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Oct 8th, 2012
Klinklang has always been a very odd Pokemon; its Steel typing and high base 115 Defense seemed to suggest a more defensive Pokemon, whereas its strong base 100 Attack and signature move Gear Shift gave it more of an offensive quality. Ultimately, Klinklang takes advantage of both these traits to succeed. Its good defenses and excellent typing enable it to set up Substitutes with relative ease, behind which it can freely set up with Gear Shift. Klinklang is exceedingly difficult to revenge kill; after a Gear Shift, there are no unboosted Pokemon in RU who can even attempt to outspeed Klinklang. On top of this, Klinklang boasts a resistance to several common priority moves, such as Quick Attack, Shadow Sneak, and Bullet Punch, whilst only sporting a weakness to Mach Punch and Vacuum Wave. However, Klinklang does have its fair share of hard counters, primarily due to its lack of coverage. Opposing Steel-types, such as Steelix and Ferroseed, are particularly tricky to get past as they resist or are immune to all of Klinklang's commonly used moves. Fortunately, the majority of Klinklang's counters lack reliable recovery, and can therefore be broken past with the help of hazards and a little prior damage. Klinklang doesn't boast much in the movepool department, and often has to rely on Return to patch up its less than stellar coverage. It is important when playing with Klinklang to be aware of its weaknesses and limitations; do not expect it to OHKO a vast number of Pokemon off the bat and without any prior set up. Klinklang works best as a late game sweeper, cleaning up weakened teams once it has boosted its Speed and Attack.
name: Shift Gear
move 1: Shift Gear
move 2: Gear Grind
move 3: Substitute / Wild Charge
move 4: Return / Wild Charge
item: Leftovers / Life Orb
ability: Clear Body
evs: 100 HP / 252 Atk / 156 Spe
The key to setting up with Klinklang is to make use of its excellent typing to set up a Substitute, either on a predicted switch or resisted attack. Once Klinklang is sitting safely behind its Subsitute, use Gear Shift at your discretion until Klinklang has enough Speed and power to outpace and destroy everything on the opposing team. With the given moves, Klinklang hits the vast majority of types for neutral damage, apart from Steel-types. Fortunately, thanks to Substitute, Klinklang can easily set up on one of RU's most common Steel-types: Ferroseed. Ferroseed usually walls this set with ease but is unable to break Klinklang's Substitutes in two or three hits, let alone one, as well as not being able to paralyze Klinklang whilst it is behind a Sub. On top of this, Substitute also defends Klinklang from Leech Seed (Ferroseed's only method of recovery) as well as all other status effects. After a Shift Gear boost Klinklang becomes very difficult to revenge kill thanks to its extremely high Speed, as well as its access to Gear Grind, which not only bypasses Sturdy Pokemon and Substitute users, but also gives Klinklang more chances to score a timely critical hit.
Leftovers is the recommended item as it gives Klinklang the chance to set up five Substitutes, thus incresasing its chances of setting up successfully, as well as granting greater longevity. Life Orb, however, is another option thanks to its increased damage output, but unfortunately Klinklang will find itself losing a lot of health to passive damage, such as Substitute and recoil. The given EVs ensure that Klinklang outspeed Timid Choice Scarf Manectric after a boost, as well as maintaining maximum attacking power. An alternate EV spread of 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spd can be run for more bulk if you aren't preoccupied by the fastest Scarfers. However, this spread does make it hard for Klinklang to check threats before a boost. Clear Body stops Intimidate and other stat lowering moves or abilities from robbing Klinklang of its boosts, as well as actually having an effect in singles, making it the superior choice of ability. In order to remedy its coverage issues, Klinklang can run a choice of two Hidden Powers: Fire or Ground. Hidden Power Fire enables Klinklang to get past Ferroseed and Escavalier, whereas Hidden Power Ground easily dispatches Magneton and Aggron. However, it should be noted that neither of these two attacks is particularly effective against Steelix, and that they should always be run with both a Naughty nature and Life Orb.
Smeargle and Qwilfish make for great teammates as they can set up the hazards - Spikes in particular - that are a great help in ensuring Klinklang cleans up late game. Magneton can trap and dispose of the Steel-types who frequently halt Klinklang's sweep, as well as giving Klinklang opportunities to switch in for free thanks to Magneton's slow Volt Switch. Special attacking wallbreakers are key to Klinklang's success; Moltres, Nidoqueen, Sceptile, and Sigilyph can all break past Klinklang's common counters. On top of this, the aforementioned Pokemon often lure in Pokemon, such as Clefable, who Klinklang can set up on with ease. Klinklang benefits hugely from screen support, as thanks, to its high defenses and strong defensive typing, it will usually get the chance to set up more than once. Uxie therefore makes for a good teammate, as it can set up both Reflect and Light Screen, as well as putting down Stealth Rock and spreading paralysis.
Unfortunately, Klinklang's useful movepool is as barren as the Sahara, so don't expect to find many excellent suggestions here. Nevertheless, Klinklang does have some relatively interesting options. Volt Switch can be used to maintain or grab offensive momentum, as well as hitting Water-types hard (without Wild Charge's annoying recoil), and enabling it to escape the occasional Magneton. However, Volt Switch has a relatively low Base Power and also forces Klinklang to switch, which can be a pain if it has already accumulated several Gear Shift boosts. Klinklang also has access to Trick Room, which it can use in conjunction with Volt Switch to give frailer Pokemon the chance to come in for free. A ChestoRest set, with Rest over Substitute, can give Klinklang the chance to set up more than once, as well as reducing its weakness to status. However, this set accomplishes little that Substitute variants can't, and Substitute is a much more effective way of getting round status than Rest. Klinklang can also make decent use of Air Balloon or the move Magnet Rise to get around its Ground weakness. This also makes it impossible for Steelix to stop Klinklang, apart from phazing it with Roar. In a cruel twist of fate, the Pokemon gods gave Klinklang a surprisingly decent special movepool. Charge Beam, Flash Cannon, Thunderbolt, and various Hidden Powers are all options for a surprise set, although Magneton is surperior in almost all cases.
[Checks and Counters]
The list of Klinklang's counters is highly dependent on which coverage moves it runs (or doesn't run), as it doesn't have a huge amount of counters that can take anything it throws at them. Steel-types make for the most reliable counters as they resist both Steel- and Normal-type attacks, as well as possessing naturally high Defense stats. Steelix is perhaps the best Klinklang counter out there; it resists Gear Grind and Return, is immune to Wild Charge, and can either phaze Klinklang out with Roar - thus robbing it of its boosts - or hit it hard with a STAB Earthquake. Magneton can trap Klinklang with Magnet Pull and set up on it with Charge Beam. Aggron, too, has an excellent base 180 Defense with which to weather Klinklang's attacks, and a great base 110 Attack that it can use to, quite literally, throw a spanner in the works. Both Aggron and Magneton must be extremely wary of Hidden Power Ground, as it hits them on their weaker Special Defense and for 4x the damage of a neutral hit. Both Ferroseed and Escavalier boast extremely high defenses and can either stall Klinklang out, or, in Escavalier's case, hit it hard with a Choice Band-boosted Megahorn. Again, it is wise to scout whether or not Klinklang is packing Hidden Power Fire before sending Escavalier or Ferroseed in to wall it. Quagsire and Poliwrath both resist Steel-type attacks and with enough investment can easily stomach a couple of Gear Shift-boosted Returns. Poliwrath must look out for Wild Charge, however. Rotom resists or is immune to all of Klinklang's commonly carried moves and can set up on it with Substitute or Charge Beam. Physically defensive Pokemon who do not necessarily pack resistances to Klinklang's attacks are also effective. Tangrowth, Sandslash, and Nidoqueen all boast high attacking stats as well as defensive stats and therefore make for good checks. As long as it is not packing Wild Charge, Omastar and Moltres also make for good checks thanks to their access to powerful attacks and reasonable defenses.
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