Rotom’s VGC Resources: Sun And Moon Competitive Breeding And Training Guide


With VGC17 officially beginning, breeding your new generation Pokémon from scratch is going to be very important. Here you’ll be able to see all the ins and outs of breeding in Sun and Moon; including item locations, new mechanics and tips for hatching eggs. This article will provide a very brief explanation of breeding, as well as any changes in mechanics from XY/ORAS.


Basics of Breeding

Location of the Nursery


The location of the Nursery (formerly the Day Care) is Panoila Ranch on Akala Island. Thankfully Game Freak was aware of how important breeding is and thankfully allowed for Panoila Ranch to be a travel location for Charizard’s Glide (as seen below). The nursery itself is the essentially same as previous generations, with a PC inside and someone outside to give you your eggs. However the nursery will not level up your Pokémon as the Day Care has done previously.


Knowing If An Egg Was Laid

This hasn’t really been covered too much, but whilst running up and down next to the nursery the girl outside who gives you the eggs when your Pokémon have laid an egg actually changes how she’s standing relative to whether an egg is ready to collect. If there is no egg ready yet, the girl will stand normally with her hands by her side (as seen on the right). If there is an egg ready to collect, she will have her arms crossed (as seen on left).

crossed-arms normal-standing

Important Breeding Item Locations

Destiny Knot

Unfortunately, Destiny Knot isn’t just laying on the ground someone, or hidden in some random preschoolers pocket to give to you when you mash A to skip the dialogue. Destiny Knot can be found two ways, neither of which is necessarily easier than the other.

  • Royal Avenue: The Royal Avenue BP Shop (right one) sells the Destiny Knot for a hefty 48BP. If this was the only purchase to be made here, then an hour or so grind on the Battle Tree would get you the item. However, with a lot of the following items requiring BP also, an alternative method than an even longer grind may be preferred. If you’re going to be busy on the Battle Tree regardless, then this may not bother you, and you’ll be able to grab your Destiny Knot when you feel like it.
  • Pick Up: This is the one location that hasn’t really been covered too much. The best and easiest Pick Up Pokémon in Sun and Moon is Meowth, which, at level 25-35ish is able to pick up Destiny Knot. With one strong Pokémon with a high PP move and 5 Meowths, KOing wild Pokémon and triggering the 10% pick up chance on 5 Pokémon allows for items to be found very regularly. This method is a little more variable than the first method, which has reportedly taken up to about 2 hours maximum for some people. If you don’t have the Pokémon necessary to topple the Battle Tree, and want to casually search for the item, then this method is for you.
Destiny Knot In Breeding

The Destiny Knot is easily the most important item in breeding. The parent holding the Destiny Knot actually doesn’t matter, as regardless it works the same way. With the 12 total IVs of all parents (HP, Atk, Def, SAtk, SDef, Spd, all x2) at random 5 of these stats are selected. Let’s say HP, Atk, Def, SDef and Spd are the 5 selected, excluding SAtk. From this, the IV number (0-31) inherited will be randomly chosen from either the male or female parent. For example, the HP, Atk, SDef and Spd may be directly inherited from the father, and the Def from the mother. There is no pattern to this, and all 5 stats can come from the same parent. The final stat (in this case SAtk) will be randomly given a value from 0-31, completing the IVs for all stats of the offspring.


Thankfully the Everstone is much easier to obtain, with a simple battle awarding the item. This item can be obtained from Captain Ilima, who after completing the first island can be found in his room in his house to the east of Hau’oli City on Melemele Island.


Everstone In Breeding

The Everstone has one key use in breeding, and that is guaranteeing the Nature of the offspring. The Pokémon holding the Everstone during breeding will guarantee that its nature it transferred to the offspring. For example, if a Brave Ditto holding a Destiny Knot and a Modest Charmander holding an Everstone breed, the Nature of the subsequent Charmander is guaranteed to be Modest.

EV Training Items

All of the EV training items are located in the middle BP Shop in the Battle Royale Dome on Akala Island, very close to where the nursery is. The BP cost for these items is 16 each, which totals to 96 BP in total for all of the items.

New Breeding / Training Mechanics

Bottle Caps: Artificial IVs

The introduction of Bottle Caps to raise IVs is very different to what has been the case in the past. Now, all Pokémon can have their IVs boosted to their maximums given they are Level 100 and you have a Bottle Cap. Given that, these are artificial there are a few minor mechanics that you may not be aware of.

Breeding with Artificial IVs

Hidden Power: I think this is easily one of the best things about the Bottle Cap feature; a Pokémon retains it’s Hidden Power. This means, that if a Pokémon has a 30 IV in a stat it wants to invest in, it can use the bottle caps to boost this stat to 31. Whilst this may not make a huge difference, it allows for 4 EVs to not be wasted. Investing in a 30 IV stat requires 8 EVs for a 1 point increase at level 50, instead of 4 EVs at 31 IVs. One stat point may not mean much, but allows for less confusion and can make a difference in damage calculation.

When breeding in Alola the offspring will always be Alolan. However, when Pokémon Bank updates in January the Non-Alolan forms of Pokémon will be allowed to be transferred, and such the Non-Alolan forms can be used to breed from. If Non-Alolan Pokémon are used to breed, the offspring will actually be the Alolan form, however, if the Female parent holds the Everstone (Male parents if breeding with Ditto) then the offspring will always match the form of the parent holding the Everstone. This does have a small impact on breeding, as both the Female parent’s form and Nature is carried down to the offspring, which can be quite annoying if you’re only wanting one or the other.


In XY an offspring would inherit the Poké Ball of its mother in all instances except breeding a male parents with Ditto, in which the offspring would be in a normal PokéBall. Now, if a male breeds with a Ditto, the Poke Ball of the male will be inherited by the offspring. Not a huge change, but still cool if you care about nice Poke Balls.

Power Items

Power Items in previous generations always awarded +4 EVs to the stat specified by the Power Item per Pokémon KO’d, which, in tandem with PokéRus and hordes, allowed for much more efficient EV training. With the loss of horde battles in this generation, Power Items have been boosted to +8 EVs to the stat specified by the Power Item, which alongside SOS Battles and PokéRus allows for almost as efficient EV training.

Advanced Methods

Getting Started with Competitive Breeding

When first starting breeding it can be very daunting trying to figure out where to start. The best place to start is by catching a Pokémon you want with the Nature you require. To be able to obtain a Pokémon with the required Nature a Pokémon with Syncronise makes things much much easier. Personally, when trying to unlock the IV Judge by hatching 20 eggs I hatched 20 Abra at random, all of which had varying Natures. From here, I’m able to catch the Pokémon I require with a 50% chance of encountering it with the same Nature as one of the Abras that I hatched, and thus I have a starting point for breeding. Another Pokémon required is Ditto, which for 31 IVs in stats must be chained through SOS, where each consequent Pokémon has stronger EVs than the last. With the release of Pokémon Bank in January this may be easier, as 6x 31 IV Ditto were quite common last generation and the Ditto used to breed doesn’t necessarily have to be from the Alola Region. With a Ditto and a Pokémon with the desired Nature, in tandem with the items above, breeding your 6IV Pokémon will be very easy, and could take under half an hour for experienced breeders.

Finding The IVs Of Your Pokémon

In more recent Pokémon titles there has been an ‘IV Judge’ within the game who can evaluate the IVs of your Pokémon. Alongside this,any IVs at 31 or 0 were mentioned, so the player could roughly know what the IVs would look like. This has changed in Sun and Moon, with the Judging feature being conveniently implemented into the PC. After the completion of the story, the Battle Tree on Poni Island is unlocked. Out the front of the Battle Tree stands an Ace Trainer who will mention that no one has impressed him yet. The way to impress this Ace Trainer is by hatching 20 Eggs within your game, which will unlock the Judging Feature within your PC. With reference to the image below, the potential of the Pokémon is stated to be ‘Above-Average Potential,’ meaning that this Pokémon has fairly low IVs overall, but is still okay. However, its Sp. Atk stat is said to be ‘Best,’ indicating that this Pokémon has an IV of 31 in its Sp. Atk stat. In Defense we can see it states that this stat is ‘No Good,’ indicating that this Pokémon has the lowest Defense IV possible at 0.


EV Training Quickly

With hordes gone from the game, SOS training is the best way to gain EVs fast. By using the new item Adrenaline Orb as well as chipping the opposing Pokémon to low HP you can force the wild Pokémon to call for help. From here, you can continue KOing the Pokémon being called, leaving the low HP Pokémon to continue calling its friends for you to beat up over and over again. Whilst this may not be better than hordes in Generation VI, it may be the most efficient method currently. For more information on how this can be done, DaWoblefet has written up a complete guide on Trainer Tower that you can view here.


To all those breeding for VGC17, I hope you were able to take something away from this article, regardless of skill level. The few mechanic changes in Sun and Moon vary the approach to breeding and training quite heavily, so understanding these changes and how to use them effectively is a huge bonus in preparing yourself to be the very best for the coming VGC Season.


About BargensVGC

Bailey started playing competitive Pokemon at the age of 11 under the alias of Bargens, with a primary focus on singles, before moving to VGC in 2014 at the age of 14. Bailey has become a much bigger VGC nerd since then, focusing on understand the metagame.
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