Steel Yourself – Countering Klinklang

Hello there UG!

MuramasaBulbapediaHoo boy, Regionals are only a few days away now. Luckily, I think this article is still in time to provide you with quality testing lists and logic.

That said, I couldn’t bring myself to just write yet another article on the Tier 1-2 decks of the format. I think we’ve talked the top tiers to death at this point. So today, my focus is going to be on the up-and coming contender Klinklang, and how to counter it.

I think that States has shown, while not the strongest deck, PlasmaKlang most certainly deserves a spot amongst the Top Tier decks of the format. As such, it is something that I can both see winning a Regionals, and something you need to be prepared for.

Today’s article will be an in-depth review of all the Tier 1 deck’s options for countering Klinklang, both in playstyle, and in techs.

My plan is to review the options available, and then provide 1-2 deck lists incorporating my choice of techs. I figure this’ll be a big one, so let’s just dive right in!

Table of Contents

Beating Klinklang with Darkrai

Darkrai has continued to be the “safe” play in BLW-PLS, where none of its matchups are all too bad, and some are quite positive. Though decks like /Landorus and Landorus/Mewtwo can give it trouble, it can tech its way around the matchup, or just flat-out whack into them and try and trade evenly.

But PlasmaKlang is a different beast entirely. Now that the deck has been refined, and more of the top tier players are playing the deck, you can’t expect to win this highly unfavourable matchup through skill and consistency alone. That could win you a Swiss match, but a best-of-3 in top cut is a completely different story.

I am a big fan of Erik’s list for Hammertime. After all, it’s very similar to a Darkrai list I played for a couple weeks of Cities (deck list #3). This variant definitely can utilize Hammers to beat PlasmaKlang and Big Basics, as the Potions prevent you from falling behind. But I would still want a non-EX attacker. Still, I couldn’t play it in my metagame for fear of RayEels and .

So, outside of major healing, what tools does Darkrai have at its disposal to improve its PlasmaKlang matchup?

Hammers

crushing-hammer-emerging-powers-epo-92pokemon-paradijs.com
Bringin’ down the gavel

In my last article, I mentioned the Hammers vs. Victini decision as a couple ways to counter PlasmaKlang. Today, let’s go in-depth behind my reasoning. This discussion is solely with respect to countering PlasmaKlang. It is not a discussion of which is better to include in your deck, as that is metagame-specific.

Crushing Hammer is most definitely a strong card against any deck without Energy acceleration. Any time you can deny your opponent’s their last turn’s worth of effort is very strong. This is why Max Potion is a strong card, and why Crushing Hammer is as well. PlasmaKlang is also a deck with only around 10 Energies in its list.

Shortcomings

The problems with Crushing Hammer, and the reasons I don’t think it is an effective counter (without Potions), are numerous.

First, the PlasmaKlang player can N your Hammers away, and force you to draw into them again. This can buy the PlasmaKlang player that one or two turns through the course of the game that wins them the matchup.

Second, you don’t take Prizes when you just Hammer away. I have seen many Hammertime games go to time with the Hammers play having taken no Prizes. While you Hammer, Catcher and Laser them, they can continuously Righteous Edge for 30, which stacks up against Sableyes. Over the course of your Hammering, you can expect to lose one or two Sableyes.

Meanwhile, PlasmaKlang runs 3-4 Max Potions, preventing your Laser efforts from coming to fruition. Traditionally, part of dedicating to the Hammer strategy is knowing when to pull out and start an exchange with Darkrai. You can’t do that against PlasmaKlang, since Darkrai doesn’t just “get to attack.” Hammertime works because of this principle. But it doesn’t work near as well against PlasmaKlang.

Third, they’re still flippy. You can do everything right, and 25% of the time it still doesn’t work (assuming two Hammers).

So, given all the other reasons I just gave, about 25% of the time they don’t work, and the 75% of the time they do, the other problems arise. Again, Hammers are good against everything and including them in your deck will improve your PlasmaKlang matchup. But don’t expect to beat PlasmaKlang through Hammers + Catcher/Laser alone.

Victini NVI 15

The most important part of Victini as a tech is, it works. If Victini attacks within the first 3-4 turns, your opponent will not appreciate it. If Victini doesn’t attack within the first 3-4 turns, and your opponent stabilizes, then you can still pop Victini in as a surprise when your opponent finally decides to gather their Energy for a Steel Bullet.

You’re already benching your Sableyes since they allow you to Catcher and Laser, Victini can usually find the time during a game to hit the bench and V-Create with a full bench of support.

In the interest of preparing Darkrai for PlasmaKlang, I would run Super Rod. WIthout Super Rod, I put the matchup at somewhere around 45/55 in favour of PlasmaKlang. With Super Rod, I’d say it’s about 50/50 if not reversed. Access to a second Victini throughout the game really does make a big difference.

My previous arguments are also positives, as Victini doesn’t really take up much room in your deck. It dilutes the Energy lines, yes. But that has never been too big an issue in the past with Darkrai/Fighting. Simply put, Victini is most certainly an effective and worthwhile inclusion in the deck.

Ninetales DRX

The Darkrai/Ninetales shenanigans people have been playing with are not entirely without merit. Ninetales, unlike Victini, is not a dead card in every matchup not named “PlasmaKlang.” Ninetales works like a Roserade in providing the deck a searchable out to a Pokémon Catcher.

Ninetales also offers a non-EX attacker that you can mix into the trade. And with only one Energy as its cost, Ninetales’ Hexed Flame is an answer you can come up with even in dire straits.

The problem with Ninetales is how conditional it is. Ninetales often ruins the “7th Prize” aspect of current competitive play. Ninetales also can’t even guarantee a KO on PlasmaKlang’s main attackers, which situationally might be more pertinent than hitting the Plasma Steel Klinklang sitting on the bench (say they had 2 up, or Shift Gear shenanigans would win them the matchup anyway). Luckily “Bright Look” almost guarantees that you can hit the PlasmaKlang with Ninetales when it matters.

Lastly, unlike Victini, Ninetales is a telegraphed play. You must bench a Vulpix first, and then evolve it. Since the introduction of Pokémon Catcher, evolution plays like this near-require benching two Basics simultaneously to ensure the play can be made the next turn. So even though the logic is sound, in practice it doesn’t always get to work out.

For this reason, I strongly recommend a deck much more focused around Ninetales than a mere 1-1 line. 2-2 is the minimum I’d run to make it worth it, and even then 3-2 or 3-3 would be stronger.

Is it worth all the space? Well… I think the important thing people need to learn is to not underestimate Ninetales. Especially not alongside a Munna. Ninetales can hit very hard, very quickly, while only giving up one Prize.

The unfortunate circumstance with Ninetales is of course the drop in consistency that a pure Darkrai build would otherwise have. So I suppose my recommendation with Ninetales is not to run a Darkrai deck teching Ninetales, but to run a Darkrai deck with heavy support from Ninetales. You need more than just 3 Ultra Ball to guarantee a Ninetales when you want it.

Terrakion NVI

terrakion-noble-victories-nvi-73pokemon-paradijs.com
Boy has this card’s usefulness degraded

Terrakion is an easily charged attacker that can combo with LaserBank to finish off one of their Metal-type attackers. Even if all you take is a Klink, any Prize taken can aid you in potentially stalling to time.

Terrakion is of course still effective in the mirror (which is certainly still out there), and a generally neutrally useful attacker in a wide variety of matchups. Running up to 2 Terrakion alongside up to 4 Fighting Energies can really help Darkrai out with Klinklang.

Terrakion is an attacker PlasmaKlang can’t 1HKO, that also 2HKO’s all of their attackers with an Energy attachment the following turn. Being a non-EX, that exchange is in your favour, and you love to make it. Max Potion and Shift Gear does impair your ability to have this method pan out, but it’s better than nothing.

Tornadus EPO

Not a common name anymore. Tornadus EPO hasn’t had much attention since HS-NXD. Tornadus brings to the deck both a non-EX attacker that can 2HKO anything in PlasmaKlang (with the help of one Hypnotoxic Laser), and a Fighting-resistant, non-EX attacker against Landorus and Bouffalant.

Tornadus can’t be 1HKO’d by anything in PlasmaKlang except a Gear Grind, or tech PlusPower/Hypnotoxic Laser. And Tornadus even conserves your Energy, which means you can play air hockey with two Tornadus EPO by moving the Energy from your Active to your Bench and then just retreating next turn and doing the same thing.

The important part about Tornadus’ revival is the presence of LaserBank. Simply put, Tornadus EPO isn’t as underwhelming anymore, as it still threatens 2HKO’s on anything thanks to LaserBank.

I don’t think I would max out the DCE’s in my deck if I were just running Tornadus, as the primary purpose is to counter PlasmaKlang (Special Energies are a no-go). But I would definitely include a couple DCE’s at least, as they can be searched out by Computer Search, and allow a Tornadus start to threaten a T2 Hurricane (which powers up your benched Darkrai).

Teching Darkrai to Beat Klinklang

Not a simple choice! Darkrai’s techage is very metagame dependant. A good thing to note is that Mewtwo can make a strong play in the deck if you’re including DCE’s anyway. And Landorus can make a great inclusion if you’re teching Terrakions.

If you’re not worried about RayEels or Blastoise, Potions + Hammertime has a solid grasp on the metagame. So for Darkrai, I’ll give 2 deck lists here, which are alternate ways to go about teching the deck. I’d also recommend Erik’s list/style, with added kick.

However you accomplish it, I am very much of the opinion that you need a PlasmaKlang answer.

List 1 – Tech Victini

Pokémon – 9

4 Darknessrai-EX

3 Sableye DEX

1 Victini NVI 15

1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 40

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Bianca

2 Skyla

1 Colress

 

4 Dark Patch

4 Hypnotoxic Laser

4 Pokémon Catcher

3 Energy Switch

3 Ultra Ball

2 Dark Claw

1 Super Rod

1 Max Potion

1 Energy Search

1 Dowsing Machine

 

2 Virbank City Gym

Energy – 11

9 Darkness

2 Fire

Minor adjustment from my last list. I’ve dropped the Switch for the Super Rod, but the Switch could very well make its way back into the deck, or even a Tool Scrapper. So yes, I am satisfied with this list, and would recommend it if you’re going the Victini route.

My essential re-posting from my last article is to emphasize that I do think this is a correct list to take (and also organizing all the lists in one article).

List 2 – Tech Tornadus

Pokémon – 10

3 Darknessrai-EX

2 Mewtwo-EX

2 Tornadus EPO

2 Sableye DEX

1 Keldeo-EX

Trainers – 38

4 Professor Juniper

4 N
3 Skyla

2 Bianca

2 Colress

 

4 Dark Patch

4 Hypnotoxic Laser

4 Pokémon Catcher

3 Ultra Ball

2 Energy Switch

2 Dark Claw

1 Max Potion

1 Scramble Switch

 

2 Virbank City Gym

Energy – 12

8 Darkness

4 Double Colorless

tornadus-emerging-powers-epo-89pokemon-paradijs.com
LaserBank makes things possible

Double Colourless Energies determined this deck’s Trainer lineup. With DCE’s, I wanted Mewtwo. With Mewtwo, I wanted Scramble Switch. With Scramble Switch, I needed another Supporter out. And with my attacking lineup, I’ve had to cut from the Trainer lineup to make the room.

That said, I am pretty pleased with this deck and deck list! Tornadus EPO is a great addition to the deck alongside Hypnotoxic Laser when facing the Landorus/Mewtwo matchup, and the PlasmaKlang matchup.

Tornadus is also very useful as a tool against Garbodor, thanks to its low retreat cost and Energy-conserving attack. Resistance to Fighting is of course appreciated!

If I played Darkrai, I would likely take this list, or a Potion/Hammer/Tornadus EPO list without the Mewtwos. The Victini list is absolutely a more direct and effective PlasmaKlang counter than Tornadus, so it really depends on how important you deem the matchup.

My hope with this Darkrai/Mewtwo/Tornadus list is primarily to go to time and win on Prizes. Not the best strategy, but also not unwinnable.

Beating Klinklang with Blastoise

Blastoise players should be very pleased with how States have gone. Why? The two biggest
decks being played are Darkrai and Big Basics, and Blastoise/Black Kyurem EX could really care less about either of them. Blastoise is a deck that doesn’t like to face RayEels or PlasmaKlang, and needs to tech appropriately to trade evenly with Garbodor.

But RayEels is handled quite nicely by Landorus, Darkrai, and Garbodor. And Garbodor is checked by the presence of Big Basics.

So overall… Blastoise only has to make sure it’s teched for Garbodor and has a good PlasmaKlang counter to cover the metagame!

There is a cost to consistency that comes with techs. Though on paper playing Blastoise seems brilliant, in reality it can be a tad adventurous.

Victini NVI 15

Filling your bench isn’t always easy with this deck. With Victini in the deck, Super Rod is a must to ensure you have enough Basics in the deck, and to recycle Victini of course.

If you’re running Victini alongside Black Kyurem EX, then Cilan makes a new argument for inclusion, as running 2 off-Energy types makes searching for them all the more important. Though Energy Search is perhaps a more useful inclusion if the purpose is to simply grab a Fire for Victini, as Victini only needs one extra Energy to attack. I would feel less bad about teching an Energy Search over one of my Energies, than I would using Cilan.

Man… I really don’t like Cilan. Sorry if you do!

Moltres NXD

moltres-next-destinies-nxd-14pokemon-paradijs.com
Deal with me or lose

This is really the only deck capable of utilizing Moltres effectively. Moltres is appreciated as its attack is unconditional (you don’t need to fill your bench), and holds on to most of its Energy.

Moltres is also not 1HKO’d by Cobalion, so it is a much more effective “Here is my answer, deal with it quick or I win” card. Both decks play Tropical Beach, so they can’t really N you into a dead hand. Again, I would run at least one Super Rod.

Black Kyurem BCR

Lil’ Black Kyurem isn’t a great PlasmaKlang card, but it does have alternate utility. It’s good against RayEels for one thing, and good against the mirror for opposing Black Kyurem EX. Being a non-EX attacker is a nice tool to throw into exchanges. With 2 in the deck, you can trade decently against PlasmaKlang, though you are once again hoping to go to time.

Keldeo BCR 47

Lil’ is still a good non-EX attacker to beat Safeguard Pokémon. The important part here is that lil’ Keldeo has 110 HP. Just outside of Steel Bullet range. The reason that Keldeo BCR 47 is actually better than Black Kyurem BCR, is that Hydro Pump isn’t damage-limited.

It is also more Energy-efficient, requiring only 3 Energy for the 2HKO, rather than a total of 5. Against PlasmaKlang, the most important thing to keep in mind is to be as Energy-efficient as possible, because you need lots of it to attack with Blastoise or your non-EX attackers.

Keldeo can also attack one turn for 90-100 damage, and survive to potentially actually hit that 8 total Energy required to 1HKO a PlasmaKlang. Afterward, you lose 8 total Energy, but at least you keep a Blastoise.

Teching Blastoise to Beat Klinklang

There is no deck I fear more than PlasmaKlang as a Blastoise player. The only thing I can hope for is that they don’t set up. Thus, I either enter a tournament accepting the loss, or I tech a couple non-EX attackers and hope to go to time. A couple lil’ Black Kyurem or Keldeo BCR 47 can make a dent, but you really need a Fire-type counter.

List 1 – Tech Moltres

Pokémon – 12

4 Squirtle BCR

3 Blastoise BCR

2 Keldeo-EX

2 Black Kyurem-EX PLS

1 Moltres NXD

Trainers – 34

4 Professor Juniper

4 Skyla

3 N

2 Colress

1 Cilan

 

4 Energy Retrieval

4 Ultra Ball

4 Rare Candy

3 Pokémon Catcher

1 Tool Scrapper

1 Super Rod

1 Dowsing Machine

 

2 Tropical Beach

Energy – 14

11 Water

2 Lightning

1 Fire

You can see, I’ve decided to use Cilan. I am still really on the fence about this, as I really don’t like Cilan as a card in the deck. But with three Energy types in the deck, I needed search. And though I would probably play Energy Search instead of Cilan when using Victini, with Moltres I choose Cilan. That 4-Energy attack is not easy to charge up.

cilan-next-destinies-nde-86pokemon-paradijs.com
Such a smug mug

Moltres is already a card that you need to time effectively, so waiting for the proper time to Cilan is acceptable. More than anything, I think I like Cilan as a Dowsing Machine target in this deck, rather than a Supporter.

The nice thing about Moltres vs. Victini is that it can be benched without being KO’d immediately. You may get hit in the process, but you can attack pretty easily with it if they’re kind enough to Catcher it into the active slot. Combine Moltres with N when your opponent is down to 2-4 prizes, and you can give yourself a good chance to win the game then and there.

The same deck list can be used with a Victini instead of a Moltres though. As long as you’re comfortable with having to get Victini active on the same turn you bench it (not too hard). Again, I’d consider Energy Search instead of Cilan if I was using Victini. I rather like how Moltres can’t just “die” afterward though.

The Dowsing Machine is there over Computer Search primarily because your deck wants an extra Tool Scrapper in the Garbodor matchup, and an extra Super Rod or Energy Retrieval as it now has less Energy than I’m comfortable running. But running Computer Search is definitely superior for consistency.

List 2 – Tech Keldeo BCR 47/Black Kyurem BCR

Pokémon – 13

4 Squirtle BCR

3 Blastoise BCR

2 Keldeo-EX

2 Black Kyurem-EX PLS

2 Keldeo BCR 47/Black Kyurem BCR

Trainers – 33

4 Professor Juniper

4 Skyla

3 N

2 Colress

 

4 Ultra Ball

4 Energy Retrieval

4 Rare Candy

3 Pokémon Catcher

1 Tool Scrapper

1 Super Rod

1 Computer Search/Dowsing

 

2 Tropical Beach

Energy – 14

11 Water

3 Lightning

This is the soft-counter version of keeping a decent Klinklang matchup. I’d prefer playing Computer Search in this build, as I prefer Computer Search in general. Dowsing is really just how I cheat when I’ve got a tight list. Though this list isn’t how I’d like to be playing Blastoise, I do feel more comfortable playing it than teching Moltres against the field. I also really like keeping 15 Energy in the deck, but 14 with a Super Rod is ok.

The main idea behind this deck list is to just use your non-EX attackers of choice to 2HKO stuff, and hope they whiff a Max Potion for one turn.

With your 2-ish Blastoise that you get up in the game, and 2 non-EX attackers available though, you can force them to Max Potion to the point that they actually run out. If you hang on through that, you can actually try and win the game on time.

When playing the matchup, always remember that an underwhelming turn is possibly better spent using Tropical Beach.

Beating Klinklang with Big Basics

I’ll add one attacker to the list of potential attackers I’ve already discussed. Big Basics doesn’t use much new, nor would it be uncommon for it to run something like Terrakion, Bouffalant, or even Tornadus EPO. However there is one card that Starmetroid and I came up with while flipping through our binders at what might as well have been 3 AM.

Landorus NVI

landorus black & white promos bw43pokemon-paradijs.com
If you include the full art promo, people might not even notice it’s not Landorus-EX

After the binder session, I am a much bigger fan of this card against the PlasmaKlang matchup than I am of Tornadus EPO. Landorus is a card that you can bench, and use to threaten at least a Gaia Hammer the next turn.

Combined with Scramble Switch, Landorus can threaten things like a Land’s Judgement charged over the course of two turns as well (Turn 2 Land’s Judgement, it’s possible). With 110 HP, Landorus is just outside of Steel Bullet range.

Gaia Hammer can also stack 10 damage around the field, which combined with other attacks or Poison damage can stack interesting numbers. Bouffalant combos with Landorus NVI quite well for threatening KO’s on opposing Klinklangs.

Overall, it’s just a pretty effective attacker in the PlasmaKlang matchup, and an interesting card/starter in other matchups.

Aspertia City Gym

One way to improve the matchup is to tech an Aspertia City Gym. Aspertia turns your Bouffalants into 2HKO’s, which can make for an extra turn’s worth of attacking, with the same Energy investment.

The problem is, of course, that the PlasmaKlang player can choose to ignore the Bouffalant and just attack another one, waiting to remove Aspertia and finish off Bouffalant at that point in time. But this forces them to Catcher around your non-EX attackers, rather than just finishing them off. Aspertia forces more resources invested per kill than PlasmaKlang would otherwise have to use.

With testing Aspertia, I don’t think the card is worth inclusion in its own right. It is fun to control when Virbank is in play against other decks, and it’s great to have a 3rd Stadium if your deck is Tornadus EX-focused. But the “whatever else” you’re running is probably doing you a better job of winning games than Aspertia will.

However, if you’re using it against PlasmaKlang, it is certainly capable of helping the matchup, and any help is appreciated.

My Teched List to Battle Klinklang

What I will say is that your best option here is to just bring non-EX attackers. I definitely don’t recommend diluting your Energy line further and trying to cram in a Victini. It’s just not going to work against the field. The hope is that Hammerhead can net you at least one Klink before they set up. Your deck’s Hypnotoxic Lasers are one of the biggest advantages you have over PlasmaKlang, as you can really threaten KO’s with them if they can’t respond.

Either way, in making sure I’m teched for PlasmaKlang, here’s the list I’d be running. The primary strategy, unfortunately, is still to try and win the best of 3 by taking advantage of time.

Pokémon – 10

3 Landorus-EX

2 Mewtwo-EX

2 Tornadus-EX DEX

2 Bouffalant DRX

1 Landorus NVI/Terrakion NVI

Trainers – 38

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

4 Skyla

2 Colress

1 Bianca

 

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Hypnotoxic Laser

3 Switch

3 Ultra Ball

2 Energy Switch

2 Max Potion

1 Energy Search

1 Escape Rope

1 Scramble Switch

 

2 Virbank City Gym

Energy – 12

8 Fighting

4 Double Colorless

With 3 non-EX attackers, the deck can take a chunk out of Klinklang. I do like one Terrakion in the deck, as Terrakion is more Energy-efficient than Landorus NVI or Bouffalant. With only 2 Energies, Terrakion can swing for its full 90, followed by an additional 90 the next turn.

Terrakion is again, a 2HKO for PlasmaKlang’s attackers. The really nice bit is that Righteous Edge can’t mess with Landorus/Terrakion’s ability to follow up its attack like it can with Tornadus EPO. I’m still not sure how I feel about Landorus NVI, but I don’t dislike it.

The primary strategy is to try and tank plenty, and then go to time with a Prize lead.

But this strategy is facilitated greatly by the inclusion of a card like Landorus NVI or Terrakion. I haven’t tested it much yet, but I do like Landorus NVI more as an idea!

Beating Klinklang with RayEels

RayEels already has built-in counters that work quite well to handle PlasmaKlang.

Just don’t get too comfortable. There’s only one or two attackers in your deck that can actually hit PlasmaKlang. One of them is just really good at it. Play smart and manage your Victini appropriately.

Don’t bench it before you’re going to be able to attack, and certainly don’t completely fill your bench without a Victini on it. Registeel-EX will destroy your deck if you make the mistake of completely filling your bench without Victini on it. I don’t think I need to tell you to run 2 Super Rod, since that’s sort of staple.

RayEels of course has to contend with Garbodor as a hard-counter as well. That got me to testing Victini-EX:

Pokémon – 14

4 Tynamo NVI 38

4 Eelektrik NVI

3 Rayquaza-EX DRX

1 Victini-EX

1 Tornadus-EX DEX

1 Victini NVI 15

Trainers – 33

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

3 Colress

3 Bianca

 

4 Level Ball
3 Ultra Ball

3 Switch

3 Pokémon Catcher

2 Super Rod

1 Tool Scrapper

1 Dowsing Machine

 

2 Skyarrow Bridge

Energy – 13

8 Lightning

5 Fire

Card Explanations

Victini-EX

victini ex plasma storm pls 18pokemon-paradijs.com
“Go big or go home” about sums up this card

I’m not sure how satisfied I am with this list, as I’m iffy about 2 vs. 1 Victini-EX. Victory Piece with a heavier line might also be a strong play. I mean… I do like Victini-EX when I get it early as it’s a really strong play to get that T2 Dragon Burst. It’s also much-appreciated acceleration against Garbodor.

But it’s such an easy 2 Prizes that if I don’t get it first turn, I don’t want to play it usually. Victory Piece would make it much stronger, but then I lose out on Computer Search or Dowsing Machine… I’m sticking with 1 for now.

Tornadus EX

The Tornadus EX is also a sort of “anti-Garbodor” tech. Tornadus doesn’t waste the Energy that you painstakingly attached like EX does (yes, there is a flip to discard, but that’s better than just discarding everything).

Outside of that, Tornadus is also just a solid attacker that can let you put Dynamotors elsewhere if you’re in a pinch for Eels. Two Energies will hit for 60, meaning that 2nd Dynamotor can prep a Rayquaza for the next turn, while also setting up whatever you hit to be KO’d by a 2 Energy-discarded Dragon Burst.

Tornadus is also a strong wall against Landorus, as I’ve mentioned it uses less Energy to attack, and sets up future KO’s without the need for as many Dynamotors. And of course it has Resistance to Fighting and can 2HKO everything barring Eviolite in its own right. Yes, I do rather like Tornadus EX in the deck. Strongly recommended.

Beating Klinklang with Garbodor

Again, don’t get complacent. They will tech at least one Tool Scrapper, and one turn of Max Potion’ing can really change the flow of the game. Know where your tools are, run a full set of Rescue Scarf, abuse Hammerhead and Land’s Judgement.

And watch the Stadium war as your deck’s biggest advantage is access to LaserBank, when theirs lacks it. My list has trouble with this, as I only have room for 1 Virbank.

One key thing to take note of against PlasmaKlang is to try and take as much of their Energy as you can if you go for a Land’s Judgement.

They can come back with Scrapper and Shift Gear to their attackers, leaving you without Energy and them with plenty (even if it looked inefficiently dispersed earlier).

Land’s Judgement + LaserBank is also a great way to dodge Exp. Share to make sure they lose all their Energy in play. Be careful with your Hammerhead snipe. It may not be worth adding damage to their potential attackers. Honestly, the best play could potentially be to pass (or Tropical Beach), rather than add 30 + 30 in the mid-game. Watch for your opportunity and don’t slip up.

I absolutely love my Garbodor list. If you play the deck, I hope you will too:

Pokémon – 10

3 Trubbish NVI

2 Garbodor DRX

3 Landorus-EX

2 Mewtwo-EX

Trainers – 39

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

4 Skyla

1 Bianca

1 Colress

 

4 Rescue Scarf

1 Eviolite

 

4 Hypnotoxic Laser

3 Pokémon Catcher

3 Ultra Ball

3 Switch

1 Heavy Ball

1 Level Ball

1 Escape Rope

1 Max Potion

1 Energy Search

1 Dowsing Machine

 

1 Virbank City Gym

Energy – 11

7 Fighting

4 Double Colorless

This list is very much built off of Skyla. Skyla is so strong with so many 1-of’s. Whatever you need, Skyla has your back. 1 Colress is something I’m not so sure of. Traditionally I’ve just run 2 Bianca. For now, I’m going ahead with testing 1 Colress. In the end, it could even become 2!

I do like Bianca as a “combo-completer” Supporter though. This deck has a lot of burnable cards. It can attach excess Tools if need be, and it can burn the Balls. I can usually get Bianca to draw 4 for me, if not more. Especially since Skyla is more important than Bianca, so using a Skyla per turn while holding onto Bianca for a future turn is worthwhile.

I’d add, you don’t usually want to bench Trubbishes against Landorus/Mewtwo, so you don’t aid your own Colress very quickly. I think the two (Bianca and Colress) are pretty equal in the deck to be honest, so I’d chalk up your decision to your personal playstyle. I’m testing the 1 Colress out, but I know I’m fine running 2 Bianca.

Winning the Klinklang Mirror Match

Given PlasmaKlang’s success, it would be wise to prepare for the mirror, even if only mentally. In quad-Sigilyph wars, the player with a tech Meloetta BCR was the obvious winner. Sure, Cobalion-EX ignores Plasma Steel, but there are tricks to make sure you have the edge in the mirror.

cobalion-noble-victories-nvi-84pokemon-paradijs.com
If only the attack was called “Steel Breaker”

The first card I’d run is Cobalion NVI. Iron Breaker is a great way to annoy the mirror. They can’t 1HKO you, while you force them to burn Switches in order to attack back. Both of you can set up Shift Gear and trade 2HKO’s with Cobalion-EX anyway, so a Max Potion every turn would happen regardless. But Iron Breaker is something you can do that they won’t necessarily be able to.

Cobalion NVI is a fine attacker against the majority of decks anyway. It’s also useful to be able to attack with respectable damage for only 2 Energies rather than 3. This can make or break a game against an opposing Victini.

The other way to tech for the mirror is to run a full compliment of Max Potion, and a 2/2 split of Klinklang (which is what I’d do anyway). Free healing wins the mirror. It’s also a fun and reckless idea to YOLO and go for Gear Grind in an attempt to KO opposing Klinklangs.

Klinklang PLS’s Heavy Bullet can also snipe for 20 (on a coin flip), so don’t forget to utilize that at the right time. If Cobalion NVI has been able to Iron Breaker twice, only to have your opponent Switch to “safety” (and remove Iron Breaker’s effect), Heavy Bullet is an important tool to utilize. It combos for 2HKO’s against opposing Klinklang anyway, so you might as well fish for a snipe to put you ahead.

This of course works pre-emptively as well, setting up opposing EX’s for KO’s via 2 Iron Breakers, or a combination of Righteous Edges with Steel Bullet. The point is, keep your wits about you and make sure you utilize every tool at your disposal.

Here’s my PlasmaKlang for Regionals:

Pokémon – 14

4 Klink DEX

1 Klang DEX

2 Klinklang BLW

2 Klinklang PLS

3 Cobalion-EX

1 Cobalion NVI

1 Durant DRX

Trainers – 36

4 Professor Juniper

4 Skyla

3 N

2 Colress

 

4 Rare Candy

4 Heavy Ball

3 Max Potion

3 Switch

3 Pokémon Catcher

1 Tool Scrapper

1 Escape Rope

1 Super Rod

1 Dowsing Machine

 

2 Tropical Beach

Energy – 10

10 Metal

durant-dragons-exalted-drx-83pokemon-paradijs.com
Pulling out those clutch plays

The Durant DRX is something I have seen in action too many times to cut. Man that thing is a game-saver, especially when the game goes to time. Cobalion NVI is included for its power in the mirror, but a 4th Max Potion is equally valid, if not stronger.

The 4 Heavy Ball with no Ultra Ball is another thing I have seen in action too much to deny. This deck doesn’t need to search for Cobalion-EX’s. All the deck wants to do is get Klinklangs out as quickly as possible, and bench its attackers as it runs into them. This works just fine when you’re as immune and tanky as PlasmaKlang is.

Rogue Options for Regionals

The other way to counter PlasmaKlang is to play a deck with a naturally good matchup, not already in Tier 1. Though a deck like “Empire” (Empoleon/Dusknoir) is definitely a good deck, I really don’t like the prospect of playing so many donkable basics in this format. That’s just asking for cheap KO’s to disrupt your setup.

Nah, today I’ll introduce you to my two most competent rogue decks that I would consider running for Regionals.

Hypnofox 2.0

If you played my Hypnofox deck, then you may have known that Darkrai destroyed it. But other than that, Ninetales added a non-EX attacker that was easy to charge up, and added a lot to the Prize exchange. My deck’s focus was more on Tornadus and Mewtwo, with Ninetales as a natural PlasmaKlang out and support attacker.

However, you may have seen Matijs’ deck on The Deck Out, which completely focused on Ninetales rather than use it as a support attacker. I do like the direction he’s taken the deck, but my deck list and approach would still be a bit different. You can read Matijs’ article for all the strategy and card explanations.

Here is my take on the deck:

Pokémon – 15

4 Vulpix DRX

4 Ninetales DRX

3 Landorus-EX

2 Munna BCR

1 Musharna NXD

1 Emolga DRX

Trainers – 35

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

4 Skyla

2 Colress

 

4 Hypnotoxic Laser

4 Switch

3 Level Ball

2 Energy Switch

2 Pokémon Catcher

1 Heavy Ball

1 Ultra Ball

1 Energy Search

1 Dowsing Machine

 

2 Virbank City Gym

Energy – 10

5 Fire

5 Fighting

munna-boundaries-crossed-bcr-68pokemon-paradijs.com
Don’t forget to use me before you evolve/switch!

Comparing this list to Matijs’ list, you can probably see a different emphasis in the deck. I’ve built my list with a Skyla-engine emphasis, and evened out the focus between Ninetales and Fighting attackers. And by Fighting attackers, I mean Landorus.

The Terrakion is nice, but I don’t find it near as effective against Darkrai as it used to be. Landorus-EX + LaserBank is already enough of a thorn in their side.

Though I like having 3 Munna in the deck (as it makes benching 2 quite easy), I’ve reduced the reliance on Ninetales, so I don’t really want to run 3 of my worst starter. I’ve also dropped Victini-EX from Matijs’ list as, though it can be quite powerful, the point of my deck is to focus on the fact that these attackers have only one Energy as their attack cost.

What I will say about this deck is that it doesn’t have that bad of a matchup against the field. It deals handily with anything Tier 1 can throw at it. However, its primary problem is not inherent matchups, but the overall strength of the deck. It’s very fun to play though, and certainly competitive.

I suppose, in summary, my cautionary words are: “Don’t underestimate Ninetales, but don’t overestimate it either. Just be wary of this deck and understand how it works.”

Etherdex + Keldeo

I faced this deck in round 1 of BC Provincials, where it got a T1 Secret Sword for KO on my Landorus-EX. If that doesn’t leave an impression, I don’t know what does. Major props to Ethan for having the chutzpa to run this deck. I couldn’t help thinking about Etherdex Keldeo though. It’s really not that bad a deck concept.

The deck essentially plays like Big Basics, except you can’t Catcher stall it as well because Keldeo can just Rush In and continue the assault.

It has Keldeo for a decisive edge in the Big Basics matchup. Ethan’s had Bouffalant for Blastoise and Darkrai. And then Mewtwo is just generally good.

However, just like Matijs took Ninetales/Mewtwo/Tornadus in a completely different direction from what I planned, I think perhaps the way to improve on this deck concept is to put more focus on the colourless attackers, but improve the hardest matchups through techs. RayEels, Darkrai, and PlasmaKlang are not particularly easy…

Pokémon – 9

2 Keldeo-EX

2 Mewtwo-EX

2 Landorus-EX

1 Bouffalant DRX

1 Victini NVI

1 Lunatone PLS

Trainers – 38

4 Professor Juniper

4 N

4 Skyla

1 Bianca

1 Colress

 

4 Ether

4 Pokémon Catcher

4 Pokédex

3 Ultra Ball

2 Switch

1 Energy Search

1 Energy Switch

1 Max Potion

1 Super Rod

1 Scramble Switch

 

2 Battle City

Energy – 13

7 Water

3 Fighting

2 Double Colorless

1 Fire

ether plasma storm pls 121pokemon-paradijs.com
Spare some hype? Please? Anyone? I miss it so…

It’s important to remember that Keldeo is, in fact, a Colourless attacker. Keldeo doesn’t demand any particular kind of Energy, it just prefers Water. As long as you’ve got 2 Waters on a Keldeo though, the 3rd Energy can be anything and you’ll still swing for 2HKO’s. So here is how I’ve prepped this deck.

I’ve added Landorus and Fighting Energies to aid the RayEels and Darkrai matchups. Granted, 2 Landorus and 3 Fighting doesn’t do a ton for these matchups, but Landorus does combo quite well with Bouffalant and Mewtwo against Darkrai by providing easy-to-access magic numbers. If you can get 2 Fighting on a Landorus (not that uncommon), then Land’s Judgement is a great way to seal the deal.

I’ve added 1 Victini, 1 Fire, and 1 Super Rod as techs to beat PlasmaKlang. Super Rod also functions to add more Energy to the deck before a Premonition/Pokédex + Ether. I’ve ensured I have Lunatone in the deck, as without it, I just think the Etherdex combo is too hand-dependent.

Lunatone isn’t a Pokédex, but it can let you know if it’s worth playing Ether. That’s the important part of Lunatone. Plus, this deck has Keldeo to help with being Catcher-stalled. I’ve still got 3 Switch outs though, this isn’t Blastoise/Keldeo.

The 2 Battle City are in the deck to combo with Pokédex. Even if it’s only a flip, having a stellar play come through 50% of the time is better than nothing. Skyarrow Bridge is also a valid option for the deck though. It would even give Victini NVI free retreat, making it worthwhile in all matchups.

The one thing I’d like to fit more of into this deck is Energy. Only having 11 basic Energies is not ideal for a deck that tries to fish them from the top few cards of your deck. I’m contemplating dropping a Pokédex or Catcher for another Energy, but for now I’ve left it this way.

Bianca is used in tandem with Colress as it is better for that “combo-completer” hand, where you have Ether or Pokédex, but not both. But Colress is better for those times you don’t have either, and just better in general. You could go with 2 of either, or keep my 1-1 split. I’m really undecided on the two as they’re just the add-ons.

Either way, this is my techy version of the simple Etherdex/Keldeo/Mewtwo/Bouff list. The greatest strength of this deck is that the attackers have Colourless costs, so any Energy works. Even if Keldeo only swings for 50 (DCE + Fighting/Fire), you’re still hitting for 100 on Landorus, or prepping EX’s for future KO’s where Hammerhead finishes the job.

Conclusion

klinklang plasma storm pls 90pokemon-paradijs.com
Of the 5 PlasmaKlang’s that made Top 16 in week 3, all 5 made Top 4, and 2 won.

Hopefully this whole “countering Klinklang” discussion has been useful! All of these deck lists are easy to return to their non-teched versions. Whether you should actually tech this hard to beat PlasmaKlang is very metagame-dependant, so I don’t think there is a simple answer to the “Should I or shouldn’t I?” dilemma.

If you have any questions as to how I would build these decks without techs, feel free to post in the forums thread! But I have to say, I’m expecting a decent PlasmaKlang presence at Regionals. Not overwhelming, but definitely ever-present and something I don’t want to face without being prepared.

The only naturally bad matchup Plasmaklang has is RayEels (which is well checked by many of the other decks in the metagame). I don’t think Garbodor is that terrible, but it largely depends on if you run Tool Scrapper. I am pretty comfortable against Garbodor with my 1 Tool Scrapper, Dowsing Machine, and Durant DRX.

So Klinklang itself is quite a strong play for Regionals. It may be my lack of trust in RayEels, but if you can make it through the first 2-3 rounds with Klinklang, I see fairly smooth sailing from there.

As such, as this whole article has emphasized, it is good to be prepared. If you find yourself in top cut across the table from Plasma Steel, you decide whether you’ve got a shot at winning the best of 3.

Cheers
Crawdaunt out

P.S. Don’t forget to read my blog, TCG with Hats!


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