Stall in SM UU

By Amane Misa.
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LifeisDANK's Mega Aggron

Art by LifeisDANK.


Stall has been a dominant archetype for a while now in SM UU. With a variety of defensive Pokémon to choose from, ranging from the common Alomomola, Blissey, and Quagsire to the uncommon Pyukumuku, Xatu, and Registeel, stall is a diverse playstyle, making it pretty annoying to prepare for.

While the following guide basically gives you the main idea of how a stall team should look like, if you wish to build your own stall, you don't just pick a random Pokémon from each category; you should think carefully about what synergizes well with what. For example, every stall team should have at least one Ground-type, so pivots that utilize Volt Switch won't be able to repeatedly weaken the entire team. Furthermore, self-sufficiency is another important aspect of stall teams. A stall team might look good on paper but fall apart once an opponent makes a few smart plays. This might be a result of poor PP management, overloading one wall that doesn't have a reliable form of recovery with many attackers, or something else. More will be explained in the "How do I use stall?" section.


1. Main Special Wall Blissey

Blissey is arguably the best staple on stall teams. It just does so many important roles for the cost of one team slot; it checks the majority of special attackers in the game very well, such as Primarina, Volcanion, and Hydreigon, and it provides the team with a status absorber, a cleric, a Stealth Rock setter, and a decent all-around wall. If needed, it can also stall out certain physical attackers that don't carry super effective coverage, such as all-out attacking Mega Aerodactyl and non-Superpower Krookodile. Alternatively, other clerics can be used in its place. Umbreon has better physical bulk and a Dark typing, which allows it to deal with Psyshock users, such as Azelf and Latias, better. Sylveon has better physical bulk and access to a reliable STAB attack in Hyper Voice, which gives it more opportunities to use Heal Bell and Wish. While Florges is generally outclassed by Sylveon as a cleric, it can also act as a Defogger. Despite all of the other options, Blissey is still the premier special wall in UU.

2. Main Physical Wall (Alomomola Mega Slowbro Hippowdon)

Even if Blissey can take certain physical hits, it still struggles against the likes of Scizor, Infernape, and Terrakion. Hence, it needs a physical wall alongside it. Luckily, UU has a good variety of physical walls.

Alomomola is the most common pick, thanks to its immense physical bulk and ability in Regenerator allowing it to stall out the majority of physical attackers in the tier. Mega Slowbro acts the same as Alomomola, but for the price of forgoing Wish, and if it wants to Mega Evolve and gain the immense boost in bulk, it loses Regenerator; however, it has better Special Attack and Special Defense and an additional Psychic typing, which allows it to take on Fighting-types such as Cobalion and Terrakion better. Hippowdon is a less common choice, mainly bec ause it does not have access to Regenerator, making it less reliable at pivoting and PP management. However, unlike the former two, Hippowdon has access to Stealth Rock, which can potentially free up an important slot on another team member. Furthermore, its Ground typing allows it to counter Volt Switch users, such as Mega Manectric and Raikou, and Sand Stream allows it to stall out certain foes more reliably.

3. Setup Sweepers Wall (Quagsire Pyukumuku)

An Unaware wall is mandatory on most stall teams because of certain dangerous sweepers, such as Terrakion and Mega Altaria, which can beat the main physical wall of the team after a boost.

Quagsire is the premier Unaware wall in UU. Its amazing Water / Ground typing, good bulk, and reliable recovery allow it to wall threats such as Terrakion, Cobalion, and Scizor while blocking Volt Switch from pivots such as Mega Manectric and Rotom-H. Pyukumuku is a rather peculiar choice and should be only considered if the team already has a Ground-type. It has access to a better supportive movepool than Quagsire with Block and Spite, which also lets Pyukumuku be a stallbreaker, and has better bulk. Quagsire remains the better choice most of the time, though, because of its access to key moves such as Scald, Earthquake, Ice Beam, and Haze.

4. Hazard Control (Moltres Mega Altaria Gliscor Tentacruel)

One of the best ways to deal with stall is, of course, entry hazards. With the walls getting heavily pressured by damage each time they switch in, opponents can take advantage of that to get them in range of certain wallbreakers, such as Terrakion and Primarina. Hence, hazard control is mandatory on every stall team.

Moltres is one of the best Defoggers UU has to offer because its ability Pressure and unique typing allow it to PP stall common hazard setters, such as Cobalion, Hippowdon, Celebi, Klefki, and Mega Aggron. Furthermore, it can attempt to Toxic stall other common hazard setters, such as Swampert and Seismitoad. However, Moltres has far more merits in stall teams other than being a great Defogger. Its Speed tier and unique typing allow it to revenge kill certain stallbreakers, such as Heracross and Breloom, and beat SubSeed Serperior, which annoys stall quite a lot. Mega Altaria is another great Defogger because, prior to Mega Evolving, it has access to Natural Cure, which lets it beat hazard setters that carry Toxic more reliably than Moltres. It also provides the team with a reliable Breloom counter and a countermeasure to Dragon-types that threaten stall, such as Haxorus and Hydreigon. Gliscor, another great Defog user, enjoys its great typing and access to Poison Heal to not only Defog away hazards but also check certain stallbreakers, such as Heracross, Breloom, and Lucario, with its STAB moves. Tentacruel has access to Rapid Spin, which has more PP than any entry hazard, unlike Defog. Its bulk and typing also allow it to check certain stallbreakers, including Lucario, Chandelure, and Breloom, depending on the set, and absorb Toxic Spikes, which is, arguably, the most dangerous hazard to stall teams. It also has a whole range of utility moves like Knock Off, Toxic Spikes, and Haze.

It also worth mentioning that using two sources of hazard control, such as two Defoggers, or one Rapid Spin user and one Defogger, is often a good idea to have a better matchup against the plethora of hazard setters in the tier. For example, if you only have Mega Altaria, your team will be susceptible to hazards from Mega Aggron, Mega Steelix, Klefki, and more, which beat Mega Altaria.

5. The Steel-type (Mega Aggron Mega Steelix Registeel)

A Steel-type is very helpful on stall teams because otherwise, they will struggle against common threats to stall such as Togekiss, Mega Pidgeot, and Latias. Furthermore, the majority of them have access to Stealth Rock, which potentially frees up an important moveslot on Blissey.

Mega Aggron is arguably the best Steel-type UU has to offer to stall. Great bulk, great defensive typing, and access to Filter allow Mega Aggron to take on big threats to stall, including Mega Pidgeot, Latias, and Togekiss. It also has access to great utility moves, such as Stealth Rock and Roar. Mega Steelix is slightly inferior to Mega Aggron, mainly because it doesn't have access to Filter. However, it should still be used over Mega Aggron if the team has no Ground-type, just so Electric-type pivots such as Mega Manectric and Raikou will not be able to freely Volt Switch. Registeel is a rather niche pick, but it fits the Steel-type role just fine. It should usually be used if the team already utilizes a Mega Evolution.

Other Options (Xatu Mega Aerodactyl Stakataka Togekiss Crobat Nihilego Scizor)

Xatu provides stall with reliable counterplay to common hazard setters, such as Swampert and Klefki. However, this comes at the cost of getting Pursuit trapped pretty easily, and Xatu does not do well against other hazard setters, such as Krookodile and Rhyperior. Mega Aerodactyl, which works exceptionally well with Hippowdon because it gets a Special Defense boost from sand, is arguably stall's best all-around answer to stallbreakers. It is able to take on offensive Togekiss variants—which are able to bypass Steel-types—Mega Pidgeot, Salazzle, Chandelure, Gengar, and more and even Pursuit trap them if necessary. Stakataka is an interesting choice on the Steel-type section as an alternative to Registeel if the team already utilizes a Mega Evolution. Its bulk and typing allow it to take on Mega Pidgeot and Latias more easily because it is less passive than Registeel. However, Registeel's overall superior bulk usually makes it a better choice. Furthermore, Stakataka's best STAB moves, Gyro Ball and Stone Edge, both have low PP. Suicune is an option as the main physical wall. Unlike Alomomola, it provides the team with a late-game sweeper for the cost of being able to pivot more easily with Regenerator. Its ability Pressure also helps a lot on stall versus stall matchups. Togekiss provides stall teams with a hazard remover, a counter to Breloom, and a cleric in one slot. Crobat's Speed and typing allow it to act as a Defogger that checks threats such as Breloom, Heracross, and Serperior better than the other Defogger options. However, the majority of hazard setters can beat it. Nihilego can set up various hazards, namely Stealth Rock and Toxic Spikes, absorb hostile Toxic Spikes, take on various threats to stall teams such as Togekiss and Chandelure, and stick around with Pain Split. However, it is Pursuit trapped quite easily due to its atrocious physical bulk. Scizor has also seen some usage on stall as a Steel-type Defogger with access to Technician-boosted priority in Bullet Punch and reliable recovery, which helps it take on certain hazard setters, such as Nihilego and Mega Aerodactyl, better than other options. It can also act like a slow pivot thanks to U-turn, which synergizes well with its good Defense stat.

Sample team

So, what does a stall team actually look like?

Mega Altaria Moltres Registeel Quagsire Blissey Alomomola

This is a stall team made by Hikari. Blissey is its main special wall, Alomomola is its main physical wall, Quagsire is its wall to setup sweepers, Mega Altaria and Moltres are its forms of hazard control, and Registeel is its Steel-type. The defensive core is formed by Alomomola, Blissey, and Quagsire, which together take on the majority of threats very well. Threats to the core include setup sweepers, such as Lucario, Breloom, and Heracross, and special attackers that bypass Blissey, such as Togekiss and Serperior. Hence, the rest of the team deals with those; Mega Altaria and Moltres deal with Serperior and Breloom, Registeel deals with Togekiss, and Moltres deals with Lucario.

How do I use stall?

Using stall isn't easy as people make it look. Identifying the biggest threats to your team on Team Preview is very important. For example, if the opponent has a Hydreigon and it seems to be a Choice Scarf variant, you need not worry about it as much. However, if the opponent has a Stealth Rock user that beats your hazard remover and a Terrakion that seems to be a Choice Band variant, you should play accordingly and be careful to not let your physical walls take unnecessary damage. Knowing exactly what every single Pokémon on the team can do to deal with pressure from common combinations of Pokémon is also very important to win high-level games. Patience is also a key in winning with stall; prioritize longevity over a KO and wait for an opening to pull the trigger to make plays when necessary. Smart PP management, especially with Defoggers, is also important, especially on stall versus stall matchups. This can be done easily using a Pressure user, such as Moltres or Suicune, so certain hazard setters are beaten more easily. Smart PP management is also important on certain Heal Bell users and Wish users. You should not use up a Heal Bell on every status ailment dealt by the opponent because most status-dealing moves have way more PP than Heal Bell. The latter is also very important because if the opponent overloads a certain wall that has no reliable recovery and you are out of Wish PP, you'll have a significantly harder time winning.

How do I beat stall?

Good question! First, it should be clarified that there is no single Pokémon that breaks every kind of stall team. However, stall teams, in general, share certain common weaknesses. Wallbreakers, such as Terrakion, Tsareena, and Scizor, combined with hazard setters such as Rhyperior and Nihilego that beat the common hazard controllers on stall, have a very good matchup against stall teams. Heracross deserves a special mention here because its ability, Guts, in conjunction with Flame Orb and a naturally high Attack stat, enables it to 2HKO, if not OHKO, the common stall staples and not get afflicted by Toxic. Furthermore, wallbreakers combined with Taunt users, such as Krookodile and Gliscor, can be a pretty deadly combination for stall teams to face, because the Taunt users can shut down the walls stall has to offer and prevent them from healing themselves up. Strong special attackers, such as Primarina and Volcanion, coupled with Pursuit trappers, such as Scizor and Alolan Muk, can heavily pressure Blissey and potentially break through it. Bulky Substitute users, such as Kyurem and Suicune, especially in combination with Toxic Spikes, can also heavily pressure stall teams, as usually most of the stall team members can't break their Substitute. Special attackers and special sweepers that bypass Blissey, such as Lucario, Chandelure, and Infernape, can also heavily pressure the Unaware wall, which is mostly physically defensive, and potentially break the main core of the stall team. Setup sweepers such as Gliscor, Celebi, and Reuniclus that don't mind status ailments are hard for stall teams to beat. Togekiss deserves a special mention here; not only can it take advantage of stall teams' average low Speed stat to attempt to beat them through flinches, it can also lure in Steel-types and take them out with its various coverage moves, including Aura Sphere and Flamethrower. It also exploits stall teams' passivity via Heal Bell and Roost. Lastly, Trick users, such as Latias and Gengar, also have a good matchup against stall teams thanks to their ability to completely shut down a Pokémon on the stall team.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, even stall teams can be pretty different from each other, and each stall team has its own merit over other stall teams. For instance, one stall team can function well against Chandelure but will be slightly weaker to other threats, such as Breloom, while another stall team might have a better matchup against Breloom but be slightly weak to Chandelure. Stall teams have always been really influential on the metagame and they will probably still be effective, at least until the generation ends. Thanks for reading, and have fun stalling!

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