Resource RE: Analyses EV Spreads and Writing

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Eyan

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It's been made pretty clear to me and a few others that a lot of writers (and even some QCers) aren't particularly familiar with how EV spreads should be like when writing analyses, so I'll just lay some things out for easy reference:

1) Speed creep:

When deciding how much Speed investment you want on the analysis spread, keep in mind the simple guideline that you'd only Speed creep up to uninvested or fully invested Pokemon. EV spreads that are meant to outspeed other Pokemon with custom EV spreads shouldn't be on the actual set. At most, they should just get a mention in Set Details.

Example:
  • Timid Nidoking with max Speed hits 295 (just running full investment; nothing wrong with that)
  • Jolly Gliscor, esp SD sets, can run 176 Speed EVs to hit 297, outspeeding Nidoking (nothing wrong either, since it's EVed to outspeed a max investment Pokemon)
  • Timid Tentacruel can run 136 Speed EVs to also hit 297 (same as above)
  • Timid Tentacruel can run 140 Speed EVs to hit 298, outspeeding Gliscor that Speed creep Nidoking (this isn't allowed, so you're better off reverting it to 136 EVs)
The issue with using EV Spreads that creep other Pokemon that are already Speed creeping is that nothing technically stops them from investing that extra 4 EVs themselves; Gliscor can invest to hit 299 to outspeed 298 Speed Tentacruel, while Tentacruel can hit 300 to outspeed 299 Speed Gliscor...you get the idea. It's fine to invest to outspeed max Speed Pokemon (they don't have to be +Speed nature for the record), since it's not possible to have a back and forth like the example when they're literally already at max Speed). As for outspeeding uninvested Pokemon, that's just the baseline, but we don't go any higher, as the same logic would apply.

Lastly, for Pokemon like Reuniclus that would have an excess 4 EVs (assuming it's a standard 252 HP / 252 Def), it's fine to put them into Speed, although it's better to put them somewhere else to avoid confusion regarding Speed creeping Pokemon of the same base Speed.

2) HP numbers (tbh these should apply to teambuilding as a whole, not just analysis writing):

a. "Stealth Rock numbers":
An odd HP number does NOT mean it's automatically a Stealth Rock number, so don't operate under this assumption when crafting EV spreads for analyses (or even in your own teambuilder for that matter). Do some calculations and you'll realise that because of the way numbers in Pokemon round down, you're taking the exact same amount of damage from Stealth Rock but start out with less, which is objectively worse outside of rare cases where the numbers are actually accurate.​
Example:​
A Mantine spread of 248 HP / 252 Def / 8 SpD seems logical right? It's weak to Stealth Rock, so by lowering its HP stat by one, I'm ensuring it can survive one more switch in. Well, not quite, by doing some quick math...​
Damage taken from Stealth Rock with 252 HP EVs = 374 / 4 = 93.5 = 93 (rounded down; four switches into Stealth Rock with 2 HP remaining)​
Damage taken from Stealth Rock with 248 HP EVs = 373/4 = 93.25 = 93 (rounded down; four switches into Stealth Rock with 1 HP remaining)​
so why would you not just run 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD? Writing the 248 HP spread in an analysis would just mislead readers.​
Example of an actual use of a Stealth Rock number:​
A Scizor spread with 248 HP. Doing the same math...​
Damage taken from Stealth Rock with 252 HP EVs = 344/8 = 43 (goes down on the eighth switch into Stealth Rock)​
Damage taken from Stealth Rock with 248 HP EVs = 343/8 = 42.875 = 42 (rounded down; eight switches into Stealth Rock with 7 HP remaining)​
while this may not be used often in practice, it's actually objectively helpful compared to the Mantine example, so it's acceptable in an analysis.​
b. Leftovers numbers:
There's little to no reason to lower EVs to run Leftovers numbers for HP (divisible by 16 / divisible by 16+1) in most situations. It's way too circumstantial to ever help, and the general logic of it is overrated. You're focusing on getting exactly 1/16 of its HP back when the raw HP gain is unchanged. This operates on the premise or never taking any non-passive damage, though, which is unrealistic. If the EVs don't allow the Pokemon to survive any specific hits or the like, then just run max HP (not applicable for Pokemon that don't typically invest a ton in bulk). This is doubly so for EV spreads on analyses, as it'd show a more tangible increase in overall bulk.​
Of course, if it's the other way around where the Pokemon gains an extra 1 HP per turn with 4 extra EVs, then it's an exception that depends entirely on practicality. You'd usually offset the extra damage from Stealth Rock with the Leftovers recovery, so the main thing to consider is how that Pokémon is played, how often it's used to tank Knock Off, etc. Essentially, it's best to stick to the more straightforward one of Stealth Rock when that exception becomes unjustified.​
Non-Leftovers exceptions to this are any Pokemon running Substitute or a Berry. In these cases, you'd look into whether the HP number needs to be divisible by four to decide on the spread to use in the analysis. For example, Substitute + Belly Drum Kommo-o with Salac Berry would want to run an HP number divisible by four so that using Substitute and Belly Drum would activate the Berry. Thus, you'd use 4 HP EVs to achieve that. For something that's running Substitute with Leftovers, it's reasonable to run a HP number divisible by 16 so you gain back the HP used to create a Substitute in four turns instead of five. Finally, Belly Drum Azumarill with Sitrus Berry would want its HP to be exactly divisible by two so the Sitrus Berry gets activated after setting up.​
3) Jump Points:

For this, I'll leave this from the GP standards
A special mention goes to "jump point", which often isn't really relevant information for in-battle scenarios (if your benchmark allows you to hit some significant KOs, just get to the point and state those KOs) and on its own tends to be a pretty arbitrary benchmark to begin with.
Essentially, if the jump point does something other than just being a jump point, state it. Otherwise, don't bother with them. "Increasing overall Defense more" is pretty flimsy in an analysis. In some cases, it can even be detrimental; for example, you lower a Pokemon's SpD investment and invest into Def to hit a jump point "for the sake of it" even though it doesn't change what physical hits it can take, yet you're sacrificing its ability to take special hits, which is what it's supposed to.
 
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Eyan

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Something I didn't really think of until now, but this is mainly only applicable to offensive Pokemon that typically run 252 SpA or Atk / 252 Spe spreads:

There are times where EV spreads to survive certain specific hits can be made by shaving off some SpA or Atk EVs and putting them into HP, Def, or SpD. As long as the hits it allows the Pokemon to survive are somewhat relevant and dropping offensive EVs doesn't result in missing out on certain significant KOs or 2HKOs, it's fine for it to be the main spread (with discretion by the QC team). If the EV spread of that nature involves dropping Speed EVs, don't put it as the main spread because there's always the argument of offensive Pokemon missing out on the Speed tie against the same Pokemon (even if the Pokemon is uncommon, the chances of you encountering the exact scenario against the exact foe you're supposed to be taking a hit from that you need is just as unlikely, and if you're EVed to always take a hit, odds are that they'd be risking a roll anyway without those EVs, which reduces the chances of that scenario even more). I know this probably can sound very confusing, so PM me if you're not clear on this.

This wouldn't really apply to Pokemon that invest in bulk because at that point, you're already weighing the necessity of bulk, Speed, and power anyway, so dropping unnecessary Speed isn't an issue.

Other than that, as far as leftover EVs go after you've invested all you need, if there's only 4 EVs remaining, the default best option is to invest it into HP barring exceptions like preventing Download from getting a specific boost or really lopsided defenses. If there's quite a bit of EVs left, they operate on a case-by-case basis; they go where they're most useful in relation to their role.
 

Eyan

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For anyone who hasn't read the recent "Changing the Current Analysis Format" thread, there's been some discussion regarding fluff in analyses and unneeded information. This is a message to all active writers.

We've decided to cut common analysis details such as 252 / 252 spreads and the subsequent natures (whether it be from defensive or offensive spreads) and Mega Stones or otherwise extremely self explanatory items and abilities from Set Details. However, if, in the analysis, there is a more complicated spread that needs legitimate explaination, such as this example from the Amoonguss analysis, then it's necessary to elaborate.

Moves sections comments that state "strongest and most reliable STAB attack" and the like, as well as something to the effect of "Calm Mind raises Special Attack and Special Defense by one stage" should also be cut down. Specifically for the second example, if a move is run on the set, especially if it's the main focus of the set, there has to be more than a dex info reason for it. Stuff like STAB moves can just be left out, as they're relatively self-explanatory unless you're talking about the choice of Fire Blast vs Flamethrower for example.

In addition, we've refined what can and can't be mentioned in the Other Options section. Basically, only legitimately viable options with actual niches can be added to Other Options. This means, if the Pokemon only has a singular niche in the meta (such as Magneton only viably being able to run Magnet Pull to trap Scizor and Empoleon) then it's perfectly acceptable to not mention any other alternative abilities or moves in Other Options. There's no need to fluff out the section if there's nothing else ever worth running. Additionally, moves or sets that are basically unviable with no niche and should never really used also shouldn't be mentioned. Sets or moves with little to no real use (with a couple of examples being things such as Dragon Pulse Mega Altaria, Brutal Swing Scizor, and Choice Specs Salazzle) should never be included again (even if they were not initially included, just an example).

There's one exception with the Mega Stone rule, and it's if there are several slashed items on the set (with one of those including the Mega Stone). One example is Slowbro, which can easily run several viable items, with one of them being its Mega stone. At this point, it's ok to mention what the Mega stone does compared to the other items.

Thank you to everybody reading this and thanks to everyone for writing! We appreciate it :)
Pasting this here as well for transparency. To make this clear, just because a spread is 252 / 252, for example, doesn't mean it's self-explanatory and no explanation is warranted. How relevant the information is depends on how you nuance it. A 252 / 252 spread can be very informative if there's something significant about the spread that allows it to take on certain threats in the tier. Likewise, a STAB move line in Moves can be cut if it's just "strongest and most reliable STAB move", but if the move is significant in taking down certain things (that readers might not expect), then yes I want to see it. Basically, use your knowledge of the meta to judge whether the move / set detail is just there because it's by common sense the best and most general option, or is there a particular reason the set is ran that way. To give an example:
  • Flare Blitz is an incredibly powerful STAB move that 2HKOes physically bulky like Hippowdon and Mega Aggron unboosted, and it also has a really high chance to 2HKO Gligar. Thanks to Rock Head, Flare Blitz is also rather spammable.
This line from the currently being written Alolan Marowak analysis (credits to allstarapology) explains why Flare Blitz on TR Marowak is such a good move despite it being a STAB move that most people who run on it anyway (at least with Rock Head). However, most people wouldn't know right off the top of their heads that it 2HKOes Hippowdon or Mega Aggron, so the explanation isn't just obvious information that can be cut.

This will hopefully make things a lot clearer to current and future writers to streamline the analysis writing procedure and make things as painless as possible.
 
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