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  • Tons of it. The weapon system in general is this. Amongst the characters, the most stand-out examples are Kunoichi in the first two games thanks to her fast offense and Invincibility loop with her R1 Type Action, Diao Chan in the first game (via her R1 buff's powerful effects), Cao Ren and Huang Zhong in the second game (their R1-enhanced charge attacks can wreck shit and Cao Ren's newly included hidden one is ridiculous), Sun Jian in the first two games due to his Direction+R1 letting him use his health to power his Musou bar, and most of the Dynasty Warriors cast in the first game. Orochi himself counts, as long as you only used his first triangle attack.
    • One common way characters were broken was mainly due to how they could naturally activate weapon attributes/elements on certain charge attacks; depending on what charge attack it was, it would trigger a ton of area-of-effect damage (via Bolt) that was unblockable (via Flash) and could deal a lot of damage to the point of instant death (via Slay). Bonus points to any activation charge attacks that could hit multiple times just so in the case of Slay and Bolt, instant death chance + AoE could be proc'd more than once.
    • But, as seen in Tier-Induced Scrappy, some characters are much less effective at utilizing such broken mechanics as they may have been programmed to be quite ineffective in general even when maxed out compared to others via negative programming oversights.
  • Sun Jian takes a special note as the Top of the tier list and being broken in a rather different way. His Direction+R1 special allows 10 seconds of infinite musou bar usage at cost of health, which has TONS of usage including spamming Triple Musou or any Musou based move that is normally limited into a couple of uses. Sun Jian is not simply "broken"; he is a massive design flaw of a character that can easily break every character in the roster. Not to mention, due to him having a Direction+R1, that means he's a Speed-type character. Translation? He can also pull off their absurd jump-cancel gimmicks and has very little-to-no musou costs for his R1 Type Actions (Sun Jian actually has no costs). Of course, the third game however, changed him to be Wonder-type; his midair R1 in Ultimate however, when setup properly with the right attributes, can easily nuke people to death point-blank when Spirit Cancelled.
    • He's also broken in a different way: several of the Dream Mode stages in 2 can only be unlocked by grinding the three characters used in them to 50 Proficiency, which requires killing a whopping 250 officers per character, and sitting through loads of message spam in the process. If Sun Jian is level 18 or 19, he can use his Direction+R1 to put himself in critical health, die to the enemy commander, and keep all the experience and proficiency gained from the stage, saving anywhere from 45 seconds to 2 minutes per run.
  • There's also a number of generic Game Breakers available for all characters added since the second game, called Tenbu (lit. Heaven Dance) AKA Almighty; renamed Brilliance in the third game: this very rare skill makes all currently equipped elemental skills activate on every hit as long as your Musou bar is full, meaning all your attacks are unblockable, kill mooks in a single hit and do a percentage of damage to anything stronger on every hit, or using one of the 2 characters that block attacks while attacking and giving them equipment that allows them to block attacks from any direction and recover life when blocking (Speed-types with no-Musou cost Combination Arts could abuse it like crazy). For others with negative programming oversights as aforementioned however, it was a near-necessity to make sure they could even remotely do decent damage to sustain themselves and survive.
  • As of games in the overall historical-figure Musou Warriors series portion that allow for lingering hitboxes to be laid out, anytime you perform an attack that can proc an attribute that can apply to a very specific set of moves, the said lingering hitboxes can carry them, which is revealed to be how Koei Tecmo for a while has programmed attribute activation. As a result, characters with an attack that causes continuous hitboxes to last can not only proc attributes that don't occur on Musou Attacks for continuous damage (e.g. Echo at the ending portions of Zhou Tai and Human Nezha's Musou Attacks, or critical hits upon inputting a charge attack on any foe juggled by a lingering hitbox with a Technique-type character), but with the proper setup and the moveset(s) for it, elemental activation even as well. As a result, especially in both 3 and 4, if there's an attack with a damaging hitbox that lasts a long time, you can bet that you're able to spam an elemental charge attack in order to proc elements on hitboxes they shouldn't even occur on (this also works back in both Dynasty Warriors 7 and 8).
    • An example of this in 4 is making use of laying out a God Spell of any sort that has a lingering hitbox while the user is free to move, then spamming the elemental charge attack of your choice while its out; the procs are quite to sight to behold.

    Warriors Orochi 
  • Many Dynasty Warrios characters in the first Orochi games are significantly buffed to account for the mechanical difference between Dynasty and Samurai Warrios, in form of weapon elements proccing on most of their charge attacks, notably including several multi elemental proc charge attacks, C1, and C2. The result of this is a huge range of Chinese characters abusing this quirks to get fast elemental spam with C2 for extremely fast officer kills. The second game would nerf this quirks, removing the elemental activati
  • Diao Chan. Her C1 is an elemental slide which allows for an early, extremely safe mobile charge attacks which makes her very safe against archers, and makes for a good follow up. Her C4 hits twice with elemental activation, making it one of few multi elemental proc hits in the game. Diao Chan's extreme amount of offense, safety, and is one of the safest character against Archer horde puts her at the very top of Orochi 1's Tier list until the second game's widespread nerf towards Chinese character make her much less powerful.
  • Kunoichi is a Power Type character with an R1 special that imrpoves her damage output on top of offering compleye invincibility for an extremely long time. With the right load out meant to improve her Musou gauge efficiency, its entirely possible for Kunoichi to keep up the invincibility form indefinitely. Kunoichi also have an extremely fast C2-1 attack for a fast elemental activation, and thanks to its status as a weapon-based elemental activation, have decent amount of Musou gauge refill. A well equipped Kunoichi is able to stay invincible for the entire map, while quickly assassinating officer in record time. This version of Kunoichi is considered broken from the very first game, and, thanks to the lack of nerf applied towards Samurai Warriors cast that happened during 2, lasts all the way until Z.
  • Mitsunari's Direction+R1 shows how powerful certain Speed-type characters could be. The Razor Wind sent out from said attack works with elements, can be jump cancelled, covers a good amount of range via cone-shape, comes out fast, and does a respectable amount of damage. It was eventually nerfed in the second game however via its base damage and hitstun like with all projectiles being all too low. Ironically, he then became somewhat subpar in the third game, where his C4 now has very weak absorption rate.
  • Zuo Ci's Direction+R1 also takes the cake. Not only does he give himself a temporary buff (that increases attack speed and damage), but he can also combine it with Square/the normal attack input for an unlisted R1 special, where he palms forward with his cards. The attack has quite a bit of range, and thanks to his buff cast on him beforehand it can come out absurdly fast, allowing you to spam that move and jump-cancel it with impunity. The donwnside is that he's a Speed type character, so he can't take too much of a beating and relies less on C2 spams. The second game nerfed the activation time of his specials, giving them more start-up time and making them slower, but he's still just as powerful if you can use him well. Said hidden special didn't return in the third game, but it made a return in his most recent appearance in his home series as one of his EX attacks.
  • Guan Ping was disgusting for a good reason; his three-input C4 could activate weapon attributes + elements on each input, thus, imagine when you can proc Bolt, Flash and Slay three times in a row (while also being backed-up by Agility and Range. He was top of the tier lists due to such a thing.
  • Orochi's C1-1 is a diamond in the rough of an otherwise underwhelming character. It covers a huge circle around Orochi, renders him nearly invincible, have elemental activation, with barely any downtime in between every usage. As a result, an extremely effective way to use Orochi is to simply uses C1-1 over and over again giving him near unparalled safety, really good crown clearing, and solid officer killing speed that can be further optimized with Air light attack to set up Air attribute procs in between. Its also really Boring, but Practical, as it involves Orochi slaming his giant scythe for a gigantic dark explosion, awkwardly stops only to do it again and again until the stage is completed.
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    Warriors Orochi 2 
  • In the first two games, Cao Ren is a Technique-type character, meaning his Charge Attacks can be enhanced with the R1 button, and that his default Type Action special like some Technique-types is part of his normal attack chain (Square, R1; an R1-styled C2 input), as well as having a counter-attack R1. Nothing harmless, right? In the second game, though, Cao Ren also gained a hidden R1 skill, which is a more enhanced version of his C3 (Squarex2, Triangle). When R1 was done with it, he causes a spread of Razor Winds to blast out per shot, as opposed to a single one per shot. This enables him to clear out crowds like crazy, and essentially be a reprisal of Mitsunari's broken Direction+R1 special as mentioned above. That, and his original C1-EX-Special no longer was a grab, giving it a new hitbox with more range to make it activate (but at the same time may trigger too soon on the wrong targets). This even carries over to the Japan-exclusive Compilation Re-release Warriors/Musou Orochi Z, where the characters have changed little right from their second game incarnations; in that case, while it's still strong, there are two different maximization setups to achieve which was down to preference. So either way, other characters are better as Cao Ren's C3-EX was able to do a lot of damage but would not always one-shot generals; plus you'll need to have the proper elements attached since projectiles were heavily nerfed in the second game.
  • In the same vein, Huang Zhong is a MASSIVE game breaker for a similar reason, only with a more effective setup. He doesn't need to rely on any of his Type Action Specials, only his enhanced C1 (with just R1 alone), thanks to its powerful elemental activation and speed. The only downside? Huang Zhong is just as slow as Cao Ren without being a Stone Wall like him. Consequently, he needs a bit more safety... but if you do get hit, it refills your Musou, so it's not that bad unless you're playing on Chaos.
  • In the Versus Mode on Warriors Orochi 2, the list of characters with at least one move satisfying this trope actually outstrips the list of characters too horrible to even use. By quite a margin at that. Gracia is one prime example with her Direction+R1 shield (lifted from one of her old Special Skills in SW2XL) which makes her impossible to literally-touch.

    Warriors Orochi 3 
  • While there's tons of broken characters in 3, one character is agreed upon to be the single best character in the whole game...Xiahou Ba. His Type Action increases his attack and movement speed to a ridiculous degree and also works as an Invulnerable Attack like all Type Actions in 3, he wields a BFS and can shoot huge Sword Beams and shockwaves out of it twice in succession, and with a maxed out Osmosis and other elements attached to increase the absorption rate, you can easily gain back the amount of Musou the move costs to use by the time it runs out. All of this translates into making him a Lightning Bruiser with insane offensive power, despite the Type Action not directly increasing his attack damage; this means that he is still limited to weapon setups that can allow him to properly one-shot generals, but the speed buff helps.
  • The defensive equivalent is Xu Huang, whose EX Attack gives him an aura that makes it so that everything only does Scratch Damage to him, even on Chaos where enemies can kill any other maxed out character in 4-5 hits. Since it's an EX Attack, he can spam the combo that leads into it all day and use it to beat most stages with little effort due to all EX Attacks having Hyper Armor upon their startup frames. The fact that his attacks have an unique property of getting any enemy he hits stuck into his axe so that they can't escape any followup hits and take full damage from them doesn't hurt either. Plus, he's a Power-type character, meaning he'll always be resistant to nearly every attack that comes his way due to the Hyper Armor function. It works even better on higher difficulties with the Iron Gauntlets item equipped, and his Type Action hits hard enough.
  • Just like in its home series, Ryu Hayabusa's Izuna Drop a la his C2 chain. It launches Ryu and the enemy upwards, thereby making him safe from damage, and then the poor schmuck grabbed by Ryu would get piledrived to the ground and causes a ground pound effect for area damage... Note that Ryu is invincible and uninterruptible when he's piledriving and due to him being a Power character, he has less chance of getting staggered and interrupted. And unlike in home series, the AI isn't so overly sadistic-tear-your-hair-apart level so you'll be able to land this move perfectly... A LOT.
  • Element-wise, not only can you use the aforementioned Almighty, there's also others that match it, such as Wrath AKA Tenkou (Heaven Offense) which works when the HP bar is full, or Grace AKA Ten'yuu (AKA Divine Aid) which works when below half HP. Needless to say, all three of those attributes were often banned when it comes to deciding best characters in Chaos Mode Solo Runs, but nowadays it's been subverted due to some characters being flat-out worthless without it via a proper setup. Also subverted in that you need to have equipped elements for it to even work, and it doesn't proc absorption attributes. In addition, elements appear to be half power when activated this way in 3, and while it's not too bad in the long run it is noticeable that Ice activates only half the time and Slay does half its usual percentage damage to an officer or instant kills only half as much as it normally does.
    • Ultimate also adds mixture orbs, which combine elements into one slot such as Windslay or Icebolt. this can not only save you space, but also allows you to stack elements even higher than +10, such as Slay insta-killing more frequently or Wind doing more damage. Not so much a game breaker in itself, but with the above mentioned skills you can get some fun elemental activation in if you take the time to build a weapon around it.
  • In the third game, you can access the most Egregious example by far, in the 'Triple Thrift' combo. The 'Thrift' ability reduces the consumption of the Musou Gauge, and is possessed by two characters from the Samurai Warriors series - and Motochika Chōsokabe. Combine them with a Thrift-using character from another series (Your choice of Dong Zhou, Zhang Jiao or Liu Shan), get them all to Proficiency S, and your Musou-gauge will decrease at snail's pace, allowing the Samurai Warriors-flavor Musou (which is normally a brief Super Mode) to last pretty much an entire battle... making you entirely invulnerable until it runs out, and since you can refill your musou just by hitting enemies with charge attacks with the right weapon skills equiped, it never will. And if you DO get knocked out of it by a cutscene, a bath, or a slide down a mountainside, you can just switch to the OTHER character and jump right back into invulnerability. Makes Chaos Mode a walk in the park, if somewhat dull...
    • Ultimate added more characters to the already huge roster, as well as promotions allowing every character to take on a second skill. New add Xu Shu has it as his first skill, and he himself is almost a minor game breaker with both Thrift and a very, very spammable ground Type Action that summons a rain of arrows in front of him for several seconds that will flinch anybody (a lot like his second Musou Attack in Dynasty Warriors 8 in terms of the quote and gesture), and characters with the secondary skill, such as Liu Bei and Hundun are the ones with single shot style Musou Attacks, while Ayane, Yinlong, Mitsuhide Akechi, and Nene all have Samurai Warriors-styled super modes, meaning now, with some grinding, you can have a team of 3 (or 5 in Gauntlet Mode) party members staying perpetually under Super Mode.
    • And even if you are not using Musou Attacks, several characters such as the aforementioned Xu Shu have overpowered Special Moves/Type Actions, while characters as Susano'o have obscenely high damaging ones and leave you invincible throughout them unlike in the original games.
    • Breaking the game just that much more with triple thrift is a high level "Belt of Concentration" item. Belt of Concentration will slowly restore your musou automatically, with higher levels restoring it faster. If you use triple thrift and use either Type Action or a Dynasty Warriors 7-style musou with the belt equipped to that character, you will get back to full musou the second after you start your attack. It's not quite as broken as Samurai Warriors-style invincibility, but it does allow Dynasty Warriors characters to join in the broken fun, and with the right skill, Brilliance, you can have a Musou Attack where elements are activated with every single hit on par with characters such as Taigong Wang, Nuwa and Fu Xi, who are examples of having natural elemental-activating Musou attacks.
  • Gauntlet/Unlimited Mode in Ultimate can easily be abused to break the story mode, due to how easily you can grind it for obscene amounts of gems and experience. However, due to the difficulty of the mode you will need all the game breakers in order to beat it.
  • Oh Bombast. It's a golden weapon skill, which can be found in orb form off enemies in high level miasma in gauntlet. What it does is it gives you the Imperial Seal item effect, 10 seconds of unlimited musou, upon reaching a 500 combo. it may seem far off, but with the right characters you can make it activate it far more than you should. Remember the above mentioned Xu Shu's arrow attack? yeah, it can actually be used to reach this milestone due to arrows hitting many times, covering an area, and not even knocking any enemies away. Motochika, from the above mentioned tripe thrift, is also really good for this, due to all his attacks being multi-hitting and crowd focused, and in super mode it never gets rid of your combo, so you can start it at the beginning and then get a 500 combo at a later point. It's also worth noting that in story mode, having Xu Shu use the arrow/bombast combo basically turns him into Sun Jian from the earlier games without the health cost.
    • But on the flipside, with Xu Shu in general, while he kills people fast without a doubt via an Aggression-power ground Type Action with Blast, Frenzy, Flak (to hit airborne foes for more damage since the Type Action launches a bit) and a few other attributes, he's not one for item collecting; usually, having to wait for item drops from enemies at hit the ground WHILE THEY ARE STILL BEING JUGGLED from your R1 spams tends to be a pain, and on higher difficulties and in high miasma levels in Gauntlet Mode, spamming R1 is a bit of a must to make sure you stay invincible at any turn (though aiming at another direction tends to help). The main downside to it is that depending on the port you're playing on, R1 Type Action-spamming with Xu Shu can lag the game severely.
    • Many new elements introduced in Ultimate can easily break the game with the right setup, like those which give you Power-Ups when you reach a certain combo. Since the combo counter counts the total hits landed on all targets (as oppose to individually for each target), reaching the threshold would be a walk in the park given the enemy density in the game (EVEN for the PS Vita port). One example happens to be Aggression, which gives you a free x2 battlefield item pickup whenever you reach a 200 combo (300 combo in 4) which is often required for anyone who can generate massive combo.
    • Using this as a Samurai Warriors-moveset character that has a high combo inducing Musou (e.g. Masamune Date) can essentially give you perpetual Super Mode, being unable to take damage as long as you are in the Musou. Easily exploitable in Gauntlet mode where enemies spawn by the player, which leads to killing enemies in increasingly higher miasma which is really useful for Level Grinding and getting better rewards like extremely powerful weapons. However, you have to make sure to hit generals from behind though; they'll be sure to block whenever they can once you approach them in your Musou Attack state still. Thus, from there you need to make sure not to take it for granted too much and waste your time hitting them as they'll always block when you're nearby.
  • However, almost none of this up above compares to Kiyomasa Katō in pretty much all versions of 3, whose R1 Type Action is the strongest in the game when maxed out with the Frenzy and Blast attributes. His C5's great at wave clearing and can easily activate sustaining attributes. With the said Type Action, he can 1-to-2 shot any generals in his way, even on Chaos difficulty. There's a reason some fans argue he has the fastest offense in the game.
    • But on the flipside; in Gauntlet Mode from Ultimate where crowds are easily increased in number (ESPECIALLY at high/max miasma levels), Kiyomasa arguably has a harder time with his normal setup (as his C5's a bit detached from his moveset), and combo-ability activation to trigger Aggression (for a free x2 attack powerup), Bastion (free x2 defense powerup) and/or Alacrity (free 100% healing item) is where it's normally at to make sure you survive as much as possible (however his midair R1 Type Action helps greatly here in a dense crowd). People like Wei Yan and Nobunaga with their broken midair R1 Type Actions take his place instead, since they do lots of damage and generate a ton of combo.
  • However, the biggest contender by far is Cai Wenji (AKA Cai Yan) in Ultimate. Her midair R1 Type Action compared to even the likes of Fu Xi, has THE BEST fixed absorption rate in the game akin to Kojirou's C7, meaning it doesn't even need Aggression to sustain off of a single peon (it heals her to a near single full bar of HP). The only downsides are that it doesn't penetrate units, has no actual elemental activation and cannot be directed/aimed mid-animation AT ALL; while this in tandem with several of her other moves to generate combo with (charge attacks, jump charge, EX Attack and Spirit Charge all + Echo) to activate Aggression and Bastion like the rest of the Wonder-types makes her solid, she's hands down the best character in the Ultimate version of the game due to her free damage + massive heal from her midair R1.

    Warriors Orochi 4 
  • In 4, Osmosis and Absorption got an upgrade so that it no longer requires elemental activation (via percentage damage) to work as effectively and can work on all non-charge attacks as well, although it does work better on an attack with natural elemental procs as before; this overall makes it very easy to recover health and musou now, although the devs are aware of how popular this is as one challenge for the "Pandemonium" difficult is switching out no longer heals you which says they expected it. Those who can use Hyper Attacks (mainly Samurai Warriors figures) can also easily restore themselves due to activation being more potent but it's by no means required, especially with elements combined and if you managed to launch a target with your Sacred Treasure's basic or charge spell just to juggle them to death with those said Hyper Attacks.
    • On the flipside however, moves that use up musou (including the ones that naturally proc charge attack-based attributes) can no longer proc Osmosis, nor can it and/or Absorption proc on whacking K.O.ed targets continuously. Also on a majority of elemental activation attacks, one, two, three or four elements at once can only be active on each enemy target hit instead of all equipped elements on the weapon; this often limits elemental movesets by a margin.
  • Another one from 4 is the Lion of Nemea, the alternate version of the Cerberus Sacred Treasure, if you bought the DLC. The charge magic attack with it deals absurdly high damage, so much so that you can take down boss level enemies in a single use.
  • You will most likely appreciate Athena's aid when she joins your ranks. Most of her Charge attacks will instantly petrify any enemies that come across her and her third Charge attack can be aimed so it will either cover a wide range to petrify many or focus fire on one enemy. That's not all, though: Athena's other Charge attacks that glows yellow will cause extra blasts that also sweeps the enemy away in a HUGE radius and even deal huge damage as well if it hits a petrified enemy. Add in some customization that procs both elements and absorption attributes and Athena can pretty much wreck the battlefield with power alone...on top of a Unique God Spell that covers a HUGE distance in front and a crazy C1... so much for strategy.
    • She gets even crazier with her DLC Sacred Treasure, Aegis EX, where its effects can power up her charge attacks (including turning her C1 into a multi-vertical-light-beam attack) to insane levels.
  • Also from 4: Sima Zhao has hands down, the most powerful Unique God Spell in the game by default; at point blank, it just nukes anyone with raw base power, period. Imagine procing both the aforementioned Aggression along with combining it with a maxed-out Divinity attribute, and no one ever survives upon inputting R1+Circle.
  • The recent 1.05 update for 4 managed to give almost every non-Hyper Attack user extra elemental activation attacks, especially for those who use EX Attacks from the Chinese-figure-side. Chinese figures such as Jia Chong finally become viable thanks to this (he was bottom of the barrel low tier in the Japanese tier list beforehand), as well as some like Yue Jin (who's C3-EX never had elemental activation back in Dynasty Warriors 8).
    • Then comes in someone like Lu Su whose newly-patched C6-EX is now one of those patched EX attacks that can proc elements, making it now deal heavy sustain + damage way more than before.
    • Guo Huai now gets a special mention: from the said patch, his iconic More Dakka C3-EX by itself becomes absolutely disgusting with a long-lasting hitbox, and elemental activation on all of its hits on top of good physical damage when used point-blank.
    • Deng Ai's C2-EX gets buffed to ridiculous levels, and on top of swinging pretty fast to each his C2 in the first place, this becomes quite easy to nuke crowds as many times as you need/want and to generate combo.
    • Lu Meng becomes almost as disgusting as in DW8XL where he can now spam C1-EX for combo generation and rapid collateral procing, only you replace Induction with a wad of needed-elements and remove the now-nerfed Explosive/Echo. Thus, he doesn't even need to effectively rely on his elemental-procing Unique God Spell that's one of the only two in the game to do so.
    • As mentioned before, Jia Chong. Once more like in DW8XL, his C1-EX due to now activating elements becomes absolutely busted. But on top of that, via the lingering hitbox programing rule as aforementioned, you can now make Jia Chong's default C1 on its own proc elements with ease by setting out a few normal C1 axes, then going to town with C1-EX.
  • After his horrid handling in 3, Musashi comes back with a massive vengeance in 4 with a very OP running attack that does tremendous base damage, especially when tacked on with Aggression being proc'd (and even to the point of literally one-shotting people under the Unity Attack buff as well). On top of that, he's also recruited fairly early in the story, allowing him to trivialize a lot of stuff during that point onward. The multi-attribute from his Unique God Spell is a nice bonus as well, allowing him to rack up hits for combo generation and rapidly keep enemies in hitstun.
  • Odin is by and large one of the most broken characters in the entirety of the fourth game throughout for a number of reasons - he has a fifteen second time stop as his "normal" magic, whereas most characters have a simple low damage blast. Every single one of his charge attacks is almost gratuitously powerful, the C4 and 5 clearing crowds and slaughtering officers en masse, and his C6 forces foes into a single area before nuking them from above. His Charge Magic turns Gungnir into a homing exploding machine gun, and his Musou Attack is dropping Gungnir from orbit. Little wonder he comes at the end of the game - with him properly powered up, even Chaotic and Pandemonium become a walk in the park. If a lot of stuff is coming your way, simply pause with his time stop and then tear it all to shreds.
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