Pokemon Review (BW2): Braviary

Braviary
Rating Location Badges
Route 4 (White 2) 3 Badges

While Braviary wasn't really all that great in the original White due to how late you got it in the game and how long it took to evolve, in White 2, you have a chance to catch it quite early on in the game, fully evolved, at level 25. That makes it extremely viable for a spot in your party. Its Attack is very, very high, close to Gigalith and Conkeldurr status, while its Speed and defensive stats are both sufficient. It has a wonderful amount of HP, too! For abilities, normal Braviary would have either Keen Eye, which prevents accuracy drops, or Sheer Force, which increases all of Braviary's attacks' power by 30% if they have a beneficial secondary effect, but it shuts off that effect. The one you catch on Route 4 has the Secret Ability, Defiant, which raises its Attack by a massive two stages if ever its stats are lowered by a foe's attack. That's great for all of the Growls and Leers your opponents like to use.

For attacks, it starts off with Aerial AceScary FaceHone Claws, and Wing Attack. Wing Attack is in every way (except for PP) inferior to Aerial Ace, while Scary Face and Hone Claws are unnecessary (although Hone Claws is better than Work Up). It gets Slash at level 28, which will be nice until it is happy enough for Return to do more damage. Tailwind at level 37 is interesting for raising your whole team's Speed for a few turns. Crush Claw at level 46 is a fairly strong Normal-type attack (75 power), but it has a 50% chance of lowering the foe's Defense by a stage — if you have Sheer Force, you don't have that chance, but its power increases to 97.5. Since Return maxes out at 102 power at maximum happiness, Crush Claw should only be used if your Braviary has Keen Eye or Defiant, but I'd just stick to Return anyway. It gets Superpower at level 51, which is a very strong Fighting-type attack (120 power!), but it lowers your Attack and Defense afterwards, meaning you'll want to switch out after your knock out. Even though they're late, Brave Bird at level 63 and Thrash at level 70 are also good options for Braviary.

Braviary gets a few helpful TM moves early on. Rock Tomb is a nice option, plus it gets a Sheer Force boost (for the non-Defiant Braviary out there, just, uh, just in case). Later on, Rock Slide will get one as well, so having Rock Slide on your Braviary is a great move, with or without Sheer Force. Shadow Claw is another attack to consider. Return and Fly are essentially must-haves, though, particularly once your Braviary is happy enough with you to do maximum damage. Lastly, while it is typically something I advise against, Braviary can make good use of Giga Impact. Since it has a monstrously high Attack stat and it is a Normal-type Pokemon, a STAB Giga Impact will hit with effectively 225 power off of that great Attack stat, almost certainly assuring a knock out against anything that doesn't resist Normal-type attacks. Assuming you're not facing another player or fighting in the World Tournament (or have your battle style set to Set), you can just switch out afterwards to circumvent the recharge time. It makes a good "I gotta do a LOT of damage RIGHT NOW" attack.

Overall, Braviary is the second strongest non-legendary Flying-type in the game (Archeops is first, but it's unavailable before beating the game; also, Crobat has higher average stats, but Braviary will hit harder). It's a great choice if you're looking for a Flying-type Pokemon and, thanks to how early in the game you catch it, it is a very viable option. It's also extremely powerful at this point in the game. The only problem is it doesn't get that much diversity, though I definitely recommend it.

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