Pokemon GO looks simple, and all you need to do is download the app, walk around and catch Pokemon. But that’s for casual players, like my neighbour’s mom.
You don’t just evolve everything you catch, since evolving a higher CP Pokemon results in a much higher CP evolution Pokemon, effectively saving you lots of stardust. Hey there’s yet ANOTHER VAPOREON defending a gym over there, use an electric or grass type Pokemon to fight it! But these tips are still only for the majority of players out there. So what does this game have to offer more hardcore (serious) players like you and I?
Have you ever asked questions like:
– Which grass Pokemon do I choose to combat Vaporeon?
– Arcanine and Rapidash are all mammal-looking 4-legged Pokemon, so they must be real similar in stats right (though stats are hidden)?
– Water Pulse feels like a shitty skill, but how bad is it compared to Hydro Pump?
– Are all Caterpies the same in terms of power (if they even have any power)?
It is hard to find out all these information online, as it is available, but all over the place. This post aims to gather them together, and to provide a brief summary based on my understanding. All sources will be linked and displayed, since I am but a student as well, and no research quoted or mentioned in this post belongs to me. Of course, if any of my summary is actually misleading or false, do comment below.
This site is really useful for many reasons, and we will be using it for other sections below as well. The image above shows the first tab “Species Stats”. It displays every Pokemon currently in PoGO and their types. By knowing their types, you can then know which Pokemon has a natural advantage against other Pokemon using charts like this:
If you are looking for an even more straightforward tool to choose a counter Pokemon, use
Pokeassisstant is an amazing site. Using the above tool, with the target being Vaporeon, we know that Electric and Grass type attacks do 125% damage to it, thus being the attack type choice. We would definitely want to avoid using Pokemon who uses Ice, Water, Fire or Steel type attacks, since they all do 20% less damage to Vaporeon.
Mewtwo and Dragonite are in there at the top as well because OP. But why are there only 2 out of 6 skillsets of Mewtwo or Dragonite up in top 10? Cos these 2 skill set combinations are the most OP and the others aren’t OP enough. We will talk about skillsets in a later section. Also, do note that this tool takes into account Def stats too. Both the Dragonite options score only 375 in terms of Atk score, but since Dragonite is tankier than Victreebel by a huge margin, the overall score gave Dragonite the advantage. So if you are confident of dodging all the skills used by the defending Vaporeon and just want to do more DPS, Victreebel > Dragonite.
But Victreebel top Grass pokemon and not Venusaur? Yep, cause Victreebel has a higher Atk stat than Venusaur, and this leads us into the next section, Species Stats.
You can use the above linked sites for this as well.
By sorting the Pokemon according to their Atk stat, we see Victreebel has an Atk stat of 222. This refers to BASE Atk Stat of ALL Victreebels. Venusaur, however, is lower in the Atk rankings, and that is why when placed against a Vaporeon, one would choose Victreebel over Venusaur. A Solarbeam used by a Victreebel will deal more damage than one used by Venusaur, assuming they are of the same level and 0% IV (explained later). Def stat, which Venusaur is better at, determines how much less damage you take from attacks, and is more useful when choosing a Pokemon to defend gyms. Stam refers to HP.
So regarding the earlier question about Arcanine and Rapidash… Arcanine has ADS (Atk/Def/Stam) of 230/180/180, while Rapidash has ADS of 200/170/130. A great disparity in terms of raw power I would say.
These base species stats also determine how much MAXIMUM CP a species of Pokemon can have.
Arcanine, having powerful base stats, also has high MAX CP of 2983.9, while Rapidash appears much lower down the list with 2199.34. Venusaur has higher MAX CP than Victreebel since its Def score is much higher than Victreebel’s, resulting in higher total base stats and thus higher MAX CP.
We take a look at this list once again and focus on Zapdos. All 3 possible skillset combinations score 544, but why is Thunder Shock/Thunder ranked no. 1? Simply because Thunder is a better DPS skill than Thunderbolt, which is in turn better than Discharge. This brings us to the best spreadsheet ever:
This spreadsheet can be found from this original post:
It includes all existing combinations of Pokemon and their skillsets, and ranks them. By copying this sheet to your own google, you can filter and sort according to the headings. Looks immensely complicated, but Trainer Tips from Youtube has an excellent video regarding the use of the spreadsheet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lu4ujp6M188
By simply filtering for Zapdos, we see there are only 3 possible skillset combinations (usually 6 for most other pokemon), and Thunder Shock/Thunder is indeed the highest DPS. No Weave value refers to DPS if you only use your basic attack repeatedly (spam-tapping your screen), while Weave Damage refers to DPS you can do if you use your Charged Ability everytime it is ready to fire (tap-hold your pokemon).
The sheet also tells you rankings. At the left-most column, we see that the Thunder Shock/ Thunder Zapdos ranks no. 22 out of ALL possible Pokemon skillset combinations in terms of Weave Damage, which is pretty damn good. However, this skillset is actually not the best skillset for defense. The Defense column (Col D) shows us that the 2nd skillset is actually the rank 1 for def, since Gym Weave (Col P)(AI defending the gym for you) works DPS a little differently from manually fighting done by players.
Another useful statistic shown would be %ile in column C where it shows how much weaker a skillset is as compared to the best skillset. We can conclude that Discharge is alot weaker than both Thunder and Thunderbolt. For a more detailed guide on every value found in this spreadsheet, do watch the video linked above.
But why is Psycho Cut/Psychic the best skillset against Vaporeon, and not the best skillset as listed here, which is Psycho Cut/Hyper Beam. STAB applies in this game, and a Pokemon using an attack which is the same type as it is will gain a damage bonus of 25%. Hyper Beam is not a Psychic atk, but Psychic is. So Psychic ends up dealing more damage when used by Mewtwo. The above screenshot also shows that sometimes, if your charged skill sucks, it is better to just spam your basic attack repeatedly for more DPS ._.
So how bad is Water Pulse really?
Yea, it freaking sucks, and cannot be compared to a premium skill like Hydro Pump. It is not even worth using :C
Individual Values (IV)
IVs are not for the casuals. This is only meant for serious players who really want to collect the perfect Pokemon and to be the very best. It is a hassle calculating IVs and will ruin the fun for most casual players, and that’s why it is hidden in the game.
Individual Values are additional points in base stats that each individual Pokemon can have. As stated before, there are 3 base stats, Atk, Def and Stam. Each can have a maximum of 15 more points if your Pokemon is 100% IV, or in other words perfect. It’s like a genetics thing, meaning this pokemon will have those additional stats forever, and will bring it along through evolution as well, and cannot be decreased or increased by any means. So are all Caterpies the same in terms of power? No. A 0% IV Caterpie will have ADS of 62/66/90, while a 100% IV Caterpie will have ADS of 77/81/105. It seems like a huge difference, but that is because Caterpie has such low stats. If you apply it to Arcanine, 15 additional Atk is basically just 6.5% more powerful (between a perfect Atk stat Arcanine and an absolute trash Atk stat Arcanine).
But why still go for IV? Because it all adds up and is compounded across all 3 stats. 6.5% more for each stat amounts to a pretty big deal.
Let’s take a look at the fields required. We all know what CP is. Combat Power. It is derived from base stats of a Pokemon specie, and also from the level of the Pokemon. But how do we know our Pokemon’s level? The amount of Stardust required to power it up gives us an estimate of that. For every power up, a Pokemon increases by 0.5 levels. After a Pokemon increases by 2 levels, the amount of Stardust needed to power up increases by a tier. So by providing the calculator our “required Stardust to power up” amount, we narrow our pokemon’s level to 2 values. The calculator will then list out possible IV combinations that will result in the values you keyed in, and will tell you the potential of that Pokemon.
The above Metapod could be a baddie at 49% IV, but it could also be pretty good at 80% IV. To narrow it down, we either evolve it or power it up and input values again and hitting “refine”.
One could get addicted with doing this for all Pokemon but really, just do it for the more important evolutions like Magikarp and Eevee. Unless you really need a 100% IV Weedle.
Ever wondered what Pokemon you can get out of a 10km egg? Here’s the whole list, but have you gotten your Charmander from your 2km eggs yet?
This is a more PoGO friendly chart for type advantages and disadvantages as compared to the one shown in an earlier section. Multiplicative advantages do apply so Ice type attacks do 1.56x damage to Dragonite!
Ever wonder what CP your Bellsprout will be after it evolves? This handy tool gives you a good estimate of the CP range your Pokemon will arrive at upon evolving, and also let’s you know the maximum CP of every Pokemon involved this way. You might probably want to get a Bellsprout closer to 1000 CP before evolving to save on all those Stardust!!