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EVs explained! PLEASE READ!

#1jayman7Posted 11/13/2012 4:49:12 AMmessage detail(edited)
Lots of people seem to misunderstand EVs, one of the core factors for building your own battle-ready Pokemon. So I'm going to take this time to try to clear a little of the fog away from this hidden, but very key, feature.

What are EVs?

EVs, or Effort Values, are a hidden stat that all Pokemon have. A freshly-caught/obtained Pokemon always has zero EVs in all stats. As your Pokemon battle other Pokemon, they gain EVs in addition to experience points, which will improve your stats. But hold on! Not all EVs are equal; there's a limit to how many a Pokemon can have at a given time, and you want them applied to the stats that are most important to your Pokemon, don't you?

How do you get them?

Every time your Pokemon is eligible for EXP from a defeated Pokemon (including when the Pokemon switches out or uses the EXP Share, and including when the Pokemon is level 100, but not including when the Pokemon faints), the Pokemon gets EVs. What EVs you get are determined by the species of the enemy Pokemon; generally speaking, weak or unevolved Pokemon give 1 EV, strong non-evolving Pokemon and Pokemon that have evolved once give 2 EVs, and legendary Pokemon and Pokemon that have evolved twice give 3, and they usually (but not always) apply the EVs to the stats that the enemy Pokemon excels in. You get EVs when fighting both enemy trainers and wild Pokemon.

You can also use Vitamins to instantly gain 10 EVs in a stat, but Vitamins only work up to 100 EVs. You can also use Wings, obtained on the shadows on the bridges, which work beyond 100 EVs but only give EVs one-at-a-time, meaning you'll need a lot of them. Also, in Join Avenue, various services can increase (or even decrease!) EVs; see this page for more details: http://www.serebii.net/black2white2/joinavenue.shtml

How many can you get?

Each Pokemon is limited to 255 EVs in one stat and 510 EVs overall. Once they reach these numbers, they will stop gaining EVs. (Recall, Vitamins stop working when you reach 100 EVs in the corresponding stat.)

EVs only work in groups of four, so the best course of action is to stop at 252 EVs in one stat. This also means that two EVs will be wasted no matter what you do.

How exactly do they work?

Most people will tell you that four EVs provide one stat point. And at level 100, with a neutral nature, this is true!... but non-neutral natures will skew it a bit, and the effects are less pronounced (but still absolutely present!) at lower levels.

As for the stats themselves, a common misconception is that they are the culmination of a bunch of "stat gains" granted at level up. This isn't true! "Stat gains" do not exist in Pokemon! Oh, you see Little Plus Numbers (henceforth LPNs) when you level up, but these are unimportant and you're actually better off ignoring them! No no, stats are calculated by formulae (round down at every step):

HP = ((Base * 2 + IV + EV/4) * Level / 100) + Level + 10

Stat = (((Base * 2 + IV + EV/4) * Level / 100) + 5) * Nmod

Base = determined by Pokemon species, or sometimes forme. This only changes upon evolution or forme change.

IV = Another hidden stat that is static and determined when you get the Pokemon, ranging from 0 to 31 in each stat.

Nmod = 0.9, 1.0, or 1.1, depending on the Pokemon's Nature. On the status screen, most Pokemon will have one stat tinted red (that one gets the 1.1) and one tinted blue (that one gets the 0.9). Some Natures do not affect stats at all. No Nature affects HP.

Please don't make the common mistake of thinking that Pokemon under level 100 get no benefit from EVs! As you can see if you work out the math, a level 50 Pokemon will gain a stat point after every 8 EVs - half as much benefit, but still useful.
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Creator of Jay's Journey (see quote!)
"It's not ten years old! Therefore, it sucks!" - Nostalgia whores everywhere
#2jayman7(Topic Creator)Posted 11/13/2012 4:16:15 AMmessage detail
When are EVs applied?

In the fifth gen, immediately. You can even sometimes see your max HP increase on the battle screen after fighting something that gives HP EVs, if you pay close attention!

In previous gens (though stats worked differently in the first two), EVs would kick in at any time a stat would be recalculated; usually gaining levels, but also things like evolution, putting the Pokemon into storage, trading, or what have you.

Are EVs permanent?

Mostly. EVs can be removed with special berries (which you can buy at Join Avenue's Florist) or certain other Join Avenue services (see the Serebii link above). This is a good idea if you accidentally put EVs in the wrong stat. Barring that, nothing removes EVs.

Can I see EVs in-game?

No... but if you call Bianca on the Xtransceiver, she'll indicate when you've maxed EVs, and if you have 252+ EVs in a particular stat, she'll note that the Pokemon "worked particularly hard" in that stat.

Is there any way to get EVs faster?

There is! There exists a rare status called Pokerus, which causes Pokemon to gain double EVs from battle (they will continue to do so after Pokerus wears off - however, Pokerus that has not worn off can be spread to other Pokemon.) Pokerus wears off after several days in the player's party, but not while the Pokemon is in the PC.

Also, if the Pokemon is holding a Macho Brace, it gets double EVs from battle, and if it is holding one of six Power items (Power Weight, Power Bracer, etc.), it will automatically gain 4 EVs in the stat hinted at in the item's description every time it gains EVs from battle in addition to the EVs it would normally get. These items stack with Pokerus! It's possible to gain 14 EVs from a single Pokemon: if it normally gives 3 EVs, and your Pokemon has a Power Item and Pokerus, you will get 14 EVs from it! (10 or 12 is more common, though - 3-EV Pokemon are relatively rare in the wild.)

However, Pokerus, the Macho Brace, and Power Items apply only to the Pokemon with them - if multiple Pokemon get EVs from the same fight (due to switching or the EXP Share), but one has EV enhancers and the other doesn't, the one that doesn't won't get any bonuses.

How many EVs should I get per level?

Doesn't matter. Though both are obtained through battle, EVs and level have nothing to do with each other.

Are EVs why Rare Candies are bad?

No. EVs are why some people falsely believe Rare Candies are bad. Rare Candies have no negative impact on your Pokemon in the first, second, and fifth generations, and they only have a negative impact in the third and fourth if the Pokemon is at level 99 and somehow hasn't maxed out its EVs yet (in the third and fourth gens, but no others, Pokemon do not gain EVs from battle at level 100 at all.)

Should I use Vitamins before or after training?

Before. They stop working if your Pokemon has 100 EVs in the stat already, regardless of how they were obtained. For Wings and the Join Avenue services, it doesn't matter.
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Creator of Jay's Journey (see quote!)
"It's not ten years old! Therefore, it sucks!" - Nostalgia whores everywhere
#3jayman7(Topic Creator)Posted 11/13/2012 4:45:23 AMmessage detail(edited)
If more than one Pokemon gets EXP at the same time, they are split. Does that happen to EVs too?

Nope. Everything that can get the EVs and is eligible gets them in full.

When I leveled up, I only got +1 in a stat even though I must have gained a hundred EVs!

As I said earlier, you're best off ignoring the LPNs. They mean nothing important; even less in the fifth generation where EVs are applied immediately.

But that said: Want to impress your Pokemon-loving friends? In the third or fourth gen (don't bother doing this in the fifth gen; it won't work), get a Shuckle with a +Defense or +Special Defense nature, get it up to level 99, erase all its EVs with berries, and train it through battle only in the stat that its nature increases. Do not put it in the PC or give it a Vitamin or anything like that! Once you get all 252 EVs, have it gain a level, and marvel over the ridiculously huge LPN that results! It should be over +70! But... it doesn't matter. If you'd done the EV training at lower levels, it would still have all those stat points by level 100 anyway.

I trained up 252 EVs, but my level 20 Pokemon barely even has 63 in the stat, much less that much gain from EVs! I know I did it right, I even called Bianca and everything! I thought 252 EVs would give me 63 stat points!

They do... at level 100. Don't worry, your Pokemon is all the stronger for the effort - just not by 63 points. No no, at level 20, 252 EVs will equate to roughly 12 or 13 points (depending on rounding.) And don't worry that 12 or 13 points looks ridiculously piddly compared to the 63 you could get; once your Pokemon reaches level 100, it will be 63 points stronger in that stat than it otherwise would have been!

What are some good EV training spots?

Courtesy of nuggetbridge.com (and thanks to spoinkspoink for pointing me in its direction):

HP: Surf in Castelia Sewers during the Spring or Summer to find Grimer (1 EV), or if you think your Pokemon can handle it, head to Route 8 and Surf to find Palpitoad (2 EV) and Stunfisk (2 EV). Though not on nuggetbridge, you should also be able to find Ducklett (1 EV) in the shadows on Driftveil Drawbridge, and get yourself some Wings while you're at it.

Attack: Rather high-level areas here, but the first part of Victory Road has Banette (2 EV) and Golurk (2 EV), and the second floor of Dragonspiral Tower has nothing but Golurk (2 EV).

Defense: Relic Castle has Sandshrew (1 EV) and Yamask (1 EV), but they're not alone - run from the Sandiles if you don't want Attack EVs.

Special Attack: The ground floor of the Celestial Tower has nothing but Litwick (1 EV).

Special Defense: Surf around Route 4 or the greater Virbank area to find a bunch of Frillish (1 EV), or hunt down Volcarona's room in the Relic Cave for Baltoy (1 EV).

Speed: Surf on Route 19 and you should find nothing but Basculin (1 EV).
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Creator of Jay's Journey (see quote!)
"It's not ten years old! Therefore, it sucks!" - Nostalgia whores everywhere
#4Neo_HeartlessPosted 11/13/2012 4:17:54 AMmessage detail
Now were are the best training spots in Black 2?
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This is more intense than that time I forgot how to DO A BARREL ROLL!
Then I remembered to press Z or R twice.
#5jayman7(Topic Creator)Posted 11/13/2012 4:22:01 AMmessage detail
Yeah, sorry, I kinda skipped that one deliberately. >_> I'll see if I can find some good suggestions, as I haven't EV trained in Black 2 yet.
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Creator of Jay's Journey (see quote!)
"It's not ten years old! Therefore, it sucks!" - Nostalgia whores everywhere
#6spoinkspoinkPosted 11/13/2012 4:22:56 AMmessage detail
jayman7 posted...
Yeah, sorry, I kinda skipped that one deliberately. >_> I'll see if I can find some good suggestions, as I haven't EV trained in Black 2 yet.


http://nuggetbridge.com/breeding/ev-training-hot-spots-in-black-2-white-2/

Also, sticky requested.
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Just cos you feel it doesn't mean it's there
#7LightningHawk90Posted 11/13/2012 4:26:03 AMmessage detail
Oh cool, a topic telling people they're playing their game wrong :x
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Pokemon white FC: 0003 4423 2595
#8TherianReturnsPosted 11/13/2012 4:27:21 AMmessage detail
[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]
#9jayman7(Topic Creator)Posted 11/13/2012 4:27:34 AMmessage detail
Thanks. For sake of completeness, I'll add their suggestions into my FAQ, but the link gives more detail to anyone wondering.
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Creator of Jay's Journey (see quote!)
"It's not ten years old! Therefore, it sucks!" - Nostalgia whores everywhere
#10Chaos GenesisPosted 11/13/2012 4:31:21 AMmessage detail
RageKaiser posted...
Oh cool, a topic telling people they're playing their game wrong :x


No, it's a topic clearing up misconceptions about how EVs work.
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PKMN Black 2: 4900 3748 6340 | 3DS: 1204 0469 8787
http://gpxplus.net/user/Spades+Slick/