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    Dragon Quest 
  • The DS remake of Dragon Quest IV has the spell Magic Burst. It does massive damage to all enemies but it uses up all of the caster's magic points. That alone would make it a good contender for Awesome But Impractical, but there's more: Psaro will learn it at level 60, which is a whopping 25 levels more than what Psaro starts out with when he joins your party, and by the time you can recruit Psaro, much less after you've leveled him up to learn the spell, you can breeze through most random encounters anyway. Magic Burst's magic-draining nature makes it really impractical to use against the True Final Boss Ammon at any rate, but even without Magic Burst, Ammon is already a pushover if you've been leveling up to around level 55.
  • The 3DS version of Dragon Quest VII changes Blade of Ultimate Power / Ultra Hit to this. It deals a guaranteed 400-500 damage, in a game where bosses have about only a couple thousand health, and never misses. But it's not as practical in this version for many reasons. For one, it costs 20 MP to use - meaning spamming it on bosses will cause you to run out of MP fast. Two, it's locked to the Champion class, so you can't class change to say, a Summoner or a Hero who has a lot more MP. Three, it's not affected by Oomph or psyche up - so you would deal 800-1000 damage with a good Knuckle Sandwich. It's only really useful for metal slimes - due to the fact that it never misses.
  • Dragon Quest VIII:
    • Yangus's max skill for Humanity, Golden Oldies, summons a group of old men to trample over every enemy on the screen. Hilarious? yes. Damaging? Yes. Worth the 100 points in Humanity that could be better spent getting Parallax and Executioner at an earlier level ? Definitely not.
    • One of Jessica's 100-point abilities for fisticuffs unleashes all her magical power at once for massive damage. The problem is, once she does this, she has no MP left, limiting her options (though her whip skills remain usable, and if she has enough skill points in staves she can regenerate her MP), and on top of that, you've severely gimped Jessica.
    • The 3DS version of Dragon Quest VIII adds Red, whose 100-point ability in Roguery, Fire in the 'ole, deals four hits at 80% damage each. Against normal enemies, the hits are all random, but not against a single target (such as bosses, who will eat every shot). The problem is that it costs 15 MP to use, and isn't affected by tension. One of her abilities in Fans, Fan Dango, does the exact same thing as Fire in the 'ole (albeit with the chance that it'll only hit three times instead of four), can be affected by tension, and has no MP cost. But damn if Fire in the 'ole doesn't look absolutely awesome.
  • Dragon Quest IX has a few, in the form of hidden weapon abilities. Once you've maxed out a weapon skill and finish the accopanied quest, you have access to some powerful, awe-inspiring techniques...that are all flash, with no real substance. One move in particular is Gigagash. It destroys foes, but only on a single group of enemies, cost INSANE amout of MP (more than any class that can reasonably use a sword would have), barely hurts boss enemies, and is generally more useful on Mooks, which aren't worth the MP spent. And that it's just an "upgraded" version of Gigaslash, which does the same for half the MP and reasonable power.

    Final Fantasy 
  • Instant death spells in most Final Fantasy games are absolutely pointless. By the time your characters learn the spells, any enemy worth using them on is immune or else evades an absurd amount of the time. A lot of Final Fantasy games have other spells that immediately incapacitate enemies but aren't technically instant death, like petrifaction or banishment, which are usually cheaper and more reliable. Also, the easiest way to get rid of most enemies is still direct damage, which can almost always be done for less MP than instant-death spells. As such, the instant death spell nearly always ends up as a Useless Useful Spell.
    • Final Fantasy V broke this by making instant death moves more likely to work (and even usable on some bosses), but also offered attacks like Death Claw (weakens enemies to single-digits and has a high success rate) and Iainuki (Free 80% chance of killing all enemies, with the only cost being it takes a full turn to charge).
    • Final Fantasy XIII also broke the trend and made the Death spell much more useful. Although it has only a one-percent chance of actually killing something in one shot, it also does decent magical damage if it fails. It also made Level Grinding much easier when used on the normally tough Adamantoises, who were not immune to the spell and could be quickly incapacitated for a short time, allowing you to spam Death until they died. It also made it possible to beat some mission marks far earlier than you normally would for excellent rewards. With enough patience, one could ostensibly take down stupidly hard enemies like the Neochu and earn large amounts of experience and valuable items like the Growth Egg, which doubles experience earned.
      • In a Shout-Out to the first SaGa, the true Final Boss was actually programmed to be vulnerable to Vanille's "Death" spell.
    • Odin, a recurring Summon Magic who shows up in the late game, has an instant-kill attack, the Zantetsuken. Even though he's often quite hard to get, the Zantetsuken is as much of a Useless Useful Spell as you'd expect. In Final Fantasy IV, the Zantetsuken only works if it would kill everything on the field; otherwise, summoning Odin does nothing. In Final Fantasy VI, he taught the spell Meteor at a point in the game where Ultima was available, and boosted a character's Speed stat, which was unique in the original but something that Giant Cactuar could do even better in the remake. In Final Fantasy VIII, he would randomly appear at the start of battles and murder everything, which wasn't a good thing when you were taking part in the signature tactic of "draw magic, then run away before you gain any XP."
      • In Final Fantasy V, Odin's Useless Useful Spell status is somewhat mitigated by giving him a second attack, Gungnir, which is not an instant-kill and is used instead of Zantetsuken if one or more enemies on the field are immune to instant-kill attacks. However, Gungnir only hits one enemy, so you're still better off using Bahamut, who doesn't cost much more MP than Odin and whose attack, Mega Flare, does comparable damage to Gungnir but hits all enemies instead of only one.
  • Final Fantasy II introduced series staple Ultima. It scales in power with the number of spells known by the user and their levels, and does significantly more damage than the next strongest magic, Flare and Holy, when used by a character with many high-level spells. However, since Flare, Holy or elemental attacks did more than enough damage if leveled properly, the Level Grinding needed to deal adequate, let alone better, damage with Ultima became pointless. However, in the Bonus Dungeon of the remake, you can use the spell in combination with Minwu, a Crutch Character who has pretty much every spell you could think of at a reasonable level, meaning he can now steamroll the game.
  • The Onion Knight in Final Fantasy III is a fairly extreme case of Magikarp Power, being useless for most of the game and then seeing its stats explode at a certain level. What level is that? 92 and up, maxing at 99. Most guides consider 60 a good level for fighting the game's final boss. A team of 99th-level Onion Knights can turn just about anything in the game into a speedbump, but so can a team of 99th-level anythings.
  • Final Fantasy IV includes the Meteo/Meteor spell, which is far and away the most powerful black magic spell in the game. It hits all enemies, ignores Reflect, is non-elemental, and is pretty much guaranteed to hit the damage cap of 9999 on every target. It even gets some Gameplay and Story Integration to further add to the idea that it's a wrecker of your enemies' day. But it's also the most expensive spell at 99 MP, and it takes four times longer to cast than the second-longest casting time. Only four party members can learn it; of those four, Tellah doesn't ever get enough MP to cast it, FuSoYa joins you for only one dungeon, Palom won't get the chance without some seriously unnecessary amounts of Level Grinding, and Rydia can get summon magic that could do the same thing as Meteor for a smaller cost. Plus, in a game where magic points are hard to come by, wasting 99 MP on a random encounter isn't worth it, and the few battles where it might be useful in the final dungeon usually have other weaknesses or gimmicks to exploit instead. By the time you get a character that both knows the spell and has enough MP to cast it, chances are you'd be better off using something else.
    • The GBA remakes gives the twins the ability to cast Double Meteor... which is just as stymied by the damage cap and requires both of them using their turns when you could just have Rydia spamming Bahamut.
    • The Twincast augment gives any pair of characters the same twincasting ability that the twins Palom and Porom have; with even more powerful moves available for use. By combining Cecil and Rosa, you get Ultima; strongest attack spell in the game bar none, which can even break the damage cap, hitting for around 25,000 damage. The problem is that it takes time to cast, and the team is deprived of their strongest physical fighter and both of their users of White Magic until it's done. Plus Rosa's a Squishy Wizard, and if she goes down, the casting stops instantly.
  • Final Fantasy VI:
    • The level-specific spells, like Level 3 Muddle/Confuse, Level 4 Flare, and Level 5 Doom. These spells, respectively, cause unblockable Confusion status, non-elemental magic damage, and instant death, but only if the target's level was a multiple of 3, 4, or 5. And most bosses were still immune to them, anyways. Plus, unlike Final Fantasy V, there's no way to lower an enemy's level like with the "Old" spell, so it was rarely worth the trouble.
      • By far the most impractical was Level ? Pearl/Holy. Like the others, it's unblockable Holy damage, but the level requirement relies on the last digit of your GP. And if that number was a 0, it would automatically miss everything. Considering how quickly this number could change, and how late in the game it was possible to learn it, Level ? Pearl looks neat, but that's about all it's good for.
    • Cyan's more powerful Sword Techs tend to be rather impractical. They have useful effects like multiple-hits and One Hit KOs; however, they require long periods of charging-up, during which time you can't give commands to your other characters, leaving your party completely defenseless against enemy attacks. (Using a Quick spell on Cyan beforehand will remove this drawback.) The iOS version completely changes how his Bushido techniques work, allowing you to choose his technique and then charging up afterwards while the battle progresses, making him far more practical.
    • The high-level multi-target spells like Quake, Tornado and Meltdown tend to fall into this, as they damage all targets on the field, including your own party. Abusing Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors can make them all the more useful, even if it was an enemy who cast it - with the proper gear, you can absorb fire or earth damage, and damaging the enemy while simultaneously healing your whole party with one spell is certainly nice. Although by the time you're able to do so, you've probably got Ultima, which hits the entire enemy party, does non-elemental damage and leaves your party alone, and you'd need a lot of high-level gear just to make a single spell viable, so it's still extremely situational.
    • Setzer's Gil Toss (aka GP Rain) deals lots of defense-ignoring damage, and is acquired fairly early in the game, not long after he joins you in fact. As its name implies, using this attack costs money. Specifically, it costs the user's level times 30 Gil. As it so happens, this is one of the few games where money ''isn't'' useless, at least up until you get the second airship much later in the game. By the time you can sink all your savings into Gil Toss, other spells and attacks will do just as much damage.
    • The final boss has the "Forsaken" attack. A Super Move Portrait Attack that blasts all your party members for non-elemental damage, and is preceeded by a speech and a close-up. Thing is, though, that while the move has a higher spell power than Ultima, it's affected by split-damage and magic defense. With all that factored in, it doesn't do nearly as much damage as the game seems to think it should.
    • The Crusader esper, obtained by defeating the Eight Dragons, two of which are found in the final dungeon. Meltdown, one of the spells it teaches, hits both the enemy and the party for massive fire-elemental damage. Furthermore, Meltdown is taught at a x1 rate, so chances are that you will reach the final boss before you learn it. To hit the nail in the coffin, the Crusader summon is essentially a more powerful, non-elemental Meltdown spell, and therefore is very likely to kill off the entire party.
    • The Magicite item summons a random esper. Some of them - Bahamut, Maduin, Seraphim, Golem, and Starlet for example - are very useful. Most of them... aren't, either doing very little damage or having a non-damaging effect, like adding a status effect to the entire enemy party. And then you have Crusader, which, especially when you first get the Magicite item, will cause a total party wipe. It's almost not worth it, since the Random Number God is rarely ever on your side.
  • "Great Gospel" in Final Fantasy VII is Aerith's final Limit Break. It fully restores your party's health, revives any KO'd party members, removes all negative status effects, and makes your party completely invincible to absolutely everything for a few turns. This sounds like the mother of all Game Breakers - the problem is, getting the move is a massive Guide Dang It!, requires at least an hour of grinding even if you know exactly what you're doing. By the time you actually are able to get it, which is after you have obtained the Tiny Bronco, you have no bosses left to take on aside from the Demon Wall; since the move only works on Disc 1, and there's no getting around this restriction since Aerith has an infamous Plotline Death. Plus, she can only learn the move if she already knows every other Limit Break she learns naturally; Great Gospel just does what all of her other Limits do all at once. Unless you're going for 100% Completion, it's not worth the trouble. The only reasons to get this limit are to grab Achievements and Trophies related to it, and to breeze through the Demon Wall boss battle.
    • Yuffie's final Limit Break, by the time you get it, will easily hit near the damage cap. However, Doom Of The Living, her penultimate Limit Break will rack up more damage, since it will hit multiple times and those can exceed 9999 late in the game.
      • Really, any limit which only deals one hit is always outclassed by multiple hit limits due to the Damage Cap. Even the 2x-Cut and 4x-Cut materia can outdamage a single-hit Limit.
    • Several weapons or armors have high stats but have a drawback that makes then very unappealing: no materia slots, no paired materia slots, or no materia growth being the most common.
  • The "Apocalypse" spell in Final Fantasy VIII. There's only one place you can find it - it can be Drawn from the final boss. Though hackers have found its stats far exceed any other spells when Junctioned, there's no New Game+ so you never get to Junction it. Plus, using it as a magic attack yields lower damage than doing other things (attacks, Limit Breaks, summons, etc).
    • Zell and Irvine's Limit Breaks are more about DPS than flashiness. Sure you could memorize the right move combinations for Zell to get the super duper finisher, or you can input the same two basic combos roughly 5 times or more a second and accumulate well over 50 hits. Irvine has a few shots that are nice (such as ignoring defense or guaranteeing 9999 damage), but the Fast Ammo is easy to restock (shops sell it late in the game, or you can refine it for pitiful amounts of resources) and at max attack it can do well into the 1000s of damage per hit.
    • Selphie's 'The End' limit break. It will instantly win almost any fight note  in a beautiful and whimsical fashion, including major boss fights and even the superpowerful Omega Weapon. But you could go three entire playthroughs of the game, and never get the chance to use it or even know it's there because of how rare it is. To use it, you have to use Selphie's Limit Break and cycle repeatedly through multiple spells, which are selected at random and can hit anywhere from one to three times. Naturally, "The End" is the hardest spell to land on.
    • The Eden summon qualifies. Sure, it does a lot of damage, even going past the damage cap to around 25,000 HP maxed out... But, you have to wait for a minute and a half every time it's used. It's much, much faster to use normal attacks then to use this summon. Even worse, GFs are useless on the final bosses anyway.
  • Ark in Final Fantasy IX is an example. He does a lot of damage, but in the time that his 2 minute summoning animation takes to finish you could have defeated every enemy on screen with lesser spells and taken a short nap. Although if your party is outfitted with auto HP regen, it's actually useful as a way to stop the enemies from attacking without actually pausing the game. Typically you'll regenerate to full HP with just one summon sequence. Adding another nail into Ark's coffin is that enemies weak to Shadow Magic by the time you get him are painfully rare, if not non-existent.

    Similarly, Vivi's ultimate spell, Doomsday, is the strongest spell in the entire game and deals Shadow damage. Only problem is that the spell also hits your entire party, making it easy to cause a Total Party Wipe if you're not careful. Even if you set up your party where they can nullify or absorb Shadow damage, you'll find much better armor that give better defense by the time you can learn Doomsday and the only times that the Shadow nullifying/absorbing gear does get some milage is fighting Hades and Ozma, two bonus bosses that use Doomsday on you.
  • Final Fantasy X gives us the wonder of Yojimbo's Awesome, But Impractical Zanmato attack. The awesome: It is a one shot kill against absolutely anything in the game, even giving the middle finger to Contractual Boss Immunity. The impractical: The odds of Yojimbo actually using Zanmato in a fight depends on a needlessly complex equation where the two biggest factors are a random number and how much money you pay him. You can't do anything about the random number, that leaves paying him ridiculous amounts of money (we are talking millions here). Even if you outright pay him a billion gil, and everything else is absolutely perfect, you can still fail because of the random number in the equation. How much Yojimbo likes you (based on how often you bring him out and how much you pay him) is also a factor - if he likes you enough, you can get Zanmato almost every time for ridiculously cheap - but getting him to that point will still be very expensive.
    • There's also Spare Change, in which one flings a handful of cash at the enemy. Let's just say that if you are throwing spare change, you will not be doing very much damage, so a better name might be "Your College Fund" or "Crack Is Cheaper".
  • In Final Fantasy XI, the Dark Knight Two-Hour ability is Blood Weapon, which drains an enemy's HP by the amount of damage a physical swing does. Problem is, Dark Knights traditionally use two-handed weapons, which have a high delay in attack speed, the drain effect doesn't deal additional damage, Weaponskills aren't affected by this at all, and the effect lasts 30 seconds. That's about four, five swings of a two-handed weapon.
    • Under the right circumstances, though, it's been turned into a Gamebreaker. Dark Knights also get the Souleater ability, which dumps 10% of their current HP into every swing of their weapon for 30 seconds. Blood Weapon cancels this HP loss. Combined with the weak-but-hits-8-times-in-a-row Kraken Club and high HP, the amount of damage this can create is DEVASTATING. I've seen a galka Dark Knight with this set-up deal more damage to a super-challenging boss than the other 50 damage-dealers in the alliance PUT TOGETHER. The amount of hate this generates on the boss means that if it's not dead by the time he's done, the DRK will be.
    • A better example of this is probably the Ninja two-hour, Mijin Gakure, which kills the user, without the usual EXP loss, to cause damage to an enemy. The damage from it is so minimal, though, that the only reason to use it is for a quick trip to your home point.
      • As a 2 hour for solo play, Mijin Gakure is probably the best one in the game. The other two hours might be enough to allow you to escape or win the fight, but this is not a guarantee. Mijin Gakure forces you to lose the fight, but take no EXP loss. Given how EXP loss is based on a percentage of the EXP needed to reach the next level and higher level players require massive amounts of EXP, Mijin Gakure can save you hours and hours of grinding it back (plus the cost of ninja tools you would need for grinding it back). It does have a practical application, just not the one it was specifically designed for (which is the case for the Ninja class).
    • To a lesser extent, the White Mage 2 hour Benediction could fall in this category against mobs with AoE damage. While it is a very useful ability, it sometimes ended up healing generally not very threatening amounts of damage to the rest of the party and could end up generating so much hate that tanks simply could not get hate until the White Mage was killed.
  • Final Fantasy XII Zeromus's Limit Break, Big Bang is brutal (excess of 64000; the highest possible damage in the game), but he needs to have very, very few HP left in order to get it to do it (damage is equal to 5 times the difference between his max and current HP), and it triggers when he has only 10 seconds of his summon time left.
    • The Wyrmhero Blade. To get it, you have to kill Yiazmat and Omega Mk XII, and complete a fishing mini-game. To be fair, it is a pretty good sword, providing substantial buffs. Now if only there was something worth using it on. To put this into perspective for those who haven't played the game. Yiazmat boasts 50,112,254 HP. This is the highest total in the entire series, and you can only do up to 9999 damage per hit unlike in Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII which are the only other games in the series with 8-digit enemy HP counts. Its other key weakness, apart from the effort in getting it, is that it has the longest charge time of any weapon in the entire game.
    • Guns seem awesome at first and they're quite handy at the early parts of the game, but they fall completely short of other weapons early on due to several factors; all guns have a low attack stat in exchange for ignoring enemy defense. Other weapons scale up in strength as you progress and obtain better gear while your party naturally grows stronger as they level up, which makes the guns look very weak in comparison. Granted, you can load a gun with elemental bullets to exploit a target's weakness, but guns are also extremely slow to fire whereas all other weapons can strike enemies much faster.
    • However, Guns are incredibly handy in a 122333 challenge or in Weak Mode. Their primary weakness - being unable to scale to the user's strength - is essential in these challenges as levels are fixed. A good gun can carry a team through a significant chunk of game, and the ultimate gun, the Fomalhaut, can be obtained much earlier than most other ultimate weapons. Guns don't eliminate the challenge in these game modes, but they really help deal appreciable damage.
    • Zodiac Age resolves most of these problems, as Wyrmhero Blade can be obtained by stealing it from Famfrit at Stage 50 of Trial Mode, and the presence of jobs and no need for license to use it as well as removal of damage cap makes it much more useful, especially in the hands of your mages. You can also fire summon's ultimate attacks as you like in this version. Some of those attacks, such as Zodiark's, were buffed as well.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics: Cloud. He was a total badass in Final Fantasy VII, so he should be the same here, right? Wrong. You get him in Chapter IV, after undertaking a sidequest that grants you three (technically four) other characters. He comes with the best non-heavy armor in the game. The catch? He's level 1. No joke. Most of your characters by this point are somewhere in their 30's or 40's, and now you have a level 1 guy. If he levels up quick, so no harm, no foul, right? Wrong again. In order to use his unique skill set (named Limit, appropriately enough) you need to find his weapon, the Materia Blade. To find it, you need to have someone with low Brave with the Move-Find Item ability equipped (named Treasure Hunt in the PSP remake), and get them to the top of Bervenia Volcano. Still, easy enough, so what's the problem? The problem is, even when he's decent level and has the sword, he's next to useless. The Materia Blade is pathetic compared to the best sword in stores (the Rune Blade), and his Limit skills are not much better. His most powerful skill, Cherry Blossom (a case of Adaptation Expansion, perhaps, as he didn't have it in VII), has a charge of 2. For those who haven't played the game, there is an invisible counter keeping track of everyone's turns. The counter will have someone's turn come around when the counter reaches 100. This means that Cherry Blossom requires 50 ticks of the counter before it will trigger. Compare this to Holy (the most powerful White Magic) which has a charge of 10. That takes 10 ticks of the counter. Oh, and the kicker? Cloud's skills ONLY target tiles. Meaning, your target can just walk out of the area of effect, and Cloud will have wasted all that time. The ONLY way to prevent this is to have someone capable of keeping the target in place. Holy can target a unit, and remain locked on even when said unit moves.
    • Cloud's real value is his "Finishing Touch" move that will KO, Stone, or Stop anything it hits, and has a short enough charge time that it'll probably hit its targets. That alone makes him powerful crowd control. He can also wear ribbons. There's still the fact that you have to spend a lot of time beefing him up to the level of your other characters, though.
    • It's possible to set up a "Quickening Loop", which allows your party to have an infinite number of concurrent turns. However, it requires so much setup and so many high-level powers that there's absolutely no use for it.
    • The Samurai's "Draw Out" skillset, natch. The skillset has a wide range of spells that grant buffs, deal damage, and heal, while possessing the valuable abilities of lacking charge time and discerning friend and foe. However, each skill requires its corresponding katana in stock to cast, and every casting has a chance to break a stocked katana. Some of the best katanas are amongst the most expensive items in the game, and you must have several if you wish to use the skills reliably. The case is even worse for Masamune and Chirijiraden, the ultimate support and offensive spells of the Samurai respectively, as the above weapons are one of a kind, unless you abuse either the cloning glitch, cheat devices, or catching thrown weapons from extremely high level Ninja.
      • Add the fact that the skill also relies on magic power rather than physical power makes it completely useless on Samurais themselves and is best used as a secondary command skill by mages.
    • Meliadoul Tengille. She possesses excellent offensive stats and a skillset that deals great damage and breaks equipment in one fell swoop. She also comes with the rare Save the Queen knight sword. However, her skills can't hurt things that don't have equipment, including all monsters, though this issue is fixed in the PSP version. She also joins the team only a few battles after you obtain Cid, who has better stats, better equipment options, a better weapon (Excalibur), and every single one of her skills plus more. And by the time you get her, most non-mook enemies you fight won't have equipment to break.
    • Rafa's unique skillset performs elemental magic attacks independent of the Faith stat, and can inflict ridiculous amounts of damage if you boost her Magic Attack. However, it hits a random number of times in random spaces, giving it a very good chance of doing absolutely nothing. The remakes did make it more useful, in that it tends to land more hits and has a very high chance of striking the center of the aiming area at least once.
    • At high enough speed, casting magic (except via the Game-Breaker that is Math Skill) becomes increasingly impractical, since charge times are independent of character speed and many big damage spells take too long to cast before the enemy moves into a position that makes casting the spell hurt more of your allies than the enemies, or just plain kills the caster.
  • In Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, the difference between -ara and -aga fusion spells is about an extra second delay between the two casters. If all four players want to create one huge -aga spell, they have to coordinate their timing such that it'll take several seconds to actually cast the spell, during which the enemy might just attack them, interrupting the whole thing. Similarly, the single player mode -aga spells also have a much longer charge-up time than the lower levels. Best used for an opening move.
  • Final Fantasy: Crisis Core had the Ultima materia. While one of the rarest materia you would obtain or fuse, casting the spell takes a ridiculously long time. Unless you have endure status, the smallest of enemies can walk up, attack and interrupt whole process. Plus it doesn't work with Dual Cast.
  • Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light: it's rarely necessary to bring second or third tier black magic spells, since their buffed damage isn't really worth the additional action point expenditure, especially when in the hands of a black mage (who gain a 1AP discount that allows them to use basic spells every round for, if you have min-maxed for Intelligence and magic attack, really a lot of damage). There are also more than a few cool but not particularly useful options available from fully upgraded crowns.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII, it's possible through synthesis groups to make a character completely immune to either physical or magical damage. Sounds cool, right? Except:
    • a.) it requires five equips of their respective synthesis group (which means 4x Kaiser Knuckles or 4x Magistral Crests, both of which can only be obtained through upgrading);
    • b.) because it requires a weapon of the same synthesis group, only three characters can take advantage of these abilities (Hope can get physical immunity, Snow can get magical, Fang can get either);
    • c.) either setup requires heavily nerfing the opposing stat (Strength vs. Magic), and while the weapons and accessories do give a massive boost to the stat they provide immunity to, Snow still has a poor spell selection and Hope is still terrible with physical attacks;
    • d.) after all of that, another effect is that the character cannot be healed with magic, meaning you'll either have to use dozens of Potions (which are nigh-useless long before you've reached the point you can actually have either passive set up) or summoning Eidolons (which is limited by TP) for the character to heal.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 has the Infinity +1 Sword, the Odinblade and Odinbolt. They get more powerful the more Fragments you have, but they don't have any useful passive abilities compared to some of the weaker weapons.
    • Twilight Odin, a corrupted shadow of Lightning's Eidolon, can be obtained as a monster crystal. While he does get monstrous stats and the full 6 ATB segments, he's a Late Bloomer who starts at Grade 5 and thus requires the rarest and most expensive materials to level up in the slightest, his attack speed is so slow that any additional ATB segments past 4 are wasted on him since he'd never be able to use them up before the gauge refills, and his magic stat is unimpressive. You're better off with a Chichu, a Tonberry, or one of the DLC Commandos.
    • Pretty much any monster with a recruitment chance less than 10%. Yes, that Metal Gigantuar might be an amazing Sentinel, and Miquitzli is one of the best Synergists in the game, but chances are, in the time it takes to get one, you could have gotten something a little more common and ground enough Rare Candy to power it up significantly.
  • The "ultimate" elemental spells (Flare, Freeze, Surge, Tornado, and Elementaga), along with Ultima itself in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. They cost a huge amount of ATB gauge to use, have a lengthy animation that leaves Lightning completely vulnerable until they finish, and base their damage off of how low Lightning's HP is. At the point where you can wipe out an entire horde of enemies with a single cast, they're just as likely to finish you off with a single hit.
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    Kingdom Hearts 
  • Kingdom Hearts II's Drive Forms. These are four superforms for Sora that either enhance his physical attacks, his magic, or both, and all but one (two with Final Mix) turn Sora into a two-Keyblade-wielding badass that can take out dozens of the game's average mooks in seconds while restoring Sora's health and magic. The impractical parts? *Deep Breath* All the Drive Forms require the removal of one or both party members when activated, depriving the player of their help (while the party never does that much damage compared to Sora, they're extremely useful for healing). When the party members are absent for story reasons, all Drive Forms except the Final Mix-exclusive Limit are unusable, which includes the Final Boss and almost every Bonus Boss. Most tournament battles lock the Drive Meter. The Drive Forms CAN be leveled up to increase in power, but they all have very specific conditions in order to be able to gain experience, making them very tedious to level up, especially the Final Form. All but one form lacks a dodge ability, and that same form is the only Drive that can block. In a game series that emphasizes blocking and dodging attacks, and waiting for the right moment to attack over blindly charging forward, this is a bad thing. Lastly, the forms remove every movement ability except the one it provides and several of standard Sora's abilities for as long as they are active. The addition of Limit Form in the Updated Re-release mitigates all of this somewhat, as it gives you a powerful option that doesn't need party members to use and still allows you to block and dodge roll. However, conversely Limit Form is not really much more effective than Sora's standard form is while also locking out useful abilities like Glide and Reflect as every other Drive Form does at the same time.
    • Lastly, when transforming into all Drive Forms but the Final Form, Sora will randomly transform into Anti-Form. This form is a Glass Cannon of the first order; Anti-Form Sora moves much faster, jumps higher, and can shred a single target with a swarm of individually weak-but-fast attacks. However, Anti-Form makes all other party members vanish while it's active, takes twice as much damage as normal, disables healing, prevents gaining experience, and can't be leveled up. The worst aspect of all, though, is that it can't be manually deactivated; Anti-Form automatically ends when the battle is over, the Drive gauge runs out, or you die. This means a lot of running away if you're at low health. Never mind the fact that you can't use Anti-Form on purpose even if you wanted to, and the chance of changing into it goes up every time you use a Drive Form. The rate also shoots up tremendously against an Organization XIII member, which is usually the time you'll want to use the Drive Forms.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days:
    • The Firaga spell has a decently sized explosion radius, but it also has an awkward trajectory that forces it to travel in an arch. This limits its range while also making it difficult to actually hit moving targets.
    • The Curaga spell creates a small field of energy that will quickly restore the HP the user or any ally that stands in it. Its use in combat is limited since it forces one to stay put in the small area to receive the healing, making dodging boss attacks difficult to impossible.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep:
    • Transcendence. While it can be synthesized by melding a random chance Rare command with an -aga level spell, which is pretty impractical to begin with, in Final Mix it can be found in a chest in the Secret Chapter. It creates and impenetrable bubble area and shoots all enemies around inside it. The one battle it would seem to be incredibly useful where the game is constantly spawning enemies. Since they can become invincible for a short period and escape the initial gravity effect, they can kill you since the spell locks you down until it completes, like most other dual-slot spells/commands.
    • A few moves are just better for taking out mooks than they are for bosses. Most of them don't hold still long enough for you to use Salvation or Glacier.
    • Speaking of Salvation (Ven only), it's not useful considering that you still do take damage when you charge for it (meaning that it's possible to be killed) and it can get interrupted... although it's still good for clearing out trash mobs. It's still useful; just not on the enemies you'd like to use it on. (However, it is possible to use it to recover HP on Vanitas Remnant)
    • Reversal and Teleport. They allow you to get behind the enemy by pressing Square when it's about to attack, but most of the times you'll want to block instead. Many attacks, such as the Bruiser's shockawaves, can be blocked but are not avoided by teleporting behind him, so they're kinda useless.
  • The Dual Link attacks and styles in Kingdom Hearts 3D. The former generally does significantly less damage then performing two solo link attacks separately, while the latter powers up your keyblade combos even more then a solo link style, but at the expense of making your attack animations so lengthy it's extremely unlikely you'll be able to get off a full combo against any enemy or boss that's Immune to Flinching (Of which there are a lot), and when considering that the bulk of the damage comes from your combo finisher...

    Pokémon 
  • Generally speaking, any move with more than 100 power will have some sort of drawback. These include, but are not limited to: shaky accuracy, reducing the user's stats, damaging the user, requiring more than one turn to execute, or only being usable under specific conditions.
    • Solar Beam also falls into this category for Grass-types - while without harsh sunlight in effect it requires a one-turn charging, when the sunlight shines, it's an instant attack. Too bad harsh sunlight also powers up Fire moves, one of Grass's many weaknesses.
    • While Hyper Beam and its variants (Giga Impact, Hydro Cannon, Blast Burn, Frenzy Plant, Rock Wrecker, Roar of Time, etc) are very powerful move with 150 Power, the user cannot move on the next turn unless it misses. Leaving the Pokémon vulnerable to everything that the foe has to offer.
    • Wonder why Thunderbolt (90 Power) is considered a better move than Thunder (110 Power)? Well, Thunderbolt has 100% accuracy and Thunder only has 70% (unless you're in the rain, that is - if a 'Mon uses Rain Dance or Drizzle, Thunder pierces Protect moves 30% of the time in Diamond and Pearl, and hits without performing an accuracy check at all other times in all other games).
    • Head Smash borders on this with Rampardos, the Glass Cannon fossil dinosaur. Its power is on par with Rock Wrecker (150), it gets STAB (Rock-type, too; Rock is a great offensive type), and it's coming from one of the most powerful physical attackers in the game (with a whooping 165 Attack). The catch? It has horrific recoil... half of the damage you do is bounced back as recoil. And since Rampardos can't take a hit to save its life, the only Pokémon that use it are the ones with the Rock Head ability (negates recoil) that learn it, Sudowoodo (from Generation 7 onwards), Relicanth, Aggron, and Tyrantrum (weaker, but they also get STAB).
    • Focus Blast is a Fighting-type special move with 120 power, but it has a paltry 70% accuracy and very few PP. Most Pokémon who would benefit from STAB with Focus Blast are also primarily physical attackers, and the few special-based Fighting-types get more practical special Fighting moves. The only reason it still sees use is on non-Fighting Special attackers who drastically need a Fighting-type attack that isn't Hidden Power.
    • Some moves like Overheat and Psycho Boost are very powerful, but each use harshly drops a stat (often the one that the move itself uses), thus making each use weaker. As such, they're only really useful as a last resort or a finisher as opposed to a consistent means of inflicting damage... Unless it has Contrary as an ability, which boosts the stat as opposed to dropping it.
  • The charge-up moves — Sky Attack, Skull Bash, Bide, etc, which require a turn or two of charging before they actually do damage. Later games introduce the held item Power Herb, which allows a Pokémon to bypass the charging turn and attack right away... once.
  • One-Hit KO moves. They KO the opponent in one hit... if it is slower than you (in the first generation), or, following the second, if you aren't in a lower level than the opponent. And, in case those conditions are met, the accuracy is 30%, and unaffected by normal modifiers (however, it increases by 1% for each level you advantage the enemy, meaning it'll always hit if you have a 70 level advantagenote ). Articuno learns both one of those attacks and Mind Reader, which always causes any move to always hit next turn, but that still remains as this.
  • Lock-On and Mind Reader, they guarantee the next attack will hit, including all those mentioned here with subpar accuracy and the OHKO ones. However, it only works for the next turn (meaning that, if you want to do another surefire hit, you have to use this again), and, if the opponent switches out, it is negated, so the net result is a lost turn and an attack with an unreliable move, giving the opponent a 70% chance of having 2 free turns if you are pairing this move with an OHKO.
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl gave Shuckle, a Pokémon well known for having defensive stats that would make even legendary Pokémon drool, Power Trick, a then-new move that swaps its Attack and Defense stats; this gives it an impossibly large Attack stat. The only problem is... now it has the lowest Defense, HP, and Speed stats in the game, so it'll be KOed before it can even do anything.
  • Slaking (final form of Slakoth) has some of the best stats in the game, even beating out some of the Olympus Mons of the games, and can learn some very strong moves to boot. Problem is that due to its Truant Ability, it can only attack every other turn, preventing it from being usable at the tournament level (clearly, this handicap was added because of its incredible stats). Worse yet, the Boring, but Practical move Protect will shield its user from almost all damage, has higher priority than just about any move, is available to all but a handful of Pokémon, and works nearly all the time if used every other turn. Unless nobody on the other team knows Protect, Protect will render Slaking literally useless.
  • Among the absolute worst offenders is Regigigas, a Legendary Pokémon that has amazing power. At first view, this is incredible, having 670 in base stats (tying Kyogre and Groudon), which is more than any other standalone minor Legendary, which usually have 600. Unfortunately, the other side of the coin reveals as we discover that it has an ability that only hinders it: its Slow Start ability is most likely the worst and most hindering ability in Pokémon history; it halves both Attack and Speed for the first five turns of a battle. Five turns is actually way too much and hardly considered a “start”: you can do so much damage in this mark, leaving it very likely that by the time the counter ends Regigigas will be barely stable or even fainted. Even worse is that switching out resets the timer, and it lacks any recovery or Protect-type moves (outside of the situational Wide Guard in Gen V onwards) to help it stall foes until Slow Start wears off. One may as well use a Status Buff like Dragon Dance on another Pokémon to get the same effect quicker. As with Slaking, the reason for the ability is to compensate for its impressive base stats, initially leaving it with 540 in base stats, which is already considered very mediocre for Legendaries, but actually pretty good for Pokémon in general, except that they’re very balanced, so it doesn't stand out in any stat and still having an insanely low Speed. Nothing can be taken to account; if it were for the first three turns, it’d be So Okay, It's Average and possibly save it from being one of the most disappointing Pokémon in the series.
  • Archeops is a rather quick Pokémon capable of hitting hard with either physical or special attacks. Unfortunately, its ability is Defeatist, which causes both attack stats to be cut in half if its health ever goes below the halfway point. Being vulnerable to Stealth Rock and priority moves tend to cause that to happen rather quickly, diminishing Archeops's usefulness.
  • Any of the Pokémon that evolve particularly late may count, as depending on which version you're playing, you're unlikely to have them in their final forms by the time you reach the Elite Four (usually the toughest battles in the game). Of particular note are Volcarona and Hydreigon, who aren't obtainable until levels 59 and 64, respectively; most other Pokémon, by comparison, reach their final evolution around level 30 - 40.
  • Pokémon with perfect IVs (Individual Values) in every stat. Considered the holy grail of breeders and RNG abusers, the potential such Pokémon have are ultimately limited by what species they are and movepools they have. Very few Pokémon have the base stats that can take advantage of every stat (Mew and Arceus, which have even stats of 100 and 120 respectively) and even they are limited because a Pokémon can only know four moves at a time. The amount of Effort Values a Pokémon can have caps at 510, and you can only max out 2 stats to the fullest. It's pointless to have a 31 (the highest IV) in Attack when your 'mon is a special attacker (and vice versa), and having a 31 in Speed is detrimental to Pokémon that need to move slower than the opponent (To take advantage of Trick Room or make use of Gyro Ball). Even having 31 IVs in Defense and Special Defense doesn't work as well as it should if said Pokémon has subpar defensive stats, bad HP, or a bad defensive type in general that gives it a ton of weaknesses. Limited Effort Values once more add to the issue that this may potentially cost the Pokémon more attack power or speed if they are used on its defenses. It's pointless to use defensive EVs on a sweeper or wallbreaking Pokémon, the former who will need all the speed it can get. No single Pokémon can really do it all.
  • The highest difficulty of Tile Puzzle in Gen VI's Pokémon-Amie earns better Poffins (used to increase your Pokémon's affection) than the lower difficulties. However, the difference is rather minor and while a puzzle on hard difficulty takes less than a minute to solve, a round of unlimited difficulty can easily last fifteen minutes.
  • Shedinja's special ability, Wonder Guard, makes it impossible to take damage from direct attacks which aren't super effective against it. Sounds awesome, since it essentially has the most type immunities of any Pokémon (13 out of 18). However, its unique Bug/Ghost typing means it also has 5 weaknesses. Okay, that doesn't sound so bad. Oh, except that it only has 1 HP, so all 5 of those weak spots are an instant KO. What's more, it's still affected by non-damaging moves, special abilities and weather conditions, so it can still faint by things like poisoning and hail.
  • The arbitrary code execution glitch found within the first two generations of Pokémon games allows you to trick the game into running code you yourself had programmed, including (but not limited to) giving yourself new Pokémon, creating some games using the Game Boy hardware, etc. In order to do this, you need to rearrange your items, Pokémon, their names, etc. in such a way that they just happen to form legitimate code within the game data (sometimes even requiring the use of glitch data such as The Missingno.), then trick the game into running them via the use of glitches. As one can imagine, this is only useful for novelty purposes, but if one plays the Virtual Console release of the Gen I games, this glitch is key to changing the OT and ID number of a Mew obtained via the Mew glitch so that Pokémon Bank will recognise it and allow it to be transferred (as it only accepts a specific one; that of an event Mew only released in Japan).invoked
  • Hyper Training in Pokémon Sun and Moon would be an excellent way to bypass the nonsense involved with breeding IVs needed to create a competitive monster... if it didn't have so many issues. First of all, only level 100 Pokémon are eligible for it, meaning that it's useless until the post game, and due to Anti-Grinding mechanics in the game it will take a while to scrape past the final few levels you need. Secondly, the currency required are Bottle Caps. These aren't found on bottles though, and they're kind of hard to actually come by. There are a few methods to obtain them, but all of them require a lot of patience and/or a lot of luck. Thirdly, Hyper Training doesn't actually change the IVs of a Pokémon but flags the stat so it behaves like the highest IV stat. Thus you can't Hyper Train a Ditto in all of its stats and have the perfect breeding Pokémon. So what sounds like a Game-Breaker on paper really isn't and Hyper Training should only be reserved for Pokémon that cannot be bred (Legendaries and other Pokémon in the Undiscovered Egg Group), or other Pokémon that you really really want to use in competitve battling (Such as shinies or Pokémon you have a great attachment to).
  • Genesect's Secret Art, Techno Blast, is a powerful attack that can change its type, is ten points stronger than Fire Blast, Hydro Pump, Thunder and Blizzard, has 100% accuracy, and is Genesect's best option for dealing with Fire-types. However, you'll never see it on competetive Genesect for several reasons — one, Genesect doesn't get STAB or any power boost from it, unlike Arceus or Silvally. Secondly, it has no chance of inflicting status conditions. Three, the Drives that change Techno Blast's type (aside from giving away what type it's using) do nothing but that, and other items like a Choice Scarf ultimately benefit Genesect more. Still, at least it's better than it was in Gen V, where it was weaker than Thunderbolt and its type shifts and thus completely worthless.
  • Dark Void, the Secret Art of Darkrai, became this in Gen VII onwards. It inflicts sleep on targets at once, and Darkrai's Bad Dreams Ability drains away a sleeping Pokémon's HP. However, it received an accuracy drop from 80% to a coin-toss of 50%.
  • Pikachu's unique Z Move Catastropika deals massive damage but can only be used once per battle and prevents it from using a different item. By contrast, Light Ball doubles both of Pikachu's offensive stats, making it far more useful in every scenario.
  • Silvally's RKS System Ability allows it to become any type just like Arceus, which synergises well with its Secret Art, Multi Attack (which also changes types). Unlike Arceus, however, the Memory items that it uses to do so don't provide a boost to moves of that type, using up a valuable item slot with an item that otherwise does nothing. Also unlike Arceus, Z-Crystals don't change Silvally's type, which doesn't help mitigate its rather mediocre stats.

    Shin Megami Tensei/Persona 
  • The Almighty spells in a lot of the Shin Megami Tensei games. On the surface it sounds like a dream come true: A type that no demon is resistant to in a game where elemental resistances are your main obstacle to victory. However, the inflated MP cost and lackluster damage compared to your normal elemental spells means that they just aren't worth it. Making things worse, no demon is weak against the Almighty type and by the time you gain access to the Almighty spells you'll already have figured out that it's far more profitable to aim for a demon's weakness to earn more actions.
    • Fourth-tier elemental spells (described as inflicting "severe" damage instead of "heavy") tend to be this. They're not much more powerful than the third-tier "-dyne" spells, and they're inefficient—for instance, the fire-elemental single-target Ragnarok spell in Persona 3 costs 30 SP, which is even more than Maragidyne (third-tier, hits all enemies, and costs 24 SP)...and only does about 30-40% more damage than Agidyne (third-tier, one enemy, 12 SP)!
    • Even worse are the series of spells in Strange Journey that hit every enemy and inflict some sort of status ailment. They cost a whopping 65 MP to use (vs. the 20-30 MP for Ma-dyne spells), don't always cause the corresponding ailment, and worst of all, the damage ranges from on par with -dyne spells at best (Cold World) to as much as first-tier spells at worst (Charming Bolt).
      • Speaking of Strange Journey, its take on the repelling "-karn" spells. A spell that repels attacks aimed at you and your demons! Cool! Except the effect only lasts on the current turn so there's no point in a demon casting it if they aren't fast enough to move first. Not to mention, each casting costs 45 MP. You're better off using Attack and Magic Mirrors, especially since using an item grants you maximum turn priority.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV has two demons that fit this:
      • Mother Harlot, the strongest member of the infamous Fiend clan of Bonus Bosses, is exactly as powerful as that descriptor implies, and comes with the her unique move, Babylon Goblet, that deals a stupid amount of damage and inflicts Panic besides. Thing is, her fusion chain requires each of the lesser Fiends at some point or other, and getting them requires an absurdly aggravating and tedious sidequest, plus a quest to unlock the Mother herself. By the time you get all the lesser Fiends, fuse them, do the Mother's quest, and fuse her, you'll probably have several demons of similar power to her but significantly easier to get (such as Mara, Shiva, Lucifuge, or Yamato-Takeru), meaning the Mother basically exists to be Compendium-filler.
      • Then there's Masakado's Shadow, the single most overpowered demon in the game. He begins with an attack that always hits as a weakness, no matter what the opponent's weakness is, and with leveling up can learn to No-Sell all the elements and finally he can learn Dragon Eye—yes, that same skill that bosses in Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne use and abuse without giving you or your demons a chance to learn it. Only, to unlock Masakado's Shadow, you have to beat the single cheapest boss in the game, which is... Masakado's Shadow. What use is a demon that powerful if you can already beat the hardest boss in the game without it? And with regards to Dragon Eye, it costs 255 freaking MP to cast, ensuring that even if you pass it on to a demon with an acceptable MP capacity, they won't be able to cast it more than three times without needing an MP refill, and refilling MP is not cheap in Megami Tensei.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
    • Behold the Thanatos persona in Persona 3, your reward for tolerating the creepy child that keeps appearing in your room at midnight. The Persona that embodies the theme of the whole game, the one that's on the cover art. And then come down from that high as you realize the consequences of fusing the ultimate Death Persona from the other six Death personas in the game. Mudo spells up the wazoo, they'll fill the slots constantly on every setup, and will completely shunt out any more useful spells you could fill them with. Even in spite of this, he comes with a set of very generous skills, but has stats too low to make good use of them the way higher personas will later.
    • Persona 4 has the ultimate Persona Izanagi-no-Okami. He resists all four elements and Physical attacks. He gets the strongest single target spells of all four elements, all four elemental Amp powers, and starts with four other high end powers. Unfortunately he's level 91 (which means you have to be level 91 to fuse him), he requires twelve Personas for fusion, cannot be retrieved from the Compendium, and has no resistance to Light or Dark. And worst of all, he doesn't inherit any skills. Given it is possible to fuse four element personas and personas that are immune to all seven attack types...
      • The Golden version for Vita remedies this a bit by allowing him to inherit skills and permitting the use of Skill Cards to further customize him. However, he still cannot be registered into the compendium, so there's no chance of buying him on a New Game+.
    • The fourth-level elemental attacks (such as Ragnarok and Niflheim) from Persona 4 also qualify. While they're the strongest elemental attacks available, they only deal slightly more damage than the "Dyne" level attacks while costing about four times the MP. Plus, they can only be found on certain Personae, and cannot be transferred through fusion. The exception is in Persona 3, however, since in that game these attacks are both more powerful and transferable, making them good investments. (And Thunder Reign's 100% Shock chance makes it a Game-Breaker) There is also the skill "Spell Master", as well as certain accessories in both games that cuts the SP cost of spells in half, making them more practical to use.
      • Persona 5 adds group-hitting variants of severe-strength elemental attacks, and also makes most severe-strength skills inheritable in fusion. However, their steep costs still stand, with single-hitting versions costing 4 times that of a -dyne equivalent and area-hitting versions over twice their Ma-dyne equivalent. Unless fully optimized with Boost and Amp skills and/or augmented with Spell Master, it's more efficient to stick to -dyne spells. This is reinforced with Ann and Makoto, the only party members who can learn these skills, but can't get Spell Master to be able to spam them without experiencing significant SP drain.
    • Almighty attacks can qualify as well, at least in this particular game. It's usually not impractical to use Almighty skills in other Shin Megami Tensei games (in some cases it might even be required), but in here the Megido- line of spells just costs too much SP to be worth using even when using Mind Charge to boost the damage output. Of course, the computer has a practically infinite pool of SP (it's not really infinite, but chances are they aren't going to run out of SP before you die) so they can cast as many Almighty moves as they want.
      • On the other hand, there are a few circumstances where they come in handy — when the enemy formation has varied resistances that you can't justify using other mass-hitting skills to try and clear them all, and when hunting down the Hands or Treasure Demons which have resistance or immunity to nearly everything else.
    • In both 3 and 4, it's possible to give Metatron immunity to every element via skill inheritance, making you immune to all damage except Almighty. It helps that Metatron inherently learns three immunity skills, so you just need to cover the rest of the elements through fusion. The problem is doing this in 3 uses up all his skill slots, so all you're capable of doing while he's equipped is regular attacks. (and if the enemy is immune to your weapon's element, you're screwed) It's also useless against 3's Bonus Boss, who will instantly kill you if you use a Persona immune to one of her attacks. At least, in 4, you still have two free slots for usable skills.
      • Abaddon in 3 innately learns immunity passives to all three physical attributes, and has enough innate immunities that you can cover the rest to make it Nigh Invulnerable. This still leaves you with just one slot for usable skills, but it's marginally better than Metatron.
    • In Persona 5, the DLC Persona have endgame abilities you can access within the first hour of the game. Unfortunately, as HP and SP are based on the Protagonist's level, you won't have the reserves to use most of those abilities more than once for 10 to 20 hours, barring any physical attacks which always consume a percentage of your HP.
    • Lucifer in Persona 5, is the ultimate Persona of the Star Arcana. He's also at a whopping level 93, meaning the player needs a lot of grinding (or a lot of cash, if they maxed the Strength Confidant) to fuse him. On top of that, he requires six different Personas to fuse, three of which require their own special fusion. Out of these, Metatron comes with its own set of requirements — maxed Justice Confidantnote  to even access the fusion, maxed Moon Confidant to be able to fuse Sandalphon which is one of its required ingredients, and the use of Michael, which requires the fusion of another set of three high-level Personas. And for all this effort, you get a Persona that learns several powerful skills befitting its high level... but also has no resistances and one weakness. For all his might, it's unlikely you'll use him in battle, since you can easily obtain other Personas that sport multiple immunities, and the only justification for fusing him is that he's a required ingredient for Satanael.

    Tales Series 
  • Tales of Symphonia
    • Maxwell. He's the most powerful Summon Magic bar none and casts a higher-power meteor storm that blankets most of the battle, but he can only be cast while Sheena is in Over Limit mode, which happens more or less randomly, and he appears only once you've unlocked the last stage of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. Odds are you'll never get to summon him at all; never mind summon him in a battle where he'd actually be useful.
    • Presea and Lloyd both have flashy, awesome-looking powers that have long lists of absurd requirements that are never even vaguely hinted at in-game. Consider Presea's ultimate attack, Crimson Devastation. Presea is able to rip off half of the ultimate boss's health, or downright kill the third Sword Dancer in one use. Problem? Everyone else in her team needs to be dead, she needs to be at 18% of her max health or lower, she needs to have access to the Mighty Charge EX skill (which activates at random), and have used Beast 100+ times. Then, activate Mighty Charge (it'll probably fail), run up to whatever needs to meet death, and use Beast. If you don't die from being below 18% HP.
    • Colette's "Sacrifice". If its absurd TP Cost isn't enough of a deterrent, casting the spell causes Colette to die. While its effects are nothing to scoff at since it revives everyone else to full health, you will rarely want to use this. It's only useful in desperate situations when your healer has died and you've run out of life bottles.
    • Kratos's Judgment spell. He only knows it if he rejoins your party late in the game (which is near impossible if you don't know how to do it). While it's more powerful than Colette's ,and has an awesome incantation, Kratos takes significantly longer to cast Judgment than Colette (fifteen seconds!), his version's accuracy is just as piss-poor as hers, and his magic stat is low enough that even though his version is more powerful, he'll still deal less damage if he and Colette are anywhere near the same level.
      • This applies to judgment in the whole Tales series, including Colette's. Yeah, it nukes the whole field with insanely powerful rays of light, and CAN be a field-wiper if you're lucky enough. The problem is that at least in most of the games, as mentioned, it takes so long to cast on random battle encounters that the battle's practically done by the time it's cast. On bosses, you're relying on chance to make enough Judgment rays hit the single target to justify its massive cast time and TP cost, which almost never happens. The one aversion is Tales of Legendia, in which it hits only once and has such a wide range it'll usually hit the enemy. Of course, this is the localisation's choice ot name it "Judgment".
  • Beryl Benito's Combination Blaster Extensions in Tales of Hearts are impractical for the same reason the Maxwell extensions in Eternia were - a downright silly CG consumption, and her Relationship Values have to be in the sky to boot. You have to grind Beryl stupid in the first place to have a chance of seeing it.
  • Fatal Strikes in Tales of Vesperia are an instant kill on all normal enemies, but in the course of normal comboing you're never going to see them. In fact, even if your normal combo is right for building up a Fatal Strike, the target is still probably dead or almost dead when the FS activates.
    • If you're playing on an elevated difficulty or at a low level, then the Fatal Strike is a good way to finish the battle more quickly. You also more rewards at the end of the battle if you finish with Fatal Strikes. Generally, they become more efficient the further in the game you are.
  • The second-level mystic artes in Tales of the Abyss are nearly impossible to figure out how to use, but are absolutely brutal. Most of them require a specific weapon to be equipped, or for magic to be used a certain number of times. Luke's Lost Fon Drive, for instance, requires that he equip the Key of Loreleinote , and be at less than 18% health to use it. His first level Mystic Arte does almost as much damage, and you don't have to have him at such low health to use it. But, the worst of these has got to be Anise's Fever Time, which will cost you twenty thousand gald if it doesn't finish off the last enemy.
    • For an In-Universe example, there's the Fon Slot Seal. Powerful people in this 'verse rely on their fon slots to function effectively, meaning that sealing them results in a massive Level Drain - the one time it's used in the plot, one of the most powerful soldiers in the world (arguably the most powerful) becomes weaker than a nearby beginner using a training sword. The impractical part? Fon Slot Seals are ludicrously expensive. It's explicitly spelled out that if the largest nation in the world spent their entire budget on Fon Slot Seals, they'd only have ten of them. And they only seal the fon slots of one person before you have to buy another one. There's a reason most professionals consider them Too Awesome to Use.

    Other Games 
  • Shining Soul II features "Soul" items that allow the player to perform a Wave Motion Gun attack after having filled a meter by killing a few trillion Mooks. On triggering it, the player is treated to a lengthy cutscene of whichever godlike entity's power is being used generally strutting their incipient-apocalyptic stuff.. followed by the Soul doing about as much damage as two or three good regular weapon hits.
  • Skies of Arcadia has plenty of these:
    • Aika's super moves attack multiple targets. Her ultimate move, Omega Psyclone, has impressive visuals, where she throws a boomerang of fire onto her enemies, plunging into a burning pit on a rock. By the time you're halfway through the game, Vyse's only multi-targeting super move can do twice as much as Omega Psyclone. Aika's damage-dealing Super Moves are all fire-elemental as well, meaning some enemies in the game resist or outright ignore the damage done from them; Vyse's Rain of Swords is non-elemental, costs less SP to cast, and works on everything. Aika's support moves, on the other hand, are extremely useful.
    • Fina's Lunar Glyph super move is rather weak, and there's a slim chance that it will actually turn the enemy into stone as it should.
    • Gilder's Aura of Denial (blocks status effects) can easily be substituted for Aika's Delta Shield (protects from all magic), as even by the end of the game, very few enemies actually cause Standard Status Effects with a basic attack (and Fina's super move that cures it requires low Spirit Points).
    • Actually, the entire magic system by the end of the game is damn-near useless with the advent of the items that replicate them. The two massive advantages are that they do not require Magic Points or Spirit Points, and the offensive items are generally far more powerful than the characters' magic, including Fina, who is a Squishy Wizard. Also, Aika's Delta Shield -which the player pretty much has to spam against the Bonus Bosses to avoid Total Party Kills- blocks all magic used against your characters, both friendly and hostile, but it doesn't block items. And like many other games, the instant death spells are completely useless.
  • The Suikoden series contains a large number of 'Team Attacks' that fit this trope — they look flashy, but have so many special restrictions that most of the time you'd be better off just having each individual character attack separately. The exceptions to this are attacks that spread out the damage to multiple targets without losing efficiency, like the Buddy Attack from the second game, which hits all enemies for 1x damage, which doesn't sound great, until you realize that it only takes two characters and will hit every enemy (up to six) for as much damage at once as if you'd hit the enemies individually.
    • The True Fire Rune in Suikoden III fits this trope like a glove. It holds some of the most powerful spells in the game, easily capable of wiping out enemy teams in a round or two. The big problem is that with S3's mechanics, the spells hit EVERYTHING within their range, your own team included.
    • From a story point of view, some of the True Runes, such as the Soul Eater and the Rune of Punishment qualify.
    • In Suikoden III, the Waking Rune is this. It gives a massive strength increase at the cost of the unit starting each battle asleep. In most games, give this to a front-line fighter, and he'll likely only miss the first round of combat. In Suikoden III, however, you need to run up to the enemy, meaning he'll be left behind and will be unlikely to get attacked.
  • Phantasy Star prominently features the Laconian Axe, Odin's strongest - and yet least used - weapon. In the late stages of the game, enemies tend to attack in groups of 4-7 at a time, making single-target attacks all but worthless. Not to mention many of the late-game bosses dodge nearly all melee attacks anyways. You're honestly better off giving Odin a Laser Gun instead; it hits all enemies at once, does a respectable flat 20 damage and never misses.
  • Phantasy Star II features the Megido spell, which deals heavy damage to your enemies... but also to your allies. So unless you've got Star Mists to spare (not likely owing to their rarity) or plenty of MP left on your healer (also not likely in the final stages), it's really not worth using at all.
  • Phantasy Star IV has the Destruction combo; it requires four of your five party members, it requires them to act in exact order with no interrupting actions on either side, three of them are using their most powerful attacks possible, two of those were obtained through semi-hidden sidequests... and in the end, it does much less damage than the three attacks in question used independently thanks to the damage cap.
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story has its own brand of impractical, with ridiculously flashy, full-screen "ultimate" attacks like Meteor Swarm, Extinction and Tri-Ace (which is so awesome it's named after the developers). All of which hit just one time, running up against the game's damage cap of 9,999. As opposed to the supposedly less advanced techniques like Mirror Slice, which can hit more than a dozen times.
    • The Second Story also has a lot of problems with Ashton's moves. All of them are cool to look at, and do respectable damage, but take forever. Once of his first abilities, Leaf Slash, has him disappear in a whirlwind of leaves, then flash step and strike his target from behind...but it takes five seconds, during which main character Claude just landed four Air Slashes, or seven Head Splitters, both of which execute much faster. And Ashton's mutually exclusive party member, Opera, has attacks that are faster, more powerful and have better range, as long as you can withstand her ear-splitting battlecries.
    • In Star Ocean: The Last Hope, the last symbology attacks you get are flashy and hit most of, if not the entire battle field. However, they generally can't be used in a chain combo, which cripples their damage capabilities compared to the basic symbology attacks that can be chained together repeatedly to acquire a huge damage multiplier.
  • Secret of Evermorenote  has the Reflect spell, which as its name implies, reflects alchemy spells back at the caster. This would have been a great spell, since no enemy absorbs alchemy spells and bosses frequently use very powerful alchemy (especially That One Boss, Verminator). Unfortunately, you don't get this spell until the beginning of Omnitopia. At that point, the only enemy left that uses alchemy is the Bonus Boss, the Faces (aka "Your Cleanliness")
  • Secret of Mana featured a ton of great moves you could unlock as you leveled up your weapon skills. Unfortunately their long charging times meant you were better off using regular attacks or stunlocking enemies to death with magic. The remake makes this a little better by increasing weapon charge speeds with weapon level, and making the high level charge skills either hit multiple times or do more damage.
  • Trials of Mana has the Ancient spell. It's a devastating, full-screen spell that can kill almost any non-boss enemy with one cast. And Angela learns it if her class is changed into Magus. The downside is that the spell costs 18 MP per cast, which really isn't worth it to use a lot, as 99 is the maximum MP a player character can have.
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age's best Djinn Summon can only be acquired after confronting the strongest Bonus Boss in the game, and that can only happen after you get halfway through the final dungeon. And using the summon costs a full complement of Mars Djinni and half of your Mercury Djinni — a hefty cost that, depending on your class setup, can deprive you of your best healing for a few critical rounds. However, since it revives and fully heals everyone in the party, active or inactive, it's great to have your backup line able to pull it out and make the final boss substantially easier.
    • The endgame Summons in general are this, because while they do a metric crapload of damage in one shot, they all require you to have a sizable amount of Djinn on standby- meaning the stat boosts they give to their user disappear until they reset. They're still capable of inflicting impressive damage (particularly Daedalus), but the Summons acquired earlier in the game will generally see much more use solely due to using less Djinn.
    • Offensive Psynergy itself, to some degree. To increase attack for mundane weapons use, all you have to do is acquire better equipment or level-grind, but to increase elemental affinity for Psynergy you have to use tons and tons of Summons (and the bonus only lasts for the battle) or specifically set up a character with the correct Djinn and (rare) equipment. And while most Psynergy have very strict damage formulas that result in them quickly losing effectiveness, the basic attack will always do a solid amount of damage, if not more due to Golden Sun's overpowered critical hits. The only real advantage of combat psynergy is the ability to hit multiple enemies at once, and then all that does is save the player a turn or two of selecting Attack (and perhaps not even that due to Golden Sun's lack of cursor memory; every time you want to use a certain spell a menu dive is required).
    • To make a comparison, the best offensive Psynergies will do a couple hundred damage, tops, even with a high elemental Power and against enemies which are weak to its element. Megiddo, an attack obtained via the Sol Blade in The Lost Age and Dark Dawn, takes the user's attack power times three, which will easily have reached three digits by the endgame.
    • The Psynergy skills "Haunt", "Curse", and "Condemn" in all three games. They make the foe take damage when they attack, kills them in 7 turns, or kill them immediately, respectively. However, you get them at such high levels that most foes are immune to them and it would also be faster just to kill them regularly.
    • In Dark Dawn, Sveta's Beast Form can be this. On one hand, she turns into a seven-foot-tall werewolf who can smack bosses around barehanded. On the other hand, it drains one of her Djinn into Recovery Mode per round, and expires when she runs out of Djinn, leaving her in her more-human form and without her Djinn-enabled stat boosts until they recover.
  • Chrono Trigger:
    • Some Double Techs and nearly all Triple Techs suffer from this, especially late game when your gear breaks the game mechanics. Simply put, you're almost always better off having each individual character take their action than using all of your turns up at once.
      • This includes the Triple Tech "Grand Dream." It deals higher damage the lower your entire party's overall HP is; with everyone at 1 HP, it hits the damage cap. This would be at least somewhat useful, except it's cast by Marle, Robo, and Frog, whose Frog Squash works on the exact same principle and can deal just as much damage, and costs him the same amount of MP... in other words, if you can dish out 9999 damage with Grand Dream, you're better off casting Frog Squash while having Marle and Robo prevent a party wipe.
    • Lucca's Wondershot is frequently accused of this too; the random multipliers attached to its damage mean that its attack power is either so good it bests Crono's Rainbow Sword, or so bad it's bested by his Mop (the Prism Specs help out... at both ends of the scale). Plenty of people stick with the Turboshot for consistency.
  • Chrono Cross, for its part, has Summon Elements. Necessary for the most high-end equipment, but requiring an elaborate setup every time one is used. With so many restrictions, they tend to get used on only the final few battles, and sometimes not even then. And like its predecessor, many of the Techs look pretty cool, but are just too much trouble to set up for their average payoff.
  • EarthBound:
    • The Casey Bat for Ness, which is his strongest weapon but has an incredibly lame hit rate. That's implied in the name. The only way the bat is genuinely useful is when you realize you can use it for preemptive strikes, since if you get a sneak attack on an enemy, the higher attack rating means you are much more likely to kill the enemy without actually entering the battle screen. So it's a situational weapon, not intended for traditional battles.
    • PSI Rockin'. It's one of the strongest attacks in the game (rivaling even Starstorm), and attacks all enemies. However, stronger variations end up costing large amounts of PP, which is a problem considering how Ness is the primary healer. Later, this is partially mitigated by the Magicant upgrade. Not to mention that Ness is the only PSI user who DOESN'T HAVE PSI Magnet so he can steal PP from enemies. Ness also has the strongest melee attack in the game, further reducing the effectiveness Rockin' has on single enemy fights. Lucas from the sequel is essentially in the same boat as Ness, minus Magicant buffs.
    • The bicycle you get from Twoson is awesome: it moves fast and plays happy music when you ride it. Unfortunately you can't ride it with more than one person in your party or with anything following you. Since the very next place you need to visit is Peaceful Rest Valley which you'd be very lucky to survive without a teddy bear to soak up some damage and you recruit Paula in Happy Happy Village immediately after, you basically only get to enjoy this bicycle for all of about 5 minutes in Twoson before it's tossed in storage and never used again until after you've beaten the final boss.
    • As a general rule, any of the strongest pieces of equipment in the game. Nearly all of them are very rare (1/128 chance) drops from very specific enemies, which means you can grind on them for hours and hours and never see them. Sure, they get amazing benefits (the Gutsy Bat in particular boosts Ness's Guts by a whopping 127, ensuring he'll get critical hits every other swing or so), but by the time you find them you'll probably have gained so many levels that any extra gains it grants will be trivial at best.
  • In the Telefang series, each Denjuu is capable of learning powerful Denma Attacks, which can do massive damage. However, in the first game, to be able to use them, the user has to charge up a Denma meter, which takes many turns, and by the time that it's fully charged, the attacker would have been better off using regular attacking moves over and over. The attacker could easily faint from all the turns that it wastes, due to it being vulnerable from repeated attacks from any opponent. In addition, Denma attacks in general have a slight chance of missing (or the defending Denjuu can use a move to evade the attack), so using them can be even more of a waste since the Denjuu wasted many turns charging all for nothing. Some Denma Attacks run off the user's and opponent's Denma stats rather than their physical stats, so the only time when it's a good idea to use them is when the attacker has a terrible Attack stat but an excellent Denma Attack stat (this is the case for a lot of mod-evolved Denjuu), and if the defender has an excellent Defense stat but a terrible Denma Defense stat, in which case Denma attacks will out-damage regular attacks.
    • Denma attacks work completely differently in Telefang 2 — the meter is already charged up and the Denjuu simply has a limited amount of times where it can use these attacks. Items can refill the meter though.
  • Tactics Ogre, the second game in the Ogre Battle series of Tactical RPGs has four super powerful elemental spells. Well, five, really. One for each of the four elements and the Dark element (Light being the only element left out, for some reason). To gather the four elemental spells, you must jump through an insane amount of truly ludicrous hoops. Here is the short version. Wall of text incoming.
    • First of all, you must gather the four Shaman Sisters. You meet one of them in the very beginning of the game, and depending on what you say then she may or may not join you later. These spells can only be found at the END of the game, probably thirty hours or more into the game. If you happen to offend her during the first hour: congratulations! You're screwed! If you want these spells, start over from the beginning and try to be nicer this time. Assuming you DO recruit her, you still have to get the three other sisters. One of which you have to kill to win a mission that you have to go through in order to find these spells. The trick is to bring her below 20 health without killing her, which is very hard to do "by accident" since your regular attacks can easily deal 100+ , maybe even 200+ damage by this point, depending on class, weapon and Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors. Instead you have to use the ranged attack "Throw Rock" that every soldier has when not equipped with a real ranged weapon. It always deals between five to ten damage. (In rare cases, it can deal up to fifteen.) If you DO manage to bring her down without killing her, she will flee the battle. After that you have to go to a specific town and fight in a training battle in order to use the spell "Summon Storm" which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin. You make it rain. When you then try to leave the town, you will find her moping in the rain, and you get the chance to convince her to join you. That's two out of four. And gathering them is the FIRST step. Then you have to talk to their father several times during this whole mess, get the elemental shields, find the elemental temples, beat up a lot of different people in a lot of other places... When you finally DO get these spells, they seem really awesome. The fire spell, for instance, is described as a thermonuclear detonation above the battlefield. It deals about as massive damage as you'd expect, but all of these spells deal damage to everyone but the caster. Which means you will lose your own troops just as often (if not more so) as you kill the enemy. In this game it's usually easier to just load the game and redo the battle if you lose an important soldier rather than trying to train a new one from scratch. Not considering the large cast of unique characters who can't be replaced, and who you will also blast to bits if they happen to be in a battle where you use this spell. Oh, and there is a hidden shop that is less bothersome to find (just go to th right town at the right date) and that sells item that do exactly the same thing but without the friendly fire. So why did you actually get these spell again?
  • Two types of this occur in Fossil Fighters. The first involves mons like T-Rex, which are incredibly powerful, but which also have very damaging support effects-if one's in a support zone, your main fighter is worthless. The second involves two specific mons, Zino and Centro, who ALWAYS score critical hits-but have such appalling accuracy that the rest of the team needs to be focused around altering stats to get them to hit. While powerful, knocking out even one of the supporting mons causes the entire strategy to fall apart.
  • A fair number of attacks in Vanguard Bandits are this. But most apparent is the Blizzard Break attack, it deals good damage, is fairly accurate and cheap on one cost. But it takes a ton of your Action Points to use, so you generally can't move and use it on the same turn.
  • Parasite Eve has different rates of fire for every weapon, which determines how many bullets you can fire in a single turn. While firing several bullets at an enemy seems awesome, the damage output is reduced the more bullets the gun can fire. Guns with low rate of fire do more damage per shot. On top of this, Aya stays rooted in place until she fires all of the bullets you had her shoot, which leaves her open to attacks. The "Enter 2 (or 3) Commands" effect, combined with a gun that shoots only one bullet at a time, can let you do higher damage output without any damage restriction.
    • A case could be made that Parasite Eve is the poster child for this trope, as nearly all of its higher-end weapons have serious flaws that hold them back from being truly useful. Grenade launchers have a slow firing rate, mediocre damage and elemental properties, which many late and postgame foes resist. Machine guns can launch up to ten bullets at a time, but the damage falloff from anything higher than a two-shot mod ensures that these eat up tons more ammo for virtually no benefit. Rocket launchers are only really useful on a first playthrough - ammo for them is very scarce and once you get into the heavier weapons available in the postgame dungeon, they'll quickly become obsolete. Even shotguns and rifles aren't great - they take far longer to aim than other weapon types and the bit of extra range they get hardly makes up for this drawback. Pistols are your friend for much of the first playthrough, and once you hit EX Mode, you'll want to go for a heavily-modded P90 to ensure the most efficient damage output possible.
    • Parasite Eve's Aya has exactly two attacks in her list of magic abilities, both of which pack a punch. However, the first one, which is described as draining the user's energy, reduces Aya's movement speed from a run to a slow, slow crawl for a considerable amount of time. The second one is capable of obliterating anything that isn't a boss... but completely wipes Aya's Parasite Energy, leaving her unable to do other useful things that require PE, such as heal. With either of these moves, you're screwed if your target survives.
  • Rogue Galaxy gives us super cool Limit Break combos for each playable character. Based on the buttons you press during the sequence, you'll accumulate more damage. Some of it's VERY flashy too. This works great on enemies and you can restock on your limit pretty quickly too (blue balls for each kill). The downside is that you can't use them on bosses. AT ALL.
  • Up & Away in Paper Mario will destroy the enemies, without giving you a single star point. It can easily miss the target, how it's useless in Bosses, and the Star Power cost, when pressing the "Run Away" button has the same effects, except you lose a bit of your money instead... not like you'll miss it by the time you get the attack, either.
    • Showstopper in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door works in a similar way to Up & Away, but rewards the player with star points so they can still level up. However, strong enemies have a higher resistance to Showstopper and every boss (except the Final Boss, who is immune to it) has an extremely low success rate for the move. Luckily, Showstopper is cheap to use, but you're better off using other abilities.
      • Supernova is an extremely damaging move that, when used to the fullest, causes 15 points of damage to all enemies, but using the move eats a ton of star power.
  • In The World Ends with You, most of the Gatito pins don't have any workarounds for their problems and are in fact quite Awesome But Impractical. Also, the elemental deck. It looks cool, but it's not exactly a deck to play seriously with. The Anguis pin has the highest attack power of all the pins...but it's extremely slow to level and does not reboot once used.
  • Xenosaga has a few examples:
    • First, the last special attacks that can be earned for certain characters. They are awesome to watch and rack up the damage, but unless you have the right accessories and/or items, you'll never have enough boosts in your gauge to pull them off.
    • Second, Erde Kaiser Sigma. Leaving out the fact that the crucial item needed to get this ether skill is only obtained through a near impossible side-boss battle, the ether cost is absurdly restrictive. The Erde Kaiser line is like this in all three games. Insane damage, but insane ether cost too.
    • An item in Episode III called Seven Moons brings the character back with full HP and EP. Unfortunately it can sometimes crystalize the character you use it on, meaning if you don't have the item that cures crystallization, they're out in three anyway. And to upgrade this to its better form (no crystallization), you have to go through a Guide Dang It! sidequest in a limited-time area.
      • Or, you could spend a lot of money to build up your characters' resistance to the virus that causes them to crystallize.
    • MOMO's Episode I transformations, due to their time limits (2 turns normally, with one or two added if MOMO has lost a lot of HP) and once-per-battle usage restrictions.
  • In Baten Kaitos Origins, you can get a lot of artifacts designed to screw with your enemies; showing their health, decreasing their turnover speed, etc. However, most of them are ridiculously limited, take a whole turn just to use, or both. In general, the deck space is better allotted to simpler cards; equipment magnus, healing or revival artifacts, or specials.
  • In Summon Night Swordcraft Story, the elemental attack spells, especially the screen wide spell of your Guardian Beast is this, but mostly in the second game. In the first game, the damage and area combination is really neat and useful during some hard to manage random encounters, and save it from being completely useless, even the ultimate spells that charges slowly. Against boss since using weapon is simply faster and more efficient, you will want to use the enchantment spells most of the time. However, by the second game, the random encounters are simply easier to handle, especially considering the new buffed Drill, making them completely useless.
    • The second game is really, filled with this. The high end technique that consumes tons of weapon durability, some of them even outright destroyed your weapon. It deals 999 damage easily. But it wont even One-Hit Kill a boss, and combo moves that hits less multiple time and deals higher damage for far less cost, and Drill Special that is simply absurd and has ridiculously small cost. The 11th-Hour Superpower version and Standard version of the transformation move counts as well. It increases your stats at the cost of taking away your special move slot into an exclusive special move that simply shots a red wave of power for massive damage. Except, it only hit once. Part of the reason why the Final Boss is harder in its One-Winged Angel mode is because you are forced to use this form against said boss, since despite the battle allows you to use spells and items, you cant use your locked weapon special move since otherwise you can just spam Combo and Drill Special and win in seconds. As for the normal version, you will prefer to use your offensive spells and basic move against random encounters. Against boss, Basic multiple hit Special moves deals massive damage for low cost. This translates to it being useless except for the revival effect. And this before we count the fact that your weapon durability is degenerated and you cant use spells and items when transformed coupled with the fact that you need to recharge the Daemon gem before using it again.
  • Many weapons and items in Dark Souls are like this.
    • One of the biggest examples is the Dragon Great Sword, a huge person sized weapon that appears to be made of flesh. Not only that but it has a special attack which causes a huge Razor Wind to tear along the ground, wrecking enemies. Unfortunately the stat requirements for it are insane, and by the time you have the stats to use it, there are other better weapons available because it also doesn't scale with stats. Even weapons that don't have insane stat requirements might end up being so large that the attack animation feels like it takes forever and drains a lot of stamina, which can be good against bosses except for the fact now you're likely wide open to attack because you just used most of your stamina swinging a giant weapon at them.
    • The Smelter Hammer (lovingly dubbed the Chicken Leg by the community) from Dark Souls II, introduced in the Crown of the Old Iron King DLC is a monstrously large and also monstrously heavy melted hunk of metal that is wielded as its name suggests. The Smelter Hammer is so large and unwieldy that it swings significantly slower than its fellow Great Hammers with unique animations to boot, eats your stamina faster than you can swing it, requires a ridiculous amount of strength to wield it (70 Strength to wield it one-handed, and 35 Strength to even wield it two-handed), and in lieu of the ability to parry it possesses a unique triple spin attack that results in you losing your balance and flying forward with the weapon.
    • The Soul Stream sorcery from Dark Souls III. The most powerful sorcery by a fair margin, taking the form of a giant magical Kamehameha. Problem? Extremely high stat requirements and FP cost, and it takes a few seconds to charge up before it fires, which makes it near-useless in a pitched battle.
  • The Quadruple Giga in Mon Musu Quest 2. Not only does it take four turns without spirits to charge up (that's more than enough to be defeated in, by the way) but you need to do it without getting hit. It's only truly useful in a few, very specific situations.
  • In Live A Live, Masaru's final skill does high damage against enemies in a large area and has a pretty cool rock-splitting animation. Too bad its charge time is so agonizingly long that you're better off using his skills that activate immediately.
  • Gungnir gives us War Gods, powerful summons that would be incredibly useful if they discriminated friend from foe, which they don't.
    • War Gods actually do target only enemies, but only if you meet certain requirements, making them useful for a pre-empitive attack or a desperation attack. Naturally, the game doesn't tell you this, nor do they tell you the requirements each god has.
    • Gungnir itself arguably qualifies, as it takes up 3/4 of the user's inventory, thus restricting them to little armour or items. While it certainly has some advantages to make up for this, some may argue that it's inferior to a normal weapon. Averted later on, as Giulio becomes strong enough to make up for the spear's weight.
  • In Breath of Fire III, Garr can obtain a weapon called the Beast Spear. At 150 attack points, it's far and away his strongest weapon (the second strongest weapon, the Dragon Spear, only has 110 Attack Power), and is even obtained about halfway through the game (provided you know where to look, and don't miss it), instead of at the end like most of the other strongest weapons. However, the Beast Spear also weighs a whopping 15 points (making it heavier than any other item in the game and practically ensuring that Garr will have a Speed of 0) and will drain 10% of Garr's max HP every single round. These drawbacks will naturally turn most players away from it (though if you're willing to work with them, Garr can become a damage dealer, thanks to his already high Attack power).
  • Lost Odyssey's "ultimate" magic spells require the player to visit a side area and defeat a boss to obtain them. The rewards? "Sacrifice Self" kills the caster to revive any dead party members and "Divide" damages the entire enemy party for an amount equal to the caster's current health divided by the number of enemies. Averted with "Leveler", which has an ingame description that makes it sound like a single-target version of Divide, but it's actually based entirely on the caster's Magic Attack stat and is the only spell in the game that can reliably do 5-digit damage. Divide also tends to veer towards Not Completely Useless when it comes to the final Backyard opponent and the DLC Bonus Boss, since they're both basically immune to all other physical and magical attacks.
    • That's not even touching the cannons that shoot swords instead of arrows.
  • In Robopon, the * (Star) software sort of falls into this. On one hand, the attacks they create can do obscene amounts of damage. On the other, they require a team of Robopon that mutually like each other, eat anywhere from a third to a half of a Robopon's Energy Points, and do pathetic damage if the enemy has appropriate stats.
  • In Metal Walker, Marine Cores have good attack and defense, but can only move well underwater. Coupling that with the fact that their weakness, Sky Cores, can move well on any field, you'll likely switch to something else as soon as you hit land.
  • The spell Thordain/Kazapple from a few Dragon Quest games. It's an extremely powerful single-target lightning spell, and in this series lightning is a very difficult element to resist. The catch is that it uses your entire team's power to do this. Not only does it force you to skip your own allies' turns, but it draws 10-20 MP (depending on the game and version) from all allies. If any one of them doesn't have enough MP (or they're under a status ailment that prevents them from casting), you can't cast the spell. This is especially bad in Dragon Quest IV, where some of your best allies don't have ANY MP at all. It's certainly possible to get around this by giving them Seeds of Magic (which permanently increase one character's max MP), but that's a heck of a waste when you could just feed those seeds to actual spellcasters and just let everyone take their turns as normal, which will probably generate more overall damage than Thordain anyway.
  • In the first game of the Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku series, energy attacks are extremely useful and really the only practical way to defeat most enemies, while punches are highly risky. However, in the second game this is reversed, energy attacks may look flashy but don't cause much if any real damage while also being the fuel for transformation states, Simple punches and other melee attacks cause much more damage especially in a transformed state than energy attacks do, note  while also being capable of stunlocking the enemy to death. Buu's Fury alleviates the impracticality a bit by giving transformations their own separate energy bar that automatically refills when the player transforms, but energy attacks are still far far weaker than punches.
  • Undertale lets you get your hands on the Real Knife and the Locket in the Genocide Route, which give a +99 to Attack and Defense, respectively (for comparison, the next best boost is the Temmie Armor, which gives +20, and most other items are less than half that). However, to get them requires being in the endgame, and being in a Genocide Route requires you to kill enemies in every zone until the random encounters stop. Because of this, once you obtain these two items, there are no enemies remaining to use them on except the Final Boss, a One-Hit-Point Wonder who uses attacks based on Scratch Damage, meaning that the two items are completely useless for any purpose aside from bragging rights.
  • Special Moves in both Bravely Default and Bravely Second are often more trouble than they're worth. First, the parts required for them are gained through the respective rebuilding mini-game of each game, meaning you'll only be able to make good use of them once you're fairly deep into the game. Second, they require "charging" through a series of repeat actions in order to use them at all (thankfully, the second game lets you customize these triggers), so you'll more than likely fight dozens of throwaway random battles to do so. And you have to do this every time you want to use them, which means you'll probably relegate their usage to boss battles only. And to get the absolute most out of them, you'll also have to use your precious SP to break the damage barrier since many of them easily top off at 9999 damage. That said, if you're willing to put up with the Impractical side, the Awesome is there, as a fully supported special move (generally requiring two other party members to set things up for the user), especially in Second, can be capable of overkilling bosses from full health. While underleveled.
  • In Terra Battle, Recoded Ellvern learns the skill Poison Predator, which deals x6 physical damage (highest multiplier of all skills) to all poisoned enemies. Problem is most bosses are immune to poison so you can only use this on mobs. Even then, it's easier to just kill them than try to inflict them with poison. And despite the skill's high power, Ellvern himself has low Attack stat, so it's still going to deal mediocre damage anyway (unless you equip Attack boosting Companions).
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X has the Well-Weathered skill, which grants a large number of Tension Points when a character takes damage from weather. Since Tension Points are used to use Tension Arts, activate Overdrive, and revive downed teammates, having a good supply of Tension Points makes a character far more effective in battle. So what's wrong with Well-Weathered? First, weather events occur randomly and infrequently. Second, most types of weather don't do any damage, meaning that there are large sections of the game world will the skill will never activate. Finally, even if you do have it equipped in damaging weather, the constant drain it puts on your HP will make any battles much harder to win.
  • Late in Xenoblade Chronicles 2: one of the playable drivers becomes an equip-able healer blade with great stats and abilities. Unfortunately, it's extremely impractical to use them in this capacity because doing so results in them being unavailable as a driver and reducing the total number of blades you can have active at one time. Furthermore, Rex is the only one who can use this character in that capacity, and he's much more effective as an attacker than a healer. Ultimately, it's just far more efficient to just use them as a driver.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, Dragoon form itself becomes this. In the early game, it's more important to level up Additions. In the late game the majority of the bosses can cripple it with the Dragon Block Staff or instantly kill charactersnote . This includes the final battle. Also, by the time you max out characters' final Additions, you'll probably be doing more damage with them than you would in Dragoon form, meaning you're better off not transforming into a glowing winged Magic Knight unless you're planning on using magic.
  • Last Scenario has the Gamma spellcard. For starters, just equipping it gives noticeable penalties to your HP, Strength, and Vitality. Gamma itself inflicts a highly random amount of damage to all enemies, which means that while it might do tons of damage, there's also a good possibility that it will totally whiff. Its Crisis spell, Nuke, deals "unspeakable" damage to all enemies, but has a prohibitively high cost of 999 MP. That's the cap, too, so it will totally drain your MP no matter what.
  • Grandia gives us Feena's Time Gate, which pauses combat for 2-5 turns for everyone but Feena herself. Which sounds great... until you realize that you need to max out your Wind and Water elements at 99 (which takes a solid twenty hours of grinding), it costs a whopping 99 Level 1 MP to cast, and that by the time you're likely to get it, you've already cleared most of the points where it would be useful. Nearly all enemies and bosses in the late game are resistant to elemental damage, and Feena's physical damage output isn't great either owing to two factors - she can only use whips and daggers (neither of which do particularly good damage) and all of her strong special moves are elemental-themed too. At least it showed up in a more viable form in Grandia III several years later.
  • Dark Cloud's Chronicle 2 is quite an ordeal to get, requiring you to complete the game and then go through a 100-floor long bonus dungeon full of powerful enemies that are often immune to all attacks save for one specific element. Then fight a very annoying optional boss. But while your reward for all of this is the most powerful weapon in the game by a big margin... you really have nothing left to fight with it.
  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, every character can learn a unique Megahax – a very powerful spell with a nifty effect, like putting all enemies including bosses to sleep, or giving everyone in the party an Auto-Revive. The thing is, not only can a Megahax only be used once per battle, but it locks the user’s ability to cast magic for the rest of the fight. That’s not so bad for characters who mainly rely on physical moves, but for those who use a lot of magic – like Catie, the party’s main healer – it’s absolutely crippling. You’re way better off just using items to achieve similar effects.
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