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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

Machamp BREAK - XY: Evolutions
Date Reviewed: Jan. 30, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary
Standard: 2.5     Expanded: 2.5  Limited: 3.0

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


Welcome to the last week before the release of Sun & Moon, and with a new generation things will take a big dynamic shift in their own right. But let's not get too ahead of ourselves, eh? This week we're gonna take a look at a few of the scraps left from the BREAK mechanic as well as a couple of other cards.

Machamp BREAK here is buff. At 190 HP, that's already a huge improvement on previous Pokemon Evolution standards, matching up with Pokemon-EX in terms of survivability. He's got a few copies of himself to work with too, both in Standard and Expanded. But before we get to that, there's one thing we gotta cover: that attack! Boomerang Lariat is a basic 3-for-100 strike that allows Machamp BREAK to do 100 more damage on ANY of his attacks on the next turn. Keeping Lariat in mind, that's already an attack that'll do 200 damage on the next turn, and that doesn't include what he inherits from his previous counterparts! 

The one that's built with BREAK in mind - seeing as it came out in the same set - is the Machamp from Evolutions. It's an update to the Machamp from Base Set days, with the Ability Counterattack dealing 30 damage on any opposing Pokemon attacking him and Seismic Toss being a vanilla 3-for-120. The set-up's easy to see, you use this Machamp, have Counterattack do damage to him while the BREAK bashes through with Seismic Toss and Boomerang Lariat. That's decent in its own right, but what about the others? 

Machamp (FFI), which is Standard-legal due to the Generations reprint, has the powerhouse Ability of Fighting Fury, which ups the damage from Fighting Pokemon attacks by 20, alongside Machamp Crush, a 3-for-80 hit that reduces the Defending Pokemon's damage output by 40 on the next turn. Again, survival by endurance, and the offensive prowess is probably a bigger draw to this Machamp than the simple vanilla Seismic Toss. In Expanded, you've also got the two Machamps from Plasma Blast, with (49) carrying the Badge of Discipline to nullify Resistance and the risky Close Combat, and then there's (50) with the interfering Knock Off and the Tool-powered Reinforced Lariat. Combine any of this with the Fighting Support (notably Strong Energy), and you've got a lot of steamrolling to do. 

But the main issue that comes to mind is what holds Machamp BREAK: why would you play what serves as a Stage 3 to try and power up Stage 2s that are all about damage output? Really Boomerang Lariat is a slow and superfluous attack that just serves to do little in improving a line-up that already was strong in the first place. The 190 HP buff is great on any of these guys, but does Boomerang Lariat really scream, "Play me in this deck"? Chances are if you're not too crazy about Machamp, Machamp BREAK isn't gonna make the cut for you either. 


Standard: 2.5/5 (Boomerang Lariat is basically a lot of set-up damage that's unneeded for the Machamp line-up) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (but because the regular version had an Ability, your BREAK Evo has to have that crazy attack) 

Limited: 3/5 (still, the investment needs to be worth it to be playable in the long run) 

Arora Notealus: I had higher hopes for Machamp BREAK and his Boomerang Lariat, but in a game where 2HKOs are pretty much the standard of competitive play, he needs to be the one landing hits, and Boomerang Lariat is just too slow in its own right and then too excessive in its usage. Seriously, looking at the attacks, the lowest amount he'd do is 260 damage over 2 turns (Boomerang Lariat + (50)'s Knock Off, basically), and that's already well more than enough to KO anything. 

Next Time: Change your perception on the world...and change your opponent's weakness for your own!

Coming Soon.

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