Forceless Speedster
A fast character who can't dish out heavy blows, but makes up for it with fast strikes.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-12-12 17:25:33 sponsor: shiro_okami (last reply: 2014-07-06 05:19:53)

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The name about sums it up: the Forceless Speedster is fast. He can attack so fast you can't react. He can come within striking distance in the blink of an eye. Essentially this trope is about a character who makes up for a lack of brute strength by having a quicker attack speed (and thus possibly a higher attack rate), whose attacks are so fast they are indefensible, and/or is so fast they can (and often do) overtake any opponent that tries to evade them.

Still, being fast has its downsides — even though you have mobility you lack brute strength. After all, it's hard to keep up that kind of speed when a BFS or Epic Flail is weighing you down. As a result, the Forceless Speedster can only deal Scratch Damage and is often forced to rely on Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, Spam Attacks, or Death of a Thousand Cuts. Even if they can't perform a One-Hit Kill, it doesn't matter if they can attack so fast (and so frequently) that their opponent can't react.

A form of Necessary Drawback. Compare Fragile Speedster, who is very fast but has low durability. Contrast Mighty Glacier, who sacrifices speed for strength and durability, as well as Lightning Bruiser, who is fast without any loss to strength or durability. Sometimes overlaps with Stone Wall for a character with great durability and mobility that's nearly impossible to take down but is poor at dealing damage.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga 
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, unlike the other swordsman who use full length katana, Aoshi prefers relying mostly on speed and quick attacks with shorter swords, using a tanto and a literal Death of a Thousand Cuts tactic in his first appearance and later uses two kodachi.
  • Both Yoruichi and Soi Fon in Bleach are both waifs who use their skill in both hakuda (hand-to-hand combat) and shunpo to launch very sudden and very quick attacks.
  • In One Piece, Luffy is very skinny before the Time Skip but also very quick with his Gum-Gum Gatling and later learns soru.
  • The Correl, a mobile suit from After War Gundam X, is a Humongous Mecha example of the trope. It's so delicate that it can't use any weapons other than a beam knife, but it's so fast that it can inflict Death of a Thousand Cuts on most enemy mobile suits it fights, and it nearly totals Garrod's Gundam. The downside is that it doesn't have any armor either, and Garrod destroys it by using a Gundam's weakest weapon: vulcans.
  • Lyrical Nanoha
    • Chantez from ViVid has Super Speed as her personal skill. However, her attack power and her defense are very weak compared to her speed. Guess how her fight against Victoria ended, who is a Mighty Glacier with a Stone Wall defense.
    • Vivio became one in ViVid, as she has lost most of her power in the Grand Finale of StrikerS. Not only she has much weaker defense, her attack power has also decreased in spades, but she's still very fast and her Counter Hitter skill allows her to strike immediately back, even if she can't dodge an attack. It becomes really clear during her battle against Miura that her attack power is too weak.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!: Negi Springfield, in the author's love of gaming references, fights this way in his standard form, along with wind and lightning (attack:1800, defense:800, speed:4800). His other form (which he can seamlessly switch to) is a Mighty Glacier who fights with darkness and Mana Drain (attack:3800, defense:2200, speed:1200). He eventually progresses to Lightning Bruiser.
  • Sagara Sousuke from Full Metal Panic!. It helps that his lethality comes from being a Combat Pragmatist, Especially in relation to all of his muscled, bruiser opponents. This also applies when he's fighting in his AS. In the first season's finale, he manages to win the fight between him and Gauron by attacking Gauron so rapidly and repeatedly that Gauron is unable to concentrate on using the lambda driver (at least, for an extended period). And in the physical fistfight with a muscled terrorist, he managed to beat the guy by speedily kneeing him and tasering him.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, a bat demon that Yusuke encounters during the Genkai Tournament arc is very fast but his attacks cause little more than paper cuts, which Yusuke takes advantage of.
  • In IGPX Immortal Grand Prix, Fantine's mech is so fast it's capable of Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, being built more for speed than toughness than even most Forward mechs, which are usually lighter anyways than the Midfielders and Defenders.

     Comic Books 
  • The Flash, or really any hero/villain uses Super Speed to attack but has only ordinary strength.
  • Blurr from Transformers lacks the physical strength to make his quick attacks very useful.

     Video Games 
  • Chun-Li in Street Fighter II lacks the bulk and brute strength compared to male fighters like Zangief but attacks faster and is able to launch a flurry of kicks (Hundred Rending Kicks).
  • Chip from Guilty Gear has low defense and attack, but he's so fast he can land a good number of blows on slower characters.
  • In Elsword, Infinity Sword, Blade Master and Sakra Devanam all specialize on dealing lots of weak but fast hits and very lengthy combos. They're quick on their legs, as well, with special abilities that enhance their movements in a number of ways.
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, many characters are the type of "good mobility and quick attacks but low-damaging", such as Firebrand, Strider Hiryu, Rocket Raccoon and Zero, to name a few.

     Western Animation 
  • Dash from The Incredibles can dodge and deliver Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, but his blows only stun the bad guys he fights. Of course, he's only about 10 years old—presumably he'll get stronger as he grows up.
  • Wally West in Justice League is this: he can run incredibly fast but builds very little momentum doing it, so he can be stopped at full-speed by a single well-placed punch. The only time he gains enough momentum to do some serious damage, he has to run around the freaking planet first. This is in contrast to Superman, who can run just as fast but hits like a train (at least).
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