PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
1 vote

Attack/Special Attack+Move damage-opponent's Defense/Special Defense=Damage dealt, right?
If so, then Defense/Special Defense are equal to HP, right?
So why add Defense/Special Defense Evs If you can just put them on HP?
Also, isn't HP better? You can survive Seismic Toss/Night shade better.

Are you talking about the 4 extra EVs?
Not really
You guys aren't even making sense to me, let's say a Pokemon has 100 Defense, 100 Sp. Defense, and 100 HP. Wouldn't it be the same if it just had 300 HP?
No, the calculations are different.
It's due to mathematical differences when multiplying or dividing. Dragonfree's answer explains that. The main reason is that what you thought calculated the damage, is completely different from what the actual one is.
Another reason is that sometimes damage is healed by individual hit points, not a fraction of the total, such as with Giga Drain. If a Pokemon knowing Giga Drain had high defenses, they would get more out of the same amount of HP healed.

3 Answers

6 votes
Best answer

"Attack/Special Attack+Move damage - opponent's Defense/Special Defense=Damage dealt, right?"

No this is 100% wrong. Here's the real damage formula:

enter image description here
The value of "Modifier" is determined by:

enter image description here

The result of the above equation is how much HP the opponent loses. I'm not sure how you got the impression Defence and Special Defence are equal to HP, even with the equation you thought was correct. Defence and Special Defence are the stats you put where it says "Defense", and HP is how much more damage you can take before fainting. They are entirely different stats.

Details on this formula and what numbers should be entered

Why do people put Evs in Defense and Special Defense if you can just put them in HP?

For many reasons, the most notable of which being:

  • The Pokemon has no major use for any other stat, so they use HP and a defensive stat as it's more useful to them.
  • In the equation, the game divides the Pokemon's attack with the opposing Pokemon's defensive stat. This plays a huge factor in determining damage as the result of this is multiplied twice, so any variation in the numbers makes a difference. The higher the defensive stat, the less HP you lose.
  • Note that this doesn't mean you shouldn't invest in HP before other defensive stats in the majority of cases. The only exception to this is where the value you get from blocking physical attackers far, far outweighs that you get from special attacks (or the other way around), which is an uncommon set of circumstances.
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4 votes

As ƒιzz's answer points out, you've got the wrong idea about how the damage formula works. You're assuming the offensive and defensive stats factor in additively, but actually they factor in multiplicatively. If they did work like you assume, one point of HP would indeed be exactly equivalent to one point of Defense and Special Defense, and there would be little reason to bother with the latter unless you've already maxed out HP, but that's not actually the case.

Specifically, though, I'm writing my own answer to explain a bit better when you want to invest effort in HP and when you want to invest it in Defense/Special Defense.

Basically, you can roughly simplify the damage formula as follows:

bunch of stuff / Defense

That's for the number of hit points of damage dealt, but actually what really matters is the fraction of your total HP that you lose. So divide by the whole to get

(bunch of stuff / Defense) / HP

which is equivalent to

bunch of stuff / (Defense * HP)

You want the damage to be low, so you want that divisor to be high. In other words, you want the product of your Defense and HP to be as high as possible. And due to the way multiplication works, this means you want your Defense and HP to be as close to each other as possible. (Think of how 20 80 is 1600, but 50 50 is 2500.)

This means you basically want to try to raise whichever is lower, which is usually Defense/Special Defense since HP uses a different formula that makes it higher than other stats.

However, do note that there are two defensive stats but only one HP. If you invest all your effort in Defense, then it won't help you at all against a special attack, while effort invested in HP will reduce the proportional damage from any kind of attack. Maybe you intend to use this Pokémon as a physical wall and will switch it out against a special attacker anyway, or something like that, and then the "raise the lower one" rule holds, but otherwise you'll probably want to be well-equipped in both defensive stats, which complicates things a bit since your effort points will be more spread out if invested in your defenses than in your HP. Overall, if you weigh Defense and Special Defense equally, you'll want to minimize 1 / (Defense * HP) + 1 / (Special Defense * HP), which works out to preferring HP being a bit higher (exactly how much higher depends on the precise numbers involved).

0 votes

It depends on the Pokemon entirely

For example, shuckle has amazing defense/ SpDefence stats but terrible HP, would it not make more sense to take advantage of this stat? By giving him more EV's in Defense and SpDefence shuckle could take hits like a sponge.

On the other hand Pokemon like Blissey have amazing HP (and special defense) so it would make more sense to take advantage of this by investing EV's in those stats

Hope this makes sense!

Actually, it's quite the opposite. Because Shuckle's HP is 150 at level 100 and its defenses are 465 (ignoring EVs, IVs and Nature), and maxing out EVs in a stat would increase it by 63, maxing out HP would increase it to 244, which means that Shuckle can take 1.63 times as many hits as it could before. If one of its defenses were maxed, it goes up to 614, which means that Shuckle can only take 1.32 times as many hits as before. Also, keep in mind that a nature can only boost one defense, so the opponent can just take advantage of the other one that isn't boosted as much.
Even more so with Blissey, because maxing out its defense means that it can take 5 times as many physical hits as before.