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Stall cards are ones that prevent your opponent from damaging you OR ones which focus on Negating your opponent's 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 by taking too long to lay down cards or declare actions.

Playing style[edit]

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 throw in Swords and Wall of Revealing Light, and then use only Level 3 or lower monsters to attack, e.g. Drill Barnacle, Gyaku-Gire Panda, Mataza the Zapper etc. and combine them with powerful Equip Cards, e.g. United We Stand, Mage Power, Metalmorph, Kunai with Chain etc. What style/method of stall you wish you use will depend on what kind of Deck you wish to play:

The traditional stall[edit]

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 one of them 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.




Anti-effect final stall[edit]

This kind of Deck is based on locking down 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 negation 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).

The combo King Dragun and Metalsilver Armor blocks targeting effects your opponent uses, hence you'll be safe against most effects.

An effective stalling combo would be Temple of the Kings and Scrap-Iron Scarecrow, that keeps your opponent from attacking. 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 the effect of Horus the Black Flame Dragon LV8, thus leaving their Spells intact. The only way your opponent may get through the Stall to win is by having the 5 parts of Exodia.

Due to the easy handling of combining such effects, you are able to finish the Duel easily via "Final Countdown" or "Wave-Motion Cannon".

Ways of stalling[edit]

Wall Deck[edit]

A wall deck focuses almost exclusively on stalling. These decks usually have significantly more than 40 cards and win by forcing your opponent to deck out simply by drawing cards during their draw phases. Unlike a mill deck, wall decks do not include cards to mill out the opponent's deck.

Hand trap wall[edit]

A hand trap wall deck focuses mostly on hard traps, this makes it very difficult for your opponent to negate or counter them, since they don't need to be placed on the field in advance, making them highly resistant to cards like Twin Twisters, which might be able to shut down other stall decks. This type of deck can be surprisingly effective, and can often win even against aggressive swarming decks such as Blue-Eyes. However, these type of wall decks are easily countered by most burn decks, as well as mill decks.

Some cards that might be used in a hand trap wall include:


Since both Stall Decks and Lockdown Decks rely heavily on blocking effects, and require elaborate tactics, there's a gradation between the two, and it may be difficult to classify a deck as one or the other.