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From YPPedia

Stalling is a strategy used in swordfighting and rumble, particularly in sea battle and team brawls. It involves refraining from pressing on the spacebar when teamed upon, allowing the pieces to fall at the game's standard speed.

In multiplayer swordfights, this strategy is usually employed when many opponents are teamed up on a single target. As the target stalls, the attacks sent by the opponents will build up, rendering most of the attacks useless, and allowing the other players on the targeted pirate's team to play unhindered. It is common to resort to this strategy when there are three opponents or more targeting a player; NPPs will stall if four or more players team up on them.

In a duel, one could use this strategy when his or her opponent's screen is nearly full, so that the opponent will hopefully run out of space on their board before the player does.

When rumbling, stalling is generally less effective, because there is only five seconds at most between shots, but proceeding slowly in a large brawl when teamed upon may still be a viable option. In a one-versus-one rumble match, stalling when the screen is nearly full can buy a few extra seconds of time if there is no other option.

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