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All Gens What is stall?

Discussion in 'Ruins of Alph' started by Umby, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. Umby

    Umby I'm gonna bury you in the ground~
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    I was recently linked to a thread inquiring about the legalization of OHKO moves in RBY, and I cringed. The argument of the moves' validity aside, professional Pokemoner/adult video star/part-time bouncer at the Diamond Club, spies, mentioned something after reading it himself, after claiming (and I agree) that RBY is not stallish like people are making it out to be:
    This is an observation I've also made from seeing the newer generation of trainers that incited my hatred of 4th and 5th gen for so long, and something I'm constantly saying is misconstrued when people refer to "stall" in GSC and ADV.

    Yes, I just indirectly claimed that GSC is not *necessarily* stall, but my opinion and point of view is often quite different from that of players, which brings us to the topic of this thread, "What is stall?" Is it merely conserving your health on Pokemon that can afford to do so until they can go on the offensive? Is it refusing to succumb to a poorly set up offense when you don't have to? Most seem to draw parallels between the abuse of Toxic + entry hazards to stall as well, but it seems like there are other factors outside of that which people feel contributes to stall as well. It's almost as if there were an unspoken consensus among the later generation of players that if more than 4 Pokemon on each team are still alive by turn #20, someone's using a stall team. I can even recall a time when I used JABBA'S set up and someone claimed I was stalling.

    So I really just want to hear from people to make it clear as to what they think stall is, since a standard definition doesn't seem to be as agreed upon as it would initially appear.
  2. adv

    adv

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    Stall - I'd say that it's a playstyle, as opposed to a style of team. Stall is a method of playing - conserving your pokes' health, setting up hazards, status, and other such things as opposed to bashing away at the opposing team, and overall playing conservatively. It's a lot more common in earlier gens, simply due to external factors in the metagame. "Stall teams" are really just defensively oriented teams with the aim of providing a solid enough counter to every or nearly every commonly seen threat, using some hardcore walls (such as Blissey) and some defensive pivots (such as Swampert), and probably gaining hazard control - setting them up and also keeping them off their own side of the field. In generations such as GSC and ADV, most teams are built like this, with some form of offensive presence among there simply so that the team can force switches and do some form of damage.

    People say, very annoyingly, that GSC is "the stall metagame", and also the same about ADV to a much lesser extent. This is true in some ways, but it is caused by external factors, such as the combination of the lack of the 508 max EV system and Leftovers in GSC, making for the bulkiest bunch of Pokemon in any gens - there's other stuff as well, such as the lack of Life Orb and super-powerful moves. As such players use the "tactic of stall" not because they're sadistic and want to draw the battle out until their opponent dies of hunger, but because it's simply the optimal tactic to use considering the environmental factors of the metagame. There's an old phrase which says that - in GSC and ADV you aim to stop the threat both in teambuilding and battle (while still maintaining some form of offensive presence), and in DPP and BW you aim to be the threat both in teambuilding and in battle. "Stall teams" in later gens are teams built around the same mantra of teams in GSC and ADV - countering the threat, not being the threat. This is mainly because every threat can be covered pretty well by an average GSC or ADV team, but in the two most recent gens, much of the game is based around team matchup, as not every threat can be covered by even the best of teams.

    In a sentence, stall is the playstyle that goes hand in hand with defensively oriented teams.
  3. mtr

    mtr

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    Stall refers to any team that utilizes the combination of residual damage, phazing moves, and situational attacks to defeat its opponents.

    In very offensive metagames, stall teams usually end up having to use scarfers, and typically those teams end up looking much like Bulky Offense rather than Obistall or wtev crap.
  4. shrapn3l

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    i do not really think stall works in gsc and adv in the way many newer/unfamiliar players think it does. you cannot really win by using a bunch of defensive pokemon + toxic + spikes + phazing. the old celia style gsc stall team and the old zap/cune/skarm/bliss/clops/dol adv teams are rarely very successful anymore. the reason these teams don't work is that although they often work decently enough against offensive teams, against enemy stall teams, games are often drawn out and you are spending more time "not losing" than actually winning. actually, full stall teams work BETTER in dpp ou because toxic spikes/stealth rock/spikes can force some pokemon to take upwards of 40% every time they switch in, which essentially turns any phazing move into a decent powerful offensive attack. plus rotom is a better spinblocker than gengar or misdreavus and scarftar can eliminate rapid spin starmie rather reliably. additionally, it is possible to essentially force some offensive teams to wear themselves out with residual damage including life orb damage and sandstorm damage against life orb and choice-item users. for enemy stall, you can just toss something like taunt gliscor onto your team and you maintain a defensive theme while giving yourself an advantage against even enemy stall teams. entry hazards do most of the work for you in dpp ou whereas you NEED something like drumlax or dugtrio+cm celebi/tyranitar or what have you in gsc and adv respectively. the only difference is that it takes a more concerted effort to break through enemy defenses, and "balanced" teams are generally more effective whereas both offense and defense and everything in-between is about equally viable in dpp. i would argue that defense is more sufficient for handling offensive threats in previous gens, and thus, overall, they are more focused on winning during the match itself than during the team building process, but "pure stall" is actually BETTER in dpp ou.

    in BW ou (which i don't actually know too much about so i guess take the rest of this with a grain of salt), stall is not as good as in dpp ou, and defensive pokemon are even LESS sufficient for handling offensive threats. if things like sturdy and storm drain didn't get buffed, and eviolite chansey and ferrothorn didn't exist handling offenses with pure defense would be nigh impossible (honestly i wouldn't call anything that seems to pass for stall a "full stall" team by any other gen's standards anyway). rotom no longer blocks spin, things like donphan and tentacruel are a bit better, magic bounce exists. overall, offense is a LOT stronger, many more things function as "wall breakers," and defense is disadvantaged. that's not to say defense or defensive pokemon don't work, but stall doesn't really seem like a... thing in bw.
  5. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
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    "Stall" refers to "defensive and slow" at its most self-evident.

    In RBY, there's really not enough teams for a distinction between "stall" and "offense" to emerge; I'd say that, if anything, the difference between stall and offense is defined by the sets on the Pokemon that are already used. Rest Egg, Rest Lapras, Rest Cloyster, Starmie > some other Ice/Water-type, Rest + Amnesia/Reflect Lax, Reflect Chansey, Reflect Zam... using at least one or two of these things (the minimum depending on which you choose) means you're playing more defensively than normal, hence "stalling."

    In GSC, stall is a little bit trickier to define, since most teams are pretty defensive. I'd define a "stall" as any team consisting of at least 2 or 3 non-threatening walls (Suicune, Miltank, Skarm, etc., the minimum again depending on which ones you use), and I'd separate "stall" into two sub-types: Spikes-stall and Stratified-stall. Spikes-stalls focus all their efforts on keeping Spikes and abusing them to their fullest: expect to see Forry, Misdreavus, Roar Raikou, etc. and to fight to break the walls before those Spikes wear you down. This type of stall usually keeps a constant, albeit subtle, sense of pressure on the opponent via status spread, Roar threats, and (to be successful) at least one mixed attacker (often FB/FT Snorlax). The second type of stall, "stratified", uses extreme threats such as Drumlax and SD Marowak and couples them with a stall background and maybe some Heal Bell/Pursuit support. These teams are really tough to play, since offense and defense are so divorced from one another, but with a lot of prediction its offensive stars will be able to shine and force sacrifices. These teams can run Spikes or just use Starmie to spin (or, very rarely, not worry about Spikes at all!!!), but even if they do run Spikes, they're more of a bonus than a focal point unlike the Spikes-stall archetype.
  6. mtr

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    Stall isn't good in BW OU because Gamefreak decided to powercreep the hell out of the game in terms of offense. I'm willing to bet that the only players who regularly use Blissey are low on the ladder. Or tournament players counterpicking their enemies.

    Ladder play is different from tournament play. In ladder play you're trying to build the best team to obtain the highest possibility of winning against a litany of opponents. In tournament play you're trying to beat the guy across the board from you by any means necessary. It doesn't matter if you're DDRay weak if the other guy doesn't even have a Ray.

    What this means is that many top ladder players back in Gen IV (pana, KG, ipl, etc) used stall because it is by far more consistent than offense. But what happens is that if you are a known stall player and you are using stall in a tournament, your opponents will take risks and use sets they wouldn't use against offensive teams. I'm not a good tourney player, but I played a Tour match vs. Conflict once, and everyone knows I like to use stall teams. So his team had a Cursepert.
  7. kill yourself

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    Actually, BW OU stall is very much a thing, and anyone who plays it knows that, especially with all the rain stall being used so far in WC.
    You'd lose that bet, mtr, because Blissey has been used by several top players in both tournaments and on the ladder [undisputed's "Rain Man" is a good example; another one is the Blissey/Forretress/Quagsire/Gliscor/CBtar/Latias team that has been around ever since the Excadrill/Thundurus era -- one player in particular has been using that team on the ladder for over a year, and it's consistently kept him on the leaderboard, while I know that this team has also been used by two different players during the first round of this WC].

    No offense intended, I just wanted to clear this "stall doesn't exist in bw ou" thing up.
  8. mtr

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    Wait, so who is the spinblocker?

    Anyways, I don't know much about BW OU. I used to play it back in the day, but didn't see much stall back then. Guess things change.
  9. Borat

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    I feel like the definition of stall is a fairly straightforward one for most top tier competitive players. However, there's probably a strong case to be made now that people nowadays use "stall" and "slow" interchangeably, which is moronic.

    Stalling is a tactic by which the player/team's main goal is to "not lose". This is very different from the concept of "winning". Stall can be used to classify certain playstyles or teams, but to generalize an entire generation into a playstyle is simply idiotic.

    Stall DOESN'T MEAN slow in any sense of the word. GSC and ADV are slower gens, but they're not stall unless you consciously make them play that way. Stall by definition means inability to make progress. This is ultimately your own doing, stop blaming the gen.
  10. kill yourself

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    Spinblockers aren't as common in bw stall as they were in dpp stall because sometimes the ghosts aren't as good [r.i.p. ghost Rotom-A], and you need all the coverage on threats you can get. The most viable spin-blockers are Gengar [great on offense but too frail to work on stall], Jellicent [who is a very good 'mon, admittedly] and Eviolite Dusclops [who blows, gets set up on by everything], the latter two of which are Toxic Spikes weak, and therefore very easy for rain stall [the most common form of bw stall] to wear down, since they all run Tentacruel, who also beats Gar with a couple rain-boosted Scalds and Rain Dish + protect to heal off Shadow Balls. Sand stall also tends to pack CB/Scarf Tyranitar to trap them, and from there it's a game of "kill the other guy's spinner first". It's not uncommon to see hazards set up, spun, then set up again later, multiple times in one match.

    Spinblockers are much easier to use in dpp because Rotom-A is so good, but I've seen several great stall teams without a spinblocker [see ToF's team in his battle vs Malekith in the most recent smogon tour finals for example].
  11. Mia

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    I have read your posts on this forum for a few years now and your ideas have always impressed me. That said, I have an idea that I'd like to share with you.

    I was always under the impression that the purpose of stall was to control the length of the match. Ideally, the better player has more turns to make better decisions to consistently arrive at a winning position and can then close out the match, sometimes rapidly. This as opposed to more offensive teams, where controlling the match is a different form of finesse, but one that I would think yields less consistency (and by extension, forfeits win percentage). Of course this is a strong generalization, but I think my idea somewhat fits yours. Can you tell me what you think of it? Or anyone else?

    This thread seems mostly like an exercise in theory, so any criticisms are welcome.
  12. sandshrewz

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    This is a very good question Umby! From generation to generation, what qualifies as stall will usually differ. I'll just touch a bit on RBY and DPP I guess...

    I'm not exactly sure to what extent stall is viable in RBY. There's neither clerics nor entry hazards. Stall options could be quite limited to good Rest users and maybe some Pokemon that can set up to increase Defense and/or Special. I personally don't think stall is very viable in RBY with crits everywhere and make every Pokemon much less durable. Being slower also means a higher chance of getting a critical hit. By trying to stall out the opponent, you're putting yourself at huge risk of a critical hit or even worse, a freeze. I've never seen / used a stall team in RBY though so I might be wrong somewhere. RBY is a rather fast metagame that isn't really suited for stall :/

    DPP might be the best generation for stall (or maybe GSC or ADV >.>). It has a good balance of entry hazards, Rapid Spin users, clerics, walls, spinblockers, and oppositely an equal counterpart of offensive Pokemon so that neither stall nor offense will overpower each other. But what is considered stall in DPP is often blurred by misconceptions etc. Stall teams would usually consist of the aforementioned things minus maybe the offensive Pokemon bar a failsafe such as Choice Scarf Tyranitar / Rotom-W. With 'semi-stall' and bulky offense around, some might mix them up with a full stall team. Good stall teams are incredibly great of the ladder at the certain period of time it was made for. Stall teams aim to counter the most common and relevant threats on the ladder but not to counter every single threat out there as that is also unrealistic. Stall teams often do not have any form of offense bar their failsafe and maybe Pokemon that have naturally good attacking stats such as Hippowdon and Gyarados.

    Stall teams are self-sustainable and aim to outplay and outlast the opposing team with smart play and good use of the Pokemon. Entry hazards and phazing go along hand in hand to rack up plenty of residual damage to the opponents while they struggle to do anything back to you while you fall back on your sturdy walls that can even heal off any damage taken and just repeat the phazing cycle until the opponent is severely weakened. Through cores and sole stall Pokemon, stall teams counter the common threats and work towards wearing down the opponent till the extend that the stall teams gain a win condition.

    Stall isn't just about trying to survive longer than the opponent, though that's what you have to do to win every battle anyway. It also does damage slowly but gradually to opposing teams, often through residual damage in the form of entry hazards or status. There's also weather stall, mainly hail since sandstorm is used as an anti-weather as opposed to using it as an element of stall. Hail is a great and fast way to wear down Pokemon without Leftovers as Ice-types are quite rare in DPP OU.

    Stall is one of the most irritating playstyles to face, and probably one of the harder and more consistent playstyle that is well-suited for ladder play. I don't think stall is as common in Tournaments though I've never really participated in one :d On another note, it can be quite fustrating to be randomly accused of using stall when you definitely aren't and you're just walling your opponent instead of stalling them though there's much similarity. Stall can and will do something back and walling might just be as good as forcing something out without doing anything / attacking back. Stall = wall but wall =/= stall or something like that.

    I think this is a very insightful thread to what qualifies as stall and what doesn't. Also please try to avoid talking about BW as RoA is for past gens discussion though making comparisons to BW is fine >.> sorry if I'm overstepping anything :d
  13. mtr

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    Using stall in tournaments is fine. But broadcasting "I am a stall player" is not fine, because then your opponents will throw out crap like Cursetar, Crocune, SubSplit Gengar, and all kinda of anti-stall Pokemon because they know you can't use an offensive team to punish them for it.
  14. Crystal_

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    I wasn't there unfortunately, but it seems pretty likely that the concept "stall" appeared in the GSC prime as a way to refer to the ultra-passive teams unable to break anything half defensive, so that all they could do was just that, stall and keep stalling.

    But generalizing more, especially now with DP and BW being much faster gens, a team is generally classified as "stall" if it focus more on "not being broken" rather than on "breaking".

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