BB23 Tiers Part 4

Tier 1: The Big Five (formerly Six)

  1. Minotaur (3-0)
  2. Sawblaze (3-0)
  3. Witch Doctor (3-0)
  4. End Game (2-1)
  5. Hydra (2-1)

There used to be six robots here, then the defending champs took another loss. I can’t have 1-2 robots in my Tier 1, I just can’t.

The top two are flipped from last time, they’re pretty even. Minotaur has a better track record this season (wins over Tantrum and Cobalt) so they get the nod. Mino finishes with Witch Doctor lol, who is in third, so things will be shifting again here soon. Meanwhile Sawblaze goes against Hydra. At least one of the top 3 here will be 4-0 and I expect they will take the one seed next week. WD has had lesser wins to date but can change everything with (another) victory over Minotaur.

Then we have End Game, almost entirely forgiven for the slipup against Ripperoni, and Hydra, who was fire after the loss to Tantrum. Given the schedules I think this is our Tier 1 heading into the playoffs, I don’t think anyone can climb up (maybe Rip if they KO Black Dragon?), and I’d be hardpressed to move anyone down because they’re all fighting each other! (Ok, if End Game LOSES to Gigabyte they’ll be punished)

Tier 2: Lurking Powerhouses

6. Riptide (3-0)
7. Cobalt (2-1)

These two look amazing, I’m just not ready to bump them into Tier 1. Cobalt had a chance to beat a top tier team a few weeks ago, and while they were truly great against Minotaur, they did not win. Riptide has only faced one of the Big Five, a loss to Sawblaze last year.

They are all about power. These are the nastiest vertical spinners out there, on well-designed robots that are pros and driven well. They are dangerous. I think they still have weaknesses (getting under them) but they will be a very tough out. And could legitimately be champions, even this season.

Tier 3: “I Believe In You”

8. Huge (3-0)
9. Quantum (3-0)
10. Claw Viper (3-0)

This is the fun group. This is the surprising group. This is a trio that nobody could have considered a contender at the start of the year.

But it happened. They’re here. All three are legit contenders. None of them have lost!!!

The latter two are control robots, which is a fascinating counter-narrative to the powerful robots that have been running things for most of the history of the sport. Huge is a unicorn with a unique spinning weapon. I am very excited to see how their postseason runs go, and how crazy things could get around here.

Tier 4: Imperfect Contenders

11. Tantrum (1-2)
12. Blip (1-2)
13. Copperhead (3-0)
14. Black Dragon (2-1)

I’m lumping these four together because they all have what it takes, and yet I can’t put them in Tier 1 nor Tier 2 (and they’ve been around and successful before so don’t belong in Tier 3).

The main problem with Tantrum and Blip is that they keep losing. Otherwise I love these robots and have a ton of confidence in them! But they have 4 losses in 6 fights this year, and if we remove the head to head they are 1-3 against the rest of the field. Not great.

The other two are just hard to rank so we’re slotting them here. Copperhead looks great! They haven’t lost! They also haven’t faced anyone remotely on their level (thankfully coming in fight 4), and I’m sorry but their playoff track record is bad! They lose upsets in the playoffs! It’s happened 3 times now if I include the bounty tournament where they lost a stunner to Gigabyte of all people. So that’s the book on them. Black Dragon is here because they’re repeatedly just a notch below the really good robots, and they too take a loss every year, this time to the upstart Quantum and their terrible crushing jaws. This is a hard to place robot! They’ve never been knocked out! They really on gumption and toughness and spirit, and usually lose to a superior design. But I can’t count them out, or kick them lower down the totem. Black Dragon is in the mix.

Tier 5: Vertical Spinners Galore!

15. Ripperoni (2-1)
16. Madcatter (2-1)
17. Lock-Jaw (2-1)

Who likes Vertical Spinners!

It’s still the age of Verticals, and these robots are all very good, but ultimately generic and I’d say their all roughly on the same level. I don’t think these robots are good enough to consistently beat the robots from Tier 1 to Tier 4. They aren’t special enough! There’s no distinguishing quality or feature in my opinion. But hey, they’re definitely in the mix and possess the firepower to do some damage.

Tier 6: This is not going Super Well

18. Skorpios (2-1)
19. Beta (2-1)
20. Hypershock (1-2)
22. Rotator (1-2)
23. Jackpot (2-2)
24. Whiplash (1-2)
25. Monsoon (1-2)
26. Ribbot (0-3)

These robots are have concerns. Some are more serious then others. I had to stretch out the tier a little to fit in a few different characters, the records range from 2-1 to 0-3. I’ll touch on each one very briefly, deep breath…

– Skorpios looked great in fight one and has looked progressively worse since, and the way they basically treated their last fight against Sawblaze as a joke could really hurt them!

– (I briefly forgot about Beta lol, they looked great against Shatter! and middling in their other two fights. Seems like the hammer design has serious issues against verticals. Still, they were 3-0 in their previous season and 2-1 here, credit as deserved)

– Hypershock and Rotator have had respectable schedules, especially the former, so being 1-2 is not completely unbelievable. It’s just disappointing. Their wins haven’t been impressive either.

– Jackpot went from 0-2 to 2-2, and despite the bounceback I think it’s still rickety as all heck and will be dead on arrival against almost any playoff opponent.

– Whiplash and Monsoon just faced off, and Whiplash got a decent win there, but still lost the other two (and neither Madcatter nor Hypershock are world-beaters). Monsoon has one weak win and two “ok” losses to Whiplash and Black Dragon.

– Ribbot is 0-3.

Tier 7: I really, really don’t take Lucky seriously (and they’re about to be 3-0)

27. Lucky (2-0)

Yeah, sorry. Get to 4-0 and we’ll revisit this.

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