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POTW Pokémon of the Week #6: Rufflet and Braviary

Driving You Batty
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First of all Happy Fourth of July Week!

In the World of Pokémon, there lives a vast number and variety of amazing creatures to befriend and collect. Every week, we will be focusing on a single one of these Pokémon or evolutionary line and talking about what makes it special. This week's Pokémon of choice is the Braviary line!



Rufflet and Braviary are strong aggressive Normal/Flying-type Pokémon from Unova that hold a special significance. As they are Pokémon introduced in a region based on the United States, Rufflet and Braviary were likely designed as a tribute and reflection of the country. In appearance they are obviously based on eagles which warrants a mention of the Bald Eagle, a national symbol of the United States. With some similar patterns of plumage, such as the white head, Braviary forgoes the eagle’s color scheme in favor prominent red and blue coloring which along with the white are the colors of the American flag. Of very special note is the large feathers upon Braviary’s brow which resemble a headdress likely influenced by the Native American peoples. In behavior Rufflet and Braviary are described as being very aggressive and proud of their power. Some would say this is a possible reflection of American ideals and policy, but that may be a tad too opinionated for this all ages franchise. Once a Rufflet becomes a Braviary its temperament is no longer just bravado as it now does so for nobler reasons such as to protect its kin. A scarred Braviary is also one that has garnered the respect of it peers for standing strong to its convictions.

As a team member Rufflet and Braviary use their strong wings and talons for powerful attacks like Brave Bird, Thrash, and Superpower. Rufflet is found very late in the Unova campaign and it evolves at a very high level both of which are complaints players have with the line. Fortunately Braviary was made available early on in White 2 on Route 4 so that players can actually use one throughout the game, though that doesn’t solve the bigger problem of evolving at a very high level. Once having used one many players regard Braviary as a physically capable Pokémon that can also take quite a few hits. It can also provide decent in-game utility having a few good field moves at its disposal such as Fly and Strength. Overall, once their issues are accounted for, Rufflet and Braviary are pretty great additions to many players’ teams.

Here are some questions to consider to get conversation rolling. You don't have to answer all of them or any of them in your post as long as you're staying on topic and within global forum rules.
  • Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
  • How is this Pokémon in-game?
  • How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
  • Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
  • How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
  • If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
  • Do you think this Pokémon does a decent job representing the Unites States?
  • Would you like to see other national symbols as Pokémon?

If you have any suggestions for Pokémon you'd like to discuss in the future just leave your ideas at the bottom of your post. Make sure you give your thoughts about the current Pokémon first!

Previous Pokémon of the Week:
 
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Thesaurus rex
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Braviary looks more like a condor to me, but whatever ... I actually used to like it quite a lot, but one too many supposedly tongue-in-cheek 'MURICA jokes have made me associate it with annoyance more than anything else.
 
The village trap.
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Braviary's not that typical a Normal/Flying Pokémon. Keen Eye ability is pretty typical of a Flying-type, being shared with a lot of them, but that's about where his normality ends. His other ability possibilities are Sheer Force and Defiant, and they're used by a variety of Pokémon. I suppose they're all fairly solid options too (though more in-game than competitive for Keen Eye). Usually a Normal/Flying Pokémon is a fast glass cannon. Not Braviary. He's not a tank by any means, but he has a fairly large HP stat for a Normal/Flying Pokémon and relatively low speed.

What I think is most interesting about Braviary is that his attacks seem mostly focused on the use of his talons. This gives him a bit more of an identity amongst the Normal/Flying Pokémon, as each one seems to focus on fighting in a different way. For the most part Pidgeot uses wind and wing attacks, Fearow uses its beak, Noctowl should be Psychic/Flying uses psychic powers and Unfezant uses trickery, for instance. Each is the same type and similar sort of premise with quite different executions. Sure, Braviary has moves like Peck and Wing Attack, but the bulk of his damaging moves use his talons to render flesh (Slash), break bones (Crush Claw), and grab the enemy (Sky Drop). Learning Hone Claws by level up accentuates this trait. It also goes some way to explaining why Braviary can learn moves like Rock Slide, Rock Smash and Strength by TM and HM - something the other Normal/Flying Pokémon all lack.

If I was to change Braviary, I'd consider giving it more cutting and grabbing moves. This isn't necessarily to give it more viable attacks, but to further drive home its differences with the other Normal/Flying Pokémon. Scratch, Fury Swipes, Fury Cutter and Seismic Toss would fit it well, as would perhaps a few kicking attacks.
 
Mechatronics Expert
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I've never really used a Braviary on my team before, mostly because I played Black and Black 2.
Still, it's a good looking Pokémon, and it has great physically offensive stats.
Defiant seems like a great ability for Braviary to have, as it allows it to get a double star boost in its Attack every time one of its stats is lowered by the opponent.
In practice, though, lowering opponent's stats doesn't happen as often in competitive battling as increasing your own stats. The only time I can think of that an opponent's stats would be lowered is with Intimidate, which basically turns that double Attack boost into a single Attack boost.

I'd like to see Sheer Force get some more moves to work with. Braviary's got a few already, like Rock Slide, Rock Smash, and Heatwave, but it could possibly use a few more.
Sheer Force + Recoilless Life Orb Boost, this thing would destroy everything in its path.
 

Zeb

what is your spaghetti policy here?
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I used to like Braviary a lot, but the transition to Gen VI sorted of dulled my opinion on it. I honestly think it looks bad in 3D, its sprite and official art are so much better and the 3D model/its animations don't do such a great design justice. It's pretty fun to use though, being very strong and Defiant being so useful. And as a bird it's totally unique in using Sub and Bulk Up which is a neat tactic.

Oh and it has a really cool shiny.
 
Amphibious Friend
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I used to like Braviary a lot, but the transition to Gen VI sorted of dulled my opinion on it. I honestly think it looks bad in 3D, its sprite and official art are so much better and the 3D model/its animations don't do such a great design justice. It's pretty fun to use though, being very strong and Defiant being so useful. And as a bird it's totally unique in using Sub and Bulk Up which is a neat tactic.

Oh and it has a really cool shiny.
The 3D models did few favors to flying types in general imo. Even though Braviary's pretty bad, I think it got off easy compared to some others like Swellow and Tropius.
 
Ice Mage
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One of my favorite flying type Pokemon, I love Braviary (and Rufflet, but not as much as it's evolution) since it kind of looks like a bald eagle. I've always had one in my team whenever I can, and I think it a pretty great Pokemon to use if you need a flying type in your party. I kind of like it's 3D model though, looks better than most other flying type models imo. Lastly, yes I do think it does a great job in representing the USA and I would love to see other national symbols as Pokemon.
 
Driving You Batty
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The 3D models did few favors to flying types in general imo. Even though Braviary's pretty bad, I think it got off easy compared to some others like Swellow and Tropius.
RIP Skarmory and Xatu.

Form some personal comments I actually used Braviary in White version. It was one of the few times I purposefully avoided trainers, though just after the final gym, so that I could catch Rufflet as early as possible and have see some action other than just the league. If I had only waited for White 2 for that to be the run where I use Braviary. I still had a thing about using the whole line at that time though so I'm glad I used one then or else I may never have used Braviary. I really loved my White team and wouldn't drop anyone of them except maybe Simisear.

I am definitely an advocate of changing Rufflet's level of evolution. It's too much especially for such a young looking Pokemon.

I think it's a neat idea to see more Pokemon based on national symbols. France kinda had one with Pyroar since the lion is a popular symbol in Europe. Also it's pretty interesting how we got a Torchic distribution with the release of XY since the Gallic rooster is the national bird of France. Japan has the Koi Carp as its national animal which would mean Magikarp is the Pokemon stand in for that. Goldeen though bares a closer resemblance in coloring. It looks like Bouffalant was also an option I had for this week's PotW.
 
Fluffy with 80% more spots!
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Braviary is a neat Pokemon but I personally never used it. It's a bird and bird Pokemon are not too much my thing. Even when it comes to bird Pokemon, I'd rather use Staraptor. Their attack powers are similar, but Staraptor has better speed and a better ability in Intimidate. I also prefer Close Combat to Superpower.

Still, it's design is pretty cool. Love the eagle/war theme going for it. It does a fine job being the Pokemon of the United States of Unova! Yeah, it would be pretty neat to see more Pokemon being national symbols of a region that reflects the real world. =)
 
Beep Boop
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I remember being very excited about Rufflet/Braviary when they were revealed, because to me their appearance seems to be mostly inspired by Native American culture, which I always love. Never made the connection with the US though until I saw the memes, just thought it was an eagle with fancy colors.

Sadly I've never used one since Rufflet was available so late ingame and it doesn't evolve until lvl 54. If it's ever available in later games during the main story, then I'll still definitely consider having on my team.

Not sure if I want to see other national symbols as Pokémon, at least definitely not interested in seeing an orange or red/white/blue lion for the Netherlands :p
 
The Pokemon Observer
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Out of all the bird pokemons, Braviary is my favourite. Though, I do wanted to complain about its late evolution level. It is as high as a pseudo-legendary, yet its overall strength is just about the average of OU pokemon. Oh yeah, in terms of competitive battle, too bad that it is just RU. Though a little better than GenV where it was even a lower tier of NU.

And about one doubt that I was always wondering for the Braviary line. Why it is purely male? I don't think it is that extremely masculine-looking to the point of only allows male. I would understand for the ones like Machop line to be purely male, but still Machop is possible to be female (I kind of feel creepy thinking about Machoke and Machamp being a girl... -_-|||). I would appreciate if its gender ratio to be adjusted to allows some female, even it is low.
That goes the same for its "counterpart" Mandibuzz. Why it is purely female?
 
Fire Chicken
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Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
I do. Nice design, looks stronger than most Normal/Flying type, interesting concept behind it.
How is this Pokémon in-game?
Hard to obtain and evolve in White, better not use it at all. But then in White 2 it can be obtained much earlier at Level 25 and is definitely worth a shot.
How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
It would actually be a Pokemon liked by the people of the United States.
If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
Earlier evolution and slightly better stats.
Do you think this Pokémon does a decent job representing the Unites States?
I think it does. If they were to tone the characteristics that make it represent the US more, it could've actually be considered problematic for a franchise like Pokemon.
Would you like to see other national symbols as Pokémon?
Sure, I believe it would make for some interesting Pokemon concepts.
 
Actually Your Boy Guzma
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Even though he's completely outclassed by Staraptor and Talonflame due to his low speed, he has a much cooler design and concept than either of them. I'm attempting to find one with Defiant so I can use one on my team.
 
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Call of Fate
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I don't like Rufflet's design, but Braviary looks cool. I also like their personalities and behaviour. Braviary hits very hard, but is rather slow, so I think he should have more Speed at the cost of Special Attack, since he doesn't neded it anyway. It is also irksome his evolutionary level is very high, especially since he needs a ton of experience to grow to level 54, although the special Braviary in White 2 was nice at such an early stage of the game.
 
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