EV training itself is obviously not cheating (I EV train all the time by myself), but I've always thought it was interesting how people differentiate between EV training and RNG manipulation/perfect-IV breeding.

For one, there isn't any way to determine which pokemon give out which EVs "legitimately," i.e. without looking into the game's internal mathematics/source code (very similar to what you do with RNG manipulation). Even if you get the numbers off of a website, the person who put them there ultimately got them from someone who looked into the game's internals. Far as I can tell, there has been no formal source from Nintendo/Game Freak that details the exact values given out by each pokemon.

Even if you argue that RNG manipulates the math on a deeper level than EV training, you could easily argue in turn that it's the same thing, just to a different degree --- EV training manipulates stat point growth by exploiting the hidden mathematical system by which those stats are determined, while RNG manipulations/IV manipulation just manipulates THOSE values/the internal math by which THEY are determined.

I've been EV training for too long to think of EV training as cheating, myself. But the way I see it, it doesn't really seem consistent to call EV training "legitimate" while discounting RNG abuse as "cheating," as they both are impossible without using external means to get the numbers/math you need to exploit them properly.

*"The ones who aren't human....ARE YOU!!"*

--Lucy, *Elfen Lied*