->''"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."''
-->-- '''Leon C. Megginson'''

%%One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

This is an enemy whose power is to [[EvolutionPowerUp adapt]] to any power used against it.

Hit it with a fireball? Next time it's immune to fire. Same with any ElementalRockPaperScissors attack. Cut it, it now has armor. Psychic powers, it now has mindshields.

Logic would dictate the "easy" way to beat it is to use an overwhelming attack to begin with. However, this goes against most heroic codes, so by the time they've slowly cranked up the power of their attacks, the villain has "adapted" quite a bit.

Beings with an Adaptive Ability are very often [[TheSocialDarwinist Social Darwinists]], if they're not mindless monsters. When combined with a sufficient HealingFactor, it can effectively make them [[NighInvulnerability invincible]].

The result is ItOnlyWorksOnce. The good guys will easily be convinced that EvilEvolves. The functional opposite is PowerCopying. Compare and with EnergyAbsorption and FeedItWithFire, where the defender is actually ''powered'' by being attacked (with "energy" and fire, respectively). See also AdaptiveArmor.

They have a high chance of being an UltimateLifeForm.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventureBattleTendency'', Kars (the BigBad) uses the Red Stone of Aja to instantly become the ultimate creature, with all of Earth's evolution in hand and the ability to adapt to any attack. He is effectively immune to every possible attack because he could simply change into a form that resisted it before it even hit him. Even when thrown into a volcano, he surrounds his body with bags of air to insulate him from the immense heat. He's defeated by being shot into space by the volcano to float around forever until he eventually ceases thinking, effectively making him dead.
* Kuro Momotaro from ''Manga/YuYuHakusho''. His body possesses the ability to memorize the damage of any attack that hits him, while his weapons, the Steaming Spheres heal him from that damage, and give him the power to overcome it. [[LoopholeAbuse Probably a useless ability if he's]] [[OneHitKill killed in one shot]] though.
* Many of the enemies in ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' are fond of declaring that they could not be hit by a technique once they have already seen it. Given our heroes' reliance on StockFootage {{finishing move}}s, this seems like it would be a downright crippling handicap for them ...
* Shishioh from ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' has a non-supernatural version of this. One of his skills is that he just innately knows how to counter any attack he sees once.
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'':
** Anyone with Saiyan blood will receive large increases in strength upon recovering from near-fatal injuries. The Saiyans are the embodiment of the Nietzsche's famous quote. If they are near-death for whatever reason, when they are recovered, they will come back stronger. This ''also'' works with actual death, provided there's a way to come BackFromTheDead afterward. A few enemies were too powerful for this to matter much, though.
*** In the manga version of ''Super'', Future Trunks theorizes that this Saiyan ability yields diminishing returns over time, as in the manga version of his arc, he, Goku, and Vegeta get injured and healed several times and the strength increase is negligible.
** ''VideoGame/DragonBallZSuperSaiyaDensetsu'' had this implemented: If a Saiyan character won a battle with 5 or less HP remaining, they would gain a level immediately no matter what.
** Goku's adaptive ability allows him to become immune to almost any technique he has seen at least once. Like [[Manga/RurouniKenshin Shishioh]], it's because he innately knows how to counter them. This is best seen with his fight against Cell, where all Cell's copy techniques fail to harm Goku.
** Since Cell was partially cloned from Saiyan cells, he has this ability as well. In fact, the combined abilities to Self-Destruct + Survive so long as one cell remains + come back stronger from a near-death experience is quite dangerous.
** In Cooler's second movie, after his original body is all but destroyed, his mind merges with a sentient super-computer/space-ship. The ship rebuilds him as a mechanical lifeform, and now, thanks to the ship's enormous resources, whenever Cooler's body is damaged, the ship simply repairs his body or fabricates a new one with whatever vulnerabilities it learned about removed. This comes to a head when the computer decides Cooler's main flaw is that there's only one of him. Cue enormous army of Meta Coolers.
** Goku Black from ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'' possess an enhanced version of the Saiyan's power-up ability in that ''any'' damage caused to him will instantly cause him to become stronger. His powers have gone from being as strong as Super Saiyan 3 Goku to being able to NoSell Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Vegeta in his base form before unlocking his [[spoiler: Super Saiyan Rose transformation]] that handily curb stomps him. And this is only the start of a series of power-ups that he obtains.
** Hit can improve his TimeStandsStill ability when facing opponents powerful enough to overcome its current limits.
* The [[EldritchAbomination D-Reaper]] of ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' showed an impressive capability for evolution (then again, it operated like a quantum computer); Originally, it ''just'' killed by touching. Then it developed "agents", foot soldiers who kept damaging attacks away from it. These agents then got more and more specialised; some were gunners, others anti-air units, others were scouts, melee fighters, defense specialists, etc. Upon a debilitating EMP attack, it then integrated all of these capabilities into one massive being and overwhelmed the signal. Ultimately, it was considered to be invincible so the only way they could deal with it was to [[spoiler: turn back ''time'' to regress it to a more primitive state, which means that it remained very much alive.]]
* The Evolutionary Invasion Objects in ''Manga/{{Nobunagun}}'' rapidly create new species based on their experiences from past battles. After Nobunagun shoots down a whole battalion of them, the next one they fight has tough armor that her bullets can't penetrate.
* In ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth,'' the monster Atalante can do this. (What happens when you decide that overwhelming force is the way to go... ''after'' you've let it adapt way too much already? [[OhCrap Very bad things]].)
* One villain in one ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' manga series had this power. Luckily for Tenchi, it turns out that Lighthawk Wings were much too powerful to copy.
* Taken to an annoying degree with Naraku from ''Manga/InuYasha''. He rarely shows up, preferring to attack through subordinates, but when he does, he's always too powerful to take down with whatever attack was effective against him last time. One has to wonder why Sango and Miroku even bothered to come along with Inuyasha, as their attacks eventually became utterly useless against Naraku and they were pointlessly risking their lives.
* [[BigCreepyCrawlies The Vajra]] in ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'', in episode 17, survive a direct hit from a ''nuclear weapon'' because it had been used against them a few episodes earlier.
** And yet Mecha sized K-bars Knives which have been used the entire series still work just fine on them... That said this isn't as insane as it sounds nor is the feat nearly as impressive as it sounds if one considers the actual physics involved. [[http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3x.html#nuke Read this and be enlightened]]. Executive Summary: Nukes aren't nearly as lethal in space and the range at which they'll do noticeable damage to anything even vaguely armored is surprisingly short. Nor were the hits in question really direct at least on those we see survive (and going by the stock footage used for the blast not all of them did...) as the missiles looked to be fired more for proximity detonation in the enemy formation then direct impacts.
*** Said range actually measures in tens or hundreds of kilometers even for the basic nukes (an elbow-pushing distance even at LEO), and reaction weaponry in Macross is, in fact, antimatter, that has much greater range. All this doesn't make much sense, but then, do the space battles as they are shown there really [[RuleOfCool have any sense whatsoever]]?
*** No it doesn't range is related to yield as both are just radiation bursts. Actually anti-matter will waste allot of energy if used as a proximity weapon as many byproducts quickly degrade to non-lethal particles within a very short distance. It makes no difference though as footage for the later attacks shows that even after they adapted the weapons were still vaporizing them if they were reasonably close to the blast. That's not what I call immunity.
*** Back on the knife thing, don't forget that the knives are supported by the Valkyrie's point barrier system, which basically lets it cut through armor like butter. It's basically a [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Power Knife]].
* Byakuran in ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'' used this to an extend. He just didn't wait until someone used a certain tactic against him, he simply communicated with himself in alternate dimensions and linked their minds together to make himself crazy prepared for anything.
* Nurarihyon from ''Manga/{{Gantz}}'' had this as his power. In addition to adapting to become immune to attacks, he could also beat fighters at their own game by BiggerStick adaptation. [[spoiler:It turns out that he can't adapt to attacks that he can't see coming. The Gantz combatants snipe him to death.]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** Every time he became injured or close to death, the Hogyoku gave Aizen a new form to counter it. At least until [[HoistByHisOwnPetard the Hogyoku got sick of it and withdrew its support]].
** Yhwach's Schrift allows him to assess everything that's thrown at him and predict accordingly. Haschwalth, then Yhwach himself, both assert that, once Yhwach has seen all that his opponent is capable of (or even what they will do ''in the near future''), defeating him is next to impossible.
** Mayuri Kurotsuchi reveals in the Vandenreich arc that he modified his Bankai to give it this ability. After gathering information on an enemy, it "gives birth" to a creature most suited to fighting it.
** Sternritter "D" of "The Deathdealing" Askin Nakk Le Vaar has this as part of his PoisonousPerson powers; by taking in a large amount of the substance he intends to make lethal, he can no longer be killed by said substance because he can adjust his resistance to it. It also works wonders for defense in that he tanks his opponent's attacks before adjusting his resistance to their Reiatsu, thus rendering all subsequent attacks useless.
** Urahara Kisuke's bankai has the ability to dissect and modify anything it wishes. When used defensively, it can take something damaged and make it stronger, and help it recover from or even resist whatever damaged it in the first place. Combined with his analytical mind, which enables him to [[ItOnlyWorksOnce counter any ability]] he's adjusted to, this makes him an extremely adaptable opponent and nigh-impossible to beat if you fail to do so in your first attempt.
* In ''Anime/ElHazardTheMagnificentWorld'', Ifurita seems to become immune anytime she's hit with a magic attack. And then she uses it on you...
* Gourmet Hunters in ''Manga/{{Toriko}}'' have this due to being infused with Gourmet Cells as well as their personal abilities. Most of them have AcquiredPoisonImmunity due to this.
* Kira Yamato with his [[spoiler: Ultimate Coordinator]] abilities in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED''. With his increased thought process speed and reflexes, he could reprogram his Gundam's Operation Systems to optimal efficiency matching his environment and situation, in mid-battle.
* Played with in a strange way in the 2003 ''Anime/AstroBoy'' series. Astro was built with the ability to evolve and adapt to any situation making him potentially one of the strongest Robots every created. However his reluctance to fight despite being pushed into it means he never fulfills his potential. He gains all his staple abilities (jetpack flight, a finger laser and an arm canon) within the first handful of episodes and never evolves any further than that because he never needs to.
* In ''WebComic/OnePunchMan'', Garou has the ability to heal and grow stronger every time he is defeated. By fighting [[OneHitKill Saitama]], he eventually becomes a nigh PhysicalGod. [[spoiler:Spoofed when Saitama continues to crush him, and his body decides he can't evolve any farther, so he starts ''devolving'' with each attack until he returns to ordinary human levels.]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': The 11th Angel, Iruel, is a microscopic collective that evolves extremely rapidly in response to any stimulus as it spreads, making it nigh-impossible to combat. It's eventually defeated by having the MAGI simulate for it a situation in which the optimal evolution was to die, tricking the Angel into killing itself.
* In ''Manga/StealthSymphony'', this is protagonist Jig's main power, combined with CatchAndReturn: Any attack targeted at him done with intent to harm him will be automatically caught and nullified by a backpack-like device [[ClingyMacguffin stuck to his back]], which will then generate the same type of attack at double power back at the attacker. In spite of how overpowered this sounds, however, it has a number of loopholes, which Jig's enemies [[LoopholeAbuse quickly learn to exploit]].

[[folder:Card Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'':
** The Slivers' more prominent traits were their fast evolution rate, adapting to overcome anything thrown at them. However, what made them so dangerous (both in the story and in game) was their species trait of ''sharing'' their adaptations with all other slivers in proximity. However, in-game, the slivers' abilities were conferred onto Slivers ''on all sides'', so a Sliver MirrorMatch could turn out deadly. Not to mention that there are some slivers with negative effects thrown in just to counter all-Sliver decks.
** The Phyrexians are half-mechanical monstrosities who constantly seek to improve themselves. In the novel ''Literature/TimeStreams'', Phyrexian leader Kerrick uses this ability, coupled with the fact that he lives in a fast-time bubble, to stay several steps ahead of Urza.
* ''TabeltopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse'' villain Omnitron has a card called Adaptive Plating Subroutine. After getting hit by an attack, he becomes immune to damage of that type. Thankfully when he gets hit with a different type he switches immunities to the new type, so he is only ever immune to one type of damage at a time.

[[folder:Comic Book]]
* [[Comicbook/TheDeathOfSuperman Doomsday]] and (in UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}}) the Calculator and the Shaggy Man from Franchise/TheDCU. Doomsday is a notable example because his Adaptive Ability allows him to literally [[ResurrectiveImmortality come back from the dead]] immune to whatever killed him in the first place on top of his HealingFactor. It says something when Franchise/TheDCU heroes, after exhausting just about every option available to hurt/kill him, eventually had to send him to [[AfterTheEnd the end of time]] just to stop his rampage. In some stories, Doomsday becomes able to adapt offensive abilities to counter his opponents. For example, when fighting ComicBook/MartianManhunter, he becomes able to hit intangible beings and breathe fire as fire is a Martian's weakness. When Superman tries fighting him at a distance, he becomes able to fire his spikes like harpoons.
* Lots of anti-super robots in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse: later models of the mutant-hunting Sentinels (especially in the BadFuture of ''Comicbook/DaysOfFuturePast'', the Fury (from ComicBook/CaptainBritain's adventures), and the Shiva series.
* The [[MeaningfulName appropriately-named]] Darwin of the Comicbook/XMen has this as his mutant power -- he will immediately mutate whatever he needs to survive. Immerse him in water and he'll grow gills, burn him and he becomes fireproof, poison him and his body chemistry shifts to neutralize it, etc. It's really too bad that it only happens as an unconscious survival mechanism; with control over that power he'd be damn near omnipotent. It should be noted that his powers don't always give him the ability needed to ''win'' a fight, only to survive. When faced with [[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk the Hulk]], he gained the ability to [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere teleport several states away]].
* Random, another Marvel mutant, whose other power was [[ArmCannon turning his hands into guns]].
* There was a robot called appropriately the Super Adaptoid that did this. In one comic, it was defeated by [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Ben Grimm]] who was his normal human self at the time, but wearing a [[PoweredArmor suit]] that still gave him SuperStrength. Ben Grimm tricked the Adaptoid into copying his normal human self, then used the suit's power to punch the Adaptoid out in one blow.
** An early X-Men comic during the Mimic's brief tenure as a hero pitted him against the Super Adaptoid, that had already perfected the abilities of ComicBook/TheAvengers. After beating everyone else, including Professor Xavier, the Adaptoid fought the Mimic to a standstill until the Mimic threw the match and psychically convinced the Super Adaptoid to copy his powers. The Mimic's own power was to copy other people's powers, just like the Super-Adaptoid. The attempt to copy that power exceeded the Super-Adaptoid's capacity to duplicate. The feedback also temporarily shut down the Mimic's powers.
* ComicBook/{{Apocalypse}} caused battles for evolutionary purposes. When the X-Men beat his men, he thanked them for weeding out the weak.
* Lobo has this, as a side-effect of his HealingFactor. As with most of his powers, how effective or what it works ''on'' varies wildly between stories and writers. One notable problem arose when a magic spell de-aged him, and also resulted in him become immune to that kind of magic. Unfortunately, the traditional ''cure'' for his condition was from the same type of magic... And Marvel's even-further-over-the-top Lobo parody [[http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix2/lunatikmerc.htm Lunatik]] has been adapting for six hundred million years, having started as a microbe and eventually eating all life on his homeworld.
* The ComicBook/UltimateMarvel version of Comicbook/IncredibleHulk has this to a degree-- he has adapted to environments as extreme as the (simulated) surface of [[DeathWorld Venus]]. This is also the reason why his condition can't be cured -- his body adapts to whatever agent is used to prevent the change. Mainstream Hulk has this too, but to a lesser degree and with less consistency since it's one of his lesser known/used/liked powers. He's been shown adapting the ability to breathe under water and survive the vacuum of space for extended periods.
** The ComicBook/UltimateMarvel version of ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} is implied to be the same; in addition to regenerating damaged tissue, his HealingFactor can modify his physiology to compensate for life-threatening injuries. [[spoiler: For example, decapitating him resulted in him developing the ability to directly oxygenate the blood for his brain through his skin. When his severed head was put in a total vacuum, he went into stasis until brought out.]] Ultimate Nick Fury theorizes that Wolverine's mutant power is less "HealingFactor" and more "survive anything".
* Another X-Men mutant, Lifeguard, gets whatever power is needed to save ''someone else''.
* Marvel's alien Kree were stuck in an evolutionary dead end, unable to adapt or mutate; so after trying a number of less-than-ideal solutions ([[NoBiochemicalBarriers breeding hybrids with other species]] led to [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer social stratification and prejudice]], setting off a mutagenic bomb led to-- well, a huge frikkin' ''bomb'' that killed half their population and left most of the rest sick and dying) they eventually turned themselves into the Ruul, who can self-adapt to any condition. Later writers seem to have undone most of this for no apparent reason.
* One of Comicbook/SpiderWoman Jessica Drew's original powers was that she became immune to any poison after being affected by it once.
* ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}} member [[spoiler:and eventual traitor]] Nemesis Kid had the power to gain whatever abilities were needed to defeat any single opponent. [[spoiler:This backfired when he faced Projectra, after murdering her husband Karate Kid. His powers gave him the ability to see through her illusions, but when he tried to gloat over her helplessness, she [[Awesome/{{LegionOfSuper-Heroes}} snapped his neck with her bare hands]].]]
* Whenever DC's ComicBook/ResurrectionMan is killed by something, he is reborn immune to the way he died. In fact, when he was killed by extreme pain, [[GenderBender he came back as a woman]], because women are [[ScienceMarchesOn supposedly]] more resistant to pain.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/CoOpMode'', as usual for Gamer fanfics, James has this, and so do those in his Party. So far, he has gained AcquiredPoisonImmunity, DamageReduction to both ElementalPowers and physical attacks, and even a partial resistance to [[TimeMaster Clockblocker's]] power!
-->''Quote for