Does size matter in Pokémon GO PVP?

Hey fellow trainers! When you catch a Pokémon and your team leader calls it "tiny" or "huge", you might wonder if size affects battling. I‘m here to break down whether it really makes a difference or is just a cosmetic tag. Let‘s go!

CP and IVs are what really matter

Two Snorlax with the same CP and level perform identically in PvP even if one is XS and the other is XL. So what gives them the edge? CP (Combat Power) and IVs (Individual Values).

CP represents overall strength and goes up as your Pokémon levels up. It‘s calculated from the level, IVs, and a fixed CP multiplier for each species. There are CP caps in PvP leagues so you can‘t just max out every Pokémon.

IVs are hidden stats ranging from 0 to 15 for Attack, Defense, and HP. They determine how much damage a Pokémon deals, how much it can take, and its total health. Having higher IVs gives you an edge.

Let‘s look at some examples…

Attack IVs and CP caps

The CP formula heavily weights Attack, so a 15/15/15 IV Pokémon often hits the league cap before it reaches a high enough level.

For Great League (1500 CP cap) and Ultra League (2500 CP cap), lower Attack IVs let you power up the Pokémon to a higher level before capping out. This gives you superior overall stats.

Take Azumarill, one of the top Great League picks. A 0/15/15 Azu reaches 1500 CP at level 41 with 140 HP. But a 15/15/15 caps out at level 40 with 130 HP. That‘s a huge difference!

Higher level = better Defense and HP = more bulk. And Azumarill wins by outlasting opponents, not overwhelming them with Attack.

So for capped leagues, 0/15/15, 1/15/15, or other similar spreads are ideal for many Pokémon. Some like Medicham and Sableye want as low Attack as possible – they max out well below 1500 CP.

Now let‘s see how IVs impact damage…

IVs influence damage

Pokémon with the same moves deal different damage based on their Attack IVs. Take two Swamperts with Mud Shot + Hydro Cannon in Great League:

  • 15 Attack IV: Mud Shot – 3 damage, Hydro Cannon – 110 damage

  • 0 Attack IV: Mud Shot – 2 damage, Hydro Cannon – 99 damage

That‘s over 10% less fast move and charge move damage!

Higher IVs equal higher stat product (Attack x Defense x HP) which means more damage dealt and less damage taken.

IVs also influence bulkpoints – levels where you gain 1 extra HP to survive an opponent‘s move. Hitting a bulkpoint can determine a win or loss.

So IVs directly influence battles through damage and bulk. Let‘s look at…

How XL Candy boosts CP

XL Candy is ultra rare, but powering up Pokémon past 40 to 50 with it is a game changer! This unlocks way higher CP for Master League where there‘s no cap.

A Level 50 Mewtwo has 4178 CP while a Level 40 caps out at 3675 CP. That‘s 13% more Attack and bulk. Other ML beasts like Dialga, Giratina, Melmetal also gain a big edge at Level 50.

To hit Level 50 takes 344 XL candy which is hard to get. You have to convert normal candy 100:1, walk absurd distances as a buddy, or get tiny chances from hatching, catching etc.

But the effort is worth it for PvP. Just don‘t forget IVs still matter too – a hundo (15/15/15) or nundo (0/0/0) Level 50 will perform worse than one with ideal PvP IV spreads thanks to stat product.

Now that we‘ve covered performance, what about…

Size = Visuals, Stats = Performance

While size doesn‘t affect battles, it DOES visually shrink or enlarge your Pokémon on the buddy and Pokémon screens.

  • XS – Extra small

  • XL – Extra large

  • XXS – Extremely extra small (tiny!)

  • XXL – Extremely extra large (gigantic!)

So go ahead and flex those XXL Pokémon like an oversized Pumpkaboo or tiny Lilipup. Just don‘t expect boosted stats in battle despite the visual differences. Enjoy it for the cosmetic value.

Let‘s shift gears and talk about…

Top Pokemon for Each League

Wondering what the best species are to power up for PvP? Here are some of the rarest and most meta relevant options ranked by league:

Great League

  1. Azumarill – Fairy/Water type, dominates with tanky stats.

  2. Medicham – Psy/Fighting type, wrecks with PuP and Power-Up Punch.

  3. Bastiodon – Rock/Steel type, sturdy defense.

  4. Sableye – Dark/Ghost type, only weak to Fairy moves.

  5. Scrafty – Dark/Fighting type, great counter coverage.

Ultra League

  1. Registeel – Steel type, amazing stats and bulk.

  2. Cresselia – Psychic type, tanks hits like a champ.

  3. Swampert – Water/Ground type, spams strong charge moves.

  4. Giratina (Altered) – Ghost/Dragon type, phenomenal presence.

  5. Talonflame – Fire/Flying type, wins lead matchups.

Master League

  1. Dialga – Steel/Dragon type, dominates with Dragon Breath.

  2. Giratina (Origin) – Ghost/Dragon type, incredible bulk and pressure.

  3. Melmetal – Steel type, Superpower hits like a meteor.

  4. Mewtwo – Psychic type, overwhelms with Psystrike nuke.

  5. Zacian – Fairy type, shreds with Snarl and Close Combat.

Now let‘s analyze some…

Battle Simulations

To demonstrate IVs in action, here are two Master League simulation battles featuring Mewtwo:

15/15/15 Level 50 (4178 CP)

Wins vs. Level 50 Dialga in 1v1 shield scenario.

  • Psystrike deals 52% damage.
  • Survives 1 Iron Head.
  • Wins with 55 HP left.

10/15/15 Level 50 (4150 CP)

Loses same 1v1 shield matchup.

  • Psystrike only deals 51% damage.
  • Faints to Iron Head.
  • Losing 5 Attack IV is enough to flip the result!

While the CP difference looks small, the superior Attack and bulk of the 100% IV Mewtwo make a big difference. This repeats across many head-to-head IV matchups and switch scenarios.

Now let‘s move on to some…

Advanced PvP Strategies

Once you have a solid grasp of IVs and Pokémon strengths, here are some next level tactics to master:

  • Sac Swapping – Switch to a losing matchup to bait out their charge move. This wastes energy and secures an advantage with your next Pokémon.

  • Catching – Timing a switch to catch an opponent‘s charged move to mitigate damage. Mastering this technique separates the pros.

  • Overcharging – Stockpiling extra energy on charge moves to ensure you can throw them back-to-back later.

  • Undercharging – Intentionally not maxing out charge moves to preserve alignment or throw off counting.

  • Move Counts – Keeping track of fast moves to know when opponents will reach charged attacks.

Implementing these and getting experience with team building, leads, closers, safe switches will take your skills to the next level. But experience is the best teacher, so get out there and lose some battles to gain knowledge!

Now let‘s take a quick look at…

The Evolving PvP Meta

The PvP meta is constantly shifting as new moves, Pokémon, and balance changes shake things up. While there are always staples like Azumarill, Reggie, Altarias, others rise and fall:

  • Trevenant – Rose to prominence in Halloween Cup 2022. Shadow Claw + Shadow Ball pressure.

  • Walrein – Surged during 2022 with buffs to Powder Snow and Icicle Spear.

  • Zacian – Jumped to top Master League threat with Snarl and Close Combat addition.

Speculating on meta shifts and building teams to capitalize on them or counter the flavour of the month is key. Study common leads and closers and practice new matchups diligently.

The future looks exciting too with moves like Psystrike Mew, Rock Slide Talonflame, and new species releasing like Primal Groudon which could totally shake up Master League!

But for now, let‘s recap…

The Takeaway

Size tags like XS, XL, XXS, and XXL are just visual – they don‘t affect Pokémon battling performance. It‘s all about CP, IVs, and Pokémon level.

Lower Attack IVs can be optimal to fit under CP caps for Great and Ultra Leagues. XL Candy boosts CP past 40 to hit new heights.

Master advanced techniques like move counting, sac swapping, and overcharging to gain an edge over opponents.

I hope this guide has been helpful for both new PvP trainers and veterans alike. Time to get practicing and building the perfect teams! Stay sharp out there.

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