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Anime and Manga
- Byakuya does this throughout the Soul Society arc, since his main power is to break his sword into a cloud of tiny fragments that he can control remotely and he's good enough at Flash Step that he can teleport while appearing to stand still. In his fight with Ichigo he's pushed hard enough that he has to start using gestures to direct them faster, and generally has a Not So Stoic moment.
- Zommari Rureaux, in his Resurreccion form, can stay in one spot and simply use his People Puppets and Mind Manipulation powers to make other objects, people, or even your own body attack you for him.
- Szyael Aporro Granz has a number of abilities that require no physical effort on his part. He has a liquid that can clone others, wings that can create a voodoo doll, and a parasitic resurrection ability that causes him to regenerate inside someone else's body while rotting them from the inside out.
- Barragan Luisenbarn is a Walking Wasteland that causes anything near him to age. Even outside of his Super Mode, it's impossible to attack him without this occurring. In Resurreccion, however, he creates a Battle Aura that surrounds him and can be fired off as a destructive cloud. Being even lightly grazed by it will cause it to spread over your entire body within seconds. The most effort we see him go through is occasionally swinging or throwing his axe—which, by the way, has the same powers he does.
- Coyote Starrk can do this, but he chooses not to, because it carries significant risk. Most of his powers do not follow this trope, but his ultimate attack, "The Wolf Pack", summons wolf-shaped wraiths that explode on impact. The rub is that, Starrk is actually two people, and his wolves are controlled by his "other half", Lilynette Gingerback...and therein lies the risk. Each wolf that explodes (or is destroyed by other means) has the potential of permanently killing Lilynette. Which, in the anime, is exactly what happens.
- Yukio Hans Vorarlberna, when facing against Toshiro Hitsugaya inside his video game world generally fights like this whilst creating monsters and other creations to fight for him.
- As Nodt's primary fighting style works in a similar manner to Byakuya's Zanpakuto; floating spikes that he controls remotely. Later in Vollstandig he has an ability that creates walls of eyes that once they make eye contact with his opponent instills deep fear in them.
- Gremmy Thoumeaux prefers to not lift a finger while his Imagination-Based Superpower does the work, in a similar vein to Yukio. Kenpachi manages an attack that forces him to use his hand to block it. Which, as it turns out, still doesn't subvert the trope; Gremmy is a literal Brain in a Jar, so even his "physical" body still turned out to be his powers doing the work for him.
- Pride from Fullmetal Alchemist gets thrown around like a ragdoll during certain battles, but he attacks by launching shadowy tendrils from just about anywhere on his body or in his vicinity.
- Anyone using a Philosopher's Stone, which prevents the need to use circles, or even movement, to perform alchemy, tends to fight like this. The most prominent user of this tactic is Father, who generally doesn't move a muscle, instead using alchemy to disassemble attacks and erect barriers. Towards the end of the final battle, the moment where he finally moves to stop one of Edward's attacks, instead of deconstructing it with his barrier, is the sign that his supply of souls has finally begun to run dry, leaving him very vulnerable.
- In the 2003 anime version, this is essentially the way Sloth fights, hence the name. She just kind of stands there waving watery tentacle arms around.
- Boku no Hero Academia has Tokoyami, a classmate of Midoriya whose powers are summoning a giant bird made of darkness, this bird will fight for him, particularly in long range. This is slightly deconstructed, as it's acknowledged that, while this makes him an amazing opponent at long range, this also means that if a Villain gets close to him, he will be back at disadvantage, so he learns to train his body as well.
- Gaara (picture above) is protected by his sand, so for most of his fights early on in the series, he stands by while the sand deflects projectiles and destroys his enemies for him. He does sometimes use his hands to control the sand when finishing off opponents though.
- Naruto's chakra shroud has a mind of its own, and can launch its own attacks separate from his own.
- Members of the Aburame clan seem to prefer to stand still with their hands in their pockets while their insects fight for them, although this isn't always practical.
- Susanoo, the strongest ability granted to Mangekyo Sharingan users, is a nigh-impenetrable, absurdly powerful guardian entity that tears through the opposition while the user just sits in the middle (or floats in its head if it's in a form with legs).
- One Piece:
- Nico Robin specializes in this, though (mostly since Time Skip) she has no problem to go up close and personal when needed. Her powers, from the Flower-Flower Fruit, lets her sprout copies of any of her body parts anywhere, from herself, the ground, walls of building, to people's bodies. She uses them mainly to strangle people or break their necks from afar.
- Trafalgar Law, with his Op-Op Fruit, can manipulate position of things within a radius, or "room", as if everyone around him are patients Strapped to an Operating Table. He rarely moves much from his position (aside from using hand gestures) while doing so. Downplayed, though, in that he's also a competent close-range fighter when the situation calls for it.
- The Haki of the "Supreme King" can be used this way, arguably. However, given that those on the receiving end instantly faint, it more skips the battle entirely. Rayleigh, Shanks, Luffy and Chinjao have all done this, and once again all of them are incredibly competent fighting normally.
- Discussed once - it's mentioned by Pekoms of Big Mom Pirates that Logia Fruit powers who practice this trope fully have short lifespans in the New World, because many fighters there employs Haki which, among other things, can bypass Logia's immunity to direct attacks.
- Bartolomeo fights in this way due to him being a Barrier Warrior and a bit of a troll. However, he does move around a lot and stays alert if he's up against opponents comparable to him or stronger.
- When Luffy first meets Gecko Moria, Moria just sits against the wall and lets his Living Shadow fight Luffy. Luffy finally manages to get past the shadow by slinging himself over the railing and kicking through the floor where Moria is sitting. Moria's entire philosophy as a pirate could be described as that, because of how awful the loss of his crew at Kaido's hands was, he intends to become king of the pirates through nobody's strength but his own, even his massive army of zombies including Oars is powered by his devil fruit. Tellingly, when he does finally step up to fight with his own body, he's a Clipped-Wing Angel who goes down within the same episode.
- Big Mom's Soul-Soul Fruit allows her take the lifeforce from others and use it to create living inanimate objects that fight on her behalf. These include chess soldiers, her bicorne hat, a storm cloud and a miniature sun. Big Mom isn't powerless without them, though, as her Devil Fruit can steal the lifespan of anyone with just a touch.
- Ryuuho from S Cryed hangs back and allows his Altar, Zetsuei, to do most of the fighting for him. Ryuuho is one of the most powerful Altars in HOLY, and Zetsuei is more than capable of defending Ryuuho from attack while dominating other Altars simultaneously.
- In Tiger & Bunny the villain Jake Martinez has an extremely versatile power of creating barriers, which allows him to be unfazed by even the most powerful attacks, and can be used just as powerfully offensively. He also has a second power, telepathy, which allows him predict attacks. Because of these abilities, he never has to put any effort into fighting, which means that he can't handle it when he receives even the slightest injury.
- A Certain Magical Index:
- Accelerator can unconsciously maintain a reflective barrier, causing enemies to defeat themselves even when Accelerator is wholly unaware that he is being attacked. It's actually his biggest weakness, however, since his over-reliance on his powers means that on the rare occasion someone finds a way around them, he doesn't really know any other way to fight.
- Fiamma of the Right's Holy Right ability manifests as a bird talon-like third arm that emerges from his shoulder. It can emerge to defend him from attacks he's unaware of, like Kill Sat strikes, then destroy the attacker.
- Any and all Magic Gods can do fun stuffs such as creating projectiles larger than the planet Earth and launch them instantly with a thought. When they are serious, they can even create and delete entire universes at will. Really, this series loves this trope.
- A minor staple in any Gundam series: If a mobile suit has Attack Drones, expect them to do this once in a while.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: While the first two parts of the series focus mostly on direct physical fighting, the series evolves into this when Stands (psychic powers given anthropomorphic appearances) are introduced. In most battles, combatants don't lay an actual finger on their opponents, allowing their Stands (And the crazy abilities they have) to do the fighting. Aside from most Stands just beating the crap out of the foe or hitting them with long-range attacks, some Stands are based on remote-controlled use, and some even work without the user being aware of it.
- The Seven Deadly Sins: King uses Flying and Morph Weapon Chastiefol to do most of his fighting since he is a Squishy Wizard who is physically weaker than an old man with a bad back.
- Elfen Lied: Higher-end Diclonius like Lucy and Mariko let their invisible, razor-sharp vectors shred everything and everyone around them while they stand (or sit) in place with a blank, detached look on their faces.
- Senki Zesshou Symphogear: While most armed gears provide some sort of hand-held weapon, Shul Shagana gives Shirabe a pair of mechanical pigtails that wield its gigantic buzzsaws for her. Combined with a pair of motorized wheels in her boots, she can let her gear handle most of the fighting.
- Jig, the protagonist of Stealth Symphony, has a device fused to his back that can detect hostility directed at him, defends Jig from any harm that comes from this hostility, and redirect it back in the same direction. Jig is otherwise an ordinary human teenager with no combat skills whatsoever, but as this device is a Morph Weapon with seemingly no upper limit to what it can take and functions totally independently of Jig's actions, the device effectively renders Jig invulnerable. It is discovered pretty early on that it does not protect Jig from harm with no malicious intent, however, such as accidents.
- AKIRA: Tetsuo first evidences true power when breaking out of his cell at the unnamed facility, after being terrorized by the three other test subjects in the dead of night (the monster-sized stuffed toys and pool of milk scene.) The scene of how he deals with the guards as seen in a distant shot in the hallway is particularly horrifying in the small quietness of it, squashing them to pulp against the walls and ceiling while crushing the walls, floor and ceiling around him into spherical depressions, seemingly while in a half-dazed rage and not even looking while he does it. His hike through the city and the ease with which he fends off attack and destroys nearly everything that gets in his way, gives the impression that it is not the boy Tetsuo who is doing all this but some great invisible power that surrounds him, that may be some thing of its own.
- In Fist of the North Star, Raoh doesn't have to lay a finger on his enemies, he can just let his "Touki" do it for him.
- In The Legend of the Legendary Heroes, Miran Frouade and Lir Orla use their rings to conjure magical beasts to fight for them or erect barriers to defend themselves. Miran occasionally supplements this with other magical attacks, while Lir (at least in the anime) relies entirely on his ring.
- Superman can often leave ordinary mooks in the hospital by doing absolutely nothing when they try to sock him in the jaw.
- Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man: When it is clear that whatever was boosting Spider-Man's strength has stopped, Superman stands still as Spidey punches him and hurts himself.
- In War World The Spectre defeats Superman by not doing anything. He stands still while Superman punches him uselessly, and when Superman tries to outrun him, The Spectre teleports in front of him.
- During Kryptonite Nevermore, a corrupt tycoon and his thugs accost Superman and hurt themselves when they hit him. Meanwhile Superman doesn't even appear to be aware of their presence.
- Supergirl has Nigh-Invulnerability. Much like her male counterpart, she has won fights simply by standing still while human mooks hit her and hurt themselves.
- In Supergirl Vol. 2 #17, several thugs were trying to get away after committing a kidnapping. She stepped in the way of their car, stood her ground and let the vehicle hit her (it helped that those thugs were dumb enough to try to run over her).
- In Red Daughter of Krypton, Supergirl has to stop Red Lantern Bleez from leaving the med bay. She accomplishes this by blocking the doorway and standing her ground when Bleez tries to shove her aside◊. She did nothing; she just stood there as Bleez found out she can't overpower a Kryptonian.
- Darkseid is often shown simply walking along, firing off his Eye Beams. He doesn't even have to glance at his enemy, the beams can change direction.
- Green Lantern: Also a common use of Kyle Rayner's Green Lantern Ring.
- X-Men: Magneto almost never does anything physical (aside from frequently moving his hands to direct his powers, which isn't strictly necessary but gives the readers a better idea of what he's doing with his powers), preferring to just stand or hover in place with an amused expression while destroying those around him with random bits of metal.
- Spawn can do this, but his demonic powers are Cast from Lifespan, and once it's gone, he's headed back to Hell to lead their army, which he isn't really keen on, so he usually either Fights Like a Normal or uses guns.
- The Darkness can frequently use his powers to produce shadowy masses of tentacles, in order to drag, mutilate, or capture his foes.
- Captain America villain M.O.D.O.K. doesn't do much except press buttons on his chair or use Psychic Powers. That's good for him, because he's a huge head in a chair with stubby limbs.
- True for Paul in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, since he pretty much just stands his Nigh Invulnerable self there and lets people break their weapons/tire themselves out trying to hurt him. Given that he's an Actual Pacifist and has Power Incontinence with his Super Strength, he's not going to do anything aggressive, so if his opposition persists, one of the others has to step in to take care of the person. Though he did take the “Senator” down by absorbing the entire energy construct around the man's body, but he basically just stood there and sucked it all in.
- True for Ringo as well, especially since his telekinesis is fully invisible, his range is measured in miles, and he usually uses his mindsight to see what he wants to grab, so stuff happens and no one has any idea he had anything to do with it.
- Once in a while John pulls this off, like when he twiddles his fingers and makes everyone around him have to pee. Usually his magic's a lot more obvious and involved, though.
Films — Animated
- The way the Dazzlings fight the final battle in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks. They stay on the stage and sing while the spirit manifestations of their true Siren forms attack the Rainbooms.
Films — Live-Action
- X-Men: The Last Stand has a scene where Jean Grey/The Phoenix strolls across the battlefield, and anyone that gets near her is instantly obliterated. As in separated molecule by molecule.
- The Raven (1963) includes one of the finest Wizard Duels ever put on film. Neither magician even gets up from his chair.
- In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Movie has a duel between the good and evil wizards. Both of them stand with their arms behind their backs while flying swords fly into one another repeatedly. It's much less interesting to watch than you might think.
- Used to terrifying effect in the movie version of Firestarter. In the climax cute little girl Charlie systematically incinerates the evil government agents and scientists that had been experimenting on her after her father is is killed. In playing the scene Drew Barrymore mostly just stands, hands at her sides, as she uses her pyrokinesis to melt bullets in mid-air as she is shot at, causes flames to burn across the ground at fleeing people and sends fireballs hurtling into the Shop's building.
- Night Huntress: Mencheres, with his staggeringly powerful telekinetic ability, and Marie Laveau, with her power to summon deadly Remnants.
- The Heroes of Olympus: Percy does this after he snaps and delves deep to access even more power while torturing a minor goddess. It serves to highlight the fact that something has gone terribly wrong, contrasting his usual Full-Contact Magic tactics.
- Warhammer 40K: The Space Wolves' High Rune Priest, Njal Stormcaller, is also known as the Tempest that Walks, because while all Rune Priests have storm-related powers, Njal has a permanent storm centered on himself, its effects random but getting worse every turn, starting with lowering enemy aim and culminating in causing lightning to hit every enemy in range. And that's in addition to his mastery of psychic powers.
- The final boss of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords doesn't fight you directly at first—because she Force-levitates three lightsabers to attack you simultaneously from all sides. It's only after you destroy them that she goes after your personally. Of course, simply sidestepping them and attacking her directly makes the fight hilariously easy.
- The Leaf Shield power-up from Mega Man 2. The downside is, if you move, the shield goes away.
- The Spark, Needle, and Freeze abilities in Kirby. They surround the titular protagonist with a defensive barrier blocking all attacks as well as doing damage.
- Sonic 3 & Knuckles:
- Having the Fire Shield allows Sonic to enter his "waiting" animation, while also withstanding any form of lava or fire, contact which would normally result in instant death. You can even, hilariously, stand on lava.
- A more direct example involving the Fire Shield comes from the very first boss fight, against Fire Breath. Having the Fire Shield equipped, standing underneath where the boss will come down and continually charging a Spin Dash will result in the boss essentially destroying itself.
- As Super Sonic, Badniks automatically pop when they make contact.
- Super Tails has four Super Flickies circling his head, which will automatically attack enemies and bosses. Boss fights with Super Tails can essentially be won by just standing there and letting the Flickies do all the work.
- Having the Fire Shield allows Sonic to enter his "waiting" animation, while also withstanding any form of lava or fire, contact which would normally result in instant death. You can even, hilariously, stand on lava.
- Kind of the entire point of Summoning weapons.
- The Star Cloak causes stars to fall out of the sky and injure anything that harms you. If used against weak enough enemies, the Cloak can easily take them out with no involvement from the player.
- The Turtle Armor will reflect any melee damage done to the player back to the source using the target's defense instead of the player's (which is usually much higher). Relying on this to kill things can take a while, though, and if you're getting hit by anything strong enough, you'll still take hefty damage in the process.
- The Unbreakable Darkness from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny, whose entire fighting style revolves around her ethereal Soul Wings doing the fighting for her, which is a bit of a problem since she couldn't control them and it doesn't differentiate between friend or foe, leading to them slashing, stabbing, crushing, and blasting anyone and anything within the vicinity. She still fights in this manner after Lord Dearche successfully puts a Power Limiter on her by the end of the game, except she could direct her powers now.
- Mass Effect: in the later stages of the second and third games, on lower difficulties, it's quite possible for Adept, Engineer or Sentinel Shepard to wipe out entire rooms' worth of enemies by hiding behind something and hurling Overload, Warp, Shockwave and/or Incinerate at them, without actually needing to fire a shot or lob a grenade.
- In fact, the development team specifically said this is Engineer Shepard's forte, demonstrated with the ability to summon combat drones, and hack hostile AIs to force them to fight on his/her side. When either of these powers are fully maxxed, Shepard can sit behind cover while his or her enemies get obliterated.
- Geth Juggernauts and Primes also have access to combat drones and turrets. Cerberus Combat Engineers can lay down sentry turrets, and the Collectors have Seeker Swarms and Seeker Plagues which hunt down the enemy and shut down their powers while dealing moderate damage.
- In Metroid Vania-style Castlevania games, the player almost always eventually receives some sort of ability that gives them Touch of Death. For example, the Wolf/Bat transformations in Symphony or the Black Panther in Chronicles of Sorrow. With these equipped at high levels, the player can just run through most enemies and kill them on contact.
- Syndra in League of Legends can cast spells while moving (hovering) and attacking. You can fling all sorts of spells (and their own minions) at your opponent's face without allowing the fight to distract you from merrily farming minions.
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3:
- Dormammu doesn't really "attack" so much as he casts a variety of spells. Some of them border on Full-Contact Magic due to the way he slashes or moves his hands, but for the most part, he merely gestures or points to make things happen. This is especially the case for his Stalking Flare super—once it's been summoned, it follows the opponent wherever they go and Dormammu doesn't have to do a thing.
- Phoenix Wright is a weird example, as he doesn't "attack" at all. Phoenix's damage-dealing moves are all normal actions, clumsy slip-ups, or normal everyday objects that he tosses away. His partner, Maya, even comes out to help by using her Psychic Powers to protect or fight off the opponent. Phoenix himself, however, doesn't really do anything.
- As stated in the comics entry above, MODOK doesn't do anything except sit in his chair and press buttons or use psychic abilities.
- Reflecting the Naruto example above, Gaara in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 and onwards battles in this way too: His attack strings show him just standing in one place, arms crossed, watching as his sand whacks his opponents further and further away. Sometimes, he will lift an arm for one of the stronger moves in the combo. Sometimes, he won't.
- In The Elder Scrolls series, this is the forte of a Conjuration expert. Summon a few monsters, sit back, and let them kill your foes.
- You can also summon various creatures to fight for you in Fate. The periods during which they can stay are limited and the opposition can often zilch them, so you may have to keep re-casting the spell. When you get to a certain level on your Charm magic abilities, you can put a spell on members of the opposition to join your side. Cue huge melee fight while you just sit there and watch them beat the crap out of each other.
- War Frame: If the Warframe called Ember ever goes up against Infected, all it has to do is activate one of its many fire powers. The Infection use nothing but melee and turn into a crisp before they can get close enough to do anything.
- The final boss of Skullgirls never attacks the player with her own hands, instead floating above the battlefield and sending forth her undead minions with gestures and commands.
- Kingdom Hearts:
- Lorewise, this is true in the first game, as Captain Hook explains during an Omniscient Council of Vagueness interlude. The Keyblade is doing most of the work and Sora is just driving it, which is probably part of the reason Riku was able to steal the Keyblade in Hollow Bastion. This plot point isn't revisited in future games, presumably because Sora has grown stronger and it's not true anymore.
- Sora's Final Form in the second game is a gameplay example. While he can jump and glide all over the place (Final Form is actually the most mobile form) he never touches the Keyblades as they float around butchering everything within his now vastly inflated striking range. In fact, the Keyblades automatically initiate attacks while doing things like using an item, healing, or doing anything other than standing perfectly still, so you could feasibly kill hordes of enemies without ever touching the attack button.
- The original game's Big Bad, Ansem Seeker of Darkness/Xehanort's Heartless, primarily fights this way - his Guardian Entity does pretty much all the attacking while he hovers with his arms folded. The only time he does much attacking himself is in the final phase fight with him where he uses a double-bladed Soul Eater to fight.
- This is how the boss Mildred Avalon in in the original Arcana Heart fight and the sequel's enhanced remake, Parace L'Sia, both fight. Neither makes physical contact of any kind with their attacks. Mildred relies entirely on a collection of special attacks from Arcanas, Parace does the same but also uses a set of magical orbs. Ironically Midlred does use physical attacks when she's acting support for another boss, her sister Avalon
- Dissidia: Final Fantasy has several magic using characters whose attacks largely consist of ranged magic, but the two that fight this trope best are The Cloud of Darkness, Exdeath and Kuja. The Cloud of Darkness doesn't have a weapon for physical attacks, she uses her Combat Tentacles for her physical attacks. Exdeath does carry a sword, but doesn't actually using it in his hands for the few times he uses it, instead controlling it telekentically. Kuja doesn't even use a physical attack of any kind. All of his attacks, even during chase sequences where other magic characters will use a weapon or personally strike their enemy, he uses the magic spheres that he preforms the rest of his attacks with.
- Disgaea has the Bonus Boss Baal. All of his attacks consist of creating giant swords and dropping them on the the player, or summoning them out of the ground. At best he makes a slight gesture when doing it.
- While Goenitz isn't above attacking physically, he has plenty of attacks that involve him simply moving his arms of snapping his finger to use his wind powers, including a few of his melee attacks.
- In Plume, Black Magic-animated Azeel has so much raw power, he stands motionless during his entire fight with the heroes and yet curbstomps them without much effort.
- Nebula: After their arrival, Ceres simply stands around calmly in the middle of the crowd without moving. The planets are incapacitated by so much pain from whatever it is Ceres/Black Hole's powers are doing to them that Ceres is in no danger from anyone but Sun.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Discord's first appearance had him using his reality warping magic to mess with the Mane Six, with it never really coming to blows.
- Steven Universe features Lapis Lazuli. Unlike virtually any other Gem in the series who tends towards Full-Contact Magic, she barely moves a muscle while moving and controlling huge amounts of water and the gestures she does use simply seem to indicate how little effort it actually takes from her. In Ocean Gem she even challenges all three of the senior Crystal Gems plus Steven, Connie, Lion, and Greg without being there personally- simply standing on top of a massive water tower while creating clones to fight the Crystal Gems.