Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon: Guide to Competitive Teambuilding in-game

Looking forward to making your own competitive Pokémon team so you can join in on the fun, but not sure how to go about getting all the natures, IVs, EVs etc ready? This guide is meant to give you ALL the information you need to get your team.

There’s a number of things that make up a competitive Pokémon: nature, IVs, EVs, HP, happiness, item, and moves. This guide will not explain how to design a spread or a set, but rather how to get it ready in-game. As at this point you should have your team ready on showdown. If not, create a set and check back in!

Standard Breeding

 

Standard breeding is the category of obtaining the Pokémon where most Pokémon fall into. Most non-legendary Pokémon are breedable and the main purpose of breeding is to get ‘perfect’ offsprings – ones that have 31 IVs in all 5 stats that you need (usually you only need attack or special attack, not both). Let’s get through the list of basic starting things you’re going to need:

Flame Body/Magma Armor Pokémon: get yourself a Pokémon with one of these abilities as having them on the 1st slot in your party makes hatching eggs 2 times faster. Examples include Talonflame, Rapidash or Volcarona.

 

 Everstone: offsprings inherit the nature of the parent holding Everstone.

 Destiny Knotif either of the parents hold destiny knot, the offspring inherit 5 IVs from the parents (randomly from both). This makes Pokémon eugenics much easier.

Judge: once you’ve bred 21 eggs in your game you will be able to impress the Stat Judge next to the PC at Battle Tree. Talk to him and he’ll add a feature to your PC where you can see your Pokémon’s IVs. The exact number isn’t given, rather a chart, but it’s good enough. Each stat can be ‘No Good’: 0; ‘Decent’: 1-15; ‘Pretty Good’: 16-25; ‘Very Good’: 26-29; ‘Fantastic’: 30; ‘Best’: 31. Most of them are useless, but most importantly you can recognise 0 and 31 IV. Make sure you have this feature.

 

Dittos: having Dittos of different natures helps you start with getting the right nature for your offsprings, but this can be done in other ways as well. Some people like using a 6IV (all 31) Ditto for all their breeding (makes everything much simpler and faster). You can definitely get these from online giveaways on Reddit and other sites, just google breeding dittos and I’m sure you can eventually get yourself one. However, keep in mind that those dittos are definitely hacked so if that’s a problem for you, you’re gonna have to stick to longer methods.

Finally, it’s time to get to breeding! First of all, let’s pick the Pokémon to breed. For the purposes of our guide, we’re gonna be breeding everyone’s favourite, Incineroar! Before we start anything else, there are 3 things we need to determine: the nature, ability and egg moves. We’re going to need its HA (Hidden Ability) Intimidate and an egg move Fake Out.  Let’s go with a standard Adamant nature for this Incineroar.

 

Regarding abilities: first, figure out if the ability you need is a Hidden Ability. If so, then you need to get that ability first.

 

Say for example you want Braviary with its HA Defiant. You’d go and find a wild Rufflet, False Swipe it, use Adrenaline Orb and start an SOS battle. Keep knocking out incoming Rufflet until you’ve beat like 20-30 of them. At this point, there’s a high chance of each new Rufflet having the HA, Hustle. You can try tracing its ability or just wait to see if it sometimes misses its moves (Hustle’s effect) to eventually find one with HA. Paralyse it so it can’t continue to call next friends and catch it.

 

Now you’ve got the HA you needed. In Incineroar’s case, the HA ability was from a Poké Bank event so you can’t get in it the wild, but you can easily get one with HA on the GTS or otherwise. Now, the chance of the offspring inheriting the HA from the mother is 60%. Same goes for father but only when bred with Ditto. If the ability you need is non-HA, but one of 2, there’s an 80% chance of inheriting it. Moreover, there’s an item called Ability Capsule letting you change the abilities (but never into or from HA), although keep in mind it’s quite expensive (100 BP).

Next thing you ensure are the egg moves. Always check which of the moves you might use are egg moves. For that (or anything else really) I recommend Bulbapedia or Serebii. You need a female of the Pokémon you’re breeding and a male of the egg move father. For Fake Out on Incineroar a Persian can be used as an example.

 

You get a female Litten (or any evolution) and a male Persian. If it doesn’t know Fake Out you can easily teach it any move from its learnset from the Move Reminder in Poké Center next to the Pokémon League. She will teach the Pokémon any move it could ever learn (even forgotten egg moves it once had and moves it would learn at a higher level) for a Heart Scale.

If you don’t have Heart Scales, go to one of the restaurants. At the sushi restaurant in Malie City, trying to get the last option from the menu will trigger a scene with Nanu who will pay for your meal and you’ll get 8 free Heart Scales. This can be done once a day.

 

Once the Persian knows Fake Out, breed it with Litten and there you have your egg move.

The final thing is the nature: get yourself a father (or Ditto) with the nature you want. In our case, I’d look through my boxes and find that I have a 3 IV adamant male Arcanine which can breed with Incineroar, as they share the Egg Group. I make the Arcanine hold Everstone and breed it with my female HA Fake Out Litten to eventually get what I’ve wanted. Intimidate Litten with Fake Out and Adamant nature. Turns out mine has 1 perfect IV as well.

Now you proceed with the eugenics. Make your Litten hold Everstone, and get the best father possible. Look up the Egg Groups of your Pokémon and see what other Pokémon you can breed Incineroar with. In this case, it’s the ‘Field’ group, so you find a different ‘Field’ Pokémon, such as a Jolly male Togedemaru with 5IVs. Give it Destiny Knot and start breeding. Say your father is 5IV and Litten was 1IV at the start. You breed and hatch until you get a female Litten that has Intimidate and 2IV and then you swap it with the one you were breeding before. I recommend marking offsprings to keep track of the perfect IVs. There are 6 marks you can have on a Pokémon so a perfect fit to 6 stats. I always mark 31 IVs with blue and 0 IVs with red but feel free to have your own convention.

Anyway, continue breeding until you get 3IV and then 4IV and eventually you finally have the 5IV Intimidate Litten, which doesn’t need to be female anymore as you’ve finished your breeding. In fact, it’s better if it’s male as you can use it later for breeding other ‘Field’ Pokémon. Note; that if you were using a 6IV Ditto you’d never have to worry about the offspring being female, which would have been especially beneficial in Incineroar’s case as the chance of it being female is only 1 in 8. Anyway, now you’ve finally got the perfect Pokémon and only need to train its EVs and teach it moves.

 

The hard part is done. Unless…

Special Cases: 0 IVs, genderless, Hidden Powers, mixed sets

…unless of course, your Pokémon is more complicated than usual. Let’s talk this through.

0 IVs: some Pokémon benefit from having the lowest stat instead of the highest. Say for example that we wanted our Incineroar to be as slow as possible to fit our Trick Room team. In that case, we’d want to make it Brave nature and have 0 speed IV instead of 31. Having a different nature is simple enough, but having 0 speed is a little more complicated. Again, we need one of the parents to have 0 IV in speed just like we needed 31 in all of the stats before. This is usually more difficult to start so you may end up breeding a number of HA Fake Out Brave Littens without Destiny Knot just to get more random numbers and eventually randomly get one with 0 IV in speed. This is especially important to figure out early as 0 IVs can only be achieved through breeding, while there’s another way of getting 31 IVs later on. Ideally, all special offensive Pokémon would have 0 IVs in attack to reduce damage from Foul Play, but this is a very small difference most of the time and not something you really have to worry about (at least I don’t unless it’s for Worlds).

Genderless/male only Pokémon: these Pokémon are having a harder time being bred as you can only breed them with Ditto. So if you have a 6IV Ditto it won’t make any difference, but if you don’t, then you’ll have to give up on breeding a perfect 5 IV Pokémon as it will be simply unrealistic. No worries though, there is another way. You’ll have to use Hyper Training for this one, which will be explained later. Just make sure to get the right nature, ability, and the 0 IVs if you need them.

Mixed sets: sometimes your Pokémon will be mixed (using both physical and special attacks) and you want it to have all 6 perfect IVs. This is not worth trying to achieve through breeding as you can only inherit 5 stats, therefore the last one is always a 1/32 chance. Stacking with other things of chance in breeding generally, make it too long. In this case, it’s better to go with Hyper Training, which will be explained later.

Hidden Power: sometimes you want your Pokémon to know Hidden Power of a specific type. The type is dependant on the IVs and you can definitely find out exactly how it works on the Internet. Regardless, your Pokémon will have to have non-perfect IVs to get the HP, which is not ideal, so you’re gonna want to Hyper Train them anyway. That means that you don’t need to worry about all the IVs that much. In this case, I’d recommend breeding a bunch of these Pokémon without Destiny Knot to randomise the IVs and just check the HP of the offsprings until you get one with the type you want.

Breeding for Shinies

 

On the side note, if you really want your Pokémon to be shiny, go check out the Masuda method that increases the chances with the Shiny Charm to about 1 in 600. You can also use the Magikarp substitution trick and Roto Hatching power to save yourself lots of time. Since you can Hyper Train the Pokémon, all that really matters before you start breeding for a competitive shiny are the nature, the egg moves and the ability (if HA). So yes, it is actually do-able to get shiny competitive Pokémon, although it does require a bit of work.

Hyper Training

 

Gen 7 introduced an extremely important feature that made it possible to legitimately obtain perfect Pokémon not only through breeding, which can’t be done for non-breedable Pokémon such as Legendaries or Ultra Beasts. This method is called Hyper Training. It can be found in Hau’oli City’s shopping mall. Basically, it lets you train the Pokémon’s IVs. However, the method is a little limited. First of all, you can only max the IV. That means you can never train your 10 IV attack to be exactly 21 IV or 0 IV, it can only be trained to exactly 31 IV. This can be done for any number of stats of a Pokémon, but keep in mind it’s irreversible. Also, if a hyper-trained Pokémon is used for breeding, it won’t be able to pass its hyper-trained stats onto its children, it will still pass on the stats it had before the Hyper Training. Another catch is that to perform the Hyper Training on a Pokémon it needs to be at level 100. This means a little exp grind is necessary first. Moreover, the Hyper Training is not free. For each stat you want to max out you’ll have to pay a Bottle Cap. You can also pay a Golden Bottle Cap to max out all the stats of a single Pokémon. Watch out though, make sure you don’t accidentally max out your 0 speed IV! This system makes Bottle Caps pretty much the most valuable item in the game as it’s not easy to farm.

How do I get bottle caps? There’s a number of ways, although neither is quick and easy. You could try finding someone to trade on Reddit or another website. In the game, there are 3 semi-effective ways.

 

Festival Plaza Lottery – on some high star rated lotteries you can win bottle caps if you’re lucky. If you have a lot of Friend Codes (FC) I’d recommend getting yourself some lottery stands and checking them daily. It’s not a consistent method but it’s a free bottle cap now and then.

 

Poké Pelago Isle Aphun – this is the most consistent method I’ve found, but it’s long-term. Expand the island to the maximum level and regularly send your Pokémon for the missions, speeding them up with Poké Beans. Some people use 3rd ‘Rare-Treasure Hunting’ as it sometimes gives you a Golden Bottle Cap, but I’ve found that to be very rare and inconsistent. I prefer using the ‘Odd-Shard Hunting’ which gives you usually 10 shards per mission. You can then trade shards in Festival Plaza’s castle with the exchange ratio of 30 shards of one color for 1 Bottle Cap. Unfortunately, the shards need to be of the same color so you’d first need to gather a whole bunch of shards to get your Bottle Caps. This method depends on how often you send your Pokémon on a mission. Ideally, if you send them every 12 h, this method should yield roughly 4 Bottle Caps a week, which turns out to be enough if you’re doing it consistently and don’t need you Bottle Caps RIGHT NOW.

 

Fishing – if you’re really desperate for a few Bottle Caps straight away, you can try fishing for them. The spot on Poni Island, on Steelix boat, is my favourite. Make sure the water is splashy, save the game before it and proceed to fish. You can exit the location and come back in super fast thanks to the door next to you, which resets the splashy water. The chance of getting the Bottle Cap is very low, like 5% or less I think, so it’s a slow method, but faster than anything else, except you need to actively fish for it. I’ve tried it once and was able to get around 1 Bottle Cap per 45 minutes or so. So it depends on your luck, but if you ever need 2 or 3 Bottle Caps for the next day’s event, this is your best shot.

How do I train my Pokémon to level 100 fast? In VGC rules you don’t need your Pokémon to be level 100 or even 50, it can be level 1 and it will be automatically leveled up for events or battle spot. However, you do need it to be level 100 to Hyper Train it. Across the generations the exp grinding methods were different, usually, you just had to beat the Pokémon League over and over again. In Sun/Moon it wasn’t much better, but now in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the situation has improved a lot. Go to Poni Plains and search for the rustling bushes (there’s 2 of them).

 

In each, there’s a 20% chance of finding a Chansey in their 50s which give lots of exp. Obviously, you SOS battle with them, so need yourself a high-level Pokémon, like my Marshadow which knows False Swipe and a move that OHKOs it, like Brick Break.

 

Stock yourself up with Leppa Berries as well.

Marshadow is perfect as False Swipe also OHKOs, its ghost typing prevents any damage from Egg Bomb and it can learn Thief. Use Adrenaline Orbs to boost the chance of the SOS call (it’s also a perfect way of stalling a turn).

There are a few ways of speeding this process up. First of all, you absolutely MUST disable attack animations in Options. Moreover, make sure all of your Pokémon have at least 2 heart affection towards you as it will make exp gain 20% faster. This can be easily done by feeding them one rainbow bean in Pokémon Amie. Moreover, right before you head into the rustling bush, turn on Roto Exp Power for an additional boost. You can also give your Pokémon Lucky Eggs to hold for an additional 50% exp gain, which is super important.

Where do you get the Lucky Eggs though? Well, you can get one from Professor Kukui but in Ultra Sun/Moon you can farm them on exactly the same SOS battle you’re about to go into. The Chansey will from time to time call for a Blissey, which you should then KO with Thief instead of a regular move, as it has a small chance of holding Lucky Egg. Don’t use Thief on Chanseys though as they often hold Lucky Punch. Ideally, you’d KO all the Chanseys with a Pokémon that has Compound Eyes ability, which would increase the odds of Lucky Eggs, but there’s no Pokémon that has that ability and can learn False Swipe and Thief, so you’ll have to compromise. If you have 5 Lucky Eggs this method will let you level up 5 Pokémon at a time to level 100 in roughly 4 hours, which is extremely fast compared to any other generation or method. As a bonus, you’re likely to eventually find a shiny Pokémon with this method as the chances increase along the chain. If you use it a lot you might get sick of shiny Chanseys like me though.

Last important way of increasing the speed of exp grinding – if you have 2 games you can level up the Pokémon in the game it was NOT caught in, you then get additional exp boost for not being the original trainer.

Legendary Pokémon/Ultra Beasts etc

 

So far we’ve been talking about breedable Pokémon, but that can’t be applied to Legendary Pokémon or Ultra Beasts or some other Pokémon such as Type: Null. These are not much more complicated, but since they can’t be bred we can’t get perfect IVs from birth, we have to Hyper Train them (here’s a moment to appreciate how finally in gen 7 we actually can). What makes getting these Pokémon more simple is that we never have to worry about egg moves or abilities as they’re set from the beginning. That means, most of the time, the only thing we’re going to be worried about when catching a Legendary Pokémon is its nature. And this is simple enough as we can just use a synchroniser.

 

Breed yourself a whole bunch of Abras with ability Synchronise (or any other Pokémon with the same ability) and if you’re lucky you’ll get most of the natures and hopefully all important ones. Make sure the Abras stay at level 1 as you’ll want them to die easily. Before you go to battle the Pokémon you want to catch, take the Abra with the same nature as you want on the Pokémon you’re catching, make sure it has Synchronise and put it on the first slot in your party.

Ideally it’s fainted already, not to mess with your epic battle, so before you go, head into a random grass and let it get KOed. Hint: Abras can learn Taunt, which helps in the awfully annoying cases when opposing Pokémon decide to mud sport forever. The synchroniser makes the chance of any wild Pokémon you encounter nature to match yours a whopping 50%. That makes catching all these Legendaries or Ultra Beasts a piece of cake. Since it’s so easy I encourage you to check if one of the free 3 perfect IVs you got is not on the wrong attack/sp. attack, not to waste a Bottle Cap later on. So yeah, usually this is not difficult at all. Unless…

You want 0 IV on your Legendary? Yeah, sometimes you want a Sassy 0 speed IV Cresselia, then things are a little more complicated, but just a bit. First of all you keep the Abra to get the Sassy nature. Then you check Cresselia’s stats on showdown. Give it 0 IVs and EVs in speed and hindering nature. Set its level to 50 as this is what you’ll be using for VGC battles. It’s speed stat is 81. Now try increasing the IVs one by one. Turns out even 3 IV Cresselia has the same speed stat of 81. Only 4 IV starts to boost it to 82. This means that any IVs in speed between 0 and 3 are just as fine. Now change the level of the Cresselia to 60, as this is what it’s going to be in the wild.

Turns out 0-1 IV is 96, 2-3 is 97 and 4 is 98. Now get yourself any Pokémon that has speed of exactly 98. Usually it can be something just around it and you can easily boost or decrease its speed to match 98. Then, put it on the 2nd slot in your party so that turn 1 you can see if you outspeed the Cresselia. Most of the time you won’t, in which case you Soft Reset immediately. But eventually, you’ll outspeed and that means you most likely have your perfect Cresselia. Watch out though! There’s a chance it was a speed tie that you lost and the speed is actually not perfect, so once you catch it make sure the speed is 96 or 97 and not 98. That’s pretty much how you do it. With the speed stat, it’s easy as you can see it turn 1 just by out-speeding or being out-sped. If you want a particular stat for something else that’s going to be more difficult, but chances are you’re not going to need it.

You need a specific Hidden Power on your Legendary? Well, that’s a bummer. That makes things quite annoying actually. Hopefully, you want HP Ice as its chances are roughly 15%, but sometimes you want something like HP Fire which is below 5%. Combine this with the need for right nature of 50% and the fact that you actually have to catch the Pokémon to see its HP, and it makes it an endeavor which can take 30 minutes to multiple hours. But it’s doable. Once you catch the Pokémon, you go to Pokémon Nursery and the girl on the left inside the house will tell you the HP type. There are ways of shortening the catching process but they’re complicated. They’re all based on being able to predict that the Pokémon you’re fighting will not have the HP type you want as early as possible.

First thing to do is to try to establish its nature before you catch it, so that you don’t have to catch all of the wrong 50%. When looking for a speed boosting nature, it’s easy. Say you want a Timid HP Ice Zapdos, we check its stats at level 60 and this is what we find: with non-boosting speed nature and 31 IV its speed is 143, while with Timid nature it reaches 144 with 10 IV. So you bring a Pokémon with 144 speed and do the same thing as mentioned with Cresselia earlier. You will, unfortunately, discard a few fine Zapdos (Timid with 0-9 IV) but it’s definitely worth it, as you’re discarding the wrong 50% of not Timid as well. If you’re going for an offensive nature like Modest or Adamant, you can try doing damage calcs on showdown to check the exact HP damage rolls it can hit your Pokémon with, which is more complicated, but I highly encourage you to investigate it if you’re actually hunting for HP, as it will really save you precious time.

Getting ready for Ultra Wormholes

 

Most of the Legendaries and Ultra Beasts you will be catching are available in Ultra Space. Navigating through the Ultra Wormholes can be quite tricky and I’m sure you can find a list of locations with the Pokémon you can find in there somewhere, definitely read a little about the basics of Ultra Wormholes first on Serebii. I’ll just say a few tips you might not find so easily.

 

First of all, absolutely go to Game Freak office in Heahea City and talk to the Aether Paradise employee left to the door and change the controls – the motion controls are terrible and you’re much better off using the joystick. Next thing – always be prepared. You might find shinies or take forever to catch something (use Roto Catching Powers for difficult to catch, complicated Legendaries, like HP or shinies). That’s why you absolutely need at least 1 or 2 Pokémon that are very high leveled, have false swipe and spore, or thunder wave. And don’t use Absol with Pressure, you don’t want it to Struggle faster.

Finally, regarding flying through the Ultra Wormhole – it’s not as easy as one might hope, and usually you’ll want a particular Legendary. With there being like 6 options in one color of a wormhole, it doesn’t make things easier. It’s gonna take quite some time to find the Pokémon you’re looking for, so you might want to decide to try to catch more of them at once and bring a few Abras of different natures with you (usually Timid, Modest, Adamant and Jolly are all you ever need). Lastly, what I’ve noticed from experience, which I don’t think is said anywhere: there’s a chance of getting the Legendary Pokémon in 2nd stage wormhole (I call them 0th, 1st, 2th and ‘guaranteed’ stage based on the number of rings around them) but this chance seems to increase the further you go.

 

So the best strategy if you want a Legendary from a blue wormhole is to try to go as far as possible, and obviously enter any ‘guaranteed’ blue wormhole, but if you don’t find any, try aiming for 2nd stage when you feel like you’ve surpassed 4k light years. At that point the Legendaries become fairly common. Bonus; at that point if you don’t get the ‘powerful presence’ information once you enter, which normally means a Legendary. There’s a pretty good chance the random wild Pokémon you got is shiny, it might be worth checking out. Also, this shininess of non-Legendary Pokémon is locked the moment you enter, so save the game before you engage and if it’s shiny you can easily SR for any nature or ability you want. That’s only the case for NON-Legendary Pokémon.

Shiny Legendaries

 

Yes, this is also now realistic. You can get yourself your own shiny Legendary that is viable competitively with just enough effort. First of all, get prepared as you REALLY  want to be able to catch that shiny, once you’ve waited so long for it. You absolutely need shiny charm, with it your chance of getting it shiny will now be 1 in 1365. Get your synchroniser ready and go! Make sure you go for a Legendary that doesn’t need specific HP though, cause chances of that are little to none. On the other hand, chances of getting the right nature are 50% so that’s a pretty big chance of it being competitively viable, now that you can Hyper Train them! Some people think this is a huge waste of time, but if you’re not actively playing in the game too much and can let yourself stay in a wormhole for a few days or a week or two, it’s not that bad. The thing about Soft Resetting for a shiny Legendary is that one SR takes only about 20 seconds (with wireless communications turned off!) and it requires very little attention, although it does require your hands. It turns out, it’s a perfect activity for when you’re chilling watching Netflix or someone’s stream.

EV Training

So now that you’ve bred/caught your Pokémon all that remains is EV training. There are 2 main ways of doing it:

 

Automatic – Poké Pelago: This one is simple and requires less effort, but it does take some time. At Isle Evelup once fully developed you can have 3 groups of up to 6 Pokémon training at a time. 1 session gives 4 EVs in 1 stat, which is exactly the number you want, as all spreads are multiples of 4. A session takes 30 minutes, or 15 with active beans, which means that the total 508 EVs you’ll train your Pokémon would take almost 32 hours while using Poké Beans. You also need to take back your Pokémon once they finish grinding one stat, so usually, it will take like 3 days, but if you’re not in a hurry, this method is perfect.

Manual – SOS battles: You can use traditional methods of just KOing Pokémon in the wild. For example, 1 Caterpie gives 1 EV in HP. Now, there’s a number of ways to enhance this. First of all, there are Power items.

You can find all of them (except Power Belt for some reason) on Poni Island or buy them in Battle Royal Dome for 16 BP each. They add 8 EVs in the corresponding stat to the EV yield per each Pokémon, so now our Caterpie gives us 9 EVs instead of 1. Now the SOS battles double this into 18. So again, you’ll have to SOS chain these Pokémon. That’s another reason to stock up in Adrenaline Orbs. Moreover, if you have Pokérus and spread it onto the Pokémon you’re training, that doubles the EV yield again! So now a single Caterpie gives 36 EVs in HP, which means that KOing just 7 of them will give you the maximum 252 you might ever need. This method is very fast and effective, for details as for where are the best spots for SOS chaining for different EVs, check out Trainer Tower’s other guide by DaWoblefet – EV Training Hotspots in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

Changing Spreads: Sometimes you’ll want to change the EV spread on a certain Pokémon, and for that, you’re going to need EV berries.

There’s 1 for each stat: Pomeg, Kelpsy, Qualot, Hondew, Grepa, and Tamato. You can use Poké Pelago’s Isle Aplenny to harvest tons of them, once you’ve picked one each around Alola. A single berry fed to your Pokémon reduces 10 EVs in the corresponding stat. At the same time, it increases the happiness, which is a nice side effect.

Happiness

Sometimes you’ll want your Pokémon to use Return or Frustration, for which you need maximum or minimum Happiness respectively. I find using Return easier and nicer as I’d like to believe my Pokémon are happy and love me back. For maxing out Happiness you can just feed your Pokémon a large number of EV berries. They might need around 50 or so of them, so it’s a good idea to have a large stock. For this, the easiest way is to use Hondew Berry, which lowers the SP. Attack EVs, which you’re usually not going to need when you’re using Return. If you want to use Frustration, you can feed your Pokémon a bunch of Energy Roots to decrease the Happiness.

Just head into a battle where every turn you get hit and every turn you heal back the damage with Energy Root. You might need like 10+ of them. Once you’re done with either method, always check the Friendship at Konikoni City’s evaluator.

 

You should expect a message “My! It feels incredibly close to you! Nothing makes it happier than being with you!” for maximum happiness and “Oh dear. You must be a merciless Trainer… Do you use Frustration or just not know better?” for a minimum. Warning! If you’re going for minimum happiness, make sure to feed your Pokémon one more Energy Root just before you put it in your PC, because its happiness can increase while walking.

PP Ups

The last thing I’d like to mention is maxing out those PPs. You don’t actually need to max out all the moves on all Pokémon, usually, you can limit yourself to those 5 PP moves and some 10 PP moves at either Pokémon wearing choice items or those that are likely to stall (like Rock Slide on Choice Scarf Landorus-T or Recover on Porygon2). You can get PP Ups at any beach for 48 BP each. That means maxing out a single move is going to cost 144 BP, which is quite a lot. If you have Poké Bank, having lots of Pokémon stored gives you a hefty amount of BP over time, but other than that there’s not much you can do, other than just grinding Battle Tree or Mantine Surf. Those are fine if you only need to max out a move or two, but maxing out a whole team would take ages. That’s why you should figure out which moves do you really need to be maxed out, and only focus on them.

Summary of everything you need

One of: Everstone, Destiny Knot, Power Items (Weight, Bracer, Belt, Lens, Band, Anklet).

Lots of: Leppa Berries, EV Berries (Pomeg, Kelpsy, Qualot, Hondew, Grepa, Tamato), Adrenaline Orbs, Poké Balls (obviously), Heart Scales.

Others: IV judge activated, Poké Pelago fully developed (except for Isle Avue)

Optionally: Shiny Charm, Lucky Eggs, breeding Dittos (multiple natures), PP Ups

Pokémon: Flame Body/Magma Armor for breeding, high-level Pokémon for catching Legendaries and for farming Chanseys, synchronisers with different natures

It gets easier along the way

As I think I’ve discussed all the important things pretty extensively, I’d like to add that although it might seem difficult at the beginning, the more Pokémon you have, the easier it is to breed using the old ones as parents, and having more experience.

At this point, breeding a competitive Pokémon, that I didn’t have before, is a matter of an hour or two for me, and EV training in Pelago doesn’t require much effort. So really, if you’re wondering about getting into VGC, I hope this guide can help you out and convince you that, contrary to what some people say, it’s not unrealistic to make your own legitimate Pokémon, and it’s definitely worth it. I’ve been playing VGC for about 1.5 years and I can say with full confidence that the community is amazingly positive and it’s a fantastic experience to play the game you love with all these other people.

If you ever need any more information regarding getting your battle Pokémon ready, find me @NaociakVGC on Twitter or ask anyone else from the Trainer Tower staff, I’m sure they’ll be happy to help. Also, special thanks to Bulbapedia for all the available information and resources, including some of the pictures in this article.

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