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Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl: Guide to EVs and IVs

Patrick Bonifacio

One of the most important aspects of competitive play in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl is the combined presence of effort values (EVs) and individual values (IVs). While each individual Pokemon has visible primary stats, the exact values of these attributes all differ between Pokemon of the same species — assuming equal levels.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl EVs and IVs Palkia

Getting the most out of your Pokemon's stats is an arduous task, but well worth the effort if you're interested in competitive play. (Image by The Pokemon Company)

For example, two Garchomp at level 100 will have slight variations between each other in stats, thanks to EVs and IVs. The catch, however, is that EVs and IVs are hidden attributes, and aren’t immediately apparent to players that aren’t already aware of their existence.

There are ways to find out a Pokemon’s EVs and IVs in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, though, which we’ll get into later on in this guide. But of course, we’ll start with the basics of both first.

What are EVs in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl?

EVs, or effort values, are hidden points that increase an individual Pokemon’s stats beyond their base values. Each of the six primary attributes (HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed) can be increased this way. All Pokemon caught in the wild and those given as starters begin with zero EVs, and obtain them through defeating opposing Pokemon in battle.

Each Pokemon defeated in this way gives a specific number of EVs, which varies between distinct species. For example, beating an Abra in battle yields 1 Sp. Atk. EV to the Pokemon that defeated it.

In Generation VIII (that being Sword and Shield as well as Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl), every four EV points in a single primary attribute will increase that stat by one. For example, a level 100 Magnezone with 8 HP EVs would have a total HP stat of 252, up two points from 250.

Pikachu vs. Raichu

Image by The Pokemon Company

Each attribute can only receive a maximum of 252 EVs, regardless of the method used to increase them. Also, a single Pokemon can only receive 510 total EVs (actually 508, but “displayed” as 510 in-game because of the way it’s coded), which limits the maximum values to just two stats.

For example, a physically inclined Pokemon can have 252 EVs in Attack, 252 EVs in Speed, and 4 EVs in HP. This is referred to as the “EV spread” in the competitive Pokemon scene — a term that emphasizes the limits to which a Pokemon can increase its stats across the board.

For the most part, EVs are responsible for making trained Pokemon stronger than wild Pokemon, even at the same level. Wild Pokemon, by default, do not have any EVs at all as mentioned before, which automatically makes their stats lower in comparison. The same is true for Pokemon raised through spamming Rare Candies, as Rare Candies do not grant EVs.

How Do You Check a Pokemon’s EVs?

Simply go to the Summary page of any Pokemon in your party or in one of your boxes, go to the third tab from the left, then press X to bring up the EV radar graph. The further that a point is on the graph to the end of its corresponding plot line, the more EVs there are in that particular attribute.

Max EV Garchomp

Should there be any sparkles on the Pokemon’s stats, this indicates that they have reached max EVs in that stat — and can earn no more there.

EV Training

The act of manually increasing a Pokemon’s EVs is called EV training. Unlike some of the previous games in the series, though, there does not seem to be an alternative EV training method in BDSP in the same vein as Super Training from Generation VI. Therefore, the best way to go about EV training in both games is, unfortunately, the traditional method.

Vitamins

That said, there are ways to speed things along. For example, you can purchase Vitamins from the Veilstone Department Store, and feed them to your Pokemon to add EVs to the stats they’re associated with. Protein, for instance, adds 10 EVs to the Attack stat. Iron, on the other hand, adds 10 EVs to the Defense stat, and so on.

Vitamins in Veilstone Department Store

Vitamins are subject to the same limitations as EVs obtained through battling, though, and are quite expensive per unit. Consider buying these just to round off your Pokemon’s stats, rather than using them solely to pump EVs to the maximum from zero.

Held Items

There also exist held items that directly increase the number of EVs you receive with each defeated Pokemon. The Power Bracer, for example, grants an additional eight Attack EVs per Pokemon defeated in battle. The Macho Brace, meanwhile, doubles the EV yield of wild Pokemon.

Macho Brace

You can purchase these held items at the Battle Park for 10 BP each, with the exception of the Macho Brace. The latter is obtained by showing all three forms of Burmy to the Bug Catcher in Pastoria City, who lives in the house north of the Poke Mart.

Pokerus

Pokerus is short for “Pokemon virus”, which sounds a lot more sinister than it actually is. In fact, Pokerus is actually beneficial to EV training, and has no other ill effects otherwise. A Pokemon afflicted with Pokerus receives twice as many EVs as normal from battle — which also stacks with Macho Brace for quadruple effectiveness. And just like a real world virus, it spreads to other Pokemon in the same party.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl EVs and IVs Pokerus

Sadly, Pokerus is an extremely rare condition. The chance of a Pokemon catching it after a battle is 1 in 21,845 — which makes it even rarer than encountering a Shiny Pokemon. It’s simply not feasible to hope that one of your Pokemon catches it in time. Our recommendation would be to look for Pokemon that already have it, such as over the online trading system.

What’s the Best Way To Distribute EVs?

This is a rather complicated question to answer, but one that significantly affects how successful a Pokemon is in competitive play. For the most part, a Pokemon’s EV spread hinges on what kind of build and moveset it’ll have. For example, a special sweeper Infernape (that is, one designed to clean up in the late game after setting up with Nasty Plot) will want an EV spread of 252 Sp. Atk, 252 Speed, and 4 Defense in order to maximize its strengths.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl EVs and IVs Infernape

Image by The Pokemon Company

A physically defensive Chansey, meanwhile, would want a spread of 252 Defense, 252 HP, and 4 Sp. Def. This spread makes it as tanky as possible on the physical side, while also raising its HP to the highest it can go.

But maxing out two stats won’t always be the optimal EV spread for every Pokemon. If there is a particular threat that you have to address in the metagame that you play in (e.g. singles or doubles), it may be beneficial to run an unorthodox, less focused EV spread. For example, you may want to take a few EVs from Defense and put them into Special Defense for a certain Pokemon, if it will give them a better chance of surviving specific attacks.

This is somewhat advanced, though, so don’t be afraid to experiment with focused builds for a while. You can start getting into alternative EV spreads when you get your bearings in competitive play. Then you can start using third-party tools like the Pokemon Showdown damage calculator to see how you can best prepare against Pokemon that deal with yours.

What are IVs in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl?

IVs, or individual values, are the Pokemon universe’s equivalent of genetics in real life. Just like EVs, they also determine each individual Pokemon’s stats — but IVs are instead entirely luck-based just like real-life genetics.

There are six distinct IV categories, each of which corresponds to the same six primary stats as mentioned in the EV section. IVs range from zero to 31, with a Pokemon with 31 IVs across the board being referred to as “perfect IV” or “6IV”.

It is possible to have a Pokemon with 31 IVs in all six primary attributes, but such Pokemon are exceedingly rare. Moreover, with the way things are set up in BDSP, getting a perfect IV Pokemon is extremely difficult, to the point where it’s practically unviable to even try.

The existence of IVs essentially means that almost every Pokemon out there will still end up having different stats compared to members of the same species, even at equal levels. Then again, that’s just how genetics work. IVs are generated and set in stone upon encountering a wild Pokemon, or when a Pokemon is given to the player by an NPC. Once generated, IVs cannot be changed, at least in BDSP.

How Do You Check a Pokemon’s IVs?

Once you unlock the Battle Park, go north to get to the Battle Tower. Upon entering the lobby, talk to the scientist NPC on the far right side in order to unlock the Judge Function. The Judge Function allows you to check all of your Pokemon’s IVs through the PC, by opening a box and pressing + or – twice.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl EVs and IVs Judge Function

This opens a list displaying the selected Pokemon’s IVs, rated with words like “decent” or “pretty good”. These labels correspond to a range of possible IVs, outlined in the table below:

IVs
Rating IV Range
 Best! 31
 Fantastic 30
 Very Good 21-29
 Pretty Good 11-20
 Decent 1-10
 No Good 0

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl EVs and IVs IV screen

Breeding with a Ditto and a Destiny Knot

But just like real life genetics, Pokemon can pass on their IVs through breeding. Knowing that, the easiest way to breed Pokemon with the highest IVs possible is to get a Ditto with five IVs at maximum (since it can breed with any Pokemon) and have it hold a Destiny Knot. Catching such a Ditto is a very, very tedious process, though, which involves chaining Ditto encounters 100 times.

We recommend watching the following video on how to do this:

The Destiny Knot meanwhile allows all of its offspring to inherit five IVs instead of three as normal, which eliminates a lot of the RNG from the process. You can get the Destiny Knot itself in Route 224, which you can only access once you get through Victory Road.

There’s a lot of navigation and walking involved in obtaining the item, but it’s well worth the effort if you’re looking to breed Pokemon with as many perfect IVs as possible.


And that’s all you need to know about EVs and IVs from a competitive standpoint in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl! Knowing how both of these mechanics affect your Pokemon’s stats is important to maximizing your potential in PvP battles.

Of course, there are many other factors that weigh in on a Pokemon’s success in competitive play, so stay tuned to Hotspawn for more BDSP multiplayer guides.

Patrick Bonifacio

Patrick Bonifacio

Patrick has been playing Dota since the dawn of time, having started with the original custom game for WarCraft III. He primarily plays safe lane and solo mid, preferring to leave the glorious task of playing support to others.

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