Make Them Rot

"My touch brings decay! I rot you in the name of the law!"
Judge Mortis, Judge Dredd

A character has the power to make things decompose. May require physical contact. If they can't turn their power off, they are also a Walking Wasteland. Sometimes this power may even work on non-organic material. Could be considered as the opposite of Green Thumb.

Compare Enemy to All Living Things. Contrast Fertile Feet.


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    Anime & Manga 

  • Judge Mortis, one of the four dreaded Dark Judges who periodically break into the reality of Mega City One in Judge Dredd, has the power to induce instant mortification and decay in anything he touches.
  • Blackout from Ghost Rider decays everything he touches almost instantly. In Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, he finds it rather surprising that the only food that doesn't mold up and rot away are Twinkies.
  • Carrion, a minor Spider-Man enemy has the ability to cause organic matter to rot with a touch.
  • DK, a minor villain from Irredeemable has this as his power.
  • In DP7 Dennis "Skuzz" Skuzinski's acidic skin makes everything he touches rot or burn away, including his clothes.
  • The mutant Wither from X-Men has the power to decay any organic material his skin comes in contact with. Power Incontinence leaves his power permanently on. Especially heartbreaking is when the majority of mutants in the world lose their ability, Wither mistakenly believes he has too. He grabs the wrist of the girl he is in love with and her hand withers away.
  • In the DC Universe, the Batman villains Clayface III (Preston Payne) and Clayface V (Cassius "Clay" Payne) could make the bodies of living creatures melt by touching them. Clayface VI (Dr. Peter Malley) could make them melt without touching them.
  • A variation occurred in Strikeforce: Morituri; Blackthorne could break the molecular bonds of whatever she touched, causing them to rot and dissolve.

  • The Big Bad of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade falls victim to this by choosing the wrong Grail to drink from.
  • Heavy Metal (1981): The Loc-Nar can give off a green energy that causes highly accelerated decomposition. If used on living creatures it causes death ("Grimaldi", "Harry Canyon"). If used on dead bodies it makes their flesh rot away and turns them into animated skeletons ("B-17").

  • The Shadow Ops book series has random people manifesting powerful magical powers. On rare occasions one of these powers is Negramancy, the power to accelerate entropy. When it is used, objects crumble to dust in seconds and living things start to rot and decay. The power is casually called Witchcraft or Black Magic and its use is prohibited under the penalty of death.
  • Freddy does this to the main characters in the first story of The Nightmares on Elm Street: Freddy Krueger's Seven Sweetest Dreams.
  • In Everworld, all witches—including Senna—have poisonous blood that kills plants, though apparently not animals or people. It can even render land infertile, which is why (in Everworld at least) witches are always killed in ways that won't shed blood, like drowning or burning.

    Live Action TV 
  • Charmed:
    • There was an episode that dealt with a demon of vanity that could de-age others and make them young and healthy again. He then shows that he can also reverse this and rapidly ages two women into piles of dust.
    • A later bad guy uses a spell to accomplish the same feat on a minor of his that has disappointed him.


    Tabletop Games 
  • One spell available to followers of Nurgle (Nurgle's Rot) in Warhammer 40,000 can do this.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, there are spells like Putrefy, Decompose, Krovikan Rot, Abrupt Decay, Brainspoil and Rapid Decay, among others.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Necrotic/negative energy damage, which overlaps with Casting a Shadow.
    • If a Violet Fungi monster hit a living creature with one of its branches, the creature had to make a saving throw vs. poison or have its flesh rot and its body decompose.
  • Zerstoerung, the lost sorcery of Eisen, in 7th Sea, consisted mainly of these powers.
  • DC Heroes has the Cell Rot power, which can cause any living or formerly living substance to decompose. If used on a living creature it's treated as a normal Physical attack. The Batman villain Clayface III (Preston Payne) had this power.
  • The Calabim in In Nomine are surrounded by invisible fields of entropy that can break down the integrity of any ordered structures within their reach.


    Video Games 
  • The Fleshrot contact poison in Dragon Age: Origins makes the victim rot from the inside.
  • Death Knights in Warcraft II have the Death And Decay ability, which does devastating amounts of damage in a huge area as long as they have runic power. Back in Warcraft III, the ability was the Scourge hero, the Lich's, ultimate ability (and one of the most powerful in the game, almost being a Game-Breaker). Death and Decay had a smaller area, did percentage-of-maximum-health as continuous damage (4% health per second for 35 seconds!), and killed trees.
  • The Breath of Fire series sometimes feature attacks that inflict "rotting" condition on an ally. For one full turn they get a decent boost to their attack stat, but turn into a zombie in the next turn and start automatically attacking their allies.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-073, better known as the biblical Cain, withers all plant matter in a small radius arounds himself.
    • SCP-106 does this to absolutely everything he comes into contact with.
    • SCP-811 has this effect on living things due to the mucus she secretes from her palms and soles. The foundation even tried to use it to melt SCP-682. They didn't put her in the chamber with him, for obvious reasons, instead they just scraped some of it off of her hands and feet over a period of time so they could spray it on him. Naturally it didn't work.

    Western Animation