Created By: torru369 on August 24, 2012 Last Edited By: spacemarine50 on November 2, 2012

Lightning Bruiser Arms Race Degradation

Series that have battles of wit, skill and abilities often end up with mere battles of brute force

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Often times in the beginning and middle of a series, the fights are varied the enemies powers run the gamut and our heroes use trickery wit and tactics to overcome their enemies. Eventually when the Sorting Algorithm of Evil brings in opponents of absurd speed and strength this skills and tactics fall by the wayside.

This happens for a few reasons, trickery and tactics do seem obsolete against an opponent who can kill before you can blink, its flashier, helps give an idea of how strong everyone is, shills the new merchandise and easy to write. Often times a Day in the Limelight will give those characters those abilities a breather, but its obvious the battle doesn't really "count" and there is no real danger and the final battle will still be decided by a straight up battle.


Anime and Manga:
  • Dragon Ball did this infamously, the early stories showed that for all Goku's shear power, skill and ability could still hold him back immensely. later on villians abilities mainly justified why blowing up the guy did not end the fight.
  • Bleach is something that succeeds Dragon Ball in this regard. Some people still have their place winning through preparation and tactics. But its no question that most battles will be won through Heroic Resolve and My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours.
  • YuYu Hakusho began with Yusuke as a capable fighter with loads of potential using skill and luck to beat villians who would be out of his league in a straight fight. Later the fact that his combat skills were outclassed by the Big Bad was forgotten in their final battle.
  • Naruto atleast tries to avert this. Several characters have abilities that shut down a direct assult and characters that can actually consistantly pull off this kind of thing are noted for this. Still many fights (notably many of Sasuke's and Naruto's) end up who can hit the hardest and who can get up after that.

Western Animation:
  • Do to its Merchandise-Driven nature, Transformers does this regularly. Side characters with high tactical abilities and divergent skills get put to the side for the new characters that are powerful gestalts and the Mid Season Upgrades of the core characters.

Video Games:
  • Many videogames usually end up like this in the endgame. Why worry about Standard Status Effects and magic when I have my Infinity +1 Sword does more damage and my armor of invincibility cancels status changes.
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • August 29, 2012
    The description is a Wall Of Text and should be broken up into smaller paragraphs.

    Also, the examples should be split off into a separate section.
  • September 10, 2012
    Did some edits to make it look better.

    Recommend this as an example of an inherently bad trope. Boiled down to its logical conclusion, this trope is essentially "Which brain dead meat head can hit the hardest?"
  • September 11, 2012
    Editted the Naruto section. Asspull tropes go in the Asspull page.
  • September 12, 2012
    Okay if i did a complete redo of the description? i think it means "hero can and is trained to use skill, wit, and special abilities (from the laconic), but ends up using brute force for some reason".
  • September 13, 2012
    If you can think of a more useful description that shows the tropes meaning go for it.
  • September 13, 2012
    This needs a bit of work, and I'm sure there's a trope here, so I'll leave it at that, but I'm kind of concerned about the title. It seems like one big Snow Clone and while I can't imagine this necessarily being a problem, it might be. Let the discussion start now.
  • September 13, 2012
    Battles Default To Brute Force? Bit long, but can be shortened. Also, my laconic ideas: Stealth, tactics, and complex strategy are ignored for brute force. Or, Brute force is used when stealth, tactics, and complex strategy are options. Opinions? And, what about Wimp Fight and Combat Breakdown?
  • September 13, 2012
    "Braveheart" is a somewhat interesting example. At the Battle of Sterling, they show William Wallace using his army's cavalry to flank the British; we're supposed to believe that this tactic is what gives them the overwhelming victory. In real life, he stationed his forces across Sterling Bridge from the British, letting the bridge hem them in and reduce their advantage of numbers, similar to the Battle of Thermopylae.

    Speaking of which, the movie version of "300" plays this trope out to a T. None of the tactics Leonidas describes (the phalanx, using the narrow pass to reduce the advantage of numbers) are actually used; somehow, 300 Spartans manage to hold off a million Persians in what amounts to a barroom brawl writ large with swords and spears.
  • September 13, 2012
    How is this trope related to Hollywood Tactics?
  • September 15, 2012
    Hollywood Tactics is when movies disregard tactics in lieu of flashy open combat. This trope is characters disregarding the abilities they have and once used to simply move faster and hit harder.
  • September 15, 2012
    I say a subtrope of Hollywood Tactitcs. Going for Zerg Rush and Attack Attack Attack when clever tactics will also work. Also, is this the same as Suicidal Overconfidence?
  • October 4, 2012
    This isn't about when strategy tactics and trickery are options but the characters choose brute force. this is when strategy tactics and trickery were once options but now everyone's Power Level or Super Weight is so high that brute force (and finding more ways to unlock it) is the only viable strategy left.

    typical of action longrunners, and videogames at the point when Standard Status Effects become UselessUsefulSpells next to new super moves or even basic attack options since your stats are so high.
  • October 12, 2012
    I don't know how, but the description needs to be edited so it doesn't say that this trope is invoked when a supervillian is now fighting the heroes.

    Also, is this when brute force is used when other strategies are equally effective, or when other strategies didn't work, so brute force is the only remaining option?
  • October 12, 2012
    It's how the more powerful the characters become, the less likely they'll do anything but demonstrate that power by straight-up super-brawling. Why try a clever plan when you can now throw trains at the enemy?

    This is Batman or Lex Luthor gaining powers akin to Superman, completely ignoring their intelligence or gadgets, what they used to level the playing field in the first place, and just exchanging super-punches with him because they can.
  • October 17, 2012
    • Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure was generally good about averting this. Most every character has unusual powers that make a direct result impossible or impractical at the start. As noted under Heart Is An Awesome Power:
      Landing the [fight ending] Spam Attack isn't the real mechanism of victory, but rather the reward for circumventing/negating the enemy Stand's power.
  • October 17, 2012
    Happens in a number of Real Life wars; when there are a number of competent leaders on each side but none so competent as to end the war by their own brilliance it tends to degrade into a war of attrition.
  • October 17, 2012
    Definitely needs a clearer title.

    It All Comes Down To Brute Force is the best I can think of.

    Or From Tactics To Brute Force?
  • October 28, 2012

    Authors show-off increasingly impressive superpowers with increasingly impressive super-fights, regardless of the character's former talents and tactics.
  • November 2, 2012
    This will occasional happen to Batman in some mediums. Though his tactics and smarts make him one of the most effective superheroes, sometimes there's no room for it, requiring Superman to take the reigns and fight.
  • November 2, 2012
    Title-wise: A Lightning Bruiser Must Brawl?

    Lightning Bruiser suggests the power, "brawl" suggests brute-force beatings. "When you have POWER you must BEAT UP your foe".

    Armies should have nothing to do with it. Please note what he motioned about Power Level and Super Weight.

    Super Weight Slugfest?