Machoke may not be as strong as his OU counterpart Machamp, but his blend of a base 100 Attack stat and decent 80/70/60 defenses provide him with the tools he needs in order to succeed in the UU metagame. No Guard and DynamicPunch set him apart from other Fighting-types in the UU metagame, and his unique movepool makes him an optimal choice as a lead.
Instead of focusing on setting up hazards, Machoke's purpose as a lead is to threaten the opposing lead with brute force and DynamicPunch's confusion rate. Machoke can take a huge chunk out of leads that set up entry hazards and limit the number of entry hazards they can set up, weakening them to a point where they can be finished off easily. DynamicPunch is the major pull to using Machoke as a lead, as it not only hits any Pokemon who don't resist it for major damage, but also guarantees confusion on slower leads like Omastar and Rhyperior, as well as incoming Pokemon intended to counter Machoke such as Scyther and Moltres. Confusion is what makes Machoke such a great anti-lead, either giving your opponent a 50% chance of getting up Stealth Rock or Spikes, or forcing your opponent to switch, thus preventing hazards from being set up. Confusion also prevents common switch-ins from a guaranteed attack on Machoke, giving him a chance to retaliate and KO, or switch to an appropriate counter at little cost.
The second option comes down to which popular lead your team wants to OHKO: Moltres or Alakazam. Payback hits Alakazam for an OHKO, while Rock Slide guarantees the OHKO on Moltres. Bullet Punch may seem trivial, but it's one of the most important moves on Machoke, helping him take out other Focus Sash leads like Alakazam and Ambipom, and often turning 3HKOs and 4HKOs into 2HKOs and 3HKOs. Protect rounds out the set, allowing Machoke to defeat the popular Fake Out users of UU, like Ambipom and Kangaskhan. It also doubles as a scouting method, effectively dealing with leads he cannot combat using his attacking moves, like Trick users.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Machoke could utilize a Substitute set, which would allow him to be an effective mid-game attacker, much like SubChamp in OU. Using DynamicPunch's 100% confusion rate in conjunction with Substitute and coverage moves would enable Machoke to survive and combat opponents for multiple turns. He lacks the immediate power and bulk of SubPunchers like Hariyama, however. A Choice Band set is viable, being able to 2HKO most of the tier. However, aside from the 100% accurate DynamicPunch, he is greatly outclassed by Hariyama in this regard.
Earthquake could prove useful against any of the Poison-types in the tier, including Toxicroak and Muk. However, DynamicPunch already hits Steel types hard, which lessens Earthquake's potential. Ice Punch is a great coverage move, enabling Machoke to hit Pokemon like Venusaur, Nidoking, and Nidoqueen for big damage. For most sets, DynamicPunch is obviously the Fighting move of choice, but if one wishes for more power, or if one is running a Guts set, Machoke does have access to Close Combat, Revenge, Superpower, and Cross Chop.
In terms of support moves, Scary Face is a viable move and gives Machoke a way to severely cripple switch-ins who outspeed Machoke. Scary Face also works well in conjunction with Spikes and Stealth Rock, enabling Machoke to play the role of a phazer with the numerous switches Scary Face will cause. Encore is a useful move in conjunction with Substitute, locking Pokemon attempting to set up on Machoke into their boosting or status move. Toxic is a great choice to harm Machoke's normal counters, including Slowbro, Slowking, and non-Rest variants of Spiritomb. It is important to note that Toxic will never miss, thanks to No Guard. The only useful boosting move Machoke receives is Bulk Up, which can be used to some effect in conjunction with DynamicPunch. However, a Bulk Up set is mostly outclassed by Hitmontop and Hariyama due to their higher offensive and defensive stats.
Checks and Counters
Spiritomb is most likely the greatest threat to Machoke, being immune to his STAB attack and taking neutral damage from all other attacks. In return, he can Will-O-Wisp Machoke, making him near useless, or start setting up with Calm Mind or Nasty Plot. Slowbro and Slowking are close seconds, both resisting his STAB attack, while their ability naturally prevents confusion. They can then fire off STAB Psychics to quickly dispatch of Machoke. Weezing shares similar resistances with Slowbro while having immense physical bulk and access to Will-O-Wisp. Venusaur can come in on Machoke relatively safely, although he will not like the confusion caused by DynamicPunch nor a hit from Ice Punch. He can then put Machoke to sleep and set up or use Leech Seed.
Machoke suffers from incredibly low Speed. This can be taken advantage of by numerous offensive switch-ins, like Moltres and Alakazam. However, there are very few Pokemon that like switching into one of Machoke's DynamicPunches, so keep this in mind.