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Need some advice on how to approach a playthrough/this series, random questions

I played Pokemon when I was younger and kind of brute-forced my way through, not really strategizing much and I just played to beat the gyms and whatnot. Now that I'm older and getting back into it, I want to play with more care and thought. I'm playing Pokemon Sword and I'm almost to the second gym, and I guess I should say what I want out of the game so you can give me some guidance. I don't really want to be some master competitive player, but I do want to be casually competent and battle online at some point.

1. Do you rush through the story to get to the post-game and for you is that where the "real game" begins? Wherein you build your "real team"? How much care should I put into my team just to beat the game? Should I build my team by spoiling what pokemon are in future routes so I can know what I want my team to eventually be ahead of time? Or just work with what I have at the moment and switch out team members as I keep progressing?

2. Do you breed for better pokemon for online play/friendly battles in the post game? Or are you breeding and dealing with eggs during your main playthrough?

3. Same question for IVs and EVs, are you paying attention to these during the main game or do you save dealing with these for the post-game?

4. What's the rule of thumb for evolving pokemon? Do you just evolve them immediately or do you hold off? For what reasons would you do either?

5. Do you use TMs through the story?

6. What's the purpose of trading for someone like me who is just playing single-player and online and doesn't have someone locally to play with?

That's all I can think of, thanks to anyone that answers. I'd just like to have a sort of blueprint for how to approach these games.

Best Answer

  • pikayou
    pikayou Member Posts: 71
    5 Likes 5 LOLs First Answer Name Dropper
    #2 Answer ✓

    1) Modern Pokemon games are so easy that you really don't have to do any prep to breeze through them. My Shield team had three Pokemon on it for 90% of the game (because I wanted to only use new Pokemon, and I don't really like any of the Gen 8 mons lol) and I never struggled at all. If you think it would be more fun to plan your team beforehand go ahead, but you definitely don't need to. Pokemon you catch in the wild are never going to have perfect IVs, and you don't unlock Bottle Caps until the post game anyway.

    2) Breeding with a 6IV Ditto is the easiest way to get competitively IV'd Pokemon, but yeah I generally ignore breeding altogether during my main playthroughs.

    3) Like before, the games are so easy that you can ignore EVs for a main playthrough unless you want to micromanage the whole time.

    4) Generally unevolved Pokemon learn strong moves earlier than their evolved forms (for example Bulbasaur learns Solar Beam at level 36, Ivysaur at 50, and Venusaur at 58) but unless the cut off point for the move is super close to when they would evolve generally the stat buff from evolving is more beneficial. In earlier gens there were some moves a Pokemon could only learn in an unevolved form, but those have been entirely removed afaik.

    Unevolved Pokemon also benefit from the Eviolite, but there are only a few cases where this makes them better than their evolved forms.

    5) Yeah, why wouldn't you?

    6) A lot of useful Pokemon are version exclusive, so you'll need to trade for them if you're playing the other game. For example three of the best Pokemon in Scarlet and Violet competitive, Flutter Mane, Gouging Fire, and Raging Bolt, are Exclusive to Scarlet. Filling your Pokedex also gets you the Shiny Charm and ups your chances of a Critical Capture, but those are pretty superfluous.

    In SwSh particularly you don't have to memorize EV gains, it's much faster and easier to just grind for Watts, trade those Watts for Luxury Balls, sell those Balls, then you can purchase Vitamins on the Isle of Armor that up your Pokemon's EVs by 10 points. You can do the same in SV, but grinding money takes a little longer there.


  • Eremas
    Eremas Member Posts: 189
    5 LOLs 5 Agrees First Comment First Answer

    The number one battle tip for playthroughs I can give is learn which pokemon gives what EVs.

  • UnovanZorua
    UnovanZorua Member Posts: 845
    5 Agrees 5 Likes First Comment 5 LOLs

    Just play the game however you think is better. I think training in the post-game is better as you have access to better raids for items/candies, more locations, features, etc., to make certain things easier. However, please remember to enjoy the game and not just focus on competitive. It's a lot more fun. I think that you should just use whatever you think is cool and switch them out if you want, maybe avoiding bad Pokémon like Caterpie, and then build a competitive team once you've finished the post-game. I don't recommend making your main story team your competitive one since you'd have to stop often to EV train, which could get tiring.

    Eggs are a lot easier to get or hatch during the late game or post-game, thanks to Ditto and Pokémon with abilities that hatch eggs faster being easier to get. People usually get eggs since some Pokémon with specific moves can make a Pokémon egg that has a move it normally can't learn (egg moves), to get specific IVs on a Pokémon, or to shiny hunt (also SwSh has two kinds of shinies, Square and Star ones. Wild shinies are very likely to be square shinies, while eggs are very likely to be star shinies. Wild star shinies and egg square shinies are very rare.)

    IV training can be done only for lv.100 Pokémon during the post-game by Hyper training them using bottle caps to have max IVs. Lowering or getting specific IVs is not possible this way. You can only max IVs out. You could use IV calculators to tell specifically what IVs a Pokémon has if you want it to have 0 IVs somewhere, and reset or catch another one if you don't get the results you want.

    As for EV training, do it if you really want a specific Pokémon to be on your competitive team. But it's tiring whether you use vitamins or defeat Pokémon, and it could take a while. Evolved Pokémon which give more EVs and EV training items are found during the later parts of the game, so it's going to be a lot harder if you do it in the start of the game. Removing EVs is probably even more tiring though, as you need to find and use berries to do that.

    You might not evolve a Pokémon if you want it to learn a move only its unevolved form can learn, or because unevolved Pokémon learn moves faster (some moves can only be learnt by the evolved form though, like signature moves). It might also be because of its type, as some Pokémon change their type when they evolve- like Rowlet, which is Grass/Flying, but has a Grass/Ghost final evolution making it lose its immunity to ground (though it gains an immunity to the Normal type). Some Pokémon get types that are much, much better when they evolve though, like Onix which goes from the horrible Rock/Ground type to Steel/Ground. Also, evolved Pokémon have better stats.

    You might use TMs/TRs if you want a specific moveset or type coverage on a Pokémon if it can't learn that move naturally. Maybe none of your Pokémon have moves that are strong against the next Gym or battle, so you need to teach your team more varied types of moves. Also please keep in mind to not give a Pokémon with a horrible stat a move that uses that stat, like teaching a Pokémon with a very low Attack stat a physical move or vice versa.

    Trading can evolve certain Pokémon like Machoke into Machamp or Phantump into Trevenant. Some Pokémon are version exclusive or you can only get one of one form per game, so you need to trade to finish your Pokédex, or if you want a good Pokémon that doesn't appear in your version.