Guide to stall

Contents:

1. A brief background to stall

2. Residual damage

3. Important roles on a stall team

4. Building the team

5. Threats to stall teams

6. Examples of good stall / semistall teams



A brief background to stall:

To most players stall is classed as cheap and broken, although this is not the case. Stall is probably the hardest type of playstyle to create and use. It is not as simple as bringing Blissey in on Gengar, then switching to Skarmory when Metagross comes in and finally going to Cresselia when the opponent brings in Cresselia. This is how many perceive stall, but it is played completely differently. Firstly, stall is not like the other two main playstyles [Balanced and offensive]. It does not focus on using attacking moves to defeat the opponent, but more relies on constant building up of residual damage. Residual damage is generally in the form of weather and entry hazards. Of course, damage received from Toxic is also classed as residual damage. Stall then focuses on forcing switches in order to increase the damage done to the opponent’s team. Usually there are two types of stall. Heavy stall and semi-stall or stall-based balance are the two categories stall teams are most commonly grouped into. Stall-based balance follows the same basic principles as heavy stall, but plays slightly differently. Stall-based balance is played slightly more offensively than full stall. Unlike heavy stall, stall-based balance does threaten the opponent’s team offensively and pokemon who do not mind residual damage [such as Flygon and most steels] are hard pressed. Stall-based balance also runs things like CM + Roar Latias or a lategame SD Scizor to clean up.



Residual damage:

Stealth Rock:
Stealth Rock is placed on the opponent's field and damages any Pokémon when they switch in. The base damage is 12.5%, and is affected by the target's susceptibility to Rock; Pokémon that are 4x weak to Rock will receive 50% max HP damage; 2x weak to Rock will result in 25%; a 2x resist will take 6.25%, and any Pokémon with a 4x resistance to Rock will only receive 3.125% max HP damage. This lasts until the opponent uses Rapid Spin.
Perhaps the most commonly known entry hazard is just as necessary on stall teams as it is on offensive teams. Stealth Rock has long been considered one of the best, if not the best move in the game. Stealth Rock is extremely useful at keeping horribly annoying threats to stall teams like Gyarados and Salamence at bay.

Spikes:
Does 12.5% damage with one layer, 18.75% damage with two layers, and 25% damage with three layers to the enemy when they switch in a new Pokémon. Is removed from opponent's side of the field when they use Rapid Spin. Flying Pokémon and Pokémon with the ability Levitate are immune. Hits through Wonder Guard.
Spikes are probably the second most important entry hazard and rips 25% off any grounded pokemon that switchs in, provided you have 3 layers up. Paired with Stealth Rock, it can take 37% off something such as Tyranitar, effectively giving it only 2 times to come in if it lacks any form of recovery including leftovers.

Toxic Spikes:
This move lays down poison-inducing spikes on the opponent's field. If this move is used twice, the Toxic Spikes will cause toxic poison.

If the opponent uses Rapid Spin, the Toxic Spikes are removed. If a player switches in a grounded Poison-type Pokemon while Toxic Spikes are on that player's side of the field, the Toxic Spikes are removed, even if Safeguard is in effect or the Pokemon is Baton Passed a Substitute.

Toxic Spikes do not affect Poison-, Flying-, or Steel-type Pokémon, or Pokémon with the ability Levitate.
Toxic Spikes help wear down many problematic pokemon for stall teams such as Tyranitar and Swampert, who cannot be OHKOed by any attack on the team. With Toxic Spikes and Life Orb, most sweepers will be put on a timer. Toxic Spikes is also useful against opposing stall teams [provided they have not spun away the hazards] and Blissey, who can be a huge pain to take down.

Weather:
Any pokemon that does not resist the weather [in Sandstorm's case, rock, ground and steel types and in Hail's case, ice types], will lose 6.25% of their health at the end of every turn.
Weather is not 100% necessary for stall teams but can be extremely useful. It effectively nullifies leftovers recovery so pokemon such as Vaporeon arent as much as a hindrance as they would be normally.

Important roles on a stall team:

Note: In alphabetical order, not importance

Last-poke sweep stoppers:

Most poorly built stall teams lose to pokemon such as CurseLax and CroCune as they are unable to phaze them when they are the only pokemon left. These pokemon are then able to set up and sweep your stall team. There are a few ways to deal with such a problem. One is through Perish Song. Perish Song forces both pokemon out at the current time of use to switch out after 3 turns or faint. Unfortunately there is only a few viable pokemon who can actually run it and finding a spot for one of them is hard. The second way is by tricking a choice item to the said pokemon. This locks them into one move. It is generally the safest way to stop last-poke sweeps, as after Platinum’s release, many pokemon were graced with the move. The last way is through more unorthodox ways, such as Taunt. Encore users also fit into this category.

Examples of Perish Song users: Celebi

Examples of Trick users: Jirachi, Rotom, Latias, Azelf, Metagross

Examples of Taunt users: Skarmory, Gliscor


[P]hazer:

A Phazer or Psuedo-hazer or two is very important to the success of a stall team. The first reason is that it forces the opponent’s pokemon to switch out and stops opponents from setting up on you. Phazing also stops Baton Pass chains and removes Substitutes. With a load of entry hazards on your opponent’s side of the field, they will be hard pressed to switchin after being forced out by either Whirlwind or Roar.

Examples of Phazers: Skarmory, Hippowdon, Gyarados, Zapdos


Rapid Spinner:

Stall teams will be switching around a lot. By using Rapid Spin you are able to remove all hazards on the field such as Spikes and Stealth Rock. This is especially important should you come up against another stall team, as both teams will be switching around a lot and the passive damage will build up. Rapid Spinning is also very useful as it gives you more freedom in switching. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on what side you are on, Rapid Spinning is not full proof. Rapid Spin is a normal type attack, and therefore ghosts are immune to it. Most stall teams have some way to fix this, an example is giving Forretress Payback or Starmie 36 SpAtk EVs and Hydro Pump [which is enough to 2HKO 252 HP / 0 SpDef Rotom after Stealth Rocks. By making these small changes, Rapid Spinning should be easier.

Examples of Rapid Spinners: Forretress, Starmie, Tentacruel


Rapid Spin blocker:

It can be an incredible annoyance when someone Rapid Spins all your precious spikes that you have set up over the course of up to 6 turns. This is why a rapid spin blocker is so crucial to the success of a stall team, and it will be very difficult to have a successful stall team without one. In fact, I would say that it is 100% necessary. The ghost typing isn’t completely restricted to stopping Rapid Spin, as it can be useful in stopping powerful explosions and fighting type attacks, as often a team’s best answer to stall is to explode.

Examples of Rapid Spin blockers: Rotom – A, Spiritomb, Dusknoir


Spiker:

Before you begin forcing switches and the like, the opponent needs to be losing health every switch. A spiker is a pokemon that is used to set up any form of entry hazard and is not limited to just setting up spikes. It is generally not a good idea to try and set up all of your hazards with one pokemon, such as running a Forretress with the moveset Toxic Spikes | Spikes | Stealth Rock | Rapid Spin. Even though Forretress is very physically bulky, even it will struggle to set up all entry hazards, as it requires 6 turns to do so. Instead it is better to spread the spiking duties between 2 or more pokemon, a classic example being Skarmory and Tentacruel. Remember, it is not required to have all entry hazards on a stall team, and Stealth Rock and Spikes are the two most useful out of the three.

Examples of Spikers: Skarmory, Forretress, Nidoqueen, Tentacruel, Roserade


Status Absorber:

One of the biggest enemies to stall teams is status. Sleep, poison and burn damage can wear down your members of the team fast, even if most of them run recovery. The safest way to deal with status is through a Rest + Sleep Talk user, who can switch in to the multiple amounts of status and be unaffected due to Rest. Whilst sleeping, it can still do something via Sleep Talk. The second option is to give one of your pokemon Heal Bell or Aromatherapy, completely removing your whole team from status. The problem with that is not many pokemon actually have access to one of these moves and it will be relatively predictable when you are to use one. Almost every pokemon in the game can learn Rest and Sleep Talk, so it is much easier to find a space for one of these than a cleric. Natural Cure is another way to relieve your team of status although is very unreliable, as after you switch, the pokemon loses the status ailment meaning sleep clause is broken, allowing Breloom to Spore another member of your team.

Examples of ResTalkers: Rotom, Gyarados, Tyranitar

Examples of Clerics: Celebi, Blissey


Wish support:

Some members of your stall team will not have instant recovery, or may have no recovery at all, so it is very useful to have a Wish supporter. Wish allows one pokemon to heal the pokemon you switch in the next turn by ˝ their full health. Pokemon such as Forretress and Tentacruel absolutely adore Wish support.

Examples of Wish supporters: Blissey, Vaporeon


Building the stall team:

Now that the basic premise of a stall team and what is required has been seen, you now come to the building stage. The building stage will follow the way I build my stall teams, which is a relatively simple process. Before any criticism, I would like to say that this team being created is certainly not the best stall team out there, and probably has room for improvement. It is just an example team.

Choosing a spiker

Finding a spiker is the first objective I look for. In this team it is decided that we will only be running Spikes and Stealth Rock. I don’t find Toxic Spikes a necessity and are easily stopped by poison types such as Roserade and Tentacruel. Half the metagame is steel types, who are unaffected by Toxic Spikes. A good number are flying and levitating pokemon as well, thus I deem it relatively un-necessary in setting Toxic Spikes up.

So, looking through all the pokemon, only these learn spikes:

- Cacturne

- Cloyster

- Forretress

- Froslass

- Glalie

- Omastar

- Qwilfish

- Roserade

- Skarmory

- Smeargle


Because this is a full stall team, we want to eliminate any pokemon that lack considerable bulk. That leaves us with:

- Cloyster

- Forretress

- Omastar

- Skarmory

Unfortunately Cloyster and Omastar have another niche, and that is UU. They both don’t exactly have the best defensive typing either. So, we are left with Skarmory and Forretress. Both can set up Spikes and Stealth Rock, and both are steels so have great typing and resist dragon. In the end, Forretress was decided, as on top of spiking, it spins, which is something not too many pokemon can do.




Choosing a rapid-spin blocker:

The second step I use is to find a rapid spin blocker. Because this team is shoddy-based we have access to the Rotom Formes, which are without a doubt the best rapid spin blockers. Although they have a Pursuit weakness unlike Spiritomb, the Formes are able to deal with most spinners. So, with that in mind we add Rotom to the team. In the end, Rotom Wash forme was decided as it scares away Tyranitar switchins looking to Pursuit, and Heatran looking to come in on the Will-o-wisp.



Choosing the walls:

Now that we have beginnings of the stall team, we are able to decide on the walls. I generally like to choose one completely physical and one completely special wall. Although this is how DP teams were made, it provides a nice defensive core to fall back upon. I know it sounds horribly n00by too. Physically, there are a number of choices, but specially, there is only one, Blissey. Blissey also provides Wish support for the team, which Forretress enjoys. If you want to have a lot of success with a stall team, use Blissey. Seriously, even if it is a fat pink *****, it is still vital to the success of the team.



Deciding on the physical wall is a lot harder. What we want is instant recovery, semi-decent typing, and of course physical bulk. With that in mind, the most capable physical walls in OU are:

- Skarmory

- Gliscor

- Hippowdon

- Celebi

There are only really those 4 pokemon that fit that category. Unfortunately Skarmory and Forretress are generally redundant [wall the same stuff], and have similar typing. Celebi isn’t really able to sponge the likes of Scizor and Metagross too well. In the end it was between Hippowdon and Gliscor. Hippowdon is bulkier and has a rock resist, but unfortunately doesn’t do too much. Gliscor is an extremely reliable answer to Lucario [4th Gens best lategame sweeper], and can utilise Taunt + Toxic, bringing other stall teams to its knees.



Tying up loose ends:

The final step I like to do is fixing any problems the team has, whether it is typing or certain threats. By looking at our team on Marriland’s Team Builder, we can see that there is no rock, fire or water resist on this team. The team also has problems with last-poke sweeps and has no phazer. As for threats, Salamence and Infernape are huge problems. Taunt Heatran could also potentially be an annoyance. So, in the last two spots we require:

- Fire resist

- Rock resist

- Water resist

- Phazer

- Something to deal with last-poke sweeps

- Salamence check [DD and MixMence]

- Infernape counter

- Secondary answer to Heatran

As you can see, a combination of Scarf Jirachi and defensive Latias do extremely well, as dealing with those problems, so they were added.



Final Product:



Forretress @ Shed Shell
Impish
Sturdy

EVs: 252 HP / 48 Def / 208 SpDef

Stealth Rock
Spikes
Rapid Spin
Payback

Forretress was probably the most suitable lead for this team. The other option was Gliscor who would lose the move Toxic if it decided to lead. Forretress sets up Spikes and Stealth Rock which are both necessary for the team’s success and provides something to go to when it comes to sponging random Outrages and Draco Meteors. Rapid Spin helps against other stall teams and allows my team to switch easier. Payback hits any Rotom Formes that look to block my Spinning. The EVs are from Blue Harvest, which allow Forretress to set up on Lead Mamoswine and make Swampert’s Earthquake a 5HKO most of the time.



Rotom – W @ Leftovers
Bold
Levitate

EVs: 252 HP / 164 Def / 92 Spe

Thunderbolt
Will-o-wisp
Rest
Sleep Talk


Rotom is the teams designated spin blocker. It gives the team an answer to Mamoswine, Gyarados, Scizor, Metagross and a myriad of other physical attackers. I dislike Discharges paralysis rate and so Thunderbolt was chosen. Thunderbolt always KOes standard spinner Starmie whereas Discharge doesn’t. WoW allows Rotom to beat Metagross and Mamoswine comfortably and burns any Scizor and Tyranitar switchins looking to Pursuit me. The EVs outrun Max Scizor so I can Will-o-wisp before it uses Bug Bite.



Blissey @ Leftovers
Bold
Natural Cure

EVs: 252 Def / 176 SpDef / 80 SpAtk

Shadow Ball
Seismic Toss
Wish / Toxic
Protect / Softboiled

Blissey is just oh so reliable when it comes to walling special threats. It can switch in to almost any special attacker and beat them, although many with reliable recovery are huge problems, which is why I now run Toxic and Softboiled. The only pokemon on the team who really misses the Wish support is Forretress. Toxic allows Blissey to beat CM Latias and the gang. Shadow Ball is used primarily to break SubCharge Rotom’s Substitute, so I am not swept by one. Seismic Toss is a very useful attack and puts a damper into any steels as well as Scizor switchins. Bold was chosen as it allows Blissey to beat Swampert and Scarf Flygon 1 on 1, as Flygon cannot 2HKO with Outrage, although I will not be relying on Blissey to stop these threats lol.



Gliscor @ Leftovers
Jolly
Sand Veil

EVs: 252 HP / 252 Spe / 4 Def

Taunt
Toxic
Earthquake
Roost

This is my teams primary answer to other stall teams. It checks Lucario and Tyranitar decently too. Jolly with Max Speed outruns all Lucario and ties with other Max Speed Gliscor. I cannot stress how important that is especially when it comes to beating other stall teams. Taunt + Toxic allow Gliscor to beat ResTalk Rotom, Ice Beam-less Blissey and Hippowdon comfortably. Taunt also prevents Skarmory from setting up. Gliscor is a very important player to this teams success.



Jirachi @ Choice Scarf
Jolly
Serene Grace

EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe

Iron Head
Thunderpunch
Fire Punch
Trick

Jirachi is my last resort to threats that get out of hand, such as DDMence, DDGyara, DDTar, Gengar and Lucario. Max + Jolly is needed to tie with +1 DDMence. With Serene Grace, Iron Head has a 60% chance of flinching, which is terribly useful. I decided to forego Ice Punch, as it is only really useful in stopping Mence, who takes 60% and upwards from Iron Head. Trick is very useful at screwing CroCune, CurseLax and any physical walls that decide to switchin to me.



Latias @ Leftovers
Timid
Levitate

EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 Spe

Dragon Pulse
Roar
Reflect / Calm Mind
Roost

Latias is the team’s primary phazer and answer to Infernape. It is also the team’s best switch in to water and fire attacks. Provided I predict right, it switches into MixMence quite nicely as well. Roar is useful at phazing Cune who try to set up on me, and racks up a lot of entry hazard damage. I am undecided between Reflect and Calm Mind. Calm Mind allows me to beat most other Calm Minders as well as clean up lategame, but Reflect lets Latias escape from most Scizor and Tyranitar comfortably, as well as helping my team against insanely powerful physical threats like CBTar, of which none of my team are the perfect switch in for it. I really don’t like the extra Pursuit weakness.

As I have stated earlier, this team is just an example of a stall team and definitely has room for improvement.

Threats to stall:

Mixed Sweepers: Even though Infernape and MixMence and the like are hailed as great answers to stall, they really aren’t. Provided you know how to play, they are like dealing with any other attacker. Even though they are not as good as breaking stall as other means, they are still a threat to stall teams.

Trick users: If you switch Blissey into a Scarf Latias and it uses Trick you will encounter serious problems. This is why it is usually better to switch in Forretress or Jirachi into Latias first, to scout it’s set in the case of the example team.

Taunt + Toxic Gliscor: This thing can run right through almost all stall teams, so you have to watch out. Usually you can beat it. This is why 252 Speed is so beneficial on Gliscor. It is necessary if you want to beat other Gliscor.

CM + Wish Rachi: First thing is that Blissey loses to this, but between Taunt Gliscor, Rotom and Jirachi it isn’t too bothersome. Just don’t make sure it gets to +6 against Blissey.

Lures: Things like SpecsCario + SD Scizor can really be a huge problem, but luckily lures aren’t too common these days. Expert Belt Tar is another threat.

Examples of good stall teams:


Tyranitar Stall - Taylor

Fried Ice Cream – ImperfectLuck

Blue Harvest SemiStall – Blue Harvest

Note: This team lacks a Spin blocker. All spin blockers suck on WiFi

Rotom, CHARGE! - JabbaTheGriffin


Do NOT play Blissey rashly: Without a doubt, Blissey is the centrepiece of the stall team. Do not play it stupidly. This means switching it in on a LeadTran and Seismic Tossing, or opening it up for a CBTar to Pursuit. If Blissey goes down, stall teams are much easier to beat.

I guess this is my last contribution to serebii. Adios
I’m sure there is a lot of punctuation mistakes, so if you could point those out, it would be nice ^_^

PS. I know this should have been posted in the guide section. I dont know why I posted it here