Blissey is the final evolution of a chain that starts with Happiny and then moves to Chansey. Chansey was originally the only one, but later games added the Blissey evolution and eventually the Happiny pre-evolution. It’s focused on healing and defense, and in the anime its Chansey form hangs around Nurse Joy in the Pokemon Center (for you non-pokemon people out there, the Pokemon Center is basically a pokemon hospital). It’s pretty notable for having the highest potential HP (the amount of damage it can take before it faints) in the entire series of games.
Note I said “potential”. Blissey must be trained properly, and that begins from birth (hatching?). All pokemon have two types of traits they’re created with: their nature, and their individual values (IV). Think of it as genetics. There’s six stats, the minimum and maximum values of which are raised or lowered by different natures (except for the HP stat). This works out to a possible twenty-five different natures. In addition, their IVs can be anywhere from 0 to 31, and that’s the additional amount of points each stat has. Breeding a pokemon, or just catching a bunch, to obtain the correct nature can be annoying, but in the end it might take you at worst an hour. IVs are a different story. There’s pretty much no such thing as a pokemon that has perfect 31′s across the board, but through clever item trickery, breeding, and a few spare hours you can usually get one that has a 25 or higher in its primary stats.
Primary stats? Oh yes. See, much like people, pokemon are naturally predisposed to certain talents. Blissey here has a naturally high life score and special defense. Getting 25 or more IVs in those stats is great! But Blissey has a really low attack. One of the lowest in the game, really. So a high IV in attack is pretty useless – even 31 extra points, bringing its total to around 40 (depending on nature), isn’t worth it on a playing field when pokemon have stats in the 200+ range. Blissey doesn’t really do damage. What Blissey does, and does very well, is stand there, take hits, and protect and heal her* team. She’s killer in a 2v2 match.
That’s just the first part. You’ve heard of nature vs. nurture, I’m sure. Well, in addition to the genetics of the pokemon in question, you can train it to raise specific stats even further. Every time your pokemon participates in a battle, the defeat of the opposing pokemon grants something called an effort value (EV) to the victor(s). Each pokemon has a set number and type of EVs they will grant: defeating a Blissey, for instance, will grant the winner 3 HP EVs. You can’t just load up on one stat, though; the game has a hard cap on how many points can be earned this way. It works out to an additional 63 possible points in two stats.
Let’s put it all together. Blissey has a base HP stat of 255. HP is 110 + double the base stat, since there is no nature that boosts HP. The formula gets a little trickier from here, because of the order in which the game calculates things. Double the stat: 510. Now add 100, (no, not 110, told you it gets weird). 610. Now add the IV; let’s say our Blissey is awesome and has 31: 641. Now the EVs: 704. Now multiply by level, divide by 100, and then add 10. This brings us to 714. In case you’re doing this with another stat, instead of adding 10 at the end, you would multiply by .9 for a hindering nature, 1.1 for a beneficial nature, or leave it alone for a neutral nature.
Did all of this go right over your head? Does it suddenly seem like the world of Pokemon got a lot more complex? Happened to me the first time I saw all this. I thought all you had to do was level up and pick some cool moves. Turns out there’s a lot more to the game, and that’s what keeps me interested. The world of competitive battling is cutthroat and takes a lot of preparation, planning, and math! Oh yeah, and a little bit of luck, too.
Monday: Celebi, and a dip into the seedy underbelly of special event pokemon. Tuesday: Dragonite, love, and hatred.
*Yes, many pokemon have gender. Some have no gender, most can be male or female, and there are a handful such as Blissey that can only be male or female.
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April 2nd, 2011 by Cassie