One of the most exciting aspects of the game focuses on hunting down high-IV Pokémon. Some hardcore IV hunters go crazy about catching perfect Pokémon, a fact that makes them more unique and special.

All Pokémon have three different IVs that add up to their base stats (Attack, Defense and Stamina). They can range from 0 to 15 on wild Pokémon (4 to 15 if they are weather-boosted when caught) or from 10 to 15 if they are hatched from eggs or caught as a raid boss. A perfect Pokémon is a Pokémon whose IVs on Attack, Defense and Stamina are 15, which makes a total of 45. Given the fact that the maximum sum of IVs on the base stats is 45, that would make it a 100% Pokémon (45/45).

But what if I told you that a 98% IV Pokémon with a missing point in Stamina could be effectively the same as a perfect one? The purpose of this article is to show how this fact can be seen in some specific species and why that happens.

What makes 100% IV Pokémon that special?

The main answer to that question is rarity. The difference in battle between a 98% IV and a 100% IV Pokémon is barely noticeable. There are certain situations in which an attacking breakpoint will only be reached if the Attack IV is maxed, but apart from that, the only difference between these two Pokémon from the same species will be the CP and in some situations, a couple of Hit Points.

The Rayquaza scenario

The best way to illustrate that is with an example. The Pokémon used will be Rayquaza, a meta-relevant Pokémon that now has a lot of popularity not only because of its legendary-tier stats but also because Rayquaza raids are out. The formula to calculate a Pokémon’s CP, as it can be seen in this article, yields the two CP combinations in the following Table.

Pokémon Attack IV Defense IV Stamina IV IV % Max CP
Rayquaza 15 15 14 97.8% 3636
Rayquaza 15 15 15 100.0% 3645

The extra IV in Stamina lets Rayquaza reach its maximum CP, 3645, whereas the 97.8% IV one reaches a Max CP of 3636. Therefore, the difference between these two Rayquaza from a CP perspective is just 9 CP. However, how do they compare in battle? The following Table illustrates the stats and Max HP for both Rayquaza at level 40. Keep in mind that Rayquaza’s base stats are 284, 170 and 191 in Attack, Defense and Stamina respectively.

Pokémon Attack Defense Stamina HP IV % Max CP
Rayquaza 299 185 205 162 97.8% 3636
Rayquaza 299 185 206 162 100.0% 3645

The key – Pokémon GO’s HP formula

You might be wondering how it is even possible that both Rayquaza have the same Hit Points if one has a higher CP and IVs than the other. Well, the formula that Pokémon GO uses to determine a Pokémon’s HP is the key factor. The formula is the following one:

The floor function is a function that rounds down the value from the equation, Base HP is the base stat in Stamina that a Pokémon has, and CpM is the CP Multiplier, which is described in this article.

Crunching the numbers for both Rayquaza at level 40 yields:

As it can be seen, rounding down both values shows the same result, 162 Hit Points. If Rayquaza had just one more value in the Stamina base stat, the result would be over 163 and therefore, even after rounding it down, Rayquaza would have 163HP.

Thus, it can be said that a 98% IV Rayquaza with a missing point in the Stamina IV is effectively the same as a perfect one, with the only difference being the Max CP that it can reach. We can call it the perfectly imperfect Pokémon.

For more information on how the Max CP is calculated, this wiki guide can be used.

Is the extra IV irrelevant in all Pokémon then?

Short answer – no. In fact, there is only a short list of Pokémon whose last IV point in Stamina does not influence the maximum amount of Hit Points achievable at level 40. Since the list might be too large to include in this article, the following Table recaps some of the most meta-relevant relevant cases.

Pokémon Attack  Defense  Stamina  Max HP Max CP
Muk 190 184 210 177 2709
Cloyster 186 323 100 90 2475
Rhydon 222 206 210 177 3300
Piloswine 181 147 200 169 2284
Blissey 129 229 510 414 3219
Suicune 180 235 200 169 2823
Tyranitar 251 212 200 169 3670
Swampert 208 175 200 169 2815
Rayquaza 284 170 191 162 3645