Machamp is perhaps the most frustrating Pokemon to face in all of DPP OU. His unique ability, No Guard, a gigantic base 130 Attack stat, and a 100% accurate DynamicPunch ensure Machamp's position among the best of the tier. A perfectly accurate Stone Edge alongside Payback and the elemental punches rounds out Machamp's type coverage and make him a force to be reckoned with. Little can stand up to Machamp's onslaught for long and oftentimes the only way to bring him down is to sacrifice one of your own Pokemon.
For all of the strength Machamp possesses, he is a slow creature with only modest defenses. Despite the fact that almost nothing can OHKO Machamp, virtually every offensive Pokemon can 2HKO him with a neutral STAB attack. Machamp always poses the greatest threat to a team when he is just out of KO range for what he comes in on. Once sufficiently weakened, though, Machamp tends to serve as little more than a speed bump for most Pokemon with his low Speed stat. The ease with which one can fit Machamp into a team, however, combined with his immense power and reasonable bulk, keeps him a staple of OU and something that every team needs to be able to deal with somehow.
With this set, Machamp functions as the premier attacking lead of the OU metagame. Machamp's unique mix of confusion, respectable bulk, access to priority, and excellent type coverage come together to force innumerable switches. Machamp nearly always either KOes or immensely weakens an opponent before he is forced out or KOed in return.
100% accurate DynamicPunch is the backbone of this set and is why Machamp is so annoying and potent as a lead. Leads weak to Fighting, such as Shuca Berry Heatran, are beaten outright, while even defensive Pokemon such as Hippowdon and Swampert will be rendered useless 50% of the time by confusion. Payback gives Machamp nearly perfect coverage with DynamicPunch and lets him 2HKO Focus Sash Azelf in combination with Bullet Punch, Machamp's priority move of choice for this set. Payback also serves an important role when a Ghost-type Pokemon inevitably switches in to take DynamicPunch, beating offensive Rotom-A and Gengar with ease. Ice Punch is the last move of choice so that lead Dragonite and Gliscor don't have free reign over Machamp. Stone Edge can be used instead to beat Gyarados switch-ins as well as to have a stronger attack to use against Zapdos.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Machamp forces innumerable switches when he comes into play, and these switches can be taken advantage of with Substitute. The threat of Machamp's powerful DynamicPunch lures in Ghost-types, such as Rotom-A, which will be put in a very awkward position by Substitute. It can no longer burn Machamp and runs a very serious risk of being KOed if it tries to break the Substitute. This is a very common outcome when a player is put against a Substitute Machamp; they must sacrifice a Pokemon in order to actually force him out.
Substitute defines this set, with perfect-accuracy DynamicPunch and Payback providing mandatory near-perfect coverage. Stone Edge is recommended in the last slot to provide the best super effective coverage for Machamp. Ice Punch is only useful if you're particularly worried about Gliscor, as otherwise Stone Edge achieves all of the necessary KOs, such as against Gyarados, Dragonite, and Zapdos.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Machamp makes an excellent status absorber and general tank with his respectable bulk, immense type coverage, and ability to force a number of switches with his raw power alone. DynamicPunch is one of the most prominent reasons why this set is as viable as it is, because the 50% chance for opponents to hit themselves can give Machamp free turns to use Rest and heal off any damage he's taken.
Rest and Sleep Talk are standard fare on a RestTalk set. Sleep Talk is especially useful when used in conjunction with the low-PP DynamicPunch, as it will use its own PP instead of the actual attacking move's. Payback is arguably the best second attack, as it hits Rotom-A and other Ghost-types super effectively and also rounds out Machamp's type coverage. Stone Edge and Ice Punch can be used as well, however, so that Machamp does not become setup fodder for Gyarados / Zapdos and Gliscor, respectively.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Machamp is a terrifically powerful Pokemon, and with a Bulk Up or two under his belt, he becomes immensely dangerous if faster special attackers, particularly Azelf, Jirachi, and Togekiss, are removed. Machamp makes excellent use of a Bulk Up set particularly because DynamicPunch's confusion forces switches that allow him to set up repeatedly.
Bulk Up goes without saying, while DynamicPunch functions as the mandatory STAB move on this set and can force a few switches to allow further setup. Payback coupled with Stone Edge provides perfect neutral coverage except against the rare Toxicroak. Ice Punch can be used over Stone Edge if Gliscor is of particular concern, but comes at the cost of no longer hitting Gyarados for super effective damage.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Just when you thought Machamp was powerful enough, someone decided to slap a Choice Band on it and rip things up. Even Pokemon that resist Fighting-type attacks will take a surprisingly large amount of damage from Close Combat, and many will be OHKOed or 2HKOed by Machamp's coverage moves. All of this, in conjunction with Machamp's bulk and many chances to switch in, enables this set to threaten the opponent immensely before going down.
Guts as an ability may be surprising on Machamp, which has No Guard for DynamicPunch and Stone Edge, but it allows Machamp to absorb the burns aimed at other Machamp sets and become a true offensive behemoth. Furthermore, Close Combat fits in with Choice Band Machamp's style better than DynamicPunch anyway. Machamp is a hit-and-run attacker, so the defense drops from Close Combat won't be too much of a hindrance. Furthermore, Close Combat has a higher Base Power than DynamicPunch, making Machamp hit even harder. Payback rounds out Machamp's coverage by covering Ghost-types, going so far as OHKOing defensive Rotom-A on the switch. Ice Punch is for the Flying-type Pokemon that resist Machamp's STAB. ThunderPunch and Bullet Punch both get a mention for the last slot, as each has its advantages over the other. ThunderPunch is recommended so that Gyarados cannot set up freely on you if you can predict him switching in, while Bullet Punch is a powerful priority move that can be used to snipe weakened and faster foes such as Dragon Dance Dragonite.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Outside of the listed options for each set, Machamp actually has a fairly shallow movepool with just enough tricks to surprise people. Fire Punch is your best option against Heracross, which resists Machamp's typical Fighting- and Dark-type attacking combo. Heracross already has trouble switching into DynamicPunch due to confusion, though, and Stone Edge will 2HKO Heracross anyway. Fire Blast is an option as well because it hits Skarmory and Forretress much harder than Fire Punch, though it will not 2HKO Skarmory or OHKO Forretress without some EV investment thanks to Machamp's pitiful Special Attack stat. It's worth noting that No Guard makes Fire Blast never miss, which is a perk. Bullet Punch can find its way onto almost any set when priority is needed, but without STAB, it ends up being badly outclassed by Scizor in any position other than on a lead set.
Machamp has some novel supporting options that can be used to decent effect as well. Encore combined with Substitute in the lead position can be frustrating to your opponent. Toxic can also be used to reasonable effect on Machamp thanks to No Guard allowing it never to miss. Beyond those few moves, though, there's almost nothing else worth noting. Guts can be used on any set over No Guard, with options such as Low Kick and Close Combat available for Machamp to use. No Guard is basically superior for every set that has it listed, though, as the value of DynamicPunch's confusion generally far exceeds the benefits of having Guts.
Checks and Counters
Machamp has no true counters that see much use in DPP OU. Between DynamicPunch's confusion and Machamp's near-perfect type coverage with two moves, practically nothing enjoys switching into him. The best responses to Machamp are bulky Ghost- and Flying-type Pokemon that can take a hit and retaliate in some manner. Rotom-A immediately springs to mind as the #1 Ghost-type to take on Machamp. Machamp can 2HKO defensive Rotom-A, but will take serious damage in doing so, and with proper prediction may even lose. Gyarados can switch into Machamp with Intimidate and can even setup on him, but confusion can get in the way of this plan. Zapdos functions in a similar fashion to Gyarados, but with greater bulk and no Intimidate. Pressure will rapidly deplete DynamicPunch's 8 PP, though, and can be very problematic for a reckless Machamp. Roost makes Zapdos a more reliable check to Machamp over the course of the battle than Gyarados, and since both are weak to Stealth Rock, Pokemon such as Forretress, who can take a hit and get rid of Stealth Rock, work well against Machamp. Forretress can also Explode on Machamp once he has done his job.
A few UU Pokemon function as near-perfect Machamp responses, despite their low usage. Slowbro can take on Machamp very effectively thanks to Own Tempo, a resistance to Fighting-type attacks, and immense physical bulk. Similarly, Spiritomb is reasonably bulky, immune to Fighting-type attacks, and neutral to Payback; as with Zapdos, Spiritomb's Pressure will quickly deplete DynamicPunch's PP. Slowbro threatens Machamp with STAB Psychic, while Spiritomb can either attack or burn Machamp.