Monday, January 16, 2017

Gym Basics


    In this guide you will learn the basic information you need to more efficiently and effectively take down gyms, build them up and hold them longer. More comprehensive guides will follow in the future going into more depth on attacking gyms, building gyms and group strategies. 


Basic Information


    Gyms are a way that we get to test out and use the Pokemon that we have worked so hard to attain and then power up. The gym system also gives a bonus of extra Pokemon coins and stardust that we are able to collect once every 21 hours. You do gain experience from battling gyms as well, however focusing gyms for experience is a poor method of progressing, this is covered in a previous guide. There are a few things that you should know.
  • a maximum of 5 players may be active on one gym at a time
  • Capturing a gym provides 3 spaces for Pokemon with no further training required
  • You may gain a maximum of 1000 prestige per Pokemon defeated when training
  • Gyms reach a maximum level of 10
  • Max collect for gyms is 10 gyms, however players may hold as many gyms as they are able too.
  • Collecting from gyms is the only way to get Pokemon coins besides through purchase.


Taking down gyms


    Taking down apposing team gyms is both a fun activity and an essential skill for efficiently collecting Pokemon coins and bonus stardust. In order to do this effectively there are a few things you should know.
  • Working in groups will make gyms much easier as everyone can attack the same Pokemon making it go down far quicker. This also gives it less time to attack back, which will reduce the difficulty and the amount of items it consumes to accomplish the task.
  • Exploit Pokemon weaknesses to further increase your effectiveness when attacking. This is a large subject and will be covered in detail in a future guide.
  • Look through the gym before beginning the fight so you know what Pokemon to use and what order you should have them in. This can help you be more efficient and use less items. If you know you might have a Pokemon faint 2 Pokemon into the gym, it would be smart to have a Pokemon that is going to be good versus the Pokemon that is in that position in the gym. This prevents you having to switch Pokemon and take extra attacks, well allowing it more time to charge attacks, or simply having a bad match up!
  • If you're fighting a gym with a group, call out attacks, this prevents multiple players from wasting charge attacks that could have been saved to more efficiently take down the next Pokemon in the gym.


Building Gyms


    Building gyms is an essential skill for every player that wants to partake in the gym system. Without knowing a few basic things players can end up investing tons of time without accomplishing much of anything! Some basic stuff you should know.

  • Taking down a gym will allow 3 players to drop a Pokemon without further training.
  • For training just like attacking a maximum of 5 players may be on the gym at one time.
  • Training unlike battling is done solo.
  • When training it bases the CP for prestige rewards off of your highest CP Pokemon, so it is essential you use Pokemon of relatively same CP
  • The most amount of prestige that can be added is 1000 per Pokemon defeated, this is accomplished by using all Pokemon that are half the CP of the Pokemon being defeated.
  • If you don't have the Pokemon or skill to use half CP Pokemon of what you are fighting, if you use Pokemon that are equal or less than the Pokemon on the gym you will gain a minimum of 500 prestige for each Pokemon defeated.
  • When using Pokemon great than the CP of the Pokemon on the gym players will receive as little as 100 prestige per Pokemon defeated. Meaning as low as one tenth, meaning it will take up to ten times longer to train this way.


Conclusion


    After reading this guide you should be ready to go start conquering some gyms and then build them up efficiently. Look for future guides where I will go into more detail on strategies for making your gym time more efficient and effective!


Monday, January 9, 2017

Catch Strategy For experience


    Catching Pokemon is the one thing that every trainer should be focused on, I covered this in my first post. This guide will teach you the catching strategy I have developed and used to reach level 40 and to do things like achieving 1,796,665 experience in a 24 hour time period(non event experience). There are several components to this strategy, method for catching, Pokemon selection, preparation, and location. After reading this guide you will begin increasing your experience gained for the same time invested.


Catching


    When I go hunting I have one of two focuses, gain experience-stardust or gain specific Pokemon and corresponding candy. This guide will cover experience-stardust strategy. Look for future guides on strategies for hunting specific Pokemon.


Method for Catching


    The first thing that every trainer needs to begin practicing and doing every single time they throw a poke-ball is a curve ball. The reason for this is simple, it provides a bonus ten experience, which is a 10% increase over the base 100 experience catching a Pokemon provides. Ten experience may not sound like a lot but it will definitely add up over time, my current bonus from using curve balls is over 420,000 experience.

     The second thing that everyone needs to be focusing on is getting throw bonuses. The circle that shrinks and than expands provides three different bonuses, nice, great, and excellent. The bonus is achieved by throwing your ball through the circle and hitting the Pokemon. The smaller the circle is the greater the bonus, nice provides ten experience, great provides fifty experience, and excellent provides one hundred experience. 

  1.  Nice shots: Nice shots are the easiest as the circle is largest, however the bonus is so small comparatively to the other bonuses I wouldn't ever try for this bonus.
  2.  Great shots: Great shots are what I recommend every player to focus on at least until their skill level is extremely high. The reason you want to focus great over nice is because if you can hit two out of ten shots you are gaining the same bonus experience as you would gain from hitting ten out of ten nice shots. Also with great shots the circle you have to throw through is still a very large target and with A little practice everyone should be able to achieve a much higher rate of successful shots than 20%.
  3.  Excellent shots: Excellent shots are not something I recommend going for, the reason why is because you only get two times more experience for the excellent shot, instead of five times more when you jump from nice to great. So in order for you to gain more experience by going from great to excellent  you have to be hitting 60% of your throws. If you can already consistently hit 60% or more of your throws excellent then go for it.
    What I recommend: Focus on the great shots, as the bonus is the best for the difficulty of the shot. However well you're doing this practice throwing at where the center of the circle is. This way you're practicing to be able to achieve excellent shots well also gaining the much easier bonus for great shots. Once you can consistently hit the center of the circle, do a few trial runs and see how well you do.
    Something things I would like to point out: Even once you're able to hit excellent shots consistently it most likely isn't going to be the best thing for most players to focus on for every shot. There are many reasons for this.
  • Wait time for the circle to reach the excellent shot size.
  • Experience gained from great to excellent is only a 31% increase over the 160 experience that would be gained from immediately throwing for a great shot. When you factor in wait time when having to throw multiple times the increase becomes minimal at best for EPM (experience per minute). Also you can go for excellent shots and still gain these higher bonuses when they are convenient or for Pokemon that are more likely to stay on the first shot(for instance a 10 CP Pokemon). 
  • If you want the most out of your time you want to be getting the most of everything that you need. Stardust will be the most limited resource for all players, the only way to consistently gain stardust is by catching as many Pokemon as fast as possible! By focusing both great shots and excellent shots we can minimize time for catching each individual Pokemon and maximize experience and stardust. 

     The only time its beneficial to go for excellent shots exclusively: The only time it actually makes sense to invest the time to get excellent shots every time is when you plan on playing for extremely long periods, 12-24 hours straight. Pokemon catching is limited but the number is very high and most players will never hit this in game limit through regular play. However if you plan to play for an extended period of time and plan on hitting in game limits, then you want to get the absolute maximum out of every catch. In this scenario assuming you can also hit excellent shots consistently enough to make it worth while, then go for it! Otherwise Speed catching in great to excellent range will give you the best EPM.



Pokemon Selection


    All Pokemon are not created equally both for battling and for progressing. This section will give you a new way to look at Pokemon that will help you decide what you should be catching first and what you shouldn't even be bothering with at all. In this section I will break down an experience tier system, explain how I look at each Pokemon and explain why some Pokemon fall into a category I like to call the "ball pit".


Pokemon Experience Tier


  1.  12 candy evolution: This is the best Pokemon group to catch if you want to level up, I would catch a Pokemon from this group first over any other Pokemon excluding S-class Pokemon(the top tier of Pokemon strength wise). This group is very limited but luckily they are common spawns. Pidgey, weedle, and caterpie. 
  2.  25 candy evolution: This is the second best group to catch for experience, I would catch anything in this group over any Pokemon besides S-class or the Tier-1 evolution group. Once again this group is common spawns for the most part and the ones that aren't common spawns are S-Class or starter Pokemon. Rattata, Abra, Geodude, Bellsprout, Oddish, Poliwag, Machop Nidoran(male and female), Bulbasaur, Charmander, squirtle, Dratini, and Eevee. This group is mostly composed of pokemon most players wouldnt simply use the candies to just boost experience, as most people wont evolve a dratini, eevee, starter, etc to a middle stage just to delete it for experience. The one in this group that most people will use for experience is Rattata.
  3.  50 candy evolution: The largest amount of Pokemon fall into this group by far. These Pokemon provide poor evolution experience but will still be the majority of what you catch simply because they will be what appears most often. This group you will prioritize based on difficulty of catch and how good you're at catching Pokemon in this category. For instance, I catch a lot of Ekans because they spawn a lot and I am really good at hitting excellent shots on them.
  4.  No Evolution: The Pokemon in this group I would advice you just ignore and don't attempt catching them at all unless they are an S-class(Snorlax, Lapras, etc), or you're catching them for an a specific reason(Pokedex completion, Pokemon with cross generation evolution's, or training Pokemon). Jynx, Hitmonlee, and Hitmonchan are three Pokemon that are completely useless and are just a waste of time and items, you cant evolve them, high difficulty to catch and completely useless for battling. Aerodactyl falls into this group as well but it is rare enough that it might possibly be worth keeping to trade(I personally have stopped collecting them though). Everything without current evolution's that I haven't listed I haven't listed for a reason, ill cover all these reasons in another guide.
  5.  Ball Traps: Pokemon that aren't worth the items it requires to catch them are what I like to refer to as "Ball Traps". Generally speaking these are Pokemon that have no other use than simply providing experience or candies to generate experience. These are going to be Pokemon that are already in a evolved form, things like Raticate, Fearow, Arbok, even the evolution's of our Tier 1 Experience Pokemon are going to be classified as a Ball Trap. The reason for this is Pokemon that are already in a second or final stage are going to have much harder difficulties to catch. Even a low CP Pidgeotto is likely to break out multiple times and consume a lot of balls and time. Simply put, if its not S-class and its evolved don't bother with it.
    For more in depth explanation on why low evolution cost Pokemon are so important to focus look for my guide on evolution's. 

Preparation


    In order to effectively catch Pokemon consistently you have to be prepared to do so. This means having a stocked inventory of items to catch Pokemon. To make the most of your time you should stock your items completely before going to hunt. Go to a location with high density of pokestops and keep turning stops till you're full. When I am planning to hunt and stocking items to be prepared I dump any item I don't plan on using in the immediate future. One of the biggest mistakes I see players make is holding hundreds of items that they never come close to using up. I will regularly dump everything and stock until I only have balls and a small amount of berries(usually 20-30). The only time I hold even super or hyper potions is when I am planning to do a extremely long session of gym raiding. I rarely dump Max Revives though, as these are both a revive and a max potion in one item. I only dump max revives when I plan to do experience challenges, or when I know i'm not going to be playing gyms for a while. In general I save max revives and a maximum of fifty max potions. The more space you fill with balls the more experience you can get before you have to make another trip to restock.


Location


    Location is one of the most important parts of this. You need to find a location that has a high enough spawn rate that you can walk around and constantly have Pokemon to catch. The higher the spawn rate the better. If you are somewhere that only has a few spawns you cant focus Pokemon that are better for experience or easier to catch, you just have to catch whatever is there. You also want to find a location that spawns Pokemon that are in tier 1 and 2 of the experience tier.


Summary


    After reading this you should be able to achieve far greater experience for your time invested, have a better focus and understanding of what is most useful to catch, and have strategy to continually work towards even higher EPS. For more help with catch strategies check out my videos on catch strategy which are broken into parts, part 1, part 2, and part 3. These videos cover some of the same information covered in this guide but it also helps you tie catching into a strategy that will maximize your total gains. Also at the end of part 3 I turn level 40!








Evolution's for Experience


    In this guide you will learn when to evolve your Pokemon, why its so important to focus low candy cost Pokemon and how to maximize your gains even on a budget(even for free to play).


When to evolve your Pokemon


    The basic strategy for evolving Pokemon is quite simple, collect enough Pokemon and corresponding Pokemon candies to evolve non stop for 30 minutes(the length of a lucky egg). There are a few things that you might want to know that will help you maximize your gains.

  • You want to have a minimum of 80 Pokemon ready to evolve before you start a set of evolution's. I was able to evolve about 80 Pokemon when I was doing evolution's and I usually do evolution's well watching television( not the best method for maximizing experience, but my point is you should be able to do 80 easily).
  • To do your evolution set efficiently you should use a stopwatch, alarm, or at least pay attention to what time you start. The reason for this is simple, you don't want to waste time checking how much time you have left and you also don't want to be evolving after the egg is already done. 
  • If you're truly trying to level as efficiently as possible don't ever evolve until you have a full set to evolve! That lost 500 experience for each evolution will add up very quick! In the future I will explain the rest of the reasons for waiting even when your experience isn't an issue. Patience in Pokemon like life is definitely a virtue, in general the more you wait the stronger you will be as a trainer!
  • To make your evolution's even more efficient rename every Pokemon you plan to evolve with ( ' ) this will line them all up at the top when you sort by name. This makes it so you don't have to waste time scrolling through Pokemon you don't need to evolve.


Importance of catching low evolution cost Pokemon


    

    In order to maximize your time played you need to see the whole picture and the true effective value of everything that you do. The true experience value of every Pokemon you catch is the catch experience and the evolution experience added together.  
  • Tier 1 Experience Pokemon (12 candy evolution): Are worth the catch value(100 to 210 base or 200-420 with egg) plus the evolution value(500 base or 1000 with egg). Since evolving a Pokemon returns 1 candy the effective cost per evolution is 11 candies. So each Pokemon caught in this category gives you 182 base or 364 with egg(numbers rounded), experience on top of your catch experience.
  • Tier 2 Experience Pokemon (25 candy evolution): Once again worth the catch experience and the evolution experience. With one candy return for the evolution the effective cost is 24 candies. Each Pokemon caught in this category provides 83 base or 167 with egg on top of the catch experience.
  • Tier 3 Experience Pokemon (50 candy evolution): With an effective evolution of 49 candies we receive 41 base or 82 with a lucky egg.


    You may not see these gains when you're catching them, but when you're doing evolution's more frequently and your level is skyrocketing you will definitely begin to appreciate these Tier 1 and 2 experience Pokemon if you don't already!


Maximize your gains


    If you care at all about increasing your level you need to be using lucky eggs every time you do evolution's for several reasons.

  • Evolution's provide the most experience that is most easily controlled. A Pokemon cant run from you or attack and slow down your evolution set, besides bad luck with server or connection issues you should be able to get about 80,000 experience with every egg.
  • You can ensure that you will have enough Pokemon to get the most out of your entire egg. with catching even in ideal locations we can sometimes have gaps in Pokemon which will leave our egg ticking away well gaining no experience.
  • You can further increase this bonus by timing it with your first catch and stop turn of the day. Have your evolution's ready travel to a stop with a Pokemon, pop the egg, turn the stop, catch the Pokemon, and then do your evolution set. It is key to turn the stop, then catch the Pokemon, then do your evolution set. You don't want to have to estimate the amount of time it will take to catch the Pokemon(which the Pokemon could also disappear). Turning stops is something that should always be complete first as well when we are hunting, a stop is something that can done very quickly and the sooner we turn it the sooner we can turn it again!



    For players that are on a budget or don't want to purchase coins this is the best way to maximize the coins you do have. If you don't have coins to purchase eggs then save, well you're saving you will be stocking candies. To get the most out of your coins save for 25 eggs for 1250 coins as this is the best deal and will provide two million experience(one million extra). Saving candies is actually beneficial as if you have saved a bunch of candies you will be able to use up some of those eggs much sooner since you will just have to collect the Pokemon to evolve. I had no problem spending money but I still chose to reserve using eggs for evolution's(except for experience challenges). My reasoning for this is I didn't want to over boost my level with eggs and end up in a position where I didn't have enough stardust to power my Pokemon up to the levels I was reaching. Everyone's goals are different though so do whatever makes you happy!
   One other thing I would like to point out is in earlier levels if you save your eggs just for evolution's and do only full sets you shouldn't find yourself in need of eggs other than ones received for leveling until you're in the high 20's. In the future I will make a comprehensive guide for all the levels.


Conclusion
  

    After reading this guide you should now have a better understanding of the crucial goal that evolution's have in advancing in levels, have a clear picture of the true value each Pokemon is worth, and have some strategy that will help you maximize the gains you're already working for!


Friday, January 6, 2017

How to advance as a trainer basics



    In order to be successful in Pokemon Go, like anything in life you must know your goals. Using this guide will help you find the most efficient way of achieving your goals while gaining a better understanding of the games mechanics. This guide will cover gym battling, hatching and catching.

Gym battling


    Gyms are by far the worst method of advancing as a trainer. The reasons for this are quite simple, you are only gaining two of the four things that a trainer needs, dust and experience. Even if a trainer already has all of the Pokemon and corresponding candies, this is still a very poor method for advancing. The reason for this once again is simple, although you can gain experience every time you battle a gym you only gain dust by collecting which is limited to 5000 dust(the equivalent of catching fifty Pokemon, or approximately hatching five eggs). Dust will by far be the most limited resource for all trainers. Focusing on this method of advancing will leave a trainer unable to power up their Pokemon(once you are level 30 you wouldn't even be able to afford one power up per day). Even the experience gained from gym battling is poor and cant be maintained constantly. Gyms do provide the only way a trainer can gain Pokemon coins other than through purchase. However the value of 100 coins even bought in the lowest increment(the most expensive method) only costs 99 cents, if the players main reason for playing gyms is to attain coins the player should consider if they are really getting the most out of their time and money when they factor in transportation costs. The only reason a player should focus gyms is because its fun(the coins and dust should just be seen as a bonus)! Its the only way we really get to play with the Pokemon we have worked hard catching, hatching, walking and training(powering up).



Hatching


    Hatching provides everything that a trainer needs to become stronger and advance. It provides experience, stardust, Pokemon(with a higher chance for a higher iv) and candies for the Pokemon hatched. Hatching is a far better focus for advancing than gym battling as it provides everything that you need. To maximize this form of gain a trainer must constantly purchase incubators as running just the infinite incubator will provide minimal gains. Running eggs at maximum efficiency with all nine slots full you will average about 6 hatches per hour (this will vary based on randomized eggs received), netting an average 3400 experience, 70 candies and around 2900 stardust. Remember this is at optimal speeds and assuming you can constantly refill your eggs instantaneously(hypothetical, not realistic). Even at this rate if everything ran perfectly all the time it would take over 100 hours to go from level 20 to 24 (350,000 experience)! To reach max level this would take approximately 5882 hours or 245 days of non stop playing! Certainly not how I did it and I definitely wouldn't recommend! Hatching should be seen as a good way to boost progress, gain extra resources and increase chances for high iv Pokemon and hard to get candies.



Catching

    Catching is by far the most important and crucial aspect of advancing as a trainer. Like hatching, catching provides everything a trainer needs but more efficiently and without requiring purchases. Every Pokemon catch provides 100 stardust, 3 candies (for the Pokemon caught), between 100 to 210 experience, and of course the Pokemon. In an area with a sufficient amount of Pokemon a player should easily be able to achieve 1 Pokemon catch per minute (my 8 year old can do this), which means a player would be getting 6,000 dust, 6,000 to 12,600 experience, and 180 to 240 candies (240 would be total after transferring all the Pokemon). With correct techniques and a good location players could be receiving double this amount of catches so double the gains or 12,000 dust, 12,000 to 25,200 experience and 360 to 480 candies. Catching is what I have focused on and what I would advice all trainers to focus on if they want to advance in levels and get stronger Pokemon.


    I hope you found a new understanding for each of these activities and how they can best benefit you in the pursuit of your goals as a Pokemon trainer. To maximize your gains from your time invested refer to my detailed posts on these topics.