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Which pokemon do I evolve and power up

p0kimane

New Member
Hi everyone! I'm totally new to the Pokemon universe and would love some help.

From level 1 to level 2

Let's say I have 20 Pidgey. Which one should I evolve? Someone on Reddit said that all your basic attacks and special moves are changed when you evolve anyway, so you basically just pick the one with the highest CP to evolve. Is this true?

Assuming CP is the only factor you consider, how early should you evolve? Since the higher level a trainer I am, the higher CP Pidgeys I'll find. How do I know when I've found a high enough Pidgey that it is worth the candy to evolve them? If I evolved a 100 CP Pidgey today, 3 days from now I might catch a 200 Pidgey.

On the other hand, I need some evolved pokemons to fight at gym battles. How do I balance the need to have evolved fighters to train at gyms vs wanting to wait as long as possible before evolving.

Once evolved, how do you know you have a "good" pokemon?


Let's say I have 3 Pidgeoto. Which one should I "power up"? People on reddit says it depends on which one has the best "skill set" (i.e. basic and special attack).

But as someone who has never played Pokemon before, I have no idea what is a "good" skill set. What do I look for? Is it just which attack has the highest damage number? But that can't be it, since different attacks have different attack speed, so sometimes a high damage attack may have a low dps.

Or should I only look for attacks that "fits" a pokemon's "type"?

For example, Rapidash may have several types of basic attacks ranging from Fire to Normal to Flying. How do I pick which one is the best? Should I always pick Fire because she is essentially a fire Pokemon, and therefore she has some special fire affinity that makes her fire attacks stronger than mere attack damage numbers indicate? Or perhaps even if her fire attacks are not stronger, I should still pick fire attacks because what's the point of picking a normal attack for her when you can use less specialized normal pokemon for those normal attacks.

And don't get me started on SPECIAL attacks. At my level (19) I don't even know if they are worth it. Seems like my DPS drops when I move away from fast-tapping basic attack. I usually win more when I just use basic attack.

However, I'm sure special attacks will be important when I get higher. How do I know which special attacks are awesome and which ones are meh. Or is it purely situational depending on who I'm trying to fight.

Finally, do you think as we progress we'll each have several fully evolved pokemon of the same type? Or is it more likely we'll only keep one of the fully evolved pokemon?

Thank you for reading all this! I found this forum because Reddit linked to several of your charts and they were super useful. Thanks!
 
Hey there,

So the thing about Pokemon go (at least from what I've seen so far) is that it's pretty subjective. As far as CP is concerned, it's all relative. The semi-circle at the top of the Pokemon info page indicates the Pokemon's full potential. All Pokemon can eventually reach the same potential, but evolving a higher CP Pokemon cuts down on the amount of Stardust and candies you'll need to use in the long run. Stardust is pretty hard to come by since the only way to get it is by catching Pokemon (100 stardust) or defending your team's Gyms (provided you've made it that far in the game).

When I'm choosing what Pokemon I wanna evolve/ power up, I tend to focus more on the moves than anything else. Fast attacks (the first one) are relatively unimportant. Each species can only have one of two fast attacks. The charge attacks ,however (the second move), are much more important and each Pokemon gets one of three potential charge attacks. In your Pidgey example, Pidgeot can have Hurricane (60BP) Aerial Ace (25BP) and Air Cutter (25BP) as potential charge attacks. The best Pidgeot would have Hurricane since it's a much stronger attack than the other two. Attacks change through evolution, but there are theories that the charge attacks correlate to other attacks through evolution.

Anyway, hope that was helpful. Like I said, most of it's subjective and different people value different things with their Pokemon. Serebii's main website has lots of info in their Pokemon GO section. Flip through the links and see what you can find out. It has Pokemon listings with potential moves, move strengths, etc.
 

fleuriine

Nohrian Scum
Welcome to the pokemon community!!!!! It's fantastic to hear that someone's who's never played pokemon before is getting into the game because of pokemon go! Welcome to the club! <3

With that said, pokemon go is not a terribly intuitive game to get into, especially for someone who doesn't know the pokemon "language" at all. However, I'll do my best to break down and answer each of your questions to the best of my ability! Acetrainer196 made a really good post as well, so his comments should definitely be read too!

I don't know if you're familiar with any of the basics of pokemon, so forgive me if I explain something that you already know.

Let's say I have 20 Pidgey. Which one should I evolve? Someone on Reddit said that all your basic attacks and special moves are changed when you evolve anyway, so you basically just pick the one with the highest CP to evolve. Is this true?

Assuming CP is the only factor you consider, how early should you evolve? Since the higher level a trainer I am, the higher CP Pidgeys I'll find. How do I know when I've found a high enough Pidgey that it is worth the candy to evolve them? If I evolved a 100 CP Pidgey today, 3 days from now I might catch a 200 Pidgey.

On the other hand, I need some evolved pokemons to fight at gym battles. How do I balance the need to have evolved fighters to train at gyms vs wanting to wait as long as possible before evolving.

It's true that the pokemon's moveset (their basic and special attacks) change when you evolve them. There are theories floating around about certain moves possibly predetermining other moves upon evolution, but so far nothing is more than heresay and speculation, so as a person completely new to pokemon, I wouldn't worry about it right now. For the time being, when evolving a pokemon, operate under the assumption that the evolved pokemon's moveset will be completely random.

Therefore, when looking for criteria to evolve a pokemon, choose the pokemon with the highest CP. It's possible that size (XL weight) plays a role in the pokemon's CP cap, but I wouldn't worry about that too much either. For now, highest CP = the pokemon to evolve.

As for when to evolve, like what Acetrainer196 said, that's completely subjective. I think you're stressing a little bit too much about the evolution process, which is understandable given you're very new to the game and the series. It's actually pretty easy to evolve pokemon, both in the main games and in this game, and you'll probably find yourself with multiples of different evolutions anyways (I know that I certainly have, at least). Not to mention you can run into evolved pokemon in the wild.

Truthfully, I think it's best to evolve a pokemon right when you can. The biggest place where this game differs from the main games is that you don't typically keep your pokemon all the way through, and instead constantly swap them out for stronger pokemon you've either caught or evolved. So your evolved pokemon will eventually be outclassed by new captures no matter what.

But if you're still worried, look at the pokemon's status screen. There should be a half circle behind the pokemon with a glowing dot somewhere, which indicates how close the pokemon is to being max CP (for your given trainer level). If the pokemon is almost maxed out or completely maxed out (no need to max it out manually, though), then it's ready to evolve. Follow that and you should be more than fine.

Tl;dr, don't stress about when to evolve your pokemon! Just evolve them when you can, since you're always going to encounter stronger pokemon later on who will ultimately replace your evolved pokemon anyways.

Once evolved, how do you know you have a "good" pokemon?


Let's say I have 3 Pidgeoto. Which one should I "power up"? People on reddit says it depends on which one has the best "skill set" (i.e. basic and special attack).

But as someone who has never played Pokemon before, I have no idea what is a "good" skill set. What do I look for? Is it just which attack has the highest damage number? But that can't be it, since different attacks have different attack speed, so sometimes a high damage attack may have a low dps.

Or should I only look for attacks that "fits" a pokemon's "type"?

For example, Rapidash may have several types of basic attacks ranging from Fire to Normal to Flying. How do I pick which one is the best? Should I always pick Fire because she is essentially a fire Pokemon, and therefore she has some special fire affinity that makes her fire attacks stronger than mere attack damage numbers indicate? Or perhaps even if her fire attacks are not stronger, I should still pick fire attacks because what's the point of picking a normal attack for her when you can use less specialized normal pokemon for those normal attacks.

And don't get me started on SPECIAL attacks. At my level (19) I don't even know if they are worth it. Seems like my DPS drops when I move away from fast-tapping basic attack. I usually win more when I just use basic attack.

However, I'm sure special attacks will be important when I get higher. How do I know which special attacks are awesome and which ones are meh. Or is it purely situational depending on who I'm trying to fight.

Truthfully, not a lot is known about the Go battling system yet. However, it is rather primitive, with (in my experience) a focus on the raw numbers. So yes, the higher the number, the better the attack, basically. This is especially important with the basic attacks, since those are your primary means of fast damage. I'm not sure if certain moves take longer to execute than others (they might, but the battles honestly move too quickly for me to be sure); it seems like an interesting topic to explore further. However, for now, I think you should focus only on the base numbers presented to you. Better numbers = better pokemon.

As for the special attacks, they're honestly not worth it unless they're one bar to charge attacks with 50+ base damage (aka the "good" special attacks). Ex; Hurricane (one bar charge, base 60) is phenomenal on Pidgeot, and well worth any use when it's filled up. However, Aerial Ace (four bar charge, base 25) is kind of crap and you're better off sticking to the basic attack instead. To activate them, simply press and hold on the enemy pokemon when your special meter/bar is filled. They do take a while to execute, though, which is why they shouldn't be used unless they only require one bar to charge and have a base damage value of 50+.

Here's basically the order of priority you should take when powering up your pokemon with regards to their movesets:

One bar, base 50+ special moves > strong base attacks (typically 10-15 base damage) > everything else

Going to your rapidash example, what you've just described is what we pokemon nerds know as "same type attack bonus", or "STAB". However, while it's a big part of the main games, I'm not sure if STAB exists in Go. Type weaknesses and resistances exist, so it's possible that STAB exists as well, but honestly considering you have such a limited movepool and you can't even pick your moves, it's better to prioritize base damage over anything else.

With that said, type effectiveness is a very important part of pokemon battling in general, and I highly recommend you read up on it and learn it. Here's a type chart, but if that's too confusing then you can visit each type's individual page on Bulbapedia for a more digestible type effectiveness table on that given type. Keep in mind that weaknesses and resistances multiply. For example, Pidgeot is Normal/Flying. Normal is weak to Fighting, but Flying resists it. Therefore, instead of taking less damage or more damage, the resistance and weakness cancel out to neutral damage.

Finally, do you think as we progress we'll each have several fully evolved pokemon of the same type? Or is it more likely we'll only keep one of the fully evolved pokemon?

I'm not sure if by "type" you mean the pokemon's typing or the pokemon's species, but it's yes to both. Especially considering certain pokemon are very abundant while others are very rare for a given area, it's not uncommon to have a bunch of powerful pokemon of the same species (and it's all but required to have pokemon of the same typing). Truthfully, I wouldn't mind an entire team of Pidgeots with Hurricane, haha. But really, transfer a pokemon when they become obsolete and you have a better version of it, but be sure to save some relatively powerful mons to throw at gyms (although you'll eventually replace them, too). In my opinion, it's better to have more pokemon available than less. It certainly makes gym battles a lot easier!

Goodness, I'm so sorry that was wordy! Good on you if you were able to read it all! I hope I was able to help, but please let me know if you need any clarifications or have any further questions! Or, to others reading this, correct me if I'm wrong in any area haha

Again, a big warm welcome to the pokemon community! I hope you enjoy your Go experience !!!
 

NewSchoolBoxer

Active Member
My advice on this matter is heavily influenced by reading two posts on the pokemongo reddit forum, which emphasize power leveling yourself and not to evolve or boost anything until level 20. I can't post direct links (due to having < 10 posts) but they are called Player Level is King - Focus on XP Leveling and Lv22 Player giving small tips of advice. Also, important PSA at the end. The higher your level, the higher cp the wild pokemon you encounter are and, by extension, the chance of catching pokemon that trump ones you have already invested dust and candy in. I can say it's likely that every pokemon that evolves can have its first evolved form (Wartortle, Vaporeon, Fearow, Arbok, etc) found in the wild.

While you do need to boost / evolve to feasibly be able to take over gyms at levels 5-12, the gym xp gain is minimal and the coin reward small. Granted, the coin reward could be greater for time invested when you're level 20 with multiple pokemon with cp over 1200. I disagree on the poster's advice in the sense that level 20 takes some serious playing time. I may be bored with the game if I do no boosting / evolving / gym battling before then. After I get my second lucky egg at level 12, I'm going to mass evolve Pidgeys, Caterpies, etc. (for xp gain to power level) and then settle on my best 2 pokemon to boost to 600-800 cp for gym battles. I don't live in an area where I can could really contest more than 2-3 gyms at a time. I'll save the rest of the dust to re-evaluate what to do at higher level.

So to answer your questions, for pokemon of the same species and same moves, higher cp is absolutely superior. If they can evolve then current moves do not matter because they get reset on evolution anyway. I have seen no proof of existing moves influencing an evolved form's move set. As to which species are particularly good, look at what the level 16+ gym leaders use. It's probably not a coincidence that these pokemon are useful for battling. In my area, it's Pidgeot, Eevee forms, Gyrados, Arcanine/Rapidash and just about every pokemon that does not evolve. In particular, you want the first move to be at least 10 attack. While it's possible that a lower attack gets more hits/minute in due to a shorter animation time, I haven't seen proof. You don't need the second "special" move at all, though it's helpful if it's a different attack type from the first for better coverage and the ones with more bars (3+) seem to be better since they can be used more often. For your last question, I want only 1 of each strong pokemon species for battling for the time being but once I achieve that, I'll try to have a second for each where there are useful moves the first does not have.

As fleuriine's mentioned, attack strengths and weaknesses do apply. I caught a Jynx with high cp for my level and an ice type first attack. This does double damage against everyone's Pidgeot. I definitely plan on boosting her with the 3 candies she came with. I just have to gamble on not subsequently finding a Jynx in the future with a higher cp and same attacks. In the video games, my strategy would be called playing to beat the meta / metagame.
 

DavidbenYishai

New Member
Does anybody know what happens if max out your pokemon's CP before evolution? Does it effect the CP of the evolved form or is it better to save stardust and power up the final evolution?
 

NewSchoolBoxer

Active Member
Does anybody know what happens if max out your pokemon's CP before evolution? Does it effect the CP of the evolved form or is it better to save stardust and power up the final evolution?

I've seen enough threads on this that give me confidence to say it doesn't matter. Stats will be the same at the end whether you pump full of dust at the beginning or end after evolving. In that sense, it's better to not boost to anything before seeing it in its final evolved form with its locked in move set if you have the patience.
 

HippoTank

Member
I've seen enough threads on this that give me confidence to say it doesn't matter. Stats will be the same at the end whether you pump full of dust at the beginning or end after evolving. In that sense, it's better to not boost to anything before seeing it in its final evolved form with its locked in move set if you have the patience.

So let me break this down:

If you power up a low CP pokemon, it will be the same power level as getting an already high CP pokemon - but you spend more dust of course.
It's more dust efficient to power up a pokemon after it's in it's final evolution because movesets change on evolution.
It's more dust efficient to evolve a high CP pokemon, because the CP goes up in a ratio. You will spend more dust evolving a low CP pokemon and then using dust to power it up to it's new max CP limit.

So this is great, but all I need to learn now is more about moves, and what other things make a pokemon better than the other (eg size (XL) )
 

NewSchoolBoxer

Active Member
So let me break this down:
If you power up a low CP pokemon, it will be the same power level as getting an already high CP pokemon - but you spend more dust of course.
So this is great, but all I need to learn now is more about moves, and what other things make a pokemon better than the other (eg size (XL) )

Yes, I caught 166 and 120 CP Pidgeys with identical moves. There is no reason to boost the 120 one. Even if it had better moves, they would change by random at evolution. There is speculation that weight and height affect probability of learning moves but I'm not aware of any hard evidence. Some moves are definitely better than others. I see in general that 15 damage moves are slower than 10 damage ones and there is a wide range of speed in special moves. Dig is so slow as to be unusable. The more blue bars a special move has, the faster it charges up to be used.

So let me break this down:
It's more dust efficient to power up a pokemon after it's in it's final evolution because movesets change on evolution.
It's more dust efficient to evolve a high CP pokemon, because the CP goes up in a ratio. You will spend more dust evolving a low CP pokemon and then using dust to power it up to it's new max CP limit.

Yes, dust efficient in the sense that movesets change, not that final CP would be any different if you boosted before or after evolution.
Yes, boosting an already high CP pokemon saves you all the dust needed to get that high.
 

Silvershark

HAWLUCHA!!!
Yes, dust efficient in the sense that movesets change, not that final CP would be any different if you boosted before or after evolution.

The final CP may not be different, but from what I've been seeing, it may actually be more cost effective on stardust to power up beforehand, since unevolved pokemon are capable of reaching their current CP cap in far fewer power ups than their evolved counterparts. You just run the risk of having an unfavorable moveset after evolving. That being said, with all the CP caps of your pokemon rising with your level, it takes an enormous investment in stardust to keep a pokemon capped, and not really worth it in the long run. Far better to save your stardust for exceedingly rare pokemon you may only find one of.
 

NewSchoolBoxer

Active Member
The final CP may not be different, but from what I've been seeing, it may actually be more cost effective on stardust to power up beforehand, since unevolved pokemon are capable of reaching their current CP cap in far fewer power ups than their evolved counterparts. You just run the risk of having an unfavorable moveset after evolving. That being said, with all the CP caps of your pokemon rising with your level, it takes an enormous investment in stardust to keep a pokemon capped, and not really worth it in the long run. Far better to save your stardust for exceedingly rare pokemon you may only find one of.

I don't think it's more or less cost effective on stardust to power up beforehand. I can't prove this beyond having a 146 CP Poliwag and 451 Poliwrath each with the CP gauge 2/3 full. They both need 800 stardust to boost, whereas my weaker Poliwags need 400-600. Maybe the 146 Poliwag would be closer to the CP cap if I evolved it twice. Just not going to risk the candy to find out.

I agree with the idea of saving stardust. I'm hesitant to boost anything. I caught a 166 CP Pidgey yesterday. Would have been a waste to boost any I caught before then and I may yet catch a higher CP one in the future. Does seem like a safer investment to boost the exceedingly rare pokemon, preferably ones that don't evolve.
 

Silvershark

HAWLUCHA!!!
I don't think it's more or less cost effective on stardust to power up beforehand. I can't prove this beyond having a 146 CP Poliwag and 451 Poliwrath each with the CP gauge 2/3 full. They both need 800 stardust to boost, whereas my weaker Poliwags need 400-600. Maybe the 146 Poliwag would be closer to the CP cap if I evolved it twice. Just not going to risk the candy to find out.


I'm talking about the number of power ups it takes to reach the cap, not the individual cost of each power up. There was a example I made in the CP Range thread, where my sister and I both evolved our Eevee's when we were level 8. The only difference was mine had 23 more CP, just enough to have it's semi-circle filled slightly more. That difference of 23 turned into a difference of 202 after they both evolved. She would need to power up her Jolteon about 5 times to match the CP of my Vaporeon, something that could have been avoided if she powered up her Eevee once or twice first.
 

NewSchoolBoxer

Active Member
I'm talking about the number of power ups it takes to reach the cap, not the individual cost of each power up. There was a example I made in the CP Range thread, where my sister and I both evolved our Eevee's when we were level 8. The only difference was mine had 23 more CP, just enough to have it's semi-circle filled slightly more. That difference of 23 turned into a difference of 202 after they both evolved. She would need to power up her Jolteon about 5 times to match the CP of my Vaporeon, something that could have been avoided if she powered up her Eevee once or twice first.

Sorry I didn't understand. I went and read your Eevee post and the Pidgey one below that. So your Eevee was more or less 2 boosts higher before evolution and about 5 boosts higher after evolution. This is fair evidence to boost before evolution but it's not definitive. What I'd like to see is how much boosting costs for each and what the CP gains are. I can do this with my own Pidgeys and Caterpies. It could be that the Jolteon gains more CP from boosting and at lesser dust cost so if you both boosted to the CP cap that you would each spend the same dust, minus the boost advantage you started out with.

I'd rather not think that RNG is involved but this game is so casual it wouldn't surprise me. In the main Game Boy / DS series, stats are calculated at each level up and therefore it doesn't matter when you evolve. Doesn't mean this applies to GO but the game designers have gone out of their way to make this game analogous to the main series. Best test case would be having multiple 10 CP base pokemon to test with but I transferred them all away ugh.
 

Silvershark

HAWLUCHA!!!
Sorry I didn't understand. I went and read your Eevee post and the Pidgey one below that. So your Eevee was more or less 2 boosts higher before evolution and about 5 boosts higher after evolution. This is fair evidence to boost before evolution but it's not definitive. What I'd like to see is how much boosting costs for each and what the CP gains are. I can do this with my own Pidgeys and Caterpies. It could be that the Jolteon gains more CP from boosting and at lesser dust cost so if you both boosted to the CP cap that you would each spend the same dust, minus the boost advantage you started out with.

I'd rather not think that RNG is involved but this game is so casual it wouldn't surprise me. In the main Game Boy / DS series, stats are calculated at each level up and therefore it doesn't matter when you evolve. Doesn't mean this applies to GO but the game designers have gone out of their way to make this game analogous to the main series. Best test case would be having multiple 10 CP base pokemon to test with but I transferred them all away ugh.

I'd like to test this more as well, but between the difficulty of finding two of the same species pokemon with identical CP and lack of materials to evolve them if you do find them, I'm having a hard time doing so. If all else fails, I do have two Clefairy at 150 CP, it'll just take awhile till I have the 100+ candies to evolve them both.

My personal theory is that the pokemons progress on it's semi-circle works in a tier like system, and when you evolve a pokemon the only thing that carries over is it's nickname and 'tier' on it's CP progress. That would explain why their movesets get randomized and pokemon's size's can go from XL to XS; an entirely new pokemon is generated with it's CP being a randomly assigned amount from somewhere within that 'tier' for that species of pokemon. Thus why you can get such a wide margin between two individual pokemon, one landed at the low end for it's lower tier and another at the high end of a higher tier. It would suck that it's RNG based, but the pokemon developers have always favored a a fair amount of RNG in their games.
 

magentaxx

Member
I spent a lot of stardust and candies powering up some pokemones and now I get higher CP by evolving new zubat, pidgets or rattatas. Should I keep all of them or only the one with the highest CP? I mean if I have several golbats for example with high CP, should I keep all of them?
 
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