Effort Values, or EVs, are points that Pokemon gain over the course of fighting other Pokemon. These points can greatly influence how your Pokemon’s stats grow over the course of them leveling to 100. This is a complex while simple element of the game. Many simply don’t know about EVs but still see the effects of them (such as an Alakazam with a high Attack Stat because all it ever fought were Fighting Types). With the right EVs a powerhouse becomes able to decimate attack or any solid wall Pokemon can then tank hits like no other.
Effort Values are earned solely in conjunction with Experience Points. There is no other way to get them. Think of it as a reward that is underneath the frosting of Experience. This is one of the points where playing Pokemon takes a serious turn away from just fun. Calculators are about to become your friend, or at least the in-game calculator is. Early in the game this practice is simply unfeasible to pull off because of the Poke-dollars needed, the sheer amount of movement required and the raw number of items required. This is useful when you are beginning to battle other human opponents at level 100. You, at this point, have free access of the entire map and decent funds (thanks to the Elite Four and an Amulet Coin).
Here is where math comes in: Every Pokemon can earn up to 510 EVs total across all its stats (Hit Points, Attack, Defense, Speed, Special Attack and Special Defense). Each stat can only have a maximum of 255 EVs applied to it. Every 4 EV translates to a 1 stat point increase for the Pokemon.This allows for an approximate maximum of 127 points added to a Pokemon’s overall stats and an approximate maximum of 64 points to any given stat. EV’s come in 1, 2 or 3 from any given Pokemon, usually that number scaling up as the Pokemon progresses through its evolutions.
The RAW basics of this can be summed up in a fairly simple equation: X+Y = Z
X – EV earned from the Pokemon
Y – Item boost (or multipled by as the case with the Macho Brace)
Z – Total
Most reward you with EVs in their dominant stat (Ex. Bidoof awards 1 HP EV), but that simply isn’t always the case (Venusuar gives 2 Special Defense EVs and 1 Special Attack). .There are a lot of guides out there giving someone the EVs for the various Pokemon you can fight in-game (I personally recommend www.Serebii.net as they have the most comprehensive guide I know of).
An Example of how this increase works is this:
An Adamant Arcanine with 252 EVs in Attack has 350 Attack while 248 EVs has 349 Attack.
Now that the Math is set down, let’s talk making this actual possible and keeping it somewhat interesting. As stated earlier, any given stat can have a maximum of 255 EVs added to it. The big problem here is getting to 255. Don’t worry, the game has your back here in a few ways:
1: Vitamins – HP Up, Calcium, Iron, Carbos, Zinc, Protein each add 10 EVs to your Pokemon. They are expensive, but it’s a great way to get the ball rolling. Each Pokemon can only have up to 10 of each of the Vitamins, that’s 100 EVs in one stat right there, already half of the work is done!
The catch here is these only work until 100 EVs are put into any given stat. After that point, even if lowered below 100, they won't have an effect.
2: Pokemon give varying EVs. As an example: Bidoof gives 1 HP EV while its evolved form Bibarel gives 2 Attack EV’s. There are some places which are simply ripe for EV farming (like Rt. 201 in D/P with the Bidoof show up about 50% of the time).
This Method is the least efficient for 1 EV point at 255 battles to max it, but obviously the foundation for all the methods that follow.
3: Items – There are items IN-GAME which boost the number of EVs that any Pokemon can earn from a fight.
A Pokemon with the EXP. SHARE will earn the same EVs that the Pokemon fighting earns. This is a good way to help low-level Pokemon begin their EV training. Unfortunately the augments from the Macho Brace (obviously) and the Pokerus don’t apply (I’ve been unable to test this to date but many sites agree on this fact).
The Macho Brace doubles the amount of EVs earned from any one fight (Now that Bidoof is worth 2 and Bibarel is worth 4). 1 EV now requires 127 to max while 2 drops to 64.
Time to make it get better! The Power items earned from the
A break down of the set is as follows
Power Weight: +4 HP EV
Power Bracer: +4 Attack EV
Power Belt: +4 Defense EV
Power Anklet: +4 Speed
Power Lens: +4 Special Attack
Power Band: +4 Special Defense
4: Pokerus – This one takes a bit of luck (or an Action Replay I suppose). The Pokerus is a virus that any Pokemon can catch ONCE. It doesn’t hurt them in anyway, obvious, it being here means it helps. Frankly, it helps a lot! While a Pokemon has the Pokerus it gains double the EVs. Suddenly All those numbers I gave above DOUBLE!
To keep with my Example: Bidoof gives 1 HP EV, assuming your Pokemon has the Power Weight, that ups the total to 5. Now the Pokerus gets figured in and that 5 doubles to 10! Every Bidoof is worth a HP Up now!
HOWEVER: This boost won’t apply fully through the use of EXP. SHARE
The equation from earlier changes to this: 2x (X+Y) = Z
In the event you only have the Macho Brace, the Pokerus still functions the same. 1 EV simply quadruples to 4 EVs. This sets it to 64 battles to reach the max of 255 EVs.
Diamond/Pearl: 1 EV is worth up to 10 EVs with the right Power Item and the Pokerus, dropping the total battles down to 26 to max (1 battle is added to account reaching 255). This becomes the most efficient method to EV train a Pokemon.
I only recently started the EV training for a number of my Pokemon and have been able to discern and create a few ways to streamline and speed up the EV Process.
1) If the Pokemon is hatched, don’t start fighting with it, put it in the Day Care until it is Lvl. 20. This allows for the Pokemon to fight on its own and earn EVs. Some guides might say otherwise, and it maybe otherwise for Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald/FireRed/LeafGreen but for Diamond/Pearl, it’s worked so far for me and means the Pokemon can fight in very different areas and get all its EV training down in just a few levels (Personal best is about 4 levels now)
2) The Pokerus, Power Items/Macho Brace stack BEST when the Pokemon being trained actually participates in the battle. If it can’t win and you have one that can, switch that one in. The one being trained gets its fully boosted amount of EVs and the other (probably having its EV training completed directly by you or over the course of the game).
3) Elite Four + Amulet Coin/Luck Incense = Cash Cow. One trip through them is enough to afford about 10 Vitamins. Kick start the EV training right.
4) Pokerus – Yeah, I talked about it already, but it’s rare to catch and hard to maintain. This is what I do to keep it around. The infection last a good while, enough that while focused EV training, you can get it done before the Pokemon recovers. Every Pokemon can only get Pokerus ONCE! To keep a Pokemon indefinitely infected, store them in the PC. Pull out “Carrier” and put them near the Pokemon you want infected. At the Conclusion of each