What are EV’s?
EV stands for effort value or effect value. Effort values are given to your Pokemon once they defeat another Pokemon. Every single Pokemon gives out one or more of these values, they can be for HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, Speed or a combination of stats.
Why Should I EV Train? What’s The Point?
EV training can be used to make your Pokemon better, to be blunt. EV training allows you to tailor make your Pokemon for a specific role, this maximizes their effectiveness within your team. If you want a Pokemon to stand there and soak up hits “a wall”, you can EV train your Chansey in HP and Defense so it is best suited for that role. With your Chansey EV trained in those areas it is now able to survive more attacks from your opponent (compared to an untrained Chansey), giving you the opportunity to plan your next move or set up a status move.
When should I start EV training?
If you are planning on EV training one of your Pokemon you need to start training it as soon as you catch it. So you can’t EV train your Snivy or Krookodile that you’ve used to get you through the game. The very first Pokemon you defeat with your Pokemon will give you an EV, so you’ll want to know which stats you want to EV train in before you battle ANYTHING.
How do I EV train then?
Right, You have freshly caught the Pokemon you want to train. First you need to decided what stats you want to improve and become your ‘main’ stats. If you are unsure which stats to choose for your Pokemon you can visit serebii.net or smogon.com, both sites have numerous move sets and EV distributions for you to look through. Once you have your chosen Pokemon and know what stats your training, you can start battling. You need to go out and find the correct Pokemon for your chosen stats; if you’re looking to train your speed stat in Pokemon Black or White you could battle Basculin’s at Dragonspiral Tower or Route 3 for 2 EV’s.
EV’s are limited to 510 for each Pokemon which I assume is to stop you from creating a Pokemon with 999 in each stat, they are then limited again at 255 for each individual stat (HP, Attack, Defense, etc). Most EV distributions follow a 252, 252, 6 system maximizing two stats. When you’ve found the required Pokemon you just need to keep battling … and battling … and battling and so forth until you reach your required amount. You just need to be patient and stick at it, you will get your reward in the end.
How do I know when I’ve reached 252 or maxed out a stat?
Unfortunately there is no way in-game to track your progress. You need to remember how many Pokemon you have defeated. I always jot down on a piece of paper how many EV’s my Pokemon has obtained, that way I can stop at the right moment. In Black & White, every time you reach increments of 4 EV’s it will add 1 stat point to the corresponding stat of your Pokemon. If you take note of the stat before you start training then you can work out the number of EV’s you’ve obtained by how much your stat has increased. Though this way does increase your likelihood of mistake so I suggest writing them down.
This takes ages! can I speed this up?
Luckily you can. There are now a fair few items that can help you cut down on the repetitive population control of a single type of Pokemon. The main item in my eyes is the Macho Brace, its part of the ‘power item’ family and has been around for years, I think it’s the most effective EV related item and its easy to get hold of (especially in B&W). The Macho Brace will double the amount of EV you receive from any single Pokemon. Now a Basculin will give your Pokemon 4 speed EV’s instead of 2, bingo!, now you only need to defeat 63 of them to reach your 252 goal, instead of the previous 126. The Macho Brace does have a flip side to the coin though, any user holding the item has its speed stat halved in battle. This does sound like it sucks but when your training you can choose what level opponents you want to battle, roughly. So unless your Pokemon is a really low-level you’re not going to have a lot of trouble beating a level 6 Basculin with 17 speed. Just make sure you take the Macho Brace off once you have finished training.
Vitamins. Another easy way to boost your EV count without a lot of hassle. Available at the department stores for 9800, the vitamins: HP up, Protein (ATK), Iron (DEF), Calcium (SPA), Zinc (SPD), Carbos (SPE) add +10 EV’s to your Pokemon’s stat. You might think “I don’t need to train for ages, I’ll just buy loads of Vitamins and do it that way” … you can’t. The use of Vitamins is limited to 100 EV’s, that’s 10 bottles. Reducing your EV count from 252 to 152 is still a great help, you only need to defeat 76 Basculin’s the reach 252 speed EV’s and with the help of the Macho Brace too, that could be just 38!
Power items. Another group of items that aid in EV training; the group the Macho Brace belongs to. There are 6 power items (excluding the Macho Brace) Power Weight (HP), Power Bracer (ATK), Power Belt (DEF), Power Lens (SPA), Power Band (SPD), Power Anklet (SPE). These unique items can be extremely useful, they give you plus 4 EV’s to their related stat (Power Band will give you plus 4 EV’s to special defense). Training against a Basculin with a Pokemon holding a Power Anklet would get 6 EV’s every time. Another unique feature of the power items is that you could battle a Litwick for plus 1 special attack EV but if your Pokemon’s holding a Power Bracer you will also receive the plus 4 EV’s for attack. The power items listed above give you plus 4 EV’s for the specific stat regardless of the Pokemon you battle.
The last items are the Feather. Collected in Pokemon Black & White along Driftveil Drawbridge and Marvelous Bridge. They are really not as useful as any of the others but nonetheless do help a bit. Each feather will give your Pokemon just plus 1 EV for a specific stat. As these feathers are not easy to collect, it would be incredibly painful to try to train a Pokemon to 252 EV purely with them.
Hopefully I have managed to explain a bit about what EV training is and how you can start, if there is anything I have missed please comment below and I’ll be more than happy to try to help.