Shifting into Gear: A Top 4 Cities Report with Klinklang

Hey there, SixPrizes! My name is Mike Cheng and I’m a relatively new Masters player from California. I started playing when Next Destinies came out, and the only tournament I’d attended before the past two weekends was last year’s California State Championships with Celebi Prime/Tornadus/Mewtwo EX, where I went 5-4.

I’m a sophomore in college and live with two friends that also play competitive Pokémon. As City Championships came up, there were so many happening near us that it was a given that we would go! This write-up is going to be on my two Cities results at Fountain Valley and Orange (where I placed top 4).

Before I get into the actual reports themselves, I’d like to share a little bit about how I came to using the Klinklang deck.

I’ve always been a big fan of Darkrai EX variants. I’ve used everything from Darkrai/Garbador, to Hammertime, to Darkrai/Terrakion/Potions and everything in between.

However, in a metagame riddled with Big Basics, I didn’t want to be part of the crowd! I wanted to have a competitive Stage 2 Darkrai deck, and the obvious Darkrai/Hydreigon came to mind.

But after testing it out a bit I felt that I just didn’t click with the deck; whether it was improperly building the deck, or having the wrong attackers, in the end I didn’t have fun playing the deck, and that’s no good.

Then I discovered Klinklang. Oh, what a beacon of hope it was! It ran Darkrai EX and had a myriad of attackers at its disposal. It was love at first Shift Gear.

I started playtesting the Klinklang deck three weeks before my first City Championships at Fountain Valley. After testing out many Pokémon such as Registeel-EX and Kyogre EX, I went with a build concentrated on 1HKOing what I thought were going to be the most popular Pokémon in the format.

For Fountain Valley, I used the following decklist:

Pokémon – 16

4 Klink DEX

1 Klang DEX

2 Klinklang BLW

1 Klinklang EPO

2 Darkrai-EX DEX

2 Keldeo-EX
1 Mewtwo-EX NXD

1 Terrakion-EX
1 Black Kyurem EX
1 Sigilyph DRX

Trainers – 34

4 Skyla

4 N

3 Cheren

2 Professor Juniper


4 Max Potion

3 Pokémon Catcher

3 Ultra Ball

3 Heavy Ball

3 Rare Candy

2 Tool Scrapper

1 Giant Cape

1 Computer Search


1 Tropical Beach

Energy – 10

4 Prism

4 Blend WLFM

2 M – Basic

Fountain Valley City Championships, 12/8/2012

Fountain Valley City Championships took place in a small, cramped, and unventilated room where there were 70+ players. I didn’t get much sleep the night before, didn’t have a good breakfast, and things felt horrible in general. Regardless, I was determined to do my best.

There were 54 Masters, for a total of 6 Swiss rounds and a Top 8 Cut.

Round 1 – Jared Wilson with Rayquaza/Eeletrik

I start out with only Black Kyurem EX while my opponent starts with a Rayquaza DRV and a couple of Tynamos on the bench. I go second and I know from the get-go that this game is going to go downhill extremely fast. Not only do I have the most trouble against RayEels, I start out with Black Kyurem EX, which I meant to have as a surprise tech!

I missed a turn of attaching Energy, and set up my Klinklang by T3 while Black Kyurem got Dragon Pulsed to death. I tried to stall by Catchering out a Eeletrik and putting out an active Darkrai with a Giant Cape on, hoping that he wouldn’t get the things he needed to 1HKO my Darkrai.

However, he had the means to pull it off, as the Switch was played, Energies were Dynamotored, and all of a sudden there was a Rayquaza EX with 4 Lightning and a R Energy.

After my Darkrai EX fell, it was only a matter of letting him Knock Out the rest of my Pokémon. I never did like scooping that much!

Prize Count: 5-0
Record: 0-1

Round 2 – Ivan Pavlovic with Tornadus EX/Landorus-EX/ Sigilyph

I went first this game and Skyla’d for Tropical Beach on T1, set up Klinklang T2, and started attacking T3.

I Catchered out his Landorus and Knocked it Out with Keldeo-EX’s Secret Sword, and after a couple more Night Spears and one Freeze Shock from Black Kyurem EX for 150, the game came to a quick victory for me.

Prize Count: 0-5
Record: 1-1

Round 3 – Keith Horita with Landorus-EX/Mewtwo EX/Tornadus EX/Aerodactyl

pokemon-paradijs.comI started with a lone Klink and he started with Mewtwo EX. I went first but could do nothing except attach a Blend and pass. Right after I attached the Blend I slapped myself in my head:

“Now he has the chance to 1HKO my Klink with two PlusPowers or three Energy!”

Indeed, he attaches a DCE to Mewtwo, uses PlusPower, and goes for an Aerodactyl from Old Amber Aerodactyl. Fortunately, I let out a sigh of relief as he looks at his bottom seven cards unhappily. X Ball does 50 damage and I live to fight another turn.

I set up my Klinklang on T2 and started attacking on T3, and he ended up never taking a Prize, as I continuously Skyla’d for Max Potions and kept attacking.

Prize Count: 0-6
Record: 2-1

Round 4 – Bradley Kagle with Blastoise and Keldeo-EX/Mewtwo EX

I start out with two Keldeo-EXs and a Klink while he starts with a Keldeo-EX and a Squirtle. I’ve had mixed results in testing against Keldeo/Blastoise and know it’s a matter of whether I can set up fast enough to disrupt his Blastoise.

Unfortunately he goes first and gets a T2 Blastoise and uses Secret Sword for 110 onto my Keldeo-EX. Even though I set up my Klinklang on T2 as well, I whiffed on Max Potions and could only watch as both my Keldeo-EXs were eventually Knocked Out.

I manage to take out one of his Keldeo-EXs with Darkrai EX, but he Super Scoop Ups his benched Mewtwo EX with 4 Energy and places it all onto his Active Keldeo-EX, massing up enough W Energy for a whopping 210 damage Secret Sword.

Prize Count: 4-0
Record: 2-2

Round 5 – Isaiah Martinez with Darkrai EX/Hydreigon

pokemon-paradijs.comI have a splendid setup as I T1 Tropical Beach, T2 Klinklang, and T3 Terrakion-EX Pump Up Smash. I take out his Darkrai EX and a couple of Deinos, but then make a series of horrible misplays that ended up costing me the game.

First, when I had 2 Prizes left, I took out his active Sableye instead of waiting a turn to use my Skyla for a Pokémon Catcher to kill his Darkrai EX. This left me at 1 Prize to his six. He puts down Shaymin EX with a Blend and then N’s me down to one.

With 5 Prizes taken, Shaymin EX did 180 damage, which 1HKOs all of my Pokémon (Giant Cape was on Klinklang.)

This is where the second mistake happens: I completely forget about Tropical Beach. I have a useless card in my hand, look at the field, and start sending up Pokémon as sacrifice while I keep the ones I might need on the Bench, and utter “Pass.”

This happens for two turns as I watch in desperation while his Shaymin EX cleans house against my 180 HP EXs, and I go from a 1-6 lead to a 0-1 loss. I felt horrible about such a lousy misplay and vowed never to say “Pass” when playing Pokémon ever again, without looking at every single aspect of the game.

Prize Count: 1-0
Record: 2-3

Round 6 – Alberto Carmona with Rayquaza/Eeletrik

pokemon-paradijs.comI thought to myself, “As if this day couldn’t get any worse!” I finish the day off with another RayEels matchup, and it played out very similarly to the first game, where I’m simply not fast enough to stop him from setting up Eeletriks and powering up Rayquaza EX for 180 damage.

Prize Count: 5-0
Record: 2-4

And that was that, six rounds gone by with a horrible 2-4 record. I go to a nice little gathering with some friends afterward and that boosted my spirits immensely. There’s always next time!


  • I gained valuable experience against various decks and got a general idea about popular decks in the area.
  • I learned from my misplays, such as not using Tropical Beach and Knocking Out the wrong Pokémon.


  • Venue was very stuffy and crowded, made me (and I’m sure many others) uncomfortable.
  • I went 2-4.

I made two changes to my list after Fountain Valley. I took out Black Kyurem EX for Shaymin EX, on the basis that it can help deal with Keldeo/Blastoise. I also took out an N for a Pokémon Catcher, as I found myself hurting for them when I needed them.

The list is extremely tight and I doubted taking out the N at first, but it ended up being a change that paid off.

Orange City Championships, 12/15/2012

Orange City Championships took place in the local Best Western/Meridian Inn. I had some yogurt for breakfast and had a decent night of sleep, and coming to the venue I felt much more confident than I was the week before.

The room was spacious and it was easy to breathe, so playing conditions were much better as well. Master’s division had a Top 8 cut with 6 Swiss rounds, just like the week before.

Round 1 – Isaiaz Tapia with Darkrai EX/Bouffalant

pokemon-paradijs.comMy opponent didn’t seem to be as experienced in the competitive scene, as his deck seemed clunky and his choice of Pokémon odd.

I set up my Terrakion-EX to Pump-up Smash his Bouffalant on T3 and Darkrai EX on T4. He had no more Pokémon left after that.

Prize Count: 3-6 Donk
Score: 1-0

Round 2 – Byron Lai with Hydreigon/Darkrai EX/Keldeo-EX/Giratina EX/Sableye

He goes first and plays down Tropical Beach, which saves me the trouble of using Skyla to search for my own. Both of us set up our Stage 2s, but he didn’t seem to be running Tool Scrapper so he couldn’t 1HKO my Giant Cape’d Klinklang with his Hydregion.

After many Max Potions between both sides, I came out on top because Terrakion-EX could 1-shot Darkrai EX. He scoops after I take 4 Prizes and have a considerable board lead, and we both wish each other luck on our future matches.

Although he didn’t play down Keldeo-EX this match, I would later face him again in Top 8 where he did use it.

Prize Count: 2-5 Scoop
Score: 2-0

Round 3 – Valerie O’Donnell with Hydreigon/Darkrai EX

pokemon-paradijs.comThe first couple of turns were all about us setting up our respective boards. She couldn’t get off her Hydreigon until T4 or T5, while I had T3 Klinklang and Terrakion-EX, Keldeo-EX, and Darkrai EX on the board. However, I whiffed the crucial Energy attachment for Pump-up Smash and could not take out her Darkrai EX like I had planned.

She starts Night Spearing on T4 and manages to take out my Terrakion-EX in two shots (with the help of a Catcher), while I whiff on an Energy for three turns in a row. Since my trump card for the matchup was Knocked Out, the game came down to both sides using Night Spear and Max Potion.

Eventually it got to a point where I’m up 2 Prizes to her 3. I Knocked Out one of her Darkrai EXs, a Sableye, and a Hydreigon, and she has a Darkrai with 90 damage that she cannot send out to attack. She puts down a Shaymin EX, hits my active Darkrai EX for 150, and next turn I Rush In with Keldeo-EX and use Secret Sword 110 for the win.

The saving grace this game was that my opponent didn’t play Tool Scrapper, so my Giant Cape’d Klinklang was unable to be 1HKO’d. As a result, I was able to consistently Max Potion and attack with Night Spear over and over again. She ran out of her own Max Potions and couldn’t manage to use Sableye’s Junk Hunt for them.

Valerie eventually goes on to make Top Cut as well, squeaking in at 8th place with 4-2, but falls during the Top 8.

Prize Count: 0-3
Score: 3-0

Round 4 – Ruben Cisca with Sigilyph/Mewtwo EX/Hammers

pokemon-paradijs.comThis was a matchup I had completely no experience with. I managed to get out both Charge Beam Klinklang and Shift Gear Klinklang , and kept using Charge Beam to get back the energies I lost by his hammers.

The game was extremely long and tedious: my Klinklangs are resistant to Psychic, and with the help of Max Potion and careful math none of them died. For my opponent, it was a matter of using Potions, Gold Potions, and switching between Sigilyph attackers.

When time was called, both of us were at 5-5 Prizes. I had less than 5 cards in my deck at that point while he had plenty so there was no way I was going to deck him out. I ran out of resources, including Max Potions, and he ends up taking down one of my Klinklangs. I go for the last ditch Gear Grind on Gear Shift Klinklang but flip two tails, and that’s game.

The biggest mistake I made this game was not putting down Darkrai EX and Keldeo-EX when I had the chance.

I had the mentality that because I’m facing off against an army of Sigilyphs, there would be no reason to put them down. I had forgotten that the Klinklang deck relies heavily on both of these Pokémon, Keldeo-EX for Rush In and Darkrai EX for the free Retreat Cost.

When I needed to get Charge Beam Klinklang out of the Active Spot, I couldn’t, and when I wanted to switch between Klinklang attackers, I couldn’t. I had forgotten the very basics of my own deck, but thankfully it was a good learning experience.

Ruben would go on to on be undefeated in Swiss.

Prize Count: 5-4 Time
Score: 3-1

Round 5 – David Castillo with Hydreigon/Darkrai EX

pokemon-paradijs.comThis game was nothing spectacular. As with all the other Hydreigon/Darkrai EX decks I faced, this one didn’t seem to run Tool Scrapper either. My Klinklang was safe with its Giant Cape and my Terrakion-EX Pump-up Smashed his Darkrai EXs, and my own Night Spears finished the game.

My opponent’s Hydreigion variant did have Eviolite which he attached onto his Darkrai EXs, but I just Tool Scrapper’d them away.

Prize Count: 0-3
Score: 4-1

Round 6 – Sammy Sosa with Darkrai EX/Landorus-EX/Sableye/Hammers

I have a spectacular start where I T2 Rare Candy into Charge Beam Klinklang and T3 Rare Candy into Gear Grind Klinklang. I kept on Charge Beaming my Energy back and eventually I squeaked in one turn where I could do 90 with Keldeo-EX’s Secret Sword, so I Catchered up his Landorus-EX and Knocked it Out before it had the chance to Land’s Judgment my Klinklang.

I pick up Terrakion-EX from my Prizes and put it down next turn to Knock Out a Darkrai EX, and after one more turn, he scoops.

Prize Count: 1-6 Scoop
Score: 5-1

I’m glad I managed to avoid the 5-6 RayEels that were swarming in the tournament because I would’ve had an extremely hard time had I faced any of them. As luck would have it, I faced off against numerous Darkrai EX decks and I have a pretty good matchup against all variants of it.

I placed third in the Top 8 cut, where the top two were both Sigilyph/Mewtwo EX/Hammers. At that point, the judges asked for our decks and proceeded to do deck checks. As I waited, excitement boiled inside me: “I did it! I made my first Top Cut!”

My Top 8 match is against Byran Lai, who made 6th place with a record of 4-2.

Top 8 – Byron Lai with Hydreigon/Darkrai EX/Keldeo-EX/Giratina EX/Sableye

Game 1

pokemon-paradijs.comI start the first match extremely confident because I know he doesn’t run either Shaymin EX nor Eviolite. He starts off with a Darkrai EX and a Deino, while I start with my own Darkrai EX and a Klink. I go first and use Skyla for a Tropical Beach, and both of us proceed to use Beach to set up our fields.

Fortunately, as I went first, I set up my Klinklang and got the three Energy attachments needed to use Terrakion’s Pump-up Smash.

I Heavy Ball for it, use Keldeo-EX and Darkrai EX’s Rush In/Dark Cloak Combo, and send up Terrakion-EX to Knock Out his Darkrai EX. It all went downhill for him from there, as he is too afraid to bench another Darkrai.

After attacking with Girantina EX a couple of times, he runs out of Max Potions and it dies, and it’s a matter of time before I Knock Out the rest of his Pokémon.

Prize Count: 0-4
Score: 1-0

Game 2

pokemon-paradijs.comThis came was very similar to the first game, as we both set up and I put down Terrakion-EX to Knock Out his benched Darkrai EX.

The game actually draws on for a long while, as I had expended too many resources early game to set up (including a Juniper on a hand with 4 Energy, a Catcher, and a Max Potion,) so I ran out of Catchers to Knock Out his Benched Pokémon.

He kept on using Max Potion and attacked with both Keldeo-EX and Giratina EX, but in the end he ran out of Max Potions, and with all his Pokémon damaged, he had no choice but to attack with something that had damage counters on it already. I used Keldeo-EX to finish the game.

Prize Count: 0-4
Score: 2-0

After the Top 8 finished, we went to a nearby Carl’s Junior to finish up our matches (it was 6 PM at the time and the judges didn’t want to go over the time limit for the room.) It was relatively quiet there so I could fully concentrate regardless, so that was no problem.

I found out that the Top 4 consisted of a Landorus-EX/Terrakion-EX variant deck, two Sigilyph/Mewtwo EX/Hammers decks, and my Klinklang deck. I knew it was inevitable that I would face Sigilyph again.

Top 4 – Gilbert Reveles with Sigilyph/Mewtwo EX/Hammers

Thankfully I gained lots of valuable information on Sigilyph/Mewtwo EX from my Swiss match, and I had a better idea of how to play against it coming into Game 1.

Game 1

pokemon-paradijs.comI go second and start with two Klinks, while he starts with two Sigilyphs. He attaches a Psychic and passes. I attach a Blend on my Benched Klink and use Tropical Beach to fill my hand. He then Catchers out my benched Klink with Energy, plays two PlusPowers, and uses Juniper.

If he gets a DCE, then he Knocks Out my Klink with Psychic for 60. Fortunately, he whiffs and uses Enhanced Hammer to take out the Blend, attaches another Psychic, puts down Skyarrow Bridge, and passes.

The next turn, I Rare Candy into my Charge Beam Klinklang T2, attach a Blend on it, and use Charge Beam for 30 and get back the Blend in the discard. He starts attacking T3 with Psychic, and I Rare Candy into Gear Grind Klinklang and put down Keldeo-EX and Darkrai EX.

It then became a match of him destroying my Energies with Hammers, me using Max Potion and Charge Beam to get Energies back, and using a combination of Charge Beam and Zap Cannon to take out his Sigilyphs.

Eventually, he sends out a Sigilyph with Eviolite, and I didn’t have access to a Tool Scrapper so Charge Beam into Zap Cannon was out of the question. I was running thin on cards anyway and I knew I need to kill Sigilyphs in one turn if I had a chance of taking all my prizes for the win.

I had managed to get four Energies on my field by that time: a Prism on my Keldeo-EX and two Blends and a Metal on my Klinklang.

I use Rush In with Keldeo-EX, retreat into Shift Gear Klinklang, and go for Gear Grind. I flipped two heads to kill the Eviolited Sigilyph as I can’t believe my luck and my opponent looks in disbelief.

After that, I flipped 1 heads, 1 tails for 80 onto another Sigilyph, retreated into Charge Beam Klinklang to kill that one, and then back into Gear Grind Klinklang, where I flipped another two heads(!) to take out a fifth Sigilyph (he used Super Rod).

At this point he is forced to bench a Mewtwo EX and send it out to prevent his last Sigilyph from getting Knocked Out. I bench my own Mewtwo EX, move five Energy onto it, and kill his Mewtwo EX for game.

Prize Count: 0-3
Score: 1-0

Game 2

It’s clear that he learned a lot about the matchup from the first game, as his strategy completely changed. He goes first and attaches a DCE onto Mewtwo EX to X Ball my Klink for 20. I bench another Klink besides my active one, bench Keldeo-EX, use Rush In, and use Tropical Beach to refill my hand.

He then puts down another DCE onto his Mewtwo EX, Catchers up one of my Klinks and Knocks it Out. I start to worry, and for good reason.

I manage to get my Charge Beam Klinklang out next turn, but without Shift Gear Klinklang, I cannot Max Potion my Pokémon without losing all of my Energy. As I put out my Klinks, he Skyla’s for Catchers and kills each and every single one of them.

As my Klinks died my only hope was my own Mewtwo EX, but I realized that it was Prized. I end up scooping regardless because I knew that even if I did have access to Mewtwo EX, I had no Energy Acceleration to power it up in one turn, and he was slowly powering up multiple Sigilyphs on his bench and had another Mewtwo EX waiting as well.

Prize Count: 6-2 Scoop
Score: 1-1

Game 3

Unfortunately, this game went along the same lines as the last one. I knew I needed to get multiple Klinks out on the same turn to avoid them all dying one by one, but I could never manage to do it.

I drew dead for at least 6 turns as he countered my Tropical Beach with a Skyarrow Bridge on his T1 and slowly X Ball’d my Charge Beam Klinklang to death.

I managed to get up Shift Gear Klinklang after my Charge Beam Klinklang died, but I never surpassed having two Energies because of his Enhanced and Crushing Hammers.

Eventually time was called, and the Prize count was at my 6 to his 2. I needed to take 4 Prizes in two turns and I knew the only hope I had was with Shaymin EX, since my Mewtwo EX would die for sure if I used it.

I use Ultra Ball for the Shaymin EX, send it up and use Revenge Blast to Knock Out his active Mewtwo EX, in hopes that he didn’t have the energy to use Psydrive with his benched Mewtwo EX next turn. Unfortunately he did, and that was the end of my Orange City Championships tournament run.

Prize Count: 4-0
Score: 1-2

Overall a very fun tournament. I got to get some fries and a drink afterward and watched the Finals match between Gilbert Reveles (who I lost to in Top 4) and Ruben Cisca (who I lost to in Swiss and went undefeated). The Sigilyph/Mewtwo EX mirror match was extremely fun to watch.

Game 1, Gilbert set up his Sigilyph and started Knocking Out anything and everything that ever had Energy attached to it on Ruben’s board. Ruben could never get an attack off and scoops.

Game 2 was much more intense. At first it was very crazy, with both sides trading Sigilyphs. All of a sudden, the game transitioned into both players drawing dead and flipping for Hammers when they drew them.

The deciding factor went to Gilbert as he ran a Meloetta BCR tech in his deck and Ruben didn’t. Meloetta only needs one Energy to attack, and if a Sigilyph has two Energy it dies in one hit. After Gilbert’s Meloetta gets Knocked Out from an opposing Psychic, he uses Super Rod to get it back and eventually wins the game.

Congratulations on both of them for making the Finals, and huge props to Gilbert who recognized the Sigilyph mirror matchup and in response teched in a Meloetta which won him Game 2.


  • Spacious venue, comfortable playing conditions.
  • Didn’t face any RayEels, which I feel is my worst matchup by far.
  • Made Top Cut for the first time, and fought hard in the Top 4 against a matchup I had to learn on the spot.
  • Had tons of fun, met lots of people. Many were interested by the Klinklang vs. Sigilyph matchup, even the judges, and it’s nice knowing that you are playing an extraordinary matchup.
  • 5-1 Swiss for third place, 2-0 Top 8 and 1-2 Top 4, for a 8-3 record overall.
  • Pulled a Keldeo-EX FA from four packs for my 3rd/4th place finish!


  • All of my losses were to Sigilyph.dec.
  • I was mentally drained after the tournament, but that’s to be expected!


Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and have fun with my list if you decide to use it! There are many attackers you can use for Klinklang, and the ones I used might not necessarily the best ones for your metagame.

Reader Interactions

6 replies

  1. treavor

    i like this report i have been wanting to play klinkklang cuse i watched the world reports and it looked really good but maybe alittle slow and rayeels gives it a hard time but good job keep it up

  2. Adam Capriola

    I think it’s neat that you played against Sammy Sosa. Did you get his autograph??

  3. Twan van Vugt

    This is why i always play 1 tool scrapper in darkrai/hydreigon ;)

  4. Byron Lai

    My deck was totally not teched to fight Kling-Klang and I payed dearly for it! I was praying for any of the other decks in top-cut! Lol, it’s a shame two friends had to go against each other so soon. But great job in the tourney, you played extremely well!

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in.