Bouffalant – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: April 21, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Bouffalant (SW – Battle Styles 118/163) is a baseline Pokémon: worth one Prize, no Rule Box, no other specialty mechanics. Nothing is Colorless Weak or Resistance in Expanded, but the only support is Powerful [C] Energy. No anti-[C] effects exist in Standard, though there are some in Expanded, as well as a few more bits of [C] support. Overall, though, it isn’t the best type to be, as never hitting for Weakness hurts. Being a Basic is best; minimum cards and time to hit the field, plus a few other perks. 120 HP is decent, letting you survive most smaller attacks. [F] Weakness is iffy; most of the worthwhile [F] types already do 120+ damage. No Resistance is the worst, yet it isn’t because it is so common. A Retreat Cost of [CC] is typical, and neither difficult nor easy to pay.
Bouffalant has one Ability and one attack. “Sap Sipper” lets Bouffalant’s attacks do an extra 60 damage to your opponent’s [G] Pokémon. For [CCC], it can use “Head Charge” to attack and do 60 damage, plus 30 to itself. Being a type-specific counter is usually too niche for a card to prove effective. Sap Sipper requires a lot be true for it to be worthwhile:
- Grass has to have a significant presence in the metagame.
- Your deck’s main attacker can’t already do the job.
- Paying [CCC] has to relatively easy.
- Doing 130 to 180 has to be enough.
The metagame flirts with these being true, but never actually goes through with it. At least, not yet.
Let us pretend Decidueye (SW – Darkness Ablaze 013/189; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH035; Shining Fates 008/072, SV003/SV122) and Kricketune V were a lot more common in the metagame. Bouffalant comes much closer to pulling its own weight, but even this is not likely enough. After all, we now have Phoebe so Pokémon VMAX can cut through protective effects, or you can just use a non-GX/V attacker to deal with Decidueye. Most main attackers can OHKO Kricketune V for three Energy. I guess give us a massive, hard to even 2HKO [G] type Pokémon VMAX as well?
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
Yes, I’m being generous. I just explained that there are several factors that don’t quite line up for Bouffalant… but it isn’t completely insane, either. A card like this, if it ever even works for one competitive deck, even a budget build, has justified its existence. So here’s to a hopeful two-out-of-five.
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