Week 3 Recap: “New Powers are Rising”

Record this week: 4-3

Season: 11-10

(Hmmmmm…I did predict the right outcome-KO/JD-for all four victories. Anywho…)

  • Hypershock over Slammow

Yeah there’s nothing to say about this one, nothing remarkable here. Slammow is just not ready for the big time. Nice win by HS, if he wins his next match I will stop calling him HyperSuck.

  • P1 over Valkyrie

Nailed It!!!!!!!

That was my Upset Pick of the Week so pretty proud of myself. Gotta remember to do that every week and see how we do. P1 looks like it’s got it’s technique and style locked in now, Valkyrie has to do some soul-searching and figure out how to adjust, and if it even can adjust. Every week they go against an opponent with a weaker weapon than theirs, yet I’ve got them at 4-4 in 2020 and 2021* counting the Bounty matches (where they suffered a bad upset…).

Gee, speaking of soul-searching

  • Riptide over Huge

Sigh…the party’s over. Huge sucks.

I’m not sure if it’s a case of a very unique and special being “figured out”, or more circumstantial bad luck, or has the robot actually gotton worse(at least with respect to the rest of the field)?

For the regular season (they’ve never won a playoff match) Huge was 3-1 in 2018, 4-1 in 2019 (counting the playoff playin), then 2-4 last year counting the Bounty matches and 0-1 this year. Two very good season, one bad season, and one awful loss to start this one. Last season they lost to Mammoth (weird, weird matchup), Hydra (1 seed) and Whiplash (tournament runner-up), so nothing wrong with that. But then they lost to Malice in the Bountys (ugh) and now whoever this Riptide creep is. I’m out! I still love them and will rewatch their old Glory Day Fights from time to time (remember Hypershock and the Rake Incident?), but going forward they’re Done. More Done than Tombstone.

(In terms of this fight, what the hell was the strategy? Sit there and wait for the box rush, while you’re vulnerably positioned close to the screws? Just take his first big hit with all the driving momentum added on? Really bad job guys, really bad job. The screws thing was unlucky but that’s always been a vulnerability, I dunno. Hey, speaking of robots that did a bad job getting ready for their fight…)

  • Fusion over Cobalt

Fusion looks awesome, what a cool robot!!! The technique and driving approach was really good, I think they’ve figured out a strategy and are more “comfortable in their mechanical skin”. The dual weapon thing (and being able to pick and choose which one at any point) is really powerful and a blast to watch. They ain’t on the Ranks yet but are definitely a robot to keep an eye on (and will certainly be a factor in the tourney).

Cobalt – You guys!!! What are you doing????? Where is your wedge?????????????????

I’ll have to rewatch to make sure my stats are accurate, but here are the # of times each robot hit the other robot with their weapon

Fusion: A Bunch
Cobalt: Zero

What the hell? Your incredible weapon is not going to do anything if it’s on the top of your body and IT CANT MAKE CONTACT WITH THE OPPONENT!!! I know there have been a myriad of problems with the wedge in the past, in either getting stuck on the floor (Duck!) or getting knocked off immediately (End Game, Minotaur), but you gotta try, you gotta do something! Those weak thin wedge things were weaksauce, and obviously completely ineffective. I’m not kicking dirt on Cobalt yet, but Jesus they need to redo the entire weapon/wedge setup. Right now.

  • Black Dragon over Ice Wave
  • Witch Doctor over Duck!

Man, I tell yeah, while I was enjoying the episode regardless after 5 fights we had had only one close one, and it wasn’t like P1 Valkyrie was a complete barn-burner of a match with a bunch of powerful hits (I liked it but still). And then boom, I thought the last two were great, classics that went the full distance, featuring half mutilated robots dragging each other around the box.

As for this one, it was my second Upset of the Week in taking Duck!, and while he lost 3-0 to the Judges I was pretty thrilled with my guy’s performance. Duck couldn’t move well at all (need to work on that) and the new wedge was pretty much a non-factor, and yet they still played great and came close to victory! A lot of that is the basic Duck! strategy of getting pounded, but he picked angles fairly well and didn’t let WD deal any crippling damage (what are those wheels made of?). and then there was that Hit.

(I’m still a WordPress idiot, let’s see if I create a gif of this great moment…I cannot. Here’s a video)

And again…

I mean, that was awesome, the lightning fast strike with complete precision, that to me was just as good as a W. One of the moments of the season so far.

Witch Doctor looked good, good enough to hang onto a top 10 Rank most likely. I think Duck! is a hard matchup for anyone so will excuse this going the distance. Both vets look good and we’ll see how the season goes for both.

This brings me to a new feature I want to introduce…

HIT of the Week!

Duck! is the recipient of the award this week. I’m going to be fair, but there is a slight bias for less offensive bots. That might be the hardest hit Duck! has ever delivered, and will ever deliver! Whereas if you compare it to Witch Doctor’s hits, it’s probably average. But WD didn’t have a signature hit this week that broke the opponent’s weapon, Duck! did, so they win.

Retroactively, previous winners of the award would be…

  • Week 2

Rotator! For de-fanging Kraken in one swoop

The shot later where they caused Kraken’s weapon to explode was pretty choice too.

Since Whiplash is another robot (like Duck!) unlikely to deliver a truly bonecrushing hit, we’ll give out a second award this week to honor something truly incredible

Whiplash – Week 2 Hit of the Week Winner #2

The first victim of the upper deck
  • Week 1

Let’s go with Sawblaze landing the hammer-saw on Minotaur and starting a massive battery-fire

That was pretty great. Alright, let’s wrap this up.

  • The Main Event

Great match!

(Um, I try not to think about the Judges too much…one of them thought Lock Jaw WON that fight? Whaaaa? What on earth were they looking at?!?)

It was great to see Lock Jaw, the grizzled veteran, adjust in real time. He started off leading with the wedge, going wedge against Copperhead’s giant weapon. Well, that didn’t work at all! Copperhead ended up getting under LJ, like, really really under him, where he was actually on top of him and getting his undercarriage all messed up. Lock Jaw retreated, took a moment to think about it, and then switched the approach – weapon to weapon. It wasn’t perfect (those poor wedges!) but at least he wasn’t getting pulled up and on top of his opponent, they were able to maintain the face-to-face interaction most of the rest of the way. That’s why Lock Jaw is great and highly respected, even if he, you know, loses fairly often.

Copperhead looked really good and is definitely high on Tier 2, maybe Top Ten in a few weeks. Of course their weapon is dope, they should also be very happy with their ability to get low and how well the wedges worked. It looks like all the high seeds from last year that I doubted at the beginning of the season (CH, Bloodsport, Uppercut) are all legit! They’re all at least above average robots and maybe more. Great to have so many contenders in the mix.

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