If you’ve ever read a walkthrough online, you’d probably expect to see some nifty Pokemon Black and White ASCII design right here, but I’m not even going to make an attempt at something like that. The result would probably be pretty hilarious, though—hi, I’m ROFLTOMCAT, and this is my Pokemon Black and White EV Training Guide.
If you don’t know what EV training is, this guide will help you gain a full understanding of what it means to EV train your Pokemon and the benefits EV training offers. It will also teach you how to EV train your Pokemon in the most efficient and/or least frustrating ways. For those of you who are already crying tl;dr or are simply here for a quick reference, use ctrl+f and search for the contents using the bracketed codes below:
-Pokemon Natures [pN]
-Individual Values [oIV]
-Basics of EV Training [bEV]
-Acquiring EVs [aEV]
-Held Items [oHI]
-Black and White EV Training Hotspots [EVh]
-Final Thoughts [FTs]
I like to think of myself as a veritble Pokemon fanatic; in fact, I may as well be that guy in the games who battles you using a team of six Pikachus while wearing a Pikachu sweater and hugging his child who is dressed in a Pikachu costume and holding a Pikachu-shaped balloon. I don’t actually have a child, but it’s safe to assume that if I did, he or she would definitely be decked out in Pokemon-themed apparel, snuggling close with a life-sized Pokemon plushie.
And my mom could probably knit me said sweater, as well…I should ask her about that.
Everyone knows about Pokemon. It’s been well over a decade since the original Red and Blue versions were released stateside in 1998, and since then there have been four new generations introduced, four special editions and four remakes released, and countless spinoffs of the series set in the same universe filled with the adorable pocket monsters we’ve all grown to love. No matter who you are, you have a soft spot for Pokemon. It’s one of the most accessible and addictive games ever created, with something to appeal to virtually every type of gamer and non-gamer alike. Once you pick up Pokemon, you’re instantly hooked and become a lifelong fan.
But what most people don’t realize is that Pokemon goes so much deeper than just capturing and battling to earn gym badges. Since the inception of the series, lots of new multiplayer features have been introduced to encourage trading, teamwork, and other unique interactions that reward players for socializing in an effort to bring people together in a way that only Pokemon could. There have also been new single player additions that give players something more to do after they’ve conquered the Elite Four and earned all their additional badges, or to offer players a break from training to allow their Pokemon some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
While Red and Blue introduced a thorough game mechanics system that laid the groundwork for what exists today in Black and White, the series has been undergoing constant metamorphosis with each new iteration, with the fifth and current generation of Pokemon making the original feel rudimentary in a “canonical classic” sort of way. So much has changed under the hood that allows trainers complete and total control of the Pokemon they raise and battle; the amazing thing, however, is that to the casual player, Black and White appear almost completely similar to their precursors, with the most notable changes being the highly sought-after and graciously welcomed addition of moving battle sprites and 3D environments.
One of the biggest changes that has occurred as each new iteration has been released is the introduction and eventual embracing of individual values and effort values, or IVs and EVs. EVs are hidden attribute points obtained through repetitive training that allow you as a trainer to actually raise specific individual stats of your Pokemon. IVs are much more complex, acting most comparably as Pokemon “genes” which allow you to influence specific stat growth through breeding. Yes, these hidden values were around in Red and Blue, but they didn’t function quite the same way as they do now, and they certainly weren’t as easy to manipulate for the good of your Pokemon.
Since the introduction of breeding in Gold and Silver, the IV and EV systems have been repeatedly redesigned to be much more controllable. Black and White sports an IV/EV system that remains largely unchanged from its predecessors, but there are characters included in the games that will actually divulge crypic information about your Pokemon’s IVs and EVs. What makes these values so mysterious is that they are never explictly revealed to the player; instead, they must be tracked by hand in order to ensure the “perfect” training. But before we get into that discussion, there are a couple other variables that can have a positive or negative impact on your Pokemon that are worth taking into account before you employ this specialized training method.
Pokemon Natures [pN]:
Before you attempt to capture or hatch a Pokemon to EV train, it’s a great idea to check out their base stats and their move pools to see what you’ll be working with. Take into consideration which stats are naturally lowest and highest, and what stat-boosting moves the Pokemon can learn before you start grinding to boost other stats. It’ll also help to strategize with your Pokemon—do you want to use attacks and attempt to sweep your opponents? Do you want to use status-affecting moves to defeat them over time? Do you want to focus on defeating a specific battle archetype? All of these ideas will help you choose the moves to utilizie and the stats to upgrade through EV training. Once you think you know how you’d like to battle, your next step will be to choose a specific nature for your Pokemon, as this could potentially boost your Pokemon’s stats even higher.
Natures appear to be little more than flavorful Poke-personalities; however, like everything else in this guide, they serve a hidden purpose and actually allow your Pokemon to grow even stronger as you train them. Natures directly affect your Pokemon by elevating one specific stat by 10%, and decreasing another by 10%. If you’re not okay with the idea of incurring any penalties, there are also five ”neutral” natures that don’t affect any of your stats, but if you take the time to plan out your battle strategy with your Pokemon, there is usually one stat that can afford to take the small hit. There are 25 natures total:
Hardy, Quirky, Docile, Serious, Bashful- neutral
Lonely- +10% attack, -10% defense
Adamant- +10% attack, -10% special attack
Naughty- +10% attack, -10% special defense
Brave- +10% attack, -10% speed
Bold- +10% defense, -10% attack
Impish- +10% defense, -10% special attack
Lax- +10% defense, -10% special defense
Relaxed- +10% defense, -10% speed
Modest- +10% special attack, -10% attack
Mild- +10% special attack, -10% defense
Rash- +10% special attack, -10% special defense
Quiet- +10% special attack, -10% speed
Calm- +10% special defense, -10% attack
Gentile- +10% special defense, -10% defense
Careful- +10% special defense, -10% special attack
Sassy- +10% special defense, -10% speed
Timid- +10% speed, -10% attack
Hasty- +10% speed, -10% defense
Jolly- +10% speed, -10% special attack
Naive- +10% speed, -10% special defense
If you want to get really specific, each nature is assigned a number that is randomly generated when you encounter or hatch a Pokemon, and that determines which one they’ll have. This list isn’t in the correct numerical order, but that doesn’t affect anything if you’re not intending to look at the actual coding of the game; this order is sorted first by stat boosted and then by stat hindered, to make it easier to read.
Also, if you’re attempting to breed Pokemon to obtain a beneficial nature, you can hand one of your parent Pokemon an everstone before turning it over to the day-care couple to elevate its chances of passing its nature on to the offspring to 50%. Otherwise, the nature will be completely randomized when the egg is obtained, not when it is hatched. You can’t save right before hatching the egg and simply reload until you get your desired nature—that’d be too easy.
Individual Values (IVs) [oIV]:
Like natures, the individual value system is governed by a set of randomly assigned numbers that are used to select a trait that will predispose your Pokemon to different patterns of stat growth. The drawback to IVs though is that they are largely uncontrollable, and much tougher to figure out. There are equations online that come close to emulating the exact code used in the game to decipher exactly what kind of IV spread your Pokemon may have, but to the best of my knowledge, there is no 100% accurate IV calculator.
IVs differ from EVs in that you cannot directly affect their distribution, or even the amount your Pokemon has—it is all seemingly randomized. Your Pokemon’s IV tendencies are cryptically divulged on their status screen, beneath the natures. They hint using quirky phrases such as, “likes to run” or “scatters things often;” here’s what they all mean:
Attack: "proud of its power," "likes to thrash about," "a little quick-tempered," "likes to fight," "quick-tempered"
Special Attack: "highly curious," "mischevious," "thoroughly cunning," "often lost in thought," "very finicky"
Defense: "sturdy body," "capable of taking hits," "highly persistant," "good endurance," "good perseverence"
Special Defense: "strong-willed," "somewhat vain," "strongly defiant," "hates to lose," "somewhat stubborn"
Speed: "likes to run," "alert to sounds," "impetuous and silly," "somewhat of a clown," "quick to flee"
HP: "loves to eat," "often dozes off," "often scatters things," "scatters things often," "likes to relax"
Again, these are just tendencies. If your Pokemon has one of these characteristics, it means their IV spread favors that specific stat. If you’re just looking to have some fun with better-than-average Pokemon, I don’t reccomend pursuing the perfect IV spread, as it may complicate your Pokemon’s training to the point where it becomes neurotic and overly frustrating. Pokemon who receive EV training and have natures to support their battle strategies will perform just fine without the added genetic boost of IV training. That being said, let’s get on to the good stuff: EV training.
The Basics of EV Training [bEV]:
Effort values, or EVs, are basically “hidden” tallies that are divided amongst your Pokemon’s “real” stats, depending on what kind of Pokemon they’ve been receiving experience from throughout their lives. These “hidden” stats actually boost their respective “real” stats in ways that are much more apparant than IVs, and the cool part is that with a little research, controlled training, and patience, you can directly control your Pokemon’s EV spread.
Total, a Pokemon can gain 510 EV points. As if things weren’t already confounding enough though, each “real” stat—attack, special attack, defense, special defense, speed, and HP—can only retain 252 EVs—any additional EVs will count towards the 510, but will not bolster the stat any further. To determine exactly how much the EVs will boost their respective stat, simply divide the number of EVs collected by 4. So, if a Pokemon obtains 252 attack EVs, its attack will go up by 63 points.
This means that if a Pokemon has their 510 total EVs dispersed 252/252/6 (the most common pattern because it allows for two stats to be fully elevated), the Pokemon will have two stats boosted by 63 and one stat will gain an extra point—woo! If you’re new to EV training, you may want to simply focus on the 252/252 and use the extra six as a buffer in case you mess up. More advanced trainers may factor in a Pokemon’s nature and IV spread to bolster its stats, and try dividing the 510 more generously into three or even four stats. If you spread them too thin, however, you won’t notice quite as much of a dynamic difference between the Pokemon you spent hours meticulously training, and a Pokemon that you simply caught and fought against a bunch of other dudes.
Acquiring EVs [aEV]:
While the EV formula may be relatively simple and easy to understand, actually putting these numbers into practice is considerably more difficult and requires patience and perseverence. Each Pokemon has a specific EV tied to it, and any Pokemon who takes part in a battle against it will have its EV value added to theirs. In Black and White, a Pokemon holding an exp. share will also gain the full amount of EVs as if it was an active participant in the battle.
There is no way of knowing offhand what type of EV a Pokemon is assigned, but you can find that out HERE. This chart shows the type and number of EVs each Pokemon will yield every time you encounter and defeat it.
For example, let’s say you want to train your Pokemon to use powerful physical attacks. You’ll want to collect attack EVs, so you’ll be battling exclusively against Pokemon who grant them, like Patrat and Lillipup. For every Patrat and Lillipup your Pokemon defeats, it will gain one attack EV. Once you defeat a whopping 252 Lillipups and Patrats with your Pokemon, its attack stat will be elevated by 63 points—the highest you can go through EV training.
As discouraging as that last sentence may have sounded, there is hope for you aspiring EV trainers out there; there are multiple items that can be held by or fed to your Pokemon to expidite the EV training process, making it relatively painless and actually kind of fun.
First, we’ll start with the vitamins. Vitamins have been around since Red and Blue, although their functionality has changed as the IV and EV systems have evolved. In Black and White, vitamins add 10 EVs to their respective stat, with a threshold of 100 per stat. As a kicker, this threshold also includes any EVs you may have already acquired with your Pokemon, so it’s advisible to give your Pokemon vitamins before actually beginning any battles. This way, you can feed your Pokemon a maximum of 10 of a single vitamin, effectively granting it +100 EVs to a specific stat. If you attempt to feed vitamins to a Pokemon who has already gained 100 EVs in that stat, it will not have any effect—don’t worry though, the game will let you know and you’ll keep your vitamin.
Here’s a list of the vitamins and which stats they boost; all of these can be purchased for 9800 pokedollars per unit at the kiosk in the left corner of the top floor in the department store on route 9 in Black and White:
Protein- adds 10 attack EVs
Calcium- adds 10 special attack EVs
Iron- adds 10 defense EVs
Zinc- adds 10 special defense EVs
Carbos- adds 10 speed EVs
HP up- adds 10 HP EVs
In keeping with the running example, we’ll boost our Pokemon’s attack stat with EV training and vitamins this time. Before beginning any training against Patrat and Lillipup, let’s give our Pokemon 10 proteins, the attack-boosting vitamin. This will instantly grant it 100 attack EVs, lowering the number we’ll have to gain in time-consuming battles from 252 to 152. If you’re someone who hates the idea of repitition or grinding in video games, vitamins are definitely worth looking into. At a whopping 9800 pokedollars per unit though (which works out to ~98000 per +100 EVs), vitamins aren’t really as viable as some of the other alternatives.
Speaking of not viable, wings are a new type of consumable item introduced in Black and White that also boost a Pokemon’s EVs. Each wing grants a single EV point to its respective stat, but they are not subject to the 100 point threshold that vitamins are. What this essentially means is that if you somehow collected 252 of a specific type of wing, you could potentially max out a Pokemon’s stat via EV training without ever having to enter a single battle. Sounds awesome, right?
It would be, but here’s the problem: there are seven types of wings in total—one for each stat, and the pretty wing, which serves absolutely no purpose and should probably just be sold. The trouble is that wings are acquired randomly by locating and entering a flying Pokemon’s shadow on either the Driftveil Bridge between route 5 and Driftveil City, or the Marvelous Bridge between routes 15 and 16. Occasionally, you may encounter a Ducklett or a Swanna in one of the shadows, but more than likely you’ll find one of these seven wings:
Muscle Wing- adds one attack EV
Genius Wing- adds one special attack EV
Resist Wing- adds one defense EV
Clever Wing- adds one special defense EV
Swift Wing- adds one speed EV
Health Wing- adds one HP EV
Pretty Wing- does nothing, but it sure does look nice!
Sometimes it can be pretty hard to tell when a shadow appears, as there can only be one at a time on the bridge and sometimes they pop up in the very corners of your screen. If you decide to farm wings for your Pokemon, I’d reccomend playing with your sound turned up so you can hear the distinctive flapping sound that signifies their appearance. However, I advise against using wings as a reliable method for EV training, as you have no control over which wing you receive when you enter a shadow—finding even one that boosts your desired stat can be very time-consuming. They do exist though, and if you find wing farming to be very enjoyable, then go have a blast pedaling back and forth on those bridges!
Held Items [oHI]:
In my opinion, held items are much better for EV training than vitamins and wings are. First comes the macho brace, which is usually handed to the player by a fellow fanatic NPC fairly early on in most of the games. Although it may not be initially apparent (like all aspects of EV training), the macho brace effectively doubles the amount of EVs gained per battle. Going back to the Patrat and Lillipup example, this means that for every one of them you smash, your Pokemon will gain two attack EVs instead of one. With the macho brace in hand, the amount of Lillipups and Patrats your Pokemon needs to defeat is instantly halved to 126.
Next, we’ll talk about the “power” accessories. This is in reference to a set of items typically acquired post-game in the battle towers or from the new battle subway in Black and White. At 16 battle points each, it’ll take you a while to amass enough points to collect the entire set, but once you have them, they’ll prove themselves invaluable over and over again. Like the macho brace, these items further contribute to the amount of EVs gained per battle; however, instead of simply doubling the amount gained, the the power accesories each add four EVs to their specific stat.
Power Bracer- adds +4 attack EVs
Power Lens- adds +4 special attack EVs
Power Belt- adds +4 defense EVs
Power Bracer- adds +4 special defense EVs
Power Anklet- adds +4 speed EVs
Power Weight- adds +4 HP EVs
This means that if you defeat a Patrat or a Lillipup while holding the power bracer, your Pokemon will gain five attack EVs instead of one, effectively reducing the number of battles needed to reach the desired 252 down to a mere 50 (because 50x50=250, or 252/5=50.4). While the power accessories definitely make the EV training process much quicker, they do complicate things ever so slightly, as that math illustrates. 252 isn’t perfectly divisible by five; there’s a remainder of two, something that you’ll need to be very aware of when using the power accessories.
To account for this, simply unequip the power accessory and defeat two Patrats and/or Lillipups, or swap it for the macho brace and beat one. Easily corrected, but often overlooked! I thoroughly reccomend keeping a running tally of each Pokemon you defeat so you know exactly how many EVs you’ve gained with your Pokemon thus far, and so that you can work out any extraneous math you may encounter.
Another more avant-garde method to utilize the power accessories is what I like to call “cross-training.” Cross-training is where you equip a power accessory for one stat you wish to EV train and then battle Pokemon that yield EVs different from what the power accessory boosts. This time, let’s equip our Pokemon with the power anklet to add +4 speed EVs per battle, and then battle more Patrats and Lillipups, which each grant +1 attack EV. Each battle, our Pokemon will effectively gain +1 attack EV and +4 speed EVs. While this doesn’t seem inherently useful at first, it will in a moment.
Black and White EV Training Hotspots [EVh]:
Another thing to keep in mind before actually venturing out to EV train your Pokemon in the wild is that a little research can go a very long way. Before attempting to bolster your stats, see what Pokemon can provide you with the EVs you’re looking for. Over time, I’ve found some locations in Black and White where you’ll find Pokemon who all yield exclusively the same EV, with very little to no distractions appearing on occasion to disrupt your methodical grinding. Provided you’ve taken my advice and grabbed a pen and paper with which you can tally, it’ll be very easy to control the EVs your Pokemon gains if you train in these locations:
Attack- Route 1; level 2-4 Patrats and Lillipups each yield 1 attack EV, and they’re the only Pokemon you’ll encounter unless Farfetch’d is swarming. If that’s the case, you may want to postpone your EV training until tomorrow. Maybe ride the battle subway instead?
Special Attack- Celestial Tower (on route 7); level 26-29 Litwick yields 1 special attack EV and on the first few floors, it’s the only Pokemon you’ll encounter. Go up a few flights and you’ll gradually start to increase your chances of finding level 26-29 Elgyem, which also yields 1 special attack EV.
Defense- Relic Castle basement (off route 4); Sandslash and Cofagrigus both yield 2 defense EVs, and Onix yields 1 defense EV, but they’re all between levels 47 and 50 so you may have to have to switch out the Pokemon you’re training as soon as the battle starts. As an alternative, you could also use the exp. share and prepare for a lot of grinding. Run away from any Krokoroks you’re unfortunate enough to encounter.
While not nearly as efficient, the upstairs part of Relic Castle also works and is available to you earlier in your adventure. The Pokemon span in level from only 19 to 22; Yamask yields 1 defense EV, but the encounter rate is only 50% so you’ll be running away from just as many Sandiles. Needless to say, I’m still looking for a better place to collect defense EVs.
Special Defense- Route 4 (surf required); as soon as you get to route 4 from Castelia City, head left and down the stairs to a tiny rectangular body of water. The only thing you’ll find here is level 5-15 Frillish, which grants 1 special defense EV. Avoid the whirlpools, as there’s a slight chance you’ll encounter an Alomomola and accidentally net yourself 2 HP EVs if you defeat it.
Speed- Route 1 (surf required); on your way from Numeva Town to Accumula Town, there is a body of water on your left that eventually leads to route 17. Stick to the first area you can surf on before you hop off your Pokemon and onto the area with the PKMN Ranger. If you do, there’s a 100% chance you’ll be battling Basculin, and each grants you 2 speed EVs. Be forewarned, though—they can vary in level from 5 to 20, and at that level, aqua jet might give you some problems.
HP- Moor of Icirrus (off route 8, surf required); head into the oft forgotten Moor of Icirrus with a surfing Pokemon and take to the water. There, you’ll exclusively encounter Stunfisk, which grants 2 HP EVs. They can also span a fairly disparaging gap in level, from 15 to 35—if that doesn’t sound very appealing, you could always trying picking your favorite low-level route and riding your bike back and forth until a spot of rustling grass appears and an Audino pops out. Each Audino also grants 2 HP EVs, and they’re always around the same level as the more common Pokemon who inhabit the grass in which they’re hiding.
In fact, I’ve grown fond of the ever-elusive yet somehow-omnipresent Audino and its insane experience yield (and the 2 HP EVs). Try bringing a newly captured or hatched Pokemon you’d like to EV train to the very end of route 14 by the enterance to White Forest/Black City, and riding back and forth in front of the lone ace trainer until you see some rustling grass. Unless you’re (un)fortunate enough to encounter an Emolga or a Wigglytuff, you’ll be battling a level 47-50 Audino. If your Pokemon is level 1 and holding a lucky egg, it’ll net ~7500 exp per Audino—defeat three, and that’s enough experience to elevate most Pokemon to the mid twenties, which will make the actual EV training much easier because you won’t necessarily have to switch out for every battle. Plus, the 6 HP EVs you will have gained fits perfectly into the 252/252/6 spread!
Final Thoughts [FTs]:
To summarize, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind before you begin EV training your Pokemon:
-Look into your Pokemon’s base stats and move pool to plan a battle strategy.
-Check your Pokemon’s nature to see if it will be beneficial or at least neutral towards the stats you plan on boosting.
-Grab a pen and some paper to keep tally of how many Pokemon you defeat using the Pokemon you wish to train!
-Use vitamins before battling for a quick +100 EVs if you find EV training mind-numbingly droll.
-Let your Pokemon hold the macho brace or a power accessory to double the EVs gained or add +4 per fight, respectively.
-252/252/6 is the golden ratio, but feel free to experiment and come up with your own strategies.
-Remember to save and take breaks if you don’t have the fortitude to knock out a full stat’s worth of EV training in one sitting.
Keep these tips in mind as you roam Unova raising your Pokemon with loving dedication in order to help them reach their full potential on the battlefield! If you’re new to EV training, it’s always a good idea to save every so often in case you accidentally defeat a creature that doesn’t yield the correct EV, thus throwing off your build.
I hope you found this guide both incredibly informative and at least slightly entertaining; I slaved away at it for a good week or so in between working and actually playing Pokemon myself. As it stands right now, I don’t mind if you copy and paste, link to, or even host this guide, but it would be lovely if you ask my permission or at least give me credit—I’m ROFLTOMCAT, aka Thomas Schley.
I don’t have a FAQ section yet because I tried to cover all the bases that my friends who are just getting into EV training might need. If you find this guide lacking and wish to contribute or correct something, if you come across any spelling or punctuation errors, or if you simply wish to talk Pokemon with me, send me an e-mail at LV[dot]23ThomasSchley[at]gmail[dot]com with the subject line pertaining to this guide or to Pokemon in general. I’ll happily include your name down here somewhere if you contribute an overlooked bit of wisdom or raise a good question!
Thank you so much for taking the time to consult my guide. I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Until next generation, I guess ;)
Also, thank you to Bulbapedia for letting me link to your Pokemon EV chart. Typing that up by hand would have taken forever.
Copyright 2011 by ROFLTOMCAT, aka Thomas Schley