you vs the guy she tells you not to worry about
Machamp has a lot of competition as a niche Fighting-type Pokemon in LGPE OU, with Poliwrath providing greater defensive utility thanks to its additional Water typing, Hitmonlee having a more spammable STAB move in High Jump Kick and a better Speed tier, and Primeape providing an effective pivot with its access to U-turn. What Machamp offers is a midground between Poliwrath and Hitmonlee, with very similar bulk to Poliwrath and attacking power similar to Hitmonlee— in fact, its coverage moves hit harder than Hitmonlee's thanks to its superior Attack stat. This extra level of offensive threat compared to Poliwrath makes it better at forcing Mew to switch in and risk taking a Toxic. Its lack of a Water typing also has upsides defensively, and notably allows it to trade blows with standard Zapdos and Mega Venusaur far better than Poliwrath can. These traits combine to make Machamp a respectable tank that excels at handling many Pokemon one-on-one and is capable of specifically threatening popular Pokemon like Melmetal, Rhydon, Snorlax, and Alolan Muk. Machamp's main downside is its extremely poor matchup against Mew, which comfortably counters it even when hit with Toxic and is on almost every competitive team. Having such a consistent switch-in greatly limits Machamp's ability to perform the damage trades it is used for, but when supported by its teammates against Mew it can still perform respectably.
name: Physical Wallbreaker
move 1: Low Kick / Superpower
move 2: Ice Punch
move 3: Earthquake / Bulk Up / Substitute
move 4: Toxic
item: No Item
Low Kick, while weaker against many targets, is Machamp's most spammable STAB option and deals massive damage to Melmetal. Superpower is an alternative that isn't as spammable but guarantees a hard hit against anything that doesn't resist it, making it more suited to a hit-and-run playstyle. As such, it should never be used alongside Bulk Up. Ice Punch provides near-perfect coverage when paired with Machamp's Fighting STAB attacks, most importantly threatening Zapdos and Mega Venusaur. Earthquake OHKOes Gengar, 2HKOes Starmie and Mega Charizard X, does more to Alolan Muk and Nidoqueen than any other option, and punishes Zapdos using Roost, making it the best option for maximizing Machamp's immediate offensive capabilities. Bulk Up can be quite fearsome if Mew is dealt with, making Machamp capable of feats such as OHKOing Melmetal with Low Kick, but Machamp's low Speed means that sweeping is very unlikely, and it requires smart use in order to be effective. The same is true for Substitute, which lets Machamp more safely punish predicted switches or guard against revenge killing. Toxic is vital for punishing Mew, which can otherwise easily switch in and wall Machamp with no risk, and also improves Machamp's ability to threaten Zapdos and Starmie.
Machamp's low number of resistances means that it isn't a good switch-in to most Pokemon, but its solid bulk makes it capable of taking on prominent Pokemon such as Rhydon, Melmetal, and Mega Gyarados one-on-one. As such, it is often most effective when provided safe entry via slow U-turns or after a KO. Opponents may try to use Zapdos, Mew, and Starmie as midground switch-ins that can heal off hits; predicting this and using Toxic greatly increases Machamp's effectiveness. As most other bulky Pokemon are slower than Machamp or don't heavily threaten it, predicting them to switch in is not as vital. When facing down healthy Melmetal and Rhydon, Bulk Up can be used to guarantee an OHKO on them on the following turn while taking as little damage as possible in the process— however, if damage on these targets is important for teammates, it may be smarter to immediately attack them, as they would be likely to switch out after you use Bulk Up.
Machamp struggles immensely with Psychic-type Pokemon, and as a result their best answer, Alolan Muk, makes for a great teammate. In return, Alolan Muk appreciates Machamp's ability to threaten Ground-types like Nidoqueen, Rhydon, and Alolan Dugtrio one-on-one. Machamp benefits greatly from U-turn users that can help it switch into favorable matchups safely, most notably Mew and Zapdos; these two in particular greatly appreciate Machamp's proficiency at tackling the likes of Mega Gyarados, Alolan Muk, Alolan Dugtrio, and Nidoqueen one-on-one, which are some of their most prominent switch-ins. Mew can also provide Stealth Rock support to help in wearing down Machamp switch-ins like Zapdos and opposing Mew. Mega Beedrill is another pivot and can make use of Machamp to apply further pressure to its most common defensive answers, namely Melmetal and Rhydon, and put Zapdos in range of its Poison Jab. In return, Machamp greatly appreciates Mega Beedrill's ability to outspeed and threaten its best answer, Mew, with massive damage. Melmetal is a great secondary measure for handling Mega Alakazam and Wing Attack Mega Aerodactyl, two Pokemon that Machamp fears, and in turn it appreciates not being a team's only tank aso its valuable HP can be preserved.
Poison Jab can be used to hit Clefable hard and occasionally poison a switch-in such as Mew, but it is extremely hard to justify over any standard option due to how redundant it is otherwise. Encore can be used to catch opposing Pokemon off guard, for example by locking them into using Earthquake or Roost and then exploiting that with the likes of Swords Dance Dodrio, but Machamp's slowness and tendency to force offensive responses makes it quite poorly suited for this role. Rock Slide deals great damage to Mega Charizard Y and Moltres, but this is fairly unimportant, as these Pokemon are destroyed by Stealth Rock as they switch in and can potentially have their Roosts punished by Earthquake. Thunder Punch deals the most damage to Starmie and Poliwrath of any of Machamp's options, handily 2HKOing both after Stealth Rock damage and making it hard for Starmie to safely use Recover, but Earthquake 2HKOes Starmie after Stealth Rock damage anyway and Poliwrath is hit almost as hard by Low Kick while not posing much of a threat in return. Facade can enable Machamp to threaten Scald Mew, especially if Mew is also taking Toxic damage, but it is entirely useless if Scald fails to burn Machamp and can be hard to fit on a moveset.
Checks and Counters
**Psychic-type Pokemon**: Mew can take any of Machamp's attacks with ease, heal with Roost, and threaten back with Psychic, Scald, or Will-O-Wisp; it dislikes being afflicted with Toxic, but it counters Machamp even when that is accounted for. Mega Alakazam, Starmie, and Alolan Raichu don't take Earthquake as well as Mew does, but they can switch in on Machamp's Fighting STAB attacks if necessary and threaten it with a powerful Psychic. Exeggutor can switch in on Machamp's Fighting STAB attacks and Earthquake with ease and retaliate with Psychic or Sleep Powder, but it is a risky check, as it Speed ties with Machamp and 2HKOed by Ice Punch.
**Mega Aerodactyl**: While not a switch-in, Mega Aerodactyl can pick off a weakened Machamp with Wing Attack quite easily. If the Machamp has set up Bulk Up this may prove more difficult, however.
**Clefable**: While many Pokemon can handle Machamp one-on-one, Clefable is unique among Pokemon that aren't Psychic-type for not being weak to any of Machamp's attacks, letting it avoid a 2HKO from any after Stealth Rock, and retaliating with a strong supereffective STAB Moonblast.
**Mega Venusaur**: Mega Venusaur can handle Machamp decently, resisting its STAB, tanking Ice Punch respectably and threatening it with Sleep Powder, but it can struggle to do enough immediate damage in return to win one-on-one.
- Written by: [[Eve, 375272]]
- Quality checked by: [[Collette, 520031], [Kris, 241023]]
- Grammar checked by: [[Lumari, 232216], [, ]]