Calling all Pokemon fans! Here's a friendly reminder that Toys 'R Us' Shaymin giveaway kicks off on Sunday, February 8. Shaymin is a super-rare Pokemon that's only obtainable through special events. To get this Pokemon, you need to bring your Nintendo DS and Pokemon Diamond/Pearl cartridge to the store. When you're there, you can use the "mystery gift" option to wirelessly receive Shaymin. Give your local Toys 'R Us a ring to make sure that they're participating in the giveaway.
Getting a rare and powerful Pokemon like Shaymin is more than enough for some gamers, but if you want to get the most out of this critter then you should spend some time soft resetting. Right about now some of you are thinking, "What the hell is soft resetting?" This, my friends, consists of saving the game right when you're about to pick up Shaymin, checking the randomly generated results of your particular critter, and resetting the game until you get one that's satisfactory.
At the very least, you want to make sure that Shaymin has an optimal nature. If you're super hardcore, you want to make sure that your Shaymin has strong "individual values" (IVs). Both of these factors are randomly generated. Taking the time to make sure your Pokemon have the right natures and strong IVs will determine how effective they are in battle. In competitive settings, these factors can make the difference between winning and losing. Now let's take a closer look at natures and IVs.
There are 25 natures that a Pokemon can have. Natures determine how stats are distributed as a Pokemon levels up. There are 5 neutral natures and 20 natures that increase one stat while decreasing another. Most people use Shaymin in one of two ways: as a "special sweeper" or a "sub/seed" Pokemon. Special sweepers rely on high special attack and speed stats. For this variant, you want a Shaymin with a "timid" or "modest" nature. The former gives a speed boost, while latter ups the special-attack stat; both lower the physical attack stat, which Shaymin doesn't need.
Sub/seed Pokemon are defensive specialists that exploit the moves "substitute" and "leech seed". These Pokemon set up dummies that absorb attacks and plant their foes with a seed that leeches hit points. Having high defense or special defense is the way to go if you want to use Shaymin in this manner. This means that you want "bold" or "calm" natures. The former boosts defense, while the latter kicks up special defense; both lower the physical attack stat.
Which defensive nature you pick depends greatly on the makeup of your team. Shaymin is weak against flamethrower and ice beam -- two common special attacks. It's also weak against aerial ace -- a common regular attack. You need to consider Shaymin's teammates -- ideally ones that can stand up to some of the aforementioned moves -- when deciding which nature to go far.
IVs are a complicated matter that many Pokemon players don't even know about. IVs are number values for each Pokemon stat. They can be as low as 0 and as high as 31. Let's use the defense stat as an example. A Pokemon with 0 defense IVs will not have any additional bonuses at level 100. Compare that to a Pokemon with 31 defense IVs, which get 31 additional defense points at level 100.
The only way to see a Pokemon's IVs is to use an IV calculator. This requires you to plug in a Pokemon's various stats to see what the IVs are. The higher a Pokemon's level, the more accurate the IV calculations are. It's pretty pointless to calculate the IVs of a level-five Pokemon, since the results will not be accurate. Since Shaymin comes at level 50, you should get spot-on results of its IVs.
If you're new to these facets of Pokemon, I hope this article has given you an idea of how wonderfully complicated the gameplay can be. Some of it can be a little daunting and these two features are just the tip of the iceberg (effort values are another complex matter). If you have any questions about natures and IVs, I'll try to answer them in the comments sections. Remember, keep soft resetting your game until you get an optimal Shaymin. It might take some time, but it's worth the effort.