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Could anyone guide me through the process of distributing EVs?

For example, Life Orb (non-modest) Mewtwo can OHKO Zacian with fire blast:
252 SpA Life Orb Mewtwo Fire Blast vs. 4 HP / 0 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 164-195 (97.6 - 116%) -- 87.5% chance to OHKO
First and foremost, should you opt for never OHKO or is a 30% OHKO good enough?

Secondly, when I am adjusting the EVs, I could just put 188 into sp.def and the problem is solved:
252 SpA Life Orb Mewtwo Fire Blast vs. 4 HP / 188 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 140-166 (83.3 - 98.8%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

Whereas, say, I could have 100 HP and 104 sp.def and still tank the same fire blast:
252 SpA Life Orb Mewtwo Fire Blast vs. 100 HP / 104 SpD Zacian-Crowned: 151-179 (83.8 - 99.4%) -- guaranteed 2HKO

However, in the latter, I used up 16 more EVs compared to the former. Despite the fact that I used more, I could now invest less in defense. So is there any rule or theory I could follow to reach the optimal balance for a Pokemon? Because I don't want to try every single spread or else it would be too tedious.

Thanks.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr1OFVr5VMQ

This is a good guide with some general rules to follow, it's from an old format but still has relevant points.
I make a lot of EV spreads used to survive specific opponents attacks and hit back but I don't think I can answer this question lol
https://www.smogon.com/xy/articles/stats
Outdated, but still has some useful information.
haha, thanks a lot for the comments. They're pretty instructive so thanks.
Since this is a question that can get pretty deep, someone should just post all those links on an answer. Actually making an EV distribution guide that's all encompassing would be no small feat

1 Answer

1 vote

You didn't ask in that thread, so I asked for you.

there's no such thing as 'optimal EVs' in a vacuum. You have to prioritize between different perks and there is often no singular right answer, and even if there is, it often depends on your team: you want to outspeed certain metagame threats. Maybe you want to underspeed a partner Pokemon. You might want to survive hits from a Pokemon that gives your team troubles, or guarantee a KO on such a Pokemon.

You generally want to start off with a basic 252-252 spread, and maybe adjust your speed EVs from there to hit a speed benchmark, and adjust your HP stats (say if you're going for a Belly Drum you might want your HP divisible by 2 to eat your berry right away, that type of thing) - and adjust your EVs to fit your team. This is the most important part - and no one else is going to put time in your teambuilding for you to pinpoint your most dangerous matchups and ways to play out it for you. You need to be able to do this yourself.

Often you can just steal a spread, often one that EVs to live hits from common metagame threats, so it's going to be useful on a wide range of teams. But playing around threats can depend much on your team, so you might end up EVing for an attack you actually rarely take if you mindlessly copy spreads, so it's always best to use those stolen spreads as a baseline, and ask what your team needs.

As for numerical EV optimizations you generally want to boost your high stats with nature and your low stats with EVs if you can help it. If you're unsure just put your spread in the teambuilder with a different nature just to make sure. You also want to generally prioritize HP EVs over defensive EVs, but there are 2 main exceptions. First, is on things like Snorlax and Blissey that has too much HP already - EVing these Pokemon is generally pretty tough and it's not uncommon to see experienced players mis-EV these Pokemon. Second, is to squeeze out as much EVs as possible for other purposes. Generally EVing to live a hit with HP is going to be more generally efficient, but mixing in a few defensive EVs can minimize the amount of EVs spent to live the specific hit, which can be important if you're also trying to hit a specific speed benchmark or damage benchmark you can't afford to lose.

Hope this helps.

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