As a long-time Pokemon fan and trainer whose career spans back to the big boxy cartridges of Gen II, I’ve come across many, if not all, items in the Pokemon games, and I’ve trained hundreds of Pokemon. I’ve learned that turning a Pokemon into a monster powerhouse is achieved by not only leveling my Pokemon.
The Macho Brace is the definitive power item to train Pokemon as it doubles the EVs (effort values) gained from defeating Pokemon.
The Macho Brace was first introduced in Gen III. At the time, I was pretty young in my Pokemon adventure and only gave it a passing glance as I dived into the competitive scene and post-game content of the Pokemon games, notably in gen IV.
Like any UFC fighter or Boxer, Pokemon have to go through vigorous training if they want to make it to the top. As their trainer and coach, the Macho Brace is a fantastic item to specialize in and condition my Pokemon. Yes, I just referenced the UFC in Pokemon training, cringe all you want but tell me you wouldn’t want to see a Machamp liver shot a Hitmonchan?
Bottom Line-Up Front
- This item is essential for EV training your Pokemon, and I love it as it saves so much time. Training your Pokemon to PVP standard is a complex challenge before even battling. This item speeds this process up and allows you to keep control over your Pokemon’s EVs.
- To effectively use the Macho Brace, identify what EVs you need and what wild Pokemon you will need to defeat. The next plan is for a long run of battling and catching Pokemon, so bring a ton of Potions and Pokeballs. Finally, research Routes and find a location with Pokemon that will reward you with both primary EV stats.
Many ingredients are thrown into the pot of Pokemon training to create the ultimate fighter. The most contemporary and casual way of training Pokemon revolves around defeating wild Pokemon and trainers to gain EXP (Experience Points) to level up Pokemon to improve their stats and learn new moves.
When training Pokemon to use in PVP, I first check the Pokemon stats and information to see whether it can be a suitable Pokemon for competitive. I do this by analyzing its nature and IVs using PsyPoke, a free online IV calculator that verifies how good the Pokemon’s IVs are.
However, for the sake of this Macho Brace guide and your time, I will focus on EVs. Whether you want to become the Battle Frontier, Battle Tower champion, or just want to roll your friends with your perfect Pokemon specimens. You will at least need to know how Effort Values work and how to train them.
Understanding Effort Values and Training
Effort Values are points rewarded to Pokemon after defeating opposing Pokemon in battle. Each Pokemon will award an EV point to one of the six stats. Collect three of a specific stat, and your Pokemon will gain one stat point. With almost a thousand Pokemon, it can be tricky to EV train your Pokemon, especially if you don’t know what EVs a Pokemon rewards you with.
However, there are great online resources that you can use for this, such as Serebii. With each installment of the Pokemon games, it’s getting easier and easier to track your Pokemon’s Effort Values, as you can view your Pokemon’s EVs in Shining Pearl, Brilliant Diamond, Sword, and Shield.
Note that you can train a maximum of 510 EV points into a Pokemon. Generally, PVP trainers focus on two significant stats and apply the rest to a third supporting stat, as this allows you to maximize your Pokemon’s stats. Don’t worry. It may sound like a lot of work and a complicated process, but it’s the more accessible part of Pokemon training to get your head around.
Taking my adorable Jolteon as an example, it has a brilliant base speed stat of 130 and a special attack of 110. Therefore I EV trained it to boost these two stats primarily. Unfortunately, its attack and health stat are poor, at only 65 points, and its defense is even lower at 60.
On the other hand, its special defense stat totals 95, so I chose to EV train this with the remaining six points available, adding an extra two points into special defense. This doesn’t sound like a lot. However, my Jolteon received an additional 84 stat points in special attack, and speed is a significant boost! Note that Pokemon always gain effort values from winning battles and defeating Pokemon.
As a result, higher-level Pokemon will have a mix-match of EVs. This can cause problems when training Pokemon to have perfect EVs; therefore, it’s usually best to breed Pokemon and train them from birth.
Using the Macho Brace
As you can imagine, EV training can be long and grueling. Somehow I enjoy the endless grind of defeating wild Pokemon. However, I must admit to using the Macho Brace to speed this process up significantly. You see, the Macho Brace doubles the amount of EVs received from defeating wild Pokemon at the cost of reducing your Pokemon’s speed by half.
This causes issues when EV training a low-level Pokemon. It will significantly slow the process as baby Pokemon have abysmal stats and struggle to keep up with even wild Pokemon in battle. Therefore make sure to bring lots of medicine like Oran Berries, Potions, and Super Potions. As your Pokemon levels up, it will become much easier, and this won’t be as much of an issue.
Eevee is a great Pokemon to use as an example for this method as it can be trained by focusing on many different combinations of stats due to the many various Eevee evolutions. Using this method to EV train an Eevee, I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of Jolteon’s incredible speed stat until it evolved.
I methodically trained one stat at a time to ensure that I only leveled up Eevee’s speed and special attack stat; I did this by defeating Buizel and Floatzel to gain Speed EVs and Psyduck to acquire Special Attack EVs in Pokemon Platinum. This worked well as my Eevee could blast through these Water-type Pokemon once it had evolved into a Jolteon.
In Pokemon Shining Pearl, Brilliant Diamond, and Sword and Shield, tracking these EV stats is much easier as they are no longer hidden. However, this is pretty useful to know as EV training Pokemon in previous generations is going to take a lot more planning and recording to keep track of what EVs your Pokemon has.
Berries and Vitamins your Pokemon Five a Day
Back in the day, I had to train my Pokemon’s EVs from birth carefully, and it was very easy to mess up a Pokemon’s EVs. It, unfortunately, meant that Pokemon that started on your adventure, such as your starter, wasn’t applicable for PVP.
However, new EV controlling items introduced in Pokemon Sword and Shield allowed me to manipulate my Pokemon’s EVs decreasing stats that I don’t want using berries and improving specific stats with vitamins.
As the Pokemon formula has developed over the years, it has become easier to acquire Pokemon capable of battling competitively. Making it easier for casual players to cross into the competitive scene. Using the following berries available in Sword and Shield makes your trained Pokemon viable for Macho Brace EV training as they lower the EVs of specific stats by 10 points:
- Pomeg Berry – HP.
- Kelpsey Berry – Attack.
- Hondew Berry – Special Attack.
- Qualot Berry – Defense.
- Grepa Berry – Specia Defense.
- Tomato Berry – Speed.
Alternatively, if you have spare cash available, consider using the following Vitamins to boost your Pokemon’s EVs by 10 points. However, bear in mind that this process is costly.
- HP-Up – HP.
- Protein – Attack.
- Iron – Defense.
- Calcium – Specia Attack.
- Zinc – Special Defense.
- Carbos – Speed.
Obtaining the Macho Brace
The Macho Brace was first introduced in gen III so you won’t be able to obtain this item in generation I or generation II. However, you will be able to acquire the Macho Brace in FireRed, LeafGreen, SoulSilver, and HeartGold. Unfortunately, you cannot obtain the Macho Brace in Pokemon Sun and Moon.
|Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald||Route 111|
|FireRed, LeafGreen||Viridian Gym|
|Diamond, Pearl, Platinum||Pastoria City|
|HeartGold, SoulSilver||Goldenrod Department Store|
|Black, White||Nimbasa City|
|Black 2, White 2||Nimbasa City|
|X, Y||Route 15|
|Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire||Route 111|
Macho Brace EV Training Tips
EV Training Multiple Pokemon
I recommend researching all other wild Pokemon in the location you’ve chosen to EV train at, as you’ll be encountering these Pokemon too.
I use this to my advantage by swapping out to a Pokemon holding a specific Power Item, as all Pokemon that gain EXP from battle are also granted EVs. This allows me to EV train multiple Pokemon at a time. This worked exceptionally well when EV training Eevees before evolving them into Jolteon and Sylveon.
Using EV Training Items
In newer Pokemon games, you won’t have to worry too much about getting the EVs exact, as you’ll be able to tweak them afterward with the items mentioned in this guide. I recommend using these items at the end of EV training, as this will allow you to tune your Pokemon perfectly.
Choosing Wild Pokemon to Macho Brace Train
When choosing where to train and what Pokemon to battle, you will want to obtain EVs for as little experience gain as possible. This is because you don’t want to level your Pokemon faster than obtaining EVs.
You’ll hit level 100 without maximizing your Pokemon’s EVs, resulting in you having to use berries and vitamins to fix your EVs. However, you can’t do this in older games, so it’s best to defeat lower-level Pokemon, as this reward your Pokemon with the least amount of experience points.
For example, when EV training my Jolteon in speed, I targeted Buizel as this gave Jolteon two EVs in speed thanks to the Macho Brace. However, I could have EV-trained Jolteon by defeating Floatzel, as this would have given me 4 EVs in speed. But this would mean that Jolteon would level up much faster, and with 510 EVs to acquire, it’s safer to fight lower-level Pokemon.
Experience Share Training
In Pokemon Sword and Shield and fourth-gen remakes Shining Pearl and Brilliant Diamond, the Exp Share, share experience across all party members and cannot be turned off. A touchy subject for long-time fans of the franchise, such as myself, as I believe this makes the game way too easy.
Consequently, all Pokemon within your party in these games will be rewarded EVs from the defeated wild Pokemon. So consider shaving your party down to a select few when Macho Brace training.
If you don’t want to waste your time grinding Pokemon battles, you could always obtain Power Items to ensure that your Pokemon only receive specific EVs. This way, you can Macho Brace train a Pokemon without the worry of messing up the EVs of your other party Pokemon.
Power Items are training items just like the Macho Brace that specialize in training specific EVs rather than all. These items are best used during Macho Brace training as they reward the holder with specific EVs regardless of the defeated Pokemon. This is a great way to boost your other Pokemon’s EVs simultaneously.
Question: What is a Battle Royale in Pokemon?
Answer: Introduced in Pokemon Sun and Moon and present in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Battle Royale is a new type of Pokemon battle that pitches four trainers against each other.
This battle method moves that generally attack all Pokemon on the battlefield, such as Earthquake and Surf, deal reduced damage. Using Pokemon with high-speed stats is recommended to allow you to control the battlefield by making your moves before the other three battling Pokemon.
Question: What is the Battle Tower in Pokemon Sword and Shield?
Answer: The Battle Tower is a battle facility in Pokemon Sword and Shield and made its debut in Pokemon Crystal. The Battle Tower is a facility where you are challenged by fighting trainers progressively increasing in difficulty as you move up the ladder, earning better rewards. You can only bring three Pokemon with you when challenging the tower.
Question: Can You Obtain EVs From Catching Wild Pokemon?
Answer: As of Gen VI, you can now acquire EVs from catching wild Pokemon. You can use this to your advantage with the Macho Brace if your baby Pokemon is too weak to battle. Consequently, this speeds up the EV training process significantly. However, before Gen VI, you could only obtain EVs by defeating Pokemon in battle and through Vitamins.
Macho Brace Guide: Conclusion
In conclusion, the Macho Brace is one of the essential items in EV training. At the same time, other Power Items allow you to focus on a single stat. The Macho Brace will enable you to double EV rewards from all six stats, so EV trains much faster. However, using the Macho Brace is much more challenging as it requires careful consideration when battling wild Pokemon.
Although I’m a big fan of Power Items, the Macho Brace generally is easier to acquire and has the most value and output. There are negative factors, such as running from specific Pokemon and sifting through Pokemon spreadsheets to learn whether you’re fighting the Pokemon.
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