Pokemon Evolution 09/19/2009
During the course of a Pokémon's development, under certain circumstances specific to that Pokémon's species, it may evolve (Japanese: 進化 shinka) into a different Pokémon. This change is not merely physical, however, as Pokémon of a higher evolutionary stage have different (and usually more powerful) base stats than their predecessors, may have different moves that can be learned, and sometimes change their types, though usually at least one of the types of the previous form is preserved. Other statistics, such as nature and EVs, as well as alternate coloration, are preserved.
Evolution families An evolution family is a group of Pokémon who will all, if bred with Ditto, make a Pokémon egg that will hatch into the same Pokémon, excluding baby Pokémon. This also means that the most basic form has the potential to become any of the rest of the family, although it will ultimately be able to follow only one evolutionary path.
Stages of evolution Pokémon can be divided into different evolutionary stages, based on where they appear in their evolution family. All Pokémon fall into one of four groups: baby Pokémon, unevolved Pokémon, first-evolution Pokémon, and second-evolution Pokémon. These groups are also the basis for the TCG's grouping of Baby Pokémon, Basic Pokémon, Stage 1 Pokémon, and Stage 2 Pokémon, respectively.
Due to the fact that no evolution family contains both a baby Pokémon and a second-evolution Pokémon, many regard baby Pokémon as the most basic form, while moving their evolved counterparts one level higher. For example, originally, Pikachu was regarded as an unevolved Pokémon, however, with the release of Pichu in Generation II, many now consider it to be more on par with Pokémon like Charmeleon, though its TCG classification remains the same.
Two-evolution families Main article: Pokémon that are part of a three-stage evolutionary line Perhaps the most well-known types of evolution families are those that feature two separate evolutionary events in the Pokémon's development. Indeed, this type of evolution family is what all of the starter Pokémon in the main series are a part of, including Pikachu. An example of this type of evolution family is below.
One-evolution families Main article: Pokémon that are part of a two-stage evolutionary line By far the most common type of evolution family, these families are based in a Pokémon that will only ever evolve once in its development. About one third of all Pokémon that would later get a baby form were part of this kind of evolution family before their baby form was revealed. An example of this type of evolution family is below.
Pokémon that do not evolve
Main article: List of Pokémon that do not evolve
The least common type of evolution family, of course, is that in which no evolutionary event takes place, meaning that it is made up of only one member. Many of the Pokémon that have no evolutionary event are, of course, legendary Pokémon. However, there are still 42 other Pokémon that do not evolve. Below is a list of all non-legendary Pokémon that do not evolve.It must be noted that not belonging to an evolutionary family is not indicative of strength, or a lack thereof. Some Pokémon, such as Pinsir and Skarmory, are comparable to fully evolved Pokémon while others, like Luvdisc and Pachirisu, are more comparable to unevolved Pokémon. Often this indicates a Pokémon's possibility to be eligible for future new evolutions or pre-evolutions.
Branch evolution families
Main article: List of Pokémon with branched evolutions
Several families, while also one- and two-evolution families, are also branch evolution families. What this means is that there is a split in the evolutionary line at some point so that even though two Pokémon of the same species evolve the same amount of times, they can become one of two or more entirely different creatures. Eevee is the best-known example of this, evolving seven different ways depending on the method used. An example of this type of evolution family is below.
A major difference between the final forms of an evolution family with a branch in evolution is in the way that their base stats line up. For example, Kirlia evolves into both Gardevoir and Gallade, which both have 518 total base stats. However, Gallade's base stat in Attack is 125 and its base stat in Special Attack is 65. The reverse is true for Gardevoir, whose Special Attack is 125 and whose Attack is 65. This is true of many opposing evolutions, with one focusing in one specific stat, the other focusing in a separate stat, and both having the same total stats. This is especially obvious in the Eeveelutions, who each have exactly the same base stats, though organized differently.
Methods of evolution
Main article: Methods of evolution
The various triggers for a Pokémon's evolution are almost as varied as the Pokémon themselves. The most common of them is evolution by leveling up at or above a certain level. Other methods include leveling up when happiness has reached a high level, trading the Pokémon, trading the Pokémon holding an item, leveling up holding an item, or even using an evolutionary stone on it. Additionally, holding an Everstone prevents a Pokémon from evolving.
Most commonly, Pokémon that can evolve into more than one Pokémon will have the ways in which the evolution is activated being slightly similar, such as having both be by evolutionary stone or by holding an item and trading. Closely-related Pokémon, such as Nidoran♀ and Nidoran♂, will also have very similar, if not identical, evolution methods.