Pokémon IV Breeding (For Idiots)

Gotta catch 'em all!

Readas – My friend, who said my verbal explanation was like listening to a political party conference speech…

So, you’re waiting impatiently for ORAS, and want to breed some nice strong IV Pokémon. Awesome.

But know this before you begin; breeding is an inexact science at the best of times. Whilst it’s certainly been made easier in Pokémon X and Y, with substantial changes made to how natures and abilities are passed down, the truth is that breeding in general involves an enormous amount of RNG. It’s almost embarrassing how much randomness is involved. But a good IV Pokémon, hatched on your game and raised well with good EV’s (there are plenty of good EV guides out there, it can be terribly easy…) will have an undeniable edge.

But it can take a while. So kick back; here’s a step by step rundown.

STEP ONE: DITTO(S?)

X and Y brought in a terribly nice thing for IV Hunters; the Friend Safari. Friends with the game will have their own safari, based on what appears to be a completely random type (one friend has Bug Type, one has Grass Type etc,) Pokémon caught here can come with two or more perfect IV’s, and later on with full connections, can also bring Hidden Abilities into play.

That was the good news. Here’s the bad news.

In an ideal world, you’ll want a friend with a Normal Type safari. This friend will also need to have finished the game AND have connected with you since then. That’s a tall order; compounded by the problem that even then, the third Safari Slot isn’t guaranteed to be a Ditto. Each Safari can give three types of Pokémon, after all, and Ditto is just one of a handful of options for the third slot. Even then, you’ll need to chain-catch Ditto’s to get the ones you want, with the IV’s you need. In reality, this is an awful lot of randomness and truth is, the chances of RNG-sus being on your side are slim. Heck, I have 25 safari open, two Normals, neither has a Ditto for me to catch. Because that’s how the world works. Odds are good that if you want a decent IV Ditto, you’ll need to check the Global Trade System (GTS).

Be careful with the GTS; DO NOT trade legendaries for claims of 6-IV Dittos, there is no way as far as I can tell to assure such claims are accurate. And since all Ditto’s caught in the Safari are lvl 30, that’ll be what you want to look for. This will guarantee two IV’s at least, and with any luck, you might even get three or four. But either way – you’re going to need two, ideally with different IV values. Check out what is needed for trade, go get it, come back, trade. Easy enough.

STEP TWO: THE FIRST CLUTCH.

Okay, so say we now have two Ditto. Both have two perfect IV’s; the first, Ditto-A, has HP and Speed at 31 IV (Which the IV Man – grey shirt guy on the left side – at the Pokéon Centre in Kiloude will reference as those stats “Can’t be beat!”). The other, Ditto-B, has Attack and Defence.

The first step is to ensure at least ONE of those IV’s will land on our baby Pokémon. This will involve one of the Power Items; in X and Y, these can be bought at the Battle Maison in, yup, Kiloude City (all so endgame, isn’t it?) for 16 Battle Points. If you’ve got a good dual-type Pokémon at 100, getting chains of 13 or more isn’t hard and at 13 straight victories, you’ll have made enough to buy one power item. In this instance, we’re going to be using the Power Anklet.

Attach the Power Anklet to Ditto-A. This will guarantee that its Speed IV will be passed down to your baby Pokémon of choice – in this instance, we’ll be using a Froakie as an example. A bog-standard (lol) Froakie. Drop the Ditto into the Daycare Centre on Route 7, along with the in this case male Froakie.

Now we go outside, jump on our bike and ride back and forth on the path until the gentleman out front of the Daycare Paddock has turned to face the camera. This means he has an egg for you. Note that this is also expedited if the Ditto is from a different trainer or, even better, another region (which can be seen in the Summary page, at the top. Big black box. Can’t miss it.). Get one egg and remove your loved-up duo from the daycare. Woo! Eggs! Now, we hatch it. Keep riding back and forth (or go to the Prism Tower in Lumiose City, out front, and just ride around in a circle holding down left on the D-Pad). This can take a while.

(IMPORTANT; This can be sped up in two ways. The first is an ability called Flame Body that some Pokémon can learn. This lessens the steps needed to hatch eggs. The other is O-Power Hatching. Again, plenty of guides for that online.)

STEP THREE: BASIC IV ALLLOCATION.

This requires an important note.

UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES; The IV stats from both Parents are put forth, and three are chosen at random from a possibility of all twelve for the baby to have. So from the “mother” (Ditto in this case) we’re forcing the Speed Stat onto our baby. Let’s say that the others are taken from the father – HP and Defence. So our Level 1 Froakie will hatch with those three stats (one of which will be a perfect IV, as we’ve ensured from the Power Anklet). The other stats will be rolled on individually. This is out of your hands. Pray for a second perfect IV to transfer, but it’s unlikely. Either way, we’re going to stick with one IV here.

You can do this without the Anklet; but make sure mommy is the Ditto. If the IV selection picks both Speed stats from mother and father (each count as one selection), it will prioritise the mothers stat. Also note you can’t have two power items to transfer two IV’s to a baby. The game will randomly choose one, usually prioritising the “mother”, as the game is wont to do.

The end result will be a Male Froakie with a perfect Speed IV. Congratulations! This is a great place to start! Convention states in the PC, you mark it with a Diamond, as a reminder that it’s perfect IV is Speed.

STEP FOUR: TIED UP IN DESTINY KNOTS!

So we have Froakie-1. Now we need to breed Froakie-1 with Ditto-B. This next bit will be HEAVILY dependent on RNG and you’ll no doubt have tons of poor unwanted Froakies by the end of it.

We’ll now be switching out the Power Item for a Destiny Knot. The Destiny Knot is different in that it raises the bar a little; FIVE of the Parents individual IV’s will be chosen to go to the baby at the end. Here we are once more at the whims of RNG(sus). There is no way to guarantee which IV’s are being selected or if they are all different stats at all, and yes, if the same stat is chosen twice – say, Speed here – it will prioritise the Mother’s stat value. Ditto-B doesn’t have a perfect Speed IV so… yeah. In that instance, you won’t get it.

However, eventually (after lots of eggs no doubt) we’re going to end up with a Baby Froakie (Girl Froakie-2) with THREE IV’s; with the Knot choosing the right ones in the end, we’re aiming for a baby Froakie which has inherited Attack, Defence and Speed. Label this accordingly. You might end up with some that have two perfect IV’s; there’s no shame in seeding these out on Wonder Trade. DO MAKE SURE TO MARK THEM IN THE PC BOX! This is not an automatic process, and people like me who are regularly seeding out four-IV perfect critters will be appreciative of the at-a-glance effort you put in. Really. We will be. I’ll even say thank you now. Thank you for taking the time to mark your Pokémon. I love you. I want to hug you. You are a nice person.

STEP FIVE: MORE BREEDING!

Froakie-2 now has three IV’s; Speed, Attack and Defence. Excellent work. But we’ve more breeding to do yet!

Froakie-2 now needs to be bred with Ditto-A, as it has an HP IV that we want to inherit. Again, smack on a Destiny Knot and start breeding in bulk again, and yes, you’ll be doing this until the game delivers unto you a Four-IV Froakie. In this example, we’ve made it a little more tolerable as the mother is the Froakie, and therefore in the event of the same stat being chosen twice – again, let’s say Speed – it will inherit the perfect IV from the mother. However, it can be done with a male. It just takes time.

Once more, do note that those two and three IV Pokémon are FAR from useless; mark them up respectively, and stick them on Wonder Trade. You’ll make someone’s day, because chances are they might be seeding out Froakies of their own with three IV’s. Keep tabs. If you get a Froakie in return, check its summary page. If the person hasn’t checked the IV shapes, then a visit to the IV checker is in order before you throw it away. In the event that you do get a two-IV ‘Mon of the opposite gender and same species, and those IV’s are ones you do not have, then feel free to replace the Ditto in this case. Ditto is our failsafe, really. It’s convenient. But in the event that Wonder Trade plays nice with you, feel free to swap the Ditto out.

In any case, in our basic form, we will eventually end up with a Froakie with four IV’s. Congratulations. If you can get a Ditto with Special Attack and Special Defence, then you can go to town on trying to breed a FIVE IV Pokémon. Or you could come and clean my bathroom with your tongue because you’re clearly a masochist! Really, for the most part, four IV’s are fine.

WHAT IS THIS… MARKING?

To make IV Breeding more tolerable for all, a convention was agreed upon some time ago to “mark” your Pokémon depending on their perfect IV’s.

In your PC-Box, go to ORGANISE BOXES. This is my preferred method of accessing the Pokémon Boxes because you can organise, transfer, withdraw and dismiss things in one mode. It saves a lot of effort, and a lot of it is drag and drop. Marking isn’t, you’ll need to select the Pokémon and go to MARKING (Fourth option, between ITEM and RELEASE).

You’ll see six shapes; you’ll be selecting the ones that correspond to the perfect IV’s the IV Man said “can’t be beat”. These are;

Circle = HP // Triangle = Attack // Square = Defence // Heart = Special Attack // Star = Special Defence // Diamond = Speed.

So if you have a three-IV perfect Froakie from the last stage of breeding, with HP, Attack and Speed, in the MARKING section you’ll want to select the Circle, the Triangle and the Diamond. This will let anyone who gets it via trade that those stats have been bred to be IV-perfect.

WONDER TRADE DO’S AND DON’TS

  • DO NOT be “that guy” who puts shapes on for the hell of it though. We can check, your username is visable and there are lists of known troublemakers. If it has no IV’s, then simply leave it blank. There’s no shame in that.
  • DO trade Pokémon you think are kind of awesome. But make sure you keep one for yourself! If in doubt – breed! (Legendaries can’t breed, don’t trade unless you have multiples!)
  • DON’T trade Pokémon from Routes 2 or 3. Please. We can come back later with quick balls if we REALLY need them.
  • DO level up Scatterbugs into Vivillon’s; each region has different wing patterns, and some want to have them all!
  • DO feel free to breed starters later on. Remember we only get access to two in-game for sure!
  • DO feel free to breed starters from older games, if you have transferred them. We love some old-school starters!
  • DON’T beg for anything in your visible message. No, “Need 4IV Ditto PLZ!” or “LEGENDARY NAO!”
  • DO state in your message any key notes; “3IV Bred” or “Has Pokérus”. It is much appreciated.
  • DON’T reseed anything which disappoints. Break the chain. Release it. Do the right thing.

FINAL NOTES

I deliberately omitted breeding for Natures and Abilities here because this is supposed to be explaining to a friend of mine how to IV breed. One complicated RNG Muddle at a time! Sheesh…

I also omitted Egg Moves. Again, not relevant in this. Focused on IV’s.

There is no short-cut I’m afraid. Assume that 6-IV perfect Ditto’s and the like on GTS were Pokégenned (hacked into Black/2 and/or White/2). Especially if said Ditto is shiny, because the odds of catching a lvl 30 Ditto in a Friend Safari with 6 perfect IV’s that is also a shiny are so minimal, if they did get it legitimately, they should have bought a lottery ticket instead. There’s no way they’ll be that lucky again.

In passing trades on the PSS, people crash out a lot. This is because after a trade or two, they want to get back out there, and will simply flick their Wireless switch off to expedite this process. Don’t worry, the GTS is sturdy and will do the right thing. I’ve not had any horrible clones or disappearing trades. People just do this to speed it up. It’s nothing to worry about (much).

And most of all, if this seems like a lot of effort… just ask. As long as you’re not silly and asking for things like Mew, Zykrom, Diance or the like, most people who breed Pokémon (myself included) will usually be sitting on a small stash of 3 to 4 IV ‘Mons prepped for trading. If you can give us something nice in return – great. If not, don’t beat yourself up, because there comes a point for people like me when four-IV ‘Mon simply isn’t good enough. I’ve become obsessed with getting the 5 IV’s. I know. Terrible affliction. However, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Ask by hanging around outside the Daycare Centre and put a shout out up asking for help; nicely though. “Any rejects plz?” is a good one, people like me will know what you mean. Or a simple, “Hello breeders!” You can do this all in-game. You might get me; yes, my in-game name is Kami. With a camo beanie on. You might get someone else. Breeders are usually obsessed with perfection; they may have some offcasts to share. Again, politely does it. If you do this, change your trade greeting to “Thank you!” or “Appreciated”.

But most of all… HAVE FUN! Jeez, it’s a game! If this all seems like too much hard work, then you’re probably not going to be the sort of person who needs to obsess over IV’s. Collecting them all doesn’t require IV’s. Finishing the game doesn’t either. Nor does catching legendaries. IV Breeding is either for those of us obsessed with perfection (in the absence of it in myself, it must be said) or those seeking real competitive matches, where IV’s and EV’s can make a HUGE difference at level 100.

The art of succeeding in Pokémon has always been to super-effective your foes where possible. As long as you have a diverse selection of allies at your disposal, all adequately levelled (or a couple dual-types out-levelling the content), Pokémon isn’t that hard and is very enjoyable in a non-demanding way.

Just be sure you’re IV breeding for the right reasons. It’s a lot of effort, and for most, it’s not necessary.

If you’re not having fun, then go and do something that is fun. Please. 🙂

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