I Just Can’t Pick
Now that you know all the factors that influence your pokemon’s stats, are you ready to start choosing which pokemon of a species you want? Well, no, not quite. There is one more thing- you need to consider how you want to decide which specific pokemon to use. I’m not talking about the choice between Staraptor and Swellow- I’m talking about which particular Staraptor you want to use once you’ve settled on Staraptor.
There are basically two ways that people decide which pokemon of a given type they’re going to use- the empirical method and the comparative method. The empirical method is straightforwards, but it involves a lot of math and knowledge.
Someone selecting their pokemon empirically will literally sit down and use what tools they have available to figure out all of the numbers involved in determining the pokemon’s final stats. This involves a lot of mathwork, and a lot of searching online for number tools. It may even involve hacking a pokemon into existence. Either way, it requires a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of being very specific about what exactly you’re doing. This method -does- allow you to be very particular about what you’re getting from your pokemon, and lets you make sure you avoid any unwated slips or disparities.
Someone using the comparative method, on the other hand, has more gruntwork ahead of them- but will likely be done with it faster, and able to spend more time on other things. The comparative method, at its base, involves getting a whole bunch of one pokemon together and then choosing the best one (or two or three or four) out of the group to keep and use. I will admit I’m biased towards this method, but that’s because I personally have an aversion to hacking the pokemon into existence. To me, personally, it feels like cheating- and it may not to you. So please excuse me if I wax a bit on this topic.
The comparative method usually works in one of two ways- running out and catching a lot of something at about the same level and either using rare candy or math to compare their stats is the first method, and the second is to breed a large number of something and compare them to each other directly while they are at the same level using rare candy to raise their level until the differences become apparent.
While the comparative method involves more grunt work, personally I like it more- because it takes into accound IVs and Natures without the user having to memorize or reference any calculators or tables to figure out what the IV numbers or Natures of the pokemon are or are doing. Why is this? Because by looking at the actual numbers of the pokemon’s stats, you’re comparing the results of the IVs and Natures anyways.
In the end, it doesn’t matter too much how you do it- just know that these are the two different ways of comparing your pokemon and choosing which ones to actually use. Be aware of the weaknesses of each- empirical method being extremely math-heavy and time-consuming, and the comparative method being not the most precise thing under the sun. Make your choice based on that- is the immense amount of extra legwork worth the few extra points that the empirical method can squeeze out? Well, that all depends on what you’re preparing for, right? And don’t be afraid to change your method, either- neither one will actually hurt you as long as you enjoy what you’re doing and what you’re getting out of it.