Discard and Draw


So a character once had some kind of amazing powers, but they had to give them up for some reason. They were sacrificed for a suitably noble purpose, the villain stole them, they broke from overuse, etc. The point is, their powers are gone. Bummer, isn't it? But don't worry, they won't stay De Powered for long. With a bit of Applied Phlebotinum or some intervention by the Powers That Be, they'll have new — and maybe even better — powers.

Compare Re-Power, which also involves a character getting a new powerset, but as part of a re-imagining or Alternate Universe. A subset of Powers as Programs.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Toward the end of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga (and second anime), Roy Mustang loses his eyesight but gains more powerful and diverse alchemy as a result of being forced through the gate. At the end, he even gets his eyesight back courtesy of a Philosopher's Stone.
    • Ed experiences a minor version when he trades out his original automail during his time in the snowy northern lands. The metals that prevent it from posing a frostbite hazard are considerably lighter and allow him greater speed in a fight, but the lighter weight also results in his attacks having a lot less impact than they did before. He later begins using the carbon in the new automail to give it a massive boost in durability, using the same principles behind Greed's carbon-based Ultimate Shield.
  • Bleach is somewhat notorious for this.
    • Ichigo, as the main character, is unsurprisingly the worst offender.
      • Ichigo first gained active shinigami power by borrowing Rukia's pure shinigami reiatsu. When Byakuya depowered Ichigo by removing Rukia's power from him, Urahara immediately helped Ichigo awaken his own native shinigami potential. Cue Ichigo ending up with a hybrid mixture of shinigami and hollow power that was far better than anything Rukia had been able to give him.
      • And a few arcs (and several real time years) later, Ichigo loses all of his power and after a timeskip gains a new never-before-heard-of type of power called Fullbring.
      • He soon loses all but a fraction of that new power and then almost immediately regains his old powers (now slightly altered by the remnants of his Fullbring).
      • Now, not even a full arc later, he gets his Zanpakuto broken (thereby losing access to most of his shinigami powers) and soon after he gets it reforged into what is apparently the true form of his Zanpakuto, giving him two blades and as of yet unspecified new powers...which may be partly Quincy, based on his ancestry.
    • Uryuu burnt out his Quincy powers by using Letzt Stil during his battle with Mayuri for a massive temporary power boost. His father Ryuuken then revealed that there WAS a way around the Letzt Stil limit. The workaround was horrific but it came with expanded, more stable powers.
  • This is what happens with code acquisition in Code Geass: the geass user relinquishes their geass as part of the trade-off for the code, which gives them immortality, immunity to geass and the ability to create geass contracts with others.
  • This happens to Allen in D.Gray-Man. He temporarily loses Innocence and after Training from Hell he gets it back with a new more powerful form.
  • In Naruto, during Itachi's and Sasuke's final battle: After pushing his little brother to his limits and bringing Orochimaru out, Itachi (who wanted this) uses Susanoo to seal Orochimaru away, removing all of his influence from Sasuke. Soon after that, Itachi implants his Tsukuyomi, Amaterasu, and Susanoo into Sasuke. Soon after the battle, when he regained consciousness and heard the truth from Tobi, Sasuke develops his own Mangekyo Sharingan, meaning he replaced the more alien powers he got from Orochimaru with his clan's more natural (loosely speaking) powers.
  • Lina Inverse from Slayers was once cursed by a demoness, and lost all her magic powers. She started to wear talismans that gave her enough boost up to do at least some small spells. When the demoness was killed, the curse ended, and Lina not only got her powers back but also added one of the setting's most powerful spells to her repertoire. She still wears the talismans, which now make her destructive spells even more destructive! She ultimately has to sacrifice them for a big spell, and doesn't get a replacement.
  • This happens with a lot of Gundam shows to facilitate a Midseason Upgrade.
    • In Gundam SEED, Arthrun self destructs his Gundam to try and kill Kira, who is at that time his enemy. However, he gets a new, better Gundam a few episodes later. In Gundam SEED Destiny, The Savior is irreparably damaged after a fight against Kira and the Freedom. A few episodes later he upgrades to a better Gundam again.
    • Likewise, in both series Kira upgraded to a stronger model shortly after his original machine was destroyed.
    • In Gundam X, the GX is retrofitted with numerous guns after it is nearly destroyed in a fight against Carris, trading the Satellite Gun for the the somewhat less powerful but far more practical Harmonica Cannon.
    • In Gundam 00, Gundam Exia is nearly destroyed at the start of the second season. Setsuna then switches to the titular 00. At the end of the series he goes back to Exia for the final battle.
      • Also at the end of the series, Ribbons Almark is forced to abandon his brand-new Reborns Gundam after the latter is damaged beyond repair by 00, thus forcing him to switch to the abandoned 0 Gundam.
      • Then in The Movie, he briefly pilots the partially rebuilt 00 operating on a particle condenser as when the 0 Gundam and Exia fragged each other with a Cross Counter, both's GN Drives were destroyed; he ultimately switches to the 00 Quan[T] that's designed specifically to take advantage of his Innovator nature.
    • Occurs repeatedly throughout Gundam Wing, most notably with Wing Gundam Zero. Originally Quatre uses it to replace Sandrock, but later loses it and goes back to his rebuilt and improved Sandrock Custom. Zechs sacrifices the Tallgeese so he can capture Wing Zero in the meantime. A brief while later after that, after a duel with Heero he also loses it, though in return he gets the powerful Epyon. In fact, all five of the Gundam pilots, along with Zechs, at least briefly pilot Wing Zero.
      • It should also be noted that pretty much all the pilots had their own Gundams blown up, and sometime after piloting Wing Zero, got a new/repaired and upgraded version.
    • Gundam 0083. After Kou and Gato both destroy each other's Gundams, they each get a gigantic mobile armor shortly afterwards. Kou's even has a new Gundam attached.
      • Of course, things aren't guaranteed to go well even if one has a shiny new toy as Kou still failed to stop the colony and was later court-marshalled for stealing the GP-03, only let go when Captain Synapse committed suicide to take responsible for it.
    • Mobile Fighter G Gundam: Burning Gundam replacing Shining Gundam.
  • In GaoGaiGar, the titular mech's Once per Episode finishing move is switched from Hell and Heaven to the Goldion Hammer because of the risk of serious harm.
  • In Mai-Otome 0~S.ifr~, Lena overloads the Lofty Crimson Jade during her first fight with M9, but soon afterward, gets the Blue Sky Sapphire from Miyu, which is more powerful and suited to her abilities.
  • In One Piece, Nami's Perfect Clima Tact no longer has the Tornado Tempo ability (since in execution, it's more akin to one of Usopp's other "joke" features), but its other abilities are much more powerful (for example, she can create thunderbolts more quickly and has multiple mirages of herself). And she has an attack that makes a gust of wind, making the original Tornado Tempo ability entirely moot.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid eventually reveals that the Cradle Incident in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS removed nearly all of Vivio's original Sankt Kaiser powers, having lost not just the Relic and everything it bestowed, but her protective Sankt Kaiser Armor aura as well. The plot of Vivid essentially has her taking advantage of this to train herself on a new Supernatural Martial Arts power set and style that fits her personality and interests more.
  • In Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO!, after the girls gave up their powers in the previous season, they are given brand new powers to combat a brand new evil. Unlike how Nagisa and Honoka of Futari wa Pretty Cure MaX Heart just got modified costumes and finisher attacks from Futari wa Pretty Cure, the Yes! Precure 5 girls gain new costumes and much more useful attacks, which end up becoming the norm for later Cures
  • In Accel World, Haruyuki Arita's avatar (Silver Crow) has lost his wings, caught by suprise attack of Seiji Noumi's (Dusk Taker's) special ability. However, Silver Crow gains similar powers after an extensive mind training and with a special unit of reinforced exterior, both of which he receives from Fuuko Kurasaki (Sky Raker).
  • In Saki, Toki Onjouji started out as a mediocre player with the "three armies" special ability, but after her hospitalization, she lost that for a form of future sight, and with enough practice, becomes the team's ace. The ability she once had is unknown, but when Toki goes up against Teru, she wishes she still had it, showing one case in which the individual in question misses the ability she gave up.
  • Tiger & Bunny gives us Kaede, who has the ability to copy any other NEXT abilities via touch at the cost of losing the last power she'd copied. Inadvertently, this ability becomes vital to the survival of the rest of the heroes towards the end of the series: First, Albert Maverick, the Big Bad whose power to alter memories causes the heroes to turn on Kotetsu, unknowingly pats her on the head, thus allowing her to Emotion Bomb the correct memories back right as the heroes are about to arrest Kotetsu. Secondly, Blue Rose, whose power is to manipulate ice, pats Kaede on the shoulder, later allowing Kaede to fight and defeat The Dragon and his Mooks and save the heroes from being murdered.
  • Teppei from Captain Earth. A couple of episodes in, he found out that he is the same type of immortal as the opponents the group is fighting. He immediately decides to become a Pro-Human Transhuman, but on his second outing, he has to sacrifice his Ego Block to protect Daichi. This makes his mortal human body his only body, but he then steps out of the cockpit holding the third Livlaster.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure,
  • In Sailor Moon, the first two of Usagi's brooches are destroyed/damaged, but the reasons for them being replaced are different - the original anime had them as a case of So Last Season as the new season threats proved to be stronger than her old powers while the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal portrayed them suffering from Heroic R.R.O.D. in her final fights with those sagas' Big Bad. The main Sailor Guardians also suffered this with their first powers in the manga and Crystal.
  • Unbreakable Machine Doll has Lizete with this supposed weakness. Because two types of magic can't be used be used simultaneously, she has to discard her current power in order to use another. Her master settles this by stocking as many different dolls' magics onto her as he can.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel Universe,
    • Ms. Marvel was permanently drained of her superpowers by prolonged contact with Rogue, but later received even better powers due to experiments by the Brood. Considering that her original powers included near-invulnerability, flight, and super strength, that's really saying something. (Eventually, those powers wore off and returned her back to Ms. Marvel levels with the aditional ability to absorb energy and redirect it.)
    • This has happened to Rogue herself. Not long after she lost Ms. Marvel's powers, she absorbed Sunfire's in their place, which are rather similar to the powers Ms Marvel had in her Binary days, though on a lesser scale.
    • Psylocke went from telepathic to telekinetic (while Jean did the opposite) and then to shadow powers.
  • In The DCU, there's Guy Gardner. Once he lost his Green Lantern ring, he stole a yellow ring from his old bosses, the Oans. The new ring got destroyed (while he was fighting to save the GL Corps, by the way). After spending time as a Badass Normal, he trekked into the jungle to find some alien Super Serum which gave him new powers involving living armor and pulling swords out of his own body. Eventually, he got a new GL ring and rejoined the Corps, but first he spent time in "The Corpse," a black-ops section of the GLC with stealthier powers.
  • In a late '90s storyline, the real Superman became an energy being. And then was split into two energy beings, each of whom believed themselves to be the original. And then the two energy beings merged back together, and became Superman Classic.
  • Resurrection Man also has this in addition to well, resurrecting. Every time he returns he has a different power of wildly varying usefulness For example take: Resurrected with: Quantum telekinesis, including sensory expansion on a near-cosmic scale , flight, molecular disintegration of targets, also includes an undefined resistance to 'reality warp'. Now compare that with: Resurrection with: Is a woman. The "catch" being that the power he gains would've prevented his previous death. Ex: he drowns, he can breathe water (or doesn't need to breathe all) when he revives.
  • Donna Troy is virtually the DCU poster-child for this trope, having gone from being Wonder Girl to Troia to non-powered, then recruited as a Darkstar, then serving briefly as (respectively) non-powered, dead, cosmic something-or-other, and Wonder Girl again.
  • Similar but simpler arc for John Stewart, who stopped being a Green Lantern for a while, but then also became a Darkstar, lost that, was an awesome architect for a bit, and is now a Green Lantern again. But at least he stopped killing planets.
  • Several characters, most notably Quicksilver, go through this in House of M.
  • X-Men: Jubilee lost her powers after the House of M storyline. And got new ones with a power suit. And now Jubilee is a vampire. Go figure.
  • Another example is Mulholland Black from The Order. She lost her mutant powers after M-Day, and was recruited into Tony Stark's Fifty State Initiative and given an artificial version of her powers. Then when she was depowered by the bad guys, it reactivated her original powers. Or so she thought. It was really Stane rebooting Stark's tech-based powers, but more potent and less controlled.
  • Christian Walker lost his superpowers before the beginning of Powers, but later he is chosen to become a Green Lantern-esque defender of Earth by an advanced alien race.
  • In H'el on Earth when Superboy has Superman's battle-suit put on him, it seems to remove his tactile telekinesis, his visceral connection to his surroundings. Instead, the suit alters his telekinesis, increasing his strength and flight while also requiring him to actually touch something to use his telekinesis on it. Once the suit is removed, his powers return to normal.
  • In Marvel it seemed like this was the case when Speedball became Penance. Except his powers still had the same basic trigger: he needed to be happy. As Penance, the endorphin reaction from cutting himself with his suit made him high. Once he's back to being Speedball, he now has both sets of powers.
  • Felicia "Black Cat" Hardy had her bad luck powers removed by Doctor Strange, but somehow in the process gave her cat-themed super powers (enhanced strength, speed and agility, retractible claws, night vision) in the process. When she lost those, she went to bad guy arms dealer The Tinkerer for a suit that replicated those lost powers. (The suit was lost somewhere along the line and she regained her original bad luck powers).

    Fan Works 

     Films - Animated 
  • At the climax of Tangled, Rapunzel's glowing and healing hair is cut, but then we see her with healing tears.

  • At the climax of the Black Jewels trilogy, Jaenelle must drain all the power from her jewels, which shatter, but she then gets a new jewel, which encompasses most of her previous power range. She's still not as powerful, but she was the one that made sure she dropped a power level afterwards.
  • In the Chanters of Tremaris trilogy, the protagonist loses her powers after they are drained by a massive-scale working, but in a later book gains new powers — in the form of a long-lost art which no one else has mastered in centuries, no less.
  • The Dresden Files
    • At the end of White Night, Harry Dresden loses the powers granted by Lasciel's Shadow, including the ability to enhance his spells with Hellfire. Not too far into the next book, Small Favor, (set one year after White Night) the Archangel Uriel grants Harry Soulfire, Hellfire's not-so-nasty counterpart.
    • And while losing the wisdom Lasciel could grant him he did gain in Turn Coat a partnership with a Genius Loci island. On the island, the island will supplement his magic so he can cast near infinite spells, and grant him access to all the knowledge the island has. This includes if other people are on it.
  • Croyd "The Sleeper" Crenson from the Wild Cards series is practically this trope personified. Whenever he goes to sleep, he undergoes a weeks-long metamorphosis into a new form and gains new powers. He can become an ace or a joker, and lives in constant fear of drawing the black queen, so he tends to use amphetemines whenever he senses sleep sneaking up on to extend his awake periods. (There's a reason his line in the Aces Jingle is "Sleeper waking, meals taking. Sleeper speeding, people bleeding.")
  • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry loses his Nimbus 2000 when it was blown to the Whomping Willow and got crushed into splinters. He gets a new broomstick a Firebolt gifted to him by Sirius.
  • In Dragon Bones Ward once had magic powers, most of which he lost when his father beat him nearly dead. He gets them back eventually, but the lack of training inbetween means that he's not as powerful as he could have been.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cole in Charmed started out with stock demon powers due to being half-demon, then Pheobe depowered him, and then he became the host of the Source of All Evil and had powers due to that, then got killed and depowered and hung around at the edge of life and death grabbing powers from the dying, and came back to life with Reality Warper type powers, and then got Killed Off for Real.
  • Power Rangers: Occurred at the end of most of the early seasons, when the Rangers would lose their powers, just to get some new ones at the beginning of the next. This ceased in Lost Galaxy, as this was the first year of yearly cast replacement.
    • The very first instances of this happened to Tommy in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. He lost his powers as the Green Ranger, then got them back again to a somewhat limited extent, then lost them again, before finally being given the powers of the White Ranger. Then like the rest of the team, Tommy lost his powers. When the Zeo Powers were created about two hours later in-universe, Tommy became Zeo Ranger Five - Red. Then there was this event involving a golden key, and (almost) the entire Zeo team changed into being the Turbo Rangers. About halfway through Turbo, four of the Turbo Rangers got swapped out, Tommy being one of them. He became a Mad Scientist and created a new collection of Bio-Zords based on dinosaur DNA (wonder where he got that idea?) and wound up as Dino Thunder's Mentor and Black Ranger. At which point he observed that he'd have to buy a whole new wardrobe again.
    • A variant occurs in the "Dark Wish" arc of Mystic Force: The Rangers lose their powers, then get their old powers back along with a Super Mode.
  • The Beetleborgs series did this when moving from Big Bad Beetleborgs to Beetleborgs Metallix.
  • Happens a lot on Heroes, probably because it'd be impossible to write anything challenging for Hiro, Peter or Sylar if their powers didn't get nerfed at least once a season. In fact, this trope pretty much sums up Peter's power in the last two seasons. Peter's power was originally Power Copying, but he was nerfed so that he can only have one power at a time, "discarding" his card and "drawing" from whoever he is copying.
  • Kamen Rider Black RX, the only direct sequel in the franchise, starts with alien invaders abducting Kamen Rider Black and offering him the chance to rule Earth together. When he refuses, they damage his Transformation Trinket and throw him out the airlock. However, the sun's radiation causes his Kingstone to mutate into a more powerful form, the Sunstone, which gives him all-new powers and makes him the first Rider to form-change.
  • In Kamen Rider Agito had Kamen Rider G3, a manmade Rider system built to fight the Grongi. Unfortunately, the more powerful Lords as well as the mystical based Agito and Gills, outmatch it. So they eventually decomission it and replace it with the G3-X armor, which comes with more power, thicker armor, and increased combat ability.
  • The titler Rider of Kamen Rider OOO seems to lose Medals just as he gains new medals, so that he never has access to more than two full color combos at any given time (Though he always manages to hang on to the Taka, Tora, and Batta medals, which make up his base form).
  • In Misfits the second season ends with all the main characters buying new powers after having sold their original ones.
  • In Stargate SG-1, the SGC loses the Prometheus, their space faring battlecrusier, only to immediately replace it the next episode with the Odyssey, which was more advanced anyway.
  • Stargate Atlantis
    • The show has a tendency to do this with ZPMs. After gaining one at the start of season two, it was depleted in season three. Just a few episodes later, they acquire a new one to replace it (along with two more to send to earth)... and that one gets depleted at the start of season four. But it's okay, because they immediately get another one to replace it in the very next episode.
    • There's also Atlantis' secondary ship. Their primary ship is the Daedalus and that never changes. But near the end of season two, they acquire an Ancient warship called the Orion to add to their fleet... which is destroyed in the opening episode of season three. But they quickly replace it with a stolen Wraith Hiveship... which is destroyed in the next episode. They finally get a permanent addition in the season three finale when the earth ship Apollo is completed.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Very literal in the Magic: The Gathering card game. In the game's original metanarrative, the players are godlike wizards called planeswalkers; your deck is all the spells in your memory, while your hand is what spells you've brought to mind right at that moment. Instant and sorcery spells go to the graveyard after being cast, and every turn you draw one (or more, depending on game variant and/or whether you play certain spells that turn) card from the library, constantly changing up your current power set. Extended logically from this, spells that force a person to discard cards strongly imply elements of Mind Rape when taken to the game's metanarrative, and are named accordingly. (Mind Rot, Mind Twist, Mind Shatter, etc.)
    • Out of Magic's five colors, two opposing colors stand out as being the experts of this: blue and red. Due to their opposing nature, their take on this trope are also opposites from both flavor and mechanics stand-point: Blue, the analytical, usually draws first, chooses the best cards for the situation, then discards the unwanted ones (example: Compulsive Research), whereas Red, the impulse-driven, usually tosses away what they currently have before filling back the hand with new tricks (example: Wheel of Fortune and Mindmoil).
    • As a special note, the Izzet (a Blue/Red aligned faction on Ravnica) naturally also excel at this, though they usually draw before discarding. In fact, they love their discard and draw so much that some cards weaponize it (like Blast of Genius).
    • There are also very many cards (among every color!) that are referred to as "cantrips." These spells often do some small effect, but draw you a card as well, effectively replacing themselves after you cast them.
  • Not nearly as noticeable in the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, as the player isn't represented by any single title in the metanarrative, but there are shades of this; several hand-destroying cards have Mind Rape-specific names like Mind Haxxorz (no, really) and Penalty Game! that invoke a sense that the player's being subjected to an actual Penalty Game from the Shadow Realm.
    • Some cards literally do this. "Card Destruction", "Graceful Charity", and "Dark World Dealings" are probably the most well-known.
    • Plus the relatively straight playing of this trope when Yugi loses Exodia in Episode 3, thus preventing him from using it to win later on, making him, y'know, actually have to play the game. Fear not though, as he then trades up in Season 2 for an improved deck that progressively adds the three Egyptian God Cards. Additionally, he plays around with the god-ish Timaeus in the Doma arc, but doesn't (and can't) keep it.
    • Is becoming more and more common; Destiny Draw, Allure of Darkness, Rare Value, Solar Recharge, Common Charity, and more are all variations of "get rid of one card and draw two". As a general rule, nearly every new archetype gets a variation of this mechanic. Almost every deck benefits from these kind of cards, and they tend to be a Game-Breaker in some ways. The Dark World archetype works very well with it, and have their own "draw on and get rid of one card" to work with their theme.
  • The Gamma World setting for 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons has this literally as well. A rule mechanic has you draw "Alpha Mutation" cards, which give you an extra encounter power, or bonuses to rolls, or something similar. However, if you roll a one at any time, you discard your Alpha Mutation and draw a new one. Additionally, you draw a new Alpha Mutation at the end of every fight.
  • Munchkin sets that involve Powers also include curse cards like "Your Powers have changed!" where you have to replace your powers in play with other powers from the discard pile. The bad part is that you just lose your powers if you can't replace them (i.e. there are no powers in the discard pile or ones you can't use because of your level.)
  • In Black Crusade, this is one of the possible "gifts" of Tzeentch, which makes the heretic re-roll all of his previous mutations.
  • Angron from Warhammer40000 went through a lot of different weapons in his lifetime, thanks to the superstition of his homeworld that claims discarded weapons bring bad luck and should never be used again:
    • His first weapon was the chain-axe Widowmaker. Destroyed during his duel with his fellow Primarch Leman Russ.
    • His second weapon was Brazentooth, a massive two-handed chain-axe. He eventually gave it away to Lorgar as a gift to cement his Legion's alliance with the Word Bearers in the early days of the Heresy. Lost in the vacuum of space when the ship carrying it was destroyed.
    • His most iconic weapons during the heresy were the twin chain-axes Gorefather and Gorechild. Angron discarded them after they were badly damaged in a battle that left him buried by tonnes of rubble — he used the axes to dig himself out. Kharn retrieved Gorechild and — defying his Legion's traditions and his battle-brother's protests — had it repaired for his own use. Gorechild has been his favored weapon ever since while Gorefather is still missing.
    • After his ascension to a Daemon Primarch, Angron was rewarded with a powerful Daemon Sword. The Black Blade of Angron became his new signature weapon until it was destroyed by the Grey Knights during the First War of Armageddon. His current weapon is unknown.
  • Costumes in Costume Fairy Adventures bestow powers on the fairies who are going adventuring in them. Since you can only wear one costume at a time, you end up discarding the old powers and drawing new ones - literally, if the game is taking place around one table and the Costume Deck is in use.
  • In Chaotic, quite a few cards discard attack cards in your hand, which can be interpreted as the attacks your creature is ready to use, to draw you new ones. Examples include Melodic Might and Blaze Barrage.

    Video Games 
  • In the Pokémon series, no monster can learn more than four moves. They can improve their skill sets by forgetting old moves and replacing them with better ones. This is two-fold: not only do they lose a move and gain one, they also tend to lose PP (number of times a move can be used without visiting a Pokémon center) in exchange for attack power, accuracy, or extra effects.
  • As befits the immense importance of Elite Tweak in the franchise, Shin Megami Tensei has this in several games. Demons can only naturally learn a limited amount of moves and must lose permanently older moves in order to learn new ones once all move slots have been used up. In particular, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne slapped your MC with this, forcing you to plan your progress well in advance.
  • This happens to both Cecil and Rydia in Final Fantasy IV. To be specific, Cecil rejects The Dark Side and abandons his Dark Knight powers, becoming a Paladin in the aftermath (with a more noble set of abilities). Rydia, meanwhile, gets sucked into Another Dimension; when she comes back, not only is she several years older, but she has more powerful black magic and Summon Magic at the cost of her ability to use White Magic.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, magic and summons work this way. Only instead of forgetting old spells and summons, they're discarding bits of their own memory. Because of this, it takes half the game for the characters to realize they share an important plot point in their backstories. As for the summoned monsters themselves, they can learn up to 22 abilities, which sounds like a lot, until you discover that some new abilities cause old ones to become redundant. A special item called Amnesia Greens allows the player to select and discard one ability from a summon's lineup.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII, Snow loses the 'Hand Grenade' ability after becoming a l'Cie. Notable in that he's the only character in the game to permanently lose an ability (characters like Hope and Vanille who don't initially get the Commando class upon becoming a l'Cie will lose the 'Attack' command, but they can gain it back later). Of course, this can be Handwaved/Justified by him simply running out of or otherwise losing his stock of hand grenades.
  • Played straight in Lost Kingdoms, since you have to use cards to attack and are limited to four for a hand. The second game at least didn't remove cards from the deck when you manually discarded them.
  • Near the end of Half-Life 2, Gordon Freeman loses all of his equipment with the exception of the gravity gun and his HEV suit, both of which become supercharged by dark energy. The gravity gun can interact with energy spheres and all organic matter, killing the latter instantly when held or hit by a projected object; meanwhile, Gordon's suit gains increased reactive armour energy reserves and can recharge both armour and health reserves from Combine power stations with greater efficiency.
  • For the last segment of Zork: Grand Inquisitor, the player must use a spell which reverses the effect of every spell he knows. As a result, he loses the ability to unlock any door, travel via time portal, separate magical energies, and turn purple things invisible, but gains the ability to seal any door (keeping guards safely locked up), willfully avoid traveling in time, turn invisible things purple (which lets the player find an invisible fence), and combine magical energies ( which solves the game's final puzzle)
  • Mega Man combines this with Bag of Spilling in between every game. Near the end of Rockman 4 Minus Infinity, Dr. Wily steals all your weapons to create the Petit Robot Masters. Followed by Proto Man giving you the Wily Buster which lets you curb stomp them easily.
    • Even ones where Mega Man isn't a robot do this; Geo Stelar of Mega Man Star Force loses access to the Satellite Admin powers between the first and second games, only to pick up the Tribe powers, which in turn disappear in time for the Noise powers of the third game to take over.
  • In the beginning of Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django, the Gun Del Sol from the first game is stolen. Shortly thereafter, though, Django acquires the Sol De Vice, a solar-powered magic gauntlet which lets Django enchant melee weapons. And even later, he is transformed into a vampire, losing his enchantments and gaining new ones. However, later in the game you get back your gun and human form.
  • In Baldur's Gate II, the protagonist eventually loses the special powers (s)he gained during the first game, but soon afterwards gains the ability to turn into the Slayer, an avatar of the God of murder.
  • This happens to Kratos in God of War, not once but twice, shortly after the start of each sequel game. In God of War II, Kratos loses his powers when he drains them into the Blade of Olympus, only for Zeus to kill him with it, and in God of War III, Kratos falls off Mount Olympus, drops the Blade of Olympus, plummets into the River Styx, and successfully surviving it drains him of all his god-orb fueled powers, including the health and magic earned with sacrifices. In both cases, right after Kratos loses his powers, what remains of him lumbers forward slowly until the next cutscene kicks in.
  • Many of the Death Knights in World of Warcraft were once paladins, who lose their Light-based powers from the evil acts they commit in the Lich King's service, but in the process, they are able to use new dark powers, which the freed Knights of the Ebon Blade use against the Lich King. A similar process happens to Sylvanas and her Dark Rangers. The Draenei Nobundo lost his paladin powers from being exposed to demonic energies, but his resulting inner turmoil allowed him to connect to the elements, becoming the first Draenei shaman. Arthas and Garrosh Hellscream were rather more literal examples, casting away their old weapons in favor of more powerful and evil ones. Arthas threw aside his Paladin warhammer Light's Vengeance in exchange for Frostmourne, and Garrosh abandoned his father Grom's axe Gorehowl in favor of a mockery of it created by the Sha called "Xal'atoh, Desecrated Image of Gorehowl".
  • Mortal Kombat: In death, the original Sub-Zero (Bi-Han) seemingly lost his ice-based powers, but as Noob Saibot he has entirely new, shadow-based ones.
  • Whenever Kirby acquires a new ability via inhaling certain enemies, he'll need to dispose of his current ability in the form of a bouncing star before he can inhale another enemy for a different power. This was actually subverted for once in Kirby 64, where he could actually combine abilities to form new ones, but he still needed to discard the combination when he wanted a new ability.
  • In Persona 3's epilogue The Answer, this happens to Aigis, who loses her Orgia Mode at the start but gains the recently deceased protagonist's Orpheus Persona and Wild Card powers in return.
  • In inFAMOUS: Second Son Delsin Rowe, the protagonist, has the ability to copy the powers of other conduits by touch (and also sees how they gained said power at the same time). Which is awesome until he realises that he can only use one at once. Even so, Delsin can store the power so that he only needs to come into contact with the element to restart it, and can do this without cooldown or limits. (Makes for fun gameplay, I'll tell you.)
  • This is the premise for Shantae and the Pirate's Curse. After Shantae lost her genie powers, she needs to ally with Risky and gain a new set of Pirate-based skills in order to battle the new threat.
  • In Hearthstone Warlocks have a spell called Renounce Darkness which replaces their hero power and deck with a hero power and random cards from a different class.
    • They also have the Darkshire Librarian minion who discards a random card when summoned but lets them draw a replacement card when she dies.
    • Druids have Astral Communion, which discards their entire hand but gives them 10 mana crystals. They'll be at the mercy of whatever RNG decides they topdeck, but have far more mana than their opponent, allowing them to pump out huge minions before they'd normally be able.
  • The Fallen and Redeemed from Nexus Clash lose all of their angelic and demonic powers, respectively, upon switching sides. They get new unique powers from their new side, some of which are extraordinarily powerful and all of which are unique to defectors and unavailable to normal angels and demons. However, they must take care to stay Good (if Redeemed) or Evil (if Fallen) lest they lose all of their powers and be rejected by both heaven and hell.
  • In The Binding of Isaac, Dice items reroll things, removing them and replacing them with something else. The D6 rerolls items on pedestals, the D4 rerolls your held items, the D7 rerolls the room you're in, the D8 rerolls your stats, the D10 rerolls enemies, the D12 rerolls obstacles, the D20 rerolls consumables, and the D100 combines all of these effects. These all have varying uses, but can be really strong if you have a lot of useless things around you, or can be used for fun just to see what happens. This is especially true with the D4 or D100, which have a tendency to turn normal runs into complete chaos or save terrible runs by giving you powerful items.
    • Missing No takes the chaos part to extreme degrees, randomizing all of your items at the start of every floor.
  • In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Adam is forced to do this. In order activate the new augmentations he got between games, you have to "permanently" lock down an unused augmentation tree to reduce the strain on Adam's systems, or risk glitching out in the heat of combat. However, if you complete Koller's sidequest early on in the game, midway through the game he will upgrade you and remove this restriction, restoring any augmentations you have already locked down.

  • Coga Nito: A side- effect of Niko's initial Piece being stolen by BB was that, once BB was defeated, she could gain an entirely new one— Smooth Criminal certainly looks different, and she implies the power is different as well.

    Web Original 
  • In Worm, Panacea's tampering with Taylor's brain grants her the ability to control people instead of being limited to bugs, at the expense of most of her range and fine control.
    • Eidolon's power also works like this. He has up to 4 powers at any time, which he can discard at will to gain a new power.

    Western Animation 
  • In Ben 10: Alien Force, when Ben puts the Omnitrix on the first time in years it changes shape and replaces the 10+ aliens he had before with a new set. The guy that made it eventually explains that the things has sets of ten that it changes between because there are far too many different aliens in it to navigate through at once. In the series finale, Ben self-destructs the Omnitrix to keep Vilgax from using it. He then forces Albedo to give him the more powerful Ultimatrix by activating its self-destruct sequence as well. Unlike Vilgax, Albedo doesn't call Ben's bluff. Because a) the Ultimatrix is on his wrist and b) he just saw Ben wasn't bluffing. Finally, Ultimate Alien ends with the Ultimatrix being replaced by the new, perfected Omnitrix that carries over into Omniverse.
  • Similarly, in the first season finale of Ben 10's sister series, Generator Rex Van Kleiss absorbs Rex's nanites, bringing Rex down to normal. Fortunately, the special nanites set up 10 episodes in advance were still there, and allowed Rex to get back his powers, and then some.
    • Counts for Van Kleiss too. Rex cured him earlier, depowering him. So Kleiss took his powers as a replacement.
  • In The Legend of Korra season 1 finale, Amon finally de-bends Korra, leaving her bereft of her Waterbending, Earthbending, and Firebending. Just in time, her Airbending block breaks, and she gives a surprise gust of wind at an incredulous Amon.
    • A look into the distant past reveals that humans only have the necessary life energy to bend one element at a time. Wan had to rely on his spirit companion Raava to carry the bending he wasn't using at the time. Every time he needed to use a different bending style, Raava would pass through him and take the previous one away. Wan could only bend multiple elements at the same time by carrying Raava within himself, but doing so for too long could kill him. This downside was removed after the Harmonic Convergence permanently fused Wan and Raava, creating the first Avatar.
  • Transformers Prime:
    • Near the end of season 2, Megatron sacrifices his primary weapon arm for an arm from a Prime, allowing him to create a Dark Energon copy of the Star Saber using the Forge of Solus Prime, and for that matter, the power to create anything else he wants using the Forge.
    • Happens to Starscream quite a bit throughout season 2. He loses his transformation cog and the ability to transform, but later gains a suit of Powered Armor that can only be used in robot mode. He later loses the armor, but acquires Red Energon which he uses to gain Super Speed and eventually the ability to transform again.
  • In the animated version of W.I.T.C.H., Will's boyfriend Matt gets his own set of powers, including flight and the ability to shoot lasers from his eyes, after Nerissa kidnaps and brainwashes him into becoming Shagon, her demon of hate. Will eventually breaks him free of Nerissa's control, restoring Matt to a normal human. Matt remains normal for one full episode, but the episode after that sees him gain his powers back but rather than being fueled by hate, they're now powered by Cornelia's sister Lillian's Reality Warper magic and can be used for good.
  • In the season 4 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight sacrifices her alicorn powers before unlocking Rainbow Power to put Tirek back in his can.
    • Season 4 as a whole is this trope. In the premiere the ponies must sacrifice the Elements of Harmony, and in exchange receive a box with six locks. The season features episodes in which each pony has an epiphany regarding their respective Element, leading up to the eventual unlocking of the box and the acquiring of Rainbow Power to defeat Tirek. It also leads to the creation of Twilight's new castle, and the "Cutie Map" that sends the Mane Six on missions to solve "friendship problems" across Equestria in seasons five and six.
  • Peridot was introduced into Steven Universe with robotic 'limb enhancers' with a variety of powers (like shooting balls of energy, creating computer-esque screens, having the fingers form a sort of helicopter to let her escape, lifting heavy objects, and making her look taller). The beginning of her Heel–Face Turn saw her losing them, but "Too Short to Ride" (after said Heel–Face Turn) gives her Extra-ore-dinary powers.