Today we are in for a treat: the Stage 2
Klinklang (BW: Plasma Storm
It clocks in as number nine in
the Top 10 Promising Picks of Plasma
Most Stage 2 Pokémon have not
made a good showing this format, so when
they crack the Top 10 they are usually
see if this card lives up to that, or is
just pure hype.
Klinklang is one of the new Team
What that does and doesn’t mean
is the subject of an article you can
In short I’ll be referring to
today’s CotD as
Klinklang [Plasma] to distinguish it
from other versions, and unless an
effect specifies “Team Plasma” cards it
won’t affect play.
Klinklang [Plasma] is a Metal-Type
Pokémon, which makes total sense given
that it is a pure Steel-Type in the
Metal Weakness isn’t huge but it
does exist and sees some play.
Metal Resistance on the other
hand doesn’t exist, at least not on
anything still Modified legal, which is
There is no actual Type Support,
but there is some support for Metal-Type
Energy, which I’ll address later.
Klinklang [Plasma] is a Stage 2
Pokémon; this is the worst Stage 2 be
right now, though Stage 1 Pokémon aren’t
exactly thriving either.
Basic Pokémon dominate the
format, making it vary hard on a Pokémon
that requires you play down its Basic
wait a turn, and then either drop
Rare Candy to go directly to
Klinklang [Plasma] or Evolve into
Klang and then wait yet another
Either way, it is slow and unless
those lower Stages generate advantage,
Klinklang [Plasma] will have to
Klinklang [Plasma] has 140 HP,
enough to survive most attacks unless
they aren’t augmented, but a second hit
will almost always bring it down.
This is about as low as a Stage 2
Pokémon can get away with now, and is
arguably good that
Klinklang even rates this high: it
actually has an abysmal 60 for its base
HP stat in the video games, which is a
little below average for all Pokémon,
and significantly below average for
fully Evolved Pokémon.
I wonder if it was just decided to make
it that high to keep it “playable” or to
reflect its good Defense and just barely
above average Special Defense video game
Klinklang is Fire Weak; this is a
decent Weakness to have.
Most Fire-Type Pokémon are Water
Weak, and thus the format is not
friendly to most Fire-Type decks.
Finding a good Fire-Type to
splash into decks isn’t easy; there are
options but… specialized cards are
There are a few that show
promise, or that already had decent
decks, so it isn’t a free pass.
It isn’t the worst Weakness
Klinklang could have been stuck
with, either; two of the three
component’s of the TCG Fighting-Type
(Fighting and Ground) score double
damage against Steel (video game’s
version of Metal-Type Pokémon).
This is a bad format for
Klinklang [Plasma] has Psychic
Resistance -20; useful when staring down
the commonly played
Mewtwo EX (BW: Next Destinies
54/99, 98/99; BW Promo BW45) or
Sigilyph (BW: Dragons Exalted
52/124), and thrilling simply for
existing when so many cards lack any
Still, I have to bring out my soap box
to give a quick speech: in the video
games the Metal-Type equivalent –
Steel-Type Pokémon – are Resistant to
Normal, Flying, Rock, Bug, Ghost, Steel,
Grass, Psychic, Ice, Dragon and Dark
moves, taking only half damage from
Steel-Type Pokémon are also
completely immune to damage from
Poison-Type moves, zeroing out damage.
is 12 of 17 Types, just over two-thirds
of all Types!
The TCG Psychic-Type represents three of
those (Ghost, Poison, and Psychic) and
since moves are the same Type as the
Pokémon using them, “Immunity” isn’t an
option; even Resistance doesn’t work
like the video games because there it
halves damage but due to rounding
issues, it just subtracts from damage in
The TCG Types of Colorless (Normal
and Flying), Grass (Grass and Bug),
Metal (Steel), Dragon (…Dragon), and
Dark (Darkness) would all be appropriate
While it would be quite a bit to squeeze
onto cards, I really would like to see
cards enjoy multiple Weakness and
Resistance options… eventually, when the
game has specifically been designed with
this in account.
Colorless or Darkness Resistance
would likely have been more useful than
Klinklang [Plasma] as a Retreat
score of three; this is high enough
you’ll want to pack options to lower it
or bypass manually retreating at all.
If it proves to be an able
attacker, you might also (or instead)
include the support it would need to
simply tough it out in the Active spot.
The upside of the pricey Retreat
Klinklang is a legal target for
Heavy Ball… and unlike most
Evolutions, you can run the entire line
with each version having the same
Retreat cost of three (or more) and thus
all can be legal search targets for
As I have been citing the video game so
much, it is interesting to note that
there Klinklang has an above average
score for its Speed Base Stat.
It isn’t extremely high, but let
us be glad
Klinklang didn’t get stuck with a
score of two.
Plasma Steel is very potent Ability,
blocking all damage done your Metal-Type
Pokémon by your opponent’s Pokémon-EX.
In a format dominated by
Pokémon-EX this is amazing.
The format isn’t purely
neither Klinklang [Plasma] nor its
fellow Metal-Type Pokémon aren’t
completely safe, and effects of attacks
still go through the guard.
Some Pokémon-EX also have their
own effects to neutralize Plasma Steel.
Heavy Bullet requires (MMC) and delivers
70 points of damage to the Defending
Pokémon and 20 points to one of your
opponent’s Benched Pokémon (your
This isn’t terrible, but it isn’t
strong enough to carry a deck.
Unless you have a compatible form
of Energy acceleration, you probably
won’t be attacking with
Klinklang [Plasma], and even with it
you would only use it in desperation or
when for some reason, the 70/20 split is
going to basically win the game.
There is definite synergy between the
attack and the Ability, but it isn’t
enough to make Heavy Bullet a key part
of a deck’s attack plan.
If your opponent has few or no
non-Pokémon-EX to attack with, it will
suffice: this is especially important in
the case of “few” since you might be
able to safely take them out on the
Klinklang [Plasma] has a huge card
Klinklang line has appeared in
numerous sets and as a Team Plasma
Pokémon, all their current support must
also be considered.
I will begin with the lower
Stages of the
Klinklang line and other versions of
There are six releases of
Klink: Black & White 74/114,
McDonald’s 2011 10/12, BW:
Emerging Powers 74/98, BW: Dark
Explorers 75/108, BW: Boundaries
Crossed 97/149 and BW: Plasma
There are four releases of
Klang: Black & White 75/114,
BW: Emerging Powers 75/98, BW:
Dark Explorers 76/108, and BW:
Plasma Storm 89/135.
Lastly (for listing purposes, at
least) are the four options for
Klinklang: Black & White
76/114, BW: Emerging Powers
76/98, BW: Dark Explorers 77/108,
and of course today’s card.
All are Metal-Type Pokémon with Fire
Weakness and Psychic Resistance; the
consistency is appreciated, as nothing
else makes sense for the Type, Fire
Weakness is the better than the only
appropriate alternative, and… well other
forms of Resistance would have been
nice, but given how no Resistance is the
norm, I am just grateful for they all
have Resistance regardless of to what
As much as I want to break down every
single card in this pool, we just don’t
have the time.
So instead I’ll just list my
suggested picks: BW: Dark Explorers
Klink and BW: Dark Explorers
Klang as both versions have max HP,
somewhat useful attacks, and are legal
Heavy Ball targets.
If you are not using
Heavy Ball, then just avoid
Klink BW: Boundaries Crossed
97/149 if you are not (the others all
have some merit).
As for the other
Klinklang, Black & White
76/114 is the only one worth running
instead of or in addition to today’s
card; the other two aren’t bad but just
aren’t good enough to be competitive.
For Team Plasma support, there are a few
that apply here.
Skarmory (BW: Plasma Storm
87/135) is a Basic Metal-Type Pokémon
with 90 HP, Fire Weakness, Psychic
Resistance, and a single Energy Retreat
Besides being a Team Plasma
Pokémon itself, for (C) its first attack
allows you to discard a Team Plasma card
and draw three cards.
The second attack isn’t worth
You could use this, but it isn’t
The few other Pokémon currently
out that reference Team Plasma aren’t
Metal-Type, making them clash with the
deck’s theme, so they can wait until
another time as well.
is an Item that searches out the new
Plasma Energy and also attaches it
to one of your Team Plasma Pokémon.
This would allow a Turn 2 Heavy
Bullet, but again I don’t believe it is
worth it in this deck.
Plasma Grunt is a new Supporter that
allows you to discard a Team Plasma card
to draw four cards, and this might
actually be worth considering if the
rest of the deck has enough Team Plasma
cards to spare, but probably not given
Cheren (draw three, no other effect)
hasn’t been very popular.
Despite having some issues with the
potential Team Plasma support currently
available, there is a deck waiting for
this card; three decks if you are quite
Klinklang [Plasma] can simply be the
backbone of its own deck, supporting
good Metal-Type attacking Pokémon like
Cobalion EX (BW: Plasma Storm
93/135, 133/135) which are then immune
to damage from all but a select few
[Plasma] can also be added as a single
into decks built around other versions
Klinklang Black & White
76/114 actually being part of a well
known deck that has seen significant
success, though its popularity and
potency waxes and wanes according to the
The deck actually focuses on
using a variety of Pokémon-Types, but if
you can make room for that single
Klinklang [Plasma], it both protects
the backbone of this build (Black &
White 76/114) from Pokémon-EX.
The third option (really a variation of
the single true choice) you can go for a
mostly even blend of
Klinklang [Plasma] and
Klinklang (Black & White
76/114), probably a 2-2 split.
This is basically taking the
Klinklang deck and focusing on
You can still run a few off-Type
attackers, but they would be used
It is hard to run a split like
this and you have to lose or completely
nerf the Type-matching aspect, but you
retain the Energy moving capacity due to
the Shift Gear Ability on Black &
White 76/114, which means
Max Potion shenanigans.
You also can rely more heavily on
Metal Energy, which actually reduces
one of the major risks of the
Pokémon-EX are not the dominant force of
this format, and many games the Ability
just wouldn’t factor in.
Thus despite the many tricks that
would open up for it,
Klinklang [Plasma] doesn’t have a
place in Unlimited.
The Ability is unlikely to come into
play here; when Pokémon-EX are often
great to run, but they are a higher
rarity and most in this set aren’t fast
enough to get away with the infamous 39
Energy plus them build.
If you pull enough of the lower
Stages to build a solid line, you also
need a pool of Pokémon friendly enough
to running a good chunk of basic
Metal Energy, as
Klinklang [Plasma] needs at least
two in order to attack.
When it can attack, it is a fearsome
You won’t encounter a lot of
Pokémon in Limited with 140 (or more)
HP; Evolutions usually aren’t pulled
alongside sufficient lower Stages to be
worth running, resulting in
significantly lower HP scores and damage
70 in one shot is enough to OHKO
most Basic Pokémon in this set, and
Bench damage is highly Prized in a
format where retreating an injured
attacker to avoid giving up a Prize is
[Plasma] has been extremely hyped by
some and dismissed by others.
I believe it will be a viable
deck, but as a counter to Pokémon-EX its
performance will vary according to the
[Plasma] will be great for a bit, decks
will adjust to deal with it and it will
lose steam, then players will abandon
those changes to handle then current
metagame threats and it will make a
comeback, leading to players to adjust
to deal with it and perpetuating the
I had this card as my number eight pick.