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Machamp archetype (TCG)

Machamp and Machamp Prime
Types used Fighting
Major cards Machamp and Machamp Prime
Era 2008-2011

The Machamp archetype was a popular deck archetype in the Pokémon Trading Card Game. After the release of the Platinum expansion, Stormfront Machamp gained recognition as a viable counter to the SP decks that began to dominate Pokémon Organized Play tournaments. Although Machamp faces weak matchups against decks such as Gyarados, VileGar, and Charizard, the deck's ability to donk and easily beat most SP decks has made it a consistent staple of the metagame. With the release of Machamp Prime in Triumphant, Machamp decks gained a strong, bulky attacker against non-SP decks.



Poké Drawer +

Deck's strategy is based on the opposing deck. If facing a deck based around Pokémon SP, it is critical to get Machamp out as soon as possible using Broken Time-Space, Rare Candy, and the deck's various drawing and searching effects, such as Pokémon Collector. From that point forward, the player attempts to use Machamp's Take Out attack constantly in order to knock out the opponent's Basic Pokémon. Because SP decks use few evolved Pokémon, they generally provide easy matchups for Machamp as long as the player can expend resources sparingly and retrieve knocked out Machamp easily.

If the opponent is not playing an SP deck, Machamp Prime is the main attacker. However, if the opponent has only one Basic Pokémon on the field early in the game, Machamp is capable of donking the opponent, or knocking out their only Pokémon turn one or two. If not, the player uses essentially the same above-said strategy to get a Machamp Prime on the field quickly and begin attacking with Crushing Punch and Champ Buster. Because Machamp can often take easy prizes early in the game with Take Out while the opponent is only partially set up, winning with Machamp Prime is a very attainable goal despite its inability to Knock Out most Stage 2 Pokémon of its era in one attack. Since both Machamp and Machamp Prime have considerable HP, they can withstand attacks from many Pokémon, and the deck has the ability to take knock outs while the opponent cannot respond with a Knock Out on Machamp.

Key cards

  • Machamp - Machamp's ability to knock out any Unevolved Pokémon for only Fighting with its Take Out attack makes it the deck's most important component. It can often take easy prizes early in the game before the opponent sets up, and it is the main attacker against SP decks. Before the release of Machamp Prime, the Stormfront Machamp was the deck's only attacker. In addition to Take Out, Machamp possesses the Hurricane Punch and Rage attacks. Hurricane Punch can do considerable damage, based on coin flips, for   , while Rage's damage is based on how much damage Machamp has taken. Rage costs FightingFighting  .
  • Machamp Prime - Machamp Prime provides an alternative attacker against non-SP decks. Its Crushing Punch and Champ Buster attacks are capable of significant damage, making it a threat against opposing Pokémon with mid-range HP. Unfortunately, Machamp Prime's attacks cost Fighting   and FightingFighting   respectively, making it difficult to charge. This problem is rectified by Machamp Prime's Fighting Tag Poké-Body. Fighting Tag states that if Machamp Prime is on a player's bench, they may switch Machamp Prime with the Active Pokémon and move all energies attached to that Pokémon to Machamp Prime. Through the combination of Fighting Tag and Seeker, it is possible to keep up a steady stream of fully charged, fully healed Machamp Primes.
  • Rare Candy - Lets the user evolve Machop into Machamp in a single turn which is vital to its set up.
  • Poké Drawer + - This card lets the player search for any two cards from their deck if they play two down at the same time. Players can search for what they need at the time such as energy for attacking, Seekers to pick up Machamp or Uxie, Rare Candies or Broken Time-Space to evolve into Machamp, and Pokémon Collector, Bebe's Search, and Pokémon Communication for searching out Pokémon such as Uxie, Unown R, Machop, Machoke, and Machamp when the player needs them.
  • Uxie - This Pokémon is the main draw power in the deck. It can be searched out by using Bebe's Search, Pokémon Communication, Poké Drawer + (assuming the player has two of them in hand), Luxury Ball, and Pokémon Collector which are all in the deck archetype. Uxie's Poké-Power lets the user draw cards until they have 7 in their hand when they put it down from their hand. Uxie can net the player the resources they need or the cards they need. It can also be picked up by Seeker (assuming that it is on the bench) so the player can use its Poké-Power again.
  • Bebe's Search, Luxury Ball, Pokémon Communication - These cards let the player search for any Pokémon from their deck. Luxury Ball is only a one time use. For Bebe's Search and Pokémon Communication to be used, the player needs to put a card on top of their deck for Bebe's Search and a Pokémon for Pokémon Communication.
  • Pokémon Collector - This lets the player search for up to three Basic Pokémon from their deck. They can use this to search for some Uxie, Machop, or Unown R.
  • Broken Time-Space - A bit like Rare Candy, Broken Time-Space lets the player (and their opponent) be able to evolve Pokémon the turn they put it in play. However, unlike Rare Candy, the user needs all the evolutions of the Pokémon they are to evolve using this stadium.
  • Palmer's Contribution - Lets the player search for the Machamp line, or other Pokémon and Basic Energy from their discard pile and put it in their deck. This is usually used for recovery.
  • Seeker - Lets the player pick up a damaged Machamp or an Uxie in order to heal damage off of the Machamp or to use Uxie's Poké-Power again. This card is usually used with the Machamp Prime Fighting Tag switch out and heal tactic.

The deck archetype

The deck list appearing below is not official; it is meant to represent an average build of the archetype, not specifically constructed for any regional metagame. Being that this is merely an archetype, a player may wish to change any part of this deck when building his or her own version.

Quantity Card Type Rarity
Machamp Prime Fighting Rare Holo
Machamp Fighting Rare
Machoke Fighting Uncommon
Machop Fighting Common
Unown R Psychic Uncommon
Uxie Psychic Rare
Azelf Psychic Rare
Chatot Colorless Common
Bebe's Search Su Uncommon
Seeker Su Uncommon
Pokémon Collector Su Uncommon
Palmer's Contribution Su Uncommon
Luxury Ball T Uncommon
Pokémon Communication T Uncommon
VS Seeker T Uncommon
Poké Drawer + T Uncommon
Rare Candy T Uncommon
Warp Point T Uncommon
Broken Time-Space St Uncommon
Call Energy Colorless E Uncommon
Double Colorless Energy Colorless E Uncommon
Fighting Energy Fighting E

Possible techs

  • Donphan - Donphan is a card that does 60 damage for Fighting and 90 damage for FightingFightingFighting. Paired with Machamp, it has a potential to donk the opponent as well as do lots of damage to the opponent.
  • Spiritomb - This can help with evolving Machop into Machamp in two turns. Spiritomb's attack, Darkness Grace, lets the player search their deck for a card that evolves from one of their Pokémon and put it onto the Pokémon. Then, 1 damage counter will be put on Spiritomb. While the attack can be helpful, the Poké-Body Keystone Seal locks each player's Trainer cards, which can slow the opponent down. However, the player has the potential to slow themselves down too because of the high amount of Trainer cards in the deck.
  • Smeargle - Players usually want one Smeargle to begin with if they want to tech this in. Smeargle's Poké-Power, Portrait, lets the player look at the opponent's hand. Then, as the effect of the Poké-Power, the player will use the effect of one of the opponent's Supporter cards. This lets them use a helpful Supporter card such as Pokémon Collector or Bebe's Search (presuming it is in their opponent's hand).
  • Unown Q - Its Poké-Power lets the player attach it to one of their Pokémon, causing the Pokémon's retreat cost to be Colorless less. This will let Uxie have free retreat if the player would have to send it active or it is pulled up active. It will also give Smeargle free retreat too, if it is in the deck.
  • Judge - This is used for disruption. It is used to shuffle away a hand with many cards, to shuffle important cards away from the opponent, and to end a Cyrus's Conspiracy chain.
  • Super Scoop Up - Super Scoop Up is an alternative for Seeker. However, while Super Scoop Up can pick up any Pokémon the player has in play instead of just benched Pokémon, the user needs to flip heads in order for it to work.
  • Machamp LV.X - This LV.X can help Machamp hit harder because of its Poké-Body No Guard. If Machamp LV.X is the Active Pokémon, its attacks and the opponent's attacks do 60 more damage.
  • Premier Ball - Premier Ball assists in searching for Machamp LV.X.
  • Expert Belt - Expert Belt makes Machamp have 20 more HP and do 20 more damage to the opponent. Therefore, it is used for making Machamp survive a bit longer and hit even harder.

Project TCG logo.png This article is part of Project TCG, a Bulbapedia project that aims to report on every aspect of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.