It's Fairy Friday trainers, which basically means one of us writer folk get to review a Fairy Pokémon. Fairy Pokémon are, as many of you know, a new type of Pokémon introduced in the 6th generation of Pokémon games. Fairy type were meant to balance out the Dragon type, and actually do a pretty good job at that.
For today, we are going to be talking about the often hated but sometimes loved Klefki, who has become the poster-boy for the Swagger and Foul Play strategies.
Klefki automatically has a place in competitive battling, as it has the ability Prankster. The key thing about Prankster is that it gives +1 priority to status-condition moves such Swagger, Safeguard or Thunder Wave. One of Klefki's biggest downsides is its subpar base stats though, tying with Pokémon like Xatu or Alomomola.
Special Attack: 80
Special Defense: 87
One of the best things about Klefki is its typing. Since Klefki is a Fairy and Steel type, it means Klefki has an immunity to both Dragon and Poison type attacks, which cuts out one of the Fairy type's main weaknesses. Klefki also has resistance to Normal, Flying, Rock, Bug, Grass, Psychic, Ice, Dark, and Fairy type Pokémon. This means Klefki can switch into a lot of different attacks and still be fine. Unfortunately, Klefki is weak to Ground and Fire type attacks.
Overall, Klefki can provide decent support to teams who can take advantage of its typing and its large support movepool.
STRATEGY AND MOVESETS
Klefki has quite a few options available to it. For EV spreads, Klefki can either invest in Hp, Def, or Sp. Def for maximum efficiency. For my own personal set, I run a 252 Hp., 252. Def. and 4 Sp.Def set, but there are plenty of other options as well. For Klefki's nature, it should either have a Bold (+ Def, - Att.) or Calm (+Sp.Def, - Att.) nature. Klefki's held item can vary depending on how you want it to function. Useful items for Klefki can be Sitrus Berry, Leftovers, Light Clay, Eject Button or Air Balloon.
Yo Swagga Swagga
This set is why people despise Klefki. Substitute lets Klefki set up and survive hits. Swagger is the key to this set though, since it boosts your opponent's attack and makes them confused. The attack boost means that if your opponent hits themselves, then the damage taken from confusion will be boosted. This increase in attack also means Foul Play will hit harder, since it does damage based on how high the other Pokémon's attack is. Finally, the icing on the cake is Thunder Wave. Not only will Thunder Wave cripple the opponent's speed, but it will also ensure even more turns where the opponent can't attack!
Setting Screens Before It Was Cool
This set is designed to set up Light Screen and Reflect, letting your Pokémon survive more hits. Klefki is the first user to have access to screens as well as the Prankster ability. What this means is that you can bring Klefki in, set up a screen immediately, survive the attack and then set up another screen. Thunder Wave gives you more access to speed control, but you could also run other status moves like Toxic or use Spikes in place of this. Foul Play gives Klefki some decent damage output, depending on what he uses it on, but you shouldn't try and use Klefki to knock out other Pokémon if you can help it. Just set the screens and then sack it or get out.
OTHER POTENTIAL STRATEGIES
Klefki can make use of a ton of other moves. Klefki can also function as an entry hazard setter. With access to Spikes and an investment in bulk, Klefki can do a pretty good job of laying Spikes. Klefki also has access to Toxic, another status condition that can rack up damage over time and could replace one of its offensive moves, freeing up Klefki to do other things rather than spamming Foul Play turn after turn. Klefki also has Switcheroo, which means you can give your opponent's a useless item and get their held item in return.
Klefki's variety can also be tricky to master. Don't be afraid to try out something different when using Klefki though, just make sure Klefki's set can compliment your team in the best way possible.
The thing about Klefki is that while its typing is strong and it has a large variety of moves at its disposal, its best sets can end up being outclassed by other Pokémon. For example, Thundurus has higher speed and access to a similar Swagger and Foul Play set, meaning that Thundurus can out-speed other priority users, where Klefki would have a harder time doing so. Other prankster users can also offer similar strategies that may better serve teams. For example, both Liepard and Sableye have Fake Out, which a strong move in doubles, forcing a Pokémon to flinch for the turn. Sableye also has priority Will-o-wisp, which can cripple physical attackers which could be better for some teams.
Getting its best sets outclassed is Klefki's main problem, this doesn't mean Klefki won't have a use on a team, but it does mean Klefki isn't the only Prankster user running around in the game. Klefki does offer something completely unique. Klefki is the only Prankster user that can use Light Screen and Reflect.
Klefki's design looks like something straight out of a Fairy Tale, more specifically, out of Beauty and the Beast. While it may only look like a set of keys, there is something truly charming and endearing about Klefki that makes it fit right into one of Disney's movies. I could just see Klefki hanging around with Lumiere and Cogsworth in the Beast's Castle and having a good time.
It is because of this that Klefki, to me, epitomizes the design of what I would imagine a Fairy Pokémon would look like. There is something supernatural about it, but it's not exactly a possession by a deceased spirit like other Ghost Pokémon this generation. Klefki would be playful, the kind of Pokémon you could pull pranks with and would just be fun to be around.
There is a dark side to Klefki, though. As silly as the Pokédex Entry is, imagine the terror of running into multiples of these Pokémon in a dark ally somewhere with all of them fiercely jingling their keys at you. It would be enough to drive most people insane.
Klefki has yet to appear in the Pokémon animé, but it is set to make its appearance soon in the 26th Pikachu short called "Pikachu, What Key Is This?", where it appears that Klefki has charms of other legendary Pokémon. The short features Klefki, Pikachu, Dedenne, and the 3 Kalos starters.
Klefki does not have a card in the Trading Card Game yet, but when it does, it will likely be either a Fairy type card or a Steel type Card.
Klefki is a fun Pokémon that has a variety of uses. Klefki may not be the fastest Pokémon with the ability Prankster, or the strongest, but it is certainly the most clever. Klefki is one of the most well designed Pokémon based off an inanimate object because of it doesn't try to cut corners or be too clever, it just is what it is.
Can you unlock Klefki's true potential?