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With offense being the dominant team style in the current metagame, a lot of teams focus merely on trying to cover as many offensive threats as possible. However, those teams can easily be walled cold by common stall teams, and if you too find yourself having no way of beating stall, you can try using an effective stallbreaker on your team. A stallbreaker, you ask? Yes, there are actually some Pokemon that can deal with stall teams if not prepared for properly! Keep on reading to find out...
Reuniclus @ Leftovers
Ability: Magic Guard
EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
- Calm Mind
- Focus Blast
Reuniclus is one of the top threats to stall teams, as he is immune to residual damage thanks to Magic Guard, and can recover off any damage taken from attacks with Recover while setting up with Calm Mind. Being immune to residual damage, which is a stall team's main form of damage, is surely a big plus, and stall thus has to rely on unboosted direct attacks to damage him. This is where Reuniclus's EV spread comes in: it ensures that even physical attacks do laughable damage which can be healed off with Recover later on, and Calm Mind anyway makes Reuniclus almost invulnerable to special attacks. Once Reuniclus has enough Calm Minds up, not much on a stall team can stop him; he can beat even the usual special walls in Blissey or Chansey.
Psyshock is an option over Psychic, as it lets you beat other Reuniclus, as well as Calm Mind Latias. However, it doesn't have much use besides that, as Chansey and Blissey are already easily beaten. Life Orb is an option over Leftovers for more power, and it also doesn't give recoil thanks to Magic Guard, but the extended longevity afforded by Leftovers is often missed.
However, every Pokemon comes with its counters, and Reuniclus is no exception. Spiritomb is the best Reuniclus counter out there you can find, being immune to both Psychic and Focus Blast; it can then set up its own Calm Mind on Reuniclus, or trap it with Pursuit. However, Spiritomb doesn't have many other effective roles, and you're usually better off using other Pokemon in that slot. Specially defensive Jirachi is also an excellent counter to Reuniclus, as it takes almost nothing from his attacks, with not even Focus Blast after six Calm Minds OHKOing. He can paralyze Reuniclus with Thunder Wave or Body Slam and proceed to spam Iron Head, while Reuniclus only has a 30% chance of attacking (21% when factoring in Focus Blast's accuracy). Jirachi can also use Wish to heal off any damage he might receive. Specially defensive Swords Dance Scizor can set up on Reuniclus too, comfortably taking even Reuniclus's boosted attacks and healing off damage with Roost, while OHKOing with a +2 Bug Bite. Specially defensive Tyranitar can also take on Reuniclus quite nicely, 2HKOing with Crunch while surviving a Focus Blast; this is even easier when carrying a Chople Berry. Bulky Psychic-types resist both Psychic and Focus Blast, so Mew and Deoxys-D can stall Reuniclus out with a combination of Taunt, Seismic Toss, and Recover. Latias can set up Calm Minds alongside Reuniclus and use Roar to phaze him out when set-up, proceeding to sweep the other team. Finally, most Trick users shut down Reuniclus as they can outspeed and lock him into either Calm Mind or Recover.
Mew @ Leftovers
EVs: 252 HP / 224 Def / 32 Spe
Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk)
The combination of Taunt, Will-O-Wisp or Toxic, and a recovery move is an excellent way of beating stall. Mew is probably the best one to execute that strategy, having enough Speed to outspeed all common walls as well as solid bulk to take their attacks. With Taunt forcing walls to attack and making them unable to recover, and Will-O-Wisp slowly whittling down their health, they will fall eventually; the only thing you have to do is keep using Softboiled and Taunt whenever necessary until they faint. He isn't useless against offensive teams either, doing an excellent job at walling most, if not all, Fighting-types by resisting their main STAB move, burning them with Will-O-Wisp, and dealing heavy damage with Psychic.
Surprisingly, Mew has some other options to use. Seismic Toss is a good option over Psychic, dealing more consistent damage; Ice Beam is also a good choice, as Gliscor could otherwise be troublesome for Mew, being immune to Will-O-Wisp thanks to Toxic Orb, and not taking much from Psychic or Seismic Toss. Ice Beam also hits Dragonite hard, KOing if Multiscale is broken. The given Speed EVs are to outrun max Speed Tyranitar, while also outrunning most walls, but you can bump up your Speed to 92 EVs to outspeed Adamant Dragonite if Ice Beam is used. Other notable options over Psychic include: Aura Sphere, to hit Tyranitar hard and deal decent damage to Steel-types such as Heatran and Ferrothorn; Flamethrower, to roast Scizor, Ferrothorn, and Forretress; and finally, U-turn, as Mew forces a lot of switches, allowing you to keep the advantage on your side.
Specially defensive Heatran is the most common Mew counter on stall teams, being immune to Will-O-Wisp, resisting Psychic, and having the ability to set up Stealth Rock or use Lava Plume when Taunted to eventually burn Mew. This works even better when you manage to nab a Flash Fire boost by switching Heatran into Will-O-Wisp. Calm Mind Latias can use Mew as setup fodder when played right, but must be wary of getting outstalled by Taunt, Will-O-Wisp, and Softboiled. A combination of Slowbro and Blissey can PP stall Mew to death, as while Blissey doesn't need to worry about Will-O-Wisp with Natural Cure, Slowbro gets healed each time it switches with Regenerator; both also have reliable recovery to heal off any damage taken from Mew's attacks.
Jellicent can run a similar set with Scald over Psychic, and an EV spread of 248 HP / 216 Def / 44 Spe. Jellicent's main advantage over Mew is that it's a spinblocker, which is beneficial to stall teams. It also has the added bonus of beating Heatran as opposed to Mew, taking Heatran's attacks easily with his great special bulk and Water typing, healing off any damage taken with Recover, and Scalding it for a good amount of damage. Beware though that Jellicent is much slower than Mew, meaning it gets outsped much more often. It also has significantly less physical bulk than Mew.
While he may seem completely inferior at first glance, Sableye too can run such a set, as he has one big advantage: Prankster. Prankster gives all of Sableye's moves bar Night Shade priority, meaning that he always goes first when using Taunt, Will-O-Wisp, or Recover, which is helpful when stopping a physical sweeper or Taunting a fast wall such as Jirachi with significant investment in Speed. Sableye also has no weaknesses, but that is mostly nullified by his awful stats: even strong STAB moves usually OHKO Sableye, which is the main reason not to use him.
Salamence @ Life Orb
EVs: 116 Atk / 216 SpA / 176 Spe
Rash Nature (+SpA, -SpD)
- Draco Meteor
- Fire Blast
- Brick Break
Using a mixed sweeper to break through stall is usually very effective. This Salamence in particular can use Draco Meteor to OHKO almost all of the common switch-ins to the Dragon Dance set. Draco Meteor is also still a great move against stall, KOing or denting every Pokemon that isn't a Steel-type, Blissey, Chansey, or Tyranitar. Steel-types bar Heatran are taken care of by a strong Fire Blast, while Blissey, Chansey, and Tyranitar won't enjoy Brick Break. Intimidate and Roost also provide a lot of longevity, which is helpful when stall tries to wear Salamence down.
As opposed to Brick Break and Roost in the last two slots, Earthquake and Outrage are also a good option. Outrage actually hits Chansey and Blissey harder than Brick Break, while also dealing more damage in general. Salamence can then drop Brick Break for Earthquake, which does a great job at hitting Heatran and Jirachi, as well as Tyranitar, although not as hard as Brick Break in the latter's case. However, this will often shorten Salamence's sweep, with Outrage locking Salamence in and no Roost to heal off Life Orb and Stealth Rock damage.
Usually, Salamence doesn't have a lot of counters on stall teams besides Cresselia, who takes upwards of 80% from a combination of Draco Meteor and Outrage. However, it's still not a KO, meaning that Cresselia can then OHKO with Ice Beam. In the rain, Steel-types will be harder to handle due to rain halving Fire Blast's power. Bronzong will be able to take any attack from Salamence, and Hidden Power Ice or Gyro Ball will do a ton of damage back. Skarmory can also handle Salamence in the rain, but likes a specially defensive EV spread to handle Draco Meteors and Fire Blasts relatively well. Jirachi can take on sets lacking Earthquake in the rain, thanks to his great overall bulk and typing. After a Draco Meteor, you'll see that a lot of other Pokemon can take on Salamence due to the halved Special Attack, but Salamence would have probably done the damage by then.
Infernape also makes a great mixed sweeper, as with a moveset of Fire Blast, Close Combat, Grass Knot, and Stone Edge, it's hard to wall. With two powerful STAB moves having good coverage, and two great coverage moves to hit the likes of Jellicent, Slowbro, and Gyarados with, stall teams will have trouble switching into it. However, Life Orb recoil will wear him down, and so with correct prediction he'll go down fast. He also still has some hard counters such as Latias and Tentacruel.
Gliscor @ Toxic Orb
Ability: Poison Heal
EVs: 252 HP / 184 Def / 72 Spe
Impish Nature (+Def, -SpA)
- Swords Dance
- Ice Fang
Gliscor has some unique features that make him a good stallbreaker, and the first of them is Poison Heal, which makes him immune to poison damage and even lets him heal from it! When equipped with a Toxic Orb, this also makes him immune to all other status. Second is its good base Speed, typing, and bulk paired with Taunt. He can Taunt a lot of common stall Pokemon and easily set up Swords Dance on them as they usually can't do much more than what he will heal from Poison Heal. Gliscor will have an impressive Attack stat at +6, and with STAB Earthquake and Ice Fang having great coverage, not much will like to take a hit from Gliscor.
Facade is a solid option over Ice Fang, hitting harder in general, but Ice Fang provides much better coverage. Without Ice Fang, you're also walled by opposing Gliscor, as well as Gengar. This EV spread allows you to outspeed Adamant Breloom, while also maintaining as much physical bulk as possible to wall opposing Fighting-types. You can bump up the Speed a few points to have the advantage against Standard Rotom-W though, which is especially useful when using Facade.
Rotom-W completely walls Gliscor, while also outspeeding with enough Speed investment, and KOing with STAB Hydro Pump. He must be wary of Facade though, but Rotom-W usually outspeeds Gliscor, so that's not too big of an issue. Bronzong also walls Gliscor and can take it out in two hits with Hidden Power Ice while resisting Facade and being immune to Toxic, which is commonly found on other Gliscor sets. Slowbro can take Gliscor's hits quite reasonably with his great physical bulk, and can 2HKOing with STAB Scald. Gyarados can also wall Gliscor well, packing Intimidate and being immune to Earthquake; it can then dispose of Gliscor with STAB Waterfall.
Azelf @ Life Orb
EVs: 28 HP / 252 SpA / 228 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Nasty Plot
- Hidden Power Fighting
With Gen 5 came Psyshock, a special move that hits the target's Defense. Because of that, special sweepers with STAB Psyshock, such as Nasty Plot Azelf, can now easily bypass Blissey and Chansey, and they can go "mixed" without even having to split their EVs, wreaking havoc against stall. After a Nasty Plot, Azelf will have a Special Attack stat of 696, which is further boosted by Life Orb; not much will be able to take a Psyshock after that besides walls packing resistances. Flamethrower takes care of most of those, KOing Steel-types such as Ferrothorn, Scizor, and Jirachi. Hidden Power Fighting occupies the last slot, as it OHKOes Tyranitar and dents Heatran, meaning that if he is weakened you'll get an opportunity to sweep.
The EV spread might seem weird for a sweeper. The reason why Speed isn't maxed out, though, is the fact that Hidden Power Fighting always lowers your Speed IV, meaning you can't Speed tie with Starmie anyway. Only 228 EVs are thus invested in Speed, allowing Azelf to outspeed Tornadus. Grass Knot is an option over Hidden Power Fighting in the last slot, KOing Quagsire and still hitting Tyranitar hard, while also keeping a 31 Speed IV, so you can use a simple 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe spread. You will get horribly walled by Heatran though, so beware of that.
Azelf doesn't have a lot of common counters found on stall teams, though Latias and Deoxys-D work well. Latias can take any attack from Azelf, and deal a good amount of damage back with Dragon Pulse. This only works if Azelf is weakened though, as Psyshock is a clean 2HKO while Dragon Pulse does 56% maximum. Deoxys-D works even better, avoiding the 2HKO from both Flamethrower and Psyshock if he's using a 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpD Calm EV spread. Deoxys-D can thus Toxic Azelf and stall him out with Recover. Once you know Azelf's last move, he will also be easier to deal with, as Quagsire can beat Hidden Power Fighting variants thanks to Unaware, while Heatran completely walls Grass Knot variants. Another way of dealing with Azelf for stall teams is using a revenge killer. Choice Scarf Tyranitar, for example, outspeeds Azelf and can trap him with Pursuit, or simply KO with Crunch.
Calm Mind Latios can abuse STAB Psyshock while also using his great Dragon-type STAB. Because of that, he has great coverage with just one move, and with Surf in the last slot the only Pokemon that will be walling you is Ferrothorn. Specially defensive Tyranitar and Scizor will still pose a problem though, taking Surfs with ease and using Crunch or Bug Bite to get rid of Latios.
Calm Mind Alakazam is another option, and while he may seem inferior because he's much easier to wall due to his reliance on the inaccurate Focus Blast to hit Steel-types, Magic Guard helps a ton. An immunity to residual damage and Life Orb recoil helps a lot, as Alakazam can't be worn down easily. He also outspeeds Choice Scarf Tyranitar and KOes with Focus Blast. Pokemon such as Jirachi and Bronzong can take a Focus Blast rather easily though; while Bronzong OHKOes with Gyro Ball, Jirachi just needs a bit of prior damage to KO.
Finally, Calm Mind Espeon is another option that shouldn't be underrated. Magic Bounce is an amazing ability, bouncing back any entry hazard, status move, or Taunt, which means that he can totally shut down stall. However, Espeon is even more easily walled than Alakazam, having only Hidden Power Fighting to hit Steel-types. However, seeing Espeon on Team Preview means stall players must play much more carefully, which makes it easier for you to play against them.
Toxicroak @ Life Orb
Ability: Dry Skin
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SpA)
- Swords Dance
- Cross Chop
- Ice Punch
- Sucker Punch
Swords Dance users are always good against stall, especially Fighting-types. This Toxicroak in particular does a good job at that. While his stats and movepool are inferior to other Fighting-types, his ability more than makes up for it. Recovering 12.5% at the end of each turn in rain means that he can't be stalled out with Life Orb recoil. Toxicroak also has a strong priority move in Sucker Punch, and while it is a tad unreliable, it prevents him from being revenge killed by the likes of Tornadus and Latios. Ice Punch is also a great move for Toxicroak, OHKOing Gliscor who usually hard counters Fighting-types.
There are some other Swords Dancing Fighting-types that work well. Terrakion has near-perfect coverage with just its two STAB moves, meaning that it can use Rock Polish in the last slot. That way, you can take a look at the opponent's team with Team Preview and then decide what you want to set up: Swords Dance for stall teams and Rock Polish for offensive teams. He also works great on sand teams with the sandstorm boosting his Special Defense, giving him many more opportunities to set up.
Swords Dance Lucario works very similar to Toxicroak, with ExtremeSpeed over Sucker Punch. He works better than Toxicroak on teams that don't use rain thanks to his higher base Attack, Close Combat, and ExtremeSpeed. He also has a rather good defensive typing which gives him an immunity to Toxic and 4x Rock- and Dark-type resistances. Finally, Swords Dance Virizion can prove to be an effective bulky sweeper, since he has excellent special bulk and handy resistances to Water- and Grass-type attacks, which can help against rain teams as well. It also allows him to set up on Gliscor with ease.
Wobbuffet @ Leftovers
Ability: Shadow Tag
EVs: 200 Def / 56 SpD / 252 Spe
Timid Nature (+Spe, -Atk)
- Mirror Coat
While Wobbuffet can't 6-0 stall teams all by himself, he does a great job at helping you beat them. After Team Preview, you can scout for the main counter to one of your sweepers, and eliminate it with Wobbuffet. Once that counter attacks, you can switch to Wobbuffet, Encore it, and then use either Counter or Mirror Coat to eliminate him. If they use an non-attacking move when you switch in Wobbuffet, you can Encore that move, Tickle six times to lower the opponent's Defense to a minimum, and switch to a Pursuiter. That way, the opponent will take a ton of damage regardless of whether or not he switches out. You can also use Encore to give a sweeper an opportunity to set up, as something like Lucario loves to come in on Toxic and wreak havoc.
While the EV spread might seem weird, it allows you to outspeed a lot of common walls and Encore them before they can change moves. If you don't care about outspeeding them, you can use max HP with 228 EVs in one defensive stat and 28 EVs in the other. Safeguard is an option over Tickle, as in conjunction with Encore, it allows sweepers to set up freely without fearing status.
Magnezone is also a very effective trapper, especially when your main sweeper is a Dragon-type; it can eliminate the pesky Steel-types which have a Dragon-type resistance or even set up on them with a SubCharge set. That way, you're usually able to get two kills with Magnezone, as nothing likes taking a hit from a +6 Magnezone. Choice Band Dragon-types such as Haxorus and Dragonite also become much more dangerous when using Magnezone, as Skarmory lacking Shed Shell will easily be gotten rid off.
Dugtrio is the last viable trapper, taking out threats such as Heatran and Tentacruel. He can also get rid of any grounded Pokemon at low health. While you can use a simple Choice Band set, a Reversal set is also very effective, eliminating the likes of Tyranitar and Chansey much more easily. Reversal Dugtrio is mainly effective on weather teams, as he traps and kills most weather inducers rather easily.
As you can see, preparing for stall teams isn't all that hard. Packing a stallbreaker or two can help a lot when you find yourself having trouble with stall. You can also try certain combinations of Pokemon that do well against stall, as stallbreaking is not limited to a single Pokemon. For example, using Stealth Rock and Spikes also helps against stall, as they secure you some KOs and limit switching. U-turn and Volt Switch also help as they shift the momentum to your side, which can be crucial to the success of stall. Now GET OUT THERE!
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