Alongside with the arrival of Pokémon Sword and Shield lots of facilities and changes has been implemented when it comes to getting your Pokémon ready for the battle. In this guide you will find everything needed to know about the breeding and training of a competitive Pokémon. Let’s begin!
First, we must clarify what kind of attributes compose every monster in Competitive Pokémon:
- Level: From 1 to 100. Playing under the official rules, all of them will be auto scaled to level 50.
- Item: Each member can have just one item equipped; this is, to give some help to every member in your party. Most of the time they might even define different strategies on how to play the apparently same Pokémon
- Abilities: At the same time, each species have access to one ability -from a few- which will provide the user an advantage.
- Moves: Each Pokémon will be able to use 4 moves during the battle previously learn during the training.
- Egg moves: Specific moves that a Pokémon can inherit or learn by breeding alongside with other species from the same Egg Group*
- Nature: The nature of a Pokémon will boost one stat* (x1,1) and reduce another (x0,9), exempting Health Points (HP). They might also have a neutral ability, those that have no effect on the Pokémon’s stat growth. Although they are useless for us.
- IVs (Individual Values): The ‘genes’ of the Pokémon. They go from 0 to 31 individually in each stat.
- EVs (Effort Values): The training of the Pokémon. The trainer will share them from 0 to 252 in each stat. Nevertheless, the total amount can never exceed 510 points.
Abilities, nature, moves and IVs will be part of the breeding aspect. Meanwhile, level and EVs will belong to the training. The item chose will close the set of our Pokémon.
During the breeding, each Pokémon belongs to one or a few categories according to its species which will let them pair or breed with other.
For example, Dragapult belongs to the Egg Group “Dragon” and “Amorphous”, so that will let him breed for example with species of the oppose gender which belongs to one of those groups like Chandelure, also belonging to the Egg Group “Amorphous” or Gyarados, which is part of the “Dragon” Egg Group (even though its typing is Water/Flying)
Each Pokémon is provided of six different stats, those being Health Points (HP), Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense and Speed. During the battle the monster will be using them by interacting with the other monsters, either in an offensive (Attack, Special Attack, Speed) or in a defensive way (PS, Defense, Special Defense).
Every species has different base stats. For example, Ferrothorn is a Pokémon with high defenses while Charizard stands out by its offensive capacities. Wailord on its own, the big whale, has a great and relatable Health Point stat.
First Step: Achieving the correct Pokémon
First thing we must do is get the Pokémon we want to get ready for the battle and finally find a roll for it into our team. We can do this by two different methods: by breeding or catching it in the wild.
Option A: By breeding in the Day Care
In order to get Pokémon by this way, first we must attend to the points previously mentioned:
- IVs: Pokémon must hatch with them already at max (31 IVs) in the required stats. Usually that would mean all of them; although there are some cases when we could leave out one of them, for example the Special Attack on a physical user.
- E.g.: Most of the time we won’t pay attention to the Special Attack IVs on Gyarados since they will nearly always attack with their physical stat.
- Nature: Pokémon must hatch as well with the correct Nature according to how their Effort Values (EVs) are going to be trained.
- E.g.: One more time, for Gyarados, we should be looking for a nature which boosts the Attack or Speed while dropping the Special Attack since we won’t use it.
- Ability: Pokémon must hatch also with the required ability from the start. Hidden Abilities (HA) are also inheritable.
- Egg moves: If it is the case that we are looking for a specific Egg Move, our Pokémon must hatch with that move already learnt by breeding with other species in the Day Care.
Note: From the 8th Gen (Pokémon Sword and Shield) onwards all these attributes are modifiable after the Pokémon hatch, except for the Hidden Abilities which must be bred down.
Nevertheless, these changes are done by items, which we can get after a certain quantity of Battle Points (BP)*. And that is why we will root for this other breeding method in order to save them better.
Hidden Abilities cannot be obtainable by Items after the egg hatches. The Pokémon must be born with it bred down from the parents.
We will be able to get Battle Points both by completing battles and stages at the Battle Tower after the Pokémon League or by playing online matches against other players in the Battle Stadium.
Step 1: Getting the Pokémon species you want to breed down
First thing we must do is getting either the father or the mother from the same species of Pokémon we want to breed. The level of the Pokémon is irrelevant. Their gender is relevant just in the case we pair them with a Pokémon from another species (excepting Ditto), since the female species will determinate the very same. Also, if we can get it already with the same nature as the brood, even better.
Step 2: Getting a second Pokémon to breed with
The second step will be finding the species who we will pair the first Pokémon with. Breeding can be down by many ways:
- Between two Pokémon from the same species and opposing gender. E.g.: a male Dragapult with a female Dragapult.
- Between a Pokémon from the species we want to breed and a Ditto.
- Between two Pokémon from different species which belongs to the same Egg Group. Each one must be also a different gender.
Unless you were looking for a Pokémon to learn a specific Egg Move* from another species, the best way will always be to get a Ditto with perfect IVs. Best case scenario it will be the famous 6 IVs Ditto you might heard of. By this way it will be possible to breed down its characteristics.
Step 3: Last details before the Day Care
Before leaving our Pokémon in the Day Care we must pay attention to a few points in order to get a suitable brood. You will need the following items for that:
If we equip the Destiny Knot to our Ditto with 31 IVs in all the stats, there’s a chance for the offspring to inherit them. To be precise, the Destiny Knot will transfer the IVs from 5 random stats among the total of 12 they make between the father and the mother. So, for example, the egg might inherit the IVs of 3 stats from the father/mother and 2 from the Ditto. Again, best case scenario, those 5 stats will be inherited from Ditto since they are already maximized.
You can get the Destiny Knot in the Pokémon Center at Hammerlocke City for 10 Battle Points (BP), once you have completed the Pokémon League.
Besides from its principal function cancelling the evolution of the Pokémon we equip it to, the Everstone has also a key roll in the breeding. The parent which has it equipped will transfer its nature to the offspring.
For example: If we give the Everstone to a Dragapult with an Adamant nature and we pair it with a Ditto running a Timid nature, the brood will be born with the first of them guaranteed. You can get the Everstone at Turrfield, inside of a Pokeball.
So, the ideal will be to equip our Dragapult with the Everstone (if we want to keep the nature, nothing otherwise) and give the Destiny Knot to our Ditto before leaving them in the Day Care.
Step 4: Getting the eggs from the Day Care
After some time we will find out our Pokémon have laid an egg and the owners from the Day Care will hand it to us.
In order to hatch the eggs faster than usual we gill get the next two things:
- A Pokémon with the ability Flame Body in our party. E.g.: Chandelure.
- Having an item called Oval Charm in your bag. This is a Key Item which drops down the time eggs need to hatch. You can get it at Circhester, upstairs at one of the hotels after wining against the character of Shigeki Morimoto, one of Game Freak
As the offspring keeps hatching from the eggs we will be checking if the Ability, Nature and IVs are the correct ones. If all of them match with those you were looking for, we can stablish the Pokémon is ready to be trained. In the opposite case we can either use our Battle Points (BP) or keep hatching eggs until we find what we want.
You can check the IVs of a Pokémon after defeating six trainers at the Battler Tower. When those are at max level they will be labeled as “Best”. Any other label as “Pretty good” or “Decent” will indicate us those IVs are below 31.
Nevertheless, as we were saying, a very much welcome featuring in this new generation is the opportunity to change certain aspects of our Pokémon once hatched.
So, if it is the case anything went wrong during the breeding, we could still fix it with specific items.
- Bottle Caps: Max the 31 IVs of one stat.
- Golden Bottle Caps: Max the 31 IVs of every stat.
- Using the Ability Capsule, available at the Battle Tower for 50 BP. (Note: It won’t work for Hidden Abilities since those are obtainable just by breeding)
- Using the many Mints, also available at the Battle Tower for 50 BP.
Option B: Catching them in the wild
The other way to get a competitive Pokémon is by catching them in the wild. Although we will have to waste way more Items in order to train it since we are not controlling its characteristics by breeding them. Nevertheless, there are a couple ways we can simplify ourselves this labor:
Pokémon with a Brilliant Glowing Aura
This new featuring introduced in this generation allows us to find wild Pokémon surrounded by a glowing light which will guarantee us that specific Pokémon has at least 3 perfect IVs and, also, they could have one of the previously mentioned egg moves.
Another new mechanic which allows us to catch stronger Pokémon if we can defeat them. There are many levels of Dynamax Raids (from 1 to 5 stars). The higher the level, the higher the chances to get a Pokémon with 1 to 4 perfect IVs. Also, these can know already an egg move. And, if this is not enough for you yet, one of the advantages of this method is that it is the only way to get the Hidden Ability of these Pokémon.
We can also combine both ways to get the perfect Pokémon, for example getting the parent with good IVs, Hidden ability and egg moves in a Dynamax raid so then we can improve them by breeding the offspring.
Second Step: Training the Effort Values (EVs)
Once we’ve bred the Pokémon we want, we can go into the training of its Effort Values (EVs). These points will let us boost its stats.
The max points we can get in total for a single Pokémon is 510 EVs to share among the 6 stats (HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense and Speed) however we decide but, always, without exceeding 252 EVs in each one.
There are two ways of distributing the EVs in our Pokémon: battling against wild Pokémon or using specific Vitamins.
By battling against wild Pokémon
Every single wild Pokémon we battle against will give a fixed amount of EVs into at least one of the stats of the Pokémon which defeated them. These amounts vary depending on each Pokémon species, always between 1 and 3 EVs.
There are two ways of maximizing the EVs you can get from battling wild Pokémon. One of them are the Power Items. These items let us get 8 EVs extra when we defeat a wild which would give us EVs in the same stat. There is a total of 7 Power Items:
- Power Weight: Will add extra EVs in HP
- Power Bracer:: Will add extra EVs in Attack
- Power Belt: Will add extra EVs in Defense
- Power Lens: Will add extra EVs in Special Attack
- Power Band: Will add extra EVs in Special Defense
- Power Anklet: Will add extra EVs in Speed
- Macho Brace: Duplicate the EVs gained in any stat
The other way of training the EVs obtainable through battling Pokémon is by Pokérus, a beneficial virus that allows the Pokémon which suffers it to obtain double EV points than regular for each Pokémon defeated.
All of this will help us to get a huge amount of EVs just by battling a single wild Pokémon. For example, by defeating a Magikarp while having the Power Anklet equipped and suffering Pokérus at the same time, we will get 18 EVs in Speed, which is not bad at all noticing we just new a few seconds to defeat it.
Here you have a list of the easiest Pokémon to find and defeat according to the EV points they give:
- Skwovet (Rute 1): We will get EVs in HP
- Chewtle (Rute 2): We will get EVs in Attack
- Rolycoly (Galar’s Mine): We will get EVs in Defense
- Gastly (Watchtower Ruins): We will get EVs in Special Attack
- Gossifleur (Rute 3): We will get EVs in Special Defense
- Rookidee (Rute 1): We will get EVs in Speed
By vitamins or feathers
Vitamins are items which let us maximize the EV points of a Pokémon.
There are 6 different kind of Vitamins, one for each stat.
- HP Up: Boosts HP
- Protein: Boosts Attack
- Iron: Boosts Defense
- Calcium: Boosts Special Attack
- Zinc: Boosts Special Defense
- Carbos: Boosts Speed
A new addition for this new generation is the fact that vitamins are not limited by Pokémon as before. This means we can train every single effort point without battling. Each vitamin gives 10 EVs in their respective stat, which implies we would just need 26 vitamins of a kind in order to maximize a stat.
We can get theses vitamins either at the Battle Point shop for 2BP each one of them or buying them at the Pokémon Center of Wyndon.
Same as the Vitamins work, Feathers raise the effort points of a Pokémon but, instead of 10 EVs, these will raise just 1 EV per stat. They can be much helpful when trying to get an exact number. There are also 6 kind of feathers depending of each stat:
- Health Wing: Raises HP
- Muscle Wing: Raises Attack
- Resist Wing: Raises Defense
- Genius Wing: Raises Special Attack
- Clever Wing: Raises Special Defense
- Swift Wing: Raises Speed
By EV-reducing berries
Finally, we have the reduction berries, which will allow us to reduce by 10 effort points any stat depending on the kind of berry. Here you have a list of them:
- Pomeg Berry: Reduces HP
- Kelpsy Berry: Reduces Attack
- Qualot Berry: Reduces Defense
- Hondew Berry: Reduces Special Attack
- Greppa Berry: Reduces Special Defense
- Tamato Berry: Reduces Speed
Third Step: Moves and last details
Then, by the moment we’ve finished breeding and training the Pokémon, we just must polish a few last details for our Pokémon to be ready to battle. Up to this point we should have already our Pokémon with the IVs, EVs, Nature, Ability and Egg Moves we were looking for.
Now we would finish teaching them the rest of the moves we want. We can do this by many ways:
- Learnt by level. There are some moves which can be learnt just by training our Pokémon until they reach a specific level, as Dragapult, who learn Dragon Rush when it reaches level 63.
- By Technical Machines (TM), which allow our Pokémon to learn the move within in just a second. We can use the TM in an unlimited way. We can find them alongside the Galar’s adventure hidden inside of golden Pokéball.
- By the new Technical Records (TR) which function is the same as the TM but you can use them just once before they break. We can get TR battling against Dynamax Raids in the wild area.
Finally, we just must equip the chosen item to our Pokémon (what we will explain in our next guide) and we will have everything ready for the tournament.
Hope you liked it, guys! See you next!