Every thrust of Rangidil's spear was blocked with ease;If the Glass Cannon believes that the best defense is a good offense, the Stone Wall tries for the reverse. His offense is nothing to write home about, if it even technically exists. But he's tough. Really, really tough. And if anything can put him down, odds are he's quick enough on the recovery to get right back up for round two. When alone, a Stone Wall's strategy is often known as "turtling": a battle of attrition to see who tires out first, or a waiting game until the whistle blows. If his defense is something he physically constructs and builds, he can win a fight by slowly expanding outward until he leaves the enemy without a foot to stand on. Often has defensive buffs and minor healing magic, in which case you're dealing with a "Paladin Tank." In rare cases, he may also have access to Fixed-Damage Attacks, which by their very nature ignore stats, giving them at least a little access to actual offensive power. However, more offensively oriented characters will still always have a higher damage output with regular attacks. In team settings, a Stone Wall often takes care of "tanking" duties, interposing himself between the enemy and an ally, typically a Glass Cannon that can take care of dealing damage while the Stone Wall takes care of defense. By keeping the enemy occupied, he allows allies with greater attack strength but poorer defense to kill the enemy without getting killed. Characters who do this are called "Meat Shields" or "Party Tanks." They often have moves designed to force attention to themselves. Sometimes called "Control Tanks". In television shows, the Stone Wall is rarely the protagonist, because viewers want a main character who can kick ass themselves. This trope partly takes its name from a real-life example: Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson won the battle of Bull Run due to his strategy to not retreat from his line, no matter how bad things went for him. And for a while things went pretty bad. General Jackson himself is not an example of this trope despite the nickname, as outside of that particular battle, he was most noted for his offensive campaigns. A Sub-Trope of Competitive Balance. Contrast Glass Cannon, which is the inverse with strong offense and weak defense, and Lightning Bruiser, which is tough and fast without sacrificing strength.
Every slash of Rangidil's blade was deflected away;
Every blow of Rangidil's mace was met by the shield;
Every quick arrow shot could find no purchase
For the Monster's greatest power was in his dread blessing
That no weapon from no warrior found in all
Could pass the shield of Abernanit.
Every slash of Rangidil's blade was deflected away;
Every blow of Rangidil's mace was met by the shield;
Every quick arrow shot could find no purchase
For the Monster's greatest power was in his dread blessing
That no weapon from no warrior found in all
Could pass the shield of Abernanit.
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Anime & Manga
- Yuuno Scrya from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is a second or third tier combatant at most, not just because he's the only mage in the cast without a magic-boosting Device, but also because he doesn't have much talent at conventional offensive magic. However, his defenses are actually stronger than those of the Device-using mages (at least stronger than Nanoha's, by her own admission in the Sound Stages), which allows him to play the "Meat Shield" role and free them up to concentrate on offensive tactics. Once, though, he had to fight somewhat like a Berserker, throwing himself at Vita to keep her occupied. Even a wall is daunting when it's flying right at you. He didn't manage to hurt her, but she also failed to hurt him.
- Yakumo of 3×3 Eyes is a berserker type meat shield (emphasis on the 'meat'), as all he has is the amazing power to not die; his job is to stand in front of attacks and be dismembered. He later learns how to fight effectively.
- Zushi in Hunter × Hunter is able to form barriers to soften truck-force attacks to where he's unharmed by them (he can still be knocked down, though he can also soften the impact upon landing), but he can barely fight otherwise. The barrier is invisible to an untrained eye, so from the point of view of a Muggle, it looks like the boy is impervious to damage.
- In YuYu Hakusho, Kuwabara clearly takes this role in the main team, with Yusuke being the damage dealer, Hiei as the speedster and Kurama having the sharp mind. Kuwabara doesn't have highly damaging moves like the Spirit Gun or Dragon of the Darkness flame. However, you know you have good durability if you managed to still get up after being in a tug-o-war with Byakko's tigers, repeatedly thrown down to the stone stadium floor by Rinku and stabbed in over 10 different areas by the Elder Toguro.
- Rurouni Kenshin: In comparison to some of the higher tiers of the series, Sanosuke can come off as this; his attacks aren't always the strongest (at least in comparison to Saitou or Kenshin), but his endurance is one of his most outstanding traits.
- In Yu Gi Oh Duel Monsters, the Player Killer of Darkness (Panik in the dub) is noted to be one of these. Being a Dirty Coward, his main card is Castle of Dark Illusions, which has high defense, minimal attacking power, and makes his monsters impossible to attack. He also favors the use of Chaos Shield, which raises the defense of his monsters even further, but it locks his cards in place and keeps them from moving or attacking. This becomes his downfall, as it makes his strategy very inflexible.
- Mukuro in the manga version of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's favors a Vehicle Deck. All his cards have 0 ATK, but due to the format he plays in (where the Duel is more of a race and attacking, even with a card with no ATK, slows the opponent down a little), he can win Duels by simply attacking once, then stalling until he wins the race.
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's anime had Team Taiyou, whose decks consisted primarily of low-level Normal Monsters, giving them no offense whatsoever outside of Speed World 2. Their strategy was to play Holding-Hands Majinn, a card that ups its DEF by that of all your monsters via the Power of Friendship and makes itself the target of all attacks, and Scrum Force, which keeps DEF-position monsters from being destroyed by card effects. This left them with an essentially unbreakable defense, letting them use the aforementioned Speed World 2 to chip away at the opponent and fulfil the requirements to summon Sleeping Giant Zushin.
- In Risk, there's always at least one person who will want to conquer Australia and then just sit there and build up troops while everyone else weakens each other. Since Australia only has one path in and out, massing all the troops on one territory makes it almost impossible to conquer without using every last one of your available armies. You have to take out Australia within the first few rounds or you're screwed. (No wonder Lex Luthor wanted it.) However, it also only shares a border with Asia, which very few players go for, meaning that it is logistically difficult for an Australia player to put their troops in a position to accomplish much on offense.
- In Through The Ages: A Story Of Civilization, one of the Age 3 leaders is Mahatma Gandhi. A player who has Gandhi in play is not allowed to play Aggressions or Wars himself, but anyone trying to attack him has to spend twice as many military actions to do so.
- In Chess, the concept of prophylaxis could be described as this. Rather than playing to improve your attacking chances, a prophylactic move is one that limits the opponent's opportunities. Former world champion Tigran Petrosian is probably the best example; while he had fewer wins than other world champions, he had almost no losses, even going through 1962 without losing a single tournament game.
- The Rock-type is mainly geared toward Turtling play, as Rock-types tend to have low ATK and high DEF, as well as quite a few of them having the ability to flip into face-down Defensive Position. There was even a Rock-type Structure Deck at one point built entirely on building an uber-strong defense. Formerly shown above was Labyrinth Wall, which does nothing to most other monster cards on its own, but has 3000 DEF, meaning it can shrug off even an attack from Blue-Eyes White Dragon.
- There are also cards like Spirit Reaper (Zombie) and Marshmallon (Fairy), who simply can't be killed in battle, but have some of the worst stats in the game (though they both have some damaging effects, with Spirit Reaper's attack-and-your-opponent-discards effect, and Marshmallon doing 1000 damage when attacked face-down).
- Decks that focus on alternate win conditions look like this. Final Countdown Decks typically feature a crapload of defensive cards and not much else, and Burn or Mill Decks often completely ignore attacking the opponent in favor of stalling while they whittle down their resources. No presence, no offensive power... so they make it as hard as possible to get a hit in while they try to complete their own strategy.
- The aforementioned Superheavy Samurai archetype, an archetype of Machine-type monsters with low ATK and high DEF. The fighting members of this archetype have effects that range from being indestructable in battle or reducing the ATK and DEF of enemy monsters to 0, etc. Superheavy Samurai cards that contain "Soul" in their names have effects that can be activated from the hand, either as Equip Cards or as Hand Traps. Others have effects that can be activated from the graveyard to protect the Superheavy Samurais from the graveyard. Despite this archetype focuses on defense, it's also strong in offense. The boss monster of the Main Deck, Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei, allows every Superheavy Samurai on the field to attack in Defense Position and their DEF will apply for the damage calculation. With Big Benkei having 3500 DEF, it's a very powerful beatstick, and it is very easy to summon Big Benkei, e.g. Giant Rat can Special any EARTH Monster with 1500 or less ATK, and Big Benkei has only 1000 ATK, so the Trap Card Bottomless Trap Hole won't destroy and banish it. The Synchro Monsters of this archetype have also high DEF and they can attack in Defense Position with their DEF and have strong effects that can only be activated as long as you don't have any Spell or Trap Cards in your graveyard. Some other monsters rely on having a Spell/Trap free graveyard, but since this archetype already has so many defense mechanism like the Soul monsters as Equip Cards and Hand Traps, Spell or Trap Cards aren't necessary for this archetype, which makes it the first archetype that can be played without any Spell and/or Trap Cards.
- Walls and other creatures with Defender in Magic: The Gathering are essentially this; by the very definition of the ability they can't attack and many deal little or no damage to enemy attacking creatures that they block. On the other hand, they can be very tough for a relatively low cost; the actual Wall of Stone card is a good example.
- Among creatures that can actually attack, this is the defining trait of treefolk. Indomitable Ancients is the most extreme example: It can dish out 2 damage but can take up to 10 and has no other abilities. The card Doran, the Siege Tower is specifically designed to invert this and turn such creatures into powerhouses by making all creatures deal combat damage equal to their toughness instead of their power, a windfall for most treefolk.
- Throughout Magic's history, there have been entire decks dedicated to turtling, creating an impenetrable defense that allows them to win through Scratch Damage or by forcing an opponent to run out the clock by running out of cards to draw. Snow White and Project X both seek to gain absurd amounts of life through combos, ensuring your opponent will never take you down to 0. The classic blue-white control deck has hardly any win conditions, but tons of removal and permission spells to keep them alive. And then there's...
- Turbofog, everyone's least favorite Lorwyn-era tourney deck! It had very few creatures, defensive or otherwise, but stuffs itself with damage prevention, counterspells, control, life-gain, and just a few cards to recycle itself and increase its runtime. Its only win condition is to last so damn long that the opponent's deck runs out of cards (an instant lose), or more likely that the opponent simply loses patience and accepts their (eventual) defeat.
- In the Pokémon Trading Card Game, Shedinja makes a Stone Wall not out of itself, but the player: Shedinja does not count towards the 6 Pokémon to knock out to win a game, so someone packing a deck full of Shedinja would force the opponent into a war of attrition.
- In Little Alchemist, there are cards that have zero base Attack but high enough Defense to negate all but the most powerful attacks, including a literal Great Wall. It's still possible to (eventually) defeat an enemy who uses a lot of these cards, though, by setting your class to Elementalist and gradually whittling down their health with minor but unblockable combo damage dealt every turn.
- Compare Butterball/Boulder, a fat young man whose power of being completely invulnerable to harm also makes his body immutable; he can't lose weight (except with a near-starvation diet), can't build muscle, doesn't get tired, and will never be able to develop any actual combat capabilities. He washed out of Camp Hammond and landed in the Shadow Initiative with minor league villains.
- Turtle from the latest Legion of Super-Heroes continuity is incredibly durable, almost completely invulnerable to harm. However, his total lack of extraordinary offensive capabilities hardly wowed the Legion when he tried out, landing him and his Glass Cannon pal Sizzle in the Legion Auxiliary with the hope that they'll develop moves to compensate for their weaknesses.
- Diamond Lil, associated with Alpha Flight (as both hero and villain), is pretty much invulnerable, but not super-strong. She is a fair fighter and not at all slow, but wouldn't be much of a problem for true heavyweights because she just can't hit that hard.
- Brit is a comic book character created by Robert Kirkman who is an average-sized man of about 60 who is completely invulnerable to harm, thanks to a serum created by his father. Unlike many other invulnerable characters in the Image universe, he has no other abilities, having the strength of a 60-ish-year-old man who works out.note
Films — Animated
- Violet of The Incredibles: near-impregnable defense thanks to her Barrier Warrior abilities, but she's hard-pressed to actually do anything to her aggressors.
- Po, The Everyman hero of Kung Fu Panda initiates almost no offense even in his climactic duel with Tai Lung, instead relying on his fat to absorb the damage of Tai Lung's punches and nullify his Pressure Point attacks.
Films — Live-Action
- Beautifully exemplified by Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith. In the novelization, he is considered the master of the Form III style, which focuses on defense, by Mace Windu. The definitive proof of this is during the fight with General Grievous, as in barely less than a minute, Obi-Wan counters the general's strikes and lops off two off his arms.
- Parodied with the Black Knight of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Despite having all four of his limbs cut off, he still boasts that he's invincible... even though the protagonists only want to pass him. While he's (extremely) vulnerable to Arthur's sword, he still keeps trying to fight even after taking damage that a Looney Tunes character would deem excessive.
- In Kick-Ass, the titular character is a Badass Adorable Action Survivor with no training for actual combat, but has metal plates in his bones as well as fucked up nerve endings that give him a very high tolerance for pain.
- The Pharaoh from Soon I Will Be Invincible. Though pathetic by most measures, he is something of a nuisance because his power (activated by his hammer) is complete immunity to injury. Even taking an artillery round head-on does nothing more than push him into the ground a few feet.
- Star Wars Legends:
- The lightsaber style of Soresu is essentially the Turtling variant of this trope, created to defend both against multiple blaster-wielding foes and single opponents. However, it requires both the endurance and the concentration to last until the opponent (finally) shows a weakness in their defense, or else it will merely delay the inevitable. Obi-Wan Kenobi is acknowledged in canon as the ultimate master of this technique, and is said to be able to protect himself from up to twenty strikes per second in the novelization of Revenge of the Sith.
- The Sun Crusher, from the Jedi Academy Trilogy, is a Lightning Bruiser against a planetary target, packing torpedoes with the ability to cause a sun to go supernova. Against other ships it is this trope; its hull is invulnerable, but since its ship-to-ship weapons protrude from the hull, they tend to get taken out early in any given fight leaving it with no method of dealing damage save ramming.
- In The Reckoners Trilogy The Professor/Limelight is this, with one ability that's good for protecting from harm (a forcefield), one ability good for recovering from harm (a Healing Factor), and one ability that's good for escaping and disabling an enemy's weapons ( the ability to disintegrate non-organic matter). But when it comes to offense he's reduced to guns and making an Improvised Weapon by carefully disintegrating steel to create a sword or knife. Appropriately during the main battle he acts as a tank battling Steelheart, who he's incapable of damaging, while the others try to find his Achilles' Heel. This changes in the second book, as he demonstrates that he's capable of much greater versatility with his forcefields and can use them crush people to death (which would still not have harmed Steelheart, but few things could), he just chose not to until he lost his mind to power.
- In the Ken Macleod novel Newton's Wake, the Search Engines used by the Carlyle's "combat archaeologists" are large tracked vehicles with an almost impregnable hull and top-of-the-line firewall software to prevent posthuman Brown Note attacks from affecting the crew. However, search engines have no offensive armaments whatsoever. Lucinda Carlyle gets a rude surprise when a supposedly backwater Lost Colony has a platoon-level support weapon that can punch straight through a search engine.
- Unit19G is nearly impossible to make flinch (to the point where he can withstand 5000 degrees centigrade), but he isn't too great on the offense.
- In the UK robot fighting tournament Robot Wars, Bigger Brother was this trope. The robot's pneumatic flipper had some punch but was nothing special in a tournament where most robots had mechanisms to help them flip back over, but it was armoured with steel which was successively thickened and reinforced over the years and even boasted a thick rear shield made of cobalt-titanium; even Razer and Hypnodisc, both known as The Dreaded for their highly destructive weapons, did absolutely nothing against it. The robot was also intentionally designed to have a decent gap between the plating and the internals so anything that did penetrate would be unlikely to hit anything vulnerable. In a famous match against the former, Hypnodisc ripped off Bigger Brother's flipper and shredded its armour, and Bigger Brother still beat it.
- During his run in the WWF to create interest in the 1989 movie No Holds Barred, Tiny Lister reprised his role as that movie's Zeus – an unbeatable man-monster who could withstand all offense from the world's best wrestlers without so much as flinching. He wasn't the largest or even strongest wrestler the WWF even had necessarily but the combination of his No Sell and Bear Hug could theoretically outlast anyone. This was the idea but once he got in actual matches it would be averted as eventually, by taking enough punishment following an eye poke, Zeus would be worn down and set up for defeat, although in in-ring confrontations prior to Summer Slam 1989, the trope was fully enforced.
- The Undertaker, was The Mario compared to most contemporary 'big man' wrestlers with the exception that he had more endurance than the rest. He didn't have the sheer mass of a Giant Gonzales, Yokozuna or The Big Show nor the agility of a Big Van Vader but no matter what kind of offense he took, legal, illegal, blunt or exotic, The Undertaker would only sell temporarily before sitting straight up, at which point only amazing cardio would save you from being destroyed.
- Road Block in WCW. Slow, clumsy, not a particularly devastating striker or technician but so fat almost no strike could hurt him and few wrestlers were strong enough to move him.
- The traditional role of the opening batsmen is to play defensively and hang around and blunt the initial barrage of the opposition's fast bowlers in order to set up the team's innings, often scoring quite slowly. (In)famous "stonewallers" include Bill Lawry for Australia and Geoffrey Boycott for England. However, in recent years, ODI and Twenty 20 cricket especially have featured more aggressive openers, as the strategy has been to exploit the fielding restrictions that are in place early in the innings. Making something of a comeback in Test matches: England in particular have capitalized on the "dropping attention span" of some of their opponents: witness the efforts of their current top order, Andrew Strauss, Alistair Cook and Jonathan Trott. Though granted, all three of them score faster than Boycott did.
- Bowlers can also be Stone Walls, looking more to dry up runs and pressure batsmen into making mistakes than take wickets through attacking bowling. In an inverse of the situation in batting, this type of bowler is more popular in T20 and ODI than in Tests.
- "Turtle-balling" is a common tactic in American Football, in which the offense does just enough to gain a lead of more than one score, then uses a combination of stifling defense and a relentless running game to prevent the opponent from catching up. Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh Steelers coach in the 1990s and early 2000s, perfected the technique; when his teams built a lead of 11 or more points at any point in the game, victory was practically guaranteed. In such situations, his teams lost once and tied once... and won 102 times.
- Many defensemen in sports (again, soccer and hockey are examples) play without any offensive drive. For example, the Buffalo Sabres' Robyn Regehr.
- The goalkeeper, in most sports that use one (soccer, hockey, etc.) cannot leave the goal box and never scores.
- William Felton Russell. He didn't score much and his shooting percentages were mediocre, but he is an 11x NBA champion, 5x MVP and widely considered the greatest defender in NBA history.
- Pitchers in the National League. The pitcher generally has a very low batting average (though some have one that rivals other position players), and often a low speed, too, but they are the standard bearer for the defense to the point of being analogous to a goalkeeper. The position is so specialized that the American League has a rule that you are permitted to have one designated hitter to hit in place of one defensive player without taking him out of the game, and everybody chooses to bat for the pitcher.
- Catchers are generally either this or a Mighty Glacier, because squatting so much tends to ruin your knees, making them rather slow on the bases, so their offensive capabilities tend to be limited to raw power. Defensively, the catcher is The Lancer to the pitcher, because the catcher must catch (or at least secure) strike three in order to complete a strikeout, pitches that are not fouled off by the batter are live (and so runners can attempt to advance before, during or after a pitch) and because the catcher's job is to guard home plate. Pitchers get credited for wins like goalkeepers, but catchers look the part because of the protective gear.
- The rope-a-dope strategy, as best seen in the Rumble in the Jungle between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Wait against the ropes, guard face, taunt during clinches, throw occasional jab to opponent's face. Repeat until opponent is tired, then start delivering beatdown.
- In the 1980 heavyweight fight between Randall 'Tex' Cobb (who had one of the most durable chins in the history of boxing) and Earnie Shavers (widely regarded as the hardest puncher in heavyweight history) Cobb, who was not known for great offense, won the fight by simply walking through Shavers' punches until Shavers tired and Cobb was able to knock him out.
- Boxing has also seen a number of fighters over the years who specialize in defense to the point of being all but untouchable, and only need to use a minor amount of offense because their opponent simply can't land anything on them. A few such fighters include Willie Pep, Niccolino Locche, Wilfredo Benitez, Pernell Whitaker, and Floyd Mayweather. Muhammad Ali was this at times, mostly in his youth, and even Mike Tyson, who was most famous for his power, showed some of this ability as well.
- The tactic of "flooding" in Australian Rules Football is a version of this, having so many players around the ball and likely opposition targets that the opposition can't get a clean possession. The Sydney Swans are noted exponents of this, while in the 2013 Preliminary Final, Fremantle did it well enough to beat Sydney at their own game.
- "Parking the Bus" is a term used in Association Football to describe teams that after gaining a lead, drop almost all of their players back behind midfield for defense. Chelsea has made this their primary strategy in the English Premier League.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- Anyone making use of a one-handed weapon and a held shield in D&D is a lesser example of this trope regardless of their class, suffering a substantial loss of offensive power compared to a two handed weapon. (D&D is also subject to the Armor Is Useless trope in many editions, thereby negating the point of such an approach. In 4th edition, however, it was a viable strategy; some characters equipped with shields could render themselves virtually impossible to hit in two defenses.)
- The "Lockdown" build, which wields a long-reach weapon, focuses on making attacks of opportunity in response to as many types of action as possible, then uses them to deliver nondamaging attacks which halt movement. While it will take a Lockdown user longer to defeat his enemies than one that counterattacks normally, it means he can keep Close Range Combatants from getting close enough to attack him, and prevent Long Range Fighters from getting far enough away to do the same.
- There are certain Gifts in Werewolf: The Apocalypse which allow for this; there is in fact a specific Steel Fur Gift for Glass Walkers that triples the size of the wolf using it and makes them into a giant defensive wall for their pack, complete with pointy, sharp fur. Usually this is more of a deterrent and leaves the wolf with no attacking ability, but a pack with enough sufficiently strong wolves can then push their large, prickly packmate down inclines and towards unhappy targets.
- It is very simple to build an Exalt like this, since defensive and offensive skills and abilities are bought seperately - there is nothing stopping you from investing your entire divine power into defense, becoming all but completely untouchable, while still remaining completely rubbish at attacking. note
- Same for Anima: Beyond Fantasy. It's perfectly possible to invest points on just defense and/or the wear armor ability and/or hit points, with the Weaponmaster archetype being the one that has easier to become thisnote .
Beat 'em Up
- Captain Silver from Battle Circuit. His power-up deals with him and everyone getting a huge defense boost, but it doesn't power his nor anyone else's offense in anyway.
- Kantai Collection: Wa-class transport ships have pathetic firepower, outright nonexistent in their most basic form. However, even the basic form has higher HP than a heavy cruiser, while the stronger forms have HP on par with battleships.
- Elements has one unit named "Armagio" who has 1 attack point, but 25 health points (the highest of any normal unit in the game). It's ability "Gravity Pull" lets it figuratively turn itself into a shield by directing damage the would go against the player onto itself instead.
- Super Smash Bros.
- R.O.B. is a very heavy character, and he has one of the best recoveries (he can fly), making him abnormally difficult to knock out. He also has two projectiles, with his Eye Beams and gyros, which means he has an easy time with keeping his distance from the opponent. However, none of his attacks do much damage, and most R.O.B. players focus on slowly chipping away at the opponent.
- Shulk can become this via his Stance System. Activating Monado Shield turns Shulk into the heaviest character in the game for a few seconds, greatly increasing his defense; however, this comes at the cost of his mobility and attack power.
- Q from Street Fighter III. Often considered a bottom-tier character, Q has one major thing going for him: his high stamina. He can also increase it by taunting. And the increase is applied on each of the first three taunts he does in a round. Once he's taunted thrice, his health is almost doubled. At that point the match changes from "opponent juggles Q into oblivion" to "Q takes everything thrown at him and chips the opponent to death with Dashing Punches".
- Advanced Variable Geo 2 gives us Judoka Kyouko Kirishima, whose normal attacks are very conventional and lack the punch of those of the other characters. However, she takes somewhat less damage than most characters, and is balanced out with an array of high-power counters.
- Another four years later saw SNK make a true "Counter Wall" in the form of Seth. Even more defensive than Kasumi Todoh, Seth's low-output, unimpressive normal and special attacks are made up for by a noticeable amount of defensive and high-output counters... Among which is a counter-based Limit Break which hits hard.
- Final Fantasy V: Exdeath is one of the most extreme cases, in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, given that his moveset revolves mostly around Counter Attacks. Essentially, what an Exdeath player wants to do is stand in one place and nullify or deflect anything the opponent throws at him, using a non-counter move only if the opponent tries not attacking him or as a finisher. Think Wobbuffet placed into a 3-D fighting game context.
- Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat is probably the Trope Maker for turtle fighters. Sub-Zero players are widely known and often reviled for assertively setting up damaging Ice Clone traps and waiting for their opponents to make their move. This is especially true in MK4, where Sub-Zero has most of his other tactics nerfed, but this one is left untouched.
- Good Gods in Black & White 2 are these. Fitting of their 'Good' nature, these Gods use strong walls to discourage (and, because of the AI, utterly stop)) enemy militaries from attacking. The downside of this is the (general) inability to kill said enemy troops, but the occasional Fireball doesn't dent your Good Rating.
- Iceman in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes does not take Scratch Damage while blocking, and can easily throw a quick low damage projectile at any opening given, allowing a skilled player to slowly chip away at opponents' health and/or wait out the clock.
- Tenten in the Naruto Storm series, but especially Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations, is a bizarre example of this: one of her special moves is to lay mines surrounding herself, which is intended to keep opponents from coming close. She doesn't have to move from her spot, as she can fight entirely through projectiles (including some rather lengthy projectile combos). In true Stone Wall fashion, she has the lowest damage output of the entire series.
- 'Giant' style wrestlers in Fire Pro Wrestling. The Giant fighting style has very low Affinity level in every stat but Punch and Rough — they can't even perform power moves or lariats efficiently in spite of their size, and tire quickly unless their moveset is heavy on Punch and/or Rough moves. However, the Giant defensive style is very guarded and difficult to crack; early in a match, they can't be thrown even with the simplest takedowns, and have to be worn down gradually with strikes and submissions. Also, the lack of effective offensive weapons means there are a lot of points left to put into defense for Create-A-Wrestlers.
- Team Fortress 2:
- For the Meat Shield version, a Heavy Weapons Guy with Natascha equipped can be one of these. For the price of lower firepower, anyone caught by these bullets will get slowed down, resulting in anything between a minor annoyance to a complete death trap depending on the circumstances. Add a Medic into the equation, constantly healing the Heavy from any damage he might pick up from a lucky shot, and you've got a solid wall.
- A heavy carrying the Fists of Steel and being healed by a Medic can be almost unkillable, but is reduced to melee attacks if he wants to keep the protection.
- Similarly, a Eyelander (or reskins) and Chargin' Targe wielding demoman being healed by a medic. The Charging' Targe providing resistance to fire and explosive damage and the eyelander healing the demoman and increasing his speed and health upon killing enemies. The downside is not being able to equip the stickybomb launcher, making him unable to lay traps and limiting his ability to kill enemies at range.
- Tanks in Mann Vs. Machine don't have any offensive capability other than inching towards your base carrying a bomb, but they take impressive amounts of punishment. To get the achievement for killing it withing 20 seconds of it spawning, the recommended method is five wrangled sentries pointed exclusively at the thing.
- The AAV 7 A 1 AMTRAC in Battlefield 3. It has a weapon virtually useless against armor that has an extremely sluggish rotation rate. However it has extremely good armor that can withstand 5 packs of C4 being detonated at once (other vehicles are fully destroyed with 3) and can function as a spawn point for the entire team which allows it to indirectly take down Tanks just by getting the tank to focus on it while the endless spawning team mates focus on taking it down.
- In Overwatch, Reinhardt is the only character who does not have a ranged weapon and despite it being a giant space-age hammer, its damage output isn't too stellar. His only ranged attack has a cooldown and his strongest attack is a hard-to-aim charge (that also has a cooldown). But to make up for this, he has a ton of health (most of it being armor) and he can deploy a front-facing barrier that can absorb massive amounts of damage and is big enough cover any teammate that's behind him.
- Tanks in World of Warcraft avert the trope, often ending up at or near the top of the damage dealing for their group. This is because, in World of Warcraft, much of a tank's threat generation is caused by damage output, and the tank often spends most of the fight attacking multiple enemies with close-range area-effect attacks to hold threat.
- The tanking classes in EverQuest, which include paladins, shadow knights, and warriors, play this trope straight. While the damage output of these classes is respectable, their primary focus is in holding the attention of the enemy. As such, their ability to deal damage is underplayed in favor of improving their damage-taking abilities.
- In City of Heroes and City of Villains, one defensive choice for Tanker/Brute is Stone Armor. There's a power in that set called "Granite Armor", which turns you into a special character model (a living stone statue type of thing). While you have that active, you have somewhere between 15% and 25.2% Defense against all but Psionics, 37.5% and 63.7% damage reduction against all but Psionics, and high resistance to all status effects. The tradeoff is that you do 30% less damage, take three times longer to recharge across the board, run less than a third your normal speed and cannot jump.
- EVE Online:
- Due to the balancing factors present in the game's fitting system, any ship that is fitted for maximum defense is going to sacrifice maneuverability, speed, and damage output in order to achieve the most defensive ability. Some ships, such as the Drake, the Rokh, the Prophecy, and others are actually designed around the concept of surviving a fight by having a hard shell while only having moderate damage capabilities, while ships like the Dominix and the Armageddon, which can rely on remote drones to deal damage rather than their own weapons, can afford to dedicate more power and resources towards defensive modules. Some of these designs are even used as "bait ships" - ships that have tremendous damage-soaking ability in exchange for being ponderously slow and practically toothless, but still retaining the ability to warp-scramble attackers (thus keeping them from fleeing). Of course, the whole point is to trick a group into attacking your nigh-invulnerable ship, then calling in your friends to ambush them.
- The recent patch to Mining Barges and Exhumers has transformed several mining ships into Stone Walls. While all Exhumers grant a 5% bonus to shield resistances per level of Mining Barge skill (which you need to have maxed out just to fly an Exhumer), the Skiff takes it one step further by also adding a 5% bonus to Shield Hitpoints per level of Mining Barge. It also has more mid-slots than any other Exhumer, and since it only has to equip one mining laser, has the most extra CPU and Powergrid for fitting shield modules. This allows the Skiff to fit a buffer tank that can exceed 90,000 effective hitpoints. However, since it is a mining ship, it has poor handling and virtually no offensive capabilities other than drones.
- Paragons in Guild Wars. Warriors are loaded with defensive skills, but their offense is at least halfway decent. Paragons, however, have armor that's on par with a warrior, can carry a shield for extra defense, and are absolutely packed with defensive skills and partywide defensive buffs. Killing a Paragon who knows what he's doing is an exercise in frustration. They aren't very dangerous though, and their offense is mildly annoying at best.
- In Phantasy Star Online, the RAcaseal has the highest Defense, second-to-highest HP, and pretty high Evasion. The result of this is being a godly tank. However, their damage output is nothing to write home about....
- The Ice School in Wizard101 is the only class that can equip gear with resistance to all attacks other than crowns gear. Even though later gear allows other schools to equip similar gear ice still has the best resistance. Also ice has the weakest attack spells and many defense-based spells and can even steal defensive charms and slow healing effects from enemies.
- AceOnline has the M-Gear. It shtick is stacking as much defense as it can to wither enemy attacks. A properly leveled M-Gear can hold off an attack by as many as thirty assailants at once without so much as breaking a sweat. Its crushing lack of attack power though, is more of an annoyance when level grinding, because enemy mobs give paltry amounts of EXP that killing many of them quickly is the only way to effectively level up.
- Super Mario Bros. 3: The Tanuki suit has a mode that turns Mario to stone. You can't be hurt, but you can't jump on enemiesnote or use the tail-swat attack.
- Olaf of The Lost Vikings is a very basic example of the Shielding variety (with an actual shield, no less!). He can't attack at all, but he can block any attack. Simply place him in front of an enemy to absorb all of its attacks while Baleog takes it out.
- Command & Conquer::
- In Command & Conquer 1 and Red Alert 1 games, the Armored Personnel Carrier has heavy armor, but only a light machine gun. Though it is meant to carry troops around the field, it is almost always used as a stone wall unit.
- In Red Alert 2, the war miner, though mainly a resource harvester, is armed with a small machine gun, but has enough armor to defeat tanks on a one-on-one battle. Same with the slave miner in the Yuri's Revenge expansion pack. Also in the YR expansion, the Allies have access to the Battle Fortress, which is the the most heavily-armored unit in the game and is armed with a light machine gun, though it can be garrisoned with five infantry, who can shoot out of the vehicle, making it one of the best units in terms of armor and firepower, hence turning it into a Mighty Glacier when fully loaded.
- The Allied Assault Destroyer in Red Alert 3 is heavy, slow, and packs a not-terribly-impressive gun for its cost. However, it has impressive armor to begin with, and its special ability both increases its durability and redirects projectiles from nearby allied units to the destroyer, at the cost of not being able to shoot at all. (It can, however, still crush things, including many light vehicles.)
- Netstorm has several towers whose only function is to absorb the enemy shots, with no attack whatsoever. Technically, any building would suffice, but the towers automatically switch the attention to themselves and usually have higher HP. The Bulwark takes the trope Up to Eleven (and the price is appropriate).
- This is how Sins Of The Prophets implements the Halcyon-class (not to be confused with the Autumn-class pioneered by the Pillar of Autumn) - it has pathetic firepower for how late it is available, but it has almost capital ship-level durability.
- The British Commonwealth from Company of Heroes can be best summed as the Stone Wall. Their abilities allow you to create trenches, emplacements, and provide defensive buffs. For an example of units, the Royal Engineer's Churchill tank can be their best example. While they're sluggish and have a weak cannon, they're well-armored on all sides that reduces penetration.
- The basic Protoss Zealot in StarCraft and its sequel is like this overall in the grand scheme of things. Their 16-damage note attack combined with a total 160 (150 in StarCraft 2) Hit Points may look intimidating, but the attack has a moderate "cooldown", and is actually two 8-damage attacks note (one Laser Sword on each arm) meaning that armor is applied twice to their attack. This weakness is obvious when fighting Ultralisks who have up to 6 armor points with upgrades.
- As the game progresses, Zealots can have their walking speed doubled, allowing them to lead the charge with an army and draw respectable amounts of enemy fire. The 100 minerals each Zealot costs is a nice bargain for the damage each one can soak up. (Compare with the Zerg and Terran basic infantry units. Each purchase is 50 minerals and they are more like glass cannons).
- The Dwarfs in Total War: Warhammer have a vast variety of heavily-armoured melee troops backed up with devastating crossbows, gunners, cannons and even flamethrowers. However, they have no cavalry at all and their infantry are extremly slow, the only exception being the completely unarmoured and vulnerable Slayers. Strategically speaking the Dwarfs are poorly suited to chasing down and outmanoeuvring the enemy and instead are better off holding their ground and daring the enemy to come to them.
- In Patapon 3 Guardira class and Slogturtle have weak attacks, but they hold a massive shield which blocks most of the attacks and helps to cover the other units near them.
- In Ancient Domains of Mystery, the Ancient Stone Beast is an example of this. Though it's the boss of the Earth Temple, it deals far far less damage than its slaves, the earth elementals and stone grues. Being a Stone Wall, it has a PV note of 60, and over 1k HP.
- 100 Rogues has the White Knight monster class. While upgrading a certain skill makes its damage output better, almost its entire skill tree is dedicated to making it tougher than before.
- One of the challenges in The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth turns you into one of these. You do subpar damage and you're pitifully slow, but you start off with seven red heart containers note as well as a mask that can sometimes nullify shots from the front. This can be brought Up to Eleven by gaining even more heart containers as well as using protection orbitals (such as the Big Fan).
- The Sentinel role in Final Fantasy XIII is a prime example of this. Sentinels are unable to directly attack enemies, but can taunt enemies to target them and possess exceptionally high defense and hit points.
- The Paladin class of Dragon Quest IX are this trope. Their attack is merely passable, but ye God is their defense high. Past level 45 they'll only take Scratch Damage from physical attacks, and if you teach them the shield skill Magic Mirror they'll be completely immune to magical attacks, which means if you use their Forbearance ability— which takes damage for the entire party— your adventuring party is nigh-untouchable. Even before they learn all those high level abilities they're exceptionally useful since they learn the defense-boosting Kabuff spell and magic defense-boosting Magic Barrier spell at fairly low levels. They are defensive beasts.
- Many, many Pokémon, in varying degrees - not only between offense and defense, but the game's special and physical attack classifications.
- Perhaps the most extreme example of this trope in the entire series is Shuckle, a Bug/Rock type Pokémon that not only has the highest Defense and Special Defense stats of out of any Pokémon in the game, but also sports some of the lowest HP, Attack, Special Attack, and Speed.
- A good example is Umbreon, which is unusual for a Dark-type. Both of its Defense and Special Defense are incredibly high and it has very good HP as well, but its offensive stats are low. It does learn Foul Play, a move that used the target's Attack stat to deal damage.
- The best-known example is Blissey, who has absurdly high Hit Points (the highest in the game, in fact, with a maximum of 714 points) and Special Defense, as well as healing moves. The item Leftovers, which heals 1/16 of the holder's maximum HP each turn, is incredibly effective here, as well as the move Softboiled, which restores up to 50% of the user's maximum HP. Even with her abysmal Defense stat, Blissey's enormous HP allows her to take a few physical move. And forget about status moves - not only can Blissey heal them with Heal Bell or Aromatherapy, her ability Natural Cure removes any status when she switches out. Finally, the moves Double Team and Minimize, which increase the user's evasiveness, can compound Blissey's defensive strategy even further and make her even harder to hit. Her stellar defenses come at the cost of Speed and Attack, with Speed being a paltry 55 and Attack being 10, which is one of the lowest stats in the game. Her special attack is a relatively impressive 75 (this is only impressive compared to her Attack, as 75 is still fairly low for a Pokemon's highest attack stat).
- Wobbuffet has an absudly high HP, but it cannot attack by itself. It has to rely on taking attacks and retaliates with either Counter and Mirror Coat. Since Wobbuffet has Shadow Tag, which prevents the opponent to switch out, it is very risky to attack it. A Mirror Match was impossible to win in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, since no player can switch out and they cannot attack. This was rectified in future generations so if two Pokémon with Shadow Tag were to face each other in battle, they can switch out freely.
- If you're playing Pokémon Colosseum, you start with a Glass Cannon and a Stone Wall in your party. Umbreon is the latter, and is hugely underrated in this role. It has high Defense and Special Defense, and makes up for its low Attack and Speed with its use of status effects.
- Aegislash: Its Shield Form and signature move 'King's Shield' possess such extreme defensive properties that even legendary Pokemon have a hard time fighting it, but the Shield Form has awful offensive stats, which isn't needed because Aegislash will change into Blade Form whenever it uses any attacking moves.
- Bastiodon: Its defenses are both incredibly high, and its offensive stats are both very low, though it has access to one move that gives it some offensive capability, Metal Burst, a counter-attacking move. It does have two double weaknesses, to Fighting and Ground, but it has the ability Sturdy, meaning it can't be knocked out with one hit.
- Skies of Arcadia:
- Gregorio is known as old Iron Wall, sporting a massive shield, although we never see him fight. His fleet sports high defense and is often more reserved when it comes to firing the cannons, saving up for ram attacks.
- Then there is the boss fight in Yafutoma where the player must fight against a literal turtle, which has a high defense count already but also has a special skill that renders all attacks down to 1HP damage and allows it to heal every turn. The only saving grace is that it can't attack in this form allowing you to focus on gaining SP to perform your own special attacks when his defense drops.
- This is the default strategy for Peco in Breath of Fire 3. He has the highest natural HP and second highest natural Defense totals in the game, with average attack and low magic. Oh, and he recovers about 5% of his max HP every combat round. So he's already very difficult to kill, and most people will apprentice him to Fahl (who gives the best level up gains for, as you might guess, HP and Defense), making him Nigh Invulnerable. The fact that Peco starts at level 1 and can therefore give himself the aforementioned level up gains right off the bat helps a lot.
- Though he's generally better off being played as a Lightning Bruiser with a little less lightning, it is possible and in some cases advisable to play Paladin!Cecil from Final Fantasy IV as a shielding/turtling Stone Wall in the somewhat-more-customizable DS remake. Start with his already excellent defense and HP stats, give him some Infinity Plus Or Minus One Armor (which generally only he can equip), and give him an ability set including Draw Attacks, HP+50%, and Brace. Draw Attacks means that every monster with a single-character-hit move will use it on him instead of the other, less-well-defended characters, HP+50% is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and Brace, when active, reduces all incoming damage by 75%. For the remaining slot, you can stick him with White Magic, which allows him to cast buffs on himself and heal the damage the takes. As if this wasn't enough, you can also stick him in the back row, which will reduce his offensive output but will also even further reduce the damage he takes. Combine all of these and the man is Nigh Invulnerable, which can be quite useful as that game can be Nintendo Hard, especially in the endgame or bonus areas.
- Sword-and-shield Warriors in the Dragon Age series typically lean towards this, focusing on abilities that deflect damage rather than dish out the hurt.
- Shale, the DLC party member from Dragon Age: Origins, is one when using Stoneheart, which eschews offense for effective Turtler/Shielder abilities instead.
- The Arcane Warrior class, a heavy-armor-wearing mage/tank hybrid. Their abilities allow them to either nullify or greatly reduce all damage, and they have access to any regular mage spell, such as heals and crowd control. If built correctly, they can resist all spells, as well. Add poultices into this for when mana gets low, and the Arcane Warrior can be nearly invincible. The only catch is their abilities use so much mana that all they can really do is auto-attack and occasionally heal, making battles take a long time.
- Etrian Odyssey:
- The Protector class for the first two games. While their offense will sometimes be the weakest of the front row, most Protectors will simply laugh at hits that would have overkilled other characters a few levels higher than they. They have skills that further increase their/ally's defense, attract enemy attacks towards themselves, resurrect themselves automatically once per battle, take hits for other, squishier units, and nullify, to add insult to (non)injury, physical attacks.
- The third game has the Hoplite, which has a major focus on defense. Most of their skill tree is dedicated to improving their ability to take hits, shield others, recover from damage or status effects, and even nullifying damage. If you subclass into Ninja and put a focus on the evasion tree to learn how to dodge, you get something that's incredibly hard to kill. Unfortunately, because all your skill points are bound up in defense and avoidance, the character is reduced to Cherry Tapping when they do attack.
- In Super Mario RPG, the Lazy Shell armor turns any character into a Stone Wall, causing their Defense and Special Defense stats to skyrocket but dropping their Attack and Special Attack. Equipped on Toadstool, it can make a party nearly unstoppable.
- Paper Mario has the Stone Cap item. This will turn Mario to stone for a few turns, during which he can neither attack nor take damage. However, his partner can still act, making this a Game Breaker in many situations.
- Luigi is this in the Mario & Luigi series, in contrast to his brother, who is a Glass Cannon. Luigi by default has higher HP and Defense, as well as a higher jump that allows him to dodge enemy attacks with more ease, but his damage output tends to be lower than Mario's.
- Jimmy's Revolting Blob form in Jimmy And The Pulsating Mass. It suffers a penalty to offensive stats and it has no direct offensive skills, but it gains defensive bonuses and can provoke enemies to draw attacks.
- MechWarrior Living Legends has the Hephaestus (also known as "Hepatitis") hovercraft. It has pathetic weapons, it's very fast and has the armor of a 60 ton main battle tank, making it one of the most infuriating vehicles to fight - the player in the Hepatitis can simply spin around the enemy slowly whittling them down while laughing off most damage. Prior to its buff in the final update, the Bushwacker "Prime" was a stone wall to such an extent that in a 8 on 8 scrimmage composed solely of Bushwacker Primes, the mission timer ran out before the two teams could kill even half of each other; the Bushwacker chassis has an amazing amount of armor and speed for its mass, but the Prime had absolutely pathetic DPS that depended entirely on Scrappy Weapon with terrible ammo economy backed up by missiles with an Arbitrary Minimum Range.
- Stephanie Morgan in the Backyard Sports series has amazing defense in every game because of her experience at shortstop. Her offensive abilities are terrible.
- The Terminator Trolz and the Vile Vulgars in Mutant League Football. The Trolz' defense is elite, but their offense advances the ball slowly. The Vulgars' weak offense struggles to gain ground, and usually they can only score off fumble recoveries caused by their brutal run defense.
- Defensive characters in Mario Strikers such as Waluigi are very fast and have excellent tackling skills, but tend to struggle at scoring because of low shooting power.
- 2020 Super Baseball
- The Tropical Girls. They excel at fielding due to great speed and agility, which makes them tough to score on. However, they don't score much themselves due to (for the most part) weak hitting.
- The Ninja Blacksox are one of the least powerful/efficient teams in the game both at the plate and on the mound. What offense they have is carried primarily by blisteringly fast baserunning and a couple of decent batters, but with top-line fielding they don't have to score many runs to come out on top.
- In House of the Dead, fat zombies tend to fulfill this role; they usually don't do any more damage than their skinnier counterparts do (occasionally less, because they don't hit as many times as a skinnier zombie would before you put them down), but they can also usually take more shots. In House of the Dead 2, a hefty zombie can take an entire clip or more of handgun bullets to the torso before dying.
- Ashley's Armor alternate costume from Resident Evil 4 has her be completely invulnerable to any damage, and she can not be picked up by enemies and carried away other than when the plot calls for it. She cannot do any damage to anyone except for when you are playing as her and use the lamps.
- In Five Nights at Freddy's, your only defense against the antagonistic animatronics are two steel doors on either side of your office. Unfortunately, you can't just leave both doors shut all night: they drain power needed to survive the night. Also, on later levels, turtling increases the chance of Freddy simply teleporting into the room and murdering you.
- Plants vs. Zombies:
- The Wall-nut, Tall-nut and Pumpkin of the shielding variety. These plants solely exist to do nothing but take damage for your easily-killed attackers as well as impede the zombies' advance, having no offense of their own. However, all three plants sure do a good job at it. In the sequel, using Plant Food on either of these takes their durability Up to Eleven.
- The sequel introduces the Infi-nut. It has slightly less durability than a Wall-Nut but it can instantly regenerate itself to full health periodically, as long as its projector exists. Using Plant Food on it will make it project a force field that shields the entire row from zombies.
- Being an expy of Plants Vs Zombies, Mini Robot Wars has the Shielder (who functions similarly to the Wall-Nut) and the Warrior (like the shielder, except that he has a weak attack).
- In Battle for Wesnoth, the Dwarvish Guardsman line has pretty poor attacks, but good resistances and an ability that doubles their resistances on defense. User-created content provides an even more extreme example: the Steppe Shieldbearer line from the Extended Era is unable to initiate combat, but has very high resistances.
- Fire Emblem:
- The Dragon Laguz are probably the closest thing that Fire Emblem has to a Stone Wall; their breath weapon doesn't impress, but they have a frickton of HP and aren't so much as tickled by anything other than Thunder magic.
- It's also common practice to strip the Crutch Character or the Mighty Glacier of their weapons so that they can draw enemies to attack them for little to no damage without killing them with a counterattack, making them function as literal walls and nothing else.
- Marty of Fire Emblem Thracia 776 has very low accuracy and speed growth thus making it unlikely for him to hit. You'll often mistake him for an example of Muscles Are Meaningless until you look at his incredibly high constitution, HP, and defense growth. These traits make Marty ideal for rescuing and capturing.
- Knights from Soul Nomadandthe World Eaters. They struggle to do any decent damage in battle owing to their mediocre attack stat and low accuracy, but they make fine shields for squishier characters like Pyremages and Archers. They work even better in groups of three, when they'll occasionally cast a pre-combat buffer that boosts their entire squad's Defense by 20%.
- Although a party game with several mini games in it, Mario Party 3 has Whomp in Duel Mode, whose main purpose is to protect the main player with his good defense and requires a salary of 3 coins for each turn. However, he cannot attack the main opponent or his/her partners when they are in front.
- Civilization V has a few of these. Due to how it is possible to win a game peacefully, without going to war with other people, the stone walls in this game are very good for winning a peaceful victory while deterring anyone who tries to invade.
- Korea. It has two unique units that nobody else has access to. First is the Hwacha, a replacement for the Trebuchet that is about 62% more powerful than the Trebuchet, but lacks an offensive bonus against cities, making it excellent for defending but not that great at bombarding enemy cities. The other is the Turtle Ship, which replaces the Caravel. It has about 55% more combat strength than the Caravel, but it is unable to travel into deep oceans. Similar to the Hwacha, it is great for defending your own coastline, but not very good at going on the offensive.
- Ethiopia. If someone else has more cities than Ethiopia, all Ethiopian units get a 20% combat bonus against them. Their special unit, the Mehal Sefari, which replaces the Rifleman, only increases this, as it can get up to a 30% combat boost the closer it is to the capital. And these stack, giving Ethiopia up to a 50% combat bonus while defending, making them very hard for some big bully to take down. However, the very same bonuses that make them so strong defensively also make them suck on offence; the Mehal Sefari's boost stops working when travelling to attack far-off cities and, as Ethiopia conquers enemy cities, it will eventually have more cities than the enemy, thus disabling that other bonus too.
- Babylon. Its Unique Building, Walls of Babylon, provides a larger bonus to city strength and HP than normal Walls, but does nothing for offence. While its Unique Unit, the Bowman, is stronger than the normal Archer, it obsoletes quickly. Thus, Babylon is hard to invade, but has no edge over anyone else offensively.
- Push cards and Sgt. Blok in Calculords. Push units can push enemy advances back and usually have high HP, but little to no offensive power. This doesn't mean they aren't threatening, since any units pushed back to their base are destroyed automatically. Many push units also possess armor that protects them from damage below a certain threshold. Sgt. Blok is an enemy commander who makes extensive use of push cards, to the point of having very few attack cards in his deck. His cards often have armor, as well, making his advances hard to stop.
- The Sentinel class in Wild ARMs XF. They have a strong natural defense and armors that solely focuses on defense, but they're the weakest in terms of physical power when compared with other physical based classes. Their designated weapons also do not provide much attack power when compared with other classes' weapons.
- Telepath Tactics:
- Spearmen. They lack the extra-powerful single-target attacks of other melee classes, and they have fewer counterattacks, but they have a boatload of health and can use the best defensive equipment. They even get an ability that makes them more likely to be attacked upon promotion.
- Cavaliers, too. Though they're a lot weaker than other melee classes, they have a ton of health and can wear the best armor.
- In Nectaris, the M-77 Trigger mine has the same attacking and movement potential of a literal stone wall (i.e. none whatsoever). However, for gameplay purposes, it is a proper unit that, like other units, can be supported by other adjacent allied units (including other mines), and can gain experience from successfully defending against attacks, which commonly happens since it's tied with the Giant for best defense in the game.
- The Alien from the Web Game Immor Tall cannot attack, but can take damage from the enemy soldiers and prevent the family from getting killed. Unfortunately, there is a limit to that, and he dies after the final attack on the family.
- 100% Orange Juice: Fernet may have lowered attack and evasion (-1 and -2 respectively) but her 6 HP and +2 Defense means she can easily tank damage. On maps with regeneration effects she shines.
- In Meteos, Arod functions in this way. Meteos is a Falling Blocks puzzle game where each civilization has different physics. Arod is the one with the weakest gravity, so blocks fall slowly and are cleared slowly. In multiplayer, this creates the effect of Arod being slow to attack with garbage blocks, and when it does, it doesn't usually hit that hard. However, the slowness also means attacks from opponents come slowly, allowing the Arod player ample time to defend and withstand those attacks. Arod wins matches by sheer endurance, waiting for the opponent to slip up and destroy themselves.
- Phil from Yosh!! He has an amazing ability to recover from injuries and Anti-Magic, but doesn't actually know how to fight.
- Achilles from Grrl Power. His only superpower is that he's invincible. The 'can shrug off attacks that would destroy matter on the subatomic level' kind of invincible. He is functionally super strong as well (his invincibility allows him to use his muscles with more strength than a normal human could without injury) but it's nothing impressive compared to people with real super strength.
- In the Simpsons episode "The Homer They Fall", Homer is revealed to be a Stone Wall, with Dr. Hibbert noting that his brain has a fluid cushion around it that acts like a football helmet. He can withstand constant blows from his boxing opponents, but is a very weak fighter. He wins fights only by waiting for his opponents to become exhausted, and then pushing them over. However upon confronting Drederick Tatum this tactic fails as the Tyson Expy is heavyweight champion, and easily capable of hitting hard enough to knock out Homer.
- The titular character of ''Steven Universe has the power to create shields both of the weapon and bubble variety that, combined, can withstand even the strongest Gem weaponry. Unfortunately, he does not have any meaningful offensive abilities, so his teammates must end fights for him.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, waterbending is a primarily defensive art. Waterbenders do not have the more typically aggressive offensive moves, instead focusing on redirecting their opponents' moves away from themselves, and most of their offense comes from their defense by turning their opponents' energy against them.
- In the context of the Hundred Years War, the Northern Water Tribe was also this as a whole. As Zhao pointed out, they were able to survive a hundred years of war as the landscape itself was an icy fortress. However, they lacked the ability or resources to mount any offensive campaigns against the Fire Nation.
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- Achilles from Fate/Nuovo Guerra is Nigh Invulnerable (save the Achilles' Heel), has a mystical shield, and possesses high speed. Her spear, on the other hand, is nothing special outside a curse that creates unhealing wounds, and though her strength is superior, it's nothing special compared to other heroic spirits like Mordred and Uther.
- Ellis Nineveh from the Fire Emblem original universe Skylessia's first generation is a waifish young man so physically unimpressive that even at 3rd Tier, he is incapable of lifting a Battle Axe. He is also such a Determinator that when a demon rips his dominant arm from his body, he gets back up and beats said demon to death with it.
- Although Stonewall Jackson himself doesn't really fit this trope, another American Civil War officer, George Henry Thomas, certainly does. Fighting for the Union, Thomas became known quickly as a great defensive general. His Crowning Moment of Awesome was the Battle of Chickamauga, where, after his superiors bungled their battle strategy and caused a disaster that lost the army (which was already outnumbered by 10,000 men) a full third of its strength, Thomas rallied the remaining troops into a stiff defensive position and fought off wave after wave of Confederate attacks. This gave Thomas his famous monicker "The Rock of Chickamauga". Later, his methodical mindset became an irritant with his superiors. General Grant once complained, "There is no better man to repel an attack than Thomas, but I fear he is too cautious to take the initiative.” He wasn't so much cautious as methodical - you could maneuver around him fairly well, but you attacked him at your great peril.
- Joe Grim could barely box like a true professional, but could take a beating from nearly any boxer. In fact, he won his matches by letting his opponents wail away at him until they get too exhausted to fight any longer & punching them out with all his might. Research also showed that his skull was twice as thick around the brain as an average human skull.
- Similarly, Seanbaby describes MMA fighter Kazuyuki Fujita as one of these, noting that his sole fighting assets were "a clumsy takedown and a forcefield where his brain's reflexes should be."
- Chiselers in table tennis are players who solely play defense, whittling down their opponent's bodies or psyches. A famous match between two world-famous chiselers (Alex Ehrlich and Paneth Farcas) lasted two hours and twelve minutes before the very first point was scored, and that was because Farcas's arm had locked up. The referee had to be replaced part way through, as his neck began to lock up. The match led to table tennis receiving a time limit of twenty minutes.
- Canadian boxer George Chevalo, was famous for his ability to take a beating from anybody. He stayed in the ring with the likes of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman, and was never knocked out, but rarely ever hit back. After his match against Ali, which he lost on points, Chevalo joked that "Sure, I lost the match. But afterwards, I went out dancing with my wife, and Ali went to the hospital."
- Israel's Masada is a literal example of this, being a fortress built atop a towering mesa. No projectiles could come close to reaching the top, and it took a 30-foot high rampnote for the Romans' battering ram to reach it. Unfortunately, the occupants of the fortress lacked the manpower and weaponry to fend off the Roman forces when they finally reached the top.
- The M4A3E2 "Jumbo" Sherman of World War II actually had a smaller gun (75mm) than the standard M4A3E8note (76mm), but had significantly more armor plating. It was slower and had offroad treads. It was used to deal with bunkers and fortified positions, supporting infantry as they pushed inland out of the beachheads during the initial stages of the Normandy invasion.
- British tank doctrine during World War II had two main types of tank: "Cruiser" tanks, which operated as mechanized cavalry and often fell into Fragile Speedster, borderline Lightning Bruiser territory, and "Infantry" tanks which, as the name suggests, were designed to provide support for infantry and were more centered around this dynamic. The Churchill tank had even more armor than the famous Tiger I and all but the biggest German guns had trouble disabling it, but it's own main gun was rather underpowered and inadequate to deal with other armored threats, and it may have been slow, but due to its design being made it was slow everywhere, able to traverse mud, trenches and other nasty terrain that would've stumped most other tanks.
- In Association Football, some teams or managers put defense above all things, a tactic known in Italian as Catenaccio (literally "door bolt"). Another common term, coined by former Chelsea coach José Mourinho, is "parking the bus" for the occasions where everyone is put in front of the goal. Prevalent national teams that follow(ed) this are Switzerland - the "Catenaccio" was even first known as "Swiss Bolt"; in The World Cup in 2006, they were eliminated without conceding a single goal in four games - and Ireland - in 3 World Cups, tied 8 out of 13 games, scored and conceded 10 goals, only once scored more than one goal, and highest amount against was 2.
- Switzerland has traditionally adopted this as its military style. They remain famously neutral, never going on offense - but to this day, it remains one of the most strongly fortified countries on earth. Their military capabilities are almost entirely focused on defending against invasion, so while they could never have invaded their neighbors, they've also remained uninvaded themselves - a claim their more powerful neighbors cannot make.
- The famous Il-2 Sturmovik, was nicknamed the Flying Tank because it had steel armour protecting the cockpit, engine, fuel tanks and other vital parts from enemy AA-guns and a rear gunner to keep away enemy fighters. The payoff was that it had a much lower speed than lighter armoured single seat ground attack planes like the P-47 Thunderbolt and Hawker Typhoon as well as a much smaller payload in bombs and rockets. Most attack planes since have been FragileSpeedsters with few exceptions like the A-10 Warthog and the Su 25 Frogfoot.
- In American Football there is a common saying "Offense wins hearts, Defense wins championships" - needless to say, many teams have made and won the Super Bowl with a crummy or average offense (and a no-name Quarterback) but a good Defense. Names like "Steel Curtain" or "Big Blue Wrecking Crew" have been coined to collectively describe those defensive units.