OU Part 5: How to play WITH stalls

Part 1: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51778 (outdated, but still good)
Part 2: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65122
Part 3: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=81313
Part 4: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84227
Part 5: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84449

Part 6: http://www.smogon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3447576 best one

Stop doing it wrong. It's been 10 years. Stop sucking.

You should tackle playing stalls the same way you tackle playing offensive teams. First, you get into the shoes of an offensie players. They're probably going after one of your defensive walls to surge their offense through. A general wall = you lose. This is what offensive teams capitalize on, a bait-explode method, so you'll just want to bite the bait with something you don't need. With that in mind, you play the exact opposite to try and prevent this.

Part A: Learning matchups

Stalls are most effective under a divide-and-conquer mindset. If you can effectively wall your opponents pokemon without overlapping your defenses, you almost have a guarantee win. You want your pokemon to SPECIALIZE in the matchups they face. You don't want anything to go awry, no holes to surge through. This demands an example, taking two teams I posted in Part 4:

Offensive team you'll be facing:

Steelix (M) @ Leftovers
- Curse
- Earthquake
- Explosion
- Roar

Zapdos @ Leftovers
- Hidden Power [Ice]
- Rest
- Sleep Talk
- Thunder

Exeggutor (M) @ Leftovers
- Explosion
- Hidden Power [Fire]
- Psychic
- Stun Spore

Vaporeon (F) @ Leftovers
- Growth
- Rest
- Sleep Talk
- Surf

Snorlax (M) @ Leftovers
- Curse
- Double-Edge
- Rest
- Belly Drum

Gengar (M) @ Leftovers
- Ice Punch
- Explosion
- Fire Punch
- Thunderbolt
Looks good right?

Now for the defensive, my take on stall:

Cloyster (F) @ Leftovers/Forretress
- Surf
- Spikes
- Rest
- Rapid Spin

Raikou @ Leftovers
- Roar
- Thunderbolt
- Hidden Power [Water]
- Rest

Skarmory (F) @ Leftovers
- Curse
- Rest
- Drill Peck
- Whirlwind

Snorlax (M) @ Leftovers
- Curse
- Rest
- Double-Edge/Earthquake/Fire Blast/Belly Drum
- Sleep Talk

Zapdos/Suicune @ Leftovers
- Thunder/Surf
- Hidden Power [Ice]/Roar
- Rest/Toxic
- Sleep Talk/Rest

Umbreon (F) @ Leftovers
- Charm
- Toxic
- Pursuit
- Rest
Again, it looks like anyone's game. However, once you break down the teams, you should be able to figure out a basic matchup list:

Steelix can see Skarm, Cloyster, or Suicune (if you choose to use it)
Vaporeon can see Raikou, Zapdos/Suicune, or Snorlax in cases where you need to
Gengar can see Snorlax or Raikou
Exeggutor can see Zapdos/Suicune, Raikou, or Umbreon
Snorlax can see Skarm
Zapdos can see Raikou or Snorlax

Given these matchups, you'll see that there's actually a way to arrange them so that each pokemon sees a corresponding matchup in a way that nothing overlaps

Steelix should see Cloyster
Exeggutor should see Umbreon
Snorlax should see Skarmory
Gengar should see Snorlax
Zapdos should see Raikou
Vaporeon should see Zapdos/Suicune

That way, if ANY KO is happening (which should ONLY happen via explosion), it doesn't change your walling capabilities of their remaining 5 at all. And once you've broken it down this far, you try to prevent the most likely KO by way of showing it different looks.

Steelix vs Cloyster is a 100% matchup, so forget that.
Exeggutor vs Umbreon is also an 100% matchup, so forget that as well.
Snorlax vs Skarmory is nearly 100% (you should be cursing so a CH DE doesn't kill you).
Gengar vs Snorlax is an 100% match up. Skip.
Zapdos vs Raikou is also a KO that's never happening. Skip.
Vap vs Suicune is 100%, but Vap vs Zapdos is only a 70/30 or so matchup.

So out of the 6 matchups, the most likely one to go wrong is Vap vs Zapdos (if you chose Suicune, the battle's over before it even started). So, in this instance, you throw it different looks, be it Zapdos, Raikou, or even Snorlax to keep vap on his toes so he can't just get that lucky CH and end the game. You also try and prevent as many vap switch-ins as possible, or at least force damage on it.

This is just the mindset to be in, things aren't always that perfect. There are always curveballs to consider. Should Snorlax be a curselax with FB, then you must adapt.

Steelix can still see Cloyster
Gengar can see Snorlax
Zapdos can see Raikou
Vaporeon can see Zapdos/Suicune (keeping in mind this isn't a 100% matchup)
However, Snorlax should be seeing Umbreon, which leaves Exeggutor:

Exeggutor is no longer a 100% matchup, since it's other surefire switch-ins (Zapdos/Suicune, Snorlax, and Raikou) all have other defensive duties. This also leaves you with Skarmory, that doesn't really serve a purpose. Losing Skarmory doesn't really have a huge effect on your overall walling potential, but keeping it isn't exactly a negative either. So you go back and see what possible matchups Skarmory could be used in, and see where it could be of use to prevent Egg from opening up a hole.

Going back to the original matchups, Skarmory can effectively be sent in against Steelix, Exeggutor, and Snorlax. Referring to the matchups you have above, by sending it against Steelix, you open up Cloyster. Well this doesn't really help at all. Exeggutor is a matchup that's somewhat risky, because of HP Fire, however, you can force Exeggutor to switch if you happen to get in pain-free. Sending Skarmory in against Snorlax does you no good, HOWEVER, you have a 100% backup plan in Umbreon. This allows you to attempt to play around Fire Blast's 8 pp in an attempt to free up Umbreon's duties for Exeggutor. So out of the 3 possibilities to send skarm in, don't do it against Steelix. Whether you send it in against Exeggutor or Snorlax more is completely your judgement. But don't do it without a purpose. If you can somehow bait all the Fire Blasts, do that. If you feel more comfortable just alternating between Raikou, Snorlax, and Skarmory against their Exeggutor to keep them guessing, do that. Just know, losing Skarm doesn't mean losing the match; Skarm is just a wildcard, and if you can somehow get a 1 for 1 switch out of it (no, not Steelix), you've won the battle. And obviously, your advantage in all of this is spikes, but more on that later.

With this in mind, you shouldn't stop giving them different looks to keep SOME CONTROL over the game. If you keep giving them the same looks, they'll catch on, and eventually bully you around in terms of switching. Granted, if you have 100% across the board, there's no reason why you wouldn't give them the same looks. They predict your switches, so what? They can't do anything to you. Just keep in mind that it won't be a pretty match unless you start throwing in variables out there. However, if you become predictable, you become susceptible to spikes. If there's no spikes in the game, and you have flat 100s, then just find something to occupy yourself with as you play out a game you've already won. If you want to shorten the battle though, you'll have to change it up, akin to taking risks, which results in more chances to lose a game should they predict it.

This is why Mr.E sucks. Battle ended before it even began.
Reserved for part b... strategy to employ when actually playing stalls. aka, in-depth spikes-shuffling, the "offensive" part of stalls.

Well as in-depth as it can be anyway, although I cover a lot of it in part 3.


unban me from Discord
is a Two-Time Past SPL Champion
Hmm, now we're flaming me for no reason in a post that otherwise has no reason to mention me and contains two teams I would never use... :justin2:
Alright, imma drop some knowledge on you so listen up.

Breaking it down: THE MATCHUPS

Cloyster -> Starmie
Gengar -> Raikou (or Snorlax)
Zapdos -> Snorlax (or Raikou)
Alakazam -> Tyranitar (or Suicune (or Starmie (or Snorlax)))
Marowak -> Skarmory
Blissey -> Suicune (or Tyranitar (or Snorlax (or Starmie (or Raikou))))


Odds of Cloyster killing starmie not via explosion? 0. Odds of Gengar blocking a Psychic Starmie's spin? Pretty close to 0.

Odds of Gengar killing Raikou not via explosion? 0.

Odds of tbolt zapdos killing Snorlax? 0.

Odds of Fpunch Alakazam killing Tyranitar? Pretty close to 0, bar a burn. Not to mention there's nothing to lose switching in a sleep talking Suicune who takes about 20% after leftovers. And let's not forget starmie, who has resistance to both attacks, and couldn't care less if a burn occurs. Snorlax also comes in if it wants to. Raikou only takes about 25% after leftovers.

Odds of resttalking body slam marowak killing Skarmory? 0.

Odds of Blissey killing anything? 0.

Moving on:

Odds of curselax killing your entire team: pretty fucking good. It happened.

Odds of ttar wrecking: pretty fucking good. It happened.

Snorlax can switch into... technically 5/6 pokemon.

Tyranitar has a safe switch on Blissey/Alakazam. Pretty decent switch on Gengar as well.


Raikou, Starmie, and Suicune can all work to force some unpleasurable matchups for you (aka Blissey, Alakazam, or Gengar).

To recap a list of things you bitched at mid battle:

--Cloyster explosion not killing suicune.

1. Sk's mistake for even having that matchup in the first place.
2. Does it really matter if you had killed Suicune?

--Suicune freezes Blissey or Zam something inconsequential (your whole team is inconsequential but that's another story).

1. Okay?
2. It defrosted.

--DP hit Blissey.

1. You left it in?
2. ...???

In conclusion:

Mr.E: "contains two teams I would never use."

Counter argument:

"This is why Mr.E sucks."
Posting to say that I've read every single of your guides and I loved them!

One thing that stroke me though, is that GSC seems to be horribly cenralized. Snorlax, Skarmory, Marowak, Zapdos, Raikou, Exeggutor, Suicune, Vaporeon, Umbreon, Blissey, Steelix, Miltank, Cloyster, Machamp, Tyranitar, Nidoking, Jolteon, edit: Gengar... and thats it? 18 viable Pokemon? O.o That's less than D/P Ubers for crying out loud.


(* ̄(エ) ̄*)
is a Tournament Director Alumnusis a Site Content Manager Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Discord Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis a Past SPL Championis a Two-Time Past WCoP Champion
there are more viable pokemon than that, and half as many total pokemon as in dp. having more pokemon doesn't necessarily make the game better anyway.
A rough list of pokemon by potential:

1. Snorlax
2. Zapdos
3. Raikou
4. Exeggutor
5. Skarmory
6. Machamp
7. Marowak
8. Suicune
8. Cloyster
10. Gengar
10. Vaporeon
12. Forretress
13. Starmie
13. Miltank
15. Blissey
16. Tyranitar
17. Steelix
18. Jolteon
19. Porygon2
20. Umbreon
21. Nidoking
22. Espeon
23. Rhydon
24. Heracross
25. Charizard
26. Misdreavus
27. Dragonite
28. Muk

29. Clefable
30. Tentacruel
31. Smeargle
32. Golem
33. Moltres
34. Kangaskhan
35. Jynx
36. Scizor
37. Houndoom
38. Alakazam
39. Donphan
40. Ursaring
41. Kingdra
42. Ampharos
43. Quagsire
44. Typhlosion
45. Slowbro
46. Jumpluff
47. Electabuzz
48. Meganium
49. Venusaur
50. Victreebel
51. Raichu
52. Omastar

Top 28 (with a couple here and there from the lower rankings) or so would be viable, and have been viable for over a decade. I'd ballpark the total number of competitive OU pokemon at around 40-45.
Shit, the amount of work you've put into these astounds me. How long do you think it took you to put these together total?
I was just wondering why Hypno isn't listed as STALL Pokemon. Doesn't he have the stats and movepool to annoy the heck out of people and stall for a while? It learnes Reflect/LightScreen/barrier/Thunder Wave/Hypnosis, it can survive Rests for 2 turns. It learns all normal, and shadow ball, submission, dynamic Punch, for physical attacks. It can raise it attack, it can increase it's defense. What's wrong with Hypno?


World's Strongest Fairy
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I was just wondering why Hypno isn't listed as STALL Pokemon. Doesn't he have the stats and movepool to annoy the heck out of people and stall for a while? It learnes Reflect/LightScreen/barrier/Thunder Wave/Hypnosis, it can survive Rests for 2 turns. It learns all normal, and shadow ball, submission, dynamic Punch, for physical attacks. It can raise it attack, it can increase it's defense. What's wrong with Hypno?
Offensively, Hypno lacks power and is just way too slow. As a support pokemon, Hypno seems to me like a bulkier Jumpluff with lower speed, inferior typing, and a worse movepool outside of a mediocre-but-usable STAB attack. There's actually not too much to like about Hypno.

Plus, the key to a stall pokemon isn't "annoying the heck out of people" or just "stalling for a while." As you'll read in the OP, it's having something that fits in with a team that allows you to ~100% counter everything your opponent has as often as possible (or come as close to it as possible). What does Hypno beat? With pitiful offenses, a mediocre movepool, and good-but-not-great defenses, Hypno doesn't really beat much of anything or force that many switches; at best, it's kinda annoying.
Many faded days over the course of the last half decade.

Hypno doesn't really wall anything, except maybe Blissey/Starmie, and those aren't exactly offensive. As a special wall, Raikou/Snorlax/Blissey all do better, with the first two having offensive options within the team.

Also, parts 1 and 2 (and parts of the rest) are both technically outdated, but if you're starting out, they still work.

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