Klang is often underused and ignored in the NU tier due to its small movepool and lack of coverage. However, it makes its mark with its signature moves: Shift Gear and Gear Grind. Those two moves represent the purpose of using Klang: to set up and perform a sweep. Klang is meant to function as a late-game sweeper, finishing off any opponent that hasn't been defeated by Klang's fellow teammates. Klang is one of the few Steel-types in the tier, and because of the offensive presence it can create with its signature moves, it stands out from the competition.
This set focuses on Klang's exceptional defenses, handy resistances, and access to RestTalk to set up and sweep. However, RestTalk is often unreliable and comes with a loss of momentum. While its primary role is that of a physically defensive wall, it can set up on a variety of Pokemon, such as Musharna, Skuntank, Jynx, and Serperior. Klang trades coverage for additional bulk: it can set up much more easily than its standard set, tank more attacks, and power its way through most of the NU tier. Its lack of recovery and vulnerability to status conditions are no longer an issue due to Rest, which heals Klang to full HP in a pinch. Sleep Talk is a very useful move in this set, allowing Klang to set up or attack while it's asleep. Shift Gear is Klang's setup move, which can now be used more efficiently due to Klang's enhanced defenses. Finally, Gear Grind is Klang's STAB move, hitting many Pokemon fairly hard after a Shift Gear boost.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
This is a more offensive version of Klang; it displays excellent usage of its decent Attack, Eviolite, Shift Gear, and resistances to common Grass-, Ice-, and Rock-type attacks in the tier. Through the combination of Eviolite and its Steel typing, which is rare in NU, Klang gets multiple chances to set up Shift Gear against a variety of attackers, especially Choice-locked Primeape, Jynx, and Tauros. Because Klang doesn't have the raw Speed or power to attempt sweeps early- or mid-game, this set works best by defeating weakened foes late-game.
Shift Gear is the main aspect of this set, as it can raise Klang's Attack and Speed to viable—and sometimes dangerous—levels. Gear Grind is its STAB move, sporting a Base Power of 100 after two hits, which is very useful in breaking opposing Substitutes from Pokemon such as Serperior, as well as hitting Jynx, Roselia, Cacturne, and Golurk for an OHKO or 2HKO after a Shift Gear boost. Return offers nearly perfect coverage when paired with Gear Grind, hitting Pokemon such as Rotom-S and Ludicolo much harder than Gear Grind could. However, Wild Charge allows Klang to severely dent Water-types, such as Samurott and Carracosta. The recoil damage and lack of recovery might make this move a lackluster choice though, especially if Substitute is used. Substitute is the recommended final option, allowing Klang to set up without fear of being inflicted by status from the likes of Misdreavus. However, Magnet Rise allows Klang to set up on Ground-type Pokemon that it normally struggles against, such as Golurk, Golem, and Piloswine.Team Options & Additional Comments >>>
Because of Klang's pitiful movepool, its options are limited. A special attacking set with Charge Beam is possible, but many Pokemon in NU can easily wall Klang, and without Shift Gear, Klang loses its offensive presence. Volt Switch can be useful in certain conditions, but as Klang will be setting up the majority of the time, it isn't recommended. A set consisting of Toxic and Thunder Wave is plausible, but Klang has no supporting moves outside of these, and thus makes for a very poor support Pokemon. Finally, Life Orb can increase Klang's offensive prowess, but Eviolite is unarguably the best item for Klang because it allows Klang to better maintain its Substitutes.
Checks and Counters
Even with Eviolite and useful resistances, Klang can still be easily taken down. Fighting-types such as Choice Scarf Primeape and Gurdurr are excellent answers to Klang, overwhelming it with their powerful attacks; the former can only prey on a weakened Klang, as it cannot outright OHKO it, and the latter can easily switch into any of Klang's attacks. Unless Klang carries Magnet Rise, Ground-types, especially Golurk, can take almost all of Klang's attacks and KO it with their STAB Ground-type moves. Shift Gear Klang has no reliable recovery, so wearing it down with powerful, consistent attacks is a great way to defeat it. Status is a particularly good way to shut down Shift Gear Klang; Misdreavus can burn it with Will-O-Wisp, and Miltank and Musharna can hit it with Thunder Wave. However, these should be used only if Magnet Rise has been revealed, as Klang carrying Substitute can avoid status.
While there are not many Pokemon that can outright KO Klang, many Pokemon can sponge an attack or two from it, then proceed to set up on it. Alomomola, Eelektross, Ludicolo, Torterra, and many other bulky Pokemon can either set up on Klang or outright attack it for decent damage. Frillish and Lampent can wall Klang's STAB move and are immune to Return, so they can serve as good walls against it. The former must be wary of Wild Charge, however. Knock Off makes Klang significantly more easier to deal with, as it lowers Klang's defenses.
Finally, there are many checks to Klang that can defeat it, but only if Klang hasn't set up with Shift Gear. Taunt is a great way to prevent Klang from overpowering your team; Liepard, Misdreavus, and Murkrow are great examples of Taunt users, but bear in mind that all of them take a lot of damage from Gear Grind. Fast Fire-types, such as Rapidash and Charizard, can check Klang with their super effective STAB moves, but Klang can seriously dent them if it has set up. Choice Scarf users, such as Sawk and Gardevoir, are great checks to Klang if it hasn't set up. Overall, Klang is not that hard to wall and KO because it doesn't hit that hard and has average coverage.