->'''Edwin''': Can you tell me a little bit about your business plan?\\
'''Dr. Loeb''': World domination!!!\\
'''Edwin''': That's really more of a goal than a plan, isn't it?\\
'''Dr. Loeb''': Domination!!!\\
'''Edwin''': I'll just put down 'Mergers and Acquisitions'.
-->-- ''HowToSucceedInEvil''

So you're a villain with an EvilPlan that you want to accomplish, good for you! However, a plan is nothing without a, well, ''plan'' with which to execute it. This trope is about the Stock EvilOverlord Tactics used to accomplish the Evil Plan.

Be sure to consult the EvilOverlordList for more in depth help on the topic. IControlMyMinionsThrough shows different means of getting and controlling underlings.
!!Brute Force
* {{Mook}} Armies: The classic tactic, [[ZergRush overrun with sheer numbers]] and institute whatever form of dictatorial ego-centric control you like. Criminal mafias, world conquering, or 'mere' mayhem; a Mook army can do all this and more.
** Corollary tactic: If mere mooks aren't enough, try EliteMooks and SuperPoweredMooks, or even a MonsterOfTheWeek to face the heroes. If you have enough mooks, remember that you can [[WeHaveReserves use the reserves]]. You can even [[EvilGloating gloat about it]] all you like, just don't tell ''[[MookFaceTurn them]]'' that... at least, not until after they charge.
* [[MesACrowd World of Me]]: Clone yourself. Then have your clone clone itself. Then have the clones of your clones of your clones, and so on. The hero wouldn't have his work cut out for him if you weren't a formidable opponent in your own right, so why not make a whole lot more of yourself? If you have the magic or the technology to pull it off, an even more effective tactic is [[GrandTheftMe using the bodies of your enemies as hosts]]. The main disadvantage of this tactic is that your clones tend to get ideas above their station, specifically each and every one may decide they should be the one in charge. There are two ways around this: Either make your clones hardwired to be subservient to you alone, or let your narcissism run its course so every one of you will naturally conform to your awesome, intelligent, good-looking authority.
** Don't make [[OppositeSexClone opposite sex clones]] of yourself. It never turns out well.
* DoomsdayDevice: Why get a huge army when all you need is nasty DeathRay, WeatherControlMachine, or ColonyDrop to bully the world into submission? Good for money, domination, or sheer [[ForTheEvulz misanthropic]] [[EvilLaugh laughs]].
** Unless you have secure means to comfortably survive, show a little restraint in this department. Unless your specific stated goal is to destroy the world (in which case, [[OmnicidalManiac go nuts]]), then limit your doomsday device to mere "[[ApocalypseHow regional catastrophe]]" level. You don't want your Doomsday Device to accidentally go off, and then get forced into an EnemyMine situation with the hero in order to save the world. [[ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike It's undignified.]]
* Gain Massive Magical Power: Then again, doing the conquering/destroying yourself is so [[DrunkOnTheDarkSide much more satisfying!]] Just steal a RingOfPower, AmplifierArtifact, magic lamp, and presto!
** Corollary tactic: This works best if you snowball the artifact acquisition, culminating in a CosmicKeystone. Just remember to stop shy of a SuperPowerMeltdown. Also, though it may hurt your pride, do ''not'' give in to taunts that ''"YoureNothingWithoutYourPhlebotinum!"'' by fighting mano a mano. It never helps.
* [[SealedEvilInACan Unseal The Evil In A Can]]: Why get a huge army or waste resources on building a doomsday device when you can just take an already-existing monster and set it loose on the world? You just can't top the NeglectfulPrecursors in the entity of doom department. Take note that unsealed evils are 100% guaranteed to either [[EvilIsNotAToy turn on their liberator]] or try to destroy the world/universe, so make sure you've got the means to control it ''before'' touching the can.
** Corollary tactic: If controlling the evil isn't possible or too risky, your best bet is to deliberately unleash it within stomping distance of a [[BigGood powerful force of good]], while keeping yourself well out of harms' way. Ideally, the good guys will be crushed, and the unsealed evil weakened sufficiently during the battle that you can destroy it yourself; or vice-versa.
** Guile Corollary: Simply getting to the point where the evil could be unsealed is often enough to make some real demands on the forces of good. Hold an auction between various key players, and you can be set for life.
** Guile Corollary combining the two above: Get to the point where the evil could be unsealed, hold an auction between various key players, but set things up such that whoever eventually gets the can inadvertently unseals it. Wait until one side is crushed and the other weakened, then destroy those players who remain. Gloat to taste.
*** However, make certain that the SEIAC is ''evil'' before attempting to unleash it: There's nothing more embarrassing than causing a DeusExMachina by [[SealedGoodInACan releasing]] the CrystalDragonJesus on the heroes' front lawn.
* [[SealedEvilInACan Unseal Yourself From the Can]]: The good news is that you already have massive magical power. The bad news is that those annoying [[BenevolentPrecursors Precursors]] already sealed you up where you can't do anything fun with it. If you have underlings trying to free you, then give them any advice and assistance you can, but make sure to play down the fact that you'll likely [[EvilIsNotAToy eat their souls as soon as you're free]]. If you've managed to fool the heroes into [[NiceJobBreakingItHero unwittingly freeing you]], then for badness' sake wait until you're well out of range of your old prison before revealing your true form.
** Guile Corollary: As counter-intuitive as it may feel, it may be worthwhile to treat your liberators well and not destroy them right away. After all, if they did enough research to uncover your existence and release you, they probably know about any weaknesses you may have or means of stuffing you back in your can.
** Corollary Tactic: Lead the summoner to (mistaken) information that makes it seem they can compel your obedience, then play along once released until they or you have properly destroyed the Can. For extra fun, make the hero believe that if they get a hold of [[KidWithTheLeash your leash]] they could also command you.

* Buy It All: Favored tactic of the evil MegaCorp and CorruptCorporateExecutive. Become the supplier of every conceivable good, or one excessively valuable one (even water counts), and you can become rich beyond imagination.
** Corollary tactic: [[TerminallyDependentSociety Make your own super addictive drug, videogame, or commodity]] if all the standard ones are taken. That'll show em! Oh, and just remember: [[{{Scarface}} don't get high on your own supply]]. It never helps.
* Give The Hero [[HeroWithBadPublicity A Bad Rep]] And [[VillainWithGoodPublicity Replace Him]]; those [[HoldingOutForAHero lambs]] who cheered him on will turn to GullibleLemmings soon enough. This is [[HeroForADay tricky to pull off]], since most forget to dispose of the hero thoroughly post replacement.
** Corollary tactic: Make an EvilKnockoff of the hero. This tactic has numerous drawbacks and limitations and is not to be treated as anything more than an asset for various reasons, but as part of a bigger plot it can be very effective.
* MassHypnosis: Use a MindControlDevice, add in a bit of FakeMemories, remove TheEvilsOfFreeWill, and voila! The world is your oyster, and no one remembers it ever being otherwise.
* Start A ReligionOfEvil: It gets you mooks, money, adoring fans ''and'' a harem!
** Corollary: [[AGodAmI Become a God]] by harnessing their [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly faith and prayers.]]
* Replace The BigGood: Take FakeKing to the extreme by killing and then impersonating the supreme leader of the forces of goodness. You'll not only have all the resources you'll ever need to TakeOverTheWorld, but you've also effectively rendered your opposition inert.
** Corollary tactic: Replace the [[CrystalDragonJesus BIG Big Good]]. Why settle for ruling the world, when you can destroy all the [[CosmicKeystone Cosmic Keystones]] and just remake the whole thing in your own image?
* [[DealWithTheDevil Bargain With Unholy Entities:]] If you need power or the means to gain it fast, you could always bargain with an [[GodOfEvil evil god]], [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demon]], or [[EldritchAbomination similar entity]] to get what you want. Just remember a few key steps.
** Always make sure you have the payment for your powers up front. If the entity requests [[VirginSacrifice virgins]], make sure they're still virgins. Finally, never sell your own soul. It may not seem important at the time, but it usually ends up biting you in the ass at the very worst possible time (and usually in the very worst possible way).
** Be wary of entities that might have their own designs on the world (which -- let's face it -- is true of pretty much ''any'' powerful entity willing to cut a deal with a lowly mortal like you, whether they deign to inform you of this or not). They might take a JackassGenie approach to your requests and end up [[DiscOneFinalBoss screwing you over]]. LiteralGenie entities can be problematic too; make sure to have a team of lawyers go through your wish before submitting it, to close every possible loophole that could prevent you from getting what you want.
** Never, ''ever'' accept releasing the entity into the world as terms of payment, it's just as if not ''more'' dangerous than releasing the SEIAC considering the entity is both powerful and [[TheChessmaster very]] [[ManipulativeBastard wily]]. For this reason, never leave the summoning portal in a place where any [[YouFool fool]] might do so by accident. Remember: EvilIsNotAToy, and while you may shoot people who have [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness outlived their usefulness]], these entities tend to ''eat them.'' Also, DoNotTauntCthulhu if there's any chance it might ever become free or take away your power. Plus, it's tacky.
* [[VillainWithGoodPublicity Become Evil Overlord, Savior Of The World]]: Plant your minions amongst all those squabbling little nations, and manipulate them into going to war. Start enough political machinations to really screw up the world, and let everything go to hell while making sure none of it can be traced back to you. Then, once the dung has really hit the ventilation unit, step forward in the role of the benevolent unifier, [[GenghisGambit forging peace with all the warring factions]] and supplying goods from your pre-prepared storage bunkers to sate the suffering masses. The beauty of this plan is that history will regard you as a hero and everyone will bow down you you out of loyalty and gratitude instead of fear, which is [[DystopiaIsHard such a chore]] to keep cultivating on a regular basis.

!!Time Travel
* [[ConquerorFromTheFuture Invasion From Tomorrow]]: Go back a few generations to when your modern weapons are no longer merely formidable but completely unstoppable. Want to crush the Roman Empire beneath your heels? Park an aircraft carrier offshore and start bombing. If from TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture just bring a ray gun and a deflector shield, and waltz straight through 20000 centurions.
** For extra [[TimeyWimeyBall Timey-Wimey]] MindScrew cred, try conquering the world using an army sent back to the present from the BadFuture where [[YouAlreadyChangedThePast you already won]]! Just be sure to guard your time machine carefully if you don't want all your progress to vanish in a PuffOfLogic.
* Reverse TimeCapsule: Send a [[TimelineAlteringMacGuffin package of useful future technology or info of future events]] to your past self or ancestor. Naturally this is only useful if the recipient is already of a world-conquering mindset. Take note that it is vitally important that anything sent back in time also contains an explicit waring about strangers with suspicious knowledge or behavior inappropriate for the current time period, due to the persistent likelihood of do-gooders with RippleEffectProofMemory.
* Historical Impersonation: Eliminate an important historical figure and take their place, preferably a major military or political leader. With your knowledge of historical events, correct any and all tactical mistakes made by the real leader in order to achieve the world conquest they failed at. A few trinkets of future technology to tip the balance still helps.
** If you are lacking in the acting skills department, an acceptable alternative is to latch onto the original historical figure and rule from behind the scenes as TheManBehindTheMan. Mind control helps here, in order to keep your historical puppet compliant.
* [[MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight Screw Up History]]: You don't always need to conquer the past to rule the present. Sometimes you just need to make a [[ForWantOfANail few minor changes]] to put history on your track. Even if your name isn't [[HitlersTimeTravelExemptionAct Hitler]], rest assured that messing with the past always works out in a villain's favour. Just make sure to return to the present early enough to put yourself in the seat of power for the new oppressive totalitarian government you've set in motion. Oh, and kill the hero's ancestors while you're at it.