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According to smogon:

Tank

A Pokemon intended to take either physical or special attacks and hit back, but does not have to do so consistently over the entire course of a match.

Bronzong is a very potent tank. With Gyro Ball, Explosion, and massive defenses, it can hit enemies hard and take many hits effectively over the course of a match

 

Wall

A Pokemon intended to take either physical or special attacks extremely effectively and consistently over the course of a battle.

Skarmory's enormous physical Defense makes it one of the most sturdy physical wall in the game. It also has access to Spikes, Roost, and Whirlwind, three moves that Skarmory has many opportunities to use.

It would seem that these two differ in that a Tank can dish out a hit, where as a Wall plays as more of a spiker, only, that really describes a spiker, so I'm a little confused as to where a Wall sits in the metagame

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You're correct. The point of the wall is that it's devoted purely to defense, meant to sit back while the opponent takes damage from spikes, poison, et cetera.

A tank is similar to a Wall, but is able to deal damage as well. The difference isn't huge, but there is a difference, and both can fulfill similar roles.

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Yeah the difference is really in the amount of damage each can inflict. A Tank can inflict a decent amount of damage while taking hits, while a Wall inflicts lots of small amounts of damage. –  DisgruntledGoat Apr 19 '11 at 11:22
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So then, what's the difference between a Wall and a Spiker or a Staller or an Annoyer? –  tzenes Apr 19 '11 at 15:46
    
A spiker puts down spikes, and a wall takes damage. A staller is about drawing out the game and an annoyer is (I think) someone who would inflict status ailments on opponents. Their is a -lot- of overlap in the types. Many walls also spike, for example. –  Wipqozn Apr 19 '11 at 15:51
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@tzenes Take Whimsicott, a prime example of an annoyer. Has Prankster to always go first with non-damaging moves, tons of annoyance type moves (Taunt, Encore, status). It can stall using priority Substitute, but it doesn't have the defenses to stand up as an actual Wall as it can't be used to soak damage on switch-in. It also lacks a reliable recovery move, which most Walls enjoy having. Walls may fill the role of spikers/stallers/annoyers, but it is not implicitly any of those, nor vice versa. –  Grace Note Apr 20 '11 at 11:29
    
I'd say walls are more effective in double/triple battles, if only there were a way to make all of the opponents attack the wall only, not the others, who would be berserkers and have little defense, only attack –  The Ugly Oct 23 '13 at 20:40
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