->''"Greninja's sophisticated moves are extremely fun to use once you get used to how it controls!"''
-->-- '''Creator/MasahiroSakurai''' on [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Greninja]], ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros for 3DS/Wii U''

You have a character or faction in a game that occupies the [[CharacterTiers top tier]] of competitive play. So why do they move slowly, use attacks that fail to impress, and have skills that look more appropriate for a JokeCharacter? Trying to get any decent use out of these characters is like trying to memorize the unabridged Encyclopedia Britannica.

''But!'' With enough practice and experience, it turns out they really ''are'' awesome as advertised; it's just that these characters have a high bar to entry, and their steep learning curve scares most players away from using them. Most commonly seen in fighting games, strategy games, and in general multiplayer.

These characters tend to avoid becoming the TierInducedScrappy, due to an unspoken respect for the amount of effort it takes to play one of these characters well. CounterAttack-centric characters lend themselves easily to this definition because of the need to master the precise timing of their counters, as do {{Mighty Glacier}}s in games that favor the relentless pressure of {{Fragile Speedster}}s or [[JackOfAllStats Jacks-of-All-Stats]].

SuperTrope of TheLawOfPowerProportionateToEffort. Opposite of SkillGateCharacters, who are easy to learn but easily defeated by skilled opponents. Compare MagikarpPower, which is about the character gaining additional power rather than the player getting better at using them. Compare and contrast LethalJokeCharacter, who requires a ''specific'' trick or exploit to be awesome, rather than requiring the player to master the character over time. Also compare and contrast AwesomeButImpractical, where Awesome turns out to be a bit too Difficult. Compare with GameBreaker, which some of the more potent examples can easily become. Can overlap with a MechanicallyUnusualClass and/or PowerfulButInaccurate, but is not required.


[[folder:Action Game]]
* Pretty much anything in ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' tends to have mechanics rivaling {{Fighting Game}}s in complexity. That said, feats that're about as amazing as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGTKftZnqAM?t=4m20s this]] are [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSP9eMmM-Fw legitimately possible.]]
** Specifically, there's the Moon of Mahaa Kalaa accessory. Simply put, it's the accessory that allows blocks and averting/countering attacks. The timing required is VERY precise and unforgiving but once you have it down, there is not an attack in the game that you can't send right back where it came from.
* ''Franchise/DevilMayCry'':
** In ''3'' and ''4'', you can play Dante with the Royal Guard style. To get the most out of this style, you need to time Dante's blocks and releases near-perfectly. If you take the time to master it, however, you can do a lot of damage. A real lot. Plus blocking everything your enemy/ies can throw at Dante and retaliating like the unstoppable badass Dante is meant to be [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kitFV4F8hbM looks really awesome.]]
** ''3'' has two types of LagCancel for its big guns Spiral and Kalina Ann. The easier one is switch-cancelling, where you switch to Ebony&Ivory, fire them and switch back. Little finesse is needed and anyone can do it. The harder one is to use Royal Guard to cancel. If you slip up on the rhythm, the cancel will fail and the refire rate will be as slow as if you never tried. If you get the rhythm correct, though, you can fire faster than what switch-cancelling offers.
** Nevan ''3''. Yes, it's slow, its moves need to be far more precise than any other in the game, it's the only melee weapon that mainly involves charging attacks, it kinda sucks against large enemies ''and'' its damage isn't all that great either. However, its range is by far the best in the game and its sickle attacks when using the Swordmaster attacks are obscenely powerful. Once you get skilled enough with Nevan, you can quickly switch between its crowd control attacks, leaving everyone immobilized, and its killer sickle attacks.
** Another element that straddles the border between Difficult, but Awesome and AwesomeButImpractical is the top tier Rebellion Swordmaster skill "Dance Macabre". Yes, it looks extremely awesome when using it, but you need to be very aware of where every enemy is and when they're about to attack.
** Dante in general in ''4'' compared to Nero. To get the most out of him, you have to learn to switch between all of his styles on the fly, utilize quite a few glitches and exploits, and learn to properly use his moves to chase the opponent. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOf5ITkRTAk That said, if you can learn how to properly use him...]]
** Nero himself has the EX-Act mechanic. Prior to purchasing the EX-Act, the only way to use Nero's revved up attacks are by charging the sword while standing still, which is drawn-out and doesn't allow you to use certain attacks revved (such as at the end of a four-hit string when you are only allotted three Exceed segments). Once purchased, you can then charge the sword every time it's swung to gain an Exceed segment if you have good timing and thus all of Nero's attacks can be revved up. Going even further is the MAX-Act, which has an extremely small timing window (about a frame) but pulling the trigger on that frame will grant you a maxed out Exceed meter, meaning you get three segments for one well-timed rev.
* ''Franchise/GodEater'':
** God Eater 2 gives us Last Revenger blood art. To wit, Last Revenger blood art is a upper parrying counter only avaliable for buster blade that ignore target armor and double the damage inflict at the cost of stricter frame block. Unlike other upper parrying blood arts, last revenger required the user to actually take hit from aragami and only negate the damage taken if successfully executed, while unsuccessful attempt always hurt the user. However, If you manage to get the hit frame and master all aragami attack animation, you can turn every aragami attack (even ranged attack) into a counter that ignore armor and double the damage dealt no matter how hard the defence and damage restriction of aragami.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI'' has an exploit in which you can trap ThatOneBoss [[spoiler:Ansem-possessed]] Riku in an infinite combo using the Counterattack ability. It takes ''very'' precise timing, but when done correctly, you can beat Riku without him ever using his Dark Aura LimitBreak.
** In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'', Aqua is this compared to Terra and especially Ventus. Her magic-based fighting style can be hard to get used to, especially for those who are used to Terra and Ventus (who are much more physical fighters), but she can be a devastating force in the right hands. There's a reason only she made the rank of Keyblade Master, after all.
* ''VideoGame/StarControlII'':
** The Slylandro Probe's controls are very different from other ships' controls - it always moves at top speed at the direction it is facing (so turning it makes it automatically move that in direction, without the need to accelerate and ignoring any inertia) and the thruster key is used for reversing the ship's direction instead of acceleration. It is insanely difficult to control, but once mastered it becomes highly maneuverable and a very deadly ship.
** The Druuge Mauler has no defensive mechanism, eats up a massive amount of energy with each shot, and has to kill off ''its own crew'' to replenish it at any reasonable rate. It also flies backwards whenever a shot is fired. This makes it very unappealing to novice players. An experienced player however will basically snipe at his opponent from across the map, causing massive damage with each hit. Experts like to fire a shot or two to build up some high speed, then cheerfully bombard their opponent with long-range potshots while coasting across the map so quickly that they're almost untouchable. Often, the Mauler's actual ''engine'' isn't used for propulsion at all, and the ship relies on the RecoilBoost from its gun to maneuver.
** The Umgah Drone is moderately fast but is made of paper, practically a OneHitPointWonder. Its weapon is also extremely short range. But get within that short range and [[GlassCannon it will kill just about anything in seconds]]. It does have a "dash" feature that makes it move extremely quickly for a second or two... but it only dashes ''backwards'', compounding the difficulty of this ship.
** The Pkunk Fury has very little health, must manually recharge its energy, and its only weapon is short-ranged and weak (but does fire in three directions). [[FragileSpeedster It is also fast. Really fast. Faster than any other ship in the game.]] And very maneuverable on top of that, meaning that a skilled Pkunk player can dodge just about anything. It also has a 50% chance of respawning at full health upon death, and this ''does not go down'' after it accumulates deaths. There's a reason seasoned players make sure to take at least one of these into the final battle: it can outrun the FinalBoss's homing projectiles, making the battle a cakewalk.
* ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow]]'' has the Succubus soul. It has a ''very'' specific range it works at; half a pixel off, and Soma will just swipe at empty air, and most likely get hit by whatever he was trying to grab. If you can get the range down, however, you have an extremely powerful attack that also heals Soma greatly.
** There's also Yoko Belnades, available in Julius mode. She's a SquishyWizard in a game mode where it's already very easy to die from taking hits, and in order to recharge her mana, she needs to get very close to the enemies to use her ridiculously short-ranged melee attack. Her spells themselves are very tricky to use properly, as well. Once mastered, however, Yoko can easily and quickly slaughter any enemy in the game with the correct spell, weave in and out of enemies' arms like a butterfly, earn melee kills before the enemies even know what hit them, and look incredibly stylish doing it.
* The fun little Action-Shooter-Multiplayer-Game ''Soldat'' offers a wide variety of automatic and half automatic weapons to kill other players, like an AK-74, akimbo Desert Eagles and even a Minigun. But by far the most satisfying hits are with the primary weapon M79 and secondary weapon M72 LAW. Both guns are explosive, killing in 1 direct hit or 2 with splash damage, but take several seconds to reload and have an awkward firing angle. The M79 projectile is slow and risks killing yourself, especially when fired upwards, and the projectile's speed/angle varies based on the velocity of the player. In a game where players are in mid-air most of the time, the LAW can only be fired while crouched on the ground. However, when mastered, few can match the M79's trick shots and the LAW ricocheting its missile off multiple walls and hitting enemies off-screen. Furthermore, no other weapon lets you experience the delight of standing in the bloody rain of your evaporated foes.
* Using the mouse for one-to-one sword movement in Hack-and-Slash ''VideoGame/DieByTheSword'' is favored by most players because the enhanced control is more fun, but it's also significantly harder to block and strike than the "arcade" controls where a single keyboard button corresponds to a complete attack.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'':
** One of the many unlockable PurposelyOverpowered NewGamePlus weapons, the Infinite Rocket Launcher, is so clunky and slow to use (and dangerous to the user, especially in small rooms) that it's much, much less versatile compared to most of its fellow special weapons. Most of the other unlockables can carry you through most if not all of the game by themselves, while trying to get through the game with ''only'' an Infinite Rocket Launcher would ironically be harder than playing through with standard weapons. On the other hand, it could just be argued that the weapon is just a logical upgrade to the TooAwesomeToUse standard rocket launchers, which are very rare and contain only one shot each, on top of eating a large portion of your inventory space. Said weapons were designed to be saved for bosses, so acquiring the infinite version can be seen as the devs saying "Congratulations, you can now fire as many rockets as you want!" For a weapon that was never designed to be an integral part of the gameplay, that's actually pretty awesome.
** The PRL-42 has unlimited ammo capabilities and can either stun groups of enemies for long periods of time or just flat out kill any enemy in its path with a single charged blast, even wiping out a whole hoard in a single line. And most bosses are done in by one or two of the weaker stun charges. Unfortunately it takes a long time to charge even between disabling flash attacks and leaves the player vulnerable to attacks by nearby enemies. Getting hit will disrupt that long charge time and force you to start again. It can't be used against non-plagas enemies or objects like trucks, crows, locks or bear traps that require a projectile solution. And you're completely vulnerable from the rear because you can't charge it when making a quick turn.
** To a lesser extent, the [=Red9=]. Due to the comparatively small clip and long reload time, you really need a good positioning game and a good judgement of when and where it is good to reload for it to be as effective as its prime rival, the Blacktail. You'll also need good aim if you want to truly take advantage of that stock upgrade. However, once you get the hang of it, it's like having a mini-sniper rifle that pumps out powerful shots with deadly accuracy. Many experienced players swear to that.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'' has the crossbow. It has no crosshair, but once you've mastered it, you can instakill most enemies on Perfectionist difficulty.
* ''Franchise/MegaMan'':
** The frequently-mocked Top Spin in ''VideoGame/MegaMan3'' is regarded by many players as a joke weapon. Most will try it out once or twice before dismissing it as useless. A player who knows how the Top Spin works and what enemies are vulnerable to it however, can twirl and spin through good bits of the game, taking out most enemies in one hit.
** Power Stone and Crystal Eye in ''VideoGame/MegaMan5''. Power Stone has a "unique" firing pattern, and Crystal Eye breaks into three balls that bounce off the walls. Most players never use these, as it is difficult to hit enemies with. However, if fired in the right places at the right time, they become devastating weapons that can be used to show off just how good you are.
** Zero from ''VideoGame/MegaManX4'' onward. His attacks tend to do more damage, and instead of gaining weapons from fallen Mavericks he learns new techniques that can be used without switching to them and don't require ammo. However, almost all of this requires the player to get in close to attack, increasing their risk of getting hit, he doesn't get armor upgrades like X does, and it's become popular for certain power-ups involving Zero to boost his damage output at the cost of increased damage to himself.
*** Probably a gameplay oversight, but Zero has a particularly nasty technique that milks the non-MercyInvincibility attacks for all of their worth. How? Well, his main combos are usually weak, fast-paced slashes that end on a high damage finisher. The weak slashes also seem to have high priority. So, if you start a repeated chain without doing any finishers and abusing the weak attacks, then you'll be killing off bosses smoothly. This sounds easy in theory, but it requires quite a lot of practice. It is also a staple in TAS runs.
* The later ''VideoGame/MetalSlug'' games have [[VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters Clark]] and his special move, the Super Argentine Backbreaker. It's a risky move, requiring you to get up close to foot soldiers and risk gunfire to the face in a game where [[OneHitPointWonder one hit equals death]]. However, it has three very beneficial effects: It's a OneHitKill to soldiers, throwing an enemy with the Backbreaker has a base value of 1,000 points (and climbs up with [[{{Combos}} successive throws]]), and most importantly for survival-based players, it grants a few seconds of invincibility. Used proficiently, the Backbreaker turns hordes of mooks into opportunities for [[NintendoHard much-needed]] invincibility and buttloads of points.
* Sam in the ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'' DLC ''Jetstream Sam'' plays completely differently to Raiden in the main game, with no infinite combo, less damaging standard attacks meaning he needs to rely on his {{Charged Attack}}s, focuses more on dodging than [[CounterAttack parrying]], and doesn't have access to any of Raiden's {{Game Break|er}}ing upgrades. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFThn13S47A Master his combos]] however and whole rooms of enemies die in seconds while nothing they do can touch him.

[[folder:Adventure Game]]
* Biggoron's Sword in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' is more powerful and has a longer reach, but it has a few drawbacks, mostly due to the sheer ''weight'' of the thing. First, the time required to swing it is much longer, and the recovery time is a window that you can be hit in. Second, it slows you down to a crawl; all dodging moves are delayed. Third, you can't use your shield at the same time because it's a two-handed sword. You can use the sword itself to block some attacks, but not all. That having been said, it is the only sword that can harm an Armos Knight, and especially when combined with the Jump Attack (which doubles attack damage) it can make short work of any boss. Since you usually have to stun a boss before you can actually harm them, it makes sense to want to deal as much damage as possible before they recover, so proper usage of Biggoron's Sword spares you some repetition. It is also very effective when used against Dark Link as he can pull an unavoidable counterattack if you are using the Master Sword but not against the Biggoron's Sword.
* ''VideoGame/SidMeiersPirates'': Players who favour mobility in a ship tend to find the [[LightningBruiser Royal Sloop]] a solid choice, but a small cult of elite and possibly {{crazy|Awesome}} players swear by the Pinnance-class ships, the War Canoe, the Pinnance and the Mail Runner. The Mail Runner is the largest and strongest of the three, with the most cargo capacity, crew capacity and cannons, but even then, it's still far less than just about any other ship. Not to mention that the Mail Runner is the second-rarest ship in the entire game, with many players never seeing one in an entire playthrough. However, the Runner can run rings around other, larger ships, and it is excellent at sailing into the wind.

[[folder:Beat 'Em Up ]]
* ''VideoGame/GodHand'' has some of its apparently AwesomeButImpractical moves turn out to be this. For example, Yes Man Kablaam has an awful startup time, a period immediately after it connects where Gene smiles at an imaginary crowd and none-too-stellar damage, but if you know how to use it properly -- on a dizzied target, preferably with no one around to interfere, then dodge-cancel the delay -- it fills up the Tension Gauge much faster. Granny Smacker has similar drawbacks, but helps dizzy an enemy much faster than most other moves would.

[[folder:Driving Game]]
* ''VideoGame/HydroThunderHurricane'' brings the Rad Hazard. The absolute best acceleration and air control in the game but also the absolute worst handling. Mastering the boat however has brought many players massive online success.
* ''VideoGame/FZero'':
** The Jet Vermilion in ''Maximum Velocity''. For being the coveted best car, it is incredibly awkward to use at first. But if you're insane enough to persist long enough to have gotten it (that is, without using the cheat code), you're probably disciplined enough to master using it.
** In ''F-Zero X'', Blood Falcon's machine has a horrible grip rating, but mastery of the physics system (such as grinding the wall for massive bursts of speed) makes his vehicle one of the ''best'' ones for setting world records. In fact, most of the machines with an E in Grip aren't nearly as bad as the parameters would imply, as they're able to exploit the same mechanics and access several shortcuts.
** ''GX''[='s=] revamped physics system allowed the player to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIjxvnEnsks snake.]] It's a very difficult technique to properly pull off (not to mention that your fingers will be extremely sore afterward), but mastering it turns [[NintendoHard the]] [[FakeDifficulty game]] into an utter cakewalk by propelling your vehicle at insane speeds ''without even [[CastFromHitPoints having to sacrifice your]] [[LifeMeter energy meter]] [[NitroBoost for a boost]]''. The technique (in modified form) would also find life in ''VideoGame/MarioKart DS''. However, whether or not such tactics qualify as cheating [[BrokenBase remains a source of heated contention]]. WordOfGod states that those techniques were ''deliberately'' implemented into the games, so make of that as you will.
* ''VideoGame/HappyWheels'' has the pogo stick guy. His controls are very hard to deal with, and getting him to go where you want him to is a bit of a chore sometimes. However, he is one of only two characters that can actually jump with no outside influence, and he is fairly durable while on the pogo stick.
* ''VideoGame/MarioKart'':
** Starting with ''DS'', it is entirely possible to dodge a Spiny Shell with a well timed use of the speed boosting Mushroom. It is not only difficult to get the timing down, it is also very rare that you will get a mushroom while in 1st place. With enough practice, Spiny Shells will do nothing to you as you pull off a mushroom boost to avoid being hit. Nintendo made this tactic deliberate to award players who can time the dodge perfectly.
** Taken to an extreme with the game's drift system: if you time it correctly you can dodge a spiny shell by using a drift boost. The catch is that you have to do this while the circuit is making a sharp turn, boost at the right time and immediately make a hop. If done correctly the spiny shell will miss you completely and possibly hit somebody too close to you.
* Roadkill's special in ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal 2'' is a boomerang that does decent but unremarkable damage if it hits the enemy on the way out, but ''triple'' damage if it hits them on the return, which is much more difficult to pull off.
* Drifting in simulation racing games like ''[[VideoGame/{{Forza}} Forza Motorsport]]'' and ''VideoGame/GranTurismo''. The simulated physics in those games require that you must tune your car to the right settings in order to make your car perform like the machines from ''Manga/InitialD''. Depending on the car, it can be a real pain to turn it into a real drifting machine, especially if the car is not designed for drifting. Not only that, but players also must have extensive knowledge and feel of the race courses before implementing drifting mechanics, which will require lots of TrialAndErrorGameplay. The only exceptions where drifting is not required are high speed courses with little to no technicality and plain Jane oval courses as these render drifting useless thanks to their simplicity. Don't expect arcade mechanics that you were used to in other racing games save the day for you.
* While manual transmission being difficult holds true in many racing games like ''[[VideoGame/WanganMidnight Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune]]'', automatic transmission players can and ''do'' play competitively against manual transmission players when mastered. While manual transmission players simply needs to shift down a gear and then steer regardless of how the power setting is done, automatic transmission players need to memorize ''precisely'' when and how to brake and steer simultaneously and these change significantly when power setting is changed, which means they need to stick to the same power setting for all races. However, once they have these mastered, they can take on ''any'' corners as good as manual transmission users (even in Hakone, but that takes more effort than the rest of the tracks combined). A couple examples of competitive AT play can be found [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByoJK7NRxIU here]] and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKDbYwNMtxM here]].

[[folder:Fighting Game]]
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'':
** Rachel, who unlike Jin is not a TierInducedScrappy. This changed in ''Continuum Shift''.
** Hakumen became this in ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift Continuum Shift]]'', although he showed shades of it in ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueCalamityTrigger Calamity Trigger]]''. His sloth, difficulty in chaining his light attacks for proper hit confirms (they often need to be linked), lack of invincibility frames and need to burn super meter to use most of his moves serve to make him difficult to use; however, an expert will know how to use his {{BFS}}' reach to play keep-away while using his {{Counter Attack}}s to punish attempts at retaliation.
** Iron Tager. A starting Tager is a slow piece of junk many rushdown-centric characters can take apart easily and his most powerful moves have SomeDexterityRequired inputs. A master Tager player like Mike Z, on the other hand, turns him into a monster that few can dismiss out of hand by recognizing the openings in others' combos, bringing out his powerful grabs as necessary and making smart use of his magnetism.
** To a lesser degree, Litchi. Combos that exercise crazy muscle memory are the main problem, with her movesets (with or without her staff) being easier to recognize, but can be hard to understand, nonetheless.
** Carl Clover started out as a [[CharacterTiers low-tier]] character due to his incredibly steep learning curve, poor mobility, lack of safe-range on his normals and low defense (both in HP and lack of a safe on-the-fly reversal). However, after players discovered that he had the game's only infinite combo, he was shown to be incredibly powerful in the hands of a skilled player. Not only that, as a PuppetFighter, he has an unorthodox neutral game, making him a deadly space control character with the highest damage output in the game in the form of VERY long combos.
** His father Relius Clover can be in the same league too, though with more bulkiness and more advantages (such as calling out his puppet whenever he wants to and dismissing it like so) and an alternate learning curve with different moves, but he's just as difficult to manage as his son as he too, since he also has his dependency on the said puppet and also has a lack of bulky poking range on his normal attacks. His combos may or may not go on as long as his son's due to him being more about resets and frame traps.
** Hazama can be this too. He's VERY combo oriented, his basic attacks don't have much range to them, they don't have a lot of damage on their own, and since his dash is little more than a scoot forward his only gap closer is Ouroboros which the enemy can see coming quite often (he also lacks solid reversals). However, he has a lot of combo opportunity which hurts a lot for this one thing: For some reason characters downed by his attacks stay on the ground a bit longer, enabling him to just attack and bring the enemy airborne for another combo. ''Again''. Plus, he also has a very powerful [[ConfusionFu mix-up game]] that can net him said combo opportunities.
** Arakune has little to no offensive pressure and not much in the defense department either. His air dashes are awkward and a fair amount of his moves are situational at best with one even having a random result each time you use it. However, he has a gauge that fills up when certain attacks involving his Drive connect that, when full, has his normal attacks summon bugs act as projectiles from out of nowhere per attack. Unfortunately, each bug has their own issues (the weaker two have little to no hitstun, the stronger two are slower) and require proper timing from the Arakune player to put the opponent in a combo. To make matters worse, the gauge empties gradually as you fight, lasting 14 seconds in ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift Continuum Shift]]'' and decreases the gauge as you summon bugs while ''also'' emptying naturally in ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueChronophantasma Chronophantasma]]''. However, with enough skill, Arakune can decimate opponents in a single bar of curse, potentially dealing ''ten thousand damage'' (in a game where that's enough to KO a fair amount of the cast) in a single combo (it was quite absurd in the first game).
* ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'':
** Testament is a GradualGrinder that will spend his time laying traps willy-nilly. Novices will place traps randomly then get overrun by fighters using rushdown tactics like Sol. Good Testament players will lay traps in strategic locations but are unable to really deal enough damage. Great Testament players know what to do when you're caught in a trap and also know when to pull out their surprise attacks and screen-filling blasts to catch you unaware and blast you into yet another trap while filling their supers again so they can blast you into another trap.
** Johnny, Baiken, Axl, I-No, Dizzy and to a lesser extent Anji and Venom.
*** I-No, being one of the most execution-heavy characters of ''XX'', deserves special mention. She has a very strange hovering dash that lifts her off of the ground, her normals can feel strange at first glance and are tricky to use, with her best special attack requiring a Super-like motion to pull off. This is coupled with the timings on her Force Roman Cancels, which are just above average in difficulty compared to the rest of the cast and are an absolute necessity to maximize her potential (in pressure and damage output). In the right hands, she is a force to be reckoned with, and her relentless pressure can decimate frightened opponents in the blink of an eye. Should we also mention that like some other characters in other fighting games, her dash allowed her a free overhead due to putting her into an airborne state for mix-ups? I-No's execution barrier is so far above the cast (with Zato-1/Eddie rivaling her in this regard) that one of her biggest improvements in ''Xrd'' was making the motions for said best special simpler, from half-circle backward-to-forward to a mere quarter-circle forward.
** Bridget has long inputs and a requirement to plan ahead as to where your yo-yo and Roger are, but once mastered, any foe who's locked down can be at his mercy.
** Zappa is probably the hardest character to use, as he has several different entire movesets that he can switch to at random. That said, [[ConfusionFu he has one of the best forms of match control in the series involving pressure, frame traps, mix-ups and even some disjointed moves]], as well even having one mode act like a PuppetFighter.
** Before Carl Clover, there was Zato-1/Eddie, one of the premiere [[PuppetFighter Puppet Fighters]] in fighting games. Their combined relentless pressure, unblockable setups and devastating combo game came at the price of having a learning curve the same height as I-No's. Like Carl, players who want to use Zato need to be very good at Negative Edging (releasing a button to register an input) in order to even be able to do the simplest things with Tiny Eddie. Unlike Carl, if Tiny Eddie so much as takes a jab, his entire gauge is depleted and he is rendered out of commission for a good (roughly) ten seconds, robbing Zato of nearly half of his options. Nevertheless, the strengths to using Zato outweigh the weaknesses, and it shows in the character's tier placement throughout the years; if he is not sitting at the number one spot, he is sharing it with other characters (as is the case of ''Accent Core''), and at worst, he is still very much a high tier threat.
** Newcomers Bedman and Ramlethal Valentine from ''Xrd'' can be difficult at first.
*** [[InsufferableGenius Bedman]] has a lot of quirks going for him, being a MightyGlacier and a LightningBruiser at the same time. His walking speed and stamina are some of the best in the game and he is the only character in the entire game, and even the entire ''series'', to have an eight-way airdash. His Déja Vú system allows certain special attacks to be replicated after said special attacks have been used the first time, which creates a guessing game for the opponent, and can potentially make battles one-sided. Despite these strengths, starting and maintaining this pressure is somewhat tricky, since there will be a lot of things to keep track of. That said, a competent Bedman can go toe-to-toe with some of ''Xrd''[='s=] high-tiers.
* ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena'':
** Kanji is slow, has limited mobility and is one of the most poorly designed grapplers in recent memory. That being said, playing him patiently makes him completely and utterly unstoppable, as his entire game revolves around taking advantage of the opponent's mistakes. On top of that, [[https://youtu.be/MZebQUBz57s?t=4m34s as this dude demonstrates,]] he can hit confirm into his command grabs pretty easily with the right combos. Not to mention he, like many offensive fighting game characters, can get A LOT of damage rolling if he gets his opponent in the corner.
** Aigis has lot of her moves are unusable unless she goes into Orgia Mode. The problems with using Orgia Mode? The mode has a time limit (that temporarily disables Orgia Mode if it runs out) and completely changes how Aigis moves; instead of normally walking and running, she uses her thrusters to boost herself. Attacking during an Orgia dash causes aerial attacks to occur instead of standing attacks that normally happen if a character is moving. Once you get past that hindrance, she's a powerful character who can deal tons of damage with very long strings of combos.
** Naoto is a zoning/keep-away character in a combo-centric fighter. She doesn't have the best damage output, she doesn't have the most health, and she's generally considered lower on the tier lists. That said though, she has lots of options for zoning, keepaway, and combos all in the same character, she has a nice selection of traps she can use to pin down her opponent, she has a pair of supers that instantly kill the opponent no matter what their health is in the right situations. Though her zoning and close-combat go hand in hand for some strong balanced gameplans, either style isn't as strong and specialized as other characters, so she has to work well on both fields (''and she can indeed''). And, to top it all of, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE1zbB_FTvY she can take advantage of SMP Loops to do EXTREMELY high damage combos that have low damage per hit but LAST A LONG TIME.]]
** Shadow Labrys has some of the lowest health in the game and her gameplan is devastated without the use of her massive "Persona" Asterius. Asterius is also the most awkward Persona to use in the entire game, as it's constantly out and is not tied to Shadow Labrys herself when it attacks, being the ''only'' active puppet out there in a game full of passive {{Puppet Fighter}}s (they appear briefly for only one type of action and then fade away until called out again). Once mastered, though, she is one of the resident gods of mix-ups, using staggered attacks from both Shadow Labrys herself and Asterius to keep the opponent blocking until she can find an opening in their defenses. She and Asterius can also set up situations where it's impossible to block the attack of one without getting hit by the other. She even has some massively damaging combos thanks to her powerful Awakening supers. The kicker? She is the only character in the game who can combo into her [[OneHitKill Instant Kill]].
** Elizabeth is an extreme case. She has the lowest health in the game, has few usable defensive options, and is rather slow to boot. She is also crippled without her Persona, Thanatos, and practically has to be in [[CriticalStatusBuff Awakening]] in order to be at her most powerful. That said, once mastered she is a force to be reckoned with, as she has a variety of deadly projectiles, command throws, status effects, a pair of instant death traps that she can force her opponent into, the ability to heal herself (a trait only two other characters have), and one of the most powerful non-instant death moves in the entire game.
* Three of the top four characters in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom2'' count (Sentinel, Storm and Magneto). All 3 require intimate knowledge of glitches to get the most out of them.
** Magneto wasn't even considered top-tier until people discovered that he had an infinite that he could combo into from multiple setups, provided the player had the dexterity to pull it off.
** Sentinel is this, taken to a higher level. Every character has an infinite combo that's unique to Sentinel. However, it makes up for it by the sheer number of setups, glitches and options that can be used at high-level play provided one takes the time to master them all.
** While not as strong as the top, the team of VideoGame/{{Strider}} Hiryu and Doctor Doom (also known as [=Clockw0rk=], for Daniel Maniago, the player who developed the team). When played right, the team can pretty much keep their opponent from doing anything but blocking, all while taking chip damage the entire round.
* ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'':
** Doctor Doom has some of the best assists in the game, multiple beam specials for keepaway, and great combo and zoning options by canceling his foot dive into his air dash, but his limited maneuverability and relatively slow normal moves means that time needs to be spent learning all of his options to be effective.
** As of ''[[UpdatedRerelease Ultimate]]'', [[Franchise/AceAttorney Phoenix Wright]] joins Doom. Basically, he starts off in Investigation Mode as rather weak and with low mobility. When he gets three pieces of good evidence, he becomes a pretty okay zoner in Trial Mode. When he uses those pieces of evidence to get into Turnabout Mode, however, he [[TookALevelInBadass takes about a million levels in badass]], becoming more powerful, gaining an extremely powerful KamehameHadoken rendition of his signature finger point as a heavy attack, gains his Level 3 hyper (which is instant with limitless range), and potentially becomes one of the best characters in the game.
** [[VideoGame/StreetFighterIV C.Viper]], VideoGame/{{Strider}} Hiryu, [[Franchise/ResidentEvil Jill]], Comicbook/DoctorStrange, and [[Comicbook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy Rocket Raccoon]] all require a high level of execution to use effectively. They're also all high or mid tier at minimum.
** Being such an oddball type of character, ComicBook/{{MODOK}} fits this trope to a tee. With a "pseudo" flight mode instead of a jump, normals that possess strange hitboxes, his unique "Intelligence" mechanic that enhances his projectile and barrier moves, there's a reason why he's rarely selected in the character select screen... besides [[TheScrappy other]] reasons.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'':
** ''Melee'':
*** The whole game is basically entirely this on a tournament level. Learning to move properly takes many hours, because the optimal means of movement involve large numbers of short hops (which have to be executed on command for quick aerial attacks, among other things) as well as, most of all, wavedashing, a technique wherein you jump into the air then immediately airdodge into the ground at an angle. Due to the fact that you can control the direction of your air dash, and because when you air dash into the ground it causes you to hit the ground and begin sliding with momentum, you can slide around the stage freely, making attacks as if you were standing still while moving at full run speed (and in many cases, faster than the character's actual run speed, which is particularly notable with Luigi and Mewtwo). The net result is that it takes hours to even learn how to move around and attack properly, and anyone who knows what they're doing can wipe the floor with you using techniques you cannot even use, and oftentimes moving around the stage more quickly than you can, to add insult to injury.
*** [[VideoGame/StarFox Fox and Falco]] from ''Melee'' are probably some of the best examples of this trope ever made. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17J6BbaTR18 Just watch.]] Yes, at 0:47 they are doing their [=Down-Bs=], jumping out of it, then [=Down-B=]ing again so quickly (and repeating) that the full reflector animation doesn't come out and you just see the flash when the hitbox first comes out.
*** Fox and Falco's main meat, however, is their powerful speedster abilities to leave the ground and land back down in one quick single jump, allowing for a ton of ground-to-air-to-ground combos. Fox's Up Smash and Up Aerial and Falco Forward Smash and Down Aerial are amongst their few yet very reliable kill tools. On the other hand, due to doing so many actions very quickly (but still being eclipsed by Captain Falcon in terms of running speed), [[SomeDexterityRequired you need quick fingers and we mean it]]. They also have very fast falling speeds and the lowest horizontal aerial movement on top of that; a blessing and a curse since they're also lightweights and it leaves them vulnerable to most horizontal K.O. moments and many effective combo setups.
*** The downside to this is that the hand speed and dexterity required for Fox and Falco (more the former) ''can'' cause injury if one goes too hard, or is sloppy. This in particular happened to competitive player Hax, one of the most technical Fox players in the world. His wrist was destroyed and he had to get surgery to have a ''bone removed'' so that he could play again.
*** The [[VideoGame/IceClimbers Ice]] [[FanNickname Grabbers]], with insane amounts of practice, can [[GameBreaker chaingrab]] virtually any character to death. You can count the number of people who can do it consistently in tournament on one hand.
*** [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Jigglypuff]] takes a lot of time to master, but if you do, you will become a force to be feared. Your opponents will [[LethalJokeCharacter not take you seriously, giving you an advantage.]] Many people will also be shocked to find that Jigglypuff is further up on the [[CharacterTiers tier lists]] than fan favorite characters like [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]] and [[Franchise/{{Metroid}} Samus]]. Most of the time, this is mainly its lethal Rest attack being the icing on the cake; it's its dominating aerial game with high priority and combo-able aerial attacks that requires the execution to put into.
*** [[VideoGame/YoshisIsland Yoshi]] in really everything he appears in. Controlling the Egg Throw's direction and speed is not easy, but if you can do it, it is dangerous. In certain situations, you can even keep a fairly skilled player from doing anything until you're ready to knock him off stage. Not to mention, a good number of his moves are decently strong, and he even can do a tricky double jump cancel as well.
*** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Marth]] requires precise positioning to perform sweespots with his sword, as it deals the most damage at the very tip. Learning his spacing and mastering this will make any Marth player a force to be reckoned with that can combo their opponents and rack up nice damage for days, as well as choosing whether to easily finish them off or not. That, and he has the longest grab range in the game (''longer than Yoshi's tongue''), a very solid [[CounterAttack counter]] that can discourage most forms of non-grab offense against him if used well, and a very cheap-but-laggy spike/meteor smash in his down aerial that's part of a very infamous combo off of his forward aerial, especially in ''Melee''. However, he has some easily camped recovery options, so sometimes it can be easy to handle him when he's off the stage when he's not making use of his sword's tip.
** ''Brawl'':
*** [[VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} Olimar]]. You need to manage your army of Pikmin to be effective, (it has a brick-wall learning curve) but [[ConfusionFu all of his Pikmin-based attacks look exactly the same to your opponent]], and they all have quite good range.
*** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Ike]] has some of the strongest attacks in the game, along with an incredibly useful jab, but the vast majority of his moves are [[MightyGlacier incredibly slow and laggy]], even causing him to commit suicide over the edge of the stage due to how long it takes to recover from most of his aerial attacks. As a result, top Ike players are highly reliant on reads and spacing to land hits when his opponents are outside his jab range.
*** [[Franchise/{{Metroid}} Zero Suit Samus]], who has very effective tools in high-level play, including a versatile recovery, fast mobility, and possessing some of the strongest items in the game (her Power Suit Pieces, which spawn at the beginning of the match), allowing her to gain some quick damage. It is very hard to effectively master these skills, however, but they are invaluable to placing high at tournaments using her.
*** [[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Sonic]] is fairly easy to pick up at a basic level, but suffers in competitive play from being so light and needing the enemy's percents to be fairly high for a KO. However, when a truly skilled Sonic player picks him up, he turns into a whirling buzz-saw of doom that is untouchable. He is hands down the fastest character in the game and he can literally change direction and be going full speed instantly, not to mention that careful use of his neutral b attack can allow him to stay in the air [[NotQuiteFlight indefinitely]], gluing him to the ''underside'' of stages or enabling him to chase down flying opponents. A good Sonic player capitalizes on this speed and maneuverability, strafing the opponents to quickly for them to react and taking advantage of his ability to shield or dodge at any point in his attacks to save themselves from an opponent that somehow manages to catch, corner or out think them.
*** [[Franchise/MetalGear Solid Snake]], who is by far the most unique and unusual member of the cast. On one hand, he packs some of the game's most powerful tilts and smashes (special mention goes to his [[GameBreaker Up Tilt]]) that have [[HitboxDissonance deceptively large hitboxes]]. He also boasts the biggest arsenal of projectiles, which gives him a camping game that is unparalleled. On the other hand, his aerial game is the absolute worst; his jump height is poor even with a double jump, his air attacks (though disjointed as his tilts) are mostly slow and/or leave him open when he lands, and his fast falling speed makes him both an easy prey for juggle-happy characters and a victim of gimping. Mastering Snake means making intelligent use of his projectiles to camp and turn the tide of the battle while at the same time preventing the opponent from taking advantage of his glaring weaknesses.
** ''UsefulNotes/WiiU[=/=][[UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS 3DS]]'':
*** As mentioned in the page quote, [[VideoGame/PokemonXAndY Greninja]] is this, with attacks revolving around ConfusionFu. Being a GlassCannon, Greninja has to make sure not to get hit too hard.
*** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening Robin]] is a MechanicallyUnusualFighter, bringing with them the ''Fire Emblem'' series' BreakableWeapons. If used too much, their magic tomes and/or Levin Sword will temporarily ''break'', leaving them without the special attacks the tomes use and replacing their powerful Levin Sword with a much weaker Bronze one. Keeping track of how much damage each item has taken in the chaotic action of ''Smash'' takes some getting used to, but learning it gives Robin plenty of options for any situation a battle might bring.
*** [[VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}} Shulk]]'s moves themselves are bit more straightfoward, but mastery requires learning his StanceSystem (the Monado Arts), as without it, he's simply [[MasterOfNone mediocre at everything]]. Activating one stance strengthens him in one attribute while making him weaker in others (though in some situations, the "weakness" can be used as an advantage), so learning when to switch and what situation is geared for what are his main difficulty curves (and then there comes the Monado Art Cancel for even more complex moments). However, it can be solid to just use him without any Arts at all, as Shulk does have decent strength in his range and power for most of his attacks as well as a few solid bread n' butter combos, but it's up to you whether you want an extra boost of power for a price or not.
*** [[VideoGame/AnimalCrossing The Villagers]] are unusual characters as many of their moves have odd ranges to them: For example, their forward smash is a projectile with almost no horizontal range, but it can hit opponents that are below a ledge. Their aerials do random amounts of damage, and their down special takes a large amount of time to set up. That being said, once that barrier has been jumped, the Villager's moves can be ''devastating'' provided that they actually connect.
*** And then there's the [[VideoGame/{{WiiFit}} Wii Fit Trainers]], fitness instructors who uses yoga poses as their method of attack. While considered to be low tier due to their awkward hitboxes and low reach in most of their attacks, especially with their smash attacks being very hard to land, Wii Fit Trainers are surprisingly competent in racking up damage if used right. A chargeable projectile (Sun Salutation) that deals a good amount of damage, another projectile (Header) that has a powerful spike effect if used correctly, a powerful Neutral Aerial that can be used to start combos and rack up damage quickly with little landing lag, and most of her standard and smash attacks having high knockback growth that will almost always KO the opponent if the player manages to land the attack. If that's not enough, Wii Fit Trainer can [[StatusBuff increase all of their moves' damage and knockback growth by 30% with Deep Breathing for a few seconds]], increasing their KO potential even higher. With Deep Breathing in effect, their Up Smash is considered to be one of the strongest in the game, which is also very difficult to use.
* ''Franchise/MortalKombat'':
** Not only is the difficulty of using the sorcerer Shang Tsung dependent upon your knowledge of the entire character roster, but his actual gameplay, particularly in the [[VideoGame/MortalKombat9 2011 reboot]], focuses on pure zoning. Players have to be on-point with his up and ground skulls so that they can catch an opponent without leaving themselves vulnerable to a counterattack as well as come together seamlessly in his combos, which are harder than most of the cast's staple combos.
** Kabal is a speed demon and comfortably sits on the S+ ranking on tier lists as its sole occupant. Though as dominant as he may be, he is one of the more challenging characters to use in the game because of his Nomad Dash Cancels ([=NDCs=]) and the harsh timings on his more devastating combos. Excellent Kabal players make use of his NDC both to condition the enemy into blocking and guessing his strings and as extensions to his combos, and balance between offense and zoning them out with Air Gas Blasts that fire instantaneously.
** Shinnok in ''VideoGame/MortalKombat4'' has the ability to [[DittoFighter steal the movelist]] of ''every other character in the game'', except Goro, who isn't playable to begin with. He is literally as good as every other playable character combined. The problem? First, you need to [[SomeDexterityRequired enter the command]] to actually take on another character's movelist. Then, you need to have that character's movelist memorized. And since there's no point to picking Shinnok if you're only copying one character (since then you may as well just pick that character), you'll need to memorize multiple movelists, making for a metric fuckton of memorization. On top of that, there is a time limit on how long Shinnok can copy another character; it is almost unheard of for one battle to be over within this time limit. While nothing is stopping Shinnok from copying the same character multiple times, the sudden timeout often translates to a broken combo since a character special failed to work by virtue of Shinnok not ''having'' the special at the moment. The short of it is that Shinnok is portrayed as the best fighter in the game, and he certainly is... provided you're one of the very, very few players with the patience to actually use him.
* ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soulcalibur]]'':
** Ivy's combos and abilities with her whip sword are incredibly difficult to learn, but once mastered provide players with incredible range and versatility. Oh, and don't expect all those hours you spend learning her moveset to mean anything by the next game, as her movesets are changed completely from game to game. Averted in ''Soulcalibur V'' which greatly simplified her moveset.
** Voldo, with his bizarre stances that can leave an inexperienced player desperately trying to figure out how to actually fight from a prone position on the floor. Made even worse by the fact that Namco [[DamnYouMuscleMemory routinely changes his move set inputs]], meaning that if you spent years learning how to play him in one game, that doesn't mean you can play him in all of them. Made especially JustForFun/{{egregious}} by the fact this input changing is pointless.
** Setsuka is a character beginners shouldn't touch unless they are possessed in terms of execution. With the most amount of Just Frame moves, she is frustrating for newbies, but frustrating to fight against when used right.
** Alpha Patroklos of ''V'' is on the same boat as Setsuka, as his gameplay also revolves around near-pixel perfect Just Frame inputs. A fully-mastered α-Pat is as powerful as a fully-mastered Setsuka. The similarities between both characters, from their style of play to their fighting discipline to even their stances, have led to the community giving him the affectionate nickname of [[FanNickname Patsuka]]. [[spoiler:It turns out that she actually trained him while Pat was younger and was something of a second mother to him, so go figure.]]
** Mitsurugi is deceptively like this. While rather easy to pick up, a true master user of Mitsurugi can utilize his [[JackOfAllStats middle-of-the-road speed, power]], and various stances to utterly eviscerate the competition.
** Taki is generally considered to be the fastest character. If you've got quick enough reflexes, you can simply dominate by blocking anything and retaliating.
** Xianghua is considered top-tier once she's fully mastered, which requires being able to consistently and reliably chain her moves, many of which require "slide command" inputs[[note]]refered to as such, because you have to lightly press one button, then quickly slide your thumb to the next corresponding button, thereby cancelling the first button's attack animation before it begins[[/note]]. Plus, she has a bevy of [[ConfusionFu feints, counter stances, and evasive moves]] to memorize, if she's to be played effectively.
** Sophitia is often used by the toughest players on ''Soulcalibur IV''[='=]s online mode. Her attacks aren't very powerful on their own, but she can attack quickly and has good defense. Even for an experienced player, it can be quite a shock to find yourself losing to her.
** Astaroth is in a similar boat to Ivy; at first blush, his attacks seem way too slow and clunky for Astaroth Newbies to compete with characters like Nightmare, who has a very easy to pick up aggro game that can hit nearly as hard. When one takes the time to optimize Astaroth's range and some of his more complicated throws and heavy attacks, however, he becomes an absolute horror to fight against and can cover a deceptively long distance to deliver a lot of hard-to-block pain.
** ''V'' introduced Viola. Her moves do very little damage and her claw attacks have terrible range, but she can keep an opponent almost constantly off-balance with her crystal ball. Viola later is considered a little less difficult thanks to her damage being improved somewhat (although she's still a very technical character) and her companion Z.W.E.I. While considered absolute garbage on a number of competitive forums, Z.W.E.I can pull off some very impressively damaging combos if one has the patience to get very good with his E.I.N summon, which can eat the enemy lifebar or ring them out surprisingly fast. THEN comes her infamous grab loops.....
* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'':
** Lei Wulong's Five Stances means more moves than your average character to memorize, which require the intelligence of a supercomputer to learn. The key to using Lei is to understand how his moves transition back and forth into these stances and how interwoven these transitions are, and it doesn't help that his command list [[GuideDangIt has not listed these transitions ever since his debut]]. As of ''Tag 2'', he has a whopping total of nine stances, the most out of any cast member, and it also means his moveset is amongst one of the largest and most comprehensive.
** Yoshimitsu is hard to master, but ''fun''. [[CrazyAwesome Not only can you use your sword as a makeshift helicopter to fly behind your opponent and backstab him]], he has the only health restoring move in the game.
** The entire Mishima clan. ''Dark Resurrection'' was praised as being as close to a perfect game as possible, and the three Mishimas (Heihachi, Devil Jin, and Kazuya) very comfortably occupied the three top spots. However, because of the necessity of pulling off their signature move consistently to create "a wall of EWGF" while mixing it up with mid-range moves to prevent random ducking, as well as getting mid-range vs. low-range options out of their "wavedash" special movement, they were considered fairly balanced, even though an expert Heihachi would pretty much always win against anyone not named Devil Jin (this was true in that if the EWGF missed, a lot of recovery frames would kick in for a very easy punish). However, the Mishima clan have their own personal perks as well:
*** Kazuya is the "defensive" Mishima, demanding near-perfect block and whiff punishment from players. A lot of his moves aren't safe on block or whiff and have very unfriendly frame data, which means the best he can do is react accordingly to the opponent's attacks. Once he lands a hit, however, there are a ton of advantages he gets when he causes someone to flinch and many ways he can mix it up for extra damage in the hands of a skilled player who knows solid combo routes. He also has the best EWGF out of the Mishima's, as well as another (better) version of it that takes even more skill to use. Skilled Kazuya players can and will take their damage as far as possible when they land a hit on you from any mistake you make.
*** While Kazuya is geared towards reaction, Heihachi is geared more towards offense, possessing some of the best pressure, very safe pokes and awesome juggles with great damage and corner carry potential. Many, if not all, of those said safe moves hit mid (and some hit high), which leaves crouching against him out of the question. However, Heihachi has a massive weakness in having poor low attacks that are very easily punishable on block and whiff, so he doesn't have a way to force open a defense outside of frame traps and throws. He also is rather tall, making his EWGF the hardest to use on smaller characters during juggles.
*** Devil Jin is the JackOfAllStats of the Mishima family, being geared more towards fifty-fifties than either his father or grandfather. His awkward crouch dash game also means that his EWGF is the least optimal of the three.
** Jin Kazama himself was this in the fourth game. Due to storyline purposes (mostly dealing with betrayal by Heihachi), Jin's moveset was almost completely revamped, with few of his signature moves and bread-and-butter combos from his ''3'' debut (only ''two'' games beforehand) left intact. However, his new tools more than made up for this. If properly timed, his Laser Scraper combo could set up some nasty, nigh-inescapable traps for opponents to deal with. The fact that his recovery time was faster in most situations that most of the cast also helped to keep the pressure on. At high levels of TournamentPlay, Jin was the ''sole'' occupant of the top tier, to the point that most matches were simply Jin vs. Jin.
*** He still retains shades of this in subsequent games, where he's more focused on his new fighting style with moves like the said Laser Cannon and Scraper removed completely. This leaves him to be the JackOfAllStats-type character that was envisioned that has difficulty in having the same wavedash as the other Mishimas (which isn't as good however) with notably more difficulty in comboing and juggling someone to death as long as other characters (due to the knockback on his moves and having unsafe launchers), and it's also saying something in that he's one of the few who lack the standard 10-hit combo all other characters have), but he makes up for it with very powerful and harassing pokes for strong counter hits, well-rounded tools for respective evasion/crushing highs or lows, solid mix-up, and a very useful StanceSystem packed with the said mix-up and a very unique parry with limitless potential (this coming from the best non-''Tekken 4'' version via ''[=TTT2=]''). However, despite his counter-intuitive nature, Jin got a buff in ''7'' in that his "Electric Wind Hook Fist" can now launch, giving him more offensive potential.
** Also from the fourth game, we have the British boxer Steve Fox. He's a rushdown monster that's all about harassing the opponents with his plethora of frame-friendly moves and rarely letting them catch their breath. Expert Steve players understand his numerous stances, the attacks in each of these stances and the proper times to bob and weave to and from these stances to break opposing players' defenses. That said, Steve's major offensive presence comes at the price of having one of the worst punishment games among the entire cast—he has to resort to using less effective options to punish what would otherwise be launch punishable moves to other characters—and being reliant on counter hits to optimize his damage output. All things considered, Steve has consistently placed high in tier lists since his debut, until he was [[{{Nerf}} weakened considerably]] from ''Tag 2'' onwards.
** [[GenkiGirl Ling Xiaoyu]] has semblances of complexity, with moves that leave her vulnerable if used incorrectly, several of which are from her Rain Dance (back towards) and Phoenix stances.
** On the same boat as Xiao is [[TheRival Hwoarang]]. Mash-friendly, yes. But his core strengths lie in his surprisingly powerful kicks that need to be carefully planned out before being used, and need to be defended against if used properly. The major contributing factor to his steep learning curve however is his best and most difficult launcher to perform: the Just Frame Talon Sky Rocket.
** Not fully whole, but Nina, King, and Armor King (but especially the latter two) have several chain-throws, where they would link from one throw to another until the finishing one, eating up a LOT of damages (King could even get into taking out HALF the life bar). Most of them require rather limited time frame to input button combinations which can include three buttons or four buttons combination and you need to memorize what combo follows to what throw. While not used a lot in tournament plays as such throws are easily guessed, it's really satisfying to pull those, even better if you could whiff your opponent into thinking you're doing something else (like, attacking mid or low) only for you to turn out going for the grapple.
** Doctor Boskonovitch in ''Tekken 3'' was more of a LethalJokeCharacter. In that game, his moves rarely connect and he can't stand up, but master him and you'll find out your enemies will have a surprisingly hard time hitting you, while you wittle their health down. For his return in ''Tekken Tag Tournament 2'', he's given a completely different moveset that makes him fit the trope straight. He's hard to master, but can be deadly.
** Regardless of character, 10 hit combos. There's certainly SomeDexterityRequired in pulling them off, and if you flub a single strike's input or timing, you're leaving yourself wide open, but when done right, it's a relentless beatdown that will suck away half the other guy's health if he doesn't manage to block.
* ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}'':
** Anakaris is a MightyGlacier that makes most other glaciers look fast, has very slow and stretchy attacks (as well as floaty, [[Franchise/StreetFighter Dhalsim]]-esque jumps), and spends a lot of time with his body split in two parts.
** Donovan has a [[{{BFS}} huge sword]] that can be thrown all over the battlefield, as well as summon spirits to do battle on his behalf. He can also choose to [[SwordPlant simply plant his sword into the ground]], and [[StanceSystem assume a new stance]] [[BareFistedMonk with purely-physical moves]].
* ''VideoGame/VirtuaFighter'':
** Akira's case is very strange, as the main protagonist normally is the one newbies pick up. His moveset was completely unlike any of the other characters, he required much more pinpoint timing and in the hands of a skilled operator he was an unbeatable wall of force. The AttractMode for ''Virtua Fighter 2'' showcased Akira pulling off a ridiculously difficult sequence of moves that would completely obliterate any opponent, 100-0%, without any hope of retaliation OR resorting to a ring-out. This was the single most devastating combo ''in the game'', and they showed it move-for move in the AttractMode. And yet you NEVER EVER EVER SAW ANYONE USING IT due wholly to the sheer difficulty and computer-like timing required to pull it off. Subsequent installments made Akira easier to play, but what mainly makes him so challenging to use is that he is likely the most un-button mashing friendly character in the series, and thus not suited for a beginner pick up and play type style. Most of his moves are linear, power attacks with one or two hits, unlike most of the other characters who have a variety of combo strings. The few multi-hit combos Akira does have require a higher level of execution to perform. Taking take full advantage of his devastating damage output requires timing, skill, and knowledge of how to link/buffer his moves together. As well, a lot of his game is centered around capitalizing on the opposite player's openings and mistakes.
** The series itself when compared to other fighting games. The complex gameplay mechanics and fast pace of the game make it QUITE hard to get into, and the incredible diversity in style amongst the characters pretty much obliges you to pick one and stick with him/her. It's nowhere near as newbie-friendly as other games in the genre to be sure. However, the series is widely hailed as possibly the most balanced fighting game in the genre, with each character being able to play competitively without crippling disadvantages against other characters, so it has remained a perennial favorite for online play.
* ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'':
** If you expect Kyo to play like a {{Shotoclone}}, you're in for [[AvertedTrope a rude awakening.]] The only way you're gonna win with him is by mastering his "Aragami" (Wild Bite) and "Dokugami" (Poison Bite) chain combo sequences. Which means memorizing which moves combo into what other moves and in what order. Which also means performing half circular motions, into quarter circles, into reverse quarter circles, then applying the appropriate finisher to end the chain sequence. Or, he can end it it with one of his [[LimitBreak DM/HDMs]] instead, for added damage, pressure, rushdown and complexity. While he does have a usual anti-air type special and some other solid coverage moves, Kyo's more counter-intuitive compared to other starting characters.
** Chizuru Kagura, May Lee and Geese Howard:
*** Chizuru has differing versions of her main attacks, which can serve very well for proper/improper reactions via sending out [[DoppelgangerAttack afterimages]] of herself (sadly, due to the [[MesACrowd nature]] [[HitboxDissonance of her moves]] she can easily have her copies get hit and take damage regardless).
*** May Lee, having a good amount of followup moves in her normal form, while also having another form called Hero Mode with different moves where she is unable to block.
*** Geese Howard even from the start of his home series was a well-rounded MightyGlacier; he could zone with projectiles and also counter his opponents' attacks with throws, but he's a bit sluggish and is not as rushdown-heavy.
** Angel, as her Unchain Circle moves are complex and confusing to both parties.
** Charge characters such as Leona and Ash Crimson are difficult because of the fast-paced nature of the gameplay. And to top it off, like most characters and their more devastating combos, these two's require sheer dexterity and timing.
* ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'':
** Gen, as well as in ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha'', [[StanceSystem has access to two different substandard fighting styles]], but he can switch between them anytime he wants. Great Gen players are rare, but you'll notice how they basically fly around everywhere, crush your defense and pull insanely high damaging combos out of their ass whenever they want. Not to mention Gen has solid mix-ups from one of his other fighting styles, and his primary one gives him solid ground control and safe pokes into standard combos for days, now do the math and see what happens when Gen is able to freely switch back and forth between the said styles on whim in the middle of any combo....
** Newcomer [[ActionMom Crimson Viper]] has her entire gameplay revolve around relentless offense consisting of feints to keep the opponent on their toes and hard-hitting combos. The problem? She is an incredibly technical character, one of the hardest (if not THE hardest) in the game, with her feints being an absolute necessity and requiring adept hands to use, and her more advanced tricks (usually involving her super jump) requiring an even more adept pair of hands to pull off. A Viper player needs to have precision to keep the offense up without accidentally doing a move that would otherwise leave herself open or give the opponent a chance because once either of these happens, her poor defensive options and bad stamina will cost her the match.
** Seth has the worst health and stun in the game, his defensive options while under pressure are limited to Shoryuken, and his large kit means that while players have tons of options, he also requires a ton of practice to know what moves are viable options at any given time. On the other hand, he has all the tools that he needs to control the pace of the match, his damage is absolutely horrific, and his pressure is absolutely nightmarish when he's on the offense. Poongko's 4-0 victory against Daigo in ''AE'' showed just how ridiculous a good Seth could be, and while he has been nerfed in ''Ultra'', he's still an unholy terror when played by someone who has taken the time to master him.
* ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII: Third Strike'':
** Q has slow, awkward attacks and is highly defensive thanks to the range of some of his pokes. Get his armor up and have a good handling on his moves and he becomes a force to be reckoned with.
** ''III'' in general. Contrasting to every other came in the series, even the most basic tenets of this game take computer-esque precision and/or muscle memory to execute, and you're expected to be able to do so perfectly on command in every situation. Near every character requires heavy memorization of moves, and which ones chain into combos to be effective (again, especially in contrast to other games in the series), and the game is, in general, fairly difficult for a fighter, leading to the metagame and higher levels of play being frankly insane for the levels of skill they require. Cue fans of the games generally complaining that subsequent games in the genre are too easy in comparison.
** Hugo is your typical slow grappler that towers in his part of the stage. Now if you play fighters often you know that being big equals having more ass to be kicked into. Of his 3 supers, the two grabs are naturally the most damaging but quite hard to pull of... until you realize his Megaton Press is ridiculously easy to combo into with one of his other grabs. Using Gigas Breaker on the other hand requires quite some skill to pull of efficiently. Incorporating the parry system makes it '''EASIER''' while making it '''HARDER'''. But if you successfully pull it of, your enemy can kiss off his lifebar while you can gleefully call out [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwP6yD72WQA EINS, ZWEI, DREI, ENDE!]]
** Necro suffers from the same problems Dhalsim has: He has long reach but relatively low damage and he increases his vulnerability with his long limbs. But if you learn to use his cornering mindgames and his low damaging but really annoying combos you get [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-v-46Y3iwcA disastrous results]].
** Remy is quite a defensive character with his only really damaging moves being backwards and downwards charging ones and everything else can be seen from a mile away. But with enough effort you can spam his up and down projectiles so fast Remy earns himself the nickname "The Machinegun."
* ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'':
** Dhalsim has always been a prominent example of this trope. In the ''SFII'' era, especially in ''Turbo'', he is among some of the best characters in the game. His amazing reach can condition an opponent to play to his rhythm and punish attacks that most characters would otherwise be unable to. However, the things that make him one of the series' consistently challenging characters to use are his low health, lackluster mobility, bad damage output which is often times coupled with a low emphasis on combos in his gameplay, and the depth of his zoning game, which goes FAR past just using his normals and Yoga Fires. Overcoming these obstacles means that your opponent will hardly get a chance to even touch you while you whittle away at their health.
** [[MightyGlacier Zangief]] was like this back in the day. Doing a circular motion (or 360) on a d-pad or joystick was difficult in this era of games because the inputs were not as lenient. More often than not, players attempting to do a Spinning Piledriver or a Final Atomic Buster with Gief can't do it without making him jump at least once. This makes it difficult for him (and fellow grappler T. Hawk, for that matter) to land such moves, and sometimes unreliable. With patience and precision, one can turn these shortcomings into potential mindgames that can throw opponents off at the worst of times.
*** This trope is ultimately averted in the ''Street Fighter IV'' era, where Gief turned into a [[TierInducedScrappy behemoth many players hate fighting against]].
** Guile is certainly this (if not [[BoringButPractical a bit on the bland side of things]]). He only has two moves ([[ChargedAttack Sonic Boom and Flash Kick]]), but in the hands of expert player, those [[BoringButPractical two moves as well his normals]] makes him a potent force enough to be one of the top tiers of the game.
* Roll Canceling in ''VideoGame/CapcomVsSNK2MarkOfTheMillennium'' is definitely one of the hardest. Canceling moves within a few frames which gives you an invincibility buffer. Unfortunately most players will never do it, and only top level players will. Throw in things like Custom Combos and spacing and it becomes one of the most technical fighters ever.
Shikamaru in ''[[Manga/{{Naruto}} Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm]]''. He's known to have counter-based moves compared to the rest of the cast.
* ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'':
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyV Exdeath]] is [[MightyGlacier absurdly slow]], but lethal if you get his [[BarrierWarrior blocks]] down. Even the developers have admitted that he's [[GameBreaker practically indestructible]] if you're able to master his incredibly steep learning curve.
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX Jecht]] is the game's BareFistedMonk. When most players start off with Jecht, they most likely don't know when or how to enter the well timed button presses. Once the player masters basic timing with Jecht, well... if a Bravery attack connects, consider enemy bravery busted (under normal circumstances anyway). [[GuideDangIt What the game doesn't tell the player, is that Jecht's combos can also link into his HP attacks if certain combos are put in]]. Finally, his Jecht Block can serve as well as Exdeath's [[GameBreaker Omni Guard]] (so long as the attack in question doesn't hit directly above or below him, although he will stagger if he's hit with an HP attack). After he's properly mastered, the only problem a Jecht player tends to face is his absence of long range attacks.
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Ultimecia]] is the long-range specialist.
** New players can also find it difficult to play as [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyII Firion]] or [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV Cecil's]] Dark Knight form as they are heavily ground based but combat will often gravitate towards the air. Cecil also requires mastering his two different forms which are only usable either in the air or on the ground and knowing when and how to switch.
** Squall can be rather difficult to grasp early on because unlike most other characters, most of Squall's most damaging attacks are effectively at zero range. To put it into perspective, most characters have attacks that allow them to attack while moving. Squall stops immediately and his attack range is about 1 game meter in length. This makes him very frustrating because most beginning players do not know the importance of guarding yet. However, once they do, Squall becomes one of the most dangerous characters in the game. He can literally take a character at 9999 and drop them down to 0 with only a few combos, even faster if you invested in the brave draining skills. The other learning curve is that a lot of his HP attacks are hard to connect with, but once you are able to master their timing, you can essentially rip through your opponent's arsenal.
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Kefka]] has very... [[ConfusionFu odd]] spells that, with the exception of Havoc Wing, rarely strike directly. However, given time to level up his spellset, Kefka essentially becomes a combo god who can drain bravery just as fast as [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Squall]] can (and from a safe distance to boot!). In addition, the constant flow of his spells to Kefka Experts would easily qualify him for more of a "trap-style" player than [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyII The Emperor]] would.
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII Onion Knight]] starts with weak attacks that can be hard to connect with, [[MagikarpPower though he later becomes a chaining machine]]. It gets to the point that the only time a skilled player will use Onion Knight's basic HP attacks is to destroy a weaksauce opponent: if you get hit with a bravery attack from Onion Knight at high levels, you're either in Break status, or taking an HP attack. [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill Sometimes both.]]
** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV Golbez]] is probably second to Jecht in terms of this trope. Golbez's Brave Attacks have really odd quirks, being two-part FullContactMagic attacks. Depending on whether or not his foe is hit by his hand or by his magical burst of energy, the second component of his assault will change. In order to get the hang of these mix-ups, a Golbez player needs to be able to properly gauge distance for each and every attack. In addition, he's able to chain most of these Braves together (or alternatively, chain them into his HP attacks), and when coupled with EX Cancel, he can keep these strings going for quite some time, giving Golbez a combo ability on par with that of Jecht and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX Zidane]]. In the proper hands, there will be very few safe havens when Golbez is on the warpath.
** Most of Team Chaos actually functions like this, being unwieldy at first because of how different they are from the characters you start off with and then when you figure out how to set them up, they become deadly awesome. As mentioned, the notable steep learning curves are Exdeath, Jecht, The Emperor, Ultimecia, Kefka, and Golbez. Their bonus character, [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII Judge Gabranth]] probably has it the worst, seeing as his entire playstyle relies heavily on reaching his SuperMode before his opponent can.
** The prequel ''Duodecim'' gives us a few more examples:
*** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII Lightning]], who (as [[MythologyGag a nod]] to her game's Paradigm Shift system) has ''three'' different movesets she can switch between on the fly (Commando is mostly physical attacks, Ravager is primarily magic-based, and Medic uses Cure spells to restore Light's BP without the need to attack), giving her great versatility.
*** [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII Laguna]] [[TheGunslinger brings guns to the table]]. [[HyperspaceArsenal Lots and lots]] [[MultiRangedMaster of guns]]. He has little in the way of close-range ability and thus has to be played strategically, much like The Emperor and Kefka. Compare this to [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyV Gilgamesh]], who has the markings of a LethalJokeCharacter due to the '''[[ConfusionFu sheer unpredictability]]''' of his moveset and abilities.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' fighting games:
** Alice in ''Immaterial and Missing Power'' doesn't use ranged attacks the same way the others do; rather, she deploys her doll familiars out, where they'll attack the enemy after a short time. The stagger delay takes some getting used to, but skilled Alice players can use their dolls to trap the enemy in the corner, where they're at her mercy with her skills and spells. ''Scarlet Weather Rhapsody''/''Hisoutensoku'' changed things so that Alice now relies on traps and has weird ranges. She's very hard to use well, but capable of utterly destroying opponents if the player knows what they're doing.
** Suwako in ''Hisoutensoku''. Everything about her, most notably her movement (she ''hops around the stage like a frog'' and her "crouching" elevates her upward on a lily-pad instead). Many of her attacks can only be used at specific times, and require impeccable positioning and timing to pull off correctly. She's also the possessor of the most powerful combo in the game (which takes off ''half a life bar''), and is only beaten in terms of damage by [[MightyGlacier Utsuho]].
** Reimu is mostly a SkillGateCharacter and a pretty good one in her own right. All of her bullet moves are easy to use, her skillcards are straightforward and her spellcards are rather powerful. [[InvokedTrope However]], her most powerful spellcard, Fantasy Heaven, is difficult to execute due to having to pull off some combos in order to use it. Not only do you have to be experienced with Reimu in order to use it properly, but you also need some knowledge about the game's hitboxes and block physics. If you do know how to hit the enemy without wasting 5 spellcard slots, then you (debatably) have a strong contender for THE most powerful attack in the series.
* ''VideoGame/KillerInstinct'':
** Using Kan-Ra feels less like you're playing a fighting game and more like you're taking a test in how many things you can keep track of at once, and that's added onto his lackluster damage and godawful close-range options. Though once one manages to master all of his tricks, setups, and combos, he's undeniably effective, and can dish out surprisingly high damage while keeping his opponents in a range that he's comfortable with. It goes without saying that playing against a very good Kan-Ra can be a ''nightmare''.
** ARIA is essentially a 3-person tag-team all mashed into a single character with her drones, with a bunch of options to cover almost any possible situation. But the downside is that unlike all of the other characters who have one, large life bar, her health is divided up between her 3 drones, and if the health on one of the drones is completely depleted, she loses that drone for the rest of the match. Using ARIA effectively not only requires good use of the drones in tandem with each other, but also being able to use them to the best of their abilities to stay in a dominant position for the ''entire'' match, or else she runs the risk of effectively losing a third of her entire moveset, making it drastically harder to make a comeback against almost every other character in the cast.
** Mira is an extreme GlassCannon; most of her attacks and abilities require turning some of her health into "recoverable life", which doesn't count towards her health total, and has to be recovered using a zero-damage command grab. Used poorly, she can easily drain her life extremely fast and quickly get KO'd. Used effectively, Mira has ''beastly'' damage potential without having to spend any shadow meter; ''with'' meter, she's candidate for the hardest-hitting character in the game. And this is on top of having an airdash, projectiles that can track her opponent, and a teleport that makes her completely invincible that she can do whenever she wants; all of which require tapping into her health bar, meaning she has to use these tools sparingly and carefully.
** Gargos in the 2013 reboot is huge, slow (though capable of flight), and has the first Instinct Mode in the series to have a drawback (he loses the ability to block and some air mobility in exchange for becoming ImmuneToFlinching and the ability to cancel out of his Instinct Mode to break combos, knock down opponents, etc.). He also has the ability to summon two minions that die in two/three hits but provide insane combo opening and breaker potential. Add in the ability to start combos from pretty much anywhere (which is easily breakable) and a unique command grab with four possible throws, and you have a character that's a nightmare to learn, but also has quite possibly THE most versatile movepool in the entire series.
** General RAAM is as big as, and even slower than, Gargos. He also has a very limited movepool that's easy to Combo Break, requiring accurate Counter Breakers to keep his combos going in high-level play. However, several of his combo enders, as well as his Instinct Mode, inflict damage over time meaning that a good RAAM can easily land short combos that deal 50% damage or more so long as he can keep the momentum going his way.
** Eyedol in the 2013 game functions a lot like Street Fighter IV's Gen (detailed above) in that he has two entirely separate movesets. Unlike Gen, however, Eyedol has little control on WHICH moveset will be available at any given moment, as which form he starts in is completely random, and will occasionally swap movesets after preforming special attacks (the odds of which increase the longer he's gone without switching, and can be manually increased [[CastFromHitpoints by hitting himself at the expense of some HP]]. Keeping on top of both movesets, however, give Eyedol players access to some of the best rushdown and zoning options in the game.
* ''VideoGame/VirtualOn Oratorio Tangram'':
** The 10/80 Special does not have any thrust-vectoring dash (meaning it will only to one direction in a dash, unlike other [=VRs=] that can change direction mid-dash), has weak weapons easily deflectible by V-Armor, and cannot dash in the air. On the upside, it is quite fast, and able to slice between [[{{BFG}} a Raiden's twin beam cannons]] with its special move.
** The Bal (not [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam that one]]). It has more moves than ''all the other [=VRs=] combined'', and using Bal is an exercise of patience and skill. Master Bal, and it becomes MoreDakka and FrickinLaserBeams in one convenient package.
** Ajim's Mine Orbs has more or less a random factor to it that ''can'' heal opponents, all of its weapons recharge slowly, and you have to level the weapons up to gain maximum effectiveness. It's armor is paper-thin (it is, in-universe, basically a stack of rogue pixels), and on your hands Ajim's energy leaks at a constant rate (meaning, your life decreases as the passage of time). But if you are disciplined with the weapons and is good at aiming, then Ajim hits unbelievably hard, is hardly affected by V-Armor, and is capable of finishing off any of the upper-tier [=VRs=] in no time at all.
* ''VideoGame/{{Toribash}}'' uses a similar system to VideoGame/{{QWOP}}, and is as hard to use. But when you do master it, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvRFFzbqoF0 the results are awe-inspiring.]]
* In ''VideoGame/RumblePack'', using Binary style takes more skill than the other styles and revolves around using the "Radix" button to cancel any move. Mastering it allows massive combos and cinematic Overdrive attacks.
* Parasoul from ''VideoGame/{{Skullgirls}}'' is considered by most of the competitive community to be a high-to-top tier fighter, with excellent space-control involving her many long-ranged attacks, damaging combos, and her excellent mix-up game. The problem? Her ground movement is awkward, she doesn't have any mobility options in the air (she's also the only character in the cast with this property), and she fights with charge attacks making patience a necessary requirement to unlock her potential.
* Enrico Pucci in ''VideoGame/JoJosBizarreAdventureAllStarBattle'' starts off slow and weak, [[MagikarpPower but has the ability to upgrade his stand from Whitesnake to C-Moon, and eventually into the]] PurposelyOverpowered Made In Heaven (and his stand evolutions are retained in-between rounds). However, this takes a ''really'' long time, and involves a lot of special tasks that leave him wide open to attack. Fortunately, his moveset is also full of attacks to knock his opponent down and away, or just keep them occupied while he performs the required tasks.
* CharacterCustomization such as the level of detail in the ''[[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/WWEVideoGames WWE Games]]'' can be this. ''2K16'' allows face photos to be imported and used, which have historically been difficult in other games. Here a 512 x 512 front on shot, head and shoulders, no hair over the face is a good benchmark. Then it's just a case of adjusting the markers and sliders to where you want. It will give you razor sharp, perfectly accurate and detailed head models to use.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Battlefield}} Battlefield 2142]]'':
** The Baur has high recoil, low magazine count, but dealt out high damage, and if you could pop off quick headshots, and stay out of most close quarters combat, you could drop enemies with ease.
** To a lesser extent, the Scar-11, which was a watered down Baur (which makes sense, as the in-game description says that the Baur is a bulked-up edition of it.) It had higher recoil compared to the Krylov and the Voss, but dealt out more damage and performed better at range.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'':
** [[FragileSpeedster The Scout]]. Normal Scouts are cannon fodder, and easily dispatched by just about anything. Skilled Scouts are nightmarish, appearing from nowhere to [[GlassCannon kill any class]] (even ''the Heavy'') in seconds and are as easy to hit as a raindrop. Any player's absolute worst nightmare is a competent Scout that knows how and when to dodge, flank, ambush, retreat, and pursue.
** Unskilled Soldiers are {{Crutch Character}}s, great for beginners but never more than decent against better players. Good Soldiers use {{Rocket Jump}}ing to turn the slow Soldier into a highly mobile force of DeathFromAbove, juggle enemies (which requires they know how to blast enemies into the air ''and'' keep them there by predicting their landing spots, completely neutralizing unaware players), and use aerials to take [[LeadTheTarget target-leading]] to a whole new level to work beautifully in conjunction with the other two abilities.
** Pyros have [[MasterOfNone very average stats]], don't have very many options against enemies past point blank range, and are mostly used to [[LeeroyJenkins charge into battle flaming the entire time]]. Those who master the airblast however, which repels enemy players and projectiles, are [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I4PEHQ-pVU death-dealing monstrosities]] the bane of Soldiers and Demos everywhere, enabling such feats as {{Rocket Jump}}ing [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMY612lQ0nI using enemy projectiles]], but it requires split-second timing and not a small amount of luck. Reflecting a Huntsman arrow in particular is considered a sort of rite of passage for airblast Pyros thanks to the unpleasantly narrow window of opportunity and the amount of damage you'll take if you fail.
*** The Degreaser + Flare Gun + Axtinguisher combo sacrifices some flamethrower damage and use of a shotgun with the ability to rapidly switch between weapons that give guaranteed criticals on burning players. It requires superb reflexes, juggling enemies, and leaves you vulnerable to enemy Pyros (and, thanks to an Axtinguisher nerf, the requirement of catching opponents from behind), but takes the Pyro's already superb ambush skills and results in a player that can kill several enemies in a single attack, and can take down ''other Pyros.''
** Any Demoman who doesn't just spam grenades everywhere needs to be damn good at [[LeadTheTarget predicting]] where your opponent is going to be in a second (grenade launcher), two seconds (airbursting stickiebombs) or ten seconds (stickybomb traps), as well as able to instinctively compensate for both weapon's considerable arc.
*** Even more so are Demomen who can master stickyjumping, a technique akin to the RocketJump except that it utilises Stickybombs as opposed to rockets. It is considerably more dangerous as it costs more HP than a RocketJump, but a Demoman who knows the map layout (particularly where the medkits are) can become the most mobile class in the entire game, being able to outpace even the Scout. In competitive circles, the true skill of a Demoman is oft-measured in not only how much damage he can deal, but also how quickly he can navigate the map.
** Surprisingly, the Heavy becomes this trope in higher levels of play. The Heavy is oft looked down-upon among veteran players as a SkillGateCharacter; dangerous against those who don't know how or when to retreat, but little more than a temporary damage sponge against competent players. The Heavy's massive 300HP and extremely powerful-at-short-range [[GatlingGood Minigun]] can easily fool the unaware into thinking that the Heavy is NighInvulnerable and requires MoreDakka from the other team to bring down. In actuality, a Scout can three-shot the Heavy back to the respawn room, and that 200 ammo runs down very quickly. In addition, the Heavy's massive size and pitiful mobility means that any halfway decent Sniper or Spy can OHKO him while he's helpless to respond. In order to actually play the Heavy *well*, players must have extremely good awareness of the situation and their surroundings, keep a very keen eye on their health and ammo, and must have masterful positioning. Oftentimes the Heavy is referred to as a mobile Sentry Gun, and the positive and negative attributes are as applicable as the title; alone, stranded from teammates, and poorly positioned out in the open, the Heavy will go down extremely quickly, taking maybe one or two reckless players with him. When fully-buffed with teammates to clean up the damage being dealt and safe from backstabs/headshots/bombing Soldiers, the Heavy becomes a one-Russian death-dealing machine.
*** Taken UpToEleven if the Heavy has a Tomislav. While the gun fires 20% slower, it's 20% more accurate and has a ''completely silent'' spin-up time. If played properly with the right gear or correct use of the Black Market Business's weapons, this turns the Heavy into a hit-and-run master, capable of ambushing lone opponents or unaware groups suddenly and mowing them all down, then disappearing off for his next victims.
** The Engineer can build stuff, sure, but if you have no idea exactly where and ''when'' to build your team ''will'' fail. But with a teleporter drastically improving team movements, a dispenser to keep them supplied and a sentry to provide fire support, a skilled Engy can (and often ''does'') mean the difference between victory and defeat. Extremely skilled Engineers can ''bullet jump'' using their sentries.
*** One of the most reliable and annoying styles of play in the game is the Combat Engineer, using the Gunslinger. The teleporter and the dispenser are incredibly vital to everything, teleporters being the only thing able to keep continuous pressure on the enemy team in a timely manner and the dispenser allowing people to stand in tactically sound positions which generally would suffer in terms of health and ammo supplies, but the addition of a fast-building Mini Sentry which falls into BoringButPractical territory for substituing health, ammo and damage for a fire rate twice as fast and a build time four times as fast allows the often turtling Engineer to play a lot like the Scout by mixing the reliable shotgun-and-pistol combo with a fake player that will allow you to kite even extremely focused players.
** TheMedic has a deceptively high skill ceiling, especially when going into higher levels of play. The medic's disadvantage in combat means that most of the time he will need to avoid taking damage as much as possible. High level medics know how to position themselves to avoid being flanked, juke opponents to allow their teammates a fraction of a second longer to kill a rushing enemy, and use enemy explosives to propel himself out of danger (known as "surfing"). In addition, a good medic needs to know how to wait until the optimal moment to pop his ubercharge that grants him and his heal target 8 seconds of invulnerability. This requires quick reflexes in order to block incoming burst damage before it kills the medic or his teammates. A medic that manages to stay alive constantly can help turn the tide at virtually any level of play.
*** The CombatMedic style of play. Learning how to use the Syringe Gun with its gravitated arc and limited range, along with the close-range Bonesaw, is something else entirely. The former has a higher DPS[[note]]Damage Per Second[[/note]] than the Sniper's SMG or the Scout's Pistol, and the latter is one of the most powerful melee weapons in the game. A Medic who can alternate between fully healing an ally and fighting alongside them can utterly terrorize the enemy team.
*** The Kritzkrieg is an alternate Medigun that grants 100% of critical hits for a few seconds. However, both the Medic and patient are not invulnerable while the charge is being used, and as such requires some timing cooperation to fully utilize the potential. When done correctly a big portion of the enemy team will be dead in seconds.
*** The same difficulty is also in the Crusader's crossbow. It's much slower than the syringe gun, has to reload (quickly, but still has to reload) after a single shot, and can't really use it in panic. Once you learn how to aim the weapon, you have one of the most useful medic tools in the game. It does more damage with range, making it harder to aim, but if you have good aim and predictive abilities, you can not only down a sniper in one hit, but you can also heal an injured teammate half the map away because it heals when hitting allies. It might allow you to heal an otherwise dead Solider or Heavy enough to let him get back to safety from a heavy battle, or get a kill-shot in on an enemy.
*** The Vaccinator's healing and overheal amounts are rather normal, and it builds uber rather fast, but it overheals very slowly, and it has the quirk that you can switch between types of damage to defend against, healing you for any of that kind of damage that hits your patient, and defending 10% against it. Where it's truly hard, however, is the uber itself. It charges fast, but the normally 10 second charge is split up in four 2.5 second miniubers, and the actual charge provides 75% defense (the healing for matched damage still goes, mind you) and ''nullifies'' crits against that selected form of damage, but you ''cannot'' switch between them during the charge. A bad medic will basically be using a gimped stock medigun, but a skilled one can make both himself and his patient almost impossible to take down.
*** The last medigun, the Quick-fix, was looked at for a long time as the worst of the bunch, and even after a few improvements it is still looked at by many as sub-par. While it provides the fastest healing, it cannot overheal as much as the others and has the weakest ubercharge (3x healing for the medic & patient). However, the Quick-fix's ubercharge still allows you to capture objectives, and a skilled medic will know how to share damage with his patient(s) to keep everyone healthy until the job is done.
** The Sniper requires excellent aim and good reflexes to hit something as small and erratically moving as an enemy's head, especially at close range, needs to know absolutely every flank route where his enemies could possibly surprise him from, and it's absolutely imperative that he checks those flank routes regularly lest he get a knife in the back. However, a good Sniper can render a large section of the map completely uncrossable, pick off classes with 150 health or less in a split second, and open up weak spots in the enemy defenses for his teammates to exploit, as well as shredding the health of any enemy that dares to poke their head into his line of sight.
** The Spy is an incredibly finicky class that requires at least a decent knowledge of a map's layout and enemy movements to play even half-way competently, along with knowing when, where and how to use his InvisibilityCloak, [[PaperThinDisguise disguise kit]], and BackStab. Unskilled players are easy prey, decent ones can be a frustrating annoyance, but a ''good'' Spy can absolutely terrorize any team and cripple any offense/defense they attempt. There's a reason a good chunk of the MetaGame revolves around finding and killing enemy Spies before they can wreak havoc, and good Spies exploit their ParanoiaFuel nature to distract the enemy into ignoring their teammates by being such an unkillable nuisance that the enemy focuses all attention on them. Updates made spies somewhat easier to play somewhat decently, but playing a really good spy is still all about mind games. You might not even know you're playing against a top-level Spy until it's too late, since Spy is all about the quick and quiet assassination of key enemy targets.
* ''Franchise/AlienVsPredator'':
** All three factions had their own unique style of play, but the Marine mode was the most fun considering it basically turned the game into a SurvivalHorror FirstPersonShooter.
** The Aliens in the 2010 game. You will either rack up the kills against people who don't know how to play them properly, or be Persecuted ad nauseum by a player who has mastered the unique play style.
* [[TheEmperor Emperor Palpatine]] in ''VideoGame/StarWarsBattlefront 2'' is situational, somewhat tricky, and can't handle mobs of enemies well, but careful application of Force Choke by a skilled player allows him to win games by slaughtering the enemy [[DeathOfAThousandCuts a few at a time]]. Of course, there's a bug that allows you to use both Force Choke AND Force Lightning at the same time. It's also impossibly easy to perform once you know how. Count Dooku can also do the exact same thing, with slightly better overall skillsets.
* ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare 2'':
** Riot Shield classes for multiplayer are generally easy to kill when you spot them. However, in the hands of a skilled player, they're nigh-unkillable without either a teammate helping you, or a high explosives class.
** For most part, the Throwing Knife is incredibly hard to use, especially on the consoles. However, if you manage to get the hang of it, it is extremely rewarding to kill players with it at close to medium range before they can manage to hose you down with bullets.
** People usually expected a Riot Shield to rush forward to bash, or to stay back and continue deflecting bullets. Few expect the Riot Shield/Throwing Knife pairing. You have no crosshairs while using the shield, making this a difficult build, but if you keep your cool and aim carefully, you can catch an enemy off guard with a sudden Throwing Knife. Many players come to a dead stop when they see a Riot Shield, trying to shoot the bits of you that aren't covered. Others back straight away, all the time firing wildly. The clearer heads pull back and ready an explosive. In all these situations, a sudden toss can end the encounter. If you miss the toss, you can still bash, or even maneuver over to the dropped knife and go for another attempt.
* ''VideoGame/{{Unreal}}'':
** The Shock Rifle shoots a weak laser beam, and a powerful-but-painfully-slow-moving energy ball. However, if you zap the energy ball with the laser, it causes out a huge explosion that pretty much instant-kills everyone in the vicinity. To make it even more difficult, the explosion costs about 5 shots. At absolute maximum (very rare unless you stay alive for a few minutes), the gun can hold 40 shots max. And the Shock Rifle's basic laser beam gives massive knockback, and can be used to push people off cliffs to their doom. The laser-plus-ball "Shock Combo" does the same thing. Plus the primary fire is an [[HitScan instant hit over any range]] with [[AlwaysAccurateAttack pinpoint accuracy]], meaning that if anyone is trying to snipe you, it only requires a good eye to hit that person [[TooDumbToLive silhouetted against the sky]] and not only take a third of their life and throw out their aim, but possibly send them plummeting to their doom. The secondary can be spammed while running backwards to make a [[DeathCourse corridor of death]] to pursuers, and the combo is a wide area death sentence (especially in the original ''Unreal Tournament'', where it had the biggest splash damage and was almost certainly a one hit kill).
** The GES Bio-Rifle shoots... balls of glowing green spooge. That arc to the floor. Almost useless in a gun duel, and fully charging it creates an splash of acid that will probably just kill their own owner if they don't know how to use it. In the right hands, a devastating rear-guard and ambush/assassination weapon, dealing 255 damage on a full charge in a game where default health is 100, plus careful aiming gives you a very powerful splash attack that can decimate entire teams (if the fully-charged shot hits the enemy, there won't be a splash, so the trick is to aim right next the opponent without actually hitting them). Lastly, its rapid-fire shot is fast and has surprisingly good knockback, making it a very useful tool to keep your opponent away.
** The Impact Hammer/Shield Gun. To get an idea, set up a bot to favour the hammer and make it insanely aggressive. Suddenly it goes from 'idiot bot' to 'crazed lunatic who kills you on contact' and it becomes a #1 priority to kill it.
* Jones from ''VideoGame/CliveBarkersJericho'' is this. Of the entire playable cast, his ability to possess enemies is the hardest to use in a fight, since he's left vulnerable while using it, and aiming it correctly can be difficult at long distances. However, once he's possessed an enemy, he can cast a variation of Church's [[CastFromHitPoints Blood]] [[GameBreaker Ward]], which freezes enemies in place, and can do so using the ''enemies'' health. This makes fighting some of the tougher enemies, like [[DemonicSpiders Machinegunners]] less daunting.
* All of the combat in ''VideoGame/MirrorsEdge''. Faith's combat maneuvers are mostly ''not'' [[AllThereInTheManual spelled out]] and difficult to master. Once you get her in hand, however, she becomes a grand-master ninja practitioner of WaifFu, literally running circles around the enemy.
* Many of the so-called "special weapons" from ''VideoGame/FarCry3'' count.
** The flamethrower has a limited capacity tank, short range, and can end up doing more harm to the player if used carelessly. VideoGameFlamethrowersSuck, right? ''[[AvertedTrope Wrong]]''. Using it in jungle and confined spaces is risky, but if you know what you're doing, it's one of the most deadly weapons available to you.
** The recurve bow. It's silent, can use a variety of special arrows, kills most unarmoured humans and herbivores outright, and heavily damages armoured human enemies and carnivores. However, it has a limited ammunition capacity ([[MagikarpPower unless you take the time to craft a nice big quiver]]) and slow rate of fire. The most niggling issue of all, however, is the fact that it, like the flamethrower, [[AvertedTrope realistically averts]] [[NoArcInArchery another trope]], meaning hitting any human-sized target over 50 metres away is a challenge, even with the reflex scope attachment.
** The flare gun. Harmless to enemies, it can only serve as a distraction, or to set the environment on fire, which means like the flamethrower it can backfire against you spectacularly if mishandled. However, the fire can be used to kill a number of enemies standing in foliage, and keep enemies away from you. It also can instantly ignite any vehicle in the game, turning it into a crippled time bomb.
** Also in ''VideoGame/FarCry3'', stealth. Due to the ArtificialBrilliance of human enemies, taking out groups without being detected is tough, especially later in the game when dogs and heavies come into play. However, if you manage to clear out an outpost without being spotted, you net a pretty impressive EXP bonus. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Not to mention you as a player look totally badass.]]
* The Boltshot in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}''. This Forerunner pistol has average accuracy, and poor enough damage that you're practically always better off with your primary weapon. However, it has a charge feature which lets it effectively be used as a pocket ShortRangeShotgun and one-shot kill enemies at close range, out-damaging almost every other weapon if you can get close enough in time and land the shot. The charge takes just under a second to build, and then can only be held for about another second before it fires automatically, so it requires precision timing as well as aiming; miss the first shot, and you'll be unlikely to get another as the weapon cools down and then charges again.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'':
** Gaige and her Ordered Chaos skill tree. The tree is focused around the "Anarchy" skill, which [[ATeamFiring raises her damage while lowering her accuracy]] both by 1.75% any time you gain a kill or empty your clip, but all stacks decay instantly when you die or reload prematurely. The higher you stack the Anarchy skill, the more damage you do and the more inaccurate you become. It can eventually get to a point where bullets will actively try and break the laws of physics to avoid hitting anyone. While there are certain guns and abilities that can mitigate this somewhat, good luck trying to hit anyone at a certain level of stacks but anyone that does get hit will feel it (as in, you can kill the final boss in less than a minute with the right guns). The stack limit is 150, meaning 262.5% stronger and inaccurate, but fully investing in her Preshrunk Cyberpunk skill increases the stack limit to 400, which buffs her damage/debuffs her accuracy ''by 700%''.
** Similarly, there is also Krieg and his Mania skill tree, which is focused on melee damage and {{Critical Status Buff}}s. Several of his skills in said tree are not only focused on being in low health but also offer some disadvantages, such as instantly reviving teammates while putting yourself in Fight for Your Life mode, or a massive buff to melee damage that gives you a chance to hit ''yourself'' with your own melee attack. The idea of the tree is that Krieg will do the most damage when he is at near-death.
** Hyperion guns in general, due to their "reverse recoil" effect. The crosshair starts out with a ''massive'' spread, and if you aim down the sights, the gun sways all over the place; you ''have'' to shoot for them to stabilize and deliver their true (generally murderous) accuracy, and a good deal of it is lost when reloading. This forces the player to use a different strategy when employing them (like shooting wildly in the enemy's direction at first and only then start aiming for critical points, and starting with the closer foe in all circumstances), and there's no such thing as ammo saving with them. It's easier with shotguns, as the idle sway doesn't mean much and the starting shots don't make the shotgun jump around like a pistol or SMG would, and sniper rifles, which only need you to stay scoped for a bit to stabilize.
* ''VideoGame/BorderlandsThePreSequel'' has Claptrap's Fragmented Fragtrap skill tree. Unlike other skill sets, this particular tree requires enormous amounts of stack management, timing counts, and familiarity with a wide variety of weapons. As a Fragmented Fragtrap, the player is obligated to pick skills that force them to switch randomly between certain weapon proficiencies, sometimes at the most inopportune times. It is easily one of the most micromanagement-intensive skill trees in the game. However, rein it all in and master the finicky switching system, and you can deal hideous amounts of damage at terrifying speeds. A well-played Fragmented Fragtrap basically wheelies from opponent to opponent, hits them with enormous elemental damage en route, then slaps their face off with a melee attack that can deal upwards of 540% more damage (before any weapon or badass modifiers), before zipping off at an even greater speed while basking in the glow of instant health recovery for every such opponent he's slapped to death. If anyone dares shoot at him, he gains critical hit bonuses for the duration, then emits damaging novas every time his shield drops, raises, or if he's crippled. Finally, at the highest ranks, he takes substantially longer to die ''and'' inflicts ''all'' forms of elemental on nearby enemies simultaneously every time he activates a fresh subroutine. Similar to Krieg, Claptrap will probably spend most of his time either in his opponent's faces, mere inches from death, but so will everyone else, and Claptrap is ''much'' better with the game's ComebackMechanic than they are.
* In ''VideoGame/BioShock2'', the Drill Specialist plasmid denies you use of any weapons except for [[ThisIsADrill the drill]], but in return cuts the cost of using plasmids (the game's version of spells) in '''''half'''''. At that point in the game the player has access to plasmids that can turn security systems and other enemies to their side, and unleash streams of FireIceLightning [[BeeBeeGun and Bees]] at a whim. While obviously requiring more thought than just filling everything with bullets (at least, until acquiring the [[spoiler:"Summon Eleanor"]] plasmid), it is still entirely viable.
* While most of of the weapons ''VideoGame/KillingFloor'' are rather straightforward in what they do and in their purpose, the M14 Enhanced Battle Rifle takes the cake for being a skill-gate weapon. As with all weapons under the [[BoomHeadshot Sharpshooter]] perk, it is most effective at its designated purpose, headshots, but in comparison to its alternatives the Lever-Action Rifle and the Crossbow, it deals less damage on headshots and does poor damage on body shots. Despite these two flaws, the M14 EBR packs an impressive magazine size of 20 with 7 spare magazines (whereas the LAR has 80 shots and reloads on a per bullet basis while the Crossbow only holds 36 bolts total), reloads the entire magazine, and has a semi-automatic rate of fire, which makes it ideal for making multiple headshots in a small time frame. In the higher difficulties, this makes the M14 EBR a solid choice in a Sharpshooter's arsenal as the Crossbow gets a damage {{nerf}} on certain targets, especially when considering the toughest non-boss creature in the game can go down with 10 well-placed headshots on the hardest difficulty with max (6) players. In the hands of a skilled Sharpshooter, they can take out a sizable chunk of the smaller enemies using only 1 to 2 headshots max and still have enough remaining bullets to deal with the bigger threats when necessary.
* ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'':
** ''VideoGame/QuakeII'' has the Railgun. Incredibly hard to use as it requires perfect aiming skills. However, it does 100 damage, hitscan, from across the map, and when using the QuadDamage power-up usually kills opponents in multiplayer with one hit. Extremely well-equipped characters may survive two hits. The gun became even more useful on maps of ''[[VideoGame/QuakeIIIArena Quake 3]]'' with jump pads, as it is impossible to maneuver in the air and therefore the Railgun is the weapon of choice to hit such players.
** Computer bots are able to hit players in mid-jump with rockets. Indeed awesome, but almost impossible for human players.
* ''VideoGame/{{Nexuiz}}'' and its SpiritualSuccessor ''VideoGame/{{Xonotic}}'':
** Similar to the Shock Rifle example above, the Electro allows you to do a combo of both fire modes from the weapon, with almost the same mechanics. The only difference is that the alternate fire shoots a bouncing ball and several of them can be shot in order to create a minefield of sorts.
** The 2.5.2 version of the Rocket Launcher in ''Nexuiz'' includes a laser to guide the rockets, which are now slow as hell. With a bit of practice, you can blow up your enemies with little to no damage to speak of.
* The Wraith from ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'' is a FragileSpeedster[=/=]GlassCannon who, although highly mobile and powerful, has poor health and armour even when fully evolved, and is a CloseRangeCombatant to boot; all the other monsters have proper ranged abilities, but her only ones are Warp Blast, an explosive DeadlyLunge that puts her right in the face of the hunters, and Abduction, a hard-to-aim YouWillNotEvadeMe. Newbies fail to use her right and get shot to bits trying to kill the hunters or are constantly scared by the poor health into being on the defensive and fail to kill them all before the match ends. In good hands, she's a SlasherMovie villain; the hunters never see her unless it's a Decoy and/or part of the plan, while she outmaneuvers them, Abducts them away from the team and turns them one-by-one into confetti with Supernova.

[[folder:Four X]]
* ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'''s Morganites have a natural +1 to Economy, giving them +1 energy production per base for free. While that's certainly nice to have (energy giving you money and research), it's pretty underwhelming compared to other factions. Add on a painful limitation on population limits (their bases can only reach size 4 without a pop-limit boosting facility, compared to 7 for the other factions; leaving you with slower creation of new facilities and units), and you have a faction that's profoundly weak in the early game on paper. Until you realize that their +1 Economy lets them prioritise Wealth as a societal value (as opposed to knowledge or power) to get them up to +2, which increases their energy bonus to +1 per square (translates to +21 per base), sending your research and income through the roof. Most factions have to run Free Market economics to get that, which comes with prohibitive Police and Planet penalties - industry crushing rioting and violent backlash from planet wildlife. Add in the fact that the pop-limit boosting facility is learned from the same tech as Wealth, and you get a faction that revels in MagikarpPower, and uses their hordes of cash to mind-control your units out from under you and sabotage your hard-built bases.
* ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'':
** The Morrigi have below-average population growth, terraforming ability and industrial capacity. Their ships are fast tactically but sluggish strategically, fragile, prohibitively expensive and barely above those of the Liir in turret placement. Their tech-tree, while one of the most inclusive in the game, favours 'trickery' tech like [[StealthInSpace cloaking]], shielding, mines, drones, AI, and short-ranged beam weapons, and they have one of the poorest natural research rates in the game. However, they have a 50% bonus income from trading compared to all other species; moreso when conducting foreign trade, and their fleets get faster the bigger they are. Mastering the Morrigi requires hefty use of trade, diplomacy and planning on a strategic level, and dedicated large-sized fleets using alternate ship sections instead of all-purpose battlefleets. A player who masters these aspects will turn the Morrigi into an economic powerhouse that can out-buy, out-tech and outwit most opponents by the end of the Fusion era.
** The Zuul appear to be a CrutchCharacter at first glance; see that page for a rundown of their apparent advantages. However, they are closer to this, if taking a different approach to Morrigi MagikarpPower. Zuul players must subscribe to the blitzkrieg way of war, always on the AttackAttackAttack, keeping enemies on the defensive and pushing ever forward. Being unable to avoid overharvesting means their planets "burn out" comparatively fast, and taking slaves is something of a compensation for not being able to use trade or having civilians to bolster their income. Their strategic speed comes at the cost of having a limited number of connections to each system. Their research speed is also the worst. All this forces the Zuul player to aim for quick victory, for he who loses momentum and lets the enemies build up to antimatter and/or dreadnoughts is Doing It Wrong and defeat will come soon. However, if you know how to carry out this aggressive playstyle, you can win games comparatively quickly.
** The Loa, introduced in the sequel's ''End of Flesh'' expansion, use drastically different strategic mechanics from the other races released before them. Their spacecraft are formed from "cubes" rather than manually built at colonies. Their population growth is affected by solar activity and the remaining biosphere, which the other races need not worry about, and is inversely proportional to tax rate (so more money gain equals less population growth). They cannot build police cutters to defend their trading freighters, making them highly vulnerable to pirates. Going into debt freezes their production, research and population growth. They do not gain access to the cybernetics and psionics trees and very little biological tree access. However, if you can wrap your head around them, you get a very powerful faction: They have the most 100% chances for techs, get the research-boosting Artificial Intelligence tech for free, all their command sections count as AI Command sections with the firepower and agility that implies, the cube system gives them unsurpassed flexibility of fleet composition and their spacecraft are {{Lightning Bruiser}}s with the durability of Hivers, the guns of [[GlassCannon Zuul]] and acceleration and speed no organic faction can match.

* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'':
** During the ''Burning Crusade'' expansion, Affliction Warlocks were generally seen like this in [=PvE=]. On top of the normal Shadow Bolt spam, you also had to keep up five different dots, most of which had different lengths and cast times and generally required at least a dot timer for maximum efficiency. Many Warlocks complained it was too complicated and went for the easier and almost as effective (until late BT where Destro just outscaled Affliction and was probably overpowered) Destruction tree. If you could play it right, topping damage was incredibly simple even in mediocre gear. In ''Wrath of the Lich King'', they were simplified by merging two of these and making another one more powerful but exclusive with a 4th one, effectively cutting the spec down to three over time spells, one of which is refreshed by other spells. They are still one of the more demanding specs in that regard (on par with Shadow Priests and Subtlety Rogues), but most specs are now fairly difficult to play at their maximum potential. The main difference is that these examples have a terrible output if played wrongly. By contrast, Beast Mastery Hunters deal most of their damage ''automatically'' and many of their management inputs have fairly little impact on it (apart from keeping their pet alive).
** Subtlety Rogues, although their basic combat style is rather simple, they have a lot of cooldowns and other factors to manage. One of their most defining traits is the ability to generate combo points based on critical strikes performed by other group members, which is every bit as random as it sounds. And even under best circumstances, they don't deal a lot of damage themselves but increase the damage other melee combatants deal. In general, they are still considered to be weaker than their easier alternatives.
** Feral (cat) Druids: while people who haven't mastered it do mediocre damage compared to other characters or builds, in the hands of a master they theoretically have the highest damage potential, to the point where the developers [[WordOfGod have come right out and said]] that Feral is the one class they are afraid to make any real changes to. Any nerfs to their ability would make anyone who hasn't mastered the class useless in terms of performance, while any buffs for the lower skilled people (to make the class less difficult) would turn those who have already mastered it into potential {{Game Breaker}}s.
** Death Knight DPS'ers had some of the hardest spell/ability rotations in the game, so much so that Blizzard had to change how the class's resource mechanics work in ''Cataclysm'' just to make them easier and require less precision button mashing. [=DKs=] have to manage 6 runes (3 kinds, 2 of each) that regenerate every 10 seconds, their Runic Power meter that increases when you use abilities and needs to be emptied or you will be losing DPS, and 2 damage over time effects that need to be refreshed because they increase the damage of your strikes. In addition, their attacks have a global cooldown that prevents them from using any attack for a second and a half giving you a small (less than a second) window to use what ever attack is in your incredibly complex rotation or you will lose DPS and get messed up. The new method meanwhile relies heavily on Runic Empowerment, which gives a 45% ''chance'' for some of your Runic Power abilities to activate a depleted rune ''at random.'' Which means that you unexpectedly gain the ability to use one of your resources, which depending on what runes you have active already might be combined with another rune to cast a different spell, or might not, and just makes their rotation even more chaotic.
** Enhancement Shaman have a rather interesting dilemma when compared to other classes. They are a class with low defense, aggro dropping and status-impairment breaking effects that do most of their damage with a combination of melee and spells. In other words they are a GlassCannon that can beat out most non-tanks in terms of the aggro they get. While they do have sub-par DPS even in the hands of an expert player, they are one of the greatest support classes there is. Given how many cooldowns the average Enhancement shaman has to take care of, it's damn near literally impossible to play the class effectively without some mod to keep track of all them. And THAT is on top of how many raw button presses the class has to do because you'll be hitting a button every 1.5 seconds no matter what is on or off cooldown. If you like getting carpal tunnel, Enhancement Shaman is the class for you!
** Brewmaster Monks are generally considered to be the most difficult tanks to play, and it's not hard to see why. They wear the second-squishiest armor in the game (and unlike Guardian Druids, don't have VoluntaryShapeshifting to raise their armor value to the level of plate wearers), they can't use shields, and they have tend to have fairly little Parry and Dodge, so they don't have much access to the passive avoidance and mitigation that conventional tanks like Warriors and Paladins rely on. However, Brewmasters that properly understand, track, and use the defensive mechanics that they ''do'' have are tough to put down, and can use moves like Avert Harm and Zen Meditation to protect their party from damage that most other tanks can't.
** Protection Paladins are often held as ''the'' hardest tanks, thanks to their lack of powerful defenses. However, played properly, the Paladins are the only tank that can take nearly as many hits from supposed "instant kill" mechanics as they do, with up to 5 full returns from near death if timed properly, juggling these with timing your defense's cooldown, which has the lowest uptime, being the slowest to build up and shortest in duration to the boss's autoattacks. Prot is very unforgiving, but extremely powerful.
** In PlayerVersusPlayer, [[CombatMedic Retribution Paladins]] are ''the'' absolute hardest class to play, having a comparably small set of abilities, being the ''only'' melee class with no way to close the gap other than just running at their target, and they have to keep an eye on ''both'' their allies and their enemy's health bars. However, a Ret Pally is ''the'' absolute crux on which a 3-dps or 2-dps team in Arenas is based on, other groups being jokes at best, Ret Paladin and two other dps with burst? Quite capable of fighting evenly with groups that have healers if the Ret can keep juggling all the roles he has.
* ''VideoGame/AceOnline'':
** Three of four classes seem attractive from the get-go. The B-Gear is a bomber; using the right type of advanced weapon, it can blow most opponents apart in one shot. The A-Gear is the literal tank; it uses its unrollable cannons to do massive DPS. The I-Gear is the fighter; aim, fire, do acrobats and survive. The M-Gear, however, is... a healer. Unlike the rest of the class, the M-Gear has the innate disability of having a low stat growth for attack which makes leveling it very difficult. However, with the right skills (M-Gear is the most micromanagement intensive class in the game), stats and equipments, the M-Gear can wreak absolute havoc by the virtue of its naturally high defense that can hold its own against literally an entire nation, sapping them of firepower trying to kill a virtually unkillable character while others move in for the kill. Of course, there are less strenuous ways to play the M-Gear such as being a buffslave or healbot, but it's the players who can master its intricacies who gain a lot of respect.
** Unlike the others, the I-Gear has no flashy gimmicks and while it does make it easy to get used to, it gets harder and harder to keep up at higher levels, much less master it. The choice is either make it an offensive class and risk dying lots due to its low defense (innate) and low evasion (due to build), or make it survival evasion build by trading its ability to kill, which are neither cost-effective nor foolproof. However episode 3-2 update gives a major boon to I-Gears which somewhat alleviates this problem.
* ''VideoGame/GuildWars'':
** Mesmers, particularly in [[PlayerVersusPlayer PvP]]. Few of their skills deal direct damage to enemies; [[CounterAttack instead they punish the enemy for using their own skills]], and thus require the mesmer to [[MetaGame predict enemy behaviour]] and have godly timing. Completely useless in the hands of an unskilled player, but utterly devastating in the hands of a skilled one, mesmers [[ShootTheMedicFirst take kill priority over even the healers]] -- because they can and will shut down your own healers without even hurting them, [[AndIMustScream forcing them to watch helplessly as their team gets ripped to shreds]] by the mesmer's allies.
** Many builds exist where a player can make their character nigh-immortal with a mixture of specialized abilities. These include monks with half the health of starting characters, assassins who can act as a tank, and elementalists who use their enemy's attacks to heal themselves and damage their attackers. Even a slight slip-up in timing with the skills can be fatal.
** [[Videogame/GuildWars2 The sequel]] gives us the Elementalist. While they're generally serviceable, they truly shine with the effective use of a dagger/dagger build. With precision timing, and if you can figure out skill chains with the class’s attunement feature (which involves juggling four sets of weapon skills), a D/D Elementalist is destruction incarnate, slaughtering foes in frontline combat with efficiency that would put a seasoned Warrior to shame. Have we mentioned this is a class that uses light armour and isn't usually suited for melee?
* ''VideoGame/TheLordOfTheRingsOnline'':
** Wardens wearing medium armour, using complicated long combined skill lists, are extremely capable tanks in the hands of the right player.
** As of the Rohan expansion, Mounted Combat. Your warhorse steers like a boat. The first few times you try it, it's pretty much guaranteed you're going to wind up with aggro from the half-dozen or so closest mobs to your intended target, because you keep wandering into their detection radius inadvertently. However, it's not uncommon for a character that normally hits for a thousand or so damage to be hitting for 4000 when mounted, so once you're competent it's extremely useful. (It helps that you can get control upgrades from leveling your mount so that it's less "sailboat" and more "motorboat".)
** Lore-Masters. They start off squishy, use only light armour, take many hours of practice to become competent at solo combat, but a genuinely skilled LM can stand toe-to-toe with even the most expert of Wardens with a robe and a stick.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfTanks'': Light tanks in general tend to be this, owing to their low hp and armor, but special mention has to go to the ELC AMX. Its very fast, has an extremely low profile that makes it difficult hit, and has a cannon that wouldn't be out of place on a tank 2 tiers higher. Too bad that it has no turret, its HP pool is so low that it often gets killed in 2-3 hits, the view and radio ranges are terrible, and the gun is very slow firing and aiming, so sniping is out of the question unless you KNOW you're concealed. Adding to its FragileSpeedster status is that it can hurt itself going over bumps most tanks wouldn't even notice are there. However, if you can mitigate all these, then you have a tank that's capable of speeding around the map, punching very large holes in the side of tanks, and being so low to the ground that they can't aim far enough down to hit you. Much trolling and sheer random things have been done with these little beasts, enough to be considered a LethalJokeCharacter... assuming a newbie isn't behind the wheel and just [[TooDumbToLive drives straight for the enemy base.]]
** Some of the higher-tiered Medium Tanks and Tank Destroyers have little to no armor in a game as much about taking hits as about shooting. The most difficult of those are high-tier French Mediums and the German line of "Waffentragers" [=TDs=], which don't even have much speed/maneuverability to avoid harm. Those classes also happen to come equipped with some of the best guns and can decide outcome of a battle... provided their pilot can reliably find positions to both effectively fire from and not die promptly to return fire. Made all the more challenging by the fact that extreme examples of this trope, like WT E100 or Bat.-Chat., are known to pretty much all players as source of both big harm AND "easy damage" (e.g. zero armor whatsoever) and are therefore routinely focus-fired upon at any opportunity.
* Jedi Shadow or Sith Assassin tanks from ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic''. Jedi Consulars, in-lore, are {{Glass Cannon}}s relying heavily on diplomacy to keep them out of fights and Force-based attacks if diplomacy fails. Sith Assassins rely on stealth, hitting the target hard, and running away before they're caught. A Shadow or Assassin tank subverts this. They are the "squishiest" of the tank classes, relying heavily on their shields to mitigate damage, or stealth and speed to extract them if they bite off more than they can chew. However, they can hold aggro on multiple opponents easier than Vanguard Troopers / Powertech Bounty Hunters or Juggernauts / Jedi Guardians, and do almost as much damage as a designated DPS.
* Monks are this for DPS classes in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV''. Due to their stance system they're maintaining 3 combo chains at once, are the most position-reliant class in the game, and have the disadvantage of being melee, but are also the only melee dps class that runs the risk of pulling aggro off of a tank. Scholars are seen as this compared to White Mages, generally being expected to alternate between dps-ing and healing and being more about mitigation and preparing for damage rather than the huge burst heals White Mage has to offer, plus the nonsense of controlling a pet.
** While Monks lose none of these characteristics in the ''Heavensward'' expansion, several classes become this trope. Dragoons and Black Mages both acquire a cooldown ability that greatly increases damage output, with attacks that both increase and reduce the duration of the effect. Highly skilled players will see their DPS go through the roof; the rest will quickly fall behind. Astrologians are likewise seen as the most skill-heavy healer, and the new Deliverance stance for Warriors means the most effective players consistently tank while dealing as much (or more) damage than dedicated DPS classes.

[[folder:Platform Game]]
* The Jet, Ninja, and Suplex abilities in ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar''. Jet's abilities revolve around an awkward charge up time, Suplex requires you to grab an enemy first, and Ninja has a bunch of close range attacks. However, all three have throwing moves. Due to the mechanics of a Kirby game, a boss might take several dozen hits from a normal ability, but only need a couple from the stock inhale-spit out combo that you default to without an ability. Throws use this damage formula while being massively easier to hit with, and in the cast of these three abilities, each one can hit multiple times in one move. Jet, especially, where its fully charged throw will cover the entire screen, is capable of one and two hit killing most things in the game. Suplex and Ninja aren't far behind. But ''damn'' the deaths you will take from screwing up the motions for the moves before you master it.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** Luigi is this when he is the LightningBruiser to Mario's JackOfAllStats. He has the same strength, the same power-ups, but runs faster and jumps higher. However, his traction is lacking so stopping him is a bit like stopping on ice.
** Luigi is this in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'', this time strictly for his jumps. They're difficult to control but if you can master it you can get more air than even Princess Peach and her floating and skip entire portions of levels.
** In ''SuperMario3DWorld'', Toad has a low jump and falls quickly. Pretty big liabilities for a platform game, but he's the fastest runner, allowing him to blur past stages like no one else (and also partially compensates for his jump, length-wise). Not only needful for time trials, his snappy physics make him funner to play as... if you're comfortable with his short jump.
** In ''SuperMarioWorld'', parachute-gliding with the cape (i.e., when Mario stops flying and holds the cape so it expands). With the right timing, it's possible to fly forever, Mario is practically invincible (most hits revert Mario to the "not parachute-gliding" state, you can immediately glide normally), and strangely enough, may kill things that are impervious (such as those really Big Boos in the Ghost Houses).
* [[Film/{{Grindhouse}} Cherry Broling]] in ''VideoGame/{{Broforce}}''. When she was originally introduced, she was considered to be a lower-tier character with little utility value besides jumping and firing downward. However, in the hands of a skilled player, she is one of the (if not ''the'') fastest characters in the game, especially in in open areas. By consistently jumping and shooting, a skilled player can move incredibly fast through levels and avoid the majority of enemy fire, which is only programmed to fire left and right. Likewise, she makes certain sections of the final Hell stage (such as the OutrunTheFireball section just before the final boss) trivially easy if a player knows what they're doing.
* The Wall Jump in the Franchise/{{Metroid}} games. Unlike most games that have Wall Jumps, where you're just required to press the jump button when the character is touching a wall, Samus's Wall Jump requires you to press the button when her feet are against the wall - and she somersaults when she jumps. Performing Samus's Wall Jump requires insanely good timing and reflexes, but is required to get most of the upgrades in the games, so mastering it will give you an easier time overall.
** Shinesparking is also very tricky to reliably pull off consistently, but mastery of it can enable some pretty cool SequenceBreaking.

[[folder:Puzzle Game]]
* Classic Rule in ''VideoGame/TetrisTheGrandMaster 3''. Its "firm drop"[[note]]a type of hard drop in which the piece drops, but doesn't lock, allowing you to still move the piece. Standard hard drop locks the piece immediately.[[/note]] has a bit of a learning curve, and you can't climb over pieces like in World Rule, but once mastered it's actually less annoying to use than World Rule due to its far simpler piece kicks[[note]]If a rotation is blocked by a wall or block, the game will attempt to shift the piece one cell to the right, then one cell to the left instead, before deciding that the rotation fails.[[/note]], and the firm drop lets you take care of overhangs at low gravity with trivial effort.
* ''VideoGame/{{Meteos}}'':
** Meteo itself, in each game it's been in, has the maximum number of different Meteo types (colors) possible. In the original DS game, the colors were random. In ''Meteos Wars'', they are the 7 rarest colors in the game. This, combined with Meteo having the widest playfield in the game, demands total focus on the player to even survive. What makes Meteo potent is that garbage blocks sent to opponents will eventually be restored--in the colors of the planet they came from. Since opponents have to deal with Meteo's colors on top of their own planets' colors, Meteo is very capable of winning by overwhelming anyone else (and often force them into {{Unwinnable}} situations, as they could have up to ''all 12 Meteo types'' scattered about).
** As long as a column has at least one burnt Meteos block and is in midair, does not count towards Annihilation (a loss by letting the blocks reach the top). Brabbit, due to its slow, floaty physics, is the one planet most capable of doing this simultaneously for all of its columns, rendering it invulnerable until the player runs out of matches or makes a mistake. However, the same floaty nature makes it unwieldy for anyone not used to it, since if you don't play carefully, you may accidentally fill up some columns while waiting for the other ones. ''Meteos Wars'' cuts Brabbit down to size with its new [[LimitBreak Planet Impacts mechanic]], [[KryptoniteIsEverywhere all of which kill Brabbit's momentum and tempo in one way or another]].
** The reverse happened to [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Hevendor]]: It was perfectly usable in the original game but becomes this in ''Meteos Wars''. Hevendor is the single lowest-scoring planet in the game. ''Meteos Wars'' added a timer that counts down from 3 minutes, and if no planet is Annihilated within that time, the game determines a winner by score. Hevendor is not going to win any matches in this way (unless there is a massive skill gap or the opponent is very unlucky) and [[CripplingOverspecialization must resort to Annihilation]], which is itself pretty unlikely unless the Hevendor player can match blocks quickly enough to build up the garbage block meter to flood the opponent with. If a Hevendor player is anywhere short of blazing fast, the opponent will just get a trickle of easily-countered small batches of garbage blocks and easily survive the 3 minutes.
** [[WhenTreesAttack Wuud]] has problems clearing Meteos blocks, let alone clearing the screen, but it has the only truly infinite combo in the game. To win by score in ''Meteos Wars'' as Wuud, one must play flawlessly the entire 3 minutes with one long combo that lasts that long.
** Planets introduced in later games [[SequelDifficultySpike tend to have an oddly high learning curve]] as well but are absolutely ''fierce'' in capable hands. Two of particular note are Gelyer and Hanihula: [[GratuitousNinja Gelyer]] has [[HeavyWorlder intense gravity]], meaning any ignitions created through matching blocks are weak and fall back down quickly. However, every third ignition in a combo will clear any associated blocks. This requires precision planning if one wants to clear the whole screen, which nets a fat point bonus (crucial if you want to win by score). In addition, Gelyer's Planet Impact meter builds the fastest of any planet with the "Armageddon" Planet Impact. Skillful use of Gelyer will result in frequent and repeated Armageddon attacks which will eventually crowd out the opponent's screen and hinder them greatly. [[BeeAfraid Hanihula]], on the other hand, has normal gravity but extremely weak ignitions. An inexperienced player would have problems getting Hanihula to do, well, anything. A great Hanihula player, by contrast, will use said weak ignitions to create huge score multipliers (as they increase each time the same cluster ignites). Hanihula is the single highest-scoring planet in the series, at least within the three-minute time frame of ''Meteos Wars'', where it debuted.[[note]]A perfectly played Wuud can defeat Hanihula, but this is so excruciatingly difficult, even for veteran players, that Hanihula is more likely to win anyway.[[/note]]
* ''VideoGame/PuzzleAndDragons'':
** Certain creatures have extremely powerful Leader-skills that are reliant on the player's skill at the core match-3 gameplay. While other leaders might provide a flat multiplier to particular elements or types of monsters, these will instead grant you multipliers based on the size of your combo, or the number of different elements used in one combo, or even the use of specific elements. The [[Myth/EgyptianMythology Egyptian Gods]] and the [[TheFourGods Chinese Celestials]] are primarily known for this, with the toughest commonly-used 'high-skill' leader being Sakuya the Kirin, whose 'Dance of the Four Origins' provides a hefty 5X attack-multiplier if you can match 4 specific elements in a single combo. Since multipliers of the same kind stack geometrically, that means that using two Sakuyas as leaders will provide a monumental 25X attack.
** Anubis' Roar of the Hell-Jackal skill grants a 10X multiplier (which, of course, can be turned into a sickening 100X multiplier if you're using two of him) - but only if you manage to get a 10-hit combo, which is basically impossible to do on purpose, and extremely rare to see just by luck unless you're in one of the 'special' dungeons where a smaller number of colors makes matches easier. Hence, seriously using him requires both extreme skill and quite a bit of luck... but if you DO manage it, you can utterly annihilate anything the game throws at you.
* Arceus in ''VideoGame/PokemonShuffle''. While its raw power exceeds that of any other Pokémon, it's unable to deal super-effective damage to anything due to its Normal typing. Even its ability, which ''more'' than doubles all damage dealt by Normal-types in the combo in which it's activated, is far from the best option in turn-based stages. In timed stages, however, a sufficiently skilled player can start one combo at the start of the level and make it last the length of the stage, so a team of Normal-types led by Arceus can outdo most super-effective teams against anything that doesn't ''resist'' Normal-types. As such, Arceus teams dominate the leaderboards for most competitive events.

[[folder:Real Time Strategy]]
* ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'':
** Much like its [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}} source material]], the Eldar and Dark Eldar require micro management and specific match ups, and while the Imperial Guard can easily crush all enemies with a properly built army, you can't just build a crap tonne of regular troops and steam roll the map like the Space Marines and Necrons.
** Cyrus in ''Dawn of War II'' is a very micro intensive character, but with proper tactics, wargear and skill allocation can make most boss fights (even [[BonusBoss the Avatar]]) a joke, and can clear ''entire maps'' single-handedly (albeit obviously requiring a lot of time).
** The Tyranids in ''II'', despite being a ZergRush faction in the lore and tabletop. Their ranged weapons work very differently to those of other factions, and the various synapse mechanics are either devastating or useless depending on how its used.
* Many of the micromanagement-requiring units in ''{{Starcraft}}'' series (especially spellcasters) fall for this category.
** The Terran Ghost can truly ''(but rarely)'' stand out with this trope, if one has the ''luxury'' of being able to research Lockdown (mechanical unit stun) for them. To clarify, the Ghost is a ''very tiny, hard to select unit'' on the game screen and if multiple ghosts are selected the game engine does not make it possible to normally cast ''only one'' Lockdown at a time (wasting mana on one target), but with a technique where one has good distance from the enemy and tells the Ghosts to cast lockdown on one Mechanical unit then deselects one of the ghosts, and then casts Lockdown on another unit, repeating this DESELECT-CAST, a group expensive units such as Battlecruisers or Carriers can be rendered helpless to the Terran's main army without a proper counter to ''that'' army. Bonus CrowningMomentOfAwesome if one can manage to drop a [[NukeEm Nuclear Missile]] on the group of units.\\
A just as impressive and difficult use of the Terran Ghost: You can prevent a Protoss player from teleporting a significant portion of their army into your relatively undefended base by ''paying close attention'' and hitting the teleporting Arbiter unit with a Lockdown before the teleport can be cast.
** For newbies, the Protoss (heavy units that mostly don't need much looking after, and devastating area of effect spells) and Zerg (swarms of light units that don't particularly need to survive, and - playing at low levels - no spell-casters to look after unless you're showing off) are much easier than the Terrans with their FragileSpeedster characteristic and intensive control requirements. But for mid-level play and up, it turned out that Terran, played by players with the skill to master the race, were very nearly dominant for the majority of Brood War's lifespan as a major professional game. [[note]]Professional players regularly predicted that in the hands of a perfect player, the Zerg would in fact prove most dangerous. Whether this was born out by the final years of the Korean competitive scene at its highest level (before the final resurgence of some "older" stars), and the continuing semi-pro scene where Zerg are dominant, is of course a fascinating fanboy debate.[[/note]]\\
Playing Protoss at full strength is ''still'' DifficultButAwesome, due to a comprehensive array of supporting spell casters & artillery. Against a seasoned Zerg player (a challenging match up for many Protoss players), it is common to support a Protoss army with [[SplashDamage Reaver Artillery]], and [[KillItWithLightning High Templar spell-casting support]] to deal a heavy blow to the Zergs' overwhelming numbers, and leave their [[LightningBruiser Ultralisks]] in a world of hurt. How the match plays out depends strongly on the current {{Metagame}}, and can get sophisticated, using supporting spell casters like Dark Archons [[note]]Stuns biological units, drains enemy caster mana, and can mind control any unit[[/note]] & Arbiters [[note]]Stuns ANY unit but makes them invulnerable, and can teleport a set amount of your army[[/note]] to further lock down portions of the Zerg army temporarily, or perform advanced maneuvers. The Corsair Light-Air fighter even has its own spell, Disruption Web, [[note]]prevents anybody from using attacks in an oval-shaped area[[/note]] inconveniently located in the costly "Fleet Beacon" structure. The viability of actually using the [[CripplingOverspecialization specialist units]] all simultaneously is debatable because of their [[AwesomeButImpractical significant Vespene gas costs]], but they can be a key equalizer against Zerg players.
* ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients'' and ''VideoGame/{{Dota 2}}'':
** Storm Spirit can be one of the strongest ambush characters in the game, with impressive damage, some of the best mobility in the game and a way to dodge most spells; used improperly however his low health pool ad short range combine with low base damage to make him unimpressive food for almost any other hero. Storm spirits ultimate, ball lightning, uses a percentage of his total mana per distance traveled, but allows him to move in a straight line, at a significantly higher speed than the games max movespeed, while making him invulnerable and dealing damage at the destination based on distance traveled. Played well, Storm Spirit can be an incredibly effective ganker, and take control of a game with early kills, played anything less, he quickly runs out of mana to fuel his ult, and ends up mostly waiting to die.
** The Invoker, the hero with the most spells by far, is also the one who has to memorize some combos to "invoke" the spell he needs. To top it off, his skills don't even look particularly impressive written down, but in the hands of an expert, an Invoker can completely turn the tides of a battle.
** While [[OurGargoylesRock Visage]] is fairly intuitive as long as you're aware of your mana pool, his ultimate defines both him and his difficulty. The familiars he summons are flying and fairly fast, in addition to attacking very hard and very quickly. The catch is that they're very fragile, give a huge 100 gold if killed and their attack damage fades with every attack down to a pathetic 10 a hit. The best way to reset their damage and heal them is Stone Form, which makes them invulnerable, immobile and stuns around their landing area, but has a delay before the invulnerability, and another before the stun. Managing both Visage's low cooldowns, need to be in the thick of battle and the familiars at the same time is fairly daunting. He also has enormous damage potential, a very strong early game and huge amounts of damage block for the first few attacks he takes.
** Templar Assassin deals immense amounts of damage while her magic shield protects her from incoming damage, has an attack that deals even more damage which also goes through armor (literally), she can also hit several targets with a single attack and everything is done with the "basic" attack, which means she laughs in the face of magic immunity. Not only that, "warding" is an important part of the game, specially for heroes with roles similar to her, but she has her own build-in ward that gives her vision of important spots on the map (One of the most important ones, Roshan's pit, can't be spied on with the regular wards, making her superior in this specific scenario), good luck playing the hero efficiently.
** Meepo has horrible stats and a bad attack animation, at first he seems like a JokeCharacter. But his ultimate creates multiple permanent clones of him that are for the most part identical, and if one clone dies, they all die (including the original). But all the clones can gain exp on their own, meaning a well-micro'd Meepo can gain experience much faster than anyone else, assuming the Meepo player can control up to 6 different heroes at once.
** Meepo above is the biggest example, but any micromanagement-based hero is difficult to play well. Heroes like Chen, Enchantress, Broodmother, or Enigma can overwhelm the enemy or rapidly destroy their towers with their ZergRush tactics. But if played poorly, their summoned units become a source of free gold for the enemy team.
** Many of the heroes considered '[[SkillGateCharacter pubstompers]]' or restricted to 'early game' can still be devastating in the late game and at higher skill levels provided the team coordinates enough to buff them up until they are far ahead or the player has a flawless command of their abilities. Good examples are Riki who is supposedly negated by basic warding and the Spirit Breaker who is shut down by decent team coordination but have been used in a commanding manner by pros in tournaments.
** One of the hardest gankers in the game is Pudge, who relies on CastFromHitpoints damage, lategame based heavily on success as an ganker to become the most durable hero in the game, his ganking is centered around what might be the sole most difficult skillshot ''Meat Hook'', which can snag not only on enemies, but also on allies. He then has to rot and dismember them, dealing massive spikes of damage that can kill an enemy outright, but burns his health and gives his location away while he's going at it. It's telling that the [[SignatureMove Signature Hero]] of Na'vi's Dendi, widely considered to be the best player ''period'' is Pudge.
** Mirana is a GlassCannon that requires an absurd amount of farm to become even a reasonably effective right-click carry and relies almost entirely on items for durability, but if you can get the hang of [[SignatureMove Sacred Arrow]] (a skillshot that increases in damage and stun duration depending on how far away the target is from the cast point out to a ridiculously long five-second stun) and coordinate follow-up with your team effectively she will win fights for you.
** Initiators in general tend to be highly difficult, not because of complex mechanics but because of the sheer scale of what they have to do. Each Team's initiator is the one starting teamfights, and a bad initiation can easily backfire and lead to dead allies, but doing so properly can net nearly 1000 gold for ''everyone'' in the team in a few seconds, take as much from the enemy, and leave them open for a quick push. Being ''too'' cautious however isn't a good choice when you're the team's point man and usually calls when fights start, letting the enemy get too much farm and push down towers is just as bad.
** Oracle, one of the last heroes to be ported to DOTA 2 from the ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' mod, is mostly balanced around his ability to screw over team-mates and help enemies if used improperly. He is categorized as a support but his only healing move deals magic damage to whoever he casts it on before healing over time. In terms of helping allies in combat, he must cast on them a spell which provides magic damage immunity (but also renders them unable to attack), then use his nuke/healing spell, and finally purge the disarm off them with his ultimate ability (which delays all damage and healing to the affected unit, then doubles the healing and applies it all at the end - while also continuously purging negative effects for its duration). However, he is also an effective damage-dealer, if he combos properly: casting his low-cooldown damaging/healing ability on an enemy, then stopping the healing effect by purging it, then repeating can allow him to deal as much damage at level 10 as some heroes get at level 16.
** Earth Spirit has a relatively bizarre skillset that allows him to move stone statues, or "remnants", around the battlefield at great speed, damaging and negatively affecting those hit by them. He has a limited amount of remnants (which are restored slowly over time), but the impact he can have on a fight is astounding; the hero was added to the game in November of 2013, and is only allowed in professional matches at December 2015. Two years later after his initial release.
** Io the Wisp is considered to be one of the hardest heroes to play well. Its signature ability is Tether, which allows Io to link itself to another allied hero. While linked, the target gains 1.5 times Io's HP and mana regen added to their own, and shares the effect of its Overcharge spell when it's activated. However, the link breaks if the target moves too far away from Io, so communication is required to ensure both Io and its ally are heading in the same direction. This alone would not be enough to make Io one of the hardest heroes to play: the "nail in the coffin" for most low-level players is Io's ultimate ability, Relocate, which teleports Io and its tethered ally to any point in the map, then brings them back to where they were after a few seconds. If your tethered partner is not expecting to be suddenly teleported deep inside enemy territory, they won't be able to react in time and will probably die before they figure out what's going on. But if both parties agree on where to go, [[SurprisinglySuddenDeath you can kill anyone, anywhere, with nearly no warning]]. Io is difficult not because of micromanagement or skillshot-based abilities, but because of the high degree of communication and trust required between Io and its teammates.
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfNewerth'':
** Silhouette has fantastic mobility and damage, being both a great [[FragileSpeedster Fragile Speedster]] and [[GlassCannon Glass Cannon]] at the same time! The catch? She dies to a misplaced sneeze, and excluding her E ability which passively buffs her regular attacks, every single ability is VERY reliant on positioning and requires her to be in the thick of battle, somewhere where a glass cannon does NOT want to be. Combined with her subpar attack range after her remake, if you don't kill the enemy before they recover from stuns and get caught in a bad position, prepare to die after eating one nuke to the face.
** Devourer is normally a [[MightyGlacier tank]] who would normally have an extremely difficult time actually getting into a battle. How does he solve this problem? ''[[ThatOneAttack Guttling Hook.]]'' It pulls the enemy to Devourer, dealing MASSIVE damage if it hits and having MASSIVE range on top of it. But this skill is VERY hard to land, even if you're a professional. And if you miss, you're basically a useless pile of flesh until the skill comes off cooldown again.
** Ophelia is by far the most unpopular hero in the public community, simply because she requires you to micro multiple units at once, a skill that takes a great amount of time to truly master, and is otherwise absent in the genre. But once you do, Ophelia becomes a high-tier at worst, god-tier at best hero. Since most neutral creeps that she uses for her army have some sort of special ability, Ophelia is by far the most versatile hero in the game. On top of that, her creeps enable her to push towers extremely well, gank her sidelane endangering her own fragile self or her farm, stack MORE neutral camps to farm, and solo Kongor extremely early. Oh, and did I mention her ultimate is a global heal, which alone would probably make her a mid-tier hero?
** An equally unpopular pub hero as Ophelia is Tremble. His main catch is being able to spawn Terror Mounds around the map, which can be used to teleport between each mound, so if he's allowed to roam the map, he can place mounds in vital locations, making his a potential threat anywhere in the map. His passive gives him a massive slow, making running away from him incredibly hard, and he's got his trusty companion Boris, who's like a mini-Tremble but with a skill that roots a single target. While all this makes him a potent ganker and pusher, he requires proper micro with Boris to set up mounds or use him to farm other areas and he ''needs'' to win his lane in order to steamroll through mid-game.
** Tempest and his [[VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients DotA]] equivalent Enigma have their ultimates Elemental Void/Black Hole respectively, spells with an UNGODLY long cooldown and high manacost to go along with it. This spell is a channeled [=AoE=] disable that also pulls the enemy team in. A good Tempest can and will catch an entire enemy team in it, practially winning the teamfight all by himself. But you HAVE to catch the entire enemy team in it, or any heroes that weren't caught will likely stun you, interrupting the ability. (something at least 90% of the roster is capable of doing). And if the enemy breaks out of your ultimate, at best you've lost the teamfight, at worst the entire game! Like Devourer, your success or failure with these heroes relies almost exclusively on your ability to land this skill well.
** Monkey King used to be a popular pubstomper, but after being nerfed he's far less omnipresent than he used to be. But it's not that he's been reduced to a bad, underpowered hero, it's just that it's no longer as easy to burst down a hero as he did before. Despite a significant mana cost increase and burst damage decrease, with the right player who can properly combo his skills and position themselves right, he can just as easily destroy a hero while being very hard to pin down.
* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'':
** Most obviously a burst caster, [[ThePhoenix Anivia]] suffered in comparison to other burst mages. Due to her comboriffic nature and her reliance on aiming and timing she was very unpopular due to her difficulty, when for a fraction of the effort required you could easily achieve the same damage on, say, Annie. Then recently she was picked in the finals of a high-profile game tournament, by one of the best players in the game. Wreckage ensued.
** Not only do you have to control [[ClockworkCreature Orianna]] herself, but her magnetic ball as well, which gets flung all around the battlefield by her abilities. If you can learn to position not only yourself, but your ball, know when to hit enemies with what abilities, when to autoattack to use her passive, and how to build her, then you can master one of the most useful and versatile casters out there.
** Most champions have one or two projectile abilities that require target prediction and leading, if at all. [[AdventurerArchaeologist Ezrael]] has three, and his remaining ability is easily his weakest. Gets even more difficult if building Ability Power and thereby much more reliant on his skillshot abilities. Bad players will find themselves rarely hitting and becoming a wasted slot in their team, at best. Good ones can punish single targets with an unbelievable amount of damage in a short period of time and become absolute terrors. Think you're safe on the other side of map? WRONG. His ultimate can and will hit you from afar and go through multiple targets to do so. Some of the most impressive plays come from Ezrael blasting someone from an improbable distance and/or getting multiple kills due to the projectile's piercing nature. "It's all skill!" indeed...
** Draven, whose boastful, showy personality belies his potential. For a carry, he has relatively low base attack stats. His steroid ability increases his movement and attack speed, but has a horribly low duration and long cooldown; his Spinning Axe ability makes his next attack much stronger, but has a decent cooldown and doesn't reset his attack animation like most. However, when a Spinning Axe lands, it ricochets into the air back towards Draven, giving the player about a second to react to it and move to catch it, which can be next to impossible during teamfights where proper positioning is vital. If they succeed, his next attack automatically becomes another high-damage Spinning Axe, free of cost, and the cooldown of his steroid ability is set to zero. Oh, and you can activate Spinning Axe a second time to have two going at once. A skilled player can constantly catch their axes, letting them spam their attack speed steroid over and over, throwing nothing but double damage attacks and tearing everything to shreds.
** One of Yasuo's skill quickly starts recharging almost every second, and every third cast is significantly different, AND it can be combined with another skill for another different effect. This "another skill" is also nothing simple, being fixed distance unit-targeted dash, which can be used on different targets in rapid succession. His other two skills require split-second reaction, either blocking enemy projectiles or reacting on windows of opportunity as fast as 0.1 seconds. Difference between bad and good Yasuo players is astonishing.
** Some champions have a mechanic that demands that the player get as close as possible to death to exploit most of their prowess: Tryndamere and Olaf. These two are extremely deadly the lower their HP is, with Olaf gaining more attack speed and life steal with each lost HP, and Tryndamere gaining attack damage and critical hit chances with each lost HP. When their ultimate activates, they became even more dangerous: Tryndamere outright becomes unable to die for a few seconds, letting him take advantage of his 'low HP advantage' traits the most, while Olaf becomes outright impossible to be stunned, slowed, or impeded and gains a lot of attack damage at cost of his previous defense and resistance bonuses. Their catch is the very fact that they're most useful when near dead was that by the hands of an unskilled player, they tend to either unleash those ultimates too early to make use of the advantages of the near-death situation, or they die first before they take advantage of that. Thus, they have a very high chance to turn these champions into food for enemy champions rather than feeding on enemy champions like breakfast.
** For gameplay roles, jungling (killing neutral creeps instead of laning) can be this. Overall one of the most demanding tasks since it requires both a good knowledge of both team's jungles and constant awareness of the entire map, especially if there's a risk of getting counter-jungled. Successfully ambushing is also a tough task and good teams will be extra wary the moment they see an enemy champion with Smite in the loading screen. It DOES allow for minion experience to be spread out better among the remaining four champions, particularly the one that gets a lane to him/herself, and gets the jungler ridiculously fed when done correctly. It's not for nothing that competitive teams invariably field one.
* ''VideoGame/CompanyOfHeroes'':
** The British are very slow to get going, with very expensive starting units which move extremely slowly outside their own territory. They also have a bizarre tech-tree that is unlike that of any other faction (not to mention their veterancy system). However, once a player learns to fight their urge to expand rapidly and instead build a solid defensive line quickly, the British can become nigh-invincible - vulnerable only to heavy artillery.
** The Panzer Elite have a wide variety of light, fast vehicles which will not survive long in any fight. Many are completely unarmed! Even experienced players can end up producing and losing a lot of vehicles by the time they get a grip on the situation. On the other hand, expert Panzer Elite players can win the game extremely early on with rapid and relentless assaults all over the battlefield.
* ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII'' has the Goths, who have crappy cavalry, almost non-existent defenses, and very limited healing/conversion abilities. They also have one of the strongest economies in the game, and some of the strongest infantry, meaning that they can easily take out an enemy before said enemy is even able to defend themselves, while end-game advantages give the Goths a higher population limit than anyone else and the ability to produce infantry (including special infantry) at a ridiculously fast pace. Then factor in infantry bonuses against buildings and you have a quickly reforming swarm of locusts that can strip any town to the bone in minutes.
* Viron assault pods from ''VideoGame/GroundControl'' 2. You think dropping five basic soldiers to any place on map is useful? Wrong! In campaign, you will use only at recommended missions and generally like suicide attack to destroy single important structure. Then you get to skirmish. Because of layout of maps, AI players especially like to move their forces into centre of the map and contest Victory Locations. This means you can drop pods on their unguarded Landing Zones and then [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome finish game by tearing them apart from both sides]]
* ''VideoGame/VictoriaAnEmpireUnderTheSun'', even when playing as Prussia, the historical forming state of Germany, doing so is not easy. But a ''true'' power-hungry leader strives to form ''[[UpToEleven Greater Germany]]'', which is Historical UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany + Austria (or [[UsefulNotes/TheSoundOfMartialMusic Austro-Hungary]], depending on circumstances), which is no small picnic either, and arguably even ''more'' difficult, given that both Austria and Prussia start the game as Great Powers, thus one of both must be reduced to [[VestigialEmpire Secondary Powers]] in order to gain rights to their lands. So why bother? Because Germany, and Greater Germany even more so, is a Manpower and Industrial ''beast'', capable of fielding larger armies and producing more materials (thus generating monstrous wealth) than a Westernized China, Japan, ''and even [[TheEmpire Great Britain]].'' (One can also try their hand at this with one of the [[FromNobodyToNightmare German One Province]] [[UsefulNotes/AllTheLittleGermanies Minors]], but there's no bonuses, [[SelfImposedChallenge just]] [[BraggingRightsReward bragging rights]].)
* In ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'', C Stick Throwing. In the Gamecube version of the game by rotating the C-Stick so the Pikmin all bunch around Olimar and rapidly mashing A, you can throw Pikmin '''a lot''' faster than normal. It is very difficult to learn to the point of being able to use it effectively. But when you do you can collect the ship parts much faster and defeat even the toughest enemies really quickly.
* In ''VideoGame/TotalWarShogun2'', you have the Otomo. Being Christians, ''everyone'' in Japan hates their guts, and will try to murder you from the get-go. However, they start with access to matchlock infantry, which are a little finickity at times but are capable of countering any unit type and mow down units at a rate that archers couldn't even dream of. Provided you can hold out long enough, you also get easy access to Nanban trade ships, which pack plenty of cannon and can take on anything short of the Black Ship (which is a bigger Nanban trade ship). As if this wasn't enough, their matchlock ashigaru and samurai are ''much'' more skilled than those of the other factions, meaning you can essentially ditch bows entirely (save for one or two units to shoot over walls) once you have matchlock ashigaru.
* ''VideoGame/GreyGoo'': Both the Humans and the titular Goo factions have elements of this, due to varying wildly from the more conventional (but still competitive) Beta:
** Humans can only ever have one base, and while they have unrivaled options when it comes to fortifying that one base, it comes at the cost of having long, delicate supply lines threading across the entire map. Players who can't figure out how to defend said lines while still having enough spare units to mount an offense will hit a brick wall when their base's resource nodes run dry.
** The Goo are exactly the opposite, having no fixed buildings whatsoever and creating units from "protean" blobs made by diving health from the resource-adsorbing Mother Swarms. While this gives them incredible flexibility and the ability to react to any enemy configuration, it requires a lot of micromanagement and situational awareness.

[[folder:Rhythm Game]]
* ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'' and ''VideoGame/RockBand'':
** "Tapping" requires you to take your right hand off the strum bar and bring it up to the fret buttons, hitting the buttons with your strumming hand. It seems like a stupid move, since if you miss, it breaks your combo and you have to strum to get it going again (except in certain sections in some ''Guitar Hero'' games), but it is one of the most important skills for a top player to learn. Why? Adding in another hand allows for much faster fretting and makes complicated sections easier to hit. It's probably also the hardest skill in the game to master, due to the low margin of error between hitting a section and almost failing out of it.
** To "squeeze" means to deploy Star Power/Overdrive right at the edge of a note's viable hit box and then hitting the note, allowing you to sneak an extra note in under your score-doubling power. This is challenging because if you're too slow with the subsequent hit, you flubbed your full combo but if you activate too soon, then the tail end of your score double-up will be lost, nullifying the effect of the squeeze. It must be ''perfect'', but doing so will net you the necessary points to climb to the tippy-top of the scoreboards.
* ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' in the higher difficulty levels requires pattern recognition for two deceptively easy moves: the crossover and spinning. A crossover is a pattern of left, up/down, right, up/down, left (or vice versa). A spin is a clockwise/counter-clockwise pattern of the arrows. Crossovers are easy to pull off, since you can always face the screen. Spinning however, unless you know the note setup, will require you to do a full 360, and is the harder of the two to do. These are very easy to do in a slow, easy to medium level song, but pick up the pace and it gets very hard. For example, ''Candy'' requires knowing when to spin. Candy's difficulty ramps up a notch unless you can spin, and trying to do them without spinning is awkward to the note setup. ''Under the Sky'' will deplete the life bar of any player who isn't even familiar with the crossover move. It's rated at 6 feet, which most intermediate players should pass, but the last third of the song is a barrage of crossover steps (it does do ForeShadowing in the middle).
* If one wants to remotely clear higher-level charts in ''VideoGame/{{beatmania}}'', manipulation of the turntable without using an entire hand is needed. Normally two methods are employed: using the pinky or the wrist. A specific example is what's known as 1048-style positioning, named after 1048, a prominent ''IIDX'' player: For those playing on the player 1 side, place your left hand's thumb on key 1, middle finger on key 2, and index finger on key 3, and have your wrist hit scratches. If on player 2 side, substitute left hand with right and keys 1, 2, and 3 with keys 7, 6, and 5, respectively. The positioning is a bit awkward at first as this puts your scratching hand at an odd angle, but it does put you in an advantageous position on patterns involving scratches and keys close to the turntable.
* On a similar note, using individual fingers to hit ''VideoGame/PopnMusic''[='=]s large, colorful buttons. Not the most comfortable thing in the world, but you can hit more buttons this way.
* ''VideoGame/{{Frequency}}'' and ''Amplitude'' both provide two alternate control sets, one using L1-R1-R2, and the other using Square-Triangle-Circle. Most players pick one or the other (or a hybrid of the two, such as L1-R1-Circle). At higher levels, however, it becomes useful and eventually necessary to start using both sets at once.
* Playing ''VideoGame/AikatsuPhotoOnStage'' with six fingers is quite awkward at first, especially when playing using middle fingers as the primary fingers, but in higher difficulties the flexibility of finger movements will make clearing live stages easier.

* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' is practically ''built'' out of this trope. The entire game has a steep learning curve, but oh the things you can pull off when you get the hang of it...
** An ingame example: It's incredibly tricky to build an effective trap, but if you can pull it off you can build [[http://mkv25.net/dfma/movie-1675-semi-automaticorcsiclemaker a trap which locks the enemies in, pours water on their heads and flash freezes them.]]
** There's also the guy who built a turing-complete [[http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=49641.0 computer]] in Dwarf Fortress.
** In adventure mode, Wrestling. [[GrapplingWithGrapplingRules The system for understanding it is ridiculously complex and full of dead ends]], but if you're good at it and get some decent armor you can quickly kill pretty much anything that breathes.
* Mindcrafters in ''[[VideoGame/AncientDomainsOfMystery ADOM]]'' are very difficult to keep alive, as all but two of their offensive PsychicPowers don't work on undead or golems. However, since this is a {{Roguelike}} game that rewards lateral thinking in battles, you can, with caution and a bit of luck, take on just about anything else with their Confusion Blast and Mind Blast. Said attacks do not miss and ignore armor. [[MagikarpPower Reaching lvl. 15 grants Telekinetic Blast]], which works on everything.
* ''VideoGame/NetHack'':
** [[Literature/{{Discworld}} The Tourist]] is a challenge due to the fact they start only skilled with darts that do low damage, have weak starting stats and are overcharged at all shops to contrast with their copious starting money. Once they finish their quest they get an item that can recharge any chargeable item in the game, including instant-death wands, as many times as the wand can take it. They also can become skilled with ''any weapon'' available and their alignment of Neutral means they have the best choice of powerful artifacts to wish for.
** The ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' style Archaeologist, possibly the most difficult class to play in the game, is the only class that can achieve master-level skill with a sword that does double damage to everything it hits. It takes practice to get yourself capable enough to ''get'' to the point where you can wield it.
** The ''VideoGame/SlashEmExtended'' variant has the Ghast race. Mastering their different way of getting nutrition may be hard, but they make up for it with their broad set of starting resistances and a paralyzing melee attack that easily makes them one of the best races for a melee fighting class.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfMajEyal'' has several classes, notably the Rogue and its variants, the Shadowblade and Marauder. They suffer early from [[UselessUsefulStealth stealth which is basically worthless]] but through smart use of positioning and traps they can deal ridiculous damage. The [[PsychicPowers Solipsist]] class is difficult because it's so very different due to its [[YourMindMakesItReal Solopsism talent]], which is inherent to the class and cannot be unlearned. It results in Psi energy being used as a secondary source of hit points, but can leave an hasty player without enough energy to use his abilities, as well as a crippling slow effect. Used correctly, though, Solopsists can deal good damage, with tremendous control options with their sleep powers, as well as excellent durability.
* Mom's Knife in ''VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac''. Incredible attack damage that can pierce through most armor, but it's relatively short-ranged, and there's no way of gauging how much you've charged it and how far it will go. Also Brimstone, a blast of demonic energy that ignores any terrain and can hit multiple times in a single shot but must be charged for a couple seconds before firing.

[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* Fog/Max in ''VideoGame/TalesOfEternia'' is broken in the hands of a good player with the Canceler equipped. The Canceler is an item that allows Max to swap out a spell with a short casting time for a spell with a long one, but it requires precise timing to work effectively. Once you figure out the timing, it's incredibly easy to spam his Mystic Arte, Elemental Mastery, which is already absurdly powerful, over and over again for little to no cast time. Did we mention his Mystic Arte is a barrage of [[FrickinLaserBeams elemental lasers]] covering the whole screen while he [[LargeHam laughs like a maniac]]?
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'':
** Colette is considered very powerful, but unless you know how to use her (Basic attack only with a neutral control stick and only 2 attacks at a time, spam Paraball) she is awkward to control and slow to attack. She also gets two extremely powerful attacks to chain off of it - Triple Ray Satellite and Hammer Rain, and one less powerful, but more practical - Whirlwind Rush. Triple Ray Satellite requires a wide target, while Hammer Rain just needs a huge target to get their hits in (however, they're the strongest non-Hi Ougi attacks in the game). Whirlwind Rush is much less damaging (it's weaker than Paraball), but very consistent, working on just about anything.
** Regal's unique play style can be very hard to learn, but his damage output if you can fully master his fighting game style mechanics is awesome, not to mention really stylish. Not as powerful as Collete though.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'''s Judith is another example. Her aerial combos are quite difficult to figure out without using guides, and demand more dexterity than Tales games tend to require, but make her one of the greatest melee threats in the game. And by far the most stylish. She's Vesperia's Regal.
* Cheria Barnes of ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces''. Her Physical Attack, Cryas (Magic) Attack and Physical Defense stats are low, and she's quite awkward to use for beginners unused to the battle system. However, after you practice with her she becomes a beast. She is the only character able to sidestep ''immediately'' after attacking, giving her an unrivalled level of evasion and mobility. She is the most versatile character, being able to attack in melee and from range, and has an assortment of healing, support and attack magic that can be ''instantly cast'' when placed at the end of a combo. Finally, she has a high crit rate (allowing for faster CC growth) and the highest Cryas Defense stat of the party. There is a very good reason why she is high-tier for {{Solo Character Run}}s.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' has the [[CriticalStatusBuff Red Tearstone Ring,]] which increases all damage ratings of your weapons (including sorcery catalysts, pyromancy flames, and talismans) by 50% while you're below 20% max health.[[note]]Due to enemies having varying defenses against the your damage type(strike, thrust, or slash) or elemental damage (magic, fire, lightning, or dark), the actual damage output can increase by anything between 50% and '''150%.'''[[/note]] It's incredibly useful against most bosses due to the sheer amount of damage you'll be doing. The only problem is that, if you get hit once when you're at that low health, you're pretty much dead. If you get really good at calling and dodging their attacks, though, it absolutely [[IncrediblyLamePun tears]] through them.
** The most powerful weapon attacks and spells in those games tend to be very slow to use (such as the "Firestorm" spells and the "Great" weapons that have knockdown moves)), meaning you need to master the timing to use them well. When you do, your player character can devastate enemies.
* Peco of ''BreathOfFireIII'' as a MagikarpPower based example.
* Whips in ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana''. Hard to use right, but when mastered they become your most effective way to fight bosses when your MP runs out.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'':
** Gau's Rage is hard to use properly, especially considering that he is uncontrollable once he uses a Rage, and Gau cannot equip weapons, but in the hands of a smart player Gau becomes one of the most useful characters. During the first half of the game he has access to tier 2 spells (via Rage) before most characters can use magic at all, and the [[DiscOneNuke Stray Cat Rage]] allows him to use Cat Scratch, which does ''quadruple the damage of a normal attack''. Later on, there are many, ''many'' ways to turn him into a GameBreaker -- for example, he is the only character who can inflict a special confusion-like special effect that works on everything, including ''the FinalBoss''. And that's not even going into Wind God Gau, who was specifically removed in later versions of the game. However, to use Gau properly, you need to understand the game mechanics very well and be willing to endure ''lots'' of grinding.
** Mog joins the party with no spells or any of his dances. His dances make him uncontrollable and often fail if it is of the incorrect terrain, wasting a turn. However, Mog gets the best armor in the game, easily maxing out his defense and taking little damage from even bosses. If given Dragoon equipment, he can multi-Jump and break the damage limit long before you get the game's ultimate weapons.
** Relm has the [[GameBreakingBug bugged]], and more often than not useless, Sketch ability, but has the highest Magic Attack in the game, surpassing both Terra and Celes. Thus, Relm easily hits the damage cap with Ultima.
** Gogo has less choices of equipment than other characters, and mediocre stats for every category. His strength lies in that he can repeat the last action without using any resources, and can pull off otherwise impossible combinations of skill sets: you can have someone with Blitz (one of the strongest movesets) and Mighty Guard (a [[PowerCopying Lore]] that happens to be one of the best party buffs) in one character while making room for other abilities.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' has an in-universe example in the Gunblade, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a sword with a firearm built into the hilt]]. Pulling the trigger on the gun sends a shockwave through the blade, dealing extra damage. However, like a real gun, the shot produces recoil, making it hard to get used to. As a result, only three people are known to use it; Laguna Loire (only awkwardly as a normal sword), Seifer Alamasy (due to his dream as a sorceress' knight), and Squall Leonheart (speculated in-universe to use it ''because'' of its difficulty).
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' has Quina, who many people ignored due to him looking and acting pretty silly through the whole game, coupled with the relative difficulty of getting new magic spells for him. However, when used properly he's one of the best characters in the game, with the super buff spell Mighty Guard as well as a spell that is guaranteed to hit the damage cap every single time[[note]]Not only hit damage cap, but do it for all of 2 mp, and is physical and ignores defense so nothing can reduce its power.[[/note]] with a bit of work on one of the mini-games.
* ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII'':
** Perfect Guards. If you can put your shield up right as the enemy's attack lands, you take a lot less damage, and will automatically stagger some enemies. Your window of opportunity is one-sixth of a second.
** Perfect Hits are even tricker, as different attacks have different timing for getting Perfect Hits. The Martial Monk garb's Whirlwind Kick has an ''obscene'' Perfect Hit multiplier, making it a devastating GameBreaker if you can master the timing.
* The Vanguard class in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''. For the most part, every other class can be played as a very cautious class, staying in cover and picking off enemies from long range. It's a slow way to play, but it's possible. Vanguards, however, can't do this if you're going to play at all like the class is meant to be played. Their regular class skills give them very few ranged powers, and their primary weapon is a short-range shotgun with a small clip and a long reload time. Unlike all the other classes, a Vanguard's primary ability, [[FoeTossingCharge Charge]], puts them directly into the thick of combat, and is a death sentence if used wrong. But if a vanguard player can manage to master the art of charging... well, that's when you get stuff like [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6iFgMXwd1Q this]].
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'':
** The [[FragileSpeedster Drell Vanguard]] are the most physically fragile race, offering incredible mobility and speed in exchange for very low barriers. A well-played drell vanguard zips around the map too fast for anything to get a bead on; an inexperienced one needs to be revived frequently.
** While Drell Vanguards are difficult they pretty much lack the awesome nowadays and are widely regarded as the worst class in the game, as they don't have the power to compensate for their squishiness. Drell Adepts though still play this trope straight as a well played one won't even have to worry about their low health thanks to a variety of ways to both set up and detonate biotic explosions as well as surprisingly being able to hold its own against some enemies like the Atlas and Geth Prime thanks to Cluster Grenade.
** The N7 Fury lacks the very useful Stasis ability of the asari adepts, but if used properly they can create rapid chains of biotic combo explosions using the risky [[InstantDeathRadius Annihilation Field]] and the target-hopping Dark Channel to prime explosions.
** The N7 Shadow requires a very different playstyle to make the most of its teleporting BackStab Shadow Strike, but if you choose your targets and avoid exposing yourself you can deal massive damage and neutralise DemonicSpiders like Phantoms before they become a threat. While the cloak and wall-piercing [=AoE=] shockwave are easy to use, there are various tricks and combos you can use to cancel cooldowns, deal extra damage and spend more time invisible using the cloak.
** The Javelin sniper rifle weighs about as much as carrying a teammate piggyback would, especially with the High Velocity Barrel mod, has an ammo count in ''at most'' the low double digits, and has a short but noticeable charge-up before each shot. On the other hand, since it has intrinsic 1m cover penetration and an inbuilt thermal scope, with Garrus's AP ammo as a bonus power, the High Velocity Barrel from the ''Citadel'' DLC, and the standard piercer mod, you can kill virtually any target even through walls. With Tactical Cloak up, you can one-shot Brutes. As long as you can correct for the charge time and don't mind the lack of ammo, it can kill virtually anything.
** The [[BadassAdorable volus]] characters, especially if you want to be an effective CombatMedic. A combination of low shield power, absolutely pathetic health (more like armour, given their ammonia-breather status) and offensive powers that are generally lackluster/have forbiddingly long recharge times would make them seem underwhelming - and they ''[[LethalJokeCharacter stand on an item crate when you pick them]]'' - but the key is to play them as a MagicKnight, with [[JackOfAllStats moderate-weight]] weapons, using [[HealThyself Shield Boost]] as a survivability tool, [[ChronicHeroSyndrome rather than just focusing on your teammates]], along with their unique BeehiveBarrier, and combining that with MoreDakka and well-timed uses of non-Shield Boost powers. Add a high-power Cyclonic Modulator to get more HitPoints to take advantage of their potentially absurd defence.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** Slaking is this in PvE. It has an extremely high Attack stat [[LightningBruiser in addition to very high HP, decent Defense, and high Speed]], and is capable of [[OneHitKO OHKOing]] all but the sturdiest {{Mons}} in the game, but only moves every other turn. However, if your prediction of your opponents moves and timing of when you switch in and out is good, it can end up taking out half the opponent's team.
** Unconventional as it may be, is the move Substitute. The user places their HitPoints into a decoy that takes attacks for them. Most people try it, note that their opponent just shattered it in one hit, wonder why they even bothered obtaining the Substitute TM at all if all it does is spend a quarter of the user's life to act like Protect, and replace it with an attack. Only with practice do they learn to create free turns with which to use Substitute (scaring the opponent into switching Pokemon by means of an ElementalRockPaperScissors advantage, for example; Sub while they switch), and only after experimenting with the move (or just looking it up) do they figure out that it blocks status ailments, provides a margin of error against unexpected threats or critical hits (even a one-hit KO will merely break the Substitute and leave the user very much intact), and buys time for the user to use other setup moves or whittle away at the enemy's health. The Substitute remains on the field until it's destroyed or the user switches out (and even then, the move Baton Pass lets you switch to another Pokemon and hand the Substitute to them), and you can pretty much act with impunity in the meantime. Again, though, it takes a lot of practice and prediction to know which {{Mons}} can benefit from Substitute the most, and when to even use the move.
*** Special mention must be made to a very particular Substitute strategy, [=SubSeed=]. [=SubSeeding=] involves combining Substitute with the move Leech Seed. Leech Seed causes the opponent to lose a small amount of HP (1/8 its maximum) every turn, and then for the Pokemon on your side of the field to absorb that HP. This absorbed HP is given to the Pokemon itself, not to its Substitute, so after a couple turns of Leech Seed recovery, all the HP used to create the Substitute is recovered. Adding to its potential is the fact that almost every Grass-type can learn Leech Seed and use this tactic. However, Leech Seed recovery ends if the afflicted Pokemon switches out, opposing Grass-types are immune to being seeded, and since every user is Grass-typed themselves, they have to deal with the myriad weaknesses that type brings to the table. That said, those Pokemon that can do this strategy ''really'' well are quite possibly the most annoying Pokemon in the game, and if you can master playing [=SubSeed=], you might find yourself winning by RageQuit. Bonus points for the best user of the strategy in OU (standard) play being Breloom, which is ''itself'' Difficult But Awesome for an entirely different set of reasons.
** No Guard, most commonly used by [[MultiArmedAndDangerous Machamp]], ensures that attacks launched by either combatant always hit. This can result in absolute havoc as you decimate enemies with the otherwise AwesomeButImpractical Dynamic Punch or it can result in you getting one-shotted by your opponent's own insanely powerful attack.
*** Also applies to Mega [[WindBeneathMyWings Pidgeot]], especially since three of the best moves for taking it out (Thunder, Blizzard, and Stone Edge) normally have poor accuracy.
** Despite its mascot character status, you will rarely ever see someone use a Pikachu, particularly due to its "not fully evolved" status and overall terrible defenses. Even with the Light Ball in Gen II, which doubled its special attack (and later its physical attack), it was frail and many things outspeed it. However, Gen V blessed its family with a saving grace, Lightningrod. Switching Pikachu in to an Electric attack will nullify the damage and boost Pikachu's special attack stat higher, leaving anyone slower than Pikachu blasted and charred. You could even add insult to injury by having Pikachu use Encore to trap an unknowing opponent into continually boosting the little guy till he can oneshot everything. Priority will knock it down, but until then, Pikachu's roasting more than berries and Team Rocket...
** Unofficial CharacterTiers are often decided by this trope. Many Pokemon, while not Difficult But Awesome in and of themselves, tend to be this in comparison to more popular Pokemon. This leads to many perfectly usable Pokemon being dropped to lower tiers solely on the basis that another Pokemon can do everything they can, but better, more easily, or with less risk.
** Aegislash, due to it's special ability stance change it goes from an StoneWall to a GlassCannon, so you typically want it to go last. Learning it's trademark 'King's Shield' move, needed to make it an StoneWall again is also a GuideDangIt moment, but masters of Aegislash can take out even Mega Pokemon and types it is weak to with little effort, if they can out predict their opponents movements. There's a reason it was KickedUpstairs into the Ubers.
* The ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' franchise could be said to be this in itself, being focused entirely around fighting giant monster many times stronger than the player could ever become. That said there are several weapon classes that stand out by themselves:
** The Hunting Horn has slow and unorthodox swing animations, and forces the player to constantly keep their self-improvement buff active to be effective, but a good Hunting Horn player is a LightningBruiser with all the strengths of a [[GlassCannon Hammer]] user in addition to having a large amount of buffs, heals and other beneficial effects at their disposal.
** The Greatsword (which is a popular weapon with new players, despite being this trope) has some of the highest damage potential in the game, but is incredibly sluggish in both attack speed and movement. A bad Greatsword hunter won't accomplice much, a good one can crush some of the strongest monsters in the game without much difficulty.
** The Charge Blade technique known as Guard Points involves abusing the fact that the Charge Blade automatically blocks during certain attack animations, and if the shield if charged, unleashes explosions upon successfully guarding. It's a very risky technique, as mistiming the animation means you're leaving yourself wide open, but a player with good timing and reflexes can force the monsters to KO or even kill themselves on the Guard Point.
** [[LongRangeFighter Gunner weapons]] (Bows and Bowguns) also count. In addition to requiring a lot more micromanagement than [[CloseRangeCombatant Blademasters]] (thanks to multiple ammunition types you have to juggle), Gunners need to be aware of their surroundings a lot more due to Gunner weapons only working best at a specific distances and Gunner armor offering only half as much protection compared to Blademasters. That being said, Bows and Bowguns are incredibly flexible weapons suited for almost every situation as long as you know to exploit monster's weaknesses correctly.
* ''VideoGame/SeikenDensetsu3'''s [[FanNickname suicide teams]]. These are teams where not a single party member has any access to healing abilities (such as an all-Dark party of Duran, Kevin and Hawk), which means that one mistake can wipe the party. These parties also tend to have [[GlassCannon a ridiculous amount of firepower]] and are quite fun to play if you know how to handle them.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'', Geno is not exactly a weak character, but his most powerful move, Geno Whirl, is ''incredibly'' hard to pull off. You have to time the button sequence just right to do it correctly. If you ''do'' get the sequence correctly, the attack deals a whopping [[{{Cap}} 9999 points of damage]], which will OneHitKill anything that isn't immune to it (for reference, the [[BonusBoss strongest enemy in the game]] only has about 8000 HP). The downside to this is, [[ContractualBossImmunity almost every boss is immune to it]] [[spoiler: except for Exor.]]
* ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' has the Superguard. The Superguard is an upgraded version of the regular Guard, and requires pressing B on being hit instead of A. It's ''extremely'' difficult to time it ''exactly'' right, with a timeframe of 1/20th of a second. However, if you do, not only do you take ''no'' damage, but on a move with physical contact, the enemy [[CounterAttack takes one point of damage]]! This works for ''every'' attack in the game, except for [[spoiler: [[BonusBoss Bonetail]]]]'s biting attack, and an explosion from a [[ActionBomb Bob-Ulk or Bulky Bob-Omb]].
* In both of the first two ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' games, there's the "Danger Mario" build. Level up Mario's BP to max, FP as far as you can, and use Chet Rippo's stat-reassignment service to drop Mario's max HP to 5, putting him in constant "Danger" status. Then pile on as many badges as you can that take advantage of Danger status, like Close Call (which gives you a 50% chance to avoid attacks completely). Mario gets huge boosts to attack, defense, and evasion, but if any attack manages to overcome all his defenses at once, [[GlassCannon he's a goner]] (better stock up on Life Shrooms just in case). This is even easier to pull off in ''The Thousand Year Door'' if you're good at the above-mentioned Superguard, since it means you can rely on your own reflexes to avoid an attack instead of praying that the RandomNumberGod is on your side.
* ''VideoGame/PathOfExile'' has what are considered "build-defining" items; unique items whose abilities are so oddball or whose NecessaryDrawback is so great that you have to plan your character build around them in order to use them effectively. For example, ''[[http://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Trypanon Trypanon]]'' has the property "All Attacks with this Weapon are Critical Strikes", but a horribly slow attack speed and mediocre base damage. By itself Trypanon is pathetic, but with a build focusing on critical strike multiplier and supplemental damage from auras and other items, it can clear the screen in one blow.

[[folder:Shoot Em Up]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' games have several:
** Youmu in general:
*** In ''Imperishable Night'' she's normally part of the Ghost Team, which has the highest overall power in exchange for having the spread shot focused on the concentrated shot unfocused, the reverse of usual, and she herself has part of her shot in an option that swings around as she moves. Or she can go ''solo'', which removes the spread option (and her own ability to center her option by briefly focusing) but lets her lock her option by focusing and giver her shortened phantom gauge that improves her scoring abilities.
*** In ''Phantasmagoria of Flower View'' she has all-around terrible statistics (slow charge speeds and move speeds that're the opposite of optimal) but the unique ability to cancel bullets without spending meter. In practice she's bottom-tier since the ability is underwhelming and and her attacks suck, but this is probably what ZUN was going for.
*** In ''Ten Desires'' has access to the strongest spread and concentrated attacks... but she's a reverse shot-type, meaning that unless you're very good you won't be able to make full use of her strong unfocused shots. And the charged nature of her focused shots can be a problem if you don't get it's rhythm down, while the unfocused shots have trailing options that punish you for moving wildly.
** ''Mountain of Faith'' brings us [=MarisaC=], who attacks using four "frostthrowers" that are locked in place when Marisa focuses. While this requires a player to time when to focus, unfocus, and pulse between the two, as well as manipulating boss movements, strategic placement of the frostthrowers is the reason why [=MarisaC=] is consistently the highest-scoring character, and it helps that she's effectively the strongest character in the game. Behind only Reimu C Close and [[GoodBadBugs Marisa]][[FanNickname Broken]].
** [=SanaeA=] in the fangame ''Marine Benefit'' also qualifies for this, as her unfocused shot by itself is fairly weak and her bomb only clears the area to her sides; however, she has Kanako's virtue spheres hovering around her and spinning around the field, killing most non-boss enemies they touch almost instantly (and doing good damage to bosses). While it takes a lot of getting used to aiming the virtues, knowing when to unfocus to activate them, and learning to see through them so they don't distract you from the bullets, using them wisely helps tremendously in killing off enemies in places other shot types would almost require a bomb to kill, and thus reducing a lot of the difficulty of some sections. And it helps that [=SanaeA's=] focused shot, while it lacks the virtues, has plenty of forward power for boss killing.
* ''VideoGame/MushihimeSama Futari'' versions 1.01 and 1.5 have Reco-Abnormal, who at first seems like a horribly counter-intuitive character; she inverts the trend that focused shot = slower speed, and her focused shot at first feels pathetically weak. However, proper utilization of her focus shot's lock-on option ability allows her to rapidly decimate bosses and midbosses.
* ''[[VideoGame/DonPachi DoDonPachi]]'':
** ''[=DoDonPachi DaiOuJou=]'' has Exy, who is the most difficult character to survive with due to having only 1 initial bomb and 2 max bombs (vs. Leinyan's 2 initial and 4 max, and Shotia's 3 initial and 6 max). However, a skilled player can make Exy into an ass kicker: she has Shotia's powerful shot and Leinyan's piercing laser, and her lower bomb capacity means she gets the max bomb bonus sooner. Moreover, unlike Shotia, who loses all of her laser power on dying, and Leinyan, who loses all of her shot power, Exy only loses one level of each upon death.
** ''[=DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu=]'' has Power Style. You can't bomb (except you do get one auto-bomb upon picking up a bomb item) and the shot is still slightly weaker than Strong Style even in Boost Mode, but Power Style also builds up Hypers the fastest and any bullets cancelled by your Hyper while in Boost Mode also charge up your next Hyper. Play your cards right and you can have a Hyper ready basically anytime you want.
** ''[=DoDonPachi Saidaioujou=]'' has the swimsuit for whichever Element Doll you pick. It's analogous to Exy in ''[=DaiOuJou=]'' while the combat uniform is analogous to Shotia and the casual dress is analogous to Leinyan. However, unlike ''[=DaiOuJou=]'', you don't lose any shot or laser power upon dying, while the swimsuit has the additional drawback of making enemy attacks significantly fiercer.
* ''Videogame/GunsOfIcarus'': The cannon (and the super cannon) take some practice to aim correctly because of their slow-moving shots, but if you can master [[LeadTheTarget Leading The Target]], they deal twice as much damage as the standard gatling, and they have massive range.
* ''VideoGame/RType'': Novice players mostly use the Force Pod as a front shield. Experts know how to use front, back and especially detached mode to their full advantage, the latter of which can be difficult to learn. In detached mode you have to control two units at once and the shield is moved to an arbitrary position, leaving you open to attacks. But you do get to cover a greater shooting range.
* ''VideoGame/{{Darius}}burst Another Chronicle'' has its version [[WaveMotionGun Burst]] Counter, a variation of the Alpha Beam counterattack from ''G-Darius'', except instead of relying on the player ButtonMashing to overcome a BeamOWar, instead a Burst Counter requires timing deploying the Burst weapon right as the enemy fires theirs. Fail to time it properly and you'll eat laser, losing valuable shield points at best and an entire life at worst. Time it right, however, and your laser increases in power and duration, allowing you to tear down the enemy that tried to fry you. Alternatively, you can perform a Side Counter, in which you fire your Burst right as you cross the enemy's beam--again, screwing up will damage your shield or kill you, but proper timing will grant you a powerful counterattack.
* ''VideoGame/{{Hellsinker}}'' has two: Fossil Maiden and Kagura-Xanthez. At least one of their attacks are melee-oriented. While Fossil Maiden can easily clear out bullets in front of her with her [[HomingLaser double-tap attack]], Kagura-Xanthez doesn't have any options to clear out bullets as a part of her arsenal (if you don't count her [[WaveMotionGun bomb]]). But once you know how to use them properly, they have the most damage potential in the game.

* ''WarThunder'' features tracerless ammo belts as an option for plane loadouts. They are usually avoided by most players, because they offer absolutely no visual cues as to where your bullets are heading and make it much harder to LeadTheTarget, doubly so if you're playing a difficulty mode without the leading assistance. However, a player that masters their use will have two significant advantages: first, the bullets themselves do more damage because they don't have to waste mass on tracer compound, and second, they won't tip off an enemy plane that they're being attacked until it's too late, making it significantly easier to pull off ambushes or abort a botched attack without the target going after you in revenge or going evasive and making a second attack much more difficult.

[[folder:Stealth Based Game]]
* ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'':
** The Hidden Blade {{Counter Attack}}s are very difficult to pull off consistently, but once mastered even [[HeavilyArmoredMook Brutes]] (though not [[spoiler:Papal Guards or Janissaries]]) will be {{One Hit Kill}}ed by them, although in ''Brotherhood'' the returning protagonist's experience is reflected in the form of a more generous window of opportunity. This is doubly true in the first game, where the Hidden Blade didn't even block, meaning you had to get it right or take damage -- however, get it right and even the final boss can be OHK'd.
** Stealth, even when it isn't a mandatory part of your current mission. You can reach a point where the only enemies that will ever attack you are the ones actually scripted to do so, which is a very small subset of the guards. You one hit kill virtually every unaware enemy, even the rare ones that might be able to avoid being counter killed.
** To a lesser extent, chain kills can be this. Once you get two to three kills in a row, you can simply point in the direction of the next enemy and hit attack to immediately kill them. The problem? You have no invincibility frames, and can be knocked out of your lengthy kill animations at any time. Start your chain kill at the wrong time, and you'll almost immediately be knocked out of it and left defenseless; start it at the right time and prioritize your targets, and you'll be unstoppable.
* Getting the Silent Assassin rating on any of the ''Videogame/{{Hitman}}'' games is quite difficult, requiring a mix of proper timing, planning and SaveScumming. But pulling it off will net you bonus weapons, cash and in general make you feel like a {{Badass}}, especially if you can pull off an [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident accident kill]].

[[folder:Survival Horror]]
* In ''VideoGame/DeadRising'', the regular chainsaw is like this, especially in Infinity Mode before you get the [[GameBreaker Small Chainsaw]]. The standard swing is awkward as hell and leaves you vulnerable to attack after each swing, and you drop the weapon if you take a single hit from anything (forcing you to pick it up and rev it up again). However, the running attack absolutely scythes through zombies and bosses as long as you make absolutely sure never to stop moving.
* The [[spoiler: Great Knife]] in ''{{Silent Hill 2}}''. Because of its size, James moves slowly with it and it takes time for him to swing it. This leaves him open to getting hit. However, if you're very good at timing your attacks, basically any enemy will fall before they can deal much damage, and boss fights where melee is an option are over much faster than usual. It also possesses a [[GuideDangIt hidden ability:]] turn off your flashlight in a darkened area as you drag it about, and almost all the enemies will think you're Pyramid Head and ''[[TheDreaded flee in terror]]''.

[[folder:Third Person Shooter]]
* ''VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron'':
** The Soldier is fairly easy to get a handle on, as it's your standard shooter archetype and quite tough. However, skilled selection of special abilities and perks allows them to become devastating, particularly in close combat, and their heavy weapons can shred almost anyone in a matter of seconds.
** The Leader is very Soldier-like, with the added bonus of having an ability that not only gives you bonus armor and damage but all allies within a radius. Skill and timing in the use of this ability can make any Leader into a monster.
** The Scout is the first class where you really need to work to be dangerous, though--it has little enough health that a single shot from a Soldier's tank mode can kill. On the other hand, with the proper use of abilities, weapons, timing, and even the ''angle of attack'', a Scout can often one-shot a Soldier when they're at normal maximum health.
** The true demons, though, are Scientists. Incredibly fragile, they are also the most mobile class, and their default weapon selection allows for both sniping and brutal close-combat damage. A Scientist player who masters the hit and run or snipe and run aspect of the class will demolish all comers--and this is to say nothing of if they deciding to perform their standard function of TheMedic to heal up other characters on top of it.
* ''VideoGame/GlobalAgenda'' has the Recon class, which functions like this to at least some degree: there's a glut of players who have absolutely no business taking on the stealth-based mantle, but those who have practiced to a reasonable point are absolute nightmares to deal with. Certain varieties of [[TheMedic Medic]] are similar, if less pronounced.
* ''VideoGame/{{Oni}}'' has the Backbreaker, a move with [[BackStab positioning requirements]] bound to a key combination that is hard to pull off reliably unless you're a veteran player, especially since the mooks can and will try to face you when you get behind them. It can also one-shot most enemies, making every successful use rewarding. Newbies may pull it off a few times per mission if lucky, experienced veterans tend to kill most enemies with it. Even more pronounced in the Anniversary Edition mod, where enemies have larger health pools but Backbreaker has increased damage. Despite retaining its deadly efficiency in an environment where every other ability is weaker, it is even harder to pull off due to enemies being far faster and thus better at protecting their backs than normal.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'':
** The Lex pistol doesn't look like much on first use. Tiny magazine, high recoil, low rate of fire, long reload time. So why is it widely advocated? With the right mods, it's really powerful and has great accuracy even at great distance. The key is to treat it like a PoorMansSubstitute sniper and pick your shots slowly and methodically, not a pray-and-spray close-quarters automatic.
** The sliding melee can be difficult to land consistently, but it deals damage more efficiently than hacking randomly.
** Charged attacks can be easily disrupted, so landing them consistently needs you to learn timing and footwork. However, the greatly boosted damage, partly due to ignoring armour, means you can kill enemies with just a few charged attacks rather than many standard strikes.
** Learning to use a bow requires learning to charge the shot rather than try to lay out shots as fast as possible, as well as taking into account the ballistic arc and flight time, but the damage from a fully-charged headshot can be very impressive.
** Limbo's powers can completely disable enemy forces (unless a [[NoSell Nullifier]] gets involved), but his learning curve is so steep it's practically vertical. Unfortunately, an unskilled Limbo is [[TheLoad a hindrance]] to the team rather than helpful.
** The Simulor and Synoid Simulor are weird little weapons: rather than firing bullets, arrows, or rockets, they launch magnetic 'singularities' a short distance. Not only will these attacks bounce off walls but also enemies, they can't even do damage directly should you manage to park one on an opponent. You have to get an enemy nearby and manually detonate weapon for a smaller amount of damage, or drop up to four more 'singularities' into the first. However, if you manage to do so, it'll pulse out serious area damage on every strike, and on the fifth strike slurp every surrounding non-living thing into the center, combined with a reasonable crit and status chance. All done with rifle ammunition -- one of the two explosive primaries to use it and not the less-common sniper ammo.
* The Torque Bow in ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' is difficult to charge in cover, it is difficult to aim, and it sometimes has scarce ammunition, but it can deliver one-hit kills, and it's one of the recommended weapons on the final boss.
* It's actually possible in ''VideoGame/StarWarsBattlefront2015'' to bring down an AT-AT walker in Walker Assault when it's vulnerable using the Snowspeeder by tying its legs with the cable. Though it involves avoiding the AT-AT's fire, its legs, and enemy fighter support, it can bring it down in one go.


[[folder:Turn Based Strategy]]
* Several weapons in ''VideoGame/{{Worms}}'', but perhaps the poster child for this is the [[AnimalSuperheroes Super]] [[BaaBomb Sheep]]. The Bazooka deserves special mention, a high damage explosive starting weapon with a ludicrously long ballistic trajectory. Newbies may have a hard time hitting anything not on the same screen but ''Scorched Earth'' veterans can knock an enemy worm into the water from across the map in turn 1.
* Several factions in ''VideoGame/LordsOfMagic'' are a challenging initial play. Air's low armor means that their units fall apart in a straight slugging match (you know you're in trouble when your best meatshield is the equivalent to other faiths' ''light cavalry'') but they're extremely fast and have very powerful magic, plus most of their units can fly. Fire has weak armor and lacks Air's mobility, but make up for it with powerful magic that only gets nastier as the game progresses once you figure out how to use it to effect. Order looks solid on paper, but their starting position is close to two very hostile neighbors and their territory is riddled with marauders, and there's a high chance that at least one of the starting, low-level hamlets you try to clear out will spawn with a ''pegasus'' inside. But if you manage to survive slugging it out with such powerful enemies and constant raids, your army will be the most experienced and toughest force on Urak short of Balkoth himself, and will bring death and destruction on the heads of anyone who challenges you.
* ''[[VideoGame/NintendoWars Advance Wars]]'':
** Sami is often seen as a waste, as her only ability is to have stronger infantry (the weakest units in the game) at the cost of weaker vehicles (The most used and useful units). However, by simply spamming mech units in deployment maps, you will overwhelm your opponent and literally be unstoppable. In the second game, winning as Sami basically translates to "Get an infantry to the enemy's HQ with a fully charged super co power". You'll capture their HQ ''instantly, even if the infantry has low HP'', guaranteeing an instant win.
** VS Mode Sturm in the first game is too, believe it or not. He's considered USELESS, as his units have 20% lower attack in exchange for 30% stronger defense. However, if you use his weaker units as meat shields to pick at your enemy's HP (Which weakens their attack and drains their ammo) while you build up a strong offense and attack in one assault, well, the results are devastating.
** Colin has 10% weaker units in exchange for 20% cheaper units. There is a Campaign mission where you only have to ''survive for 14 days'' as Colin which seems to hammer home the fact that he sucks, and his wimpy theme music doesn't help. However, give him a try on deployment maps with Aerial and Naval units. Suddenly Bombers and Battleships which are absurdly powerful are costing about 6000 bucks less to deploy, and their absurd attack strength means that a slight loss in power means absolutely ''nil''. His CO powers really hammer this home: Gold Rush is tied for the fastest charging CO power in the game, and increases his current available cash by 50% when activated. Power of Money, his super CO power, takes a fair bit longer to charge, but gives a damage boost to all of his units for the turn scaling off of how much money he has at the time. If Colin is ever given a chance to stockpile even a little spare money, the situation can quickly snowball out of control, as Gold Rush eventually generates more money than it costs to recharge it, leading to Colin having potentially ''hundreds of thousands'' in cash on hand as he fires off Gold Rush turn after turn after turn, leading to the eventual conclusion as his army of discount units tears through everything in its path during Power of Money, sporting attack power potentially ''dozens'' of times normal if he's been allowed to stockpile enough cash. There's a reason the kid's considered [[GameBreaker broken]] on many [[CharacterTiers tiers lists]].
* ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'':
** Multiple high-tier MEC Troopers are incredibly powerful {{Lightning Bruiser}}s, but they're incredibly expensive to field. 10 Meld to allow a trooper to use [=MECs=], 40 to produce the basic tier-1 suit, 60 to upgrade it to the tier-2 suit, and 100 Meld to upgrade it to the tier-3. All in all, it costs ''210'' Meld to fully upgrade a single MEC Trooper, when most missions net you 20 at most.
** Fully gene-modding a soldier is also this for the same reasons. Depending on what you pick, you may have to pay up to 200 Credits and 150 Meld to fully kit out a soldier with gene mods. It also takes twenty days to complete the procedure. However, you're left with a super-powered {{Badass}} who can take out several aliens by him/herself, and forms a deadly duo with [=MECs=] and psionic troopers.
** Shotguns for the Assault class. While the Assault Rifle is a completely superior choice on lower difficulties, the Shotgun is a must on [[NintendoHard Impossible]]. Using a Shotgun trooper effectively requires excellent knowledge and use of cover and concealment, but killing an alien with a critical hit is vital if you want to succeed.
** The Sniper's In The Zone ability can be this. Killing a target that has been flanked or is out of cover does not cost the Sniper an action, meaning that one Sniper can take down many aliens in a single turn. However, taking full advantage of this requires a lot of setup and luck.
* ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'':
** Aiming for the Domination or Conquest victory fits into this bill in many of the games. Invading other people's cities and annexing them (or RapePillageAndBurn or, in ''V'', making puppet states out of them) fits the bill. It's fun to conquer every single city, but it requires a lot of micromanagement and strategy with your units. You're also going to have to deal with a lot of unhappiness due to overpopulation, angry citizens from occupied cities and city-states, and having diplomatic relations completely cut off and every civilization declare war on you for your war-mongering attitude. This is why "military based civilizations" (i.e. Mongols, Aztecs, Huns, and the Japanese) are considered to be high-risk/high-reward type of civilization.
** The entire point of Wonders is they are expensive to produce, other people may beat you to building one (meaning you wasted all your effort) and time spent building one could have been better spent making lots of conventional forces. But if you finish it, you get something pretty awesome that changes how you play the game.
** In ''V'', Venice [[LandOFOneCity has a unique playstyle]] where they cannot build any other cities and is very reliant on their capital city. Do bad and Venice can easily get conquered as early as Ancient Era. Do good however and you will get massive amounts of gold, food population, and units that can easily defend Venice while going for a cultural victory.
** Getting a Cultural Victory via Tourism in ''Brave New World'' requires a lot of planning, both to get the right Great Works at the right time and getting the aforementioned Wonders, but do it right and you can get the rest of the world to concede the superiority of your culture without firing a shot.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' is the Calculator. It is the slowest unit in the game by far. Using various math calculations, it can hit multiple units anywhere on the map, with nearly any magic spell, used instantly and without consuming any MP. The height of the tile a unit is standing on, their Experience Points, their Level and how charged their turn timer is can be selected, with variables of 3, 4, 5 and Prime Number. Careful use of these can wipe out an entire field of enemies, give giant boosts to your entire team at once, and even bring an entire team back to life with full health in an instant. By giving these skills to the Ninja class (the fastest in the game) it becomes so powerful that it was banned in PVP matches completely.
* In ''Videogame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'' ''III'', the Fortress faction requires a bit of finesse to use properly. However, nearly all of their units have a special ability which can be put to good use if you know what you're doing. The Dragonfly is a flying debuff + dispel (goodbye Prayer, Magic Mirror, etc.). The Basilisks have a chance of petrifying enemies taking them out of the fight for a while (save those pesky Dragons for later). Wyverns can poison enemies softening them up for the kill (all those hitpoints seventh level units boast don't mean much when you lose half of them each turn for three turns). Hydras can potentially deal a ridiculous amount of damage since they attack everything around them with no retaliation (combine with Haste and Teleport for best effect -- nothing like having rampaging Hydras on speed appear right in the middle of the enemy formation or behind their castle walls). The cream of the crop are the Mighty Gorgons (upgraded 5th level unit) which has a Death Stare that can ''instantly kill'' a number of the units in a stack they attack (say goodbye to your precious Archangels). The reason the Fortress is still challenging to use despite these abilities is because the units' actual ''stats'' are rather lackluster. Most of them are pretty slow (the Hydra is the slowest seventh level unit in the game), the two fliers with decent speed are fragile and weak for their tier, and the army overall tends to favor Defense. The Fortress having a grand total of one ranged unit -- a lackluster one that has nothing going for it except decent defense and hitpoints -- also doesn't help matters.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Mordheim}}: City of the Damned'', the Cult of the Possessed have a horrible early game due to their GlassCannon tendencies and random mutations, but if they manage to survive it in decent condition, they have the potential to become pretty powerful. A full-tank Darksoul can keep multiple enemy warriors occupied for round after rounde, since Darksouls never take All Alone tests and can become pretty sturdy, while a Magister who advanced Chaos Chains can make enemy Heroes nearly powerless and a Possessed or Spawn with the right mutations can destroy them like there's no tomorrow.

[[folder:Wide-Open Sandbox]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'', learning how to work with redstone can be a challenging feat, requiring an intimate understanding of the game's block physics and a good understanding of boolean algebra. Once you get to grips with redstone, you can produce some outstanding projects, such as mob grinders, home security systems, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X21HQphy6I Turing machines]].
* Designing and successfully flying a single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane is the way to invoke this trope in ''VideoGame/KerbalSpaceProgram''. Anything an SSTO is capable of doing, a plain old rocket can do it much more simply - and in most cases, more efficiently. They can be a real pain to get working properly and are by no means the easiest or fastest way to orbit. Pulling one off, however, is seen as a rite-of-passage amongst KSP players, and it results in a rather useful do-everything reusable utility craft.

!!Non-video game examples:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Nen abilities in ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' exploit this trope. Nen powers get stronger the more restrictions and handicaps the user puts on them, which is why the more powerful characters will usually have fairly convoluted rules for their abilities (like The Bomber from the Greed Island arc, who exploits ExplainingYourPowersToTheEnemy, and Knuckle, who has a PowerNullifier based on complicated bank interest equations.)
* Revealed, via backstory, to be the case with Luffy's Devil Fruit power in ''Manga/OnePiece''. Luffy got his DF before being sent to live with Dadan (where he lived with Ace and also met Sabo). When training with Ace and Sabo, the other two, as child [[BadassNormal Badass Normals]], would consistently beat up Luffy because his rubberized body was too hard to use properly. The ease with which we see him dominate foes even from chapter/episode 1 came from between 5-10 '''years''' of practice, but initially the power was more trouble than it was worth.
** Trafalgar Law's Devil Fruit was also revealed to be this in his backstory. The Op-Op fruit grants the ability to control everything within the "Rooms" generated by the user, and can be used to heal people. After eating it Law immediately tried to heal his father-figure Corazon...only to fail because he did not have the medical knowledge on how to fix the injuries. Law needed to actually ''learn medicine'' to be able to use his full power. Unlike all other Devil Fruits, it also has the drawback of sapping his stamina, so Law usually needs to plan for confrontations so he'll have enough energy. But if he does have that energy, he's capable of flipping battleships, cutting marines to bits and keeping them alive anyway, cutting through mountains, dealing blows that will destroy your organs form the inside out, and more.
* ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline''
** [[LaserBlade Photon swords]] in ''Gun Gale Online'': at first, they were considered [[JokeWeapon Joke Weapons]], since anyone else could use a gun (which made up the majority of weapons in the game) to kill someone wielding a sword before they got close enough for it to be of any use. Then Kirito starts playing and takes a photon sword as his main weapon and, using experience gained from two prior games that focused on sword fighting, turned it into a LethalJokeWeapon, [[ParryingBullets deflecting bullets like a Jedi knight before slicing his foes to shreds]]. When he leaves GGO, other players try to mimic his feats, though to limited success.
** Kirito continues to pull off nigh-impossible feats when he returns to ''[=ALfheim=] Online'' after the ''Phantom Bullet'' arc: not only can he deflect magic spells (which have a hitbox even smaller than bullets) with his swords, but he can fight with [[DualWielding two swords]], like in SAO, without assistance from the system. He also finds a way to maximize the utility of his two-sword fighting style by alternating between one-handed Sword Skills, activating one after the last finishes. This technique requires him to start the next Sword Skill within ''one tenth of a second'' before post-Sword Skill immobility kicks in.
* Quite a few of the highly specialised wizards in ''Manga/FairyTail''. The strongest example is Fried, who can basically '''rewrite the laws of nature'''.
** Magic Tool Users like Ichiya, [[spoiler: Mystogan]], Cana and Celestial Spirit Mages can have [[LogicalWeakness their tools taken away from them]] or be unable to use their tools due to being restrained. However they benefit from a very versatile powerset in exchange, with a very wide range of possible effects. For example, Celestial Spirit Mages are inherently unpredictable since there is no way of knowing what and how many Celestial Keys a given mage may own. ''Getting'' those keys however can be a difficult prospect.
* In the ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' chronology, this is given as the in-universe reason why the [[CoolPlane VF-19 Excalibur]] never saw widespread mainline adoption even after its prototype won the Advanced Variable Fighter competition in ''Anime/MacrossPlus''. The fighter's difficult handling meant that, despite its awesome potential, novice pilots had trouble controlling it, with lethal consequences.
** Of course, the real reason was that Creator/ShojiKawamori didn't want it to be a grunt suit in ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'' potentially upstaging the VF-25 Messiah.
* The ''Manga/GetterRobo'' itself is a powerful and terrifying combining robot, but is noted in-story to be a difficult to handle beast. It is demonstrated several times that pilots that are insufficiently skilled or badass will ultimately fail to harness the Getter's true potential - in ''Shin VS Neo'', the test pilot who failed to initiate the combination sequence from Neo Getter-1's cockpit was physically incapable of even hitting the emergency failsafe lever as he was unable to withstand the forces involved; compare that to the final pilot of Neo Getter-1, Ichimonji Gou, who actually ''enjoyed'' the intensity of flying the craft.

[[folder:Collectible Card Game]]
* ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'':
** Some cards require you to jump through a number of inefficient hoops to summon, but are nigh-unstoppable when you do. But one example, ''Vennominaga The Deity of Poisonous Snakes'', requires a specific trap card to be activated, and then only in response to the destruction of its predecessor, ''Vennominion the King of Poisonous Snakes.'' Both cards have zero attack, but are boosted by the number of Reptiles in your graveyard (fortunately, there's specifically a card for sending Reptiles to the grave from the deck), but once it actually gets summoned, Vennominaga is all but invincible, since it cannot be affected ''at all'' by other card effects and if it attacks the opponent three times, it's an automatic win.
** Shooting Quasar Dragon requires 1 Tuner Synchro Monster + 2 or more Non-Tuner Synchro Monsters, a somewhat hard to fulfill condition. However, when you manage to summon it, you get a 4000 ATK beatstick that gets a minimal of 2 attacks per turn (Yes a minimun, as in, it can get more than 2 attacks depending of how many non-tuner monsters you used for its synchro summoning) and that can negate ''any'' card effect once per turn. Add to that the fact that it brings a "Shooting Star Dragon" to the field when it gets removed from the field and you get one hell of a GameBreaker.
** A deck heavily based around Synchro Summoning in general is often this since players need to understand how to manipulate monster levels to get the monsters they want and a wrong move in a chain punishes the player with wasted resources. Good players of decks such as Plant Synchro and Infernity make it seem effortless only because they memorized multiple steps in their path to victory.
** The Koa'ki Meiru Archetype. Unlike any other Archetype in the game, Koa'ki Meirus require constant maintenance and resource management. Sure, you'll need monsters on the field to beat your opponent, but you also need to use the [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Iron_Core_of_Koa%27ki_Meiru Iron Core of Koa'ki Meiru]] or another specific monster in hand to keep your monsters alive. Then, almost every single Spell and Trap also need the Iron Core to work - except sometimes, those need the Core in the ''Graveyard'' - meaning you won't be able to use them all unless you keep recycling the Core which will cost you resources. There's more - the Koa'ki Meirus also have powerful effects that can stop your opponent's moves, but to do so you will have to correctly predict ''what'' your opponent's going to do. And of course, your opponent is still trying to kill you. But damn it certainly pays off: Koa'ki Meiru monsters are absurdly strong, both ATK-wise and effect-wise, and their Spell and Trap Cards are free and unlimited versions of some of the strongest Spells and Traps in the game (like [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Koa%27ki_Meiru_Shield this]], which is basically [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Mirror_Force this]], one of the most popular Limited cards ever).
** Fableds have effects that activate upon being discarded, and effects that allow you to discard. [[note]]Similarly to the Dark World archetype, but with less of [[ThatOneRule the game's trademark obscure rulings]]. Sort of a Ryu and Ken thing going on here.]][[/note]] But the gimmick is deceptively simple. Fabled users tend to have their turns go on for a while, partly because they're able to do an insane amount of things in one turn, partly because they have to spend so much time thinking their move through because of that. They can do so much crap, but unless you do the ''right'' crap, you'll be left with nothing but crap and your opponent will crap all over you.
** [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Sophia_the_Creator Sophia the Creator]] is considered this for having harsh summoning requirement of banishing one Fusion, one Ritual, one Synchro and one Xyz on the field. However, once it hits the field, ''all other cards on the field, graveyard and hand are banished except itself''. Not to mention its summon and effect cannot be negated.
** Arcana Force XXI - The World is the focus of entire Decks. First, you need to Summon a two-tribute Monster, already a difficult task. Then you need to do a coin toss (or have Light Barrier up), and if the coin comes up Tails, then The World becomes useless. Once you've got it on the field and properly set, you then send two Monsters on your Field to the Graveyard at the end of your turn. What could possibly be worth all this? Why, [[TimeStandsStill the ability to skip your opponent's turn]], every time you give up two monsters. And if those two monsters are the [[DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist automatically-reviving]] Samsara Lotus, D.D. Scout Plane, Treeborn Frog, Black Ptera, or Sinister Serpent, then you can potentially skip your opponent's turn ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73ZWjU8awW8 forever.]]''
** There are also some very powerful decks, that are extremely complicated to play properly. Both Inzectors and Inferties, for example, can stop your opponent from really doing anything, while you get out multiple huge beaters... but first, you pretty much have to play a game of solitaire.
** Decks utilizing Rank-Up-Magic to summon [[SuperMode CXyz and Chaos Numbers]] are this as well. For starters, you need a specific spell card (of which there is more than one of) and a particular Xyz monster (which have more than enough of, even of those specific ranks). What you do is bring out one of those Xyz monsters (such as Number 39: Utopia or Number 101: Silent Honor ARK) and then utilize the Rank-Up-Magic to make it into its "C" form (Utopia Ray V/Victory for Utopia, Silent Honor DARK for ARK). Such monsters tend to have powerful effects that requires a specific card to have as Xyz material to use. Difficult? Yes. Awesome? Seeing your opponent rage when they lose to something hard to use makes this an absolute '''YES'''.
** Any Level 10 or higher monster in general. Firstly, you need 2 Tributes to Normal Summon them (if you can Normal Summon them at all), and many have Summoning Restrictions applied to them; for example the aforementioned Sophia and Vennominaga. Second, many of them have massive downsides to using, or require many hoops to be jumped through to just have them on board. However, once you have them, they become massively awesome. One such monster is [[http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Theinen_the_Great_Sphinx Theinen the Great Sphinx]], who required two other Level 10 monsters to be destroyed '''simultaneously''', before he could be Summoned from the Hand or Deck, at the cost of 500 Life Points. Then, you could spend an additional 500 LP to increase his already formidable attack power by 3000 points for the duration of the turn. Potentially, this could be a OneHitKill if your opponent had a low amount of LP to begin with, and has no cards to stop you.
* In ''MagicTheGathering'', This can summarize most of the game at competitive play in the Legacy Vintage and Commander formats. Even seemingly simple rush down decks are often reliant on proper use of their few other spells. Games can often be won or lost based on a single seemingly meaningless choice in the first or second turn.
** Within Mtg, control decks are generally the most complex decks to play, with the best example being the blue/white miracles deck in legacy; the deck is known for simultaneously controlling the players hand, the top cards of the players deck, the top cards of the opponents deck, the stack, the field and the decks graveyard. The deck is probably the most egregious example over the course of the game, and a single mistake often leads to a lost game. That being said, the said remains more than 10% of the meta on its own, and is considered one of the strongest decks in the game format, at times the strongest deck.
** The most complex deck in the game in terms of technical use, as opposed to situational control, is generally considered to be doomsday. Doomsday is a combo deck that aims to use the card Doomsday to set up "piles" composed of any 5 cards in the game, and then use the pile created to win the game. The problem is that there are more than a thousand possible piles, and what pile to use is dependant on everything from how much life you are at, to what cards you have in hand, to what cards are on the field, in your opponents hand or graveyard, what life your opponent is at, and many more factors. Creating the wrong pile means a lost game, using the right pile in the right way means a lost game, and even using the right pile in the right way at the wrong time means a lost game. The deck rarely shows up in competitive settings because of its complexity, and due to how meta dependent the deck is, but in the right hands the deck is the most resilient and most feared combo decks in the game.

* In [[FanFic/DreamingOfSunshine Dreaming Of Sunshine]] Shikako uses fuinjutsu, which is slow to prepare and very specialized to the situation, but is almost effortless in execution and the effects are often spectacular.
-->''This was something I could never have done with ninjutsu. I didn't have the chakra, I didn't have the control, and I didn't have the concentration. The cost was too high. But fuinjutsu was different – you paid in time and knowledge instead. That made it less useful in battle where you so rarely had '''time''', but sometimes. Sometimes it was perfect.''[[note]]This is after spending an all-nighter preparing seals to deal with [[PersonOfMassDestruction Gaara]]. She didn't even get to sleep.[[/note]]

* Creator/SegaPinball's ''Pinball/StarshipTroopers'' has a third flipper button, which is used to control a small Mini-Flipper just above the right flipper. Although it is often ignored by new players, using it to hit a Bug counts as ''two'' hits, allowing you to clear out a planet much faster. It's also helpful for slowing down and controlling the ball.
* In ''Pinball/WhiteWater'', the best source of points is to combine 5x Playfield (which, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin like its name indicates]], quintuples all scoring[[note]]except the Triple Jackpot and the Vacation Jackpot[[/note]]) with White Water Multiball. When both are active at once, the ''minimum'' White Water Jackpot value is 60 million points, an amount that takes a while to obtain otherwise, and as long as the multiball is active, the player can keep scoring those points. However, in order to have them both running at once, the Whirlpool must be visited when 5x Playfield is the next Whirlpool Bonus (out of six possible ones), and White Water Multiball must then begin and a Jackpot scored within 5x Playfield's strict timer. It is not possible to do the reverse, as the Whirlpool is inactive during White Water Multiball. Thus, the game's most lucrative scoring requires the player precisely and quickly make a series of specific shots in order.
* Nudging in general is this. Do it too hard or too many times at once and you get a '''[[NoFairCheating TILT]]''', voiding your current ball along with whatever end-of-ball bonuses you would've gotten for that ball. But a nudge done properly can make the difference between a ball remaining in play and making a beeline for the drain.
** Even more difficult and more awesome is the "death save"--that is, bringing the ball back from an outlane drain by raising one flipper and nudging such that the ball jumps between the flippers and out of the drain. Again, you risk a TILT for doing this, but death saves are wonderful if you can successfully pull them off.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Space 1889}}'' has rules for invention, the more difficult ones are really hard to get. You have to foresake more immediately useful skills and focus your character development on scientific areas. After much effort, though your reward will be an earthquake machine or an invisibility device or gravity control. Mwahahahah!
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** Generally, the trickier factions to play are the GlassCannon Eldar, the woefully out-of-date Dark Eldar, and the Tau Empire, a [[FactionCalculus Ranger faction]] with no close combat ability in a game where every enemy will be in your face by turn 3. Imperial Guard, Space Marine, and Chaos Marine armies can be tricky or not based on build. Inquisitional armies can be very difficult to play, though mostly due to out of date codices rather than mechanics.
** Dark Eldar, after ''finally'' getting a update with 5th edition, can potentially work as a SkillGateCharacter with less experienced players. They are very lethal against pretty much anything and the most generally useful options are pretty obvious. Basically, in that case a Dark Eldar player is going to win easily (due to the high lethality) or be crushed (Dark Eldar are fairly fragile, especially for their cost). When you get into higher skill levels, they tend to fit this trope better. Most of the more competitive armies can still crush Dark Eldar in a straight fight, so there is a substantial amount of finesse required. You can't just march across the battlefield against most opponents and expect to win.
** Pure Sisters of Battle. If you haven't mastered Acts of Faith, they're a very poor force. If you have, your opponent will start to think Sisters are a little ''too'' powerful.
** 5th edition ramped the hell out of this with the Tau. They went from steep learning curve to learning cliff over night. However, if you can master them they're easily one of the most powerful factions in the game. However 6th edition buffed them up (due to being more shooter friendly) and their codex is less this (no useless units bluffing abilities everywhere) but still needs each part of the army to be aid each other.
** Some variations of Space Marine lists fall under this trope. A Space Marine biker list can be hard as hell to use effectively but when it is they are getting damn near close to GameBreaker territory.
*** The Space Marine Land Speeder. Fragile and many people write them off as garbage due to that, but in the hands of a competent player, they are quite nasty. What doesn't help its case is that many veteran players are aware of this and kill the speeder first.
** Deathwing and Paladin armies. Sure, everyone in your force has a power fist and the best armor possible, but at 1,500 points you'll seldom have more than thirty models on the table (compare to an Imperial Guard army that could potentially run two good-sized infantry platoons and assorted tanks at that points level). If you can manage to bring the full brunt of your force to bear on a segment of the enemy army, however, you'll probably roll over anything in your way.
*** Deathwing gained a mixed blessing thanks to their 6th Edition codex. They keep their old difficult play style, yet gain some new toys, such as Deathwing [[CripplingOverspecialization Knights]] who, with Belial in their unit, can easily obliterate [[TheDreaded Abaddon]] [[HeroKiller the]] [[DemonicSpiders Despoiler]] and 10 terminators SINGLE HANDEDLY. However, since these new toys often come with extra baggage (Deathwing Knights only get one turn to unleash their extreme melee prowess) they remain rather balanced.
** With the release of 6th edition, it looks like [[FragileSpeedster Saim-Hann Eldar]] lists are being pushed from the 'completely useless' category into this one; a Saim-Hann army doesn't have much in the way of numbers or massive firepower, but a proper build allows your entire army to move [[LightningBruiser 24"-36" per turn]]; on a sufficiently large table there's really no way to deal with them.
** Some gamebreaking armies require a certain combination of luck and skill to pull off. The infamous "Screamerstar" build for Tzeentchian Daemons requires one specific Hellforged Artefact and another very specific psychic power. By buying a lot of psykers and psychic levels, you are almost guaranteed to get it. Once you do, you can mix all your units into one and then grant them a 2+ invulnerable save with rerolls. For those that don't know what that means, it means that your one roaming deathstar now has a 35 in 36 chance to ''completely ignore any kind of damage''.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'':
** Many Armies have special rules that can change the course of a game, "Elite" Armies (all Elves, Chaos, Dwarves, Lizardmen) in particular often have multiple special rules for individual units or for the whole Army, and the high cost of units in such Armies require the player to think carefully about what they choose to field and know all the possible uses of the units they choose.
** The Lizardmen and the Wood Elves require a great deal of tactical thought to be able to play well. The Wood Elves especially are an army of {{Fragile Speedster}}s and {{Glass Cannon}}s, and can easily be crushed by a [[WeHaveReserves horde army]] if played poorly, while the Lizardmen are mostly {{Mighty Glacier}}s and {{Fragile Speedster}}s. Both require an intimate knowledge of the Armies' respective unique units and particularly Army- or unit-specific terrain rules to play effectively. If done so, however, both become incredibly powerful to play as and incredibly frustrating to play against.
** The Dwarves are another Army that can be difficult to play for a beginner. In particular, the total lack of magic (except the Anvil of Doom) and cavalry countered with multiple War Machines, numerous almost identical elite infantry units, and the almost paralyzing number of runic combinations for weapons/armour/standards/etc. can make the Dwarves a forbidding prospect for a new player. Those same traits in the hands of a veteran can lead to the utter domination of their opponent.
** Tomb Kings and Ogre Kingdoms have unusual magic systems that take some getting used to, but can be effective if used right. Also, both Armies along with Bretonnians have uncommon builds (Tomb Kings around chariots, Ogres around monsters, and Bretonnians around cavalry).
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** Most of [[LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards the most powerful classes]] in 3.5 are like this (with the possible exception of the druid) due to having massive ranges of potential abilities which vary in strength from "deal less damage than a fighter" to "win instantly".
** While building an Artificer is not entirely complex (aside from needing to constantly reference a minimum of three books just to play), it takes hours of time and math to create one even at 2nd level (a 1st level Artificer is fairly straightforward). Leveling up is a nightmare, and it has the dubious honor of being one of the [[CharacterTiers Big 6]], meaning it takes serious skill to not screw up and become a liability during encounters. The bright side? Even a novice player using an Artificer can turn random treasure into actually useful equipment, meaning even if the player screws up constantly during combat they can at least make up for it out of combat, and can create any magic item in the game, full-stop. They gain bonus Item Creation feats, they have a mechanic to use Use Magic Device instead of the usual spellcasting requirements, they get points to use towards the XP costs of items, etc. Figuring out which ones you're going to need next week is very challenging. The potential of *having* that item next week is devastating, if realized.
** The other strongest classes in the game generally fit this because of the obnoxious and fiddly Vancian spell preparation mechanic. While spontaneous casting is easier to figure out, prepared casters can often pick up new spells whenever they want for a small expenditure of gold, making them ultimately much more versatile than spontaneous casters. A player just has to learn how and when to prepare what spells.
** Certain {{Prestige Class}}es weren't designed for player use and were PurposelyOverpowered. However, jump through the hoops to qualify and roleplay out of any other problems, and goodbye game balance. Hulking Hurler, Tainted Scholar, Beholder Mage, and Illithid Savant are all famous examples.
** [[SquishyWizard Controllers]] in D&D 4.0. A team without a Controller will notice that enemies coordinate and attack them very efficiently. Poorly-played, a Controller is a [[TheLoad liability]], and will die if enemies so much as look at him. A well-played Controller is a hideously effective [[AnAdventurerIsYou mezzer]] who will have your DM tearing his hair out as he watches his monsters flail around under multiple StandardStatusEffects.
* In TabletopGame/{{chess}}, pawns are the least mobile piece in the game, as well as the only one that not only captures differently from how it moves but also has no less than two special moves. Because they are so difficult to move, however, the way they become arranged (called the "pawn structure") becomes one of the most important aspects of the board. Many professional games revolve around trying to put your pawns in a favorable position while screwing up your opponent's formations, and if you go all the way to the endgame, the focus becomes using what's left of your more powerful pieces to escort one or more of your pawns so that it can be promoted. [[note]]If you get a pawn to the end of an eight-square board, the pawn can become a queen, the strongest piece in the game. Technically, a pawn may be promoted to any piece except a king, but the queen, as the most powerful piece, is almost invariably chosen - unless that would cause stalemate, or a knight is needed for a checkmate.[[/note]] Pawn structure is subtle, however, and most casual players don't bother taking it into consideration.
* Anyone who wants to use light 'Mechs and other relatively fragile designs in ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' will find that their units will generally go down with depressing ease, especially when playing in the later parts of the franchise (generally comprising of the Civil War, Jihad, and Dark Age timeframes) where highly damaging and highly accurate weapons are widely available. Some weapons are powerful enough to be a OneHitKill outright against small 'Mechs. However, a player with thorough knowledge of their unit abilities, enemy composition, and terrain can quickly became king of a frustrating FragileSpeedster army that refuses to stand still long enough to get hit, and can either deal DeathByAThousandCuts or go in for a critical BackStab. The rare commander with both cunning and utter madness can also avert MookChivalry and dogpile their light 'Mechs onto an enemy with a flurry of physical blows. While any individual attack isn't all that strong, the sheer number of them can quickly overwhelm even an Assault 'Mech, especially since getting kicked can make a 'Mech trip and fall, and a punch in the head is still every bit as dangerous as a fist from a 20-ton robot sounds. Finally, in games where players must meet on roughly even footing through a PointBuy system, the player with the light 'Mechs may purchase more units, as well as better pilots, due to the low individual cost of their units.
* ''TabletopGame/StarFleetBattles'' maulers, stasis field generators, and various types of Tholian web. They're all extremely difficult to learn to use to their full potential, but if you do, you've got a really big hammer that can mash enemies flat, in the right circumstances.
* Vampire teams in ''TabletopGame/BloodBowl'' feature LightningBruiser vampires, whose hypnotic gaze gives them a non-turnover-inducing way of stopping enemy players dead in their tracks for a round. If the dice favour you and you plan your thrall deployment, vampires are the best cage-busters in the game, are the only team that can shut down elven drives reliably, and can skill up to do practically everything, including a not-too-shabby passing game. With a few bad rolls, however, [[WarmBloodBagsAreEverywhere they can quickly become more disruptive to your plans than the opposing team ever will]].
* ''TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse'' has different complexity ratings for the playable hero, with 1 being simple and straightforward gameplay, and 3 being this trope. While a hero with a complexity of 1 can more or less always do something direct and useful from the get-go (either buffing, attacking, or healing), the baseline power of a 3-complexity hero is usually of indirect usage, or even harmful when used alone -- but after a few turns, when equipment and status cards are out, a skilled player can put them to devastating use.
** Absolute Zero from the base game has a basic power to do himself cold or fire damage. But he also has equipment that has him heal from cold damage, let him attack every time he takes fire damage, or attack based on how much fire damage he's taken since his last turn -- in the right circumstances, he'll be constantly dealing damage and healing himself, even outside of his own turns.
** Nightmist's complexity comes from the randomness of her spells -- each of her cards has a spell number, and the effects of her spells are changed based on them, either by changing the number of targets or the amount of damage or healing she does. Combined with her own, and others' abilities to peek at or modify what cards will come up in her deck, and she can handle a lot of situations.
** The Argent Adept's deck is based around his songs, which each have power-like effects, and his instruments, which let him use two effects from different songs. After a few rounds of laying out both, a good player can create a lengthy string of actions for both himself and the other players, almost to the point of adding a whole extra round of actions.
** While she's only rated a 2 out of 3, Unity can fall into this because of the low health of her bots and the slow speed it takes her to get them out. She either needs a special card or to nuke someone's equipment to put out bots, and they all have hitpoints in the single digits, with her highest damaging bots having only 2 HP, meaning any global attack effect will wipe them out. Using her to the fullest means coordinating with the rest of the team to protect them and/or timing your turns right so they hit as hard as they can before they're taken out. Oh, and she needs to be lucky enough to have both bots and equipment to play them. But if she can get fully set up with a field full of bots, she can do serious damage.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Life in general. It is one long process of decisions, distractions, and difficulties, but it has it's wonderful rewards once you get used to it.
* Fire is extremely dangerous, hard to mantain over long periods and even something as simple as a lit cigar can ''outright kill you'' if you're not careful. It's also, by far, '''the''' most useful tool ever handled by humanity, even to this day, and it looks pretty awesome to boot. (This Webcomic/SchlockMercenary [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2006-11-19 comic page]] is a fairly humorous representation of the entire process and danger)
* Navigation without electronic means. This includes pilotage and location detection by using nautical chart and visual means, calculation of course, speed and distance by dead reckoning using only the trigonometric functions and basic algebra, and celestial navigation by using Nautical Almanac, sextant and chronometer. All these means are notoriously difficult and tedious, but once mastered, will lead you safely to your destination anywhere in the world regardless of weather and availability of electricity.
* Also, in the Age of Sail, master circumnavigators would try to shave time off of their route by sailing as close to the shores of Antarctica as possible. This both makes the distance that needs to be covered shorter and takes advantage of the strong circumpolar winds to drive the ship. And the closer you are to Antarctica, the shorter the route and the faster the wind. On the downside, sailing so close to Antarctica means having to contend with dodging icebergs in the perpetual fog, horrendious gales, and long stretches of polar darkness. Sailing at 40-degrees latitude south (The Roaring Forties) requires the hands of a master. Sailing at 50 or 60-degrees latitude south (the Screaming Fifties and the Shrieking Sixties respectively) requires increasing amounts of madness and divine favor. As it has been said by sailors: "Below 50 there's no law; below 60 there's no God."
* The ''vim'' text editor is very NintendoHard to learn, as you rely entirely on keyboard macros to do things that aren't typing. Once mastered, however, vim is a very efficient editor. modern ''vim'' is pretty softcore compared to its predecessor ''vi''. At least ''vim'' has arrows working as expected.
* vim's [[CavemenVsAstronautsDebate "opponent"]], emacs, is similar: like vim, it uses key combinations for all editor control. It's practically impossible to learn, but capable of doing ''anything''. And ''anything'' actually means '''anything'''. Standard builds of EMACS (which includes a LISP dialect specific to EMACS built right in) have included web browsers, email clients, image viewers, and just about any other tool you might possibly want to use. It can call the compiler, too, in case you happen to want to write a little code somewhere along the way. (Coders and sysadmins, pretty much the only people who bother with something like EMACS or vi, have been known to do all their work from inside EMACS with built-in tools.)
* Interface example: Openbox. It looks like a ''very'' cut-down interface without many features most users have become accustomed with, such as ''icons on the desktop''. However, once keyboard shortcuts have been properly set and memorized, it's faster to open apps and switch to them/move them around than with any mouseclick-interface - doubly so if the user is a touch-typist and accustomed to using keyboard macros.
* Command Line Interfaces, particularly in Linux. If you don't know how to use them, you're pretty much stuck in a blank terminal. On the other hand, someone who knows how to use them well basically has total control over the computer.
** Hell, learning to use Linux itself is this trope. At least for those switching from Windows.
** Same thing applies for setting up routers - the GUI and factory settings are okay, but mastering the CLI's often-awkward syntax gives you much more control.
** They're handy in Windows too. For example, using xcopy requires typing instead of the usual click-and-drag, but the files copy faster, don't stop copying when one file fails, and more options are available in the form of parameters, such as /f which forces the copy wherever possible, and /y which automatically answers all questions with "yes, overwrite the damn file" without further human intervention.
* Blender is this for 3D design. Completely unintuitive and follows none of the layout, keystroke or workflow conventions of other 3D design software; the most enthusiastic proponents will agree the learning curve is ''vertical''. Anyone who masters it will swear by it, and always come back to use it even if they own commercial software suites. The interface and the ability to customize your UI lets a user get fairly close to an Autodesk layout.
* Scoped rifles require learning how to properly sight and adjust your scope before you even get to the point where you have to keep your arms steady (often while trying to hold up a 10 pound rifle with little or no support) as you VERY slowly squeeze the trigger. After figuring out the range and wind and compensating for both of those, of course. When you've learned how to use it, you can hit targets hundreds of yards away regularly.
* Battle Rifles are heavier, larger, and feature much more recoil than assault rifles. However, they are very accurate and their rounds are significantly more powerful than the normal 5.56 NATO.
* The Kalashnikov family of firearms, especially the newer models of AK. They all fire the 7.62x54mmR, 7.62x39mm or 5.45x39mm rounds - all proven by history to be very good calibers -, have dead simple controls, very quick and simple sights, and they are invariably utterly reliable. The problem is that, while they're easy to use by even the most mentally-challenged human being, it takes a bit of special technique and a lot of practice to use them to their full potential. For those who can do that (and provided with decent ammunition), the "[[ATeamFiring inaccurate thug gun]]" is just as much of a hole puncher as any high-cost Western rifle.
* WRC cars are among the most difficult to master in the entire motorsport. To fully exploit their performance, it would be a very good idea for the driver to know how to drift, steer with throttle, accelerate while braking and downshift to run faster. Their top power is made throughout engine rpm range, from 3000 to 7000rpm, so it's either full throttle or nothing, brakes are switch-like, either full braking or none.
* The "dolphin kick" in swimming: a backstroke technique in which the swimmer stays underwater, in streamline position, performing rapid kicks and undulations. It takes tremendous coordination and lung capacity to pull it off for more than a couple of seconds. It proved so devastating that most swimming rules organizations put limits on how long a swimmer can perform this maneuver (in most places, it's limited to 15 seconds or 15 meters).
** Similarly, the step above dolphin kick, the butterfly (which is basically dolphin on your front with arm movements) is ''easily'' the single most draining and all around difficult stroke to both learn and use(so much so that non-sport swimming instructors are not even required to learn it anymore). It takes incredible strength throughout your entire body to be able to use it at all, and the endurance required to do it for more than about 2s without hyperventilating is phenomenal. Yet once mastered, it is ''the'' defining stroke for all swimming, showing mastery of the vast majority of principles used for effective swimming, and will keep anyone in top physical condition both in and out of the water.
* Keyboard shortcuts can be tough to memorize at first, but master them and you'll be blazing through your favorite applications.
** For Windows users, Ctrl+N for File-New and Ctrl+O for File-Open are among the most time-saving examples. And ever tried Win Key, Up, Enter, Alt+Letter (letter depending on what you want, reboot or shutdown, instead of Sleep, the option Bill Gates is in bed with). When an admin mashes the keyboard for ONE second to reboot, The look on a user's face is priceless.
*** Windows is actually so full of these that they make navigating the operating system much quicker/faster. Pinned something to your taskbar? Win + #. Need to open a new instance of that program? Win + Shift + #. Need to launch a program? Win + start typing a few letters of the program name, enter. Need to open Explorer? Win + E. Want to open the Run box? Win + R. Minimize everything to the desktop? Win + D. Lock the computer? Win + L. Microsoft didn't touch any of this with Windows 8, and those that figured it out were probably not perturbed by the new interface as much as those who used Windows with the more mouse driven paradigms.
** Especially when using web browsers, since there are keyboard shortcuts for practically everything. There's the common Ctrl+T for new tab, Ctrl+N for a new window, Alt+F4 to close it...but then you get Ctrl+W to close the individual tab, Ctrl+Shift+T if you want to bring back your previously closed tab, the tab key to scroll through links and input boxes, Shift+Tab to go backwards, Ctrl+Tab to scroll through tabs, with an added Shift to go backwards, Ctrl+[num] to go to that numbered tab, Ctrl++ / Ctrl+- to zoom, Ctrl+E to go to Home, F5 to refresh, Ctrl+F5 to hard refresh, Alt+D to go to the address bar...the list goes on...and on...and on...
** And then there's the power button of newer computers, which works like a one-press shortcut for shutdown. On some you can even choose what it does, with options of "Do nothing", "Sleep" or "Shut down", and have different options depending on whether the laptop (if it is a laptop) is running on battery or plugged in.
* [[{{Omniglot}} Learning multiple languages]] is extremely difficult (especially for older people). That said, it's generally easier to live in another country, or import stuff, if you know the language fluently. It's also plenty of fun to show off your fluency to others.
* Among Linux distributions, Gentoo. This distro '''will''' give you StockholmSyndrome. Its installation isn't merely [[NintendoHard user unfriendly]], it often borders on being downright [[FakeDifficulty user]] ''[[FakeDifficulty abusive]]'', but once installed, it is guaranteed to deliver the absolute '''maximum''' level of performance your hardware is capable of providing, beyond what you had ever seen your hardware accomplish on any other operating system (with the possible exception of [=MenuetOS=], but that system's written entirely in assembly code, which is sort of cheating).
* Knuckleball pitches in baseball, when thrown incorrectly, either become practice pitches or wild balls that are hard to catch, and the ability to throw them can be disrupted by as little as a chipped fingernail. When thrown correctly, though, they wobble around in the wind making them very hard to hit.
* Any Martial Arts style will take years to learn and a lifetime to master, with months spent on basics alone for the beginners. Extended practice will bring significant health benefits including increased strength, stamina, flexibility, balance, and cardio-pulminary health, greater self-confidence, self-awareness, and personal peace, as well as self-defense capability. Specific examples include but not limited to:
** Taijiquan (T'ai Chi). It often come with admonitions of "Straight but not straight" and "Round but not round." Once learned, it is a very versatile style with several movements that can be applied in a number of ways, both offensively and defensively. Apart from the combative aspect, it is excellent for increasing patience and serenity. Also, the relatively low impact of its practice make it an ideal form for the elderly, or those undergoing physical rehab. Although this can be considered a weakness, the actual movements can in fact be compared to "weaponized powerlifting," as the same concepts required to channel the body's power into a single blow are also used to channel the body's power into moving heavy amounts of mass. To put it in perspective: one of the basic taijiquan techniques is a simple shove, learning how to maximize the force to knock an adult human away. Now imagine a woman using that technique to shove a 200 lb attacker - after learning how to bench press 200 lbs. Rag doll physics start to come into play.
** Wrestling. Even in the standards of martial arts, its training regimen can be exceptionally tough, with ''very'' heavy emphasis on both power and endurance training, as well as numerous movements, counters, and ''counter''-counters. However, once mastered it is one of the most powerful and versatile combat martial arts in existence. In fact, it's one of the four core martial arts in Useful/MixedMartialArts, along with boxing, muay thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
* Certain musical instruments like the violin and the bagpipe sound incredibly beautiful in the hands of an experienced player... and headache-inducing in the hands of a novice.
** Basically, every polyphonic musical instrument (guitar, piano, drum kit, violin, etc.) takes weeks and months of practice to even start playing the simplest melodies, but mastering the instrument pays off in having an abilty to play something really awesome.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skip_bombing Skip Bombing]], a technique developed by the Allies during World War II for use against enemy ships, was this. Essentially, a bomber would approach the target at extremely low altitudes (200-250 feet), and drop several bombs on a time delay. They would hit the water, skip over the surface like tossing a stone, and bounce into the side of the ship before exploding. This was advantageous over torpedoes because they took longer to reach their targets (giving ships time to avoid them) while skipped bombs only take a few seconds. The downside is that it's extremely difficult to pull off, and requires near-perfect timing. Not to mention the small chance that a skipped bomb might instead bounce off the water and hit the plane instead.
* Helicopters, tilt-rotors, and VTOL jets are this compared to other fixed wing aircraft. Vertical takeoffs, hovering, or maneuvering are quite difficult to control, and all your limbs will be essentially be multi-tasking when doing so while you have to maintain intense focus or you lose said control.
* Safety razors. These old-fashioned razors have a much higher risk of cutting and pain when used compared to most modern ones (which is ironic, considering their name), but they will also give you hands-down the closest and most precise shave ''ever''.
** The 'safety' in 'safety razor' comes from the fact that it was safer to use than its predecessor, the straight razor, which is Difficult But Awesome in its own right, as now you need to know how to hone and strop the blade, but provides the same close shave as a safety razor while looking {{Badass}} as well. On top of that, to add another layer of awesome, the fact that you're shaving with what is (in some ways) a glorified knife makes your shaving choices more versatile in a pinch.
* Like in the Driving Game example above, learning to drive a stick shift in real life. Especially since most driving schools teach using automatic transmissions, and knowing how to drive a stick is no longer required in most driving exams. You ''will'' stall the vehicle, be subject to clunking (and thus think you're breaking the car) and forced to stay on top of what gear you're in at all times, as well as learning which speeds work best for what gears, not to mention learning how to ''quickly'' change gears. But once you master it, you're no longer restricted to only driving a certain type of vehicle, such as if you need to drive one in a pinch, and can own whatever you want. Also, for many first-time drivers, a used stick-shift either from a dealer or from parents or friends is all they can afford, and they get better gas mileage than automatic transmissions of the same make and model.
* Over time in TheLowMiddleAges, swords got the reputation as being weapons that were much harder to wield effectively than spears, axes or clubs. However, they were also the mark of nobility and strength, since only the wealthy tended to have access to them. Thus, someone who had a sword was either a rich and powerful elite, given one by said elite as a sign of favor, or good enough to steal one and hang on to it. Someone who carried a sword around everywhere was also seen as having the time to learn such a difficult weapon, and not someone to mess with. It's one reason why HeroesPreferSwords became so popular in tales of the time, like Myth/KingArthur or Literature/TheSongOfRoland.
* Many cosplayers just buy their costumes or purchase clothes that look like the character's at a thrift store or wherever, but some take to the art of making cosplays themselves. It is a tedious process that involves learning how to sew, having a strong sense of craftsmanship (especially if one's costume comes with props or is a suit of armor), and working with tools that can potentially hurt the user if handled improperly such as superglue, hot glue guns, and sewing needles. Not to mention, it takes a lot of time, patience, raging over this one part you can't get right, cursing yourself for procrastinating on your costume until the night before a convention or cosplay meet, etc. However, making cosplays gives the wearer more control over how the final product looks. While someone making cosplays for the first time will probably end up with something that looks crappy at best and doesn't fit at worst, with practice one can make a costume that is just as good, if not better, than most store-bought cosplays, and there are many cosplays that one simply can't just order due to the difficulty of the costume or the obscurity of the character. Additionally, ordering costumes often costs a premium for labor, something you don't have to pay if you make the costume yourself.
* In fencing, there is a move called the Chamley-Watson, invented by and currently only used by World Champion fencer Miles Chamley-Watson. The move involves the person performing it [[ImplausibleFencingPowers wrapping their own arm around their head to strike their opponent in the head or chest with the foil]]. The move is both impressively flashy and surprisingly effective, being quite hard to defend against. However, it requires a high degree of flexibility, on top of having long enough limbs to pull off. So far, only Chamley-Watson himself is able to use this move.
* Cooking can be this, depending on what you're making. Some meals and recipes require a lot of multi-tasking, steps being performed at very specific times in very specific ways, and the slightest mistake can make the difference between a delicious meal and an inedible mess. However, the results are usually very worth it.
* Juggling, especially with more than three objects, or with objects of different sizes and shapes. It takes a lot of hand-eye coordination and skill, but looks awesome and is a great way to show off.