I’m sure everyone is looking forward to 2020 coming to a close, but before we finally see the back end of this clusterf*ck of a year and usher in 2021, why don’t we take a look at some BattleBots power rankings? I know, it’s something everyone has been asking for.
The power ranking system is pretty straight forwards – the robots that have fought so far this season are ranked based on their performance and likelihood of reaching the top 32. And seeing as all competitors will apparently be given three fights this season, maybe four, we should probably get cracking with a list. This is just a matter of personal opinion, but overall record,strength of performance, calibre of opposition, and potential for improvement feature pretty prominently in my decisions.
Another disclaimer before we begin: I wasn’t expecting to be making this list so early. I was hoping to wait until pretty much all the competitors had fought at least once, but now that about ten have gotten at least two battles under their belts, we may as well get cracking with it. It does also mean that a few bots have yet to fight so far, namely; Aegis, Axolotl, Bale Spear, Black Widow, Chronos, Deadlift, Grabot, P1, Rampage, and War? EZ!, so, for now at least, they won’t be featuring in the rankings. It also turns out that Bronco, Icewave and Son of Whyachi are only competing in BattleBots: Bounty Hunters, which I really wish I’d known about before trying to predict the whole f*cking tournament.
Anyway, enough rambling. Go, go power rankings!
1. Bloodsport (2-0)
The most impressive competitor in the whole field so far. Two wins, two barnstorming KO’s, one mighty fearsome weapon. An early contender for the nut.
2. Mad Catter (2-0)
Who saw this one coming? Mad Catter has come out of nowhere to sit pretty with a 2-0 record. A cracking KO against Fusion and a dominant victory over Ribbot leave it looking good for the top 32.
3. SawBlaze (1-0)
Despite only being at 1-0, I’m pretty sure SawBlaze will add to its wins tally in due course. To be so dominant against an opponent as good as Whiplash in your opening fight is quite the statement to make.
4. Uppercut (1-0)
I still have my doubts about Uppercut, but what a showing that was against Gemini. A dazzling two-hit KO that means expectations are high for the yo-yo champs.
5. Malice (2-0)
Whether it deserved its win against Shatter or not, there’s no denying Malice has been impressive so far. Has to get into the top five purely for setting Axe Backwards on fire.
6. Copperhead (1-0)
It may have helped that Gigabyte turned up to its fight drunk and semi-incapacitated, but there’s some power in that drum spinner. Another win against a bot that can actually function and this is guaranteed bracket material.
7. End Game (1-1)
Not the best showing against Bloodsport, but to beat Tombstone that spectacularly means it has to feature high on this list. A bit more consistency needed, though.
8. Mammoth (1-0)
I don’t really know how this happened, but Mammoth actually looks good this season. Like, actually good. A KO against a quality opponent in HUGE is a big statement. No idea how well it will perform in the future, though.
9. Gruff (1-0)
An early season scourge of Will Bales, Gruff did take a bit of a beating against Hypershock, but came back to claim an impressive victory. Could be one to watch this season, looking very solid.
10. Tombstone (1-1)
The 2016 champ will probably be further up the ladder in due course, but it was handed a fifteen-second beating against End Game. A solid victory over Slap Box goes some way towards a recovery.
11. Big Dill (1-0)
This pickle may be the funniest sh*t I ever seen, but in reality it’s no laughing matter. A ruthless display against Atom #94 sees it start the season in good contention for a spot in the bracket.
12. Claw Viper (1-0)
Could probably do with more active use of its weaponry, but you have to admire the speed and aggression of Kevin Milczewski’s machine. HiJinx didn’t know what had hit it.
13. SlamMow (1-0)
Who’d have thought we’d be seeing Craig Danby this far up the list? Pain Train could admittedly have shown up at higher than 50% functionality, but how about that suplex? Keep this up and it may actually make the bracket!
14. Chomp (1-0)
Struggled a bit against Gamma 9, but ultimately the power of the hammer took its toll. Oh, and it looks cool as sh*t when it moves, if that counts for anything.
15. Hydra (1-0)
Should probably be higher up considering it beat Witch Doctor in its opening fight, but while it was undoubtedly an impressive win, it was barely working by the end of it. Some wins with a bit more conviction will see it safely to the top 32.
16. Lockjaw (1-0)
A bit of a shaky performance against Captain Shrederator, but it came back strongly to claim the KO. Will need to be more dominant to solidify its spot in the bracket.
17. Skorpios (1-1)
Destroyed by Bloodsport, but a dominant victory over Perfect Phoenix. Still has potential for this season, but which Skorpios will we see regularly?
18. Perfect Phoenix (1-1)
Speaking of Perfect Phoenix, here it is! A one-hit KO against Extinguisher was followed by a beating at the hands of Skorpios. Will it be durable enough to make it into the bracket?
19. Ribbot (1-1)
A solid KO over Tracer was followed by it chucking a victory against Mad Catter down the toilet, and subsequently being dismantled. Will hopefully bounce back to make the bracket.
20. Shatter (1-1)
Did Shatter deserve the win over Malice? Who knows, but we find it here at 1-1. Struggled to a win against Ghost Raptor before the aforementioned split decision. The hammer still looks impressive, though. When it’s intact.
21. Beta (1-0)
Has certainly upset some people by winning a fight without using its weapon. Some good hits will hopefully come soon. Was still a dominant display against a quality opponent in Rotator.
22. Black Dragon (1-0)
A probable contender for the Giant Nut, but its win over Kraken wasn’t convincing. And a bit undeserved. Some more confident driving and getting that awesome weapon up to speed won’t do it any harm of staying in the top 32.
23. Valkyrie (1-0)
Should have been an easy win over Tantrum, and a win is just what it got. Quite how it got it is another question entirely. Was the beneficiary of its opponent breaking down despite being dominated. More convincing wins needed.
24. Rusty (1-0)
Yup, Rusty’s currently got a spot in the top 32. Don’t question how we got here, just accept it.
25. Kraken (0-1)
An impressive showing against Black Dragon, and arguably one that should have resulted in a win. Still a performance that puts it in top 32 consideration for now, but will need to get some tasty W’s on the board.
26. Rotator (0-1)
A “controversial” loss to Beta sees Rotator just about occupy a championship spot. I can see it making it up with some juicy KO’s, but will have to do more than get in one good hit to try and argue its way to victory.
27. HUGE (0-1)
Ah, my beloved HUGE. Hopefully you won’t be down here too long. So close to immobilising Mammoth before being placed over the arena wall. Hopefully a cracking comeback showing will happen soon.
28. Hypershock (0-1)
Started out so strongly against Gruff, but ended the fight about a minute later smoking and incapacitated. Still has potential and still a quality opponent, but needs more durability to consolidate a top 32 place.
29. Whiplash (0-1)
I’m still tipping the Vasquez clan to lift the Giant Nut at the end of the season, but will need to put up a better showing than the one it did against SawBlaze. Still got some good shots in, but was really handed a beating.
30. Witch Doctor (0-1)
Another year, another battle where Witch Doctor deploys the smokescreen. Hobbled its way to the end of its bout with Hydra, inevitably suffering a loss after being thrown about for two solid minutes. Showed some promise, but must improve.
31. Tantrum (0-1)
How Tantrum didn’t beat Valkyrie I’ll never know. Completely bullied it from pillar to post before breaking down on its own accord. If it turns this sort of dominance into wins it might sneak into a surprise spot in the top 32.
32. Jackpot (1-0)
How Jackpot managed a win over SubZero is another one of life’s great mysteries, since it managed to do approximately f*ck all before its opponent broke down. Needs some much more convincing W’s if it wants a spot in the bracket.
33. SubZero (0-1)
Should be a lot higher, but the results speak for themselves. Losing the flipper after one use before having the drive go down won’t get you wins. SubZero and co. need to put durability into their wins.
34. SMEEEEEEEEEEEEE (1-0)
Yeah it was a win, but at the cost of many a viewers’ sanity. Doesn’t look like top 32 material to me, especially since its going to fight much tougher opponents than Sharko.
35. Captain Shrederator (0-1)
Ol’ Shreds back to its usual self. Getting a few good shots in before having the weapon disabled and becoming immobile. Classic.
36. Slap Box (0-1)
Poor Slap Box, being thrown in to the deep end against Tombstone. Hopefully some easier fights will come its way soon, but it never really stood a chance, did it?
37. Ghost Raptor (0-1)
I still don’t see Chuck Pitzer and co. making their way into the bracket any time soon, but they didn’t actually do too badly against Shatter. Apart from losing their weapon and catching fire.
38. Gamma 9 (0-1)
A few good rams and lift couldn’t stop Gamma 9 from being taught a lesson by its turret-wielding prodigy. Must remove fatal blows to the head in future match-ups.
39. Sharko (0-1)
It was so good to see Ed Robinson back in the box. And Sharko is a gorgeous bot. Just a shame about the performance, where it did just about nothing.
40. Tracer (0-1)
Knocked over in one hit. It sure looks a promising bot, but its lack of srimech looked damning in its fight against Ribbot.
41. HiJinx (0-1)
Again, it looks like the weapon packs a punch, but didn’t have any answer to Claw Viper. Barely even made a mark on it. Let’s hope it dishes out more punishment soon enough.
42. Fusion (0-1)
Team Whyachi’s latest contraption didn’t exactly start this season with a bang. Unless you count the internals. Destroyed by Mad Catter, ended up in flames, hoping for better soon.
43. Sporkinok (0-1)
Started off alright against Rusty, but then just sort of… died. Not convincing as of yet, but here’s hoping they actually make good use of the hammer soon enough.
44. Atom #94 (0-1)
Will probably get a better idea of its ability when it actually shows up working.
45. Gigabyte (0-1)
Put yourself back together and show up working for the next fight. Horrible showing against Copperhead, resulting in bits of robot all over the arena.
46. Pain Train (0-1)
Again, will probably get a better idea of its ability when it actually works. Never looked a threat against SlamMow.
47. Axe Backwards (0-1)
Goodness gracious, great balls of fire! Also known as, if you’re Axe Backwards, the usual.
48. Gemini (0-1)
Wrecked in two hits. Don’t see things getting better from here.
49. Extinguisher (0-1)
What’s worse than getting wrecked in two hits? Getting wrecked in one. Can’t imagine we’ll be seeing much different from our favourite fire truck this season.
And that’s it for the first edition of the BattleBots 2020 Power Rankings. Remember that this list is just personal opinion, and I’m sure there are one or two bots who could be switched around. Hopefully this gives you something to look forward to in the new year, and serves as a reminder that in spite of everything, we can complain, theorise, and marvel about the best thing on our screens. Stay tuned in the next couple of days for predictions (and write-ups) of the first two episodes of BattleBots: Bounty Hunters, because, on this site, the content never stops. The content is officially going on forever. All the robots.
Thanks for reading folks, you’ve all been awesome. See you all in 2021.