Despite stall falling out of favour in BW and BW2 wall breaking is still an important role in pokemon and the metagame. Even though there aren't as many walls and defensive juggernauts in this metagame and hyper offence has continued to flourish the role of a wall breaker is still prevalent. Offensive teams have a defensive backbone just like any other team, they're simply made up of synergy, not defensive stats. When it comes to offence versus offence smart switching, resistances and immunities are often a substitute for strong tanks or walls. common glue pokemon like ferrothorn that teams can fall back on in case of powerful attacks aimed at their sweepers are prevalent even on some heavy offence teams, wearing down teams with iron barbs, hazards, leech seed and status. No matter how fast and strong the metagame is all teams must still have some sort of plan for strong defensive pokemon and defensive backbones in general. In this thread we'll discuss the most effective, prevalent, favourite and simply all around common wall breaking pokemon and tactics. Types of wall Breaking: Sheer Force: No not the ability, though that can certainly be a part of it. Sheer force refers to raw power used to muscle past walls and tanks, sometimes even if they resist you. Often done through either choice band/specs or +2 boosting moves in swords dance or the much lesser seen nasty plot. Pokemon like this often have outrageous attack stats and powerful neutral STABS like fighting and dragon. Being extremely strong however is often merely a good starting point and not a technique in and of itself for dismantling defensive pokemon. Kyurem-B @ Choice Band teravolt adamant nature 252atk/4spatk/252speed -outrage -fusion bolt -earth power -dragon claw That 170 baseattack stat! Kyurem b is an absolute offensive juggernaut. His STAB is resisted only by steel types allowing him to carry powerful coverage moves like fusion bolt. He also has earth power which while hitting from his smaller (not that 120 is small!) special attack also hits steels on their commonly smaller special defence. dragon claw is to avoid being locked into outrage early mtach when your opponents steel types, the best defensive typing in the game, are still healthy. Kyurem-B absolutely destroys anything that isn't a healthy physically invested steel type. Boosting Versus Choice items: When trying to give your wall breaker an appropriate amount of strength (NEVER ENOUGH) one should always consider whether to use choice items or boosting moves. The most common boosting move is swords dance because it provides twice the boosting choice band does. Nasty plot is a lesser seen special alternative which suffers from poor abusers and bad distribution. Work up provides a +1 boost to both attacking stats which is good for pokemon that tear down cores by utilizing mixed sets, however there is even less use of this move then there is for nasty plot for much the same reason. Choice items are great for pokemon with strong neutral coverage rather than wide super effective coverage. It provides a boost to only one offensive stat equal to a +1 boost as well as locking your wall breaker into a single move. At first this may seem absolutely inferior to a boosting move but the upside is great in its own right; a free move slot and an instant boost. When picking which to outfit your pokemon with always consider your team composition and what kind of threats you need removed. A Choice band Terrakion is great if Steels stand in the way of your dragons, while a work up booster could help if you need specific pokemon that are quite varied removed. Coverage: A great way to dismantle walls is to have amazing SE/neutral coverage to hit opposing walls with, forcing your opponent to predict and juggle between their defensive core is extremely effective because it puts you in control. It racks up hazard damage and constant switching stops them from using utility moves. A great example of this is Expert belt Genesect: Genesect @ expert belt download naive nature 52atk/204spatk/252speed -u-turn -thunderbolt -ice beam -flamethrower Genesect can hit the powerful Ferrocent defensive core for super effective damage, usually at +1 special attack. This forces the opponent to constantly switch between the two, stopping them from getting up hazards and wittling them down with damage plus your own hazards, expert belt let's you both bluff a choice scarf, your most common set and the absence of life orb recoil means there is little consequence for a misprediction. Mixed attacking: Many walls only invest heavily in one end of the attacking spectrum, no matter how powerful your special attack is it isn't going to get past the likes of the pink blobs for example. Therefore hitting from both sides of the spectrum let's you dismantle cores that rely on a power special and physical wall, like the now seldom seen skarmbliss. powerful neutral attacks that target the uninvested defensive stat can rip apart this and similar cores. Hydregon excels at this. Hydreigon @ life orb levitate rash nature 4atk/252spatk/252speed -draco meteor -fire blast -super power -earthquake Hydreigon Ohkoes tyranitar and 2hkos heatran and blissey with draco + super power and stealth rocks even though its special attack is much higher than its physical attack. It uses a combination of the three strategies discussed thus far to ensure there are no safe switch ins to it. Dragon STAB plus the three types steel is weak to gives it impossibly strong coverage, it hits both sides of the spectrum to destroy pokemon like Chansey and T-tar and special attacks to lambaste ferrothorn, forretress, and other physically defensive steel types. Substitute: A personal favourite of mine substitute is an amazing move, almost as amazing as stealth rock. It has both offensive and defensive uses for offensive teams and combats stall and offence alike. Substitute protects against status, defensive pokemon often can't break a sub if you resist them or their attacks are weakened by the weather so you can get free turns to set up or attack. It also protects you from getting revenged should you KO the opponent while behind the sub. Terrakion runs a common SubSD set that both destroys walls and gives it a good chance to sweep. Terrakion @ salac berry jolly nature justified 4hp/252atk/252speed -substitute -swords dance -close combat -stone edge Terrakion excels at this not just because it has decent natural bulk and a very fast substitute but also because it is immune to sand storm and resists stealth rock, meaning it's hardly worn down by passive damage while substitute protects against direct damage. Opponents are often hard pressed to both simultaneously break terrakion's substitute and be on the receiving end of an attack, especially because he resists u-turn and gets a special defence boost in sand storm to better take volt switch. Immunity to passive damage: Passive damage is how most walls and stall teams do damage, both with passive abilities and utility moves. Here is a list of forms of passive damage and how to avoid them. sand storm - have a rock/ground/steel type toxic - have a steel/ posion type burn - have a fire type (a pokemon that uses special attacks or has guts is okayish so the attack drop isn't a problem spikes - have levitate/ flying typing iron barbs/rough skin - use special attacks (Which is the lower defensive stat of common garchomp and ferrothorn.) leech seed - have a grass type recoil - don't run life orb, if you have a wall breaker only use life orb if it nets you important 1 or 2 KOes over expert belt or lefties even. Life orb recoil is how a defensive core that would otherwise be at your mercy can defeat you with intelligent switches. stealth rocks - hits almost everything, try to use a wall breaker that resists it so you don't take large amounts of damage coming in repeatedly. A special mention goes to Reuniclus and Sigilyph. With magic guard the have complete immunity to passive damage and the bulk to take advantage of it. Whether its a trick room set that ruins the opponent teams sweepers or a boosting set to make you ridiculously hard to kill both are great at hurting stall. Sigilyph in particular can run flame orb and psycho-shift to utilize a 100% burning move that cancels out leftovers which walls love. Xatu (screw espeon) can bounce back status moves and hazards to turn the utilities of stall pokemon back on them as well. Healing moves: It may seem strange to utilize healing to beat defensive pokemon but as said before walls and stall teams do almost all of their damage passively, in other words slowly. Having an offensive pokemon with a healing move gives you sustainability making you hard to wear down. Say milotic (Okay milotic is never used in OU but just as an example) is burned and in a sandstorm with lefties. It takes 4 turns to get to 50%, where recover can bring it back to full health. Passive damage might as well be no damage if you can heal it off and they don't have something to KO you from that range. Rest talk has fallen out of style because sleep is much more crippling in gen 5 but a combo of recover+refresh can make you almost untouchable when it comes to passive damage, just make sure you're in good enough shape to take a direct hit once in a while. Latias @ leftovers levitate bold nature 252hp/228def/28speed -calm mind -recover -refresh -dragon pulse Latias is a monstrous tank that takes a pittance from most opponents. The popularity of Genesect and his monster u-turn and speed has left latias a bit in the dust recently but outside of him (He is a really large glaring weakness though) Latias is definitely a powerful offensive and defensive force. The idea behind this set is that not a lot of teams carry stuff that can outright massacre latias from the special side and its physical defence has been patched up. Recover allows you to heal up any passive damage done, refresh let's you remove status and calm mind rasises your special attack and defence to absurd levels. Your final attack is dragon pulse. Dragon pulse is an amazing stab and will allow you to power past even steel types (Watch out for subCM Rachi!) once you accumulate enough boosts. There is very little steel types can do to you in return so you will be able to boost freely in front of most of them. Preventing utility moves: Taking hits is only half the job of a defensive core or stall team in general. While being hard to defeat gives them time to wear you down with hazards, toxic, weather or seeds they also have to take turns actually using those moves. preventing them from doing so by either forcing them out or using moves such as taunt, torment or disable is very effective. A force out: This can often work, however opponents can counter predict what you are going to do and get off their status moves anyway. Say you bring in Genesect against specially defensive forretrees in the rain. Obviously genesect is threatening, however you will probably predict another pokemon to come in and either u-turn/t-bolt/i-beam them. However forretress may stay in because you don't have your plus one and you're in the rain, you obviously came in just to force him out so he might stay in to get up spikes. Taunt: Taunt is amazing, and it's important to have it on a pokemon that is fairly fast so you get it off before they get their utilities off. Taunt prevents the use of moves that aren't attacking moves. Not only does this keep them from completing their goal but it also means they must switch out. Torment and Disable: Torment and disable are much lesser seen than taunt but they have their uses, they're best at stopping moves that stack or warrant repeated use. a phazer that's under torment or disable won't be able to repeatedly use dragon tail as opposed to taunt which only stops roar and whirlwind. Otherwise these moves are incredibly niche and you should stick with taunt, these other two are better off used in conjunction with substitute to force switches or buy a free turn of set up. Trick: Trick is great at rendering walls useless. The main problems are that you only get one shot with it (maybe 2 if they switch in their own choice pokemon to take it.) and that their aren't a lot of viable pokemon to use it. locking a wall into a single move ruins its potential. it also removes their leftovers or possibly eviolite. It's even worse if the pokemon ran protect, you're incapable of scouting attacks without being locked into it for the entire duration of your stay in the battle, which is worthless. Zoroark @ choice specs illusion timid nature 4hp/252spatk/252speed -dark pulse -focus blast -flamethrower -trick Zoroark is amazing, a favourite of mine. The focus of this Zoroark set is to do two things, 1. massive damage and 2. cripple an opponent's wall mid game with trick. Being locked into a single move is truly crushing for a wall, only having access to one of it's utility moves every switch in. Zoroark has both fighting and fire coverage moves that dismantle steel types. On top of this his STAB is super effective against ghost types who are often paired with steel types. Not only is this important for beating defensive cores but erasing ghost types from the opponents team will allow you to rapid spin if you have a spinner and any rock weak pokemon like dragonite. Zoroark is best off tricking mid game, by that point walls will be weak enough that the damage boost provided by specs won't be as valuable as the ability to switch moves. Also take note that as long as you disguise zoroark as a pokemon that is neutral to stealth rocks and hit by spikes and t-spikes (in this meta? lol) then you can almost guarantee a trick because you will appear to be a pokemon that does not get trick to your opponent. Switch initiative: Switch initiative is gained by using neutral priority switching moves, volt switch, u-turn, and baton pass. Volt-turn is much better and more effective than dry passing though. The ideal behind this is having a pokemon that checks a wall you're up against, they switch out, you use volt-turn and do a bit of damage then get to switch into a check of your own, constantly forcing switches because you know what they've switched into. This is self explanatory. Force out the opponent, deal damage at the same time and keep them from getting up their hazards or status. Watch out for garchomp though, he's immune to volt switch, has rough skin to punish u-turn and an amazing offensive presence, great speed and high natural bulk to force you out in return. Genesect @ choice scarf down load naive nature 52atk/204spatk/252speed -u-turn -flamethrower -thunder bolt - ice beam Look I know we already had Genesect in this analysis but... Okay He's super amazingly good in this metagame. Genesect can come in, either grab a +1 attack boost for a super powerful u-turn or a +1 special attack boost to be extra threatening with his spectacular coverage and easily force a switch. This causes hazard damage and either decent - possibly significant u-turn damage, massive damage with the correct coverage move or lesser damage if a neutral or resistant pokemon switches in. U-turn is the most important move. You will do damage - often after a switch that causes hazard damage, know which pokemon you are switching in on and can now force out that pokemon as well with another member of your team that threatens whatevers on the other side of the field. It's best to group Genesect and other volt-turn users together so they can continue to pull this manoeuvre off multiple times. Trapping: Trapping is a strategy that's been rising in OU lately because of Shadow Tag Gothitelle and genesect+dugtrio. Trapping prevents pokemon from leaving the battle often ensuring a kill. Magnezone traps many of the steels, turning skarmory into roast turkey and ferrothorn and forretress are burnt to a crisp. These pokemon are common spikes users as well as freeing up your dragon types to wreak havoc. Wobbuffet can trap offensive and defensive pokemon alike effectively. counter and magic coat destroys choice scarf users and encore turns walls into pathetic set up fodder, though without reliable recovery the damage it takes often limits wobb to one of these roles a match.Dugtrio can trap any pokemon that isn't a flying type or levitater, which doesn't really matter because it's best at defeating pokemon weak to ground type attacks. A focus sash can let it switch in on an attack early game and get off two hits on a pokemon or a hit against a faster scarfer if it comes in after a ko or a slow volt-turn on your team. Magnezone @ choice specs magnet pull modest nature 148hp/252spatk/108speed -volt switch -thunderbolt -hidden power [fire] -flash cannon Magnezone is an assassin, a big clunky slow robot assassin. His ability prevents steels from switching out (not with volt-turn though don't get any ideas about Gene running around, that's not this sets purpose.) and allows you to destroy them. Specs seem overkill with your fire attack dealing super effective damage and your impressive mostly neutral STAB however unless you're running zone in the sand or sun you need the extra power. Ferrothorn can actually protect+leech seed stall you and possibly kill you when he's chilling in the rain. the extra power is absolutely necessary. If you are relaxing in the sun then the monstrous extra power for your hidden power can allow you to trade in the shades for a fashionable scarf, letting you kill not-choice locked scizor before he can u-turn out. EXPLOSION! Okay you're all going to be very mad that I added this little part but I thought it was a decent little blurb at the very end. "Explosion's got nerfed!" "Steels are more prevalent than ever and ghosts are seeing a resurgence!" "there are no good abusers!" While all this is pretty true you can always elect to run it on a powerful wall breaker as an emergency murder tool. If you're down to 10-20% health with your life orb and the walls on the other side are still rather healthy you can always explode and deal a hefty amount to a wall so a sweeper can come in and finish them off in preparation for a sweep. It works if you desperately need to clear out a pink blob and you have no physical attackers left for instance (I should use Azelf in OU more...) or possibly need a ferrothorn weakened for a sweep attempt but have no fire or fighting moves left. It should never be a primary strategy and is much more viable on suicide leads with normal gem but if you find any pokemon with a free moveslot and decent attack try it out. It also comes with the benefit of getting a sweeper in for free so they don't have to risk a thunder wave or toxic. In conclusion: Stall and wall breaking is important regardless of the speed and power of the metagame, a team can't rely solely on brute force. Offence must be used intelligently and diversely as well. Discuss your own sets that you've created, favourite strategies, how you cope with common stall breakers if you run stall and the potential for the different types of offensive mons in the metagame.