The Competitive, Grindy Side of Pokémon is Incredible

IVs, EV Training, Breeding, and more! My journey into the beautiful Pokémon grind.

Drew Cordell
Apr 6 · 5 min read

have been sucked headfirst into the world of Pokémon. Ever since my friends and I unofficially started our deep dive into the unofficial Pokémon D&D 5e (which has since been DMCA shut down by Wizards of the Coast) I can’t get enough of this franchise.

Granted, most of my experience as a kid was in the TCG, Sapphire Version, and Pokémon Go!, I’m a little late to the party as I resurface the interest now. Having completed Pokémon Shield, I’m now getting into the grindy aspect of the game in preparing my first competitive team.

Over the past week, I’ve learned a lot about IVs, EV training (which is super easy nowadays), and breeding. Putting my female Mimikyu and male Swoobat in the nursery in hopes of more Mimikyus with better IVs didn’t work out so well — I had to learn about egg groups first. But as I learn, I am getting more and more involved with the grind.

Image Source: Mohamed Chahin on Dribbble.

My wife warned me about the changes to the national Dex system and that transferring Pokémon from older legacy games in the franchise no longer works, but that’s fine with me. As a new player, it feels like I have a cleaner slate to work with in building up my competitive teams. Granted, I’m a couple of years late to Galar and have some work to do to catch up, but I’ll be able to get and trade for most of the Pokémon I’ll need before the next title for Switch comes out later this year and the entire meta is shaken up once more.

As a veteran action RPG player with almost 1,000 hours in Path of Exile, I appreciate the grind. What most people view as cumbersome and repetitive, I tend to enjoy. Learning how to create and make my first competitive team for PVP has been a lot of fun. There’s a steep learning curve, but slowly and steadily, I am learning what it takes.

Pokémon Showdown has been a lifesaver. This free online tool lets me simulate battles, and tweak my team. Granted, I’m not aiming to build the most competitive team out there. I am a notorious control player in Magic: the Gathering and wanted to make a team that would emulate that style of play. Yes, I’m that guy.

Slow and steady, with incremental (and frustrating for my opponent) progress toward victory. The result? An entry-hazard-heavy team with plenty of stall and a couple of sweepers to clean up whatever is left of my opponent’s team.

This is a damaging-move-only household — my strategy as a kid playing Sapphire Version

For now, I have been playing in Showdown in the Overused tier of competition. In general, my team works really well. Most of my losses come from me encountering a new Pokémon I haven’t seen before and switching in something good against its typing only to be hit with an off-type move that’s super effective against my switch-in. I still have a lot to learn about individual Pokémon and the moves they are likely to have.

I can tell my roster isn’t the best team I could possibly create, but it has a lot of flexibility and I tend to be able to get a lot of value from the utility of my Pokémon even if they are countered.

My intended first competitive team. Image Source: Screen Capture.

Through and through, the aim of this team is to set up (and protect) as many of my entry hazards as possible while using Inteleon or Mimikyu to sweep through my opponent’s ranks once they have taken some damage from my hazards. Toxapex, Ferrothorn, and Corsola each have incredible stall and attrition capabilities and can survive even some of the toughest hits. Corviknight serves as the team’s bruiser, a tanky yet hard-hitting physical attacker with some good type coverage and utility from Taunt.

Overall, my type coverage could be better. I’m not completely sold on Ferrothorn in the final slot. Running normal spikes on top of Toxic Spikes and Stealth Rock feels like overkill, though Thunder Wave and Power Whip have come in handy. From a technical perspective, Ferrothron will probably be the last Pokémon I breed in-game in case I want to change the build. A good fire type with some different move types for better coverage may fit here to better round out the team — I’ll keep experimenting with it.

So far, Corsola is one of the main stars of the show thanks to its unbelievable tankiness and utility. It’s also the only perfect IV (with hidden ability) Pokémon that I have in-game so far. Even when Taunted or after the Eviolite gets knocked off, Night Shade is able to put in a lot of work against some of the toughest defensive Pokémon in the game thanks to its flat 100 damage.

In terms of Aesthetics and vibes, I LOVE Mimkyu. He’s just plain cool — and his disguise ability is incredible. Poison, Fairy, and Ghost types are among my Pokémon in the franchise, so don’t be surprised to see my teams packed full of them.

Image Source: Scott Colson on Dribbble.

As I get more and more into Pokémon, I’m grinding Max Raids in the Wild Area in hopes of finding Pokémon in the egg groups I need with good IVs for breeding. Thanks to PokéJobs and certain consumable items, EV training is a breeze compared to the old days of doing things.

As I continue onward, I’ll look to breed even more competitive Pokémon so I can create new and interesting teams for PvP. I appreciate the grind Pokémon is offering, and all there is to learn about different Pokémon, abilities, and move sets.

Do you have any tips for improving my entry-hazard roster? Let me know in the comments below!

SUPERJUMP

Celebrating video games and their creators

Drew Cordell

Written by

Published science fiction author, life-long gamer, young IT professional. Check out my books at drewcordell.com

SUPERJUMP

SUPERJUMP

Celebrating video games and their creators

Drew Cordell

Written by

Published science fiction author, life-long gamer, young IT professional. Check out my books at drewcordell.com

SUPERJUMP

SUPERJUMP

Celebrating video games and their creators

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