Stallbreaking in USM OU

By Jordy. Released: 2018/12/01.
« Previous Article Next Article »

Puzzle Page »

Art by LifeisDANK

Art by LifeisDANK.


Stall as an archetype saw a lot of usage before the Arena Trap ban, being considered an absolute top archetype. However, once Arena Trap got banned, the door opened for many threatening wallbreakers such as Hoopa-U, Mega Mawile, and Tapu Lele, making stall a niche, albeit viable, playstyle overall. However, as the metagame kept evolving, people have been preparing less and less for stall, and stall players have also started experimenting with niche Pokémon like Mega Aggron, Buzzwole, Moltres, and Avalugg, which is why the playstyle has picked up in usage on both ladder and in tournaments since the most recent WCoP, where it saw significant usage in the final rounds and won the most important match of the tournament. It also saw a surge during OLT for its ability to deal with common HO teams. With stall getting increasingly popular, breaking stall is also getting more important—this article will talk about various stallbreakers in the OU metagame.


It should be noted that stallbreakers do not break stall on their own, but instead pressure it enough to ease the matchup; however, stall teams usually can't cover all threats, so Pokémon like Mega Mawile and Mega Heracross can break through these teams with very little to no support.


[Firium Z]
[Steelium Z] Heatran

Thanks to Heatran's high Special Attack, it can usually bypass Mega Sableye when utilizing a Z-Crystal, and it pressures most Defog users that are commonly seen on stall teams, so it can usually guarantee Stealth Rock on the opposing side of the field. Taunt + Toxic sets can pressure stall thanks to the consistent chip damage they provide between Magma Storm, Toxic, and Taunt, which can dispose of Chansey, ultimately opening up the way for other Pokémon. Additionally, Flash Fire allows Heatran to switch in on a stray Will-O-Wisp from Mega Sableye and become devastating to switch into.



Landorus-T can easily manage to set and keep up Stealth Rock against stall teams, as it has a favorable matchup against Mega Sableye and most Defoggers. A well-played Landorus-T can deal with Unaware users also, making it quite hard to deal with as a boosting sweeper. Thanks to its access to Flying-type STAB, it can easily bypass Pokémon resistant to Ground such as Tangrowth and Buzzwole, making its Earthquakes quite spammable. Alternatively, instead of boosting with Swords Dance, it can also choose to deal with Ground-immune Pokémon like Celesteela and Zapdos thanks to Gravity.

Tapu Lele

[Z Move]
[Choice Specs] Lele

Tapu Lele is a typical example of a special attacker capable of beating Chansey, which allows it to put major dents into stall teams, as Chansey is often the only dedicated special wall. Its access to Taunt and Calm Mind also lets it overcome just about every other Pokémon commonly run on stall. Tapu Lele basically forces stall teams to run a defensive Steel-type such as Celesteela, Magearna, Ferrothorn, or Mega Aggron, because they tend to lose without any fighting chance otherwise. However, it can still bypass these defensive Steel-types with All-Out Pummeling or just repeated Choice Specs-boosted hits.

Mega Mawile

[Swords Dance]
[All Out Attacker] Mega Maw

Mega Mawile is very annoying for stall to deal with due to its insane power after setting up a Swords Dance and access to various coverage moves to deal with would-be checks like Moltres, Gliscor, Mega Aggron, Avalugg, and Tangrowth. However, Mega Mawile can't fit all of these coverage moves on the same set, which means stall teams can somewhat deal with it depending on what coverage it runs.

Manaphy and Mega Gyarados

Mega Gyarados

Manaphy and Mega Gyarados are often run on hyper offense teams to significantly improve a team's stall matchup.

Due to Tail Glow and Rain Dance, Manaphy is capable of overwhelming Chansey, which is often the dedicated special wall on stall. While Manaphy is often incapable of breaking a whole stall team by itself, it usually forces at least 1 or 2 Pokémon to go down with it, often Chansey, which can pave the way for one of Manaphy's teammates.

Mega Gyarados can be run as an alternative to Manaphy, at the cost of a mega slot, while generally bringing more utility to the table. It also has a decent stall matchup—this is thanks to Mold Breaker, which ignores Unaware and Magic Bounce, as well as access to Taunt, effectively allowing it to deal with Mega Sableye. However, Mega Gyarados struggles more to deal with stall than Manaphy, as there are generally more checks available to it, namely Tangrowth, Zapdos, Buzzwole, and Ferrothorn, which are run decently often.

Mega Heracross

Mega Hera

Mega Heracross has been rising in popularity lately as a good pick on bulky offensive and balanced teams. It sports great defensive utility thanks to its typing, allowing it to come in on Pokémon such as Gliscor and Hippowdon, giving it ample opportunities to set up a Swords Dance. Mega Heracross has a lot of raw power, access to Swords Dance, and good coverage moves, which lets it threaten staples like Mega Sableye, Chansey, Moltres, Pyukumuku, and Gliscor.

Kyurem Black


Kyurem-B possesses insane power and can nuke just about any Pokémon between its sky-high Attack stat and Subzero Slammer, which usually guarantees at least one KO when up against stall teams, which have no way of reliably pressuring Kyurem-B. It's, unfortunately, overly reliant on Subzero Slammer, as Kyurem-B will need it to reliably break Chansey; however, this flaw can be remedied by Substitute, allowing Kyurem-B to use Freeze Shock without being vulnerable for one turn, which is still ridiculously hard to switch into.

Get Out There!

Go give each of these stallbreakers a try! You may not like every one of them, but there surely will be the one you like!

Puzzle Page »

« Main Article

Puzzle Page

Alakazam art by Bummer

Art by Bummer.

That was a long break, but after scouring the land for only the finest puzzles, we're back with Volume 16 of The Flying Press's Puzzle Page! Congratulations to Dot Agumon, Knuckstrike, Bartimaeus, and Meicoo for submitting perfect answers for the 15th edition of the puzzle page, and thanks to everyone else who sent in their answers. Remember, the person leading the leaderboard after 6 pages will get a shiny banner!

We're putting a slight twist on the Puzzle Page this week: each of the puzzle types has undergone a slight edit to their rules! This issue features three different anagram styles, as well as two never-before-seen twists: three "off-by-one" parameter puzzles and three "literal" portmanteau puzzles. This is all followed up by a Rivals Sudoku and a Vwllss Crsswrd, so you certainly won't have to worry about not having enough puzzles to do! Once again, huge thanks to all of the members of the puzzle team who helped out with the puzzles in this edition, including Level 51, Lyd, and frenzyplant.

Variety Anagrams

Anagrams consist of several Pokémon-related terms whose letters have been scrambled around. In order to solve them, you have to figure out which terms have been scrambled. For example, "Science Spy Hop" unscrambles to Espeon / Psychic. However, each of these anagrams has a different twist to them, as described below!

Swapped Anagram

Swap exactly 1 letter between the 2 prompts, then proceed to solve both anagrams.


[By swapping the letter F with the letter C, you'll arrive at 2 prompts with "Cake Lions" and "Elastif Hen". These are anagrams of "Coil Ekans" and "Flash Entei", respectively.]

Your turn!
  1. Alpaca ankle spirit [Pokémon & Move it learns]
  2. Marriage dial food [Pokémon & Move it learns]

Liar Anagram

Each given letter is incorrect; the correct letter is either the letter after alphabetically or the letter before alphabetically. Fix each letter, then anagram it accordingly.


[Shifting each of the letters in the anagram, we can make the following conversions: U = T+1, B = A+1, M = N-1, L = K+1, D = E-1, E = D+1. This gives us UBMLDE, which is an anagram of BELDUM, the answer.]

Your turn!
  1. Foxy Dunks [Pokémon & Move it learns]


A crypto-anagram is a combination of a cryptogram and an anagram: each letter is replaced by another (not necessarily distinct) letter. However, two different letters cannot be replaced with the same letter. Decrypt the cryptogram, then solve the anagram it becomes.


[Via the cryptogram mapping S←D, E←O, and D←U, SEEDS becomes DOOUD, which is an anagram of DODUO, the answer.]

Your turn!
  1. Stressless Set [Pokémon & Move it learns]

Off-by-One Parameters

By using the /dexsearch command on Pokémon Showdown, find out which parameters match only the Pokémon listed. For example, say you are given these Pokémon: Bibarel, Bidoof, Pachirisu, Patrat, Raticate, Rattata, Smeargle, and Watchog. Even though all of them learn both Protect and Substitute, there are many other Pokémon that can as well, so the trick is to try to narrow down your options as much as possible. Parameters may include moves, abilities, tiers, generations, colors, and so on.

Off-by-one parameters add one simple twist to the above instructions: each parameter's list of Pokémon is missing one Pokémon! Figure out what the missing Pokémon is, then proceed to solve the parameter as per usual with the Pokémon re-added.


[The list in the example is missing Reshiram. The answer is Fusion Flare.]

Your turn!

  1. Cresselia, Dialga, Genesect, Giratina, Necrozma, Palkia | 2 Params (Missing 1 Pokémon)
  2. Darkrai, Honchkrow, Murkrow, Seviper, Smeargle | 2 Params (Missing 1 Pokémon)
  3. Golduck, Meowth, Munchlax, Persian, Smeargle, Snorlax | 2 Params (Missing 1 Pokémon)

Literal Portmanteaus

Portmanteaus comprise several Pokémon-related terms, each of which is in a set of [brackets]. Each term and its preceding and succeeding terms must "overlap" with each other with two or more of their letters. All of the overlapping terms, when combined, will form one large amalgam of terms, which is your answer! For example, [Gen V Dark-type Pokémon][Gen III Water-type Pokémon][Gen II Ground-type Pokémon] would form the term bisharpedonphan (a combination of Bisharp, Sharpedo, and Donphan). In addition, two adjacent terms may not be the exact same—for example, [Flying-type move][Flying-type move] has the unique solution of oblivionwingattack—and you also may not overlap the entire port in your answer—for example, gastroacidarmorningsun isn't a valid answer to [Poison-type move][Poison-type move][Poison-type move][Normal-type recovery move] via Gastro Acid / Acid / Acid Armor / Morning Sun, since the entirety of Acid is overlapped. Instead, the unique solution is poisongastroacidarmorningsun.

Literal portmanteaus add a twist to this ruleset—for each item in the port, in addition to what it actually means, it can also be taken literally, putting the entirety of the item's text into the port. To illustrate this, [Water-type Pokémon][Rock-type Pokémon] could be solved as "whiscashieldon", "water-type Pokémonix", or "slowbrock-type Pokémon", among many other options.

  1. [Pokémon that can learn Tail Glow][Ability of a Pokémon that can learn Tail Glow][Pokémon that can learn Nasty Plot][Ability of a Pokémon that can learn Nasty Plot]
  2. [Psychic-type Pokémon][Bug-type Pokémon][Pokémon Ability][Ability exclusive to Grass-type Pokémon][Pokémon introduced in Gen IV][Pokémon with a base 55 Speed stat][Status move][Move introduced in Gen IV]
  3. [Pokémon with a base Special Defense stat greater than 110][Electric-type Move][Move with a Base Power of 130][Pokémon with a base Special Attack stat greater than 110][Pokémon with a base Special Defense stat greater than 110][Electric-type Move][Move with a Base Power of 130][Pokémon with a base Special Attack stat greater than 110]

Rivals PokeSudoku

Fill out the grid with the nine Pokémon below so that each Pokémon appears once per row, column, and thickly outlined 3-by-3 square. Additionally, this puzzle reflects the natural rivalries between Pokémon wildlife—the final arrangement must adhere to the added restrictions that Zangoose and Seviper can't be placed adjacent (even diagonally) to each other; the same applies for Durant and Heatmor.

Vwllss Crsswrd

Also known as a vowelless crossword, of course; each clue and answer in this crossword is missing all of its vowels (AEIOU, for the sake of this puzzle)! In addition, all forms of capitalization are ignored. For example, 'th grttd pkmn (5)' clues the answer 'shymn'. The clue and answer with the vowels intact are "The Gratitude Pokémon (5)" and "Shaymin".

Errata @ 0943 UTC, 04 Dec 2018: Clues 5-down and 6-down have been corrected.

Note: Click the hint to go to the corresponding line.


  1. Dot Agumon, Knuckstrike: 50 points (+25)
  2. Bartimaeus: 48 points (+25)
  3. ScarfWynaut: 46 points (+21)
  4. Calm: 31 points (+11)
  5. Meicoo: 25 points (+25)
  6. CryoGyro: 24 points
  7. Okamu: 21 points
  8. Yellow Paint: 21 points
  9. Aalbaniaa: 10 points (+10)
  10. Ragmatho: 5 points (+5)
  11. Max. Optimizer: 2

Closing Remarks

The answers to the previous issue's puzzles will be posted here, and answers for this issue will be posted with the next issue. As usual, once you've completed one, some, or even all of the puzzles that this page has to offer, send your answers via a private message to Smogon's Flying Press on the forums (a Smogon account is required), with its title as "Puzzle Page: Volume 15". The deadline for answers will be 4 weeks. Good luck to all who dare to participate, and we'll see you again sometime!



  1. Synchronize, Synchronoise
  2. Stone Edge, !Rock Slide
  3. Snatch, Mud Sport


  1. Life Orb Regirock
  2. Power Gem Lunatone
  3. Fly Thousand Arrows


  1. gigalithieffectsporegicebodynamicpunchinchoutragepowder
  2. irontaillowntemporaltoweruptiondelugengardevoirontail
  3. pickuproaroftimetronomegadraingraindishockwavenomdrencharmthrust (Since the rules was updated after the puzzles were published, any alternate answer satisfying the original rules were accepted)

Pokémon Link

PokeLink answers

Cryptic Crossword

Crossword answers

« Main Article

Puzzle page by lovemathboy with help from Level 51 | HTML by Jho and Quite Quiet | Scripts by Quite Quiet and Toast++.
« Previous Article Next Article »