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Thread: A basic guide to EVs, IVs and natures

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    Default A basic guide to EVs, IVs and natures

    General Guide to EVs, IVs and Natures - By Blue Harvest

    I've noticed a lot of you haven't been adding EVs to your RMTs, which forces me to close them. However many of you do this because you don't fully understand EVs. Hopefully this guide will give you a quick rundown of EVs, Natures, IVs and EV training.

    EVs:

    Since probably 99.999% of your battles are going to be at level 100 EVs can be simplified with the following "facts"

    - 4 EVs = 1 extra stat point at level 100
    - A Pokemon can use a maximum of 508 EVs
    - A Pokemon can place 252 max EVs in one stat.

    Thats pretty much it lol. Its easy to make basic EV spreads too (advanced EVs spreads are REALLY complicated, but don't worry too much about that now). So heres how to make EV spreads the simple way:

    - Fast sweepers generally want 252 Speed and 252 Attack or Special Attack. This allows them to hit as hard as possible while outrunning as much as they can.
    - Defensive Pokemon almost ALWAYS want 252 HP before you even touch defenses. HP is the more defensive stat because it boost all hits you take instead of only some. Some rare exceptions to this rule are Pokemon like Blissey or Vaporeon who have extremely high HP but low Defense.

    252 / 252 EV spreads are usually not the best but they are "good enough" and in most cases won't hinder you except sometimes at upper level play. 252 / 252 Spreads add up to 504 EVs meaning you have 4 left over. This is one point you can put anywhere, its rarely important where. Usually HP.

    EV Training:

    EV training is relatively simple if you plan it in advance. It takes a half an hour to an hour, though it may take longer to collect the money and items required. To EV train you simply have to defeat certain Pokemon in a pre-set order. It sounds complicated but its actually really easy.

    Step 1: Determine your EVs
    - Lets say you are EV training a Wargle. You want it to hit really hard so you give it 252 Attack EVs. You want it to outrun some things, so maybe 100 Speed EVs (in reality there are speed tiers to take into account). The remaining 156 EVs (508 total) you are going to put into HP. Thats a spread of 252 Attack / 156 HP / 100 Speed.

    Step 2: Vitamins
    - In Pokemon vitamins (Calcium, Carbos etc.) give your Pokemon 10 EVs in that stat for each one they take up to a maximum of 100 EVs per stat. Vitamins aren't necessary but they speed up the EV training process by a LOT. So for our Wargle I would give it..

    10 Protein - 100 Attack EVs
    10 Carbos - 100 Speed EVs
    10 HP Up - 100 HP EVs

    Step 3: Power Items
    - Forget Pokerus and Macho Brace, Diamond and Pearl introduced "Power Items". These items streamline EV training by adding +4 EVs per battle. There are six of these items, one for each stat. You can buy them from the Battle Tower / Battle Frontier / Battle Subway for 16 points each. Get all six as EV training is MUCH faster with them.

    Step 4: EV training
    - The final step is actually EV training! But this is where things get a little more complicated. When you defeat a Pokemon, any Pokemon, the victor gets some EVs. Most of the time its one or two in a specific stat. Defeating a Grimer will give you one EV in HP, but beating an Arbok will give two Attack EVs. You can find a list of what gives what EVs here. Just click the stat you wish to get a list of.

    As said before Power Items boost the EVs your receive. Say we are going to EV train our Wargle in Attack next. It already has 100 Attack EVs from the Protein so it needs 152 more Attack EVs to equal 252. To do this equip Wargle with the "Power Bracer". This will give him +4 EVs with each opponent he defeats. Looking at the attack EV chart you can see that Lillipup and Patrat each gives you 1 Attack EV. That means you get 1 + 4 = 5 EVs for each one you defeat. Route 1 has 100% Patrats and Lillipups so go there.

    Fight and defeat 30 of them. Why 30? Because you are getting 5 EVs from each one. 5 x 30 = 150. You already have 100 Attack EVs so plus 150 more you now have 250! However the goal is 252, so unequip the Power Bracer and defeat two more Patrats / Lillipups. Thats it! Now you just need 56 more EVs in HP. To do that you can defeat 9 Stunfisk while holding the Power Weight plus one more without it (Stunfisk gives you 2 EVs each + 4 from the Power Weight). It sounds confusing I'm sure, but thats all there is to EV training. Eventually it will become extremely easy and quick to EV train.

    Good places to EV train:
    HP: Icirrus City (Surf). 100% Stunfisk. 2 HP EVs.
    Attack: Route 1 (Walk). 100% Lillipup and Patrat. 1 Attack EV.
    Defense: Wellspring Cave (Walk). 50% Roggenrolla. 1 Defense EV.
    Special Attack: Celestial Tower 2F (Walk). 100% Litwick. 1 Special Attack EV.
    Special Defense: Route 4 (Surf). 100% Frillish. 1 Special Defense EV.
    Speed: Route 1 (Surf). 100% Basculin. 2 Speed EVs.

    Natures:

    Natures give you a 10% boost in a specific stat and a 10% drop in another one.

    These natures you should NEVER use. They either do nothing, or have useless boosts. They are: Hardy, Docile, Quirky, Serious, Bashful, Gentle and Lax. The first 5 do nothing whatsoever, and the last two raise one defensive stat and lower another, which is terrible for most Pokemon trying to boost its bulk. There are rare occasions where this may be helpful, such as in the case of Custap Forretress, but it's usually best to ignore them altogether.

    These natures are rarely used. They are: Lonely, Naughty, Mild and Rash. These natures boost Attack or Special Attack and drop one of the defenses. Only Pokemon that absolutely require extra damage on a mixed set run these natures. In 4th gen OU only Heatran and Dragonite sometimes run Rash or Mild to boost the power of an offensive set. Things that can boost their speed x2 may also run this, as will Pokemon that don't necessarily need high speed but do want mixed offenses. Pokemon such as Kingdra (Swift Swim) and Landorus-T (Rock Polish or otherwise) might fall into this category. Generally, though, you will almost never use these natures.

    These natures are almost always used. Brave, Adamant, Bold, Relaxed, Impish, Timid, Hasty, Jolly, Naive, Modest, Quiet, Calm, Sassy and Careful. Generally speaking virtually every Pokemon set you ever use in either 4th or 5th gen will run one of these natures.

    Adamant / Modest - These are used for slower Pokemon such as Tyranitar, Metagross, Scizor and some Heatran. These Pokemon are too slow to outrun much and may decide more attacking power is more useful than speed.

    Naive / Hasty - Pokemon who need massive speed yet run mixed sweeper sets use these natures. Pokemon such as Scarf Heatran, Infernape and Azelf are good examples.

    Jolly / Timid - Anything that likes speed and doesn't run mixed offenses can take advantage of this nature. Pokemon like Aerodactyl, Jolteon, Starmie and Shaymin like these natures.

    Brave / Quiet - This is a somewhat rare nature to use. Some slow Pokemon that run bulk and mixed offenses run this nature to hit harder while without suffering in other ways. Examples include "utility" and "boah" Tyranitars and all Trick Room sweepers.

    Impish / Careful / Bold / Calm - These natures boost a defensive stat at the cost of an unused offense. Nearly all defensive Pokemon and walls run one of these natures.

    Sassy / Relaxed - A small number of defensive Pokemon run mixed offenses. Swampert for example uses Earthquake and Ice Beam and thus drops his speed to be as defensive as possible while still hitting things hard. Other Pokemon like Bronzong and Forretress run these natures to slow themselves, thus boosting the power of Gyro Ball.


    Its easy to tell what nature is best on defensive Pokemon since probably 95% of them run one of Impish / Careful / Bold / Calm. But faster Pokemon can be more difficult to pick. So heres a simple guide on what nature to use on pokemon of different speed (for offensive Pokemon ONLY)

    60 base speed or less - Generally these Pokemon run Adamant / Modest. Most run a lot of HP EVs due to how few things they can outrun.

    61 - 90 base speed - Anything in this range has decent reasons to run either speed boosting nature or attack boosting. Speed can help to outrun others in this range but extra attack can help against slower things.

    91 speed or more - For the most part anything in this range should run Jolly / Naive / Hasty / Timid.


    When breeding for natures if the female or Ditto holds an Everstone there is a 50% chance of that Pokemon's nature being passed on to the offspring.

    IVs:

    - Each stat has 0-31 IVs
    - Each IV equals one extra stat point at level 100
    - IVs are set from birth, and can not be changed
    - IVs determine what your Hidden Power type and strength is.

    So in other words each Pokemon is different, some better than others. IVs are the slight stat differences between Pokemon of the same species. There are advanced methods to getting high IVs but this requires immense effort. Generally unless you are a skilled (..patient) breeder or you want a specific Hidden Power you don't have to worry about IVs too much. In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver onward, if a "Power item" is held by either parent in the Pokémon Day Care, that parent passes down its IV in that respective stat; HP for Power Weight, Attack for Power Bracer, and so on.

    FAQ

    ? I caught a Pokemon in the wild, what are its EVs?
    - Pokemon caught in the wild, bred or "gifted" by in game NPCs all come with zero EVs in every stat.

    ? What level should I start EV training at?
    - Preferably from the moment you receive that Pokemon. Pokemon you train collect unwanted EVs unless you fully EV train them the moment you catch it. You do not gain any EVs from the day care or Rare Candies though.

    ? I EV trained something, will I mess up the EVs if I battle with it?
    - No. Once you EV train a Pokemon you can battle freely with it, its EVs will not change.


    Its 4 AM so I think I'll stop writing now. Feel free to leave questions or comments. I'm going to leave this stickied in the rate my team section for now, but sometime in the future I'll drop it in the competitive guides area. Point out typos and things that are wrong / don't make sense, I was very tired when I wrote this..

    Applying EVs and IVs Competitively - By Jesusfreak94

    Okay, so now you know the basics about how EVs and IVs work. You might be wondering now how to properly utilize them competitively, or maybe you're wondering why the Smogon analyses list the EV spreads that they do. Well, here's a few tips to keep in mind regarding EVs and IVs in the competitive metagame.

    Speed Tiers

    This is one of the most important applications of EVs. Speed tiers are lists of specific speed stats of the common Pokemon in a given tier (you can find a list here). These are important because they show you just how much speed you'll need to outspeed a certain threat. While many offensive Pokemon will just run maximum speed to outrun as much as possible, there are various deviations from this. Many bulky Pokemon with decent but less than stellar speed might use speed tiers to outspeed other Pokemon with similar speed stats (i.e. running enough speed on Heatran to outspeed SD Scizor, or running enough speed on Haxorus to outspeed neutral Mamoswine and Dragonite). Many boosting sweepers might also aim for a certain speed stat to keep from being revenge killed by a certain Choice Scarf user while using the remaining EVs to boost its bulk. For example, a Timid Chlorophyll Venusaur in the Sun would only need 180 speed EVs (even with HP Fire) to outspeed the fastest common Choice Scarf user in OU, Scarf Latios, and so the remaining 76 EVs could be used to increase its already good bulk.

    You might be wondering why I mentioned HP Fire there. Well, keep in mind that Hidden Power's power and typing depends on the user's IVs. HP Fire is one that forces you to have a speed IV of 30 instead of 31, which decreases your overall speed by 1. This is another little detail you'll always need to keep in mind if you're trying to outrun something in particular.

    Offensive/Defensive Benchmarks

    Although not quite as important as speed tiers, these benchmarks can be useful from time to time. Usually a sweeper will just want to maximize its primary offensive stat, but you might occasionally want to run a particular amount of Atk/SpA EVs in order to guarantee a OHKO or 2HKO on a certain Pokemon. For example, the standard OU Amoonguss runs 28 SpA EVs in order to guarantee that its Giga Drain will always break the Substitute of CM Keldeo after two Calm Minds; after all, Amoonguss is often used as a Keldeo counter. The rest is then used to boost its special bulk to make it an overall better special tank. Likewise, you might want a certain amount of defensive EVs in order to survive a certain attack. Landorus-T is one of the best checks to Terrakion in OU due to its great typing and Intimidate, so many players will balance Landorus-T's HP and Def EVs so that it always survives Sub SD Terrakion's Rock Gem-boosted Stone Edge after Swords Dance and Intimidate, which is one of Terrakion's best weapons against its usual counters.

    As mentioned before in this guide, be careful how you try to maximize the bulk of a defensive Pokemon. Generally, it is best to start by maximizing the HP of a Pokemon before you start working on the defensive EVs. This will improve the overall bulk of the Pokemon. The exception is generally with Pokemon with very large HP stats, such as Snorlax, Blissey, and Chansey. In these cases, maximizing HP first is less efficient than maximizing defenses first. However, there are always other things to take into consideration. Eviolite Chansey may have amazing overall bulk with a 4 HP / 252 Def / 252 SpD spread, but you'll usually want to go ahead and maximize its physical bulk with a 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD spread since its special bulk is already high, while its physical bulk is generally its soft spot. There are a also few rare exceptions where a strange combination of HP and Def/SpD EVs might be needed to maximize overall bulk. If you ever just want to maximize overall bulk with your remaining EVs on a certain Pokemon, you can always use X-Act's Defense Applet to find out which EV combination would be the best for your bulk.

    Jump Points

    You might have read somewhere that someone added so many EVs to hit a "jump point," but what exactly is that? A jump point is pretty much where adding 4 EVs to a stat with a positive nature gives you 2 points instead of 1. The reason this works is because a positive nature multiplies a stat by 1.1, rounded down (because the game's a jerk and won't let us have fractions of points). For an example, let's say we have a Landorus-T. We just want to give it a little bit of power and then bolster its physical bulk. If we give Landorus-T 52 EVs, he will have 339 Atk before we add in the Adamant nature. After adding the Adamant nature, this will become 372.9, which is rounded down to 372. It's almost 373, but not quite. Now let's try adding another 4 EVs, 56 in total. This will give us 340 Atk before the Adamant nature, which becomes 374 with the Adamant nature. We just gained 2 Atk points for the price of 1!

    So how do you know if you've hit a jump point? Well, you can plug the numbers into a stat calculator and test it…or you could just look at the stat before adding the positive nature. An easy rule of thumb is that if a stat is divisible by 10 before adding the positive nature, you've hit a jump point. These are useful points to hit, but don't overestimate them. Usually it's best to try to hit a certain offensive/defensive benchmark or speed tier with your EVs so that you'll know they serve a purpose. But if you're just looking for a general combination of bulk and power, jump points will help to make your spread more efficient.

    Hazard Numbers

    Have you ever wondered why the standard CB Scizor runs 248 HP EVs instead of a full 252? The reason here is due to Stealth Rock. Scizor takes 1/8 damage from Stealth Rock, and his maximum HP stat is 344, which is divisible by 8. This means that he will be taking 43 points of damage every time he switches into Stealth Rock. However, remember when I said that the game rounds down? Well, decreasing the HP stat to just 343 will cause you take only 42 points of SR damage. Over the course of a couple of switches, the Scizor with the lower HP stat will actually have a bit more HP than the one with more HP when Stealth Rock is taken into account. This can be applied to any other Pokemon as well. If your Pokemon's HP stat is divisible by the fraction that it takes from Stealth Rock (i.e. a Pokemon that loses 1/4 of its HP to SR with an HP stat divisible by 4), then lower the HP EVs by 4 to take one less point of damage from Stealth Rock. This will rarely be a big deal, but those extra few points could make a difference once in a while.
    Last edited by jesusfreak94; 5th September 2013 at 9:58 PM.

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    Cool nice guide it really helped me a lot.

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    Very good job, I'm sure lots of newbies will find this extremely useful, it would have helped me a lot if it was around several years ago when I learned this stuff. Thank God you posted this, maybe team rates might actually include some EVs and natures now. :P

    I think the Sassy and Relaxed natures should briefly mention Trick Room. It also couldn't hurt to point out that pokérus stacks with the power items so each give you 8 EVs in their stats on top of the doubled EVs you'd receive from the opponent itself (In this way, battling something that gives only 1 EV will end up giving 10).

    To any who think EV training is not worth it: It is. Once you have the items, know-how, and pokérus, you'll be able to EV train a pokemon in around an hour. As long as you don't lose count of how many you've killed (and you have rudimentary math skills), it'll be very easy. (Even if you lose track, you can just check your PP anyway. In 4th gen, the poketch helps a LOT. This is lost in 5th gen, but at least there are more hotspots that give 100% EVs in one stat.)
    Last edited by ASB; 28th March 2011 at 2:10 AM.

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    Thank you! alot of sites and people's explanations were confusing but this really helps. i am new to EVs and IVs so once again, thank you!

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    Hey i got a question i wanna train a pokemon for spatk at celestial tower which is 1 ev i have pokerus and the power item would the ev gain be 10 or 6?

    1(EV) + 4(Item) X 2(PokeRus) = 10(Gain per Battle)

    1(EV) X 2(Pokerus) + 4(Item) = 6(Gain per Battle)

    i dunno if they apply pokerus or the item first
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    I coulda done this afterall BH, too bad I'm so lazy although I had something good for this.


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    Quote Originally Posted by lunar22 View Post
    I coulda done this afterall BH, too bad I'm so lazy although I had something good for this.
    i coulda done it too, put it in that gen 4 guide >.>

    silly bh, doing work

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASB View Post
    To any who think EV training is not worth it: It is. Once you have the items, know-how, and pokérus, you'll be able to EV train a pokemon in around an hour. As long as you don't lose count of how many you've killed (and you have rudimentary math skills), it'll be very easy. (Even if you lose track, you can just check your PP anyway. In 4th gen, the poketch helps a LOT. This is lost in 5th gen, but at least there are more hotspots that give 100% EVs in one stat.)
    Of course, there are other ways to keep track (i use my phone) but thanks BH!

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    Hmm, excellent guide. I like the way you put this together. It will probably make it a lot easier for beginners to understand. I know it would have helped me a lot when I was first starting. I had tried to use another guide, but it just seemed over my head. But this, this is what someone new to competitive training needs. Anways, good job!

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    if you have an android smartphone, theres an app on there called poke pal. Costs $1 and it has a place for you to keep track of each pokemons EVs. Also has full B/W pokedex, attackdex, abilitydex, type charts and other neat features like lists of natures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jesusfreak94 View Post
    Hmm, excellent guide. I like the way you put this together. It will probably make it a lot easier for beginners to understand. I know it would have helped me a lot when I was first starting. I had tried to use another guide, but it just seemed over my head. But this, this is what someone new to competitive training needs. Anways, good job!
    yeah, i wish i also had this too, like for my first ev trained pokemon, salamence, i just had it hold the power band the entire time for maximum attack, thinking it had to hold it the entire time i trained it for it to work

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    Hey, does anyone know a better place to EV train for defence? I find the 50% encounter rate in wellspring cave realy annoying.
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    ^ I was trying to find one but 50% was the best I've got. To add to the annoyingness they all have Sturdy, so you have to hit twice and will probably make more trips to heal because of that.

    I didn't mention Pokerus because I feel it adds to the complexity of EV training and is fairly difficult to get. I never found it to speed up EV training because you waste so much time actually getting and spreading it. Also most new players tend to think you need it or its optimal to have, when its really just another way of EV training... also I was too lazy to write it.

    Also I didn't mention Relaxed or Sassy Trick Room Pokemon because I think Trick Room sucks and would rather mention it as little as possible. Even for Trick Room defensive setters like Dusknoir and Porygon 2 waste turns as they have to switch out immediately lest they waste the Trick Room. I would rather just run a Trick Room Sweeper like Gallade or (the jelly cell thing).


    Thank you for all the positive feedback ^_^

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    I surpose I could use a power belt and fight some other pokemon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Harvest View Post
    ^ I was trying to find one but 50% was the best I've got. To add to the annoyingness they all have Sturdy, so you have to hit twice and will probably make more trips to heal because of that.
    Inside pinwheel forest. Normal grass has Sewaddle and Venipede which both give 1 EV and have a 60% combined chance of appearing, double grass has Swadloon and Whirlipede which have only a 50% combined chance of appearing but give 2 EVs. None of these have sturdy either, which is nice.

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    ^ Awsome thanks, I am just going now to train my jellicent!
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    That is an awesome guide Blue Harvest. It will help a lot of people. I wish it was around when I learned of EVs and Natures.
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    Yea... i didnt keep track of those EV, but I find that guide useful. Now I know why my Giratina has so much HP...
    I messed up by not keeping track, oh well i'll just keep training my pokemon team, they still have some EV's left
    Last edited by S4pikachu; 29th March 2011 at 3:29 PM.

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    Thank you for posting this thread, now people will think twice before posting Competitive RMT's.

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    How do you choose where to put your EVs?
    Charizard

    Enought Said

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charizardfan900 View Post
    How do you choose where to put your EVs?
    Its your choice depending on what you want to EV your Pokemon for.


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    is there seriously no pokemon thats good with a normal nature like quirky?
    none at all?
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    Ok this has helped a lot and now my friend is going to be surprised. Muhahaha! I do have a question, if your pokemon is lvl 100 can you still EV train them? Also how can you EV train your starter if it is forced to fight pokemon early on and get you through the game and say you are level 40ish right now with no way of knowing what EV spread you have?

    Also Blue Harvest is there any way you can make a guide for held items? I'm so confused by what a pokemon should hold, I keep hearing Life Orb and some Sashes. What do they even do? I looked up Life Orb and it increases attack at the cost of hp but is it worth it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crimsonash310 View Post
    Ok this has helped a lot and now my friend is going to be surprised. Muhahaha! I do have a question, if your pokemon is lvl 100 can you still EV train them? Also how can you EV train your starter if it is forced to fight pokemon early on and get you through the game and say you are level 40ish right now with no way of knowing what EV spread you have?
    According to this, it is possible to EV train at level 100 in BW.

    With your starter, most people would breed it later on and EV train the offpsring. You can't really EV train the one you get from the professor because as you said, you're forced to fight a whole variety of Pokemon that give different EVs (unless you can get EV reducing berries, but you can't get those yet in BW I don't think...)

    Quote Originally Posted by flameswy
    is there seriously no pokemon thats good with a normal nature like quirky?
    none at all?
    Natures like Quirky don't boost any of your stats, so you don't really benefit from having them.

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    alot of my pokemon have lax nature. I dont want to train my pokemon up to the 80's from lvl one!!! HELP!!!
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