*~Breaking Down the Walls~* So, you know how there was a thread a while back called The WALLS thread? Yeah, this is like that, only about the Pokemon and techniques used to demolish the Pokemon on that thread. These are the Pokemon that give the likes of Skarmory and Blissey nightmares. Basically, this is a thread dedicated to finding Pokemon and methods that break down the defensive players in today's metagame. While full stall may be in decline, walls themselves are in no short supply and the need to break through or neutralize them is as present as ever. Before we begin, these are the definitions we'll be working with. I've distinguished between two very different ways of breaking down walls in the metagame, and provided definitions and examples below. Wallbreakers: Wallbreakers are Pokemon that focus on beating defensive Pokemon by muscling right through them. This method of breaking down defense is typically favored by offensive teams, as it allows them to keep the momentum they rely on to reach victory. There are two main methods that wallbreakers use to tear down the many walls that appear in today's metagame: Brute Force: Focusing on only one side of the attacking spectrum, these Pokemon simply force their way through the vast majority of walls, even dedicated ones. Moves like Psyshock and boosting moves like Sword Dance can help facilitate this. Choice Band Terrakion is an example of this. Mixed Coverage: Others are focused on breaking through dedicated walls by attacking their weaker defensive side, using mixed sets that can hit on both sides of the spectrum. These Pokemon also tend to maximize their super-effective coverage to make up for their split EVs. Mixed Infernape is an example of this. Stallbreakers: Stallbreakers are a little less straightforward than Wallbreakers are, and much more diverse in their methods. These Pokemon generally beat stalling Pokemon by using stalling tactics of their own or neutralizing the tactics directly. Basically, instead of simply beating down walls they beat them at their own game. These types of Pokemon are generally favoured by balanced and defensively oriented teams that need a catch-all solution to opposing stall teams. There are several methods these Pokemon use to achieve this: Fast Taunting: The most common and one of the most successful methods of Stallbreaking is to use a Pokemon that can Taunt walls, forcing them to use their weak attacking options and preventing them from using recovery moves. Not any Pokemon that can use Taunt fits this bill though; many defensive Pokemon carry taunt themselves, and unless you can outspeed opposing taunters you may find yourself the victim instead. Magic Guard: A rare and incredible ability, few Pokemon have access to this. Those that do though tend to be among Stall's worst nightmares, as they are completely immune to the residual damage such teams and Pokemon rely on to be effective, and are generally ambivalent or immune to status as well. Magic Mirror: Another rare ability, Pokemon with this have the effect of reflecting the opponents status attacks right back at them. These Pokemon are untouchable by stalls usual tactics, and have the added bonus of using walls own tactics against them. Rest: Some Pokemon, via Sleep Talk or Hydration, can abuse the move Rest more effectively than other Pokemon, allowing them to undo everything an opposing stall Pokemon has done to them in a single turn, making them extremely hard for walls to take down. Other Methods: These are just some of the more common methods; there are many varied and strange ways to beat Stall. If there's anything important you feel hasn't been covered here, let me know! Project overview: Alright everyone, Aldaron has expressed his desire to have this turn into an article some day and I'm more than willing to comply, but I'll need your help getting there! Now before this thread kind of died, I had decided to start tiering the wall/stallbreakers everyone had nominated. I have since decided to do this through a sort of voting method. I'll get more into this in a moment, but first let us define the tiers. Note that for the moment we're only discussion wall/stallbreaking in OU, because what's viable changes so much in the lower tiers and we got to take this one step at a time. Eventually, we should have 3 tiers for both Wallbreakers and Stallbreakers in OU, and after that we can move onto other tiers if we still have some steam (or I might make new topics in their respective sub forums, we'll decide when we get to that point). Getting there will involve a nomination and voting process not too dissimilar to the suspect voting method used for deciding Ubers earlier in the generation. While I have some qualms about such a method being used to decide bans, I think it'll work just fine for this project. Tier Criteria: So, here are the definitions I've come up with for the highest tier of both the Wallbreaking and Stallbreaking categories. These definitions are currently subject to change if we decide they need to be, but this should do for a start. Tier 1 Wallbreaker: A Pokemon that can break past the vast majority of walls singlehandedly. The few defensive counters of these wallbreakers are also taken down after minimal residual damage or just a little bit of luck. It must be able to break through multiple walls in a match. Tier 1 Stallbreaker: A Pokemon that can consistently win the war of attrition against defensive Pokemon, with little or no team support. It must not be beaten by more than one or two common defensive Pokemon, and must be able to continue to beat walls throughout the entire match. It must be able to do this within one moveset. We'll come up with more solid definitions for lower tiers after we're through with the higher tiers. For reference, tier 2 is looking like it will be filled with Pokemon that require support or specific conditions to stallbreak and wallbreak, but do so very effectively in those conditions, and tier 3 will likely be just one category (rather than being broken into wall/stallbreakers) with Pokemon that give stall trouble but cannot be relied on to take on walls all by themselves. We'll work out what belongs in these tiers after the first tier has been decided on. Voting Method: Step 1: The way the voting will work is that we will start off with a nomination period. You can use the list below for reference, but feel free to suggest ones that have not yet been mentioned. Nominations should include a short explanation of exactly how the nomination fits the criteria of the tier being voted on. You may also discuss the nominations other people have made at this time. Do not nominate specific sets. You can bring them up in discussion, but don't nominate them specifically. You can nominate as many Pokemon as you want, as this isn't a competition or something; it's just trying to compile a list. This period will be fairly short, hopefully not more than a day or two depending on activity, though I might extend it if I feel it will be beneficial. Step 2: After the nomination period I will announce a voting period. I'll make a list of the nominated Pokemon for reference. Then, everyone will go through the list and say "Yes"(for adding it the tier in question) "No" (against adding it to the tier in question) or "abstain" (vote not counted, say this if you're unsure) for each Pokemon on it. At the end of the voting period, any Pokemon with a super-majority will be added to the tier being voted on. It's recommended you bold your vote for this part. Step 3: After this then we'll start discussing specific sets for the tiered Pokemon. These can be added any time after voting, even in a different voting period. They will be added as consensus demands. This is the most informal "step" but will be important when it comes to eventually writing the article as a finished product. There will be a voting period for each tier in question. I will announce both here and in a linked post what tier is being discussed, as well as what stage the voting is at. Currently Voting on Tier 1 Stallbreakers! Read the criteria above before voting! See this post for details! Finally here's a loosely sorted list of Pokemon that have been suggested as wall/stallbreakers that can be used as a reference for nominations. You don't have to read all these to post btw, they're just here if you need them ;-) Tier 1 Wallbreakers: Terrakion is the premier "brute force" wallbreaker this generation. Very few Pokemon can withstand Choice Band Terrakion's dual STAB attacks, and if that's not enough wallbreaking power for you it has access to Sword Dance as well. Even dedicated physical walls like Skarmory fall before its onslaught. Just be on the look out for paralysis and burn; these can shut down Terrakion in a hurry if you're not careful. Salamence was last generations best wallbreaker, to the point where it was eventually banned. While it's not quite as overpowering as it was last generation, it can still break down pretty much any wall you desire with the right moves thanks to its great mixed stats and coverage. Just be careful about Stealth Rock and getting locked into Outrage, or you might find yourself dropping before your opponents walls do. Dragonite can break walls through dragon dancing, but it's the Mixed Set that is generally the most effective in this role. While not seen as often as Salamence's mixed set these days, MixNite does have the advantage of surprise. Almost everyone expects either a Band set or a Dragon Dance set, especially outside of rain, making Dragonite and exceptional lure for things like Skarmory and Ferrothorn. With a wide special movepool to take advantage of, Dragonite can be tailored to make short work of a large number of different walls. Just remember to use the element of surprise to your advantage, because otherwise you might as well be running Salamence for this role. Similarly to Terrakion, Haxorus is all about pure brute force. Its Outrage can level mountains, particularly when boosted with either a Choice Band or Sword Dace. It can even run Taunt to do a little bit of Stallbreaking on the side. Just be careful to watch your HP though; Haxorus' bulk leaves much to be desired. You'd also do well to remember that once you click that Outrage button you're pretty much down for the count, as you'll most likely get revenged before it finishes. Tyranitar isn't what comes to mind when you think of "top tier wallbreaker" but that's only because you usually see it in other roles. With a Choice Band or the appropriate mixed set, it can blast and smash its way through every wall in the game. Dark and Rock get surprisingly good coverage against walls, and a couple coverage moves can take care of the rest. Give this beast the tools and it'll tear down walls as well as anything else. Just look out for those fighting types. Lucario is one hell of a tough customer. It has one of the strongest Close Combats in the game, one of the most powerful priorities in the game in Extreme Speed, and Swords Dance to boost them to ludicrous levels. Add in Crunch and Ice Punch, and you have a Pokemon that can 2HKO any wall in the game, and can do it all in one set if you forgo extremespeed. Just set up the SD and go to town. It also has the unique ability to brute force wallbreak on BOTH sides of the spectrum, with its Nasty Plot set doing in special walls with just as much ease as the SD set does physical ones, thanks to STAB Aura Sphere hitting most of them super effectively. Really, the only way to stop Lucario is to kill it. You aren't going to wall it. Heracross? What's an UU doing at the top of a tier list? Well you poor fools, did you know that this beast can OHKO every last Pokemon in OU with just Stealth Rock? Oh yes, you heard that right. After one turn of set up using a toxic orb and Sword Dance, nothing in the game can avoid being 2HKO'd bar Giratina and Shedinja. Yes you read that right. Of course, it has issues with being revenge killed due to its many weaknesses and difficulty setting up, but for the ability to OHKO max defense Skarmory every time, hazards or not, with just Close Combat? That's pretty damn impressive. If you do manage to set up with this beast, something is going to die. Untiered Wallbreakers: Infernape is on the other side of the table from Terrakion; while it doesn't hit as hard overall its mixed coverage more than makes up for it. It can carry a moveset to break down pretty much any particular wall you want with its finely balanced offensive stats and massive movepool. Its biggest drawback is simply good old 4 moveslot syndrome; it can never cover absolutely everything in one set. Volcarona is one of the few special attackers this generation that can be genuinely called a wallbreaker, thanks to Quiver Dance and the tremendous coverage granted by its Bug/Fire coverage. With a Chesto Berry and Rest it can work its way through even Chansey, and few Phazers can bear survive both its STABs once it boosts. It really has to be careful of Stealth Rock though, because if it is up it only needs to be phazed once to be defeated. (The sprite is shiny b/c something is up with the non-shiny image on Bulbapedia. Saving it then uploading it uploads a picture of a motorcycle for some reason.) Mienshao has two very big things going for it as a wallbreaker. The number one thing is its massively powerful Hi Jump Kick, which obliterates almost every Pokemon in the game that doesn't resist it (including physically defensive Skarmory) in only two hits. The second thing is Regenerator, which allows it to shrug off passive damage which would otherwise give it a lot of trouble. It has to look out for users of Protect, Ghost types and paralysis though, as the first two will end Mienshao's assault quickly and the second will allow the frail fighter to fall to even weak attacks. Chandelure has much is more or less the special counterpart to Haxorus, in that it hits so amazingly hard on its side of the spectrum that even traditional special walls have trouble handling it. Ghost and Fire combine to give it extremely good coverage against most of the walls in OU, and with a Substitute not even Chansey and Blissey can wall it. Of course, Chandlure is not without weaknesses though; it's average speed and many weaknesses mean it will often be KO'd before it can get its job done unless you're very careful. Tornadus' Special Wall breaking is almost unrivaled in the rain, able to blast almost any Pokemon in the game to pieces with Hurricane. It even gets Hammer Arm to maul Blissey and Chansey with. However, it does require rain to function well; without it, the 70% accuracy of Hurricane can prevent it from busting many walls thanks to only hitting twice in a row half of the time. Additionally, even weak attacks from walls can KO this rather fragile wallbreaker, so beware when switching in. Finally, Jirachi is one special wall Tornadus can't break through, so make sure any and all Jirachi are eliminated before going on your killing spree. Latios is a wallbreaker due to one thing and one thing only; Sheer power. Very few Pokemon can take a Draco Meteor from Latios, and those that can are typically dealt with through coverage moves. Even Blissey and Chansey aren't safe thanks to Latios' monstrous STAB Psyshock. Steel types that resist these can be taken out with Hidden Power Fire, Surf or Thunder. Weather can be a big help to Latios in wallbreaking, as a boosted Surf, 100% accurate Thunder or boosted Hidden Power Fire can be the key to breaking down Pokemon that would otherwise wall it. Virizon's stat distribution doesn't bring the word "wallbreaker" to mind at first glance. Don't let appearances decieve you though. Virizon just so happens to have the perfect moveset and for causing stall headaches in today's metagame. Rain Stall in particular has nightmares of Virizon, who can obliterate their prominent steel and grass types with its dual STABs and defeat its dragons through Hidden Power Ice. However Virizon has trouble breaking through all of the walls in just one moveset. Thankfully, Virizon is unpredictable enough that it comes down to a guessing game for the opponent on just what it can and cannot break through, which can lead to a lot of surprise kills. Aggron isn't seen much in this metagame due to its rather unfortunate defensive typing, leaving it weak to far too many common types of attacks. However, all it takes is a Substitute to give Aggron the edge it needs against many walls (and indeed, offensive Pokemon as well), due to the monstrous Power of his STAB, recoil-less Head Smash. Even Physically defensive Skarmory is 2HKO'd by it. Add to that a powerful Focus Punch and Earthquake, and you got a surprise powerhouse on your hands that can give an unsuspecting opponent a world of trouble. Escavalier is pretty much the definition of a tank. Good defenses, great typing and one holy hell of a punch. Only Skarmory and Heatran are going to be able to handle more than one Megahorn from this beast, and anything without a fire type move is pretty much guaranteed to fail at taking it out. That being said, random Fire Moves are actually quite common in this metagame, and Heatran and Skarmory are pretty much everywhere, so using Escavalier may not be as easy as it would seem at first. It's not like you're going to be outspeeding anything with 20 base speed. However if you can avoid those pitfalls, Escavalier just might be the wallbreaker for you. Untiered Stallbreakers: Calm Mind Reuniclus is a Stall team's worst nightmare, being completely immune to indirect forms of damage and able to easily recover off any of their puny attacks with ease. However, it usually has to resort to a last Pokemon sweep to take them down, as it has no way to prevent being phazed when attempting to Calm Mind boost its way through walls. Finally, if the opposing Stall team has a Haze user it turns into a hell of stalemate. Sableye has no weaknesses, but that's not why Stall hates it. No, its Prankster boosted Taunt is the reason for that. Sableye is almost a complete stop to any and all stall Pokemon without Magic Bounce, since most of them don't pack strong enough moves to make it past even Sableye's meager defenses without boosts. Be wary of switching in with Sableye though; a statused Sableye is not a happy Sableye. Sigilyph works much like Reuniclus does, only with the ability to spread status conditions of its own to boot. Thanks to Magic Guard, stall can't touch it, so it can boost to its heart content against them. Be careful not to be taunted though, as a taunted Sigilyph is a useless one. Gliscor has a few things going for it that make defensive Pokemon cry. It has access to one of the faster taunts among defensive Pokemon, allowing it to easily prevent other defensive Pokemon from setting up on it and preventing healing. It also has powerful passive healing of its own in Poison Heal, allowing it to take the weak attacks of walls with ease. It has immunity to spikes and status (once toxic orb activates) thanks to its typing and ability. Finally, it has access to Sword Dance, allowing it to do a little wall breaking on the side if given enough time to set up. It does have issues with Ice Beams and Scalds from some defensive water types though. Not just any Vaporeon though; in particular, Hydra-Rest Vaporeon is a nearly insurmountable obstacle for defensive teams. It's completely and utterly immune to major status effects, and can Rest away any damage it receives in a single turn. Immunity to status and a superior recovery move essentially allows Vaporeon to out-wall the walls; it can poison or burn them to death while it comfortably shrugs off their attempts to harm them. It does have trouble with Ferrothorn though, and requires rain support to function. Certainly not something you can just slap onto any team and call it a day! Deoxys-D is a great stallbreaker due to primarily two things; Taunt and great speed for a wall. Essentially, all it needs to do is taunt the opposing wall then it can do whatever it wants, shrugging off weak attempts at KOing it. Beware of status on the switch though, as both Toxic and Paralysis will ruin its stallbreaking potential. Beware of strong dark type attacks as well, as not every wall user is running full stall. Whimsicott dominates walls in much the same way Sableye does; Priority Taunt. It can fun a variety of sets to mess with opponents as well, with encore, leech seed, substitute, stun spore and other moves all available to suit your situation. Its biggest problem though is that it has quite meager defenses of its own. Sub-Seed sets also need to look out for opposing grass types, which will stop your joyful annoying before you know it. Mew is a surprisingly often overlooked Pokemon that just happens to excell at breaking stall. It has a nice fast taunt to start the party off and a massive movepool to do whatever you want with your free turns. Access to not one, not two, but THREE instant recovery moves and decent defensive stats mean it can hold off defensive Pokemon all day long. You can take your pick of status and damaging moves and customise the EVs and spread to fit whatever you desire. Few Pokemon have the versatility Mew has, so not considering it when considering a stallbreaker is a massive mistake. Another Prankster user that can give Stall nightmares, and an often underestimated threat. Volbeat is unusual in that it doesn't really defeat stall and walls itself, so much as use them as a springboard to give something else the chance to sweep. It might have difficulty avoiding getting phazed, but if it can manage to get a timely encore or taunt in and manage to pass a +3 or +6 special attack boost to a sweeper, it might as well be the end of the match right there. A Jynx in the rain acts a lot like a Reuniclus does, only a lot faster and a lot worse at taking physical hits. Dry Skin gives it enormous healing, and it has just the resistances it needs to give Rain Stall massive trouble. A Substitute prevents status and gives you a bit of time to set up, and Calm mind gives you the power to smash through the opposition. Even Blissey will fall to Ice beam at +6, but you might have a hell of time getting to that point. Untiered Miscellaneous Pokemon: Gyarados is an interesting Stallbreaker due to the multiple ways it can go about it. Rest-Talk sets stay firmly embedded in the stallbreaking category, being nearly impossible for Stall teams to take down. On the other side of the coin, Dragon Dance sets utilizing Taunt can turn pretty much any Wall into set-up bait, then proceed to go on a rampage. Beware of random electric type attacks though; it only takes one to bring Gyarados crashing down. Stealth Rock can also be a pain, so beware of multiple switches. Breloom is an interesting Pokemon against walls, in that it can both Stallbreak and Wallbreak with different sets, between them handling most walls in the meta. Focus Punch, Sword Dance and Bulk Up focus more on busting through walls with pure power, while Sub-Seed is more of a stallbreaking set. All of them are a pain for walls though, thanks to the healing and status immunity granted by Poison Heal. However, depending on the set it's always left lacking against some walls, meaning that while Breloom gives many walls trouble, you can't rely on it to be a catch all solution to them.