Damage-Increasing Debuff

A negative status ailment that makes its subject take more damage from whatever hits them.

Comes in three different flavours: Some effects of this type do this directly by changing taken damage by some percentage (reducing the amount of hits an enemy can take in a way sometimes functionally identical to a Percent Damage Attack). Others reduce Damage Reduction, resistance, or armor value. There's also a rare type of this which adds a fixed amount of damage to every hit.

All of these are fairly different, but they have one thing in common: Every hit the victim takes while in this state hurts a lot more. This type of effect (especially the defense-lowering kind) is often the key to beating resilient enemies. The way to exploit this for massive damage differs depending on type: the strongest attacks should be used while the target is afflicted with a percentally-functioning Damage-Increasing Debuff. "Per hit" types especially increase the power of the Spam Attack or a Gradual Grinder's Damage Over Time attacks, and are quite rare in games with realtime combat or a speed stat since such a modifier tends to be unfairly powerful if you can get many hits in a short time.

If inflicted physically, this is often a speciality of martial arts. If inflicted magically, this tends to be a curse or some other sort of Black Magic. Might be the side effect of channeling spells, like in Final Fantasy Tactics.

Compare and contrast a Critical Hit or elemental weakness exploitation, which usually mean increased damage for a single attack. Compare Injured Vulnerability; here, the "injured" part is a status ailment that makes you more vulnerable. Compare and contrast a Status-Buff Dispel against shield spells. Compare Break Meter. Compare the defense-debuffing type with Armor-Piercing Attack. Contrast a Status Buff or trait that increases the damage dealt by someone, a Situational Damage Attack whose damage varies by itself rather than through some kind of debuff, and also contrast a debuff decreasing evasion.

Note that this is about a debuff that increases the damage taken by its subject, not about a damage-dealing debuff whose damage gradually increases.

(For those who don't know: The term "debuff", as opposed to a positive Status Buff, is mostly used discussing video games and refers to a temporary ailment with negative effects for its subject.)
    open/close all folders 

  • Destroy the Godmodder: Started showing up partway through the second game, in the form of the spoil of war Lil' Cal and the splash potion of crippling.

Tabletop Games
  • The Pokémon Trading Card Game has at least a dozen cases of this. This includes the rare "extra damage per hit" type: For instance, Machamp Lv.X has an effect, "No Guard," that increases damage by 60, both done by and done to Machamp.
  • Magic: The Gathering has Wound Reflection and Curse of Bloodletting, which double your opponents' pain.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has the "curse" psychic power, which makes the target more easily wounded.
  • The Warmachine tabletop miniatures game has an entire faction whose theme is debuffing its opponents- Cryx. Its units are generally among the weakest available in the game, but become powerhouses after the enemy's stats have been lowered repeatedly by spells and effects.
  • While most of Sentinels of the Multiverse focuses on damage-increasing buffs, such as Legacy's "Galvanize" power, there are a couple of hero cards that debuff an enemy for improved damage against them, most notably Parse's Targeting Arrow and the Naturalist's Predator's Eye.

Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition supplement The Complete Psionics Handbook. The Double Pain power greatly reduces the target's pain threshold and causes them to take double damage from all attacks for 10 minutes. However, the extra damage is temporary and can only cause unconsciousness rather than death.
    • In 4E, there is a game mechanic called "Vulnerability" where creatures have negative effects dealt to them when hit by certain damage types (usually a fixed extra amount of damage, but occasionally other debuffs like disabling regeneration or being slowed). There are several powers that allow you to impose these vulnerabilities upon enemy targets.
  • Shadowrun:
    • When a victim of the drug Hyper takes any damage, they automatically take an equal amount of Mental damage as well.
    • The Reduce Body spell basically reduces the defense stat.
  • Champions. The Drain and Transfer powers can be used to reduce a target's defenses, making the target more vulnerable to subsequent attack.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade: A side-effect of some uses of Obtenebration, a main effect of one Quietus power, is decreased defense.

    Video Games 

  • In Bastion, some idols cause you to take extra damage when they're active.
  • Cripple in Distorted Travesty temporarily decreases the defense of an enemy afflicted with it.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, there are enemies that can inflict Weaken status on you. This temporarily shrinks your lifebar to half its size, making any hits taken deal twice as much damage. You can Weaken other players in multiplayer matches, if your weapon has the effect or you use the Weaken Attack power.

Eastern RPG
  • Final Fantasy:
    • While charging a spell or an attack, units in Final Fantasy Tactics take more damage from all attacks.
    • The "Oil" status in Final Fantasy XII triples the damage incurred from Fire attacks.
      • In Tactics and Tactics A2, it has the same effect, though in Tactics it doubles fire damage instead of tripling it.
    • The recurring "Expose Weakness" spell decreases defense:
      • Final Fantasy XIII has the Deprotect and Deshell statuses, which reduce the target's physical and magical defence respectively, along with Imperil, which reduces the target's element resistance (Frequently granting them an elemental weakness to exploit).
      • Final Fantasy XII has three Technicks that work this way: Shear lowers the foe's Magick resistance, Expose lowers the foe's physial damage resistance, and Achilles adds an additional element weakness to the foe, increasing damage dealt if of that element.
      • Final Fantasy VIII has the "Vit. 0" effect caused by the Meltdown spell, which sets an enemy's physical and magical defense to zero.
      • The remake of Final Fantasy IV has the "Cry" ability that Porom can use, which decreases the defense of all enemies. You can later give this ability to other characters; hilariously, the preferred recipient is often Kain (since he has so few other abilities), meaning you can take the series' Memetic Badass and make him cry like a little girl on command.
      • Final Fantasy X has the "Armor Break" ability, which lowers enemies' defense to 0 and removes the "Armored" status (Armored enemies ordinarily take reduced damage from all except Piercing weapons).
      • Final Fantasy X also has Mental Break, which is Armor Break's counterpart for magic damage.
      • Final Fantasy XII has Expose, which reduces defense and Shear, which reduces magic resistance.
      • The Tactics games have debuffs called "Defense Down" and "Resistance Down" that are physical and magic-specific variations of this.
  • Pokémon has both general and element-specific examples of this. Leer, Screech, Tail Whip, and Tickle reduce the target's Defense. Fake Tears and Metal Sound reduce the target's Special Defense. Superpower deals high damage but reduces the user's own Defense. Close Combat, Shell Smash, and V-Create reduce the user's own Defense and Special Defense.
    • Also, the poison-type move Toxic causes increasing damage to the target, which becomes "badly poisioned" instead of simply "poisoned", as with other poison moves such as Poisonpowder. The effect disappears if the victim is switched out - the poison remains, but the rate of damage taken goes back to the starting lowest amount (which is lower than any other form of gradual damage), and has to start climbing back up again once the pokemon returns to battle.
  • In The Reconstruction and I Miss the Sunrise, if a side gets Rushed/loses the Zone of Control (which is mostly same thing known by a different name in each game), they take more damage while also inflicting less. Also, poison (while otherwise being your standard HP sap) percentally increases the damage of Moke's Toxic Shock spell.
  • In Radiant Historia, enemies launched into the air take a percentage of the damage they took while in air when hitting the ground. Characters who used the Change command take more damage until it's their turn.
  • The crisis cast of Aquabeam in Last Scenario lowers the victim's magic defense.
  • Defense-lowering debuffs are common in the Epic Battle Fantasy series: Screamer, Beholder, Secret Weapon, Natalie's Limit Break (until 4, though the AoE healing, buffing, and ailment-curing are all still useful)... They overlap with a Status-Buff Dispel against defense buffs, as using a defense-lowering attack against a shielded enemy will just remove the buff, and shielding someone with a defense debuff will only cure that debuff.
    • If the strength of the debuff is greater than the remaining strength of the matching buff, the result is a weakened debuff, and vice-versa. Since the third and fourth games have a debuff cap of 50% and a buff cap of 70%, a capped buff of any stat can survive a 50% debuff. Likewise, a maxed buff can cure the debuff as above, but the end result is a weak buff.
    • EBF4 has a few status ailments (stun, weaken, curse, and wet, although the latter is neutral by means of providing fire resistance) that increase the damage of given elements by 50%, being earth, dark, holy, and both thunder and ice, respectively. However, they decrease by 1 when hit with such attacks.
      • Then there's freeze status, which denies the victim a turn and can by removed by healing, but takes double damage if attacked while frozen.
    • Epic Battle Fantasy 5 changes it so that some buffs and debuffs can replace each other, buffs are capped at their initial strength (though some equips increase the strength of buffing items and skills, and even debuff skills), debuffs can go down to 80%, and some mechanical enemies can invert (de)buffs! If a highly buffed character is hit with this, move them into backup or use the Red Bot summon on them.
      • More neutral status conditions (providing an elemental weakness and resistance) are added, plus the fact that attacking a target affected by damage-modifying conditions, even freeze status, goes by number of full attacks rather than separate hits. This means that even Matt's 9-hit (10 if an additional attack is cast) Legend''' combined with the proper sword, only depletes the turn counter of the effect by 1!
  • Sap/Kasap in the Dragon Quest series halve the defense of one enemy/all enemies respectively.
  • Lily of Mana-Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy can apply the Freeze status, which, in an interesting twist, adds damage to water skills by dealing small additional hits. It helps that all of her skills are water-based.
  • Most if not all Shin Megami Tensei games and spin-offs have the Rakunda spell. Rakunda decreases the target's defense, and is incredibly useful in boss fights and difficult Random Encounter fights (especially when you have the damage-boosting buff Tarukaja cast on your characters). In some games Rakunda effects all enemies, in some it only effects one. (In the latter case, you eventually get a spell called Marakunda which effects all enemies.) "-nda" is the catch-all suffix for stat debuffs in MegaTen.
  • Paralysis in Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals doubles the damage an afflicted character takes, while also halving the damage they inflict.

Western RPG
  • Both Dragon Age games have Mark of Death, which effectively boosts damage to a target from anyone by 20%. Dragon Age II has the Brittle status effect, the Hex of Torment and the Wounding Arrow.
    • Petrification in Dragon Age II, inflicts the percental debuff, and, once upgraded, decreases defense. Before, it increases it.
  • Diablo II features the "Amplify Damage" curse, which reduces physical resistance by 100%. In the majority case that the enemy had no physical resistance to begin with, this means double damage. Of course, enemies have similar abilities as well. Lower Resistance and Conviction provide this for elemental damage users.
  • TheElderScrolls:
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has spells that reduce elemental resistance which are capable of sending it into the negative, meaning that enemies now take increased damage from that element. Once you are able to create customized spells, combining high-intensity, short-duration elemental resistance reduction with damage of that element is an easy way to do insane amounts of damage relatively early.
    • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim the Marked for Death shout works by decreasing the armor rating of an enemy while also causing them to lose health for 60 seconds over the duration of its effect. It also gets stronger with each word used.
    • The Elder Scrolls Online features Fracture and Breach, a couple of debuffs that lower an enemy's physical and magical resistance respectively and are applied by several skills. Some debuffs are more specific, like the bow's Focused Aim which increases damage received, but only from bow attacks.
  • Most Curse skills in Path of Exile take the form of damage increases. Examples include Vulnerability note , Elemental Weakness note , and Assassin's Mark note 
  • "Marked" in Darkest Dungeon is a status effect that causes certain attacks to hit the target for extra damage, or even with higher chances of scoring a Critical Hit; marked heroes are also more likely to be targeted than their fellows. Unlike regular debuffs, there's no chance of resisting it — if the marking attack connects, the target will be marked.

  • City of Heroes: Most attack powers have debuffs as side-effects, including this. In particular all Sonic attacks.
  • Deleveling an enemy in Kingdom of Loathing will reduce their damage absorption, along with their attack power.
    • And during the level 12 quest, some enemies can inflict a status ailment on you that increases damage taken from their element.
  • Guild Wars has all flavors of these, in various hexes and conditions.
    • The sequel has the Vulnerability condition, which increases incoming direct damage by a flat 1% per stack (up to 25). Also, some bosses (such as Claw of Jormag) have their own effects that increase the damage dealt by their other attacks.
  • Tactical players in Star Trek Online gain 'Fire On My Mark,' which comes in both a space-combat version and a ground-combat version. The space version's Captain variant can reduce the targeted ship's resistances (all of them) by 50 for 30 seconds. Science Captains gain access to Sensor Scan and several related powers which are even more effective. Science vessels have the Sensor Analysis (that lacks a time-limit and escalates in effect the longer it is in place) that works like this, reducing damage and energy drain resistance, if used on enemy ships (if used on allied ships it buffs heals).
  • World of Warcraft has quite a few. Several boss fights make great use of them; for example, while fighting Elegon, you have to make sure he gets stacks of a damage-increasing debuff in order to defeat him before he enrages, while running out of the central area from time to time to remove the stacks that you get. Most bosses in which this comes into play far too much HP to be killed without effective use of these debuffs. Often, raid bosses put a debuff of this sort on the tank, forcing the raid to periodically have another tank taunt the boss and tank it until the first tank's debuff has cleared.

First-Person Shooter
  • In Borderlands, enemies afflicted with a Corrosive elemental effect suffers additional damage from all sources, including subsequent Corrosive effects.
  • Borderlands 2 replaces this with Slag, which increases damage from all non-Slag sources. Corrosive instead simply deals extra damage to armored enemies/robots. Zer0's "Death Mark" skill allows him to mark enemies with melee attacks and "Death Bl0ss0m" kunai, causing them to take increased damage from all sources.
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! gives us "frozen" status effect from Cryo weapons, which makes the unfortunate target take double damage from melee, explosive and critical hits, in addition to freezing it solid.
  • Team Fortress 2: Being covered in Jarate or marked by the Scout's Fan O' War turns all taken hits into mini-crits, increasing their damage by 35%. In addition to this, the mini-crits also affects the way base damage applies: usually attacks may vary plus or minus 50% in damage depending on distance, but with a mini-crit, each bullet will never fall below the base, meaning that suddenly a minigun (which has 9 damage as the base, for a range of 4.5 to 13.5 damage per bullet) can increase its damage range to minimum 12, maximum 18. Even at long range, one might still get a nasty surprise if afflicted with mini-crits from a minigun, a pistol or even the relatively Short-Range Shotgun.
  • One of the possible pieces of gear in BioShock Infinite makes your melee attacks cause enemies to glow red and take double damage for the next five seconds.
  • In Overwatch, there's Zenyatta's Orb of Discord, which increases all damage dealt to its target. In addition, the Orb's distinctive appearance tends to make its target stand out in a firefight.

Turn-Based Strategy
  • In the Fire Emblem games set in Tellius, Luna is a special attack that acts as if the target's defense was actually half its current value. Aether, which only Ike can obtain, turns one attack into a healing Sol attack and a Luna attack in quick succession.
  • In Age of Wonders 2: The Wizard's Throne handicaps inflicted by attacks include Cursed (from attacks with Death damage), Poisoned (Poison damage) and Vertigo (Holy damage); these are defense reduction overlapping with elemental weakness. And of course, there are many debuff spells. Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic adds Shadow Sickness, forced on most normal units visiting Shadow World without protection.
  • The Frozen status ailment in Odium, in addition to paralyzing the victim.
  • Mazinger Z's Rust Tornado has the effect in some Super Robot Wars games. In the Super Robot Wars Original Generation series, the Armor Breaker and a few enemy-only attacks decrease the target's armor stat.
  • The Shredder Rocket, an ability available to the Heavy class soldiers in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, hurts less than a conventional rocket on impact, but any aliens caught in the blast will suffer an extra third of all normal damage dealt to them for four turns.

Real-Time Strategy
  • Starcraft has the acidic attack from Zerg Devourers.
  • StarCraft II has the Corruption ability, which makes their target receive 20% more damage for a few seconds.
  • Warcraft III:
    • The Berserk status allows to user to attack much faster, but it takes a lot more damage (in %).
    • Faerie Fire, an autocast move, removes some armor from the target and allows the user to see that unit until the effect fades.
    • One armor-boosting magic aura is often modified in custom maps to decrease nearby enemies' armor.
    • Using Banish on a unit makes it immune to physical attacks, but greatly reduces its resistance to Magic-type attacks and spells. As it also slows the target considerably, it's risky to use it on your own units.

Tower Defense
  • The Evileye Tower's 'Radiation' effect in Cursed Treasure increases damage taken by those afflicted with it by a percentage. Initially, it's 25%, but you can upgrade this up to a 50% increase. This makes anything other than ninjas a cakewalk, especially assassins who have a random damage reduction from 30% to 90%.
  • Kingdom Rush Frontiers has the Axethrowers' Totem of Weakness, which places a totem on the ground that makes all nearby enemies suffer 40% extra damage.
  • Kingdom Rush Origins has the Golden Longbows' Hunter's Mark, which causes a single enemy to take double damage for a period of time.
  • Ghost Hacker's Amplifier upgrade when applied to a tower. It makes enemies hit by the tower take a large percentage of extra damage for 2 seconds.
  • Dungeon of the Endless has the Tear Gas module, which divides the defence of all monsters in the room by a certain amount (depending on level) while also causing Damage Over Time.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time has the Shrinking Violet, which shrinks zombies to tiny size. Affected zombies will take double damage from all sources.

  • Clonk:
    • The Curse of Pain in the Fantasy pack makes its victim take double damage.
    • Battlecry and Swarm in "Keepers" percentally increase their subject's damage. Battlecry's power depends on its user's skill level, while Swarm consists of many locusts, and the effect strength depends on the amount of locusts that reached their target.
  • In League of Legends Kayle and Swain have abilities that cause an enemy to take more damage from them for a short time, while Vladimir's ultimate causes enemies hit by it to take more damage from anyone. There's also a very large number of spells and items that use the indirect variant of reducing armor or magic resistance.
  • Ursa in Dota 2 specializes in placing the 'Fury Swipes' debuff which causes his target to take extra damage from him, and the debuff stacks several times, causing the target to take even more damage, and combined with Ursa's other skill 'Overpower', which grants him bonus attack speed for a short time... Anyone who comes unprepared when facing Ursa is most likely to die and allow him to snowball, this is usually avoidable if you prepare yourself to facilitate Ursa's weakness like lack of mobility before getting a Blink Dagger.
  • Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, Persona 4: Arena, and their sequels have Negative Penalty, which takes effect when a character refuses to attack and instead runs away for too long. Characters hit with Negative Penalty take much more damage than normal. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax has a character (returning from its predecessor) who can force this state upon her opponent through a Counter Attack special move. As the Persona 4 Arena games are based on a series of role-playing games, they also have the Fear status effect, which achieves a similar effect by making all successful attacks upon a character act as Fatal Counters (a special type of counter that increases damage dealt by the attack and hitstun caused by every attack in the subsequent combo).
    • Guilty Gear averts this with its rendition of Negative Penalty, which instead drains all of the offender's Tension and makes it much harder to gain Tension for a while.
  • Terraria has two- Ichor, which lowers defense by 20 thus making a character take 10 extra damage per hit, and Broken Armor which halves defense, effectively making you take an extra (half your maximum armor) damage per hit.
  • Warframe has Corrosive Damage, which reduces a target's maximum armor on a successful proc. Corrosive procs remove 25% of the enemy's remaining armor, meaning multiple procs will slowly lose effectiveness, but it's the only way to kill some high level Grineer who can spawn with up to 97% damage reduction.
  • Heroes of the Storm has the Vulnerable status, which increases damage taken by 25% for a short period of time. Tyrande has this as her Trait, while other heroes such as Nova and Sylvanas have to pick a talent for it. Make a squishy hero Vulnerable and watch them disappear.

    Non-game examples 
  • In the One Piece series there's Oil: when a character covered in oil is hit by a fire attack or explosion he suffers a lot of damage (unless it's Ace).
  • Aetheria Epics has Argo's "pugilism" debuff technique.
  • AIDS works like this, disabling your immune system so that previously negligible diseases become threatening.
  • In Log Horizon the Enchanter spell Thorn Bind Hostage works like this, placing a number of exploding vines on the target which add a fixed amount of bonus damage to the next few attacks to hit them.