Breeding 101: Expanding on the Basics

Pokémon breeding is like a sandwich.  Right now we have two pieces of bread and some meat.  You can eat this sandwich as is, but I assure you that some lettuce and tomato will make this thing taste about 50 times better.  Today we add some lettuce to our sandwich.

Warm Eggs = Happy Eggs

Every Pokémon takes a different number of steps to hatch from its egg.  For example, the Lapras from last week would take approximately 10455 steps to hatch.  A baby Cubone on the other hand will hatch in approximately 5355 steps.  You can find out how many steps it takes to hatch your Pokémon by searching for your Pokémon on Bulbapedia.  It will list cycles and steps in the breeding section of the information card on the page.

As you can see, hatching a single Lapras egg can take quite a while.  Luckily there is a sure fire way to reduce the number of steps it takes to hatch an egg.  All you need to do is put your Pokémon egg in your party with another Pokémon with the Flame Body of Magma Armor ability.  There are six Pokémon which you can put into your party that have this ability:

Pokémon Ability
Camerupt Flame Body / Solid Rock
Magby Flame Body
Magcargo Flame Body / Magma Armor
Magmar Flame Body
Magmortar Flame Body
Slugma Flame Body / Magma Armor

When paired, Flame Body or Magma Armor reduces the steps necessary to hatch the egg by the following:

Original Number Reduced Number
1530 1020
2805 1530
4080 2298
5355 2805
6630 3570
7905 4095
9180 4845
10455 5355

As you can see, you can save a ton of time hatching your eggs by catching yourself a proper incubator!  I always carry my trusty Magmar when breeding for this purpose.

Breeding for Shiny Pokémon

The Global Trading Station, or GTS, was introduced in Generation IV Pokémon games and allows Pokémon to be traded all over the world.  Thanks to the Junichi Masuda, when two Pokémon from different countries breed the offspring has a higher chance of being a shiny Pokémon.  The Pokémon have to be from different language versions of the game, so if someone from Japan trades you a Pokémon acquired from the US, it won't increase your rate of shiny offspring.  Normally the odds for hatching a shiny Pokémon are 1/8192 when using two Pokémon from your game, but thanks to Junichi Masuda, when two Pokémon from different countries breed the odds increase to 1/2048.

These odds might seem really low, but if you consider that when you breed you can pass stats and moves down to the offspring, it means that if a shiny Pokémon is hatched, it will be a much more effective battler as opposed to just a trophy.  There is a caveat to this method though.  You cannot pass down nature from the parent Pokémon via an Everstone when breeding with foreign Pokémon.  We will discuss passing down natures in a later article.

The GTS is located in Goldenrod City in HeartGold and SoulSilver, and Jubilife City in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.

Special Cases

There are many special cases when it comes to breeding, the most important of which is Ditto.

Ditto can breed with any Pokémon capable of breeding, including genderless Pokémon that do not belong to the No Eggs group.  Ditto will always count as the female Pokémon in a breeding pair, but the Pokémon born will inherit the species of the father.  Female Pokémon who breed with Ditto count as the father in this case since Ditto always counts as the female.  This allows you to breed genderless Pokémon such as Magnemite and pass IVs easier; for example, if you catch a Ditto with a 31 IV in Attack, you can pass that value to just about any Pokémon.  As we talked about in the podcast last week, Ditto cannot breed with itself though, so you cannot obtain a Ditto egg.

There are many Pokémon that simply cannot breed, the most notorious of which are legendary Pokémon.  Though there are two legendary Pokémon who can breed, Phione and Manaphy, which belong to the Water 1 and Fairy egg groups.  You can find a list of Pokémon which cannot breed in the No Eggs group on Bulbapedia.  The strangest Pokémon in this group are Nidorina and Nidoqueen.  Their male counterparts, Nidorino and Nidoking are able to breed, as well as their pre-evolution Nidoran♀.  So if you intend on breeding Nidoran♀, do so early!

Speaking of gender, Pokémon which are always female but have a male counterpart have an interesting result when breeding.  If you breed a Nidoran♀, the egg can hatch into either Nidoran♀ or Nidoran♂.  The same thing happens when breeding Illumise; the resulting egg can be either a Volbeat or an Illumise.

Finally, some baby pre-evolutionary Pokémon can only be obtained when breeding while the parent Pokémon are holding a particular incense.  For example, breeding with a female Wobbuffet will hatch a baby Wobbuffet, unless one of the parent Pokémon is holding a Lax Incense, in which case the baby will come out as a baby Wynaut.

Chain Breeding Moves

I am sure by now I have lost a ton of you to more interesting things like looking up pictures of Tom Selleck on Google Images.  But for those who have stuck with me, I have something special for you!  (Insert drum roll here) Chain breeding moves!

We know that the male Pokémon in a breeding pair passes on moves to a baby Pokémon.  This is the important thing to note.  The rest is just gravy on top of this delicious batch of digital mashed potatoes.  I will illustrate this heaping mound of Pokétato goodness with what I consider one of the most involved breeding chains, obtaining a Chansey with Heal Bell.

You will require the following Pokémon to complete this chain:

Pokémon Gender
Chansey Female
Snubbull Female
Smeargle Male

You will also need to be able to battle Miltanks in order to use Smeargle's Sketch ability to learn the move Heal Bell.

First off, get into battle with a Miltank that knows Heal Bell and have your male Smeargle use Sketch to learn the move.  From here, start the breeding chain by putting your male Smeargle and female Snubbull in Day Care.  You will need to hatch eggs until you successfully breed a male Snubbull baby with Heal Bell.

Since males pass moves and females pass gender, you can complete this breeding chain by putting your newly hatched male Snubbull with Heal Bell in Day Care with your female Chansey.  The baby should hatch with Heal Bell!

The Breeders Edge

This week we peeled back another layer of this juicy orange we call Pokémon breeding.  We have a lot more to learn, and next week we will focus on the most important and useful concept of Pokémon breeding, Individual Values or IVs.  Breeding for the magic number of 31 in a particular IV is essentially the equivalent to giving your Pokémon genetic steroids.  You'll definitely want to check it out if you are considering competitive play, as IVs are your edge.

I just realized how many food references I made with this installment.  I have got to quit breeding Pokémon when hungry.