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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Machamp Prime

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Oct. 25, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.00
Limited: 3.50

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

Machamp Prime (Triumphant) 

Hello and welcome to a brand new EXCITING week on Pojo’s CotD. 

Exciting because we get to review some new, and hopefully great cards. Reviewing new cards before they have had a chance to impact on the format is always risky though. There’s a chance that we may miss a great combo or misjudge how good a card will be in a metagame that won’t even exist until City Championships. 

That said, I’m pretty confidant that today’s card is one that you WILL see at tournaments. 

Machamp Prime has a huge 150 HP, which makes it a very difficult OHKO even for those Pokémon who can abuse its double Weakness to Psychic. It also has a hefty Retreat cost of three and its attacks are very much on the expensive side, but I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Why? Because of its Fighting Tag Pokémon Power, that’s why. 

Fighting Tag allows you to move any Fighting Energy attached to your active Pokémon and switch it with Machamp Prime. This gives you both a way to get extra Energy on Machamp fast and get it into play without having to waste Energy retreating or using a switching Trainer. And you are definitely going to want to have Machamp Prime active, as it has a couple of nice attacks. 

The first, Crushing Punch, costs [F][C][C], does 60 damage, and discards a Special Energy attached to the defending Pokémon. The damage may be mediocre, but the discard is great considering the amount of Special Energy used in decks. Getting rid of Tyranitar’s Special Darks, or Steelix’s Special Metals, (and any pesky copies of tomorrow’s COTD) can really set your opponent back a step, and I haven’t even mentioned Double Colourless yet . . .  

If you really want the power to hit big though, Machamp can do that too. Champ Buster costs a huge [F][F][C][C] (but hey, it too can use Double Colourless) and does 100 damage, plus an extra 10 for each damaged Pokémon you have on the Bench. This attack maxes out at 150 (or 170 with Expert Belt) and could guarantee a KO on virtually every playable Pokémon. There are a variety of ways to get damage on your bench (Rainbow Energy, Unown P, playing against a spread deck), but the best is simply using Donphan Prime’s Earthquake attack before tagging out to Machamp. The fact that Donphan uses the same type of Energy means that there is a lot of synergy between the two cards. 

Since the release of Stormfront, Machamp decks have always had a presence in the format, thanks to Machamp SF’s ability to OHKO any Basic (including SP Pokémon) for a single energy. The problem with it was that it had a poor match up against non-Basic decks, mostly having to rely on Hurricane Punch coin flips or another Pokémon line (such as Gengar or Kingdra) to take Prizes against Stage 1 and 2 Pokémon. What Machamp Prime does is give Machamp decks a way of taking on other evolved Pokémon without needing techs with incompatible Energy needs and without compromising its good SP match up. For this reason, I expect to see Machamp Prime claim a place in virtually every Machamp deck (usually replacing the suicidal LV X), and I expect those decks to have better match ups across the board, and become more popular because of it. 

Now it’s not just SP decks that should fear Machamp. 

Rating 

Modified: 4 (gives Machamp decks what they have been lacking)

Limited: 3 (like all Stage 2s - hard to get out, but can win games) 

Combos with . . .  

Donphan Prime (HGSS) 

West1234 Hello, Pojo Readers.  Triumphant has been a set that has brought a combination of great hype (Gengar Prime for example) and great disappointment (no Lost World in the set).  This week, we start on the hyped end of the spectrum in the form of a new strong partner with Donphan Prime that may very well give a whole new playing style to Machamp/Donphan decks.
That said hyped card is Machamp Prime.
 
Basics, first.  Being a fighting type is a card's dream right now with Luxrays swarming the format, and Machamp Prime is living in it.  Being a stage 2 has never been a terrible thing ever since the first Rare Candy popped into existence, but it did make them a pain to play with if you whiffed on drawing said unsearchable Rare Candy, but the recent arrival of the new Supporter card, Twins will fix this problem, much to the relief of all existing Stage 2 decks in the format currently (search out Rare candy and the Stage 2).  An impressive 150 HP surpasses its SF counterpart and will ensure that it will stick around for a while.  Uxie Lv X will enjoy tying a belt to its waist and Zen Blading its terrible psychic weakness for a OHKO (with Expert Belt in case you didn't get it), and lets face it, Uxie Lv X and Expert Belt exists in virtually every deck, now.  A horrendous retreat cost of 3, while expected from a heavy-hitting stage 2, is not at all friendly, but there is a solution to that...
 
Its Poke-Power.  This is partly what has given it the hype that it has received.  Without its Poke-Power, Machamp Prime would likely be cast off into the binder with its attacks deemed too slow for competitive use.
Fighting Tag allows you to move all fighting energy attached to your active pokemon to Machamp Prime, then switch with it.  This is an amazing way of manipulating your energy and getting around ugly retreat costs without burning Warp Points and Switches.  This is easily usable with Donphan Prime (getting around that ugly retreat cost of 4) and even, as I hinted to before, another Machamp Prime.  This method of energy manipulation will allow you to make more important energy drops as oppose to spending time attaching them one-by-one to a backup pokemon.  Unfortunately, it's unique to only Fighting energy, meaning no Double Colorless can be abused with this power.  Also, power-sprays will be a nuisance to deal with.  Of course, its true usability totally depends on whether or not its attacks are worth using to begin with...
 
And they are thanks to said power.  Crushing Punch does an average 60 and discards a special energy card attached to the Defending Pokemon for FCC (Double Colorless, anyone?).  Nothing too impressive, but the special energy discard can be very nice against decks that rely on them such as T-Tar (and hitting for weakness in that case).
 
Now Champ Buster is yet the other element that has assisted in this card's hype, as well as claimed Donphan Prime as its partner in crime.  For one fighting energy more, you do 100 damage (okayish so far) plus 10 more for each of your Benched Pokemon with any damage counters on it.  If all five of your Benched Pokemon has damage counters, this can yield a whopping 150 damage, a number that you don't see very often, and when you do see it, it usually comes with a hefty cost of discarding multiple energies attached to it (Rayquaza&Deoxys LEGEND) or putting a noticeable dent in its HP (Suicune&Raikou LEGEND).  The obvious combo is, as mentioned many times, Donphan Prime, specifically with its Earthquake attack.  It's an EARLY game hitter that will dual-purpose in "pressure-attacking" (putting pressure on the opponent) and setting Machamp Prime up for some HEAVY KOs.  This is huge.
 
And what's even "huge-er" is that it can level up if needed.  With the No Guard Poke-Body that its Lv X form grants, it can hit as high as 210, enough to one-shot a belted Steelix with all 4 special Metal Energies.
 
I've never been a fan of any four-armed biped pokemon, but this isn't about what a pokemon looks like.  I believe that this card will live up to its hype and, as I said at the beginning of this article, give a whole new meaning and play-style to the current Machamp/Donphan deck.  There is so much synergy running with these two.  Expect to see these decks at the Cities everywhere.
 
Modified: 4/5  A potential upcoming top tier deck (if not top tier, it'll sure be very close to one) that shouldn't be ignored.  Quick speed with its power to bail out a Donphan Prime, combo'd with ungodly power and overcoming the deck's two main attackers' horrendous retreat costs in the process?  I think I've said enough...
 
Limited: 3.5/5  Stage 2s are more usable than ever here thanks to the searching power Twins, Niodran (F), and Pidgey.  Just pray that it ain't in your prize pile and watch out for the abundance of psychic pokemon in this set.
 
- Wes1234
Crazed Eeveelutionist
conical

 10/25/10: Machamp Prime(Triumphant)
 
That's right, we got a new set coming soon(or, it's already out, if you count prereleases.). Triumphant should have some really interesting cards, and nothing quite says 'Triumphant' than a Pokemon with 'Champ' in its name.
 
Admittedly, I've looked forward to getting this Prime more than any other Prime in the set, even moreso than the Gengar we're sure to review.(Though, the new Gengar may not see much play due to a certain stadium not being in the set...it still has its merits, though.) Unlike recent Machamps, which have utilized cheap attacks for devastating effects, this Machamp has two fairly expensive attacks. The attack cost does not bother me in the slightest, for several reasons. I'll list them here:
 
1.      The obvious answer is Machamp's Power, Fighting Tag, which lets Machamp move to the active position, taking what energies the previous active had on it. I like the Power a lot, not just because it provides energy acceleration, but also because it gives Machamp a built-in Switch-type ability, which makes the three retreat seem less troublesome.
2.      While the energy requirements may seem heavy, they shouldn't be that bad because of Double Colorless Energy. With DCE, Machamp's first attack can be powered up by turn two without ever needing the Power. Likewise, the second attack could be powered up turn three.
3.      The attacks themselves are worth it. Crash Punch discards special energies, and with DCE being justifiably popular, this means that Machamp has its outs against faster decks. Champ Buster does 100 damage, plus 10 for the number of benched Pokemon you have, but even if everything on the bench is undamaged, 100 damage is plenty to cause serious damage, and anything extra starts OHKO'ing most of the threats in the game.
4.      Other Machamps. One big plus for the Prime is how it contrasts as a late-game attacker with the speedy Machamp SF. Even if Machamp Prime turn out to be too slow, it could run Machamp SF as a fast attacker, then use Fighting Tag to switch for the Prime when Machamp SF inevitably loses steam mid-game.
Add that to the incredible 150 HP, a Psychic weakness that doesn't mean much at the moment, and being able to accelerate energy even further with Regirock LA/Stark Mountain, and I feel bold enough to declare this a new contender in the format.
 
Modified:4/5
Limited: 3.25/5
Combos With: Machamp SF, Regirock LA, Stark Mountain


Otaku

We kick of HS – Triumphant reviews this week with Machamp Prime.  Does he have the touch?  Does he have the power?  Yeah!

 

Well, at least it was a different Transformers opening joke, right?

 

Machamp Prime has an awesome 150 HP: it isn’t the highest in the game but most of the cards that beat it are Pokémon known for their high HP scores, and even then they don’t beat Machamp by much.  He’ll need all those Hit Points against Psychic Pokémon: he has the classic damage doubling Weakness to them.  There is no Resistance, which is depressing as always, but we’ll move on to Retreat Cost: three.  This is pretty chunky and gives you good incentive to pack more than a clutch Switch or Warp Point to get it out of the Active slot.

 

Machamp has a Poké-Power and two attacks, all of which are pretty good and work well together.  The Poké-Power is Fighting Tag, something I hope they recycle a few other Fighting Pokémon as it would make an awesome deck theme.  It is a once-a-turn Poké-Power that can only be used if Machamp is on your Bench.  It allows you to shunt all Fighting Energy from your Active Pokémon to Machamp, then Bench the current Active Pokémon and promote Machamp.  This allows you to avoid losing Energy to KO and thus acts as a form of Energy acceleration.  It can also aid in Prize denial, though at the cost of cluttering up your Bench.  Then again, if the Active had a good, cheap attack you could always wait until later to bring it back up for one last attack.

 

The two attacks are pricey but have two things going for them: compatibility with the Poké-Power and the ability to use Double Colorless Energy.  The first attack is Crushing Punch, and it costs (FCC).  This makes it pretty painless to drop Machop first turn with a Fighting Energy, slap an opponent, then next turn use an Evolution cheat to get all the way to Machamp and drop a Double Colorless Energy to blitz the opponent.  Crushing Punch hits for a respectable 60 damage and sweetens the deal by discarding a Special Energy.  Yes, it is possible your opponent won’t have a Special Energy, but I’d say the odds are in your favor: even if your opponent tries to play around it then they are forced to ignore their main strategy and any Special Energy they do run become dead cards in hand or premature sacrifices.  With the Poké-Power you would have to almost work to not be able to power this attack up in a turn.  This is the kind of “first attack” for an Evolved Pokémon I’ve been calling for in my last several reviews: it is a shame that it took a Pokémon Prime to get it, but better a Prime than nothing.

 

The second attack is the big attack I also have repeatedly called for in my last several reviews: Champ Buster requires (FFCC), a full four Energy but still Double Colorless Energy compliant.  This is important since it is vexing being forced to burn a Double Colorless Energy to get off a placeholder attack and having it be useless or near useless for the final attack.  Champ Buster provides 100 points of base damage and the effect allows you to up the damage by up to another 50 points: simply add 10 points of damage for each injured Benched Pokémon you have.  There are plenty of Pokémon with “recoil” damage from attacks: off the top of my head I’ll mention Donphan Prime.  It might conflict with the nature of traditional Donphan Prime decks, but I am sorely tempted by the prospect a deck that just starts hitting hard by its second turn and just does-not-stop!  Again, there are other ways to spread damage as well: just using Fighting Tag should enable you a quick +10 points of damage and ensure a reliable set-up for the attack by your fourth turn.  Double Colorless Energy makes a simple, reliable combo for the third turn.

 

In Limited events, pulling this card is pretty lucky.  With what I have seen so far, the set seems to cover all the types, but Colorless and Psychic are most prevalent and three of the Colorless lines have Fighting Resistant members.  Yet I still recommend this card: you’d have to pull a very awkward assortment of cards not to have something else that can cover for the Psychic Weakness.  Outside of that Weakness, you’re going to enjoy phenomenal results as this Machamp can easily fit in a multi-colored deck: Colorless requirements lessen the need for a lot of Fighting Energy as does the Poké-Power.  Fighting Tag will allow you to “save” a badly injured Active Pokémon from easy KO range as well as get out of problem Special Conditions; at least when Machamp is on the Bench.  Discarding Special Energy isn’t a big deal but the reliable 60 and 100 points of damage is great in this format.  The other Fighting Pokémon in the set I have seen (Cubone, Diglett, Dugtrio, Lunatone, Marowak, and Solrock) aren’t Psychic Weak and appear solid-to-great for Limited play themselves.

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 4/5

 

Limited: 5/5

 

I am still selling my former collectables on eBay.  I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years, so at various times I’ll have comic books, manga, action figures, and video games on the auction block.  You can take a look at what’s up for bids here.  Just a reminder, Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions and was merely kind enough to let me mention the auctions here. ;) 


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