Discussion on any aspect of competitive Pixelmon.
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By SimonFlash
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The Competitive Edge

Everything you need to know about competitive Pixelmon
Volume I, Issue 3

Three already? It's time for the next installment of the Competitive Edge, the only project that appears to be on schedule right now. This time, we're going to take a look at how to make the most out of your Pokémon from playing to it's strength to using IVs and EVs to your advantage. Get strapped in for this issue of the Competitive Edge because it's going to be an absolute blast!

Playing to Strengths

“From this point of view, to avoid your strengths and to focus on your weaknesses isn't a sign of diligent humility. It is almost irresponsible. By contrast the most responsible, the most challenging, and, in the sense of being true to yourself, the most honorable thing to do is face up to the strength potential inherent in your talents and then find ways to realize it.”
- Donald O. Clifton

This concept is very simple to grasp, but it's one of the largest issues present in teams created by new competitive battlers. The key to having a strong team in battle is to recognize that the strength of your team comes from combining the strength of individual Pokémon rather than trying to use them independently. This idea is best explained through example, so let's imagine creating a set for Staraptor, who is Normal/Flying.

Staraptor is a fast, powerful physical attacker that truly makes the most out of Brave Bird, Return, and Close Combat. Its defenses aren't terrible, but Staraptor can take some serious damage through recoil (especially with Reckless), Life Orb, stealth rocks, and enemy attacks. However, this doesn't mean it is beneficial to increase Staraptor's survivability by boosting defenses.

Instead, it is best to follow this simple guideline: Strengthen your Pokémon, balance your team. Essentially, this means that you should focus on making your Pokémon as strong as possible by playing to their strengths rather than trying to accommodate for their weaknesses. When it comes to building a team, this is where you need to change the Pokémon involved in your team to counter certain weaknesses that other team members have.

As a last short example, Starraptor is weak to Electric, Psychic, and Ice while being immune to Ghost and Ground attacks. One potential teammate to consider might be Heatran. Though not in Pixelmon (sadly), Heatran is more on the special side and take hits pretty well. Best of all, it's largest weakness is Ground, which Starraptor is immune to. However, the most important thing is to try out various combinations and give it some test runs - you'll find that everything doesn't work the first time!

With that being said, remember to make the most out of your Pokémon and balance weaknesses by synergizing with your team (More on synergy below). Until next time, let the battles commence!


Pixelmon: Fact of the Week

The item Eviolite is a powerful item for a select few unevolved Pokémon, however what about Pokémon who's evolution isn't in-game?

I've run a couple tests and come to the conclusion that, unfortunately, Pokémon without their evolution in-game do not receive the effects of Eviolite. To my knowledge, the only Pokémon affected by this are Aipom, Lickitung, and Tangela.

Off the Deep End

Stats - it's a concept that everyone is familiar with, but few people understand the complete method for determining a Pokémon's stats... until now! Let's take a look at how a Pokémon's base stats are turned into their true values.

First, let's take a look at the variables involved in these calculations
  • Base Stat
  • Individual Values (IVs)
  • Effort Values (EVs)
  • Level
  • Nature
Each Pokémon has it's own Base Stat value for each of the six main stats. IVs and Evs are the two of the varying attributes that make each Pokémon unique that measure natural talent and gained skill respectively. The Pokémon's level should be fairly self-explanatory, and the nature of the Pokémon determines (among other things) what stats receive a 10% boost and 10% reduction, if any.

We need to start off by recognizing that HP is calculated differently from the other stats, but the core of the formula is the same. We'll call this section of the formulas the Core Stat calculation, which is the following.

First, let's note three major things. At level 100, we can see that a large section of the formula becomes canceled out and is simply twice the base stat plus IVs plus EVs/4 floored. This also tells us that our EVs should be divisible by 4 to maximize stat gain per EV, which is why competitive sets always have 252 EVs. Lastly, if the level is not 100, IVs and EVs follow different behaviors and can be changed in various ways to maximize stats, though at that point a stat calculator is probably ideal.

Okay, let's finish things off with the rest of the formulas.

In the first equation, some quick mental math shows that the minimum value for HP is 11, excluding Shedninja (HP of 1, always). The second equation uses a modifier for nature, which is simply 1.1 for a beneficial nature, 1.0 for a neutral nature, and 0.9 for a hindering nature. As above, we can quickly calculate the minimum value is 4.

So, what stat is most important? There's no easy answer, but if you remember the damage calculation formula from the first Off the Deep End feature, you'll recall that attack and defense calculations are exponential in growth, meaning that each additional stat point in attack does not increase damage by a consistant amount - in fact, it shrinks as it grows! Speed, on the other hand, is the only purely linear stat as whoever has the highest speed goes first, no exceptions baring ties. Knowing this, use EVs and IVs to the fullest to get the most out of your Pokémon.

Ask the Audience

Which thread series have you found the most helpful, informing, and entertaining? Click the link below to provide some feedback and encourage the time and effort required to put these together!

In Other News...

Pokémon Sun and Moon is far off from being in Pixelmon, but what isn't far off is that start of Competitive GenVII tournaments! In fact, the European International Champions have already concluded and things are just getting heated up from there. This Friday marks the start of the first International Challenge which lasts throughout the weekend, and get this - there's still time to register and build a team to compete!

You can check out all the cool new things going on in competitive Pokémon by clicking on the link below. My favorite tidbit on the page is the callback to Pachurisu from VGC's 2014 tournament. Referencing above, if there's one thing to learn from this battle it's that each Pokémon has a strength, and it's up to the trainer how that strength is used to achieve victory. Game on!

http://www.pokemon.com/us/strategy/batt ... from-home/


Interested in writing a feature for the Competitive Edge or have an idea for one? Send me a message and we'll look into adding it to next week's Competitive Edge! In the meantime, feel free to leave any constructive criticism you have below and we'll see you all next week for Issue 2 of the Competitive Edge!