Pokemon Go Which Pokemon To Keep Guide

Pokemon Go Which Pokemon To Keep Guide by VedranG

So you want to be the master? (Of Pokemon) Do you have the skills to be number one?

First off I’m going to say that this is my OPINION or what I look for in Pokémon that I’m looking to keep, upgrade, transfer or whatever. It is by no means the 100% guaranteed best way to play, but it is a very efficient way to keep from wasting stardust, candies, and those precious Pokémon slots in your inventory.
This guide is generally going to help you efficiently maximize and organize your Pokémon, because as we all know, the space you’re allotted is finite.

Firstly, you have to decide what’s worth keeping. For me, I keep Pokémon that fall into three major groups; Pokémon with battle potential, Pokémon with trade potential, and Pokémon that I’m collecting to evolve. The first group is by far the easiest to differentiate from the others because it generally only includes Pokémon you’re going to EVOLVE for EXP; such as, Pidgey, Weedle or Caterpie. Potential others with low evolve costs of 25 can also be added to this group but I generally don’t care for those.

The second group is essentially Trade Fodder. In here I put the Pokémon that I really don’t want to keep for myself, but there could be future value in them for trading. For example, Pokémon with a CP of 1,000+ that either have less than favorable IVs, or are more Rare to encounter are Pokémon that I will keep. I myself have no use for them as my goal in the game is to build the strongest team, but I can see the value they might have for other people. (Ex. My 1,200CP Gengar [12/0/12 IV], or my 1,700CP Dragonite [12/3/5 IV].)

The third group is where things start to get tricky and a little more subjective so I’ll break it down as simply as possible and be adding links to other helpful threads.


Alrighty, so you’ve caught/evolved/hatched yourself a Pokémon that you think might have battle potential. What now?

  • Well first, check to see if the Pokémon is in fact good at fighting by consulting a tier list. I prefer THIS ONE “credit to Professor_Kukui”
    Trainer Tip: IF you’re looking to power up your favorite Pokémon and it doesn’t appear on this list, you can feel free to skip this first step
  • Secondly, check the IV’s… My general rule of thumb is to only KEEP Pokémon over 86% IVs or (13/13/13). This rule only changes for Rare and non-farmable Pokémon with good movesets. (Think Lapras, or Snorlax). For more info on what role IVs play in battle check out THIS POST, from this you can clearly see that a 90% Pokémon is more than sufficient because it is only beat out by just over 2% compared to a 100% Pokémon of the same species.
    Trainer Tip: Here you have to weigh the likelihood of getting a higher IV rare Pokémon with a decent move set. With Pokémon such as Lapras are very rare so settling for a lower IV might not be a bad thing as long as the move set is good.
    Trainer Tip: A low CP Pokémon with perfect (or close to) IVs is generally worth leveling up. For example, a 10CP 15/15/15 Charizard is worth powering up because it’ll statistically be easier to farm the extra 50 candies/50k stardust than finding a higher CP Perfect Charizard.
  • The final thing you need to keep in mind is one of the most important and can ruin a potentially perfect Pokémon, the moveset. You should consult THIS SHEET for a list of all the possible move combinations and their offensive and defensive viability. Make sure that your Pokémon has its optimal moveset for either offense or defense.
    Trainer Tip: Make sure to evolve any Pokémon you’re considering to see their final moveset before upgrading them with your stardust. Nothing worse than wasting a bunch of dust and candy training up a 15/15/15 Magikarp, only for it to turn into a Twister Gyarados.

IF each of these categories are to your satisfaction (again, no objective science here unless it’s 100% in all categories) then feel free to use stardust to power the Pokémon up to max. Personally I want to make sure that the Pokémon is in the TOP 10 for either role, with a Moveset that is either the 1st or 2nd best for whichever category along with a 90%+ IV before investing any stardust.


Make sure that each of the following three categories are to your satisfaction before powering up.
* Pokemon Tier (I keep things in the top 10)
* 90%+ IV Rating
* Optimal Moveset (or Second best)
Being weaker in one category can be supplemented by a higher score in a secondary category.

Important Links:
Battle Tier List
Optimal Movesets
IV Effects on Battle Performance

EDIT: A lot of people keep mentioning that CP should play a role in determining if a pokemon should be kept /upgraded or not. While I agree that CP is important it DOESNT factor into this equation. IV and MoveSet are both STATIC variables, meaning they will not change. CP however, is dynamic and can be altered… You can power up a 10CP magikarp anytime by grinding all day but try as hard as you want you’re not making its IVs or Moveset change.

EDIT2: For the people asking how “I’m able to play with such a strict guideline,” here’s my current Pokemon list.https://i.gyazo.com/e47d7a844ef8068ea075ea8832dfea1c.png Note, that I’ve ONLY max powered 3 pokemon. Flareon, Arcanine, and Poliwrath

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