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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Machamp

- Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
July 22, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.25
Limited: 3.56

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Machamp (Furious Fists) 

Furious Fists (as the name suggests) is to Fighting Pokémon what Dark Explorers was to the Dark Type. In other words, it contains some powerful Fighting Pokémon, plus a ton of support. 

Machamp falls squarely into the ‘support’ category. It does have a semi-usable attack, Machamp Crush (the Pokémon equivalent of ‘Hulk Smash’?) which does 80 for three Fighting Energy and has a damage-reduction effect, but if you are using Fighting Pokémon, you can do a whole lot better elsewhere. The main attraction for this card is most definitely the Ability. 

Fighting Fury gives each of your Fighting Pokémon’s attacks an extra 20 damage. That’s a considerable boost, and when you combine it with other support cards (Muscle Band, plus other new set stuff), you can soon be doing some serious OHKO-style damage for relatively little cost. The Ability ‘stacks’ too, so you get +20 for every Machamp you have on the Field. 

Will Machamp see some play then? Looking into my next format crystal ball (which like everyone else’s is notoriously unreliable), I would have to say that I’m not convinced. It’s not that Machamp isn’t good; it’s just that with all the other support, plus the already-powerful attacks, I don’t see why Fighting decks would need to clunk themselves up with a Stage 2 line, plus Rare Candy. However, I haven’t done all the maths yet, so it may be that people will sneak a tech Champ or two in their decks if they find that common attacks leave them 10-20 damage short of a KO on a routine basis. As with all these preview cards, it’s a case of wait and see. 

Rating 

Modified: 2.5 (good Ability, but is it needed?)

Limited: 1.75 (too difficult to get out for what it does)


aroramage

Welcome to another exciting review from the upcoming Furious Fists set! Today we're gonna look at the OG four-armed wrestling champion of the world, Machamp!

Machamp in the past has had a wide variety of effects, from having a chance to survive hits to just sweeping away Pokemon. In recent years, he hasn't had a big impact on the scene, but that might change with this latest addition to the pack! 

His attack is a hefty 3 Fighting Energy, which is difficult to muster without acceleration; still Machamp Crush deals a nice 80 damage and reduces damage by 40 to itself, which is better than most reductions from similar attacks and might even save your life. Combine this attack with the new special Fighting Energy and maybe even the new Fighting Stadium, and this attack could do major damage! 

But why waste Machamp as an attacker when it's clear from his better-than-last-time Ability that he should sit this one out? Fighting Fury is the Ability that'll make Fighting decks run Machamp, as it boosts the power of all Fighting Pokemon's moves by another 20 damage to the Active Pokemon. Now if you're just looking at Machamp (who does qualify for his own Ability, mind you), that means that Machamp Crush is doing 100 damage prior to Stadium and Energy boosts - and that's pretty solid! But what if you combine that with Pokemon like Groudon-EX (DEX), Landorus-EX (BCR), Terrakion-EX (DRX), or how about Rhyperior (XY), Barbaracle (FLF), or just work with the newer Fighting guys coming out in the set? There's no shortage of Fighting-types you can combine Machamp's Ability with!

Now this Ability is reminiscent of another Pokemon in recent history: Deoxys-EX. Now Deoxys-EX only gave a 10-point boost to Plasma Pokemon attacks, but he got the chance to be a Basic Pokemon. And that's the main difference: you could run 4 Deoxys-EX in a Plasma Deck to get up to 40 damage for each attack, but you can't really run 4 Machamps in a Fighting Deck and expect to consistently get 80 damage for each attack, nice as that is on paper. 

Still Machamp provides a larger boost overall, and combined with the Energy and Stadium from the new set, Fighting Decks are going to have an offensive overhaul that could potentially make up for their slow but steady nature. How hard do you think it is to comeback from an attack that costs 1 Energy and is dealing 70-90 damage while you're still working on getting out your Energy for an attack? And that's why Machamp is going to be a big supporter in the upcoming format! 

Rating 

Modified: 3.5/5 (he's going to bring Fighting decks the power they need!) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (never mind the attack is already preventing 40, the fact that it's getting an extra 20 on top of whatever else you attach to him is going to decimate the competition here!) 

Arora Notealus: I dunno, I think "Machamp Crush-er" would've been slightly better than "Machamp Crush," but at least they didn't go with the obvious "Machamp Smash!" 

Next time: Machamp tags out to bring in his best partner!


Otaku

This week we are reviewing five cards from the not-yet-released XY: Furious Fists.  These cards won’t be tournament legal until September 3rd, if I counted right (August 13th release date plus 21 days), and outside of Pre-Releases and apparently a Charizard-EX Gift Box that went on sale in (some) European locations, you won’t have English language cards of it until the Pre-Releases at the earliest.  That means this is going to be almost pure speculation; by the time these cards are legal, we should have learned of the set rotation and probably have already experienced it… but as of writing this, neither when nor what will be rotated has been announced! 

Machamp (XY: Furious Fists 46/111) is the first Fighting-Type from this set we are looking at; this may be appropriate because its Ability (more on that later) is a piece of Fighting-Type support.  This set provides Fighting-Types with both actual support like Strong Energy (Special Energy that can only be attached to Fighting-Types and grants +20 to their attacks’ damage) and pseudo-Type support that isn’t technically limited to them but is likely to favor them, Landorus (XY: Furious Fists 58/111), a big, Basic Pokémon that can hit for 20 and attach a basic Energy card from the discard pile for just [F].  In terms of Weakness and Resistance, Fighting is among the most common Types for both, but Resistance itself is far less common than Weakness and far less significant to damage calculation, so its a very good deal in the end. 

Being a Stage 2 Pokémon is definitely still drawback, but it can be managed.  150 HP is good, often enough to survive a hit if “big damage” isn’t the deck’s “thing”.  Psychic Weakness has been and remains an issue; Mewtwo-EX and Deoxys-EX will take Machamp down hard, and Mewtwo-EX is likely due a spike in play because we’ll be seeing more Psychic Weak Fighting-Types thanks to this set.  A Retreat Cost of two isn’t great, but if you have to pay it is isn’t too bad, and in most competitive decks you won’t have to pay. 

The Ability is why I believe this card will see play; Fighting Fury provides a +20 boost to damage from attacks by your Fighting Types before applying Weakness and Resistance and unlike Deoxys EX, it applies to Machamp itself as well.  Each copy is good for +20, but getting (and keeping) multiple Machamp in play is a serious challenge.  The Landorus mentioned earlier would find itself able to do 40 while accelerating Energy or 100 with its larger attack (that normally does only 80 and falls shy of the OHKO/2HKO threshold). 

Machamp actually has a solid attack in Machamp Crush: 80 for three is just a little underpowered, especially as all three Energy requirements are Fighting.  The Ability bumps this to a solid 100 for three… plus the effect of the attack reduces the damage you take from attacks by the opponent’s Pokémon, good for -40 to damage also before Weakness and Resistance.  That means a Psychic-Type hitting Machamp for 40 would do zero points of damage, a significant change from the 40 it would still do if the reduction applied after or the 80 it would do without the effect at all! 

Looking at related cards, the new Machop (XY: Furious Fists 44/111) is a slight improvement over the only other Standard Legal option (BW: Plasma Blast 47/101) due to +10 HP while the new Machoke on par Machoke (BW: Plasma Blast 48/101): same everything but Retreat Cost  and the old Machoke has two attacks instead of just one, but the net result is probably even.  Use the new Machop and whichever Machoke you prefer, plus Rare Candy.This card seems to demonstrate some learning on the part of the card designers for this game.  Machamp (BW: Plasma Blast 50/106) is… kind of underwhelming, and I only am mentioning it to point out that you will not want to bother using it alongside today’s card: 10 less HP, 1 more to retreat, and two overpriced/underpowered attacks. 

On the other hand BW: Plasma Blast 49/106 you still shouldn’t bother running, but the “why” is what matters: its attack was also overpriced, but of relevance is its Ability that allowed Fighting-Types to ignore Resistance.  A complaint I made (but sadly not in a posted CotD) pointed out what many of us realized; ignoring Resistance is only good for a situational +20 points of damage… but an Ability should be worth a flat +20 to everything!  Lo and behold, we get today’s card. 

So a Fighting deck built using Machamp as as a backer seems like a winning proposition.  I won’t claim it is a guaranteed path to success; perhaps it will turn out that a different Stage 2 is more beneficial to the same attackers, or that for the same amount of space Machamp requires its just better to run another means of damage boosting. The reason I believe Machamp is going to prove worth it is that it works in addition to what is probably already going to be in the decks; you’ll reach new damage highs because you’re already going to try to squeeze this in among cards like Strong Energy, Muscle Band, etc.  It might just be something to bad some solid big Basic Pokémon, or it might be something to attack with itself.  The latter is quite unlikely but with Landorus or perhaps even Milotic (XY: Flashfire 26/106) to help  that might not be quite so farfetched. 

As Machamp requires [FFF] to attack and its Ability is only good for Fighting-Types, either you’re going to have to run it in a deck with mostly basic Fighting Energy cards so it (and Machop and Machoke) can attack, a deck with a lot of Fighting-Type Pokémon so its just being used as a Bench-sitter to boost damage, or of course both.  As a Bench-sitter, even a 1-1-1 line might be worth it, but as an attack you want at least 2-2-2 to justify how much of your deck’s Energy will be needed to accommodate it.  Odds are still good, though, given how much of this set is Fighting to begin with. 

Ratings 

Standard: N/A - If this were legal for competitive play right now, I would put it at about a 3.5/5, because I think it has potential but will largely be relying on other Pokémon. 

Limited: 3.25/5 - Amazing here but only when you get enough cards to support it or for it to support. 

Summary: Machamp should give at least some Fighting-Types a serious boost, with the possibility of anchoring a new deck.  Still when compared to the additional draw, Energy acceleration, and inexpensive attacks of current competitive Stage 2 Pokémon, its success is far from guaranteed… though its appearance in at least the early rounds of events probably is going to happen until XY: Furious Fists starts to feel old.


Joe
Hollywood
Chicago, IL

Hello everybody! I am personally excited for this week! We will be looking at cards from the next upcoming set "Furious Fists". I'm actually pretty excited about today's card, Machamp!

I will first start out with its stats. It is a stage 2 with 150 HP, really beefy since most stage 2's on average are at 140 HP. Has the typical weakness to Psychic so Mewtwo EX will pose a huge problem to this card no matter if Machamp is powered up with its attack in effect. A Mewtwo can do 160, an OHKO, even after a Machamp Crush.

The ability, Fighting Fury, IMHO is going to be one of the top abilities in the game next format. The ability allows you to add 20 extra damage with any of your fighting pokemon, including itself. Best part that it stacks if you have multiple in play, similar to Team Plasma's Deoxys Power Connect ability. Getting 2-3 Machamps out will make any fighting pokemon, from a measly basic Landorus, Machop, Stunfisk, etc into a big threats. Combining this card with Lucario EX seems like the obvious combo for a pure fighting deck due to that all of the fighting support in the set provide a lot of synergy.

Its attack, Machamp Crush, does 80 base damage (100 damage with its built in ability) for 3 fighting energy. Its subpar for a stage 2 due to the fact that it can only be fighting energy. The added effect reduces any damage done to Machamp by 40 makes this attack worthwhile, making it difficult for your opponent to hit it with most pokemon, let alone OHKO it. With no energy acceleration for fighting types except for Landorus in this set, this attack will be pretty hard to set up against some potential tier 1 decks next format.

But once you get it going, it's going to be very hard to stop unless there is a Psychic type on the other side. Popular cards that I can see taking on this card easily given the proper circumstance is a Deoxys EX, Mewtwo EX, or Genesect EX with a G Booster attached.

With so much fighting support within this set such as Strong Energy, Fighting Stadium, Korrina, Focus Sash, etc., it can OHKO most pokemon in the game with ease, especially EXs. If you can set this card up before your opponent can get their main attackers going or before finding a counter to setting this it up, that could spell good game to your opponent.

Modified: 3.5/5 - The only thing holding this card back is that Machamp is a stage 2. Expect to see this card in plenty of variants.
Limitied: 4.5/5 - Just a monster when you are able to get it out and surprisingly enough, there is so much support here.


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