Breeding 911: The Statistics of Pokémon

Hey there guys, Kenny here again with some more (hopefully) useful breeding information for you all! Not having gotten any questions from anyone, I asked Steve what I should talk about. He suggested talking about the statistics behind Individual Values (IVs for short) in breeding. As most of you know IVs are, essentially, hidden stat bonuses. When a Pokémon is caught, or a Pokémon Egg is laid (yes, they are calculated before the Pokémon actually hatches!) a random number from 0 – 31 is distributed to every stat. These numbers are how many extra points are in said stat. IVs are permanent once the Pokémon is encountered or the Egg is received, and cannot be legally changed under any circumstances.

Now, having reviewed that, I know everyone wants perfect IVs (although sometimes 0s in certain stats are desired for particular builds) and I’m sure most of you know that though selective breeding it is possible to ensure that certain stats are passed on. By holding a Brace, a parent can pass on the IV of a single stat to their offspring 100% of the time. Having one parent with a 31 in the desired stat(s) can boost the offspring’s chances of having a 31 in the same stats, and having two parents with “perfect” IVs in a stat (such as having a male Muk with 31 HP IVs and a female Muk with 31 HP IVs) boosts the chances of the offspring having the 31 in the same stat to around 50%. Pretty cool, huh? And by now, I’m sure most of you thinking that getting Pokémon with 31s in every stat might not be so hard. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

Through personal experience, I have found that one can easily control up to 3 IVs in breeding. 4 is possible, although it is very time consuming. Trying to obtain offspring with 5 or 6 perfect IVs when breeding however, is almost a statistical impossibility. If you were to randomly breed two Pokémon, your chance of getting a 31 in one stat is 1-in-32, or about 3% (which makes sense). Trying to get lucky and score 2 perfect IVs from nowhere takes you to a somewhat intimidating 1-in-1,024 chance, or about .1%. Ouch. Think that’s bad? Statistically speaking, your chances of two Pokémon randomly producing offspring with 31 IVs in all 6 stats are a staggering 1-in-1,073,741,824 chance. What is that percentage-wise? Well, unfortunately my desktop calculator doesn’t have enough space to properly tell me what that adds up to. What I can tell you though is that it is almost impossible. Do you have time to breed over 1 billion Pokémon? Most likely you do not. Now I know some of you might be saying “but didn’t you just say that there were ways of stacking the odds in your favor?” Yes, I did. That doesn’t mean things will always come out the way you want them to, though. Even if you were to breed two Pokémon with 31 IVs in all 6 of their stats, the chance of getting a “perfect” offspring is still only about a 1.5% chance (without a parent holding a Brace). Not nearly as daunting as the numbers presented earlier, but still quite time-consuming.

So, what do you do? Well honestly, that all depends on you personally. Do you have the time? Resources such as good-IV’d parents and the proper Braces? Do you have the patience? If so, breed to your heart’s content. If you’d like this Trainer’s advice, I’ll say this; only breed what you need. Jolteon and Weavile aren’t tanks. They aren’t made for taking hits. Sure, the boosted HP, Defense, and Special Defense stats are nice, but don’t feel like you have to go for it. Aim for Special Attack (or in Weavile’s case, Attack) and Speed. Honestly, those are the stats those Pokémon are made for anyway. Having a few more defensive stats isn’t going to turn them into defensive monsters. Getting 1 – 3 stats isn’t so scary if you have the right mindset. And if a Pokémon does in fact make use of 4, 5, or 6 of their stats and you don’t want to put that much effort into it, make a sacrifice. If one of your Pokémon is an HP/Def monster like Hippowdon, don’t worry so much about those two stats. If you have a Blissey, she can take care of the Sp.Def hits. The Pokémon you have with you are collectively called your Team for a reason; they help work together and help one another. Think about it!


Have a question you’d like answered or a topic you’d like expanded upon? Email me at!