RU Spotlight: Braviary

By Ryoma Nagare. Art by LifeisDANK.
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Braviary's history


Braviary was introduced not too long ago in Generation V as an exclusive to Pokémon White. While it had good bulk and a great Attack stat, it fell short compared to Staraptor, which had a greater Speed stat and a better offensive ability in Reckless. Thus, it dropped all the way down to NU. There, it was a very threatening Pokémon, usually running Choice Scarf or Choice Band sets, the former making it a good revenge killer and late-game sweeper and the latter letting it act as a formidable wallbreaker that could 2HKO the majority of the tier with the appropriate coverage move. With the advent of BW2, Braviary gained a useful move in Roost, making the Substitute + Bulk Up set much more efficient now that Braviary had reliable recovery to work with. Braviary and Swellow were also quite a formidable duo in the BW NU meta, making Flying-type switch-ins highly necessary for teams.

When Generation VI came along, the fact that Defog now removed hazards meant Braviary had much more opportunities to take advantage of Defiant, making it rise all the way to RU. During the earliest stages of the tier, Braviary was a common Pokémon on Shuckle Sticky Web teams, where it deterred Defog users such as Gligar and Golbat from removing a team's entry hazards. Once Shuckle was banned, however, Braviary became a generally rather average Pokémon. It was at its lowest point during Tyrantrum's rise in popularity following Rock Head's release and the general presence of Mega Steelix, which stopped more offensive sets on their tracks. Once those two were banned, Braviary once again became a very potent threat in the tier.

Braviary's qualities

Braviary has well-rounded stats, most notably its great base 123 Attack, and is a good physical attacker that fulfills the role of wallbreaker and revenge killer. Additionally, its above-average bulk and access to reliable recovery in Roost give it the ability to perform well as a defensive setup sweeper that can break common balance cores such as Registeel + Alomomola. Defiant lets it take advantage of Intimidate Pokémon such as Granbull and Qwilfish and, most importantly, of Flygon's Defog, the most common method of entry hazard removal in RU.

Sadly, while base 80 Speed is good, Braviary still fails to outspeed several offensive Pokémon such as Mega Glalie, Jolteon, Sneasel, and Meloetta, which can threaten it with their powerful STAB moves. Braviary is also worn down pretty quickly due to Brave Bird recoil and Stealth Rock damage, which is further worsened by the fact that it stacks weaknesses with the most common hazard removal Pokémon.

Playing with Braviary


This is Braviary's best set. Due to its decent bulk and reliably recovery in Roost, this set excels at breaking down most defensive teams and various balanced cores. Braviary is capable of setting up on several defensive Pokémon such as Registeel lacking Thunderbolt, Alomomola, Blastoise, Flygon, Slowking, and Venusaur. Substitute allows Braviary to shield itself from status conditions and weak attacks such as Alomomola's Scald. Bulk Up increases Braviary's uninvested Defense stat and already-great Attack stat. Roost helps Braviary keep itself healthy, mitigating recoil from Substitute and Brave Bird. Leftovers provides Braviary with more recovery. Brave Bird is chosen as the STAB move over any other attack because it has good overall coverage and no Pokémon are immune to it, unlike Braviary's Normal-type moves.


This is Braviary's physical attacker set. The biggest benefit from using this set is luring Magneton, a common switch-in to Substitute + Bulk Up Braviary. Max Attack and Speed EVs are used to maximize Braviary's power while allowing it to outspeed a good portion of the metagame. Brave Bird and Return are used as Braviary's strongest STAB options. Superpower is mandatory in order for Braviary to heavily damage Rock- and Steel-type Pokémon that resist its STAB moves such as Rhyperior and Magneton. U-turn is a great tool for providing momentum and chipping down Braviary's checks. Alternatively, Roost lets Braviary mitigate recoil from Brave Bird and entry hazards. Facade could be an option over Return as Normal-type STAB move in order to benefit from a stray Toxic or Scald burn. Choice Band further boosts Braviary's already-great Attack stat, while Sharp Beak allows it to retain some power in Brave Bird while giving it the opportunity to switch up its moves. Leftovers could be used in order to mitigate Brave Bird recoil and entry hazard damage, but it provides no offensive benefit otherwise.


Choice Scarf Braviary serves mostly as a revenge killer and late-game cleaner. Choice Scarf allows Braviary to outspeed faster attackers such as Jolteon, Choice Scarf Emboar, and Virizion and Speed tie with Choice Scarf Medicham. Brave Bird and Return are the chosen STAB moves due to their higher damage output. Superpower covers Rock- and Steel type Pokémon, although it is rather prediction reliant. U-turn provides useful momentum if you predict the foe will switch out, giving you the opportunity the counteract the incoming switch.

Playing against Braviary

As Braviary's sets are effectively different, there are no true guaranteed switch-ins to it. Bulky Rock- and Steel-types such as Bronzong, Registeel, Diancie, and Rhyperior can effectively wall the Choice Scarf set but do not appreciate a Choice Band-boosted Superpower, and the former two can be stalled out with the Substitute + Bulk Up set. Other physically bulky Pokémon such as Alomomola and Slowking can deal with the Choice Scarf set but are pressured by the Choice Band and Substitute + Bulk Up set. Electric-types are usually a safe bet for generally checking Braviary. Jolteon and Rotom-C outspeed and heavily damage non-Choice Scarf Braviary. Eelektross and Magneton can tank hits from the Substitute + Bulk Up Set and hit Braviary back with their respective Electric-type STAB moves. Registeel also uses Thunderbolt in order for some balanced teams to not get overwhelmed by the Substitute + Bulk Up set easily.

Provided Braviary doesn't have a Choice Scarf equipped, faster offensive Pokémon such as Jolteon, Delphox, Meloetta, and Aerodactyl can threaten to KO it. Ice Shard users such as Mega Glalie and Abomasnow can manage to pick off Braviary once it has been weakened. Infiltrator Pokémon such as Golbat and Spiritomb can bypass Substitute and cripple Braviary with status conditions, although they should focus on switching into Braviary before it gets too many boosts.

Fitting Braviary on your team

Entry hazard setters such as Registeel, Rhyperior, and Garbodor appreciate Braviary deterring Flygon from using Defog, while in return Braviary's checks are further worn down thanks to the entry hazards said Pokémon provide. Entry hazard removal is essential for Braviary, as Stealth Rock damage can be fatal when coupled with Brave Bird's recoil.

While physically offensive Braviary does have Superpower for Rock- and Steel- types, they still resist both of Braviary's STAB options, meaning that Braviary has to rely on some prediction in order to beat them. Thus, Fighting-types such as Medicham, Hitmonlee, and Sawk are useful to break these down. Choice Scarf Braviary is not a popular fit on teams due to the effectiveness of other Choice Scarf users such as Medicham and Drapion and is mostly used when a fast Defog deterrent is wanted.

The Substitute + Bulk Up set is pretty self-sustaining, healing itself with Roost and blocking status afflictions with Substitute. However, Braviary mostly struggles setting up versus Electric-types, making Ground-types such as Flygon, Seismitoad, and Rhyperior great teammates.

Get out there!

While Braviary has had some high and lows throughout RU, it still remains a threat to watch out for when teambuilding. Whether it be used as a physical attacker or a stallbreaker, you better gear up before it swoops down and takes you as its next prey.

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