Week 4 Picks: The Cat and the Ax

Week 4 Picks: The Cat and the Ax

Lessons Learned So Far:

  • Don’t bet on anyone that missed a season or more, unless they’re facing another robot that missed a season or more (Blacksmith)
  • Don’t bet on rookies, unless they’re facing Rusty, or Huge, who apparently sucks now (tears)
  • Ummm, I thought there was one more…hm. Ah the Horizontal Spinner crisis, will be covered down below

First week with robots in their second fights, here we go…

Malice (0-1) vs Jackpot (1-0)

Malice
Jackpot

Intrigue!!!

The Matchup: Jackpot is a very cheaply built killer, it has a giant vertical spinner (comparable with the cream of the crop, I’d say) and went 3-0 in the regular season last year as a rookie. It’s all offense, otherwise it has limitation. Slow, clunky, bad at self-righting, it’s cheap, what would you expect. Malice is tough little bot (with a small drum spinner) that had a good season last year but had a rough showing in the opener against Tantrum, who is probably elite. Both these bots are somewhere in the middle of the pack, contenders for the playoffs but the not the Nut.

I like Jackpot in their opening match, looked like they had tightened things up. However, I’m going to zig and go with Malice here, I don’t see them going 0-2. They’re pretty tough to knock out and do well in these “ambulance matches” where both robots are injured, that’s a spot where a cheap bot with questionable like Jackpot will not do well. I think Malice takes a lot of damage but keeps moving and outlasts their opponent, leaving both at 1-1 (where they belong).

The Pick: Malice by Knockout

Ribbot (1-0) vs Overhaul (0-0)

Rib
Apparently this is Overhaul

Ribbot was balls last time out, and this is against a rookie clamper/control bot. Which…I think just fought one of those didn’t they? Defender? Anyhow, I think Ribbot is great, I think they deserve a better challenge than this (I know, rookies are unknowns), and I think they’ll destroy the new guy. The whole clamper/control design doesn’t seem to be bearing much success lately, I have them cumulatively at 0-3 on the year (Defender, Kraken, Slammow).

(Ok, I just learned Overhaul has been fighting for years…well then I’m picking Ribbot cause they’re better and clamper don’t often succeed)

The Pick: Ribbot by KO

Blade (0-0) vs Skoripos (0-0)

Blade?
Skorpios!

He’s here! We found him!

I don’t know who Blade is, cursory research reveals it’s a horizontal spinner that looks like HiJinx. You know, the HiJinx that everyone keeps taking turns chucking out of the arena.

It appears Horizontal Spinners aren’t having a good season either, Tombstone HiJinx Malice and Bloodsport all lost, Rotator won but that was over a clamper robot, so all that tells us is Horizontal Spinners > Clampers. You can even point out that Ribbot hasn’t used their horizontal spinner configuration, and Fusion only used their vertical spinner and kept the horizontal one spinner as a caboose. Something to keep an eye on! We’re going to ride that fact here, along with the fact that Skorpios is well-rested (ha) and recently won a high-profile match against Tombstone, who despite his flaws probably remains a better horizontal spinner than whoever this Blade character is.

Skorpios by KO

(Maybe we can pull off an all-KO night, let’s see)

Tombstone (0-1) vs Mammoth (1-0)

“The Prince of Darkness”
Love this guy!

I mean, they’re trying to give Tombstone a layup here right? A giant wooden thing with no wedges, big easy to find wheels and a plastic lifting arm as the only “weapon”???

As mentioned above, there’s a horizontal spinner crisis right now (1-4 on the season), and Mammoth did just manhandle HiJinx without much concern. But man, this is the King of Kinetic Energy! Mammoth is just plastic and wood, come on! He really should go right through it.

I like the new Mammoth a lot, it’s such a hard matchup that it could be a real contender. But man, Tombstone falling to 0-2…I know I BURIED them a couple weeks ago…but I think they get to 1-1 here with a bounce-back performance. They’re not completely dead, right? RIGHT??? Mammoth can land a good toss and probably will but I think it will have trouble corralling that giant blade and TS just cuts right through, from one end to the other. (FINGERS CROSSED)

The Pick: Tombstone by KO

Lucky (0-0) vs Tantrum (1-0)

This is Lucky
Tantrum

Lucky is a flipper, missed last season but I believe competed the previous few. Or maybe missed the last two, I dunno. The trend is too clear now, anyone who missed a season or more will lose to somebody fresh. Tantrum is very fresh. Like Ribbot I think Tantrum is elite and deserves a tougher challenge than this, they can confirm this fact but completely smothering Lucky.

In terms of the matchup – gee whiz, is anyone lower to the ground than Tantrum? He’s gotta one of the worst matchups a flipper can run into, that thing is hard as a rock and nobody’s gotten under them yet. Perhaps we’ll see Hydra – Tantrum some day.

The Pick: Tantrum by KO (Knockouts are Tantrum specialty, hopefully Lucky is old and frail. Keep the streak up)

Ghost Raptor (0-0) vs Glitch (0-0)

Ghost Raptor!
Never seen this one before, very cool!

Ghost Raptor was pretty terrible last year, was quite a good robot years ago. Glitch is brand new, let’s see…it has the shape of a Stealth Jet! It also has omni-drive which Shatter! uses, if I’m correct, really hi-tech and fun to watch. And the weapon is an eggbeater…I’ve heard enough! I don’t like picking new robots (and these guys might be brand new to the world) but I don’t like Ghost Raptor and the old robots have been getting schooled this year. Give me the omniwheels.

Upset Pick of the Week(? I guess): Glitch by KO

Sawblaze (1-0) vs Madcatter (1-0)

Well, I mean, this is the moment, for Sawblaze, if they’re a real true Contender, among a handful of the very elite at the top (I’ve got them at 5 in the current Ranks), then they have to win this match.

The Big Dogs right now are the big vertical spinners, as they usually are, and we have reason to wonder if Sawblaze can handle that kind of weapon. Last year he faced Uppercut and…let’s just check the tape.

KABOOM

So yeah, if we want to believe that SB can win the Giant Nut, then we have to believe that SB can beat either End Game or Uppercut. And, if those two aren’t available, well gee, you know who is pretty much 90% as good as those two and can fill the role in a pinch?

And that’s it, that’s the match. Madcatter has been on a tear (up to 4-0 in the regular season while facing pretty good competition) and the spinner is a killer, one of the best weapons going right now. But they haven’t faced an elite bot, and they certainly haven’t faced anything that wants to scoop them up and carry them around and hit with them with an overhead saw. Sawblaze beat Minotaur in their first match, Madcatter beat Yeti – Sawblaze had the tougher draw. Not Madcatter’s fault who they play, but this is the first real test.

Man, this is a tough one, one of the hardest picks of the year so far. I’ll take Sawblaze, the veterans, the experienced ones, maybe they’ve turned a corner, maybe they’re gonna win the Giant Nut this year. They certainly were down early against Minotaur, took some big shots, and just turned it around in a second, completely flipped the script and dominated the rest of the way. It was a galvanizing moment, perhaps, a mini-turning point just seconds into the 2021* season. I can’t get that moment out of my head. That was a big test, Madcatter hasn’t faced anything like that, and I’m guessing Mr Sawblaze outmaneuvers the Cat badly or takes advantage of a mistake due to inexperience. You gotta climb that ladder, and pay your dues.

The Pick: Sawblaze by KO

Record on the season to date: 11-10. Sigh

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