to leave you with the idea.

      Location: Route 3
      Encounter Rate: 100% combined
      Level: 25
      EVs: 1 Atk per each
      Rod: Good Rod
      Location: Route 3/Route 8
      Encounter Rate: 100%
      Level: 15
      EVs: 1 Speed
      Rod: Old Rod
      Magikarp is on Route 3, Luvdisc is on Route 8
      Special Defence

      Location: Route 8
      Encounter Rate: very common
      Level: 20-30
      EVs: 1 SpDef
      The other Pokémon is Wailmer with very low encounter rate. In case you find it, just run away.
      Location: Frost Cavern (outside)
      Encounter Rate: 100% combined
      Level: 38-40
      EVs: 2 Speed per each

      That's all we can get so far. I'll keep an eye on any EV Training related information and will update the guide as soon as possible. Meanwhile, good luck with your EV training!
    • Improbability Drive: A Guide to Probability in Pokemon Battles
      By HeroOfTheWinds
      Hax. A phenomenon known the whole world over that has caused thousands of dc's and rage quits. A startling number of players curse this entity without any idea of how little (or much) reason there is to be upset. Like all RPG's, Pokémon is no different in its incorporation of luck, ranging from full paralysis to critical hits. But just how random are these events? This is the question that this article will answer, and hopefully knowledge of these chances will help players to realize more fully the weight of luck in the game and its consequences.
      Special Conditions
      So in just what ways can random events affect battles? Well, look no farther than the most common means of placing opponents into the menacing palm of the RNG: special conditions. These effects tend to have fairly low chances of being inflicted or taking effect, and yet they are the easiest to cause due to the large number of means by which they may occur.  Be aware, however, that all special conditions except Infatuation can be blocked by Safeguard or Lum Berry. Now, to take a closer look at each one and its causes:
      Paralyze: Grinding into a static halt
      As the heading of this section suggests, the primary cause of the paralyze condition is the wide variety of Electric moves. Just what does this shock you with? Try a 25% chance of being completely unable to use a move. As if that wasn't enough of a cripple (pun intended, naturally), the Pokémon's speed drops to an astonishing 25% of it's original value. But with every cloud comes a silver lining, and in this case, it's the fact that no move has anything higher than a 30% chance of causing paralysis, barring Thunder Wave and Zap Cannon, which always inflict it. Notable among the moves with a 30% chance are Thunder and Discharge, due to their fairly common use in VGC. Note that the ever-standard Thunderbolt also has a 10% chance to cause it. Additionally, it would be remiss to neglect mentioning that the Static and Effect Spore abilities also can cause paralysis, with a 30% and 10% chance, respectively.
      So what's to be done once your Pokémon have been Paralyzed? Since Heal Bell and Aromatherapy are usually not worth the move space, methods to actually remove the condition are scarce. However, if more than one Pokémon is paralyzed, and you have access to Trick Room, at least one of the side effects of paralysis could be turned into a boon, as a 75% decrease in speed means a nearly quadruple speed bonus in TR. Also, moves like Psycho Shift and Abilities like Synchronize can cause the opponent to keep your misery company. However, an ounce of prevention always helps, and if you see a T-wave coming, there's nothing like switching an immune Ground type in to be a “shock” absorber.
      Freeze: Not as cool as you think
      Chances are, after playing VGC for a while, it's inevitable that you will run into the cold embrace of the Freeze condition. Perhaps one of the most terrible conditions, frozen Pokémon have only a 20% chance of thawing on any given turn. And unlike Confusion and Sleep, there's no turn limit on how long you can be frozen. The bright side? All moves with a chance of causing Freeze only have a 10% rate of causing it. Not even the mighty Blizzard has a higher chance of causing Freeze...! But as the case is with all other luck-based occurrences, it's bound to happen sooner or later. So if you really do not want to remain a Popsicle, consider attacking your own Pokémon with a Fire move. Without fail that will thaw your 'mon without even the slightest trace of frostbite, getting it immediately back into the action. Furthermore, despair not if your Fire type gets frozen itself, since any move that involves being encased in fire with thaw the user. (Read: Flare Blitz.)  Once again, forethought will save frustration, as Sunny weather will prevent the Freeze condition from happening in the first place.
      Sleep: You snooze, you lose
      Sleep is one of those conditions that can be either a friend or an enemy. Lasting one to three turns, it was mercifully decided that a Pokémon could not sleep indefinitely. In fact, there is no bias toward any of the three lengths of sleep, so there's a perfect one out of three chance for each duration. However, absolutely no luck is involved with the move Rest, which always makes you sleep for two turns (provided you don't switch out and reset the counter). Also, the Effect Spore ability has a 10% chance of causing Sleep upon contact. Perhaps some of you have considered trying to use the Early Bird ability, but haven't been sure how much of a benefit it is. The answer: very. There is always a 33.3% chance of waking up immediately, and otherwise, the Pokémon will only sleep one short turn. But as with all conditions, it can be prevented from happening to begin with. One way is to effectively predict around the common Spore users (Amoongus, Parasect, Breloom, and Smeargle) until you can KO them, another is to hold a Chesto or Lum Berry, and finally the Insomnia and Vital Spirit abilities always prevent it.
      Confusion: Such a terrible thing
      The other status effect that has a finite length, Confusion lasts longer than sleep, clocking it at two to five turns. The logical explanation of this effect is that each turn there is “only” a 50% of confusion taking effect, damaging the Pokémon and robbing it of an attack. With the exception of Swagger, Flatter, and Confuse Ray, however, no move has more than a 30% chance of confusing the target. Take note, though, since the rain-loving Hurricane has the full 30% of sending your 'mon to the insane asylum.
      The coin-flip involved in the confusion status effect sparks an interesting and never-ending debate: Switch out to remove the condition, endangering the incoming Pokémon, or test your luck, and hope for a solid hit? The answer is largely situational. If there is something significant to gain by taking the chance on that very turn, it could very well be worth it. But if the Pokémon that needs to switch in doesn't stand a chance to live through the switch, and is vital for a later purpose, it would probably be better to take the chance. Sometimes you may have no choice. Hence, that bittersweet term, “luck.”
      Seeing as how Infatuation also has the same chance of taking effect as Confusion, and because it is rarely seen competitively, it shall be treated in this section. With a 50% chance of immobilizing the opponent,  in reality only about half your Pokémon could ever suffer Infatuation since it only works on Pokémon of the opposite gender. On top of it, there are only two ways to do so: First, through the move Attract, which always causes it (if the gender conditions are met), and second, through the Cute Charm ability, which has a 30% chance of taking effect. You be the judge!
      Burn: Too hot to handle
      The final status effect that shall be covered in this article is that of the ever-present Burn. Causing a bit of damage every turn, and mercilessly slicing the Attack stat in half, nobody wants to get burnt. And that's just what Will-o-Wisp and Inferno do without fail, provided they hit. To put salt in the wound, other moves can get as high as a 30% chance of burning the opponent, such as Scald.  Additionally, the Flame Body ability, common on such standard Pokémon as Volcarona and even Chandelure, can be a threat to any of your mons that touch the foe, particularly since it shares the 30% effect rate.  Be aware that Fire types cannot be burned, and ones with the Flash Fire ability will even boost the power of fire moves should they be hit with Fire. Scald definitely is the odd man out, however, being a Water move. Just by packing a Lum Berry, however, you can exploit the virtual panacea for all your status-problem needs.
      Effect Spore:  Don't mess with the 'shrooms!
      Finally, a few words are in order for the Ability which has already been mentioned twice in this article: Effect Spore.
      The Effect Spore ability has a 30% chance of causing one of three special conditions: Poison, Paralyze, and Sleep, with 10% allocated to each. While this may sound terrifying, there are a couple of scenarios to consider.  First, direct contact with the spore-er in question is necessary for the ability to take effect.  Second, 10% of that chance is expended on a competitively weak condition, Poison. Last, the ability could cause major headaches if it is being abused within a TR team, as it could paralyze the foe and bring it down to a speed that thrives in TR.
      While it was just stated that regular Poison is somewhat useless, it still is necessary to state that there is one more odd chance of contracting it: Poison Point.  The ability is on few common Pokémon, but when it's there, be wary of its 30% effect rate.
      Flinches, Criticals, and Accuracy/Evasion Stat Levels
      Now that the most controllable and abused randomizers have been covered, it's time to take a look at the less controllable (and hence more infuriating) events. Just what are these? Flinches, critical hits, and the pairing of accuracy and evasion levels.
      Flinches: Just when you thought you were focused...
      That dreadful moment when your Pokémon flinches and misses out on that match deciding Close Combat: that is what makes flinches so dangerous. Of course, everyone knows that flinches can be controlled with the move Fake Out, but after that, there's a bigger chance of being made to flinch than most people realize. Many competitively viable moves such as Air Slash, Rock Slide, Icicle Crash and Iron Head and have a whopping 30% of causing a flinch. Additionally, their close cousins Dark Pulse, Waterfall and Zen Headbutt still have a 20% of causing a flinch. So, those numbers could be much worse. Consider this: many teams have two Pokémon who can use Rock Slide. If both of them use it at the same time, each of your Pokémon has a 51% chance of flinching. What can be done, then? Well, there are two approaches: if you are faster than the potential cause of a flinch, there's no problem, since a flinch only works before you've made your attack. Second, the ability Inner Focus makes your Pokémon immune to flinching, even from Fake Out, making it a valuable tool in the current metagame. On a side note, the item King's Rock often garners questions about whether it increases the chance of a flinch enough to make it worthwhile. The answer is this: it adds a 10% chance of flinching, but only when using damaging moves without any secondary effects (paralysis, stat boosts). While this is nothing amazing, a Pokemon with the Skill Link Ability can use five-strike moves with a combined 41% chance of causing the foe to flinch. Additionally, most of the moves with a 30% chance of flinching so not have any secondary effects, so this formidable sounding item can increase that chance to 40%.
      Critical Hits: It's a head-shot!!
      The greatest match-flippers in the whole game: the dreaded Critical Hits. Not only do they double the damage normally dealt (or triple it, as is the case with the Ability Sniper), but they ignore all negative stat changes on the Pokémon that scores the hit, and all defense boosts on the target. That's right; your Latios at -4 Sp. Atk can hit with Draco Meteor at double-full force if he scores a critical. So what is the chance of these minitaure catastrophes happening? The regular chance is 1/16, or 6.25%. However, a wide variety of moves that double this chance, including Stone Edge, Leaf Blade, Psycho Cut, Drill Run, Cross Chop, Cross Poison and Slash, bringing the chance up to 12.5%. Two items that further boost this ratio are Razor Claw and Scope Lens, bringing the regular chances up to 12.5% and 25%, respectively. Hence, it would appear that 25% is the highest it could go, right? In practice, yes, but it can indeed get higher: Focus Energy raises the critical hit ratio one more point higher, bringing that 25% up to 33.3%. The upside of this is that the metagame is so fast-paced that it would not be worth the effort to devote an extra turn to raising the critical rate that high. But there is one last factor: the Super Luck Ability, held only by Togekiss, Honchkrow, Absol, and Unfezant, which doubles the current critical “stat-stage.” That means that Unfezant's Air Cutter has a base 33.3% chance of scoring a critical hit....! Add in a Scope Lens, and it reaches the highest level: 50%. Only two moves will ever get critical hits every time: Storm Throw and Frost Breath, both of which are on Pokémon who don't have much use for the move. While criticals in and of themselves may not be the worst thing out there, they certainly have a huge impact on matches, often KO-ing something that would usually survive. On top of that, there are only two ways to avoid critical hits: the Ability Battle Armor, and the move Lucky Chant. While these may sound useful, most of the Pokémon who get them either have a better ability at their disposal, or are virtually wasting a move slot just for peace-of-mind. The bottom line: don't rage if a critical or two happens in a battle. Statistically speaking, there are four Pokémon attacking each turn with a 1/16 chance of getting a critical hit; hence one could easily happen every four turns.
      Accuracy and Evasion:  Missed it by *that* much
      Accuracy is a fact of Pokémon.  Every attack has an accuracy rating between 30 and 100, naturally standing for percentages.  Simple, right?  Of course! Er... until you find out that accuracy can be affected by stat stages both of evasion and accuracy itself.  Furthermore, various items and Abilities can affect these stats as well.  Now, to make a more accurate explanation of these factors...
      Stat stages for Accuracy and Evasion are complicated.  More so than regular stat changes.   The biggest reason for this is because most people are not aware how Pokémon's accuracy is being calculated.  The answer is that Accuracy multiplies your move's base accuracy, while Evasion divides it.  So, if the foe has six stages of evasion, divide your accuracy by three, and if you have six stages of Accuracy, multiply your accuracy by three.  To put it in a formula:  (Move Accuracy) × (Accuracy stat) ÷ (foe's Evasion stat).  For example, if you are using the 90% accurate Draco Meteor with 1.66x Accuracy against a Blissey at four stages of Evasion, Draco Meteor will have a virtual accuracy of about 64%.   Now for the percentages themselves, which are the same for Accuracy and Evasion:

      Negative Stages |       Positive Stages
      -6 = Accuracy x 0.33|       6 = Accuracy x 3
      -5 = x .375|       5 = x 2.66
      -4 = x 0.428 |       4 = x 2.33
      -3 = x 0.5 |       3 = x 2
      -2 = x 0.6 |       2 = x 1.66
      -1 = x 0.75 |       1 = x 1.33So now that the values associated with accuracy and evasion have been fully explained, the various items and Abilities which automatically affect these entities can be easily illustrated.  The most common Evasion raising Abilities are Sand Veil and Snow Cloak, which activate in Sandstorm and Hail weather respectively, and each boosts the Pokémon's evasion by one stage.  In other words, that Garchomp in the sand will only have a 75% chance of being hit... pretty big in this fast-paced game.  On the contrary, the CompoundEyes Ability raises your own Pokémon's accuracy by 30%, explaining how Galvantula's Thunder hits about as often as Draco Meteor despite the move's base 70 Accuracy.  As far as items go, BrightPowder raises Evasion by 10%, while Lax Incense raises it a measly 5%.  (Who uses it, anyway?)  Accuracy-boosting items include Wide Lens, Zoom Lens, and Micle Berry.  Wide Lens increases accuracy by 10% of the base accuracy of a move, while Zoom Lens increases it by 20%... but only if the Pokémon moves last.  Micle Berry is not much more viable than Zoom Lens, since it activates only when your Pokémon is down and in the red.  The upside is that it increases the next move's Accuracy by 20%, so at least your last attack is more unlikely to miss!
      Serene Grace:  Blithely causing ragequits
      Serene Grace is a peculiar Ability that deserves its very own section, considering that it doubles the chance of any added effect a move might cause.  Air Slash and Rock Slide, while they only have a 30% chance of causing a flinch, take a huge leap up to 60% in the hands of Togekiss, Blissey and Dunsparce, making for quite the threat.  Furthermore, attacks like Blizzard that only have a 10% chance of causing the Frozen condition now have a 20% chance of crystallizing your best attacker...!  Take it from me, when Serene Grace is around, your state of mind will more than likely be anything BUT serene.
      Random Move Effects and Damage Randomization
      Now for the final elements of chance in Pokémon battles:  those that occur in the moves themselves, the random factor applied to damage from attacks, and speed ties.  While easily overlooked, these are the factors that usually make or break the outcome of the battle. Will Bullet Seed hit two times or five times?  Will your Hitmontop or his Hitmontop go first?  And is that Dark Pulse going to do 48% or 50% damage, determining whether or not that Jellicent is KO'd?  Read on for the answers.
      Moves with extra effects:  So NOW you fear my Metagross
      The first category of attacks that randomly help the player are those that occasionally boost one (or more) of the user's stats.  Examples include Meteor Mash, which has a 20% chance of raising the user's Attack one stage, Steel Wing, which has a 10% chance of raising the Pokémon's Defense one stage, and Charge Beam, which has a whopping 70% chance of raising the user's Special Attack one stage (and face it, the move is so weak it NEEDS that boost).  Also worth a mention are AncientPower, Silver Wind and Ominous Wind, which all have a 10% chance of raising every stat one stage, except Accuracy and Evasion.  It bears noting, however, that none of these moves should be relied on for strategies, since most offer only a 10-20% chance of taking effect, and the ones that offer more usually are too weak to be worth the set up.  In other words, gloat over the boosts if you like, but do not expect them when you most need them.
      Next are the multi-strike moves!  Who said that hitting the foe once per turn is enough?  Jokes aside, these moves hit 2-5 times when you attack (unless you OHKO, of course).  However, the odds are stacked in favor of hitting only two or three times, since there is only a combined 25% chance of hitting four or five times.  For the cold, calculated odds:  37.5% chance each of hitting two or three times, and a 12.5% chance each for hitting four or five times.  So if you plan on using Bullet Seed, Icicle Spear, Rock Blast, Bone Rush, or any of the other multi-strike moves, it stands to reason that you should try managing your EVs to allow for a KO of intended targets with only two or three strikes.  On the other hand, Cloyster and Cinccino both have Skill Link, allowing the moves to always hit 5 times... (Oh, woe to those who cross a Skill Link Pokémon!)
      Finally, there are the attacks with a random chance of dropping one of the foe's stats.  Not only do these lucky breaks generally make the foes more vulnerable in the following turns, they sometimes can be so devastating that they force a switch!  One move that causes this is Crunch, with a 20% chance of lowering Defense one stage.  Furthermore, Bug Buzz, Psychic, Energy Ball and Earth Power all have a 10% chance of lowering Special Defense one stage, while Shadow Ball has a 20% chance of doing the same thing.  So just as with the moves that might boost your stats, these moves that lower stats are no more reliable, and ought to be merely welcomed as offering an added sting to your foe's wounds.
      The random damage multiplier:  Lamenting a Pokémon's inconsistent strength
      Once you've played Pokémon for a while, it is almost impossible to notice that there is a slight variation in how much damage an attack deals each time, even though your Pokémon and the foe's remain unchanged.  The reason is simple:  Game Freak decided that random parahax and unbelievably badly timed 10% chances of Freeze did not make battles random enough, so they made move damage random too.  Without expounding on the whole, mildly complicated damage formula, I'll reduce it to this:  every attack's damage will be multiplied by a random number between 0.85 and 1.  Consequently, it is proven that your Pokémon is occasionally responsible for a loss because it didn't give its all!  Not really.  Regardless, this should be considered when developing EV spreads, just as Jio has mentioned in his article on EV spreads.  While calculating spreads, always assume every attack will be at it's weakest, and EV accordingly.  Alternatively, find a percentage of a certain damage threshold that you are comfortable with.  It can't hurt to cross your fingers while attacking a Pokémon, either.
      Speed Ties:  Heads, I win; Tails, please miss
      Last, but not least, there is the issue of Speed Ties.  With so many Pokémon out there who share speed tiers with others, it's bound to happen sooner or later that two Pokémon have the exact same speed stat.  In the event of this tie, Pokémon does what every other rational being does when a decision needs to be made without bias: it flips a coin.  You read that correctly, in the event of a speed tie, there is a 50% chance of your Pokémon going before the opponent, and vice-versa.  The most unfortunate part is that on certain teams, particularly Trick Room teams and teams with Swift Swimmers or Sand Rushers, this event is nearly unavoidable.  While not much can be done to prevent them, it still is wise to have a plan for when they do inevitably happen.
      Whether you wish to know this information in order to better weigh the risks, or else if you want to maximize the odds of “hax”, the same way Manoj Sunny (MangoSol) did in his 2012 Worlds team as well as others before him, arming yourself with a thorough knowledge of probability of in-battle effects will surely lead to a greater understanding of the game, and hopefully the development of a better playstyle.
    • Speed Kills!: Controlling and EVing Speed in VGC
      By Werford
      "The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself."

      Sun Tzu, The Art of War

      In a turn-based game such as Pokémon, the person who moves first has control of the field and thus control of the battle. It is paramount, therefore, to efficiently manipulate Speed in order to make sure your Pokémon are moving first whenever possible. You can accomplish this by utilizing various methods of in-battle Speed control as well as making informed EV spreads.
      Speed Control
      There are several different methods of controlling Speed within a battle itself. These are six of the most common methods:
      Paralysis (Thunder Wave, Glare, Body Slam, Stun Spore)
      As pointed out in a previous article, Paralysis decreases a Pokémon's Speed stat by 75%. This is arguably the most efficient method of Speed control due to its permanence (unless status healing berries, abilities, or moves are used) and Thunder Wave's relatively wide distribution. It does have drawbacks, however. Any Ground-type or Pokémon with Volt Absorb, Motor Drive, or Lightningrod will not be affected by Thunder Wave, the most common means of inflicting Paralysis. In addition, Pokémon with the Guts or Quick Feet ability almost welcome Paralysis due to the fact that their Attack or Speed, respectively, become boosted by status effects (though they still have to deal with the 25% chance of being fully Paralyzed). The same goes for teams that utilize Trick Room, as their Speed is effectively "boosted" under the effect of Trick Room.
      Spread Speed Reducing Moves (Icy Wind, Bulldoze, Electroweb)
      Each of these moves hits both enemies (and in the case of Bulldoze, your partner as well) and reduces their speed by one stage for each use of the move. A one stage reduction in Speed will decrease a Pokémon's speed by 33%, while a two-stage drop will decrease it by 50% and a three-stage drop by 60%. This strategy is  efficient, but it does have its drawbacks: an afflicted Pokémon can switch out to negate the Speed drop, and Pokémon with Clear Body such as Metagross do not receive any reduction in stats from these moves. Defiant or Contrary users do not care as much about these moves, either, since they will get a boost in stats as a result of getting hit with the moves. Wide Guard completely blocks these moves, allowing a partner to attack you while you try to set up a Speed drop.
      Trick Room
      The most involved method of Speed control, this move reverses the order of Pokemon movement in each priority bracket for a duration of 5 turns after the move is used. Therefore, the Pokémon with the lowest Speed stat will move first in each priority bracket, while the Pokémon with the highest Speed stat will move last. This allows slow but powerful Pokémon such as Conkeldurr to wreak havoc on opponents, but Trick Room can be shut down by Taunt users or, due to the move's extremely low priority, by just killing the Pokémon trying to use the move before they can get it off. Without another form of Speed control, this will leave the slower Pokémon suited to a Trick Room team very vulnerable. Trick Room setters are also a bit predictable, and can be easily scouted at the Pokémon selecting screen. Be aware as well that priority stays the same, so a Scizor (at base 65 Speed) using Bullet Punch will still attack before an Amoonguss (base 30) using Spore.
      Speed modifying items (Choice Scarf, Iron Ball, Power Items)
      Choice Scarf increases the holding Pokémon's Speed stat by 50% while locking it into using the same move for however long it is on the field of battle. This is most often utilized to gain a surprise kill with a powerful, mid-Speed Pokémon. Its use necessitates switching, however, and once the Skitty is out of the proverbial bag, a Scarfed Pokémon is somewhat easy to predict around. Iron Ball and each of the Power items (including the Macho Brace) each decrease the holding Pokémon's Speed stat by 50%, which may be helpful for Trick Room or setting weather (more on that below). The obvious drawback is that when not under the effects of Trick Room, these items highly increase the likelihood that you'll be going last. This can be mitigated by using a Pokémon with Trick or another such move, however, as the move can foist this disadvantage onto your opponent and act as another form of permanent Speed control.
      Speed increasing abilities (Swift Swim, Chlorophyll, Sand Rush, Motor Drive, Speed Boost, Quick Feet, Steadfast, Unburden, Rattled, Weak Armor)
      The first three abilities double a Pokémon's Speed while under the effects of Rain, Bright Sunlight, or Sandstorm, respectively. This strategy of Speed control is neutralized by changing the weather to one less favorable, or by utilizing one of the other methods of Speed control (especially Paralysis or Trick Room). The others will increase your Pokémon'sSpeed stat by either one or two stages (depending on the ability) once certain criteria are met, like being attacked by an Electric-type attack (Motor Drive), being afflicted with status (Quick Feet) or being flinched (Steadfast). In all cases these boosts will be lost by switching out.
      Doubles the Speed of all Pokémon on the user's side of the field for 3 turns after it is used. This is handy in that it affects all Pokémon on your side of the field, allowing a support Pokémon to set it up while a slower sweeper takes advantage of it. Unlike Trick Room, Tailwind has normal priority, meaning that it is easier to get off. However, it is still limited in that it effectively only lasts 3 turns and Trick Room or Paralysis can shut it down.
      Utilizing Speed Control
      A good team typically has two or three different Pokémon that can utilize one of these methods, with many players opting to use more than one method in conjunction with another. It's common to run Thunder Wave and Icy Wind on the same team, due to the synergy the two moves have. Other teams may utilize several Pokémon using the same method of Speed control. Trainers using a dedicated Trick Room or Rain team, for example, are likely to have multiple Pokémon with Trick Room or Swift Swim, respectively.

      There are other methods of Speed control not listed here: single-target Speed reducing moves such as Cotton Spore and Low Sweep; self-targeting Speed modifying moves such as Dragon Dance, Quiver Dance, and Curse; turn-altering moves such as After You and Quash; and increased priority moves such as Bullet Punch and Mach Punch. For the most part, these suffer problems with inefficiency, low distribution, or some combination of the two, but there may be niches where you may choose to use them. Priority in particular could be worth looking at, but keep in mind that these moves are generally low-powered.
      Identifying threats and Speed creeping accordingly
      Now that we know how we're going to control Speed in our battles, we can move on to EVs and Natures. In essence, in order to determine which Speed you want to hit, you have to consider the following questions:
      What Speed can my Pokémon possibly hit?
      This is determined by base stats, Nature, and IV. Most online Pokedexes have information on what Speeds are possible for various Pokémon. I personally use the Pokemon Online editor, as I can adjust for Nature and IVs to see what Speeds I can hit, and it allows me to see exactly how many EVs I need to hit a certain Speed stat once I know what target I want to reach.
      What threats can I outspeed, given these limitations?
      Knowing what you want to be able to kill ahead of time is paramount. It makes no sense to blindly max Speed if you can still outspeed an important threat with less EVs. These extra EVs can be transferred to other stats, adding bulk or offensive power that could come in handy. Knowing what threats to examine requires a bit of foreknowledge about the metagame, but a good place to look is on the Pokémon GBU website, which has a list of the 10 most commonly used Pokémon in each battle format as well as information on which Pokémon are commonly used alongside them. Another decent source of numbers to hit for certain threats can be found here.

      A corollary to this question is, "If I can outspeed a threat, should I?" There may be times when it makes sense to sacrifice the ability to outspeed an opponent in exchange for greater bulk or attacking power. Metagross is a good example of this. With a boosting nature, it is able to outspeed max Speed neutral base 80 Pokémon such as Mamoswine, Chandelure, and Dragonite. Since it's able to hit these Pokémon super effectively (and is likely hit super effectively right back), it may make sense to try out outspeed these threats. However, Metagross loses a lot of attacking power by not running an Attack-boosting Nature, and even with a Speed-boosting Nature it still requires 244 EVs to outspeed these threats. This means sacrificing more Attack or bulk, which limits Metagross' effectiveness somewhat. Unless you're running a Choice Band set, it usually makes more sense to run a bulkier Metagross with a lower Speed.
      With the tools at my disposal, can I overcome these Speed limitations and still outspeed certain threats?
      If there is a threat at a higher Speed that you absolutely want to be able to kill, consider the methods of Speed control outlined earlier in the article. Keep in mind the drawbacks of each method, as well as the fact that you will likely need to run a Speed that works both with and without the method to be effective. In the rain, Swift Swim Ludicolo requires only 84 Speed EVs with a neutral nature to outspeed anything that isn't Scarfed (bar Accelgor). However, should you decide you want to outspeed 4 Speed neutral Suicune and Cresselia outside of the rain, you'd need to raise that value to 132 Speed EVs. You will still accomplish your first goal, and now you will be able to outspeed a threat when your method of Speed Control isn't working.

      Another thing to keep in mind is that your opponent will also be using these same methods of Speed control to try to influence the match in their favor. You may want include a Pokémon or EV spread on your team that will mitigate the opponent's use of different Speed control methods, such as using a Lightningrod Pokémon to deal with Thunder Wave or a slow, bulky Pokémon like Amoonguss or Ferrothorn to help deal with Trick Room.
      Are there any special situations where I would benefit from running a specific Speed?
      Weather setters (such as Tyranitar, Politoed, and Abomasnow) have a unique problem when it comes to figuring out what Speed to run. If two Pokémon that set different types of weather are sent out at the same time, the slower Pokémon's Ability will take precedence. For example, normally Tyranitar is faster than Abomasnow. If you want to ensure that Tyranitar gets Sand up rather than Abomasnow's Hail, you can run a Speed-limiting Nature and an IV of 0. This will make Tyranitar slower than any Abomasnow that is not doing the same thing, and thus ensures that in the event of the two Pokémon coming out at the same time, Tyranitar will always get Sand up. Another way to help ensure this is to use an Iron Ball (or Power item), which decreases the holder's Speed by 50%. In this case, Tyranitar can run up to 114 Speed (which requires a Jolly Nature to hit) and still be slower than any Abomasnow not holding an Iron Ball itself.

      There may be other situations where you have other influences on what Speed you'll run. A great example of this is Duy's San Jose Regional team, which featured a Trick Room Cresselia running with a Speed stat of 81. He chose to invest just enough Speed EVs in his Machamp to reach 82 Speed, which ensured that Cresselia would always go before Machamp under Trick Room and thus give a Swagger boost to Machamp before it attacked. This is a common tactic on teams built around the use of Trick Room and Swagger.

      One other situation to keep in mind is if you happen to know what your opponent is likely to run and you wish to counter-team them. For example, if you happen to know that your opponent runs the same Dragon Gem Hydreigon Ray Rizzo used at Worlds 2012, you can run your own Hydreigon with 8 more Speed EVs than Ray's to ensure that you'll go first. This is known as "Speed Creep".
      Building an EV spread
      With those questions in mind, let's try looking at an example. Say that your team is weak to Garchomp, which maxes out at 169 Speed when Jolly. You have two Pokémon on your team that are potentially capable of dealing with this threat: Ice Punch Weavile and HP Ice Heatran. How can we ensure that our Pokémon will go first and get the KO before Garchomp can strike us down?

      Getting Weavile to outspeed Garchomp is easy enough. Weavile has a higher base Speed than Garchomp, and is so fast that it can in fact outspeed Garchomp with a neutral nature. With an Adamant nature, Weavile only needs 196 Speed EVs to outspeed every Garchomp your opponent could use against you (with the exception of Choice Scarf varieties). This gives you 314 EVs to allocate into different stats, whereas if you'd maxed your Speed, you'd only have 256 EVs to work with.

      Heatran, on the other hand, has its work cut out for it. Even if you ran a boosting nature such as Timid, you could only hit a maximum Speed of 141. Even an Adamant Garchomp can outspeed that with plenty of EVs left over. However, your team also features Icy Wind Cresselia. After an Icy Wind, any non-Scarfed Garchomp will have at most 112 Speed. This is much easier to deal with, and indeed, with a Modest nature and 124 EVs, your Heatran will outspeed any non-Scarfed Garchomp after a single Icy Wind.
      Effectively utilizing different methods of Speed control and EV training your Pokémon with them in mind will allow you to achieve greater results in your battles. Knowing that you'll outspeed certain threats ahead of time allows you to deal with those threats that much more efficiently, allowing you to utilize your own strategies with greater success. You'll be able to go into a battle knowing that it's yours to win or lose, rather than up to your opponent or the whims of the RNG, and that knowledge is one of the most important things a trainer can have.

      Article image created by feathers for Nugget Bridge. View more of her artwork on her tumblr or Nugget Bridge forums thread.
    • 252 Times Better than 252/252: Advanced EV Spreads
      By jio
      Congratulations! You've read our advice on the very best spots to train your Pokémon. Now you're ready to start putting the finishing touches on your team, but the idea of doing all the math to come up with a competitive EV spread is too intimidating. In the end you decide to dump 252 EVs into the two most viable stats and 4 EVs in the third and make up your mind that you're ready to battle. While this is acceptable for newcomers to VGC, as you progress as a battler you'll soon realize how inefficient 252 / 252 spreads are. The purpose of this thread is to guide the reader in crafting custom and creative EVs spreads that make the Pokémon and the whole team more efficient. Once you have finished reading this article you'll be able to think outside the box not only in terms of EVs, but also item choices and natures, both of which play a big role in determining how to train your Pokémon. This article will cover five important factors that should we considered when EVing your team.
      Table of Contents

      Establishing a Goal which explains how to design a role for a certain Pokémonon your team and how to EV it to help accomplish that role.
      Being Conservative which involves getting the most out of your spread using the least amount of EVs to accomplish your goal.
      Offensive EVs which are used to OHKO or 2HKO the top threats in VGC or certain threats to your team.
      Defensive EVs which allow your Pokémon to survive certain attacks commonly seen in VGC.
      Speed Creeping which allows you to get the jump on other Pokémon around your Speed tier.

      Establishing a Goal
      Every Pokémon that you carry on your team has a specific role on the team. That role can be to OHKO/2HKO a certain threat, survive certain attacks, or outspeed a certain threat; some Pokémon are even capable of doing all three! Establishing a goal is what defines the EV spread you carry on your Pokémon and whether or not that Pokémon can accomplish that goal. So before you can begin creating an EV spread you should ask yourself, "What is this Pokémon's role on my team? And how should I EV it to accomplish this goal 100% of the time?"
      To answer the first question, you have to understand what the Pokémon you're running is fully capable of, so it's recommended to look at it's movepool and base stats to see if it's capable of fulfilling this role. For this, we recommend Veekun's Pokédex. Once you have done that you're halfway through establishing a goal. Now you can answer the second question several ways, either by OHKOing a certain target, surviving a certain attack from it and setting up to be able to handle it better, or outspeeding a threat to obtain an advantage over your opponent.
      You have to understand that each Pokémon on your team can only do so much in a battle. Its best not to overload your Pokémon with 3-4 goals and instead focus on the two most important goals and then throw in a third if it's possible. There is a reason you have a partner and other teammates on your party: they all have their own goals and tasks which aid the whole team in victory. It's usually in best interest to EV each Pokémon with a seperate goal. This makes your team more versatile and unpredictable in a long run. For example, if you want a Pokémon to OHKO a certain threat, you need to make sure you invest just enough power to OHKO the threat 100% of the time, however if you plan to just have it deal as much damage as possible to a wide variety of targets, then maxing investment in offense is acceptable. The smallest number of goals you want to have is two seeing as how you have at least three stats to EV train in. Your Pokémon can either OHKO threats and Speed creep certain threats, OHKO threats and take hits, or take hits and Speed creep certain threats. The goals you want your Pokémon to accomplish are entirely up to you, but you must make sure you understand what each Pokémon in the VGC metagame is capable of doing before you prepare yourself for them.
      If that seems all a bit academic, let's take a look at an example. This is the Reuniclus I worked on with Cassie that she used on her top cutting Nationals team. We'll take a look at what goals we selected for this Reuniclus and how we EV'd Reuniclus to accomplish those goals.

      Reuniclus (F) @ Life Orb
      Trait: Magic Guard
      EVs: 252 HP / 60 Def / 196 SAtk
      Quiet Nature (+SAtk, -Spd)
      - Trick Room
      - Psychic
      - Energy Ball
      - Recover
      Reuniclus was chosen to be the Fighting-type counter to her team, and with Life Orb + 125 base Special Attack it did a fine job. 196 SpA was chosen as it was just enough to OHKO Max Hp / Max SpDef Conkeldurr and 252 Hp / 0 SpDef Hitmontop 100% of the time. It also has good chance of OHKOing 252 Hp / 252 SpDef Hitmontop. Considering that these are two of the most specially bulky Fighting-types in VGC, Reuinclus would have had no problems KOing the rest, which was very helpful for the Abomasnow on her team. The SpA EVs also allowed Energy Ball to OHKO 252 hp / 252 SpDef Calm Gastrodon without Rindo Berry and deal a significant chunk to 252 Hp Tyranitar with Sandstorm up. Reuniclus's Hp and Def EVs allowed Reuniclus to take a non-boosted Crunch from Adamant Tyranitar and most other physical attacks. A non-boosted Bug Bite from Scizor had a 43% chance to OHKO her Reuniclus, but she had a partner in Chandelure to handle Scizor. So to reiterate, her Reuniclus's goals were the following:

      OHKO a majority of Fighting-types in VGC
      OHKO Calm (Rindo Berry-less) Gastrodon with Energy Ball
      Take a non-boosted Crunch from Adamant Tyranitar and hit back with Energy ball

      With these goals her Reuniclus was able to support her team by comfortably setting up TR majority of the time while having partners to handle threats Reuniclus would've had trouble against.
      Conservative EVs
      Being conservative is probably the most important mindset you can have when it comes to distributing EVs to your Pokémon. It simply means that you are accomplishing a goal by using the least amount of EVs needed. By using this method you'll find yourself with more unused EVs that can be added in another stat to give your Pokémon the best possible advantage over your opponent. Most battlers' first instinct is to dump 252 EVs into the Pokémon's best stat, but what most of them don't realize is that if you were to use a bit less than 252 EVs you can achieve the same results as if you maxed it out. There's nothing completely wrong with using 252 EVs in one stat, but why should you when you can use less EVs to accomplish the same goal? The best way to figure out how many EVs you should add to accomplish a goal is to use a Damage Calculator. I recommend using the Honkalculator. Mess with the EVs and try to find how many you need to accomplish your goal and try to reduce the number as much as possible. After you've reduced your EVs as much as possible, you'll have leftover EVs which can be used to increase your offense, bulk, or outpace a certain threat.
      It's important that you avoid wasting EVs on your Pokémon that could be used on another stat. Remember that a Pokémon's stat increases by 1 point for every 4 or 8 EVs, so you should make sure you're doing your math right. If you're EVing in offense first make sure you have the least amount of EVs to KO the target 100% of the time, or if that's not possible then go for a high enough chance that you feel comfortable with. If you're Speed creeping then make sure it has enough EVs in speed to outrun the target by one Speed point. If you're investing in more bulk make sure you invest enough HP and either Defense or Special Defense to survive the attack you're looking out for with a reasonable percentage. The main problem with 252 / 252 spreads is that they restrict the Pokémon from accomplishing anything against skilled players as they'll be dying to attacks they could potentially survive due to EVs being wasted in an irrelevant stat. You should definitely use the Damage Calculator to make sure that all 510 EVs are being used and split up in at least 3 different stats. If you're in a situation where you have enough EVs in certain stats that fulfill certain goals and still have leftover stats you can add them wherever you feel it would be helpful. So if you have a Cresselia with EVs in Hp, Def, SpDef, and Spe that are satisfactory enough but still have leftover EVs you can add them to whichever of those stats you feel it'd be extra help with or add it into SpA just to give Cress a bit of fighting power. Even as little as 4 EVs in a stat can make a big difference during a battle, so take advantage of that when you're making your spread.
      You should also be aware of any irregular IVs on your Pokémon, say, for a Hidden Power, as that can affect your EVs. If you were to put 252 EVs in a stat that had a 30 IV, you would have wasted a stat point. At level fifty, when you use 252 EVs on a stat with 30 IVs, you don't receive the extra 1 point after 248 EVs that you would if you had 31 IVs. For example, if you are running Hidden Power Fire on Latios then you should know that it usually requires 30 IVs in Special Attack and Speed. If you were using Timid Latios and investing 252 EVs into either SpA or Speed you would get the same stat as if you had invest only 248 EVs, wasting 4EVs on each stat. Because you're trying to be conservative, you should go with 248 EVs since you get the same result and you can now put those extra 4 EVs in either of Latios's defenses. While 4 EVs may not seem like much, any amount is more than enough in helping you barely survive certain OHKOs or getting secure kills.
      Offensive EVs
      You win a Pokémon battle by knocking out the opponent's entire team before they can do the same to yours. The simplest way to do this is to overpower and KO your targets with powerful attacks, but you have to make sure you're being smart about it as well. If you want your Pokémon to just deal as much damage to with an overpowered attack such as Latios's Dragon Gem Draco Meteor, then 252 SpA is acceptable. However, if you're carrying a Pokémon whose job is to KO a specific target then it's time to be creative. As mentioned before its best to invest enough EVs in power to KO a specific target 100% of the time. Doing this requires you to learn Base Stats, how EVs change each stat, and how to use a damage calculator. You'll want to understand the base Attack and Special Attack of your Pokémon compared to the base Defense and Special Defense of your target so you can understand how much investment you will need to KO. Not only will a large base stat determine your OHKOs, but super-effective damage is an important factor when it comes to OHKOing a target so you should definitely take that into account when EVing to KO a specific threat. Also take into account the decrease in base power of spread attacks such as Blizzard, Heat Wave, and Rock Slide, which are reduced to 75% of their original power. Due to this drop your attack might often 2HKO or 3HKO the target unless you have a way of boosting your attack or a partner who can KO one of the targets to bring the spread damage back to 100%. It's also very important to understand that Sandstorm and Hail damage can play a huge role in deciding OHKOs. If an attack has a high chance to OHKO, it'll become a 100% chance when you consider Sandstorm and Hail chip damage.
      Items, Weather, and Abilities are a godsend when it comes to raising the power of your attacks to ensure key OHKOs. They provide your Pokémon with extra power, meaning you can invest less in your offensive stat and add some bulk to your spreads. For example, the Reuniclus that was mentioned before had only 196 SpA EVs but carried a Life Orb to guarantee the KO on Conkeldurr. This meant it had leftover EVs to add to its bulk, allowing it to take a Crunch from Tyranitar. You can go even further than this, using a Water Gem and Rain for example, to allow you to invest even less in your offensive stats and more in bulk. Of course you're more than welcome to invest 252 EVs in offense, but if you're stacking up multiple advantages on one mon then your attack can become unnecessary overkill when you could be investing in bulk. Ultimately the decision is up to the player's play style so they should find an amount of offensive EVs that they feel comfortable with on their Pokémon. The player should be able understand the metagame well enough to know what kind of bulk the opposing target could potentially run and work around that. With this information, you'll be on your way to learning how to create specific spreads made to survive and/or KO certain targets or threats.
      Defensive EVs
      Giving a Pokémon EVs to increase its resistance to attacks is common knowledge in not only VGC, but competitive Pokémon as a whole. Not only should your Pokémon be able to deal reasonable damage to KO your targets, but it's equally as important for them to be able to take powerful hits themselves to remain on the battlefield to accomplish their goals. Most players usually EV a Pokémon to take a specific attack from a certain threat that hurts the rest of the team, or the Pokémon itself, which then gives it an opportunity to retaliate. If you're planning to survive a specific attack commonly seen in VGC then you should invest not only in HP but also in either Defense or Special Defense to handle that attack. HP increases the Pokémon's overall bulk, but investing in Defense or Special Defense allows the Pokémon to handle a physical or special attacks better, respectively. Sometimes it's better to invest a lot of Defense or Special Defense rather than max HP to increase it's survivability.
      Just as there are tools to increase your offensive capabilities, there are tools to increase your defensive capabilities. These tools can be used to increase your survivability by regaining the Pokémon's health or weakening certain attacks, and you should adjust your EV spreads to make the most efficient use of them. More HP on a Pokémon, for example, allows them to regain more health from Sitrus Berry, so max HP on a Sitrus Berry holder is generally a good idea. Because Sitrus restores 25% of your max HP, investing in the defenses instead of HP on a Pokémon holding Sitrus Berry is generally a poor decision as you will recover less HP from your Sitrus Berry. The resist berries and abilities such Multiscale act as great buffers to surviving attacks, making EVing your Pokémon to survive troublesome attacks much easier.
      When making defensive EV spreads the player should make note of Sandstorm and Hail chip damage as well as it could end up fainting your Pokémon after you've survived a powerful hit. Both Sandstorm and Hail deal 6.25% or 1/16 (rounded down) your max HP of chip damage to any Pokémon that is affected by them, meaning that if your Pokémon's total HP at level 50 was 160 it would lose 10 hp from Sandstorm or Hail. A suggestion would be to EV your Pokémon so that it survives the weather damage after taking a hit with a max damage roll. You can calculate to see how much is 1/16th of your Pokémon's total HP and then use a damage calculator to see how much damage the attack you're trying to survive would deal at max damage. If it leaves you with more than 1/16th of your Pokémon's HP then you should be able to survive both the attack and the chip damage from Hail or Sandstorm.
      Make sure that when you EV a Pokémon to take a hit from a specific target that it can at least harm or threaten the target back. Merely applying EVs to survive hits won't do you any good if the Pokémon can't do anything much in return. If your Pokémon can tank a hit while being able to KO, do significant damage in return, or set up your team then it was successful at it's role. If it can't then it has failed to have an impact on the match. You should also consider every possible option the target you're trying to survive a hit from has at their disposal. For example, a very common attack most VGC players defensively EV around is Dragon Gem Draco Meteor from Timid Latios. Because Timid Latios is so prevalent, making a spread to survive it's strongest attack will allow you to handle it majority of the time. However, in the case that Latios is running a Modest nature your EV spread will be obsolete as it will most likely OHKO and you will lose your check for Latios. These instances are rare, but should definitely be taken into account when hoping to check a certain threat. Dragon Gem Draco Meteor from Latios isn't the only over powered threat that you should be aware of, for example Fire Gem Overheat Chandelure can utterly annihilate anything that doesn't resist it as well. Other popular boosted attacks are Ghost Gem Shadow Ball from Chandelure and Dark Gem Crunch from Tyranitar to eliminate Trick Room setters as the majority of them are weak to Ghost and Dark moves, so be sure to watch out for them if you're running Trick Room.
      Speed Creeping
      Speed Creeping refers to investing enough Speed into your Pokémon to allow it to get the first hit on another Pokémon around it's Speed tier. This is very important as having Speed control will often determine who wins the battle. In order to properly Speed Creep you need to know trends in the metagame and be aware of how many Speed EVs a Pokémon will commonly carry. While this is useful, it is also unreliable as not every single opponent will run the same EV spreads as everyone else. Your opponent could possibly run more Speed on the threat than you imagined and now they'll have the jump on you. One of the safest way to Speed Creep is to outspeed the target assuming they run carry max Speed EVs, but this is not always reliable as well. You can't start assuming that everyone will run Max Speed Jolly Hitmontop so once again you just have to be smart about it and know what would be a reasonable and relevant target for you to Speed Creep. You should also make sure not to overdo your Speed Creeping. Unless it's absolutely necessary for your team you shouldn't try to run a ton of Speed in order to Speed Creep, especially on bulkier Pokémon, as it cuts down on the Pokémon's bulk and makes the EV spread more difficult to finalize. As you might expect from reading this, Speed Creeping is a skill that comes with practice. The only way to really get a handle on it is to go out and play enough games to get a feel for the metagame. However, there are some starting points.
      Knowing the Speed Tiers is very important when you're trying to Speed Creep. There are certain fast threats that tend to always carry max Speed EVs which you can safely get the jump on, with the proper set up. Here's a list of target Speed Tiers, as well as their base Speed and Speed number, that you can try to Speed Creep as they frequently carry max Speed.
      101 | 168| Landorus, Thundurus-T
      102 | 169| Garchomp
      108 | 176| Terrakion, Virizion, Cobalion, Infernape, Galvantula,
      110 | 178| Latios, Latias, Gengar, Tauros, Jumpluff, Espeon Froslass
      111 | 179| Thundurus, Tornadus
      115 | 183| Raikou, Azelf, Starmie, Persian, Sneasel, Ambipom, Cinccino,
      120 | 189| Sceptile, Alakazam, Dugtrio
      125 | 194| Weavile, Swellow
      130 | 200| Crobat, Jolteon, Aerodactyl
      Of course most of the Pokémon listed aren't common enough to EV against unless you feel that you are threatened by them. The safest tier to Speed Creep to is the 130 speed tier, as you'll be able to get the jump on almost every other Pokémon at the same time. However, because those Pokémon are so fast you'll usually need assistance from set up moves, Choice Scarf, and abilities like Sand Rush, Swift Swim, and Chlorophyll in their respective weathers. For a more complete Speed Tier list, check out this Smogon article.
      The purpose of making a custom EV spread is to put the odds in your favor the majority of the time. In order for you to be able to do that you'll need to be able to understand the VGC metagame thoroughly. Make sure you pay attention to trends in threats and strategies so you can adjust yours to be able to beat whatever is common now. The majority of players make custom EV spreads to work around what's common in the modern metagame, but don't expect every opponent you run into to be as predictable as you may think. Everyone will make their own spreads designed to counter whatever they find threatening, so it's best to do that too. Don't forget that almost every custom EV spread has about three concepts to them: OHKO a specific threat, tank a hit from a specific threat, outspeed a speed tier. There's obviously more to any EV spread, but these are the three most basic concepts. You chose the Pokémon on your team for whatever purpose they serve on your team, so you need to make sure your EV spread will help with fulfill that purpose majority of the time.
      Now that you've read this article you'll probably want to get out there and begin working on your own custom spreads. It's not so easy unless you have the propers tools, which in this case would be a damage calculator. Damage Calculators are extremely important as they allow you to determine how your EV spreads will work before you can test them in battle for yourself. The previously mentioned Honkalculator is an excellent and easy to use damage calculator that you can rely on. Just remember to change the level to 50 every time as keeping it at 100 can mess up your calculations sometimes. Now that you have the info and tools to craft your own custom EV spreads, you'll be able to improve your team's capability in battle. Hopefully this article will inspire everyone to think outside the box instead of relying on 252 / 252 spreads!!!
  • Blog Entries