The first step in making a powerful pokemon is to breed one. You can't make a pokemon really powerful if you don't have one. So to start out, you need to breed an egg.
Pokemon can only breed with pokemon in the same egg group. In pokemon, there are 15 egg groups, but 1 group is special while one is just a grouping of any pokemon that cannot breed. The special egg group is the Ditto group, where only Ditto belongs. Ditto is capable of breeding with any pokemon that can breed, be it man or woman. Normally, when you breed two pokemon, the egg is the same species as the mother. So if you breed a male Horsea with a female Deino, you will get a Deino. However, if you breed with a Ditto, whatever is bred with it will be in the egg. So you can breed that male Horsea with a Ditto and get a Horsea or a female Deino with Ditto and get a Deino.
So what do you breed with? Well, Ditto is good for nature breeding which I will talk about a little later. I have many different dittos with all different natures so I can get an egg with the nature I want. Breeding with other pokemon in the egg group is what you want to do for IV breeding. Many pokemon are in 2 egg groups, meaning you can chain breed IVs down to the pokemon you want. A quick way to see what egg groups a pokemon is in is to go to Bulbapedia and go to that pokemons page. In the infobox, it will list its egg group.
Competitive pokemon is all about stats. There are 6 main stats that every pokemon has and that can be controlled for. Those are HP, Attack, Defense, Special Attack, Special Defense and Speed.
HP: HP is just what it sounds like, how much health a pokemon has. A Pokemon with high enough HP can survive for longer times. Generally though, HP is one of the lesser important stats.
Attack: Attack controls how much damage a physical attack does. Ill talk more about physical versus special in a minute. The higher the attack stat, the more damage the physical attack does and the more likely it is to one hit KO another pokemon.
Defense: The inverse of Attack, the defense stat controls resistance to physical attacks. The higher the defense stat is, the easier it is to survive against a physical attack.
Special Attack: Sp. Attack controls the power of special moves. Just like Attack, it controls damage, just for special attacks rather than physical
Special Defense: Inverse of Special Attack, controls resistance to Sp. Attacks.
Speed: Speed controls how fast your pokemon is. If your speed is higher than your opponent's, then you move first. In the rare case that speed is tied, its random who moves first.
So what does all of this mean? Every pokemon has base stats. If you go to Bulbapedia, you can see a pokemon's base stat total. The higher their base stats, the better they will do competitively usually. Generally, a pokemon with base stats over 500 are good choices to use competitively. When you look at base stats though, take notice of what their best stats are as I am about to explain how to take advantage of those.
A nature is the pokemon equivalent of a personality. Natures boost certain stats while taking away from others. You want to use a nature to boost the main stat you want. Say you have an Accelgor. Accelgor is really fast, so you want to take advantage of that. Take a look at this list of natures. For Accelgor, you want one of the speed boosting natures. Now you need to choose what stat you want to take away from in order to boost speed. I typically pick a nature that takes away from its non dominant attack stat. Accelgor has pretty decent special attack, so I would pick a nature that takes away from attack, that being Timid then.
So how do you ensure you get the nature you want? Breeding! If you put an everstone on one of the parents when breeding, it will pass down its nature to the child. This is why I keep a lot of dittos around. I have many dittos of all different natures so I can breed for the nature I want. Another way to get a nature you want is to use a pokemon with the ability synchronize. In battle, synchonize will make it so that if you are hit with a status ailment, it passes it back on to your opponent. Outside of battle though, it increases the chance to find a pokemon of the same nature as the synchonizer if it is the first pokemon in the party.
You can also use a nature to even out a bad stat. I have a Magenzone that I wanted to turn into a wall, so I went with a Sp. Def boosting nature even though its special defense is only its 3rd best stat. You just need to know what you want to do with a pokemon when picking its nature.
Abilities give the pokemon certain extras in battles. Some abilities are really good and give the pokemon an advantage while some abilities are horrible and make the pokemon worthless competitively and others you will not really notice are there most of the time. Every pokemon has an ability, some pokemon have multiple abilities that they could possibly have. Some pokemon have up to three, some have only one. The first ability is the main ability of the pokemon and is most common with them. By breeding, you can obtain pokemon with their second ability. Sometimes the first ability is better, sometimes the second ability is better, it depends on the pokemon and what you want for your team. There also exists a third ability called the hidden ability. Hidden abilities cannot be obtained normally. You can only obtain a hidden ability from the Pokemon Dream World, Hidden Grottoes, or some events. Many hidden abilities are very good so check before breeding a pokemon to see what the abilities are and make a choice
When breeding, a mother has a 60% chance to pass down their ability to the child. This is why Dream World Females are so sought after, as you cannot breed the hidden ability from a male onto a child. So when in the dream world, try to get females.
This is the absolute hardest part of pokemon breeding. Individual values, or IVs are added stats in each of your pokemon's six main stats. You can have up to 31 IVs in a stat and one IV = 1 extra point in a stat at level 100. In order to tell how many IVs you have, you need to go to the Battle Subway in Nimbasa city. Walk down the steps and talk to the man in front of you. He will rate your pokemon's potential. Your aim is to have him say that your pokemon is relatively superior or outstanding. He will then tell you what your highest IV is. If he says "It can't be better in that regard", congrats, you have a 31 in that stat. If you have more than one stat with 31, he will say so. Use that to judge what pokemon have what IVs.
But how do you keep track of all of this? Ever notice that when you go to view a pokemon, it has six little shapes above its name? Those are for keeping track of your 31s. When a pokemon has a 31 in a stat, go to the pc, select that pokemon, choose marking and fill in the shape of the 31 you have. The shapes go in order of the stats, HP, Attack, Defense, Sp. Attack, Sp. Defense, Speed. You want as many pokemon in as many different egg groups with 31s with as many 31s as you can get as in order to get a 31 to a child, you will have to do a lot of chain breeding.
Pokemon inherit three IVs from their parents at random. The other three are completely random. However, you can force a pokemon to inherit certain IVs with a power item. These being the power anklet, power lens, power band etc. Give a pokemon the power item associated with the stat you want to pass down and it then pass its stat down to the child. To get more 31s on there though you need the parents to have more 31s. If both parents have a 31 in speed, the child will likely inherit the 31 even without a power item.
The reason this is so grueling is because you will need to do a lot of chain breeding and a lot of egg hatching before you get the 31s you want. Here is an example of what I had to do recently:
I wanted a Timid Horsea with 31 IVs in Sp. Attack and Speed. Unfortunately for me, all I had with 31s in Sp. Attack and Speed were bugs in the bug group. So I had to take a ditto and my Drapion and breed a female Skorupi. I then needed to breed a male Karablast with that female Skorupi to pass down a 31 in Speed. Several eggs later, I had a male Skorupi with 31 in Speed. Skorupi is in the bug egg group as well as water 3. Horsea is in water 1. I needed a bridge to go from water 3 to water 1 so I needed a female Corphish. When I obtained a female, I bred the Skorupi into the Corphish to pass down that speed IV again. When that was done and I had a male with the IV I needed, I had to take a Timid Ditto and a Horsea and breed a Timid Female Horsea. I bred that with the Corphish and got a Timid Female Horsea with 31 speed IVs after about 7 eggs. Then I needed to go and do that all again in order to pass down the Sp. Attack IV into a male corphish. So with Corphish holding a power lens and Horsea holding an everstone, I bred about 30 Timid Horseas until I got one with 31 in Special Attack and Speed.
IV breeding is not hard per se, just very time consuming and tedious.
Raising your pokemonEdit
Once you have your IVs, your nature and ability all sorted out and you have the perfect lvl 1 pokemon, it is time to start raising it. When raising your pokemon, you need to consider Evs and move sets.
I know what you are thinking, "But God, EVs sound like IVs and IVs were hard" but fear not, EVs are not that hard. EVs or Effort Values are main ways of boosting a pokemon's stats. Every time you defeat a pokemon, it gives EVs in a certain stat. A pokemon can have up to 510 EVs before it cannot take anymore. Every 4 IVs is one stat point at level 100 and you can have a max of 255 in one stat. So the thing to do with Evs is to divide them into 252 in one stat, 252 in another and 6 in a last. You dont always need to do it this way, but this is usually how its done.
To start, you will most likely want Vitamins. Vitamins are those things in the medicine pocket that says "Raises base _ stat". There are six different vitamins and you can buy them at the store on route 9 at the top floor on the left. Vitamins can give you up to 100 EVs in a stat. So buy 10 vitamins for both of the stats you want to focus on. Pump those into your pokemon and you are half way there. Now to battle pokemon. But how do you know what to fight? Well the game provides certain hot spots in order to make it easier. Note: these are for B/W2
HP: Route 8. Surf to find Stunfisk and Palpitooad who will give HP IVs
Attack: 2nd level of dragon spiral tower has nothing but Golurks. They are high level so be careful
Defense: Relic Castle. Sandshew and Yanmask give Defense EVs but be careful of Sandile who give attack EVs
Sp. Attack: Celestial Tower: Litwicks give out the Evs you want.
Sp. Def: Surf along Route 4 to find Frillish who are nice and easy to kill
Speed: Surf on Route 19 to find low level Basculin.
But those are so few EVs you say, surely I dont have to fight hundreds of pokemon you say. No, thats what the power items we used in IV breeding are supposed to be used for. Attach a power item to a pokemon and it will give 4 EVs from the stat it says in addition to whatever you got from the battle. You can get the power items through the pokemon world tournament or the battle sub way. They are each pretty expensive there though so stock up on your battle points. So now you are making 5 evs per battle! Still not enough you say? Thats where Pokerus comes in. Pokerus is a virus that pokemon can get. When afflicted, a pokemon will gain double the EVs from battle. When a pokemon is infected, it also has a 1/3 chance to pass on the virus to the pokemon next to it after a battle whether they are the one that battled or not. Be careful though, pokerus expires at midnight. In order to prevent it from going away, stick the infect pokemon into a pc box before midnight and take them out after. Pokerus is hard to get so if you need it, let me know and I can give you an infected pokemon.
The final part of raising your pokemon besides basic leveling is picking your moveset. This is where I want to talk a little about the difference between special and physical attacks. Physical attacks correspond to the Attack stat, the higher that is, the higher your physical attacks damage is. The same goes for Special attack and special moves. You can tell if a move is special or physical by looking at it on your pokemon. If there is an orange background with a little yellow star, it is physical. If it is special, it will be purple with a swirl pattern. Physical attacks attack your opponent's defense stat while special attacks attack your opponents special defense stat. Don't give a pokemon a physical move if it has low attack and don't give a special attacker a physical move if it has low attack. So don't take a Garchomp, who has a really good attack but really bad special attack, and give him a move like flamethrower, which is a special attack as it is not going to do much.
When picking your moves, you want to consider same type attack bonus, or STAB. What STAB is is a little multiplier for using a move of the same type as your pokemon. If a water pokemon uses a water move it will do 50% more damage than if a grass pokemon uses a water move. Always have a STAB move in your arsenal. If I have a dual type pokemon, I am going to give him a STAB move for each of those types.
Support moves are another good option. Though they do not do damage, many support moves such a Swords Dance or Nasty Plot can be game changers. By raising your stats, you can do a lot better than you normally would do.
I also always put a move to use on a weakness. For instance, my Infernape is weak to water types. Knowing that, I put Thunderpunch on him in order to take down my weakness before they can take me out.
When it comes time to battle, there are a few things to keep in mind, those being items and type effectiveness.
There are a lot of great items in pokemon that you can use. You want to use an item that is going to boost your effectiveness. Some of the best items in the game are the choice items. These will boost a stat by 50% in exchange for you only being able to use one move. Life orb will take away some of your health each turn in exchange for giving you a 30% power increase in each of your moves. Focus sash will prevent a one hit KO, giving you at least one shot.
When you pick an item, pick one that is going to enhance your pokemon to make it as effective as possible.
Pokemon is built around type advantages and disadvantages. A fire pokemon will not be very effective on a water pokemon but will work wonders on an ice type. A Fighting move cannot even hit a ghost type. Keep all of this in mind when battling. Plan each of your moves to hit the opposing pokemon's weakness. Also know the opponent's pokemon's strengths and weaknesses. If you are fighting a Volcarona, Special attacks are not going to work too well but a physical attack will do great.