Sun and Moon VGC EV Training guide by lucariomaster2
With the 2017 Pokemon World Championships having come to a close, many new players will be looking to compete in the 2018 season. One of the most important aspects of building a team is tailoring your Pokemon's EV spreads to suit your exact needs; a Pokemon may need to ensure a KO, survive a hit, or outspeed an important foe. Thus, while 4 / 252 / 252 spreads are often sufficient for Singles, successful VGC players train their Pokemon with their own precise spreads. This guide outlines how to get those spreads in-game; coming up with custom EV spreads is beyond its scope, but this article on Trainer Tower has a lot of good pre-made spreads to choose from.
This guide assumes that:
- You have a copy of Pokemon Sun or Pokemon Moon and have completed the main story on it,
- You have an untrained (likely level 1) Pokemon that you want to use in competition, ideally with Pokerus,
- You are familiar with the basic mechanics of EVs, IVs, and natures, and
- You know what EV spread you want your Pokemon to have.
The Basics: Effort Value Manipulation methods
- Battles: All Pokemon that gain EXP from a battle also gain EVs according to the defeated Pokemon's species. If a Pokemon has Pokerus, it gains double the normal EVs.
- Power Items: If a Pokemon holding one of the six Power-items earns EXP from a battle, it gains 8 EVs of the Power-item's stat. This is in addition to whatever EVs it gets normally and is doubled by Pokerus. Power Items can be obtained from the Battle Royal Dome for 16 BP each.
- Vitamins: Vitamins give a Pokemon 10 EVs of their corresponding stat, to a maximum of 100 EVs. They are most reliably obtained at the Battle Royal Dome for 2 BP each.
- Berries: The inverse of vitamins, the EV Berries (Pomeg, Kelpsy, Qualot, Hondew, Grepa, and Tamato) reduce the EVs of their corresponding stat by 10 each. They can be found randomly under the tree on Route 10; it is then possible to use Poke Pelago to grow hundreds of them.
- Poke Pelago: Isle Evelup can be used to passively and precisely EV train Pokemon. However, it is exceedingly slow.
- Festival Plaza: Restaurants and Bouncy Houses offer services that can quickly increase EVs.
- SOS Battles: The most efficient way of EV training in Sun and Moon, it will be detailed in the next section.
The bane of in-game runs and Pokemon catching alike, SOS battles are, in fact, incredibly useful for EV training. Each time a Pokemon is defeated in an SOS battle, it gives twice the EVs it would have if battled as a normal encounter. This includes the original wild encounter as long as it has successfully called at least one ally. Because this stacks with Pokerus and Power-items, defeating a normally 1 EV Pokemon yields the normal 1 EV, plus 8 from the Power-item (9 total), doubled by Pokerus (18 total), and doubled again by the SOS battle to give 36 EVs for each Pokemon defeated in the chain. In addition, defeating SOS encounters with no Power-item equipped gives 4 EVs per encounter, making it a viable tool for fine-tuning your spreads.
The quickest and most reliable way to trigger SOS encounters is to lead with a Pokemon with False Swipe, with the EXP. Share on, and the Pokemon to train in the back. Ideally, this False Swipe user should also have a regular damaging move and be capable of easily OHKOing the wild encounters. Once you have found the Pokemon you want to SOS chain, bring it down to 1 HP and use an Adrenaline Orb; it should start calling for help almost every round. Mow down the Pokemon it calls for doubled EVs.
The easiest places to EV train using SOS battles are:
- HP: Alolan Grimer, Malie City (Recycling Plant)
- Attack: Yungoos and Pikipek, Route 1
- Defense: Exeggcute, Exeggutor Island
- Sp. Atk: Magnemite, Trainers' School
- Sp. Def: Tentacool, Route 7
- Speed: Spearow, Route 2
A few things to remember when SOS training:
- Pokemon with Pressure, Intimidate, and Unnerve make wild Pokemon more likely to call for help; this makes Weavile and Absol great Pokemon for SOS training since they have both Pressure and False Swipe.
- Pokemon that are afflicted with status (paralysis, burn, etc.) will never call for help.
- Battle animations can be turned off to make the process go slightly faster.
- There is technically the risk of the original encounter running out of PP; however, the battle should never go on long enough for this to happen.
Combining different methods for exact numbers
SOS battles are good for multiples of 36, while vitamins work for multiples of 10. However, oftentimes in VGC, you need an exact number of EVs that does not divide evenly by either. To solve this, it is possible to combine vitamins, EV berries, and SOS encounters to get the desired value.
The problem becomes a math puzzle of sorts: starting at zero, add a multiple of 36 and either add or subtract a multiple of 10 to get to your desired value. For example, to get exactly 116 EVs in a stat, give the Pokemon 8 vitamins for 80 EVs, and then defeat one SOS call for the remaining 36. Likewise, for 42 EVs, two SOS Pokemon and three Berries = (2*36) - (3*10) = (72 - 30) = 42.
It is possible to tell how many SOS Pokemon must be defeated by looking at the last digit of the desired number of EVs for a stat:
Last digit of desired number / SOS calls to defeat
0 / 0 (if desired <=100) or 5 (if desired >100)
6 / 1
2 / 2
8 / 3
4 / 4
// Note to HTML people: This would work best as a proper table
Note that you should always give the vitamins to the Pokemon BEFORE SOS training because vitamins cannot give more EVs past 100.
Tips, tricks, and shortcuts to EV training
The method described above becomes tedious after awhile; fortunately, there are ways to further expedite EV training.
- Save difficult numbers for last: Sometimes, a Pokemon's EV spread only has one or two difficult numbers to hit. If the spread has 252 EVs in any stat, start with that. Then, if it has 20 or less in any stats, do those with Poke Pelago. Thus, when you get to the difficult numbers, sometimes you can just use SOS battles to train them, taking advantage of the 510 EV cap.
- Multiple Pokemon at once: If you have more than one Pokemon that needs the same number of EVs (usually 252) in the same stat, there is no reason to not equip them all with Power-items and train them all at once.
A practical exampleIf all this theory is a bit confusing, we'll look at it in practice. Let's imagine that we are EV training Sejun's Firium Z Arcanine as described on Trainer Tower's spread repository, with a spread of 76 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 164 Spe.
Step 1: Use SOS battles to quickly train any stats with 252 EVs. Since EVs are capped at 252 per stat, the same method you use to raise 4 / 252 / 252 Pokemon works to train up Attack.
Step 2: Train stats using combinations, as described above. In this example, it is easy to see that 76 = 36 + 40, or one SOS encounter plus 4 HP Ups. Thus, we can take care of the 76 HP next.
Step 3: Use Poke Pelago to train small amounts. Defense and Special Defense both have very small investments; a fully upgraded Isle Evelup can complete them in one hour. Alternatively, the Pokemon can defeat SOS encounters with no Power-item equipped to gain 4 EVs per Pokemon defeated.
Step 4: Use SOS battles to train the remaining stat. 164 Speed is equal to 4 SOS calls plus 2 Carbos, but this is not as easy to realize as with HP. Luckily, since Speed is the only stat left to train at this point, it can be done using SOS battles; the 510 cap on EVs will ensure that the Pokemon gets the correct amount.
*Note: When viewing a Pokemon's summary, even though the exact numbers of EVs are hidden, a stat with 252 EVs sparkles, and a fully EVed Pokemon's indicator turns blue.
Appendix: Festival PlazaThe Bouncy Houses and Food Stalls at Festival Plaza can quickly EV train a Pokemon at the cost of Festival Coins.
Bouncy Houses offer six courses, A through F, with each one corresponding to a stat. Thump-Bump Park gives B (Attack) and D (Special Attack), Clink-Clunk Land gives C (Defense) and E (Special Defense), and Stomp-Stomp House gives A (HP) and F (Speed).
Beyond level 1, Thump-Bump Park is native to Pokemon Moon, and Clink-Clunk Land is native to Pokemon Sun. In addition, Stomp-Stomp House has even-numbered levels native to Sun and odd-numbered levels native to Moon.
Level of course (number of stars) / EVs obtained / Price / Minimum facility level
// Note to HTML people: This would work best as a proper table
1 / 4 EVs / 5 FC / Level 1
2 / 8 EVs / 10 FC / Level 2
3 / 16 EVs / 15 FC / Level 3
4 / 32 EVs / 30 FC / Level 4
5 / 64 EVs / 50 FC / Level 5
6 / 128 EVs / 100 FC / Level 1
7 / 252 EVs / 200 FC / Level 5
Unlike the Bouncy Houses, Food Stalls are not specific to EV training; however, they can be used for that purpose. The Lunches at the Battle Table each give a Pokemon 10 EVs of the corresponding stat at a cost of 20 FC. Using vitamins is generally more viable because the Lunches can only be given once per day each, but they can still be given if the Pokemon has more than 100 EVs in the stat.
This covers everything you need to know in order to get precise EV spreads in Gen VII. I hope to meet you in a tournament someday!