PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
1 vote

I'm building a shiny umbreon with calm nature, and I only play casual (max raid, battle frontier, etc) so I think makes sense to put EV on defense and HP, make it a better overall tank with defense and special defense almost equal. But I search and for competitive looks like you have to focus on physical or special defense stats, in case of umbreon, special defense.
Sorry if it's a silly question, but why is that?
I dont play competitive right now, but if I mess up the EVs and 2 months later decide do play competitive there is no way to fix EVs right?
thanks for the help

edited by
for curiosity, why to go physical or special, make it halfway both would be worse in doubles?
most places I look people dont even considering that
I'm pretty sure that investing in both defenses is okay. Who told you it's bad?
no one actually, it's just most guides I read focus on physical or special, but I'm going for both
thanks for the help
Which guide? I want to see it.

4 Answers

3 votes

I don’t know a whole lot about competitive battling, but if you want to cover Umbreon’s main type weaknesses, you could go for physical defense, because the majority of attacks Umbreon is weak are physical moves (Fighting, Bug).

According to smogon’s strategy guide,

Maximum HP and Special Defense investment is used to maximize Umbreon's special bulk and let it check threats such as Nidoqueen and Swellow. However, a physically defensive spread is a viable option to let Umbreon act as a better check to the likes of Honchkrow, Flygon, and Metagross.

You have to think about what Pokémon you will be fighting and which defense would help you the most. If you’re worried about making the wrong choice, there are ways to fix it. You can reduce EVs down to zero and start over with certain berries. You could also raise another Eevee with different stats and/or nature.

Keep in mind you might actually make it worse by going for physical. I’ll make an extremely simplified example, and this is a bit of a stretch, but let’s say your Umbreon has a special defense of 10, physical defense of 7, and 4 EVs. You give it 1 EV of special defense, and 3 for physical. They are now equal. If you get hit with attack that does 12 damage, you won’t survive either way. But, if you had put all those EVs into special defense for a total of 14, and if that had been a special attack, you would easily survive it. Of course, there is much more in a battle than just those two things, and I’m not actually sure if that makes sense or is usable here, so someone tell me if I’m completely wrong.

I did not know about the berrys, thank you, that make my decision easier. I will probably focus on what I want for casual battles and change later if needed, with more experience myself.
2 votes

There is no one answer to this question, frankly. There are a lot of variable pieces that are a part of this equation, from the base stats of the Pokemon, to what type it is, leading to what other Pokemon are threatening to it, and so on. It bleeds over into team composition from there, as you begin to look at not just what that individual Pokemon requires, but also at what the team overall needs.

In terms of raw statistics, if you know you're going to be taking a lot of Special Attacks, it's better to put as many points as you can in SpDef and HP. If you are taking Physical Attacks instead, you'd do Def instead of SpDef. If you're expecting to take a lot of each, then you'd want to max HP and equalize Def and SpDef as best you can.

I have, in the past, built a Clefable that does that. Between its Nature and EVs I was able to make it a pretty neutral tank. Teaching it Cosmic Power and Moonlight, and having it hold Leftovers, the only things I really needed to worry about were Steel types. Add to that the ability Magic Guard and it's extremely difficult to bring it down. But sometimes the team doesn't need a general tank. It might, instead, need a Wall.

Walls can be either Physical or Special, utilizing Def or SpDef, respectively. The quintessential Special Wall is Blissey. Absolutely massive HP, and near the top of the scale for SpDef, once you exclude Legends and Mythics. If the opponent is relying on a Special Attacker to get through a Blissey... well, it's just not going to happen. This can, and often does, force a Special Attacker to switch out, to be replaced by a different Pokemon able to better deal with Blissey, like a Physical Attacker. This exploits Blissey's rather low Def, and will probably prompt Blissey to switch out, as well.

It's probably her good friend Rhyperior. About the same Def as Blissey has SpDef, but less HP. Compensated for by quite a nice Atk instead. Rhyperior makes a great roadblock for Physical Attackers, because they are literally beating on a brick while. Except this wall punches back. And since most Sweepers, whether they be Physical or Special, tend to be kinda fragile, they aren't going to want to stick around.

thanks for the help, the umbreon is shiny so it's the first on my team, I didn't think about the others yet. I also didn't know about the berries for EVs, that takes the presure on regrets.
I will make it a tank, kind of like your clefable, and see how it goes
thanks again.
I don't think Rhyperior was ever a good wall. It has too many weaknesses and can't reliably heal itself.
2 votes

tldr You found the wrong guide. You can safely ignore all the advice it gives. If you're playing Sword or Shield, then you have to wait a few more months for Smogon to publish a guide for Umbreon in those games.

When reading Smogon's strategy guides or analyses or whatever they're called, one thing you should pay attention to is the generation at the top of the page. If the letters "SM" are black and the rest are blue, then that guide is written for Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon. Click "SS" for Sword and Shield, or the other letters for other games. (SS currently says "no movesets available", which means Smogon's contributor army hasn't figured out how to use Umbreon yet) (not sure why they still use letters when emails are faster :P)

The second thing you need to read is the format. (ctrl f "formats" and click the down arrow a few times to find it) On the webpage you linked, you can see that Umbreon has analyses only for RU and UU. Both of them are 6v6 singles formats, so most of their information is irrelevant if you're playing anything that's not 6v6 singles.

The third thing is the set details. The set details in the RU analysis says maximum special defense is used to check Nidoqueen and Swellow. The set details in the UU analysis says it's for Nidoqueen, Latias, and Hydreigon. If you don't expect your opponents to use any of those 5 Pokemon, then you don't need maximum special defense.

1 vote

This post already has good answers, but I wanted to put particular emphasis on a couple of points which should help you look at competitive EV investments holistically. I'm not a doubles player, but many of these concepts transfer between different game modes.

In most competitive formats, Pokemon's roles are specialised enough that making generalist 'cover both defences' movesets is suboptimal. There are certainly exceptions, and role compression is an important concept in teambuilding: but overwhelmingly, the metagame will lead you toward one defensive stat as opposed to the other, as Pokemon become specialised counters to particular offensive threats in the game you're playing.

For example, in SS OU, Toxapex runs maximum Defence and no Special Defence not because that's inherently better, but because its best defensive matchups happen to be against physical attackers in that format. Examples include Gyarados, Barraskewda and, until its recent ban, Galarian Darmantian. You pick Toxapex when you need a response to Pokemon like that, and then match your EV spread to its role. If you just ran a mixed spread on Toxapex, you'd be showing a lesser awareness of Toxapex's strengths in OU this gen, and for a lack of a better term, making it a 'jack of all trades but a master of none'.

Click back to SM OU, however, and you'll see Toxapex using maximum Special Defence and no Defence. That's because special attackers like Greninja and Volcarona were more important for Toxapex to counter in that metagame. The same story applies: people would pick Toxapex for its prowess in walling those Pokemon, and then use a matching EV spread. Similar logic would apply for the Umbreon analyses you read, as well.

Some Pokemon do run mixed spreads, but that's always for a grander purpose than to simply make both defensive stats 'equal'. For example, Smogon's Defog Corviknight runs a big chunk of Special Defence to specifically prevent Specs Dragapult from 2HKOing it. Competitive EV spreads are always looking to optimise Pokemon for the specific matchups they are likely to encounter, and that best enable their role. Of course, those Special Defence EVs do more than just ruin Dragapult's day: but the important part is that those EVs were chosen as a consequence of the metagame and not plain instinct from the numbers you're looking at.

In this sense, it's short-sighted to simply balance your Pokemon's two defensive stats. Does the metagame you're playing actually require your Pokemon to be equally good on both sides, or is its role more particular?

edited by