History Main / UselessUsefulSpell

12th Aug '17 12:34:55 PM ZorotheGallade
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** In ''VideoGame/EtrianMysteryDungeon'' the Head Seal, Leg Seal and Arm Seal statuses are pretty useless on regular monsters, but become a veritable boon against Bosses and [[BossInMookClothing DOEs]], which will find themselves unable to use their worst skills and summon reinforcements with the right debuffs added. Also, DOEs only take ScratchDamage unless at least one StandardStatusEffect is affecting them, meaning having status-inflicting items and specialists in your party and garrisons at all times is key to taking them down.

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** In ''VideoGame/EtrianMysteryDungeon'' the Head Seal, Leg Seal and Arm Seal statuses are pretty useless on regular monsters, but become a veritable boon against Bosses and [[BossInMookClothing DOEs]], Does]], which will find themselves unable to use their worst skills and summon reinforcements with the right debuffs added. Also, DOEs Does only take ScratchDamage unless at least one StandardStatusEffect is affecting them, meaning having status-inflicting items and specialists in your party and garrisons at all times is key to taking them down.
12th Aug '17 12:33:19 PM ZorotheGallade
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** In ''VideoGame/EtrianMysteryDungeon'' the Head Seal, Leg Seal and Arm Seal statuses are pretty useless on regular monsters, but become a veritable boon against Bosses and [[BossInMookClothing DOEs]], which will find themselves unable to use their worst skills and summon reinforcements with the right debuffs added. Also, DOEs only take ScratchDamage unless at least one StandardStatusEffect is affecting them, meaning having status-inflicting items and specialists in your party and garrisons at all times is key to taking them down.
2nd Aug '17 11:26:08 AM CosmicFerret
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** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIV'' did have one example of UselessUsefulSpell, but that was due to your allies playing AIRoulette. Specifically, [[CombatMedic Kiryl]] turned stupid the moment he learned [[OneHitKill Beat / Thwack]], constantly casting that instead of concentrating on fighting or healing. This was so prevalent that it's even [[MythologyGag referenced]] in one of his specials in ''DragonQuest: Monster Battle Road''. Luckily, the re-release let you change tactics (you could do this in the original game, but only to a limited degree -- the tactics were character-specific, and there were some things you just couldn't actually stop your characters from doing, regardless of setting) or take direct control, so even though the strategy for "Show Now Mercy" is still just spamming the OneHitKill, it's not the only options.

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** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIV'' did have one example of UselessUsefulSpell, but that was due to your allies playing AIRoulette. Specifically, [[CombatMedic Kiryl]] turned stupid the moment he learned [[OneHitKill Beat / Thwack]], constantly casting that instead of concentrating on fighting or healing. This was so prevalent that it's even [[MythologyGag referenced]] in one of his specials in ''DragonQuest: ''VideoGame/DragonQuest: Monster Battle Road''. Luckily, the re-release let you change tactics (you could do this in the original game, but only to a limited degree -- the tactics were character-specific, and there were some things you just couldn't actually stop your characters from doing, regardless of setting) or take direct control, so even though the strategy for "Show Now Mercy" is still just spamming the OneHitKill, it's not the only options.
7th Jul '17 11:59:27 PM darkabomination
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* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsInTheSky'' has Chaos Brand, which causes confusion. Well, confusion isn't normally one of the more powerful status effects in an RPG and this game is no exception, but the spell has a 100% success rate against any enemy that isn't outright immune to it, and it's one of the cheapest spells to cast—at 10 EP—to boot. In fact, status effects aren't too shabby in general in Trails in the Sky; while they're not as exploitable as the aforementioned sleep spells in Radiant Historia, there are a number of abilities that have a chance of causing things like petrify, freeze, mute, or even instant death in addition to doing damage, and with proper [[PowersAsPrograms quartz]] setup, you can make ''any'' attack have a 10% chance of causing a given status effect. And again, the chance of the status hitting is entirely dependent on the method of activation; the only possible enemy resistance levels are "none" or "complete".

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* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfHeroesTrailsInTheSky'' has Chaos Brand, which causes confusion. Well, confusion isn't normally one of the more powerful status effects in an RPG and this game is no exception, but the spell has a 100% success rate against any enemy that isn't outright immune to it, and it's one of the cheapest spells to cast—at 10 EP—to boot. In fact, status effects aren't too shabby in general in Trails ''Trails in the Sky; Sky''; while they're not as exploitable as the aforementioned sleep spells in Radiant Historia, there are a number of abilities that have a chance of causing things like petrify, freeze, mute, or even instant death in addition to doing damage, and with proper [[PowersAsPrograms quartz]] setup, you can make ''any'' attack have a 10% chance of causing a given status effect. And again, the chance of the status hitting is entirely dependent on the method of activation; the only possible enemy resistance levels are "none" or "complete". What's more, several bosses avert ContractualBossImmunity when it comes to Chaos Brand. Suddenly, GoddamnBoss Lorence is a joke when you can get his split clones to attack himself. The rematch with him however, is still firmly ThatOneBoss, along with the three-phase FinalBoss in ''FC'', the only bosses in that game to play the trope straight. Even some Crafts offer great debuffs, particularly Kloe's Kempha which cuts an enemy's defense and strength so hard it's a GameBreaker that was immediately nerfed in ''SC'', and Tita's Smoke Cannon which has a high SplashDamage radius that instantly blinds most enemies, making them sitting ducks in battles with large groups. Combine that with the aforementioned Kempha and Chaos Brand, and late-game battles are almost easy.
2nd May '17 1:42:30 PM DracoKanji
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* Averted in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''. Weapons and spells that induce poison, toxin, or bleed are incredibly useful against most enemies. Bleed in particular is actually better when you cause it. When a monster causes Bleed, your health slowly drains until the bar is empty or you cure the ailment. When you cause Bleed on a monster, then it instantly takes off a chunk (usually around 30%) of their lifebar--''even some of the bosses''.
** Bleed functions the same for monsters and the player. It has no effect until the bleed bar fills up completely (while slowly draining), but when it does it knocks off 30% of your total health, likely killing you (since you just took all those bleed causing hits also). There are a couple player weapons that cause bleed damage to be more than 30% though.
** Poison or Toxin, however, can fall into this trope on enemies (or players) with high Vitality, as they drain a flat amount of HP. Still, a handful of poisoned throwing knives can be a game-changer if a fight drags on long enough, and it's definitely not unheard of for players to die to DoT effects they'd forgotten were damaging them.

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* Averted in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls''.''VideoGame/DarkSouls1''. Weapons and spells that induce poison, toxin, or bleed are incredibly useful against most enemies. Bleed in particular is actually better when you cause it. When a monster causes Bleed, your health slowly drains until the bar is empty or you cure the ailment. When you cause Bleed on a monster, then it instantly takes off a chunk (usually around 30%) of their lifebar--''even some of the bosses''.
** Bleed functions the same for monsters and the player. It has no effect until the bleed bar fills up completely (while slowly draining), but when it does it
It knocks off 30% of your the target's total health, likely killing you them (since you they just took all those bleed causing hits also). There are a couple player weapons that cause bleed damage to be more than 30% though.
**
30%. Poison or Toxin, however, can fall into this trope on enemies (or players) with high Vitality, as they drain a flat amount of HP. Still, a handful of poisoned throwing knives can be a game-changer if a fight drags on long enough, and it's definitely not unheard of for players to die to DoT [=DoT=] effects they'd forgotten were damaging them.
20th Apr '17 9:51:23 AM FF32
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** In ''VideoGame/PersonaQ'' Light and Dark skills which were closer to useless useful spells originally are suddenly much better. You will always have them from the beginning of the game, on Ken and Koromaru if you choose the Persona 3 story and on Naoto if you choose the Persona 4 story. Also like in Persona 4 The Golden they are more accurate on enemies who are weak to them and almost all early game enemies are weak to one or both, even into the second half of the game some enemies are still weak to them. And although they cost a lot of SP to use the sub-Persona system means you will always start the battle with a "buffer" of SP that regenerates at the beginning of every fight, AND if you hit an enemy's weakness your next skill costs no SP. So you can use instant kill spells to plow through early game enemies, Naoto in particular is probably one of the most useful characters for dungeon crawling in the game.

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** In ''VideoGame/PersonaQ'' ''VideoGame/PersonaQShadowOfTheLabyrinth'' Light and Dark skills which were closer to useless useful spells originally are suddenly much better. You will always have them from the beginning of the game, on Ken and Koromaru if you choose the Persona 3 story and on Naoto if you choose the Persona 4 story. Also like in Persona 4 The Golden they are more accurate on enemies who are weak to them and almost all early game enemies are weak to one or both, even into the second half of the game some enemies are still weak to them. And although they cost a lot of SP to use the sub-Persona system means you will always start the battle with a "buffer" of SP that regenerates at the beginning of every fight, AND if you hit an enemy's weakness your next skill costs no SP. So you can use instant kill spells to plow through early game enemies, Naoto in particular is probably one of the most useful characters for dungeon crawling in the game.
9th Apr '17 11:08:50 AM nombretomado
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* Also parodied in [[http://rpgworldcomic.com/d/20030528.html this]] RPGWorld strip.

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* Also parodied in [[http://rpgworldcomic.com/d/20030528.html this]] RPGWorld ''Webcomic/RPGWorld'' strip.
20th Jan '17 1:29:51 AM rjd1922
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[[folder:Aversions and Parodies:]]

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[[folder:Aversions and Parodies:]]Parodies]]
18th Oct '16 6:59:03 PM BattleMaster
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# The spell is a boost or debuff spell that has a great effect but a duration that's too short to actually be effective. Giving yourself a +50% boost to damage is great, but not if it only lasts one round and therefore actually lowers your damage output compared to simply attacking twice.
16th Oct '16 3:53:25 PM BattleMaster
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# The spell reduces the reward gained from defeating the target vs other means. You might be able to handily take out an enemy with a spell that disintegrates them, but it's not so great if you also disintegrated their valuable equipment or other loot, to say nothing of the problem if they might have been carrying a PlotCoupon.
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