BattleBots 2021: Episode 7 Power Rankings

Good afternoon, evening, whenever you’re reading, comrades, and welcome to yet another edition of some BattleBots power rankings. This week’s rankings come slightly late on account of me moving house at the weekend, but in order to try and get something out before the next episode airs, I’ve done a certified speedrun to get this quality content to you. Hopefully that won’t result in any misguided rankings, but let’s face it, some of them are questionable anyway.

We’re getting into the business end of the regular season, with us having seen everyone who has a shot at the bracket fighting at least once. Most bots are now entering their crucial third fight of the season, which will be make-or-break for their hopes of progressing into the top 32. We’ve got 13 bots at 2-0 who look pretty much assured of one of those places each. We’ve also got a whole plethora of bots at 1-1, and the outcome of their final fight will determine whether they’ll be going through or not. Another 12 sit at 0-2, and they’ll need a very convincing victory to stand any chance of progressing.

We’ve got a pretty clear idea of who’s got a chance of going through thanks to episode 7, and what an episode it was – one of the best of the season so far. Details will be given down below, but HUGE’s victory dance, Blip’s somersaulting shenanigans, and Cobalt ripping Ghost Raptor in literal half were moments for the ages. Six KO’s out of seven and an intriguing main event between two great bots, what more could we ask for?

Anyway, without much further ado, here’s what the latest eight battles have done to these entirely unofficial (but they definitely should be official) rankings.

1. End Game (2-0) =

The champs go into their third fight looking like the team to beat after two epic KO’s.

2. SawBlaze (2-0) =

They made beating Minotaur and Mad Catter look easy. Challengers for the Nut once more.

3. Hypershock (2-0) =

Things may finally be coming up Milhouse for Will Bales and his neon monstrosity.

4. Uppercut (2-0) =

Delivered knockout punches to Gigabyte and Free Shipping and looks set for another run at the Nut.

5. Whiplash (2-0) =

Their victory over Skorpios this week may not have been totally smooth sailing, but Matt Vasquez demonstrated once again why he’s one of the best drivers around. A dominant opening saw Whiplash keep Skorpios up on the screws before rendering their hammer-saw useless, avoiding much serious damage and claiming a tight judges’ decision. It wasn’t easy, but they got there, and that’s what’s important. Last year’s runners-up look well-placed to go one better this year, but this year is already shaping up to be the most competitive yet.

6. Copperhead (2-0) +11

Coming off a hard-fought victory over Lockjaw, Copperhead seemed to throw off its shackles this week and go hell for leather against Fusion. The team seemed to have a plan, and executed it to perfection. They chipped away at the Whyachi clan’s flaming beast, before landing a couple of monstrous hits (one was so hard they imprinted a bolt from Fusion into their drum!) leaving one of the most powerful spinners competing lying on its back with nowhere to go. A wonderful performance to remind us why they aren’t to be messed with.

7. Tantrum (2-0) -1

I can’t wait for their third fight. Another surprisingly good year for a bot once seen as a laughing stock.

8. Ribbot (2-0) -1

Holds its place in the top ten after the two swiftest KO’s of the year so far.

9. Rotator (2-0) -1

Victor Soto loves destruction, and he’s already given us plenty this year.

10. Jackpot (2-0) =

Did you guys know Jackpot is from Vegas? They don’t mention it enough. Two destructive wins sees it round out the top ten for another week.

11. Blip (2-0) +11

Tantrum’s younger sibling has had a wonderful start to BattleBots life. After besmirching the name of the glorious Rusty in its debut fight, Blip took out its frustrations on the returning veteran Overhaul. Clearly it had a lot to vent, as Overhaul was gloriously chucked about ten feet into the air on about ten different occasions, before finally landing on its side and giving up the ghost. It definitely looks the business, and the only thing keeping it out of the top ten right now is the fact it hasn’t faced a high quality opponent, and could do with a stern test against a spinner to prove its mettle. I love its lil’ face though.

12. Shatter (2-0) -1

Two judges’ decisions see Shatter sitting pretty on 2-0.

13. P1 (2-0) -1

The last, and most unexpected of the 2-0 bots, it looks like the P1 team will be in the bracket at the fourth time of trying.

14. Hydra (1-1) -1

We haven’t seen the best of Hydra yet, but their win over Gruff was a good indicator that big things are coming.

15. Mad Catter (1-1) =

Oh yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

16. Black Dragon (1-1) =

A bit of a patchy start, but they showed great durability in defeat to Rotator and still made short work of Icewave.

17. Skorpios (1-1) -3

They may have lost this week, but the Skorpios team didn’t disgrace themselves at all. It really just came down to superior driving, and even then they still managed to gain control of Whiplash on more than one occasion – if their weapon hadn’t have been damaged, who knows, maybe we’d be seeing them riding high in the top five right now? But that’s a matter of hypotheticals, and what counts in the here and now is that Skorpios still looks assured of a bracket spot, and a bot to watch.

18. Fusion (1-1) -9

As mentioned previously, Fusion was taken for a ride this week by a bloodthirsty Copperhead. Despite everything it did right in its previous battle with Cobalt, Fusion does seem like a bot where if the other bot hits harder, it’s kind of easy to beat. Especially when one of its weapons isn’t functioning. So we’ve now seen its good side and its bad side, so will its ugly side appear next week to solidify a top 32 spot?

19. Cobalt (1-1) +24

Wow. That’s what Cobalt can do. Speaking of inconsistency, Cobalt makes the biggest jump of the week, climbing twenty-four literal places after tearing Ghost Raptor in actual half. It has to be one of the most glorious moments I’ve seen on BattleBots for a while, and although it will probably need to prove itself against more challenging opponents than the outdated Ghost Raptor, that killer blow alone has sent it straight into top 32 contention.

20. Minotaur (1-1) -2

A bit of a ropey start for the legendary bot, but it still looks on course for a top 32 spot.

21. Riptide (1-1) -2

A stunning start against HUGE, but a brutal reality check was given to Riptide courtesy of Defender.

22. Yeti (1-1) -2

A cold hard display of brutality against Pain Train leaves it in a promising place going into its final fight.

23. HUGE (1-1) +23

Now that’s how you do a victory dance. My beloved HUGE had a rough start against Riptide, but reminded everyone this week why it’s such a highly-rated bot. New wheels, new swagger, new use of the upper deck, the only thing it’s come in useful for this season. Oh, and it methodically took apart Retrograde and set it on fire. Suddenly that opening-fight loss seems like it could fade into the distance.

24. Bloodsport (1-1) +15

Another bot bouncing back from a brutal loss in its opening fight, last year’s second seeds hit form this week with a victory over Subzero, which still can’t seem to get itself going. We looked set for an even fight, and even an upset after Bloodsport was sent wobbling through the air, but the red and black fiend sprung back to form by attacking Subzero’s sides and shunting it around the arena, eventually leaving it locked up and unable to go anywhere. Solid stuff going into its final fight.

25. Claw Viper (1-0) -4

It’s a bit odd still having Claw Viper this high up, as it’s still only fought one battle so far. It was a very convincing win, but if we don’t see it again soon, and perform well, it will swiftly slide out of contention.

26. Gigabyte (1-1) -3

Very hard to judge so far, but hopefully a big third fight performance will see it consolidate a top 32 spot.

27. Captain Shrederator (1-1) -3

Again, so hard to judge on current form. Who knows where its’ season is going?

28. Valkyrie (1-1) -3

A brutal loss and a routine victory means we’re yet to see the best of Leanne Cushing’s bot so far.

29. Lucky (1-1) -3

The new driver may finally be bearing fruit after a torrid opening against Tantrum. May.

30. Deep Six (1-1) -3

Impossible to judge, but has looked great when not getting stuck in the killsaws.

31. Tombstone (1-1) -3

The former champ has looked very off-the-pace so far. But surely we’ll see it climb a bit higher into the top 32? Right?

32. Mammoth (1-1) -3

This while 1-1 section is frustratingly hard to judge, but Mammoth claims spot #32 for now, given its dominance over Hijinx and the fact it at least matched Tombstone.

33. Witch Doctor (1-1) -3

The 2019 runners-up are also looking doubtful at the moment. Is this just a fluke, am I being too harsh, or is there a changing of the guard going on?

34. Icewave (1-1) +10

The former Giant Nut faves have given themselves a chance at progression this week, after making light work of Deadlift. After their opening fight I wasn’t sure how well they’d cope against a bot that could easily use their own energy against them, but Icewave proved the doubters wrong, for this week at least. I’m still not entirely convinced, and it will still need a pretty big performance in its third fight, but suddenly the team have a glimmer of hope.

35. Blacksmith (1-1) -4

The flaming hammer-saw has been underwhelming so far, and Al will need to pull out all the stops for a clear path to the top 32.

36. Defender (1-1) -4

A solid victory over Riptide, but I’m still not sure it’s been bracket material.

37. Gruff (1-1) -4

Another jittery season so far for Gruff, leaving its chances of going through in doubt.

38. Hijinx (1-1) -4

It didn’t deserve its victory over Kraken (in my opinion) and I’m not sure it’s good enough for a top 32 slot anyway.

39. Retrograde (1-1) -3

After a routine victory on its debut against Rampage, Retrograde was given a pretty sizeable (literally) upgrade in quality of opponent against HUGE. Sadly, it failed to make the step up itself, seeing its top armour torn away (so much for it being added for protection) before seeing itself catch fire, while HUGE taunted it from the upper deck. Retrograde didn’t put up much of a challenge, and is slowly looking less and less cut out for the bracket.

40. Dragon Slayer (1-1) -5

A good win over DUCK!, but the Minotaur fight was a tough reality check. Not sure if they have it in them to progress.

41. Switchback (1-1) +13

In one of the most uninteresting fights of the season so far (hence why it was confined to the annuls of my YouTube subs page), Switchback managed to get its weapon working properly to score a respectable victory over Slammo!. It only took a couple of semi-decent hits to seal the deal, and it still didn’t look totally reliable even in victory, but at least we know it’s capable of causing damage. It’s top 32 chances still don’t look great, though.

42. SMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (1-0) -5

Benefitted from Deep Six getting wedged in the ether. Still its only fight so far, so we need to see more to judge its credentials properly.

43. Glitch (1-0) -5

The lowest-ranked bot to have won a fight so far, Glitch had a lot of difficulties in beating Ghost Raptor, and will need a more convincing second display before I begin to consider them for the top 32.

44. Kraken (0-2) -4

I can’t believe they’re 0-2. A severe injustice is being done to them.

45. Lockjaw (0-2) -5

Lockjaw hasn’t even performed poorly this season, it’s been given two horrible draws. Maybe a big win over a “lesser” opponent will see Donald Hutson into the bracket once again.

46. Malice (0-2) +2

A disappointing season so far for Malice, who don’t seem to have got going at all.

47. Free Shipping (0-2) +2

Gary Gin always entertains, but Free Shipping’s results often leave a lot to be desired.

48. Subzero (0-2) -1

Things could have been so different for Subzero after this week. If they’d been a fraction more on it with their flipper we could have seen them suddenly sitting at 1-1 after taking out one of the biggest hitters on the show this year. Instead, as is often the case with them, we’re left to ponder what might have been, as barring a decent flip on Bloodsport, they were totally dominated and left the arena in a crumpled mess. A top 32 spot seems a mile away right now, but stranger things have happened than them turning this around.

49. DUCK! (0-2) +1

A disappointing send-off for one of my all-time faves. Hopefully they can bow out with a win in their final battle.

50. Overhaul (0-2) +2

It’s odd bumping Overhaul up two places this week considering they were totally thrashed by Blip, but that may just be more a reflection of the bots to fall below them. Overhaul hasn’t been necessarily terrible on its return to action, but it’s pretty clear it’s fallen pretty far behind the standard needed to compete properly for the Giant Nut since it first appeared way back in 2015. Apart from one or two flips on Blip, it spent half the fight either in the air or on its back, adding to its swift defeat to Ribbot. I can’t see it making it much further, I’m afraid.

51. Ghost Raptor (0-2) -9

Speaking of outdated season one bots, please enjoy this image of former semi-finalist (seriously, how did we allow that to happen) Ghost Raptor lying upside-down, cut in half, on fire. Arguably the moment of the season, but it did little to convince anyone of its top 32 credentials, especially following on from an uneventful showing against Glitch. Might be time to throw in the towel with this design, Chuck.

52. Deadlift (0-2) -7

I had a lot of confidence in Deadlift going into its fight with Icewave. I thought it had shown glimpses of promise against Jackpot despite its defeat, and with the veterans looking shaky after their fight with Black Dragon, Deadlift seemed to be the perfect shape to take it down. Sadly, all my confidence was misplaced as it was beaten without much of a fight, and I think that will send it crashing out of the competition.

53. Jäger (0-1) -2

Still no bombs delivered, just an underwhelming loss.

54. Triple Crown (0-1) -1

The best engineered here, but doesn’t seem right for the ring.

55. Pain Train (0-2) +1

Please screw your top down. Thanks for listening.

56. Blade (0-2) +1

A lot of power to the weapon with very little effect. A disappointing debut campaign.

57. Slammo! (0-2) -2

I don’t know what ‘roids Slammo! got given by the lawnmower company last year, but the magic juices that got them into the top 32 have clearly worn off. Losing to Hypershock is no disgrace, but following it up with a loss to an 0-1 rookie while looking hopelessly out of its depth; well, it didn’t cover itself in glory this week. The YouTube audience saw no suplex action, just Craig Danby’s bot being bopped onto its back and into submission. I think that ends their hopes of progression for this year.

58. Pardon My French (0-1) =

Still just the one sh*tshow for us to go on right now.

59. Rampage (0-1) =

Same with Rampage. In year so competitive it’s a bit of a wonder how they made the cut again.

60. Rusty (0-1) =

Finally, our glorious overlord continues to hold up his minions. All hail Rusty, and go buy its new Hexbug.

And there we have it guys, another week down, more rankings for us to digest. It was a week of literal thrills and spills that have the bracket looking pretty well-poised for some, and with many others doubting what the future holds for them. I guess you’ll have to keep watching the show and reading these lists to find out. It’s the only way.

Thanks all for reading, as per usual, and I’ll see you again after the next episode.

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