Playing With / Non-Action Big Bad

Basic Trope: A Big Bad who doesn't fight.
  • Straight: Emperor Evulz doesn't want to get his hands dirty, so he sends General Drake and his minions to fight the heroes.
  • Exaggerated: General Drake, Evulz's right-hand man, is an invincible God-Mode Sue with full control over Evulz's enormous Badass Army of Demonic Spiders. Evulz himself is a blind idiot in a wheelchair with a terminal illness. When fought, he lasts exactly one second.
  • Downplayed:
    • Evulz makes an effort to be on scene whenever enacting an evil plan, and is fairly decent at combat, but he never directly fights the heroes.
    • Evulz isn't good at physical combat, but he knows how to use a gun, and is fought and killed in a firefight with the heroes.
    • Evulz is perfectly capable of putting up a fight, but he lacks the supernatural abilities of his subordinates, making him much easier to take down.
    • Orcus on His Throne
  • Justified:
    • Evulz doesn't fight because he's too busy running his empire or organization; he literally doesn't have time or incentive for it.
    • Evulz is weakened by a terminal illness.
    • Evulz is the mind behind the villainy, but is lacking in brute force, so he leaves the fighting to those more suited to it.
    • Evulz is too old to fight.
    • Evulz is so Lean and Mean that he's become quite wimpy.
    • Evulz knows the heroes are much stronger than he is and that he wouldn't be any match for them, so he decides the best solution is simply to not try to face them himself.
  • Inverted: Evulz is much more dangerous than any of his henchmen, and regularly fights and defeats his enemies.
  • Subverted:
    • Evulz doesn't fight and gives no indication of being capable of it, but when confronted directly, he turns out to be very powerful.
    • Orcus on His Throne
    • General Drake turns out to be the real Big Bad, using Evulz as a facade.
  • Double Subverted: ...But then it turns out this is only because he's wearing Powered Armor, drawing on an Artifact of Doom and when it's destroyed or taken away, he's helpless again.
  • Parodied: Evulz is a weakling who needs his Mooks to help him.
  • Zig Zagged: Evulz only fights if he's 100% certain he'll win, so he ends up fleeing half of his battles.
  • Averted: Emperor Evulz is as powerful as General Drake, if not more powerful.
  • Enforced: "If we make him a warrior, then the final battle just comes down to whoever's better at fighting. "
  • Lampshaded: "Why doesn't Evulz ever fight?"
  • Invoked: General Drake convinces Evulz to let him do all the fighting, so Drake knows he'll win if Evulz tries to betray him.
  • Exploited: General Drake is less subtle in his attempts to usurp Evulz, knowing he'll be too weak to do anything about it anyway.
  • Defied: Emperor Evulz trains himself in various forms of combat, just in case he's forced to take down the heroes on his own.
  • Discussed: "Should we be worried about the fact that we're soldiers, who're taking orders from someone who can't even throw a punch?"
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Emperor Evulz' lack of combat skills renders him no match to even the weakest heroes in straight up combat.
  • Reconstructed: If the heroes could just get to Evulz, they could take him out easily, but he always seems to have a way out, and a nasty surprise to slow them down while he makes his exit.
  • Played For Laughs: General Drake is wounded during the final battle, forcing Evulz to use a gun to fend off the heroes. He constantly asks if he's pointing it the right way and where the 'reload' button is. Drake facepalms.
    Evulz: Is this the way you're supposed to point it? And how the hell do you reload this thing?
    Drake: Ugh. What a way to die...

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