Multiform Balance occurs when creators take care to make each multiple form of a {{Shapeshifter}}, such as a HenshinHero, a SwissArmyHero or a MorphWeapon-type SwissArmyWeapon, useful in its own way. The easiest way to do this is to make each one suited for a certain tactical situation or to use certain tactics. For example a werewolf doing a PartialTransformation to WolfMan may not be able to talk, but can still use weapons and has greater strength than a man, but isn't as fast as a wolf.

In essence, it's applying CompetitiveBalance between each of the character (or weapon)'s forms. In fact, the character types laid out in Competitive Balance or other power balancing tropes can be quite useful in describing the character's forms. To be precise, the "balance" usually only apply to "basic" forms, with JokeCharacter form is only used when the character doesn't has access to the basic forms. LightningBruiser and SuperMode are mostly a MidSeasonUpgrade and superior to basic forms in every aspect, ''if'' the balance also apply to these forms, it's usually by making them DeadlyUpgrade, LimitBreak, HourOfPower or AwesomeButImpractical.

May overlap with EvolutionPowerup, especially if [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands new forms are gained/discovered as the plot demands]], although MultiformBalance can switch back and forth. When HumongousMecha use this trope, it's usually done with MechaExpansionPack or TransformingMecha. May also be done with ShedArmorGainSpeed.
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!! Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' does this via Multiple Weapon Balance.
* Tony Tony Chopper from ''Manga/OnePiece''. Eating a Zoan-type devil fruit gave him three forms, and he gained four more (plus a [[UnstoppableRage superpowered berserker form]]) through his Rumble Ball. And post-TimeSkip, [[spoiler:he now has control of his berserker form, albeit at the cost that he can only maintain it for three minutes, and is still too exhausted to move for several hours afterwards]].
** Monkey D. Luffy's [[SuperMode Gears]]: Gear Second is a LightningBruiser, while Gear Third is the MightyGlacier.
* ''Anime/ZoidsNewCentury Zero''. In addition to its [[JackOfAllStats default form]] Liger Zero had different [[MechaExpansionPack equipment modes]] that changed it into different types depending on the situation. "Panzer" mode became a MightyGlacier, "Schneider" is a GlassCannon and the "Jager" unit is a FragileSpeedster.
** Battle Story and other variants give us the Liger Zero X (an Empire version designed for electronic warfare) and various packs for the Berserk Fury that replace its iconic "eggbeaters" with high-powered boosters (Sturm Fury), hybrid particle cannons (Jagd Fury), or a high-output reactor and missile pods (the Tyran series).
** Also in ''Zoids Genesis'', [[JackOfAllStats Murasame Liger]], [[FragileSpeedster Hayate Liger]] and [[MightyGlacier Mugen Liger]].
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' sometime use this trope along with [[MechaExpansionPack Mecha Expansion Packs]].
** The first animate example can be seen on ''Anime/MobileSuitVictoryGundam'''s [[MidSeasonUpgrade V2 Gundam]]. With FragileSpeedster (V2 Gundam), JackOfAllStats (V2 Assault Gundam), GlassCannon (V2 Buster Gundam), MightyGlacier (V2 Assault Buster Gundam)
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'' has it in spades thanks to the abundance of [[MechaExpansionPack Mecha Expansion Packs]]. Start with [[TheHero Strike Gundam]], but EliteMook from [[AllThereInTheManual MSV]] and MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray can use them as well. And by the time of Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny, even {{Mook}}s and {{Red Shirt}}s have them.
*** [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED Strike Gundam]]: JokeCharacter (no Striker pack), StoneWall (Aile Strike[[note]]The fastest and armed with shield, but lacking heavy weapon.[[/note]]), JackOfAllStats (Sword Strike[[note]]Has {{BFS}} and can use arm anchor as small shield[[/note]]), GlassCannon (Launcher Strike[[note]]Has {{BFG}} but no protective gear against beam[[/note]]), SuperMode (Integrated Weapons Striker Pack), SquishyWizard (Lightning Strike[[note]]Can transfer reserve energy to allies.[[/note]])
*** [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny Impulse Gundam]]: JokeCharacter (no Silhouette pack), JackOfAllStats (Force Impulse), MightyGlacier (Sword Impulse), GlassCannon (Blast Impulse), SuperMode (Destiny Impulse).
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'' does this for the first generation of the eponymous mecha, with [[JackOfAllStats Normal]], [[MightyGlacier Titus]], and [[FragileSpeedster Spallow]] modes. Averted in the second generation though, where AGE-2 Double Bullet is nothing but an improvement over the original AGE. AGE-3 return to this trope: the [[JackOfAllStats Normal]], [[MightyGlacier Fortress]] and [[LightningBruiser Orbital]].
** The manga ''Gundam EXA'' introduces the two Extreme Gundams; The [[TheHero Type-Leos]] possesses its [[JackOfAllStats base form]], [[GlassCannon Eclipse Phase]], [[MightyGlacier Xenon Phase]], and [[SquishyWizard Aios Phase]], with his MidSeasonUpgrade Type-Leos II Vs. being an AllYourPowersCombined SuperMode. The villainous [[BigBad Ex-]]'s Extreme has analogous forms (Tachyon, Carnage, and Ignis respectively), as well as the later [[LightningBruiser Mystic Phase]].
* In ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' and many spin-offs: Many mecha are capable of transformation between three modes - [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Fighter]], GERWALK (which functions like a helicopter), and [[HumongousMecha Battroid]] for ground combat.
** The trend continues in ''Anime/SuperDimensionCenturyOrguss'', ''Anime/SuperDimensionCavalrySouthernCross'', and ''Anime/GenesisClimberMospeada''. The titular mecha from ''Orguss'' add TankGoodness as a fourth mode, while Spartas from ''Southern Cross'', being land mecha, switch to [[FragileSpeedster hover tank]], [[GlassCannon walker cannon]] and [[MightyGlacier humanoid]] modes.
* ''Manga/GetterRobo'': The three forms of Getter are alway JackOfAllStats, FragileSpeedster and MightyGlacier. Each of them also specialize in different environments. Its AffectionateParody, Anime/{{Gekiganger 3}} and GeppyX, also follow same pattern.
* ''Manga/RaveMaster'' with [[TheHero Haru's]] sword, the Ten Powers. Eisenmeteor is the default form, having [[RockBeatsLaser Mundane beats Magic]], Explosion is GlassCannon, Silfarion is FragileSpeedster, Mel Force the LightningBruiser, Gravity Core the MightyGlacier, Sacrifar TheBerserker DeadlyUpgrade, and Ravelt the SuperMode. Ditto for it's EvilCounterpart.
* A popular gimmick for [[CombiningMecha combiner teams]] in the Japanese {{Transformers}} series, particularly ''Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise'', where the position of each limb component would dictate if the combined 'bot was in Balance, Speed, or Power forms.
* ''LightNovel/HighschoolDxD'' applis this to is ChessMotifs. When a [[MasterOfNone Pawn]] promotes, a [[LightningBruiser Queen]] isn't always the best option. While it does give a general boost, the specialties of a [[SuperStrength Rook]], [[SuperSpeed Knight]] or even [[TheMedic Bishop]] can be more effective in cases. This is especially prevalent when Issei learns to apply his promotions to [[SuperMode Boosted Gear Scale Mail]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Hyodou Issei in ''LightNovel/HighSchoolDXD'' gets one later in Volume 9 when he gets access to his new powers named Illegal Trianna, aside from his [[JackOfAllStats default Balance Breaker]] state. His Welsh Sonic Boost Knight is the typical FragileSpeedster, his Welsh Blaster Bishop is the GlassCannon, Welsh Draconic Rook being the MightyGlacier, and finally his (incomplete) Cardinal Crimson Queen being the LightningBruiser.
* {{Animorphs}}: While each of the kids have their own unique morphs, there are several occasions when they've morphed the same animal (sometimes to exploit the fact that the animal goes into a stupor when being acquired, long enough for them to escape, like the hammerhead shark or the TRex). The inverse of the trope bites them in the ass when they attack the Yeerk pool all in polar bear morph and nearly die.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* A recurring motif of ''Franchise/KamenRider'' shows, especially the Heisei era. It's gotten to the point where tie-in movies and [=DVDs=] frequently feature a new exclusive form in addition to the standard ones from the show. Some examples:
** [[Series/KamenRiderBlackRX Black RX]]: JackOfAllStats (Black RX), MightyGlacier (Robo Rider), FragileSpeedster (Bio Rider).
** [[Series/KamenRiderKuuga Kuuga]]: JokeCharacter (Growing), JackOfAllStats (Mighty and Rising Mighty), FragileSpeedster (Dragon and Rising Dragon), GlassCannon (Pegasus and Rising Pegasus), MightyGlacier (Titan and Rising Titan), LightningBruiser (Amazing Mighty), SuperMode (Ultimate). ''Decade'' adds a new one that goes UpToEleven (Rising Ultimate). ''Kuuga'' is also the only series to ''really'' adhere to the officially listed ''disadvantages'' of each form; when gaining Dragon Form he finds he's much more agile, able to jump to reach an opponent who prefers rooftops to streets, but when he finally gets there, he fights his physical strength is much less ''mighty'' than it was in Mighty Form and he gets smacked down.
** [[Series/KamenRiderAgito Agito]]: JackOfAllStats (Ground), FragileSpeedster (Storm), StoneWall (Flame), LightningBruiser ([[AllYourPowersCombined Trinity]]), MightyGlacier ([[DeadlyUpgrade Burning]]), SuperMode (Shining).
** [[Series/KamenRiderKabuto Kabuto, Gatack, TheBee, Drake, and Sasword]]: ''Technically'' MightyGlacier (Masked) and FragileSpeedster (Rider), plus SuperMode (Hyper) for Kabuto (and Gatack in a DVD). However, Rider Form's SuperSpeed capabilities are needed to fight Worms effectively, so Masked Form is often treated as a JokeCharacter.
** [[Series/KamenRiderDenO Den-O]]: JokeCharacter (Plat Form ([[JustForPun geddit?]])), JackOfAllStats (Sword), StoneWall (Rod), MightyGlacier (Ax), GlassCannon (Gun), LightningBruiser (Wing), SuperMode ([[AllYourPowersCombined Climax]]), FragileSpeedster ([[DittoFighter Liner]]). Later movies take Climax Form UpToEleven as Super Climax Form.
*** [[TheLancer Zeronos]]: JackOfAllStats (Altair), MightyGlacier (Vega), LightningBruiser (Zero).
** [[Series/KamenRiderKiva Kiva]]: JackOfAllStats (Kiva), FragileSpeedster (Garulu), GlassCannon (Basshaa), MightyGlacier (Dogga), LightningBruiser ([[AllYourPowersCombined DoGaBaKi]]), SuperMode (Emperor), OneWingedAngel (Flight Style). A DVD pushes the SuperMode UpToEleven ([[AllYourPowersCombined DoGaBaKi Emperor]]).
*** [[TheRival IXA]]: StoneWall (Save), JackOfAllStats (Burst), SuperMode (Rising IXA).
** [[Series/KamenRiderDecade Decade]]: He's loaded thanks to PowerCopying other Riders, primarily the nine preceding him, and all of ''their'' forms: Kuuga, Agito, Kabuto, Den-O, and Kiva's forms are listed above; the forms for [[Series/KamenRiderRyuki Ryuki]], [[Series/KamenRiderFaiz Faiz]], [[Series/KamenRiderBlade Blade]], [[Series/KamenRiderHibiki Hibiki]], and Decade himself are JackOfAllStats for each one's default and SuperMode for their enhanced forms (Ryuki Survive, Faiz Blaster, Blade King Form, Armed Hibiki, and Decade Complete); plus three {{Lightning Bruiser}}s (Faiz Axel, Blade Jack Form, and Crimson Hibiki) and one JokeCharacter (Blank Ryuki).
** [[Series/KamenRiderDouble Double]]: A little more complicated due to being a FusionDance with mix-and-match ComboPlatterPowers, with each side providing half the form's stat balance: Shotaro's powers are JackOfAllStats (Joker), StoneWall (Metal), and GlassCannon (Trigger); and Philip's are FragileSpeedster (Cyclone), MightyGlacier (Heat), and SquishyWizard (Luna). So, using the most common combinations as examples, [=CycloneJoker=] is balanced with an edge toward speed, [=HeatMetal=] is especially slow but the major powerhouse, and [=LunaTrigger=] can't do melee but is great at trick shots. Past the regular combos, you've got a LightningBruiser ([=FangJoker=]) and a SuperMode ([=CycloneJokerXtreme=]). The movies take this last one UpToEleven ([[GoldenSuperMode CycloneJokerGoldXtreme]]) and near the end of the series the ability to have just one person use a single power as a MasterOfNone is added (usually Shotaro with Joker, occasionally Philip with Cyclone).
*** [[TheLancer Accel]]: MightyGlacier (Accel), FragileSpeedster (Trial Mode). A DVD adds a LightningBruiser (Booster Mode).
** [[Series/KamenRiderOOO OOO]]: Takes Double's ComboPlatterPowers UpToEleven and therefore '''WAY''' too varied to list all the possibilities. The notable ones are the matching sets: JackOfAllStats ([=GataKiriBa=] Combo), FragileSpeedster ([=LaToraTah=]), MightyGlacier ([=SaGoZo=]), LightningBruiser ([=TaJaDor=]), SquishyWizard ([=ShaUTa=]), SuperMode ([[DeadlyUpgrade PuToTyra]]); everything else including the default [=TaToBa=] Combo is a MasterOfNone. OOO is the first Rider to get multiple one-time movie forms: a StoneWall ([=BuraKaWani=]) and two alternate {{Super Mode}}s ([[FightingClown TaMaShii]] and [[UpToEleven Super TaToBa]]).
** [[Series/KamenRiderFourze Fourze]]: JackOfAllStats (Base States), GlassCannon (Elek), StoneWall (Fire), MightyGlacier (Magnet), SuperMode (Cosmic). Movies and [=DVDs=] add a FragileSpeedster (Rocket), a LightningBruiser (Rocket Drill), and an alternate SuperMode ([[TheLancer Meteor]] [[PowerCopying Fusion]]) - which, of course, later gets taken UpToEleven ([[TheLancer Meteor]] [[DistaffCounterpart Nadeshiko]] [[PowerCopying Fusion]]).
** [[Series/KamenRiderWizard Wizard]]: JackOfAllStats (Flame Style), SquishyWizard (Water), FragileSpeedster (Hurricane), MightyGlacier (Land), GlassCannon ([[MidSeasonUpgrade "Dragon" versions of the previous four]]), LightningBruiser ([[AllYourPowersCombined All Dragon]]), SuperMode (Infinity). The movie forms are another LightningBruiser (Special Rush, a {{Palette Swap}}ped stand-in for All Dragon), UpToEleven (Infinity Dragon), and then [[UpToEleven Up to Twelve]] ([[GoldenSuperMode Infinity Dragon Gold]]).
*** [[TheLancer Beast]] doesn't change forms, but can equip Mantles to similar effect: JackOfAllStats (no Mantle), FragileSpeedster (Falco Mantle), ConfusionFu (Chamelo), MightyGlacier (Buffa), SquishyWizard (Dolphi). He later does get a full form change for his SuperMode (Beast Hyper).
** In ''Series/KamenRiderGaim'', the characters can exchange gear with one another to access several different "Arms" forms, but to keep things simple, we'll only list the Arms each one has access to by default.
*** [[TheHero Gaim]]: JackOfAllStats (Orange Arms), MightyGlacier (Pineapple), FragileSpeedster (Strawberry), LightningBruiser (Jimber, which comes in multiple variations), TheJuggernaut (Kachidoki), SuperMode ([[AllYourPowersCombined Kiwami]]). The DVD adds what's either an alternate JackOfAllStats or a MasterOfNone ([[DualWielding Fresh Orange]], which looks like an upgrade to Orange [[PowerupLetdown but isn't]]).
*** [[TheRival Baron]]: JackOfAllStats (Banana Arms), MightyGlacier (Mango), LightningBruiser (Lemon Energy). In a twist, his SuperMode is unrelated to his Rider powers: [[spoiler:he turns himself into a powerful monster, called "Lord Baron".]]
*** [[TheLancer Ryugen]]: JackOfAllStats (Grape Arms), GlassCannon (Kiwi). He also gets a LightningBruiser form when he [[spoiler:takes the Zangetsu Shin powerset and its Melon Energy Arms]], before getting his SuperMode ([[DeadlyUpgrade Hell Fruit]]).
*** [[ShadowArchetype Zangetsu/Zangetsu Shin]]: JackOfAllStats (Melon Arms), LightningBruiser (Melon Energy).
*** Other Riders use only one Arms apiece, but since they can be and are exchanged on occasion we'll list them here for completeness: Three are explicitly weaker than the others; MasterOfNone (Kurokage's Pinecone), MightyGlacier (Gridon's Acorn), and FragileSpeedster (Knuckle's Walnut). A set of "Energy" Arms, along with Zangetsu Shin's Melon Energy above, are {{Lightning Bruiser}}s (Duke's Lemon Energy, Sigurd's Cherry Energy, Marika's Peach Energy). And then one more LightningBruiser (Bravo's Durian), though it's not quite as strong as the Energy Arms. There's also a Watermelon Arms that's passed around the various Riders, though that's less a form change and more a MiniMecha; and is used as a proto-LightningBruiser form by Riders that don't have their own.
* Not as prominent as its rival franchise, but the ''Franchise/UltraSeries'' use this trope on a few shows.
** ''Series/UltramanTiga'': JackOfAllStats (Multi Type), MightyGlacier (Power Type), FragileSpeedster (Sky Type), SuperMode (Glitter Tiga).
** ''Series/UltramanDyna'': JackOfAllStats (Flash Type), MightyGlacier (Strong Type), and FragileSpeedster with [[SquishyWizard more 'supernatural' abilities]] (Miracle Type).
** ''Series/UltramanCosmos'': SquishyWizard[[note]]Focus on healing and purification[[/note]] (Luna Mode), JackOfAllStats (Corona Mode), LightningBruiser (Space Corona Mode), SuperMode (Eclipse Mode and Future Mode).
* While MultiformBalance with ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' (and ''Franchise/PowerRangers'') mecha is usually achieved through {{Mecha Expansion Pack}}s, a couple of Sentai mecha have multiple configurations that serve different purposes. ''Series/ChoujinSentaiJetman'' and ''Series/MiraiSentaiTimeranger'' have five jet mecha that can either combine into a larger jet or a humanoid robot. Additionally, Timeranger's [=TimeRobo=] had two modes: The close combat oriented [=TimeRobo=] Alpha and the agile ranged [=TimeRobo=] Beta.
** Impressively, [=TimeRobo=] multi-form balance extends to its SuperMode when combined with [=TimeShadow=]. Alpha and Beta each have their own combination.
** Both individually and as a team Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger take this [[UpToEleven way past any logical level]]. With the ability to swap between the forms of two hundred previous rangers the Gokaigers can in theory match their combat needs to just about any conceivable situation plus, from [[MightyGlacier heavy hitting close quarter fighters]] with ''Dynaman'' to [[FragileSpeedster swift and deadly ninjas]] with ''Kakuranger'' and just about everything in between.
*** The same holds true for [[HumongousMecha Gokai-oh]] with the assorted [[MechaExpansionPack Greater Powers]] granted by previous teams giving it a variety of combat modes.
*** The movies show they can do [[Franchise/KamenRider Kamen Riders]] and MetalHeroes as well.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology]]
* It's at least OlderThanFeudalism. Goddess Parvati from HinduMythology is usually TheChick, but she may take form of [[ActionGirl Durga]] or [[TheBerserker Kali]] as well.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Game]]
* ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken''. Each of a Uratha's five forms has its uses and weaknesses.
** The Hishu (human) form is most likely to pass among mortals and best suited for social dealings.
** The Dalu (wolf-man) form allows added strength while retaining human form, but still pings Lunacy a little.
** The Gauru (monster two-legged wolf) form is the strongest, most damaging form, but can only be used for a limited time and is locked in a state of rage that makes any action ''but'' attacking something a failure.
** The Urshul (dire wolf) form is fastest of all and quite strong, but will still ping Lunacy heavily.
** The Urhan (wolf) form will blend in most easily in nature and could ''maybe'' pass for a wolfdog in urban environments.
*** The four bestial forms can also be seen as references to different archetypes of werewolf transformation. Urhan clearly owes its lineage to most forms of actual mythological depictions of the werewolf. Dalu is based on the iconic "wolfman" form of film, first seen in Universal Horror's ''Film/TheWolfMan1941''. Urshul arguably has some mythological basis, but can most easily be connected to the werewolf as depicted in ''Film/AnAmericanWerewolfInLondon''. Finally, Gauru resembles the now-iconic "manwolf" that has become heavily associated with werewolves in modern culture and which can be arguably traced back to film via ''Film/TheHowling''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/WonderBoyIIITheDragonsTrap'' features this as its central hook, with the hero spent virtually the entire game [[BalefulPolymorph involuntarily transformed]] into various animal-like creatures, each featuring unique abilities.
* The old ElectronicArts game ''VideoGame/{{Shadowcaster}}'' features a lead that could form pacts with various creatures to "accept the form of X", each form having its own uses.
* ''VideoGame/ABoyAndHisBlob'' allows the boy control over his {{Mons}} forms with jellybeans.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}''
** The [[OlympusMons Legendary]] Deoxys has various forms with differing distributions of stats. Normal Forme is the JackOfAllStats form, Attack Forme is the GlassCannon form, Defense Forme is the MightyGlacier form, and Speed Forme is the FragileSpeedster form.
** [[Characters/PokemonGenerationVFamilies Generation V]]'s Darmanitan has a normal form that is a GlassCannon, but when certain Darmanitans' HitPoints go below half they automatically switch to Zen Mode, which is a MightyGlacier. This was a poorly-done attempt, though - all the damage is received before the switch, and getting knocked out in one hit is not too unlikely in the glass cannon form. Even if they do survive, the higher defensive stats are not very useful with less than half HitPoints left.
** [[Characters/PokemonGenerationVIFamilies Generation VI]] introduces the Steel/Ghost sword Aegislash. Its Shield Forme is a StoneWall. As soon as it uses an attack, it turns into the GlassCannon Sword Forme. Using its SignatureMove King's Shield turns it back into Shield Forme.
** Generation VI introduces Mega Evolutions, more powerful forms of certain Pokémon that can only be accessed in battle. The catch is that it requires using a held item specific to each Pokémon, which means they cannot use any other item. Most of these are worthwhile, though a few (such as Garchomp's) don't give enough to be worth the lack of an item, or simply don't do enough to make a bad Pokémon usable.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' has its Valor and Wisdom Forms spiking the player's physical and magical stats (respectively) at the cost of the other. This is then averted once the Master Form and Final Form are picked up, which balance melee attacks and magic by making both of them highly effective.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic'': Mega Man's ability to fuse with [[RobotDog Rush]] in ''VideoGame/MegaMan6'', creating the [[MightyGlacier Power]] and [[FragileSpeedster Jet]] Adapters. In ''VideoGame/MegaMan7'', the abilities of both adapters are compressed into a single, [[LightningBruiser Super]] adapter.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManX's'' ability to switch between different armors in some of his games. The armors vary between each game, but [[SuperMode Ultimate Armor]] would be consistent.
** ''X5'': JackOfAllStats (Force), FragileSpeedster (Falcon), MightyGlacier (Gaea)
** ''X6'': JackOfAllStats (Falcon, a {{nerf}} version of the above), LightningBruiser ([[{{Samurai}} Blade]]), GlassCannon ([[{{Ninja}} Shadow]])
** ''X8'': MasterOfNone (Neutral), FragileSpeedster (Hermes, turns into LightningBruiser when [[HourOfPower X-Drive]] is activated), MightyGlacier (Icarus)
* ''VideoGame/MegaManZero 2'', Zero starts out as a MasterOfNone (Normal), but fulfilling certain conditions in a mission unlocks specialized upgrades: FragileSpeedster (Active), MightyGlacier (Energy and Power), StoneWall (Defense and Erase), LightningBruiser (Rise and X), GlassCannon (Proto) and finally, SuperMode (Ultimate).
* Druid shapeshifting in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' could be considered this, with forms tailored to each of their four talent specialisations plus a couple of utility forms. The default form (AKA "caster" form) is for the CombatMedic and specialisation adds a temporary Tree Form with even more enhanced healing. Cat form is a FragileSpeedster that deals damage. Bear form is a StoneWall specialising in getting attention of enemies from more squishy members of the group. Moonkin form (available via talent specialization; caster form suffices before that) is a GlassCannon SquishyWizard. While all Druids have access to Bear Form and Cat Form, they don't work very well for non-Feral Druids.
* Kheldians in ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' are another example, though they don't start out with all the forms. Nova form is a GlassCannon, Dwarf form is a StoneWall, and with the basic human form being somewhere in between, and having a much greater choice of attacks, including the ability to deal decent damage at close range. Some players try to specialise in only one form, but by most accounts the best choice is to make use of all three forms, swapping as necessary.
* The various offensive powers in ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' are balanced like this. Claws are quite fast and have a slow ranged attack composed of spikes erupting from the ground and impaling the target from below, Hammerfist gives massively devastating splash damage attacks with really slow speed, the Whipfist has awesome range, anti-air attacks and crowd control capabilities [[DeathOfAThousandCuts in exchange for power]] and the Blade is similar to the Claws but replaces the latter's impalement attack with a brutally powerful [[GoombaStomp aerial attack]] that can OneHitKill ''tanks''.
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV'': When Ryu transforms, whichever form he chooses provides a percentage boost to his stats, resulting in the following arrangements: MasterOfNone (Aura), JackOfAllStats (Wyvern/Weyr), MightyGlacier (Behemoth/Mammoth), LightningBruiser (Myrmidon/Knight), GlassCannon (Mutant/Punk) and SuperMode (Kaiser). Fou-lu's dragons roughly follow the same percentage boosts as Ryu's; just replace Aura, Wyvern and Kaiser with Astral, Serpent and Tyrant (Fou-lu doesn't have Myrmidon or Mutant, and he has a Behemoth like Ryu), respectively.
* ''VideoGame/MarvelAvengersAlliance''
** The player character Agent starts as a MasterOfNone (Generalist) and can switch to any of five other classes -- GlassCannon (Blaster), LightningBruiser (Scrapper), MightyGlacier (Bruiser), JackOfAllStats (Tactician), FragileSpeedster (Infiltrator) -- by buying and equipping the appropriate uniform. TacticalRockPaperScissors is in play, so each of those classes has an advantage over one class and a disadvantage against a second. The Agent can also remain as a Generalist, neither weak nor strong against any class.
** Several heroes have alternate costumes, and a change in costume also means a change in class. (ex.: Comicbook/SpiderMan, an Infiltrator by default, can also become either a Scrapper with his [[Comicbook/FantasticFour Future Foundation]] outfit, or don the Black Suit, turning into a Bruiser.)
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Wii U/3DS'' has [[VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}} Shulk]]. He's a MechanicallyUnusualFighter whose playstyle centers around a StanceSystem composed of 5 Monado Arts. Each of those arts boost one of his stats for a few seconds at the cost of one or two others. For example, "Jump" increases his jump distance while lowering his defence, and "Smash" increases his launch ability at the cost of weaker attacks and lower defense against launching.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* The [[http://www.missmab.com/Demo/were.php Were]] race in ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures''. They have three forms, human, [[FunnyAnimal normal]] and 'primal' (animal), which basically form a Sliding Scale of Magicalness. As humans, they're immune to magic; in their normal form, they're {{Muggles}} with some minor bonuses; and as animals, their magical power is increased.
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', some of Grace's pure forms have positive and negative attributes the other pure forms or combination forms don't. Her full squirrel form is small but [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2011-12-19 doesn't allow her to speak]] and her omega form is powerful and allows her to fly but it's 3 tails can [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2012-01-19 complicate things]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' subverts this in the first season (and hints of it remain in the newer seasons). The first season started things off with ten aliens, each with different super powers, but as the original series came to a close, Ben had access to even more aliens. But considering Ben is [[JustifiedTrope ten years-old and not a tactical hero]], he almost always used [[MightyGlacier Fourarms]]. How well this worked out for him depended on how many times he's transformed that day.
[[/folder]]
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