Battlebots 2021* Playoffs Cheat Sheet

High Seeded Robots that got an easy ride in the playoffs:

End Game (1 seed, North)

  • round 1: winner of Skorpios/Malice
  • round 2: winner of Minotaur/Bloodsport
  • round 3: winner of Copperhead/Lucky/Glitch/Witch Doctor

(ok, that second round might be tough especially if it’s Mino. I like their chances in round 3 in any case)

Sawblaze (4 seed, West)

  • round 1: Hijinx
  • round 2: winner of Hypershock/P1

(round 3 might be tougher as that quadrant is wide open but man, those first two rounds seem like a lock. I CANNOT IMAGINE a scenario where Sawblaze loses to Hypershock or P1. I’m probably laying the jinx on hard here, goddamnit)

High Seeds that did NOT get an easy ride:

Ribbot (2 seed, East)

  • round 1: Probably Hydra(!!!)
  • round 2: winner of Black Dragon/Madcatter
  • round 3: easier honestly

Whiplash (3 seed, South)

  • round 1: EASY (Icewave)
  • round 2: winner of Cobalt/Yeti (!)
  • round 3: very likely either Rotator or Tantrum, yikes

Jackpot (10 seed, East)

  • faces Tombstone in round 1

Glitch (9 seed, North)

  • faces Witch Doctor in round 1

Summarizing the Notable Robots by Tiers

> FAVORITES

  • End Game (1 North)

Defending champs.

  • Whiplash (3 South)

The runner up last year, defeated all variants of robots in the playoffs, incredible versatility. Already an all-time great. No titles though.

  • Sawblaze (4 West)

I thought they were serious contenders anyhow, but I don’t think anyone got a better path than this guy.

> CONTENDERS

(higher seeded teams with less track records, that might be ready to break through)

  • Rotator (6 South)

Great defense/offense combination. The best horizontal spinner right now

  • Copperhead (8 North)

Pure offense. Hits harder than almost anyone.

  • Tantrum (11 South)

They went on a run to the final four last year, yet somehow still feel undervalued and underestimated! I’m in.

  • Cobalt (14 South)

Sweet Jesus that robot is scary. If you’re looking for a Dark Horse to go All The Way…

  • Madcatter (15 East)

This might be End Game Lite, similar design and effectiveness. The weapon is unreal man. In this season and the last Madcatter has lost only to Tombstone, Rotator and Sawblaze, every other opponent he has faced has been decimated.

  • Ribbot (2 East)

Do I have serious doubts about the 2 seed? Not really! It’s just that they are slated to face Hydra in round 1, Black Dragon in round 2 (who eliminated Ribbot from the playoffs last year, while on fire) or Madcatter (who beat Ribbot in the regular season last year!), then I guess they might get a break against Blip or Tombstone before facing Whiplash/Rotator/Tantrum and the winner of Sawblaze/End Game to close things out.

It’s just too much. They’re a great robot but they have to win 4.5 brutal fights to go all the way, and their easiest fight is their 3rd one. I’m just not optimistic.

> DARK HORSES

Lower Seeds and Veterans with a chance to make noise (the Dark Horses):

  • Minotaur (16 North)

I’m terrified of the End Game matchup in round 2, but I never doubt these guys after the wildness of their 2019 run. If they get through EG they could go all the way.

  • Black Dragon (18 East)

Uneven year but track record of succes and made final four last year. See more in Unkillable section below.

  • Yeti (19 South)

They gave us the fight of the year in Week 9. Great weapon, great driving and great durability. Someone should give them a look.

  • Gigabyte (22 South)

I don’t like their first round matchup (Tantrum), or their likely second and third round matchups (Rotator and Whiplash, jesus the South is brutal), but man, this robot has proven to indestructible and essentially invulnerable in recent years. I never fully count them out. Just saying.

  • Tombstone (23 East)

Tombstone’s quadrant is one of the weakest on the board: Blip/Valkyrie/Jackpot/Tombstone, with Blip and Jackpot as the 7 and 10 seeds. Not saying those robots aren’t good but they’re definitely flawed, all four of them. Round 3 means facing the winner of Ribbot’s group of death so they’ll still be underdogs to win the East, but they got a nice landing for sure.

  • Witch Doctor (24 North)

I mean, yeah, they’ve got Glitch in round 1, that’s going to be tough. But Glitch moves very poorly with weak wheels, and Witch Doctor is maybe the best driver in the entire sport. If they survive that fight they get the winner of Copperhead and Lucky in round two, one of those hits hard and doesn’t drive well, the other drives well and doesn’t hit hard. WD is definitely the most well rounded driver in this quadrant, and if they make it out they get a rematch with End Game most likely. Tough, but none of these fights are unwinnable!

> CINDERELLAS

(Crazy Longshots that just might do something)

  • Huge (28 West)

Huge gets Uppercut first in what should be a riveting match. That’s the big fight for both, I’ll take the winner of that match easy in the next round (Shatter!/Riptide winner). Huge hasn’t had playoff success before and was very middling last year, but man they looked great the last two fights. Here’s hoping!

  • Hydra (31 see play-in, East)

How is the most dominant robot from last season, the unquestioned number one seed, somehow a 31 seed?

I can hardly believe it, I would have put them mid-20s myself. But basically no 2 loss teams made the dance this year (after like 10 got in in 2020), I get it. Anyhow, it’s either going to be a quick exit or an absolute historic run by the second lowest possible seed in Battlebots.

  • Skorpios (32 seed play-in, North)

I’m probably a complete dumbass for saying this…I kinda like how Skorpios matches up against End Game???

I don’t know where this is coming from, Skorpios went 1-2, but man, I just have a feeling. If they use those really long forks from the Whiplash fight I think they can control EG and push them around. They’re durable too if they take a hit (yeesh that Yeti match). I’m sure EG will win, but just saying……..

Final Four Last Season:

End Game (1 seed)

– Playoff kills: Rotator, Shatter!, Tantrum, Whiplash

Whiplash (3 seed)

– Knocked off Huge, Valkyrie, Hydra and Black Dragon

Black Dragon (18 seed)

– beat Tombstone and Ribbot to get there

Tantrum (11 seed)

– beat Bloodsport and Sawblaze to get there

Other Significant Tournament History:

End Game: won tournament last year, 3-0 this year. Never made the playoffs previously (this is their 4th year at Battlebots)

Whiplash: 7-3 career playoff record, best for any robot that’s made multiple appearances but has never won. Made the finals last year, 2020

Witch Doctor: Made the finals in 2019 and lost to Bite Force. Went 7-1 that season playoffs/regular season combined. Last year 2-3, this year 2-1 so far, but they have history!

Minotaur: Made the finals in 2018 and lost to Bite Force. The next season they had one of the most exciting seasons ever and culminated with a huge playoff upset (14 over 3 seed) and handed Hydra its first lost ever (in about 40 seconds!). I don’t know if these guys will ever climb the mountain but they are always an incredibly exciting show.

Tombstone: Won the championship in 2016, season 2, it’s season 6 now. Was absolutely dominant season 1-4, things fell off last year and continued this year. Nevertheless, they have the championship history, almost no one else does.

Bad Playoff History:

Sawblaze: 0-1 first season, 1-1 second season, 2-1 third season. They’re slowly improving but still never past Final 8. Will things change this year?

Hydra: Before this season they were 7-0 in regular season and 2-2 in the playoffs. Playoffs have been tough for this guy! Now they’re a super low seed and have a brutal first round matchup, but hey, anything can happen.

Uppercut: Looked like the best robot in the field at the start of the playoffs last year, won round 1 in 33 seconds, then sheepishly lost round 2 to Ribbot in a match where they decided to drop the pulverizer on themselves. It was devastating. Hopefully they’ve recovered.

Copperhead: Were 3-0 and the 3 seed in the tournament, then went up against a 30 seed(!) in Mammoth and lost in a terrific, wonderful, historic upset. I still remember Faruq pausing for almost ten seconds before revealing the winner of the split decision. Anyhow Copperhead had looked unstoppable since and finished up another undefeated season and a high seed (8 this year), maybe the Mammoth thing was a fluke. Or maybe not…

2021* Rookies

Blip (3-0, 7 seed)

Glitch (3-0, 9 seed)

Riptide (2-1, 21 seed)

Defender (2-1, play-in for the 31 seed)

Best Drivers

Best Drivers:

(this is worthy of its own post, nevertheless)

The four best drivers in Battlebots are, in some order

Whiplash

Sawblaze

Minotaur

Witch Doctor

I think the 5th best driver might be Bloodsport (but he’s facing a top 4 driver lol). After that who knows.

(also, like, End Game might be a great driver, but that’s not a part of his game beyond keeping the weapon aimed at the opponent. These five mentioned here are all fast and agile bots, you can’t be a top driver without that element as well)

The Unkillables (Most Durable Robots)

The Unkillables
(Most Durable Robots)

  • Ribbot

This really hasn’t been tested so much this season, but last season they took multiple direct hits from Uppercut and survived, so yeah. That should be all anyone needs to hear!

  • Gigabyte

If you haven’t watched the SOW Bounty Episode from last year, you should. It was mind-blowing. Gigabyte did die from many direct shots from Uppercut this season, otherwise they’ve been close to immortal for the past two seasons (curiously the only times they were knocked out were in their first fight each season to Copperhead and Uppercut, hmm).

  • Black Dragon

Might be the hardest to KO out of all of them, the problem is they keep catching on fire and burning out their weapon and leaving themselves in a tough spot. There’s a point where the constant “continuing to battle while on fire” bit goes from charming and lovable to, you know, being a major handicap on their aspirations to win a championship. They’re facing Madcatter in round 1, yeesh, that’s gonna be some wild shit to watch. But yeah, they rank 3rd and not 1st because while they never die, their weapon does, and it’s cost them a couple of times now.

  • Rotator

Fun fact – End Game went to one Judges Decision in the playoffs last year (against four knockouts), and that Judges Decision was a split decision. One judge thought that Rotator had defeated End Game. Rotator was 2-0 this season and while they were 1-2 in the qualifiers last year they were not knocked out in those losses either. Rotator is the 6 seed and very dangerous (though they are ended up with the hardest competition in their region in Tantrum, Whiplash and Cobalt).

  • Sawblaze

Part of this is like, if you never get hit you never take damage (see the fight against Madcatter, kinda like how Tom Brady never gets hurt because he never gets sacked, that doesn’t necessarily make him the most durable player ever. But 20 seconds into the first fight of the season Sawblaze was getting socked by Minotaur, not exactly a lightweight, and he just shrugged it off and didn’t seem to be damaged in the slightest. I didn’t even think he took damage against End Game, they really should have given EG the win and immediately held a rematch. Last year he lost in the playoffs because Tantrum got under, it went to the decision, only Uppercut has knocked him out in two seasons (funny how that guy keeps coming up on this list…). SB is the real deal.

Robots by Weapon Type:

Hammer:

  • Shatter!

Hammer-Saw:

  • Sawblaze
  • Skorpios

Drum Spinners:

  • Copperhead
  • Minotaur
  • Yeti

Flippers:

  • Blip
  • Lucky
  • Hydra

Full Body Spinners:

  • Gigabyte
  • Captain Shrederator

Horizontal Spinners:

  • Rotator
  • Bloodsport
  • Tombstone
  • Valkyrie
  • Hijinx
  • Icewave

Super Vertical Spinners:

  • Uppercut
  • End Game
  • Madcatter
  • Cobalt
  • Jackpot

Vertical Spinners:

  • Ribbot
  • Hypershock
  • Witch Doctor

Eggbeater Spinner:

  • Glitch
  • Black Dragon
  • Riptide

Other:

  • Whiplash
  • Tantrum
  • P1
  • Huge

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