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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Klinklang #76

Black & White

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2
Limited: 2.67

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Klinklang #76/114 (Black and White)

. . . And the reason why you would play yesterday’s card? Well, here it is – Klinklang – one of the more bizarre designs to come out of Generation V (though if you think about it, it’s no more weird than Magnezone).

Klinklang has a good 140 HP, and nice (if not useful right now) Psychic Resistance. It has a flippy attack (Gear Grind) that isn’t really worth the risk unless you are desperate, and an unpleasant Retreat cost of three.

Of course, the plan is never to have to Retreat it, because Kinklang is clearly designed to be a Bench-sitting support Pokémon. With its Shift Gear Ability, Klinklang makes it possible to move all your Metal Energy around as often as you like during your turn. Is this useful? Well, yeah it is: you can save your Energy if it happens to be on a Pokémon that is about to be KO’d and get another attacker ready (especially relevant in Metal decks which like to keep their Special Metal Energy in play). You could also use it with Blissey Prime to heal your Pokémon while effectively avoiding the discard cost of Blissey’s Power.

The big question though is: is that Ability worth devoting deck space and effort to a Stage 2? Right now, I would have to say that it isn’t. This Energy Trans type of Ability/Power has been fairly common in Pokémon, going back to Base Set Venusaur, various Sceptiles, Magnezone LV X, and Meganium Prime and it’s never really been part of a top tier deck. Non-attacking Stage 2 support techs that are just ‘quite useful’ don’t really make the grade (anyone ever see a winning deck with Exploud SV?), the playable ones tend to have effects that are much better than that (such as Dusknoir DP’s ability to limit the Bench or Nidoqueen RR’s constant healing).

A further problem is that right now Metal (along with Grass) is probably the worst type to be playing. They hit practically nothing for Weakness while getting completely smashed by the popular Fire decks out there (Reshiram, Emboar variants) no matter how many Special Metals they have attached. In fact, there is a shortage of decent Metal Pokémon in HGSS anyway: only Steelix and Scizor Primes could begin to make a highly questionable claim to be playable.

Maybe in the future, if Fire decks lose popularity and a great Metal type Stage 2 appears, players will go looking in their binders for this card to try in decks. For now though? It does something that is a bit meh for a Type that needs so much more than just ‘meh’.

Rating

Modified (HGSS-on): 2 (this is not a good time to be playing Klinklang, and I’m not sure it ever will be)

Limited: 2.25 (considering all the effort it takes to get out a Stage 2 in this format, it’s not a great reward)

virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo! We end our COTD week this week with the evolution of yesterday's COTD Pokemon. Today's Card of the Day is Klinklang from Black and White.

Klinklang is a Stage 2 Metal-type Pokemon. Like I said yesterday, Metal Pokemon aren't very common in Modified aside from the random Steelix Prime deck. Will Klinklang change that? Probably not on its own. 140 HP is good for a Stage 2, meaning it should be able to take a few hits. Fire Weakness is very bad, as Klinklang will be easily OHKOed by the likes of Reshiram, Emboar, and even Typhlosion Prime. Psychic Resistance is good to have. Finally, a Retreat Cost of 3 is terrible - be sure to use Switch to retreat.

Klinklang has an Ability and a single attack. The Ability, Shift Gear, is similar to Energy Trans-like Poke-Powers, in that as often as you like during your turn, you may move a Metal Energy attached to one of your Pokemon to another one of your Pokemon. The Ability here is pretty decent, given the fact that you can move the Energy to any of your Pokemon (not just Metal ones), and you can move Special Metals as well. However, a bigger problem is that there really isn't anything to combo Klinklang with - yet. Steelix Prime may work, but given that there aren't many good Metal-types in the TCG right now (especially with Fire being popular), we're going to have to wait for later expansions to see if Shift Gear will be able to see any amount of play.

Klinklang's attack, Gear Grind, allows you to flip two coins, dealing 80 damage times the number of heads for [MCC]. Flip attacks are generally undesirable in the Pokemon TCG, due to their inherent randomness. Sure, you can end up doing 160 damage for three Energy, which is great; or you can end up doing no damage, which is terrible. Therefore, chances are Klinklang won't see play for this attack.

Modified: 2/5 Shift Gear isn't terrible, but the attack and its Fire Weakness are. If something else comes out that works really well with this Ability, Klinklang will be excellent. However, right now, it just isn't that good. It's too bad that Magnezone SF rotated out because it MIGHT work with that and the Lv. X (although using two Stage 2s is really, really slow).

Limited: 3/5 Klinklang isn't bad here, just because flip effects are more acceptable in Limited. Shift Gear can also see some use here, as if you combine Klinklang with a lot of Colorless Pokemon, you can move your Energy around quite effectively. Again, just look out for Reshiram, Emboar, and even Darmanitan.

Combos With: Steelix Prime (kind of)


Otaku

Klinklang is a Stage 2 Pokémon, whose Stage 1 counterpart (Klang) we looked at yesterday. Not surprisingly, this makes it very similar to Klang so a lot of what I said yesterday will apply again. The first obvious difference is that as a Stage 2 it will definitely eat up a lot of deck space: even if you only need a single Klinklang in your deck, you’ll need to dedicate three slots for it. Being a Metal-Type is good, in and of itself: in a well balanced metagame you’ll actually have a slight edge just because you can utilize the Special Energy version of Metal Energy to soak damage. The thing is that Metal Weakness/Resistance isn’t too common in the HeartGold & SoulSilver block and is absent in what little we’ve seen of the Black & White cards. One of the few remaining cards with Resistance is Magnezone Prime, and that looks to be fairly popular. Nothing Metal Weak is really seeing play right now, perhaps because there are so few of them legal for the HGSS-On format. Couple this with the Fire Weakness on Klinklang and prominence of Fire-Type Pokémon in at least the early HGSS-On format, and Metal only wishes it was a neutral-type. Adding insult to injury, Magnezone Prime even sees play in a Fire/Lightning-Type hybrid deck with Emboar! For the sake of Metal-Type Pokémon and an even more balanced format, we probably need a good Water-Type Pokémon that is Metal Weak.

Klinklang enjoys Psychic Resistance -20. I am happy to see any Resistance of course, as it seems like it is ignored most of the time by the actual card designers. Psychic Pokémon rarely focus on straight damage: Special Conditions, damage counter placement, alternate win conditions, even sitting on the Bench and being used solely for an Ability, but seldom straight damage. This Pokémon has a solid 140 HP for a recent Stage 2 Pokémon: the ability to soak damage with Special Energy Metal Energy can help stretch that out even longer, except when facing down Fire-Type Pokémon. Klinklang appears to pay for this by having a three Energy Retreat Cost: big enough you really need to use a Switch or find a way to lower your Retreat Cost: the resource loss is just too much, especially when you factor in the Ability.

The Ability is Shift Gear, which lets you freely move Energy cards that are providing Metal-Type Energy around on your Pokémon. We’ve had similar tricks since the very beginning of the game and seldom do they make for good decks, but occasionally it does happen: the determining factor (besides the rest of format) is the effect must result in several small combos or one major combo. “Venucenter” was a deck created back in the early days of the game, using Base Set Venusaur who could move about Grass Energy providing cards with healing cards that would normally have wasted that Energy, like Pokémon Center or Scoop Up. This same set-up has been replicated in later decks, and so far it just doesn’t seem to ever be enough. I mention this because we have two similar combos already available to Klinklang: Seeker and Blissey Prime. What we need is to either offset the drawback of an attack, like one that shunts Energy to the Bench or even Bench themselves, or find a useful effect that this can speed up to an insane degree. The best historical example comes from the “Dragtrode” deck that was for a time the dominant deck in Modified (namely until a semi-specific counter card was released). Dark Dragonite (EX: Team Rocket Returns, 15/109) had a Poké-Power that acted like Shift Gear, except affecting Energy providing Darkness Energy. Dark Electrode (EX: Team Rocket Returns, 4/109) has a once-per-turn Poké-Power that let you attach a Darkness Energy or Dark Metal Energy card from your deck to Dark Electrode: together each turn you got one of those two types of Energy from your deck and onto the Pokémon of your choice! Topping it all off with the tricks Dark and Rocket’s Pokémon had access to back then, and it was easy for the deck to keep up a series of solid attackers, even if you were OHKOing them.

Gear Grind is a good attack unless you can’t handle coin flips determining your results. For an investment of (MCC) you’ll either do zero (horrible), 80 (adequate) or 160 points of damage (great). Specifically you flip two coins and score 80 points of damage per result of “heads”. This is an improved form of the same attack that Klang had, and makes it so that a Klink with a single (M) Energy and active is a significant threat; your opponent always has to weight the risk that you’ll Evolve into Klang or use Rare Candy to Evolve directly into Klinklang and attach a Double Colorless Energy. Klang can threaten anything with 120 or less HP with a potential (even if unlikely) OHKO, while Klinklang itself can threaten anything with 160 or less HP. Yes only one in four possible coin toss results will result in the max damage required for the previous statements, but ask yourself: would you invest heavily in a Pokémon facing that? Most of the time I know I wouldn’t, so as a whole I consider this good and especially good for what was likely meant as a Bench-sitter like Reuniclus.

I covered both lower Stages yesterday, including the promo version of Klink that is available. My mind hasn’t changed: both exist to get this card out, but are designed so that they have some use as your Active Pokémon. Not enough to want them there, but far from useless. The actual opening Pokémon I’d favor would probably be Skarmory (HS: Undaunted, 21/90): you’ll have to attach a Metal Energy (or something providing that) to it in order to use its Steel Coat attack, but unless your opponent sets up amazingly fast you should be able to yank an extra Metal Energy or two from your deck (including the Special Energy version) for Klinklang to start moving around: the attack even lets you attach it to whatever of your Pokémon you want, so you can stick it on whatever is hardest to KO and move it elsewhere later. Skarmory being KO’d can even be turned to your advantage: if you plan on letting two of it get KO’d while setting up, you can really build up your Metal Energy in play and make it worth focusing on Twins and Black Belt. The real problem is finding a good attacker to back with this combo: the current Metal-Type Pokémon aren’t so hot because the best attackers we have are Fire Weak: even with four Special Energy Metal Energy Reshiram can OHKO the most promising candidates (Scizor Prime and Steelix Prime). The good news is that technically, the set-up doesn’t require this: you could use a non-Metal-Type Pokémon that can be fueled by mostly/all Metal-Type Energy, but I still didn’t see any promising candidates.

What about in Unlimited play? While we get a lot more attacker options, now the combo becomes too slow. So how about Limited? Here we go, like so many cards this format we have the bittersweet great performance for Limited play. You wouldn’t want to run it in a deck that wasn’t running half its Energy as Metal Energy, but as long as most of the Pokémon in the deck can use Metal Energy to pay for attacks Shift Gear will allow you to snatch precious, already in play Metal Energy on something about to be KO’d and using it to prep your next attacker. Its high Retreat Cost is more a problem here, but its damage output and HP are better due to the lower averages for both those scores in this format. Too bad this line contains the only Metal-Type Pokémon in the set, and that hurts it.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1.75/5

Modified (MD-On): 2/5

Modified (HGSS-On): 2.5/5

Limited: 3.5/5

Combos with: Skarmory (HS: Undaunted, 21/90)

Summary

The ability to move around Energy is potent, but only if the deck has a means of outpacing the opposing player’s set-up. Klinklang is really one or two cards away from having a real good deck, and in fact we could have a solid deck right now if it wasn’t for the extremely hostile (re: Fire focused) format we are about to enter.

Whether you actually read my review or skipped straight to the bottom, please take a moment to check out my eBay auctions. Just remember that Pojo.com is not responsible for any transactions.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Klinklang (Black & White)
 
Today's card is the last for the week and the evolution of yesterday's card. Introducing Klinklang!
 
Aside from the fun-to-say name, Klinklang is a Metal type Stage 2 with 140 HP, Fire weakness, Psychic resistance, a retreat cost of 3, an Ability and a single attack.
 
Aside from the crippling weakness and heavy retreat cost Klinklang has great stats. High HP (especially for a bench sitter) and the ability to abuse Special Metal energy (thanks to the ability) give Klinklang good odds of surviving a serious hit from any non-Fire types. The resistance isn't very useful right now but if a powerful Psychic type rises up in the future you'l be glad to have it. Based on the great love the design team has for Psychics (see Gardevoir SW, Gengar SF, Nidoqueen RR and the Pixie Trio from Legends Awakened) you can be certain we'll see another Psychic archetype emerge before long.
 
The Ability is the main draw of this card. Shift Gear is a very appropriate name for this Ability, which lets you move your Metal energy (both Basic and Special) around in any way you like. This removes a major obstacle from the path of tanking decks, as you can play your precious Special Metal energy down early without worrying that you are wasting the investment on the wrong Poke'mon.
 
You can take Gear Grind a step further by combining it with Seeker and/or Super Scoop Up. Whenevr one of you tanks (whether it be Steelix Prime, Scizor Prime or another Poke'mon) is at risk of being Knocked Out, you can move all of the energy you have down onto your backup tank, then pull the damaged Poke'mon back to your hand while promoting your fresh beastie. Follow up by playing the Basic back down ready to evolve the next turn. Rinse and repeat this cycle so that you never lose any Special Metal energy (or Prizes) to your opponent.
 
Setting up Klinklang and an attacker isn't too difficult so this is a viable strategy in theory, but the main problem is that you need to avoid OHKOs which will cripple you due to loss of resources. With all of the Metal tanks being Fire weak you have to contend with Reshiram one-shotting everything you have, making Kliklang next to useless. If you can get around the problem of the weakness then Klinklang is a must run in your mono-Metal deck, but until an anti-weakness tech gets printed (damn the loss of Exploud SV!)  I doubt anyone will try to run Metal at all.
 
The attack is pretty much an afterthought, being almost a carbon copy of Klang's second attack. Gear Grind still costs [m][c][c] and requires 2 coin flips, but the damage is boosted from 60 to 80 per Heads result. This means with a pair of Heads results you could OHKO almost any healthy Poke'mon in the format. Not bad at all for a bench sitter, especially since Gear Shift can power Klinklang in a single turn if you already have the energy down. Of course, the flippy nature of the attack will stop this being the main focus of a deck, but a 1 in 4 chance of turning a game around when all hope seems lost is an excellent trait for any tech to have.
 
All in all Klinklang will fit right in with Scizor Prime and Steelix Prime, but I don't expect to see it often due to the overwhelming presence of Fire attackers in the current format. Bring back Exploud SV so that Klinklang can truly shine!
 
Modified: 3 (does an important job brilliantly but suffers from a large number of bad matchups)
 
Limited: 2 (there aren't any other Metal type Poke'mon in Black & White, so unless you run an all Colourless deck you aren't going to get much use out of Klinklang.
 
Combos with: Skarmory UD, Steelix Prime, Scizor Prime


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