Analyzing your Pokémon
First of all, you should know that the CP stat of a Pokémon is not a value you can rely on — not on its own, at least.
As we explained in our theorycrafting guide, CP are only one clue as to the true power of your Pokémon. However, to obtain a "perfect" Pokémon, two factors must be considered: IV (Individual Values), and attacks.
We don't recommend throwing away your Pokémon with the lowest CP values — they mostly depend on the Pokémon's level, which you can power up with Stardust and Candy. Even if a high-CP Pokémon demands fewer resources to power up, its stats won't necessarily be at their highest.
To get a Pokémon with the best stats, you have to analyze its IVs.
There are several apps that can help you do this. Furthermore, a Google Sheet document was created to help — you can find it here.
It is usually best to wait to have a Pokémon with great potential. Even if a perfect Pokémon has 1-in-4,096 chance to appear, Pokémon with a potential above 80% or 90% are quite easy to catch.
Obviously, not all Pokémon are equal, and you want the strongest. In that case, take a look at our tier list.
Judge the potential of your Pokémon
Niantic recently implemented an in-game tool allowing you to judge the potential of your Pokémon through their IVs — the Appraisal. You can access this tool by clicking the menu in the bottom right of the Pokémon's page and selecting "Appraise".
This will inform you better of the IVs of your Pokémon. In order to do that, your trainer will say several things. Here, we list what you can be told, and the actual meaning behind it:
STEP 1. General potential IV
- Potential IV above 80%
Team Valor: Overall, your X simply amazes me. It can accomplish anything!
Team Mystic: Overall, your X is a wonder! What a breathtaking Pokémon!
Team Instinct: Overall, your X looks like it can really battle with the best of them!
- Potential IV between 67% and 79%
Team Valor: Overall, your X is a strong Pokémon. You should be proud!
Team Mystic: Overall, your X has certainly caught my attention.
Team Instinct: Overall, your X is really strong!
- Potential IV between 51% and 66%
Team Valor: Overall, your X is a decent Pokémon.
Team Mystic: Overall, your X is above average.
Team Instinct: Your X is pretty decent!
- Potential IV under 50%
Team Valor: Overall, your X may not be great in battle, but I still like it!
Team Mystic: Overall, your X is not likely to make much headway in battle.
Team Instinct: Overall, your X has room for improvement as far as battling goes.
STEP 2. Analyze the stats of Pokémon with best IV
With the same tool, the Team Leader will tell you which stat (or stats, if equal) is the best in your Pokémon.
STEP 3. Identify the highest IV
- Perfect IV (15/15)
Team Valor: I'm blown away by its stats. WOW!
Team Mystic: Its stats exceed my calculations. It's incredible!
Team Instinct: Its stats are the best I've ever seen! No doubt about it!
- IV between 13 and 15
Team Valor: It's got excellent stats! How exciting!
Team Mystic: I am certainly impressed by its stats, I must say.
Team Instinct: Its stats are really strong! Impressive!
- IV between 8 and 12
Team Valor: Its stats indicate that in battle, it'll get the job done.
Team Mystic: Its stats are noticeably trending to the positive.
Team Instinct: It's definitely got some good stats. Definitely!
- IV equal or under 7
Team Valor: Its stats don't point to greatness in battle.
Team Mystic: Its stats are not out of the norm, in my estimation.
Team Instinct: Its stats are all right, but kinda basic, as far as I can see.
STEP 4. Comments on your Pokémon's size
This one is purely aesthetic, as the size of your Pokémon doesn't have much impact on strategy. This comment is only useful for tracking medal progress, such as Fisherman or Youngster.
Powering up and evolving
Do you have a Pokémon whose potential fits, but you don't know if you have to power it up before evolving?
This is one of the most-asked questions on the Internet, and the answer is simple: it doesn't change anything. When you evolve a Pokémon, its IVs remain the same.
However, it can be useful to evolve a Pokémon before powering it up for several reasons:
- Evolution grants a significant stats bonus if you want to attack Gyms.
Attacks in Pokémon GO are assigned randomly and don't all have the same power — so to get the best Pokémon possible, you have to take account of this.
To conclude, this is everything you need to do:
- Catch as many Pokémon as possible
- Transfer those with low potential
- Evolve Pokémon with the best IVs as soon as possible
- Verify their attacks and only keep Pokémon with the best ones — transfer the others, or use TMs to change them
- Power up the best Pokémon until they reach level 40
For Pokémon such as Rattata or Pidgey this technique is extremely simple, since streets all over the world are full of them. However, for rarer Pokémon such as Dratini, this technique can turn out to be more frustrating.
That's why, in addition to being patient, you will have to adjust your requirements depending on the Pokémon you want to hunt and optimize.
In any case, we hope we have helped you understand the subject better — happy hunting!
Translated from the French by Millenium.