BattleBots 2020 Power Rankings: 26/01/2021

Good evening my robot comrades, and welcome to another much-anticipated edition of everyone’s favourite robot combat-list-based content, the Power Rankings.

I’ll get this warning out of the way quickly – this week’s list is a bit of a mess. Now that most of this season’s competitors have fought at least twice, there are so many bots that are virtually impossible to split in terms of ranking. Baring in mind that you have to take record, performance, and quality of opponent, among others, into consideration for this sort of thing, it’s nigh on impossible to put every single bot at a ranking that truly accurately reflects their top 32 hopes. You’ll also have to remember that this is literally just my opinion, and the top 32 the selection committee eventually chooses will be nothing like the one you see before you today, or at the end of the regular season for that matter.

To show you just how difficult it is to rank these bots so far, out of the 55 bots that have fought so far, 24 currently have 1-1 records. How you’re meant to find a balance for all 24 of them is completely absurd. It’s the kind of challenge I live for, but it’s still a virtually impossible and thankless task. Please keep this in mind before you crucify me for putting your favourite bot lower than you think it should be.

That’s your warning out of the way, now time for some juicy rankings.

1. Uppercut (2-0) = 

Still looking like the bot to beat after that awesome victory over SawBlaze. Really shouldn’t have written them off so soon. Proven well and truly wrong.

2. Mad Catter (3-0) = 

Remains the only bot to achieve a 3-0 record so far this season, with two impressive KO’s and a dominant JD victory over Ribbot. Again, making me look silly for writing them off pre-season.

3. Bloodsport (2-0) = 

Looks so improved from last season, and has methodically taken apart both Skorpios and End Game so far. Definitely an early contender for the Giant Nut.

4. Copperhead (2-0) +6

Up six places after an easy win over P1. That’s two KO’s from two after their memorable victory over Gigabyte this season. That’s two opponents they’ve beaten in about four hits of their drum spinner. Lethal.

5. Lockjaw (2-0) -1

Hasn’t looked spectacular this season, but has still pulled off two measured victories over Shrederator and Big Dill. Has a good chance to move to 3-0 against Jackpot next week.

6. Black Dragon (2-0) -1

We saw a glimpse of its brilliant best against Claw Viper, but still has some doubters after a sketchy win over Kraken. Still, expect a respectable ranking come the bracket.

7. Kraken (1-1) -1

May only be at 1-1, but has been one of the most impressive bots in the field so far, especially since it’s faced two quality opponents. Things won’t get much easier in their next fight against HUGE, but don’t be surprised if they make into the bracket, even with a negative record.

8. Jackpot (2-0) -1

If its victory over SubZero was anything but convincing, tearing Ghost Raptor in two is a real statement. Has a test coming up against Lockjaw, but should still make it through.

9. Valkyrie (2-0) -1

Made it through an epic encounter with Rotator to add to its questionable win over Tantrum. Full of potential for the rest of the season.

10. Malice (2-1) -1

Might drop down a few more places as more teams match its record, but it’s been a respectable showing from a first-time bot I’d initially written off. The team’s pretty awesome as well.

11. Hydra (2-0) = 

I’ll consider putting it in the top 10 if/when it moves to 3-0. And if it does it without the bike rack.

12. SubZero (2-1) +9

Up nine places after another easy win. Disappointing to see it not really be tested this season, so expect it to drop down a few places as more teams match/eclipse their record.

13. Beta (2-0) +16

The second-biggest mover of the week after a routine victory over Rusty. Still feel like we haven’t seen the Brits at their best, but hopefully a few more good hits will see them sail into the championship.

14. End Game (1-1) -2

Still riding high after an epic victory over Tombstone, but fell short against Bloodsport. Has a very tasty tie coming up against Hypershock to solidify a top 32 spot.

15. SawBlaze (1-1) -2

Moving into the block of evenly-matched high-profile bots, SawBlaze finds itself comparatively low down the list following its humbling against Uppercut. But a great win against Whiplash.

16. Whiplash (1-1) +17

Speaking of Whiplash, they’re the biggest movers of the week after a quality display of driving against Gruff. Hopefully my tip for them to lift the Giant Nut isn’t completely fruitless at this point.

17. Gruff (1-1) -2

Speaking of Gruff, they stay in respectable contention after their loss to the aforementioned Whiplash. Maintain a decent ranking by merit of their bruising win over Hypershock.

18. Hypershock (1-1) +14

Speaking of Hypershock (this is getting old isn’t it?), they’re up by 14 after treating us to smoked Mammoth this week. That tasty-looking clash with End Game could easily make or break their season.

19. Tombstone (1-1) -3

Has a make-or-break fight against Skorpios coming up next week after a mixed bag of performances so far. Surely we have to see Ray in the bracket?

20. SlamMow (1-0) -3

Slowly sliding down after going a few weeks without a fight, but still in with a shot after its convincing win over Pain Train. Hopefully will be back in action soon.

21. Chomp (1-0) -3

Another one we haven’t seen in a while, we know it has a potential banana skin tie against HiJinx coming up, but stays in the top 32 for now after its hammering of Gamma 9.

22. Skorpios (1-1) -3

The fight against Tombstone really is make-or-break for all involved. A 1-1 record after a convincing win over Perfect Phoenix, and an equally convincing loss over Bloodsport. Who knows what side of the rankings it’ll fall down on.

23. Tantrum (1-1) -3

Looking surprisingly good for a spot in the top 32, that breakdown against Valkyrie may well have cost it an automatic spot. But if it can replicate its dominance against Atom #94 in its remaining fight, it should make it through.

24. Mammoth (1-1) -10

Free falling by ten places after being easily taken apart by Hypershock. Does that make its win over HUGE a big fluke? Only time will tell heading into its final fight.

25. Fusion (1-1) -3

I still feel we’re yet to see Fusion at its best, even after tearing Aegis to shreds. Mad Catter beat it all to easily, so it depends which side of it we see in battle three.

26. Big Dill (1-1) -3

Showed promise against Atom #94 but was humbled by Lockjaw. Remains to be seen whether it’ll be strong enough to make it into the bracket.

27. Claw Viper (1-1) -3

Read above for Claw Viper. Was resoundingly beaten by Black Dragon after an impressive showing against HiJinx. The jury’s out whether it’s top 32 potential.

28. Captain Shrederator (1-1) +10

Squeezing its way into the top 32 (for now) after not breaking down for once, Shrederator remains plagued by reliability and inconsistency, but ripping a wheel off Axe Backwards throws it into championship contention.

29. Perfect Phoenix (1-1) -4

Easily defeated Extinguisher, but was comfortably beaten by Skorpios. Another of the many bots at 1-1 that need a big showing in their final fight.

30. Ribbot (1-1) -4

Poor driving let it down against Mad Catter after an easy win over Tracer. Another one we haven’t seen the best of this season.

31. Gigabyte (1-1) -4

A routine win over Extinguisher after being obliterated by Copperhead. Will probably have a pretty testing final fight to see whether it makes it through.

32. Shatter (1-1) -4

A solid 1-1 record for a bot we’re yet to see the best of. It has a lot of potential, and only narrowly lost to Malice, but is still in need of a win to fully carry it through.

33. Deadlift (1-0) NEW ENTRY

Our first new entry slides in at a cool 1-0. Might be a bit harsh to put it outside the top 32, then, but it’s never a good sign it wasn’t televised. And it was against Bale Spear. A televised win would boost its ranking.

34. Tracer (1-2) +7

Has now fought all three fights, and hasn’t really looked all that convincing. Easily flipped over twice, and its one win was also against Bale Spear. Might be able to squeeze its way in, if the chance arises for it to fully prove itself.

35. Slap Box (1-1) -5

Part of the 1-1 club that still falls outside the top 32, was given a baptism of fire against Tombstone before crawling to a win over Sharko. Not sure about its chances.

36. HiJinx (1-1) +6

Moves up six places despite not even appearing in the last episode! An off-camera flipping of Tracer boosts its chances, but will need to beat Chomp to stand any real chance of making it through.

37. Rusty (1-1) -6

It was going to happen eventually, but Rusty is finally out of the top 32. Yes, Beta was always going to beat it, and yes, it may well pull off a madness and win its last fight. Stranger things have happened.

38. SMEEEEEEEEEEEEE (1-1) -4

Two dreary fights resulting in a narrow win and a narrow loss. Should inexplicably be on 2-0, but at least I don’t have to justify a position in the top 32 because of it. 

39. Pain Train (1-1) -4

Gets suplexed to death in one fight, its weapon falls off in the next. How it’s got a win to its name is beyond me.

40. P1 (1-1) NEW ENTRY

The curious case of P1 continues, as it supposedly claimed an untelevised win over Chronos before being resoundingly beaten by Copperhead. Props up the rest of the win gang, but don’t expect to see it zooming into the championship any time soon.

41. Rotator (0-2) -5

Considering there are 40 bots out of 55 with wins to their name so far, it’s incredible that Rotator isn’t one of them. The victim of two JD’s so far this season, they’ll need a win in their last fight to have any hope of going through.

42. HUGE (0-2) -5

Another shock 0-2 record, even if one of them was through the keep-away tactics of Hydra. The team can feel aggrieved, but they still have to beat the impressive Kraken next week to boost their way up the rankings.

43. Gamma 9 (0-1) -4

Had its skull caved in against Chomp, but still showed some vague semblance of potential. Who knows what its next fight will yield.

44. Witch Doctor (0-2) -4

Last year’s runners-up are on the ropes. Two fights, two broken discs, it’s not the Witch Doctor we’ve come to expect. Another one in dire need of a final-fight win.

45. Ghost Raptor (0-2) -1

The above bots weren’t expected to be at 0-2 at this point. Ghost Raptor was. At least to my mind. One fight on fire, the other beheaded, it’s not been a triumphant return.

46. Sharko (0-2) -1

Not exactly bowing out with a bang, but then again it was only ever here to entertain. At least it’s done that successfully.

47. Chronos (0-1) NEW ENTRY

One untelevised loss probably doesn’t bode well. Chronos has never exactly set the world alight, and that looks set to continue this year.

48. Axe Backwards (0-2) -2

Followed on from being set on fire by Malice by having a wheel surgically removed by Captain Shrederator. Another year of Axe Backwards being the BattleBots whipping boy.

49. Sporkinok (0-2) -6

At least it didn’t break down this time? Resoundingly flipped over by SubZero, a resounding end to its hopes of the top 32.

50. Gemini (0-1) -3

Has yet to return after being destroyed by Uppercut. Probably still reeling from the brutality of that loss.

51. Atom #94 (0-2) -3

Possibly the most disappointing newcomer we’ve seen this season. Comfortably beaten in both its fights without ever really getting going. What exactly did Ray Billings teach these guys?

52. Aegis (0-1) -3

Not sure how much more we’ll see of Aegis after being torn apart by Fusion. Looks a near given it won’t be in the post-season.

53. Grabot (0-1) -3

Only as high as this due to the two below it being useless in two fights. Grabot’s only saving grace is that it’s only been humiliated once so far.

54. Bale Spear (0-2) NEW ENTRY

The final new entry for the week, somehow I don’t think this is a belated charge towards the Giant Nut from robot combat’s favourite farmers. One untelevised loss, beaten in a couple of hits in the other.

55. Extinguisher (0-2) -4

Continues to prop up the rest of the pack from the new lofty heights of 55th, Extinguisher has put up little to no fight in either of its battles. To say it’s not looking good is a bit of an understatement. 

And that’s it for another week of power rankings. I’m aware of how all over the place these probably look, but we’re getting ever-closer to the business end of the season when we start to see a lot of bots looking pretty even with each other. And with just the three fights instead of four this season, that just adds an extra layer of complication to proceedings.

With only three episodes left of the regular season, we’ve got a lot to sort out with little time to do it in. I’m assuming that in the remaining episodes, we’ll see episode twelve being a sort of play-off scenario, where the final eight spots are up for grabs, much like last season. From there, we’ll see another four episodes which will cover the top 32. It’s going to get wild, folks. I bet you all can’t wait for it.

For now, stay safe my dear comrades, and I’ll see you for some predictions very soon.

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