Ultimate Pokemon Guide: How to EV Train in Any Generation
You've finally found a good Pokemon. It has a great nature and complimentary IVs, and now you need to squeeze out its maximum potential. But how?
In Pokemon, your party gains additional stat boosts representing practiced skill through Effort Values, or EVs (not to be confused with Eevee).
What are EVs?
If you've ever traveled across the land searching far and wide for new and exotic Pokemon, you've likely noticed a slight "inconsistency". Wild Pokemon are weaker than caught and trained Pokemon, even at the same level. What gives?
Whether you know it or not, you're EV training every time you KO an opponent's Pokemon. Upon fainting, enemy Pokemon will provide a predetermined collection of EVs that directly contribute to your Pokemon's stat pool each level.
Competitive players are aware of this and selectively choose training grounds that yield the EV stats they are looking for. This isn't exactly intuitive, which is probably why GameFreak introduced Super Training in Pokemon X and Pokemon Y.
How to EV train like the good old days
Step 1: Plan your EVs. A Pokemon may have up to 252 EVs in any given stat, and 508 EVs spread around all 6 of them. Competitive trainers must select between boosting HP, Atk, Def, Sp. Atk, Sp. Def, and Spd in order to maximize the potential of their Pokemon.
Step 2: Get a head start with Vitamins and Wings. Vitamins are purchasable in every game, and are a great way to boost your EVs up to 100 in each stat you're working on. Beyond 100, however, the Vitamins cannot be utilized. While they aren't found in stores, Wings can be used to boost EVs one point at a time without the restrictions Vitamins are bound by.
Step 3: Maximize your EV training potential. Thankfully, there are hold items and conditions that greatly accelerate the EV training process. The Macho Brace lowers your Pokemon's speed but doubles the EVs gained from battle. Power Items such as the Power Bracer and the Power Belt will add 4 EVs to a specific stat after every battle, even if the Pokemon you're knocking out doesn't offer that stat.
If you can swing it, infect your Pokemon with Pokerus. It's a rare virus like the Chicken Pox that spreads around the Pokemon population, but unlike the Chicken Pox, it's actually beneficial. Pokemon that are infected with Pokerus will gain double EVs after hold-item calculations are taken into account. However, beware the Pokemon Center, for once your Pokemon are revitalized by Nurse Joy, they will never be susceptible to Pokerus again.
Finally, if the Pokemon you aim to EV train cannot yet hold its own in battle, toss on the EXP Share. Any Pokemon that gains experience will also earn EVs for each KO.
Step 4: Find Pokemon that yield the EVs you need. Each Pokemon offers 1-3 EVs of any given stat when KO'd. Do a little research on the Pokemon Database to figure out what species reward you with the stats your looking for, then compare it with the wild spawns for whichever Pokemon game you're playing. If you're playing Generation 6 or beyond, check for any Hordes that supply the EVs you're looking for.
Step 5: Get grinding. Unfortunately, Pokemon games do not show players their exact EVs -- even Generation 6 is limited by a numberless graph -- so if you want to spread your EVs beyond two maxed stats, you must keep track of the number yourself. A calculator should work just fine assuming you don't want to waste trees -- just make sure you keep track of the calculations going on behind the scenes.
Even though Generation 6 implemented Super Training to streamline the experience of EV training, the old method will always be the fastest way to train your Pokemon. Don't believe me? Just spend a few hours Super Training.
How to EV train with Super Training
Step 1: Follow Steps 1 & 2 from "How to EV train like the good old days". You definitely still want to plan out your Pokemon before you dive headfirst into Super Training. Feeding your Pokemon Vitamins and whatever Wings you can scrounge up are a great way to get a boost to your initial momentum (trust me, you'll want the boost).
Step 2: Get grinding. Yep, that's it. Pokerus and hold items do nothing to boost the EVs you gain from Super Training. The mini-game is pretty straight forward and quickly becomes tiresome. The EV yield is embarrassingly low overall for how much time you spend in each match. It's almost not even worth it, though many people prefer this method to the original way.
How do you prefer to EV train your Pokemon? Chime in below!