Machamp

Type Tier
Fighting OU
Level 100 Statistics (see level 5, 50, 100)
Stat
HP
90
383
Atk
130
358
Def
80
258
SpA
65
228
SpD
85
268
Spe
55
208
  • Overused

Overview

With Snorlax being the king of GSC, Machamp seems like a pretty good idea given its mighty Fighting STAB. However, it takes as much as 49% switching into Snorlax's Double-Edge, making it a shaky check for the big lug. However, while Machamp is a shaky Snorlax check, on offense it's a monster — half of the Pokemon on most teams are weak to Fighting-type attacks, severely limiting what can switch into Machamp. Furthermore, a few teams do not even have a Fighting resist, allowing Machamp to steamroll these teams when it comes across them if it manages to OHKO Skarmory with a +1 critical hit Cross Chop. Cross Chop has a 20% critical hit rate after factoring accuracy, so going for the critical hit is a viable strategy and not just a pipe dream. Machamp also has decent 90 / 80 / 85 defenses, allowing an all-out attacker much more leeway to switch in than the similar Marowak, and permitting the use of a more defensive RestTalk set to tank mixed sweepers. Machamp does have its flaws, though. Its low Speed, Spikes vulnerability, lack of useful resistances, and good-but-not-great defenses make it extremely vulnerable to simply being beat down upon, and it's also often the victim of bad luck and PP issues thanks to Cross Chop's 80% accuracy, meager 8 PP, and dependence on the critical hit to break walls such as Skarmory.

Name Item

Curse Sweeper

Leftovers
Moveset
~ Cross Chop
~ Curse
~ Rock Slide
~ Hidden Power Bug / Hidden Power Ghost / Fire Blast

Machamp is one of GSC's deadliest attacking threats, mostly thanks to its 358 Attack-backed STAB Cross Chop. Cross Chop is not only an incredibly useful Fighting-type STAB move, which is super effective or at least neutral against most of GSC's big players, but it also has a 20% critical hit rate after factoring accuracy, adding to its already devastating strength. Curse is what really allows this Machamp set to shine, as after a Curse boost, Cross Chop is able to OHKO even the vaunted Skarmory with a critical hit. As a pure physical attacker, being able to kill Skarmory, much less in one hit, is an impressive feat indeed. Furthermore, even though it's a Curse sweeper, Charm Umbreon and Growl Miltank can't just switch in to stall it thanks to its super effective Fighting-type STAB. A few teams fail to carry a Fighting resist; for these teams, Skarmory is often all they have to attempt to wall Machamp, and Skarmory will die if it gets hit by a boosted critical hit Cross Chop, forcing the team to crumble shortly thereafter.

Of course, there are several common Fighting-type resisting Pokemon that can step in to serve as more capable Machamp walls. Even then, though, Machamp gets a slew of coverage moves to handle them. Rock Slide 2HKOs the ever-present Zapdos after a Curse boost, whereas the choice of Hidden Power is able to 2HKO other defensive threats. An unboosted Hidden Power Bug 2HKOs the common Exeggutor. An unboosted Hidden Power Ghost on the other hand is able to 2HKO the Ghost-types on average while still retaining the ability to 3HKO Exeggutor. Hidden Power Bug is usually preferred because Exeggutor directly forces Machamp to switch out with its STAB Psychic whereas Ghost-types still take a lot of damage from Curse-boosted Rock Slides and can't threaten direct damage to Machamp to force it out easily. Regardless of which Hidden Power is chosen, they both also give Machamp some recourse against its number one check: Starmie. Starmie without Reflect are 2HKOed by Hidden Power after a Curse boost, and Reflect variants are 2HKOed after three Curse boosts, which are easily obtainable without taking too much damage from Surf if Machamp Curses on the turns that Starmie switches in and uses Reflect. Thanks to the combination of Curse and Hidden Power, in addition to the fact that Starmie's Surf only 4HKOes Machamp, Starmie needs to run Psychic to consistently scare Machamp into switching out with the threat of the 2HKO, and even then Machamp can still kill a weakened Starmie (62-73% health) with a Curse-boosted Hidden Power while being able to tank a single STAB Psychic with plenty of health to spare. Even considering all of this, though, Machamp could simply rely on its team to clear out Starmie for it and instead use Fire Blast in the last slot, which handily 3HKOes Exeggutor and allows Machamp to easily KO Skarmory without burning through precious Cross Chop PP attempting to score the critical hit.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item

Pure Attacker

Leftovers
Moveset
~ Cross Chop
~ Rock Slide
~ Earthquake / Body Slam
~ Fire Blast / Hidden Power Bug / Hidden Power Ghost

This Machamp gives up the ability to set up with Curse in return for more coverage. While being able to set up Curse is helpful for beating the likes of Suicune and weakened Starmie, in most cases Machamp doesn't even need to set up to threaten major damage against most threats, and the extra moveslot gives Machamp another coverage move to help it beat what it normally couldn't. Cross Chop is the obvious STAB move, running off of Machamp's ludicrous Attack stat, having a high critical hit rate for breaking walls, and having a great STAB typing for hitting half of most teams for super effective damage. However, not having Curse to boost its power means that Machamp must waste a lot of Cross Chop's PP looking for the critical hit if it's beating Suicune or Skarmory with it. Rock Slide is another non-negotiable moveslot, as it guarantees a 3HKO on Zapdos, something that otherwise walls Machamp entirely. The other two moveslots ultimately depend on what threats you want Machamp to be able to handle. Earthquake is an excellent move that isn't usually considered a good coverage move alongside Fighting STAB. However, it does hit Poison- and Ghost-type switch-ins hard, and it's a 100% accurate 100 Base Power move that helps to preserve Cross Chop's PP against Ground-weak foes and that ensures low-health foes can be finished off. Body Slam could also be used to paralyze Starmie switch-ins, which otherwise walls Machamp completely and is very adept at avoiding paralysis. The last moveslot depends further on what Machamp wants to be able to hurt. Fire Blast is an excellent coverage move, as it preserves Cross Chops against Steel-types (most notably Skarmory), and can also be used to handily 3HKO Exeggutor and to 3HKO Heracross on average. Using one of the Hidden Powers in this slot is also an option; Hidden Power Bug 2HKOs Exeggutor switch-ins, whereas Hidden Power Ghost can 2HKO Ghost-types if Earthquake is foregone for Body Slam. If Body Slam is used as the third move, using Hidden Power in the last slot allows Machamp to both paralyze and KO Starmie on its own, which other sets cannot accomplish.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Name Item

RestTalk

Leftovers
Moveset
~ Cross Chop
~ Curse
~ Rest
~ Sleep Talk

Machamp has pretty decent defensive stats to accompany its mammoth Attack and Fighting STAB; this set aims to take advantage of this bulk by using it for longevity and allowing Machamp to act as a mixed wall, rather than simply using it to allow Machamp the leeway to switch in and set up a sweep. This Machamp, thanks to Rest and Sleep Talk, is an excellent Snorlax check, being able to Rest off Double-Edges on the switch, force Snorlax to switch out with the threat of Cross Chop, and be constantly available thanks to Sleep Talk. Sleep Talk also allows Machamp to get around one of its biggest downfalls by conserving Cross Chop PP via PP-free uses of the move with Sleep Talk turns. Curse rounds out the set by allowing Machamp to match Snorlax's Curses and to allow it to Curse up and sweep when Fighting-resisting Pokemon have been cleared out of the way. This Machamp set does not have the coverage options that other sets have, and as such, having Cross Chop as its only attacking move means that it will be unable to touch Ghost-types and will either be beaten or outstalled by Fighting-type resisting Psychic- and Flying-types as well. Still, once these Pokemon are defeated, this Machamp set absolutely ravages opposing teams and cannot be killed very easily in return.

RestTalk Machamp is not a purely offensive being; in fact, it's more defensive than offensive by virtue of the many things that wall it. It's bulky enough to avoid being 3HKOed by the big 3 mixed attackers: Tyranitar, Nidoking, and Dragonite without Hidden Power Flying (which is most Dragonite). Furthermore, it scares them out with the threat of a Curse-based setup, and manages to, unlike other mixed walls, force Snorlax to switch out by virtue of STAB Cross Chop (and beats last-Pokemon CurseLax to boot). While this set struggles to get past any Fighting-type resisting Pokemon (and is therefore less offensive than other variants), this Machamp can brutalize those few teams that fail to use a Fighting resist because it not only has the ability to set up with Curse and KO walls such as Skarmory with a critical hit Cross Chop, but also the ability to stick around with Rest and Sleep Talk unlike sweeping Machamp sets. Still, though it has incredible offensive setup potential by virtue of its longevity, this Machamp's main selling point is its aforementioned defensive virtues, as a single Ghost-type will render it useless, and any Fighting-type resist should be able to beat it fairly easily.

Team Options & Additional Comments >>>

Other Options

Using Earthquake or Body Slam over one of the coverage options on the Curse sweeper set is a possibility, but generally an inferior possibility because it deprives Machamp of crucial coverage against either the ultra-common Zapdos or Exeggutor. In addition, the Curse sweeper could also ditch one of the coverage moves in favor of Rest to permit it to setup, break a wall, then Rest off damage and status for later carnage, but this is not recommended without Heal Bell support as Machamp is dead weight while asleep. Counter, too, is a good option for Machamp, but honestly it's only really viable on the all-out attacker set as, again, the Curse sweeper relies on its specific coverage moves to get past common threats. Counter allows Machamp to KO Skarmory or even Zapdos going for the Drill Peck, and also punishes foes such as Nidoking and Heracross trying to wear Machamp down with Earthquake and Seismic Toss, respectively. However, while Counter can catch these foes off guard, Machamp's vast attacking movepool, excellent Fighting STAB, and huge 358 Attack stat mean that it's usually better off using an attacking move to maximize coverage rather than waiting to catch something off guard with Counter. Meditate is an interesting option over Curse on the Curse sweeper set to allow Machamp the opportunity to boost its Attack without lowering its Speed. Generally, the extra Defense from Curse is preferred to allow Machamp to tank Drill Pecks from Skarmory and Double-Edges from Snorlax as it attacks, but not suffering a Speed drop can be useful if Machamp is being passed Agility boosts or for preserving the Speed tie against Exeggutor and allowing Machamp to OHKO with a +1 Hidden Power Bug with a 50% chance of not having to take a Psychic in return. Hidden Power Rock can be used over Rock Slide if Machamp isn't using an anti-Psychic Hidden Power. Hidden Power's perfect accuracy can be preferred over Rock Slide's 90% accuracy, whereas Rock Slide is not likely to be flinching anything relevant. A particularly interesting, but generally not very effective, gimmick would be the use of Berserk Gene over Leftovers on the all-out attacking set. The +2 Attack boost without setup can sometimes catch opponents off guard, and if Machamp gets lucky and consistently hits past confusion it can quickly take one or two Pokemon down with it before it succumbs to confusion damage and damage sustained from attacks by faster foes. However, Berserk Gene gives Machamp one shot at making a difference, as once Machamp is switched out, Berserk Gene is consumed, leaving Machamp a regular all-out attacker but with much less longevity thanks to the lack of Leftovers. Furthermore, the 50% likelihood during any given turn of simply having Machamp smack itself for non-trivial damage makes Berserk Gene a very high-risk item that generally isn't worth it. Along the lines of gimmicks that generally aren't worth it, Vital Throw and Light Screen fall into this category. Vital Throw is often prized for its -1 priority, thereby preventing Machamp from being phazed after a Curse. The problem is that Vital Throw is so very weak compared to Cross Chop's raw power, and the phaze immunity hardly matters to Machamp as most phazers aren't able to safely phaze with the threat of a +1 Cross Chop looming over them. In addition, Vital Throw's negative priority can screw Machamp over if it needs to outspeed Snorlax (e.g., after a Belly Drum) and KO it with its STAB Fighting move. Light Screen, on the other hand, is often seen as a good move as the biggest threats to a Machamp sweep are STAB Psychic users and accumulated damage from STAB Surfs and Thunders. However, giving up a coverage move on Machamp itself is not a good way to set up Light Screen for Machamp, as it reduces the impact of Machamp once it does get a Light Screen boost. Rather, Light Screen is best used by a teammate, such as Blissey or Zapdos, to permit Machamp the best use of its attacking movepool while still enabling it to tank Psychics and other powerful special moves when a teammate pseudo-passes Light Screen to it.

Checks and Counters

Starmie is widely considered the most dependable check to Machamp, and for good reason. It resists Cross Chop, avoids being 2HKOed by an unboosted Hidden Power, and can 2HKO back with Psychic. Of course, without Psychic, Starmie risks having RestTalk Machamp set up on it, as Surf is only a 4HKO, and also risks being KOed by any Machamp with Curse and Hidden Power; after a single Curse, Machamp 2HKOs Starmie without a defense boost, and after 3 Curses, which Machamp can easily set up in the face of Starmie's Surf, Machamp can 2HKO even Starmie behind a Reflect. Exeggutor is also a prime Machamp check, being able to switch in easily on a Cross Chop or Curse and 2HKO with Psychic. However, Exeggutor must be wary of Hidden Power Bug, which 2HKOes without a Curse boost and OHKOes after Machamp uses Curse. Zapdos is another Pokemon that acts as a soft check to Machamp; it 3HKOes with Thunder or Thunderbolt and resists Cross Chop, although most Machamp carry Rock Slide specifically for Zapdos and will be able to 2HKO after a Curse boost. Suicune can repeatedly smack Machamp with Surf for the 4HKO; this isn't enough to guarantee Machamp is killed before it is able to kill Suicune in return though, because Suicune is 3HKOed by non-critical hit Cross Chop, it will usually be enough to weaken Machamp to where it won't be able to accomplish anything else after killing Suicune, and might be enough to flat out beat Machamp if Cross Chop misses. All-out attacking Machamp is walled much harder by Suicune, as it fails to be 3HKOed by an unboosted Cross Chop, whereas RestTalk Machamp will outright beat any Suicune without Roar due to its ability to use Rest to restore health lost to Surf. Skarmory is another check that works well against non-Fire Blast Machamp; it can use Curse to match Machamp's boosts and threaten to 3HKO in return with STAB Drill Peck. Critical hit Cross Chops or the uncommon Fire Blast can beat it, though. The observant should notice a pattern with these checks: Machamp has some way of beating them all. Still, all of these checks can go up against Machamp well enough to ensure, at the very least, Machamp is too crippled to do more than break that one check, and at best, they abuse Machamp's propensity to beat itself with Cross Chop's low accuracy and PP.

Machamp also has a few other checks that are more situational and less common than those listed above. Most Machamp do not use Earthquake because it's generally a poor coverage move to run alongside Cross Chop, which is excellent news for Muk as a Machamp counter. Without Earthquake, Machamp really has no way of getting past Muk, as Muk can match Machamp's attempts to Curse up and beat it while being able to deal heavy damage to Machamp with STAB Sludge Bomb. Heracross makes a solid check to Machamp as well. It resists Cross Chop, Machamp rarely has a coverage move specifically for dealing heavy damage to Heracross, and Heracross can slowly but surely 5HKO Machamp with Seismic Toss, or use Curse to match Machamp's boosts. Curse Heracross, unlike Seismic Toss variants, can also wall Sleep Talk Machamp and out-PP it thanks to Cross Chop's meager 8 PP. Fire Blast Machamp threatens to 3HKO Heracross, though, but Fire Blast, much like Cross Chop, is fairly easy to stall out of PP. Nidoking and Tentacruel can also check non-Earthquake Machamp to an extent by virtue of their Poison typing, the former being able to use Lovely Kiss to incapacitate Machamp and the latter being able to outpace Curse's defense boosts with Swords Dance. Machamp ultimately beats both of these threats with enough Curse boosts in spite of their ability to resist Cross Chop, rendering RestTalk Machamp thoroughly uncheckable by these particular Poison-types. However, while RestTalk Machamp gets credit for matching up well against Heracross and non-Cursing Poison-types, the fact that it can only attack using Cross Chop renders it incapable of touching Ghost-types entirely. Machamp can't afford to PP stall Gengar, as Cross Chop has terrible PP, and Gengar can always play for the freeze with Ice Punch or kill Machamp with a timely critical hit Thunderbolt. Misdreavus, on the other hand, immediately forces Machamp to switch out. In addition to hardwalling RestTalk Machamp, Ghosts are also good checks to Machamp variants lacking Earthquake or Hidden Power Ghost, as Machamp can only 3HKO with Rock Slide after a Curse boost, whereas Gengar can severely wear Machamp down with Thunderbolts and a full-health Misdreavus needs to be 2HKOed to guarantee that it fails to kill Machamp with Perish Trap. Meganium makes another uncommon but effective Machamp check. Behind Reflect, with Leech Seed sapping Machamp's health, and with Synthesis to provide instant healing, Meganium acts to thoroughly outstall Machamp. Slowbro rounds out the list of uncommon checks, but it certainly is a good one; it can use Growl or Reflect to neutralize Curse variants, or threaten to outright kill Machamp with Psychic. Its reliance on Rest for recovery coupled with its Hidden Power weakness can render it beatable by Machamp, though.