A Comprehensive Guide to Competitive Pokemon Battling

To some, Pokemon may be a game where one casually plays through the game without care for which Pokemon is the best or which type of matchup beats which. Others may want to shiny hunt to find a rare one in 4,096 shiny or off-colored Pokemon. For others, they play for the competitive scene where type matchups, held items, EV’s and IV’s all matter and just one wrong move may cost the game. With all that being said, there is a lot that goes into competitive Pokemon so let me guide you through the world of competitive Pokemon.

For this, I will mostly be referencing Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, the newest games in the series. Let’s start with the newest addition to that game; Terastallization. This is really important in a battle because it can completely change a Pokemon’s type, so a dragon type, one of the strongest types, can terastallize into a fairy type negating the fairy, dragon and ice weaknesses. Another reason it’s good is the Same Type Attack Bonus (S.T.A.B.) that a Pokemon has stays the same, plus they get extra for the type they become or they get a boost to attacks if they terastallize to the same type they already were.

Speaking of, let’s talk about S.T.A.B. or Same Type Attack Bonus as it is something each Pokemon has and it depends on their type. S.T.A.B. gives certain moves a 1.5x attack boost. So for example, a fire fighting Pokemon will get a 1.5x attack boost to attacks that are fire or fighting. Going back to terastallization, if they terastallize into a grass type then they gain the S.T.A.B. from the grass typing and they keep the original S.T.A.B. they had.

EV’s (Effort Values) and IV’s (Individual Values) are the stats of the Pokemon. Before talking about EV’s and IV’s, someone getting into Pokemon needs to know about B.S.T. (Base Stat Totals). They are the total from one to 255 with each stat being HP, attack, special attack, defense, special defense and speed and gauges the potential a Pokemon has in battle. IV’s are stats from one to 31, the higher the IV’s for each stat the better. Pokemon get IVs when they hatch and to get perfect IVs for the stats you want, you would get a parent with those stats and use a destiny knot to breed it down till you get what you want. EV’s are 510 points that are divided into the Pokemon’s stats with a max of 252 per stat that will help them be stronger. For example, you could put 252 EVs into the attack stat and you would be left with 258 that you could divide into something else.

Natures and abilities are another thing to consider. There are 25 natures that a pokemon can have when caught or hatched. Pokemon will have one of these natures and most raise one stat and subtract from another. For example, adamant nature increases attack but decreases special attack. Abilities are something each Pokemon gets that do specific things and some even have hidden abilities which might be better than their usual abilities.