Pokemon Go Strategy Guide – Become a Pokemon Master

Whether you are a new Trainer or a seasoned Ace Trainer catching Pokemon, training Pokemon, and battling with your Pocket Monster partners is standard practice.

Most are proficient enough to execute these practices but there are ways to improve.Why take my word? Oh maybe because I have been training since Gen 1 and Gen 2 games. Trust me unlike a Team Rocket Grunt I only seek to aid you from one Trainer to another.

In this strategy guide I will help you understand four key topics in Pokemon Go. Understanding these topics can assist anyone looking to become a Pokemon Master. I will begin with important “musts” for Pokemon Masters. Second is increasing your Trainer level quickly. Then is how to catch like a Pokemon Master. Next I go over building up a team of battle ready Pokemon. Last and most important of all I discuss powering up the Pokemon.

To ensure there is no confusion all these tips and tricks are based under the notion that you play the game normally. Meaning I do not offer any tips or tricks on the utilization of bugs or glitches.

There are some glitches in Pokemon that are utilized for the sake of efficiency. Seeing that these glitches are still used today it is a matter of personal preference. Whether you use them or not is all up to you. Personally I prefer to play games normally. Through normal gameplay I can dissect the aim of the developers, their intentions for user experience, and their purpose for the game besides the obvious goal which is to make money. There can be other motives for developing a game.

Starting Out Your New Journey or Continuing.

New to Pokemon GO and interested in starting your journey as a Pokemon Trainer? Maybe you are are continuing where you last left off? No worries you have come to the right place now let’s embark on the great journey and fire all the Halo rings for salvation… I mean become a Pokemon Master… Sorry wrong great journey I just had too but you know what I mean so let’s get to it!

Once done downloading the app and creating your account you will be introduced to Professor Willow a rad looking fellow who will be our Senior Consultant on all things Pokemon just kidding he will pop up here and there informing us Trainers on all kinds of subjects ranging from basic tips to even unusual phenomenon such as the detection of Mew in your local vicinity.

Once some basics of the game are explained Professor Willow introduces Pokemon encounters which promptly triggers the Kanto Trio Starters but if you walk away from them you will trigger an encounter with a single Pikachu instead.

I did not originally discover the method of catching Pikachu so by no means can or will I take credit for that all thanks goes to the person who discovered this method.

In the main series games a Trainer’s first Pokemon was significant because from the lowly level you receive your first partner you get to level it up into a powerful force to be reckoned with. However, this is not the case for this game so I recommend not to get attached to the first Pokemon you catch. The first Pokemon you catch is going to be Level 1 although it’s CP is 10-13 and the amount of candy and stardust it takes to max out it’s level is astronomically demanding for a beginner .

Pick which Pokemon you want to catch out of the four using the described method above, I caught Bulbasaur because I knew the Pokemon would be transfer fodder for future Bulbasaur and I wanted the first Pokedex entry to be the first Pokedex entry.

Once done there are three objectives you should focus on:

  1. Collect candy and stardust.
  2. Reach Level 5.
  3. Join a team!

Important “Musts” for Pokemon Masters!

Every Trainer share the common goals of reaching Level 40, amassing Stardust and filling the Pokedex. Aside from that there are some other duties you eventually come to recognize along the journey.

Having picked your Team is vital for Pokemon Masters! The Team Leader appraisal system becomes available giving every Trainer the ability to rate your Pokemon. This is big because you are going to want keep track of what kind of Pokemon are worth keeping and which ones are to be transfer fodder or utilized for mass evolution.

Check your Item, Pokemon Storage and Egg storage frequently make sure you always have ample storage for items and Pokemon but more importantly take note of your Eggs and how close they are too hatching. The reason I say this is that I sometimes forget that I hatched all my eggs and end up walking a good 3KM only to realize my efforts were in vain.

Reach Gold for your local Gyms this might be daunting in a big city but with consistency anyone can achieve this feat. Gold rank grant bonus items per spin and after completing a Raid battle. Raiding EX eligible gyms increase the chance of receiving a EX Raid Pass.

EX eligible gyms are usually sponsored Gyms or Gyms that are in parks Ex Raid Passes offer the opportunity to raid and catch Mewtwo a very powerful Legendary Pokemon. One of the best attackers in the game is certainly sought after.

Most importantly even if you are Level 40 Candy and Stardust are going to remain essential resource. For anyone who aims to be the best I would recommend reserving your hard-earned Stardust and Candy. Stockpile both and resist powering up your favorite Pokemon for these resources can be put to better use. I cannot emphasis this enough meta relevant Pokemon are listed as meta relevant with good reasoning.

Blissey for example is unmatched as the current best defender in the game because of its stats model and move set. Blissey tanks more damage and is capable of fainting your Pokemon, all the while it’s bulk usual leaves the game ample time to accurately notify the defending Trainer that their Pokemon needs a treat. I can verify that despite having high IV, high level defenders not one of them come close to the defending capabilities of Blissey leaving me to question some of my Stardust investment.

Most sought after non-lengendary Pokemon are rare and hard to come by. Legendary Pokemon are not any easier if you live in a rural area or an area with little to no raid activity. Now this may sound discouraging but fret not with patience and consistency you will gradually build up a formidable battle ready army.

Making these duties my common practice throughout my journey I gradually built up a very powerful roster of Pokemon. To think at one point my highest CP Pokemon was a semi-decent Level 23 Tauros now it’s a high level perfect Tyranitar with its community day move.

Patience and consistency is really all you need in Pokemon Go to grow and become a better Trainer so remember

  • Appraise your Pokemon! Routinely as you never know when you might catch or hatch a perfect.
  • Maintain proper storage space! You never want to be in the middle of your journey and run out space prevention is key.
  • Rank up the local Gym badges! As this will help out with raids and receiving items from those Gyms.
  • Use your Stardust and Candy wisely! It cost you time and energy to obtain these resources investing them poorly is impractical in most cases unless you always have 19 other people helping you in raids and battles all the time.

Increasing Your Trainer Level Quickly.

Strive to play and be patient swiping for curveballs throws. Landing curveballs certainly did not come naturally to me.

The day after the game released I realized that leveling up would be a big priority for most Trainers. Having no desire to fall behind other Trainers I started to experiment with the different types of methods to obtain Experience Points or Exp. In the beginning stages of release gaining Exp was limited to catching Pokemon and battling Gyms. Over time Niantic has implemented more and more methods to obtain Exp since the release of the game.

Some people may wonder what’s the hurry why would someone want to level up quickly? There is the obvious answer that the higher level you are the more powerful you can make your Pokemon. But in Pokemon GO powering up your best Pocket Monsters is not the only perk of being a high level. Every time you level you are awarded with items. With every five levels you are rewarded a significant amount of items. Aside from being rewarded items you also gain access to higher tier items. Having reached level 5 and a team picked you are eligible to participate in Gym Battles and Raid Battles.

Leveling up is an absolute must for any aspiring Trainer and there are various ways to maximize your Exp gain even if you are are a free-to-play gamer. Without further ado let’s go over the current methods to increase your Trainer level quickly utilized frequently by Trainers globally.

Cracking open Lucky Eggs are an irrefutably effective method of gaining Exp quickly unfortunately they are one time use so unless you are are willing to spend real-life currency and constantly keep replenishing your supply this method is not ideal. This is of course optional and not necessary to gain Exp. Besides once you reach level 38 Exp is negligible.

Raid battles are going to be your go to for Exp offering a generous amount per completion. Tier 1 raids the lowest level raids grant 3,000 Exp going all the way up to Tier 5 raids the highest level raids grant 10,000 Exp.

Hatching eggs are going to be another go to for amassing Exp especially if you are a new Trainer. You are given one unbreakable Incubator. As for normal Incubators and Super Incubators they break after 3 uses. New Pokemon grant 500 Exp so if you hatch a new Pokemon then that’s a hefty chunk of Exp. 2KM eggs reward Trainers with 200 Exp and 10KM reward 1,000 Exp. For free-to-play gamers Incubators are best used on 10KM while your unbreakable Incubator is best used on you are 2KM, 5KM and 7KM.

On top of these three methods there are additional activities that a Trainer would normally be doing. Spinning Pokestops and Gymstops new or old for items also grant you Exp. Catching Pokemon whether they be cataloged or not. Battling gyms for a number of reasons but ultimately net you some more Exp. Sending Gifts to Friends also nets some Exp. Consistently obtaining First Catch of the Day Streak and First Spin of the Day Streak generates a significant amount of Exp throughout the week.

Hear ye Trainers! The ultimate method for reaching Level 40 is using the friend system! You can completely avoid the grind from level 1 to 40 by maxing out your friend rank with a full list of friends that being a total of 200 friends. The total amount of Exp gained from one friend is 163,000 Exp with a lucky egg slapped on your head every time you reach a new friend rank you gain double that a total of 326,000 Exp! If a full friends list is maxed out without a lucky egg on you get a grand total of 32,600,000 Experience Points!

You want to know why this is big it’s because you only need 20,000,000 Exp to reach level 40!

This can only be achieved over the minimum course of 128 days and that’s if you actively are able to obtain and send gifts accordingly perhaps developing an alternating schedule with Trainers you know you are not going to interact with at all. This method takes dedication and coordination really putting yours to the test.

Catch Like A Pokemon Master.

Exp aside catching Pokemon is going to be a skill that every Trainer needs to perfect. Having thrown thousands of Pokeballs there are some simple techniques I have found to help anyone catch them all!

Learn the habits of catching like a Pokemon Master. Feeding berries to Pokemon before catching them helps significantly. Pinap berries will double the candy awarded per catch great for candy grinds. Nanab berries help to calm moving/swaying Pokemon. Razz berries add a boost to catch rates for low catch rate Pokemon. Golden Razz berries increase the catch rate more than a normal Razz berry or a Silver Pinap berry. Silver Pinap berries are a two in one increasing the catch rate and doubling the candy obtained.

Pay special attention to the color of the catch rates. A green catch ring indicates an easy catch. Yellow and orange imply a moderately difficult catch. Sighting a red catch ring means you have a low catch rate and does not correlate to the IV’s of the Pokemon. The ring and the behavior of a Pokemon can help indicate which berry is appropriate if any are required.

Each and every Pokemon species have their own distance which is something you want to keep in mind. Recognizing the differences between species is good practice for nailing those excellent throws. For big Pokemon like Wailmer and Spheal the difficulty for landing Excellent throws is easy. Little ones such as Rattata and Nidoran are more difficult and this is due to their size and distance from your Pokeball.

Swiping for those excellent throws is certainly achievable by anyone it just takes patience and consistency. Mentality plays a big factor and if you constantly doubt yourself then landing excellent throws becomes that much more unlikely of happening.

I used to shy away from even attempting curveballs on Pokemon such as Zubat and Ghastly can you believe that? Nowadays I am landing curveballs on any Pokemon and excellent throw related field research tasks are easy for me. It is all about confidence in yourself mixed with patience and consistency.

Legendary Pokemon are something of interest to me mainly because they really help demonstrate how RNG works especially in Pokemon Go. They are hard to catch not in terms of landing a Premiere Ball but in terms of catch rate. For reference purposes let’s use Mewtwo.

Mewtwo being a mono Physic-Type Pokemon your looking at the best case scenario catch rate of 32% the worst case scenario is a catch rate of 6% both of which is high for a legendary Pokemon. Why I am saying this is that RNG or Random Number Generators is a double-edged sword. Sometimes you get really unlucky despite doing everything right such as nailing 8 excellent throws in row with a Golden Razz berry. Sometimes you mess up and do something wrong like a basic throw and catch the Pokemon. It is all about the percentage and you landing on that right margin in the catch rate percentage.

I could write an in-depth guide about the mechanics of catching Pokemon in Pokemon Go but truth be told as fun as it is for me not many people are to fond about reading let alone when it involves boring numbers and calculations. So I figured we’d keep it simple.

It is true practice makes perfect… Or well the closest thing to perfection. Never be discouraged get out there and go land some excellent throws!

I Choose You! Building Battle Ready Pokemon.

Being a Trainer brings many duties one that is a bit more involved is selecting the best possible Pokemon for a specific battle situation.

During your battles and raids you may notice some Pokemon that can excel in any battle. There are also some Pokemon that are more optimal in one specific scenario than others because of one or two factors TDO and DPS. Choosing the right Pokemon is much more efficient saving you time and resources.

For some of us who play the main series games this selection process has become standard practice. Better known as IV hunting this is the process of catching or hatching every Pokemon in the hopes of RNG blesses you with a high IV Pokemon. More in depth details on IVs later for now all you need to know is it mean Individual Values. These values are points extra points that add on to a specific Pokemon’s stat total. In Pokemon Go there are only three stats HP or Stamina, Attack, and Defense. Reminiscent of the old IV scale from Gen 1 Pokemon games you can have a grand total of 15 IVs for each stat.

Plain and simple you are going to want to save your Candy and Stardust for high IV Pokemon. My perfect Community Day Tyranitar provides us with some good examples of why higher IV Pokemon are a more worthwhile investment of Candy, Stardust, TMs and above all else your time.

A 100% level 36 perfect Tyranitar will always be have more total damage output (TDO) and damage per second (DPS) than an 80% level 36 Tyranitar. The results as an attacker and defender are better than that of a lesser Tyranitar. Under normal circumstances I do not power up anything below 90%. Community Day Pokemon are the only exception for me with a bare minimum of 80% IVs anything lower is destined to stay as is.

IVs are not the only traits you should inspect. Movesets are very important. Every Pokemon has an optimized move set which offer more DPS and TDO than other possible movesets. Personally I consider there to be two major types of movesets optimized movesets and special movesets. Optimized movesets consists of possible movesets available to any Trainer. Then there are special movesets which include moves that are no longer available to Trainers like Community Day moves and Legacy moves.

Do not be discouraged from evolving or powering up Pokemon if you missed out on raising a Pokemon with a special move set. If it’s IV are viable for battle then by all means. Despite my Community Tyranitar having Smack Down/Crunch a special move set a Tyranitar with Bite/Crunch an optimized move set would have better DPS and TDO against a Mewtwo. So special moves are not the end all solution in every battle and raid.

As a Trainer it is your job to recognize what you want and what you need for whichever situation. In every battle or raid you are going to have a Pokemon that stands out more than others due to the TDO and DPS they are able to muster out in that particular situation. My Tyranitar’s move set has rendered it as a good generalists helping to round out my number one generalist team. Keep in mind I was searching for a good generalist with decent TDO and DPS so this move set worked out for my particular situation.

Remember it is about personal preference but seeing that not only myself but other more dedicated Trainers adhere to this screening process I would recommend doing the same

  • Check IV’s of highly appraised Pokemon. This can only be done using third party sites since the appraisal system is too vague for anything not perfect.
  • Hope for the best from RNG. Inspect the movesets after evolving.
  • Learn the ways of battle. Optimizing your Pokemon accordingly is crucial.

Powering Up Pokemon.

Now that you are familiar with choosing the right Pokemon it is time to address powering up your Pokemon.

Trainer level plays a role in powering up Pokemon. Any Trainer with a level lesser than 39 or 40 will be only be able to power up a Pokemon two levels pass their own level. I am not level 40 yet only level 36 so any Pokemon I have currently can be brought up the maximum level of 38. The power up option is not available only when the Pokemon is a higher level than you are or lack the required resources.

IV’s and movesets are not the only aspect you have to be consider when powering up. Repetitive right but Pokemon is a weird game where it can get really in-depth to the point where you can have exact calculations determine the results of your Pokemon in battle before battling if you really wanted to.

The results you obtain are better known as breakpoints and bulkpoints. Breakpoints determine the TDO of a Pokemon in a specific situation. Bulkpoints determine how much damage you can tank before going down. Both give a Trainer huge insight into a Pokemon’s battling capabilities.

Battling is fun but maintaining your stash of Candy and Stardust should be prioritized. Breakpoints and bulkpoints also can assist a Trainer in making more decisive decisions when powering up Pokemon. Allow me to explain using Tyranitar.

As I mentioned above my Tyranitar is a level 36 Community Day Pokemon with perfect IVs. Being only level 36 I am not able to max it out to level 40. Even without the level restriction I still would not power up my Tyranitar any further than level 36. One would naturally assume you want every strong Pokemon to be max level but remember breakpoints and bulkpoints.

Even if I wanted to power up my Tyranitar it would be pointless. I would add on one more breakpoint and bulkpoint. In most battles that one point goes unnoticed not really affecting much other than netting you a second or two on the timer. Unless I am without any other Trainers or simply attempting to take down a three tier by myself those extra seconds might be useful with an emphasis on might. Might I add that this investment would cost 72,000 Stardust and 98 Larvitar Candy.

Point is that powering up a Pokemon after a certain level becomes inefficient. In almost every case you are better off investing your stardust in other Pokemon. Your candies can also be put to better use whether it be for mass evolution purposes, or for future prospects like shines or a perfect Pokemon.

Be the best there ever was.

When Pokemon Go was first released I was puzzled by what Niantic has made. It certainly was a huge change from the routine main series Pokemon games. Barely informed I understood one aspect of Pokemon Go that is really cool you can truly be the best there ever was! Reminiscent of the adventures had by Ash and myself from the main series you can travel and catch Pokemon. Without no Elite Four or real life tournament anybody can really be the best Trainer there ever was since there is no real measure of any sort. There is the matter of completing the Pokedex though this would make you an official Pokemon Master from Gen 1 standards.

I set out to be the best there ever was by searching far and wide for only the strongest Pokemon. I am an IV hunter and something about owning only the best variant of a Pokemon species has always interested. Of course this takes time and many prayers to lord RNGarceus. Originally I wanted to have a perfect version of every single Pokemon but I compromised. Searching only one perfect for each species line.

Whether your goal is to hoard Stardust, amass Rare Candy, solo raid, or IV hunt it can be made easier. Practicing what we discussed has yielded wonderful results in my IV hunting quest.

So what makes you the best there ever was? Is it you being yourself or is it something else let us know! I hope this guide helps if you have any other questions or learned anything new feel free to leave a comment!

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