Basics of Effort Values and their application in pokemon training

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Basics of Effort Values and their application in pokemon training

Post by Dr. Lodello Hawthorn on May 10th 2011, 8:44 pm

Effort Values, or EVs, are a hidden point system within the pokemon games that has been present in some form since the days of Gold, Silver, and Crystal versions. The original system was primitive, however, and allowed for "super" pokemon with the way the potential points worked. Instead of having a cap like there is now, GSC had what was called 'Stat Experience'. Every time you defeated a pokemon, the game would use that pokemon's base stats to calculate how much 'experience' you got in each stat. You could keep training this way until you had the modern equivalent of 255 EV points in every single stat. If you had a pokemon with good DVs on top of this, you could get to a point where you were nigh invincible.

However, it doesn't work quite that way anymore, unfortunately. But many of the mechanics remain very similar.

Points can be earned through any battle in which a pokemon gains experience. This can be through battling pokemon in the wild or by defeating enemy trainers. Exp Share does work for EV training a low level pokemon or for training 2 pokemon at once. Each pokemon that gains experience will also gain all EV points it would have if it had beaten the opponent alone.
When defeated, each pokemon gives a certain number of points in a specific stat based on its species and evolutionary stage. I'll use the example of the gastly line. Gastly, when defeated, will grant the winning pokemon 1 EV point in Special Attack. However, its evolutions, Haunter and Gengar, grant 2 and 3 points respectively. (A full list of pokemon species and the points they award are listed in another report.)
There is a maximum of 255 points allowed in any one stat and a maximum total of 510 points in all stats. Trainers typically switch 255 for 252, though, due to the fact 255 is not evenly divisible by 4. Why 4? Because, 1 EV point does not equal a 1 point stat gain. It takes 4 EV points to give your pokemon 1 extra point in that specific stat when it reaches level 100. This means through the EV training method, you could give your pokemon a maximum boost of 252/4= 63 extra stat points at level 100. This is the very maximum, mind you. Points can be distributed however you like between the stat categories to boost exactly where you need. Needless to say, it would take a ridiculously long time to fully train a pokemon using this method. But there are a couple of ways to speed the process.

There are a number of vitamins that will boost a pokemon's stats instantly. They are:
  • HP-UP ~ adds 10 EV points to a pokemon's HP stat
  • Protein ~ adds 10 Attack EV points
  • Iron ~ adds 10 Defense EV points
  • Calcium ~ adds 10 Special Attack EV points
  • Zinc ~ adds 10 Special Defense EV points
  • Carbos ~ adds 10 Speed EV points


Vitamins can be given by a trainer but will only grant a maximum of 100 points (10 vitamins giving 25 stat points) to any one stat. The remaining amount must be filled in by battling wild pokemon but, fortunately, there are ways of speeding this process as well.
Points gained from battling wild pokemon can be boosted in two ways. One, is by giving a pokemon a specific power item designed to help it train a particular stat faster than normal. The other is to make it catch the mysterious disease, Pokerus.
First, Power items. Power items will boost any EVs gained in a particular stat, depending on which item is being held. They do this at the cost of half a pokemon's speed, however, as the items are either quite heavy to carry or provide massive resistance to movement.
  • Macho Brace ~ Doubles all gains
  • Power Weight ~ grants 4 HP points after every battle
  • Power Bracer ~ grants 4 Attack points after every battle
  • Power Belt ~ grants 4 Defense points after every battle
  • Power Lens ~ grants 4 Special Attack points after every battle
  • Power Band ~ grants 4 Special Defense points after every battle
  • Power Anklet ~ grants 4 Speed points after every battle


Now, Pokerus. Pokerus is a disease that wild pokemon can have and will pass on to your pokemon after they're defeated once in a great while. It isn't what your would expect from an illness, though. A pokemon with pokerus will gain twice as many EVs from wild encounters and power item gains. Yes, that means that all these methods stack with each other. It also means I should make another example.
Take the gastly I mentioned earlier. Normally it would give you just 1 Special Attack EV for defeating it. But now imagine that your pokemon has pokerus and is holding a power lens when it defeats the gastly. Now instead of only 1 point, you'll gain 2(1+4)= 10 EV points for defeating just a single gastly. To continue the earlier example, Haunter and Gengar will give 12 and 14 points each respectively. So as you can see, these methods speed the training process immensely.

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