Me and my friends have encountered this situation many times. We need to decide which Pokemon to evolve.
Take the following scenario:

  • Growlithe A: 20% more CP than Growlithe B. (898 instead of 743).
  • Growlithe B: 26% more IV than Growlithe A. (87 instead of 69 in this case).

I didn't give more details about each Pokemon because I'd like a general answer that others can use.

Thank you kind folks!

P.S this is not a duplicate, since I understand what a higher IV interprets into.

Yes, a higher IV will define the MAX CP, but it's not the only thing to consider. A higher IV also means better chance of better moves for the evolved pokemon - and those are much more important than a high CP. Also consider that I have many Arcanines and I don't have the stardust to max them out (that is a different question).

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    Although it will end up costing you more a bit more candy and stardust to power up, Growlithe B ultimately can reach a higher maximum CP. Long term; B might be preferable. But by that time you might get Growlithe C, with perfect IVs and a higher starting 'level'. – Trent Hawkins Sep 24 '16 at 13:54
  • Thanks Trent. that's why I evolve the highest ones, and save powering up for the best out of those. – bladefist Sep 24 '16 at 14:23
  • @bladefist Instead of saying "thank you" in your question, vote up answers you think are good and/or accept what you think is the best answer. gaming.stackexchange.com/help/someone-answers Welcome to the community! – jrennie Sep 24 '16 at 14:23
  • @jrennie as you've noticed I am new here, so I don't have enough rep to vote up an answer. – bladefist Sep 24 '16 at 14:25

Growlithe B is likely the one you want to evolve. IV remains fixed when you evolve and IV limits the potential of the Pokemon. As long as you continue to get stardust and Growlithe candy, B will ultimately have higher CP.

Note that moves are assigned randomly at evolution, so you shouldn't consider current moves.

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    I'm curious how you've come to this decision. Obviously you wouldn't say the same if Growlithe B was only say 200CP, right? so what's the calculation? :) – bladefist Sep 24 '16 at 14:26
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    The only reason I wouldn't say B is if candies for that pokemon are especially difficult to obtain. It takes relatively few candies/stardust to go through the lower levels. And, the pokemon's level is capped by your own trainer's level. So, even if CP starts low, you'll end up with the higher CP pokemon by evolving/upgrading the higher IV one (no matter the starting CP). – jrennie Sep 24 '16 at 15:30
  • @bladefist: I'd still consider evolving a Pokemon with perfect IV's that has 10 CP. Finding a perfect Pokemon is really, really difficult. Then again, I tend to min/max when I play games and don't mind investing the extra work if it means I'll be better off. But, that's subjective and will be different from player to player. – Ellesedil Sep 26 '16 at 16:37
  • So current CP is more important for what you will use it for NOW, but IV is more important for the potential of the max values the pokemon can be when evolving/power up? – WaldoAwesome Nov 15 '18 at 8:35
  • @WaldoAwesome Yes, exactly. – jrennie Jan 30 '19 at 0:53

It depends on the future of the Growlithe. If you expect to power it up somewhat, then Growlithe A is better than Growlithe B because it will take less candies and stardust. If you expect to power it us significantly and keep it for a long time, I suggest Growlithe B because the stardust and candy difference is negligible in the long run. However, the most important factor is moveset. A Growlithe with Bite and Flamethrower is far better than one with Ember and Flamethrower. Therefore, the Growlithe with the better moveset is probably much better.

  • I understand the moves make a difference, but how do they (if at all) affect the Arcanine it evolves to? – bladefist Sep 24 '16 at 14:10
  • They do not. When writing this, I didn't realize you planned on evolving it. Personally, I haven't even seen a single Growlithe, much less enough to evolve one. – Ethan Chapman Sep 24 '16 at 15:55

CP are calculated from sum of (total Attack, Defense and Stamina of a pokemon times 1, 0.5 and 0.5 respectively) times a constant which differ depending what level tier your pokemon is at.

Bigger total stat brings more CP. You will mostly evolve your growlithe to arcanine because of the massive boost on each base stat. You will favor growlithe with more IV stat, because with the constant applied for each pokemon level up, it would lead to notable CP difference between both of your growlithe when they have same CP arc percentage (alias they are at same level)

Your ideal battle pokemon would be that one who has most base stat, most IV and a moveset that you are looking for.


It also depend on your current level. If you have a level 22 for example probably you will find better of that type in future then is better to keep the one with higher CP for secondary roles (cannon feeders, occupy gyms for short time) without investing any resources on it. If you are level 15 then probably you will evolve the one with better IV - if you have space is good to keep the other too because it may be useful in some special cases. In training is always best to use Pokemon with lowest CP witch can defeat lowest CP defender. Also it depend if you have plenty of gold or not. If you have plenty of coins you will get plenty of stardust and will be no problem to spend it on power-up. If you really play it for free or with limited coins then higher CP will be more suitable because stardust is the main restriction in further development.

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