Pokémon GO finally received its hotly-anticipated Gen 4 update yesterday, introducing a bunch of new monsters into the various facets of the game for you to catch all over again. Not all of the 107 Gen 4 Pokémon are available from the get-go, though. Instead, the rest will roll out intermittently, just like Niantic did with the previous two generations.
However, another exciting change was the introduction of a massive stat change, which completely reworked the formula for calculating HP and defence stats. It hasn't changed the meta drastically, but Pokémon like Blissey have seen a sizeable nerf. We'll go through it properly later in this guide.
If you'd like to learn more about the Gen 4 part of the update, you can head on over to our gallery, where you can see a list of the new Pokémon available in the game, alongside those that will launch intermittently later. We've also included the rest of the Gen 4 Pokémon in case you'd like to have a browse at what's coming.
Many Pokémon already available in the game will soon get new evolutions too, and we want to help you collect them much faster. To that end, we've written a small guide on which Pokémon earn new evolutions so you can start saving your candy now.
In this guide though, we're going to explain the stat changes to help you make sense of them. We'll also include some speculation on why these were implemented, and provide tips on how to shake up your strategy in case your favourite Pokémon were affected.
Pokémon GO October 2018 Stat Changes – What Changed?
With the October 2018 Gen 4 update, Niantic introduced widespread changes to a Pokémon's stats. These only affected how a Pokémon's base stamina and defence is calculated.
To clear up any potential confusion, the formulas for CP and a Pokémon's base attack remain the same, so don't panic. The attackers tier list remains largely unchanged.
Stamina Changes Explained
Each Pokémon's base stamina is determined by a formula, which was previously calculated as 'HP * 2'. Since the October 2018 stat update, base stamina is now calculated as 'Floor(HP * 1.75 + 50).
It looks a heck of a lot more complicated, doesn't it? Basically, all Pokémon have received a flat 50 buff in stamina, while losing a 0.25% of the previous stamina bonus from HP. As a result, the flat increase has buffed the majority of Pokémon so that they now have a higher base stamina, but it slightly nerfs those right at the top of the table, like Blissey and Chansey.
It's not a massive nerf, so it hasn't really changed the defensive meta much. It has increased the viability and survivability of pretty much every Pokémon aside from those right at the top, though.
Defence Changes Explained
The defence changes have been less kind though, with it pretty much serving as a universal nerf – with the highest defenders seeing the most punishment.
Again, let's take a quick look at the changes to the formula that calculates a Pokémon's base defence. Before the update, it looked like this:
BaseDefence = Round(ScaledDefence * SpeedMod)
ScaledDefence = Round (2 * (7/8 Higher + 1/8 Lower))
SpeedMod = 1 + Speed – 75 over 50
Now, it looks like this:
BaseDefence = Round(ScaledDefence * SpeedMod)
ScaledDefence = Round(2 * (5/8 Higher + 3/8 Lower)
That looks very complex, because it is. Put simply, the change reduces the amount of base defence a Pokémon receives from the higher out of their defence or special defence statistics. As a result, those with super high defensive stats have seen a considerable reduction in their base defence. These include Chansey, Blissey, Onix, Cloyster, Steelix, and Regirock/Regice.
However, Pokémon that had balanced defence and special defence stats receive no changes with this update. So basically, it's a defence nerf for all Pokémon that had way too much defence previously.
Why Were The Stats Changed?
The ruling theory is that these stats were changed ahead of PvP being introduced to Pokémon GO. Before the stat change, certain Pokémon – Blissey in particular – could survive an encounter with any Pokémon in the game, and would generally beat them before it was beaten. That would make PvP just Blissey versus Blissey, which no one wants.
These changes have brought Blissey and the rest of the solid defenders more in line with the rest of the Pokémon in the game. They're still some of the best defenders going, but this allows a Pokémon with a super high attack rating to have a chance of bringing down Blissey and the like before they're brought down themselves.
However, this is just a theory. Niantic might be preparing for the PvP meta well ahead of that future update, or this could just be an update that's been planned for a while to balance gyms and the like. Let's see.
What do you think of the stat changes? Have they had any effect on your team composition? Or do you think this is just preparation for PvP? Let us know your theories in the comments section below.