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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Machoke  #40/102

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Jan. 25, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.90
Limited: 3.40

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Machoke (Triumphant)


If no-one is going to play yesterday’s card because of the lack of a decent evolution, then the same thing definitely does NOT apply to Machoke. Both the SF and the Prime versions of Machamp have seen action in competitive play and will likely do so until they are rotated. The question is, therefore, is the Triumphant Machoke the superior option for Machamp-based decks?


Well, its only competition is the Stormfront Machoke. That’s a solid enough Stage 1 Pokémon with ok-ish attacks that you never want to use because the whole purpose of the deck is to get Machamp up and swinging as fast as possible.


In fact, it’s pretty much like Triumphant Machoke, but with one crucial difference . . .


Machoke TM has 90 HP instead of 80.


Why is that such a big deal? Garchomp C LV X, that’s why.


If you can’t Rare Candy straight into a Machamp, and need to have a Machoke sitting on the Bench for a turn, you want the one that can’t be KO’d by Garchomp’s Dragon Rush alone. True, they could drop a Crobat G for the KO but at least you have made them burn that resource to take the Prize: something that they don’t need to do with Machoke SF.


It may seem like a small, marginal detail but it’s the kind of small detail that could decide the outcome of a game. Maybe your opponent will end up not having the Crobat drop they need to take down a fully evolved Machamp later in the match. It’s things like this that are the difference between an ok deck missing the top cut, and an optimum build getting through.


If you play Machamp, this is the Machoke that you should use. It won’t very often make a difference, but when it does, you will be glad that you did.




Modified: 2.5 (nothing special in itself, but makes Machamp marginally better)

Limited: 3 (solid Pokémon with a cheap attack that can do some damage)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia
Machoke (HS Triumphant)
It seems that this set has some very impressive cards as far as art work goes. I like the training that Machoke is doing in Shin Nagasawa’s drawing. I haven’t seen that name on a card before, so it’s a very nice debut with the punching and the impact blast. I look forward to more!
Now to get down to business. Machoke is a Fighting element evolving Stage 1 with 80 HP, Psychic weakness, a retreat cost of 2 and 2 attacks. These stats have been standard for Machoke since the first release in Base Set, so it is both completely unsurprising because we know what to expect and truly amazing that Machoke has remained nearly untouched by power creep throughout the years.
The attacks: Knuckle Down (lovely name, goes with the art!) and Strength. Knuckle Down deals 30 damage for [f] which is pretty much par for the course on an evolving Stage 1, but the effect is that the damage is unaffected by Poke-powers, Poke-bodies or any other effects on the Defending Pokémon. This makes it an attack worth using if you are evolving Machoke manually due to a less-than-favourable start since you can get past nasty effects like the common resistance to the Fighting element and know that you will always deal 30 damage.
The wording is new, so there may be some confusion about things like weakness, resistance and other effects. Since the text states “any other effects on the Defending Pokémon” I think it is safe to assume that you miss out on beneficial effects like weakness and the bonus damage if your opponent used an attack like Jet Shoot on Blaziken FB lv X as well as negative effects like resistance and the Exoskeleton Poke-body on Donphan Prime.
The second attack, Strength, has been seen on a lot of Pokémon and always costs a lot of energy for a middling-to-fair amount of vanilla damage. This version costs [f][f][c] for 60 damage. Like the second attack on Electabuzz yesterday, you would only use Strength if both you and your opponent are playing slowly at which point the higher damage could well turn the game in your favour. Otherwise, this attack is just taking up space.
The main reason for playing Machoke is to get Machamp into play, and since there are 2 Machamps currently worth using then there is a good chance of this card hitting the table. There is currently only one other Machamp in the card pool, and while the Stormfront version has a +20 weakness to Psychic instead of a x2 weakness, the attacks are not as good. At only 80 HP, weakness is negligible so I would use the Triumphant version. Still, you will want to use Broken Time Space or Rare Candy to get Machamp out as quickly as possible so if everything goes to plan Machoke will never actually do anything.
Modified: 3.5 (a good first attack and 2 evolutions worth using make this card a keeper)
Limited: 3.5 (again, a good first attack and 2 evolutions worth using in this Limited card pool. Use it if you have the room for Fighting energy, even if you don’t have a Machamp to run)
Combos with: Machamp SF, Machamp Prime
conical 1/25/11: Machoke(Triumphant)
Unlike most Basics, Machoke is likely to be played, because of the semi-revival of Machamp with the release of the Prime. Machoke's 2nd attack, Strength, is pretty vanilla; 1FF for 60 and no other effects. However, you'll probably use Machoke's first attack, Knuckle Down, which for F does 30 damage, and prevents all effects on the Defending Pokemon from affecting the damage. I presume, however, that Weakness and Resistance do not count as 'other effects,' or they would have at least specified it in the text. The damage is decent for an evolving Stage 1, and if it has no other use, it does get around Donphan Prime's Exoskeleton, which could come in handy.
The other Machoke is from Stormfront, and has the weird magnet-on-background art that's become somewhat popular on cards in the HGSS block. Thankfully, Machoke TRI is a better choice, in my opinion. Machoke SF's Brick Break is similar to Knuckle Down, and gets around Resistance, but requires an extra energy. And while Steady Punch could do more damage for a single Fighting energy, Knuckle Down is the more consistent option. Not to mention, Machoke TRI has 10 extra HP, which may help it stay in play longer, and will likely help it in Limited as well.
Modified: 2.5/5
Limited: 3.75/5

Happy Tuesday, Pojo readers! Today our COTD week continues by reviewing an Uncommon that seems some play from the HS Triumphant expansion, as it is a Stage 1 for a somewhat popular deck right now. Today's Card of the Day is Machoke.

Machoke is a Stage 1 Fighting Pokemon. The most commonly played Fighting Pokemon right now are Machamp, Donphan Prime, and Promo Toxicroak G. Machoke fits in very nicely here, as it will see play in any deck that utilizes Machamp (aside from the occasional 1-0-1 tech). 90 HP is really nice for an evolving Stage 1, so it should be able to take a hit or two, even from the metagame's premier threats. Psychic Weakness isn't very good with all of the Gengar SF and Uxie Lv. X running about. No Resistance is unfortunate, as is a Retreat Cost of 2.

Machoke has two attacks: Knuckle Down and Strength. Knuckle Down does a great 30 damage for [F], but also gets around your opponent's Poke-Powers, Bodies, and other effects. This means that Machoke will get through protection effects, and will hit damage reducers like Donphan Prime for the full 30 damage each time. It also can get through Sweet Sleeping Face on your opponent's Baby Pokemon for a KO, although those aren't played too often.

The second attack, Strength, deals 60 damage for [FFC]. Nothing all too exciting, but since you'll probably be loading Energy onto Machoke waiting for it to evolve anyway, this isn't too bad.

Modified: 3/5 I think this particular Machoke has a few advantages over the Stormfront version. It has 10 more HP, which is important considering the number of commonly played Pokemon that can snipe for 80 in this metagame, meaning your opponent needs a Crobat G drop or something similar in order to get the OHKO. Additionally, this Machoke's damage output is slightly higher, which can be welcome in the situations in which you are forced to attack with it. Machoke SF does only have a +20 Weakness to Psychic instead of x2, but Gengar SF/Lv. X and Uxie Lv. X will still OHKO regardless.

Limited: 3.5/5 Knuckle Down has a great price for Limited, and Strength deals reliable damage. It's a shame that Machoke doesn't have more Colorless Energy requirements in its cost, but it shouldn't be too hard to put a few Fighting Energy into your Limited builds. Machoke also has good HP, but keep it away from Psychics.

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