Machop is an all-around useful Pokemon. It hits like a truck, while also being able to take hits like a tank. Its low Speed is the only thing holding it back, but at the same time it has its merit; for example, Payback hits with double the power when used last, and Close Combat's defense drops take place after Machop is hit. On top of that, you can slap a Choice Scarf on Machop, making it into a speedy sweeping machine, destroying almost every Pokemon with a mix of its power, confusion, bulk, and coverage. If you need a bulky sweeper who can take hits and deal them back out, you will not regret choosing Machop.
Machop has pretty low Speed, but it has enough to reach the magic number of 14; this means that with a Choice Scarf, its Speed reaches 21, thus allowing it to outspeed any Pokemon without a Choice Scarf. DynamicPunch makes Machop one of the deadliest sweepers out there. Its insane power, confusion, and perfect accuracy with No Guard all make it terrifying for your opponent. Payback is used to hit Ghosts on the switch, while Ice Punch takes care of Gligar. Rock Slide hits Bug- and Flying-types such as Pineco and Mantyke who generally won't get taken out by an Ice Punch and has an impressive 30% flinch rate that shouldn't be overlooked. Bullet Punch is also an option due to the sheer utility a priority attack brings to the table, especially working off of Machop's respectable Attack stat.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Machop has the bulk and power to make a very effective lead. Few Pokemon can actually beat Machop while still getting Stealth Rock down. However, Machop does have trouble dealing with Fake Out leads, especially Meowth, whose Hypnosis will always hit due to No Guard. Machop is excellent at gaining early momentum in the game because of its ability to beat many Pokemon without taking any damage (due to confusion).
DynamicPunch is a great move to have on a lead not only for its sheer power, but for the confusion it provides as well. Opposing Pokemon will only have a 50% chance to get Stealth Rock down due to confusion. The confusion also helps you deal with the opponent's switch-in, as it lets you switch a Pokemon in for free half of the time. Ice Punch and Payback are for Gligar and Ghosts respectively, OHKOing them with ease. Bullet Punch picks the ever-common Focus Sash leads such as Chimchar and Kabuto. Encore is an option over Bullet Punch if you would rather hinder the effectiveness of set up leads than finish off Pokemon using a Focus Sash. However, Bullet Punch is still recommended because of how common Focus Sash leads are in Little Cup.
Machop doesn't really need more Speed because it already outspeeds slow leads while faster ones will outspeed it regardless. The one Speed point is for Phanpy, who will otherwise outpace Machop with 36 EVs, or will tie with Machop with no investment. The rest of the EVs are put into Machop's HP and defenses, making it quite bulky.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This set is your standard status orb sweeper, but this one hurts a little more than the others. With the Attack boost, Machop gets a lot of easy OHKOs, even on bulky Pokemon such as Bronzor, which makes Machop an invaluable asset against slow teams. Close Combat is Machop's strongest attack, and with Machop's low Speed, the opponent probably won't end up hitting Machop before the defense drop occurs. At first glance Payback seems like quite a poor choice of attack as it's not the strongest move Machop could get; however, with Machop's low Speed and high defenses, it's likely that it'll survive long enough to hit with double the power, making it have the same base power as Earthquake and better type coverage with Close Combat since it hits Ghost- and Psychic-types super effectively. Ice Punch hits Flying-types, most importantly Gligar, who is a common switch-in to Machop. The last move is really up to personal preference and team style. Bullet Punch does not get STAB, but is a priority move nonetheless and helps quite a bit given Machop's low Speed. Protect is good if you want to use this Machop as your lead, though there are far better options for Protect leads.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Machop is already fairly bulky by default, but becomes even more difficult to take down after it has a couple of Bulk Ups under its belt. After a Bulk Up, Machop becomes a tank who giggles at the sight of any unboosted attacks aimed at it. Machop has great coverage combined with the power and confusion that DynamicPunch provides. Bullet Punch can be used over Payback, as after a Bulk Up, it does a good load of damage even without STAB.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Focus Punch + Substitute is an option, delivering an incredibly strong attack from behind a 5 HP Substitute, but Machop's other attacks generally hit hard enough as it is without having the disadvantage of having to use Substitute beforehand. Revenge is a great option for any set (besides the Choice Scarf set) because Machop has the Defense to take a hit and the move has 120 Base Power without the detrimental defense drop of Close Combat. Earthquake is an option to get rid of Croagunk in one hit, as Ice Punch will only 2HKO Croagunk. ThunderPunch can be used on any of the sets to hit Slowpoke with 25 more Base Power if they are a nuisance to your team. It also OHKOes Mantyke. Machop gets Encore which could be useful against very slow opponents such as Hippopotas and Bronzor in tandem with Bulk Up. However, this is very situational as Machop is very slow and will likely not get the chance to abuse it.
With such a low Speed and incredibly powerful attacks, Machop is a great addition to any Trick Room team. You can basically give any set (besides the Scarf) a Brave nature, 0 speed IVs, and be good to go.
Checks and Counters
As with any powerful Choice item user, their only true counter is prediction. Ghosts can switch in to the Fighting attacks, but nothing else can really take the confusion well aside from Slowpoke, who is probably the safest switch in to Machop. Slowpoke resists every common attack from Machop, with the exception of Payback.
Aside from prediction, the most effective way to get rid of Machop is a fast attacking revenge killer. No ordinary revenge killer can take out Machop, as it's above average defenses keep it safe from the weaker attacks such as priority moves. The best revenge killers are usually hard hitting faster Pokemon such as Abra, Magby, and Taillow.
Koffing is not a bad choice to take on Machop either because Koffing can switch in on a Close Combat with his Poison typing and KO with Sludge Bomb combined with the burn damage from Flame Orb. If DynamicPunch is used, feel free to burn Machop as well, as it will lack Guts. DynamicPunch has 50 base accuracy, so it is only seen in combination with No Guard.