From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Machamp (the Stormfront one) is a good contender against Pokémon SP decks because of Machamp's Take Out attack which makes all non-evolved Pokémon get knocked out in one hit. Since all Pokémon SP are Basic Pokémon, they get knocked out by Machamp in one hit; even if they were a LV.X. So, for some successful SP decks like the quick, fast paced, and popular LuxChomp, it was nearly an auto-loss for them. Also, Machamp could potentially donk a person's deck because it uses many cards to search out Machamp, its pre-evolutions, and supporting cards and also to evolve Machop into Machamp in one turn. Some cards that help the Machamp player to do that are Rare Candy and Poké Drawer +. However, Machamp doesn't fare as well as to other decks that are stage 1 or stage 2 unlike versus SP Pokémon, especially ones that are resistant to it such as Gyarados and Jumpluff.
IF it is just the Stormfront Machamp. From the Triumphant set, Machamp gained Machamp Prime which has 150 HP, has a Fighting Tag Poké-Power which lets it switch with the active Pokémon and move all the fighting energy from it to Machamp Prime. This potentially can makes it switch with a badly damaged Machamp and then the damaged Machamp can be picked up by Seeker or Super Scoop Up (not included in the archetype) and then be played again with Broken Time-Space in play. Then, if the Machamp that was switched in for the other Machamp is badly damaged, the Machamp in the bench, (presuming it is also Machamp Prime) can use its Fighting Tag Poké-Power to switch in with the damaged Machamp and then the cycle just continues. Machamp Prime also has an attack, Champ Buster which requires the same amount of energy for the other Machamp's Rage attack, that does 100 damage plus 10 damage for every bench Pokémon that has damage on it. If paired with Donphan's Earthquake attack which does 60 damage and does 10 to each of the user's benched Pokémon, that is a total of 150 damage that the player is doing to the opponent.
The deck overview
There are three main Machamp decks in the current format. The first main deck is straight Machamp. It just utilizes the Stormfront Machamp and only has a few other Pokémon cards, mainly for draw power. The rest is just Trainer cards, supporter cards, stadium cards, and energy cards. The other main deck is a Stormfront Machamp and Machamp Prime combination which mainly focuses on switching Machamp Primes in and out of the active spot with Fighting Tag. The last one is a Machamp and Donphan combination which focuses on hitting hard just like straight Machamp except that Machamp has support if it gets knocked out. Players can also tech in a Machamp Prime or two just in case. Today, most people play mostly the Stormfront and Machamp Prime deck rather than the other two mainly because they can hit hard and could potentially have a bit more of a chance against Gyarados decks that the other Machamp decks.
- The strategy for Machamp is simple. If the player goes second, they try to get Machamp out or get Machamp out as soon as possible by using Broken Time-Space, Poké Drawer +, Rare Candy, Pokémon Communication, Bebe's Search, Pokémon Collector, Uxie, and Unown R. These cards help them set up. Unown R's Poké-Power, Retire, lets the player discard it and draw an extra card. It is helpful to the player sometimes because that extra card could be a key card that they would need to set up. Pokémon Collector lets the player search for up to three basic Pokémon which is also helpful because it lets the player search for key Pokémon that the player needs such as Machops, Uxies, and/or Unown R. Uxie's Set Up Poké-Power lets the player draw until they have 7 cards in their hand when they put it down on their bench. It helps the user set up, basically like Unown R. With Bebe's Search, the user can search for a Pokémon card from their deck and put it in their hand as long as they put one card from their hand on top of their deck. It can help them search for Machamp or any other Pokémon if they need it. Pokémon Communication is basically the same as Bebe's Search except that the player has to put a Pokémon, not any card like Bebe's Search on top of their deck to search for a Pokémon. This card is similar to Pokémon Trader from Base Set. It can search for a Pokémon even if the player used a supporter card like Pokémon Collector because it is a Trainer. Broken Time-Space lets the player evolve a Machop to Machamp in one turn if they have the necessary cards to do it. Rare Candy lets them evolve Machop to Machamp in one turn without Machoke. That can be an alternative if the player doesn't have a Machoke in hand at the moment when they want to evolve their Machop. It is also the reason there is only 3 Machokes rather than 4. Finally, Poké Drawer + lets the user draw a card if they play it alone. However, if they play two at the same time, they get to search for two cards of any kind from their deck. This card can net the player key cards they need in order for them to attack, get a Machamp out, and/or to search for a Seeker to pick up a damaged Machamp or to use Uxie's Poké-Power again. As for the deck archetype, it will be the Stromfront Machamp and Triumphant Machamp deck.
- When the player gets set up, and/or they go second, if possible, they go for the donk. If they can't, they try to hit hard with Machamp's Rage and Hurricane Punch attacks. With Machamp Prime, they try to get both Machamp Primes in play along with the energy necessary to attack with Champ Buster and then start recycling the damaged Machamps with Fighting Tag and Seeker. In the case when their opponent is using SP Pokémon, they use the Stormfront Machamp's Take Out attack to knock the SP Pokémon out in one hit. If the player is facing a lock deck such as SableLock or Palkia Lock, they try to stay out of the lock and get out Machamp out as soon as possible so they won't have too much trouble. If the player is facing a stage 1 or stage 2 deck or a deck that is resistant to fighting, player will most likely try to knock out the opponent's key Pokémon and get easy prizes before they get fully or even partly set up.
- Machamp - Machamp is the ideal starter players usually want at the start of the game (the one with the Take Out attack). This Machamp can knock out any non-evolved Pokémon which is very convenient, especially against SP Pokémon because it can knock them out in one hit too (even if the SP Pokémon leveled up into its LV.X form). This makes an SP match-up against Machamp pretty difficult with Machamp's fast-paced set up ability and the ability to knock them out in one hit.
- Machamp - This is the back up Machamp or the really hard hitting Machamp. If there are two of these Machamp out in play on the player's side of the field, they can use its Poké-Power, Fighting Tag to recycle Machamps over and over (presuming the player has the Seekers and energy needed). It can also hit for up to 150 Damage with the Champ Buster attack.
- 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 Machamps or Uxies, 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 Uxies, Machops, or Unown Rs.
- 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 down. 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
Unown R (アンノーン R Unknown R)
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.
- Donphan - Donphan is a card that does 60 damage for one energy and 90 damage for three energy. 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 to evolve 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 then put it onto the Pokémon. Then they will put 1 damage counter 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 Trainer card amounts 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 their opponent's hand and then use a supporter's effect of a supporter they find there as the effect of the Poké-Power. 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 attatch it to one of their Pokémon and then the Pokémon's retreat cost is one 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 - Used for disruption. It is used to shuffle away a big hand, shuffle away important cards away from the opponent, and to end a Cyrus's Conspiracy chain.
- Super Scoop Up - An alternative for Seeker. However, Super Scoop Up can pick up any Pokémon the player has in play, not just benched Pokémon. Also, 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 - Could be considered to search for Machamp LV.X.
- Volkner's Philosophy - If a player wants to tech this in, they would need at least two. This can be used to discard Magikarps and to draw cards. It is the closest replacement to Felicity's Drawing.
- Expert Belt - Makes Machamp have 20 more HP and do 20 more damage to the opponent. Used for making Machamp survive a bit longer and to hit even harder.
- VileGar - Players might try to get a Spiritomb Trainer lock going so that Machamp will have limited options. They will also try to use Judge to shuffle their opponent's hand away so their options will be further limited. Machamp also has a X2 weakness to Psychic Pokémon so Gengar has an advantage over it.
- Gyarados - Gyarados players will try to set up Gyarados fast so that it will have instant resistance to Machamp and will hit hard with 90 damage per turn if they have 3 Magikarp in their discard pile, 110 damage with Expert Belt equipped on it. Gyarados also has a massive 110 HP which could be taken down by Machamp except Gyarados has a -20 resistance to Fighting-type Pokémon.