We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here
In Role-Playing Games
, damage-dealing characters deal damage
in a variety of ways. You have the wizard, who stands back and blasts away with fire
(or other spells). You have the warrior, who gets in the enemy's face and starts hacking away.
You have the damage-over-time class which uses set-and-forget spells to deal damage automatically. You have druids summoning the power of nature, monks using martial arts and Ki Attacks
, and even weirder face-melting callings.
Then you have these guys. Usually rogues or assassins, though gamblers qualify as well, the Critical Hit Class prefers the "one big hit
" approach to dealing damage. Usually, this means one of two things (and sometimes both
): increasing the chance of scoring a Critical Hit
, or increasing the damage a critical hit does.
The typical upside is that this increases the damage output much more than raising base damage alone could, and keeps it high if you're lucky or have enough of a crit rate. The downside, however, is that if your luck is bad, that low base damage isn't going to do you favors. Even worse, if you find an enemy that resists
or annuls critical hits
, this build is going to be completely gimped.
Commonly involves a crit-enhancing Infinity+1 Sword
. See also For Massive Damage
. Taken to its logical extreme, it may involve One-Hit Kill
- Hoot Loop in Skylanders: Swap Force has relatively low attack, but has the highest Luck out of any Skylander in the game, giving him a roughly 1 in 4 chance of landing a critical hit.
- The Assassin's class in Rogue Legacy have poor stats, but crit attacks happen far more frequently.
- In The King of Fighters, Shingo is the only or one of the few characters who can randomly cause critical hits with his special attacks: in gameplay terms, this means increased damage, a half-second pause in action and the ability to follow them up with attacks that wouldn't normally be possible.
- In BlazBlue, hitting the opponent with Azrael's Drive attacks exposes weakpoints on their person, either high or low depending on the attack. If Azrael hits the opponent with a corresponding Drive attack while these weakpoints are exposed, it becomes a critical attack with different properties, such as causing a groundbounce or being unblockable. One of Azrael's Distortion Drives makes these weakpoints permanently exposed for a set amount of time.
Massively Multiplayer Online Games
- Sniper-based classes in almost any first-person shooter count as this. These classes generally have poor short-range combat abilities, and most of them have to hit a specific part of the target even at long range to deal significant damage. But if they do hit that spot (generally the head), there probably won't be enough of the target left to identify who it was.
- The Sniper in Team Fortress 2 might count, since to do any real damage, you must be zoomed in and charged up. You don't need a full "crit" to kill others, but if you're trying to use your sniper rifle without the scope at all your damage output will be utterly pathetic. The addition of Jarate, which causes a 35% damage increase referred to as "mini-crits", and the Bushwaka, a knife that deals regular critical hits whenever it would otherwise "mini-crit", have reinforced this trope for Snipes.
- Also the Spy, whose Back Stab attack is considered a critical hit by the game, and who can also deal a headshot with his Ambassador for a critical.
- The Pyro has become one of these due to the general weakness of his base loadout. The flare gun, which replaces his shotgun, deals critical hits on burning enemies, as does his melee unlock the Axtinguisher, which one-shots every class except the Heavy so long as the opponent is on fire (and not overhealed) and hit from behind. Combine this with the Degreaser, a weapon which sacrifices damage output for ludicrous weapon-switching speed, and the Pyro can set people on fire and bring down an axe on their heads in about a second. The Backburner also deals critical damage to enemies you hit in their backs, while airblasted missiles and the Reserve Shooter (when shooting airborne opponents) do minicrits.
- The Medic isn't a crit-class himself, but can make any other class into one with a fully-charged Kritzkrieg. This is often used on heavy hitters, like Soldiers (rockets do splash damage, which is a percentage of direct-hit damage, so a critical rocket's splash damage can do as much damage as a non-crit rocket!) and Heavies (he has an incredible rate of fire due to his gatling gun, turning him into a mobile Instant Death Radius).
- In Borderlands critical hits are dependent on where you hit your opponents rather than chance, but the Hunter class has a strong emphasis on accuracy (and thus hitting crit areas). Plus, there are builds based around high crit damage. Sniper rifles in particular have a large boost in critical damage in exchange for slow fire rate, meaning that every shot had better count.
- In Borderlands 2, when Zero enters his Deception mode, all enemies are highlighted in blue, and his attacks will do more damage the closer the duration timer runs out. One of his abilities later on highlights the critical hit areas on enemies in red. Other abilities in the same skill tree increase damage for critical hits, increases accuracy and zoom on sniper rifles, and increases melee damage when backstabbing an enemy (not the same as hitting the critical hit area, but a single attack can do both if you aim carefully.)
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
- The Lordof The Rings Online has the Burglar class, which fulfils both the gambler and assasin parts of this trope. In fact, many of the class's most powerful skills are only unlocked by criticals.
- World of Warcraft: It's possible to reach absurd levels of critical hit chance through proper gearing, especially later in expansions when the gear improves but your level is not increasing to balance out the stat gains. Additionally, some classes have talents to get additional bonuses from critical hits or the ability to get a guaranteed critical hit every now and then.
- To balance things out, Pv P gear mainly features Resilience, a stat which lowers the chance of attackers landing critical hits on the wearer.
- The Stalker archetype in City of Heroes, which will always land critical hits with their single-target attacks when attacking while hidden, and a chance to do so even when not hidden that increases with team size. They even have an Assassin Strike power.
- In Rohan Online, Dhan Avengers that focus on Agility and Human Guardians that focus on Dexterity do much of their damage through skills that increase crit damage.
- EverQuest: The Rogue class is like the original D&D Thief class. Much of their strategy revolved around how to Backstab without getting smashed.
- Guild Wars 2 gives every class the opportunity to rely on critical hits heavily. Even if thieves and rangers rely on it with most Traits, any profession can push his critical chance (Precision) and strength (Critical Damage).
- The Elementalist has a bunch of skills that hit critical every time which enables him (together with a specific weapon modification and his profession unique skill-mechanic) to raise his critical chance even without using the Precision stat, therefore saving stat points for Critical Damage.
- In MapleStory, critical hits used to be exclusive to Night Lords, Bow Masters, and Marksmen, the latter two of which could also pass on crits to party members with a skill called Sharp Eyes. Recently, while all classes have gained at least a 5% critical chance passively, the critical crown has been passed to (of all classes) Bishops, who get a 75% critical chance without any external skills.
- In Final Fantasy XIV, archers have an attack that gives them a critical hit rate increase buff, tend to get natural increases to critical hit rate in their gear, and have a timed attack that instantly recharges when one of their damage over time skills scores a crit.
- League of Legends: In theory, you can build any of the champions this way by building items such as Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer. In practice however, it's not always the smartest thing to do, since abilities don't usually have the possibility to score a critical strike like autoattacks do. Gangplank's "Parrrley" does have this possibility, so he's one of the champions for whom this build is a valid option. Usually, a ranged character with either naturally long range or self-buffing skills will build these items.
- Then there's the special case of Tryndamere. His passives "Battle Fury" and "Bloodlust" grant him 0.35% critical strike chance per Fury he has and bonus attack damage per 1% of health he's missing. With the right build you can get a total critical strike chance of 100%. Also, his ultimate "Undying Rage" both grants him a huge chunk of Fury and prevents his health from dropping under 1 health for 5 seconds.
- Pantheon is another fringe case, as his Heartseeker Strike grants a passive that gives 100% Critical chance on enemies under 15% health.
- Yasuo gets double the critical strike chance from whatever he's carrying at the cost of a small damage penalty to critical attacks. In addition, his Steel Tempest Ability can deal critical damage. As you might imagine, Infinity Edge (which gives a hefty critical strike chance and further increases the damage of critical strikes) appears in basically every build for him.
- Post-rework Master Yi, besides being a melee DPS, also has a chance to deal bonus damage with his Alpha Strike based on his critical hit chance.
- Defense Of The Ancients: There are several characters with a passive skill that gives them a chance to critical hit for multiplied damage. The most iconic is the Phantom Assassin, whose absolutely gigantic crits are her main source of damage as opposed to icing on the cake for normal auto-attacks.
- Anybody can perform critical hits by buying a Crystalys and its upgrade Daedalus. Notable users include Kunkka, who is capable of critting an entire team with his Tidebringer passive and Sven, who notes how crazy the combination of his damage-boosting ult, built-in cleave, and crits can get.
Role Playing Games
- The Glass Cannon Blademaster from Warcraft III. His three non-ultimate abilities are a Critical Hit for double, triple and quadruple damage depending on level; a sneak attack that makes him move faster, turn invisible, and deal extra damage on his next attack; and creating illusions of himself to take damage. Inverted with the Mountain King, a Mighty Glacier whose Critical Hit has a chance of stunning the target and doing a little extra damage, but his attack speed is much lower (he has active abilities to stun and slow units, however).
- Just about any unit with a passive ability (such as heroes with certain orbs or items) turns into this if their attack speed is high enough.
- Chie Satonaka from Persona 4 is geared towards this, especially in Golden. There, she has Black Spot and later Rainy Death, two physical attacks with very high critical rate. She also gets a passive that increases chance for critical, as well as a buff that also increases critical chance. This is probably to compensate for her lower damage compared to fellow physical attacker Kanji.
- Any Pokemon with Super Luck or Sniper abilities tends to have one of these. With moves like Slash, items like the Scope Lens, and other ways of increasing crit chances, these tend to make effective wall breakers, but lose to everything else since those high-critical-chance moves tend to be on somewhat weaker moves. The most common example is probably Absol, although its weakness in other areas makes it underpowered. Beware enemies with the Shell Armor or Battle Armor abilities, however, as those annul crits entirely.
- In the first generation of games, this kind of build was quite common because base crit rates were propotional to that species of Pokemon's base speed stat, and thus could be pretty damn high (Voltorb's was the highest at nearly 25%). And this is without the bonus from using Slash or Karate Chop, which multiplied that chance it by eight—high enough that all it took was the rather average base speed of 64 to guarantee a critical hit.
- Pokémon X and Y breathed new life into this trope by decreasing the damage bonus from 100% to 50%, but making boosts past the first level increase crit rate more significantly, causing any Pokémon that has boosted its critical hit rate by at least three to have a 100% crit chance—previously crit chance capped at 50% at level four, which was so difficult to setup as to be basically useless. Any Pokémon with Focus Energy (which raises crit rate by two) that equips an item that raises critical hit rate by one will always land critical hits. Combining the ability Super Luck, a crit-chance boosting held item, and a high-crit ratio attack gives the same effect without even using up a turn.
- Chrono Trigger: Ayla (and in the Updated Re-release, Robo) eventually get the ability to do 9999 damage on a critical hit. Combined with luck-enhancing equipment, can reach Game Breaking levels (although if Ayla's powerful enough to get the ability, you're probably overleveled anyway).
- The Rogue class in the Dragon Age series, particularly Duelist and Assassin specializations, maximizes critical chance at the cost of defense.
- The Dragon Quest series features an enemy that's a Critical Hit Class: the hammerhood, a low-level monster wielding a hammer the size of its own body. When it attacks, either it misses, or it scores a critical for around 10 damage. 10 damage is a lot of HP when you're level 1 or 2.
- Any character equipped with the Hela Hammer either misses or deals enormous damage with a critical.
- The odds for a critical in Dragon Quest IV are 1 in 64; that is, unless you're Alena, who has a 1 in 4 shot, making her perfect for Metal Slime hunting.
- In the Wizardry series, the samurai, ninja, and monk classes are very reliant on critical hits and instant kills.
- In Fire Emblem, the Swordmaster is the traditional critical-reliant class, but later games added Myrmidons and Trueblades (part of the same promotion chain), Berserkers, Assassins, Snipers and Halberdiers into the mix. With the exception of Assassins, all of them have a boosted critical hit chance; Assassins instead have a 50% chance at a One-Hit Kill when they crit. Halberdiers are notable for eventually being the only Fire Emblem class to deal extra critical damage.
- It's one of the possible ways to build your character in Fallout3, as critical rates are determined by the player's Luck stat, weapons, and a good number of the game's perks.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, a character with high luck will also be ridiculously good at cards, making him become both this trope and The Gambler. Energy weapons will be their weapons of choice, since many of them (even the low-end guns) have critical hit multipliers.
- In both games, any shot made without the target detecting you became an instant critical that causes even more damage than standard criticals. A properly built stealth class can instantly kill people before they hear the bullet.
- In earlier titles this is a very common endgame build, with perks that grant stratospheric critical rates and improved rolls on the critical table. Sniper gives guns a critical chance equal to 10% times your luck stat instead of 1% of your luck stat, while Slayer gives automatic melee criticals. The "Better Criticals" perk adds 20 to whatever your Critical Hit "roll" between 1 and 100 is, and rolls above 100 cause instant death even for attacks that do no damage. Together, they can give every attack a 20% chance of instant death.
- This becomes very common in Gothic 2, where your weapon skill is a measure of 10-100% that also serves as your critical hit odds (in addition to determining how fluid the hero's attacks are and how likely he is to make fatal mistakes), so any character with a higher skill than strength/dexterity (depending on the weapon) will only do noticeable damage on a critical.
- The Sniper class in Valkyria Chronicles can only shoot once per turn, but has very high accuracy and range, making them ideal for headshots.
- Referenced in The Adventures of Duane & BrandO's rap based on upon Final Fantasy I, the Fighter class is referred to as "critically acclaimed" referring to his odds of getting a critical hit.
- In Diablo III, this is mainly the only build viable in higher difficulty games. There are magical items with the ability to increase critical hit chance, others with the ability to increase the damage on a critical hit, and items with both (mainly the so-called Trifecta, if they also have increased attack speed). Accumulating these items, you can, for example, get a 50% chance of dealing 400% of damage. Also, the game incorporates some special effects that only activate when dealing a critical effect. With all these factors combined, this becomes a Game Breaker.
- In Marvel Avengers Alliance, the core benefit of the Blaster class is that they always critically hit and ignore defense against any character in the Bruiser class.
- A recent patch changes this, wherein the Blaster now gains the passive "Focused Attacks" whenever he/she is hit by/attacks a Bruiser. This turns the Blaster's next attack is a 100% critical, regardless of what class the Blaster would target next.
- Saďx in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. His Crit and Crit% stats are both 10 out of 10 and many of his weapons boost his already naturally high critical hit stats even higher. A high leveled, well geared Saďx can manage to have one out of every three hits be a crit, and do enough damage to take off a full lifebar's worth of health. With the proper set-up, he can take out end-game enemies such as Anti-Saix in 20 seconds.
- A Vanquisher that invests in the appropriately named Critical Hits skill in Torchlight will get more criticals than normal hits. Combined with an active skill capable of piercing enemies and/or hitting them multiple times, even bosses won't last longer than a minute or two.
- Hunters in The Bard's Tale Trilogy were very effective versions of this, as critical hits were OneHitKills even if they only did insignificant damage.
- In EarthBound:
- Ness equipped with the Casey Bat is this. It raises his Offense and Guts so high that a devastating critical hit is pretty much guaranteed...if he lands it. This bat also has the worst accuracy in the game, missing 3/4 of the time. It's a reference to Casey at the Bat.
- The Gutsy Bat also turns Ness into this. Provided you find it of course.
- Zino and Centro from Fossil Fighters are guaranteed to land a critical hit with every attack of theirs that connects, but their accuracy is impossibly low. However, there are other viviosaurs of similar types to theirs (sickle-claws and ceratopsians respectively) with support effects that highly increase accuracy and decrease the opponent's speed, allowing them to use their abilities.
Third Person Shooter
- Dungeons & Dragons
- The Thief (1st and 2nd Edition) and Assassin (1E) classes were this. The thief could do up to 5 times normal damage with a backstab, and the Assassin could kill an opponent in 1 hit by performing an assassination attack. Neither class was as good as a fighter in normal combat, due to armor restrictions and a lower chance to hit.
- Third edition had weapons with an increased critical hit range (chance to make a critical hit), due either to their physical nature or magical enhancements. There were spells (like keen edge) and feats that did likewise (e.g. "Improved Critical"). A character could concentrate on gaining as large a critical hit range as possible (though most of the time, different critical range improvements do not stack).
- With the downside being that third edition was also the one that turned entire categories of monsters immune to critical hits by default — notably constructs, elementals, oozes, plants, swarms, and undead.
- In D&D 4th Edition, many players who play Avengers will choose weapons and feats to take advantage of the fact that Avengers roll twice for every attack and pick the highest roll in order to maximize the chance for a crit and maximize crit damage.
- This is a common tactic for the Magus in Paizo's Pathfinder. A Magus is a Magic Knight who lacks the Wizard's spell progression or Fighter's raw combat prowess. In exchange, they can deliver spells through their swords when they attack. As a result, many of their spells are touch-based spells that can also roll a critical hit. Choosing a weapon which has an increased chance to roll a critical hit also increases the chance of a critical hit with a spell, making them very useful to Magi. Expect to see a lot of "Scimitar + Shocking Grasp" Magi running around Munchkin forums. It helps that one of their abilities allows them to enchant their weapon, which most of the time involves the keen property, which doubles the threat range. So, essentially a keen scimitar has a 1 in 4 chance of scoring a critical hit as long as the magus can actually hit the enemy.
- Banshee has the ability Sonar that creates weakpoints on all enemies in the vicinity.
- The Soma has pathetic base damage but very good critical chance and multiplier. It goes up to a 75% chance of dealing 660% damage.
- Bows also start with a pretty high crit chance. A properly modded Dread will always deal critical hits from a fully drawn arrow.
- The Assault class of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The right side of their ability tree includes a lot of offensive skills that increase either the chances or the damage of their critical hits.
- Paladog: The core game mechanic is that the units only unleash their Critical Hits while in Paladog's aura, ranging from more damage to knocking enemies back to hitting everything on the map. The easiest way to win is building nothing but archers, as a group of archers in the aura becomes less Death of a Thousand Cuts and more Wave Motion Gun.