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Two variations of The Scrappy specific to Video Games and/or Tabletop Games.
The first, often seen in fighting games, concerns the best characters getting hated not out of a hatedom but for being overused and/or downright difficult to defeat due to their high power, gameplay-wise; understandably, those two points get on a lot of people's nerves and tend to be favored by other people. Characters who are Difficult but Awesome tend to avoid this fate because they are hard to play well. A typical Tier Induced Scrappy is a high tier character with next to no learning curve.
The other, more common to RPGs, is a character who is widely hated because they just suck in gameplay terms. They might be the nicest person in the world, but if they're The Load in combat or gameplay, their fate is decided. A Low Tier Induced Scrappy has no Magikarp Power; they're bad from the start and there just doesn't seem to be any point in training them when there are other, more rewarding characters on hand.
Practically all characters you have to guard for an Escort Mission are like the second type.
Mario Kart Wii competitive play has a few choice characters being used above all others, namely Funky Kong, Rosalina, and Daisy, because they have slightly faster top speed. The average person not using any of these three generally loathes the sight of them.
Mario Kart DS has tiers in the karts. Karts with high acceleration tend to have better steering and drifting, along with mini turbos that last longer, than karts that are more about top speed. This is what makes snaking very common in online play and why people only use Dry Bones' kart to go a lot faster than normal.
Metal Mario in Mario Kart 7 has become an eyesore to many non-competitive players. Metal Mario has a great boosts in speed and weight. Because of his stats, Metal Mario is used in almost every Time Trial record and many online races, even though Bowser gives the exact same stats. Like with the example in Mario Kart Wii, many consider Metal Mario to be a cool character, but it may fall on deaf ears for people who are just sick of seeing him.
Shadow the Hedgehog is this in Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing. He has quick air tricks, fast boosts and wheelies. If he is in first, he stays in first. It doesn't help that items fired backwards home in on opponents. On the other hand, if he is stuck in a crowd, he'll probably not get far. Expect to see a lot of Shadow players online. (Considering Shadow is already a Base Breaker outside of the game, it's hilariously fitting.)
Forza 3 has all-wheel-drive cars absolutely dominating every single online race. Going into a C-class online race, and 7/8 players would be in either an Audi A5 or an Audi A4. Go up to S-class and everyone will be driving Dodge Vipers with AWD drivetrain swaps. The problem stems from the game's Performance Index system (which rates how fast a car should go around an imaginary track) greatly exaggerating the weight gain from an all-wheel-drive drivetrain, causing the PI number to drop dramatically when you swap in AWD, with almost no real loss to acceleration, top speed, or handling.
Forza 4 has more diversity in what cars dominate, but almost all of them are rear wheel drive due to AWD getting a massive nerf. RWD Honda Civics dominate most of the lower classes, because a glitch causes their PI to drop when a race transmission is installed, and the PI drops again when they're converted from FWD to RWD.
For many players of Burnout Paradise, the GT Nighthawk is this because it has the second-highest durability of any car in the game and yet is still rather quick, being a sports car at heart. This makes it the car of choice for trolls who like to ruin the fun by constantly driving into everybody, and a boost rating of 9/10 ensures that they'll be hard to catch.
In Brawl, Meta Knight was hated for not only having the most favorable matchups in the game, but having so many more favorable matchups than even the next runners-up, that he got an entire tier to himself. He was eventually banned from tournaments under the Unity ruleset. However, shortly afterwards, the Unity Ruleset Committee was phased out. Now whether or not Meta Knight is banned varies with the tournament.
Many Wind Wakerhaters were shocked to find out that Toon Link was actually of a higher tier than regular Link, causing some of them to refuse to believe this to be true and others to suddenly become part of the "Tiers are for queers" movement. Many of those people, of course, get very angry when someone actually beats them using Toon Link, especially when they were using regular Link. In short: Toon Link was The Scrappy for those people anyway, but the fact that he's of a high tier made it even worse.
This actually happened in Melee with Young Link, due to Young Link being faster, having fire arrows instead of regular ones, and less frame time on his moves than Adult Link. Needless to say, fans of Link from the first game were not amused about this.
Also on the list of "Scrappy Final Smashes" is the Landmaster, used by Fox, Falco, and Wolf, mostly because it can airlift players riding on top of it off the stage (which counts as a KO). When parked under a player when they're still recovering from the last KO, you can airlift them again and again for almost unlimited KO's for as long as the Landmaster holds out. And even if they escape the airlift cycle, they still have to contend with you steamrolling them off the edge or hitting them with your BFG. One well-played Landmaster can win the whole round. This is not at all helped by the fact that three characters have it as their Final Smash, leading to considerable hate from people who think Falco and Wolf deserved unique Final Smashes.
Sonic's Final Smash, Super Sonic. Apparently the developers assumed that he'd be too hard to control, but it's both much more maneuverable and powerful than the similarly controlled Volt Tackle. With a decent amount of skill, this Final Smash is impossible to dodge. In a 3 stock match, a well controlled Super Sonic is an easy two lives gone!
For Wii U/3DS manages to do a better job in the balance department and doesn't have huge standout examples like Meta Knight, but it still gets a specific variant. The main mode for playing competitive Smash online, "For Glory" mode, is always set to Final Destination or a variant thereof for the stage. Final Destination gives a huge advantage for characters with good ground games as there's no platforms for the opponent to be able to cover other approach options. Little Mac's entire gimmick revolves around his superior ground game. Because of this, people have a very hard time getting around his shenanigans online even if he's easier to deal with on stages like Battlefield and Yoshi's Island, so he ends up being the game's scapegoat. Though people are cutting Little Mac some slack since he has (probably) the worst recovery (very important in a game where Ring Out is how you actually win) and air-moves in the game.
In Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes, it's Cable getting slacked for his beam-happiness and perceived scrubbiness, being the easiest to use out of the four god tier characters. To put it in perspective, Storm, Sentinel, and Magneto got on the list by pure accident, whereas Cable was built with the intention of being an above average character, enjoying ridiculous priority and speed on almost all of his moves.
Karas gets this due to his insane rushdown game and easy slide infinite making him not a Fragile Speedster, but a fast Glass Cannon. Needless to say, he got nerfed for Ultimate All Stars. This just happened, however, only In America though. Japan has pretty much gotten over it since SBO 2009.
Sentinel. His super armor frustrates newer players, and he's also REALLY easy to pick up. It got so bad that he got a severe health nerf - and he was still hated. In Ultimate the hatred has died down quite a bit, being replaced by pity once most players realized how much Sentinel struggles against a wide variety of characters.
Wolverine used to be one of the best characters in the game. He's fast, nearly impossible to block, possesses a dive kick which starts a combo anywhere on hit, and does enough damage to kill an entire team in seconds. When Ultimate rolled around, many of his ridiculous stuff, such as his dive kick causing groundbounce while the opponent was on the ground was taken out, and he also got a new move to prevent mashing called Swiss Cheese, but he is still very powerful, and very much still despised.
Magneto retains this status from Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes. With his high mobility and priority, and especially powerful combos that involve loops which require high execution, it's no surprise that he is one of the best in the game. Ultimate made the timing on his loops stricter and even removed some, yet he is still very powerful. In a subversion, because of his high skill requirement, he isn't frowned upon too much.
None of these, except maybe Wolverine and Sentinel, can compare to the one character people have bitched about since day one, and still bitch about in Ultimate - Wesker. He has, to wit, some of the easiest combos in the game, some of the most high-priority normals in the game, a full-screen projectile normal (the Samurai Edge) that leads into his many, oft-annoying teleport shenanigans, an OTG version of said projectile normal that pops up the opponent for MORE easy combos, excellent speed, and excellent defense. Aside from Wolverine, Wesker is the perfect point character, and with the proper assists, he can easily obliterate many of his opponents' team members in about 10 seconds with just one combo. X-Factor makes him even worse because he is the only character post-patch with an infinite involving...you guessed it, his Samurai Edge. Wesker is so noob-friendly that he is actually the number 3 ranked most used character online, 2nd place being Sentinel and 1st being Dante. The changes listed for Ultimate nerfed his health to that of Ryu's...but he still has almost all of the same easy shit he had before, and more. That's right, Wesker was actually buffed for Ultimate.
Most hated among any of the changes in Ultimate is the fact that when Wesker's sunglasses come off, his already high damage and speed increase. All he has to do to take them off is use his Phantom Dance hyper (or alternatively, get beaten up to low health). After that, he can do up to 750,000 damage in a combo with no hyper, and he essentially gets a level 4 X-Factor when he's the last character, making comebacks with him even easier than before. Wesker has somewhat lost his reputation on account of Complacent Gaming Syndrome. A lot of people used Wesker, so others had to figure out how to beat him, and they did. Doesn't stop people from remembering the scars etched into their memories.
The new hated character of the month is Zero, who has already been proven to be far stronger and worse than Wesker. He has long range normals, quick mixups, and his infamous Lightning Loop attacks can drag combos on for way longer than intended, especially when he has an OTG assist like the aforementioned Wesker backing him up. What makes this worse is that even if Zero drops the lightning loops, he can continue attacking for an ambiguous mixup and start an even more damaging combo because it resets the damage scaling. Guess he didn't escape his fate.
Morrigan has been receiving this treatment, due to a new keepaway tactic developed with her. Basically, she can flight cancel her projectiles and fire a second projectile almost immediately after. Combined with her Astral Vision super, which creates a double of her on the other side of the screen that mimics her movements, this leads to insane keepaway. While this does take some skill to perform, it essentially fills the entire horizontal area with a truckload of projectiles in a span of a second. But you can just superjump over that right? wrong. Combined with assists that cover the air like Doom's Hidden Missiles or Strider's Vajra and it becomes literally impossible to even get close to Morrigan. Many tournament watching players also hate it when this tactic is used in tournaments as they find it incredibly boring to watch.
The real problem is the Hidden Missiles assist itself. It is an assist of Dr. Doom (a Tier Induced Scrappy in his own right thanks to his amazing combos and nice set of assists), and considered one of the more dangerous assists thanks to its ability to OTG, and combo breaking. While Morrigan is the central for the bullet hell tactics, it is Hidden Missiles that make the whole tactics work on a new level, while being an awesome assist in its own right.
Doom also comes with the unique ability to have insane pringles level combos when you hit a TAC. Unlike the other characters where they need to knock them down to the ground, Doom's attacks have the unique ability to bump them into the air, making it so that he can slowly combo them right back down to the ground. Along the way, both players get a ridiculous amount of meter, but by the end, Doom has 4 bars and the opponent can just be baited into a situation where they can be tagged. This has since become a staple of Doom players' repertoire, which is unusual because of how this is normally considered a styling combo. Of course the creator of the combo simply ups the ante by making up variations that can hit from any position that the TAC comes from. This alone was what launched Doom from being high tier to borderline god tier.
Vergil is considered this due to an extreme amount of Complacent Gaming Syndrome. Vergil is what happens when you combine the complexity and stamina of Zero with the speed of Wesker and the attack range of Dante. He has extremely good priority on all of his attacks, can teleport, and can set up extremely damaging loops and combos with his Spiral Swords super. He can be used on pretty much any position of any team. To truly master him, though, you need to have the right assists and be able to do his Round Trip loops which lead into Spiral Swords.
BlazBlue's Jin Kisaragi◊ — a proud owner of shiny leather pants. Even when he's a total asshole, people still think of him as an interesting character and is welcomed warmly in the story. In casual matches? People DREAD him because these two words makes him quite the cheap character: Ice Car. He only gets worse in the hands of someone who knows where the invincible frames in his other moves are... And to make matters worse, the console ports have an achievement for riding the Ice Car 20 times in a single round and then winning.
The hate also extends to Nu and Arakune, both of whom can hit you at ridiculous distances with little warning and have hugely damaging combos. However, you'll never see anyone rooting for Nu at a tournament, especially considering she's the final boss, and using bosses in ANY fighting game is generally frowned upon.
Cat Girl Taokaka is sometimes treated as this because of her ability to jump around really fast. Specially if whoever is playing her actually knows what to do with that ability. Particularly her *ahem* Taunt Loop.
As of Continuum Shift 2, best buds Makoto Nanaya and Noel Vermillion are vilified for their 5k-7k damage range and insane options and perks.
Before Continuum Shift 2, Litchi Faye-Ling was a dreaded character to face despite her status as Difficult but Awesome, since the awesome takes form in 'overpowered beyond reason'. However, over time, with nerfs from Continuum Shit 2 (and probably further in the wake of Extend), she's recovering from this status (although there are still some extremely bitter at her high-tierness from the first CS previously).
Ultimately, as of Extend the game is balanced enough that nobody has been put into this category as of yet.
Chronophantasma has Azrael and Kokonoe as the bane of most's existence. Azrael earns this distinction due to dealing insane damage meterless, his fantastic backdash and reversal options as well as an excellent fireball and the ability to special cancel his forward dash. Kokonoe on the other hand, is being derided as rendering the game pay to win because of her powerful setups, insane pressure and mix-up game, and ability to keep and hold combos a good, long while- Within 24 hours of her release on PSN, SEVERAL Touch of Death combos where discovered for her! Kokonoe has become so far the only character in fighting game history that made Japanese fighting community to store PSN ID's of those who uses Kokonoe... to be blocked or avoided. And naturally, she gets tourney-banned just like Kliff and Justice.
Kurtis Stryker from Mortal Kombat 3. At first, he was a regular Scrappy because he looks like Woody Harrelson, he's a cop in an era of "Fuck Tha Police", he has no backstory to speak of and he has a gun that he rarely uses. The developers eventually proved that they saw him as a Creator's Pet when they responded to the players by buffing him into a borderline Game Breaker, earning him a spot in this category as well. It took until Mortal Kombat Armageddon for Stryker to be Rescued from the Scrappy Heap. Sort of.
Kung Lao's Mortal Kombat 9 incarnation left a bad taste in the competitive scene's mouths. With a multi-purpose projectile in the form of his hat, a range of very fast moves including a spin attack that easily sets up his fairly simple yet effective combos, he got nerfed in subsequent patches.
Guile in the original Street Fighter II had a near impenetrable defense between the Sonic Boom and the Flash Kick, combined with overall strong moves and excellent priority. It really says something when Guile hasn't gotten any new moves (barring supers) aside from the Sonic Boom and Flash Kick; they're the only two moves he ever needs.
Also Sagat. Most people like his character, but there's often a few groans going around whenever Old Sagat (a version of him without super meter support; the one with it were considered to be nerfed) gets picked in Super Street Fighter II Turbo (the Japanese competitive scene does NOT want to see anyone pick O. Sagat, period), or if he's selected in Street Fighter IV. In the latter, he possesses two highly abusable fireballs, a vicious uppercut, an incredibly good standing roundhouse, and an array of highly damaging combos.
As is Yun, thanks to his Genei-Jin Super Art, which enables Yun to do twice as many hits and can easily be comboed into. If someone complains about SF3, Chun-Li or Yun are probably going to be on top of their things to gripe about.
In Street Fighter IV, Blanka is considered this, mainly due to his ease of use, his Ultra, and just his general playstyle, which infuriates people. Even after his nerfs in Super and Arcade Edition, people still tend to hate him even if he's low tier now. In Street Fighter II, his ridiculous reach and priority and his damn instantaneous Rolling Attack didn't made him any friends.
Zangief has historically had terrifying range on his command grabs, near infinite priority on his lariat, and his trademark heavy damage. He's so notorious for this that it's the reason he has a cameo as a "bad guy" in Wreck-It Ralph—he caused the screenwriter that much grief in SFII. The cries of players were heard, though, for as of Super SFIV he's been significantly nerfed, but is still very playable and far from low tier.
Yun, Yang, and Fei Long in Super SFIV: Arcade Edition. Though Yun receives the most hate by far due to how easy to use he is. It probably doesn't help that Word of God has stated that they were Purposely Overpowered.
For some inexplicable reason, this has also been applied to, of all people, M. Bison. This is mainly because he is now easier to use in Street Fighter IV due to system changes, has amazing zoning potential with only his normals, and amazing punish potential in the form of easy-to-use Scissor Kick combos. While people do have some reason to hate him, it's mainly because they don't know how to escape his pressure, which is designed to annoy and frustrate his opponents.
And now, in 2012, Seth has been hit with this because of Poongko's perfect 4-0 against Daigo. Seth was actually at one point considered to be a skill character, someone who needed to be played very carefully. Then Poongko made his debut and completely shattered that image by showing just how strong Seth really was. Because of him, players found out that his Shoryuken is extremely safe against pretty much everything, he can apply stupidly easy pressure and mixup, and his combos are so long that they cause stupid damage and with the proper application can instantly dizzy the opponent.
And thanks to the Ultra Street Fighter IV update and the new Red Focus mechanic, Yun is back.
Choi gets quite a bit of hate in some tourney matches. He's hard to hit (thus shutting down most strategies for 99% of the cast), is really quick, and has some of the most powerful supers in the games. Look up any tourney match on YouTube where a player wins with Choi, and chances are there will be several comments bashing him.
Goro Daimon was viewed as this by some in the original '98 because of his ridiculous priority with some moves. In the Ultimate Matchrerelease, he was toned down and had his OTG glitch removed.
In '98UM, Geese, Krauser, and Iori are currently considered three of the best characters in the game, so there's a large amount of tourney videos out there with this team, which can be annoying to some viewers. Even if a team has just ONE of those characters you'll find someone complaining about it.
Maximum Impact 2 contains a totally justified case with Armor Ralf. The developers tried as hard as possible to make the most overpoweredGame Breaker imaginable. Super armor, infinite priority, obscene damage, a taunt that damages, the inability to be thrown, and tank-like defense are just a handful of the traits that made Armor Ralf one of the most despised characters in the entire game. He was removed from the updated Regulation A version of the game... by bringing along Ash Crimson, who was already despised for story reasons, and made him one of the best characters in the game. Ash can handily beat the tar out of Alba effortlessly.
XIII gives us two scrappies: Raiden and K'. The former can obliterate an entire life bar with a combo that involves his fully-charged drop kick move - a bad boy that chips, hurts bad AND shaves off 70% of the guard gauge at the most. The latter is just too damn versatile with his projectiles and zoning, his damage and comboability and how brain-dead simple half of his crap can be.
Oddly enough, most of those issues stem from the arcade version(s) XIII had two version of the arcade release, 1.1 was more or less a balance patch - with these two as it's major targets] of the game. In the case of Raiden, some very heavy changes to the drop kick and the mirror buffs in some notable area's where he had issues makes him much less of a Tier Induced Scrappy for the console. K', however... it's hard to say if the changes effected him at all (in some cases it gives him more versatility and damage potential in combos), so this trope may still apply to him.
In the console version of XIII, the hatedom goes over to Hwa Jai, who is "like Joe Higashi" but on steroids with an extremely safe and comboable slide kick and crazy damage (among other things). And the three DLC characters, (EX Kyo, EX Iori and Mr. Karate,) who are usually derided as "Pay to Win".
People who play Dissidia: Final Fantasy often sigh whenever they find another player using Squall, as they know that the Squall will often do little more than use Beat Fang over and over again. While not top tier, his ability to make your Bravery disappear with little effort gets on the nerves of people who try to avoid such play. Also, Squall is one of the few characters who can overcome any and all of Exdeath counters (specially while in EX Mode). And when the game was released outside Japan, he got a new aerial attack that doesn't make sense with his abilities (from the original game) nor he needed more than Firion (whose abilities fitted more to that type of attack).
Since the release of the sequel, Duodecim, another such Scrappy has emerged: Sephiroth. Because of the general overhaul of the game and the addition of the assist system, he's suddenly emerged as a very powerful character, all because of Shadow Flare. It was a good move to start with—fast, pressuring, little lag, great range, so on and so forth. But with the assist system introduced, Shadow Flare now has all of those things and will build assist gauge easily and quickly, even with whiffs! The practical upshot is that matches with Sephiroth tend to involve the Sephiroth spamming Shadow Flare until his assist gauge is full (if the opponent tries to rush or punish him, well—that's what the character was originally designed to deal with), and then Sephiroth uses that assist gauge to land a combo—rinse and repeat. Even if this strategy weren't so effective, it would still be scrappifying, as Shadow Flare is an extremely boring move.
Pet Shop in Heritage for the Future is unanimously banned in tournaments for a number of reasons which imply that Capcom made him that way in purpose. First off, he's a small target and can fly, meaning he doesn't need to block low at all. Second, he also has insane recovery from supers, meaning you can combo the hell out of people before they even have a chance to attack. Third, all of his normals create icicles with stupidly-good range and priority that can utterly shut down an opponent. And here's the best part: combine the second and third bits and you have access to not only infinite combos, but blockstun infinites. You can keep the opponent trapped in blockstun until time is up. Let's just pray the HD port has an option to disable him...
All Star Battle has Diavolo, Josuke, and Iggy. Diavolo because of his relatively easy infinites when the game was first introduced which mean that if he hit you once, then usually the only way you'd have a chance is if for whatever reason he decided to drop his combo. Josuke has a highly abusable countertaunt that grants several of his moves super armor, and Iggy has - like Choi Bounge from King of Fighters - a very small size that's difficult to hit, as well as insane damage output.
At one tournament for Naruto: Ultimate Hero 2, Itachi was outright banned for having a game-breaker special move which slowed time down for the victim and made them take much more damage for about a minute.
Itachi was elevated to down right broken in Ultimate Hero 3. He's the second fastest character in the game, one of his jutsus creates a clone next to the opponent no matter where they are which then explodes, he still retains his time manipulation, and just to add a cherry on top, he has an infinite. If the opponent is out of chakra he can spam his air grab over and over again without the opponent being able to ever tech out of it. The Fourth Hokage, the fastest character in the game, also gets this for being down right untouchable in the hands of a good player.
90% of your online games will match you against Cervantes or Kilik, which are very effective even when pushing keys at random. Even if you know how to get by, it's still quite annoying to see 50% of your life go away because you slipped up and got hit by the same attack they've been effortlessly spamming the whole match. The best part? Give one of those characters to a skilled player. They're beasts.
You WILL hate Hilde on higher levels of gameplay. While she may have traces of Difficult but Awesome syndrome, it only takes a combo or two to end a fight via ringout, AND fast. Here's an example at Evo2k9. As of this writing, the community decided to just outright ban her.
This time around, a majority of your online matches will be either against Natsu, Xiba, or Nightmare. Natsu is basically Taki, but 10 times better. Her combos and juggle ability do a ridiculous amount of damage: all reward and no risk. Nobody liked Kilik, so nobody likes Xiba either. When Nightmare players in IV grumbled that their character was terrible, he came back with a vengeance thanks to the Powers That Be. Now he can deal up to 50-70% of your lifebar's worth of damage with just one bar of meter, and his ring-out game became even better. Oh, and if he gets a Counter Hit off of a Critical Edge it takes down half your health.
One could make a case for Mitsurugi as well. Fast moves, good pokes, great mixups, and nice damage all in one package, and makes up one of the three most common characters online (Mitsurugi, Nightmare, Xiba).
Viola gets a fair bit of hate for her ability to juggle you for days with her orb, from a distance.
Jin Kazama got to spend some time as the Tier Induced Scrappy when Tekken 4 was the current game. His Lazer Scraper mixup game just pushed him far ahead of the competition, to the point where he was the only top-tier character and "Jin vs. Jin" final matches at tournaments was a common sight. People were understandably tired of it (though ways were discovered to beat him, but they weren't consistent methods). It didn't stick with him as later installments put him more in the middle tiers and the hatedom he generated seems to have blown over.
In Tekken 6, it's Bob. He's fat and seems to actually be an unsubtle Take That at the fanbase, his moveset is fast and strong but repetitive and frankly uncool-looking, and he utterly swept Evo 2011.
In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, the Mishima clan (except for Jinpachi and "normal" Jin) now takes center stage as the top tier: Lars, Kazuya, Devil Jin, and Heihachi. With the Tag system, they have access to numerous touch of death combos and juggles.
Gravity Rush's Kat has become the first character on the roster to be given her own tier, and some in the PSASBR community have called the "The Meta Knight", after the Super Smash Brothers Brawl example where Meta Knight was literally in a tier of his own: the very top. The developers themselves called her broken before she even arrived as DLC, and they had to par her down in order to even be released; apparently it wasn't nearly enough parring down. She was the first character to have a touch-of-death combo discovered for her and her mere speed, ability to stay in the air for so long, 8-way directional air-dash (something otherwise foreign to All-Stars) and a slide that passes under many of the game's projectiles makes her incredibly hard to pin down. Should she land a hit, don't expect her combos to end any time soon; at most, the rest of the cast can start combos from only certain attacks whereas nearly everything in her arsenal can become and subsequently link into an AP-Burst combo (her combos aren't quite as brain-dead easy as Raiden's, but still kind of simple). Pair that with the massive hitbox to her Gravity Attract, her unnaturally safe debris throw, ungodly long list of kill-confirms, and generally glitchy gameplay makes for a deeply broken 1v1 monster.
Kratos is this. While he's meant to be easy to access and is wildly popular his moves are a little TOO easy to use. Kratos enjoys homing grabs, great range on his chains with excellent hitboxes that surround his entire body. He has great range, speed, and even a counter attack with many setups and some good supers. Due to his popularity, he's also very common which has caused countless players to beg for him to be nerfed to a reasonable level.
The biggest example in this game is without a doubt Sackboy considering that he gets a huge boost to his super meter with most of his attacks, and especially his throws. This was so bad that when people asked for him to be nerfed, Playstation immediately responded by forcing a patch onto Sackboy considerably reducing his super meter boost.
Coincidentally, on an advetertisement for the game, Robot Chicken had Nathan Drake and Kratos complaining about Sackboy's beating them.
Evil Cole was generally hated for his cheap Kill Confirm, Max Giga-flame Punch to Level 1. Radec was also hated for being a 'camper' type of character that earns ludicrous amounts of AP with his sniper rifle.
In Injustice: Gods Among Us Aquaman is shaping up to be this, with his ease of use, excellent zoning tools, and fantastic normals. Conspiracy theories that Tom Brady, a tester for the game and a tournament player who bodied a tournament with Aquaman, deliberately molded him into this during testing don't help any.
Aside from that, Deathstroke is hated for how easy it is to abuse his gun specials, constantly pressuring the opponent from full screen, and for being one of the most overused characters by noobs who do nothing but spam and then ragequit once the opponent does get past their zoning. In the hands of a good player Deathstroke is one of the best characters in the game. Patches have nerfed this, but it's still easy to abuse him.
Raven is building something of a hatedom for being too overpowered (like a full screen grab).
Green Arrow is also considered this by some, with good Combos, easy zoning with his arrows (Not as cheap as Deathstroke's, but they can actually hold from pretty much any direction) and being just quite easy to spam. His Super is also one of the few with a range longer than Aquaman's.
Superman has gotten a lot of hate as well. He has full screen lazers that can also be performed in midair, a trait that allows Supes to ignore armor, and a supermove that is ridiculously fast. The champion at EVO 2013 for Injustice was even booed for using Superman!
DLC characters Scorpion and Batgirl get a lot of hate as well. Scorpion because he really doesn't belong in the game, and Batgirl because she is just plain annoying to fight against. In fact, Batgirl only just barely avoids being a gamebreaker; her specials leave her wide open for counter attacks that skilled players can easily exploit. Batgirl's win qoute pretty much lampshades how most players feel about her.
Batgirl: I'm a real pain in the ass, huh?
Touhou Hisoutensoku has SakuyaIzayoi, currently the sole occupant of the top tier. Her thick and fast knife volleys let her both easily win long distance battles by defeating other bullets with sheer density and set up wide bullet cover to approach. But her real strentgh is her ridiculous ability to utterly dominate the enemy on knockdown in the hands of a skilled player - her melee kicks are surprisingly safe and tricky to deal with and her slow knives keep an enemy pinned down in the corner at her mercy, making low damage output a non-issue as long as she can keep the opponent in a perpetual block. She can also easily catch air rolls with her ↘+melee move, which is airunblockable. And she has a slew of additional tricks up her sleeve that make her so infuriating:
Her default →↓↘ special move, Close-up Magic. It's a shoryuken-style move that immediately propels her into the air surrounded from both sides with spinning knives. Even though it doesn't look like a melee attack, it cannot be grazed (passed through) like bullets, and she can cancel almost everything into it to punish the opponent trying to escape her pressure at any time. It comes in two flavors: a fast and unpunishable B button version (she can recover by shooting anything) and one that lets her graze bullets herself when active and goes as far as the top of the screen (C button version). Neither disappears when blocked and both stay active for a good moment. And to add insult to injury, she can use it mid-air and cover herself with knives on demand, flat-out denying any short melee attacks on her while she grazes the bullets with the C version or/and lands on the unexpecting opponent, giving her a quick surprise slap.
Her Time Sign "Private Square" spell card. A fairly inexpensive (3 cards) super that gives her a moment of invincibilty followed by 5 seconds of total dominance on the opponent by making her movements really slow. She can activate it after knocking the opponent down, then easily break the poor girl's block or inflict stupidly easy combos on her, since both hitstun and blockstun are highly increased as well.
Her Illusion Sign "Killing Doll" spell card. An extremely inexpensive (2 cards) super that launches a volley of knives into the opponent's position after a second. Sakuya can move after the activation, so all she has to do is to knock the opponent down, launch Killing Doll, force her into block with melee (so she won't graze away) and break her guard with combined force of the spell card and her pressure (high/low attacks and knives). And the worst thing is, the opponent cannot use the Border Escape technique (which lets her escape blockstun by sacrificing a part of the spirit meter) when a spell card is active, so she won't escape the damage, will be guard broken and thus will lose one spirit orb anyway (limiting her capability to shoot bullets, fly or block further). Witness the ridiculous effect of both of the spell cards in action here (and keep in mind that the Sakuya player actually fails to capitalize further on a Killing Doll and break her guard again before Sanae manages to Border Escape by a narrow margin).
Her Speed Sign "Luminous Ricochet" and Conjuring "Eternal Meek" spell cards are also rather nasty. The former is an extremely quick bouncing and universal knife that lets her punish enemy at a distance, combo from slow hits or pin her down on block up close for further pressure, and costs 3 cards. The latter is a knife spam that costs mere 2 cards and deals ridiculous spirit damage point blank, to the point it can almost break the guard by itself!
The Call of Duty series is home to a few Equipment examples:
The grenade launcher in the Modern Warfare games, which is nicknamed the "noob tube".
Also, the most powerful (or at least fastest-firing) submachine gun in a given Call of Duty tends to fall under this, such as the P90 in Modern Warfare and the PPSh-41 in the WWII installments. And god forbid you decide to use akimbo shotguns in Modern Warfare 2...
The console version of World at War garners more hate for the MP-40 than the PPSh-41, since it deals 50 damage (read: half of your health) without Stopping Power, as opposed to the 40 it does on PC. It is the only non-sniper rifle capable of 1-hit kill headshots.
Call of Duty 4's Skorpion garnered similar hate early on, due to having the same damage without Stopping Power, plus no noticeable recoil and a bug where that damage was not affected by the silencer - in Hardcore mode where health is dropped by 70%, this equated to 20 free, totally-undetectable kills.
While Team Fortress 2 doesn't have character tiers, in a competitive regular 6 vs. 6 match every class is limited to a maximum of two... except the Medic, the Heavy and, the Demoman, who are limited to a maximum of one. The Medic is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but as for the other two:
The Demoman gets a lot of hate and is regarded as overpowered by many, because both of his weapons can be spammed to hell and back. The sticky bomb launcher gets the most hate, since its bombs can be detonated in midair and thus it can be used much like a rocket launcher with twice the capacity. Most Demomen use the sticky launcher exclusively and are basically playing a faster, more effective Soldier. The few that actually use and are good with the primary grenade launcher as well are absolute terrors; a direct hit with a grenade does just as much damage as a rocket, but can bounce off walls and be lobbed from behind cover, something rockets can't do.
What is even more hilarious is that even a Demoman equipped with the Chargin' Targe, which replaces the sticky launcher, gets a lot of hate. The shield grants the Demoman a significant resistance to fire and explosives, and has the ability to close the distance between himself and his opponent faster than a Scout where he can use his melee weapon which, by the way, also has a longer reach than every other melee weapon. No matter what kind of setup a Demo seems to use, everybody will complain about it.
The Demoman is vulnerable in close-combat, but the undisputed king of mid-range combat, a range that all other classes perform in lackluster to just passable quality. The classes best capable of exploiting the short-range vulnerability are Scouts and Soldiers. The problem here is that the most popular maps make it extremely difficult to get close to Demomen, along with most casual players' inability to play Scout or Soldier effectively.
The Heavy, in regular 24-player servers, is fairly okay by himself. Sure, he has the most close-range firepower in the game and is nigh-invulnerable when backed by a Medic, but he's very slow and can be taken down by overwhelming him or through othermethods. When the number of players on a server drop below 10, though, he basically becomes the most powerful class as there aren't enough players on the other team to take him down. This, along with various updates to the class itself, are largely the reason that the Heavy is one of the only classes limited to one in 6 vs. 6 competitive play.
The Engineer using the Gunslinger, Wrangler, and/or Short Circuit. His wrench creates a slow-building, but powerful and accurate Sentry Gun...that can be fairly easily taken out by Demoman's grenades or Soldier's rockets. The Gunslinger creates an incredibly fast-building and cheap Sentry Gun that's weaker, but still just as accurate. It can shut down lighter classes (and kill heavier classes too, if they're missing some health), and if it's destroyed, the Engineer can simply drop another one and have it firing within seconds. The Wrangler puts a Deflector Shield around the Sentry, effectively tripling its total health, at the cost of the Engineer having to stand near it and manually control it. However, this manual control allows him to prioritize targets (Shoot the Medic First, anyone?) as well as significantly increasing the Sentry's already fast rate of fire. The Short Circuit eats into the Engineer's precious metal supply, but allows him to harmlessly vaporize any incoming rockets or grenades. This makes it almost trivially easy to defend against two of the main anti-Engineer classes, Soldier and Demoman.
Halo 4 has the Boltshot, a Forerunner pistol with a Charge Attack that has the firepower of a shotgun and a huge effective range. Because of the game's otherwise-balanced custom loadout system, players can spawn with a Boltshot as their secondary, making it a Game Breaker on small maps. It was so loathed that there were popular petitions to get it nerfed (such as the "Boltshot Revolution"); 343 eventually relented, halving the weapon's effective range.
Oddjob from Golden Eye 1997, whose short height makes him difficult to hit without aiming downward, which you can't do while moving.
Any champion to get a long period of time in professional play (especially to the exclusion of other champions) will get this. Strong champions in non-professional play with frustrating mechanics (such as Vayne, Kassadin, Elise, Tryndamere, Nunu, and Zac) tend to get this even if they're balanced or nonviable in competitive play.
Many Ranged top laners are this - Not only do their pokes hurt enough even early on, the best ones tend to have equally absurd mobility, making it nigh difficult to ever engage on them.
Jax was an in-universe example, being totally unbeatable. This threatened the very existence of the League, and led to increasing sanctions being placed on him. To mock these sanctions he started fighting with a lamppost and kept on winning anyway.
A sub-genre of playable character in the game, known universally as 'carries,' excel at biding their time and amassing items until they are capable of destroying the entire opposing team by themselves. Games are often played with teams making great strides to stop these heroes from ever becoming powerful (usually by cutting off their flow of earned gold.)
Anti-Mage, for instance, makes heroes individually worthless by burning away their mana with every attack (which is vital for casting spells.) Items increase his attack speed, health and damage done, allowing him to make an enemy powerless in mere seconds.
Many heroes are capable of "split-pushing," or attacking vital enemy structures and avoiding any direct contact with the enemy, leading to a slow but efficient means of weakening the opposing team. To combat this, someone has to hang back far from the action to ensure split-pushing heroes can't destroy the whole base while everyone's gone.
Nature's Prophet is notorious for this tactic. His ability to quickly amass gold, teleport anywhere on the map and attack enemy buildings makes him not only hard to catch but also very difficult to out-maneuver; teleportation scrolls in the game only allow heroes to teleport every minute, and only lead to select locations.
Newer players often have difficulty with heroes who have innate invisibility skills, which are useful for both starting unexpected fights and escaping from them. Certain items in the game may also be purchased to give any player a brief duration of invisibility, which on the right hero can lead to devastating ambushes.
Riki is perhaps the best example of this trope, as he is totally invisible whenever he isn't actively attacking someone. Few players know what items to buy to reveal invisible units, making Riki seem like an impossible hero to attack or escape from. It doesn't help he has a smoke bomb that stops enemy spells.
In World of Warcraft, each expansion tends to start off with a single class being ridiculously overpowered. In early Wrath of the Lich King, this was the Retribution Paladin.
It should also be noted that in the 10 and counting years WoW has existed, every single class has been this at least once.
One case of this put Hunters in an unusual bind balance-wise. They got nerfed several times due to complaints that they were overpowered in PvP play, which ended up making them all but useless in PvE raids while still getting complaints of being overpowered in PvP. For example, in Mists of Pandaria Hunters could effortlessly go through the Timeless Isle. Most enemies have very powerful, but avoidable area of effect attacks. The Hunter's pets have a 90% damage reduction against AoE attacks.
MapleStory has the Mercedes and Demon Slayer classes, both released in the Legends patch in December/January of 2011/2012. Both classes have skills which are significantly more powerful than those of older classes and special beginner skills that increase damage, restore health, and provide 10% extra EXP among others. It's at such a point where one of these classes can out-damage older classes 20-30 levels higher than them. Playing one of these characters will sometimes cause you to be ridiculed for taking the "easy" way out.
Star Wars: Galaxies had the Jedi class, long The Scrappy for various reasons, but its tier was definitely considered a major argument against it. Jedi was a class that had to be unlocked (through large amounts of tedious grinding) but once a player achieved Jedi status, they were rewarded with the best class in the game (arguably justified, given the setting). A talented Jedi was a one-man wrecking crew, with a wide range of abilities that allowed them to operate independent of party support, defensive boons that made attacking them at range almost completely useless and attacks that ignored armour. It wasn't impossible to take down a Jedi one-on-one, but you basically had to design your character around it (and also have luck on your side).
Made worse with the Force Ranking System, when Jedi could rank up and gain even more ridiculous benefits by fighting other Jedi and Bounty Hunters.
Cream from the Sonic the Hedgehog is this in the Sonic Advance series. She's unusual in that she's an example from a non-competitive game. Her flying abilities are extremely similar to Tails', except that she has the ability to cancel her flight, which basically makes her a more useful version of Tails (who was already a pretty damn powerful character). But what makes her truly broken is her ability to command her pet Chao to attack enemies. You just press a button and it flies right into an enemy, destroying it. Keep pressing it and you'll quickly exterminate all enemies onscreen without breaking a sweat or doing any effort. Bosses are simply a joke when you're playing as her. Made worse by the fact that she should be one of the least powerful and experienced playable characters in the whole series, being only six years old.
Meteos featured a few of these in the form of gimmicky or otherwise overpowered planets.
The most obvious was Hevendor, a planet that completely bypassed the gravity and stack comboing elements of the game by teleporting stacks instead of launching them. It managed to be both ridiculously overpowered at lower levels and next to useless at very high levels of play, as the total lack of strategic depth made its weaknesses easily exploitable. The CPU on the other hand gets completely annihilated by any halfway decent Hevendor player every time.
Brabbit on the original DS version is like this, as the wonky gravity physics on the planet meant that a player could hold a single screen wide stack in the middle of the screen for minutes on end while launching an endless rain of black meteos on the enemy. It's near impossible for anyone but another Brabbit player to survive such an onslaught. The Xbox 360 version attempts to provide a counter to this with combo breaking powerups, but the planet is still incredibly powerful in the hands of a skilled player.
Real Time Strategy
Hearts of Iron 2, playing as the Soviet Union in multiplayer games is generally considered unfair unless certain house rules are followed. This is because: 1. The Soviet Union is almost completely self-sufficient and needs no trades to function. 2. It has a huge manpower reserve for creating an army. 3. Assuming the game starts in 1936, it has about five years to prepare for a historical war with Germany. 4. A smart USSR player will invade Germany when it tries to invade France, and most experienced players will reach Berlin no matter what the German player does. 5. The USSR's industry is spread out over a very wide area, meaning there's no way to cripple it by seizing its main factories right away. House rules generally include for Germany and the USSR to only go to war when they did historically, to limit the number of soldiers the USSR produces beforehand, and to force the USSR to trade with Germany (Germany needs a large amount of resources the USSR has that it can't easily get from other countries, so one strategy is for a USSR player to refuse to trade anything with Germany, crippling their industry). In contrast, an AI-controlled USSR is relatively easy to conquer for most experienced German players.
In Napoleon: Total War, French infantry have universally higher stats than other countries. You can find this out in-game, but it's not immediately clear. Particularly frustrating if you don't know this when you start playing multiplayer.
In Age of Mythology the Gastraphates (special archer until available to one of the nine factions) outranges everything else (Including defensive towers) and takes down buildings and ships easily with an upgrade every player gets. A player choosing Hades basically means any game that lasts until late-tier units goes to them. The only defense is an exercise in crippling overspecialization via an army of calvary - and if there's a wall to slow them down even that's sketchy.
Having Loki as your "main god" is very popular in the competitive scene due to their Hero Units being able to instantly summon a random Norse Myth Unit (powerful mythological creature) for free. The only requirement is that the Hero Unit in question be in combat. Even worse/better, Loki is the only god who has access to the Rampage upgrade, which allows Myth Units (not the ones summoned by the Hero Units, the ones created at your town's Temple) to be created near-instantly.
Pokémon's most notable Tier Induced Scrappy is Blissey, which has earned the nickname of "Fat Pink Whore". It is widely reviled due to its absurdly high HP and Special Defense stats, which severely limits the viability of many Pokémon that rely on special attacks as opposed to physical attacks. Thankfully, Gen V makes it easier to handle and less hated in general.
Scizor regularly comes under the same fire. This is even though the only reason it's used that much is because it's extremely low-maintenance compared to other much more powerful Pokémon that are considerably harder to defend against and its absurd level of utility (in fact, it's so useful that several Uber teams use Scizor). Even worse, Gen VI not only gave it an advantage against the newly-introduced Fairy-types, but also a Mega Evolution!
Gen V made Scizor even more of a scrappy, by giving it a partner in form of Wash Rotom (Rotom-W). Rotom-W is already a good teammate in Gen IV with Scizor, but Gen V takes it further by changing its typing to make it more benefical to Scizor (Electric/Water instead of Electric/Ghost), and worst of all gives it Volt Switch, which was basically U-Turn with different typing. Both used in one team resulted in highly powerful offensive combo that is really safe thanks to the switching that covers each other perfectly.
Wobbuffet is a Joke Character that became lethal due in part to a move capable of being bred onto it in a later generation, and in part to the ability gained in that generation: Shadow Tag, which prevents the opponent switching out. However, compared to other examples, Wobbuffet has more potential counters than any other on this list (any special-based Dark type, any physical-based Ghost type, anything relying on status ailments, anything that can affect Wob's ability...). That said, Nintendo does ban the use of Leftovers on Wobbuffet in official tournamentsnote which overcame Struggle damage and made Wobbuffet vs. Wobbuffet matches impossible to end, showing that even they have a limit as to what they'll tolerate in their more general tiers. They also fixed the Shadow Tag ability in Gen IV, where two opposing Pokémon with Shadow Tag in a Single Battle have their abilities cancel out and can switch out. Finally, Nintendo has pretty much switched exclusively to Double Battles for tournaments, where Wobbuffet is significantly less useful (just repeatedly attack its partner until Wob's the only one left). Notably lighter in Gen V, thanks to several factors, but it's still hated because of the fact that you cant switch in a game where it is the biggest deciding factor.
Mewtwo, the original Game Breaker in the series. All Psychic-types were broken due to improperly balancing the types in the first generation of games, but Mewtwo had the most absurd stats and movepool of all (except for Secret Character Mew). The original tier list basically boiled down to Mewtwo and what could potentially stand up to Mewtwo; consequently, Mewtwo's mere existence resulted in a stagnant metagame that still gets some resentment to this day. Even with multiple Mewtwo counters in later games, everything that can beat Mewtwo can also be beaten by Mewtwo if the player had your particular counter in mind, because Mewtwo has a pretty massive movepool.
Garchomp, the pseudo-legendary of Generation IV, is a major offender for this trope. In the generation it debuted in, Garchomp's excellent Attack and Speed, brilliant offensive typing, and surprisingly high defenses made it a virtually invincible sweeper that completely dominated the metagame, becoming one of the only "ordinary" Pokémon to be Kicked Upstairs to the Uber tier, alongside Wobbuffet (and later Salamence). After Generation V brought in a general increase in power and Speed for OU play as well as several more solid counters for Garchomp, Garchomp was lowered to OU play...only to immediately become a Tier Induced Scrappy again because it's the only pseudo-legendary that is also a weather abuser, gaining a 20% evasion boost in sandstorms in a metagame dominated by rain and sandstorm teams. There was a long, long, long argument on Smogon whether to ban Sand Veil or not, for turning the game into even more of a Luck-Based Mission than it usually is. note (Verdict: yep, Sand Veil on Garchomp is banned.)
Because of Smogon's resistance to complex bans (banning only certain move/Pokémon combinations instead of the entire move or the entire Pokémon; in this case, banning Sand Veil with Garchomp) banning Sand Veil itself would neuter a lot of other Pokémon such as Cacturne who are hardly overpowered. Furthermore, banning Sand Veil would also be tied with banning Snow Cloak, a similar ability that works in Hail, and would again destroy the viability of certain Pokémon; most notably Froslass.
Random user on Smogon: Sand Veil is like playing the lottery, only losing results in a dragon punching you in the face.
The "Extreme Killer" variant of Arceus is this in the Ubers tier. Its boosted ExtremeSpeed attack can One-Hit KO most Pokémon in the game except for a few such as Giratina and Lugia. And Arceus can dispose of those Pokémon easily because it's quite a bit faster than them and usually carries super-effective moves with its counters in mind. The worst part? The Ubers tier itself is a banlist, meaning that nothing can be banned from the tier! Until Mega Rayquaza came along...
Xerneas itself suffered this for a short while, due to being able to reach +2 in three stats (two of which will allow it to decimate the opponent's team and one will allow it to take special hits with ease) in one turn, but only once per battle, as well as having Fairy Aura and Moonblast to power through almost anything. While it does live up to the hype, Ubers players don't consider it to be a scrappy nowadays due to many, many players not knowing when to set it up, allowing it to be easily taken down when used by an unskilled player. This still doesn't save it from gaining the ire of many Yveltal and Dragon type fans.
Talonflame. Two words. GaleWings. This ludicrous ability allows for this originally considered mediocre Pokemon to become quite possibly the most commonly used Pokemon on Wi-Fi aside from the aforementioned Xerneas and Mewtwo. Gale Wings allows for flying-type moves to strike first most of the time. Now, what is one of the strongest moves in the game? Brave Bird, a flying type move. Needless to say, many a player will sigh in anger knowing that even the most unskilled player can easily sweep an unprepared team with this ability and the spamming of said move alone.
Aegislash frequently comes under fire. It has one of the best defensive typings in the game, unbelievably good offensive or defensive stats, and a Secret Art that protects itself and reduces the Attack of Pokémon that try to attack it. Trying to fight it boils down into being caught in an endless cycle of Aegislash protecting itself while it pummels you with very damaging attacks. Eventually, players got so tired of dealing with Aegislash that it got kicked into Ubers.
Even the moves themselves are subject to this:
Giving any Pokémon the move Stealth Rock and using it the right way will win you plenty of battles, but not without garnering rage and hate from your opponent. A lot of it has to do with how the move is a detriment to the viability of several Pokémon, capable of taking 50% health off of certain type combinations, including the Fire/Flying type of fan favorite Charizard. Game Freak has taken notice of this. Stealth Rock is no longer a TM in Pokémon Black and White (although it returns as a tutorable move in the sequels), and few Pokémon learn the move naturally. This won't stop anyone from importing Pokémon with the move into the game, except that most Pokémon from previous generations have been given powerful new abilities in the game, something you would miss out on importing Stealth Rock-equipped Pokémon into the game.
The first moves placed in this category were Double Team and Minimize, which improve evasion to the extent that moves used against them have 1/3 their normal chance of connecting, should they be used to their maximum efficiency. Add in the ability to heal, and the only hope of taking down someone using the moves in Generation I was either a great stroke of luck or hope that you could use the one move with always 100% accuracy, Swift. While subsequent games have made this strategy less effective than before (there are now ten such moves, plus moves and abilities to make others temporarily always hit and more moves to decrease evasion and improve accuracy), it's still so hated that declaring Double Team and Minimize off-limits (the "evasion clause," sometimes including things like Acupressure and the Moody ability that might improve evasion) is one of the most frequently-included rules in battles in the fandom, and even in some sanctioned contests.
Drizzle/Swift Swim was the scrappy of the metagame in the fifth generation. To clarify: Rain boosts Water attacks by 50% and Swift Swim also doubles Speed in the rain (which is generally enough to make a Swift Swim Pokémon outspeed everything in the metagame). Drizzle is an ability causing permanent Rain that is initiated when a Pokemon with that ability (ex. Politoed) is sent out. Three Swift Swim Pokémon (Kingdra, Ludicolo, and Kabutops) could decimate teams thanks to super boosted attacks, great coverage, and blistering Speed; and the only counter was more weather (the Fire equivalent of Drought isn't nearly as bad because it increases Fire damage but only Grass types get access to Chlorophyll, the Swift Swim equivalent, and since Grass is weak to Fire, it's not overpowered). Many people are very unhappy with the game turning into weather wars and arguments about how to proceed with bans have lasted for months; banning Swift Swim neuters a lot more Pokémon than just Kingdra, Ludicolo, and Kabutops, banning those three is over the top because they're only powerful in rain and sending them to Ubers is unfair, banning DrizzleToed limits the rain playstyle even more by not only destroying Swift Swim, but also destroying Hydration, Rain Dish, and many other viable Rain tactics, and the current complex ban of Swift Swim and Drizzle on the same team is often considered to be the start of a slippery slope of other complex bans (e.g. the aforementioned VeilChomp). In short, Drizzle/Swift Swim is by far the biggest point of contention in Generation V.
Drizzle itself has been getting this a lot too, thanks to the changes of Black & White 2 heavily slanting the metagame in favour of rain. And that's even after its worst abusers (Swift Swimmers, Therian Tornadus, and Incarnate Thundurus) were banned. The "weather wars" of Generation V were so bad that in the following generation, weather-summoning Abilities were nerfed to only last 5-8 turns instead of indefinitely.
In general, Water is the scrappy of the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors. They have very good defenses, with only two weaknesses- Grass and Electric (that have defensive problems)- and four resistances. Offensively, they are strong against Rock, Fire, and Ground- the only Fire types not weak to Water are Reshiram (which won't see use in standard play) and Mega Charizard X. Types that resist Water? Water, Dragon, and Grass. Nearly all Water-types can learn Ice-type moves to counter two of those. Nearly all of them get Scald, an extremely widespread move that has an annoyingly high chance to burn, which cripples physical attackers. To hit the nail in the coffin, Water is the most common type in the game, with well over 100 Pokémon possessing the type. Even more, there's Kyogre, a Water-type that is nigh-universally considered a Game Breaker and the most powerful Pokémon in the game. Combine that with all the above about weather, and you can see why people are desperate for a nerf... which it didn't get when the type effectiveness was updated.
Prior to the Swagger ban in Generation VI, Klefki was hated for this trope alone. It could spam Thunder Wave and Swagger through its ability, Prankster. If the player didn't have an active Taunt user (who was likely knocked out), the player had to pray for the RNG gods that his/her Pokémon avoided the confusion or paralysis RNG, or their Pokémon would likely be K Oed. It was bad enough that Swagger had to be banned from competitive play because of it.
Mega Kangaskhan. Holy crap, Mega Kangaskhan. Considered to be one of the most overpowered Pokemon in the entire series, Mega Kangaskhan became hated almost instantly. With an ungodly powerful Ability that allowed it to hit twice with every attack (the second hit always does half damage, but does not affect secondary effects in the slightest, leading to extraordinarily frequent instances of status effect chances triggering, as well as extreme Loophole Abuse with moves like Power-Up Punch and Seismic Toss), an Attack stat that is more than sufficient to begin with, amazing defenses that allow it to take far more punishment than it should have any right to, great Speed that allows it to outrun lots of stuff, and a movepool that is everything that a physical attacker could ever dream of, Mega Kangaskhan became infamous for forcing tons of obscure counters (that it could plan around anyways) and for being virtually impossible to consistently deal with.
Rocky Helmet Iron Barbs Ferrothorn (see above) has made this beast notably more manageable, but only under the right conditions. The fact that you even need a very specific setup that you would never use to begin with just to (hopefully) deal with one Pokemon is a testament to how problematic Mega Kangaskhan is.
Mega Gengar, while possessed of impressive stat boosts, became equally despised for revolving around no-win situations as its core concept. Its biggest change was the fact that it got Shadow Tag; coupled with its amazing movepool, a good Mega Gengar will always come out on top. It various coverage options (including the dreaded Perish Trap strategy) allow the user to tailor it to trap specific Pokemon with a near-perfect success rate and use Destiny Bond to kill whatever tries to revenge kill it, opening up holes for the rest of the team to sweep since the opponent's wall is now gone (best demonstrated by this team). It got so bad that it was tested for banning from Smogon's Ubers tier, but was able to avoid the ban-hammer; given how laissez-faire Smogon tends to be with Ubers (since it is a "just for fun, anything goes" tier to begin with), the fact that they were considering a complete ban on Gengarite altogether says volumes about how ridiculously abusive Mega Gengar is.
Mega Lucario, while not quite as egregious an example, became hated for the exceedingly binary nature of its gameplay and overwhelming effectiveness. Playing against Mega Lucario goes like this: you guess the set that it's running and act accordingly. If you guess right, it's dead due to its overwhelming fragility; guess wrong, and you're out AT LEAST two or three members of your team, and a Total Party Kill is not inconceivable. With the ability to run physical, special, or mixed sets equally well and your lack of anything other than intuition and educated (if lucky) guesses to go by as to what it's running, Mega Lucario will always have an unhealthy innate advantage.
This is made even worse because merely playing through the story means that every single player gets a free Mega Lucario, meaning that even without the above moveset-predicting shenanigans this extremely strong, very defensive Pokemon appears in virtually every single team on the PSS.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mega Mewtwo X, quite possibly THE MOST BROKEN POKEMON IN THE GAME until Mega Rayquaza (see below) dethroned it. This Mega Evolution greatly boosts Mewtwo's Attack stat and raises all of the others. This wouldn't be a problem, except it gains the Fighting type, a type that revolves around physical attacks. This Mega Evolution also can deal with almost all of its supposed counters. Thought you would wipe it out with a Talonflame's Brave Bird? NOPE. This speedy sweeper is also bulky enough to tank a Mega Gengar's Shadow Ball. Worst of all, on PSS, where it isn't banned, it is EVERYWHERE. Its counterpart, Mega Mewtwo Y, is at least far more counterable thanks to its pitiful physical defense and the abundance of Sucker Punch. Its saving graces are that if it is taken out an entire strategy can fall apart and it is easily walled by Lugia, and a good status condition cripples it, namely burn, sleep, or paralysis.
Mega Mawile has also earned its hatred. A shining example of what happens when a Mighty Glacier has way too much going for it, Mega Mawile is a bitch to deal with no matter how you look at it. With the single highest Attack in the game, it can crush just about anything, and its typing is also one of the best in the game, having two immunities and nine resistances; coupled with its solid bulk, it can be annoyingly difficult to kill, and that's not even counting how it will respond to any and all attempts to kill it by wasting the enemy Pokemon that tried and failed to do so. It also has far too good a movepool for something that hits that hard; with two equally viable sets, anyone dealing with it essentially has to play a game of Russian roulette, with the wrong choice resulting in the death of at least a third of their team and the right choice merely keeping it from being able to do that. It is very, very slow, but it has Sucker Punch to work around that, and with its ability to tank just about everything, it's not really an issue. Mega Gengar and Mega Kangaskhan may be more egregious, but it was still Kicked Upstairs into Ubers just because it was that much of a pain in the ass. Ironically, just one generation ago Mawile was a Joke Character with worthless stats - but throw in the new Fairy typing, a Mega Evolution and the Huge Power ability, and you get an absolute monster.
Mega Salamence is also ridiculously abusive. Regular Salamence, while strong, has been sliding into irrelevance more and more with each generation thanks to things like Garchomp, Stealth Rock, Fairies, and other things that make its life hard; Mega Salamence, on the other hand, goes too far in the opposite direction and is just plain broken. Its Attack is even more massive than before, but its Special Attack is now good enough for it to viably run Special or mixed sets, adding an extra dimension of unpredictability, and its improved Speed allows it to outrun tons of things that previously left it in the dust. Two things push it from "really really good" to "broken", however: improved Defense and Aerilate. The former turns it into a bonafide Lightning Bruiser and is on par with some tanks, while the latter allows it to hit unbelievably hard with Thrash (which actually becomes stronger than Outrage), Return/Frustration, Double-Edge, and Hyper Voice, as it not only makes those moves Flying-type (granting it STAB on them), but also gives them an automatic 30% power boost before STAB. Put succinctly, the thing is braindead and is everything that was bad about Gen IV Garchomp plus some. It does at least have a 4x weakness to Ice and a Stealth Rock vulnerability, but Mamoswine and Kyurem-B are really the only Ice-based threats that it will see with any regularity and the latter generally won't keep it from tearing through your team and might just reduce its lifespan by a couple turns at most. All in all, Mega Salamence is a shining example of what happens when a Lightning Bruiser has nothing major keeping it down.
Mega Rayquaza. Rayquaza was already powerful, but his Mega takes it much further. To explain, its stat total is similar to Mega Mewtwo- at 780, with boosts to its attack and special attack to give it extremely high attacking stats of 180, and its speed is boosted from 95 to 115, gaining a number of speed tiers. But what makes it so dangerous is that it doesn't need a Mega Stone to evolve, which means that it can hold an item like Life Orb or Choice Band to boost its power even more. The only requirement for its Mega Evolution is having the move Dragon Ascent- a Flying-type move with the same power as Brave Bird (see Talonflame above), but no recoil damage. Being a Dragon/Flying type like Mega Salamence above, one might try to attack it with Ice or Rock moves... but Mega Rayquaza's ability Delta Stream removes the weaknesses of the Flying type, making it only 2x weak to Ice, Fairy and Dragon. With crazy attacking stats, less weaknesses, coverage moves, Extremespeed (a powerful attack with high Action Initiative), and a power-boosting item, Mega Rayquaza could destroy almost all of the Uber Tier after one set-up move. Mega Rayquaza was so broken that it was the first pokemon to get bannedfrom the uber tier and a new tier, named Anything Goes, had to be created just to contain it!
From the game's launch, the default Human Vanguard has been hated by a huge section of the fandom. Its unique combination of Biotic Charge and Nova, which are designed to work together, mean a Vanguard with low power cooldown can constantly spam Charge-Nova-Charge-Nova and wipe out whole troops of enemies singlehandedly; with good dodging, they can even solo kill most heavy units (Banshees and Praetorians excluded). It's a very low-maintenance character class, and extremely effective in the hands of a master, but that same ease of use makes it the object of scorn for players who deem it too noob-friendly.
Nowadays "Manguards" are out of favour for other reasons. Their up-close combat style is very-high risk and requires a lot of skill to pull off on higher difficulties (where enemies do more damage and a single mistake means death). Charge also often takes them away from the group (making it tricky to revive them when they inevitably die) and Biotic Charge refilling your shields isn't that great a defence since Charge is laggy when not hosting. Finally, their damage drops off on higher difficulties where enemies have too much health, meaning they aren't even an effective Glass Cannon.
The Geth Infiltrator, prior to being heavily nerfed, was the epitome of this trope. By using Hunter Mode to turn itself into a Glass Cannon, Geth Infiltrators could abuse Tactical Cloak and the weapon damage bonuses of their passive class power to nearly triple the damage output of any geth-designed weapon (including the most powerful sniper rifle in the game) without gear bonuses factored in. Their damage output was so tremendous that it became common to get kicked from random Gold matches if you didn't play as a Geth Infiltrator. As mentioned, Hunter Mode and Tactical Cloak have both been nerfed since then, but the class is still one of the strongest.
After the Earth expansion, the N7 Shadow Infiltrator and Slayer Vanguard started getting the hate because of Electric Slash and Biotic Slash, respectively. These two powers are high damage, low cooldown, have a huge range and radius, and are oh so spammable. Furthermore, they actually harm other members of the team by shaking around allies' sniper scopes. Combine that with the Shadow's signature move, Shadow Strike, the Slayer's ability to Charge and teleport short distances and even through walls, and their mutual access to extremely powerful sword-based melee attacks, and it wasn't long before they started getting the hate of Scrubs everywhere. The one thing that keeps the higher-level players from hating them is that fact that they've got a bit of a learning curve. Like the other examples, the slash attacks were later given a longer cooldown and they do not garner as much hate.
In the Reckoning expansion, the new GethJuggernaut has become one within the first week of its release. The reason being, is that it's the only character who cannot be Synch Killed due to its size, its incredible weapon damage output and ammo bonus, being the most durable character in the entire game, and on top of all that, a melee attack that heals itself. The only downside is that it can't run and moves at a snail's pace, but that doesn't matter when it pumps out 300+ rounds from its signature weapons, the Geth Spitfire, and the three-hit killer Siege Pulse.
Diablo III: The Witch Doctor class is infamous for being the hardest hitting class overall while being tankier than the supposed true glass cannon classes, the demon hunter and the wizard, solely due to how pets in this game work. The fact that all they really have to do is sit back and spam signature spells does little to nothing to help.
Diablo II has the Assassin: She gets the best of all worlds: High base damage, ranged and elemental attacks, and her martial arts give large, percentage-based, damage boosts.
The OTAS Boreas and Terran Osaka destroyers get some hate for being functionally indestructible under a particular set of circumstances, i.e. when flown personally by the player against the AI. They're so tough and well-armed* In particular, the Osaka has better shields than any other ship in the game, and has enough weapons energy to continuously fire its entire complement of 48 guns simultaneously for 75 seconds. that the AI just plain can't counter them. Albion Prelude fixes this as a byproduct of making AI missile frigates actually use their weapons the way they're meant to be used.
The OTAS Mistral Super Freighter in a roundabout way. It's the toughest TS-class freighter there is, it's reasonably fast, and it also has the biggest cargo bay of any TS. Unfortunately a fully equipped Mistral SF will run you 2 million credits easy, and since under most circumstances the AI won't make effective use of its cavernous cargo bay many players don't consider it cost-effective.
The Spitfire Mk.XVI, La-7, and P-51 Mustang often attract this in Aces High. The Spitfire is extremely easy to fly, has a good gun package, accelerates and climbs at will, is highly maneuverable, and has few real vices. The La-7 has a three-cannon armament option that was very rare historically but is almost ubiquitous in the game and is one of the fastest aircraft at typical engagement altitudes, with excellent acceleration and rate of climb. The P-51 lacks this armament, but is just about as fast with the additional advantage of excellent high-altitude performance leading to high Mustangs picking through low and mid-altitude furballs a common sight. All three aircraft are extremely easy for poor or inexperienced pilots to rack up large numbers of kills in, and thus take a lot of heat on the forums. If there's a "Perk the X!" thread, chances are one of these three aircraft are the subject.
Even Ace Combat isn't immune to this trope in its online play.
Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation had the CFA-44 Nosferatu, the resident fictional super plane of the game. While its defense and stability wasn't anything to write home about, one of its weapons, the Electro Magnetic Launcher, could One-Hit Kill most aircraft in the game save for some of the most durable aircraft. Also, the myriad of aircraft that could carry the QAAM, which was a missile that had extreme maneuvering, instant kill, insane persistence, and the ability to become invisible on radar. One aircraft in particular was the Su-47 Miki-EX, which had extreme maneuverability when at speeds of over 600 miles per hour, allowing it to bag up kills at an extreme rate and avoid fire like it was nothing. These aircraft turned multiplayer into a contest of who could press B first.
Madden NFL at least one team a year is lambasted by the fanbase for being the "cheese" team - basically, whichever team runs the Game Breaker play of that year most effectively. Common candidates are teams with a fast, mobile QB and a monster defense that doesn't require much strategy to run well. This is doubly annoying to fans of that team, who are excited to play as their guys online, only to be mocked for it.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 had Brazil and (to a lesser extent) Manchester United as the upper-tier scrappy teams. Those two teams were among the best overall AND had a player with all dribbling stats on the 95 to 100 range, coupled with the fact dribbling was overpowered in that version. Most players let out a sigh of frustration when their opponent picked Brazil, mainly because they were certain said opponent would just pass the ball to Ronaldinho and run circles around their defence for the whole game.
FIFA games have had, for the past few years, Barcelona. Chances were if you wanted to play online (before Seasons mode kicked in), you would be against Barcelona. It seems for the past few years, regardless of season-by-season performances, they have been the go-to team for easy wins. One could argue it's justified, as Lionel Messi has always been a household name, but with every player in the high 80's and low 90's, some fans of the series are calling bias on the FIFA games poster team.
Pretty much all sports games have one (or more) of these overpowered "cheese" teams/players/whatever. Although one could argue this is justified, as some teams actually ARE that dominant in real life.
RBI Baseball (1988) has Detroit. The lineup, besides Larry Herndon, have home run potential and will homer against you. Players will often substitute Larry Herndon with a bench player to amplify an already power-heavy team. Since this game has the mercy rule, playing against a player who knows the hitting potential Detroit has, the game will be over by the second inning.
Warhammer and Warhammer40000 examples should always state when the faction was a tier-induced scrappy, since factions can rise and fall in tier rapidly based on the metagame, changes to the Core Rulebook, or a new Army Book or Codex. In the case of the Vampire Counts, the Counts were overpowered but then the Daemons came along and utterly destroyed 7th Edition. It was so bad that there's been some speculation that the Daemons book alone was enough to force Eighth Edition and its changes to Fear and Psychology. The Counts and Daemons are now (Fall 2013) considered "good," not gamebreaker, armies. Skaven, on the other hand, can be a fun army or can have cheap, cheesy tactics sure to make anyone else hate the Skaven player. And it can all change with the next army book or expansion.
Chaos Space Marines with Daemon Princes and Obliterators (2011 and early 2012). Obliterators are overused, extremely versatile, heavy weapon platforms armed with a wide range of weapons that allow them to take on just about anything. Daemon Princes are better than any other HQ choice with a fairly small increase in cost. Slaanesh Princes with Lash Of Submission are especially hated as they can move enemy units 2d6 inches, pulling them out of cover, into charge range or under templates. Add to the fact that the Chaos codex has very limited options when it comes to good builds, and you get a situation where 90% of tournament armies consist of 2 Lash Princes, 9 Oblits and as many Plague Marines you can get with the remaining points.
For the marginalized part of the fanbase who didn't play Space Marine or Marine Equivalent armies, Landraiders acting as dedicated transports for Thunderhammer/Stormshield Assault Terminators were nearly impossible to break and filled with melee troops just as hard to crack and pulverized most units in 1-2 melee turns. This is much less the case in the current edition (2013), where they're merely good.
All discussions of Tiers in Warhammer, whether Fantasy or 40k, probably should mention the edition and time when they were written. For example, the Orkz of Warhammer 40k were briefly a Game Breaker with the infamous Nob Bikerz, but within months a new Imperial Guard codex took them right down. As of early 2012, the Grey Knights are a high tier scrappy with some awful fluff as far as a large section of the fanbase goes. However, this could change with just one codex rattling the metagame. Likewise, Vampire Counts and Daemons of Chaos lost a lot when Psychology (and their key rules, Fear and Terror) were nerfed in 8th Edition. The Counts are about to get a new Army Book; how this changes their status has yet to be seen.
One problem with Warhammer and 40k is that there simply isn't time to update every Codex within the lifetime of one edition, so, general Army Books and Codexes designed for that particular edition will outperform those that were not. The fairly rigid release schedules also mean that several armies (notably Dark Angels and Bretonnians) end up getting shafted because they are released near the tail-end of an edition.
This seems to be changing as Sixth Edition Codex updates have been coming in fast and furious. Between the release of Sixth Edition in Summer 2012 and December 2013, the Space Marines, Chaos Marines, Chaos Daemons, Tau Empire, Eldar, Adeptus Sororitas, and Dark Angels all getting new books. That's about one new full Codex every two and a half months, with armies that received new codices late in Fifth Edition seemingly on the back burner.
Should be noted, that what many players believe that what made the late fifth edition armies (namely Grey Knights) this trope was because they were design with sixth edition in mind. Grey Knights went from Game Breaker to fairly balanced.
Sixth Edition lasted all of two years, and now at the start of the summer of 2014 we have Seventh edition. Chaos Daemons currently have an absurd ability to continue summoning more and more and more units which seems to be completely broken, but as the ink isn't even dry on this edition, a FAQ, a new book, or an alteration in the meta could shoot it down. As it stands, Frontline Gaming showed how incredibly broken this seems here.
Magic The Gathering has had a number of cards that were both annoying to play against and high-tier (which translated to seeing them a lot, which made them even more annoying). Morphling could attack and block in the same turn, protect himself from kill spells and fly over your blockers, and generally appeared in decks that could Counterspell the few things that would try to stop him. Disciple of the Vault caused a lot of unstoppable life loss. Psychatog was part of a two-card kill with Upheaval and could make himself almost arbitrarily large for cheap (this one was given a nod in the next block's art). Ironically, Psychatog was based on Atog, a creature that was a Tier Induced Scrappy in the other direction until Mirrodin and the affinity deck.
Jace, the Mind Sculptor's unprecedented price tag (about $100 at its peak), combined with his status as a staple in multiple formats, has earned him a lot of unpopularity among some segments of the player base. The anti-Jace sentiment got to such a point that Wizards was forced to ban the Mind Sculptor from Standard tournament play. He is still allowed in Legacy and Vintage, as the power level of these formats are a little higher than that of Standard.
Another example of an entire element being a scrappy for doing too well was the M11-M12 "Titan" cycle, creating a 6/6 for 6 mythic giant for each color with a color-appropriate ability and another one that activated whenever they entered the battlefield or attacked. The worst of them by a long shot, Frost Titan, was considered above curve for Blue, given its size and relative protection from targeted removal, while the best of them, Primeval and Sun Titan were considered borderline broken in Standard play. Part of the general hate for the cycle in general is the "Titan effect" that has taken over Standard, where just about any large creature must be compared to the color-relevant titan while being assessed, and regularly found wanting in comparison. Wizards admitted they considered printing the Titans a second time in a core set a mistake, as they tended to crowd out most of the big creatures in the surrounding blocks.
Primeval Titan was a key card in the Valakut Ramp (and to a lesser extent, Eldrazi Ramp) decks. The sheer card advantage it gives (a 6/6 trampler for 4GG— a good card if there ever was one— and two lands every turn) led to calls for the banning of the Titan and Valakut (and the Eldrazi). Jace and Caw-Blade eventually overshadowed the Titan, though... until Caw-Blade rotated out of Standard and the Kessig Wolf Run Ramp deck came to prominence, bringing the Titan yet another round of heat.
This has been a feature/problem of Magic Tournament Play since Channel-Fireball. The larger tournament scene is very well tracked and documented, and people want to play the "best" decks, leading to obnoxious levels of Follow the Leader in local tournaments which inspires most of the hate.
The Ferrett's summary of PT: New Orleans in 2003: "Pro Tour: Tinker is held in Tinker Orleans. Tinker Mindslaver Tinker, Rickard Osterberg, Tinker Tinker ban that f**king card Grim Monolith Tinker." It's still arguably the second most broken card in Vintage, a format that never bans cards for power level.
The "Delver" decks are tempo-control aggro decks that run the blue creature Delver of Secrets, a card that starts out weak but turns into an aggressive flying beater if the top card of your library happens to be an Instant or Sorcery. By itself the card is generally too unreliable to be particularly powerful, but in formats where you have access to cards like Brainstorm or Ponder to help stack the top of your library, it becomes extremely fearsome. The kicker is that Brainstorm and Ponder are both Instants/Sorceries themselves.
Rescue Cat. The reason? Its insane synergy with Synchros. Synchros, in and of themselves, are considered this due to their insane power-to-cost ratio (doing everything from whittling the opponent's hand down to drawing cards to destroying the entire field on a whim while only needing a few token nondescript monsters to summon), but Rescue Cat pushes that over the top, letting you get out any two monsters needed to bring out the most powerful low-level Synchros with just the effort of summoning and then tributing itself. It's pretty sad when the unbanning of two Game Breaker revival cards and a field-clearer that's been banned ever since the list was first created is considered a fair trade-off to the feline's dismissal from the game. Oh, and dont ever speak of X Saber/Rescue Cat in the western metagame where X-Sabers have even bigger synergy with this evil thing.
In 2013 the Dragon Ruler archetype was hit with this before it was even released. In addition to being very consistent only one other deck that could even hope to compete with it, it could lock down the entire field in one turn and won most matches in three turns. The deck was also very simple to construct, requiring little innovation and consisted of a number of the most expensive cards in the game, making it an example of bribing your way to victory. Konami seemed to realize this and banned half the cards in the series and limiting the other half from 3 to 1; taking a number of support cards with it in the process.
Rescue Rabbit, his Nerfed brother, gets even more hate nowadays. Decks based on this little guy work by Summoning him, getting 2 Dinosaur-Types and using them to Summon Evolzar Laggia. Laggia is absolutely brutal - it can negate almost anything, but it's balanced out by the fact that this can only be done once and it's quite hard to Summon - except that this deck does it with only one card. Oh, and there's Leviair the Sea Dragon, which is Summoned just as easily and allows you to get back the Rabbit once you use his effect. Twice. So, the whole "can only be used once"? It won't matter when your opponent has three Laggias. Have fun not being able to play anything at all because of two cards! Another reason why Rabbit is even more of a Scrappy than the cat is because unlike cat, Rabbit is far more expensive thanks to be TCG rarity bump from Rare in Japan to Secret Rare which make Rabbit from a possible keycard of a pseudo budget deck to an extremely expensive deck.
Currently, the worst offenders are Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En and Reborn Tengu, neither of which are on the banlist as of this writing. Shi En is one of the aforementioned Synchro Monsters, meaning he's easy and cheap to summon, but requires a Six Samurai deck to do so. Such decks are Lightning Bruisers, capable of spamming monsters with 2000 or more attack very easily and can often destroy another samurai in place of themselves. Shi En can do that, on top of being able to negate one of your opponent's spell ot trap cards every turn, meaning the best ways to deal with him often require you to spend a card to lure out his effect. Don't get me started on how ridiculous it gets when your opponent has 2 out.
Reborn Tengu has, again, insane synergy with synchros. When it's removed from the field, whether by being attacked and destroyed, returned to your hand, being banished or sent to the grave for a synchro summon, you grab another from your deck. Combine this with the fact that the other requirement for the synchro summon, a tuner monster, can be laughably easy to summon and T.G. Hyper Librarian (another tier induced scrappy) who lets you draw for each synchro summon you make (and can be made with a tengu and the most spammable tuners in the game) and you have yourself a deck that can explode into victory if you draw a tengu.
In the earlier eras of the game, two major Tier Induced Scrappy winners were Goat Control, which used Scapegoat to create easy walls of defenders and then morph one into the normally Awesome but Impractical Thousand-Eyes Restrict, paralyzing the enemy from attacking, stealing their monsters, and basically rendering monster-based strategies moot. Chaos was even worse, consisting of three powerful creatures with the ridiculously easy summoning cost of removing one light and one dark monster from the graveyard. Chaos Sorcerer, the least powerful of the three, was hated because it was an easy summon with a body bigger than beatdown staple Cyber Dragon and guaranteed to remove an enemy creature from play if the opponent had any face-up monsters. Black Luster Soldier- Envoy Of the Beginning was loathed for having a more powerful version of Chaos Sorcerer's effect, 3000 attack to make it basically untouchable in battle, and the additional ability to gain a second attack whenever it killed something, meaning fending it off without losing nearly half your life points was remarkably difficult. Finally, Chaos Emperor Dragon- Envoy Of the End was and still is considered the most broken card ever printed; in addition to being just as strong as the Blue-Eyes White Dragon despite being easier to summon than most 4-star monsters, it also had an effect that let it nuke both players' field and hands for a minor lifepoint payment, completely hosing any strategy because of the wording of its effect and generally leaving the opponent at a massive life point and card disadvantage. All three cards saw time on the banlist, but announcements that the Envoy of the Beginning will be unbanned in September 2011 has already caused an enormous Internet Backdraft.
Black Luster Soldier is, at the moment, a Limited card, but seeing as it is not nearly as unbeatable in today's meta as it was before (there are plenty of cards that can defeat it or even trump it in terms of Attack Score) it doesn't have as many haters (or even as many likers) as before. (Still, fans who actually want to bring back Chaos Emperor Dragon are vastly outnumbered by fans who never want it seen again; as proof of its broken nature, it is the only card present in the real game that was confirmed to be an illegal card in the anime.)
Tour Guide From the Underworld. It's a level 3 fiend that can summon another level 3 fiend from the deck when normal summoned at the cost of negated effect and cant be used as Synchro material. Doesn't matter when you summoned Sangan, which activates in the graveyard resulted in searching your keycard. The second restriction? Use it for Xyz summon instead. The fact that it is so rare and expensive crank this Up to Eleven
Dear God, Wind-Ups. While these cards looked like funny wind-up toys, players were able to figure out something called the Wind-Up Loop that could destroy your opponent's entire hand before he even had a turn. note The most common strategy was as follows: First, send Wind Up Hunter to your Graveyard somehow (any card that requires a discard will do). Then Xyz Summon Wind-Up Zenmaity (easily done with Tour Guide, see above) and activate it's effect to Special Summon a Wind-Up Rat. Then activate Wind-Up Rat's effect to Special Summon Wind-Up Hunter from the Graveyard. Use Wind-Up Hunter's effect to tribute Wind-Up Zenmaity and make your opponent send a random card from their hand to the grave. Then use Wind-Up Rat and Wind-Up Hunter as Xyz Materials to summon a second Zenmaity. Repeat the loop twice by sending Wind-Up Hunter to the Graveyard to Special Summon another Wind-Up Rat. Fortunately, with Zenmaity now limited, strategies using Wind-Ups are somewhat more respectable.
Inzektors were worse. (With these cards, the players who hated them wondered if Konami even bothered with playtesters them before release.) These Insect-Type monsters that resembled Super Sentai had another lethal loop strategy Involving Inzektor Dragonfly and Inzektor Hornet, which could not only destroy every one of your opponent's cards turn after turn, but continue to swarm the field in the process. Even worse, it was nearly impossible to defend against this strategy unless you could banish them from your opponent's Graveyard. (After both Hornet and Dragon were Limited, effectively ruining the Loop, Konami quickly started to put "once per turn" clauses on most new cards, meaning that the effect of a card could be used once per turn, even if you controlled two of them.)
The original one is Yata-Garasu. Despite only having 200 attack points, it possesses the ability to make your opponent skip their draw phase when it does damage. But its low attack makes it easy to destroy right? Wrong. It also possesses the spirit characteristic with means it returns to its owner's hand at the end phase. It's no wonder it was among the first cards banned.
Though the draw skip is by far the most terrifying part about it once you realize what it means. At first glance it sounds like it just means the opponent will be down one card which seems troublesome but not that bad. But it's not blocking a card from their hand like most other similar effects, it's stopping them from getting a NEW card. So say your opponent has no monsters in their hand (either playing them all last turn or you've forced them to discard) then you attack with Yata-Garasu, that means that next turn they still won't have monster cards... and the next turn.. and the next turn. The moment the opponent is not presently able to stop the Yata-Garasu and is hit by it they INSTANTLY lose because if they'll never gain new cards and the only change they'll get turn after turn is a few less life points.
Similar to Magic, entire decks exist that serve only to win before the opponent even gets a turn off by repeatedly using drawing cards to draw their entire deck. Exodia turned from a fan favorite to a Scrappy in competitive eyes because of this deck (and its players are seen more like the generic Rare Hunter rather than Yugi), which either wins on the first turn or auto-loses for having no back-up plan. In Traditional Format, where nothing is banned, it's even more of a Scrappy since Makyura the Destructor's ability to play Trap cards from the hand allows for far more consistency and Exchange of the Spirit to deplete the opponent's entire deck before they can even draw.
Any card that focuses on a victory condition not based on damage will fall into this. Final Countdown is a particular case - it's actually not a very strong card, but its nature (win the Duel twenty turns after it's been played) means that a Duel against a Final Countdown player inevitably consists of the Final Countdown player using Swift Scarecrow or Threatening Roar for twenty turns. Self-Destruct Button is even more disliked for being very easy to trigger if you've got the right cards, and for the fact that it ends the Duel in a draw, and draw Duels are tricky to resolve in a tournament. A recent banlist actually restricted Final Countdown and banned SDB, despite the fact that neither were used much, strictly because nobody liked them.
The Tome of Battle for Dungeons & Dragons introduced fighter type classes with powers. They're very powerful classes, attributed to the fact that this 3.5 class book gives the most obvious preview of what would eventually be 4.0 game mechanics, but the two systems are very different and don't mix well. It's a very popular book, but it has become a Base Breaker due to a vocal minority who believe the book is overpowered. For those not in the know, the Character Tiers for DnD are divided into 6 groups (Tier1 being the strongest, filled with classes able to end the entire campaign solo unless the DM actively screws them, and Tier 6 being classes that are deemed largely unplayable as written). The classes of the Book of Nine Swords (Swordsage, Crusader, Warblade) are sitting pretty in Tier 3 (considered the most balanced classes in the entire system). They are sometimes considered overpowered because they are much more powerful then the classic fighter, monk or ranger, while still being flavoured similarly (they're big guys with swords that hit stuff); essentially making these classes obsolete. Not very powerful when compared to the big 3 of the original books (wizard, cleric, druid), but still high for their numbered tier and better than the classics of that tier.
As for the big 3, Wizards are Monte Cook's favorite class, and the incredibly overpowered Clerics and Druids gained the Fan NicknameCoDzilla (Cleric or Druid zilla) because they can do anything the run requires extremely well. The Druid's pet is considered better than Fighters, one of the basic classes!
In Gears of War 2, both of the starting rifles to choose from are a Tier Induced Scrappy to at least one section of its very, very Broken Base. You have the Lancer users who think that the Hammerburst is the overpowered noob weapon because of its incredibly powerful and accurate semi-automatic fire (with almost no recoil with actives). You have the Hammerburst defenders who say that the Lancer is the overpowered noob weapon because of it's one-hit-kill chainsaw bayonet (which tends to either let you tank bullets without flinching and suck people in with a vacuum or not work at all and get you killed), and then the third group who agree that the Lancer is underpowered and use the Hammerburst anyway.
Every weapon in the entire Gears Of Warseries gets this. On the one hand, you have the people who think that the Gnasher Shotgun is overpowered and revile it for turning Gears into a one-weapon game. On the other, you have the people who exclusively use the Gnasher, insist that it's the only weapon that takes any amount of skill to use, and think everything else is too overpowered. The latter group make up the majority of the player base. It was not uncommon to get kicked from matches in the first game if you used anything but the Gnasher.
Turn Based Strategy
In the third installment of Heroes of Might and Magic, the Conflux town is widely despised simply because it's game-breakingly powerful - good early shooters that are easy to get lots of, and late-game extremely nasty meleers - including their tier 6 Magic Elemental which is immune to magic, attacks all adjacent units at once, does not allow enemy retaliation, or their tier 7 Phoenixes which are the fastest unit in the game and occasionally revive themselves. Notably, the upper half of their units, when upgraded, are immune to fire - which makes Conflux the perfect town for running the normally Awesome, yet Impractical spell Armageddon. This spell deals extreme Fire damage to everything on the battlefield, including allied units, but only the first three units of the Conflux castle are actually affected.
Marcus, Marcus, Marcus, a level three paladin (the cavalry class promoted, mind) that serves as a starting unit alongside Eliwood, has access to most of the game's best spears and swords off the bat (which won't be for ten more chapters, as he's introduced right at the start of Eliwood's story), and can one-shot every enemy, including the first few bosses. There's a reason why fandom calls him an EXP whore. To add to the rage, since he's a promoted unit, he gets very little EXP for his kills during a point in the game that all of your other units desperately need them.
Marcus is a special case of High Tiered Scrappy. Character Tiers based on Hector Hard Mode Ranked runs put him at near the top of the list, while those that are based on non ranked runs outright put him into a tier of his own in God Tier. In short, Marcus is EXTREMELY well liked by these groups of the fanbase, while being hated by those that cares only for stats.
The three Sacaean characters (Guy, Rath, and Lyndis, who is also one of the game's three Lords), when used frequently, can rack up an absurdly high Critical Hit percentage when leveled properly. Five chapters into Eliwood's quest, if you're using Lyn, she can garner a Critical Hit ratio of around 25%, while most of your other units are often stuck in the single digits, even at the end of the game. Not only that, but the RNG tends to favor her speed, which allows her to hit twice, even with heavier weapons.
There are several elemental affiliations that affect character growth; using several characters of the same affiliation within the same tile range rakes in more EXP, which increases if you have a good support level with them. The element being innate the most is the wind unit (and guess what two of the three aforementioned Sacaean characters are affiliated with!), with fire being second, so if you use a lot of wind innate and stick them close together, they will probably be favored by the RNG more than those who are, for example, ice innate (two ice innate characters are non-combat units, even.)
Seth, Seth, Seth. Like Marcus, Seth is one of the starting units (and a Paladin, a promoted cavalier unit) and his has access to most of the good swords and spears right off the bat, and can one-shot any enemy, including the first few bosses. But Seth arguably has it worse than Marcus because while Marcus had mediocre-to-decent growths to balance out his good bases (not that it did anything about his tier, save for pushing him up after being initially low tier), Seth's growths are absolutely fantastic. Add to the fact that Sacred Stones is considered the easiest FE, and that Seth is capable of soloing it, means he almost obsoletes the entire Sacred Stones cast. Most challenge runs by gamers outright ban him or restrict him in some way.
Vieras are downright game breaking with their ability to doublecast summon spells. Assassins/Snipers can get Concentrate plus Last Breath, which is basically a guaranteed kill every turn.
Humans are the most balanced race, and have access to such jobs as ninja, which gives enough of a boost to speed (and dual-wield) that you've effectively won every fight if you level it up enough.
Moogles can get both sides of this as they are the weakest of the five races, but have a number of abilities that break the game in half if used right. Gunners can hit you with Charm, Stop, Confusion, Silence, or ULTIMA from 8 or 9 panels away with an almost guaranteed hit rate, Gadgeteers with Dream Rings can basically sleep and doom your whole party unless you gear for fighting them, removing good accessories for situational ones, and the range and free cast cost of Smile which gives another character a free turn can move your entire army anywhere on the map in one turn by having everyone Smile everyone else.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance also has Ninjas, Thieves, and Assassins at the high tier because they get a massive boost to their speed stat at each level up and they all have a high move stat, allowing them to traverse across the battlefield quickly. This means that in most battles, you will go first and should you cast Haste on them, their turns will come up so frequently that you can curbstomb the entire enemy party before they know what hit them.
Thieves are also high tier for having naturally high evasion. Combine this by having the thief wear every possible equipment that boosts evasion and it is entirely possible to have an evasion stat of 100, effectively making enemy attacks miss half the time or more! If that wasn't powerful enough, have a thief use Concentrate as their support ability and watch them successfully steal weapons, armor, accessories, shields, gil, judge points, and even experience points!
Ninjas are high tier not just for their speed, but for also having the ability to learn Dual Wield, which is a passive ability that lets the user wield two one handed weapons at the same time and lets them learn two different abilities at once or one ability at double the normal rate if both weapons are identical. Not only dual wielding lets you attack enemies twice, but if you do a combo attack, you will hit them twice as well for even more damage!
The balancing factor on Ninjas is that katanas, while nothing to scoff at, do considerably less damage than human tank classes like fighter or paladin, meaning that even with dual wielding ninjas do significantly less damage than fighters. However, since support abilities can be transferred between classes once mastered, it's possible to create a dual wielding fighter capable of dealing more damage than any other class in the game, with 1 hit K Os being common even against similar leveled characters.
The Aero Glider/Jetsetter in Mario Kart Wii. A heavy kart with perfect top speed, it has literally useless stats for everything else, including handling, drift, off road, acceleration and mini turbo. In simpler terms, it can't take corners at all, barely sticks to road, can't get back up to speed quickly and as it's a kart, can't do wheelies. The Torpedo/Spear has the benefit of being a bike and having inward drifting (it's got the same stats as the Aero Glider), but since the Aero Glider drifts outwards, trying to use it will literally end in hitting every single wall in the track. Oh, and it's the final kart unlocked, for getting one star on all Mirror Mode cups.
In Need for Speed: Carbon, the best cars are American muscle cars for the first stage, tied between muscle and exotics in the second and third stages, and European exotics for the last stage. Notice how Japanese tuners are never mentioned here...
Initial D Arcade Stage has the AE85 Levin, which in the anime and manga is the car of Itsuki. As someone in the anime said, comparing the AE86 Trueno/Levin and the AE85 Trueno/Levin is "like comparing chocolate and shit": as of Initial D 4, the Trueno is at the top of the tier list (not just on Akina, but overall), and the 85 at the bottom ever since its first appearance in IDAS.
F-Zero GX offers a lot of freedom in creating custom machines, and many of them are great. Slash Emperor -V2 (Big Tyrant + Windy Shark + Scorpion -V2), however, is not; while its speed is great, acceleration is awful, deceleration is awful, and its turning radius is on par with that of the Earth's orbit. Even the game's best players will absolutely refuse to give it a try.
Despite being an obvious Joke Character (and sometimes a lethal one), poor Dan Hibiki still catches a lot of hate from some fans. He is sometimes called a "waste of space" that could be given to another character, especially in crossover games and Street Fighter 4. Poor guy just can't catch a break. Ironically, he's actually a competent fighter in Street Fighter 4 despite still being treated as a joke character by the game.
DeeJay has taken this place as of UltraStreet Fighter IV, with him now considered to be the worst character in the game.
Link in every game counts as this due to his weak recovery and not so great attack damage or speed, along with having not one but two younger counterparts in the series (Young Link for Melee, Toon Link for Brawl) who are considerably better than him. Hopefully the next game will rectify this.
Mewtwo got a lot of hate for being such an awful character, to the point where people signed a petition to keep him out of Brawl. Ironically, when he didn't make it into Brawl, people started considering Lucario a Replacement Scrappy.
He isn't as hated anymore though, since people have found several tricks to make him viable competitively.
There's one character that's even lower than Pichu on the tier list: Kirby. Despite being one of the best characters in the first game, he was severely nerfed in Melee, having awful approach options due to a poor SHFFL and the lack of a good projectile without copying one from Inhale, and having one of the worst combo abilities in Melee. This, combined with a rather predictable recovery and a ease of being comboed because of his poor hitstun leads to Kirby to have generally abysmal matchups against other characters.
Pretty much everybody on the Capcom side in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes, especially Roll and Servbot. Some of the most beloved characters in video game history... and nobody wants to play as them because the Marvel side has all the most dominant fighters, except for Captain Commando, Tron Bonne, and Strider Hiryu.
The Low end is populated by Thor of all people, who has slow attacks that are difficult to chain, and doesn't move too quickly compared to the amount of damage he dishes out; and Viewtiful Joe, on the grounds of his poor reach alone.
In Ultimate, things aren't looking well for Rocket Raccoon. His pitiful range and lack of decent zoning options made the claims of people yelling "Waste of space" (for being a Unexpected Character) look like justified. Not to mention most of his arsenals require precise inputs and timings, and his health is also amongst the lowest of the whole roster.
Hsien-Ko, Shuma Gorath, and Phoenix Wright (some details about him on the depending on the circumstances example), all of which are considered Bottom tier characters, try to go into a boards and post about a team with all three, and you will get a rather beautiful result.
The Onion Knight gets a lot of flack. He's a textbook Fragile Speedster who has the smallest movepool in the game, having only two Bravery attacks for air and ground, one each melee and ranged, making him very predictable. Said attacks also have a long recovery time so it's easy to counterattack if you dodge them, all of his Bravery attacks can be blocked, and they don't do much damage when they hit forcing you to fight with a Death of a Thousand Cuts strategy.
Shantotto has a fighting style entirely reliant on HP attacks. Her Bravery game is virtually non-existent, and they're meant to act as support to set the opponent up for her HP attacks, which are slow to start with long recovery time and poor hitboxes. About all she had going for her was her EX Mode ability Manafont, which let her keep her Bravery after using HP attacks so she could spam them as much as she wanted (normally, Bravery depletes after using HP attacks). Dissidia 012 buffed her HP attacks, increasing their execution speed, decreasing recovery time, and letting them power up at lower Bravery amounts. Unfortunately 012 also changed Manafont's effect, thereby removing Shantotto's greatest strength. In the end, her Bravery game is still horrible, and unless you're good at mind games with Bind and Stun, her HP attacks are still difficult to hit with.
Caster in the Fate/stay night fan game Crucis/Fatal Fake. She has the lowest HP of any Servant in the game, has the slowest frame rate for her melee attacks and as a kiter, she is generally inferior to Gilgamesh, who has more HP and can combo into Enkidu purely through kiting.
In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Lobo is considered by many to be one of the worst characters in the game. It wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't a popular DLC character that everyone was so excited for before release.
"Normal" Kira. The fact that he's a limited-edition DLC character already soured a lot of players, and the fact that he's vastly inferior to the Kosaku version, who anybody can use, will either rub more salt into the wound or leave you feeling validated for not bothering with him.
Phantom Blood Dio is this, due to not having a good air or anti-air attack, when both of those are vital for a character due to how this game is played at high level.
In Budokai Tenkaichi 3 Videl is one due to her lack of anything but rush Supers and Ultimate. Because rushes leave a character wide open to other types of supers and can easily be avoided in various ways it's pretty impractical to use Videl. Worst of all is Giant characters are completely immune to rushes, therefore Videl lacks any real ability to damage or stagger them, in such a situation she's even inferior to her Joke Character of a father Hercule.
Mortal Kombat 4 gave us Shinnok, who in spite of having an interesting backstory, that of a fallen Elder God with a revenge on the Elder Gods, his gameplay is pretty much minuscule by having impersonation moves and lacking actual special moves. The fact that he was an Anti-Climax Boss in said game doesn't help. He got better in Mortal Kombat Armageddon.
Jones from Clive Barker's Clive Barker's Jericho (by Clive Barker). In spite of his fairly decent weaponry, his lack of combat-worthy supernatural abilities (they're mainly used to pass through areas, and as a plot point) means that he tends to get ignored a lot by those who play the game.
The missions where you play as Billy in Call of Juarez were rather reviled. The prequel replaces him with his stepfather Thomas, who fulfills a bit of Billy's Fragile Speedster properties with a more Sharpshooter-based gameplay than Ray.
The Flea from Mechwarrior 4 Mercs is incredibly weak and with only 5 weapon slots, none of which can carry missiles. It is fast, but there are other, better mechs that are fast and still stronger, such as the Osiris.
Each weight class has its respective scrappies: the Flea and the Owens for light 'Mechs, the Chimera for mediums, the Argus for the heavies, and the Mauler for assaults. Most of these designs in their stock form have glaring targetable weaknesses, poor loadout options, some kind of maneuverability problem, or relatively low armor (or for the Mauler, all four.)
Frequent Mann Up players in Team Fortress 2's Mann Vs. Machine Mode consider the Medic to be the worst class to play, largely because Engineer is actually better at healing with his DispenserWhy? Dispenser have the advantage of healing any number of people at once, while Medics can only heal one. Medics have the advantage of mobility, overheal, and uber, but none of those are very useful in a wave-defense game mode because you'll be trying to stay in the same location, the AI isn't coordinated enough to focus attacks at once (which are what makes overheal useful), and even with upgrades ubers don't happen frequently enough to face the loads and loads of different enemies. and can do lots of damage with his sentry gun at the same time. It doesn't help that Mann Vs. Machine only allows for 6 players at once and one unskilled and/or ill-equipped player can cost the entire team the game. Players going Medic are often the most likely to be kicked from games if they refuse to switch class, or even BEFORE they get a chance to switch if they don't have any previous Mann Up Tours displayed (which is the quickest way to identify new players to the mode). He was saved in the Two Cities update, which gave him such a massive buff* He was given the ability to revive players, a shield that can block incoming damage, and cheaper, better upgrades. that he's now considered mandatory for any MvM match.
Demoknights and Snipers with the Huntsman are considered to be this forever. Demoknights are basically inferior Scouts/Spies and Huntsman Snipers lack any explosive headshot damage.
Team Fortress Classic had the Pyro. You thought the Team Fortress 2 Pyro had balance problems? The Classic Pyro could barely kill anything. His flamethrower had an incredibly short range, his incendiary launcher was basically a crappier version of the Soldier's rocket launcher, his napalm grenades did less damage than the regular ones, he couldn't share metal with Engineers... oh, and in Team Fortress 2, afterburn does 60 damage over time in a game where most classes have 125-175 health. How much damage does it do in Team Fortress Classic? Try eight.
Several champions (such as Soraka, Poppy, Heimerdinger, and Olaf) are generally kept at least somewhat weak in order to make sure that frustrating mechanics they utilize stay out of the game (at least until they receive a rework to make their mechanics less frustrating to face.) This has led to hate from the fanbases of those champions—especially when other first-type Tier Induced Scrappy champions are given more careful nerfs and stay in the spotlight longer.
There are also champions who simply have outdated/buggy mechanics and have not really seen changes to update their gameplay to make it less clunky. (These include Sivir, Warwick, and Fiora.) They may also receive reworks to update their mechanics.
Alchemist in Dota 2 originally was subpar to other playable characters, but he Took a Level in Badass in the 6.75 balance patch which, among other things, made it much more difficult for the enemy to tell how powerful your Unstable Concoction is. The spell is a Stun + Damage bomb that got more powerful as a timer counted down, and would explode on Alchemist himself if cooked for too long. Beforehand the timer that counted down was visible to everyone, not just allies, and one well timed stun screwed Alchemist over every time. And even if they do get a lucky stun or kill Alchemist, the UC will now explode in an area around Alchemist.
While mesmers in Guild Wars are quite good in Player Versus Player, where shutting down a single character is very potent, they are generally unpopular in Player Versus Environment where it's much more useful to kill entire groups while the tanks keep them busy. A change to the skill Panic that turned it into an area affect spell that shuts down whole groups by has somewhat fixed this.
Brawlers in general. They don't tank as well as warriors or crusaders and they can't DPS as well as Shadowknights (evil crusader). Bruisers (evil brawler) are favored slightly over Monks (good brawler) because their DPS is a bit better.
Druids in general, due to being frailer than clerics and shaman. Most raid forces stock one Fury (evil druid) for its buffs, but Wardens (good druid) are just out of luck.
As shown above, character classes come in "sub-classes" (originally a Good version and an Evil version). Frequently one of the subclasses is highly favored over the other. A relevant example: Berserkers specialize in being able to tank multiple targets. Guardians can get hit by a truck and live through it. The latter is much more useful than the former in most situations, and Guardians are much more likely than Berserkers to find a raiding guild.
City of Heroes had Defenders sit in this seat for a while. Their poor damage and ally-focused abilities made them virtually impossible to solo. Their array of supportive and debuffing abilities made them useful in groups, but Controllers had access to the same powers (just as slightly later levels when early level powers tend to be the most often used) and in most cases they were just as effective. Most archetypes had two useful powersets, whereas Defenders damaging powers were considered dead weight. The Vigilance ability made them somewhat more soloable, the secondary disabling effects on their offensive powers were increased above the Blaster's, and the numbers on their powers were tweaked to make some of them better than the Controller's, but in general there's still not a whole lot of reason to pick a Defender over a well-built Controller. Several individual powersets also held this seat at one time or another. Some notable examples include:
Electrical Blast, due to it not really being very good at much of anything and its secondary effect of draining endurance wasn't any good unless you drained an enemy's endurance completely, which you needed enhancements to accomplish most of the time, which in turn took up slots that could have been applied to accuracy or damage.
Storm Summoning, because its high number of knockback and scatter effects were unfriendly towards groups, in a power set revolved around supporting teammates. They have one of the best debuffs in the game, Freezing Rain, but it causes enemies to run away from the center of the effect...in a game where AoE damage is king, this is a bad thing. Oh, and the later added Cold Domination took Storm Summoning's debuffs, so Storm Summoning lost its good powers to a vastly easier set.
War Mace and Axe for Tankers, until it got a long awaited buff. They lacked a powerful single target attack, instead relying on stunning or throwing their foes around. Other Tanker powersets either had a powerful attack that also stunned their targets, or the powerset used a rarely resisted damage type (Energy Melee was KING with Fiery Melee close behind) compared to smashing and lethal.
The M3 Lee in World of Tanks. It's a medium tank that plays like a tank destroyer, meaning it has no turret (gun can only turn a few degrees). While the gun is good and the armour reasonable, it's slow and not very manouverable (combined with the lack of turret it's easy to run rings round) and a big target (with a non-functional turret that sticks up over cover inviting shots). Most people hate playing as it.
Part of the trouble with the Lee is that World of Tanks only models one weapon per vehicle, even if the historical tank (and the in-game model) had more than one. The designers chose to model the 75mm casemated gun in the bow of the tank (which, historically, is the only reason this model of tank existed, as Britain was desperate for a vehicle that could carry their best antitank cannon in Africa, so the US designers modified an existing design to rapidly incorporate it in some form) rather than the 37mm turret gun, which is too weak to be of much use, but would at least provide some way to handle flanking light tanks. Additionally, since the turret is physically present, it can be shot at, and raises the visibility and vulnerability of the tank by a large amount.
The French counterpart of the M3 is the B1 heavy tank. Like the M3, it has a large cannon in the bow, and a small one in the turret. Unlike the M3, the small turret gun is modeled, and the large bow gun is not. This gun is so weak that it has trouble penetrating pretty much any equal-tier tank reliably, and can't damage another B1 at all unless hitting a weak spot (sometimes, not even then). It's also so slow that it can take most of the match to drive from one base to the other. The tank's sole saving grace is that it appears a full tier lower than any other heavy tank, and nothing in it's tier can do all that much damage to one, making it a Mighty Glacier.
The light cruiser is this. Many remember this as the USS Reliant from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. However, compared to the KDF's B'rel Bird of Prey and the Romulan Republic's T'liss Light Warbird, the Light Cruiser has nothing special to it. Klingons and Klingon-allied Romulans usually fight these things as mooks as well. What makes this worse is that, for five dollars real money, you can either get The TOS Constitution, the NX-01 or an Oberth-class Light Science Vessel. All three net you special items and can get you set up for the class of ships you want to take up.
The other is the Exploration Cruiser Retrofit, its Fleet variant and the Dreadnought Cruiser. All three are essentially the U.S.S. Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation. All three are amazing tanks... and that's it. They have poor turn numbers (which especially hurts the Dreadnought Cruiser, as it can utilize heavy hitting, but narrow ranged, Dual Cannons) and lack in DPS-granting skills and items. This is even more apparent with the release of ships like the Avenger Battle Cruiser, which does the things the two ships can do, but so much better. It's no wonder players have been trying to get Cryptic to change it.
Thanks to power creep, outside of premade PVP teams healboats and tank builds basically have no role because A) even the flimsiest tacscort can usually pack in enough self-heals to last well enough against NPC attackers, and B) Death Is a Slap on the Wrist. Thus, if you aren't meaningfully contributing to DPS you're basically just slowing down the team. This is at the core of the PR problems of the Galaxy-R and Star Cruiser, both of which are engi tanks with limited tac powers.
The KDF Bortasqu'-class got dumped in the "fail" column mostly because it's altogether too different from the rest of the KDF lineup. The Klingons tend to build smaller, faster ships that can use dual cannons well, but despite being called a "battle cruiser" like the Vor'cha and its cousins the Bort is basically a Starfleet engineering/tactical Mighty Glacier with the serial numbers filed off. It can mount DCs but on launch couldn't turn well enough to use them properlynote this was later mitigated by the addition of the fleet dilithium mine, which contains high-grade turn-boosting consoles, so the majority of KDF players used to the faction's many zippier options found they often had to reskill to use it competently. The Romulan D'deridex-class has a similar issue, especially since the free one comes right after the much zippier Mogai-class. In the hands of a skilled captain, though, the double-D proves Difficult but Awesome.
If someone is at that point, a player can consider the entire Tier III set of ships this by the reasoning that by the time they reach Level 20, "Temporal Ambassador" is available and you can obtain the ship from those missions there instead. However, they don't mesh with everyone's playstyle: The KDF's Kamarag-class in particular is more of a tank than the DPS boats that make up the rest of the lineup.
The Romulan and Reman Prototype space set. Nine times out of ten, if you see any piece of this active, it's only the shields and that's because it's an item you earn for completing a certain mission. Most players use either the four sets from the Omega Task Force set or the two that can be earned by missions (Jem'Hadar and Breen). However, the ship weapons are loved by all, especially the Hyper-Plasma Torpedos mentioned above.
The JU-87, aka the Stuka in War Thunder. Also known as a free kill, these planes are slow, have weak armor and can't climb. The dive bomber versions have pitiful guns and at best they get to drop their bombs before the much faster fighters swarm them. The tank hunter variants, while armed with a pair of devastating 37mm cannons carry very limited ammo.
Mechanics and changes to balance have rendered nearly all classes and specs in World of Warcraft functionally useless at some point or another. For example, changes to how healing worked and the rate at which players to damage at the beginning of Cataclysm, which tended towards players taking heavy damage in relatively short periods of time and heals being weaker overall rendered restoration druids, who are built around heal-over-time effects, completely unfeasible in PvE until the first patch.
Classes and specs whose mechanics have a large luck component, such as fire mages, can be this. Blizzard has made steps in recent expansions and patches to make them more reliable, but the difference between a player performing well or poorly in one of these classes can still easily come down to how generous the random number generator feels during that particular encounter.
Final Fantasy XIV has Dragoons, which while not bad per say have a very high skill floor, and are the class most likely to die to AO Es. As of 2.45 they're getting buffed, but the stigma of "lol DRG" will still probably hold.
It shows that Dragoons are the most steadily buffed Job in the game, largely due to almost every aspect of their job being flawed in some way.
Higher HP and Armor than Monks? Their Magic Defense suffered and a few months of steady difficulty increase made them too difficult to keep alive against high-end content. Also not helped that their biggest damage buffing ability also increased damaged taken. Patched up.
Iconic Jump attacks? So much animation lock and low power meant using them actually decreased your DPS and made it absurdly easy to die in boss battles. Almost every single major patch has improved one or more of these aspects.
Lower DPS than Monks, but higher Spike and Ao E damage? Ninja rolled around with almost identical attack potencies, easier to maintain damage buffs, party support abilities, and higher attack speed. Balanced somewhat by patches. Despite all this, it still remains one of the more popular and iconic Jobs in the game.
Rospark in Mega Man ZX Advent is the least useful of the eight boss forms Ashe and Grey can take. He's slow and has a low jump— two fatal flaws in a game where speed and jump height count the most. His only use is in traversing certain vines in several stages.
Jazz Jackrabbit 2 has three playable characters with all the expansion packs. Jazz had a super jump that would let him reach high areas. The same command for Spaz was a flying kick, so Jazz's helicopter ears were replaced with a double-jump to compensate. Lori had Jazz's helicopter ears and Spaz's flying kick...meaning she had no way to bypass certain areas where a normal jump wasn't quite high enough. Players were not pleased.
Oddly, Sonic the Hedgehog himself is sometimes considered the scrappy amongst his woodland friends, if only because he doesn't have any truly unique abilities like the others. This is particularly prominent in the Sonic Advance series, where the levels are really designed to take advantage of the other characters' abilities, and Sonic's ability to grind rails feels mostly tacked on.
To give an example, in Sonic 3 And Knuckles we have Knuckles' ability to glide and climb walls, Tails' ability to fly/swim, and Sonic has the ability to use extra shield abilities. The elec shield's double jump and bubble shield's bounce jump give you more height but are inferior to Tails' flight, the fire shield's air dash is inferior to Knuckles' glide. And in case you think this might at least make Sonic the jack-of-all-trades of the game, the fire and elec shields instantly break... so have fun with that.
Although the electric shield and fire shield pack more punch than aforementioned flying and gliding. And at least he had these shield abilities, unlike in the Advance series...
In Tetris, the I piece is highly valued and can be used in almost any situation effectively. This, however, is not the case in Tetris The Grand Master and Tetris: The Grand Master 2, where the I becomes the most hazardous piece to use in the game. When the game reaches maximum gravity (that is, pieces effectively spawn already on the stack), in order to be able to rotate an I in a horizontal orientation, the space underneath the third block from the left must be clear, or else it cannot rotate. This means if you set up a shaft on either side of the playing field to put the I in so you can score a Tetris, but forget to give a horizontally-oriented I some room to rotate, you'll probably end up plugging the shaft up with the piece instead. Many a Master run that surpasses level 500 or T.A. Death run has been ruined by a player who thought they could rotate the I into a vertical position to make Tetrises, but couldn't. You can see some graphical elabroation here.
Front Mission III had the character of Linny Barilar. He might count as a joke character, though, since his introduction specifically shows him as pretty weak and even the other characters view him as dead weight.
In Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army, the demon AI is pretty good - if they try an attack and it doesn't work, they'll remember that particular attack type does not work on that particular enemy, and they won't do it again. There is one exception: Throne, average stat-wise, will not learn. The final boss is immune to Mind, but Throne will keep casting Mind-based spells until you tell him to stop, yourself. Though, the game might not have enough fans to warrant hatred of the demon.
Characters who generalize in Hama and Mudo spells, both being instant death, tend to get ditched in favor of those who either specialize in more conventional elemental spells or physical specialists, mostly because they have a very low chance to hit, even if an enemy is weak to it. In 3, Ken Amada, already something of The Scrappy, specializes in Hama spells, and though his physical prowess with a spear is decent, whatever other spells he has are single-target. Although he can also heal and revive allies, Yukari can do the same, and she specializes with Garu spells, and is tied with Mitsuru for strongest magic caster at that. Koromaru is the Mudo specialist, and his stats as a whole are very mediocre, save for a high Agility stat, and the rest of his spells are Agi spells and status ailments.
In 4, Naoto specializes in both Hama and Mudo spells, so while she's a good choice for quick random encounters, she's useless for boss fights, as all bosses are immune from both. The Golden re-release fixed this problem by subbing out some of her physical skills for regular elemental skills, and also gave her third tier Persona moves such as Tetrakarn and Makarakarn.
Edward from Final Fantasy IV, the Trope Namer for Spoony Bard, fits right in here. He's very underpowered in combat due to his low strength and reliance on Useless Useful Spells. Even in the GBA remake, where he can get a lot more levels and more powerful songs, he is still the least useful character to have along in any given situation. Does not apply to the DS or PSP remakes, however.
Cyan is slow as molasses, has the worst magic stat in the game, and his Bushido techniques require you to sit and wait several seconds while you charge up the meter, during which time the fight is still ongoing and the rest of your party can't enter commands. While some Bushido moves deal decent to strong damage, most are various status effects and a low-power Life Drain, which are only moderately useful in general and worthless against bosses. Psycho Cyan aside, he's mostly useless. He can be made more useful with a few specific strategies (saving his turns until you've selected moves for the other characters in the party, charging Bushido while the animations happen, partnering him with characters who do not require command inputs, play the iOS version where you can give commands while he charges Bushido) but few players bother.
Gogo can't equip Espers. In FF6, having a certain Esper equipped can cause a certain stat to gain an additional bonus on leveling up — a bonus that Gogo can't take advantage of. His stat growth will fall further and further behind the rest of the party as their levels increase. Although this doesn't bother casual players, many of whom enjoy Gogo for his versatility, players interested in optimizing stats tend to hate him.
Umaro, whose only strategy is Attack! Attack! Attack!. As he's in a permanent Berserk status, Umaro randomly selects one of three standard attacks with varying damage output, or uses an ice attack that hits all enemies. He can't learn magic, can't change his equipment except for Relics, and his two better attacks are each unlocked only if he equips a specific relic in one of his two Relic slots, so once you have those he can't change his equipment at all without weakening him.
Eiko, a Bratty Half-Pint combined with a Squishy Wizard that in the long run isn't very useful. Of the two summoners in the game, Eiko has only half as many potential summons as the other option, Dagger. Worse, Dagger has all the best summons, including the Game Breaker summon Ark (if you know how to get it), so Eiko doesn't even have quality over quantity. This also means that Eiko absolutely needs the Boost ability, which costs a whopping twelve ability orbs — and she has the lowest orb gain in the game (and, as result, the lowest overall orb total), which means buying Boost leaves her lagging in almost every other area. Even though she's the only character to get the Full-Life spell, there are plenty of easier ways to revive characters. The sequences where you are forced to use her are basically just so you will eventually use her, instead of ignoring her altogether.
Kimahri from Final Fantasy X usually falls into this trap. He doesn't have bad stats, but every other party member is highly specialized, and the game's combat system takes this specialization into account in terms of difficulty, which leaves poor Kimahri a Master of None. And since the game allows the player to swap in characters from the bench at will, if you run into a situation where a specific type of ability is needed, the character who specializes in it will always be available (unless the character is actually absent for plot reasons). This makes Kimahri's flexibility completely unnecessary.
Llewelyn and Badrach in Valkyrie Profile. Badrach is seen as being the worst of all the einherjar for his attacks' lousy accuracy, and Llewelyn isn't far behind. The fact that Badrach is a total Jerkass and Llewelyn is kind of a whiner who keeps reminding you how much he doesn't want to fight doesn't help matters either. Their main martial strength—attacks thathit multiple times—can only really be useful on very large enemies because of the way their projectiles spread out as they attack. Since they spread out in the same set pattern every time regardless of the target, the bulk of their attacks will simply miss all but the largest of enemies. As they're two of the three dedicated archers in the first game (though Lenneth can be used as one as well), they've given the class a bit of a bad rap.
Badrach takes it one step further by having the lowest Hero Value in the game, at negative 111 points, which makes it difficult to potentially send him up to Valhalla and win Odin's graces (to add to that, an archer is recommended for sending up in Chapter 5, and you can only get Badrach in either that chapter or Chapter 4). Notably, the only other two characters in the negative-hundreds (Argrim and Gandar) can't be sent up at all!
Sorcerers can be utterly devastating in terms of attacks. However, you really only need one, and a large slew of them comes around the second half of the game. At this point, most players either pick Mystina (who's important plot-wise) or just pick someone else. Also, sorcerers partially defy the Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards trope in that no spell is unique to one person; they can all learn the same spells. And again, some don't realize that the order you get them in is in ascending order of their base magical power, with Jelanda being the weakest and Lyseria and Gandar being the strongest.
Kashell the heavy swordsman has the weakest Purify Weird Soul in the game and few combos, while Grey is weak and can rack up few hits, with his saving grace being high defense.
The bow weapons themselves are horrible in the original game, with low attack output. The other two archers that are good (Lenneth and Janus) are only helped by their good attack stat and filling up the Soul Purification gauge.
Beating bows are, of all things, katanas. The two samurai you can get are better off equipping western swords.
The useful(/less)ness of Archers in the series is lampshaded in Covenant of the Plume - your first additional party member is an archer, who the protagonist tries to ditch. Another character points out she'll make a decent sacrifice if nothing else. She does end up being useful, however, since the Strategy RPG format makes range a more significant factor than in previous games.
Marle from Chrono Trigger is a great example of a YMMV tier-induced scrappy. She has the drawback of being a healer with no multi-target heals, and late in the game her offensive capability falls way behind everyone else's. Many players prefer to farm for Magic Tabs and pump Frog and/or Robo full of them so they have the magic power to heal effectively, and there's no corresponding way to raise Marle's offense. However, Marle has Haste and Life2, casts half of Antipode 3 (one of the best dual techs in the game), has tremendous natural magic defense and can wear the Prism Dress, which bumps her magical defense so high she can take a Dreamreaver to the face and keep smiling.
In the DS rerelease, her new weapon is a bow that always does 777 damage. While not exactly a high number, especially compared to offensive powerhouses like Chrono and Lucca, it always does 777 damage, under all circumstances, even against enemies with massively high physical defense. In some cases, Marle will be regularly outdamaging the more offense-oriented members of the party, specifically because said boss or enemy has a brick wall for a defense. This makes her a lot more useful to have in your party, since offensive capability was one of her low points in the original.
Chrono Cross, having Loads and Loads of Characters, naturally has a few of these. Or rather, it could be said that only a relative few of them aren't these. As a rule of thumb, for every innate color, there's going to be a character with great attack, and a character with great magic, and other than those two, most characters are going to be on permanent bench warming duty. For example, Karsh is a good all around green innate character with an above average attack and adequate magic. Glenn, however, is a Green innate character with the second best attack in the game and above average magic as well, so if Glenn's around Karsh is useless. And some characters, such as NeoFio, Turnip, Mel , Sneff, and Skell are some of the more memorable ones; they're all nigh-useless in combat. And then there's a few characters who seem like they should be much better than they actually are, like Lord Viper and Radius.
Hahn from Phantasy Star IV before he learns Astral and Vol. Gryz is pretty useless and Kyra is a more mediocre version of Rune/Alys if it wasn't for Medice. Also, Demi despite having Medical Pwr and Phonon. All of those characters are temporary guests in your party until they come back for the final battle. Granted, while they're actually in your party, they're entirely well-suited for those fights, but at the end of the game you're just going to pick Raja anyway.
From the same series, Hugh from Phantasy Star II. For one thing, he's supposed to be a specialist against biological monsters (as opposed to Kain's Walking Tech Bane), but the sad truth is that biologics just don't have the high defense that mechs do, so any party member can effectively combat them, making Hugh redundant. It gets worse for him, though, because his available equipment is mediocre even compared to Shir, the party's thief. It took the Generation:2 remake on Playstation 2 to finally buff him into a viable combatant, and even that amounts to spamming his Limit Break.
Salsa from MOTHER 3 has attacks that are quite weak and he relies on the NPC Party member with him to do most of the damage (and the NPC's attacks are completely random), his special abilities are not really that great,note although knowing about Monkey Mimic can make the Pork Tank a bit easier and he has the misfortune of being placed in what is essentially a full chapter of grinding since he's so underpowered. He is playable briefly later on, but by that time he is tragically underleveled to the point of being useless. However, Itoi makes him such a tragic character that most players end up rooting for him anyway, making Salsa something of a deconstruction.
Rainer Hofstedt's only role in Albion is his ability to provide useful advice during the first part of the game, but he's almost completely useless in combat. He's later replaced by Harriet, who has the same stats, and the ability to cast healing spells, and a spell that can wipe every single opponent off the battlefield There are exactly three other things Rainer is good for. The first is that he's good at picking locks, though not as good as Khunag. The second is that he's harder to hit than Tom and wears better armor than Drirr, so until you get Siobhan he's the closest thing you have to a blink tank. The third is that until you get Joe in the final dungeon only he and Tom can use the pistol, which has an attack power of 30 and can be found when you'd have to Money Grind excessively just to afford a spear with a power of 18. Incidentally, have you noticed that all of these traits are redundant?
Xigbar in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, despite being a great character in the story mode of the game (both in terms of both usefulness and entertainment value), is considered quite weak in the multiplayer aspect of it. The main problem with Xigbar is that a lot of people solo the mission mode— and Xigbar isn't meant for soloing. He's meant to be standing back providing back-up damage while someone tanks the enemies. Having to reload does hinder him, though.
Colette Brunel and Regal Bryant in Tales of Symphonia. Colette, despite being The Chosen One, is largely useless when AI-controlled due to Artificial Stupiditynote Can be overcome by a creative player directly controlling her, and Regal because his controls are odd - while most of the characters control like Super Smash Bros. characters, Regal's controls are more like classic fighting game combos. This frustrates a lot of players into hating a character who is otherwise quite likable.
Jubilee: Unlike other energy users, she doesn't have any melee-boosting passive and her powers are pretty lackluster. She disappeared in the sequel.
Emma Frost: Her powers are never quite as strong as Jean Grey's and she lacks a team boost. It doesn't help that you're forced to use her in a few levels.
Sentinels are fought frequently throughout the game, especially in the last levels. Unfortunately, all of them are either resistant or immune to psionic attacks, making your psychics less than valuable later in the game, even the game-breaking Jean Grey. This isn't as big of an issue in the sequel.
Blade in the first game, despite being a Badass spike-throwing, katana-wielding, gunslinging, vampire hunter: He suffers from horrible energy management issues and never really gains any worthwhile attacks.
Daredevil in the sequel: never gets any good powers and a mediocre fighter
Penance pre-Patch: supposed to be a Glass Cannon, but a bug makes his powers stay the same as he takes more damage and he has horrid defense.note post-patch, he's a high tier in the PS2/Wii versions and average otherwise.
Venom in the sequel: powers deal low damage and has low defense.
Cielo in Digital Devil Saga. It's not that he's poor in attack strength and average in everything else. It's that his weakness is "Ailment". This includes attacks that have ailments as a secondary effect, which nearly every end-game enemy will be using. (Ironically, this weakness makes him an ideal character for fighting the Nintendo HardBonus Boss.) He was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap in Digital Devil Saga 2, where his weakness was restricted to only three specific types of ailment attacks. This- coupled with decent stats, no elemental weaknesses and a period in the game where you have to use him- brings him up to par with the rest of the party... if you can stand his bizarre Jamaican accent, frequent Friendship Speeches and the fact that he was barely involved in the events leading up to the first game.
Daichi from Devil Survivor 2 has rather balanced parameters, which is actually worse to pick compared to being specialized in an area. He is helpful early on due to his strength and agility, so a good candidate for the Multi-Strike ability. But compared to later characters who specialize in areas or, like Hinako, have better strength and agility than him, he quickly gets shoved aside for one of them.
In general, pregen characters in Freedom Force are built around what makes thematic sense rather than what avoids giving characters glaring weaknesses. This doesn't work out too bad for characters like Bullet, who even when nerfed for the sequel just gets a "fast metabolism" that makes him weak to acid and radiation. However, it absolutely screwsLiberty Lad, who has both the melee focus you'd expect from a kid with something to prove and the pathetically low HP you'd expect from, well, a kid. The sad thing is that, rather than making him a Glass Cannon or giving him a high dodge rate, the designers decided to let him use grenades as well as punches—and then they gave him a horrible hit rate that usually meant those grenades exploded harmlessly against a wall thirty feet behind the target. It's not surprising that, despite being a fairly interesting character, he went from being plot-important in several missions in the first game to being the first, easiest-to-get, and admitted weakest of the optional characters in the second game.
To people that don't know how to use him. His Matter Agitation skill is often overlooked and turns him into a ranged power house. It allows him to turn any object he throws into a powerful BOMB, Gambit-style, and is strong enough to throw basically anything Minute Man can, but better, since they do high impact damage and then explode for even more. Especially since even light weight objects like trash cans can blow-up for ridiculous amounts of damage relative to their normal impact damage. And the explosive power is based largely on the weight of the object so heavier objects result in significantly larger explosions. His grenades are also quite versatile in effects, though they do take some practice to aim well.
The Disciple in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, who joins your party if you play as a woman. He's a pretty unspectacular fighter, his "special ability" is making medpacs on request (which is more or less guaranteed to be obsolete by the time you get him, because you will already have access to the Heal power), and the reward for gaining influence with him is 500 XP and training him as a Jedi. By contrast, if you had played through the game as a man, you would have gotten the Handmaiden, who is, bar none, the single best hand-to-hand fighter in the game and who can train you to apply your Wisdom bonus to your Armor Class (manna from heaven if you are playing as a Jedi Consular). Oh, and you can also train her as a Jedi, too. Consequently, the Handmaiden has become so popular that later works have established that the game's Player Character traveled with the Handmaiden, even though the PC is canonically female.
This is partly a result of the rushed release of the game: the Disciple was going to have a proper counterpart to the Handmaiden's granting of the Wisdom bonus to Armor Class perk, but the accompanying quest ended up being unfinished by the time the game was released (and not fully voiced, either, so very few of the cut content restoration projects brought it back in).
Pokémon also has many Low-Tier Scrappies, such as Spinda and Farfetch'd, who are in the NU (Never-Used) Tier because of their relative uselessness in competitive battling.
Poor Flareon. It is agreed to be the weakest of all of the Eevee evolutions, to the point that some people call it wasting an Eevee by evolving it into a Flareon. All Eevee evolutions have one super high stat (130), one high stat (110), one above-average stat (95), and three lower stats (65, 65, 60). Its super high stat is Attack, second highest is Special Defense, and third highest is Special Attack. Except Fire-types are naturally bad at defense without outside aid of abilities or a secondary typing. Another depressing part is the fact that one of its low stats is Speed, which dampers its offensive potential (but at least it got Flame Charge, which boosts its Speed each time it's used... that is, if Flareon can survive long enough to pull off enough of them to get going). But probably the worst factor, however, is that its movepool is horrible. The other Eevee evolutions don't have great movepools anyways, but Flareon's got it the worst. It took six generations for Flareon to learn a physical Fire-type move stronger than Fire Fang, and before then, the strongest physical attack it had was Return (or the Attack- and Defense-lowering Superpower, if you're playing Black 2/White 2), a Normal-type move nearly everyone can learn. Even now, the only powerful Physical STAB move Flareon learns - Flare Blitz - is Cast from Hit Points and using it is likely to make poor Flareon keel over dead on the spot.
In Gens 4 and 5, Charizard was mostly hated by the Ubers players (you know, the highest-tier metagame consisting of Game BreakerOlympus Mons), to near Memetic Mutation levels. Not only was it in the lowest tier, but it was completely inferior to Reshiram in every way. This wouldn't be a problem if there weren't legions ofScrubsusing Charizard in their Uber teams! The fact that most people ran Blaze over Solar Power (Solar Power is better because Charizard won't take a hit anyway) made it even worse. To add insult to injury, Charizard was actually more common than some genuinely good Ubers. Notably, when someone actually made a concerted effort to make a good Ubers team with Charizard, the reaction was far less vitriolic.
Electivire is a cross between this and high tier. The hate mainly comes from Hype Backlash, its movepool giving it insane super effective coverage, good offensive stats and ability that makes it a good offensive partner to Gyarados make it seems to be a powerful threat. However, it's found that "super-effective" is not the same as "One-Hit KO", combined with its lackluster STAB move, lack of good stats boosting move and its Glass Cannon status spread including its so-so (by competitive standards) natural speed (without the boosting effects of Motor Drive) makes its performance rather underwhelming. It is used enough that it stayed OU during the course of Gen IV, even though some Pokémon are demoted from OU despite being considered better than Electivire. This got so bad that in Gen V, people still hated Electivire and commonly bring up the fact it is an OU that is incapable of performing well in OU, even when it was given a new and more powerful STAB move (via the Wild Charge TM). Sadly, Electivire hasn't taken all this well, as it's been consistiently falling in the tier rankings.
Dodrio has been suffering this problem since Generation 4. Thanks to Stealth Rock and the Nerf to Hidden Power becoming a special attack (instead of the type dictating whether it'll be physical or special), it has no way of plowing through Steel-types. It plummeted to the NU tier from the OU tier it was in a generation before. In Generation V's Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, there was hope it would have learned Low Kick to finally get through Steel-types as a move tutor move. Sadly, it didn't.
Of the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, Ice. Offensively, it's one of the best in the game, being strong against Dragon (the only one along with Fairy and itself), Grass, Ground, and Flying. Defensively, it's by far the worst. It only resists itself, and is weak to Fire, Fighting, Rock, and Steel- all of which are very common moves, and although Steel is obscure it's bound to get more usage in the 6th generation. Because nearly all Water-type Pokémon have access to Ice-type moves, there's considered very little reason to use them in the current metagame. To add insult to injury, when the type effectiveness chart was updated for the 6th generation, Ice got absolutely no changes.
As an extra backhanded insult, the ice type has a weather condition - Hail - made exclusively for them... and it's the most useless weather condition in the game. It provides no inherent benefit to the Pokemon it's meant for (Sunny Day doubles the power of Fire attacks, Rain Dance similarly boosts Water attacks, and Sandstorm boosts the Special Defense of Rock types; Hail does nothing of the sort for Ice-types), and there are only two Abilities that benefit from Hail (Snow Cloak and Ice Body), neither of which provide any offensive benefits (and the defensive benefits aren't very useful due to the Ice-type's abovementioned terrible durability).
Grass and Bug are other types that frequently get the shaft. Offensively, they both have the most resistors in the game, with seven apiece. note They share resistors in Fire, Flying, Poison, and Steel; Grass is also resisted by Grass, Bug, and Dragon, while Bug is also resisted by Fighting, Ghost, and Fairy They are also hampered by poor movepool, note Grass-types often have terrible movepools, usually their own type mixed with normal moves; Bug-types had almost no usable moves in the first generation and didn't get anything good until Generation IV vulnerabilities to Fire and Flying, and many, many other problems. Grass-types are indeed strong against Water-types... but when nearly every Water-type can (and will) use Ice-type moves, it's not impressive. Bug-types may have it worse; while Grass is quite good at spreading status ailments and resisting them, Bug is stuck with otherwise pathetic early-game Pokémon, with only a handful of Bug-types having success in the metagame (namely Scizor, Genesect, Volcarona, and nowadays Heracross and Pinsir thanks to very useful Mega Evolutions).
Psychic has become another one of late, ironically to players of the first generation games (where it was a Game Breaker). Offensively, Psychic hits almost nothing super-effectively, with only Poison- and Fighting-types being weak to it. Poison-type Pokemon are very rare competitively and usually have a secondary type that's easier to hit (and are also weak to Earthquake which is everywhere in the metagame), while Fighting-types are hit harder by Flying-types and Fairy-types, both of which are much better types than Psychic offensively. Defensively, Psychic is generally considered the worst type in the game that isn't Ice (and even that is fairly debatable) - it's weak to Ghost, the type with the best neutral coverage in the game, Dark (the type with some of the best physical moves out there such as Knock Off which is incredibly powerful and ridiculously spammable, making it nigh-impossible for any Psychic-type to switch in, Sucker Punch to guarantee even a slower Dark-type beats a faster Psychic-type, and Pursuit to catch a Psychic-type that tries to escape and basically put them in total checkmate), and Bug, the type with U-turn (one of the best utility attacking moves in the game). Its resists? Fighting (which is better done by, again, Flying and Fairy, or even better yet, Ghost, which is outright immune to Fighting), and Psychic itself (see above). The result of all this is that Psychics that do well invariably do well despite their typing rather than because of it such as Espeon, Gothitelle, and Wobbuffet all have an absurdly overpowered ability, the Deoxys formes and Lati twins have a ridiculously good movepool and the choice of two different but both excellent stat distributions, and Gardevoir and Medicham who have typings other than Psychic to use as their primary offense and excellent Mega Evolutions to go with that. And then there's Mewtwo....
The Golden Sun series is known for its Djinn and Class system, which allows the player to toy with the attributes and abilities of the characters by allocating the Djinn set to the character. But the combat system is biased towards warriors due to them getting the best weapons, best weapon unleashesnote if you are lucky and Psynergies that used the user's attack stat instead of doing set damage. Contrast this to mages who are usually stuck with inferior set damage Psynergy that only deal scratch damage, making them useless in attack most of the time. The same holds true in Dark Dawn, but not everyone freely utilizes it, which makes two characters stand out.
Rief is capable of learning Ply and Wish, just like Mia, as well as combat Psynergy to round out your options. Sadly, attack Psynergy loses its effectiveness mid-game, which is a recurring problem since the GBA games, but Rief doesn't last that long before he's benched due to [A] Karis being able to use the Fresh Breeze group from the word go at the time he arriveswhile can be assigned to do other stuff and [B] physically-oriented Amiti showing up just an hour or two later. Due to most players not having the patience to play with the aforementioned system, Amiti's arrival usualy means Rief is permanently benched. Mia did not get it this bad since there are a number of bosses weak to her element (this is lampshaded in the second game). And the sink for those Dijinn that don't make it onto the main party, causing him to be a bit of a mongrel if he does have to save the others' tails...
Himi does bring things to the table that Matthew doesn't (like an attack buff and some summon abilities), but she's very likely not to get any field time unless she's needed to revive Matthew due to her being much weaker and everything resists her assigned element * Matthew is not affected despite being of the same element as Himi due to the combat system favoring warriors. And not having enough time to make up the difference. Coupled with her being a Flat Character (due to her latecomer status) even by Golden Sun standards, her falling in this trope is especially tragic.
Nina and Garr are often considered the weakest characters in Breath Of Fire 3, mostly because the other four characters are just that much better. The Hero Ryuu has powerful dragon transformations and excellent all-around stats. Rei has simply insane speed and decent attack stats and can turn into a weretiger whose damage output rivals other characters spamming their best attacks with no AP cost and his main weakness in this form (increasing chance to attack party members instead of enemies) can be countered with an Useless Useful Spell. Momo is extremely versatile and can be easily set up as a powerful physical attacker AND support mage. Peco is Nigh Invulnerable due to having the highest HP and defense and an innate HP regeneration, plus he has respectable attack power and an insane counterattack rate, making him the ultimate tank. This leaves the other two characters in the dust. Nina's specialty is attack magic, which is nearly useless against bosses in the second half of the game, due to their high magic defense and elemental resistance as well as the fact that all attack magic has a set damage range and never gets any stronger, and she's also the frailest character in the game. Garr has the highest base attack power in the team, but he also has almost no AP to work with; the other members of the team can more than make up for their lower strength by using powerful skills like Shadowwalk and Aura to hit much harder than Garr can with normal attacks. He's also the slowest character in the game, which translates both to never getting any extra turns and missing annoyingly often, although the former can be remedied to a degree with the Chain formation.
Kaidan Alenko from Mass Effect 1, due to being a Sentinel, falls head first into the Master of None trap. He can handle crowd-control and tech-based debuffing, but there is nothing he can do that someone else can't do better. Ashley, Garrus, Wrex, and even Tali are better with weapons. Tali is much better with tech-based debuffs and even Garrus has a valuable one that Kaidan is missing. Liara has access to every crowd-control ability and, along with Wrex, has an extremely useful biotic debuff that Kaidan lacks. The end result is Kaidan frequently getting benched after the first mission in favor of the more specialized teammates.
Jacob Taylor in Mass Effect 2 has been criticized for this. Pull loses much of its usefulness on higher difficulties, his AI uses Barrier all the time even if there aren't any enemies around, his ammo power is shared with Grunt and Soldier / Vanguard Shepard, and he's generally less good at being a Stone Wall or Magic Knight than Grunt and Samara, respectively.
The starting Human Infiltrator is virtually never seen. This may have something to with the fact that it is Overshadowed by Awesome in more ways than should be physically possible; most players will agree that every other Infiltrator and every other default human character is better than it. Not having powers that synergize particularly well together, sharing two of its powers with the sturdier and Sabotage-toting Quarian Infiltrator, and having Cryo Blast without a power that pairs well with it are particularly damning.
The Drell Vanguard has excellent mobility and a passive race power that gives higher damage bonuses than any other race. It's also quite fragile and has powers that don't really work together all that well, and does not have any specialized buildups such as the Krogan Battlemaster, Project Phoenix Ex-Cerberus, and N7 Slayer.
Live A Live has Akira, very likely the worst character in the final chapter. Stat-wise, he's a Master of None, but that's just where the problem starts. His attacks cover huge areas and inflict status ailments, but they're also far too weak for the area of effect to matter and status ailments don't matter in an RPG like this. Worse, those area of effect spells are some of the slowest in the game and his melee attacks do barely anything. Almost no one uses him for anything but his personal dungeon and his mind-reading power to find some extra info.
Making things worse is the fact that in his own chapter, he seemed very strong; it's not until you try to use him in the last chapter that you realize that that was because his chapter had overwhelming numbers of enemy formations with a weak leader surrounded by strong flunkies, the one thing Akira's weakish long-range wide-area attacks are good for. Naturally there's almost none of that in the last chapter.
The Demon Hunter has become this in recent patches of Diablo III. High-damage weapons are rarer and weaker than they are for other classes & the damage boosts from skills are fairly modestnote The damage boosts for the Demon Hunter's skills have been largely unchanged from the initial release, while most other classes have seen theirs doubled or even tripled. , so actual damage per second is artificially low. A lack of synergy between skills, 2 separate resource pools, and a nerf to Dexteritynote Dexterity is the demon hunter's main and highest stat; it dictates dodge chance for all classes as well, but changes to dodge mechanics mean that even a high dodge chance isn't that useful, means the Demon Hunter dies easily and has very few usable builds.
Shoot 'Em Ups
Reco-Abnormal in Mushihime Sama Futari. Her shots have a difficult learning curve, and in a defiance of usual Bullet Hell conventions, her speed when using her focus shot is faster than her normal speed (it's also the weakest if you haven't locked-on with any of the beetles which requires going in close-range, 2nd strongest if you have). Palm Normal also suffers from this to a lesser extent; his rapid shot's fairly reliable, but his focused shot is quite weak in version 1.5, especially compared to Reco Normal or Palm Abnormal.
Hawk in Pilotwings 64 is sluggish and had crappy maneuverability with the only "benefit" being that he is largely unaffected by the wind.
The Teladi Vulture freighter in the X-Universe series. It's slow, weakly shielded, and has average cargo space. About the only thing it has going for it is that it's dirt cheap. To a lesser extent the Boron Dolphin freighter, because it's slow - making it pretty useless for anything besides shuffling crap between your factories. Unlike the Vulture, it at least has good shields and a big cargo bay.
The Boron Manta and Paranid Hermes passenger transports fall under this category as well, being dreadfully slow by their standards (even the Teladi Toucan beats these two craft by being roughly 15-20 m/s faster). Time and speed are of the essence when performing Marine/Passenger Transport missions and these two craft are not capable enough to perform their tasks in time, even with a Jumpdrive installed.
The Teladi Kea (save the Enhanced variant, which is slightly better than the standard version in every way) has crappy speed for an M3+ heavy fighter, running at a lumbering 104 m/s. Every other ship, including the M5scouts, will have a leisurely time making potshots at this flying brick and turning it into mere Cannon Fodder. Its only use is as a niche mini cargo freighter for player goods.
DwarfFortress: With regard to the player's available trading partners, the elves. Your fellow dwarves are obviously essential trading partners due to your exports to The Mountainhomes affecting how often migrants arrive (at last until your population is high enough that this stops being useful), and humans offer decent supplies despite not thinking to bring armor/clothing in your size, elves mostly just bring wood and cloth, plus wooden weapons/armor that are only good if you're really short on metal. On top of that, they don't like being offered wooden goods that aren't made the elf-friendly way.
Elf traders do have the saving grace of pre-domesticated exotic animals, but unless you specifically want to play around with some of them, it's not much to make up for their other shortcomings.
RBI Baseball has the Houston Astros. Besides the fact it has one of the game's best pitchers in Nolan Ryan, and a serviceable cleanup hitter in Glenn Davis, the same cannot be said about the rest of the starting lineup. Denny Walling is by far the worst three-hole hitter in the game, next to Tom Herr of the St. Louis Cardinals. His power rating ranks in at 750, trailing behind everyone else. The bench is better than the starting lineup, but they can't carry the team for long, in a fast-paced video game.
The Monk Class in 3.5E is widely considered to be the weakest of the Core Classes. They have low hit points, restricted skill points, rely heavily on multiple stats, nearly all of their abilities can be replicated by a caster of a much lower level, their abilities have terrible synergy (eg. increased movement speed combined with special attacks which can only be used while standing still), and an unarmed Swordsage (Tome of Battle) can pull off Wuxia-style martial arts while still being effective.
Outside of the core classes, the biggest scrappy class is the Truenamer from Tome of Magic. The Truenamer is great in concept: Someone who uses the language of creation itself to rewrite reality, with the added bonus of backwards enunciation of said language to obtain inverse effects. That is until you realize that not only are their powers rather limited, they also become less effective as they level up: the DC of a Truenaming effect equals a constant + double the target's level. This includes allies. A Truenamer in combat spends most of his time shouting in Truespeech only for it to not do anything.
Rivaling the Truenamer in sheer player hatred is the Complete Warrior Samurai, essentially a Nerfed and more restricted version of the already average Fighter. While the Truenamer is mechanically unplayable, the Samurai is just useless. He has weak features, a poor skill list, bonus feats which mainly border on detrimental, and very little versatility. His Eleventh Hour Superpower, Frightful Presence, is virtually useless from the start and only gets weaker from there. Just about the only good thing about him is he helped bring about the much more well-liked Ronin prestige class, which he's not really needed for. One of the most well-known tier lists places him on the same level as the Warrior and Aristocrat, noncombatant classes not meant for actual player use. Ouch.
Another class that's looked down upon for lack of power is the Healer from Miniatures Handbook. It heals better than a Clericnote by way of adding their Charisma modifier to damage healed by spells... but that's all it can do. No offensive abilities whatsoever (unless fighting The Undead, because Revive Kills Zombie). Just slinging healing spells to patch up allies (in a game where in-battle healing is completely useless). To add insult to injury, the game contained several much loved "focused casters" (who know their entire spell list, and can cast any of them as long as they have the spell slots), which would have been the perfect system for a support class (limited, single purpose spell list), but it casts exactlylike a Cleric instead, except it can't convert other spells to raw healing if needed. They do get a Unicorn, though, which provides permanent immunity to Mind Control for the entire party.
The Soulknife occupies the position of being one of the most well-liked and most-hated classes in 3.5e. The idea of creating a weapon out of psychic energy and going to town on your foes earned fans for its cool factor, but mechanically the Soulknife's main class feature was owning a magic weapon that upgraded later than weapons you craft yourself and didn't even have the decency to be a Laser Blade. The class was a worse combatant than an ordinary fighter and didn't have much else going for it, dooming it to be an ineffective novelty combatant. But its sheer coolness meant that players would continually try to come up with House Rules to fix the class and make it more like the awesome warrior they envisioned.
3.5e's spiritual successor, Pathfinder, gives us the Cavalier, a class whose primary feature is owning a horse in a game where you spend most of your time in dungeons. They're not even the best at mounted combat, either. The druid and summoner can get flying mounts with magical abilities.
Of course, they pale in comparison to the Divine Mind: weak auras that start with a five-foot range, a mediocre Base Attack, MAD, and crappy psionic powers (this is a class that will finish the game knowing NINE POWERS). It's a casting class that's considered utterly inferior to the Adept, Healer, and Warmage. To make matters worse, unlike the monk or truenamer, a mix of nonsensical fluff (it claims to be a psionic cleric, when psionics had always been a basically secular system) and rushed design (as typical for a Complete Psionic class) mean that there isn't really a divine mind fix out there. Most psionic players consider the class to be an insult.
The Ranger and Bard in 3rd Edition both landed headfirst into this. 3.5 players recognize the Bard as a Difficult but Awesome skillmonkey and supportive caster, while the Ranger is a capable Jack of All Stats leaning slightly toward Glass Cannon. This wasn't so much the case in 3rd Edition. Both classes received only four skill points, which made it hard to do their jobs. The Bard spell list had few to no unique spells and couldn't be cast in armor, while the Bard's signature Inspire Courage gave an absolutely piddly bonus that didn't even scale. The Ranger was limited to Dual Wielding, which was even more subpar in 3rd Edition, their Animal Companion was a walking liability, their Favored Enemy maxed out at a +5 bonus, and outside of a weak selection of spells, they received nothing else.Giving these two a buff was a big motivator behind creating 3.5 in the first place (well, that and Haste).
Green's main problem is that it's the creature-focused color, and for many years, creatures sucked: you'd run out a horde of Elves, only to walk right into a Wrath of God (which forbids regeneration, just in case you thought you had an out.) The only time green saw any tournament play was for its other defining characteristic (fast mana) and then only to fuel the red, black, or blue kill spell. The rise in creature quality has lead to green having more prominence in the tournament scene.
With the shift to move some card drawing into Green (Garruk, Primal Hunter; Hunter's Instinct; Lead the Stampede), some creature kill (in the form of the Fight keyword and Ambush Viper), and some particularly powerful keyword abilities (Hexproof, Undying), Green is starting to make a turn out of this. Of course, when cards like Primeval Titan around, Green might be heading in the other direction...
White had its own time being lousy. White is pretty much the Jack of All Stats of colors, meaning that it does almost everything, but it does nothing particularly well. It occasionally interacts with the stack, but not to the crushing level that Blue does, and it's creatures don't have green's quality or red's breakneck speed. White, like green, has started to improve with the focus on creatures.
Note that both of these colors, despite sucking overall for many years, have had game breaking cards associated with them: Balance, Oath of Druids, and Survival of the Fittest are all ridiculously overpowered. However, these cards are in no way representative of the colors power level on the whole.
In the alternate format Commander, Red is infamously terrible. The aggressive damage strategy Red typically uses is useless for a slower format with more survivable opponents, and the color has nothing to compensate. It has little to no card draw, deck searching, or resource production to keep up with Blue, Black, or Green in the late game. Unlike the similarly weak White, Red adds little as a supporting color because it lacks versatility and can't cover other colors' weaknesses. Exacerbating the issue, one of Red's few strengths, consistent land destruction, is much maligned for slowing down the game and will often draw the ire of the group at a person willing to use it.
A couple blocks got a lot of hate, especially when they were Standard legal:
After the comically overpowered Rath and Urza blocks, Mercadian Masques block was deliberately made weaker so the game could be re-balanced. Unfortunately, Wizards went too far, and Masques was so weak as to be unusable, with generally unfun and clunky mechanics. Masques' reputation took a further hit after the following Invasion block released, which had a huge impact on the metagame despite being only moderately powered.
Kamigawa followed in Masques' footsteps: it was meant to be a return to sanity after the broken Mirrodin block, but was generally unfun and did nothing to stop Mirrodin from dominating Standard. The following block, Ravnica, was also considered fun and moderately-powered.
The Sisters of Battle have received a White Dwarf codex as of late 2011. They are simply terrible, with almost no useful options. Faith, their signature power, has been nerfed to useless and fails to scale with the game's point size. The Sisters have also been Worf in a Worf Barrage for many factions and been massacred to be used as holy oil in an infamous section of the 5th Edition Grey Knight codex. However, if and when they get a new codex, the Sisters could quickly find themselves pulled out of this status. Their codex is so bad now it's unlikely any metagame changes are likely to save them.
In fall of 2013, the Sisters got their new codex, which was barely changed from the last one and would have left the Sisters near the bottom of the list in Fifth Edition. Unfortunately, this is Sixth Edition, and the metagame has simply crippled the hobbled Sisters. Sixth Edition is swarming with flying units, whether big monsters or aircraft, and the Sisters have neither fliers of their own nor anti-air abilities within their Codex. Faith scales with the game size, and it's more likely to go off in any given turn, but the Sisters get even fewer Acts of Faith to try. At best, fluffy Imperial Guard armies might splash some Sisters in for flavor. At worst, you have to really love the Adeptus Sororitas and be willing to get stomped in most games even if you play brilliantly to pick the Sisters as your army.
As the year 2014 rolled on, the metagame for Imperial forces and Sororitas specifically began to shift. Since most players were aware that Sororitas were underwhelming on their own, most players stopped trying to field them that way, and treated them as a modular reinforcement to be taken with the digital-release Inquisition codex, the updated Grey Knights codex, and Assassins supplemental rules.
The poor Tyranids got a late codex for Fifth edition (2011) that looked pretty mediocre. The Dark Eldar codex followed quickly on its heels. This shut down the Tyranid's viable but still only average 'Nidzilla strategy for metagame reasons and left the 'Nids without a viable plan. There were armies that did everything the 'Nids did, but better. Then Sixth Edition (Summer 2012) introduced a metagame dominated by fliers - something the Tyranids have almost no counter for. And the 'Nids can't ally with anyone else, so they cannot shore up their own weaknesses by bringing a few friends in. In short, 'Nid hordes are no match for Ork hordes, 'Nid shooting is no match for Dark Eldar, Tau, or Imperial Guard shooting, and 'Nidzilla armies are eclipsed by every other army of super-elite characters and creatures. But then, the metagame and tier system of Warhammer can change within the space of one Codex or expansion.
And then their 6th edition codex... Which not only nerfed already weak more so, raising the point cost on units for no clear reason but removed many of their best abilities and units, which many players were using to still be competitive.
Both of Sylvia's children, Leen and Corpul, in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, are both low tier to the point that forums encourage players to either leave Sylvia alone or kill her off so that their replacements, Laylea and Sharlow, can be used instead. Corpul is hated more because not only is the High Priest class already bad, but he comes in low level very late in the game and has a poor selection of skills to pick up. If players do use him, they opt for Claude to be his father, meaning he has the Major Blaggi Holy Blood needed to use the Valkyrie Staff that raises the dead.
To clarify, Sylvia's children are a dancer (not meant for combat) and a priest that comes in at level 1 very late in the game. Leen's replacement, Laylea, has a unique skill, Charisma, that not only lets her allow units to move again with her dances, but said dances will boost her allies' stats. Corpul's replacement Sharlow is statistically similar (if not slightly inferior) to Corpul, but he comes toting with both the Elite skill and a Berserk Staff, and having him own it is the only way that you can obtain it in the game.
Corpul tends to be a special case (read: HATE it or DESPISE it,orelse!) with the entire fanbase, actually. Being a unit that's recruited in the 4th chapter out of 6 in the game's second half, starting out as a Priest at Level 1. Though he has decent starting stats and high growths regardless of who his father is, and his two most common fathers are both powerful offensive magic users (Levin and Claude), Corpul ends up outclassed by those two fathers' other potential children. Claude can end up giving his high magic stats to Sety to make him still powerful even without Holsety (with which he's even MORE powerful than Levin), it also pairs up with giving Holsety to Arthur when he's not running a Glass Cannon set. Also, Sharlow's exclusive Berserk Staff is usually praised because of what it does and how the players react. All in all, Sylvia is killed and Corpul is dropped for the opportunity to laugh at your enemies killing each other, AND LITTLE ELSE. For an example of what happens to those who try and go up against the status quo, have a look atthe resultsof thischaracterpoll.
The replacement children, except for Laylea and Sharlow (and arguably, Linda and Amid) fall almost inevitably into this. The hardest cases are Cute Bruiser Radney, who not only "replaces" the ultra super loved Lakche but promotes in a different class (Hero, instead of Swordsmaster) and thus is a stupid and useless bitch for fans, and White Mage Janne who is completely trashed for not having Pursuit and Charisma like the girl she replaces, Nanna.
Arden from the same game actually has quite a bit to offer as a unit (good defensive capabilities) and a father (Ayra and Edain's children benefit from said capabilities and if you promote him he can pass down a Killer Bow for Lester or any A-rank sword for Skasaha), plus he can get the only Pursuit Ring in the game. But most guides bash his mediocre stats and low movement range, adamantly advising players never to bother with him except for the ring, which should be sold to "someone who can truly use it". (Which isn't bad in and of itself because a few other characters could benefit from it, but they make it sound like it'd be flat-out wasted on Arden)
The Interquel (Thracia 776) has its own problem children:
Ronan is the biggest scrappy, thanks to his growth favoring in Magic with a really low Strength and rather below average in everything else. Even worse, Ronan is an Archer, which is one of the Tier Induced Scrappy classes in the entire series.
Marty gets railed on for not having Skills, when gameplay-wise he is the poster boy for Capturing. Plus he's ugly.
Cyas. The man is a genuinely good guy despite being Alvis's Heroic Bastard. He also helped Mareeta break free of the Darkness Sword and made sure she made it own personalized weapon, and he's a brilliant tactician. However, he makes life hell for you in two chapters due to his absurd amount of leadership stars (not to mention he loses most of them when he joins your side). So people never keep Cyas because keeping Cyas means losing Sety, the resident Game Breaker. For all the trouble he gives you, in-game he doesn't even help you out at all.
Zealot from Fire Emblem 6, who is a Nice Guy all around (and a good, working husband at that, not to mention he becomes the first King of Illia), but gamers tend to avoid him or blatantly tell "HE SUXXX!!!" due to being worse than the token Crutch Character in the game (Marcus)note A shift in the Metagame has rescued him to Upper-Middle, however. And this also goes into his mom wife Yuuno, who is a nice Action Mom all around, but since she has rather bad stats and growth, people avoid her, telling that Zealot's suckiness in combat (as far as game stats go) is hereditary.
Yuno's biggest problem is that unlike Zealot, she joins pretty late so unlike Zealot who can take the advantage of the Metagame shift of protecting weaker units early in the game, Yuno joins when your units are probably already strong enough to take care of themselves, making her overall useless. Yuno is available only on a specific route split, if you don't take her route, you get Sue's grandfather Dayan, a Nomadic Trooper who's... pretty much the same as Yuno.
Also, Sophia and Wendy. Sophia is a shaman who starts at level 1 in the midgame and dies in one hit and never has acceptable durability. Raising her is a pain due to her horrid accuracy and her lack of speed, so even with training, she's seen as a poor man's Lilina. Wendy is even worse, joining in a chapter that comes right before ones that are dominated by axe users. Wendy is notorious for her poor movement, bad attack, horrible accuracy and despite being a in a Mighty Glacier class, she gets killed very, very easily. And for many, the payoff isn't even worth it since she just becomes interchangeable with her older brother Bors, who comes earlier and who isn't that good anyway.
Princess Lilina from the same game borders on this. She joins later than the other Mage, Lugh, and with about the same bases he had to begin with. While Lugh ends up being a balanced magic user, Lilina isn't. Her astronomical Magic growth (75%, in a game where 40% is considered good) is tempered by her poor Skill (20%), mediocre Speed (35%), and sub-par defenses. The fandom is pretty evenly split between "She's the greatest magic user in the series" and "She's utterly worthless". Her tiering tends to reflect this split, falling below average but still arguably in the "worth using" category.
Roy gets a lot of hate for being "weaksauce", doubly so because he's the protagonist whom you're required to use. The fact that he automatically promotes so late in the game doesn't help his cause with the stat hounds, either.
Renault in Fire Emblem 7 has the most interesting back story and depth, but is widely maligned for joining latenote meaning "joining in the second to last chapter," baring a potential extra stage and having a God-awful magic stat. Of course, it makes the final battle easier to have him spam his fortify staff, but people just see his low mag and res and are like "FAIL!" Players who care more about characterization than stats are thus likely to pass him over for their favorites as he's an optional character with very little dialog as he joins and little time to learn anything about him via support conversations. It doesn't help that you have to intentionally seek support conversations with Renault, as it takes a minimum of 42 turns to unlock one (where the rest of the game can be completed in under 15).
Nino gets the same deal as Ewan below, except Ewan can do Level Grinding and she CAN'T (She does get strong, though, just not worth the effort for many).
Eliwood. Compared to Bad Ass Hector and Action Girl Lyn, he's somewhat average and his growth is a bit slower. And like Roy, the stat-hate for him is doubled based on the fact that he's a main character.
Marcus was considered and derided as this in the earlier days thanks to veterans pointing out that he is of the Jeigan archetype and new players getting tipped of by aforementioned veterans or using him and discover, much to their dismay, that his growth potential was mediocre. This led almost everyone to consider him complete and utter crap... until it turned out that he was one of the better units to use if you wanted that Hector Hard Mode A-ran, and efficiency runs, far surpassing Oifaye levels in overall usefulness. He has had a more positive reception ever since. Ironically, this shift in opinion may have been because of the popularity of his successors, Seth and Titania who are much better than him statistically, causing people to give him another chance and thereby discovering that he wasn't as useless as they thought he was. It could also be because the Metagame shifted from "overall unit growth potential" to "overall positive contribution to the Tactics rankings" which determine the Rank you get at the ending.
Fans of Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones often lump Knoll together with this trope. This is because most of the later enemies in the game are monsters, and when Bishops have an ability that makes a guaranteed one-hit-KO against monsters, his Luck Stat is among the worst in the game, and given that the dark legendary weapon (Gleipnir) isn't super-effective against monsters and is the heaviest weapon in the game (which equals lot less evade and no double-attacks, and when coupled with the above-mentioned low Luck, he gets NO dodge at all), most players abandon him or just throw him on the back lines as a Summoner (surprisingly, he's the best Summoner in the game— not that there's a lot of competition). Knoll can be pretty useful against walls of magical enemies, though they aren't that common.
Most people also considers Ewan this due to him joining really late, massively underleveled and not even becoming all that strong even when fully trained.
Amelia gets this worse than Ewan in recent years: Though she joins earlier, she has poor stats, poor movement, and is locked into 1 Range thanks to her Weapon Rank. All this means that she's harder to train than Ewan, and is subsequently considered bottom tier below him on most tier lists.
Other characters considered Scrappies are Marisa who despite being a badass myrmidon who's a member of a badass mercenary group is underlevelled and also solidly outclassed by the other myrmidon (Joshua) who joins much earlier, Syrene due to her poor offense and defense especially when compared to other riders, Dozla due to his almost pathetic dodge, L'Arachel who suffers from joining fairly late at a point where other magic units (even healers) are most likely trained and stronger, and Knoll, whose almost nonexistent luck seriously screws him over in the dodging and defensive areas.
The Trial Map Characters, which are clearly much bigger examples than the ones listed above. Other than (arguably) Glen, Lyon, Riev, and Ismaire all of these characters have terrible stats, terrible growths, or characters in the party who are far superior to them (i.e. Gerik to Caellach), or have poor pontential due to their high levels.
Most mage characters fell victim to this in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the exception being Soren (and even then, he's pretty average). Pretty much all of the non-royal laguz did as well.
Micaiah is a light mage (lowest damage spell type), is the main character (until Ike overtakes the plot) and is truly at the mercy of the Random Number God. Most Radiant Dawn fans label her a Mary Sue and give her a heal staff. Micaiah is a very odd example of this trope, considering she's actually considered the most useful magic user in the game... the girl's problem is that Ike is a borderline Game Breaker and magic is very sub-par in this game.
To be more specific, FE 10 decided to heavily Nerf magic classes by giving them much lower speed growths and caps, to the level that they're almost as slow as armored classes, as well as basing speed calculations on strength and not constitution, which mages will have horrible growths on. Before this, they were regarded as GlassCannons, but now, Squishy Wizard is in full effect. This also carries over to the games afterwards. Micaiah became a Squishy Wizard as a result, with magic stats so high she becomes a Stone Wall against mages, but physical stats so low she can be ORKO'd by just about any other enemy that attacks her. Another thing to note is that the Mage class Mastery Skills (Corona for Micaiah and Bishops, Flare for the others) are the only ones that don't have a damage multiplier associated with them, instead merely a Res negation effect. Mathematically, the Mastery skill of the Dragon Laguz, Ire, given to a White Dragon (whose breath attack works off the Mag stat unlike other Laguz) has a better Mag-based damage output compared to this, since Ire is just a generic three times boost to damage when it triggers.
Micaiah's group, the Dawn Brigade, has several units in this category too. They range from units whose growths are not efficient for their classnote Meg having high speed and poor strength and defense in a Mighty Glacier class, Leonardo having poor skill and speed when being the group's only archer to units who come at unreasonably low levels or are otherwise hard to train note Laura starts at level one and can only level by healing, Fiona comes at level 7 when the rest of the army is probably more than twice her level to units who would actually be useful if it wasn't for certain attributes that weaken them considerably note Ilyana being forced to use the badly-nerfed Thunder tomes until she promotes, Volug being stuck in half-shift for all of Part 1. A few other units have these problems as well, but it's not quite as pronounced for them because they tend to show up in far more balanced armies and they aren't starved for experience like the Dawn Brigade.
Lyre falls victim to this too. Cats are considered weak in Radiant Dawn to begin with, due to their low Strength, a transformation gauge that depletes quickly, and a combination of high HP and low Defence which makes it difficult to keep them healed. Lyre has all these problems, but unlike Lethe (who can at least dodge) or Ranulf (who is pretty strong for a cat), she can't dodge or take hits at all, or even double most of the enemies in the first map where she is available... in her transformed state.
Rafa and Malak in Final Fantasy Tactics (or "Rapha and Marach" in the Video Game Remake for the PSP) have unique class skills that hit 4 squares out of 5 at random (possibly including doubles) and normally do pretty lousy damage even when they hit: Rafa's multiply with the target's "Faith" stat (which is essentially Magic Vulnerability) but not enough to be impressive; Malak does increased damage to athiests with low FA, but are aren't a whole lot of those in the game. Rafa is also infamous for an Escort Mission in which she can get herself killed before you've been allowed to take a turn. Their redeeming qualities come in their natural Brave and Faith stats: Rafa has low BR, making her good at being a white mage or using Move: Find Item; and Marach's low FA means he takes almost no damage from magical attacks, making it that much easier to turn him into an invincible steamroller. That said, it's a lot of work for marginal reward, compared to other characters (even Player Mooks). And their unique class skills are still the absolute worst in the game.
The power of their attacks is quadratic in their magic power, instead of linear like everyone else. It only gets to be impressive when you optimize the build totally for this, using their class ability out-of-class as a black mage, equipped for raw +magic power.
One thing that severely reduces the usefulness of their attacks is the fact that their attacks have the same vertical tolerance as most other magic spells, meaning that you can't restrict the possible target area of their randomized spells to isolated enemies standing on high tiles: however, the Hydra/Tiamat line of monsters have attacks that not only work in the same way as Rafa's and Malak's, but they also have less vertical tolerance which allows you to restrict the target area better, have a larger minimum number of attacks than either of them for all of their attacks, and the best skill of this type they have also inflicts status effects on top of doing damage.
Archers, while sometimes being the only characters capable of long range attacks, are usually shunned for their low defense, poor movement, and mediocre damage. May in 2 is exempt.
Kiwi. His HP growth is horrible, which doesn't matter much if you only have him engage in melee battles since he has high defense, but in a game where magic attacks bypass defense, you'll expect to see him die often. His promotion adds the ability to fly over water tiles as well as a random chance of a flame breath attack (an obvious homage to Gamera), but what's the point if he'll rarely get to use them.
Sister Miriam's faction in Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri. There are four ways to win the game: control enough money to buy every other faction, gain enough votes from each faction to be elected the Supreme Ruler, advance so far in technology that you ascend to another plane of existence, or you can just conquer the entire world. While some factions are more tuned to attempt one victory condition over another (CEO Morgan has the best chance of buying the world, Commissioner Pravin Lal has a bonus to being elected world leader, etc.) Sister Miriam's faction only has one viable strategy: devote all resources to conquering everyone else as fast as you can. This is because Sister Miriam's faction has a technology research penalty that means all other factions will eventually out-pace you in weapons technology, and achieving the "ascend to another plane of existence" victory condition is very hard if not completely unattainable. Their only hope for winning is to conquer everyone else while the playing-field is still relatively even, and hope they get enough technologies from conquering to make up any deficit. Most human players make it a goal to destroy her faction as quickly as possible, especially if another human is playing as her. Compounding the scrappy-factor is that two other factions (the Spartan Federation and the Human Hive) already fulfill the role of being 'warlike' while still being varied in their possible strategy options.
Montblanc in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is considered a low tier because he starts off as a Black Mage and his magic power pales in comparison to the Nu Mou who are a race of people that excel greatly in magic and have better magic stats than everyone else. Since Montblanc is level 5 when you first get him, several of his levels are wasted in the Black Mage job and even trying to raise him purely as a mage won't get the same damage output as the other races who use magic. Because of this and how he is considered useless in the story, many players choose to kill him off so that they can replace him with a better fighter since the game doesn't allow you to boot him out of the clan.
Several basic job classes in the game are quickly discarded once the player has access to higher tier classes:
Soldiers can only lower the stats of the enemy, which quickly gets useless once you learn abilities that can do high damage or other effects. Soldiers can use some of the best swords in the game, but by the time you get them, you won't even be using the Soldier class. The Warrior class is basically the Bangaa version of the Soldier; stronger but equally useless in abilities.
The Animist class used by Moogles have below average stat growth and the majority of their abilities cause status effects, which are more likely to miss than hit if the computer decides it doesn't want you to win.
Archers are useful in the start of the game, but they mostly focus in abilities that cause status effects and are quickly outclassed by the more useful and powerful Hunter and Sniper classes. The Archer's saving grace is learning the Concentrate passive ability, which boosts your accuracy.
Beastmasters for the Nu Mou tend to be useless when there are no monsters around and many predetermined battles will have no monsters. The Beastmaster class is useful if you are using a Blue Mage to learn monster skills since you can control the monster and use the ability on the mage, but outside of that, any Nu Mou in this class will only gain better physical stats, despite the fact that 99% of the job classes for the Nu Mou race are purely based on magic. The class gets even lower in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 due to being nerfed; the Beastmaster can only force the monster to execute an attack on that unit's turn rather than when the monster's turn comes up.
Miu and Painkiller in Super Robot Wars UX. Compared to other Linebarrel characters and Machinas, Miu has weak Spirit Command pool and Painkiller has bad Full Upgrade Bonuses and Ace Bonuses. You can only make use of her for doubling experience and funds for somebody else.
Examples of both depending on the circumstances
In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Phoenix (of the X-Men, not the lawyer) is an example of both a High- and Low-Tier Scrappy, due to her Glass Cannon traits. Her vitality is the lowest out of anyone's in the game, so a handful of hits and she's down for the count. Unless, she has 5 full bars on her Hyper Combo meter. Then she becomes Dark Phoenix... and then the fight is pretty well decided.
Then you have Phoenix (yes, the lawyer). He's low because his attacks have pitiful range, and the fact that he has to gather evidence before being able to do anything noteworthy. But if he gathers enough evidence and lands his OBJECTION!, then he enters Turnabout mode, which is every bit as overpowered as Dark Phoenix, and gains access to his level 3 hyper combo, which is like the aforementioned Magneto's, but significantly more powerful.
In games where he's low tier, such as Street Fighter Alpha2, Zangief is this. His priority may be terrible, and he may be slow, but his damage output and throw range can still strike fear into the hearts of players.
Iron Tager of BlazBlue is similar. He isn't usually a high tier character (and in his earlier appearances is on the lower tiers) due to his overall slow speed and the fact that he's a big target, but he can still give players nightmares with his Gigantic Tager Driver, his excellent range, and his insane damage output. And God help you if you get magnetized.
His Genesic Emerald Tager Buster is so infamous the move is a scrappy of it's own. It's difficult to pull off but when timed right and the opponent is magnetized, Tager can suck them in across the stage. On the lower-health characters this is usually guaranteed to finish them off if they're close to half at their health so players usually opt to go for this instead of Tager's Astral Heat.
As of Chronophantasma, Bullet is now seeing hate for being badly put together as well. Criticisms range from her Cutting Shear looking like a command grab but not functioning as one, to her situational and mostly useless Rage Aggressor move, her dash-step hindering her mobility heavily despite her being meant to be a rushdown character and even her Drive receiving criticism that it completely holds her back and requires actually hitting to become any bit useful. Its gotten to the point when some are calling for Bullet's playstyle to be completely remade from the ground up so that she can actually stand a chance.
Every class in Team Fortress 2 gets this one way or another, but two stand out:
Pyro, because that Pyro is overpowered in casual play, but underpowered in competitive play - sadly, the very definition of a Scrub class. Later updates have turned Pyro into less of a close-range beast and given it more of a support role. This went about as well as can be expected.
The Spy gets it for being the very definition of Difficult but Awesome: Either he's one of the 1% of players who can play a spy well (and he's on the other side, terrorizing your team) or the player is one of the other 99% who should have the class disabled from their character select screen. Naturally, this sort will always be on your team.
Tribes: Ascend has the Sentinel class. With the game putting most of its focus on speed and splash damage weapons, a sniping class is easily the hardest class to play especially considering sniper weapons have very little zoom. Once players manage to land more shots than they miss, expect accusations of aimbot use. The playerbase can't seem to decide whether or not the Sentinel needs a buff or a nerf.
Retribution paladins, enhancement shamans, beast mastery hunters (as previously mentioned), and fire magi (among others) have all been Tier Induced Scrappies at some point or another. Then you've got warlocks, who've been juggling forth between the two types of Tier Induced Scrappy ever since the game was released. On the release they were extremely weak and generally considered free kills in pvp. Later on itemisation (warlocks had easier time getting gear with lots of stamina and damage due to their pve gear also having stamina) and buffs to the class made them extremely powerful, allowing them to "drain tank" most other players. In the next expansion increased burs damage and survivability of all classes made drain tanking less viable, while the warlock's primary crowd control suffered several nerfs, making them sub-par in pvp. They were buffed again later on, and currently they are not horrible but not especially powerful either.
Warlock mechanics make it very difficult for the developers to find a good balance for that class.
Currently, demonology warlocks seem to suffer while levelling. The sheer destructive potential of a destruction warlock with the Grimoire of Sacrifice talent (kill the demon pet to get a damage boost on single target spells) overshadows everything, but at that point you might as well just play a mage.
When it comes to Shamans, as of Sentinel's Fate, Defilers were often preferred over Mystics because Defilers have stronger base heals and can regenerate their own power. But when Destiny of Velious came out, a combination of new alternate advancement lines and rearranging stats made Mystics a very good damage per second (DPS) class in the hands of a skilled player without losing any of their healing ability, which reversed their Tier Induced Scrappy state from low tier to high tier.
In The Shadow Odyssey, Shadowknights were overpowered, allegedly because one of the developers played a shadowknight. As of Destiny of Velious, Shadowknights were nerfed and are the squishiest of the four plate tank classes.
Many players have dumped the Dyson Science Destroyer ships into this category... only if you're a Federation player, though. As Klingon and Romulan players lack dedicated science ships, many have welcomed this ship. For the Federation, however, many call it inferior to the Vesta line of ships due to the fact that its gimmick concerning the extra Proton Dual Heavy Cannons forces players to adapt a weaker attack build or ignore it completely. This also hurts the Klingon and Romulan players, but it's usually ignored for the fact that, again, they don't have dedicated science ships. On the other hand, the Warp Core that completes its four-piece space set makes the space set wonderful and all four pieces are usually tossed onto other ships.
Phasers. Save for the retrofit Phasers and the Andorian Phasers, many players tend to ignore Phasers altogether, preferring more powerful yet expensive antiproton weaponry (which doesn't get a proc, just a boost to critical damage, making it one of the top two choices for DPS builds). On the other hand, spec into flow capacitors to boost their subsystem-disabling effect and they can be pretty damn annoying to face.
The Scimitar-class dreadnought warbird. A very small percentage (call it 10% for the sake of argument) of Scimitar jocks can make it a near-indestructible juggernaut. Thus the ship got a reputation for being absurdly overpowered, and is thus attractive to players who think that just owning the ship will make them invincible. Hence the Fan Nickname "Scimitard".
In Dota 2, Meepo's effectiveness depends incredibly on the skill of the player using him. Unskilled players will be unable to effectively manage his clones, leading to them not doing much and/or dying repeatedly. Skilled Meepos, however, are forces to be reckoned with, as he'll often feel more like five heroes than one. Whenever Meepo is picked, the game will generally revolve around him, for better or worse.
Techies are also notorious for being as much of a help as they are a hindrance. Their ability to place invisible mines and bombs on vital portions of the map, for instance, is very useful. They also have an ability that allows them to blow up, committing suicide while simultaneously dealing the sort of instant damage no other hero can dream of. Unfortunately, this can give the enemy team gold.
Naval in Planetary Annihilation. Because so few maps have any useful amount of water, there are very few situations that allow for ship use, but if you get a waterlogged planet, you'll find that they are very, very powerful.
Terran and ATF ships in the X-Universe series get it from both sides. On the one hand, they're Lightning Bruisers with some of the best equipment in the game, especially where missiles are concerned. On the other hand, their economy is horribly broken in Terran Conflict to the point where equipping anything other than their fighters in large numbers takes absolutely forever (though this is fixed in the expansion pack Albion Prelude). Even worse, their fighters are completely lacking in fast hitting weapons to fend off the ever annoyingly quickM5 scout ships, which makes them practically helpless in fighting them unless the scouts start flying towards them in a predictably straight line.
In Warhammer 40,000 the Imperial Guard. Compared to the rest of the playable armies, rank-and-file Imperial Guardsmen are usually random guys in t-shirts with flashlights. Some game-types were even considered unwinnable for Guard players. However if you put them, for example, into the underlevels of a Hive City, then the guardsman will be one of the strongest, if not THE strongest thing around. And as of the new Guard Codex (2010), the Imperial Guard are now considered one of the strongest armies in the 40K metagame. People still love them though.
Most armies zig-zag all over the tiers on a long enough timeline. When Fifth Edition was released, it was feared vanilla Codex Space Marines would be this due to their spammed Missile Launchers. Throughout 2012, Codex Marines were an "average" army. The Grey Knights went from barely-played low-tier army to overused insanely powerful army with their 2011 codex. Dark Eldar couldn't get an update for twelve years, making them incredibly hard to play as they were woefully underpowered, but as their 2011 codex they are at least respectable. The Orkz got an insanely powerful codex stomped down just months later by the changing metagame with the new Imperial Guard codex mentioned above, though ask any fan about the damned Nob Bikerz. Necrons have been rescued from the low tier scrappy heap by their new 2012 codex, but before that were something of a laughing stock of the game. The 2011 White Dwarf Codex for the Sisters of Battle took them from low tier to downright horrible; the 2013 update didn't help at all; but the changing metagame for Imperial forces shifted them from "a bad standalone army" to "a decent supplemental army for Inquisitors and Grey Knights".
Marcus from Fire Emblem Elibe is a perfect example of a varying type of Tier Induced Scrappy. In Blazing Sword, Marcus essentialy kickstarted the trend of early joining Palladins that is considered "broken" in the tier list. However, Marcus is a bit special in which he has a growth rate that while not bad, but is still below average, while his sucessor Seth and Titania has some of the best stats growth in the game. To make the matter worse, Marcus also appeared in the Sword of Seals as a straightforward Crutch Character.
Donnel from Fire Emblem Awakening can be one of the best units in the game or one of the worst, depending on the criteria in which he's being judged. A classic case of Magikarp Power, he joins in the terrible villager class with pitifully low base stats, but his growths are among the best in the game and once you get him out of villager he'll quickly become one of your most powerful units. However, his personal stat caps are relatively lackluster and he doesn't have access to certain skills such as Galeforce, which can leave him outclassed by some of the other characters you get later in the game. The result is that if the player Min Maxes, Donnel will probably be surpassed, but in a low-grinding run can be one of your most solid units. Difficulty can also be a factor here, as getting him out of Villager is harder on the higher difficulty levels where enemies are stronger and experience gains are lower.
Blue Mages in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Their stats and equipment are average or below average so leveling up as a Blue Mage won't get you far, but the abilities they can learn from monsters can be borderline Game Breaking. Though, you can learn blue mage abilities without actually being a blue mage so there's nothing stopping you from mastering "Learning" (the ability that lets you gain more blue magic) then swapping to a job with good stats and equipment.
Smash King, or more specifically the prequel series Racconto, is set in the world of Super Smash Bros. Melee. The Tiers in game are very serious and are treated like social status, with higher tiers praised and lower tiers discriminated. It was considered such an undisputed fact of life that when Mewtwo (the worst) beat Fox (the best) in a fair exhibition match, to say it was controversial would be an understatement.