Week 7 Picks: Whiplash and the Rest

Two 4-3 weeks in a row. Let’s try to do better than that! Or at least different! 3-4 would technically be worse but it would be a change.

Bloodsport (0-1) vs Subzero (0-1)

Bloodsport is a very fast robot with a deadly vertical spinner. They have a lot of offensive firepower, but they also are brilliantly driven, which was on full display in a strong effort in their first fight. They lost, but it was to Whiplash, and I thought they did great. Subzero is a flipper robot that had a decent 2020 season, they are tough and decently fast. This season they lost to Shatter! in a YouTube match and didn’t look very good, although Shatter! is certainly a quality opponent.

Subzero experienced significant success against Valkyrie last season (giving them a tough fight in the playoff matchup, then beating them in a rematch during one of the Bounty tournaments), they have a good wedge and do a good job executing a box rush and staying on top of them. The problem is Bloodsport is much faster and more nimble than Valkyrie, and also just a lot better. They were 3-0 and the 2 seed a year ago, I have a hard time believing they won’t win this one with their entire season (and possibly their reputation as well) on the line.

The Pick: Bloodsport by Knockout

Cobalt (0-1) vs Ghost Raptor (…probably 0-1?)

I was very excited for Cobalt’s Return but they were probably the biggest disappointment of the season so far (Duck! just quacked at hearing me say that). They have an absolutely brilliant weapon on top of their head, but without a functional wedge to drive a robot up there then the weapon is useless. In their first fight the wedge was not functional, I’m not even sure they had a wedge, and they landed precisely ZERO blows on their opponent. ZERO.

Ah, yes Ghost Raptor is 0-1, they played in that really really strange match (not in a good way) against Glitch. Ghost Raptor isn’t very good, they’re old and antiquated and their weapon has very little stopping power. But you know what? Their weapon can at least hit their opponent on occasion. This is almost a Hate Pick (Spite Pick?) against Cobalt for being such a disappointment, maybe they’ll have their shit together this week, I’m guessing they won’t. I’m saying it’s a bad match where Cobalt deals no damage to Ghost Raptor while Ghost Raptor delivers a modicum of damage to Cobalt, and Ghost Raptor wins.

The Pick: Ghost Raptor by Judge’s Decision

Icewave (0-1) vs Deadlift (0-1)

How about this – three fights of 0-1 bots to start! Just flush all the garbage out at once!

Icewave is a horizontal spinner that was formerly very good but at least last season (maybe the last two) and lost badly to Black Dragon in their opening match. I have concerns for these old machines that just don’t hold up to a modern beating. Deadlift is a very low to the ground bot with a lifter – they get under their opponents and carry them around, possibly flipping them and pushing them out of the arena. Wins have generally been hard to come by, although I kind of like them.

Ummm…yeah give me the modern robot that should be able to slide under Icewave’s blade and stay on top of him for several minutes. Horizontal spinners have mostly lost this season, I think it continues.

The Pick: Deadlift by JD

Blip (1-0) vs Overhaul (0-1)

BLIP!!!!!!!!

Blip was really effective and entertaining, a potent flipper with basicaly the body of Tantrum. Overhaul is an old robot that’s missed some time and murdered in seconds by a ruthless Ribbot a few weeks ago. Overhaul is defensive, a lot like Defender, tries to grab the opponent and hold them down, maybe drag them around. That type of robot has generally been terrible this season.

Don’t worry, I’m already on board the Blip train. There’s plenty of good seats near the front now but it’s gonna fill up fast after tomorrow, y’all better get on board.

The Pick: Blip by KO

Huge (0-1) vs Retrograde (1-0, I think. It was a YouTube fight)

………..

Well, I did read Huge their rites the last time they played…but Riptide looked pretty good in their second match too…and (if memory is correct) Retrograde is a lifter/control type bot with big arms. On paper that’s the type of robot Huge eats up: Huge can’t be flipped and they have the vertical spinning blade as their weapon that will mess up the lifter arms pretty bad.

………..

I don’t like doing this, going back to the well for a robot that keeps losing, especially when I have a soft spot and thus a bias for them. Nevertheless!!!!!!

The Pick: Huge by JD

Copperhead (1-0) vs Fusion (1-0)

Alright! Now this here is a matchup!

Copperhead is hot off that excellent performance against in a main event win over Lock-Jaw. I guess that hasn’t aged super well since Lock-Jaw just lost again, but Copperhead looked really good and deadly and composed under the new management. Fusion is the latest robot from the Whyachi clan, they were a rookie last year going 2-1 and making the playoffs. Of course if we’re mentioning last season – Copperhead was 3-0 and the 3 seed in the entire field of robots (but suffered an early playoff exit to Mammoth). Fusion beat Cobalt in their first fight, they were dominant but Cobalt seemed fundamentally flawed, so hard to assess. Their special feature is two different weapons they can toggle between or run simultaneously: dual vertical spinners on the front, a horizontal spinner on the back.

You know…you know…sometimes you just get a feeling. I just really liked what I saw from Fusion, I liked the workmanlike approach and the incredible flexbility of the design, and I just feel like they’re going places. I like Copperhead too, they should be favored here, and I’m not even sure if Fusion’s design gives them an edge in this case. But that doesn’t matter, I have a feeling and I’m going to ride it out. Let’s do this.

Upset Pick of the Week: Fusion by KO

Hey, let’s give Fusion some deserved attention.

The Fusion Corner

Both weapons a-blazing…

Which weapon should Fusion utilize primarily in this fight? Vertical or horizontal spinner?

I’m not sure! I think Copperhead has definitely suffered explosive collisions against horizontal spinning weapons before (Chronos, Son of Whyachi) so I would lead with that. But the vertical disks should be effective as well. Will be interesting to see what Mr Fusion thinks and what strategy they employ here.

Main Event: Whiplash (1-0) vs Skorpios (1-0)

I mean, I don’t have much to say here. I like Skorpios a lot, definite respect to those guys, but he’s not really a low to the ground bot, should be able to get under him, and Whiplash is pretty much as low as they come. Why wouldn’t I believe Whiplash will be able to immediately catch his flipping arm on part of the exposed edge and turn him over? And if he can do that and keep Skorpios away I don’t think the hammer-saw comes into play.

Maybe I’m wrong? Hopefully I’m wrong! Skorpios has a wedge that is brilliantly built to deflect horizontal spinners. Last season he went 2-1 and was the 10 seed, let’s check the fights

  • Bloodsport (loss) – horizontal spinner
  • Perfect Phoenix (win) – horizontal spinner
  • Tombstone (win) – horizontal spinner
  • Playoffs: Witch Doctor (loss) – vertical spinner
  • (this season) Blade (win) – horizontal spinner

This tells me he’s pretty good against horizontal spinners! Not much else to glean here, we need a more diverse lineup for Skorpios going forward. Anyhow, one more thing before the pick.

The Whiplash Corner

What feature of Whiplash is most important in this matchup, Lifter, Vertical Spinner, or Speed/Driving?

Lifter, definitely the lifter.

Skorpios isn’t fast so that doesn’t matter, and I don’t think he needs to deal a lot of damage to win. Sure, he can cut him up when Skorp get flipped, or backhand him for fun occasionally, but I don’t think Skorpios will be dealing damage either unless Whip ends up on top of his wedge, and I don’t ever expect that to happen. Whip need to use the Lifter to flip Skorpios and push him around. Oh hey, let’s see another Upper Deck Landing! Every time!!!

The Pick: Whiplash by JD

Season to Date: 25-17

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