Characters that are easy to use effectively for an amateur, but also easy to counter for an expert. They often are [[MightyGlacier extremely slow]], so that a faster character can bash them around without ever getting hit, or [[GlassCannon extremely frail]] (and possibly [[FragileSpeedster fast]]), with sturdier characters demonstrating that the most important HitPoint is the [[CriticalExistenceFailure last]]. CripplingOverspecialization may also be at play. However, these characters may sometimes stay solid past the end of their "glory days" if used well enough and not have their once powerful weapon expected to be a GameBreaker. And in some instances, [[TakeAThirdOption none of the following applies]]: the character is [[JackOfAllStats simply ''good'' without necessarily excelling in any area]] and typically has a fairly straightforward gameplan and playstyle that's designed to make them easy to use for new players; however, they are outshined by the rest of the cast in various areas (whether it's offence or defence).

Contrast the LethalJokeCharacter, who is weak unless used by an expert player who knows the trick(s). Also contrast DifficultButAwesome characters: these are characters that are more obviously useful but may appear worthless or just impossible to play at first because they are, well... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin difficult]] to use. Sometimes a Skill Gate can also be either, creating an inverted bell-curve where they do well in the hands of both the newbie and expert players in their own tiers but appear to be horrid to average players. Not all Skill Gate characters are permanently locked out of excellence, particularly in FightingGames, where some Skill Gate characters double as the strongest characters in their game... when played well, at least.

Not to be confused with a CrutchCharacter, which starts strong, but is inferior to other characters, sometimes because they [[CantCatchUp have trouble keeping up]]. Compare WakeUpCallBoss, which is a [=PvE=] encounter that similarly serves to separate new players from the experienced. SkillGateCharacters may be overly reliant on ThatOneAttack and thus falter once the opponent learns how to counter it. Has some overlap with NecessaryDrawback, in which a skill or character has drawbacks that prevent it/him/her from being overpowered.

Most Skill Gate Characters are often JackOfAllStats characters, since versatile characters are more forgiving to newer players that would allow them explore different gameplay styles as well as the player's strength and weaknesses.


[[folder:Fighting Games]]
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue''
** Ragna the Bloodedge: Maybe it's a side effect of being the main character? He has relatively straightforward (by ''[=BlazBlue=]'' standards) combos, strong offence, an easy-to-understand Drive mechanic, and a reversal that begs to be spammed. He's easy to understand but difficult to succeed with at the highest levels of play, as his neutral, mix-up, defence, setplay, etc., isn't outstanding (or even existent in some cases), making him the most noticeable Skill Gate Character in the game.
** Jin Kisaragi: Unlike his brother, Jin is typically considered one of the game's best characters. Something of a {{Shotoclone}}, he not only has a strong projectile game, but the tools to deal with every situation, multiple reversals, safe offence, etc. But most new players crumple and die against [[MemeticMutation ice car]] spam, whereas competent players can easily counter this kind of flailing. Put Jin in the right hands, however, and he's actually quite lethal.
*** As of ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueChronophantasma CP]]'', most of the "Ice Thundercats" are gone, though the trope still applies. Despite being a classic Skill Gate Character, Jin is once again topping tier lists.
** Noel is also an easy-to-pick-up character whose confusing and seemingly relentless Drive attacks can overwhelm novices but can be taken apart by experts who recognise the openings.
** Iron Tager has become this in ''VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift''. His incredible power coupled with the fact that he is much easier to use than he looks makes him widely hated by new ''[=BlazBlue=]'' players. Expert players who can keep him at arm's length and not get magnetized, however, can skillfully dissect him. Ironically, he was firmly on the Difficult side of DifficultButAwesome in ''[[VideoGame/BlazBlueCalamityTrigger Calamity Trigger]]''.
*** It has reached a point where people at low levels are {{Rage Quit}}ting on the VS screen because of their opponent picking Tager.
*** However, Tager has the same issue that Jin has in that he has high-risk spammable attacks but those attacks aren't the crux of his gameplay. In the right hands, he can obliterate magnetized players due to his attacks (particularly his command grabs) dealing massive damage if they connect.

* Gado in ''VideoGame/BloodyRoar 2'', degraded from a GameBreaker in the first game. [[MightyGlacier Hits like a truck, and has some nice combos that can chew off life if you don't know how to handle it, but moves so slow]]. Seems devastating when your first fight against him or unlocked, but seems less and less fearsome as you understand the game and get better at it. Still makes a helluva annoying boss for new players. Unfortunately, in later games he was {{Nerf}}ed to sheer uselessness.

* Cloud in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'' is easy to use for beginners but slow and predictable and therefore easy to block and counter. Though he has a couple of good wallrushing HP attacks that can hit hard if he has a decent amount of Brv, and he guard crushes in his ex-mode. In 012 his speed is improved on with aerial double cut, and assist combos means he has an easier time landing hits.
** This is even lampshaded by Kefka for his pre-battle quote against Cloud in the first game:
-->"Ah, the smell of inexperience!!"

* Bob in ''VideoGame/FightersDestiny'' is a MightyGlacier with emphasis on the "mighty"; a very large portion of his move list consists of outright [[OneHitKill One-Hit Kills]], and with the way the game implements its TwoAndAHalfD, it is extraordinarily hard to get around your opponent, meaning movement speed is largely a non-issue. Because of this, he can seem very overpowered to new players. The problem is that in this game, ''every character has at least one One-Hit Kill move'', and they can be blocked and/or dodged - and when an opponent starts doing this, you start to realize that Bob's moves are all very, very slow. Even if Bob does land a hit, one of the things balancing One-Hit Kill moves in this game is that HP is not the deciding factor in a match: it's points. Seven points are needed to win, and One-Hit Kills are worth three - and Bob's special finisher, the only thing worth four points, is extraordinarily hard to execute.

* ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom2'' had an entire Skill Gate ''Team''--appropriately [[FanNickname nicknamed]] "Team {{Scrub}}," the team consists of [[ComicBook/XMen Cable, Sentinel]] (two of the best characters in the game), and VideoGame/CaptainCommando (for his Captain Corridor assist). It revolves mainly around abusing Cable's zoning game in conjunction with Sentinel's Sentinel Horse assist to keep them away and Captain Corridor to cover anyone who gets too close, as well as abusing safe [=DHCs=] with Sentinel whenever the team gets enough meter. It's a great team to use to understand the fundamentals of the game (proper assist calling, safe [=DHCs=], proper meter usage) but ultimately pales in comparison to some of the other top-tier teams in the game (like the infamous Magneto/Sentinel-or-Storm/Psylocke team).

* [[VideoGame/DeadRising Frank West]] in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'' can be this. He hits ''hard'', but if you know how to avoid his slide and knee drop (his two main ways of getting in), he can be pretty easily dealt with, as he doesn't truly have any answers for people who fight at a distance.
** Once past the Skill Gate of average play, Frank tends to be a monster in high levels and tournaments, where he's never around except as an annoying Assist with his shopping cart, and during tag combos designed to land two or more [[LimitBreak Hypers]] that also power up the range of his normal moves with his camera.

* Full-Moon Riesbyfe Stridberg in ''VideoGame/MeltyBlood'' Actress Again Current Code can be seen as this. With short but powerful chains that can easily do high damage, especially to more frail characters, she's held back by her absolute inability to deal with zoning in any capacity. As such, types such as Chaos can systematically take her apart.

* Deidara in ''VideoGame/NarutoShippudenUltimateNinjaStorm2''. His power consists exclusively of sculpting animals out of explosive clay and allowing them to move like the animals they're based on. There is a particular long-range combo where he throws clay birds of increasing size and intensity, culminating in him creating a gigantic one, riding on it, and ramming it into the opponent. What makes this combo difficult for people not prepared for it is that Deidara goes up into the air bit by bit, becoming unreachable towards the end of the combo; and Deidara moves across the field for that last strike. However, this can be dismantled through good timing with support characters or by using the Ninja Dash to get right up to Deidara when he begins the combo, because the Ninja Dash will outprioritize Deidara's clay birds.

* ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena'' and its [[VideoGame/Persona4ArenaUltimax sequel]]:
** Yu Narukami: Designed to be a 2D fighter {{Shotoclone}} in the style of [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Ky Kiske]], as well as beginner-friendly (particularly to players who are new to fighting games) -- he has attacks and specials to deal with every situation, strong offence and defence, several reversal options (including one that's [[GameBreaker difficult to punish regardless of skill level]], due to how safe it is), and a complete lack of weaknesses. His damage is absurd in a game known for high damage, while his mix-up options are seemingly never-ending in a game that isn't focused on mix-up... and that's where this trope backfires: despite being the Skill Gate Character, Narukami is lethal even in the hands of a relative novice.
*** However, he still has moves that are easy to counter and often abused by new players, no matter how often they're countered. And just like Jin in ''[=BlazBlue=]'', he has his own set of [[FanNickname ZIOCARZ]], which aren't what form the core of his gameplay.
** As of ''Ultimax'', Minazuki (the one with the Persona) has become the new Skill Gate guardian. His attacks have amazing range, his damage is tremendous, his reversals are numerous... oh, and he has access to his own ThatOneAttack in the form of a teleport. The teleport isn't a threat to the majority of players, but it's part of what makes Minazuki attractive to new players.
** Kanji. As the standard [[MightyGlacier grappler]], he lacks range and movement in exchange for huge damage once he maneuvers his way in, and he can create an ugly guessing game after hitting an opponent. He tends to completely destroy newer players who don't know the range on his grabs and how to effectively keep Kanji at bay, but he's difficult to win with due to the fact that a skilled Kanji player needs to excel at mindgames in order to defeat opponents who know how to fight him.

* From the ''VideoGame/{{Soul|Series}}'' series, the nunchaku-wielders (Li Long and later Maxi) have somewhat erratic attack patterns and several easy-to-abuse moves that trap the opponent in them for multiple hits. For maxi, this is thanks to the Pure Soul Loop system. Pure Soul Loop allows you successfully button-mash forever, but at the same time, Maxi can only move in a straight line while combo-ing in general. Thus, stepping around him makes all the difference. Even still, Maxi has really high base attack, so Pure Soul Loop combos only have to succeed but a few times.
** Kilik is a notorious "easy to pick up and defeat opponents" character. However, a patient user of Guard Impacts and parries can quickly dissect and destroy a button-mashing Kilik player with relative ease.
** [[TheScrappy Necrid]] is generally considered this by those that don't call him a broken character because they think he's a GameBreaker. Necrid's movelist and gameplay tends to revolve entirely around {{Whoring}}, which means he can often get perfects against new players by simply pressing a button over and over. People that understand spacing and Guard Impacts, however, will usually curb-stomp Necrid since SpamAttacks are one of the only things his poorly-designed movelist is good for.
** In recent games, Nightmare can be a [[JustForPun nightmare]] for low-level play, with his extremely powerful, easy combos and general tankery. He's slow, however, and a pro can Perfect Guard even his least telegraphed moves easily, leaving him completely open to one of the faster (read: all of the) other fighters.

* ''Franchise/StreetFighter''
** Zangief from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV''. He has a spammable spinning attack that average/new players will get creamed against, but it is severely punishable by expert players.
** [[ComplacentGamingSyndrome That Damn Ken]] and his HurricaneKick spam! Until you notice his upper body is completely unprotected...
** The {{Shotoclone}}s are arguably an example of the "bell curve" type of Skill Gate Character in ''IV''. They are easy to use and get into, but tend to be very predictable to fight for average players. But they get better after that thanks to good players abusing their normal attacks with quick recovery...
** Vega's speed and claw range would overwhelm new players until they learned his fairly simple patterns. He gets better in expert play though, because of the skill and timing required to perform his DifficultButAwesome tricks, such as the safe claw dive/grab mix-up in ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterII II]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterIV IV]]'', and his infinite combo in the ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Alpha]]'' series.

* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'':
** In ''Melee'':
*** [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]] was a very easy character to use at low-level play, with multiple killers that are easy to hit on slower-moving opponents and a powerful shield grab. Once players learn how to better exploit the speed and mobility of the better characters, his value drops dramatically due to his slow speed and attacks. [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Young]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Link]], who appears to be a mostly worse version of Link at first glance, is marginally better than his adult form as he trades off reach for speed.
*** Also in ''Melee'', in an odd twist, [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Princess Peach]] was evidently ''intended'' to be this; official guides and the in game Trophies made much ado about how she is "good for beginners" due to her fabulous recovery skills, but was theoretically held back by her "weak moves." In practice, however, she's a powerhouse in the air and has an all around versatile moveset (on top of aforementioned recovery skills). She's been sitting pretty in the tier lists basically since release, and performs well both in low- and high-level play.
*** Franchise/{{Kirby}} is considered practically unusable in high-level play, but his gimmicky, fun moveset appeals to and is generally easy to break down for new players.
** In ''Brawl'':
*** [[VideoGame/KidIcarus Pit]], who is neither a GlassCannon nor a MightyGlacier. Being based on Cupid, Pit is annoying because he uses speedy arrows that cause interruption to make the lives of decent players miserable, and touching him, let alone gimping him, can be made bothersome what with him being able to ''fly''. Aside from that, however, Pit has no glaring strengths and slightly sub-par melee (although said melee has multiple multi-hit attacks so it can't be all bad).
*** Another example is [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Zelda]], who has an amazing projectile, kills at ridiculously low percents, and outprioritizes everything... until you realize that her projectile can be spotdodged/powershielded/whatever on reaction. Then you realize her grab is slower than reaction time meaning she has no real answers to a shielding opponent, and suddenly her approach game becomes awful. Then you realize that her slow grab combined with slow moves out of shield means bad punishment and you get the idea. Furthermore, multi-hit moves are becoming [[ less effective.]] This in turn makes characters that depended on them Skill Gate Characters.
*** Some players consider [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Ike]] this as well. He's slow and cannot take as much punishment as the other {{Mighty Glacier}}s but he hits like a freight train, his moves are hard to interrupt, and his attacks have a wide reach. Again, he is a case of: stomps newbies, walked all over by more skilled opponents, DEADLY in skilled hands.
** ''Wii U / [=3DS=]'':
*** [[VideoGame/PunchOut Little Mac]], seen almost constantly online because of his speed, power, and [[LimitBreak KO Uppercut]]. However, if he gets hit into the air even once, which is one of the first things starting competitive players learn how to do, he's finished, because he has the worst aerial attacks [[GlassCannon and recovery]] in the game. Using him at a high level [[DifficultButAwesome is still possible, but it requires great precision]], using all the tools at his disposal (including the [[ImmuneToFlinching Super]] [[NoSell Armor]] he gets only for a few frames during his Smash Attacks) to avoid getting hit at all and keep the upper hand pretty much all the time, since if he gets hit off the stage he's pretty done for.
*** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening Lucina]], a MovesetClone of [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Marth]], has attacks that deal consistent damage, as she lacks a sweetspot. She deals more damage than Marth's non-sweetspot attacks, but less damage than his sweet-spot attacks. Therefore, Lucina is used to learn the gist of Marth, and players can then learn Marth's mechanics. She performs better with lower-level players due to her consistency, but at higher skill-levels, Marth is favored because with proper spacing he gets greater rewards from the same playstyle.
*** [[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Charizard]] is another example. Its Flare Blitz attack is a strong, fast and damaging flaming tackle that covers a lot of distance. The move on its own is devastating against inexperienced players, but as the move is telegraphed and deals damage and recoil to Charizard itself, better players can easily see it coming and avoid it (by shielding or dodging).
*** [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Bowser]]. He's always been one of the hardest-hitting characters in the series and the single heaviest and most durable character. In addition, while he was a MightyGlacier with poor range in previous games, ''[=3DS/Wii U=]'' buffs his speed and range and makes him into a genuine LightningBruiser. As such, Bowser is quite easy to use and can defeat inexperienced players with ease, but can't keep up at higher levels, where many of the faster characters can keep him at bay with lengthy combos (one of his biggest weaknesses due to his size and weight, no pun intended). However, he's more viable than in previous games, and similar to the ''Brawl'' version of Ike, he can be used quite effectively by a skilled player.
** [[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue Pikachu]] has slowly diminished into this as the games progressed. He was widely considered a GameBreaker in ''64'', in part because there was no way to avoid his aerial and anti-air attacks like [[ThatOneAttack Thunder]], which covers a huge column of space above Pikachu's head and does plenty of damage and knockback. This was toned down when air dodging was introduced in ''Melee'', and even more so when air dodging was improved in ''Brawl'', but against opponents who haven't quite mastered that mechanic yet, even a slightly-skilled Pikachu can be ''brutal''.

* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}''
** Eddy Gordo got this reputation in ''Tekken 3''. Novice players would enjoy ButtonMashing and the flips and spins he'd do, stymieing most others... except those who figured out his patterns. Or just picked Kuma and smashed him to bits before he could even get in range.
*** Eddy is an interesting case, because of two reasons. One is that until mastered, most players will do better with him if they just employ ButtonMashing and joystick waggling. The other is that it takes a disproportionately high degree of skill to beat button mashing Eddy players ''consistently''. Even ''experts'' that are below master caliber lose to button mashing Eddy players on occasion. This tends to start a lot of {{Trash Talk}}ing. The ''Tekken'' trash talking FAQ even mentions one of the prime reasons to trash talk is "You just lost to some psychotic crack-addicted button-mashing Eddy player and you feel it is your duty to comment on that particular playstyle."
** ''Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection'' has Lili Rochefort, a relatively straightforward character that players can mash with to the same degree as Christie and Eddy for similar results, only with twice the damage output. However, her moveset is more limited than most other characters, and players who actually know how to play as her make frequent use of her amazing movement and the crushing capabilities in her moves. As of ''Tag 2'', her damage output and properties have been weakened (her db+4 sweep, for example, now only launches on Counter Hit, much like it used to do in her debut), making winning with her more of an uphill battle.
** [[RobotGirl Alisa Bosconovitch]] from ''Tekken 6''. You will find no shortage of new players who are aggravated by her Destroy Form's chainsaw attacks. Of course, that is until they figure that majority of these moves are telegraphed.
** [[BloodKnight Bryan Fury]] is another example of this trope, especially in the online modes for ''6'' and ''Tag 2''. His Snake Edge sweep and Orbital Heel spin kick are launchers that inexperienced players will have a hard time over, and the juggles they lead to are twice as painful. But a seasoned player will take advantage of these moves' glaring weaknesses-the sweep is very unsafe when blocked, and the spin kick is easily sidestepped-leaving the Bryan player to properly use his repertoire of slower-than-average moves.
** The Kazama family (Jun and her niece Asuka). Their strings can go on for an indefinite amount of time, and can overwhelm all but those who can find the gaps in them.

* In the ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' spin-off fighting game ''Touhou Hisoutensoku'', Utsuho Reiuji will tear newbies apart due to her high-priority normal projectiles, full-screen lasers that do big damage, her MightyGlacier traits being partially negated by her long dashes and a basic dial-A combo which takes out 1/4 of your health. Pros will be able to interrupt the long startup of every single move she attempts with any other character, stop her easily predictable approaches, spot all the holes in her blockstrings (none of them are airtight, relying on mixups to succeed) and take her offense apart with well timed attacks. Similarly, Yuyuko Saigyouji can utterly overwhelm newbies with her spam of butterflies and ghosts, but tactically, she has GlassCannon characteristics similar to Utsuho, having rather slow movement and punishable abilities. And Aya Shameimaru's very fast movement, specials and and bullets can seem terrifying, but her bullets have terribly low density, and with some concentration it's possible to predict and counterhit her moves.

* From ''VideoGame/VirtuaFighter'', we have Jacky Bryant. He has high/low attack strings, 360 HurricaneKick sweeps out the ass, god damned [[RapidFireFisticuffs "Lightning Legs,"]] and, worst of all, a super-prioritized and super-damaging Deathflip. The drawback? A lot of those moves have a lot of recovery. So, for the player who stays hot on their toes, they can very easily punish these attacks, either with a string of your own, or a guaranteed throw. On a different note, he's also in the same weight class as characters like Akira, Wolf, and Jeffrey, so some of your combos may not fully connect on him.

[[folder:First-Person Shooter]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'', Mordecai's special ability, unleashing his pet hawk Bloodwing, can wipe out most low-level non-boss enemies, turning it into an "I Win" button in the early game. As the game progresses, though, the enemies increase in strength more quickly than Bloodwing does, reducing its effect and making the late game far more difficult.
** Gaige's "Best Friends Forever" skill tree in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' was specifically designed this way, so as to allow novice players to succeed in the game without making Gaige a GameBreaker. Lead designer John Hemingway referred to it as "the girlfriend skill tree," i.e. the mode that your newbie girlfriend can play without being overwhelmed.

* ''VideoGame/PlanetSide 2'''s Mini Chaingun - a handheld [[GatlingGood Gatling gun]] - has unmatched damage-per-second among light machine guns, can be fitted with an absolutely massive magazine, and has a terrifying firing noise (chuga [=ChuGA=] CHUGA [=BRRRRRrrrrr=]). However, it has a fixed cone-of-fire[[note]]rather than starting with pinpoint accuracy and blooming to uncontrollable ATeamFiring like most [=LMGs=], it starts slightly inaccurate and grows to be... slightly more inaccurate but still controllable, albeit nigh-impossible to headshot with.[[/note]] and a poor BoomHeadshot damage multiplier, meaning that an aware and accurate enemy can peg you in the head with his LMG or assault rifle while you're spewing away at his chest. The signature firing noise (coupled to a fast but not unnoticeable spinup time for maximum fire rate) is also one of the weapons weaknesses. The weapon is very useful for newbie players, and more of an [[AwesomeButImpractical entertaining but not terribly effective weapon]] for pros.

* ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'':
** Bastion. Press one button, and he transforms into a Turret Mode with a blistering rate of fire, decent accuracy and the ability to shred through heroes like butter. New players tend to deploy Bastion at a chokepoint, sit there and fire at any enemy they see, stopping most noobs in their tracks. Skilled players will simply isolate Bastion's location and flank it, focus fire from behind Reinhardt's shield, snipe it, or even use Genji's Reflect ability to reflect bullets back at Bastion for a fast kill. Team support and changing locations regularly are essential for Bastion to remain viable at higher level play.
** Mei is another example of this. At lower levels, she is an extremely effective ambush character who can easily eliminate lone or closely grouped players, and thus is seen as extremely annoying to fight against. However, at higher levels, her weaknesses become more apparent, namely her short range main attack, low damage per second, and ambush tactics being less effective against a closely coordinated team. Having said that, a veteran Mei who masters aiming with her icicles is still a menace.
** Torbjorn: New Torb players can at least rely on his level 2 turret to harass the enemy team (which can now be constructed more quickly due to his faster hammer swing as of the Sombra patch) and throw armor packs on the floor due to him being able to passively generate scrap (added in the same patch). However, new players are often fixated on keeping the turret up at all costs (allowing an enemy team to pick off Torb easily), do not know maps well enough to position the turret to get the maximum effect, rarely ever fight with Torbjorn himself and use Molten Core only to save themselves or the turret. A veteran Torb will know where to place the turret and when to repair/redeploy it, will master Torb's rivet gun to increase his damage output and will know when to activate Molten Core to wipe or repel an entire enemy team.
** Soldier: 76 can be this for players used to more traditional FPS games, with his no-frills but easy to use special moves, comfortably strong long-range gun and an alt fire that shoots missiles; but seasoned players know he falls apart close-range and his missiles and healing move both have long cooldown times, allowing them to fight back against a lone 76. A smart 76 player operates with the team, uses his heal when ever he can, and gets around the enemy team to use his Ultimate from behind.

* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', Pyros end up as these in higher levels of gameplay. Pyros can seem overpowered to new players but at higher levels of gameplay, they lack any form of advanced movement (which is very important in this game) and are near useless outside of close range. Their only decent competitive tactic is reliant on the enemy to attack them with specific weapons they can [[AttackReflector deflect]] and is easily countered. However, it should be noted that expert Pyros may retain their usefulness by taking advantage of ambush tactics and the aforementioned deflector, as well as presenting constant threats to Spies and making enemies temporarily retreat. Only the [[LeeroyJenkins W+M1]] strategy is what makes newbies a bit dangerous.
** A sub-example for this class is the Phlogistonator. It chews up anything at close range and has a [[LimitBreak "Mmmph"]] function that restores health and guarantees 8 seconds of CriticalHit firestorms, as well as hefty damage resistance while activating "Mmmph." The biggest thing about it? It can't use the deflector ''at all'', and it can easily be countered by staying away and pelting the offending Pyro with explosives. Against players who are caught unaware or don't know how to deal with it? Fiery death. Against those who know how to keep away from the Pyro? Not a chance.
** The Engineer gets to be this way. On pub servers, a single Engineer camped on a Sentry gun with a Dispenser can be an obstacle insurmountable to the whole team because the sentry's aim is perfect and they tend to fight it one at a time. However, players can improve their effective damage by learning to aim better while the sentry's power is static, and players also learn how to either kill the Engineer or destroy the sentry fast enough that it can't be repaired in time. You'll be lucky if your fully upgraded sentry stops the enemy for more than a few seconds in a higher level of play.
** Spies also fall victim to this trope, as it's tough to use their one-hit kill when the enemy is competent enough to check behind them regularly; the only reason they're useful in comp play at all is because nobody expects you to use a Spy. This is especially true in Highlander matches, where each team has one of each unit: while most units are at least somewhat useful within their niche, the Spy not only has to deal with the near-impossibility of backstabs, but the fact that there's always an enemy Pyro on the field.
*** That being said, all of the classes can very easily fulfill its designated role in the CompetitiveBalance, even when taking player skill into account. For example, in high-level play such as the aforementioned Highlander format, it is extremely unlikely to see Pyros and Spies racking up lots of points, since their deathmatch capabilities are extremely low and they tend to be eaten alive by the other classes in a straight-up one-on-one fight. However, they can still contribute vastly to their teams in their own way; Pyros can airblast players away from key objectives as well as force a (however temporary) retreat by setting enemies alight. Spies will not generally outlive their victims in any well-organised and communicating team, since a kill will typically follow-up with the enemy team turning around and massacring the Spy, but who and when the Spy kills can be absolutely game-changing. Killing an enemy Medic with a full Ubercharge, for instance, can result in that Spy's team emerging victorious, even if the Spy had to die to make the kill.
** All in all, practically every class in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has some level of SkillGate attached to them, primarily because all the classes have a surprising amount of depth to them which can only be fully utilised via experience. For beginners (or players who have no intention of improving), each class seems to have a very simple role which can be fulfilled quite simply. However, in the more competitive circles, playing in this style is utterly predictable and makes newcomers easy pickings for veterans. Mastering advanced mechanics (or even learning to utilise simple ones in less predictable ways) such as the RocketJump and DoubleJump, as well as learning the effectiveness and weaknesses of different loadouts, is essential in order to even have a chance at competing.
* Unlike the other champions and their unique gameplay, Viktor from ''VideoGame/{{Paladins}}'' plays like a traditional FPS character, with a machine gun, grenades, and a running sprint. He's very good for beginners of the FPS genre, though his basic skills can remain potent as one advances further into the game.

* ''VideoGame/{{Awesomenauts}}'' has its fair share.
** [[TheBerserker Ayla]] has access to a powerful nuking skill that grows in strength based on how injured she is as well as a CastFromHitPoints Rage mode that deals heavy DPS and grants flight and a shield. Low league players have a hard time dealing with her mobility and high DPS, letting her make easy kill-and-run plays with little punishment. However, she needs to be right in the enemy's face to use any of her skills, and she's very squishy, susceptible to [=CC=] effects, and actually quite slow out of Rage. Better players can abuse this to scare her away with area control, knock her back, surround her, or simply juke her once she engages due to [[WeaksauceWeakness her terrible vertical momentum]].
** [[TheTurretMaster Gnaw]] is a very easy character to be useful as, and is very annoying to fight. This leads to a lot of lowbies playing as him and succeeding. He's a master of area denial thanks to his spit and Weedlings. He can apply constant pressure using spit and his auto attack, and can force people out of lane prematurely and make them waste health packs because of the poison he applies. However, his poison can be counteracted with any form of healing (even passive regeneration), his Weedlings are very low health, and like Ayla, he's squishy melee 'Naut, although without Ayla's crazy DPS. Needless to say, he tends to under-perform in higher play.
** Although usually considered a very skill-based 'Naut, [[SquishyWizard Genji]] can be this thanks to ''The Last Pieridae Transformae'', one of his Cocoon[[note]]Traps the enemy in a cocoon, stunning them and cancelling any skill they're using, while making them invincible. It's basically a Banish.[[/note]] upgrades. It makes so that every time he Cocoons an enemy droid, it's transformed into a friendly butterfly, which attacks enemies and pushes the lane. He can have an unlimited number of these butterflies as well. In low leagues, a Genji left to his own devices can amass a massive army and push lanes quickly. The issue is that Genji has to blow his Cocoon on summoning a butterfly, and Cocoon is easily the most powerful initiation and escape skill in the game. Wasting it causes him to be less useful to the team. Also, it doesn't do anything at all if Genji's team is losing, or if Genji is being pressured in lane, as the butterflies have extremely low health and can be killed before they become a threat.

* In ''VideoGame/DefenseOfTheAncients'' and ''VideoGame/{{Dota 2}}'', quite a few heroes are inherently imbalanced in the lower brackets where people tends to pick carries instead of disablers or supports, and things like warding, anti-invisibility and team coordination are largely non-existent, but because of their {{Weaksauce Weakness}}es they are pretty much ignored in organised games:
** Riki, the most hated hero in pubs. When he has his first point in ''Permanent Invisibility'' he becomes [[CaptainObvious permanently invisible]] unless attacking. Because no one usually bothers with wards or dust, he is often able to sneak upon his enemies and use his first ability ''Smoke Screen'', which creates a cloud that silences enemies in its [=AoE=] and gives them a chance to miss. The targets would then often panic and run away from the cloud (which, to be fair, is the only real option for any hero without an item to escape it or nullify its effects), which makes them all the more vulnerable to Riki's passive ''Backstab'', which deals extra damage if he is attacking from behind. Against newbies he tends to be an absolute terror, with 30+ kills each game. However, because of his fragility and dependence on money, he becomes food for even moderately skilled teams, who can gank him easily and render him dead meat.
** Drow Ranger, whose damage comes entirely from autoattacks, has a good early laning presence which gives good farm and thus really good scaling, combined with her ultimate ''Marksmanship'' which gives her massive amounts of Agility. If she gets an early advantage she easily snowballs to a point where you can't even approach her because of ''Frost Arrows'' and ''Gust'', which slows enemies and knocks them back, respectively. The execution basically consists of popping Shadow Blade, using ''Gust'' then right-clicking enemies (who tend to run away yet can't after being slowed by ''Frost Arrows'') to death, making her extremely easy to use. However, she has no escape mechanism, is vulnerable to ganks early game, and ''Marksmanship'' is completely nullified when an enemy hero is near her, so an enemy who walks ''towards'' her when she ambushes them can probably scare her off.
** Sniper, who much like Drow has amazing attack power in the late game and the longest attack range in the game on top of that, but lacks disables and escapes and is incredibly vulnerable.
** Combine Riki and Drow Ranger... and you got Clinkz, and he works pretty much similarly. His skill sets allow him to go invisible and eventually gank another person, and shoot down damaging fire arrows in godly speed that tears down the enemy HP so fast they may not have the time to run away, and his Ultimate also gives him boost on attack, toss him an Orchid of Malevolence and he can pick up Drow's silencing ability. Not only Clinkz can be countered easily with wards or any other anti-stealth items, he's also extremely fragile that he goes down easily when detected and stunlocked, and pro players can use his strength to cause his downfall: The item Blademail, which deflects every autoattacks, and seeing that Clinkz depends on his high damage auto attacks while having a fragile body... having him attack someone activating Blademail may as well spell out the death of Clinkz. And bonus points if said target is a tanky hero, and even activates Mask of Madness, which increases damage taken by 30%... including those returned by Blademail.
** Ursa, one of the most terrifying heroes to fight in close combat, lacks a gap closer and thus is very vulnerable to being kited and can't reliably kill heroes with escape mechanisms. In higher skilled games he always needs heavy team support to be truly effective.
** Spirit Breaker, a very powerful ganker when the opposing team has no ward vision and doesn't know how to counter his charges. He's capable of solo-killing most other heroes in the game, especially if he catches them far from their teammates. Yet if anyone places any wards around the middle of the map, it becomes easy to see when he's charging, and thus call a teammate to TP in or retreat to within tower range, or even put a player or two in his path to disable him as he charges, rendering him helpless and in a location with no backup. His reliance on magic damage for his bash and his ultimate also makes him little more than a melee-range disabler against anyone with magic immunity such as Omniknight, and he has little to no attack speed without a Mask of Madness, which greatly increases his vulnerability to all types of damage.
** Bloodseeker, whose whose ultimate ''Rupture'' deals damage to the target whenever it moves. Whenever hit by ''Rupture'', new players will often run away in panic, often killing themselves in the process, because of this Bloodseeker can easily become over-fed and carry the game. In contrast, competitive players will simply use a TP scroll, which Bloodseeker cannot interrupt with his lack of stuns, or stay stationary and call the assistance of a teammate. On top of this, his passive ability "Thirst" makes him stronger and faster for each enemy who isn't at max health, so a kill from Bloodseeker could be prevented just by keeping tabs on your HP.
** The basic idea with Huskar is that with Berserkerís Blood he gets stronger attacking power as his HP pool decreases, and both Burning Spears and Life Break give him convenient ways to lower his HP. However, having increased damage when hurt is rarely worth it when there are plenty of damage sources that don't involve deliberately crippling oneself, and are always active. Huskar is reputed as a pubstomper because against poorly organised players he has no problem hanging around a dangerous level of HP. In fact, it's practically an invitation for his opponents to wander in one at a time and be slaughtered. But players who can plan ahead have no issue with waiting for Huskar to give them the perfect opening to dump all of their burst damage into, and by the end of the game a hero with real DPS skills can easily outcarry Huskar while also being able to fight at full HP. In addition to this, he also can't do anything but what he's designed to do (single-target DPS), with little teamfight presence and no utility whatsoever. Because of this, he is extraordinarily rare in competitive Dota, even compared to other pubstars like Ursa or Riki. Even in his competitive heyday he was rarely seen, because as unstoppable as he can be against the right enemy heroes, he is extraordinarily vulnerable to heroes that counter him, much more so than other heroes.
** Necrophos is notorious for his high win rate in pubs, but that's because pubs often like to team fight early, which Necrophos excels at. Players often do not have the coordination to focus him down. But not only did he require a lot of farm, he also scales very poor into the late game, which is why he does not get picked that often and even if he is picked, his win rate is extremely low due to his poor scaling.
** Zeus is well known for his massive damage output and being as simple as a type on the leopard, why is his pub win rate high while he is not seen as much competitively? Its because pubs like to team fight very often and rarely communicates to kill Zeus first or hell, just pick him off in the early stages since he is squishy and has no escape mechanisms. Due to how magic damage usually works in Dota, a couple of early kills on Zeus will be enough to keep him check, as he'll only be able to get the farm a hero of his position should have later on, by which time he will be much less effective even with that farm.
** A rare example of a support hero in this category, Omniknight. A player who doesn't respect his "Purification" skill will find themselves fighting an enemy, winning, and then suddenly taking a gigantic amount of damage while the enemy heals to almost full health. He can also make an ally immune to magic damage, and with his ultimate can make his team immune to physical damage ([[NighInvulnerable these stack]]). But both of these can be removed with a "Diffusal Blade". Also, he is very weak until he reaches level 5, when most supports are expected to have most of their impact before this point - a good player should know how to exploit this window of weakness.

* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' has a few champions known as "bronzestompers" or "gods of low Elo", so called for being very strong against unskilled ("bronze" or "low Elo") players but easily countered by skilled ("diamond" or "high Elo") players:
** [[HornyDevils Evelynn]] used to be an assassin type with invisibility and a stun attack. Against newbies she tends to get about 30 kills and carry the game. Anyone clever enough to figure out you need to buy an anti-invisibility potion will own her.
*** "Used to be", because people have began using her to jungle (kill neutral creeps instead of laning where the enemy can harass them). Meaning she can now get gold and levels, which she needs, without dealing with enemies who easily beat her up early game... And also to follow the enemy jungler around while invisible, steal his kills, organise a gank on the jungler or simply wait for the jungler to get heavily damaged by jungle creeps and then appear and kick his ass. She's so [[GameBreaker massively effective, frustrating and rage-inducing to play against]] that Evelynn was intentionally [[JokeCharacter overnerfed]] just to make people stop doing that.
*** Just to give an idea of how bad it was, her mechanics have to be completely overhauled, and said overhaul completely changed the way she is played (her stealth becomes more of a WallpaperCamouflage visible to opponents if close enough, rather than her old InvisibilityCloak)
** [[BarbarianHero Tryndamere]] is a melee warrior with the highest sustained damage output of any champion in the game, an additional damage bonus when low on life, the [[AscendedGlitch ability]] to [[SpinAttack pass through walls]] for an easy escape, a [[IShallTauntYou taunt that slows you if your back is towards him]] (aka you're running away from him), and an ultimate ability that [[PhysicalGod makes him immortal]] for a short time. Many a lowbie has uninstalled the game after confronting this character and getting their ass kicked, only to watch Tryndamere escape through a wall once reinforcements arrived. It takes some experience with the game to figure out his weaknesses: he requires [[MagikarpPower very large amounts of gold]] to afford his damage items and become useful, his slow might be terrible but a Quicksilver Sash will delete it entirely, and critically his ultimate does not make him immune to disabling effects or damage over time. Add his awkward rune requirements (which are only relevant at higher levels) and low health and it is clear why Tryndamere is considered bottom tier.
*** Note the other reason why Tryndamere is a skillgate character: amateur team gameplay usually consist of fighting to the death, trying to mash QWER as fast as possible, and caring more about their [[BodyCountCompetition personal kills]] over the wellbeing of their teammates. This is fatal when the entire team's [[StandardStatusEffects Crowd Control]] gets blown 5 seconds into the team fight attacking that [[SchmuckBait "low health"]] [[MightyGlacier bait]] thus leaving everyone vulnerable, especially the [[GlassCannon carries]], to get chomped to pieces one by one simply because they can't stop Tryndamere from approaching and attacking them, they can't kill Tryndamere once his ultimate is used, they can't take Tryndamere's high damage output and when they panic and run they most certainly can't outrun Tryndamere after getting taunted. But once a team gets their act together and learn how to act in an engagement it is a whole different story.
*** Roaming {{Glass Cannon}}s such as [[ImplausibleFencingPowers Fiora]] and [[KatanasAreJustBetter Master Yi]] will get you out of the low-ranking leagues, but not beyond. Their stats and ability kits are built in a way that allows them to deliver so much damage they can single-handedly slaughter the entire team with a bit of luck -- but the moment they get hit with a complete motion impairment, all they have is their paper-thin defenses.
** Other pubstompers are [[OurLichesAreDifferent Karthus]] (ultimate that [[KillSat hits everyone]] on the map; stays alive for a short time after death, often getting free kills in a chaotic teamfight; solution - magic resist or a Zhonya's Hourglass and [[TooDumbToLive don't stand in his damage radius]] after he dies) and [[KnifeNut Katarina]] ([[FlashStep offensive teleport]] and an immensely damaging [[DanceBattler channelled ultimate]] that can [[MacrossMissileMassacre kill nearby champions]] in about two seconds; solution - almost all of her damage comes from said ultimate and any stun/bump/knockup/silence/fear/taunt ability [[UselessUsefulSpell interrupts]] it). Neither is viable against good players, but both will single-handedly win the game at low skill levels.
** Teemo can be a major pain in the ass at low levels. His invisibility means you won't even see him in a bush until it's too late, his Blinding Dart can render a basic attack-based champion useless, his Move Quick will make him unchaseable, his Toxic Shot makes you slowly lose health after getting hit and thus allows him to play hit-and-run, and his invisible mushrooms can quickly hurt you until you die if you wander into a minefield. Solution? Drop pink wards on key spots, get an upgraded red trinket, smite the Razorbeak if you're the jungler to see his mushrooms before you step on them, get stuff that grants magic resistance (his poison and mushrooms deal magical damage), and if you're playing a long-range champion, stay away from him.
** Veigar is a great choice as your first mage assassin, with a non-skillshot poke that grants a permanent AP bonus after scoring kills, a simple yet incredibly powerful combo and an ultimate attack that is a non-skillshot poke which scales in proportion to his ability power ''and'' his target's ability power. Solution? Prevent him from farming enemy creeps, build debuff resistance (usually Mercury's Treads), build magic penetration instead of ability power, and pay attention to when he casts his stun circle or bait him into throwing it (it has a very long cooldown).
** [[SpikesOfVillainy Mordekaiser]] is statistically the best champion in the game. His high damage spells and incredible health give him a significant [[MightyGlacier edge]] in a brawling match, and his regenerating shield makes it nearly impossible to scratch him in the lane. His weaknesses? Melee range, [[HitAndRunTactics zero gap closers]], zero crowd control and [[BigHeroicRun zero escape abilities]]. Eventually opponents learn how to kite, disable priority targets and generally not walk in a disorganised cluster towards the enemy. If he cannot reach you, he [[WeaksauceWeakness cannot regenerate his shield]] and dies like a useless potato sack.
*** His ultimate ability is a curse that damages an enemy player and [[ChestBurster creates]] a powerful ghost [[TheMinionMaster under his control]] if that player dies while cursed. Low level players tend to fight to the death rather than escaping at the last moment, meaning as soon as someone dies in a teamfight Mordekaiser gets a free ghost and the 5v5 battle just [[CurbStompBattle became 4v6]].
** [[PlayingWithFire Annie]] is an inversion, to very inexperienced players: to the rookie, she's a fragile caster with a difficult-to-work gimmick. Once you have the basics like counting your spells and ability combos, her high burst damage and stunning passive make her a terror. These tricks become less godlike in the higher levels, but someone who's an expert with the Dark Child can make her extremely viable.
*** This trope is also what turns her training bot into an absolute nightmare against newbie players. Superhuman combo timing, perfect cooldown management and the ability to always land her stun perfectly are wonderful advantages for an AI to have when the character's effectiveness depends largely on those three things.
*** There's also the fact that learning newbies will have a hard time dealing with her early phase, as her stun can give her a distinct early game advantage if set up. This makes it easier for her to farm new players who don't know how to approach her without incurring the wrath of her stun shots, and as a result lead her to killing the player or keeping them from framing early game.
** Darius' natural damage and crowd-control make him terrifying and a likely [[CurbstompBattle curbstomp]] to most opponents within his abilities' ranges. Outside of his abilities' ranges, which is lower than all the ranged-carry champions' autoattacks and the majority of ranged abilities, he is essentially helpless, and slowing effects are abundant amongst the game's champions to make it easy for him to remain so.
** Tristana isn't actually a bronzestomper (as of April 2015 she was top gamer Doublelift's main), but she teaches you how to play an ADC properly. Good last-hitting capacity with her E passive? Check. Two tower-destroying abilities (Q and E)? Check. Two self-peeling abilities? Check. A passive that gradually increases her autoattack range? Check. One of the best late game hypecarries? Checkmate. She's considered to be the easiest [=ADCs=] to learn and play properly. Solution? Take advantage of her very long cooldowns and her weak mid-game due to abilties that scale in AP instead of AD, play an ADC that specializes in early-game bullying [[note]]Graves, Caitlyn and Draven[[/note]], play an ADC that has a ''better'' late game [[note]]Kog'Maw and Vayne have abilities that allow them to deal % damage health based on target's maximum health and Kog'Maw has roughly the same autoattack range as Tristana. [[DifficultButAwesome They are by no means, easy to play though]][[/note]], or play an ADC that have better teamfight presence [[note]]Ezreal, Miss Fortune, Ashe, Varus, and Graves[[/note]], and take advantage of her natural lane pushing abilities that [[OhCrap make perfect opportunities for the jungler to gank and kill her]].
*** And with the discussion of [=ADCs=], Ashe and Caitlyn as well. Both have reasonable poking capacity and skillsets that teaches newcomers how to play adc properly.
*** In fact, Ashe is the champion that the player is given for the tutorial.
** Some junglers can qualify. Shen [[note]]Ultimate teaches you on map awareness and has godly amount of sustain[[/note]], Nunu [[note]]teaches you on sustaining in the jungle as well as counterganking[[/note]], Volibear, and Rammus [[note]]both teaches you on ganking lanes and using CC to gank properly[[/note]]. Many lower skill players in Bronze or Silver who see them as a jungler would rage when someone like Nunu using their ultimate and destroying your entire team, Rammus taunting your adc and end up killing him/herself because Rammus has Thornmail, Shen popping out of nowhere with his ultimate and making a 2v2 fight into a [[OhCrap 3v2]] fight, or Volibear running up to your adc and fling the said adc behind him where the entire team destroys the said adc. More experienced players will counter them by knowing some of their clear weaknesses. For example, Shen's ultimate is very predictable and his clearing speed in the jungle is known to be the worst.

* ''VideoGame/RivalsOfAether'' has Kragg, a large beetle with a moveset based around rocks. He's infamous in the community as a noob killer, as [[MightyGlacier he lives longer than other characters, hits very hard, and can kill early.]] However, he has very few good matchups, losing to most of the cast, and high-level players can end a match against him in record time by just getting him offstage and knocking him off of his pillar. His hitbox size makes him an easy target for combos, while his own combos can be pretty easily avoided by a veteran.

[[folder:Racing Games]]
* High acceleration characters/karts in ''VideoGame/MarioKartWii'', in contrast to the earlier games where they were arguably the most useful overall. This is because they have high handling and acceleration stats, and hence can initially do well due to recovering from item hits and are easier to handle for newer players. But in higher level play (anything above about 100%), they just get overtaken by all the high speed karts and can't do as well as far as world records/time trial goes.
** It helps that Time Trial racers don't have to contend with other players attacking them, and therefore can maintain their top speed for the entire race so long as they don't make any mistakes of their own.
* [=SUVs=] end up as this in ''[[VideoGame/{{Forza}} Forza Horizon]]'', since their poor handling makes little difference when most thundercats are piling into the walls on every corner whilst their large size and high weight work great for ramming, commonly used at low level as well as being the best vehicles off road. However, at higher or average levels, most people in smaller thundercats than an SUV can duck through their inside around a corner whilst the SUV driver is incapable of doing anything about it.

[[folder:Real-Time Strategy]]
* ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresII''
** The Britons (British) are considered to be one of the easiest civilizations to play and learn, due to their powerful Longbowmen and having strong foot archers with longer range and having a reasonable siege line where their Trebuchets deal splash damage, making them an ideal civilization for defending chokepoints (i.e. narrow pathways in Black Forest) and one of the best siege civilizations. More experienced players will often counter the Britons by sending waves of heavy cavalry units into their faces since their Longbowmen, Trebuchets, and archers are [[GlassCannon powerful, but very fragile]] and Britons are very vulnerable in more open maps like Arabia (which is the map often played by the most experienced players). That being said, the Britons is considered to be viable pick in higher [=ELOs=]. While newer players can get away spamming large number of Longbowmen and win ([[AwesomeButImpractical despite the Longbowmen ability to outrange most defensive structures, using them to take down the buildings will take a hell of long time.]]), more experienced Britons players will know that sending fragile Longbowmen and Trebuchets into the battlefield without a reliable frontline support is a very bad idea. In the case with heavy cavalry units as the main counter to Longbowmen, more experienced Britons players will often back their Longbowmen with Halberdiers to dissuade cavalry units from engaging the Longbowmen and the Longbowmen long range is good enough to flatten any onagers before they enter range (since the Briton cavalry isn't reliable due to the lack of Bloodlines, Paladin, and Hussar upgrades). In turn, the Britons are a one-trick pony archer civilization that is easily abused by newer players, but more experienced players know how to reasonably use the Britons with full effect and know their inherent strengths and weaknesses.
** The Byzantines are more straightforward example, since they have [[JackOfAllStats a versatile tech tree with little to no inherent strengths and weaknesses]], [[ConfusionFu open to different strategies]], and teaches players how to diversify their army.
** The Celts also fit this bill since they have a well-rounded and reasonable tech tree with archers and defense being their weak point. They are even the civilization in the official tutorial.
* The Russians in ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresIII'' can field an army of strelets (a weak but cheap infantry unit that trains in groups of [[ZergRush eight]]) as soon as they build a barracks. Combined with an outpost, which comes with the barracks' for the Russians, and the Oprichniks in later ages, one can wipe out an entire town in less than a minute leaving no way to retaliate. New players will resign at the ''sight'' of the Russian army; veterans will tear it apart with a few walls to hold them back long enough to get the [[MightyGlacier cannons]] in position.
* One team tends to take on this role every season in ''VideoGame/MaddenNFL'', depending on whichever play or group of plays are considered Game Breakers that year.
* The ''VideoGame/AgeOfMythology Titans Expansion'' introduces the Titan-worshiping Atlanteans. On paper, they seem like a massive GameBreaker faction, with extremely efficient (albeit expensive) villagers, multi-use god powers (where the other three factions only get one of each), and the ability to instantly promote human soldiers into anti-"myth unit" heroes for a price. (Beginning players will appreciate how easy their economy is to manage, in particular.) However, they've got a few less desirable traits (slow-building Town Centers, limited siege options, vulnerability to rushing) that leaves them about even with other civilizations at the high levels of play.
* There was a time during ''{{Starcraft}}'''s long lifespan when the (mostly average skilled) playerbase was complaining about how overpowered Zerg were (particularly Mutalisks) while many of the top players were playing Terran instead: Terran defenses combined with a sublime powers when microed (for example, the famous tank-and-dropship dance) made them far more powerful in skilled hands than the much simpler Zerg. Another example is stealth units: Against a good player, it's extremely difficult to pull off Dark Templars or nukes, but against a player who isn't good at detection management either can be an instant win.
** Near the end of the ''Starcraft'' era however, "Fast Mutas" were considered to be the best Zerg opening, and most Terran and Protoss builds were judged against this build. Said Terran and Protoss builds were only considered viable if they were fast enough to outproduce or counter the initial ZergRush of Mutalisks. Certainly an example of the "bell curve" Skill Gate.
** Most beginners and intermediate players gravitate to the Protoss because their playstyle is based around having fewer, stronger units without too many special abilities to make them 'work'. In armies of equal cost, it's typically easier to control 10 beefy units rather than 30 units that die instantly if you make a mistake. Add to this that building 30 units takes more work than building 10 and you'll see why most new players like the toss: easier micro and easier macro. Of course, once you get good ''none'' of that matters in any meaningful way anymore and player skill becomes increasingly important.
*** Especially noticeably, Protoss has the lowest Tournament Wins of the three factions by a fair margin, in contrast to the supposed 50/50 win average. There are notoriously few professional Protoss Players in relation to both Terran and Zerg.
*** The Protoss are a good example of [[DifficultButAwesome "easy to learn, difficult to master".]] They have a grand total of '''four''' spell casters that each have their own research costs, and a potent Reaver artillery that is often used with air-transport for surgical strikes. Using the right combination of supporting casters is key, due to their main army focusing durability over raw damage-per-second. Mastering the Protoss arsenal of spells goes a long way, and don't forget to upgrade weapons and armor.

* The ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'' metagame is a constantly evolving version of this trope. A pro player will come up with a build that is considered "nigh unbeatable" in a particular matchup, until another player develops a build to counter it. Much more prevalent in a MirrorMatch, where often pro players will go the exact same build, and it falls to execution.
** An example from the Wings of Liberty era is the infamous "bio ball[[note]]A massive pile (ball) of terran infantry (biological) units, including marines and marauders with stimpacks[[/note]]". Albeit there were plenty of units that could quickly dispatch the bio ball, they were higher on the techtree and inaccessible in the early game.

[[folder:Role-Playing Games]]
* The [[FanNickname "Giantdad"]] of ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' is a notable example from [[RolePlayingGame a genre]] where "characters" have to be built level-by-level and piece-by-piece. The Giantdad is a notoriously [[MinMax Min-Maxed]] build that foregoes weapon scaling to stuff more points into Endurance and Vitality, and wearing gear that [[LightningBruiser allows them to fast-roll despite wearing ridiculously heavy armor]]. Scary on paper, but their attacks are rather predictable and easy to parry or avoid for those who get the timing down, and the dreaded [[CycleOfHurting stunlock]] from their trademark [[{{BFS}} zweihander]] can be [[LagCancel toggle-canceled]] out of. MemeticMutation has since dubbed the Giantdad the Slayer of [[strike:new players]] [[InsistentTerminology Casuls]], [[MemeticBadass constantly challenging his victims to "git gud."]]

* ''VideoGame/GuildWars2'' has the Warrior. Capable of pumping out some of the highest DPS in the game, especially when armed with a greatsword, and access to good defensive skills and traits. In PvE, they're much sought-after for dungeon runs, and their entire strategy can often be boiled down to "run in, hit 1-5, watch things die". However, as most players will tell you, they're one of the least desired classes for PvP. Their entire skill set just ends up translating much better to killing trash mobs and AI bosses than it does to taking on real players.

* In competitive ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', [[ShockAndAwe Electivire]] is considered one such example. It's got a good movepool, awesome offensive stats, decent speed, and alright defensive typing, which makes it dominate in the in-game and casual departments... But in the advanced {{metagame}} it starts to really fall apart. In a metagame where something with that kind of power is essentially required to be quick enough to be a LightningBruiser (no pun intended) or ''very'' strong defenses, its "decent" base speed of 95 is questionable in competitive play. Combined with the ubiquity of Earthquake, its GlassCannon nature, and the fact that "super-effective" does not equal "OneHitKill" as is often sought for in the metagame, it doesn't fare well competitively.
** Talonflame, in [[VideoGame/PokemonXAndY Generation VI]] of Franchise/{{Pokemon}}. This Pokémon comes with the ability Gale Wings, which gives it priority to all of its flying type moves. That, coupled with a very high Speed stat and a decent Attack stat, means it can get [[FragileSpeedster one hit KOs]] against the majority of Pokémon in the game, without even giving them the chance to strike back. Less experienced players have a lot of trouble dealing with it. But veteran players, after the initial shock, have learned to deal with it, and the metagame has adapted to it by having people use Pokémon with better defenses to counter its mediocre attack and limited coverage. Nowadays it's still a pretty good Pokémon, but it's only flawless against new players.
** Ambipom in RU is a particularly extreme example, having the highest usage of all Pokemon legal in RU play...until those usage stats are weighted according to skill, and then its usage falls low enough as to drop out of the tier entirely. Its Fake Out move is, in theory, a completely free and powerful hit on something, allowing Ambipom to easily break through users of Focus Sash (a common item among newbies) or simply KO the mon it's facing with a second hit. In practice against experts, though, it's an easy switch in to a mon that resists both Ambipom's Fake Out and its most powerful moves at the same time - and there are many examples of such mons, due to Ambipom's heavily limited coverage. It doesn't help at all that Fake Out is literally the only thing it has over competition such as Cinccino, or even better yet, Tauros, which can do everything else Ambipom can conceivably do and better. Nowadays experts consider it the single worst legal Pokemon in RU play, which baffles many beginners who still lose to it frequently.

* Hunters from ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' until halfway through ''Burning Crusade''. High damage output by mashing three buttons, a pet to push back castbars, and plenty of ways to escape an opponent. Also had a 3-yard yellow zone between their melee and range radii wherein they couldn't do anything but watch their pet attack if you managed to root them in the appropriate place.
** Warriors also have a 'donut of safety' where you're out of their melee range, but not far enough to get charged... Except Tauren Warriors, whose hitbox is 8 yards instead of 5, the minimum Charge range.
** Hunters and Paladins have a version of this. Both are very good solo classes for new players that are easy to level in [=PvE=], but that means a lot of them are suddenly and utterly stomped by the end-game content as they lack the relevant skills.

[[folder:Sports Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/ArcStyleBaseball3D'', Teams Rhinos and Crystal are pretty good overall and you won't have a hard time winning with them. But just the same, an experienced player will have an easy time taking them down by observing their pitching patterns and knowing their batting lineup.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Dwarf teams in ''TabletopGame/BloodBowl'' are extremely durable and begin with the Block skill; newbie players playing low-value games (who will probably favour the straight-forward blocking and running game) will be hard-pressed to find a team that's easier to learn how to use or harder to run up against. In high-level play Dwarves suffer from being incredibly inflexible: They can do one thing (blocking) incredibly well but elven teams run circles around them and well-leveled chaos and underworld teams (with easy access to claw) will tear them apart, and once they lose the initiative they will never regain it. Orc teams have similar tendencies to a lesser degree, being slightly more flexible at the cost of losing some immediate power.

* A slightly different example is the four-move checkmate (also known as [[ Scholar's Mate]]) in TabletopGame/{{Chess}}. White moves a pawn to free the bishop and the queen, moves the bishop and queen to attack the weak f7 pawn, then captures it - it's only defended by the king, but he can't recapture as the queen is protected, which means mate. The problem is that any player who sees this coming can easily protect against it, essentially putting the player who tried it in a bad starting position. Against a beginner, it's an easy win. Against an expert, it's [[NoSell easily snubbed]], forcing you into a longer game and at a disadvantage.
** Also the Giuoco Pianissimo (Very Quiet Game) opening. Its simple developing moves ensure that a weak player won't make any of the typical beginner mistakes, and it also allows some tricks by pinning one of blacks knights so it can't move. Playing as an experienced player is simply boring and also allows the character of the game to be decided entirely by the opponent so few masters play it.

* In TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons and {{Tabletopgame/Pathfinder}}, spontaneous spellcasters such as the sorcerer tend to be this. Though they have more raw power than their [[VancianMagic prepared spellcaster]] counterparts such as the wizard and they don't have to prepare their spells beforehand, so can't be caught off-guard as easily, they are severely limited in the number of spells that they can know (arcane prepared spellcasters typically need to store their spells in a spellbook with limited capacity, but the capacity is far less limited often overlooked), they can only learn new spells when they gain levels, and casting spells with metamagic takes longer since they have to apply the metamagic on the spot instead of having applied it when they prepared the spell.

* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', the "4 of every Circle of Protection" deck. It can beat any deck that can only win by damage, has no enchantment removal or bounce, kills slowly enough that you can somehow win even while sinking mana into Circle activations every turn... in other words, only terrible decks.
** But in fitting with the trope Circle of Protection can be very useful depending on the opponent's deck. Stopping that giant creature with trample and lifelink from ever doing damage is worth one mana a turn.
** The pre-packaged decks WizardsOfTheCoast sells are generally skill gates in themselves: Competitive against each other, but will get crushed against tournament-level decks. But they are useful in teaching newer players how to modify their decks to win more (first tip: Buy two of the same pre-packaged decks and smoosh 'em together.)
** Event Decks are designed so you can enter competitive play extremely easily, as well as contain a proportionally high number of valuable and powerful cards (as opposed to starter decks or other types of preconstructed decks, which usually contain no more than a handful of valuable cards, if any). In most kitchen table games and low-tier competitive scene, they're exceedingly powerful straight out of the box. In higher levels, you would likely need 4 copies of the same event deck just to get four copies of the powerful cards you would want to consistently show up, and that's not including the Mythic Rare cards you might need. Even then, professional level decks can still easily destroy them.

* ''TabletopGame/{{Pokemon}} TCG's'' Mulligan Mewtwo deck. Chances of defeating an expert player with a good deck? Near zero. Chances of defeating a new player who doesn't understand what it's trying to do? Near 100%. Naturally, it stopped showing up in tournaments rather quickly as people figured it out.

* The "[[ Boss Duel]]" format of ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'', where up to three players duel against a single duelist playing a PurposelyOverpowered deck, based on the decks used by some of the franchise's {{Invincible Villain}}s, which infinitely recycles its cards and always draws the same opening hand. Against beginner players, the boss is an absolute stomp, but diligent or experienced players will find the boss incredibly predictable due to having a deck of less than ten cards, and quite easy to counter into oblivion.

[[folder:Third-Person Shooter]]
* The GearsOfWar series has the [[ShortRangeShotgun Gnasher Shotgun]] - and Gears of War 3 adds the [[UpToEleven Sawed-off]] variety. With the [[FragileSpeedster kinds of movement skill that are vital]] in Gears multiplayer, the only thing mitigating the point-and-shoot ease of shotguns is the fact that [[MirrorMatch everyone else has them, too]]. But when you move up to tournament levels of play, teamwork and co-ordination with [[BoringButPractical assault rifle fire]] and power weapon procurement will utterly [[CurbStompBattle destroy any teams]] that rely on wallbouncing into shotgun range to score kills.
** Despite this, you often see scrubs insisting that being able to move and aim with an assault rifle such as the [[DifficultButAwesome Markza or Retro Lancer]] in a 1 vs 1 is a "{{noob}} tactic" due to [[ComplacentGamingSyndrome not using another Gnasher]].

* Co-op example: big characters like [[MightyGlacier krogan, turians (original flavor), and batarians]] in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' multiplayer tend to exemplify this trope. They have more health and shielding than [[FragileSpeedster smaller characters (humans, asari, salarians, quarians, etc.),]] but in exchange lack a dodge command. On lower difficulties, a well-built krogan can shrug off nearly anything that isn't a OneHitKill, and enemies with instant kills (which are particularly nasty against slow characters) don't show up in any great number. On higher difficulties, dodging becomes much more important, since enemies with instant-kills show up earlier and more often, and damage increases mean that even a Mook or two can pose a credible threat. A player who's relied on the durability of their characters to stay alive will end up dying a lot on gold and platinum difficulties; conversely, a player skilled enough to win consistently on these levels will be good enough at avoiding enemy fire that extra health and shields won't be nearly as useful as they first appear.

* In ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'', the [[LimitBreak Special Weapon]] [[DeathFromAbove Inkstrike]] allows the user to create a large circle of ink of his or her team's color anywhere on the stage that he or she wants. Also, any opponents caught in that circle when it lands is [[OneHitKill instantly splatted]]. As the objective of ''Splatoon'' is to ink more ground than your opponents, the Inkstrike comes off as very attractive to newcomers, and indeed, they are effective against those who don't take advantages of its weaknesses: It has a very long startup time beforehand and a cooldown time afterwards that's almost as long, meaning anyone who uses Inkstrike becomes a sitting duck to any opponents who can get in close. It also comes with a warning signal to opponents that shows exactly where it'll land about three seconds before it does, so experienced players will rarely get hit by one. The Inkstrike is by far the most common Special Weapon in the lower ranks and among people below Level 30, but it drops off sharply above Level 30 and in the A and S Ranks, becoming near-nonexistent towards the top, even after the buffs in the 2016 balance patches. That being said, the Inkstrike is still valued at every level of play for being the only means of inking a lot of ground after time runs out--any Inkstrikes still in progress when time runs out will still explode ink with opponents unable to do anything about it, making it great for tipping the scales in an otherwise even match.
** Alongside that is the Aerospray RG. This is a main weapon with a very short range but a very high fire rate and high running speed when firing. In addition to having, unsurprisingly, the Inkstrike as its Special Weapon, its absurd capacity for inking large amounts of ground in a short period of time is offset by how it will invariably be useless if an opponent with a longer-range weapon (that is, all of them except a few) spots an Aerospray user. Low-level rooms often have multiple Aerospray RG users, though there are some highly skilled users who have learned how to hide and ambush with one.
** The Carbon Roller and the Carbon Roller Deco have become this due to the balance patches landing a series of {{nerf}}s to rollers in general. The Carbon Rollers are oversized paint rollers, tracing a wide path of ink behind them as long as it's held to the ground, and they have the highest running speed among all traditional rollers. This means that, like the Aerospray, they are very good at inking a lot very quickly. However, they have a harder time eliminating enemies in their way than any other roller, as Carbon Rollers lack most one-hit splat moves all other rollers have, and any time spent rolling out ink is time spent exposed to enemies. Popular at first, both Carbon Rollers eventually fell to the wayside when they attracted the attention of snipers who could safely remove them from a secure location.

* ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'' has the Rhino and Valkyr frames. Their respectable defenses and ability to convert Energy into a shield or invulnerability duration make them very attractive to new players. However, this often encourages players to eat enemy attacks in a game that quickly turns into RocketTagGameplay, which rapidly becomes suicidal as Bombards, Napalms, Combas, and Scrambus can tear even a well-armored warframe apart if not countered quickly. Valkyr can make up for this thanks for her innate Life Strike in Hysteria mode to recover Health, but this locks her into melee attacks that aren't adequate against other mobile players, when clearing larger rooms, or when trying to defend locations, some of the more common end-game situations.

[[folder:Turn-Based Strategy]]
* ''[[VideoGame/NintendoWars Advance Wars]]: Days of Ruin'' has Tabitha, who ties with the final boss for highest attack and defense bonus to allied units, but also has the smallest area of effect (initially just one unit.) She can annihilate lone units, but she has no good response to concentrated fire, especially from artillery and other indirect-attack units.

* ''[[{{VideoGame/Civilization}} Civilization 5]]'' has Venice, who in single player games is a godly civilization thanks to its double trade route, allowing players to quickly earn lots of gold to either pay money for city state alliances, quickly purchase desired buildings in puppeted cities, or convince a leader to declare war on someone, thus allowing Venetian players to quickly score an easy diplomatic victory even at deity level difficulty. However, in multiplayer, such tactics are easily and completely countered as most good players know better than to let Venice snowball to death, thus not only can they simply declare war on them and plunder all of their hard earned trade routes but also embargo Venice as well as the city states to prevent trade routes, completely shutting down their entire ability. Another downside is that neighbouring players will be able to get twice the land they can get due to Venice's inability to expand, allowing opposing players to just wipe Venice out of the game. Because of all the downsides, whenever a player has randomed Venice, they are allowed to reshuffle their leader of choice for free.

* In ''VideoGame/RiseOfNations'', the Russians were mildly overpowered in matches between casual players but were considered one of the worst factions by expert players. The developers didn't think this was a problem because there were nearly 20 factions to choose from.
** A main reason for this is that the Russian national trait is that their territory causes additional attrition, as an implementation of "[[Film/ThePrincessBride Never get involved in a land war in Asia]]"/"Never invade Russia in the winter". Seems awesome, because who doesn't want to watch invading horses shrivel and die without having to do anything?... but basic attrition is significant enough that strategists quickly learn not to invade ''anyone'' without accompanying supply vehicles to protect them, which eliminates any advantage the Russians have and forces them to confront armies whose national traits may allow them to [[OhCrap field better units]] or [[ZergRush more of them faster]].

[[folder:Other Examples]]
* Shotia from ''[[VideoGame/DonPachi DoDonPachi dai ou jou]]''. Powerful regular shot, starts off with 3 bombs and maxes out at 6 (most of any character in the game)...but she also moves very slowly when she's firing her laser, and if she dies she loses all laser power, which is a horrible thing to have happen to you against a boss or midboss.

* In ''VideoGame/{{Meteos}}'', low-gravity planets, like [[UnderTheSea Oleana]] and [[OneGenderRace Starrii]], are good for novices because their slow movements give them time to think. At higher levels of play, however, they start falling behind against higher-gravity planets that can score and attack faster than they can. Most low-gravity planets can still win matches through flawless or near-flawless play (even in high-level play, low-gravity planets still have the advantage of a greater margin of error ''because'' of their slower pace) and, in ''Meteos Wars'', well-timed Planet Impacts.
** [[{{Disco}} Lumious]] can come off this way as well, due to its unusual Speeder mechanic, which increases the rate and speed that blocks fall. Someone new to Meteos will probably not use the Speeder much; they'll have a tough enough time keeping up without increasing the blocks' fall rate. However, using the Speeder on Lumious increases ignition speed and fall speed out of proportion with everything else and renders Lumious near-unplayable without learning to turn off the Speeder at critical moments, making Lumious both a Skill Gate Character and DifficultButAwesome.

* ''VideoGame/NewSuperLuigiU'' has Nabbit, who is immune to all enemy damage but can't utilize power-ups (though he can still take them). The official website explicitly bills him as this.

* ''VideoGame/RobotArena 2'' has EMERGENCY, whose powerful drive train and armor, and ''very'' powerful flipper make him a nuisance for new players... until you realize that [[TechnicalPacifist flippers do almost no damage]]. Avoid edges with out-of-bounds zones and make sure your bot can (or doesn't need to) self-right.