Breeding 101: Individual Values (Part I)

I have a lab coat on.  You might be asking yourself, "has this man gone insane?"  Perhaps, but I prefer to define myself as "sanity impaired" or "lusty for science."  The reason for the coat is because today we discuss Individual Values, or IVs; the Pokémon equivalent of genetic inheritance.  Individual Values, or IVs, will help you get the competitive edge in battle.  Plus, lab coats are sexy.  Just look at Bill Nye.

This week I am only going to cover what Individual Values are, and how to determine your Pokémon's IVs.  We will get into IV inheritance and how to actually breed for better IVs next week.

What are Individual Values?

Individual Values are a hidden statistical value that is added to your Pokémon's basic stats to further modify its strength.  There is a corresponding IV for every stat a Pokémon has: HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed.  Individual Values can be any value from 0 and 31.  For every 1 IV point, a stat is increased by that amount at level 100.  Let's take a look at two hypothetical level 100 Lapras, both of which have a neutral Docile nature.  The first Lapras has 0 IV points in every stat, and the second has 31 IV points in every stat.

Lapras (0 IVs)
HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
370 175 165 175 195 125


Lapras (31 IVs)
HP Attack Defense Special Attack Special Defense Speed
401 206 196 206 226 156

As you can see, the higher the IV, the higher the statistic at level 100.  In competitive battle, every single point counts.  Having just a few extra points in Speed might give you the edge to overtake a difficult opponent.

Finding Your IVs

There are a couple of ways you can check your IVs, the first of which you can do within your game.  If you go to the Battle Frontier there is a man I like to call the Pokémon Judge inside the Battle Tower standing beside the PC that can give you a rough estimate of a Pokémon's IVs.  Below you can find a list of responses the Pokémon Judge gives you when rating that will give you an idea of your Pokémon's IV total.

Response IV Total
"This Pokemon's potential is decent all around." 0 - 90
"This Pokemon's potential is above average overall." 91-120
"This Pokemon has relatively superior potential overall." 121 - 150
"This Pokemon has outstanding potential overall." 151 - 186

This of course will not give you the IV numbers in every stat so its use is limited.  In addition to giving you a total IV estimate, the Pokémon Judge will tell you the highest IV stat for your Pokémon.  Below you can find a list of responses to help you decipher the highest IV.

Response IV Total
"It's rather decent in that regard." 0 - 15
"It's very good in that regard." 16 - 25
"It's fantastic in that regard." 26 - 30
"It can't be better in that regard." 31

If your Pokémon has multiple perfect IVs -- 31 in any given stat -- you can visit the Pokémon Judge more than once and each time he will tell you a different stat, "can't be better in that regard."

While the Pokémon Judge can help you get a general idea of your IVs, there is a more precise and involved way to determine your Pokémon's exact IVs.  You must have a friend with a Generation IV game that you can do a wi-fi battle with for this method.  Unless you have been keeping track of the EVs it has gained or precisely which Pokémon it has fought, the Pokémon you are checking must not have gained experience in battle before or this method will not work.  Ideally, you want to do this on a freshly hatched or caught Pokémon.

With your newly hatched or caught Pokémon, go into a wi-fi battle with a friend via the Wi-Fi Club located in the lowest level of any Pokémon Center.  You will have to have registered them in your Pal Pad.  You need to request a level 100 Single Battle.  This will adjust your Pokémon's level to 100.  In battle, record your Pokémon's nature and stats (HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense, and Speed).

Once you have recorded your adjusted level 100 statistics, you will need to enter your data into an Individual Value calculator.  I use the one found at Serebii, which you can find here.  In the calculator, all you need to do is enter your Pokémon's species, nature, and and stats.  Make sure that the level is set to 100 and click the Calculate Individual Values button.  This should give you the IV for each stat.

So to summarize, don't EV train or battle first, go into a level 100 wi-fi battle and record your stats, then use an IV calculator to determine your IVs.

The Breeders Edge

Hopefully this week you have a better understanding of Individual Values, their importance, and how to find them.  Next week we will discuss how IVs are inherited during the breeding process and how to influence how these values are inherited through the use of special items.  The important thing to note is that no matter what, there are limits to how IVs can be passed and influenced.  Just like in life, breeding has a lot of random variables.  But hopefully after we discuss inheritance next week, you will be on your way to breeding the best Pokémon available.