Powers Do The Fighting
Character doesn't need to go to much physical effort during combat.
Better Name Tropeworthy? Tropeworthy? Tropeworthy?

(permanent link) added: 2013-07-24 17:51:20 sponsor: FOFD edited by: KingZeal (last reply: 2014-03-29 13:40:50)

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When your Asskicking Pose is an armfold, you know you're a Badass.

The inverse of Fights Like a Normal, this is when a character goes to almost no physical effort during combat, instead letting his magic or powers fight for him, usually resulting in several low-grade henchmen exploding, melting, disintegrating, being erased from existence, or any of the above.

Often, this is used to show how powerful the character is via The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort. Your bullets stop cold and drop to the floor while he engages in Casual Danger Dialogue. Your Kamehame Hadoken bounces off his Beehive Barrier, which then turns into a swarm of actual bees. Followed by him putting you into a Psychic Strangle. Getting this character to dodge or otherwise physically defend himself generally triggers either Villain Respect for his Worthy Opponent, or "I'll Kill You!!" and an Unstoppable Rage. (Although this is usually the point where the character turns out to be more stoppable than previously indicated.)

However, it can also be a case of Squishy Wizard or Disability Superpower, where the character is simply incapable of physically fighting, and Psychic Powers are all he's got. A subversion is to have the character use Super Speed to physically run up and punch you or pluck thrown items out of the air in the blink of an eye, or a Time Master who keeps pausing the action.

Compare Long-Range Fighter who may or may not still have to move a lot and focus on the target, and Instant Death Radius when this is taken to the extreme. Sometimes overlaps with Thought-Controlled Power, but not all examples here are thought-controlled.

Contrast Full-Contact Magic where gestures are more than needed.


Anime and Manga
  • In Bleach, Byakuya does this throughout the Soul Society arc, since his main power is to break his sword into a cloud of tiny fragments that he can control remotely and he's good enough at Flash Step that he can teleport while appearing to stand still. In his fight with Ichigo he's pushed hard enough that he has to start using gestures to direct them faster, and generally has a Not So Stoic moment.
  • Pride from Fullmetal Alchemist gets thrown around like a ragdoll during certain battles, but he attacks by launching shadowy tendrils from just about anywhere on his body or in his vicinity.
  • Naruto
    • Gaara is protected by his sand, so for most of his fights early on in the series, he stands by while the sand deflects projectiles and destroys his enemies for him.
    • Naruto's chakra shroud has a mind of its own, and can launch its own attacks separate from his own.
  • Nico Robin from One Piece specializes in this, though (mostly since Time Skip) she has no problem to go up close and personal when needed. Her powers, from the Hana-Hana no Mi, lets her sprout copies of any of her body parts anywhere, from herself, the ground, walls of building, to people's bodies. She uses them mainly to strangle people from afar.
    • Trafalgar Law, with his Op-Op Fruit, can manipulate position of things within a radius, or "room", as if everyone around him are patients Strapped to an Operating Table. He rarely moves much from his position (aside from using hand gestures) while doing so. Downplayed, though, in that he's also a competent close-range fighter when the situation calls for it.
    • Discussed once - it's mentioned by Pekoms of Big Mom Pirates that Logia Fruit powers who practice this trope fully have short lifespans in the New World, because many fighters there employs Haki which, among other things, can bypass Logia's immunity to direct attacks.
  • Ryuuho from S Cry Ed hangs back and allows his Altar, Zetsuei, to do most of the fighting for him. Ryuuho is one of the most powerful Altars in HOLY, and Zetsuei is more than capable of defending Ryuuho from attack while dominating other Altars simultaneously.
  • In Tiger & Bunny the villain Jake Martinez has an extremely versatile power of creating barriers, which allows him to be unfazed by even the most powerful attacks, and can be used just as powerfully offensively. Because of these abilities, he never has to put any effort into fighting, which means that he can't handle it when he receives even the slightest injury.
  • Toaru Majutsu No Index: Accelerator's power is passively on reflect, causing enemies to defeat themselves even when Accelerator is wholly unaware of the attack.
    • The villain Jake Martinez has an extremely versatile power of creating barriers, which allows him to be unfazed by even the most powerful attacks, and can be used just as powerfully offensively. Because of these abilities, he never has to put any effort into fighting, which means that he can't handle it when he receives even the slightest injury.

Comic Books
  • Superman can often leave ordinary mooks in the hospital by doing absolutely nothing when they try to sock him in the jaw.
  • X-Men:
    • Magneto almost never does anything physical, preferring to just stand or hover in place with an amused expression while destroying those around him with random bits of metal.
  • Characters like Spawn and The Darkness can frequently use their powers to produce shadowy masses of tentacles, in order to drag, mutilate, or capture their foes.

  • X-Men: The Last Stand has a scene where Jean Grey/The Phoenix strolls across the battlefield, and anyone that gets near her is instantly obliterated.

Video Games
  • The final boss of Knights of the Old Republic II doesn't fight you directly at first—because she Force-levitates three lightsabers to attack you simultaneously from all sides. It's only after you destroy them that she goes after your personally.
  • The Leaf Shield power-up from Mega Man 2. The downside is, if you move, the shield goes away.
  • Sonic 3 And Knuckles:
    • Having the Fire Shield allows Sonic to enter his "waiting" animation, while also withstanding any form of lava or fire, contact which would normally result in instant death. You can even, hilariously, stand on lava.
    • As Super Sonic, Badniks automatically pop when they make contact.
  • The Star Cloak in Terraria causes stars to fall out of the sky and injure anything that harms you. If used against weak enough enemies, the Cloak can easily take them out with no involvement from the player.

  • Lampshaded by Elliot in El Goonish Shive during the fight between Grace and Damien. He realizes that because the latter has nearly godlike powers (which would end the fight immediately in any other instance), he never actually needed to learn how to fight properly.
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