Stall cards are ones that prevent your opponent from damaging you OR Negating your opponent cards
Decks usually include stall cards as part of a larger strategy, such as a Burn or a "Forbidden One" Deck. They are also used to buy time for a player if their opponent gains an advantage over them. This is different than a player stalling for time.
A Stall Deck is designed to slow your opponent down and make it difficult to inflict damage or even to attack. Stalling is not a way to win by itself; it is usually used as a means to an end. Although it is most commonly used in the "Forbidden One" Deck, it is also considered the only way to successfully play a Burn Deck. However, there are plenty of decks that can benefit from this strategy.
Usually, someone doesn't walk into building a deck and say "I want to build a stall Deck." They start with the question "I want to play X deck, how can I support it?" But that is not always the case. Considering that most decks will use Level 4 or higher monsters, one could start the deck with Gravity Bind and Level Limit - Area B, then though in Swords and Wall of Revealing Light, and then use only Level 3 or lower monsters to attack i.e. Drill Barnacle, Gyaku-Gire Panda, Mataza the Zapper etc. and combining them with powerful Equip Cards i.e. United We Stand, Mage Power, Metalmorph, Kunai with Chain etc. Depending on what kind of deck you wish to play, will depend on what style/method of stall you wish you use:
The Traditional Stall
When someone asks if you are playing a Stall Deck, then chances are you are using this method. A stall deck is used to either have the opponent lose via card effects such as Final Countdown and Exxod, Master of The Guard or simply run out of cards. Over time, Konami has released dozens of great cards to protect yourself from both attacks and damage. These cards range from stopping attacks for a single turn, to locking your opponent down as long as they are on the field. The only downside to this method is that—as a player—you must commit a lot to the field in order to stay safe.
With this, comes a whole new problem: keeping it there. Unlike simply running an engine in your Deck (which is just a handful of cards) when you run a Stall deck, half to two thirds of your deck is devoted to your protection. This means that you have to play cards to protect yourself, and then cards to protect your protection. This tends to cause the consistency of your Deck to decrease.
Because there are so many generic stall cards to choose from, listed below are what most players consider the core "Staples" in any stall deck. There are numerous stall cards that have closely related effects (Such as "Marshmallon" and "Spirit Reaper"), so just because it isn't listed here, doesn't mean it's not an effective stall card—it simply means it's not considered a staple. Sometimes more obscure stall cards such as "Gellenduo" work better because of the kind of deck you have decided to play.
- Exxod, Master of The Guard
- Guardian Sphinx
- Swarm of Locusts
- Raging Flame Sprite
- Spirit Reaper
- Castle Gate
- Medusa Worm
- Parasite Paracide
- Battle Fader
- Final Countdown (with stall cards)
- Level Limit - Area B
- Messenger of Peace
- Wave-Motion Cannon (with stall cards)
- The Dark Door
- Continuous Destruction Punch
- Vengeful Bog Spirit
- Ground Collapse
- Mask of Dispel
- Red Medicine
- One Day of Peace
- Marshmallon Glasses
- Burden of the Mighty
- Gravity Bind
- Negate Attack
- Mirror Force (and its variants)
- Begone, Knave!
- Bottomless Shifting Sand
- Metal Reflect Slime
- Wall of Revealing Light
- Dark Bribe
- Divine Wrath
- Seven Tools of the Bandit
- United Front
- Magic Cylinder
- Draining Shield
- Scrap-Iron Scarecrow
- Grave of the Super Ancient Organism
- Fiendish Chain
- Judgment of Anubis
- Anti-Spell Fragrance
- Vanity's Emptiness
- Trap Hole (and its variant)
Anti-effect Final Stall
This kind of Deck is based into locking your opponent while finishing the Duel via "Final Countdown". The main strategy of this Deck is keeping your foe from attacking, as well as using negativity effects against the opponent. Many of those cards involve: Marshmallon, Spirit Reaper, Gellenduo, Decoyroid plus Heart of Clear Water, as well as Ground Collapse times three. A Skill Drain might also help by negating Effect Monsters (beware not to use Monster Effects along with that).
An effective stalling effect at Traditional Format would be Temple of the Kings and Scrap-Iron Scarecrow, that keeps your opponent from attacking anyways. Combined with negation effects such as Skill Drain or Jinzo plus Amplifier in order to negate most effects upon using this Stall.
However, there is a weakness in this strategy. Spiritualism is able to take down the Stall as it cannot be negated and might return Ground Collapse/Royal Decree and thus have a free path for breaking the lock. Angel O7 negates Horus LV8 effect, thus leaving their Spells intact. The only way your opponent may go through the Stall by winning is having the 5 parts of Exodia.
Ways of Stalling
- Jinzo/Royal Decree negates all Traps
- Ground Collapse/Ojama Trio/Ojama Knight keeps the whole opponent's Monster card Zones.
- Vanity's Fiend/Vanity's Ruler negates Special Summons
- Thousand-Eyes Restrict prevents attacks
- Yata-Garasu blocks the opponent's draw (Traditional only)
- Spell Canceller negates all spells
Since Stall Decks rely heavily on blocking effects, and require a great deal of tactics, due to their effectiveness, there's a gradation between stall and Lockdown Decks
|Basic Deck types|