Anti Regeneration

Fighting something with a Healing Factor is very difficult, usually requiring extreme force, special powers or tools, or clever tricks.

Ways of dealing with Healing Factor are:

Sub-Trope of Power Nullifier. Compare with See the Invisible. Often the means of defeating a Reviving Enemy.


Anime and Manga
  • Dragon Ball features quite a few characters with Healing Factors who have had to be stopped.
  • One Piece: Buggy the Clown, who is capable of Detachment Combat, was initially defeated by Nami tying most of his body parts in a bundle before he could reassemble himself.
  • My Hero Academia: Endeavor defeats a Noumu with a "Super Regeneration" Quirk by making his flames hot enough to turn blue and carbonize the head off.
  • Toriko has shown various way to deal with characters and creatures with Healing Factor.
    • Brunch defeats Elg, a centaur that can create clones through regeneration, by putting him and his clones under an endless loop of electrification.
    • Midora bypasses Ichiyru's healing factor from Minority World, an ability that causes everything to behave in opposite ways than normally they do due to minor particles that defy physical law, by damaging him faster than he can regenerate with the Power of the Void.
    • Chiyo dices one of the branches of the Coral King into small and delicate pieces with a long ranged slashes and inhibit its regeneration by applying Knocking.
    • Overwhelming an someone to the point that their cells admit defeat will prevent them from regenerating and leave them at the mercy of the attacker.

Comic Books

Film Animated
  • The primary villain of Heavy Metal 2000 stumbles upon a fluid that can grant him Resurrective Immortality, provided he takes regular doses. Tyler goes on a quest for the source after attaining the key. He ends up squished under a huge stone door where regeneration would avail him naught. Further, The Mole unmasks himself, and attains access to the wellspring of eternal life. However, once the huge stone door closes, he's trapped in that chamber. As The Hero remarks: "Forever is a long time to spend all alone."

Films — Live Action
  • The beginning of Hercules Unchained has a fight against Antaeus, who recovers from all injury whenever he touches the ground. Unlike the original Greek myth, Hercules defeats Antaeus by throwing him into the sea.
  • In The Wolverine, Wolverine has a bio-mechanical healing suppressant device implanted in him, thanks to Viper. For a large portion of the film, Wolverine finds he is no longer healing and needs to have his wounds stitched up.
  • In Logan, it's finally revealed that the long term effects of adamantium exposure is healing factor degeneration. Wolverine has had adamantium bound to his skeleton for years and isn't healing as well as he could. Ultimately, his healing factor is completely compromised and he dies.

  • Animorphs: Morphing normally heals all injuries, but there have been notable exceptions, few of which are explained beyond Drama-Preserving Handicap: suffering Mode Lock (Tobias is stuck in hawk morph at the beginning of the series so an injury would be particularly devastating, when the ability is restored he can heal but still has to live as a bird), a genetic disease (a crashed Andalite refuses to fight because the disease stays with him when he demorphs, while another is allergic to the morphing process and cannot repair his severed tail), time travel (Tobias breaks his wing while in the Cretaceous and can't restore it), and possibly old age (Jake ends up in a Bad Future where Rachel is a complete wreck in a wheelchair, with no indication that she'd lost her morphing ability).

  • Classical Mythology:
    • One of Hercules' task was to kill the Hydra, which regrows any heads you cut off. He succeeded when his nephew Iolaos started to cauterize the stumps with his torch.
    • The giant Antaeus challenged travelers to a wrestling match to the death, without mentioning that every time he was in contact with his mother the Earth (i.e., thrown to the ground), his health and energy were completely restored. When Heracles came along, he solved the problem by hoisting Antaeus in the air with one hand and strangling him with the other.
  • Often werewolves are given a healing factor that is neutralized by silver.
  • The Lambton Worm is an English legend about a dragon which kills by constriction and is difficult to kill because it can re-attach parts of its body that are cut off. It is eventually killed by a Prince who lures it into the River Wear while wearing armour forged from razor blades — the blades hurt the beast when it tries to constrict him, and the river flow washes its severed body parts away.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Trolls in Dungeons & Dragons possess a Healing Factor which can only be overcome by injuring them with fire or acid.
    • 1st Edition AD&D Deities & Demigods Cyclopedia, Greek Mythology section: each minute the giant Antaeus is in contact with the ground, he heals all damage and gains 25 additional Hit Points. The hero Heracles (Hercules) defeats him by lifting him off the ground and inflicting damage on him while doing so.
    • 1st and 2nd Edition AD&D. When someone wears a Ring of Regeneration, they can only be prevented from regenerating if their body is totally destroyed by fire or acid.
    • 2nd Edition AD&D Planescape boxed supplement Planes of Conflict. The Quesar live in the Upper Outer Plane of Elysium. They regenerate 1 Hit Point per round, even after being killed, as long as they're in daylight. To prevent them from regenerating you just have to keep them out of daylight, such as moving them underground or casting a spell to create darkness or summon thick cloud cover.
  • In Big Eyes, Small Mouth, any special attack with the No Regeneration modifier cannot be healed using the Healing or Regeneration attributes, and has to be healed naturally. The Incurable modifier is a stronger version of this, and basically inflicts Wounds That Will Not Heal.

Video Games
  • Pokémon: The move Heal Block prevents the target Pokemon from healing, whether by its own moves, abilities, terrain, or items (for the last one, only Generation V and onward).
  • Resident Evil 4: Regenerators and Iron Maidens can only be killed by using a special scope on a rifle to aim at specific places were the Las Plagas parasites are inside their bodies.
  • A few particularly powerful wizards in Arcanum have the ability to summon a regenerative cocoon at the moment of death, healing their wounds and increasing their lifespans. The Vendigroth Device is a weapon which was specifically designed to combat this technique, and exploits the fragile balance between magic and science to invert the cocoon and make it rip the mage apart instead.
  • The Serpent boss in Golden Sun: The Lost Age has a regeneration ability which lets it recover about 2/3rds of its max hitpoints at the end of every turn. However, the area above it has a series of light puzzles which, if completed, allow you to shine up to four beams of light onto it, potentially cutting its healing to a measly 30hp/turn instead.
  • Warcraft III:
    • The expansion introduced several freely available healing items that restore health and/or mana over time (Scroll of Regeneration, Clarity Potion...) with the caveat that the effect ends as soon as the unit takes damage.
    • Inverted with the Phoenix and Destroyer units, who have negative health and mana regeneration respectively. The Phoenix respawns every time it dies (unless its egg is destoryed), while the Destroyer has several spells that let it eat mana or status buffs to empower its attacks.
  • Overwatch: Ana's Biotic Grenade prevents enemies from healing temporarily, whether by Healing Factor or other healing sources.
  • Final Fantasy VIII has the GF Brothers, a pair of Earth-elemental minotaurs who gain the health-boosting 'Regen' buff when in contact with the ground. You can make the boss fight against them easier by casting the Float spell upon them to interfere with the Regen effect.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes has the Sneezing Zombie teammate, which prevents the plants and Plant Hero from healing as long as it's on the field. This is only useful against Plant Heroes with the Solar Class since they have the most healing-based cards, but is especially effective against them, shutting down the dangerous Heartichokenote  and Astro Veranote .
  • Diablo II: Some items may have the "Prevents Monster Healing" affix, which temporarily disables enemies' passive recovery of life points.
  • In Mass Effect 2, krogan and vorcha enemies can regenerate health when damaged. Burning them with an incendiary attack, or using Warp on them will stop them from regenerating.

Web Animation
  • Death Battle has several fights where this is used by a character to defeat their regenerating opponent.
    • Deadpool vs. Deathstroke: The Carbonadium sword of Deadpool's was capable of removing Deathstroke's healing factor, allowing the Merc with a Mouth to decapitate him.
    • Kirby vs. Majin Buu: The fight ends with Kirby inhaling and blasting Buu's own attack back at him, pushing him into the sun. While the former didn't kill Buu due to his ability to regenerate from a single atom, getting blasted into the sun and thus having his atoms ionized certainly did.
    • Wolverine vs. Raiden: While the former had a very powerful Healing Factor and an adamantium skeleton, the latter's HF Muramasa, being a Vibroweapon, was capable of weakening the Adamantium's molecular bonds. Eventually, Raiden ends up slicing Wolverine's head off and cutting that to bits, preventing the mutant from regenerating ever again.
    • Hulk vs. Doomsday: Both combatants had a powerful healing factor, but Doomsday was able to overtax Hulk's by stabbing him with venomous bone claws several times and leaving said claws embedded in there.
    • Sephiroth vs. Vergil: Vergil had a top-notch healing factor that could easily allow him to shrug off impalement and even getting bisected. Sephiroth's Super Nova manages to overtax it via the heat and power of an exploding sun, allowing him to finish the weakened Vergil off.

  • One-Punch Man: Melzargard's head has a small marble-like brain which allows them to regenerate endlessly. If a marble is destroyed, the associated head melts instantly, and Melzargard dies once they're all destroyed. This is mitigated somewhat by the fact that he has multiple heads and can freely move his brains within his body. However, his regeneration always begins with his heads, meaning that the brain can be easily found if his body is completely destroyed and forced to regenerate from scratch.

Western Animation
  • In Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Queen Moon used black magic to neutralize Toffee's healing factor, making him unable to regenerate. That's why he's missing his finger. Later Star goes Golden Super Mode and blasts him with so much magic at once his healing factor can't keep up and he's left barely alive and unable to come back from getting a pillar crushing what's left of him.
  • Gems in Steven Universe can fully replace most of their bodies after some time because they're projection of their gemstones. Damage to the gemstone itself mangles the rest of their body, is apparently very difficult to heal (Rose and Steven's healing powers are the only known way), and enough will kill them permanently. Gems trying to take other gems alive generally "poof" their bodies, then put their unharmed gemstone in a Containment Field that prevents regeneration. The standard strategy of the less merciful seems to be poofing the projected body before shattering the gemstone, while Bismuth's Breaking Point was designed specifically to shatter gems immediately mid-fight.