Death Race for Love
* Access to Prankster and Spikes allows Klefki to stack entry hazards throughout a match, while Thunder Wave allows it to cripple fast offensive threats like Ultra Necrozma and Geomancy Xerneas before they're able to knock it out. This allows teammates to revenge kill them much more easily.
* Priority on status moves also means Klefki can be hard to take advantage of by most setup sweepers, as statused offensive threats will become crippled for the rest of the match without a cleric.
* Despite below-average defensive stats, Klefki is still able to soft check certain offensive threats in Ubers such as Yveltal, Arceus-Fairy, and Deoxys-A.
* However, Klefki's lack of recovery means it will get worn down both quickly and easily, providing very little to a defensive backbone. This means it is mostly restricted to teams that rely on keeping up offensive pressure and enjoy its hazard stacking capabilities.
* Klefki is forced out by numerous offensive Pokemon that can exploit its weaknesses to Fire- and Ground-types, such as Primal Groudon, Arceus-Ground, and Ho-Oh, and strong neutral hits from the likes of Primal Kyogre and Marshadow will break past it as well.
* Most importantly of all, Klefki faces competition from other Spikes setters such as Ferrothorn, Skarmory, Deoxys-S, and Cloyster. Ferrothorn handles more support Arceus formes and Primal Kyogre and has better longevity as it keeps itself healthy with Leech Seed, while Skarmory is a durable Spikes setter and physically defensive wall on bulkier teams. Deoxys-S and Cloyster are both reliable suicide leads; Deoxys-S can prevent opposing hazards or Defog using Taunt, while Cloyster can pick between Spikes or Toxic Spikes and remove opposing hazards with Rapid Spin.
* Klefki also shares its Steel / Fairy typing with an Ubers staple in Magearna, which has better bulk, is less passive, has access to Heal Bell, and can pivot using Volt Switch. Magearna's overall consistency as a better Xerneas and Yveltal check makes Klefki less desirable on some teams.
* Klefki fits best on offensive teams, where it can successfully support sweepers and wallbreakers such as Primal Groudon and Dragon Dance Zygarde-C.
name: Spikes Support
move 1: Spikes
move 2: Play Rough
move 3: Thunder Wave
move 4: Toxic
evs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD
* Spikes allow Klefki to chip down the grounded members of the opposing team, racking up damage for teammates.
* Play Rough lets Klefki actually beat or at least weaken Yveltal, as Life Orb and Choice Specs variants tend to overpower Klefki in the long run. It also gives Klefki a way to chip Magic Bounce users.
* Thunder Wave is an emergency stop to fast offensive threats such as Double Dance Necrozma-DM, Ultra Necrozma, and Geomancy Xerneas.
* Toxic hits Ground-types and Defoggers such as Primal Groudon, Arceus-Ground, and Ho-Oh, putting them on a timer.
* Maximum HP and Special Defense EVs and a Careful nature help Klefki handle special attackers as effectively as possible.
* Leftovers gives Klefki passive recovery to attempt to heal off chip damage.
* Prankster is what gives Klefki its niche in the tier.
* Pivot Klefki into resisted attacks from Pokemon such as Magearna and Arceus-Fairy; from there, begin stacking Spikes or spreading status to soften the opposing team.
* If weakening grounded offensive threats such as Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre is important, prioritize setting up Spikes to limit their wallbreaking potential, especially if they lack recovery. Use Toxic on bulkier pivots with recovery such as Arceus-Ground and Ho-Oh as they come in so teammates can break past them more easily. Certain Speed-boosting threats such as Ultra Necrozma and Geomancy Xerneas should be hit with Thunder Wave, slowing them down for revenge killers.
* If your opponent has Defoggers that are vulnerable to status, such as Arceus-Ground and Ho-Oh, attempt to cripple them so they can be dealt with by teammates.
* When faced against deadly setup sweepers such as Rock Polish Primal Groudon, Double Dance Necrozma-DM, and Geomancy Xerneas, it can be important to sacrifice Klefki to status them in order to stop them from blowing holes into your team.
* In certain matchups, use Klefki sparingly, as keeping it alive to use Thunder Wave on a big threat to your team can be important to gaining the edge in a match.
* Conversely, if no other good switch-ins exist, pivot Klefki into strong wallbreakers such as offensive Yveltal and Deoxys-A to prevent them from heavily damaging teammates. When up against Life Orb or Choice Specs Yveltal, decide whether to prioritize Spikes or try to weaken it with Play Rough, as teammates might struggle to handle a healthy Yveltal, although this could lead to a loss of momentum if they switch Yveltal out.
* Take note that Prankster-boosted status moves don't affect Dark-types and grounded Pokemon in Psychic Terrain.
* Stealth Rock + Swords Dance Primal Groudon and Klefki form a formidable entry hazard stacking core, as this Primal Groudon set can put up Stealth Rock against Ho-Oh and pick off paralyzed threats such as Ultra Necrozma and Xerneas, while Klefki helps Groudon's matchup versus certain Defoggers such as Giratina-O and Lugia.
* Sweepers such as Extreme Killer Arceus and Necrozma-DM take advantage of Spikes and status crippling their checks such as Zygarde-C and support Arceus formes. Choice Scarf Yveltal and Xerneas provide additional insurance against faster foes, can check Marshadow, and are able to clean the opposing team more comfortably with Klefki's support. Xerneas also helps Klefki by being an additional check to opposing Yveltal, especially bulkier variants.
* Marshadow greatly benefits from Klefki's Spikes stacking, as support Arceus formes hit neutrally by Life Orb Close Combat are guaranteed to be 2HKOed after a single layer of Spikes. Z-Move variants also work well with Klefki, as +1 Soul-Stealing 7-Star Strike OHKOes maximum HP support Arceus formes, including Arceus-Fairy, when met with the same conditions.
* Mega Salamence is an exceptional partner, as it can handle Ho-Oh and circumvent burns with Facade or Refresh sets. Klefki's Spikes also helps Mega Salamence by chipping support Arceus formes, Zygarde-C, and Necrozma-DM into range of its attacks.
* Mega Gengar and Giratina-O form a Hex spam core with Klefki, spreading status and allowing the Ghost-types to break down defensive cores. Additionally, Giratina-O can switch into Fire- and Ground-type attacks for Klefki.
* Dragon Dance Zygarde-C enjoys support Arceus formes, Necrozma-DM, and Giratina-O being paralyzed or badly poisoned, as it can find setup opportunities on a full paralysis or let Toxic damage rack up by using Substitute and Protect. Dragon Tail on Zygarde-C also helps rack up Spikes damage on all support Arceus formes barring Arceus-Fairy.
* Offensive variants of Arceus-Ground and Arceus-Fairy pair well with Klefki defensively while keeping up offensive pressure, and both are able to handle Zygarde-C. Arceus-Ground also handles certain Primal Groudon sets, while Arceus-Fairy more easily handles Yveltal.
* Dazzling Gleam is an alternative STAB move that hits Mega Salamence and Mega Sableye harder, although Play Rough does more damage versus Yveltal and Mega Diancie, especially since they frequently run negative-Defense natures on mixed sets. A Calm nature should be used instead if opting for Dazzling Gleam.
* Foul Play can be used over Play Rough, as it gives Klefki a more direct way of punishing Necrozma-DM and Swords Dance Primal Groudon, but this weakens its matchup versus Magic Bounce users and Yveltal.
* Swagger, although luck-based, allows Klefki to annoy its targets by causing Confusion, and this combined with Thunder Wave makes the target easier to take advantage of and lessens their ability to handle your own offensive threats. It also pairs well with Marshadow, which can run Swagger itself, but most importantly, Spectral Thief will steal the foe's Attack boosts before attacking and can thus force switches.
* Magic Coat lets Klefki bounce back entry hazards versus Deoxys-S and Ferrothorn, although it struggles to find a moveslot for it.
* A dual screens lead set lets Klefki support teammates with easier setup opportunities, although it is outclassed in this already niche role by Deoxys-S and Tapu Koko.
Checks and Counters
**Ho-Oh**: Ho-Oh is able to easily come in on Klefki and threaten it with Sacred Fire or Defog away its entry hazards. Regenerator also means that Toxic doesn't wear it down too much.
**Ground-types**: Although they all get crippled by Toxic, Primal Groudon, Arceus-Ground, and Zygarde-C beat Klefki one-on-one and are immune to Thunder Wave. Arceus-Ground can remove Klefki's hazards, while Zygarde-C can circumvent Toxic using Substitute or Rest.
**Magic Bounce Users**: Magic Bounce users bounce back Klefki's status moves and prevent it from stacking Spikes, forcing it to hit them with Play Rough as they switch in and limiting what it can do in a match. Mega Sableye can burn Klefki or PP stall its attacks, while Mega Diancie hits Klefki hard with Earth Power or Explosion. However, Mega Sableye can get chipped by Stealth Rock set by offensive hazard setters and get 2HKOed, while Mega Diancie has no form of recovery.
**Dark-types**: Arceus-Dark is immune to Klefki's status moves, heals off Play Rough's damage with Recover, and can Defog away its hazards or start setting up using Calm Mind. Offensive Yveltal sets can break Klefki with repeated attacks, while bulkier Yveltal sets can Taunt Klefki or Defog its hazards.
**Steel-types**: Ferrothorn, Necrozma-DM, and Dialga take very little from Play Rough and are able to either set up Stealth Rock or hit Klefki with strong attacks. Necrozma-DM heavily dislikes Foul Play, however.
**Shadow Tag Users**: Mega Gengar can trap and dispose of Klefki with Will-O-Wisp + Hex, but it dislikes coming in on Foul Play and getting hit by Thunder Wave. Gothitelle and Gothorita can PP stall Klefki, and once it runs out of PP, a Defogger can be brought out safely to remove its hazards.
- Written by: [[Felixx, 401973]]
- Quality checked by: [[DMDW, 434601], [Nayrz, 212134], [Cynara, 224455]]
- Grammar checked by: [[The Dutch Plumberjack, 232216], [Fireflame479, 231476]]