I want to like
Braviary because it just has such a
patriotic vibe to it.
Can he (yeah, all male species)
escape the curse of being a Stage 1
Colorless Pokémon based upon a
Normal/Flying hybrid from the video
is a Stage 1 Colorless Pokémon, as
stated in my little intro.
The good news is that Stage 2
Pokémon no longer have access to sick
The bad news is that neither do
Stage 1 Pokémon and Basic Pokémon are
both well supported now and getting more
in the future.
This card is going to have to be
stronger than… well… anything but a
Stage 2 Pokémon.
If Stage 1 Pokémon that don’t
Evolve aren’t that powerful, they have
little reason for existing.
It should be noted that as of
right now, Colorless Weakness,
Resistance, support, and counter cards
are either rare or non-existent in the
This could of course change with
later sets, but for now it is almost a
neutral Type, not unlike when the game
100 HP is about right for a Stage 1 and
will let it survive a decent hit.
The Lightning Weakness makes
sense when combined with this HP score
is unfortunate: there are a few popular
Lightning-Type Pokémon that would hit
for 50 points of damage that now simply
The Fighting Resistance is
appreciated and should come in handy on
The single Energy Retreat Cost is
technically good, as it is fairly easy
to pay, but since this card is a
Normal/Flying Type in the video games, a
free Retreat Cost would have been more
has two attacks, both named after actual
video game attacks it learns: Wing
Attack and Brave Bird.
Wing Attack does an adequate 40
for (CC) while Brave Bird does a good 90
for (CCC)… at least until you factor in
the 30 points of recoil damage.
Generally if you’re willing to
hit yourself for that much damage, you
should be able to hit your opponent for
that much which means in the end we are
scoring 60 points of damage for (CCC).
Using my pricing guidelines where
a Colorless Energy requirement yields 10
points of damage, you’d think I’d be
happy, but then we factor in this is a
Stage 1, and a Stage 1 that doesn’t
Evolve and we are probably just breaking
even in a format full of good deals.
These attacks don’t really
compliment each other and are just for
It feels somewhat unimaginative
and lacking, and probably plays that way
I will end this section on a positive
note by pointing out at least the
attacks are priced so that you could
have a logical progression without and
major gaps and you can make use of
Double Colorless Energy for either
Even if you start at zero Energy,
Double Colorless Energy enables Wing
If you attached an Energy to
Rufflet the turn before, a
Double Colorless Energy takes you
straight to Brave Bird.
Double Colorless Energy is a no
show, as long as you drop an Energy card
the same turn you drop
Rufflet, you can still steadily
build to your better attack.
First and foremost, we have to Evolve
Rufflet are nearly identical: both
are Colorless Basic Pokémon with 60 HP,
Lighting Weakness, Fighting Resistance,
and single Energy Retreat Costs.
I’d have liked another 10 HP but
as a whole this is solid for a Basic
that Evolves once more into a Stage 1
Unfortunately they come in
vanilla and French vanilla flavors.
Both have two attacks, the first
costing (C) and the latter requiring
Version 86/98 can do 10 or 20,
Version 87/98 adds the slightest
twist, doing 10 or 30 on a successful
coin toss, respectively.
In all honesty as a supporting
Basic for a Stage 1 you don’t really
want to be attacking unless it is for a
KO or to aid in set-up.
If Sweet Sleeping Face Pokémon
are still seeing play in your area, I’d
use 87/98 in case you can go for a quick
Double Colorless Energy.
Otherwise you should stick to the
more reliable 86/98, but in either case
you really shouldn’t be attacking very
Unfortunately there isn’t much you can
do with this card that is worthwhile.
It certainly isn’t a bad card,
but it isn’t especially good unless we
get something that enhances
self-damaging or Colorless Pokémon.
Defender can help, since a single
copy drops you to 10 points of self
damage and an otherwise healthy specimen
could use Brave Bird for 90 damage and
both retain 90 HP while requiring 110
points of damage to be KOed.
This seems like a card that needs
Boost Energy to return, since a
“from nearly nowhere” 90 might actually
stand up to the raw power most of the
Legendary Basic Pokémon can so easily
dish out right now.
There aren’t enough good cards
that do self-damage to build a deck
entirely around them, and what we do
have edges it out in decks that might
otherwise welcome the self-damage.
In Unlimited you have the means of
getting this going first turn… but those
resources are better spent elsewhere,
Broken Time-Space and
Double Colorless Energy, and
Recycle Energy selection isn’t an
especially specific or intense
As usual, ignoring the brutal
decks that basically take you out of the
game (either by actually donking you,
stripping your hand to nothing, and/or
actually “locking” you), you could
probably build a reasonably competitive
fun deck out of it, just by virtue of
combining it with Neo Genesis
Slowking and the above… and maybe
Call Energy since it is most
important to fill your Bench with
Slowpoke for the deck.
For Limited play it’s a great pull and
As usual the stats and attacks
are just better here, since so much of
the competition pulled will be
unplayable due to a lack of lower Stages
or fundamental support structures for
This is further enhanced by
having two versions available of the
Basic (better chance of getting a solid
line) and the ability to use any Energy
What’s this, another section?
While I haven’t been using this
format long, I figured I might as well
officially cordon off my “what-if”
scenarios about card design.
This also gives those completely
uninterested in reading this kind of
thing the chance to just skip
straight to the Ratings section.
At its most basic level
Braviary really needed another 10
HP: odd numbers are always a little more
useful than even due to Weakness always
making damage happen in even numbered
In this case,
Pachirisu wouldn’t be able to OHKO
Magnezone Prime would still have to
burn two Energy cards instead of just a
single Energy card.
The free Retreat Cost I mentioned
earlier would have been helpful but not
The card’s effects, which in this card
are just attacks, are a big let down.
I don’t know
Braviary well enough to design a
super unique card just for it, but
writing this review I had a few workable
ideas occur that should match-up to the
The most basic is realizing the
card might as well have a more expensive
(and damaging) second attack.
Braviary is hitting the Defending
Pokémon for 120 or so damage, even if
the kickback is more like 40 points of
damage, it’s enough to actually matter.
The first attack is fast and not
completely worthless, so you might be
able to get away with either using two
Double Colorless Energy on
Braviary or just powering him up
Given its “brave” theme I might have
given it a “flip until tails attack” or
a Rage-Style attack to better combo with
Resisting my crazier ideas, how
about something as simple as making
Brave Bird the smaller attack and Rage
the big, powerful move?
Something as simple as 60 for
(CC) and doing 10 or 20 points of
self-damage would be useful.
A straight-up Rage like move that
only does 10 extra damage for each
damage counter wouldn’t be creative and
would need to high of a base damage to
be that good but could work.
TPC could even have been daring
and given us a low base damage, (CCC)
cost, but done 20 or 30 points of damage
for each damage counter on
is better built than some more recent
Stage 1 Colorless Pokémon, but it is
It isn’t terribly creative and
doesn’t lend itself to very many useful