Genius Invokation TCG has steadily grown in popularity within Genshin Impact. As more people play and more strategies are developed, meta decks will begin to emerge that aim to sweep up the competition – then, in return, meta-counter decks will emerge to… well, counter the meta. If you want to learn how to make some of these meta or counter-meta decks, you can find our guides on the Ayamiya, Collei Quicken and Freeze Shutdown Decks here.
Stall Decks have been a common part of traditional trading card games since their inception. By relying on healing, recycling cards or just having high defences, Stall Decks work to outlast their opponents. What they lack in direct damage-dealing potential is more than made up for in terms of survivability. Genius Invokation TCG works a little differently than most other card games about a Stall Deck. In trading card games like Pokemon or Magic: The Gathering, Stall Decks want to outlast their opponents by making them hit the bottom of their deck.
Meanwhile, the objective of the Geo Stall Deck is to survive the heaviest-hitting rounds of your opponents with shields and healing until you can whittle them down. If played correctly, this deck can dismantle many of the most popular decks and strategies by simply outlasting them: Ayamiya Decks cannot work as effectively if they can’t kill you in a single round, for example. It is certainly a unique way to play, slowing the pace to a near crawl to survive, but it can be very fun when done correctly.
Here’s how to build a Geo Stall Deck in Genshin Impact’s Genius Invokation TCG.
Want more Genshin Impact or Genius Invokation TCG content and articles? You can find more here on KeenGamer:
- Genshin Impact: Ayamiya (Yoimiya + Ayaka) Genius Invokation TCG Deck Guide
- Genshin Impact: Collei Quicken Genius Invokation TCG Deck Guide
- Genshin Impact: Freeze Shutdown Genius Invokation TCG Deck Guide
- Genshin Impact: How to Easily Get Dynamic Skins for Genius Invokation TCG
- Genshin Impact Wanderer (Scaramouche) Best Build Guide
What is Crystallize?
Before we begin, let’s go over the main Elemental Reaction that the Geo Stall Deck is built around: Crystallize. This is the standard Geo Reaction that will occur whenever you combine Geo with either Pyro, Cryo, Hydro or Electro (Anemo and Dendro cannot react with Geo).
Whenever you trigger Crystallize, that Reaction will gain a +1 DMG bonus for that instance. The main effect, though, is that you will gain 1 Shield Point. This stacks up to 2 times and can block 1 DMG from your opponent. Since this comes from a Reaction, this means that it can stack with other instances of defence boosting such as Noelle’s Elemental Skill, Ningguang’s Elemental Skill or even Summon abilities.
The main strength of Crystallize is pretty obvious. This Reaction is a consistent, easy way to gain high defences at a reliable rate. Against some of the stronger meta decks, reducing DMG by even a single point can make all the difference. For example, a large part of the Ayamiya Deck relies on killing your opponent’s Character Cards to regain Dice using the Gambler’s Earrings – Crystallize provides an easy way to survive this, neutering that part of the deck and cutting down its potency dramatically.
However, Crystallize does run into some problems. Like Freeze, the bonus +1 DMG on the Reaction isn’t anything to write home about. When compared to powerhouses like Melt or Vaporize, it just isn’t that offensively viable. While you’ll be surviving the opponent’s attacks with no problem, they also likely won’t be taking a lot of damage, either – this is kind of the point of a Stall Deck, but if waiting around for many turns doesn’t sound appealing, maybe skip this deck.
Next, let’s go over what cards will be included in this deck. Some of these cards are far more useful than others, so are two sections to this list: Essential and Non-Essential. Essential Cards are required for the base of the deck to work. Meanwhile, Non-Essentia Cards are situationally useful and so should be swapped and substituted as necessary.
The Essential Cards for the Geo Stall Deck include:
- Noelle (Character Card)
- Ningguang (Character Card)
- Barbara (Character Card)
- I Got Your Back x2 (Noelle Talent Card)
- Strategic Reserve x1 (Ningguang Talent Card)
- Glorious Season x1 (Barbara Talent Card)
- Wolf’s Gravestone x1 (Equipment Card)
- Sacrificial Fragments x1 (Equipment Card)
- Liben x2 (Support Card)
- Liu Su x2 (Support Card)
- Ellin x1 (Support Card)
- Wagner x1 (Support Card)
- Jade Chamber x2 (Support Card)
- Wangshu Inn x2 (Support Card)
- Changing Shifts x2 (Event Card)
- Leave it to Me! x2 (Event Card)
- Toss-Up x2 (Event Card)
- The Bestest Travel Companion! x2 (Event Card)
- Elemental Resonance: Enduring Rock x2 (Event Card)
- Elemental Resonance: Woven Stone x2 (Event Card)
Meanwhile, the Non-Essential Cards include:
- Skyward Atlas x1 (Equipment Card)
- Paimon x2 (Support Card)
- Timmie x2 (Support Card)
- Liyue Harbour Wharf x2 (Support Card)
- Send Off x2 (Event Card)
- Strategize x2 (Event Card)
- When the Crane Returned x1 (Event Card)
You will need a total of 30 Action Cards and 3 Character Cards to make a viable deck. The Essential Cards should be in basically every variant of this deck no matter what as they make up the core combos and strategies. On the other hand, the Non-Essential Card list contains a variety of situational cards that will change relevancy and potency depending on your opponent (you may want to bring Send Off to deal with pesky Summon Decks, for example). Mix and match these as you see fit.
Noelle is the main star of this deck. She can do it all (under the right circumstances): she can provide Shields with Crystallize and her own Skills, do very respectable damage and even heal with her Talent Card. Noelle is simply the core of the deck in every way, so learning how to use her to her best capabilities is very important.
Noelle’s abilities are:
- Favonius Bladework – Maid (Normal Attack): Deals 2 Physical DMG.
- Breastplate (Elemental Skill): Deals 1 Geo DMG, creates 1 Full Plate (Status: Grants 2 Shield Points to your active character. Before this Shield is fully consumed, Physical DMG you take is halved).
- Sweeping Time (Elemental Burst): Deals 4 Geo DMG, Noelle gains Sweeping Time (Status: Normal Attacks consume 1 less Geo Dice for 2 Rounds).
When paired with certain Equipment Cards and her unique Talent Card, Noelle has the potential to hit for very good damage while keeping the same level of sustain. With the ability to spawn Shields via her Elemental Skill and the Crystallize Reaction, Noelle is a very powerful core of this team who can take hits, deal hits and even heal hits.
Ningguang serves a multi-purpose role in this team. While she won’t be dealing the bulk of our offence and will be serving mainly to buff our defences, there are rare opportunities where she has the potential to almost OHKO unsuspecting opponents. Ningguang isn’t to be trifled with, in terms of damage or defence.
Ningguang’s abilities are:
- Sparkling Scatter (Normal Attack): Deals 1 Geo DMG.
- Jade Screen (Elemental Skill): Deals 2 Geo DMG, creates 1 Jade Screen (Status: When your active character receives at least 2 DMG, decreases DMG taken by 1: 2 Usages).
- Starshatter (Elemental Burst): Deals 6 Geo DMG. If Jade Screen is on the field, +2 DMG.
Jade Shield is Ningguang’s biggest strength as it will stack with other sources of Shield Points, buffing your defensive capabilities to an insane degree. Additionally, she is a Catalyst so her Normal Attack is a great, cheap way of instantly applying Geo for Crystallize. On average, she won’t be doing a lot of damage until she can get her Burst (which isn’t really the reason why she’s here) but she does her job as a backup defender so well.
At first glance, Barbara may seem like an odd choice for this team. She isn’t a damage dealer and she doesn’t provide shields like Ningguang or Noelle, but what she can do is heal. In fact, she is the most potent healing unit in the entire TCG, with the potential to drag matches on for an incredibly long period of time if played correctly.
Barbara’s abilities are:
- Whisper of Water (Normal Attack): Deals 1 Hydro DMG.
- Let the Show Begin (Elemental Skill): Deas 1 Hydro DMG, summons 1 Melody Loop (Summon: At the End Phase, heal all of your characters for 1 HP and your active character gains Hydro Application: 2 Usages).
- Shining Miracle (Elemental Burst): Heals all of your characters for 4 HP.
Alongside her insane healing potential, Barbara is our consistent source of Crystallize. Noelle and Ningguang won’t be able to generate any Shield Points if they cannot trigger any Elemental Reactions: luckily, Barbara is a Catalyst user who can simply hit the enemy with a single Normal Attack to start said Reaction. Pair this with her Skill and Burst, and Barbara becomes a strong wall at this team’s backline, keeping the knights in shining armour alive forever more.
This deck actually makes use of weapon cards for almost every one of the Character Cards. These will either help aid your damage or help you keep up the sustain on your shields.
First up is the Wolf’s Gravestone. This Weapon Equipment Card can only be equipped on Claymore characters, meaning only Noelle can use it in this composition. When equipped with a character, they will deal a permanent +1 DMG and they deal another +2 additional DMG if the target has less than 6 HP. For Noelle, this Equipment Card essentially just makes her a better DPS: damage is really the only thing that is lacking in the Geo Stall Deck so any extra offensive potential is definitely worth it.
The other Essential Equipment Card is the Sacrificial Fragment. This is another Weapon Card, specifically a Catalyst, so either Ningguang or Barbara can utilise it depending on the circumstance. Like with the Gravestone, equipped characters gain a permanent +1 DMG bonus, but the real benefit is in the additional bonus. After the equipped character uses an Elemental Skill, they will gain 1 Elemental Dice of that same Element once per round, essentially giving you a free shot at another skill, switch or ability. Considering that you can loop the Normal Attacks of Barbara and Ningguang to constantly trigger Crystallize, this is a great pick to continuously keep your Shield Points active.
We will also be using all 3 Talent Cards for each of our three Character Cards. All of these provide some very nice benefits that each help in either stalling out the opponent or keeping your side alive. Noelle’s Talent Card is I Got Your Back: when equipped, Noelle will instantly use Breastplate as well as gain the ability to heal all of your characters for 1 HP when she uses a Normal Attack after gaining a Full Plate. This not only aids your defences by giving you an instant Breastplate, but it gives Noelle the ability to be a bit more proactive with damage as you will be healing your entire team with each hit.
The other two Talent Cards are Strategic Retreat for Ningguang and Glorious Season for Barbara. The former will cause an instant cast of Jade Screen and boost all of your Geo DMG by +1 while said screen is on the field. Meanwhile, the latter will cast Let the Show Begin and summon a special kind of Melody Loop, allowing you to get one free Switch Character action per round. Both of these are very useful in either boosting your damage while maintaining your defences or for setting up the swap-heavy nature of this deck. While not as inherently powerful as Noelle’s, these Talent Cards are still insanely useful and belong in your deck.
One of the other things about this deck is that there are a lot of Support Cards. Depending on your Non-Essential picks you will likely run into a situation where you have more Support than space on the field. Fortunately, most of your cards will have a certain amount of uses or a limited number of activations, meaning that you can cycle in new Supports when necessary. Still, it is worth knowing.
The first major Support Card to discuss is the Wangshu Inn. This card doesn’t see a ton of play, mainly because it takes up space on the field where other buffs could reside. When placed on the field the Wangshu Inn will heal your most injured standby character for 2 HP once you hit the End Phase. It will do this twice and, while it may seem trivial in some other decks, it becomes a great asset to the Stall Deck. Healing is just another form of defence. Stack this card with Barabara’s Skill Summon and you can heal up to 3 HP each round for almost nothing.
Another interesting set of cards to discuss is the Support Cards which centre on Burst Energy. Because the Geo Stall Deck relies primarily on Crystallize and passive healing, Bursts take a bit of a back seat when compared to other offensive-focused decks. They are, however, still very important and can win games (Barbara’s can secure a clutch heal or your Geo characters can use theirs to dish out instant high damage). As a result, you may want to bring cards like Iron Tongue Tian alongside Liu Su to make sure you have your Burst when you need it. However, Liu Su is arguably the better of these cards and mostly works on his own.
Lastly, this deck is one of the few that uses several Weapon Equipment Cards. Other decks often forego these but the Geo Stall Deck uses them to keep up with damage and keep the match going. As a result, Wagner is a very good pick here. When played he can guarantee that the Wolf’s Gravestone or the Sacrificial Fragments only cost a single Dice to equip, making them a much more appealing choice per round. While not a massive buff or boon, it can make decision-making less stressful and provide your team with a bit more coverage.
Event Cards usually make up a lot of Genius Invokation TCG decks thanks to their unique effects and abilities. The Geo Stall Deck isn’t really like that, though, instead relying heavily on Reactions and Support Cards instead.
The Event Cards that are needed though are rather standard. Changing Shifts and Leave it to Me! are used because this deck relies heavily on switching your active character. While Noelle can do a lot, Barbara will likely be needed to heal at one key point or another and Ningguang can help survive some hard-hitting Bursts with her Jade Screen. As such making sure that you can switch for free and as a Fast Action will aid you immensely.
The other key cards here are the Elemental Resonance cards. Woven Stone simply gives you more Elemental Dice to play with, allowing some more breathing room in terms of card and ability costs. Enduring Rock, on the other hand, is a bit more interesting as it buffs your ability to gain Shield Points. When you next use an attack that deals Geo DMG which has the ability to generate a Shield Point, you will gain a whopping 3 Points instead of just 1. This is great in this team as it will stack up Shield Points beyond their normal limit, letting you stall out the opponent for even longer stretches of time.
Stall Deck Playstyle
The following section is a list of cards that combo well together. Like most decks, the Geo Stall Deck works best when the right cards are used at the same time to either maximise their effects or create a unique strategy. Most of the Stall combos involve boosting our damage potential or creating opportunities for quick switches.
- Noelle + I Got Your Back: Instantly casts Breastplate while turning Noelle into more of a jack-of-all-trades (healing on Normal Attack, Shield Points and more of a focus on attacking).
- Barbara + Changing Tides / Leave it to Me!: Barbara will be your most common switch in order to consistently trigger Crystallize. These cards allow you to get that switch off for free and without using up your entire round.
- Barbara + Wangshu Inn: Combining Wangshuu Inn with Barbara’s Elemental Skill allows you to heal one of your characters for 3 HP in the End Phase (and 1 to every other character).
- Wagner + Wolf’s Gravestone / Sacrificial Fragments: Wagner reduces the cost of your Weapon Equipment Cards from 3 Dice to 1 Dice, allowing more flexibility on your turns.
Starting the fight with the right Action Cards can make a big difference. They can get you off to a running start, or leave you limping behind the rest of the pack. The Geo Stall Deck is a lot more reliant on getting the right Dice, rather than getting the optimal set of cards, but it is still important to know what you want in your starting hand.
For the Geo Stall Deck, you want to begin with a mixture of:
- I Got Your Back: Let’s you set up full potential Noelle early into the fight.
- Toss-Up: You can correct any poor Dice luck you get to make sure you can use all the attacks and Action Cards you need.
- Changing Tides: This allows you to get a free switch from Barbara.
- Leave it to Me!: Allows you to get a Fast Action switch from Barbara.
- Liben: An easy support card to feed for a big profit later in the match.
Next, let’s go over the general flow state for the deck. This is the rhythm and routine that you will usually find yourself in as you play each game: sometimes circumstances and enemy strategies may force you to switch some stuff around, but this is the general order of things.
- When the match begins, choose Barbara.
- Use Let the Show Begin to deal Hydro Application to your opponent and summon your Melody Loop. This sets you up for healing over the next several turns and sets the opponent up for Crystallize.
- Switch to Noelle on your next turn: Changing Tides and Leave it to Me! will allow you to do this without a fee.
- Use Breastplate to summon a Full Plate Shield and trigger Crystallize for some additional Shield Points.
- Switch to Ningguang whenever you’re able to set up Jade Screen for even more defences. Continue this rhythm to keep up your Shield Points and defensive buffs.
- Once the opportunity arises, switch to Noelle and use her Elemental Burst to secure some heavy hits with it and her Normal Attack.
- When your characters get low on health, switch back to Barbara and use her Burst to keep everyone healthy.
- Rinse and repeat this strategy until you find an opening to knock out your opponent.
One thing to keep in mind for this deck is how much you’re going to be switching around. Crystallize is one of the main sources of shields and to continuously trigger it you need to be switching between Barbara and your Geo characters consistently. Full Plate and Jade Screen will protect you as you perform these switches, but it is worth keeping in mind – this is actually one of the reasons why this deck does so little damage when compared to others, as the turns it does get to move are spent setting up defences rather than high damage.
Another thing to remember is to use your Action Cards whenever you can. While Elemental Skills and Crystallize are your main focuses in this deck, your Action Cards will always come in handy for a clutch win. Wangshu Inn pairs perfectly with Barbara’s Elemental Skill to keep your entire team alive, whereas cards like Liben set you up for some big plays later in the match. Equip your Noelle with her Wolf’s Gravestone before you do big damage to maximise your hits, and use Sacrificial Fragments on your Barbara or Ningguang to keep your turn chugging on.
General Advice, Strengths and Weaknesses
The main benefit of the Geo Stall Deck is also its biggest weakness: the stalling itself. There’s a lot of switching and a lot of waiting when using this deck as you set up your shields. While this will keep you alive and in the fight, it certainly won’t be taking out the opponent, either. As I said, this is the point of a stall deck but the unique way that Genius Invokation TCG is handled compared to other trading card games can make this feel a bit arduous at times.
What all these defences and Shields do grant you is the ability to tank the strongest decks in the game. If your opponent needs to rely on defeating your Character Cards like the Ayamiya Deck or on Elemental Reactions to destroy you in a single turn, the Geo Stall Deck will just push through it. It’s hard to defeat you through 3 separate layers of shields and healing, and you’ll likely find immense satisfaction watching the supposed strongest decks fall at your feet.
A unique downside to this deck compared to others is its inherent weakness in Piercing. Usually, this type of damage is simply used to hit every opposing character on the field. With the Geo Stall Deck, though, Piercing DMG will pass through your shields and hit your characters directly, bypassing your main gimmick. Without your shields, you’re a sitting duck who cannot deal much damage, so face decks with Pierce with some trepidation.
Overall, the Geo Stall Deck is one that you have to strap in for. Grab a book, make yourself a tea and get ready for some long rounds. Between 6-10 turns of healing, shielding and slowly attacking as you go against your opponent is not uncommon. In some cases, this allows you to directly counter many of the meta strategies and decks currently in circulation. In other cases, though, the weakness of the deck can be exposed thanks to its low overall damage and reliance on having to switch so often. If you’re able to make it work, though, the Geo Stall Deck lives up to its namesake amongst trading card decks and can be a fearsome addition to the Genius Invokation TCG line-up.
That’s how to make a Geo Stall Deck in Genshin Impact’s Genius Invokation TCG game mode.