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[Pokemon GO] Which Vaporeon to Power-Up?

This post might be a little late, but the topic is nonetheless crucial to every PoGOer. By now, most of you should already have your own criteria or “feel” of which Pokemon to keep, which to raise (level up with Stardust) and which to throw in the bin (Prof Willow’s trash can). However, why do we choose the way we do? What are the specific information we look at before we decide on the fate of those cute Pokemon?

We look at 3 pieces of information when we want to know whether a Pokemon is “good” or “bad”, “strong” or “weak, or “worthy” or “trash”.

  • Combat Power (CP)
  • Individual Values (IVs)
  • Skill Set

CP is the immediate power we get from the Pokemon. If it’s 2k CP from a wild catch, it’s gonna be 2k CP worth of power. IVs compare the Pokemon with others of the same species. A 100% IV Arcanine will probably be around 15% stronger than a 0% IV Arcanine of the same level and skills. Skill sets determine the useability of the Pokemon and its DPS. A Thunder Shock/Thunder Jolteon is a strong attacker even though Electric Pokemon are mostly subpar now, but a Thunder Shock/Discharge Jolteon is just… URGH!@#$@

Even with Thunder, you will still have difficulty winning against a same level Vaporeon in a gym!

So, let’s discuss these various factors in greater detail before deciding on our order of importance.


My Way of Selection (The Poor Man’s Way)

Firstly, I shall list out the factors by my personal order of importance:

  1. Combat Power (CP)
  2. Skill Set
  3. Individual Values (IVs)

I’ll probably be hated by many or be disagreed upon, but being a semi-casual player, this order seems obvious to me.

If I catch or hatch a high CP Pokemon, I can probably use it right away, either for battling gyms or sitting in gyms at a higher position than troll low CP jokes in gyms nowadays or just to fill my 1st page of highest CP Pokemon with… higher CP Pokemon (act sei).

Really now. Do not throw Mystic’s face 不要丢Mystic的脸。

If I hit on a wild Slowbro and see 250 CP, I will then bring my finger to the top left corner of the screen and hit the escape button. If it is above 1k CP (depending on your player level, decide on a certain CP which you think you will be willing to train it from), I will consider catching it and take a look at it’s IV and skill set.

This is actually a welfare button for busy trainers.

Then, I will scroll down and look at the skill set. Skill sets are ridiculously important in this game as the difference in DPS between skills available to a Pokemon is immense.

Psybeam and Power Gem are not even worth using when you have a Water Gun for tap-tap attack.

From the above DPS figures of various skill sets of Starmie, we can see that the 2nd skill set only does 79% of the DPS of the 1st set, while the last skill set only does 50% of the best skill set. If you take into account STAB, the disparity is even greater; and if you further take into account useability in using the Starmie to counter say, Fire Pokemon, a Starmie with 2 Water skills is just much more efficient in killing Arcanines than a Starmie with Tackle/Power Gem or Water Gun/Power Gem. Many Pokemon not in the top tier have only 1 viable skill set, so if I receive a Starmie with 1.5k CP and above 80% IV, but does not possess the Water Gun/Hydro Pump skill set, it goes into the bin. I simply will not be using it in combat at all.

Then comes IV. Do not get me wrong, IVs are important, and are prestige. If a Pokemon is not “wonderful” in the eyes of Blanche (guild leader), meaning more than 82% IV, it goes into the bin as well. However, since a 100% IV Pokemon is roughly only 15% stronger than a 0% IV Pokemon of the same level and skills, it is therefore less influential in the overall power of the Pokemon than skill sets (in my eyes).


Other Styles of Selection by Other Players

Really, there are many players who will rank these factors in a different way, and it is perfectly fine. Some only play by IVs, since good IV Pokemon are hard to come by. Some focus on skills so that they can counter specific Pokemon with their own pocket picks. There is no right or wrong way, it’s just selecting based on your own playstyle.


Why CP is Important

Stardust. Stardust is the single most limiting factor in the game once you enter the higher levels. If you have 5 Pokemon you need to max, for each level you gain you need to spend another 40k or more (or much more if you are level 30+) stardust just to max them again! If you still have to spend on leveling a 100% IV Vaporeon from 500 CP up to 2k CP, good luck bro. 100 stardust per wild Pokemon caught, it really is hard work. DO NOT waste stardust, please.

Immediate power. As stated before, high CP Pokemon caught or hatched will give you that amount of power immediately! Can’t beat that 2k CP Arcanine in the gym just now, after catching this 2k CP wild Vaporeon, let’s walk back and Water Gun that dog into oblivion! CP is especially important for casual players since we do not catch as many Pokemon as hardcore players, so stardust comes by harder. We do not have the spare dust to level up low level weakshits. We also do not have that many Eevees to evolve trial-and-error style till we get that Water Gun/Hydro Pump. So if we catch a wild 2k CP Vaporeon, no matter its skills, we are gonna put it to good use ❤

This thing is so powerful for a commoner like me that regardless of IV, high CP Vapes with Hydro Pump will be useful in all situations! But of course mine has good IVs too 😛


Why Skill Sets are Important

Good for countering specific Pokemon types. Most seasoned Pokemon players will know Pokemon battles are very much focused on type effectiveness, no matter how much Niantic wants to disrupt this playstyle by making Electric Pokemon die to Vaporeon daddies. So to counter a Fire Pokemon, the natural choice would be Water Pokemon like Starmie and Blastoise. But many skills that Pokemon possess are different from what you would expect. Hence, some players tend to collect Pokemon with both skills of the same type, eg. Starmie with Water Gun/Hydro Pump, to counter specific Pokemon, eg. Flareon. Even if a particular same type skill pair isn’t the highest DPS available to the Pokemon, eg. Exeggutor with Zen Headbutt/Psychic, it will still do more damage to Fighting Pokemon than Zen Headbutt/Solar Beam.

– STAB. Similar logic as above, but from a different viewpoint. Why do we throw Gyarados into the bin once we don’t see Hydro Pump? That is because Gyarados looks like a dragon (the Chinese type of dragon, think 舞龙) but is not Dragon type but is Water/Flying. So skills like Dragon Pulse are so weak in the hands of Gyarados and the only viable skill sets become the Hydro Pump ones. And why is Gyarados generally considered weak? Cos his first tap-tap skill choices are Bite and Dragon Breath, both of which also have no STAB bonus.

It’s sad cos when the game just started I was pumped, like many millions of other newbie trainers our there, to raise a Magikarp quickly and get a cool-looking boss Gyarados, and SG being an island will rain Magikarp and if I work abit harder than my neighbours I can get it quicker and dominate and.. and.. Gyarados is a HOAX 

400 candies for Pokedex entry. Welp.


Why Individual Values (IVs) are Important

High IV good Pokemon are RARE. Even those hatched from eggs are usually only between 70% to 85% IV. IVs higher than 90% are really hard to come by, and that is why trainers who possess them tend to show off, and jealous kids who see will start swearing to themselves (对天发誓) to only raise 100% IV Pokemon from then on. IVs are more of a prestige thing and ONLY for the hardcore or the super lucky people, but if you do have a really high IV Dragonite, gratz. If it has the best skill set too, you win. You can literally count the number of Pokemon out there who can beat your monster 1v1, at least in terms of stats.

If you have a 100% IV Lapras with Frost Breath/Blizzard and you get to level 40 and max your Lapras too, you now have THE BEST OFFENSIVE LAPRAS THAT EVER WALKED THE EARTH (walked, not swam, cos now Lapras can be walked :/), how cool is that? And it’s cos of this best in stats mentality that keeps IV-centric players going.

– IV makes a difference. Even though I have stated before that 100% is just about 15% stronger than 0%, it is nothing to scorn at! With Pokemon like Snorlax of CPs in the 2000s, a 50% IV difference means more than a 100 CP difference. For hardcore players, they have plenty of resources to get that best skill set and their high CPs, so all they care about is now the IV. If they can catch 100 Eevees a day, of course they would sieve out till they are left with a few 90+% IV Eevees before evolving, right? Then they will look at the skills and throw out more, and so on.


Selection in Action

A Wild Lapras was Caught!

So this Lapras appeared. Cute, graceful, rare. Look at CP, pass. Look at skill set, hoemygod, best offensive set!!! Let’s appraise.


Tmd. Upon calculating the IV, 44.4% (diedie.die), 15 attack, 0 defense, 5 stamina. T.T

Verdict: Good CP, at least can be used to sit in gym and scare people. Good rare Pokemon at least can walk. Good offensive skillset can bring out to fight lower CP Dragonites. Bad IV so WILL NOT spend any stardust or candies to power it up. And so Lapras escapes garbage bin fate 😀 but will never be fed anything from here on out and will be replaced immediately upon arrival of a better Lapras. Poor Lapras.

Imagine if you power it up and then find a better IV one with same skill set and level… Lapras candy 5km walk to get one, use wisely.

Rule of Thumb: as stated before, don’t power up Pokemon that are less than 82% IV.

If you YOLO please ignore Rule of Thumb 




[Pokemon GO] Useful Sites and Tools and Analysis

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.


Pokemon Type



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.


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!!



[7-Knights Global] Hard Dailies: Monday Earth


Hard daily dungeon is an essential part of F2P 7Knights (7K) gameplay. Before Hard mode was released, one could only obtain a 3* element of each color per week (assuming you save rubies like me), which results in slow upgrading of your units. With the recent introduction of this incredibly difficult stage (for F2P and casual player like me), you can instead obtain 4* elements every day! This means that not only do we upgrade twice as fast, we also save on the gold and fodder needed to max a 3* element before ranking it up to a 4* :3

So let’s take a look at Monday, Earth element.


The Baddies 


And as with usual Hard mode dailies, we use a team consisting of primarily all-immune characters.


The main damage dealer will be Daisy in the backline, while Rudy is here to absorb some flak, especially the Heavenia debuffs that can ruin our day. So I tried with BaiLong at first, but one Heavenia debuff removal kills undead BaiLong immediately ._. However, the best way to deal with Heavenia is to silence her with Delonse.


The Real Battle 


The first thing we do will be to activate Rudy’s shield. Then we try to silence with Dellons. The recent Delonse nerf lets him silence a maximum of 3 units, so you will need a little luck here. If you successfully silenced Heavenia, the stage will be very easy. Just use all your skills one by one, prioritizing Daisy’s skills and MingMing’s 1st skill.


Use the weaker skills to finish off low HP stuff or just to delay as long as possible for your main DPS skills to go off cooldown.


So there is a Heavenia in each stage, and you might have to silence all 3 of them to clear easily. By the 3rd stage my Rudy has died, but with Heavenia silenced, 4-man is still enough 😀


Have to say, Monday’s daily is the easiest for me. The mobs are mostly tanks with defensive buffs and there is no mob with PIERCE!


With that we clear without rubies used 🙂




So the key to this battle is Delonse, while the key to acing Hard dailies is a set of all-immune heroes, namely: Daisy, Delonse, FengYan and MingMing etc and a BaiLong (to attract lethal pierce skills from some mobs like Wukong). If you have these heroes in place, Hard dailies can be cleared consistently, though some days you might need to revive once or twice. However, simple math will tell you that even if you revive 3 times it’s still worth it to do Hard than Normal!