History Main / UselessUsefulSpell

18th Mar '18 12:45:06 PM nombretomado
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* WildArms: Alter Code F, the remake of the original Wild Arms, makes all of these very useful. There are no instant-death equivalents (that you are allowed to cast), but all of the status effects land 100% on everything. Even the final boss. These are timed debuffs, so you only get a few turns before you have to cast them again.

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* WildArms: ''[[VideoGame/WildArms1 Wild ARMs: Alter Code F, F]]'', the remake of the original Wild Arms, ''[=Wild ARMs=]'', makes all of these very useful. There are no instant-death equivalents (that you are allowed to cast), but all of the status effects land 100% on everything. Even the final boss. These are timed debuffs, so you only get a few turns before you have to cast them again.
14th Mar '18 5:06:11 PM rixion
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* Both the ''VideoGame/{{SaGa}}'' series and the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series avert this trope; random encounters are generally much more difficult than in most [=RPGs=], and some powerful bosses '''aren't''' immune to status effects or instant death, making those powers valid tactics. You have spells that double your attack power, double your defense, halve the enemy's defense, and can give the enemy less than 10% accuracy or prevent them from casting '''any''' spells. And these, as a general rule, will work on 99% of all bosses in ''Dragon Quest'' games, including the Final Boss and Bonus Boss. Some bosses cast a spell that removes the buffs on your party or on the enemy party, but if they're wasting a turn removing buffs, they're not attacking.

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* Both the ''VideoGame/{{SaGa}}'' ''[[Franchise/SaGaRPG SaGa]]'' series and the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series avert this trope; random encounters are generally much more difficult than in most [=RPGs=], and some powerful bosses '''aren't''' immune to status effects or instant death, making those powers valid tactics. You have spells that double your attack power, double your defense, halve the enemy's defense, and can give the enemy less than 10% accuracy or prevent them from casting '''any''' spells. And these, as a general rule, will work on 99% of all bosses in ''Dragon Quest'' games, including the Final Boss and Bonus Boss. Some bosses cast a spell that removes the buffs on your party or on the enemy party, but if they're wasting a turn removing buffs, they're not attacking.
24th Feb '18 7:57:56 PM RainingMetal
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** ''VideoGame/XenobladeChronicles2'' continues the trend of the ever valuable Topple combo (now in the form of Break-Topple-Launch-Smash), enabling the party to either stall the enemy for a considerable amount of time or do tremendous damage while getting valuable items in the mix. There's also knockback and blowdown-inflicting arts, which can be invaluable when it comes to interrupting a particularly devastating enemy attack.
20th Feb '18 11:43:56 PM Gadjiltron
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Subtrope of UnderusedGameMechanic. SuperTrope to ContractualBossImmunity. Compare AwesomeButImpractical. Contrast with the InverseLawOfUtilityAndLethality, where the more powerful something is in combat, the less it is outside of it.

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Subtrope of UnderusedGameMechanic. SuperTrope to ContractualBossImmunity. Compare AwesomeButImpractical.AwesomeButImpractical ([[CanonicalListOfSubtleTropeDistinctions You will find use for an Awesome But Impractical ability, albeit not on a regular basis; You won't find a good reason to use Useless Useful Spells at all]]). Contrast with the InverseLawOfUtilityAndLethality, where the more powerful something is in combat, the less it is outside of it.
20th Feb '18 8:09:22 PM Toastclaimer
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** In recent years thanks to so much generic support for every monster type, card type and the infamous link summoning pretty much every card in the game has ''some'' sort of use that it can be used for; it may not be the best tool for the job but it can do it you try hard enough.
*** Examples include [[JokeCharacter Shapesntach or Morinphen]]; two notoriously terrible normal monsters in the TCG and OCG respectivly. The former is a machine level 5 normal; one of the best type and level combos in the game. Cyber Dragon Nova and First of the Dragons can easily be made with him. Not to mention the pendulum normals which make such plays more viable.
*** Then there are cards like [[TheScrappy Larvae Moth]]; there's no beating around the bush or secret strategy here; he's just useless in every way.
** Depending on the current meta-game cards once declared useless can suddenly be overpowered. Vanity's Emptiness, for example, was called useless when it was first released, and now its so game breaking it's on the forbidden list
5th Feb '18 10:35:43 AM lluewhyn
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*** Damage spells are similar to 3.5, but the scaling is adjusted to be more potent than first received but no longer automatically scales with level. So, a Fireball in 3.X that started with 5d6 and automatically scaled up to 10d6 in 3.X starts and stops with 8d6 in 5th Edition.

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*** Damage spells are similar to 3.5, but the scaling is adjusted to be more potent than when first received but no longer automatically scales with level. So, a Fireball in 3.X that started with 5d6 and automatically scaled up to 10d6 in 3.X starts and stops with 8d6 in 5th Edition.
5th Feb '18 10:34:46 AM lluewhyn
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*** That being said, there aren't a whole lot of good single-target damage spells that will allow a caster to compete with a melee class, and rightfully so. When trying to do damage to a single creature like a Giant or Dragon, a Wizard is going to fall far behind a Fighter, Barbarian, etc., and rightfully so.
*** Status-Inflicting spells can be terribly potent and can start reliably remove even powerful creatures from combat with as low as Level 3 spells, and really start shining starting with Level 4 spells like Polymorph, Banish, etc. It really is a return to "Save or Die". The downside is that due to the Concentration rule, the caster can typically only keep one of these spells in effect at a time.

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*** That being said, there aren't a whole lot of good single-target damage spells that will allow a caster to compete with a melee class, and rightfully so. When trying to do damage to a single creature like a Giant or Dragon, a Wizard is going to fall far behind a Fighter, Barbarian, etc., and rightfully so.
which prevents non-magical classes from becoming obsolete.
*** Status-Inflicting spells can be terribly potent and can start reliably remove removing even powerful creatures from combat with as low as Level 3 spells, and really start shining starting with Level 4 spells like Polymorph, Banish, etc. It really is a return to "Save or Die". The downside is that due to the Concentration rule, the caster can typically only keep one of these spells in effect at a time.
21st Jan '18 12:39:39 PM nombretomado
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* Averted in ''LuminousArc''. Even the instant death spell works on the majority of bosses (giant bosses seem to be immune), providing their level is below that of the character who knows the spell. Cecilia in the first game starts as a healer, but is capable of learning such a spell later in the game, and since you get a good chunk of EXP every time you heal someone, overlevelling her isn't hard.
** In the sequel we have Freeze, which the bosses Fatima and Josie use to devastating effect on your team when it connects. Anyone under its effects remain immobile for a few turns, but if before that the target is attacked by any kind of physical attack, it shatters dead, 100% of the time. [[spoiler:It remains just as useful when both characters join your side, and they have access to the exclusve Frost Orb accessory, which grants all their skills the same effect, plus a small accuracy boost.]]

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* Averted in ''LuminousArc''.''VideoGame/LuminousArc''. Even the instant death spell works on the majority of bosses (giant bosses seem to be immune), providing their level is below that of the character who knows the spell. Cecilia in the first game starts as a healer, but is capable of learning such a spell later in the game, and since you get a good chunk of EXP every time you heal someone, overlevelling her isn't hard.
** In [[VideoGame/LuminousArc2 the sequel sequel]] we have Freeze, which the bosses Fatima and Josie use to devastating effect on your team when it connects. Anyone under its effects remain immobile for a few turns, but if before that the target is attacked by any kind of physical attack, it shatters dead, 100% of the time. [[spoiler:It remains just as useful when both characters join your side, and they have access to the exclusve Frost Orb accessory, which grants all their skills the same effect, plus a small accuracy boost.]]
19th Dec '17 8:35:46 AM BillyMT
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** ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV'' and [[VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIVApocalypse its sequel]] tends to be a great example on how to subvert this trope. Conversely, it's the only way to give the player an edge [[RocketTagGameplay on a SMT game which]] ''[[RocketTagGameplay doesn't]]'' [[RocketTagGameplay have a Defense stat]].
*** Case in point, alongside [[StandardStatusEffects ye olde Poison, Sleep and Charm status]], we have Sick[[note]]Damage decreases by 25%, evade rate becomes 0%. At each turn, there is a 5% chance that the sickness will be passed to another member. The effect persists after battle is over.[[/note]], Lost[[note]]Target is BlownAcrossTheRoom, or rather, outside of the battlefield, and cannot reenter it. Victim must then be found on a separate random encounter that'll happen after receiving said effect. [[MyRulesAreNotYourRules Can only be inflicted on the player's demons]]. FridgeHorror sets in when you realize that the BonusBoss and ThatOneBoss having access to these means [[OhCrap you can't bring them back to the battlefield whatsoever, running the risk to fight against them alone and underpowered, all but setting you up for a hopeless Game Over]].[[/note]], and Branded[[note]]DLC BonusBoss exclusive, nerfs any attempt to recover HP or SP on the target to ''a single point''. Thankfully, it wanes after a few turns.[[/note]].
*** Notably there's also the Panic and Bind status. While mechanically equal to other settings' Confuse and Paralysis, respectively, when used by the player, they'll also raise Trade and Fundraise success rates to 100%! It's the closest thing to VideoGameStealing present in a Megaten game!
*** VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIVApocalypse also introduces Mute, which [[PowerNullifier disables all but the target's regular attack]], and Daze, a variant of Panic without the freebie item advantage. What makes them stand out from the others is the fact that rare enemies resist them, ''bosses included''. For example, [[ThatOneBoss Titan, Maitreya, Inanna, Krishna, Vishnu-Flynn]], ''and even all forms of the FinalBoss''!
15th Dec '17 7:42:41 AM lluewhyn
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** Handled in a lot more balanced way in 5th Edition, to where casters are typically advised to prepare a mix of damage spells and Status-Inflicting Buff/Debuff spells for the following reasons:
*** Damage spells are similar to 3.5, but the scaling is adjusted to be more potent than first received but no longer automatically scales with level. So, a Fireball in 3.X that started with 5d6 and automatically scaled up to 10d6 in 3.X starts and stops with 8d6 in 5th Edition.
*** That being said, there aren't a whole lot of good single-target damage spells that will allow a caster to compete with a melee class, and rightfully so. When trying to do damage to a single creature like a Giant or Dragon, a Wizard is going to fall far behind a Fighter, Barbarian, etc., and rightfully so.
*** Status-Inflicting spells can be terribly potent and can start reliably remove even powerful creatures from combat with as low as Level 3 spells, and really start shining starting with Level 4 spells like Polymorph, Banish, etc. It really is a return to "Save or Die". The downside is that due to the Concentration rule, the caster can typically only keep one of these spells in effect at a time.
*** In addition, end boss characters like Dragons and Vampire Lords typically have Legendary Saves (on top of decent Save bonuses) that allow them to automatically make saves a certain number of times if the otherwise fail their roll. So, good luck Polymorphing that dragon. However, that still leaves many powerful creatures that the caster can simply remove from combat with one bad roll from the DM.
*** Many Status-Inflicting spells, especially lower-level ones, allow the target to continue to make saves each round to shake off the effect. Still, that allows at least a limited amount of time to really clean up the rest of the opposition.
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