Created By: FallenLegend on December 28, 2011 Last Edited By: Westrim on September 26, 2014
Nuked

Rock-paper-scissors Fight

discard Winning is about having the right abilities at the right time not being the most powerful

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Trope
Its Common Knowledge that the most powerful character is always bound to win any fight. After all how could you be beaten when you have a power level over 9000?. The highest you are in the Super Weight scale the most likely you are to win right?.

Not exactly. While "power levels"/experience may help to determine what character is the most powerful when they have similar super powers, the situation gets more complicated when the powers are vastly different. Sometimes winning is more about having the right abilities at the right time than raw power.

For example, a villain that is able to control metal by magnetism and would be able to easily defeat a made of metal would lose as easily to a hero made of rubber.

Subtropes

Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors

Manga and Anime
  • An example could be Luffy vs Crocodile in One Piece. The latter won the first fight due to the fact that he can turn into sand at will. In order to beat him, Luffy had to put aside his brute power and instead use the only element that can neutralize Crocodile's power: water (and later, blood).
Live Action Tv
  • Dr Who The show makes a strong argument that intelligence always beats brute force other than that the variables always change.
    • Sontarans vs humans? it all depends what kind of bullets UNIT has
Videgames

Comics
  • The Xmen is one of the best examples given the variety of superpowers. Gamebreaker Omega level mutants do exist however.
    • Fan favorite Wolverine for instance is completely vulnerable to magneto's powers. But he is the best at what he does most of the time...
Western Animation
  • Chaotic tv series Usually choosing the right character at the right time is the best way to win a given situation
  • In Ben10 this is part of the reason he has many aliens at his disposal. He sometimes prefers to use the "coolest" alien insetad of the most useful in a given situation however.
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • December 28, 2011
    catkid786
    This can often occur in the Pokemon games.
  • December 28, 2011
    FallenLegend
    Thanks will mention
  • December 28, 2011
    MiinU

    Video games

    • This is used in many real time strategy games. The Suikoden series, in particular, uses rock-paper-scissors style set ups for its real time segments where: calvary>infantry, infantry>archer, archer>calvary. And for duels as well, wherein: attack>defend, defend>special, and special>attack.
  • December 28, 2011
    Koveras
  • December 29, 2011
    Arivne
    .
  • December 29, 2011
    blueflame724
    Psyren: The main character has one of the most powerful PSI abilities; a black burst which actually EATS other PSI. But he rarely has an easy time with opponents who are more skilled than him.
  • December 29, 2011
    Topazan

    Panel 12 of that strip could serve as the page image, or Xykon's speech in the previous two panels could be used as the page quote..
  • December 29, 2011
    Westrim
    Make sure you address the relationship to Scissors Cuts Rock.
  • January 19, 2012
    Westrim
    bump
  • January 19, 2012
    NoirGrimoir
    I feel like we have this.
  • January 19, 2012
    FallenLegend
    yes we do but in a too specific way infact only for games and elemental powers (I checked)
  • January 19, 2012
    animeg3282
    Found in the Eigen Plot
  • February 8, 2012
    Westrim
    bump
  • February 8, 2012
    KingZeal
    • One of the best examples in anime happens in Bleach during the battle between Byakuya and Zommari. Zommari's power is that anything one of his eyes looks at gets put under his control (including body parts), so he could essentially take control of your body by looking at any part of it at any time. To make it even worse, he has fifty eyes total! However, he went up against his worst possible opponent in Byakuya, whose ability is that is a sword that splits into billions of tiny petal-shaped blades that can be controlled with his mind. As he asked Zommari, "which 50 of them do you want to control?"

    • In theory, this is how it works in professional boxing. The Other Wiki has an entire section on how boxing matchups are supposed to work.

    • In fighting game theory, there are three types of playstyles: turtling, rushdown, and yomi. Turtling is when a player decides to take a defensive style and basically wait for their opponent to make mistake. That, or they slowly wittle away their life with safe, fast attacks that do little damage but pose no significant risk. Rushdown involves staying on the offense and forcing the turtler to guess what attack is coming when. It's riskier, but tends to pay off better in terms of damage output. And finally, yomi is basically guessing. Sometimes, it's random guessing and sometimes it's calculated guessing. Which one works best is different for every game, but one theory is that rushdown defeats turtling due to the high volume of attack pressure, yomi defeats rushdown because knowing someone isn't going to block means you can throw out an attack and counter them, and turtle defeats yomi because all you need to do is wait for them to guess badly.
  • February 9, 2012
    Patworx
  • February 9, 2012
    Nikolinni
    Fire emblem and Advance Wars have their systems built around this. In FE there's the "Weapons Triangle", where Sword Vs. Axe gives Sword an advantage, Axe Vs. Lance gives Axe advantage, and Lance Vs. Sword gives Lance an advantage. There's also the "Trinity of Magic", which uses a similar idea but with Light, Dark, and Anima (read: Elemental)magic.

    Then Advance Wars has the different unit types (Air, Sea, and Ground) which have their own interactions between each other (for example, Tanks can fire on Sea units but don't deal much damage) but then even categories have units with advantages and disadvantages. For instance, Anti Air Tanks (That use vulcan bullets) tear up infantry, but these bullets barely dent a healthy unit of tanks. Players who use this to their advantage can take out the most powerful units in the game.
  • February 10, 2012
    DracMonster
    What exactly is the difference between this and Tactical Rock Paper Scissors? I'm not quite seeing it.
  • February 10, 2012
    FallenLegend
    the one you mentioned is only a videogame-gampley mechanic trope. related but not the same thing.
  • February 11, 2012
    Ryuuma
    An example could be Luffy vs Crocodile in One Piece. The latter won the first fight due to the fact that he can turn into sand at will. In order to beat him, Luffy had to put aside his brute power and instead use the only element that can neutralize Crocodile's power: water (and later, blood).
  • February 11, 2012
    Ryusui
    • Gambits in Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble can be this. Brazen scores and blocks Smooth, Smooth scores and blocks Devious, and Devious steals Brazen: if you can read your opponent well enough, you can win with low Talent scores by keeping your opponent from scoring at all, or even taking his/her scores for yourself. Brazen/Smooth->Smooth/Devious->Brazen/Devious->Brazen/Smooth. Taken to its extreme in a Gambit where both players play Brazen/Devious, as the player with the lower Brazen talent will win.
  • February 26, 2012
    Westrim
    bump
  • February 26, 2012
    FallenLegend
    Edit banned wont becable to launch so... Up For Grabs!
  • August 30, 2014
    Westrim
    Reviving.
  • August 30, 2014
    DAN004
    Already covered by the two subtropes, so MTD.
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