Featured Decks: Team Plasma’s Klinklang

by Colin on February 4, 2013

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With a new set comes new opportunities for creativity and innovation in the Pokemon Trading Card Game (and I suppose in any card game for that matter). Of course new sets bring us new cards to make new decks with, but they can also breathe life into older cards that may have been unplayable prior to the release of the new set.

Klinklang is one of these cards. His release will create a new type of deck and breathe some life into older cards. Of course the reason people are interested in Klinklang is because his Ability Plasma Steel prevents all EX Pokemon from attacking all of your Metal Pokemon (including Klinklang). Since the major attacker of every major deck right now is an EX, this will be a very valuable Ability.

(If you haven’t already, you should check out my ranking of the Plasma Storm Pokemon (including Klinklang) here and my discussion on the Trainers of Plasma Storm here. Reading these two articles will surely improve your experience with this bit of content.)

Unfortunately, Klinklang’s attack is not that great. For three Energy Heavy Bullet deals 70 damage to the active Pokemon and perhaps 20 to a benched Pokemon. Very underwhelming. So it behooves us to pair Klinklang with Metal Pokemon that have useful attacks. So, what Metal Pokemon do we have at our disposal? Here’s a list of the potential, metallic partners for Klinklang!

Cobalion EX- Like Keldeo EX was meant for Blastoise, Cobalion EX is probably meant for Plasma Klinklang. Righteous Edge is a nice first turn option and can destroy decks that rely heavily upon Special Energy. Steel Bullet will always do 100 damage, regardless of what Pokemon Cobablion EX is attacking (Eviolite and Sigilyph have nothing on Steel Bullet). Cobalion EX also has quite a bit of HP. This is particularly important as the opponent will be attacking with non EX attackers. As a result, the 180 HP will be miles ahead of the opposing Pokemon’s health (unless you’re facing Wailord, of course).

The only thing I do not like about Cobalion EX is that he does not have a three retreat cost, which means he is unsearchable via Heavy Ball. Since Klink, Klang and Klinklang are all searchable with Heavy Ball…this adds a bit of an awkwardness to the deck in regards to what Pokemon Search to include.

Cobalion NVI- Cobalion was relatively popular upon release of Noble Victories. Once EX’s were printed, he was thrown into the binders to await his second coming. He was occasionally used in Klinklang BW lists, but his inclusion was definitely not universal. Now that we have Plasma’s Klinklang, Cobalion is beginning to crawl out of our binders.

Should this binder exiting be happening? Is Cobalion a good companion for Plasma Klinklang? I’m not so sure. If Cobalion EX was unable to swing into Sigilyph (and other Plasma Steel protected Pokemon), I think there would be a much stronger argument for this guy. Although there are probably some useful opportunities for Iron Breaker, a lot of people will be adding Keldeo EX/Switch/Escape Rope to their lists in this new format to help against Hypnotoxic Laser. Thus, Iron Breaker will just be doing 80 damage a lot of the time. Putting three Energy on a non EX is a risky endeavor as they tend to be a lot easier to knock out (even when EX’s cannot attack).

I could be wrong about Cobalion NVI, he just doesn’t seem that strong to me right now. Why would you want to attack with a non EX when your opponents’ EX’s are unable to attack your Pokemon? You have the distinct advantage of being able to use EX’s when your opponent will be forced to use non EX’s. Why wouldn’t you want to exploit that advantage and use EX’s?

Registeel EX- Ah yes, the other Metal EX in the format. Registeel EX received a lot of hype upon release of Dragons Exalted but never really found a home. Some people tried putting him with Eelektrik, others tried teching him in Hydreigon/Klinklang BW variants, and I used him with Garbodor. Unfortunately, he was just a bit underwhelming in all cases.

Now that he can be made impervious to EX’s, will Registeel EX see play? I think so! One of the original problems with Registeel EX is that he had a hard time trading with EX’s. Now he doesn’t have to enter those kinds of trades, he will only be trading with non EX’s. In this, Registeel EX shines as Protect Charge two shot’s every non EX out there (okay, not Wailord) while reducing incoming damage. Of course Triple Laser is also a very useful attack (except against those damned Squirtles).

Registeel EX, like the Klinklang line, can also be searched for with Heavy Ball. A very nice bonus! I definitely think Registeel EX has a place in Plasma Klinklang variants.

Would Plasma Steel make the Iron Throne impervious to EX’s?!

Durant NVI- Perhaps the most loathed card ever created, Durant NVI may find himself entering a new level of Hell if he becomes playable once again. While he was quite a force last year around this time, Durant quickly fell off the map when Darkrai EX was released. Now that Durant can be made impervious to Darkrai EX, will he become playable again?

I doubt the milling monster will have much of a presence in the future. Most players will probably continue to play a few non EX attackers. These attackers should be able to go through multiple Durant quite easily. In order to play Klinklang, Durant players will have to sacrifice a lot of the disruptive cards that made the deck shine back in the day (mainly Hammers and perhaps a Catcher). Without these cards, Durant will have issues dealing with any non EX attacker the opponent comes up with.

I could perhaps see a few Durant teched in as a means to give an alternative win condition. For instance, if your other Metal attackers are able to dispatch with the opponent’s non EX attackers, Durant could easily deck out the opponent. However, if your opponent has only EX’s left, why wouldn’t you just keep attacking with your other Metal attackers (since they can’t be attacked in return)?

Durant DEX- I like this Durant quite a bit. For a single Colorless Energy, Durant can put any one card from the discard pile onto the top of your deck. It’s great for getting yourself out of a Supporter drought, reusing Pokemon Catcher when your opponent is out of Switch/Escape Rope, reusing your ACE SPEC, etc. So many uses!

Of course, a mid game Pull Out would normally be a not-so-good idea, but when Durant is impervious to EX’s…it isn’t so bad. If you do decide to include the Noble Victories version of Durant, then you should most definitely include at least one copy of this guy! If you’re going to include this guy anyway, throwing in one or two of the Durant might not be such a bad idea either.

Lucario- The only other Pokemon (aside from Cobalion EX) released in Plasma Storm that might pair well with Plasma Klinklang. When Lucario has a Metal Energy attached, he becomes a Metal/Fighting Pokemon. Therefore he will become protected by Plasma Steel.

Lucario has a situational attack that becomes much better as the game progresses (just like Shaymin EX). Unfortunately, you must have a Fighting Energy attached to Lucario in order to use Hurricane Kick. You could use Blend Energy WLFM to fulfill both this Energy requirement and the requirement for Lucario’s Ability to activate.

The problem with Lucario is that his preevolution, Riolu, can never be protected from EX’s (he can never be made into a Metal Pokemon). You opponent will be saving all their Pokemon Catcher for those benched Riolu. Furthermore, Riolu can easily be donked by Mewtwo EX. These are all major problems associated with Lucario and I don’t think he will have much popularity with Klinklang as a result of these issues. Also, 100 HP is rather low.

Other Klinklangs- As of now, there are four legal Klinklang. Four!! Why all this love for the gear Pokemon? I have no idea. The only one that might pair well with the new Plasma rendition is the Black and White version (a.k.a. the one that can move Energy).

There seems to be some disagreement in the community about whether these Klinklangs complement one another or not. I think they are complements. The issue with the Plasma Klinklang is that he lacks the Ability to keep Energy in play. Klinklang BW can help significantly here. Although I would not try to combine the Max Potion strategy with the Plasma Klinklang, a tech Max Potion or two might be a welcome addition.

So there we have it, all the Metal Pokemon. So what will a Plasma Klinklang list look like? I think there will be many renditions of the deck because I think there will be many players who disagree with my assessment of Metal Pokemon. Here is what I plan on starting my Plasma testing with!

4x Klink DRX
1x Klang DRX
3x Klinklang PLS
1x Klinklang BW
2x Cobalion EX
1x Registeel EX
1x Durant DEX
1x Audino DEX

Trainers: 32
4x N
4x Skyla
2x Colress
3x Professor Juniper
4x Rare Candy
2x Heavy Ball
2x Ultra Ball
1x Computer Search
2x Tropical Beach
3x Pokemon Catcher
1x Super Rod
2x Switch
1x Escape Rope
1x Energy Search

Energy: 12
12x Metal Energy

And before I leave, some notes on the list..

  • I have not started my Plasma Storm testing yet. I should be starting the testing this week after I get my case of Plasma Storm. So I am still unsure of things like how many Colress, how many Escape Rope, etc. These numbers may be off.
  • As you can see, I decided to include Cobalion EX, Registeel EX and Durant as my Metal attackers. Cobalion NVI just doesn’t seem good enough, but I could be wrong about him. I would kind of like another Registeel EX, but one may be sufficient.

  • In addition to keeping Energy in play, I think this deck may struggle with all the incoming Status Conditions.The one Audino is a bit experimental. I’m not sure how useful Busybody will be. It seems to me that a deck should either be playing Keldeo EX or Audino (due to Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym). Since Keldeo EX probably doesn’t fit with this deck very well, Audino seems like a natural choice. But I could be wrong. Hopefully Audino can help out.
  • I was really hoping to have some room for Ether/Pokedex…but there is hardly any space for anything in here! Hopefully the Black and White Klinklang will provide enough Energy manipulation for the deck.
  • Still not sure about the Computer Search v.s. Dowsing Machine decision. Furthermore, Gold Potion or Scramble Switch could be the optimal ACE SPEC’s for the deck. Only testing will tell…

Hopefully I can write a follow up to this entry sometime within the next week or two. I really am excited for Klinklang and I know a lot of other people are as well. Let us keep our fingers crossed for the possibility of having another Stage 2 enter the competitive metagame.

Good night!


Image Credits for the title image go to Yilx of deviantART, metronews for the image of the Iron Throne and to PokeGym for the Plasma scans. 

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark February 5, 2013 at 1:36 AM

Durant NVI is my home boy. No way will I dismiss it before my due diligence ;)


JeffC February 5, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Hey, what Stadium card would you recommend if you don’t have access to any Tropical Beach?

Can’t wait to see your follow up on the list because I am really looking forward to playing it since Cobalion is my favorite Pokemon!!


Colin February 6, 2013 at 12:04 AM

Unfortunately there isn’t any close substitute for Tropical Beach. If you can’t find any, I would probably just add some more Supporters. Perhaps another Juniper and Colress?


Eamon February 6, 2013 at 10:50 AM

While not a “close” substitute, I’ve been using Battle City (BW39) in TCGO to provide a stadium-based draw option in those decks that would otherwise use Tropical Beach. As a flip that only grants you 1 card for a heads, it isn’t nearly as good as Tropical Beach, but it does give you a chance to draw FTW!


TAndrewT February 5, 2013 at 11:06 AM

For me, it’s been tough to come up a perfect Klinklang list. My biggest challenge so far: against any deck running a fire tech–especially Blastoise running a Moltres–I find it tough to keep my opponent from wiping all my energy off the board turn 3 or 4. I’m trying out EXP Share to help keep the energy on the board, but I’m not sure I can fit it. And Etherdex just takes up too much space!

I also like a Durant you didn’t mention, Durant PLS 92. It has a “Call for Backup” attack that’s a nice mid-game substitute for Heavy/Ultra Ball once you’ve used them up, if you need to set up the Nth Klinklang. And your opponent will ignore it.


Colin February 6, 2013 at 12:06 AM

How is the Exp. Share working? I did look at that Durant and it does seem ok, but your opponent can just play an N after you use Call for Backup. So, I’m not sure how useful it would be. Have you used it in testing?


TAndrewT February 6, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Cobalion NVI with EXP Share attached works nicely–if they target down Klinklang BW, you have a two-energy attacker to respond with. That means that Moltres will take out two of your guys in quick succession, but you’ll be able to take him out over those two turns.
My conservative EXPShare is still fragile–fire counters cut through it like a knife, so I don’t know that its safe to run. I’ve played against speedier EtherDex versions on PlayTCG, and they seem wildly unpredictable; they can set up an attacker crazy early T1, but they can also completely bomb.
Weird deck.


sams February 27, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Hi in my version of this deck i include
darkrai ex x 1
keldeo ex x 1
and use 8 metal energy and 4 rainbow or energy
and may be use 2 blend


Colin February 27, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Do you ever have problems with keeping your non Metal Pokemon in play? It seems like the Darkrai EX and Keldeo EX would have big targets on their heads as they can be attacking with the Plasma Klinklang in play.


Trin April 23, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Here is my deck list. It works very well for me. I placed top cut in regionals with it.

4 klink DEX
1 klinklang BW
3 klinklang PLS
2 Colbalion EX
2 Cobalion NVI

4 Skyla
4 Juniper
3 N
4 Heavy Ball
4 Ultra Ball
3 Catcher
4 Max Potion
4 Rare Candy
4 Switch
1 Dowsing Machine
2 Super Rod

11 Metal

I like Cobalion NVI because it works well against Terrakion. Normally Terrakion could give this deck a hard time considering that with exp. share it can hit you for 90 every turn which can destroy you. Max Potion is incredible with this deck. After a while your Cobalion EX will get a lot of damage on it (especially against Terrakion). Since it takes so many hits to kill him without an EX, Max Potion can destroy. Also, with no energy acceleration you don’t want your guys to get knocked out and lose three precious energy. At first I ran three, but tried out four and it worked so much better. All the heavy balls and ultra balls are to ensure a klinklang second turn. With Landorus Ex two hitting your benched klinks, you need to get it out second turn. Super Rod works well to get back your energy, klinklang line and attackers. It is crucial to success. I tried Registeel, but he was just to slow for me. The idea of this decklist is to set up quickly and them deny damage for the rest of the game using Max Potion and attach more energy while your at it. Then hit for 100 every turn. Hope this helps


unown May 10, 2013 at 7:42 PM

what would you consider the biggest flaw of this deck that would be beat able since plasma freeze is know out


Colin May 13, 2013 at 1:27 AM

The biggest flaw is largely unchanged, the deck mainly struggles when its Pokemon can be one shot. Things like Victini and the new Kyurem (with help from Hypnotoxic Laser and Deoxys EX) are both big problems.


unown May 10, 2013 at 7:46 PM

sorry. I meant in any cobalion-klinklang deck


Scot July 28, 2014 at 4:33 AM

I’m sorry if I’m missing something but why only 1 klang?


Colin July 28, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Because Rare Candy allows you to evolve into Klinklang as well!


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