- This article is about the recurring gameplay mechanic. For the arte localized by the same name, see Iron Stance (arte).
Iron Stance refers to a character's ability to prevent being staggered. Characters under this effect cannot be stopped by simply attacking them. The only recourse to Iron Stance is to inflict enough hits to break it, though for enemies, their Iron Stance is often reset at the end of combos. Explicit Iron Stance effects are often rare for playable characters, though there are skills that prevent stagger under certain conditions.
In some games, such as Tales of Destiny (PS2) and Tales of Hearts, Iron Stance has explicit values that indicate exactly how many attacks it takes to stagger an enemy. In others, such as Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2, attacks blocked by Iron Stance are shown to hit a blue barrier, which slowly turns red as it becomes closer to breaking. Some artes are also able to give Iron Stance. Leon Magnus's Demon's Lance Zero provides him with +10 Penetrate, while Asbel Lhant gains 1 Iron Stance when draws his sword for a Style Shift.
In Tales of Rebirth, it is a stat associated with artes that indicate the time during the arte animation, in which the character only takes 75% damage and the arte will continue without being interrupted. In Tales of Link, it is a shield that reduces damage an enemy received. The Iron Stance shields can come in multiple colors, which require a hit from the same color to break; depleting all of an enemy's Iron Stance shields forces them into a prolonged delay before they can attack, after which they will regain all their shields. Some effects from certain units can break shields regardless of color.