"He who sees his own doom can better avoid its path.Sometimes, the most powerful fighter will not be equipped with such Stock Superpowers as super-strength, or Nigh-Invulnerability. Instead, they have the power to see into the future. Why is this useful? Because it lets them know your next move, and plan accordingly. Why this doesn't muddle up their ability to know what you're doing now can be chalked up to the Rule of Cool. Alternately, it can be Hand Waved by saying that they're not looking that far into the future, or by noting their brain can keep up with both. Is often accompanied by Spider-Sense, which warns the user of vague danger instead of predicting specific attacks. Compare Kung-Fu Clairvoyance where the hero seems to have this, but it's not canonically one of their abilities. Contrast with Super Reflexes. Not to be confused for Calling Your Attacks, which is about calling out the names of your own attacks as you do them.
He who sees the doom of others can deliver it."
He who sees the doom of others can deliver it."
— Eldrad Ulthran, Warhammer 40,000
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Anime & Manga
- This is the special ability of the Tharsis Kataphrakt in Aldnoah.Zero. At the moment though, it's still uncertain whether the machine is simply an advanced combat computer a la Wing ZERO or if its Aldnoah Drive actually allows it to see into the future for real.
- In Battle Angel Alita: Last Order, Caerula Sanguis has this ability due to a combination of being able to read an opponent's neural impulses and 700 years of combat experience, allowing her to both perfectly predict and influence an opponent's moves.
- Sven's seer's eye in Black Cat allows him to see a few seconds in the future, thus detecting danger before it happens.
- In Bleach, the Big Bad of the Vandenreich arc Yhwach's signature power, "A of the Almighty", lets him see into the future. He uses this to predict his opponents' techniques and create appropriate countermeasures on the fly.
- In Claymore, it is explained that Teresa's extraordinary strength comes from her ability to read her opponent's flow of yōki so well that she can predict their movements based on where it is flowing to in their bodies, and Clare seems to have inherited this ability, being able dodge before the opponent strikes. However, this makes them weaker when faced with an opponent who can either completely suppress her yōki, or one who has so much yōki overflowing in them that she can't determine what's what, and there are also certain techniques that can't be read, such as Ophelia's "rippling" sword.
- In Code Geass, this is the Geass power given to the Knight of One, Bismark. In the manga, Nunnally has it.
- In the climax of the Grand Magic Games in Fairy Tail Ultear had hoped to use the ultimate form of her time powers to turn back time for at least a few hours so the heroes can have a better chance at beating the invading dragons who at the moment were on the verge of killing many of them. It only turns back time for a few minutes, but in the process, temporarily granted the heroes this power to avoid and counter deadly attacks and ambushes.
- In Fist of the North Star, Hokuto Shinken practitioners have this ability thanks to Awesomeness by Analysis: after seeing your first few moves (or, with the really powerful opponents, a few minutes of fight), they can predict perfectly what you're gonna do, and react to that. Best shown in the fight between Rei and Raoh: after seeing he's completely outmatched, Rei decides to launch an all-out attack that will kill Raoh but leave him completely exposed to Raoh's equally lethal attacks, we see him doing it and killing Raoh at the cost of his life... And then it's revealed it was Raoh playing it all in his mind after seeing Rei putting himself in position to jump him, at which point he proceeds to counter Rei's attack.
- That said, it was Subverted a few times: aside for the fights between Hokuto Shinken practitioners (where the prediction ability of both fighters cancel each other out), we have Souther (who not only was practically immune to Hokuto Shinken, but had a few tricks Kenshiro failed to predict in their rematch) and Juza (who practices Confusion Fu to the point he's impossible to predict. He's still done for because Raoh is that much stronger than him).
- In Fullmetal Alchemist (manga and second anime), the homunculus Wrath has a super power called the Ultimate Eye, which enables him to predict every single outcome of every single situation in his field of vision. It makes him unbeatable in combat. He gets defeated when one of the heroes stabs him through the body of a fatally wounded ally, which provided cover and prevented the power from warning Wrath of the danger. That isn't enough to kill him, but another of the heroes uses the opportunity to put out his Ultimate Eye, and as a result of that and his wounds, Wrath is defeated and killed in his next battle.
- The same power belongs to the homonculus Pride (Same character as Wrath just under a different name) in the first anime, who is implied to use the power outside of combat as well in order to become the ruler of Amestris. Although he only fights a single open battle, he's completely unbeatable in it until Selim Bradley exposes him to the skull of his original body, paralysing him until Mustang can burn him to death enough times for it to stick.
- Future Diary, being a series about people who receive ways to predict the future and are then sent to kill each other, has this in spades. For a more specific example, before he was revealed to be a true participant in the Survival Game with a real future diary, Marco Ikusaba was introduced as the lackey of another participant who could give people "Apprentice Diaries" to work with, and his was the "Brawler Diary" that predicted the moves of his opponents in a fight.
- Takuma Fudou from Get Backers has this by way of precognition. He can look a few seconds into the future, and see what his opponents are going to do.
- This is Diavolo's Stand ability in Part 5 of Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Vento Aureo. He can also "erase" a 5 second section of time so that it never happened. As you might expect, this power is ridiculously broken.
- There are multiple ways to achieve this in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. With the Inner Eye, a martial artist memorizes the rhythm of the opponent's movements, and can predict where the opponent will move and attack, making their attacks nearly always accurate. The Ryusei Seikuken technique reduces the size of a Seikuken to a thin layer over the skin, letting the user dodge with just the smallest movements, however to the enemy it looks like their mind is being read. And the Attack Trail Fight, where you form a trail of all possible attack patterns the opponent may take, having, attempting to read the next trails and block them. Needless to say, all three are very high level techniques.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Nodoka's artifact has the ability to read minds. While this doesn't quite fit the Clairvoyance part of the trope, the use we see most often is her reading her opponent's mind in combat and reacting to the opponent's plan.
- The ZERO System from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing works like this, except that it's technological rather than a superpower. It's an advanced combat analysis complex that puts together massive amounts of battle data and tactical analysis and feeds it directly into the pilot's brain, including predictions of what the enemy's going to do. Combined with the mindlink the System creates, this allows the pilot to move and react as if the Humongous Mecha were part of his own body. The problem is that it tends to evaluate everything as a potential threat, and to assume all potential threats are imminent threats, meaning that often the ZERO System's recommended course of action is "destroy everything in sight". Combined with the sensory overload of all that data being dumped into the pilot's brain, it takes considerable willpower and emotional control to use the ZERO System without going insane. Heero, Zechs and Quatre all master it to the point that they can use it with no problem at all by the end of the series, and Dorothy is able to instantly use it without hindrance, perhaps on account of already being a bit crazy. In the final battle, Quatre somehow seems to still be able to do this even after he disconnects the ZERO System from his Gundam. Despite Psychic Powers supposedly not existing in Gundam Wing.
- In Naruto, upgrading to the three-tomoe state of the Sharingan gives this ability. If they're looking at someone in motion it will be like they can see exactly where and in what position that person's entire body will be in. However, there are some things, like the Animal Battle Aura of a tailed beast's host or Wood/Sand techniques, whose movement it can't predict very well. The other shortcoming is that knowing exactly what your opponent is about to do doesn't necessarily mean you're strong enough or fast enough to stop him from doing it. It's fairly useless against Ninjutsu specialists given that hand seals do different things depending on the sequence or element being used allowing the Sharingan user to be caught off guard. Averted the first time this ability is shown: instead of predicting and copying Zabuza's Water-based attack to execute it faster than Zabuza himself as Zabuza initially thinks to be the case, Kakashi puts him under an illusion so Zabuza is the one mimicking Kakashi's movements.
- One Piece:
- The Mantra (or 'mantora') ability of the Skypeian Priests works like this. The main character overcomes this by turning his brain off and moving at random. He overcomes another by working together with other fighters to leave the Mantra-powered foe with absolutely no options. A secondary character overcomes a Mantra-powered foe by performing an Interface Screw on him, making him lose control and sink headfirst into a quicksand-like mud. After all, what good is the ability to see into the future if you can't find a way out or if you don't have control over your own actions anymore?
- It is revealed much later on that this skill is called Mantra by the Sky Islanders, but is one of three types of Haki, called the "Color of Observation" or "Kenbunshoku". Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji developed it during the Time Skip, and Usopp awakened it in the Dressrosa arc.
- Charlotte Katakuri, one of the Sweet Commanders of the Big Mom Pirates, has supposedly trained his Kenbunshoku Haki so much that he can actually glimpse slightly into the future, as long as he maintains his composure. His ability among others makes him one of the most dangerous pirates shown thus far, with a bounty racking up over a billion. In fact, it inspires Luffy to keep fighting Katakuri for the purpose of strengthening his own Kenbunshoku Haki to gain this ability as well.
- In Psyren we have Kabuto Kirisaki, whose psychic ability "Menace" acts as both Spider-Sense and Combat Clairvoyance. He can see incoming danger as a white aura a few seconds before it actually happens.
- Jun of Saki has the ability to read the flow of a Mahjong game and uses this to her advantage by cutting off her opponent when they're about to win. Unfortunately for her, Mihoko also has the ability to perfectly analyze a field to see what's going on and has a presence that disrupts Jun's ability.
- Toki Onjouji gained this ability after surviving a near fatal illness when she was younger. Specifically, she could see one turn in the future and with this ability, she became one of Japan's best mahjong players in high school. However, using this ability comes at the cost of her stamina.
- The Big Bad of Scryed eventually gains this ability through telepathy, reading his opponent's mind and predicting their attacks from that. Ridiculously, this somehow allowed him to perfectly dodge a man capable of fighting at the speed of sound, who at one point was spinning faster than the human eye can follow.
- Parodied in Soul Eater. A mook shows up who has this ability. Sadly, he can't react that fast and ends up throwing himself at his opponent's fist at the first opportunity to save himself the bother — all he saw was different ways he'd get his ass kicked.
- The Villain of the Week Nurse Okamoto/Hina in episode 5 of Star Driver has this, able to anticipate all of Takuto's moves... unfortunately, it also came with a fanservice mode. And since she couldn't stop checking out Takuto she lost.
- The Informed Ability of Eila in Strike Witches. This allows her to forgo using magical shields entirely, being able to see and dodge Frickin' Laser Beams. However, problems arise in an episode when she's not considered for a mission alongside her girlfriend Sanya requiring her to be protected from those Frickin' Laser Beams while she's a sitting duck, aiming her rockets...
- Shiki in Tsukihime due to his ability to perceive death, knows when he's about to be hit by a lethal blow. Since his opponents are a lot more powerful than him, that's nearly every blow. That doesn't help him in numerous Bad Ends.
- An unusual case in Until Death Do Us Part, the sidekick girl can foresee the future and has, on several occasions, remotely-directed the heroes by predicting which moves will let them dodge the incoming attacks. Although this ability keeps them alive and able to fight, it doesn't always let them escape without injury.
- Brad Crawford of Weiß Kreuz has the ability to see bits of the future, making him a formidable fighter.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Ishizu Ishtar can see a minute or so into the future, see what will happen, and plan her own move accordingly. Pegasus' Millennium Eye is also a variation of this, able to see the mind of his opposing player and figure out what strategy they use.
- YuYu Hakusho has a minor example in Murota, who gained precognition from the opening of the portal to the Makai. He used this ability to win street fights for money, but proves useless against Yusuke due to the vast difference between their speed. Elder Toguro later gains this ability by taking over the body of Gourmet (who ate Murota), though once again it proves useless against Kurama.
- Midnighter in The Authority, a result of Awesomeness by Analysis.
- Cassandra Cain, the second Batgirl, has this. They try to justify it via Training from Hell, but it doesn't take very well. It's less of a psychic ability and more of the ability to judge her opponents' body language.
- Cassandra's mother, Lady Shiva, also has it, though for her it's from her decades of experience and complete mastery of martial arts.
- Rose Wilson aka Ravager has this, though it's a bit unclear as to how. At first, it was stated to be psychic in nature, then later retconned into being a side-effect of the super soldier serum she took which allows her to anticipate moves based on body language, similar to Cass, above. It's likely that her father, Deathstroke, has the ability as well, due to taking the same serum decades ago, but it's not really talked about as much with him.
- Birds of Prey villain Archer Braun.
- In Doom Patrol Negative Man (nee Flash Forward) can see the immediate future but due to his relative wimpiness his only use in a fight is coordinating his teammates based on his visions. Eventually he loses control of it and can't stop seeing the distant future, before being given medication that suppresses his powers altogether.
- Dream Girl in pre-any-reboots Legion of Super-Heroes could do this. Not only that, her ability to do it was taken from a much older LSH story.
- Spider-Man, depending on how the writers feel his significant sense should work.
- Superman villain Massacre. Superman eventually figured out that Massacre's actual ability is being able to read his opponent's nerve impulses to predict their actions and knocks him off guard with a ricochet attack and presses the advantage to keep Massacre from regaining his bearings.
- In a Teen Titans comic, Clock King is able to clobber Robin by virtue of being able to see a few seconds into the future and knowing what his next move in combat is going to be.
- Ravager has a similar power. In the final issue of Terror Titans, she wipes the floor with Clock King by fighting dirty and not giving him time to react to his visions. It was retconned later that her power is based on Awesomeness by Analysis. Deathstroke, who shares the same powers as Ravager, explained this to her.
- The short-lived Wolverine villain Mr. X (two-time winner of the Least Original Name prize) relied in combat on the fact that he could read people's minds and tell what they were about to do. Oh, and the fact that he was a kung fu master. But it was his ability to predict moves that gave him the edge he needed.
- The problem with Mr. X's ability was that it only let him read his opponents mind, but not to understand it. Wolverine managed to beat him by flying into a rage that he couldn't process, Amadeus Cho thought in formulas and Big Words to confuse him, Iron Fist used unpredictable Drunken Boxing, Songbird hit him with an undodgeable area attack, and Quicksilver just moved and thought too fast for him to keep up (while mocking Mr. X about how he'll know every attack is coming but be unable to do a damn thing about it). Scourge and Deadpool also give him a hard time by virtue of being insane. Basically, after his first couple arcs, his role in the Marvel Universe is to be a whipping boy so more popular characters can show off their guile.
- Destiny has also claimed to have this ability.
- As in canon, Cassandra/Batgirl/Angel uses this with great efficiency in Angel of the Bat. However, it is stated that she needs to be very focused in order to use it, and pissing her off too much causes her to get sloppy. This, combined with the fact that she is struggling to hold onto her recently accepted Christianity against villains who are Christian terrorists gives the bad guys something to exploit.
- Rythin develops a form of this halfway through the story. It's a Unique Skill called Future Step and allows him to see the path that an attack assisted by the system will take. He still has to dodge it on his own power, though.
- There's a Star Wars fan fic, "The Sith Who Brought Life Day", in which an officer trying to figure out the identity of the pilot who destroyed the Death Star looks at some of Luke's records. He'd taken a hand-eye coordination test and caused the computer to crash.
At least according to the record, he'd been hitting the correct response buttons in the milliseconds after the trigger stimuli algorithm had been run, but before the actual images appeared onscreen, and the computer had not been able to handle near-simultaneous input and output. He'd crashed the thing three times before he'd evidently decided to slow down a little and let the program catch up.
- In A RWBY Zanpakuto, Tsukishima's Book of the End lets him read his opponent's traits and memories like a book, and predict a few seconds into the future by "reading ahead". Tatsuki beats him by fighting on instinct, allowing her to attack too fast for him to react, ending up with her giving him a Groin Attack. She then swipes his Book of the End and gains this ability.
Tatsuki: You might be able to see a few moments into the future, but that's not far enough. You should have had the foresight to wear a cup, eh?
Film — Live-Action
- The Big Bad in The Chronicles of Riddick has this as a Required Secondary Power. If you can instantly pick your next move, you better know the consequences of those moves. Riddick tricks him into an unwinnable situation.
- The Big Bad of DOA: Dead or Alive has developed a pair of sunglasses that both give him the fighting prowess of those he gathered data from, as well as letting him predict their movements. This somehow also lets him take down three fighters in the prime working in unison, while he is twice their age.
- In Edge of Tomorrow the aliens can reset the day via "Groundhog Day" Loop upon the death of one of their Elite Mooks, using their Ripple Effect-Proof Memory to study the enemy's every move and plan accordingly. The hero accidentally gets drenched in Alien Blood and acquires that power, which he then uses against the aliens, becoming a One-Man Army, as the aliens can't reset the day without removing his power first.
- General Buford makes a speech about what will happen at Gettysburg if he allows the Confederates to take the high ground before the Union infantry arrives. Though this is due to having Seen It All as a result of decades of experience as a professional soldier rather than any superpower, he does reference the trope.
Buford: It's like tomorrow's already happened and there's nothing you can do about it.
- In Machete Kills, Voz can see the future, allowing him to predict his opponent's moves. Fortunately, while he can predict Machete a little, in the end, "Nobody knows Machete."
- The precogs in Minority Report are, in a sense, this: they can predict future murders, but of other people, and as they're kept in a chamber at the Precrime police headquarters, the precogs don't do any fighting, but their pre-visions are recorded so that Precops can arrest the pre-criminals before the murders occur. When Anderton becomes a fugitive (framed for the pre-murder of someone he never met), he later takes the precog Agatha with him; she can anticipate the next moves of Anderton's pursuers, and instruct him to evade them accordingly.
- Nicolas Cage played a precognitive in the movie Next. Since he was always seeing two minutes ahead, he was actually LIVING two minutes ahead — but whenever he ran up against something he didn't want to happen, he would force himself to refocus back into "the present," and choose to do something different. In short, he was so tuned into his precog it worked almost more like the ability to jump backwards in time than to see the future.
- Star Wars: This is the explanation for the Jedi Knights' superior combat skills and ability to block lasers with their lightsabers — they've got the ability to predict the future in a limited way, so they bring their lightsabers into position to parry a shot before it's actually fired. This is brought up in The Phantom Menace when Qui-Gon Jinn pegs Anakin as a potential Jedi due to his ability to participate in podracing — a sport that human reflexes simply aren't fast enough to keep up with. Jedi can also look further into the future, but this generally requires a lot more effort and is less reliable.
Yoda: Always in motion is the future.
- Averted in the Dune series, where several people can predict the future. Mentats can predict the future by way of "projecting" the possible outcomes of a given choice and choosing the most logical one as the one most likely to happen, but their role was not usually that of a front-line combatant. Additionally, they are not actually prescient and are not always right. The Kwisatz Haderach and the Space Navigators do have actual prescience, but yet when it comes to combat, prescience is useless because of too much happening too fast. During one fight, the most Paul could see was that possible futures include him winning and him being carried out as a corpse. note This is because the power does not necessarily predict possible outcomes individually on an action by action (or reaction by reaction) basis but rather works by giving visions that are years-long based on a chain of events that could be triggered by a course of action. Additionally, prescience can be nullified by the presence of other prescient individuals, and some individuals and objects are immune to prescience.
- The main character from the Alex Verus series is one of the best examples of this. He's usually going up against opponents far more powerful than him, but survives through always being one step ahead.
- Prince Po from Graceling has a variation of this as his Grace. While he can't see the future, he can sense people's intentions toward him. If someone's going to punch him, he'll know it before they so much as twitch. He's a very talented hand-to-hand fighter on his own merit, and his Grace amplifies it exponentially.
- One spectacular aversion in the book Iapetus, in which after the normal protagonist has had his complete helplessness around espers repeatedly proven to him, he encounters a community leader of an esper colony; a physically brutal sociopath who enjoys killing "monkeys" and feels the protagonist has stolen his girl. And who is unconscious after one punch to the jaw that nobody sensed before it landed.
- The metal atium grants Combat Clairvoyance to allomancers in Mistborn. In-universe, burning atium is believed to make the user completely unstoppable (allomancers can have a number of other powers as well) except by someone else also burning atium. When used against someone who does not have atium, it allows the user to see a single before-image of the opponent which allows them to react to the other's future actions. When both opponents use atium, both are flooded by an incredible array of constantly shifting options, as one reacts to the other's future actions, the other reacts to that, etc, which manifests as both opponents seeing several before-images of each other. Atium also specifically enhances the allomancer's mind in order to deal with the new information. Despite the power atium grants, each book in the original trilogy highlights a weakness of atium. Because burning a metal has no visual indicator that would appear on the before-image, it's possible to feign running out then burn it again when the enemy acts, leading to an exploitable moment of confusion. Also, while atium can predict the actions of the opponent, it does not predict the possible outcomes of the user's actions, meaning that atium-use relies on the opponent acting first. Thus, another weakness is that the power can be tricked by deciding on a course of action, and then once the atium-user foresees the action and reacts to it, to quickly switch gears and react to the atium-users reaction; this has the effect of the atium-user seeing the opponent's before-image "split". The last weakness is that no matter how much atium an allomancer has they can still be overwhelmed by exhaustion if they fight long enough against too many enemies.
- Mercedes Lackey:
- The main character Kellen in The Obsidian Trilogy is a Knight-Mage, and when he's fighting can see his opponent's next move just in time to get out of the way, and can also see open places before they are open.
- In the Heralds of Valdemar series, this is a use of the Heralds' rare ForeSight Gift. Heralds with Telepathy have the option to do this in combat, or take it a step further and mess with their opponents' minds to make their attacks miss, though for most this is an unethical use of their power.
- In Too Many Magicians, Commander Lord Ashley has just a touch of magical talent that gives him the occasional burst of prescience. The most dramatic presentation of this power comes when he's fighting an opponent armed with an enchanted sword that's effectively invisible; Ashley's power lets him accurately predict the other man's movements.
- The mind-reading version occasionally happens to background characters in Christopher Stasheff's Warlock of Gramarye series, though all of the major heroic characters either are telepaths themselves or unreadable.
- Hope Adams of The Otherworld has the ability to sense chaotic emotions/events. In one book, this allows her to sense bad thoughts (such as thinking about pulling a gun on someone) before they occur and intercept them, thus giving her some form of Combat Clairvoyance.
- Played with in Weber's Hell's Gate series. While most people's Precog deal with specific disasters like volcanoes or forest fires, the Calirath talent is 'People Precog', dealing with tragic or sweeping events with /people/. It works quite well when the Calirath is going to be risking death in a battle — the stronger Caliraths can even use it to fight with, and the visions grow stronger if the person has a good chance of dying. In the book itself, the Crown Prince uses the Calirath talent to arrange a battle that they will most definitely lose so it's a great victory — but because he saw his death and made sure to follow it to ensure his men the greatest chance at victory, he dies.
- The Dunyain from Second Apocalypse can't technically see the future, but they can read their opponents' expressions and body language and predict their actions before they perform them.
- Alice Cullen uses her clairvoyance against other vampires, both for fighting and playing chess - which leads to a Funny Moment where she and Edward (who has Psychic Powers of his own) play a game of chess in their minds without even touching any of the pieces, which ends with Alice placing her king on its side to signify her surrender.
- Edward's telepathic power, while not this ability per se, is also specifically addressed as acting in this fashion throughout the series, as it allows him to counter his adversaries' moves before they carry them out.
- Light And Dark The Awakening Of The Mageknight: Ghost-Sight. As the name implies, a ghostly foreimage warns the user what their opponent will do just before they do it and thus giving the user precious seconds to counter. If the user's opponent is too fast for them to predict, or too fast for the user to respond, then it's more or less useless.
- In Hidden Talents by David Lubar, Flinch has precognitive abilities. He can see a few seconds into the future—and uses it to play dodgeball.
- In Evgeni Proshkin's Your Half of the World, people called Forwards can see several minutes into the future and are thus able to pick the most desirable outcome. Most intelligence agencies and Mega Corps seek to enlist Forwards, as each one is worth an entire analytical department. The main character is a Forward named Til Hagen who discovers that someone is eliminating other Forwards. The thing is, a Forward cannot be killed by anyone other than a more powerful Forward (i.e. someone who can see further in time). In order to survive, Til must be able to outsmart someone who may have already foreseen all his possible moves.
- In The Poster Children, Ida Mae has a limited precognitive ability, allowing her to see about five seconds into the future and thus predict where her opponents will be and what they will do next. Unfortunately, she has yet to practice this with her teammate (and prefers working alone, considering him a deadweight as he's not much of a fighter).
- The Ganymede Takeover by Philip K. Dick and Ray Nelson. During their Gunpoint Banter, Percy X boasts that he is a telepath and so knows when Dr. Rivers is about to pull the trigger, enabling him to Dodge the Bullet.
- "I, Lucifer", a Modesty Blaise novel, features an antagonist with this ability. He is eventually defeated in combat with Modesty by her getting him to concentrate too much on his predictions, effectively making him choke.
- In The Balanced Sword trilogy, the ability to foresee an opponent's moves is one of the skills developed in the mystical martial art called Tor. The enigmatic mentor character Khoros is rumored to have developed the ability to the point that he can foresee and prepare for his opponents' moves years before the fight even begins, allowing him to become The Chessmaster.
- Discussed in Buffy the Vampire Slayer - in the episode Earshot, Buffy temporarily gains telepathic powers, and Giles suggests that this could improve her fighting skills by letting her foresee attacks in battle. Subverted in that Buffy is way more interested in using her power to cheat in English class, and within a few hours the ability has completely overpowered her to the point that she can barely stand, let alone fight.
- In Charmed, Phoebe's power of premonition is utilized in this manner.
- Implied in Firefly to be one of the (many) reasons River Tam is a One-Man Army. Her brain is very advanced — she could definitely handle processing both present and future events and act accordingly.
- Daniel Jackson was given three seconds' worth of precognition in the Deep-Immersion Gaming episode of Stargate SG-1.
- Ikagen from Uchu Sentai Kyuranger has this, dodging attacks without even looking because of his "foresight" and talking about how everyone's fates are revealed to him. It's all an act. Actually, all the tiny circle designs on his costume are eyes, giving him a 360° field of vision. Once the Kyurangers learned that, attacking him from all sides was enough to take away his advantage.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- A few spells do this by giving their caster damage resistance.
- Not just spells, but various feats, class/race abilities, skills and item properties work as boosts to Initiative rolls, keep you from being subject to surprise attacks, be able to use interrupting abilities, move out of the way, have someone else take the damage, or otherwise ticking off the GM.
- This is also what numerical "insight" bonuses represent — knowing where an opponent's attack will land makes a character harder to hit, and knowing where an opponent's weak spots are going to be positioned makes a character better at hitting him.
- Pathfinder began as a mod of D&D, so it has spells and feats representing insight bonuses. The Difficult, but Awesome Divination School of spells work this way in combat, granting you huge bonuses to a limited number actions that your character predicts.
- A more offensive version of this trope exists in the form of Temporal Divergence, a transmutation spell that only requires a swift action to cast and that allows its caster to foresee the results of two different spells they can cast during their combat round, then cast either of the two spells at the exact target they chose with the exact same result. Due to the unpredictability of many spells that allow saving throws, this can come in handy.
- d20 Modern:
- In the Agents of PSI setting, one of the various Psionic Powers is Combat Prescience, giving the user a +2 Insight bonus on attack rolls for it's duration.
- In Cyberscape, you get Offensive/Defensive Kata calculators/computers, chips implanted in the brain analyzing the current battle and comparing it to millions/trillions of battle sequences, calculating the most probable enemy attack, defensive weak spots, and giving advance warning to dodge attacks/exploit weak spots. The net result is an insight bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls (for the offensive calculator/computer), defense, reflex save, and listen/spot check to avoid being surprised (for the defensive calculator/computer).
- In the RPGs GURPS and Champions the advantage Danger Sense covers this, though usually players don't spend enough points to make it monstrous. Spider-Man, is the inspiration.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- This is part of the reason that Eldar psykers are effective in close combat. The other reason is the rest of their repertoire of powers usually involve eldritch lightning or psychic flames.
- On a more strategic level, Eldar commanders use this to guide their warhosts to victory. Often, warhost commanders tend to be senior seers or aided by senior seers, who skein the threads of fate to determine what the best course of action is, and then they telepathically send this information through to lesser seers and warlocks, who function as squad leaders. Because of this, Eldar warhosts move and react to enemy action with an almost uncanny and very confusing degree of alacrity.
- Averted for the Oracle of Tzeentch — he is possibly the greatest seer of the universe but his powers are only useful in long-term Xanatos Roulettes; he is actually blind to the present (one head sees the future and the other the past) and so physically a pushover by greater demon standards.
- In The Dresden Files' RPG, the custom power "A Few Seconds Ahead" that canon character Abby has allows her to see a few seconds into the future. The in-game effect of this is that it allows her to use her high Lore skill to dodge attacks rather than her lower physical skills.
- In Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution, espers who have mastered scrying get a passive bonus to their defense because they can innately sense incoming attacks.
- In The World of Darkness Vampire: The Masquerade Eyes of Chaos, one of the powers of Dementation, the signature discipline of the Malkavian clan, makes the user impossible to suprise.
- In Shadowrun, the Combat Sense spell gives the target extra dice to defense and reaction tests as long as the spellcaster maintains it. There is an Adept power which provides a similar bonus but is permanent.
- In Eclipse Phase the "Predictive Boost" psi-sleight gives a +10 to Fray (dodge) rolls.
- Psycho Mantis from Metal Gear Solid does this by using his psychic powers to read and react to the player's controller input. Plugging the controller on the second player slot denies him this ability.
- The Vyrewatch in RuneScape have the ability to predict what move an opponent will make with a normal weapon. This allows them to dodge all attacks, making them immune to all weapons, except the one you make during the quest they're introduced in. Why? The weapon is a flail, intentionally made so that its movements are so random, the Vyrewatch can't read your mind to see where's it's going.
- Lambda of Wild ARMs 4 has the Blue Destiny ability, which lets him calculate the future and allows him to completely avoid the attacks of anyone in his sight most of the time, even if the attack is normally unavoidable.
- In Xenoblade, Shulk gets the ability to see glimpses of the future after taking hold of the Monado, allowing him to Screw Destiny on a regular basis. Due to Gameplay and Story Integration, the party can get visions of would-be lethal attacks in battle, allowing the chance to find a way to make the attack less deadly (protect them via Status Buff, have another take the hit, etc), delay the attack, or even shattering the future outright by quickly dispatching the enemy. In his appearance in Super Smash Bros., this translates as a Counter Attack ability.
- The rewind ability in the Prince of Persia series lets the titular prince know what an opponent is going to do next, and react accordingly.
- In Knights of the Old Republic (particularly the sequel), this is a much-revered ability among the Echani. A short-term version is a fairly normal exercise for Jedi (who use their Psychic Powers to see the future) and Echani fighters (who don't), but the most legendary examples of the art can see events unfolding weeks or months in advance. A novice might plan the next couple of blows, a veteran might plan a whole battle — but Revan can plot an entire campaign.
- Touhou's fifteenth main game, Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, uses this to justify the existence of checkpoints in PointDevice mode: your characters took a medicine that lets them see into the future, and as such aren't dying and retrying, but simply finding a possible future that doesn't result in them dying. However, you can choose to not take the medicine by selecting the Legacy Mode (the signature classic mode).
- In one of Sanae's endings in the same game, it is noted that taking the aforementioned medicine would have been deadly to a native god like Suwako, and if Sanae used it, nothing deadly would've happen, but her impurities would be washed away, leaving her a "pure human" as a result.
- In Arx Fatalis, this is the in-universe explanation for Save Scumming in battle and the main source of the Guardians' power.
- In Erfworld, Book Zero shows a little bit of this, in the form of Delphie Temple. Normally, Delphie is an annoying Predictamancer, but in a fight, she instantly takes a level in badass.
It amounted to the caster using her juice to see things happen a second or two ahead, so that she could aim where the enemy would be, and to move where the enemy's return blows and arrows would not land. Most importantly to this plan, a Predictamancer could know whether or not a shot or blow she was about to initiate would be a hit. If it wouldn't, then she simply did not take the shot.
- Averted in Dominic Deegan during a fencing class. Presumably, Dominic is capable of this, (or would be if he were actually a combatant) but as Szark points out, a seer's sight is not always "on."
- Foreshadow in Global Guardians PBEM Universe is a crimefighter who occasionally partners with Battlecat, battling organized crime in New Orleans. He's an almost unbeatable hand-to-hand combatant due to his ability to see just far enough into the future to know what they will do. He's even used this power to dodge bullets. The Eye of God, an expert swordsman and member of the super-terrorist group known as "The Mujahedin", can do the same thing. One wonders what a fight between Foreshadow and the Eye of God would be like.
- Jo Donner has this power in the Whateley Universe, and she's at Whateley Academy learning how to use it better.
- In Worm, the tinker superhero Armsmaster has a heads-up display in his helmet that includes a combat style simulator which — when provided with sufficient video documentation of an opponents fighting style — grants him this.
- Contessa, enforcer for Cauldron plays this a little straighter, by seeing "the path to victory" and following it to completion. However, the trope is still not played entirely straight - she isn't exactly able to see into the future, her power just tells her a series of moves she can make to achieve whatever result she's aiming for, but she gets no special insight into why those steps will work. It's effective enough she describes her power simply as "I win".
- The Number Man's power is a variation: instead of knowing what's going to happen, he can predict the region where the next attack will come from. This means all he has to do is be not there. Every time.
- The eponymous hero from Curveball can't consciously see into the future, but when he's fighting, he just knows where the enemies are and what to do about them.
- Francis Grey, from The Batman, does this by way of rewinding time.
- Though it's subverted, when he tries to use it on Batman in a direct fight, only to fail 'three times' due to Batman feeling a sense of 'deja vu' which he now knows means time has been reset.
- TMNT 2012 villain Victor Falco exposes himself to a small amount of mutagen and gets the power to read his enemies' minds. The only way that Donnie can defeat him is to learn Mikey's signature "Fighting without Thinking" technique.
- Demonstrated in Xiaolin Showdown as one use for a Shen-Gong-Wu that let the user see the future. Master Fung uses it to beat all the Monks except Raimundo, who promptly decides it's not worth trying ("I knew you would say that").