When trading Pokemon, there is a small chance for the traded Pokemon to become Lucky. Lucky Pokemon cost 50% less dust to power up. A Lucky Pokemon will always have “good” IVs, stats typically over 80%. They also have golden sparkles.
Knowing a Lucky Pokemon will always have good fighting stats and cost less to power up, it would be best to have your best battlers be Lucky. So…
There are two ways to proc a Lucky Trade. One is truly luck. Any trade has a chance to become lucky. The older a Pokemon is, the greater the chance of it proccing a Lucky Trade. A Pokemon caught when the game first launched in 2016 has a much greater chance of causing a Lucky Trade versus a Pokemon caught today.
*There is a theory in the Community that Pokemon caught within the first 2 months of the games release, July and August of 2016, have guaranteed Lucky chances. Some also believe this guarantee is only if the trainer with the July or Aug Pokemon also only has 10 or fewer Luckies. Niantic has never formally confirmed this theory, but it seems to work most of the time*
The trade will look and proceed normally until the very end. When you receive your new Pokemon, he will have the golden lucky background!
After becoming Best Friends with another Trainer, your daily Friendship gain has a chance to pro Lucky Friends. Once Lucky Friends, your next trade with that Trainer will give you guaranteed Lucky Pokemon! Lucky Friend Trades are rare, magical things and are the best way to build up your Lucky stable of battling Pokemon.
Are you a PVE Pokemon Raider, or do you prefer PVP Trainer Battles? Even if you pick both, prioritizing which Pokemon you are focusing is going to be important when picking your coveted Lucky Trades.
Since Lucky Pokemon cost less dust to level and have good stats, you’ll want Pokemon you’re going to level up and Battle with. Choose Pokemon that are the top of their typing, like Mamoswine (the King Pig of Ice Pokemon) or Pokemon with exclusive moves that make them powerhouses like Metalgross with his CD move Meteor Mash.
Remember - it will depend greatly on what your Lucky Friend has, and what they want. You might want a Shadowball Mewtwo from your Lucky Trade but if they don’t have it, they don’t have it. Carefully work through each other’s stable of Pokemon for trade to make sure everyone is getting a strong Pokemon!
Shiny Pokemon also make good Lucky Trades! When caught in the wild, Shiny Pokemon often have poor stats. Swapping Shinies in a Lucky Trade will give them good stats so you can bring those rare Pokemon out in battle more often!
Pokemon caught in Raids have similar stat protection as Lucky Trades, they should always have about 80% IV or better. When trading these Pokemon in a normal trade, their stats randomize and have a chance to get worse. This can be a real bummer when trading hard to get 5 Skull raid boss Pokemon. Since Lucky Trades offer that stat protection, Lucky Trades are a great place to trade Raid Bosses like Mewtwo or Giratina who are valuable battlers.