VGC 2015 Conkeldurr and Machamp Double Analysis

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Hello everyone. After the request to do both an analysis on Conkeldurr and Machamp, I decided to combine them into 1 Analysis since they both do similar enough things to warrant me doing this. After winning 2015 Worlds in the Senior Divison under the leadership of Mark McQuillian, Machamp has proved why its very strong. Conkeldurr has also been having some success as well, winning multiple Regionals, doing very well at multiple Nationals, and doing well at Worlds. With that knowledge, let's dive in to this Double Analysis, where we see what Conkeldurr and Machamp have in stores for us. Let's start with Conkeldurr's Base Stats.

Conkeldurr's Base Stats

Conkeldurr has some rather impressive stats.The 105/95/65 in its defenses are amazing since if you slap an Assault Vest on it, Conkeldurr will be taking so many hits.The 140 Attack stat is nice as well since you don't need to invest to much into it to dish out some good hits. The Sp. Attack is bad, so I won't dive into it. Long story short, 55 is bad compared to the 140 and using it isn't the best way to use Conkeldurr. The 45 Speed is slow, but that means that you can use Conkeldurr exceptionally well in Trick Room, doing huge chunks of damge to Pokemon that Conkeldurr would have trouble doing outside of Trick Room like Salamence and Sylveon. The stats are very well rounded and Conkeldurr got a really good deal from it. Now let's look at Machamp'a Base Stats.

Machamp Base Stats

 Machamp also has some rather impressive stats that are more well rounded than Conkeldurr's stats. 90/80/85 for defenses are quite better than Conkeldurr in the sense that you don't have one stat that is really low and needs a boosting item to make it viable. The 130 Attack is lower than Conkeldurr's attack, but its still really good since you'll be doing major damage to threats in your way. 65 Sp. Attack is still bad and isn't the best way to use Machamp. 55 Speed is great in Trick Room since like Conkeldurr, you'll get some good damage and maybe even some KO's.

Now that we know a little bit more about Conkeldurr and Machamp and their stats, let's see some viable moves that the 2 can learn. They both have similar moves so i'll combine them into 1 set of viable options for each Pokemon, while letting you know which move is for which Pokemon, or works for both.

Viable Moves for Machamp

  1. Wide Guard
  2. Knock Off
  3. Dynamic Punch 
  4. Protect
  5. Stone Edge
  6. Bullet Punch
  7. Ice Punch
  8. Fire Punch
  9. Thunder Punch
  10. Quick Guard
Viable Moves for Conkeldurr
  1. Rock Slide
  2. Protect
  3. Detect/ Protect
  4. Drain Punch
  5. Mach Punch
  6. Wide Guard
  7. Knock Off
  8. Ice Punch
  9. Fire Punch
  10. Thunder Punch
As you can see, the both have very similar moves, so the way they'll be played will be very similar. Now, let's dive into some competitive sets for the two. This will help drive my point home that these two are very similar, if not identical Pokemon in the way they are played competitively. Since Mark McQuillian hasn't made his Machamp's set available i'll update this once it is made public. Without further ado, let's dive into some competitive sets.

Hayden McTavish's (Enigne) Machamp
Machamp (Oh Dear, I) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: No Guard
Level: 50
EVs: 252 HP / 76 Atk / 100 Def / 80 SpD
Adamant Nature
– Dynamic Punch
– Protect
– Stone Edge
– Wide Guard

This is the Machamp that Hayden McTavish used to win 2013 Worlds in the Senior Division. Let's see what Hayden had to say about this buff beast. "It is often difficult to justify using Machamp in a metagame that includes Iron Fist Conkeldurr. To be honest, I wasn’t entirely aware of Conkeldurr’s power (which lost me one of my Swiss matches), and Conkeldurr’s slightly better Hit Points, Defense and Attack paired with access to Mach Punch boosted by Iron Fist certainly give it advantages over its four-armed counterpart, especially since Conkeldurr has access to Wide Guard as well. However, Machamp and Conkeldurr are still quite close in overall bulk, and Machamp has quite an ability of its own in No Guard, which, along with countering Sand Veil and Minimize, eliminates the accuracy drawbacks of Stone Edge and Dynamic Punch.
Dynamic Punch becomes a reliable 100 base power STAB Fighting attack that confuses the opponent if it fails to KO. This means that Machamp has an incredibly effective balance between offense and support. Offensively, he is able to provide pressure with a powerful Fighting-type attack, which is difficult to switch into even with a resistance to Fighting attacks, because the Pokémon switching in will then become confused (unless it’s a Ghost-type). This also means that outside of Ghost-types that can handle Stone Edge, it is extremely hard to wall a Machamp, because even if Machamp can’t do much damage to a Pokémon, it can still confuse it. Cresselia isn’t a counter but merely a check to Machamp. Because Machamp can prevent a Pokémon from attacking 50 percent of the time after hitting it with a Dynamic Punch (and has access to Wide Guard), he is viable in a supporting role as well. Therefore, he isn’t stopped cold by Intimidate. Where Dynamic Punch makes Machamp truly devastating, however, is in abusing paralysis. Because paralysis quarters a Pokémon’s speed (effectively a drop from +0 speed to -6), Machamp is able to outspeed Pokémon at up to 299 speed when they’re paralyzed. If opposing Pokémon are paralyzed, Machamp’s major flaw, its low Speed, is covered and its Dynamic Punches are even more threatening. Even if Dynamic Punch doesn’t deal much damage to some paralyzed Pokémon, it still sets up a parafusion combo before a Pokémon can attack. To make matters better, Machamp has fantastic synergy with Thundurus, able not only to take out Rock- and Ice-types that threaten Thundurus, but also to use Wide Guard in blocking the Rock Slides, Blizzards, and Icy Winds that threaten Thundurus while it spreads paralysis. I’ve used Machamp before on a team with no speed control (not intentionally!) and he has still done exceptionally well, but what made him World Championship caliber was paralysis support. 
Stone Edge is no longer Stone Miss, which means that Machamp has the most reliable Rock-type attack in the game, and therefore is an effective Volcarona check. The increased critical hit ratio is also helpful in handling Intimidate.
The one drawback to using Machamp is that attacks never miss Machamp. This means that Will-O-Wisp is a huge pain for Machamp, and Rotom-Wash can usually opt for Hydro-Pump over Thunderbolt when attacking Machamp.
Although Machamp’s lack of Mach Punch is certainly not beneficial, it gives Machamp the ability to run Wide Guard and Protect, something Conkeldurr can’t do without forfeiting its priority, its main STAB move, or its coverage move. If Conkeldurr is without one of those three moves, then Machamp is an equally viable choice (if not a better one).
The EV spread let Machamp always survive Zen Headbutts from Adamant max attack Metagross and Psyshocks/Psychics from Timid max Special Attack Latios. It had 80 Special Defense instead of 76 with 4 Speed, because the Machamp I was using at the time I came up with this spread had a 30 special defense IV. Also, it was just as useful to have no Speed investment since Machamp often operated under the opponent’s Trick Room." - Hayden McTavish (Enigne)

My Personal Conkeldurr

Conkeldurr @ Assault Vest
Ability: Guts
Level: 50
EVs: 84 HP / 252 Atk / 68 Def / 104 SpD
Adamant Nature
- Drain Punch
- Ice Punch
- Knock Off
- Mach Punch

This is my personal Conkeldurr spread. Let's see what I had to say about Conkeldurr. "You may remember this Conkeldurr from my Mega Blastoise team analysis. The reason i'm using this Conkeldurr again is because this Conkeldurr has helped me out so many times in the past that it's ridiculous and awesome, but still cool at the same time. Conkeldurr added a way to handle Mega Kangaskhan as well as a possible threat to the idea of inflicting status onto my Pokemon because of Guts.  The EV Spread survives Double-Edge from Mega Kangaskhan, OHKO's Landorus-T with Ice Punch, or Ice Punch + Mach Punch at -1, and survives Hyper Voice Mega Salamence. Conkeldurr honestly works really well since it handles normal types, removes items with Knock Off, and can remove Focus Sashes with Mach Punch. Overall Conkeldurr is the MVP on the team because of what it can do." - Me

Aaron Traylor (Unreality)

BIG DATA (Conkeldurr) @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Guts 
84 HP / 192 Atk / 68 Def / 164 SpD

Adamant Nature
– Wide Guard
– Mach Punch
– Drain Punch
– Ice Punch

This is the Conkeldurr Aaron Traylor used to get win 2015 St. Louis Regionals. Let's see why Conkeldurr was so effective for Aaron. "BIG DATA BIG DATA. I’m going to start this off by saying that Assault Vest Conkeldurr is horrible and I have no idea why so many people are running it. Conkeldurr has so many options and Assault Vest barely does anything for it. I think that in the future, we’re going to see a lot of non-Assault Vest sets doing well. I wanted to take advantage of this Conkeldurr unawareness by running Wide Guard on my Conkeldurr; since Assault Vest sets can’t use it, I knew most opponents wouldn’t try to play around it. Wide Guard was cool to have with Clefable—opponents would try to avoid Follow Me with spread moves and run right into a Wide Guard. It also protected Bisharp and Heatran from opposing Landorus-Therian, which is the first Pokémon people think I’m weak to when they look at this team. The other three moves were chosen because I didn’t want to miss out on anything Conkeldurr had to offer, especially Mach Punch. Guts allowed it to switch in on and absorb burns directed at Kangaskhan.
Spoiler alert: this is an Assault Vest spread for a Sitrus Berry Pokémon. I had planned to update it before the event but I didn’t end up changing it. 84 HP minimizes residual damage, and the Defense EVs allow it take a Brave Bird from an Intimidated Talonflame. Wolfe told me to just maximize HP and Attack for general bulk, but I didn’t fix it in time. Also, I was missing 16 EVs in HP at the tournament—oops. Conkeldurr was my least chosen Pokémon over the course of the two days, although it was definitely my MVP in some of the streamed games—I just didn’t see as many Terrakion, Kangaskhan, or Bisharp as I thought I would. Thanks to Scott for the spread.
By the way:
132+ SpA Choice Specs Hydreigon Draco Meteor vs. 84 HP / 164 SpD Conkeldurr: 186-219 (97.3 – 114.6%) — 81.3% chance to OHKO" - Aaron Trayor (Unreality)'

I hoped you enjoyed this analysis. I'll update this when Mark McQuillian publicly releases his Machamp set. Follow me on Twitter @KurokyuneVGC and check out my past articles and my future analysis when they come out. I'll see you next time everyone. Bye!


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