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It promotes speed while lowering it. Doesn't this counteract itself?

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well you can take it off

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A Pokémon holding this item now gains 8 Speed EVs instead of 4 whenever it gains experience during battle.

The purpose is EV training. This relates to the saying of taking a step back in order to take 2 steps foward.

Source: https://m.bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Power_Anklet

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Gotcha, so it gives more Evs than it takes away
It doesn't take away any EVs, just lowers speed like an Iron Ball.
Ohhhh i see