Wailord Stall (TCG)

Wailord Stall
Wailord-EX and Suicune
Types used Water
Major cards Wailord-EX, Suicune and Team Flare Grunt
Era 2014–2016

Wailord Stall was a Pokémon Trading Card Game deck archetype mainly played in the 2014-2015 season. The deck's strategy revolved around stalling tactics to win by running the opponent out of cards in their deck, playing the sturdy Wailord-EX which had the most Hit Points in a Pokémon at the time and could survive many different Attacks, not needing to attack in a single turn (most lists even had no energies to play). Wailord Stall took players by surprise in the 2015 Pokémon TCG US National Championships as Lysandre's Trump Card, a card used to counter stalling strategies, had been recently banned from play, being undefeated until the finals where it ranked 2nd place in the Masters Divison.


Wailord Stall offered a unique strategy in the format by not using any attacks during turns; instead, the deck relied on discarding the opponent's energies with disruptive Trainer cards and healing damage off the active Pokémon, aiming that the opponent would eventually run out of cards from the deck. It would play Wailord-EX, a Pokémon with 250HP, and Suicune, whose Ability prevented damage from Pokémon-EX. Other decks usually played more cards on the first turns to setup its attackers, but also getting closer to be decked out than Wailord Stall. Cards such as Cassius, AZ and Max Potion were useful at removing damage counters in play; with VS Seeker and Dowsing Machine, the player could potentially heal a total of 17 times in a single game, not even counting the lesser healing from Rough Seas.

Discarding energies from play was consistent thanks to cards such as Team Flare Grunt, Xerosic, and Enhanced Hammer. The player should wisely use their VS Seeker to either play healing or disruptive Supporter cards since only one could be played at each turn. Losing Pokémon by knockouts could be tolerable if the opponent ran out of energies to attack in the next turns, eventually losing by decking out.

Key cards

  • Wailord-EX - Wailord-EX was a Basic Pokémon with 250HP, resisting many attacks in a format where no attacker could knock it out in one move. Despite giving the opponent two prize cards when knocked out, Wailord-EX was better at resisting attacks and playing on the field than other Pokémon.
  • Suicune - Suicune's Safeguard Ability prevented all attacks against it from Pokémon-EX, often not needing to be healed as much as Wailord-EX. Suicune was also an auto win against decks that could not knock out this Pokémon.
  • Max Potion - As this deck played no energies, Max Potion's drawback was ignored when healing all damage from a Pokémon in play.
  • VS Seeker - Crucial at retrieving played Supporter cards and using their effects for more turns.
  • AZ - Returned a Pokémon in play to your hand, forcing the player to have a benched Pokémon but removing all damage counters from it. Cassius had a similar use, but returned that Pokémon into the deck instead.
  • Hugh - Hugh discarded cards from the opponent's hand to prevent shuffling them back into the deck.
  • Team Flare Grunt - Along with Xerosic and Enhanced Hammer, this card was a consistent way to discard energies from the opponent's Pokémon.
  • Lysandre - It was often prefered to switch the opponent's active Pokémon with one that could not attack (or dealt less damage) and could not retreat back to the old active Pokémon.
  • Rough Seas - Healed 30 damage from   Pokémon between turns. Combined with Hard Charm, it made the deck's Pokémon sturdier against more attacks.

Typical decklist

Enrique Avila's decklist at the 2015 US Nationals

Quantity Card Type Rarity
Dowsing Machine I  
Enhanced Hammer I  
Max Potion I  
Sacred Ash I  
Startling Megaphone I  
Trick Shovel I  
VS Seeker I  
Hard Charm I  
Rough Seas St  
Silent Lab St  
AZ Su  
Cassius Su  
Hugh Su  
Lysandre Su  
N Su  
Pokémon Fan Club Su  
Shauna Su  
Skyla Su  
Team Flare Grunt Su  
Xerosic Su  

Possible tech cards

The following cards are often used in Wailord Stall in place of certain cards included in the above lists.

  • Wobbuffet - Wobbuffet's Bide Barricade Ability prevented the Abilities of non-  Pokémon from working, being useful against decks that accelerated energy by them.
  • Hoopa - A replacement to Suicune that was also immune to the newer Pokémon-GX.
  • Wishiwashi-GX - Though Wishiwashi-GX had less HP than Wailord-EX, this Pokémon's Weakness was different than Wailord's.
  • Xurkitree-GX - Played by Butch Smith in the 2018 Roanoke Regional as a replacement for Suicune, being immune to Pokémon with special energies instead.
  • Oranguru - Oranguru's Resource Management could shuffle back resources into the deck, though it was more consistent in other stall archetypes.
  • Tropical Beach - As the deck did not aim to attack, Tropical Beach was great at drawing cards each turn with no drawback. This card was physically expensive to obtain, however, due to its difficulty to be obtained.
  • Head Ringer - Played on opposing Pokémon-EX to need an extra energy to attack.
  • Robo Substitute - While in play, Robo substitute counted as a Pokémon that did not give the opponent Prize cards when knocked out.

Reasons for the loss of playability

After its debut in the 2015 Nationals, players have adapted to playing against stall, such as using less special energies or including Bunnelby to shuffle resources back into the deck.   Pokémon would later be present in the meta, which hit Wailord-EX for Weakness, as well Puzzle of Time. This deck was still a small contender up to the 2017-2018 season featuring in a few Top 16s, but newer stall/control decks had better tournament results.

  This article is part of Project TCG, a Bulbapedia project that aims to report on every aspect of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.