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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Bouffalant #91

Black & White

Date Reviewed: July 6, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.33
Limited: 4.13

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Bouffalant #91/114 (Black and White)

Today’s card is the good Bouffalant.

What makes it better than yesterday’s? Well it has 10 more HP for a start, which is always nice, but otherwise it’s the same deal: bad Fighting Weakness and inconvenient Retreat cost of two. With no Ability to boost the card’s potential, we need to look at the attacks.

Bouffalant’s second attack is uninteresting, and will almost certainly not be used by people who play this card. Head Charge is very expensive, doing 80 damage for a massive four Energy, and the coin flip for a possibility of 20 damage to itself just makes the attack that bit less attractive. Nope, all the attention this card has got focuses on the first attack, Revenge. Revenge may only have a pathetic base damage of 20 for two Colourless Energy, but as the name implies, it becomes more powerful when you have had a Pokémon KO’d the previous turn. In those circumstances Revenge hits for 90 damage, which is extremely good for the cost.

That damage output is enough to take a return KO against weaker Pokémon like Cinccino and Jumpluff, but won’t really work against something more durable, like an undamaged Magnezone, Donphan Prime, or Reshiram (though it will one-shot a Zekrom after a Bolt Strike). One of the main reasons it is considered as a tech is the anticipation that Emboar-based decks will use Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND: a powerful Pokémon which takes two Prizes per KO, but also gives up to Prizes itself . . . when you hit it for Weakness with Bouffalant.

Usually, though, the player with the LEGEND won’t drop it until they can swing for game, making Bouffalant fairly useless. However, if they don’t anticipate you having Bouffalant, they might put it into play earlier, and this is where Bouffalant’s ability to be dropped and powered up in one turn with a DCE can be crucial. Beware though: a further drawback is the Retreat cost – you either pay it or use a Switch,or Bouffalant will be stuck active doing a mere 20 damage per turn until it gets knocked out itself.

Depending on how common Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND, Zekrom, and low HP attacker like Cinccino are, Bouffalant might be a very good tech option for decks that run Double Colourless Energy. If you have the space for it, it’s certainly worth doing some playtesting with.

Rating

Modified: 2.75 (a viable tech revenge killer w/DCE)

Limited: 3.5 (Colourless,good HP, and Revenge will work against most things)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Bouffalant 91/114 (Black & White)
 
Hello folks, today we have the good version of Bouffalant up for review. Ahhhh, that name is so satisfying to say aloud!
 
Onto the stats. Bouffalant is a Colourless type Basic with 100 HP,  Fighting weakness, a retreat cost of 2 and two attacks.
 
That HP is very respectable although Donphan won't care due to the weakness (neither will Machamp). The retreat cost could be better but it could also be worse, considering the HP (and the size of Bouffalant). So far, a promising start.
 
The first attack is what is grabbing the attention, so I'll get into it. The appropriately named Revenge costs [c][c] and deals 20 base damage, but if one of your Poke'mon was KOed during your opponent's last turn, you deal an extra 70 damage. Being able to drop a Basic and a DCE to deal 90 damage is awesome, but the opportunity to use this attack is limited and you won't OHKO any healthy main attackers (except Jumpluff HGSS or Cinccino BW). Still, you could add Black Belt to deal 130 damage, which is a huge number for an attack that you can completely set up (from playing the Poke'mon down right through to attacking) in a single turn.
 
Head Charge is the second attack, and it really isn't worth mentioning. Four energy for 80 damage with a 20 recoil penalty is terrible.
 
If you need a revenge attacker then Bouffalant is awesome but many other Poke'mon can manage 90 damage for 2 energy (Reshiram, Zekrom and Entei & Raikou Legend come to mind) without needing a last turn knockout. Even if Bouffalant suits your playstyle, I would just stick with Black Belt to get a damage boost rather than have a custom-suited revenge attacker. bouffalant is good, but I won't be using it.
 
Modified: 3.25 (it has a niche, but I see several competitiors edging this card out of the 'playable' pool)
 
Limited: 4 (it's big, it's splashable and it can get revenge on Zekrom and Reshiram. The only thing missing is the big set of wings to fit the Red Bull product placement)
 
Combos with: any deck that uses DCE, provided you have plenty of experience using Cynthia's Feelings, or are willing to spend the time learning.


Otaku

Today we look at the other Bouffalant, the one I said was better. Read on to see how much better or worse it is.

Stats

Bouffalant is a Colorless Basic Pokémon. Being Colorless isn’t much of a bonus right now. In fact we do have one established deck built around a Colorless Resistant Pokémon (Gengar) that managed to keep its key components through the rotation. Of course, it is still a bit early to tell if that deck is a real contender. What I can tell you is that I haven’t heard a peep about any of the Colorless Weak Pokémon anchoring a good deck. After this review first went up I did find out that at least one was being used as an attacker in a variant of an established deck. Specifically it is Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND run in the “Magneboar” deck based around Magnezone (HS: Triumphant 96/102) and Emboar (Black & White 20/114). Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND has a Poké-Body (Space Virus) that results in an extra Prize being taken when that Pokémon KOs an opponent’s Pokémon with the damage from its attack. This would seem like a huge bonus for Colorless Pokémon, except this is actually a finishing strategy, and the Magneboar player will strive to not even let you see any pieces of Rayquaza & Deoxys LEGEND until they are confident that they will be able to rapidly win the game. That usually means dropping it only when the opposing player is down to two Prizes and the Magneboar player can instantly power up and attack for game! So in the interest of completely covering this fact I will mention this, but there won’t be a lot of times when you’ll be able to capitalize on that Colorless Weakness. There just isn’t any actual support for Colorless Pokémon right now that means as a type, so as a Type Colorless Pokémon are still a bit weak, but not in a crippling manner.

Bouffalant doesn't Evolve: it is on its own and will need stat and/or effects priced accordingly and meeting a certain threshold of usefulness. The 100 HP is good, though it can be easy to think otherwise when comparing it to heavies like Zekrom and Reshiram, also from the same set. As a reference, Basic Pokémon that do Evolve need at least 50 HP to avoid being considered deficient in that area, and even 60 is pretty common now. The Fighting Weakness is unfortunate but appropriate, though having a Basic Pokémon taken out by a OHKO isn't as bad (fewer cards invested than an Evolution) and it is still going to take 50 points of damage before Weakness to do it. In short it means Donphan (HeartGold/SoulSilver 107/123) and Machamp (HS: Triumphant 95/102) need to use their more expensive attacks for a OHKO and supporting Fighting Types will shave a turn off the time a Bouffalant can survive. No Resistance is a disappointment as always, but probably won't hurt the card seeing as how it is so common. The two Energy needed to Retreat is fair given the cards size. Looking ahead this is a card you're going to want to drop, attack with, then get it out of your way and thus the Retreat Cost will still hurt.

Effects


So what are the attacks? The opening move is also the winner of the two and what will get this card into decks. Revenge needs (CC) to go off, and that's easy enough with a single Double Colorless Energy or even two manual attachments. Your reward for this is 20 points of damage, which is a poor return, but the effect turns it from chump to champ: 70 additional points of damage (90 points total for the math impaired) if one of your Pokémon were Knocked Out by damage from an opponent's attack last turn. That’s enough to turn around and OHKO a Cinccino - provided of course it just KO’d something of yours.

The second attack (Head Charge) is much less impressive, though I am reluctant to call it "bad". For (CCCC) you can hit for 80 points of damage, and you flip a coin. If it comes up as “tails”, Bouffalant does 20 points of damage to itself. As many of you are well aware of, the damage we get for Energy invested is being scaled back because the power creep in the game was clearly getting out of control. Even taking that into account, it is just a little on the weak side. If it hit for 90 or 100, it'd be a definite winner. The first attack is so strong that it almost makes sense to make the second, large attack border on filler: if it were too good, we’d now have another reasonably big, strong Basic Pokémon that can fit into almost any deck and the format could quickly degenerate into something worse than what we just left. I’d also like to point out that the self-damaging aspect is probably intended to set-up for the next Bouffalant. You send up one for a Revenge fueled KO, and if your opponent doesn’t take it down quickly you can get decent damage while all but forcing them to KO it, at which point you bring up the next Bouffalant.

Usage


The card has access to some basic but strong combos. The first attack of course just needs a Double Colorless Energy to go off in one hit. Double Colorless Energy isn't a deck staple, but it is close enough and coupled with Bouffalant if may very well become one. Having a Basic that with just a Double Colorless Energy can come from nowhere and do 90 points of damage is that useful. Twins is a Supporter that allows you to search your deck for any two cards when you have more Prizes remaining than your opponent, which works perfectly with Revenge: Twins can be used when last turn your opponent KO’d something of yours to pull ahead, grabbing Bouffalant and Double Colorless Energy, and then you use Revenge! Twins is still relatively general usage, and if you’re in a deck that expects to fall behind in Prizes regularly, you might also find room for Black Belt. If you already have Bouffalant and Double Colorless Energy handy (not unlikely but requiring a little forethought and effort), then you can tack Black Belt onto the combo (just hitting three cards now) and do 130 points of damage with Revenge! The last general combo comes from some old favorites: PlusPower and Defender. PlusPower of course doesn’t spike the damage as much as Black Belt but it is also much easier to use in general. There is also nothing saying that a deck basically built around Bouffalant couldn’t use both! Giving your opponent a reason to fear that you will easily turnaround and OHKO whatever they just smashed you with can be a powerful advantage, even if accomplishing the task is highly unlikely. Defender helps in that if you are using Bouffalant as a recovery measure it will be harder for your opponent to turn around and OHKO it back, and if you find Bouffalant actually using its second attack and want Bouffalant to last, you completely mitigate the self-damage you might do and enjoy all the usual benefits of Defender.

I will comment on what is missing that this card could have enjoyed during the twilight of the MD-On Modified Format we thankfully are done with, not because I want these two cards back but because it tells you what to look for in terms of future support: Vs Seeker and Sableye (Stormfront 48/100). I actually would like Vs Seeker back, and it quite obviously allows you to run fewer copies of Twins while still enjoying multiple comeback opportunities in an otherwise general deck (as opposed to a come-from-behind deck). If you never fall behind, Vs Seeker still functions as useful card recycling other Supporters. Sableye was pretty broken when you combined the current rules set with the card pool, so a card working well with it is hardly surprising. Sableye has some specific qualities that could be reproduced on a better balanced card that would still aid Bouffalant. Sableye was a great opener, even without its donk potential. For no Energy Sableye had an attack that discarded a Supporter from your deck then duplicated that Supporter’s effect. This specifically benefits Bouffalant by being a major threat your opponent can reasonably KO early on and is motivated to do so while also setting your deck up and making Vs Seeker more useful in general.

With the Modified card pool we do have, what does this fit into as more than single-copy clutch surprise attacker? Zekrom (Black & White 47/114, 114/114) decks can use it to beef up their count of strong, attacking Basic Pokémon. The shared Fighting Weakness hurts this aspect a little, but following up the semi-suicidal Zekrom with Bouffalant and its Revenge attack makes total sense. The entire point of Zekrom is to hit so hard and fast that your opponent can’t set-up, but as Bolt Strike damages yourself and Outrage isn’t any good until you’ve taken at least 30 points of damage Zekrom will fall and likely not to a beefy main attacker. This in turns means Bouffalant is more likely to score a KO with Revenge. Further aiding this approach is that while Bouffalant needs four total Energy for its second attack, it can indeed do this with the Pachirisu(Call of Legends 18/95)/Shaymin (HS: Unleashed 08/95) combo that fuels Zekrom, provided you top it off with a Double Colorless Energy or can execute he combo twice. Not something I’d want to use as a deck’s focus, but as a fallback where the only card I am adding to the deck is Bouffalant, it is quite nice. I think it would clutter the deck too much, but if you could make room for it, Defender even provides some literal damage control that both Pokémon would enjoy. It is so easy to forget that the best TCGs (and I consider Pokémon to be among them) use combinations of cards with sometimes negative returns that together result in one large positive!

A Reuniclus (Black & White 57/114) Damage Swap deck also sounds plausible, using Bouffalant and a full compliment of Zekrom: instead of “stalling” the whole game open in a more traditional manner and right when your opening wall is about to fall, bench it, throw the damage counters onto Zekrom or Reshiram (Black & White 26/114, 113/114) along with a Double Colorless Energy and get quite aggressive. Then when Zekrom/Reshiram actually falls you bring out a Bouffalant. If your opponent doesn't OHKO Bouffalant after a Revenge KO you have two options: if your opponent is still reeling you can finish powering up Bouffalant and slowly prep the next Reshiram or Zekrom while attacking with Head Charge, or if there are already enough damage counters to make for a solid Outrage Retreat or Switch out Bouffalant and bring up the next Reshiram or Zekrom.

Not a must run but as another of the many strong options for Unlimited, Bouffalant could see some serious play. You have a lot of complicating factors that can make using it hard, such as “the Baby Rule” and Focus Band usage combined with some great older cards that might fill this niche better or that do something else but are fighting for the same spare deck slot. On the other hand both strong attackers and useful Bench-sitters in this format often clock in at less than 90 HP and unless someone plays incredibly conservatively a player can’t have Focus Band protecting every Pokémon in play.


Like so much of this set, Bouffalant is great in Limited play. Yes there are strong, fast Fighting-Type Pokémon in this set but facing them in Limited isn’t a guarantee and it isn’t like they’ll have any better support than Bouffalant. HP and average damage yield plummet in Limited play due to the difficulty of running most Evolutions and even some resource intensive Basic Pokémon, making Bouffalant truly stellar in terms of stats and both attacks. I can't think of a real reason not to run this card here: unlike yesterday’s version, this Bouffalant outperforms much of the set in Limited play, making it so improbable as to effectively be impossible you’d be able to “crowd it out” with better cards!

Ratings

Unlimited: 3.5/5

Modified:
4/5

Limited:
5/5

Combos with: Twins, Black Belt, Zekrom


Summary

A well designed card that probably would border on broken if it were any better, I really think that a single copy will become a staple in Modified barring the rare deck that doesn’t already have some form of Energy acceleration (including Double Colorless Energy). Now does anyone else think that TPC realizes Tauros is scamming them out of an extra paycheck with its disguise of a wig and jewelry?

Of course I am still selling my former possessions on eBay here. Pojo.com is not responsible for any transactions.


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