Preparing for Battle in Pokemon Sword and Shield


Pokémon Sword and Shield are out, and it is time to look at how preparing for online battles against your friends works. There are a few changes that make this process easier than ever before, and it is enough to write a guide on how to do this. There are a number of factors to cover here, and you will find the following sections in this article:

  • Individual values (Page 1)
  • Effort Values (Page 2)
  • Natures (Page 3)
  • Abilities (Page 3)
  • Moves (Page 3)
  • Putting it all together (Page 4)

A description of these features will be described in each section, with many tips on how to make the most of each function of the game. Everything seen here is relevant as of Pokémon Sword and Shield versions and most of it will be most likely be useful in future games as well. Much of what is covered is based on my preferences, though alternatives will be briefly discussed. The final section will tell you how to combine this knowledge to create the set up you want. I will have to speak in generalizations, though as there are too many Pokémon in these games to cover them all. So, let’s get started!

Individual values:

Individual values or IVs for short, are the randomized values for each of a Pokémon’s stats. When you catch a Pokémon, each stat (HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed) has a hidden IV point value that varies from 0-31. Most of the time you are looking for a value of 31 in most or all stats.

You can check these values after you reach the battle tower and rank up to Pokeball rank (this requires 6 wins). Once you do that, you can check these values in the Pokémon boxes. Values of 31 say “best” or “hyper trained”, while values of 0 say “no good”. If it says anything else, it is between these two values.

On the right side of the screen, the game gives you the hidden IV’s a Pokemon has.

There are two ways to get the values you want. First, if you want a value of 31, and the Pokémon doesn’t have it already, you can use the hyper training feature. You will need to find one bottle cap item per stat to hyper train, or one gold bottle cap to boost all six stats. The Pokémon in question needs to be at level 100, and you have to talk to the hyper training character at the battle tower to access this feature.

Getting a Pokémon to level 100 is much easier in this game than in past games. You can find a variety of items that grant experience points when used on a Pokémon. If you get enough of these, you can very quickly get to level 100. These items are:

  • Experience candy XS- grants 100 experience points
  • Experience candy S – grants 800 experience points
  • Experience candy M – grants 3,000 experience points
  • Experience candy L – grants 10,000 experience points
  • Experience candy XL – grants 30,000 experience points
  • Rare candy – grants one level up

All of these items can be found in max raid battles. The 5 star raids grant the most experience candy L and XL varieties, but are the hardest to win. It should be noted that you just need to defeat the Pokémon in question, you do not have to catch it to get these rewards, though trying to catch the Pokémon (succeed or fail) will still grant you these rewards. Rare candies and bottle caps don’t always show up in a successful raids, but can also be found this way.

It is best to give a Pokémon you want to get to level 100 the smaller candies first, then the larger ones next. This way, you use fewer of the XL candies or rare candies, so that you can save some for later. You will have to do multiple raids to get enough, and teaming up with other players will make it easier to win (assuming they aren’t trying to sabotage you).

Bottle caps can be found in the following places:

  • Buy at the battle tower for 25 BP.
  • Sometimes found in max raid battles.
  • The more skilled brother from the digging duo can find bottle caps too, but it isn’t guaranteed. The other one can’t find them.

In the odd chance you are looking for a minimum stat, you have to rely mostly on luck when catching Pokémon. This is usually the speed stat. You have to find at least one Pokémon with the desired IV value of 0. You can use breeding to transfer the stat to the Pokémon’s offspring by giving the Pokémon with the desired stat one of the following items:

  • Power weight – transfers HP stat.
  • Power bracer- transfers Attack stat.
  • Power belt – transfers Defense stat.
  • Power lens – transfers Special Attack stat.
  • Power band – transfers Special Defense stat.
  • Power Anklet – transfers Speed stat.

You may need to pass this minimum stat to multiple Pokémon through different egg groups, so that you can get this minimum stat on the Pokémon of choice. A reminder is that the baby will always be the same species as the mother, and can inherit stats from either parent, among other traits.

Breeding is the other way to get IV values on the desired Pokémon. I find this method to take longer and to be less fun, but I will mention it for the players that might prefer it.

You will need the item called the destiny knot. Give it to one of the parents, and the baby will inherit 5 random stats from either parent (each stat is from a random parent). In order for this to work, the parents need to have some of the desired stats between the two of them. You will have to get more 31 point IVs on female babies than what the mother has, and to then breed that baby with a male Pokémon that has the stats the baby lacks. If using this method, it is best if you decide which stat to ignore.

It should also be mentioned that any stat that reached a value of 31 through hyper training cannot be inherited in this way. Much of the time, it takes me 30-50 or more eggs to get the result I want.

Most Pokémon found in 5 star raids have multiple 31 point IVs, and can help with this method. Again, I would rather train one Pokémon to level 100 and hyper train it than gather way too many eggs just to get one ideal Pokémon.

Go to Page 2 for Effort Values.

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