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Game Breaker / Hyrule Warriors

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  • Fittingly for the series' main protagonist, Link's a total beast on the battlefield. In addition to having a downright massive list of equippable weapons, most of his combos are devastatingly effective for both clearing out large waves of cannon fodder and dealing with enemy commanders. In particular, his Sword weapon class is incredible at juggling commanders and captains and keeping them completely helpless in the air for several seconds (and many, many hits) at a time, especially with his C5 Shield Bash dash (which also pairs beautifully with his Spirit Attack, since his Great Spin Attack can catch opponents launched by his dash) and his air combos, and the high attack speed combined with surprisingly high damage makes it great on the ground as well. To top it all off, Link has a passive ability that gives him the chance to inflict the Light element on anything he hits if he's able to chain together roughly 50 KOs or more without going too long without dealing damage, making him even better at cutting through large armies that are being led by captains or commanders, which is invaluable in Adventure Mode.
    • At full health, Link's Master Sword is suitably overpowered: you can knock a ridiculous number of enemies into the air by spamming his evade into heavy attack launcher and keep them stunned while you advance on them, the rising spin attack and point-blank Sword Beams from his air combo followup hack off large chunks out of boss healthbars, and even if you're not at full health, his charged normal Spin Attack cuts down massive amounts of mooks with every use. Also, his C3 attack, which jumps back then sends a spinning beam forward, is amazing at max health when the beam is so wide it wipes out everything in front of him — launch it into a big enough mob and you can get upwards of 50 or 60 KO's right there.
  • Sheik's water shield from Serenade of Water breaks the damage requirement over its knee, though its usefulness as a Game-Breaker decreases (but not to the point of invalidating its use) as the difficulty of the missions and the power and toughness of the enemies starts to catch up with Sheik's level. This also makes "don't get hit" missions unbelievably easy.
    • In addition, Sheik is the only character with an ability that lets her fill her own special attack gauge (her light element song creates a zone that will fill the entire gauge so long as Sheik remains within it while the gauge charges. Sheik can therefore charge up when no enemies are around to fight.
    • Together, the light song followed by the water song can let Sheik run out of battle, charge all three bars of her special attack gauge, and then add in a shield to prevent the first four hearts of damage from taking effect.
    • Sheik has essentially infinite dodge invincibility, if a boss has you in a corner you can keep hitting dodge over and over and not take any damage even if the boss is clearly touching you.
  • Volga is a vicious beast both as an opponent and in the hands of a player. Key words to keep in mind are speed and damage; Volga's normal attack string comes out incredibly quickly and deals a fair amount of damage even on lower levels. His C1 breaks guards and his C2 is an infinite, making them both ideal for 1-on-1s. His C3 makes mince-meat out of giant bosses. His C4, a breath of fire spread in an arc, can easily clear out a swathe of enemies, and deals meaty damage for a single-hit attack. Then there's his C5, which has a nasty splash radius and deals hefty amounts of damage, even if it has a long wind-up.
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  • Ganondorf fits the bill in a similar vein to Volga. Despite his heavy build, he's quite fast in both movement and attacks. His C1 when fully charged is invulnerable and deals some of the highest damage possible in the game. His C5 and C6 lets him clear out hordes of mooks in no time and are extremely good at it, with upwards of 70 KOs being easy to get, and C6 potentially netting over 100 KOs in one blow. C3 meanwhile has good range and deals good damage on officers, in addition to killing smaller groups of mooks that aren't worthy a C5 or C6. C2 is the designated launcher and can be used to start combos. C4 is a close-range option, though it's biggest usefulness comes from the fact that it charges Ganondorf's gauge the fastest, meaning two uses of it fully charges C1. You can also hold the Strong Attack button for most of the combos, which charges C1 even when no foes are around. This means Ganondorf can always have fully charged C1. The special attack has tremendous range forward and hurts surrounding enemies. The fact that most of his moves can be dodge-cancelled on any active frame meaning Ganondorf can get out of trouble with ease and increasing the safety of his moves further helps him out. In the hands of a skilled player, you'll feel like a tank on the battlefield. He was made even stronger in the 1.5.0 update, making his slower moves safer to use and thanks to the Hasty Attacks skill, most of his speed issues are as good as gone.
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  • All of Twili Midna’s attacks are fast, powerful, and have a large area-of-effect. Her strong attack also acts as a secondary Special Attack that can allow her to deal massive damage while building up her Special Meter; use literally any move, and you obliterate multiple officers and hundreds of mooks with one button press.
  • Joining the ranks of broken characters is Young Link, who, by using his Ocarina, can potentially remain in Focus Spirit for an extremely long period of time by converting special attack meter to magic. This means he becomes immortal, automatically breaks blocks, and has a slew of extra affects from killing large hordes of enemies, along with the normal boosts given by the mode. His Focus Spirit is by far the strongest in the game. But what really sells it is that he is still a better and stronger character than the majority of the cast in terms of speed and power outside of Focus Spirit too. One of his combos, which summons the Triforce, is outright devastating in both forms, as it deals massive damage, interrupts enemy attacks, even those which otherwise need a specific item or a special, and attracts enemies. And the My Fairy mechanic below? Young Link is the most notable character to constantly spam Fairy Magic.
  • A situational example, Zelda's Baton becomes a game breaker in the "Watch out! All attacks are devastating!" battle type in Adventure Mode. Specifically, her standing strong attack, which launches a wave of small cyclones in front of her. (It normally follows this with a controllable cyclone which forces you to stand still and leaves you open to attacks, but you can dash-cancel out of that.) Since these maps make every enemy into a One-Hit-Point Wonder, a single use of her standing strong attack eliminates every enemy in front of her instantly, making A-Ranking these maps trivially easy as long you can use her.
  • With the release of the Master Quest DLC is the Epona/Horse weapon for Link, who's a game breaker in the "All Attacks are Devastating" missions. While sprinting you can use a strong attack without losing any momentum, and it has a rather decent range that makes it easy to zoom around the battlefield, cleaving through hordes and Elite Mooks without getting hit and doing it quickly. She can also make short work of named foes because her ability to knock foes into the air means they can't guard, making it a matter of keeping up the attack to keep the opponent juggled until defeat. Also, the mooks are never a threat at all, as Epona makes them flinch with just collision.
  • With two competent players, co-op mode becomes this for a lot of the Adventure Mode challenges that restrict character selection. Only Player 1 is restricted to the predetermined character or character and weapon. Player 2 gets to choose from all unlocked characters and weapons. Even if there's nobody else to play as the second player, you can still park the first player in the ally base where they'll be safe from damage and play through the challenge as anyone you wish and take as much damage as you want in the progress without having your rank penalized, although this doesn't work in most of the hardest missions where the enemy is aggressive and/or numerous enough to reach the ally base no matter what you do.
  • The Character Switch in Legends accomplishes the same thing; you can go onto a map with an unfavorable character whose item you need but may be too low level or just one you don't like playing, and switch to one significantly stronger/more comfortable for you and clear the mission and still get the rewards. Plus, with the ability to send the characters you don't currently control at specific points of the map, you can handle two objectives which have to be accomplished simultaneously, like defending the Allied Base and attacking the enemy commander, with ease. The only downside is that, unlike co-op, you don't always get to have character switching in a mission.
  • A general one with the 1.5.0 update is the new weapon skill Hasty Attacks, which makes it so that your normal attacks and combo finishers are always as fast as they are during Focus Spirit: combine this with the potion that makes it so that you always break enemy guards with your attacks, and you now have permanent access to two of the most important features of Focus Spirit. This allows you to save it for when you need it to expose weak points quickly, you find a huge horde of enemies to take advantage of the bonus effects, or when you're playing a mission with an abundance of Magic Jar Captains.
  • The Rupee+ skill combined with the Rupee Festival mixture can turn Rupee competition levels into a cakewalk. Watch as your opponents get only a few thousand rupees while you get 10x the amount.
  • My Fairy in Legends. It can be somewhat helpful with the Rental Skills you get, but the main draw is the elemental field you can set off once you have enough magic, which doesn't even have to be at full level, unlike Focus Spirit. This mechanic not only wipes out several enemies in a group, usually even hundreds of them (thus already trivializing levels where you have to kill a certain amount of enemies in a given time, as well as making it far easier to get an A rank in KOs), but you can also use its passive effect to turn the battle further in your favor. In particular, a fairy with the ability "Shade" will gradually reduce enemies' health until there's only one HP left on each enemy in the vicinity, including enemy captains and giant bosses. You can use this to whittle down particularly tough foes, or even bring the enemy commander down so you can focus your efforts elsewhere and then defeat the captain when you're done. And depending on the clothes your fairy is wearing, it won't be long before you're able to pull it off again. Because of this, a time ranking lower than an 'A' is a non issue. And combined with the above Total Party Kill, that means the only thing you really have to worry about is damage taken; that's two requirements for an A rank, completely nonexistent because of this ability.
    • Nearly all of the Fairy Magic skills contribute to this for their effects: Bombos reduces the defense of all enemies within the field, making it slightly more useful than Shade in a direct attack. Quake reduces the enemy speed, making it most useful in Protect the Keeps With Your Life missions. Shine restores the HP or allies within the field, making getting several Hard Skulltulas in Legend Mode that require keeping allies above a certain threshold much easier and makes it easier to deal with a Leeroy Jenkins commander in Adventure Mode Missions, plus it can make defending an Allied Base very easy. Ether is the only exception as it increases the defense of allied units that are in it but ultimately isn't as useful as Shine. The effects can also be combined but will result in a smaller field rather than double of the same element, so it's pick and choose.
    • Specific My Fairy's Rental Skills can break the game even further. While they can take a lot of effort to get, the payoff is more than worth it: Wall of Water and Wall of Water+ grant the player a defensive shield akin to Sheik's Serenade of Water skill that protects against a set amount of damage and works in the Don't Get Hit Missions, making them significantly more manageable as a result. Repair Technician will restore 50% health to a keep, allowing one to save an allied base or grant one keep significantly more health in a Protect the Allied Keeps With Your Life missions. Finally, there are also the Rental Skills that grant infinite Specials or Magic for a set time, essentially allowing a spamming of Fairy Magic all over the place.
  • There's a weapon that makes Devastating missions a complete joke for any character. The bow. Unless, of course, you're playing on Master Quest, which sometimes prohibits the use of any item attacks.
  • Skull Kid. His C3note  is the single best crowd-clearing move, with the only one coming close to it being Ganondorf's giant sweep attack, due to it being strong enough to instantly kill mooks, hitting a large area, and having practically zero risk. His C4 does significant damage, inflicts darkness on its targets, and hits many times, making it perfect for depleting the weak point on giant bosses. C5 builds meter fairly quickly and deals respectable damage to officers, giving it a use over the otherwise superior C3. Lastly, his C6 is a good combo finisher, as it deals a lot of damage and can be comboed into through C2 -> C4 -> C6.
  • While a niche case, Lana can easily handle Darknuts and Stalmasters with her spellbook moveset. Darknuts and Stalmasters can be rendered vulnerable to a WPS if you hit them and then move behind them (if you're fast enough). Lana's C1 causes her to vault forward, kicking through them and accomplishing both requirements in one move. Add in that Darknuts are weak to lightning and she can drop them as easily as standard mooks.
    • Lana in general becomes more of game breaker once you realize the following: that she can cancel the end lag of most of her barrier generating attacks by dashing after the barrier starts coming up, and that overlapping barriers will cause both of them to detonate as if they were kicked. This means that she can deal massive damage to enemies by using her C4 to generate 3 barriers, dashing out of the animation, and then doing it again to cause the barriers to explode over each other. She can also do this to easily and consistently break the weak points of any giant boss (bar the Imprisoned) without having to use any special meter. Combine this with Hasty Attacks and it becomes even more ridiculous as on top of everything else, she becomes able to stunlock any non-giant enemy by looping the first 2-3 hits of her basic combo and dash-cancelling it to restart the loop.
    • The C5 attack on Lana's Summoning Gate has her surf on the back of an Argorok while it spits fire, provided that she summons an Argorok with her C1 first. What makes this specific move broken is that it deals damage every frame that it makes contact with an enemy - not only does this instantly tear through large groups of monsters and make short work of keeps, but against a boss monster with its weakpoint exposed, its health bar will drain in seconds, and if it happens to survive the attack it's already taken so many hits that you'll immediately be able to follow it up with a weakpoint smash. You have to be lucky enough to have an Argorok appear with C1 at the right time, but if luck is on your side, it's the most potent boss killer in the game.
  • The humble Bow that everyone has access to 99% of the time is deceptively devastating. The main reason for this is that it causes an enemy's animation to temporarily freeze. While the damage it does is minuscule, this stun can be exploited for a lot of things. For instance, while it is actually possible to chip down someone's weakness circle by repeatedly plinking them with arrows, it's better used for stunning them just as they come out of a weakness-causing attack, which delays the weakness circle going away and stops counterattacks. This is extraordinarily effective on Cia, who can't be stunned by the Boomerang, but can be stunned with the bow (Spam arrows on her during the Four-Dark-Link Summon and it'll make the summons desynchronised, so you can dash in and wail on her weak spot effortlessly) and utterly shuts down the AOE capabilities of Poes/Gibdos - Which, incidentally, have this as their mega-attack-cancelling weakness. Finally, you can rapid-fire with it by animation-cancelling with the dodge. While this is ordinarily offset by the low damage, whenever you find the power-up, it becomes spectacularly lethal, volleying multiple arrows that converge on your focussed target, hitting everything in a wedge behind and in front of it. And in missions where all attacks are devastating, you can hit the enemy before you enter their range most of the time. Needless to say, if you happen to go in with the Item-Power-up potion, you can demolish an entire battlefield just with the withering hail of Light Arrows the bow can dish out.