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- The Lyrical Nanoha series revels in this trope:
- The original series had Yuuno supporting Nanoha's firepower with shields, healing, and binding spells. Fate's Arf would be this but she also packed quite a bit of a punch.
- In A's, Shamal (and, to a lesser degree, Zafira with his defensive spells) handled healing, recovery and transportation for the Wolkenritter, while Yuuno reprized his role for Team Nanoha.
- In StrikerS, this was the official duty of Caro for Lightning Team, thanks to her specialization in augmentation and summoning magic. Ditto Teana for the StarS team, though she was mainly "shoot anyone who tries to flank the fighters" kind of support. Also, at least one third of the Numbers were supporting types (especially Otto with her stealth, anti-materiel, and restraining powers).
- Multiple members of the main Ala Alba group in Mahou Sensei Negima! don't actually have any combat powers and a few who do aren't actually part of the group for that reason. For example, Nodoka and Asakura have two different forms of spying artifacts while Yue is a mage, but mostly valuable because of how methodical and prepared her personality is on top of having an artifact that can teach her anything about magic or magical society, even classified information, so long as she knows what she's looking for.
- Darker Than Black: Mao and Yin can count as that in Hei's team, as they both provide survey. In November 11's team July provides survey; April, while her power has good offensive purposes, she supports November by summoning rain he can freeze, since it's much more effective that way.
- Borderline example: Sailor Mercury in the first season of Sailor Moon. Her "bubble spray" attack was used to stun and disorient enemies, and her only other power was an Everything Sensor visor. She finally got some offensive attacks in the later seasons. She has attacks, but they are entirely non lethal, compared to her teammates'.
- Lampshaded in Puni Puni Poemi: When the Aasu sisters try to defeat the Humongous Mecha that's destroying the city, they quickly realize that all seven of them are Support Party Members with no offensive powers.
- Pretty Cure franchise:
- Futari wa Pretty Cure MaX Heart has the new heroine, Shiny Luminous, whose powers revolve entirely around hampering enemies and enhancing Cure Black and Cure White's attacks. Despite having Super Strength like all other main characters in the whole franchise, Luminous never throw punches or kicks.
- Doki Doki Pretty Cure has Alice Yotsuba, an Ojou who initially offered to use her family's obscene wealth and influence to support her friends' superhero team as a "manager". When she ends up joining the team herself as Cure Rosetta, her "Finishing Move" instead takes the form of a shield, but she makes up for her low magical firepower with great martial arts skills. Later in the series, Alice's butler Sebastian mostly takes over her "do things with money" role while also helping out by transporting the team around or evacuating civilians. Still later, Joe begins to assist the team as a secondary combatant - while much slower than the Precures, and lacking any way to inflict significant damage to monsters, his magic sword and armor make him sturdy enough to help out by harassing and delaying enemies.
- In Digimon Frontier, Takuya and Koji's final power-up is created by borrowing the powers of the others, and is soon needed in any serious fight, so the rest of the gang goes from actually fighting to simply powering up the two who have enough power to matter. This doesn't mean they're not just as active as before outside of combat, though.
- In World Trigger, operators, trappers and spotters have no combat ability, but their support is critical in winning battles. Operators act as Mission Control, trappers provide teleport ability among others to the team, while spotters allow snipers to shoot targets outside their line of sight.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, Anzu's Happy Lover has no attacks, but is able to heal its teammates.
- Fantastic Four, especially before Sue Storm Took a Level in Badass. All of the males on the team have powers with direct offensive use. Originally all Sue had was the ability to turn invisible. Later she gain forcefield projection (still an example of this trope), and even later she learned to use those offensively, making her in a certain irony the strongest and most versatile member of the team.
- Several members of the X-Men. Forge, for example, is a technopath. Shadowcat can phase through solid matter. Cipher (not to be confused with Cypher, who is Back from the Dead now) can turn invisible. Gateway can open portals for the team.
- Subverted with Professor Xavier of course, who is a telepath AND in a wheelchair. So you'd expect him to be spectacularly useless in a fight. Except he can mind control you, screw with your brain and perceptions, and do all sorts of things to your mind. In fact, many early issues basically had the X-Men holding back the enemy long enough for Xavier to arrive. Once he was there, he could simply order the enemy to forget whatever he was doing.
- Several members of the Justice League of America, Like The Atom (who can shrink).
- The Guardian Project's heroes are all based on NHL teams. The Montreal Canadien's power is... magnifying the powers of the other Guardians.
- The Blue Lantern Corps is an interesting version. On their own, the Blue Lanterns have extremely limited powers (for a Lantern member, anyway). By pairing themselves with a Green Lantern, they actually accumulate more power than the Green is capable of, while simultaneously enhancing the Green's own power set.
- This is Hurdy's role in The Tainted Grimoire. He would like to be more than this though so he is taking steps in that direction.
- In the Discworld fics of A.A. Pessimal, Matron Igorina is the noncombatant medical support for the Assassins' Guild School. She gets lots of job satisfaction by working for certifiably sane (if professionally sociopathic) employers who sustain lots of professionally interesting injuries. She is often to be seen inobtrusively accompanying Licenced Assassins on missions where collateral damage to people (other than the client) can be repaired.
Films — Animated
- Violet of The Incredibles who has the same powers as the Invisible Woman.
Films — Live-Action
- Most of the future Hero support of Sky High (2005) fall either in this, or in What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?.
- TRON: Yori falls here. She has no combat ability (her mate handles that), nor is she a Physical God like Flynn. But she's the one who handled a lot of the planning, the diplomacy (convincing Dumont to assist), building and piloting the Cool Ship to get everyone to the BigBad's domain.
- Bhodi of Rogue One has basic (at best) Imperial military training and is a long-range cargo pilot (his actor explicitly calls him a "long haul trucker"), but it's his codes, shuttle, and piloting skills that get the Rogues in range of the Imperial archive.
- A rather sad example: Jadrek in Vows and Honor wanted to be this, and studied hard to be a good enough loremaster to be useful, but was crippled by rheumatism at a young age and wound up as Rethwellan's librarian. Once the plot shows up, he ends up being a supporting loremaster anyway.
- In Log Horizon, protagonist Shiroe's Enchanter class is unpopular because it's a Squishy Wizard with almost no offensive abilities, focusing instead on buffs, debuffs and party MP management (in a game where every other support class is a potential Combat Medic or Magic Knight). In other words Enchanters cannot accomplish anything by themselves, but act as a significant force multiplier for any party they join - something which strongly reflects both Shiroe's personality and the overall themes of the story.
Live Action Television
- In Power Rangers RPM, All the 5 core rangers have a special power given by their suits. Red can cause energy bursts, Blue can manipulate time, Yellow can also shoot energy (and read energy patterns), Green can teleport. Black, however, can give himself a few seconds of invulnerability, a purely defensive power. In breaking the mold, he's also The Big Guy.
- Phoebe from the earlier seasons of Charmed is another example who in the beginning could only receive premonitions so she learns martial arts to defend herself. Her Sister Prue had telekinesis and astral projection. Her sister Piper could freeze things and make things spontaneously combust.
- Micah Sanders of Heroes is a technopath.
- The Healer base class from Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. They work fine patching everyone up after a fight, but are almost completely useless during one.
- The Wizard in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 could do this. He could only memorize a very small selection of spells every day, but had access to a nearly endless choice. So it was entirely doable to not memorize any combat spell, and instead pick spells that buffed, or did all sorts of utilitarian uses like creating houses for the party to sleep in.
- Similarly the Bard, who has almost no attack spells, and whose songs are buffs
- Ditto the Artificer, who can make and mod magical items out of combat, but during a fight almost entirely depends on his sub-par combat skills unless he's really good at preparing for fights.
- A Smart or Charismatic Hero in D20 Modern. The former is an expert in all technical tasks, and can also make a plan prior to a dramatic encounter, granting a bonus up to +3 to attack rolls and skill checks for 3 rounds. The latter is the party negotiator, and can inspire his allies, granting them a +3 Morale bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saves for up to 6 rounds. These abilities stack.
- In an Urban Arcana setting, the smart hero can become a techno mage, but when it comes to damage, Muggles Do It Better. So a smart techno mage will take a lots of buffs.
- In an Agents of PSI settings (and even in Urban Arcana, depending on the GM), Charismatic heroes can become Telepaths, who are psionicists with lots of buffs and debuffs.
- In Shadowrun this can be the fate of many Hackers and Facemen, as their skills are best used for the mission outside of combat, where they are amongst the most useful party members. In a fight, they will pale compared to Street Samurais, Adepts and Mages.
- Normally, having a gun that shoots rocket propelled exploding cartridges would send one straight into Combat Medic, but in the Crapsack World of Warhammer 40,000, the Apothecary of Space Marine armies is taken for his ability to help comrades resist wounds. Likewise, the Imperial Guard army features special support personnel who can direct artillery from support units far away (IE: not actually in the game), coordinating "off-screen" fleet defenses, or even serve as psychic telephones. Inquisitional retinues include quite a few characters whose combat ability is a joke, but whose support ability varies from completely useless to almost useful. The Tau Empire features a priest class leader who in theory buffs the army's morale, but in practice is a high liability as his death causes most of the army to consider fleeing.
- A few of the characters in Arkham Horror are support characters: Minh, who gives boosts to all skill checks if she's with another investigator; Mandie, who lets anyone re-roll a skill check; and Patrice, who lets others spend her Clue Tokens.
- In X-Wing Miniatures, the HWK-290 has an embarrassingly low attack of 1 in a game where a twelve point Academy Pilot in a TIE Fighter is rolling three dice to defend (although a turret can improve this), but all of its named pilots have some kind of buff effect for friendly ships: Kyle Katarn can throw Focus tokens at people, Jan Ors can hand out bonus attack dice, and Roark Garnet spikes a friendly ship's Pilot Skill up to an absurd 12 (for comparison, Ace Pilots like Soontir Fel, Darth Vader, Poe Dameron, Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett tend to have Pilot Skills in the 8-9 range), meaning that the buffed ship will be virtually guaranteed to shoot first.
- Sentinels of the Multiverse has a few.
- Foremost is the Argent Adept, a magical bard whose powers and songs are usually best applied to other heroes, letting them play or draw cards out of turn or use powers. He has other songs to selectively heal, increase damage dealt and confer damage reduction on his party. When he's fully set up, he can amplify the number of actions the rest of the party can make.
- The Visionary specializes not in damage, but in predicting or otherwise controlling the villain by picking which cards come up next. She can also help her teammates draw, boost one's damage and mind-control an enemy unit to attack someone of her choosing.
- Despite having most of the powers of Superman, Legacy's deck is built around support, with his main power boosting everyone's damage by 1. His other cards stall the enemy, make the rest of the party invulnerable for a turn, or buff his defenses and let him draw fire away from his team. His one consistently damaging power has a side-effect of healing the group. One of his alternates, Greatest Legacy, has a power to heal one character and let them use a power out of turn.
- Infinity, due to the action system, is notable for being heavily focused on careful use of support. Common features of army lists include hackers to buff Remotes and provide defence and debuffing without actively shooting if they can avoid it, "cheerleader" light infantry to generate more actions and cut off enemy avenues of approach with reactive fire, field medics (especially in Haqqislam lists, where the doctors are very skilled), forward observers, and repair technicians, working to buff the handful of heavy hitters (heavy infantry, heavy weapons troops, TAGs) that are proactively flinging bullets at the enemy.
- Dead of Winter has a few of them:
- Eric Parker's unique special ability (do not roll a potential One-Hit Kill die if he's in a location) is powerful, but he can't take advantage of it himself, only other characters can. He still has great stats, so he's an effective character on his own, but he's more useful in a group.
- Huang Fen is a much straighter example. She's nigh-useless in a battle or for searching, and requires spending cards to move her. But if she shares a location with a character, they may draw an extra card per action.
- Because of how the Guild Wars skill and attribute system works, party members often specialize into specific roles, including support roles. The most common is probably monks or ritualists taking only healing and protection related skills.
- Most MMO's force players to specialize like that for harder content. Even tanks can be very ineffective fighters, though they don't fare nearly as badly as dedicated healers or or buffers can.
- Final Fantasy makes regular use of this trope: The white mage class in general is this. They only ever get Holy (their only attack spell) at very high level. Same for the bard, when present, who only provides buffs for the party members. As such, characters of these classes are examples of this.
- Minwu of Final Fantasy II
- Edward, Porom and Rosa of Final Fantasy IV
- Garnet (Before she got her summons) of Final Fantasy IX
- Yuna of Final Fantasy Xnote .
- Some other classes of Final Fantasy Tactics count too, like the Chemist and Orator.
- The Final Fantasy X-2 version of the White Mage class deserves mention because it has virtually no offensive options beyond the high-level Holy Hand Grenade — it doesn't even have a "Fight" command.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper has the literally named Support as one of its ability categories, and most parties are built using 3 DPS 1 Healer and 1 Support character. The Support character uses abilities which lower the boss's stats and generally have Soul Breaks which provide the party with buffs such as Haste, Regen, Attack/Magic increase, "Blinks" which negate a single attack, or Protect/Shell.
- The Cleric classes from Ogre Battle act as this, only healing the party. This in turn makes them some of the most valuable troops to have.
- They do have one other notable ability, though: they can instantly nuke almost any undead opponent, presumably because Revive Kills Zombie.
- Ninten from MOTHER 1 is unique to the series as a whole as he is the only character with PSI abilities that has no offensive PSI moves at all. Both Ness and Lucas from later games in the series have most of the same moves of Ninten but it is coupled with a powerful offensive PSI move PK Rockin' and PK Love respectfully. He has a powerful physical attack and good defense to compensate.
- Team Fortress 2 has the "Support" Classes, although they can fight, just not as well as the Attack and Defensive classes. The one which fits this trope best is The Medic, who focuses on healing, but the Sniper and Spy are effective for discretely taking out specific targets and breaking the enemy's ranks.
- In general, most players think of "Support" classes as the Medic, Pyro, and Engineer, the Medic being a source for healing, and buffs of all kinds, the Engineer's buildings act as a forward base, with quick resupplies as well as bringing people straight to the front lines with his teleporter, and the Pyro acting as both a Spy deterent, and knocking the enemy around (even when they're Invincible).
- Accordion Thieves from Kingdom of Loathing were initially this, being bards with a slightly different flavor. They had no combat skills, only buffs, and they can only have three of their buffs running at a time. Being a primarily single-player game, this made the class somewhat unpopular until later class revamps gave them a few offensive skills.
- Also, this applied to people choosing to permanently stay an Accordion Thief; due to the Metagame practically everybody still spent a good portion of their time as one in order to learn the songs (which could then be used as another class, albeit less efficiently). And the class naturally tends to become more relevant in the less single-player portions of the game, as in situations where the playerbase is already coordinating it's more practical to depend on an Accordion Thief to provide the buffs.
- Support characters are an important part of the League of Legends Metagame. They are typically paired up with your team's AD Carry, either protecting them or feeding them kills until they can become the late-game powerhouses they are meant to be.
- Most of the time, Supports play typically like you'd expect defensive characters to play. They sit back, keep their laning partner alive, leave all the minions for the partner to kill for gold an experience, and generally sit back and wait for the enemy to attack first in order to counter the attack. A lot of times, however, Supports can take an active and aggressive role in the laning phase of the game. Champions such as Blitzcrank, Leona, and Thresh thrive on initiating and fighting while waiting for the others on your team to show up and finish off the enemy victims.
- The entire Support class in XCOM: Enemy Unknown: with lower defenses and damage output than the other three classes, they are nonetheless critical to victory thanks to their abilities to heal other squad members and deploy smoke screens.
- In XCOM 2, the Specialist class fills in similarly to the Support class. With a few exceptions, the Specialist has almost no direct damage-dealing capabilities. Instead, the Specialist has a number of defensive and healing abilities, as well as options that let him or her more effectively hack security and disrupt (and even take control of) mechanized enemies.
- A codified element of modern Shin Megami Tensei: Persona games:
- In Persona 3, you have Fuuka Yamagishi, who has a more efficient Enemy Scan and several passive support skills that could help improve HP regeneration and dungeon exploration. Persona 4 has Rise Kujikawa, who initially functioned identically to Fuuka, but in Persona 4 Golden was upgraded to have more active (albeit randomized) combat skills, including the ability to No-Sell attacks on the entire party. By Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, both Fuuka and Rise were upgraded to have skills you could select mid-combat, with Fuuka focusing mostly on healing and status relief, and Rise focusing on more efficient combat and tactics.
- Persona 3 and Persona 4 also play with this a bit; each game begins with a different party member who starts off as strictly Mission Control (Mitsuru Kirijo in 3 and Teddie in 4), but is upgraded to combatant status after Fuuka/Rise takes their place.
- Persona 5 has Futaba Sakura, who is your first and only dedicated Support Party Member. She has a wide range of support abilities, including buffing the party's stats and mapping out a floor of Mementos, more of which unlock as you progress the protagonist's friendship with her.
- In Pokémon, Shuckle is all over this. It has amazing Defense and Special Defense, but absolutely crap Hitpoints, Attack, Special Attack, and Speed. However, several moves it can learn remedy this, though some are only effective in a double battle. They include Guard Splitnote , Power Splitnote , Helping Hand note , Safeguard note , Sticky Webnote , and Infestationnote . Unfortunately, Shuckle's ridiculously low speed and offensive power limit its effectiveness in this role.
- There are also some Pokemon who, simply put, are not meant to inflict huge damage on your opponents, but rather, make sure your other Pokémon can do the job that much better. The most obvious case is Alomomola, who has the Abilities Regenerator, Healer, and Hydration and the moves Helping Hand, Wide Guard, Wish, Healing Wish, and Heal Pulse. However, there are also Carbink, who can put up defensive screens and the game-changing Trick Room; Florges, who greatly boosts Grass-type partners' effectiveness and can give other Pokémon its Hold Item; and Beheeyem, who learns a lot of moves that restrict opposing Pokemon's options and, through Telepathy, is immune to its own partners' Splash Damage. That being said, these are best applied in double and triple battles.
- Male Meowstic and Klefki can come with the Prankster ability (Action Initiative for non-attacking moves) and a good amount of said non-attacking moves to support the team (Light Screen/Reflect, Rain Dance/Sunny Day, Quick Guard for Meowstic and Spikes for Klefki, etc).
- This is the job of the so-called "Baton Passer". These 'mons aren't even supposed to attack, but their job is to buff themselves up and then use the Baton Pass move to pass those moves to your big, mean sweepers. For example, Gorebyss can set up Aqua Ring (regenerates health), Agility (2-step Speed increase), Amnesia (2-step Special Defence increase), or Iron Defence (2-step Defence upgrade), possibly multiple uses of several, then disappear and pass them to a heavy hitter that is now virtually indestructible, while Ninjask can use Substitute, chain together a use or two of Swords Dance (2-step Attack increase) while its passive ability increases speed every round, and then vanish in favour of a pseudo-legendary that now has quite a large attack score and moves like lightning.
- The Engi and Zoltan crew in FTL: Faster Than Light. Engi deal lower damage and Zoltan have reduced health, making both a bad choice for direct fights. However, the former repairs ships faster due to their mechanical expertise while the latter provides extra bar of energy to the room they're in thanks to being Energy Beings, making both great at ship support during a battle.
- In Heroes of the Storm has Support class heroes that fill this role. Lili and Uther in particular are Combat Medic's. Lili focuses on healing allies and summoning minions to aid in combat. Uther is a bit more offensive, his abilities can both heal allies and damage enemies, with some being able to stun enemies for a second.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum, Light-based monsters, such as Happy Lover, tend to be frail but have unique abilities.
- Overwatch has Mercy, her primary role is healing allies, increasing their combat abilities, and resurrecting dead teammates. Her only offensive weapon is an energy pistol.
- In Steven Universe: Attack The Light, Steven doesn't have any attacks, leaving the fighting to Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl. However, he can use his abilities and items to buff, heal and defend the Gems.
- The Boomer from Left 4 Dead and its sequel is the only Special Infected that can't instantly disable survivors or deal a great amount of direct damage, but it does have the ability to cause Interface Screw and attract a horde to attack the survivors, very useful in helping the other Special Infected.
- Hope from Xenoblade Chronicles X, befitting her kind-to-a-fault nature, learns only a few direct attack Arts, and instead specializes in buffs and debuffs.
- The Fire Emblem series has the Dancer and Bard classes; post-Fire Emblem Jugdral, they are incapable of attacking enemies; instead, they can refresh units that have already acted, allowing them a second action in the same player phase. Clerics are at first limited to healing, buffing other units or debuffing the enemy, but upon their promotion to Bishops, they gain the ability to wield light magic.
- Resident Evil: Revelations 2: Moira supports Claire, Natalia supports Barry.
- Moira can dazzle enemies with her flashlight, making it easier for Claire to shoot them. She can also use the flashlight to find treasure, and her crowbar to break obstacles and even hit enemies.
- Natalia is a young child, but she can find treasure, and her Detect Evil sense is very handy.
- The player can choose to become this in South Park: The Fractured but Whole. Once they unlock enough classes, it's possible to pick only healing, cleansing, shield-granting, and/or aggro-drawing abilities. As far as party members go, Human Kite (Kyle) can buff allies with a shield as well as pulling them back with a heal while DLC character Henrietta has a buff and a heal that causes an explosion around the target that causes Life Drain.
- Despite being a fighting game, Dragon Ball FighterZ has a few characters that, while relatively weaker than the rest, make it up for it in other ways:
- Captain Ginyu's moveset is less than average (although he can summon the Ginyu Force to cover a decent area of the screen), but his Body Change, while difficult to land, allows you to steal the opponent's character and health, while said opponent is left with a nerfed Ginyu who cannot use the rest Ginyu Force nor Body Change itself. Due to the health bar's swapping, the deal is skewed even more in your favor if you happen to have much less health than your opponent (and Ginyu can voluntarily wound himself before attempting the switch).
- Krilin can throw Senzu Beans (which allows whoever catches them to instantly regenerate all the recoverable health) or rocks (which, while very weak, are quite fast and precise and can stun the opponent for an instant). He also has various tricks to trip up the opponent.
- Tien has two powerful and hard-to-avoid techniques that come at a great cost, and are usually reserved for dealing with the opponent's last (and usually strongest) character. "Neo Tri-Beam" is a giant beam that can be repeatedly spammed for massive damage if you have enough Ki and health to burn, while "Farewell, Tien..." has Chiaotzu grab the opponent from behind (which is unblockable, unlike the Neo Tri-Beam) and self-destructing.
- Yamcha's playstyle revolves around hitting the opponent with lots of fast attacks that don't do much damage, but build up lots of Ki that other characters can spend to use much more damaging moves. Additionally, he has one of (if not the) most reliable assist attacks in the entire game.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: Tuuri, the team's mechanic, scholar and translator. She's surrounded by three actual trained combatants, a medic who can make a half-decent Crowbar Combatant in a pinch and a Little Stowaway whose emerging mage powers promote to "can do exactly one thing that is useful in battle" in later chapters.
- The Order of the Stick has Elan, the party's Bard. He mostly focuses on buffs for the party based in his singing and some minor illusion and healing spells. Later he takes levels in Dashing Swordsman, which lets him substitute his Charisma (base 18 stat) for strength when attacking if he makes a pun, but still also takes levels in Bard sometimes for better healing abilities after someone dies because he didn't know a strong enough spell to cure poisoning. This comes in handy during the Empire of Blood arc, where his father's insistence of seeing Elan as the main hero is best thwarted by Elan maintaining a support role, and his healing skills become necessary later, since Durkon is compromised due to being possessed by a vampiric spirit, leaving Elan the primary healer.