EV Training in Pokémon Sun & Moon and Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon is substantially different than in previous games, so it’s very important you read carefully if you’re familiar with the older methods.
First of all, the Macho Brace is unavailable — not a big deal, as Power Items were always better anyway, but now you’ll need a set of the Power Items in order to get EV Training. This is very affordable in Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, as you don’t even need to participate in the Battle Tree to earn BP — you can just ride the waves in the Mantine Surf minigame.
One major change is that the Power Items now give +8 EVs in the respective stat instead of the +4 they gave in earlier generations. A Pokémon that has a base EV yield of 1 will give 9 instead, while a Pokémon with a base EV yield of 2 gives 10. Just like before, this bonus applies before the doubling bonus of the Pokérus.
However, it doesn’t stop there. Since there are no Horde Battles anymore, the optimal way to EV Train is by utilizing a new feature introduced in Sun & Moon: SOS Encounters. Under certain conditions, Pokémon can call for help in battle and, if they’re successful, add another Pokémon to the fight — usually of the same species, but not always, depending on the Pokémon calling.
Once an ally Pokémon has been successfully called into the battle, all EVs gained for the rest of the battle are doubled (including for the original Pokémon, not just its allies). This multiplier takes place after the Power Items, too, meaning a Pokémon holding a Power Item that has the Pokérus will gain an astonishing 36 EVs per Pokémon that gives 1 base EV.
In order to get Pokémon to call for help, you’re going to need Adrenaline Orbs. These can be purchased from various Poké Marts and, when one is used in battle, it increases the rate that Pokémon call for help for the rest of the fight. You’ll want to use one at the beginning of the fight.
Pokémon with the abilities Intimidate, Pressure, or Unnerve also increase the rate that Pokémon call for help. The lower HP a Pokémon has, the higher chance it will call for help as well. Pokémon like Absol, Mawile, or Weavile, that get both False Swipe and Pressure/Intimidate, are very helpful to lead with — any Pokémon that you’re EV Training should just sit in the back of your party so long as you have the Exp. Share activated and a Power Item equipped to it.
You’ll use the Adrenaline Orb on the first turn, False Swipe on the second turn, and then a move that will knock out the ally Pokémon in one shot on every following turn. If the Pokémon doesn’t call for help, you can just use the Adrenaline Orb again — it will fail but won’t consume the item, allowing you to skip your turn.
Each Pokémon species also has an innate “SOS Call Rate” value that ranges from 0 (will never call for help) to 15 (very frequently calls for help). You’ll want to target Pokémon that have a higher SOS Call Rate so you will spend less time skipping your turns with the Adrenaline Orb.
EV Training Spots
Below is a list of recommended training spots for using SOS Encounters to train your Pokémon’s EVs.
- Caterpie (Route 1 — 20% by player’s house) gives 1 HP EV as a base value and has an SOS Call Rate of 15 (max).
- Pikipek (Route 1 — 30% by player’s house) gives 1 Attack EV as a base value and has an SOS Call Rate of 15 (max).
- Yungoos (Route 1 — 30% by player’s house in daytime) gives 1 Attack EV as a base value and has an SOS Call Rate of 9 (high).
- Exeggcute (Exeggutor Island — 40% in Sun/Moon, 20% in Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon) gives 1 Defense EV as a base value and has an SOS Call Rate of 15 (max).
- Charjabug (Blush Mountain — 10%) gives 2 Defense EVs as a base value and has an SOS Call Rate of 15 (max).
- Psyduck (Malie Garden — 10%) gives 1 Special Attack EV as a base value and has an SOS Call Rate of 15 (max).
- Oricorio (Melemele Meadow — 20%, southern Route 6 — 20%, Ula’ula Meadow — 20%, Poni Meadow — 20%) gives 2 Special Attack EVs as a base value, but only has an SOS Call Rate of 6 (low). It is also available at a variety of levels and with varying types to suit your training needs.
- Tentacool (surfing in various areas) gives 1 Special Defense EV as a base value and has an SOS Call Rate of 15.
- Zubat (various caves at various levels) gives 1 Speed EV as a base value and has an SOS Call Rate of 15.
How Many EVs You’ll Actually Gain
It’s important to keep in mind that all of the numbers listed above for how many EVs each Pokémon give are their base yield, so that’s before any multipliers or bonuses such as the SOS Encounter bonus. The actual number you’ll get should be much higher than that.
Here’s a little cheatsheet for how much EVs you’ll gain (the base EV yield is the number you see listed in the encounters):
- If you have no Power Item or Pokérus…
- If the Pokémon’s base EV yield is 1, you’ll get 1 EV each, or 2 EVs each in an SOS Encounter.
- If the Pokémon’s base EV yield is 2, you’ll get 2 EVs each, or 4 EVs each in an SOS Encounter.
- If the Pokémon’s base EV yield is 3, you’ll get 3 EVs each, or 6 EVs each in an SOS Encounter.
- If you have the Pokérus but no Power Item…
- If the Pokémon’s base EV yield is 1, you’ll get 2 EVs each, or 4 EVs each in an SOS Encounter.
- If the Pokémon’s base EV yield is 2, you’ll get 4 EVs each, or 8 EVs each in an SOS Encounter.
- If the Pokémon’s base EV yield is 3, you’ll get 6 EVs each, or 12 EVs each in an SOS Encounter.
- If you have a Power Item but no Pokérus…
- If the Pokémon’s base EV yield is 1, you’ll get 9 EVs each, or 18 EVs each in an SOS Encounter.
- If the Pokémon’s base EV yield is 2, you’ll get 10 EVs each, or 20 EVs each in an SOS Encounter.
- If the Pokémon’s base EV yield is 3, you’ll get 11 EVs each, or 22 EVs each in an SOS Encounter.
- If you have a Power Item and the Pokérus…
- If the Pokémon’s base EV yield is 1, you’ll get 18 EVs each, or 36 EVs each in an SOS Encounter.
- If the Pokémon’s base EV yield is 2, you’ll get 20 EVs each, or 40 EVs each in an SOS Encounter.
- If the Pokémon’s base EV yield is 3, you’ll get 22 EVs each, or 44 EVs each in an SOS Encounter.
Other Ways to EV Train
The Alola games actually offer at least two other viable methods of EV Training your Pokémon, although they require a bit more set up.
You can have up to three groups of up to six Pokémon each play in a training course on Isle Evelup once the island is fully maxed out (requires 75 Pokémon in the PC).
The drink you give each of these groups (you can assign a different drink for each group) determines what kind of EVs it gets per session, and then you can have each group train for anywhere from 1 to 99 sessions, with each session lasting 30 minutes — or 15 minutes each so long as there are Poké Beans in the island’s crate.
At the maximum island development level, each session awards 4 EVs, meaning you can fully max out a Pokémon’s EVs for a given stat with just 63 sessions — that’s about 31 hours of real-world time, or just under 16 hours if you put enough beans in the crate.
Although that may seem like a long time, it requires virtually no effort. You just set it and forget it. You can also EV Train up to 6 Pokémon in this way per group, and each group can have different stats that you’re training up. It’s great for players who can’t be bothered to EV Train the usual way and don’t mind passively waiting.
There is another option available to you if you’ve built up your Festival Plaza — one of the buildings there allows you to spend FC to EV Train up your Pokémon.
Unfortunately, this is something that I am not overly familiar with, so this section of the guide will have to be written at a later time, but if you are well-versed in Festival Plaza, you should definitely look into this option, as that may work out well for you.