BattleBots: Bounty Hunters – Predictions for Episode 5

Good afternoon, evening, whenever you’re reading, my dear comrades, and welcome to my predictions for the final episode of this season of BattleB– no, wait, that’s tomorrow. This is predictions for the latest episode of Bounty Hunters, which also drops on Thursday. Yup, we’re really getting spoiled for choice this week, there’s almost too much to keep up with. Two episodes in one day as we approach the apex of the season.

So on top of the small matter of who’s going home with the Giant Nut this season, there’s the arguably even bigger matter of who will be facing off against Witch Doctor for a grand cash prize of $25k. I know, who needs nuts when you’ve got fat wads of cash, as the old saying goes. 

With eight hot-headed competitors fighting it out for a shot at said wad of cash, it’s high time we had a go at predicting what’s going to happen. Prepare for some clusterf*ckery of epic proportions.

Extinguisher vs Valkyrie 

Episodes of Bounty Hunters usually give us pretty mismatched opening-round ties, and this one is no exception. Kicking us off on the left-hand side of the bracket, we’ve got recently-rumbled top 16-ers Valkyrie going up against the living, breathing, fire machining Extinguisher.

This is a funny one, since Extinguisher, on paper, is pretty well set-up to deal with a bot like Valkyrie. Most clashes between an undercutter spinner and a hefty plough usually go the way of the latter. However, seeing as how Valkyrie is one of the most powerful spinners in the whole field this season, and Extinguisher has an unhealthy habit of breaking down after one or two hits, something tells me this isn’t going to go the way of the plucky red fire truck. Unless Valkyrie breaks down, since that’s the only way Extinguisher has won any of its fights this season, but something else tells me that’s also not going to happen.

A KO in three hits or less, if we’re going for some really specific predictions.

WINNER: VALKYRIE 

Tracer vs Malice

Taking a trip over to the east side of the fight card, we’re wholeheartedly greeted with the prospect of a fight between Tracer and Malice, which is the fight I’m sure we were all clamoring to see at some point this season.

I jest, of course, since we’ve already seen Tracer like two or three times this season, including in an episode of Bounty Hunters, where it managed to sneak its way to a loss against the perennially underwhelming P1. In fact, “underwhelming” pretty much sums up Tracer as a robot. It has a powerful spinner, but nothing ever seems to go well for it, unless it comes up against the likes of Bale Spear. Malice, having bowed out of the main competition in a tough battle against Gigabyte, is most assuredly a step up from them. Aggressive and tricky with a brutally powerful spinner, one of the most popular bots of the new season should probably come up trumps here.

Prove me wrong, Tracer, and show me that Needle can actually do something.

Due to lack of photos being released here is Malice fighting Gigabyte

WINNER: MALICE

Pain Train vs SubZero

Back over the west after our eastern excursion, and we find ourselves with a tie between either two Iron Maiden album tracks, or two lower-tier DC villains. It’s the curious case of Pain Train against SubZero.

Pain Train most assuredly is a curious case, as for a team that are so dominant in the lower weight classes, they’ve struggled to make the step up to the heavyweight division. Yes, these things take time to perfect, but Pain Train has looked slow and hard to control at the best of times, and the only time its weapon has made proper contact with something it subsequently broke off. Whether they’ve done anything to rectify this in the pits remains to be seen, but, regardless, their high ground clearance is probably going to be the death of them here. Coupled with a tetchy drive system, I can really only see SubZero getting in underneath and going to town on Evan Arias’ bot. They could always land a couple of good shots, but that’s going to be a hard thing to do when its six feet up in the air.

Another win for SubZero this season I think. Didn’t think I’d be saying that so much at the start of the season.

WINNER: SUBZERO

HUGE vs Slap Box

I like Slap Box, I really do. Their bot is sleek, has a cool aesthetic, and their team seems like a wholesome bunch. Do I think that’ll come in handy against my beloved HUGE? No, I don’t think it will.

I mean, they could theoretically put some ungodly attachment on their bot, a-la Hydra, in a vague attempt to keep the hulking HUGE at bay, but assuming that isn’t going to happen, I really don’t see a whole lot they can do here. Maybe they could try and get HUGE to tilt over after driving up their wedge, but on the whole that long bar of the big white behemoth surely has too much reach for Slap Box to fully negate the impact of said weapon. Wheels could go, the top could go, everything could go. 

I’m not holding out much faith for Slap Box with this one, I just really want to see my dear HUGE win another fight before the season ends.

WINNER: HUGE

Valkyrie vs SubZero

On to the second-round ties and- wait, haven’t we seen this fight before? We have, it’s only been like two weeks since we saw Valkyrie surgically remove bits and bobs off of SubZero in the top 32, despite a strong start from the ice-cold flipping machine.

Do I think anything will change here? Realistically, no, I don’t. Even though SubZero proved it could have the potential to cause an upset against Leanne Cushing’s spinning machine, but Valkyrie is the superior bot in my opinion. I don’t think it’s win here will be as surgical as the last one, heck this fight might not even happen in the first place, but this is another one I think Valkyrie could win in like four or five good hits. SubZero just isn’t the durable beast it used to be, and I think Fred Moore is too skilled a driver to be caught out by its flipper.

For me, this is Valkyrie’s fight to ride on into the finals.

Oh look something relevant

WINNER: VALKYRIE

Malice vs HUGE

Usually with these predictions, I find myself sometimes running out of things to say for some fights, and this edition is probably no exception. However, I’m pretty much at a loss to describe how I think this one will play out. If it even plays out, that is.

I think this one will essentially be decided over the first couple of weapon-to-weapon exchanges – who gets hit where, who gets the better hits in, who can stand up to the impacts better. If HUGE manages to get a good hit in on Malice’s weapon, wheels, or top armour, it’s essentially game over. If Malice is able to get some good hits in on HUGE’s wheels, if they don’t end up using their solid ones, then it’s theirs for the taking. Which do I think is more likely? It’s a tough one to call, but I’m just about giving it to HUGE. Not only because of my personal biases that have been wanting to see HUGE and Valkyrie go head-to-head, but I think, personally, HUGE is more likely to get the better hits in, cause more damage, and ultimately come away with the W. 

This could go either way, it could even go to the judges. But this article will never get published if I’m constantly on the fence, so I have to go with Jonathan Schultz and his big angery boi. 

WINNER: HUGE

Valkyrie vs HUGE

Well, here we go, a hypothetical final of epic proportions, and a fight I’ve wanted to see for some time now. Even if this fight doesn’t happen, it’s a fun one to mull over. And I’ve spent many an existential hour mulling over how this one would go down. 

Originally I was under the impression that Valkyrie would be able to come out on top here, since its spinner seems low enough to get a proper good nick at HUGE’s wheels. That could easily happen, but HUGE has also proven itself to be a surprisingly durable bot to withstand hits to its wheels – and then I thought of Valkyrie’s wheels. They’re at almost the perfect height for HUGE to get a good shot at them and disable them – in fact, most of Valkyrie is at a decent height for HUGE to get the better of the exchanges between them. Again, this is provided Valkyrie doesn’t enter with any unholy attachments spaffed on top of itself, but, assuming it doesn’t, I’m actually leaning more towards HUGE for this one.

It may prove costly to go against my gut instinct, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do. May the universe have mercy on my soul.

Witch Doctor vs HUGE

So this is what it all comes down to, in my eyes at least. HUGE has fought tooth and nail to make its way through to this bounty fight, against perennial fan favourites Witch Doctor. And if this fight happens, what a fight it promises to be.

This is a match-up in which anything is possible. I don’t know how this will end, whether it be courtesy of a KO or a judges’ decision, but this looks like a pretty cracking tie on paper. They’re pretty evenly-matched in terms of quality, so sadly I have to use logic to try and determine a winner here. And my logic tells me, on the basis of it being quicker and slightly more aggressive, I’m giving this one to Witch Doctor. Barely, begrudgingly, but I’m giving them the win nonetheless. I think from a fight like this with two incredibly powerful weapons, the deciding factor has to come down to driving ability and control, and Witch Doctor is more capable of outdriving HUGE to get some good shots in and push it around the box, at least as far as I’m concerned. 

I’d really love to see HUGE leave with the $25k prize money after the season they’ve had, but sadly I don’t think this will be their day. Sorry guys, I’ll be supporting you the whole way, but I’m putting Witch Doctor down to win here.

Again there were no relevant photos but this one of Witch Doctor fighting Death Roll looks pretty sharp

WINNER: WITCH DOCTOR

And so that about does it for another convoluted set of predictions for the one and only BattleBots: Bounty Hunters. There’s a strong chance, as per usual, that absolutely none of these will come to fruition, but it’s all part of the fun, isn’t it? And if I’m wrong, we all get to have a good laugh about it.

But fear not, because we still have another episode next week featuring the mighty Son of Whyachi, and because the international distribution of this show is abysmal and leaves us loyal UK viewers in the dark, I haven’t yet written up any reviews of Bounty Hunters, but I intend to treat you all to some nice lil’ write-ups to compensate for the end of the regular competition. I know, I’m crying too. 

As usual, thanks for reading, everyone, and see you all tomorrow.

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