Trying to Obtain the Perfect Pokemon in Pokemon Go
When I first started playing Pokemon Go, my primary goal was to get a Raichu. Raichu is my favourite, and I figured I would be happy as soon as I got one. Then I started playing the game and quickly realized that CP is an important stat. Fine. I’ll aim to get a Raichu with a good CP, whatever that is.
But as I started to learn more about the inner workings of pokemon, settling with any old Raichu wasn’t good enough. In this post, we look at the other factors that determine the quality of a pokemon and why getting the “perfect” version of one is so hard.
Not all pokemon are created equal
Each pokemon comes equipped with one of two possible quick attacks and one of two possible charge attacks. In total, there are six possible move sets any given pokemon can have. Since each attack has unique properties, certain combinations of moves perform better than others.
Thanks to Trainer Tips, my favourite Pokemon Go YouTuber, he shared a giant spreadsheet of every possible move set and ranked them based on their offensive potential. Simply search for a pokemon by name, and the six results will be listed from best move set to worst. Now this isn’t an absolute perfect resource, as it doesn’t account for type-specific bonuses that can be obtained in battle, but in a vacuum, these move sets are the ones you want for the perfect version of any given pokemon.
The problem is that as far as we can tell, move sets are random. You won’t know which version of Raichu you’ll get when you catch one in the wild or evolve a Pikachu. Worse yet, if you spend 400 Magikarp candies to evolve a Gyarados and get the worst move set, it’s hard to not be disappointed. For context, if a Gyarados with the best possible move set deals 100% damage, then a Gyarados with the worst move set will only deal 71% damage.
It is essentially the roll of a die when it comes to which move sets we get with each creature. I’m fine with that, though it can be a bummer if you’re striving to get a certain pokemon with a certain move set. For those who don’t hit the jackpot with their first, it may take a ton of effort just for another shot at the lottery.
Adding to the variability is the concept of individual values, or IV. Each Bulbasaur, Squirtle or Charmander starts with the same base stats, but they also possess random individual values for attack, defense and stamina that range from 0-15. These ultimately represent upwards of a 10% increase for each stat, with the average pokemon having a 5% increase on the base.
I’m not going to into the particulars of how to figure out the IV for each of your pokemon, but you can learn more about the concept at IGN. Then you can use Poke Assistant and The Silph Road to see where your pokemon stand.
Once you go through that process, you’ll notice a few things. One, some pokemon you thought were really good in terms of CP have other problems due to having low IV scores. Second, you might run into a pokemon with amazing IV scores, but its starting CP is so low that it’s not worth spending the candy and stardust to get it up to snuff. Third, finding a 100% IV pokemon isn’t impossible, but it’s extremely rare.
If you don’t want to mess with the calculators or you don’t need to know the exact IVs, the new Appraise feature will allow your leader to give you some insight into the IV of your pokemon. This post from Game Press breaks down each trainer’s statements and pairs them up with their appropriate IV ranges. Ideally, you want them to say:
MYSTIC: Overall, your (Pokemon Name) is a wonder! What a breathtaking Pokemon!
VALOR: Overall, your (Pokemon Name) simply amazes me. It can accomplish anything!
INSTINCT: Overall, your (Pokemon Name) looks like it can really battle with the best of them!
though you’ll probably wish they would say these words more often than they do.
For me to get the perfect Raichu, I need one that has:
- Max CP for that level
- The perfect move set, which is a one-in-six chance
- 100% IV, which is almost impossible
If obtaining the perfect Raichu is a bridge too far, where do I draw the line? That ultimately depends on where my priorities lie. Am I alright with burning a lot of candy and stardust to raise a low CP Raichu with the perfect move set and 100% IV? Am I willing to push forward with a less-than-ideal move set? Can I be satisfied knowing that my IV values aren’t perfect? Those are questions I will have to answer when the time comes.
Where do you stand on the quest to get the perfect pokemon? Are you good with a cool pokemon with high CP? Or are you deep in the spreadsheets and calculators, trying to determine if your latest Squirtle catch is a prime candidate to become a perfect Blastoise?