NFE SS NFE Suspect #2 - Too Close

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Jett

User reading this is cute
is a Pre-Contributor
(Thanks Ho3nConfirm3d for the song)
Hey friends, the SS NFE Council have decided to test Machoke.
:ss/Machoke:

Suspect Test Reasoning:
Machoke has proven itself as both a monstrous offensive and defensive threat in the metagame, thanks to its incredible Attack and very solid defenses. Flame Orb and Guts along with an incredible movepool have virtually 0 defensive switch-ins. Its defensive sets, whilst posing less of an immediate threat, abuses the combination of No Guard and Dynamic Punch, which can sometimes let it hax past common switch-ins. Its Tank set is by far its most common set and is able to beat nearly every Pokemon one-on-one. With access to the best move in the metagame, Knock Off, it is able to not only weaken its own checks, but can pave the way for other threatening wallbreakers, such as Haunter and Wartortle to plough through teams. It is because of these factors that Machoke is very customisable and can fit easily onto any team. It is almost impossible to tell which set Machoke is running from team preview, which makes it much harder to deal with in a battle. Mareanie loses to Machoke’s running Earthquake, Fairy-types lose to Machoke running Heavy Slam, and Dartrix loses to sets with Ice Punch. Nicher options such as Encore and Toxic have been used to allow Machoke to shut down and break past fatter walls. With each of its sets having slight differences in checks and counters, teambuilding with Machoke in mind becomes very difficult.

That being said, Machoke is not a Pokemon without any counterplay. Machoke’s middling speed always means that teams can easily fit offensive counterplay to deal with it. No investment in bulk means its Flame Orb set is relatively easy to revenge kill. Its defensive sets can be switched into relatively easily as they lack the same firepower and coverage to hit Fairy-types for super effective damage. Its Tank set doesn’t hit nearly as hard as its Flame Orb set, and there are still physical walls with reliable recovery which can comfortably switch into it. However, it’s hard to deny Machoke isn’t head and shoulders above the rest of the metagame boasting a near 70% usage and around 60% win rate in OMPL so far.

Suspect Test Information:
The voting requirements are a minimum GXE of 75 with at least 25 games played.
For this suspect test, a new account starting with NFEMA, such as “NFE MArjane” must be used to qualify, as we will be using the NFE Ladder. The suspect will end in around 2 weeks time, on the 14th Sunday June 11:59pm EDT, and then we will put up the voting thread in the Blind Voting subforum.

This thread will also be used for posting your voter identification screenshot. Make sure when doing this, you show your alt has met these requirements, as well as proof that the alt belongs to you. When uploading large images, please use a HIDE tag.

When posting in this thread, please keep in mind these rules:
1. No one liners or uninformed posts, unless it is posting that you’ve met the requirements for voting on Machoke.
2. No discussion on other potential suspects or the suspect process
3. Be respectful
Your post will be deleted and possibly infracted if you fail to follow them.

If you have any questions about this suspect, please ask vooper or Crystalites . Have fun laddering!

Tagging The Immortal to setup suspect and announcement on PS ladder games. Thanks in advance!
 
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In case some people want more team options to choose from than our samples offer, here some of my OMPL stuff:

Webs Offense: :machoke::charjabug::hattrem::piloswine::linoone-galar::haunter:
CB Piloswine Balance: :machoke::corsola-galar::roselia::hattrem::linoone-galar::piloswine:
Screens HO: :lampent::morgrem::wartortle::piloswine::machoke::hattrem:
Wishport Balance: :clefairy::klang::linoone-galar::machoke::hattrem::corsola-galar:
Sun HO: :vulpix::clefairy::charmeleon::vullaby::gloom::wartortle:


I would recommend to stick to the more offensive ones during this suspect. Also check out Crystalites' team dump here for even more variety!
 
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First :]
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I accidentally cleared my edits unfort, well time to rewrite this. Welcome to Arctic Rants About Machoke. I will use bullet points to try to be precise also bc im salty my post deleted itself.

  • Machoke is one of the most common leads because of how it 1v1s almost every pokemon in the tier with its eviolite sets, and if they switch into a counter they will get knocked off early game.
  • Flame Orb Machoke promotes unhealthy predictions. It is generally more of a guessing game than thinking long term. These predictions most of the time do not reward the better player.
  • Machoke enables Haunter. It provides knock off support and its two best counters Gorsola and Gloom hate Haunter.
  • Flame Orb Machoke has no counters.
  • Flame Orb Machoke almost completely invalidates balances and fatter play styles (This also enables Haunter due to haunter preying on offensive teams).
  • Prepping for Machoke, Haunter, Wartortle is way too hard. For my ompl game against thimo i tried to build a team for an hour or two with other people and I kept saying no this team loses to X (So I just used a team tjay used last week). Without machoke it would've been much easier.
  • Machoke does everything too well.
When laddering I used offense that has a decent MU against sun teams. I recommend 85%s screens team posted above and Crystals Palpatoad webs team found in the NFE discussion thread.
 
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Oh boy. I doubt I'll get reqs because I hate laddering but I definitely have some assorted thoughts on this meta and specifically Machoke.

Basically, the meta isn't in a good spot right now. I don't think this is really much of a surprise to anyone, considering that there's two Pokemon in the tier that are widely considered broken and a few more potentially problematic pokemon, but it's not really in a good place. My opinion is that there's just too many varied wallbreakers for the tier's defensive Pokemon to handle, to the point where it's almost impossible to build a team that is capable of answering all of them at once, and certainly not without compromising your team's ability to put pressure on the opponent in an offensive meta, which is compounded by defensive teams in NFE naturally being weaker due to how NFE as a tier works.

But first, the relevant part:

Machoke is broken, plain and simple. Flame Orb Guts has about two counters in Corsola and Koffing, one of which is only really worth running specifically for Machoke and is bad all-around otherwise, although Whirlpool Corsola is actually really solid all-around outside of inviting Hat in for free. However, that's far from Machoke's only set, and I've seen everything from 4 attacks No Guard to Resttalk Guts to something like Sub + Bulk Up to try and brute force past any Corsola still running Shadow Ball. This, coupled with it basically always carrying Knock Off, makes it extremely difficult to play around to the point where unless you're running basically exactly Shellos it's garaunteed to at least knock an item, and usually trade 1 for 1 + a knock in the right hands. This is the pokemon with the least amount of counterplay in the tier, basically boiling down to "run Corsola and keep it healthy or lose", and it should 100% be banned.

Alright, so I said there were other issues with the tier, specifically in that there isn't enough valid defensive counterplay to reasonably check everything, which is a death sentence in a tier dominated by Bulky Offence teams. This is because nearly all of the scariest wallbreakers/sweepers in the tier don't share checks, and this feels like a tier where in the builder you can more or less pick two-three of these five (Machoke included) to have answers to and you more or less fold to the others or have to settle for revenge killing. I don't think banning Machoke just by itself will fix this issue, so I want to talk about some other Pokemon that are causing it:


Specs Haunter has zero defensive counterplay. Literally none. The best you can manage is stacking Linoone + a steel/pilo on a team and hoping it guesses wrong, because Linoone gets 2HKOed by Sludge Wave and SpDef Klang doesn't ohko Haunter so it gets put into rest range by two shadow balls, at which point something like Machoke or CB Pilo comes in and goes to town. Sure, Linoone forces it out, but Linoone has to be extremely careful on the switch or come in after a kill, at which point Haunter's probably already done its job. It has other sets, too, but Specs is the one that really pushes it over the edge and needs to go. Suspect and ban it right after Machoke, please, and hopefully we'll have them both gone before DLC drops.


I'm not sure if it's because there are better things that you absolutely need to check, but SubSmash Wartortle is actually crazy. Sure, Mareanie, Palpitoad, and to a lesser extent Brionne can all take it on, but it's pretty hard to put those on a team when Machoke and Haunter can turn them into free turns with one good call. Additionally, NFE doesn't have a lot of scarfers, which means revenge killing it is usually priority reliant, with something like double prio Pikachu being nice... if the sub isn't up. Resisting the most common priority move in Machoke's Bullet Punch doesn't hurt either. Wartortle also hugely benefits from Haunter forcing SpD Klang, as uninvested Gear Grind doesn't break sub and it can nab at least one smash and go from there. I don't think it's broken, but it takes advantage of the metagame really well and a lot of well-built teams just fold to it because they're focussed on trying to deal with other threats and are forced to trade with it and try to pick it off afterwards.


Alright, so sun's absurdly slept on right now, although this might be changing. Gloom's actually the worst of the three sun sweepers at the moment imo since Fat Waters aren't that common right now so Charmeleon just gets to go in with Weather Ball if it wants. Sub/Smash/Weather Ball/Surf Wartortle is actually disgusting too and unironically probably a better win condition than Gloom right now since everything that takes a Weather Ball under sun hates eating Surf. Like Wartortle (and partially because it abuses Wartortle), I'm hesitant to call it broken but because the various sun sweepers both don't really share any counterplay with Machoke/Haunter and usually requires both a dedicated Gloom/Fire check like Lampent as while as a seperate Wartortle check usually means teams have to go without and run the risk of just losing to 8 turns of sun.


Last and probably least, CB Piloswine takes huge advantage of teams often struggling to fit ground resists over other things, with a lot of teams having just Haunter to take banded Earthquakes. Notably shares a check with Machoke in the form of Corsola, and it's a little difficult to justify when rocks + 3 attacks is so good right now, but a lot of teams simply don't have an answer to it if they aren't running specifically Corsola as their choke answer.

If this is too off-topic, just let me know and I'll repost this spoilered part to the metagame thread.

tldr, ban Machoke, fuck laddering
 

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Jett

User reading this is cute
is a Pre-Contributor
reqs for machoke suspect.png

I got reqs by exclusively using my week 6 OMPL team, which was Lampent Palpitoad Webs.

I think the metagame right now is way too centered around Machoke. It pretty much fits onto every single viable archetype outside of sun teams. Flame Orb is an absolute nightmare to consider in teambuilder, especially when it is normally paired with slow pivots like Charjabug and Clefairy. Most walls are slower than Machoke and become pretty unreliable checks to its Flame Orb set once it has had its Eviolite removed, with exceptions being Koffing, Datrix (kinda), and to some extent Galarian Corsola (depending on your rolls). Its more commonly used Tank set is way too well rounded mon; it has an insane movepool to cover types which are strong against it, solid general bulk, and wallbreaking power. I think my biggest issue is that Machoke really doesn't have a "bad matchup". At worst it'll cripple a couple Pokemon with Knock Off or maybe only get a single KO but in a vast majority of games it'll be able to do both of these things or maybe more. Its consistency and power is way above everything else, and I believe than banning it will result in a slightly healthier metagame
 
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Skjermbilde 2020-06-02 kl. 11.36.44.png

Got a 17/1 streak until the end zzzzzz, but at least I qualified myself

I’ve already made a huge post on Machoke before, but I’ll briefly explain it here.
Machoke is both mandatory, and an oppressive offensive pokemon. It keeps in check against physical wallbreakers, has a core to almost anyone, being the most common lead mon, and just really holds your team. And that leads to everyone using it, which does reflect Machoke’s high usage/win% at OMPL. However it has the option to be a wallbreaker that beats every blanket check that’s toward to Physdef/Bulky Atk set. Adding the near unresisted movepool, Machoke has the unpredictability from the start of the game. That is, of course, Flame Orb Machoke. That set just adds the icing on the cake for Machoke as a nfe pokemon.
All of them do share a weakness that they can be revenge-killed since they are slow, but in most situations it ends up you have to sack your slower Pokemon, especially when it comes to Flame Orb. That is unhealthy and I don’t think anyone would disagree with me on that. And I didn’t even mention webs and bullet punch can help Machoke secure kills in a slow meta as nfe is. Machoke has its weakness, but all of them are borderline inconsistent where it’s very few pokemon that can switch in all of them (Corsola and Machoke himself lol) or sack a mon; revenge kill it. All this makes me believe that Machoke should get banned from the tier. It doesn’t exactly mean the tier will that much less restricted than it is already, but it’s at least one step in the right direction.


Also here’s my teams I used with my alts if you ever want to try it out, go bonkers.
Toxic Spikes w/ Hex Specs Haunter + Trappers
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Bulky Offense w/ Toxic Spikes
Skjermbilde 2020-06-02 kl. 15.21.43.png

Pikachu/Raboot offense core
Skjermbilde 2020-06-02 kl. 15.24.00.png
 
Collection of Pro- and Anti-Ban Arguments

The idea behind this post is to serve as a collection of pro- and anti-ban arguments, relating to Machoke. I will try to keep any opinion out of it. Additionally I will keep updating this whenever people deliver new arguments. Overall this post is supposed to help you form an educated opinion on Machoke, to base your vote on.


One general thing first: I know we all differ in our philosophy regarding bans in general. There are purists who want to keep bans to an absolute minimum and favour adaptation. And then there are people who wish for a balanced metagame in which we maximize the number of possible viable teams. So even if we're working with the same list of pro- and anti-ban arguments, we might come to different conclusions.
The Tiering Policy Framework is an attempt to give general guidelines for the tiering process and help facilitate objective decision making, to avoid being guided by your own tiering philosophy. I will be using the definitions of 'broken' and 'unhealthy' provided by the TPF in order to structure the points below - read the original post for a more precise explanation of both concepts (I will also include spoilers labeled 'TPF' for those interested).


A last remark before I list the arguments: the party willing to change the status quo is the one with 'burden of proof' – in this case the pro-ban fraction. As such we have a lot more pro-ban arguments so far than anti-ban arguments. I mention this, because it should keep you from making your decision purely based on the number of arguments.

--- --- ---

Pro-Ban Arguments

Broken
- elements that are too good relative to the rest of the metagame such that "more skillful play" is almost always rendered irrelevant.
  • They are broken because they almost dictate / require usage, and a standard team without one of them facing a standard team with one of them would be at a drastic disadvantage.
  • These also include elements whose only counters or checks are extraordinarily niche Pokemon that would put the team at a large disadvantage elsewhere.
  • An analysis of the OMPL games in which only one of the two players used a Machoke (14 games), reveals a Machoke win rate of 71.43%.
  • Flame Orb Machoke Switch-ins, or more precisely Counters (meaning they can switch into an attack and still beat it), are limited to Corsola-Galar, Gloom, Dartrix, and Vullaby - all of which no longer serve as Counters once Stealth Rocks are on the field. Corsola-Galar and Gloom additionally struggle with the omnipresence of Hattrem, stopping the usage of Strength Sap.

Unhealthy - elements that are neither uncompetitive nor broken yet are deemed undesirable for the metagame such that they inhibit "skillful play" to a large extent.
  • These are elements that may not limit either team building or battling skill enough individually but combine to cause an effect that is undesirable for the metagame.
  • This can also be a state of the metagame. If the metagame has too much diversity wherein team building ability is greatly hampered and battling skill is drastically reduced, we may seek to reduce the number of good-to-great threats. This can also work in reverse; if the metagame is too centralized around a particular set of Pokemon, none of which are broken on their own, we may seek to add Pokemon to increase diversity.
  • This is the most controversial and subjective one and will therefore be used the most sparingly.
  • Based on OMPL replays, leading Machoke is connected to a 62.50% win rate. This is obviously confounded with Machoke's overall win rate, but in most situations Machoke is the best, or at least a very safe lead option. This reduces the skill needed to make the right lead selection.
  • Especially the BO Machoke set stands out through consistency. Adding it to your team will almost always benefit you more than any other Pokemon would in the same slot - with the exception of niche archetypes like Sun and Stall (even on those you can make a point for it). This reduces teambuilding skill. This is also reflected in a usage stat of 67.86% (based on OMPL replays).
  • Not Machoke specific, but the overall number of offensive threats in the metagame is too much to properly cover in teambuilding. Meaning that teambuilding skill matters less and MU matters more.
  • The previous point also results in a diffence in viability between certain archetypes. Favouring Offense and Hyper Offense, and giving Balance and Stall a hard time.
  • Knock Off on a strong breaker like Machoke paves the way for other breakers, since you are limited in picking the Pokemon you want to lose their Eviolite.
  • It is quite hard to figure out during team preview which Machoke set one is facing. Making scouting plays necessary, which generally favour the Machoke player in terms of risk / reward. (It could be argued that this point actually rewards skill)

Anti-Ban Arguments
  • Machoke does not run all available sets at once. Either you are using the Flame Orb set, which is quite frail for how slow it is, and has a good amount of offensive checks. Or you are using one of the more defensive variants, which have a good amount of defensive answers.
  • Machoke is helping out in balancing the meta game, keeping Pokemon like Piloswine, Klang and Linoone-Galar in check. (It could be argued that one Pokemon holding them back from being problematic is not a sign of a healthy meta game.) There is no guarantee that the need to ban ends with Machoke - a potential chain reaction can lead to further bans, without ever reaching a healthy meta game.
--- --- ---

This is it for now. Again: I plan on updating this post to include more arguments. Also for transparency's sake I want to note that I am not completely unbiased, which most certainly, but unintentionally, found its way into this post.
This post is also additionally biased based on the pro-ban fraction being 'louder' so far. I hope this balances out when I include more arguments.
 

xavgb

:xavgb:
is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnus
OM Grand Slam Winner
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Tons of scary players on ladder rn mixed in with... less challenging games so laddering for this was definitely interesting. Not sure on Machoke so I'll wait for more arguments, I could definitely see the tier getting worse after it's gone (at least for the limited time between this suspect and DLC), but in terms of standard tiering policy Machoke does seem to be pretty overcentralizing/fairly broken so ig I'm leaning towards Ban.
 
Screenshot 2020-06-03 at 1.27.34 AM.png


I'm revealed :o
Started off poorly not knowing what a lot of things did but figured it out eventually; used public teams. Felt like a lot of games were decided from team preview which could be me being bad and not knowing shit, though I've heard from multiple ompl people that it's a lot of matchup so I used some matchup fishes kinda in webs and t spike stuff but I think they're solid teams aside from said "fish" hence why I used them. I've got a very similar mindset to stresh where I'm not decided but idt it's broken by definition but ik it's clearly very overcentralizing. I agree that I'd be a bit worried about a domino effect especially w/ klang/linoone but that's not a reason to keep a potentially broken force chillin. I'm probably leaning towards ban atm just due to how overcentralizing it is and the consensus I've seen from some NFE dudes I've chatted w/ but I'll lurk in disc and here and see others thoughts and let it give me a full opinion
 
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I have come out of retirement slightly to do this. Shoutouts sbpc for moral support shing'n for letting me steal the team towards the end even if it lost my 4 games to crystals broken sun (i will never forever you crystal)

I will probs edit this / make a larger post soon explaining my thought process and ill try to look into the no-ban side a good more to free up more arguments there, gl everyone else on ladder!
 
The more the merrier I always say. Shout outs hax.
reqs.jpeg

But throughout these games and the other alts I've tried since the suspect, I have played in a very active NFE ladder and love it :) I'm a true ladder player by heart so it's always a great experience when a meta you're invested in has a surge of activity.

As for Machoke, I agree with all the pro ban arguments, but now we have an issue with timing. DLC brings a wildly new meta, and even the new HA starters are shaking things up. I cannot say in good faith that a ban for 3 days or so will do anything good when there will be bigger fish to fry come DLC. More so, if Machoke is just as broken as it was before, the council could be inclined to QB it along with any other broken mons at the start of the new meta.

So as much as I am a fan of getting rid of Machoke in the post-home meta, the post-DLC meta offers a new environment for it to be judged. For that matter, I'll likely abstain from voting when the time comes, unless there is without a shadow of a doubt that Machoke will still be broken later; that likely isn't going to proven with the problems of theorymoning and stuff.

I do suggest that players that made reqs to consider the possibility of all the new mons / tutor moves / items / whatever that may show up in DLC that could inadvertently nerf machoke, or make it so buffed that it be obvious QB material anyways.

Sharing my HO that I made reqs with:
:morgrem: :raboot: :wartortle: :thwackey: :machoke: :piloswine:

Click on the sprites for a pokepaste. This screens HO is a simple FWG core of the broken starters, doing really well in the current meta for sweeping, wallbreaking, and a little bit of both. Screens helps them set up with ease, and these sets are pretty standard. The star of the show is Jolly Encore Bulk Up Machoke, which outspeeds bulky teams and sweeps a ton of playstyles once Haunter or Pikachu are gone / paralyzed for the former. The Speed is great as not much else affords / wants to run a positive Speed nature, and setting up Bulk Ups on Piloswine and other Machokes is a breeze with screens. Encore also helps with set up opportunities and allows it to beat most walls as well with screen support. Curse Piloswine is a final sweeper that can capitalize when Hattrem comes in expecting SR; you can set SR on the same set and not lose much opportunity, and once Hatt is dealt with after.
 
I don't have the reqs, but between Hatterene, Vullaby, Brionne, and many others, Machoke actually has a lot of checks and counters. Sure Flame Orb choke can be a little difficult to Switch into, but if you invest in a little extra bulk, its easily doable.
 

So originally I was just going to abstain from voting because after the suspect I was really unsure of just how busted Machoke actually was. Now that I've taken my time and gathered my thoughts on what Machoke does for the meta I've come to the conclusion that Machoke is not broken, and while it may be unhealthy, is not worth banning.

Machoke is certainly a great Pokemon in NFE and is very worthy of S Rank on the VR thank its versatility. Its Flame Orb set is fantastic with almost no counters. It's physically defensive is the perfect glue and makes Machoke of the most splashable Pokemon in NFE. These have made Machoke centralizing and borderline busted in the current meta. There is no doubt that Machoke is unhealthy hence why its being suspect tested. However, do I personally think it is ban worthy, no.

The argument that Machoke keeps several Pokemon that have the potential to be busted in check may not be a strong argument but it's one that I believe holds way more weight than it does currently. Machoke may be unhealthy but its keeping a plethora of Pokemon in check that otherwise would be busted such as Klang, Piloswine, Linoone-Galar, etc. My philosophy here is would you rather suffer from the Stomach Flu (Machoke) or Stomach Cancer (the plethora of mons that become busted). I would like to reiterate that this argument is definitely flawed and is not my only reason for wanting to keep Machoke in the meta.

As previously stated, the most busted Machoke set is undoubtedly Flame Orb. This set certainly has its flaws, the most prevalent being that it has a very lackluster speed tier and is terribly frail. This leads to it being taken advantage of by faster Choiced attackers that are looking to revenge kill. Addtionally, Machoke's Flame Orb set isn't really its preferred set to begin with because of the support it requires. Its defensive set is much more preferable due to what it provides the team.

Physically defensive Machoke is by far the most used set do to the sheer amount of defensive support it provides for its teammates. This set can easily be taken advantage of by Knock Off users such as Vullaby, phys def Clefairy, Dartrix, and Mareanie. After becoming subject to a Knock Off, Machoke is much less of a defensive wall. A majority of Special attackers can KO it with a super effective move. Additionally, Corsola-Galar's trapping set completely demolishes defenisve Machoke, with or without Eviolite.

These reasons coupled with the fact that I had barely any trouble with opposing Machoke during the suspect is why I'm leaning towards a do not ban

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I've left this out of my argument regarding banning Machoke because it should not be taken into account. Thus I have not taken it into account regarding my opinion. That being said, If I'm going to weigh in on this I'll be honest. I personally would not ban Machoke with how close DLC is. We'll be getting a bunch of new Pokemon and we'll be retesting it and other Pokemon anyway. If worst comes to worst we can just Quick Ban it once the DLC meta finally settles. If we do ban it however we'll have to reintroduce it and wait for the council to make a decision on whether or not its busted which will most likely be awhile considering it took forever for this suspect test to come to fruition (this is not a jab at council).



I don't really want to speculate on how good the mons will be because I think I'm going to overestimate how great they'll actually be.
Notable mons (only mons I give a fuck about):

:chansey: please don't ban this
:magneton: only ban this when I get bored of using it and start to complain about it
:krokorok: I'm genuinely excited for the impact this will have on the meta as a Rocker as well as a knock off user.
:tangela: praise the lord Clef Tang will rise again
:seadra: meh
:scyther: the GOAT. Choice band U-turn is literally all it needs to be worth anything lol
:fletchinder: I pray to god this is good.
:marill: you guys are all excited for Pikablu idk why but I guess I'll put it here for Belly Drum
 
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First time playing nfe like ever if im being honest but seems like a cool tier, after playing it a little bit and getting reqs imo Machoke is defintely a really good mon in this meta better than libero raboot ( which people here have talked about) but it has quite a few answers I never felt like Machoke just swept me in any game I played. I do mainly only play ou really so I might have different perspective on things but to me Machoke is fine its a great mon that does its thing but still has counterplay, in-fact I found myself usually putting in more work with haunter lol.
Screen Shot 2020-06-06 at 6.17.42 PM.png
 
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uhuhuhu7

I sold my life for ten thousand yen per year.
is a Tiering Contributor
confirming as NFEmankoslayer
:linoone-galar::haunter::gastly::machoke::piloswine::brionne: please don't use this team
Poggers!.PNG

as anyone who's spoken to me in the last few days knows, i will be voting ban in the machoke suspect. here's why.

I don't have the reqs, but between Hatterene, Vullaby, Brionne, and many others, Machoke actually has a lot of checks and counters. Sure Flame Orb choke can be a little difficult to Switch into, but if you invest in a little extra bulk, its easily doable.
PumpedAaron can you go into some more detail on this? i've listed a bunch of calcs below and i really can't see which mons can "invest in a little extra bulk" to "easily" take on flame orb machoke. as far as i can see knock off allows machoke to break through every single one of its defensive answers with ease.

252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite :Hattrem:: 182-216 (57.2 - 67.9%)
machoke outspeeds and 2HKOs defensive hattrem

252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite :Corsola-Galar:: 140-166 (43.2 - 51.2%) -- 5.9% chance to 2HKO, 98.8% chance to 2HKO after Stealth Rock
cannot switch into knock off reliably, pretty much only checks it if it gets cursed body off or is paired with a knock off absorber like koffing or gloom that can bait it into clicking CC or facade

252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite :Clefairy:: 53-63 (15.4 - 18.3%)
252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Heavy Slam (120 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite :Clefairy:: 264-312 (76.7 - 90.6%)
dies to heavy slam most of the time, forced into a 50/50 between clicking moonblast (giving up all momentum if wrong) and clicking literally anything else (losing clefairy if wrong)

252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite :Gloom:: 88-104 (27.1 - 32%)
252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Facade (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def :Gloom:: 188-222 (58 - 68.5%)
has a chance to die, near guaranteed if rocks are up. cc into facade is also a roll to kill heavily in machoke's favour.

252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite :Charjabug:: 73-86 (22.9 - 27%)
252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Facade (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def :Charjabug:: 156-184 (49 - 57.8%)
does 25% with volt switch, thus is reliant on an offensive check to machoke to actually deal with this. only switches in once, or 0 times if rocks are up.
also, is forced into a 50/50 between actually clicking volt switch (giving up all momentum if wrong) and clicking literally anything else (not only losing charjabug but also losing sticky web)

252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite :Machoke:: 44-52 (12 - 14.2%)
252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Close Combat vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite :Machoke:: 162-192 (44.5 - 52.7%)
is forced to pick between clicking dynamic punch (giving up all momentum if wrong) and clicking literally anything else (losing machoke if wrong)

252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Eviolite :Dartrix:: 92-109 (25.5 - 30.2%)
252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Facade (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252 Def :Dartrix:: 198-234 (55 - 65%)
same deal as above, also can't switch in if rocks are up

252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite :Vullaby:: 42-50 (12.2 - 14.5%)
252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Close Combat vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def :Vullaby:: 232-274 (67.6 - 79.8%)
252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Facade (140 BP) vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def :Vullaby:: 181-213 (52.7 - 62%)
read dartrix, but also machoke is arguably the only reason this thing wants to run brave bird over utility moves like knock off or foul play atm

252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 248 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite :Mudbray:: 88-104 (25.6 - 30.3%)
252+ Atk Guts :Machoke: Close Combat vs. +1 248 HP / 252+ Def :Mudbray:: 162-192 (47.2 - 55.9%)
do i need to say it again tho

252+ Atk burned :Machoke: Knock Off (97.5 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def Eviolite :Koffing:: 24-29 (8.4 - 10.2%)
252+ Atk :Machoke: Facade (140 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252+ Def :Koffing:: 104-123 (36.6 - 43.3%)
by far the best defensive answer, can't switch into two facades but it at least takes multiple CCs unlike everything else on this list

yuru yuri.jpg
there's a few pokemon i missed off this list like palpitoad and hippopotas but you get the idea; i've been pretty repetitive thus far.

The argument that Machoke keeps several Pokemon that have the potential to be busted in check may not be a strong argument but it's one that I believe holds way more weight than it does currently. Machoke may be unhealthy but its keeping a plethora of Pokemon in check that otherwise would be busted such as Klang, Piloswine, Linoone-Galar, etc. My philosophy here is would you rather suffer from the Stomach Flu (Machoke) or Stomach Cancer (the plethora of mons that become busted). I would like to reiterate that this argument is definitely flawed and is not my only reason for wanting to keep Machoke in the meta.
this is an understandable position to take, but this is not considered to be and never has been considered to be a legitimate argument to hold. i fully expect some pokemon (though it's hard to say which yet) to be broken with the absence of machoke, but at the same time, physdef mons like mudbray and clef that are currently being pissed on by machoke will also be more viable in response to these threats; it's not as simple as "klang will be broken" when theoretical klang answers are currently being held back by machoke's presence. it's impossible to say.
also, if a pokemon is broken after machoke is gone, council will put forward a suspect or quickban for said pokemon. there's absolutely no reason to keep a broken mon in the tier just to avoid the hassle of banning something else later.

As previously stated, the most busted Machoke set is undoubtedly Flame Orb. This set certainly has its flaws, the most prevalent being that it has a very lackluster speed tier and is terribly frail. This leads to it being taken advantage of by faster Choiced attackers that are looking to revenge kill. Addtionally, Machoke's Flame Orb set isn't really its preferred set to begin with because of the support it requires. Its defensive set is much more preferable due to what it provides the team.
i'm not sure where this myth came from but machoke does not have a lackluster speed tier and is not "terribly frail". machoke is easily pressured by many offensive pokemon like brionne and haunter, yes, but its speed tier puts it ahead of every single defensive pokemon in the tier (i.e. its main targets), effectively guaranteeing at least one kill, typically far more, in every game. its also fast enough to reach the equivalent a positive natured base 80 pokemon when under webs, with only a handful of offensive pokemon like raboot and linoone actually creeping it
as far as bulk goes, lets go back to some of the defensive answers i mentioned up above

0 SpA :Gloom: Sludge Bomb vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD :Machoke:: 127-151 (42.1 - 50.1%)
8 Atk :Mudbray: Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def :Machoke:: 145-172 (48.1 - 57.1%)
0 SpA :Clefairy: Moonblast vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD :Machoke:: 204-242 (67.7 - 80.3%)
0 SpA :Koffing: Sludge Bomb vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD :Machoke:: 97-115 (32.2 - 38.2%)

and even some offensive answers
252 Atk :Linoone-Galar: Double-Edge vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Machoke: 175-207 (58.1 - 68.7%)
252+ SpA :Wartortle: Hydro Pump vs. 0 HP / 4 SpD Machoke: 189-223 (62.7 - 74%)
252+ Atk :Piloswine: Earthquake vs. 0 HP / 0 Def Machoke: 201-237 (66.7 - 78.7%)

is flame orb machoke tanky? not especially. but killing a flame orb machoke is far more difficult than "pressure it with a faster pokemon" because you're often sacking something to get the initial damage to actually allow that to happen in the first place. the reason these one time switchins aren't enough for machoke to be a healthy presence is that if the machoke user chooses they can very easily stay in on the supposed "counter" as gloom clicks synthesis or charjabug clicks sticky web knowing they're still trading for a guaranteed kill even if the opponent picks the offensive option. alternatively, if they want to preserve machoke for later, they can do that too. there's often very little risk involved on the part of the machoke user and a lot of risk involved on the other side, although this'll change on a game to game basis.
on that note, how exactly are people bringing in these offensive checks? the lack of any pivot that can actually switch into machoke (barring charjabug once) means that these pokemon (e.g. haunter, specs brionne) can't actually come in until machoke's already claimed one; this often leads to situations reminiscent of shadow tag/arena trap, in that the defensive user has to avoid ever having certain defensive pokemon weakened (hattrem) or on the field at all (slow piloswine, ferroseed) because machoke can either pivot in via something like clef or sometimes just hard switch in, and claim a kill every time. the best machoke answer, koffing, still has to trade its life to actually take out machoke (and by take out machoke i mean chip it down to 10-20%)

to sum up, as soon as something on the field is in range of machoke's knock off, it's practically guaranteed a kill, and if something is in range of machoke's CC it becomes a guessing game that is very much in favour of the machoke user
also, while heavy slam is useful for taking on clefairy, it can easily be dropped for bullet speed which really puts a lot of stress on the opponent to keep their offensive checks healthy, with bullet punch doing up to 57.5% to non-eviolite haunter, up to 55.1% on specs roselia, 65.6% to offensive morgrem, etc. etc.

Physically defensive Machoke is by far the most used set do to the sheer amount of defensive support it provides for its teammates. This set can easily be taken advantage of by Knock Off users such as Vullaby, phys def Clefairy, Dartrix, and Mareanie. After becoming subject to a Knock Off, Machoke is much less of a defensive wall. A majority of Special attackers can KO it with a super effective move. Additionally, Corsola-Galar's trapping set completely demolishes defenisve Machoke, with or without Eviolite.
physically defensive machoke is definitely not the most used set. bulky offensive utility eviolite sets are by far the most common, especially if you include all the variants of the standard set (e.g. encore, bulk up/sub, ice punch) that slot over machoke's coverage moves from time to time.
that aside, i personally don't feel that eviolite should be considered at all in this suspect; while some sets do abuse machoke's switchins harder (sub bulk up abusing charjabug, for example), flame orb genuinely has no answers regardless and machoke's set is typically revealed pretty early on - flame orb specifically is the banworthy set, not eviolite. adding that to the mix just confuses things because yes eviolite has a variety of reasonably safe defensive answers.

I've left this out of my argument regarding banning Machoke because it should not be taken into account. Thus I have not taken it into account regarding my opinion. That being said, If I'm going to weigh in on this I'll be honest. I personally would not ban Machoke with how close DLC is. We'll be getting a bunch of new Pokemon and we'll be retesting it and other Pokemon anyway. If worst comes to worst we can just Quick Ban it once the DLC meta finally settles. If we do ban it however we'll have to reintroduce it and wait for the council to make a decision on whether or not its busted which will most likely be awhile considering it took forever for this suspect test to come to fruition (this is not a jab at council).
like you said, this should not be taken into account for the same reasons as the "what if X mon is broken without machoke around?" theory. pokemon like scyther and tangela can check machoke in theory, but may be banned, or considered unviable for other reasons (unlikely but the whole point of this is everything is hypothetical). if pokemon like tangela are healthy, machoke can see a resuspect later on easily. this is not a valid argument.

TL;DR:

arguments against do not ban
- "Machoke has switchins"
no it doesn't
- "Machoke is slow"
not really
- "Machoke is frail"
nah

arguments for ban:
  • Flame Orb Machoke promotes unhealthy predictions. It is generally more of a guessing game than thinking long term. These predictions most of the time do not reward the better player. reward the machoke user.
  • Flame Orb Machoke has no counters.
  • Flame Orb Machoke almost completely invalidates balances and fatter play styles (This also enables Haunter due to haunter preying on offensive teams).
final addendum: haunter should have been banned months ago due to the huge limitations it forces on team building and i hope to see it go at some stage after the dlc battlefield clears a bit. shoutout to tlenit1 for being a good friend also.
 
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