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I saw some questions asking what was the highest attack for some pokemon. Is there a way to work this out?

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Good question! I was just looking at this myself, those other questions reminded me I need to add this to the pokedex here :)

Yes, there is a formula, which is not too difficult. Your stat will be twice the base stat plus 5 (or plus 110 for HP), plus any modifiers like IV, EV and Nature.

Maximum IV is 31.
Mavimum EV is 255, which is 63 stat points.
Nature adds on an extra 10%, (not for HP).
So you get: ( BaseStat 2 + 5 + 31 + 63 ) 1.1 with 10 instead of 5 for HP. Then you round it down afterwards.

BaseStat * 2 + 204

( BaseStat 2 + 99 ) 1.1

Rampardos has a huge 165 base stat in attack. His max would be:
( 165 2 + 99 ) 1.1 = 471.9 --> rounded down to 471.

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What about characteristics? They raise the stat more don't they?
Do you mean the things like "Proud of its power"? Those do not affect the stat, they just tell you which IV is highest. So if it says "Proud of its power" then the pokemon's attack IV is highest, and that IV will be added into the equation like it says above.
Really! Cool, I thought Those Raised another stat. Of course, IVs raise the stat don they so technicaly those do raise another stat right?
Also, if you know what EVs you got, when you get to level 100 you can work out your IV by doing the formula in reverse. Divide by 1.1, take away the base stat twice, take away 5 (or 10 for HP), take away the EVs you got for that stat and you should have your IV remaining!
All right cool, so ivs do raise stats, right?
Yes, if you have better IVs you will get a higher stat in the end. I used to think they only affected battles but that's wrong.
Like most things the points are added gradually - i.e. a 31 IV in defence will not make your defence stat 31 at level 1!!