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There goes his ability to flip the bird...

"Get up, monster! Hurry and regenerate yourself. I'm going to let you relive that pain over and over until you die."
Colonel Roy Mustang, Fullmetal Alchemist

Fighting something with a Healing Factor is very difficult, as any injuries you inflict will rapidly be undone. Getting around this usually requires extreme force, special powers or tools, or clever tricks.

Common ways of dealing with Healing Factor are:

  • Playing with Fire: Fire can cauterize wounds to prevent regeneration (including from death).
  • Kill It with Ice: Ice tends to be effective against regeneration. Especially effective against plant-based regeneration, but against targets from the animal kingdom, the implication might be that frostbite or gangrene is keeping the cells dead. Even if it doesn't outright kill the target, being frozen solid is usually sufficient to render them incapable of acting, effectively defeating them as long as they are not thawed.
  • Poisonous Person: Toxins or pathogens can kill or dissolve the target quickly or thoroughly enough to limit or stop regeneration entirely. A regenerator can counter this by Amputation Stops Spread.
  • Kryptonite Factor: A special weapon or element, whether it be magical or scientific, can often do harm while ignoring a character's Healing Factor. Sometimes, this weapon or element will be connected to how the Healing Factor came about in the first place.
  • Excessive Damage: Healing Factor may have a limit of how much damage can be regenerated.
    • Complete Annihilation: Given situations like From a Single Cell, that is the only way to deal with such things.
    • A way of "distracting" the healing factor could be used, as in many instances, the regeneration power focuses on the most grave threat and moves on to lesser threats when those are dealt with. A powerful toxin, disease, or radiation poisoning might take the full strength of the healing ability to combat, leaving the body vulnerable to more mundane damage like wounds, contusions, and bone breaks.
    • The process of healing may expend a significant amount of energy and/or focus. So an opponent could simply beat down the healer until they win, ironically, via attrition.
  • Achilles' Heel: There may be a vital part of the body, such as the head or a Heart Drive, which cannot be regenerated if destroyed.
  • Preventing body parts from reattaching: Something that can reform itself can be defeated or severely hampered if a single body part is prevented from reattaching to the rest of the body. For some regenerators, being separated from their body parts for too long will lead to certain death on its own.
    • Similarly, obstructions to vital organs often prevent the regenerator from completing the process. Monsters being "sealed" into dormancy by a magical weapon impaling them in the heart or head are common. For example: when it doesn't kill them outright, vampires are often shown to be forced into a death-like state as long as their hearts are pierced with a stake.
    • If a regenerator requires an external resource to heal, like oxygen or water, severely damaging them, then depriving them of that resource will leave them stuck with any accumulated damage. In cases involving particularly vital resources, the target may even be doomed to certain death without the need for additional wounds.
    • Sometimes allowing body parts to reattach while placing items like explosives on them will cause the regenerator to get said items stuck on and even inside them once significantly reformed.
    • Containing body parts in a space too small for the full being to fit can often be enough to prevent regeneration. In the case of less fortunate regenerators, the body still heals, but only in a mangled state. This assumes the target isn't strong enough to break the container in the process.
  • Inflicting a Wound That Will Not Heal.
    • Tied into the above, inflicting wounds on the soul or spirit can be effective. Spiritual wounds may or may not damage the body directly, but they still cause intense lasting pain, may not heal or heal very slowly. Given enough damage buildup, these wounds can kill the person without leaving a scratch on them. As physical healing ability won't heal spiritual wounds, no traditional healing method may be able to save them.
    • Widespread cellular or molecular scale damage is often enough to cripple a more "mundane" regenerator. Almost no natural biological healing methods address damage on that scale properly. At least, not without a steep cost.
  • Defeating without wounding/breaking: suffocation, making them starve, etc. May not work if they're also The Needless.
    • Transformation effects often bypass regeneration as no damage is technically being done to the body. Being turned to stone and shattered into shards of nonliving-but-still-conscious shards is a common variation of this fate.
    • Particularly strong restraint devices can be sufficient for regenerators with limited additional power. It doesn't matter if the opponent can regrow an arm if both their current ones clapped in iron cuffs or encased in concrete.
    • Inducing unconsciousness through chemical, physical, or mystical means can render a regenerator helpless without the need of any lasting injury. In some cases, it can be a viable method of long term containment to force the target into an induced coma for the foreseeable future.
    • Attacks that inflict Sensory Overload are can be highly effective. Exposing a target to bright lights, strong smells, bad tastes, unpleasant textures/temperatures, and especially loud noises can be disorienting or outright painful enough to make a target surrender or flee just to make it stop. Particularly intense or sustained assaults may even render a target unconscious. Regenerators are particularly vulnerable to these methods: since regenerators heal away injuries that attacks on the senses can cause, they end up suffering the full effects longer and with more intensity than a normal person would.
  • Psychological assaults can be viable methods of attack. This can be from using psychics to attack the psyche directly, but more mundane methods like target's senses or overall mental state can be just as effective. In either case, these mental and emotional assaults can either serve to weaken or incapacitate the regenerator without leaving a scratch on their bodies. In more benign cases, the "attack" may be a simple as talking the regenerator into standing down.
  • If the healing factor works by "returning the body to its original state", rewriting its knowledge of what that original state is (e.g. through Reality Warping or a specialised virus).
  • Stealing the Healing Factor.
  • Identifying the source of the healing and interfering with it or destroying it.
  • Amplifying the healing factor so that it goes out of control and starts to perform Harmful Healing. This might culminate in the enemy dying as all their Life Energy is used up to power the healing factor, or as the new flesh and bone grows inwards and pierces their vital organs. Or worse, they might remain alive but reduced to an immobile mass of limbs and tumours. Cancer cells are also their bane.
  • In cases of Regenerating Shield, Static Health, EMP typically affects the former by slowing or disabling shield regeneration.
  • Inverting the healing power and turning it into a self-harming power instead.
  • In video games, any status effect that converts damage to Maximum HP Reduction.

Sub-Trope of Power Nullifier. Compare with See the Invisible and Immortal Breaker. Often the means of defeating a Reviving Enemy.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In 3×3 Eyes, the Wu's Healing Factor is shown to be flawless, to the point that Yakumo and Benares can recover even from complete disintegration, but there are still weaknesses... in the second series Yakumo is unable to regenerate his arm after it has been sealed in a special jar by Zhou Gui, and in the third one Xun Gui's stone breath makes Yakumo unable to regenerate or recover.
  • Black Cat: When nanomachines give Creed Complete Immortality, he proudly explains that he can't heal damage to his brain. While Sephiria tries to take advantage of his, Train refuses to do so, as he already decided to take him in alive. However, Train does have Eve use her control of nanomachines to remove Creed's immortality after their battle.
  • Chainsaw Man:
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, there's the Nichirin Blades, the signature weapons of the Demon Slayer Corps. Demons in this setting are supernatural creatures with healing abilities so potent that they recover from almost any injury quickly. One of the only things that can kill them is sunlight, forcing them to be active only at night or indoors. Nichirin blades are weapons made of special ore that mimics the properties of sunlight. A Nichirin weapon won't shut down a demon's regeneration entirely, but it can kill a demon if it cuts their head off. This is the only thing that lets the highly trained, but still human Demon Slayers have fighting chance against their inhumanly powerful opponents. Later in the series a new tier of power is introduced to make the Nichirin Blades even deadlier, the Crimson Blade state. In this state, the most powerful Demon Slayers can heat their swords at will to disrupt demonic regeneration no matter where the weapon cuts them. This is enough to seriously harm even the strongest demons in the plot.
  • Dragon Ball features quite a few characters with Healing Factors who have had to be stopped.
    • Namekians are the original regenerators in the franchise. They can heal dismembered limbs so long as their heads remain intact. That said, they're relatively vulnerable by regenerator standards: they have to consciously try to regenerate, which is quite painful and very taxing on their energy reserves, giving them a finite limit to how much they can recover from and how quickly they can do so. Enough accumulated damage or even a well-aimed attack on a vital organ will put them down as quickly as anyone else.
    • Cell is the Trope Namer for From a Single Cell; he can regenerate from any amount of damage so long as a certain part of him remains at once.note  So the one way to beat him is to disintegrate him all at once.
    • Majin Buu is an even more insane example, being capable of regenerating if even a single atom of him remains. The only known way to kill him is a Spirit Bomb empowered by the population of everyone on Earth. It's implied that it would also be possible to just beat Buu to death (because while his regeneration is essentially perfect, his stamina is still finite), which is why (after Buu was split into two individuals), the heroic Fat Buu was at risk of death fighting the evil Kid Buu. But nobody actually accomplished this, because while Buu's stamina is finite, it's still greater than that of anybody who was going up against him.
    • Beerus can permanently annihilate anything with his Hakai (energy of destruction), erasing the target from existence. Every other universe's God of Destruction has the same ability. If the target's ki is strong enough, they can block the Hakai from actually touching them, but once it does impact their body no amount of regeneration can reverse the effect.
    • Future Zamasu used the Super Dragon Balls to wish for immortality and no matter how much damage he takes, he will always keep healing. He retains his immortality as Fusion Zamasu, after fusing with Goku Black, although it was gimped so that his body could be destroyed. However, free of his body, he Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence and not only merged with the multiverse but became capable of infecting other universes and timelines. The only way to beat such an Eldritch Abomination was to summon Zeno to erase that entire timeline from existence.
    • The filler villain Garlic Jr. received his wish for immortality from the Dragon Balls, allowing him to fully heal himself no matter how gravely he's damaged, including total annihilation. Gohan and the others defeated him by sealing him in the Dead Zone and closing off any means of escape. Garlic Jr. gained enough power from the Makyo Star many years later to break out; Gohan ended his reign again, this time by destroying the Makyo Star, taking away his power and resealing him in the Dead Zone.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • The Homunculi are almost always brought down through sheer attrition, as, despite their immense regeneration abilities, the Philosopher's Stones that power them are still have a finite reserve of energy. Even the Big Bad isn't immune to this, as the final battle of the series largely consists of stripping him of the greater power he'd just acquired, and then simply whittling down what he has left with constant attacks from numerous characters. It's more difficult because his reserves are much larger than those of the lesser Homunculi, but the fact that all of the remaining heroes are working together against him means they've got more firepower than had been deployed against an individual Homunculus before.
    • As a result of forcing Roy Mustang through the Gate of Truth, Pride loses his regenerative abilities, and his body slowly starts crumbling soon afterward.
    • Thanks to experience creating Philosopher Stones, Dr. Marcoh can use alchemy to sever a homunculus' connection to their stone directly. This requires point-blank contact from a man who's not at all a fighter, so he's only able to use it once. Note that just physically removing the stone isn't enough — that will force it to regenerate a whole new body, but even that takes only a fraction of a typical stone's reserve.
  • In Gundam Build Divers, the bugged-up Raid Bosses have a ramped-up Healing Factor, preventing everyone from dealing any meaningful damage. The Gunpla Battle Nexus Online administration, led by Game Master, soon arrive armed with missiles outfitted with code originally designed to erase Mysterious Waif Sarah to stunt this healing factor and allow the players to destroy the bosses.
  • In Hoshin Engi, Chou Koumei's One-Winged Angel allows him to regenerate and, at the same time, grow even more by spreading his seeds around. Taikoubo ultimately does him in by using his reborn Dashinben to freeze him with incredibly icy winds from beyond the stratosphere.
  • Inuyasha: Sesshomaru's sword Bakusaiga rots any organic material it cuts and the rot spreads. Even Naraku's near-infinite Healing Factor cannot withstand it and he is only able to survive by cutting off the affected parts.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable: Josuke's Stand can reverse damage done to people and objects, but can't reverse Okuyasu's Stand erasing them. Since they're allies for most of the series, this is actually an undesirable trait—when Okuyasu erases part of a girl's hair that caught fire, Josuke is unable to fix the huge bald patch left over.
  • Kill la Kill: Life Fiber monsters such as Nui Harime and Ragyo have a Healing Factor so powerful their wounds begin closing before a blade can finish cutting them. This lets them survive even decapitation as long as a single thread has regrown between head and body before they're separated. The Scissor Blades are designed specifically to counter this ability: by cutting in two directions simultaneously, Life Fiber regeneration can't respond in time, and anything they chop off stays chopped off. Nui previously lost an eye to it, and later loses both her arms, kicking her from Cute and Psycho to just plain psycho when she realizes she can't put them back on.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Though not a permanent solution as he was on a strict time limit, All Might defeats the original Nomu by using Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs to damage it faster than it can regenerate until it becomes weak enough to send flying toward the horizon. Made all the more difficult because this Nomu also had a "Shock Absorption" quirk that made it highly resistant to physical attacks. Fortunately, All Might is the World's Strongest Man, meaning he had enough physical strength to overwhelm someone who "just" has shock absorption, not shock nullification, meaning there was a limit to how much it can absorb.
    • Endeavor defeats a Nomu with a "Super Regeneration" Quirk by making his flames hot enough to turn blue and carbonize the head off.
    • Setsuna Tokage was defeated during the Joint Training Arc by a combination of most of her detached body parts being taped down and one of the remaining body parts that she was able to recall had a bomb taped to it.
  • One Piece:
    • Buggy the Clown, who is capable of Detachment Combat, was initially defeated by Nami tying most of his body parts in a bundle before he could reassemble himself.
    • Trafalgar Law is a Space Master who can cut people into pieces without actually hurting them. Normally, their pieces can just be stuck back together, but if he cuts someone apart with his Radio Knife attack, they'll be temporarily unable to even if they could recover from a regular physical attack.
  • In The Promised Neverland, demons can rapidly heal any injuries they sustain, provided they aren't hit in the eyes. This becomes an issue when the Goldy Pond kids fight Leuvis, who not only has an even better healing factor than other demons, but he's also a highly trained and experienced hand-to-hand combatant to where he can perform Bullet Catches against a machine gun, making it impossible to actually hit his eyes under normal circumstances. How do the Goldy Pond kids outwit him? They discover, through Leuvis' actions, that his healing drains him of energy and he can only heal so much before he exhausts himself. Emma disguises a small flash bomb as a bullet hidden within a storm of hundreds of other bullets fired by all the other kids still able to fight in order to blind him, and as he covers his eyes, the kids keep shooting at Leuvis until his regenerative abilities run out.
  • Rave Master: The villain Hardner has the Dark Bring Anastasis, which gives him Time Master powers that he usually uses to rewind and erase his own injuries as they happen, and it works on lethal injuries, but it only works as long as he has the energy to power it. Let battles him, and though Hardner defeats him, he uses up so much energy that when he next battles Haru, he runs out of energy, rendering Anastasis useless.
  • Samurai Deeper Kyo:
    • As part of their powers over Wood, Saishi of the Goyosei can regenerate at will from a single cell. Akira ultimately renders her power null by freezing and shattering her very cells, destroying her for good.
    • Juunishinsho Shindara the Deathless is empowered by a Mibu spell which gives him an incredibly powerful Healing Factor that makes him almost invincible in combat. Yukimura, however, manages to use his newly acquired Sekireigan and superior swordmastery to inflict so much damage that not even his spell can save him.
  • Lina in Slayers once killed a bunch of trolls by casting a spell on them to reverse their regenerative abilities, then have Gourry throw small rocks at them because since their regeneration is so fast when reversed even the tiniest injury would destroy their body.
  • In Tales of Wedding Rings, Granart and Nefritis run afoul of a Giant Spider which can regrow severed limbs near-instantaneously. They overcome this when Granart unlocks her innate fire magic, letting her strike faster than the spider can heal and superheat her blade to cauterize its wounds. Even then, it still falls to Satou to finish the beast off with the Ring of Light.
  • Kagato, the Big Bad of the 1st Tenchi Muyo! OVA, can regenerate with minimal effort from any damage he takes. Except for when that damage is inflicted by Tenchi's Light Hawk Wing Sword. After being cut in half following their Single-Stroke Battle, Kagato not only can't regenerate like usual, he disintegrates. Lasting just long enough to analyze what had happened to him and politely congratulate Tenchi on his victory.
  • Toriko has shown various ways to deal with characters and creatures with a Healing Factor.
    • Brunch defeats Elg, a centaur that can create clones through regeneration, by putting him and his clones under an endless loop of electrification.
    • Midora bypasses Ichiyru's healing factor from Minority World, an ability that causes everything to behave in opposite ways than normally they do due to minor particles that defy physical law, by damaging him faster than he can regenerate with the Power of the Void.
    • Chiyo dices one of the branches of the Coral King into small and delicate pieces with long-ranged slashes and inhibits its regeneration by applying Knocking.
    • Overwhelming someone to the point that their cells admit defeat will prevent them from regenerating and leave them at the mercy of the attacker.
  • Undead Unluck: This is the core of Rip's Unrepair ability. Any injury he inflicts simply won't heal. In any way. Ever. This ability extends to even preventing people from covering their own bleeding wounds with their hands, or to making someone unable to kill Rip because they know that killing him would undo his power (and thus allow the wounds he's made to heal). This is a particular effective tool when facing off against one of the craziest healing factors in fiction.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • Deadpool's Walking Arsenal includes a sword made of carbonadium, a radioactive element capable of negating Healing Factors. This allowed him to kill everyone in one story line including all of the quick healers.
  • In the Marvel Universe the Muramasa blade is a mystical katana that neutralizes Healing Factors. Wolverine used it to kill Sabretooth, but it was later stolen by his own Antagonistic Offspring Daken who bonded a piece of it to his claws. The blade was eventually shattered and buried, but the Orphans of X group would recover the pieces and reforge them into bullets with the same properties.
    • Another Wolverine story has Sabretooth gloating that he actually thought up the one way to beat a Healing Factor... as his foot is holding Wolverine's head underwater. Lack of oxygen isn't a wound, so there's nothing a healing factor can do about it. Wolverine manages to escape anyway but eventually has to kill Daken using this exact method.
    • During Onslaught it was revealed that Xavier had created secret plans on how to kill any X-Man (or himself) if they ever turned evil and there was no chance of winning them in any other way. For Wolverine, his plan was to decapitate him. However, as Wolverine has since got adamantium fused into his skeleton again, this would no longer work, as a blade couldn't go through the adamantium spine.
  • In one Spider-Man storyline, Spider-Man and Nova are dealing with the revived Tri-Sentinel with the webhead trying to reach where the canister of Antarctic Vibranium (better known as anti-metal) is located and release it. Spidey gets to it and releases it, causing the Tri-Sentinel to run itself down as its nanites tried to repair the damage done, ultimately melting the machine to nothing.

    Fan Works 
  • Fate DxD AU: Ritsuka Fujimaru defeats Riser Phenex by summoning Lobo and having the wolf savagely maul him over and over again until his regeneration is overtaxed.
  • Holo-Chronicles: There are a few different characters with a Healing Factor, most notably Ina and Kiara (the latter of which is compared to trying to hit an inextinguishable flame when going at full blast), as well as some characters capable of Healing Hands, like Sora with her Purity Trait and some mages. Lo and behold, Omegaα's attacks are impossible to heal by any supernatural means not backed by divinity, including even the aformentioned Purity Trait, which usually bypasses the need for divinity in fighting high-level gods.
  • The Vasto of White: Silent is given the power "Zero - The Origin", which allows her to absorb her opponent's energy, preventing them from healing.

    Films — Animation 
  • The primary villain of Heavy Metal 2000 stumbles upon a fluid that can grant him Resurrective Immortality, provided he takes regular doses. Tyler goes on a quest for the source after attaining the key. He ends up squished under a huge stone door where regeneration would avail him naught. Further, The Mole unmasks himself and attains access to the wellspring of eternal life. However, once the huge stone door closes, he's trapped in that chamber. As The Hero remarks: "Forever is a long time to spend all alone."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): King Ghidorah can regenerate from any injury almost instantly. Godzilla kills him by completely reducing him to ash.
  • The beginning of Hercules Unchained has a fight against Antaeus, who recovers from all injury whenever he touches the ground. Unlike the original Greek myth, Hercules defeats Antaeus by throwing him into the sea.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • In The Wolverine, Wolverine has a bio-mechanical healing suppressant device implanted in him, thanks to Viper. For a large portion of the film, Wolverine finds he is no longer healing as fast as usual and needs to have his wounds stitched up.
    • In Logan, it's finally revealed that the long-term effects of adamantium exposure is healing factor degeneration. Wolverine has had adamantium bound to his skeleton for years and isn't healing as well as he could. Ultimately, his healing factor is completely compromised and he dies.
    • In Deadpool 2, when Wade and Russel are thrown into the supervillain prison, they are fitted with collars that cancel out their superpowers, and as result, Wade's cancer, which was kept in check by his healing factor, comes back with a vengeance.

  • Animorphs: Morphing normally heals all injuries, but there have been notable exceptions, few of which are explained beyond Drama-Preserving Handicap: suffering Mode Lock (Tobias is stuck in hawk morph at the beginning of the series so an injury would be particularly devastating, when the ability is restored he can heal but still has to live as a bird), a genetic disease (a crashed Andalite refuses to fight because the disease stays with him when he demorphs, while another is allergic to the morphing process and cannot repair his severed tail), time travel (Tobias breaks his wing while in the Cretaceous and can't restore it), and possibly old age (Jake ends up in a Bad Future where Rachel is a complete wreck in a wheelchair, with no indication that she'd lost her morphing ability).
  • The Daevabad Trilogy: The poisoned flames of zulfiqar blades kill with the slightest cut and can't be stopped by a Nahid Healing Factor or Healing Hands. They're the signature weapon of the Geziri djinn tribe and were instrumental in overthrowing the Nahid bloodline's ruling dynasty.
  • In Book II of The Faerie Queene, Arthur realizes the only way to stop Meleger from returning to "life" after each killing blow is to separate him from mother Earth, so he tosses him in a lake.
  • Gods of Mars: The Tindalosi are robotic hellhounds that can repair any damage they take in seconds. The Eldar and Imperials overcome this through a combination of Magos Pavelka infecting the Tindalosi with a disassembler code that disrupts their ability to repair themselves, and Farseer Bielanna mystically guiding her allies’ strikes into vital components while the Tindalosi are vulnerable.
  • In The Legend of Huma, the Dragonqueen's chief warlord Crynus was enchanted by the renegade wizard Galan Dracos to make him unkillable- his wounds close instantly as soon as the weapon that inflicts them is removed, and even decapitation didn't stop him (although his headless body does become very fixated on retrieving its head). Huma and Kaz attempt to impale him with the evil-destroying Dragonlance, but fail because, even headless, the body can tell what they're trying to do and it dives out of the way, which at least implies that it would have worked. Ultimately he's defeated when the Silver Dragon returns and unleashes a torrent of dragonfire on him, vaporising every last trace of his body.
  • In Super Minion, the go-to weapon for dealing with regenerating monsters is a gun that shoots electrified bullets
  • In Worm multiple characters have a Healing Factor with a common weakness: a core from which they regenerate. So long as the core remains, they can regenerate infinitely, using matter stored in an otherwise empty parallel reality to replace the damaged or severed material, but destroying it strips them of their healing factor.
    • In the case of parahumans this core is their corona pollentia, as destroying that removes their link to their powers. For most parahumans, this is in their brain, but the most monstrous ones like Crawler or Echidna have shifted it to a more protected position deep within their bodies.
    • The Endbringers' core not only serves as the source of their Healing Factor but as their only vital point, so destroying this will damage them to the point of actually killing them. Behemoth and Leviathan have theirs in their chests, while the Simurgh has hers in the joint of her largest wing.
    • The exception to this is Scion, whose entire body is only a projection of mass pushed through from another dimension, almost like their entire body is a core. Even total destruction won't work, as they can just shunt more mass through to replace it from scratch.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: To try and kill a Time Lord, many factions in-universe resort to weaponry that is literally the trope name, so they can't just regenerate their way out of it.
    • The Daleks have been said to be able to dial up the intensity of their weapons fire to anti-regenerative levels.
    • "Last of the Time Lords": Martha has been collecting the pieces of a gun invented by UNIT that can kill a Time Lord permanently, preventing regeneration, in order to stop the Master. However, the gun is merely a smokescreen for her and the Doctor's real plans.
    • "Let's Kill Hitler": River gives the Eleventh Doctor a Kiss of Death with lipstick containing the poison of the Judas Tree; the Doctor attempts to regenerate, but according to the TARDIS' voice interface, "regeneration is disabled". As a result, he actually dies, and a post-Heel–Face Turn River ends up sacrificing her remaining regenerations to bring him back to life. (A later episode reveals the Doctor was out of regenerations anyway, but the killer didn't know this.)
    • "Extremis" features a Time Lord execution device that has been specifically designed to disrupt regeneration energy within the condemned's body. And still their rules and regulations require a sentinel for at least a thousand years just in case.
    • "The Doctor Falls": After she stabs him in the back, the Saxon Master shoots Missy with a blast of his laser screwdriver which he claims is strong enough to prevent her from regenerating. Since the Master has Joker Immunity, they inevitably turned up alive again in Series 12.
  • Heroes:
    • Characters with regenerative powers can only be killed by being stabbed in a certain spot at the base of their skull, which somehow blocks their powers. And their healing abilities will reactivate and revive them if the stabbing implement is ever removed.
    • Arthur Petrelli manages to dodge this requirement by stealing Adam Monroe's healing factor entirely.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Kuroto Dan instantly regenerates from any injury due to being a zombie whose Life Meter is permanently locked at 0. Defeating him requires reprogramming the source of his powers to revive him properly, thus allowing him to die.
    • Kamen Rider Zero-One employs a rather gruesome solution when faced with an opponent whose entire body is made of nanomachines in The Movie: use his Pest Controller abilities to have a swarm of locusts eat the villain alive from the inside out.
  • Mighty Med: One superhero, Tecton, has a strong Healing Factor as one of his powers, which makes for a completely confusing situation for Oliver and Kaz when he ends up in a Mighty Med emergency room with a Wound That Will Not Heal. It's eventually revealed that a piece of gold ended up inside his body which had a chemical reaction with the radiation that gives him his powers, preventing him from healing.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Classical Mythology:
    • One of Hercules' tasks was to kill the hydra, which regrows any heads that were cut off. He succeeded when his nephew Iolaus started to cauterize the severed stumps with his torch before they could grow back. In some versions of the myth, one of the hydra's heads had Complete Immortality, so Hercules simply buried that head under a large rock after destroying the rest of it.
    • The giant Antaeus challenged travelers to a wrestling match to the death, without mentioning that every time he was in contact with his mother the Earth (i.e., thrown to the ground), his health and energy were completely restored. When Heracles came along, he solved the problem by hoisting Antaeus in the air with one hand and strangling him with the other.
  • Often werewolves are given a healing factor that is neutralized by silver.
  • "The Lambton Worm" is an English legend about a dragon that kills by constriction and is difficult to kill because it can reattach parts of its body that are cut off. It is eventually killed by John Lambton who, under the advice of a witch, lures the worm into the River Wear while wearing an armor covered in spearheads — the blades hurt the beast when it tries to constrict him, and the river flow washes its severed body parts away before it can reattach them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Big Eyes, Small Mouth, any special attack with the No Regeneration modifier cannot be healed using the Healing or Regeneration attributes and has to be healed naturally. The Incurable modifier is a stronger version of this and basically inflicts Wounds That Will Not Heal.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has this built into its game mechanics. For specific examples:
    • Consistently across most editions, trolls possess a Healing Factor which can only be overcome by injuring them with fire or acid.
    • 1st Edition AD&D, Deities & Demigods Cyclopedia, Greek Mythology section: each minute the giant Antaeus is in contact with the ground, he heals all damage and gains 25 additional Hit Points. The hero Heracles (Hercules) defeats him by lifting him off the ground and inflicting damage on him while doing so.
    • 1st and 2ndnd Edition AD&D. When someone wears a Ring of Regeneration, they can only be prevented from regenerating if their body is totally destroyed by fire or acid.
    • 2nd Edition AD&D Planescape boxed supplement Planes of Conflict. The Quesar live in the Upper Outer Plane of Elysium. They regenerate 1 Hit Point per round, even after being killed, as long as they're in daylight. To prevent them from regenerating you just have to keep them out of daylight, such as moving them underground or casting a spell to create darkness or summon a thick cloud cover.
    • 3rd Edition introduced regeneration as a standard monster ability that converts all damage taken to nonlethal damage and cures a certain amount of nonlethal damage each turn; this makes one impossible to kill without a specific type of damage that does not get converted, usually fire or acid as with trolls. Other possibilities might involve silver for werecreatures or devils, cold iron for fae or demons, and absolutely nothing for the Tarrasque. Damage that bypasses regeneration cannot be healed by it since regeneration only removes nonlethal damage and damage that bypasses regeneration remains lethal. That said, a creature with regeneration still falls unconscious when its nonlethal damage exceeds its current hit points, so a character who can't bypass the foe's regeneration can still (assuming that they are moderately competent in terms of raw damage output) inflict enough damage to knock the foe out and then continue to assault the unconscious enemy to pile on more nonlethal damage, then after ensuring the foe will be unconscious for long enough, do whatever they need to do in the area and then GTFO before they wake up.
    • 3rd Edition also includes fast healing, which heals a certain amount of damage (both lethal and nonlethal) on the bearer each round. This means that fast healing can't be bypassed, but since it doesn't convert lethal damage to nonlethal, a creature with fast healing can be killed by an opponent who can damage them fast enough to outpace the healing and bring them to -10 hp. Fast healing is virtually always low enough that is not difficult for any equal-level adversary with moderate competence in raw damage output to accomplish that task; it just becomes a bit more difficult than it would be otherwise.
    • Hydras regrow two heads for every one cut if the wound isn't sealed — usually with fire or acid for most species, although the fire-breathing pyrohydra requires cold instead. They also have the aforementioned fast healing ability, meaning they regenerate wounds inflicted to the body very fast, although not beyond death, unlike trolls and other regenerating beings.
    • The 3.5th Edition sourcebook Dungeonscape adds Trollbane to the adventurer's arsenal, a poison that makes weapons coated in it deliver lethal damage to all regenerating creatures (not just trolls). Though the stuff being wiped after one strike, it's best to reserve a dose for a Coup de Grâce on a foe brought unconscious by nonlethal damage.
    • In 5e, the rules for creatures with the Regeneration property often specify that the property can be suppressed if the creature takes damage of a certain type in between its turns. For example, Arch Devils with Regeneration can almost always have it nullified with radiant damage.
    • Also in 5e, the wizard and sorcerer cantrip chill touch does decent damage at range and prevents the target from being able to regain hit points for one round. Useful both for fighting creatures with regeneration that you're not sure how to overcome (or have only a limited number of attacks that can do so so you need to save them for a coup de grace) and also to keep enemies from using healing potions or other magical means of regaining health as well.
    • The Aeorian Reverser, a monster detailed in Explorer's Guide To Wildemount, has the ability to corrupt any attempt to heal damage in its presence. If an enemy regains lost hitpoints within 30ft of it, it can reduce the healing to zero and make the creature being healed take damage instead.
    • Strahd von Zarovich of Curse of Strahd regenerates up to 20 hit point at the start of his turn unless he is in running water or sunlight or something hits him with radiant damage or holy water. Having at least one party member with one of two MacGuffins (or someone who can do radiant damage with spells) is an important part of defeating him.
  • New World of Darkness:
    • In Mage: The Awakening, the Abyss — a metaphysical wound in The Multiverse, separating the material world from the Supernal Realms — has the power to deal "resistant damage" that can't be magically healed. This is most often caused by absorbing the backlash from a Magic Misfire, but Black Magic practitioners can draw on the Abyss to inflict it as well.
    • In Werewolf: The Forsaken, werewolves take Aggravated damage from silver weapons, meaning that their Healing Factor can't fix it and they recover more slowly than a human would from the same injury. This is because Silver Has Mystic Powers granted by the Moon, a godlike primal Spirit with a deep-seated grudge against werewolves.
    • In Vampire: The Requiem, vampires take Aggravated damage from fire, sunlight, and some supernatural attacks; this can inflict immediate Deader than Dead, takes days to regenerate (compared to seconds for a lesser injury), and consumes five times as much of their blood reserves to heal. Zig-zagged in that they can train themselves to heal it faster.

    Video Games 
  • A few particularly powerful wizards in Arcanum have the ability to summon a regenerative cocoon at the moment of death, healing their wounds and increasing their lifespans. There are two very specific ways of killing mages who have this ability:
    • The Vendigroth Device, a weapon which was specifically designed to counter this technique, exploits the fragile balance between magic and science to invert the cocoon and make it rip the mage's body apart.
    • The unique sword Kryggird's Falchion has a blade sharp enough to cut through the cocoon and kill the mage within it.
  • Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II is based on Dungeons & Dragons and as such, the trolls are subject to the "Will keep regenerating unless burned with fire or acid" rule described in the Tabletop Games section above.
  • In City of Heroes, all players and NPCs continuously regenerate health at all times. Against foes with very large HP pools, such as Giant Monsters and Archvillians, debuffs that reduce regeneration are an extremely effective tool.
  • In Darkest Dungeon, two enemies are capable of blocking healing moves from being used.
    • The Baron, the first boss of the Courtyard in the Crimson Court DLC, will summon four pods, one containing himself and the others containing Bloodsucker Mooks, which prevent healing moves from being used as long as at least one pod is intact. You can rupture a pod and release its inhabitant in one hit, no matter how weak, but doing this to all of them at once means you have to face the Baron and his flunkies all at the same time, and the Baron himself is enough of a handful to deal with.
    • The Hateful Virago, the ultimate Elite Mook of the Weald, can create Necrotic Fungi out of the corpses of her fallen allies. As long as at least one such Necrotic Fungus is on the field, you can’t use HP-restoring skills. The solution to this is to either eliminate the Hateful Virago first, make sure to kill the other enemies in a way that won’t leave a corpse, or eliminate any corpse left by a fallen foe immediately.
  • Poison in Desktop Dungeons doesn't do Damage Over Time like in most games, but instead prevents you from regaining it through exploration. The same applies to a poisoned enemy (normally, monsters regenerate at the same rate as the player).
  • Diablo II: Some items may have the "Prevents Monster Healing" affix, which temporarily disables enemies' passive recovery of life points.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: The Status Effect "Decaying" causes all healing effects, including potions, spells, and special abilities, to deal an equal amount of damage instead. It's inflicted by unpleasant things like certain Necromancy spells, Cursed blood, and the "Corrupted Blade" Scoundrel skill.
  • Final Fantasy VIII has the GF Brothers, a pair of Earth-elemental minotaurs who gain the health-boosting 'Regen' buff when in contact with the ground. You can make the boss fight against them easier by casting the Float spell upon them to interfere with the Regen effect.
  • Final Fantasy X:
    • Yunalesca uses Regen and Curaga on your characters... once she's hit them with Zombie, making them take enormous damage and unable to heal.
    • The final boss Yu Yevon is flanked by floating rocks that regularly heal it for large amounts of damage. However, it pointedly does not have Contractual Boss Immunity, and casting Zombie on it will cause it to instead suffer said large amounts of damage every time it's healed.
  • Final Fantasy XII has the Disease status, which prevents the victim from healing by constantly setting their maximum HP to their current HP. The status is not removed from a party member when they die, causing their HP to be locked to 1 when they revive.
  • Players slowly regenerate their HP over time (faster when not in combat) in Final Fantasy XIV. When playing in the Deep Dungeons, one of the random floor effects may be a debuff that stops natural HP regeneration. Regeneration from spells are not affected by this rule.
  • The Serpent boss in Golden Sun: The Lost Age has a regeneration ability that lets it recover about 2/3rds of its max hitpoints at the end of every turn. However, the area above it has a series of light puzzles which, if completed, allow you to shine up to four beams of light onto it, potentially cutting its healing to a measly 30hp/turn instead.
  • Heroes of the Storm:
    • An uncommon status effect applies this, usually found on healers. It reduces all incoming healing on the afflicted unit by a certain percentage, with the most powerful being Ana's Biotic Grenade (see below).
    • Zul'jin's Regeneration ability is canceled early if he takes damage while channeling it. He can take a talent to prevent this, but it only comes near the very end of the game. Meanwhile, Muradin's trait grants a powerful Healing Factor that stops upon taking a hit. The same goes for Fenix, who regenerates Deflector Shields out of combat.
  • In the Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja series, Poison prevents the player's HP from regenerating until it wears off or is healed. Poisoned enemies take Damage Over Time instead.
  • League of Legends has a somewhat common status effect known as "Grievous Wounds", which causes anyone afflicted by it to receive significantly reduced healing from any sources. A few champions have this innately as part of their moveset, but they're easier to come by in terms of specialized items (such as the Morellonomicon, the Chempunk Chainsword, and Mortal Reminder) and the Ignite summoner spell. Depending on the scenario, Grievous Wounds can cancel between 40 to 60 percent of an enemy's healing ability, imperative for if your opponents have Life Drain or dedicated healing supports.
  • In Mass Effect 2, krogan and vorcha enemies can regenerate health when damaged. Burning them with an incendiary attack or using Warp on them will stop them from regenerating.
  • Mega Man Battle Network has the Anti Recovery chip; if an enemy attempts to heal while the user has it active, it springs a trap and damages said enemy for the amount they would have healed from it, in addition to placing a Poison Panel beneath them.
  • Vamp from the Metal Gear series has a natural Healing Factor which is further augmented by experimental nano-machines in his body. When he's fought as a boss in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Snake manages to inject him with a nano-suppressing syringe, taking away enough of his healing for Raiden to kill him in the knife fight that follows.
  • Overwatch: Ana's Biotic Grenade prevents enemies from healing temporarily, whether by Healing Factor or other healing sources.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes has the Sneezing Zombie teammate, which prevents the plants and Plant Hero from healing as long as it's on the field. This is only useful against Plant Heroes with the Solar Class since they have the most healing-based cards, but is especially effective against them, shutting down the dangerous Heartichokenote  and Astro Veranote .
  • Pokémon: The move Heal Block prevents the target Pokémon from healing, whether by its own moves, abilities, terrain, or items (for the last one, only Generation V and onward). Pokémon with the ability Liquid Ooze will also cause opponents that attempt to use draining moves on them to take damage instead of regenerating health. Toxic is a move that commonly shuts down tanky Pokémon as the poison damage increases each turn making it impossible to out-heal.
  • Resident Evil 4: Regenerators and Iron Maidens are most easily killed by using a special scope on a rifle to aim at specific places were the Las Plagas parasites are inside their bodies. They can still be killed conventionally, but it requires an enormous amount of firepower and is usually a waste of ammo
  • Skullgirls:
    • Miss Fortune swallowed the Life Gem, which lets her typically survive lethal attacks by reattaching severed body parts. In Cerebella's story mode, Vice-Versa crushes Miss Fortune into a new Life Gem—which has a cat's face, so she might technically still be alive. In Eliza's story, she is immobilized by her body parts being stored in separate containers.
    • Eliza has a Healing Factor that depends on blood. In Black Dahlia's story mode, Black Dahlia has her stage designed to drain all blood away to prevent Eliza from healing before sending her henchbunnies to incinerate her.
    • In Mobile, the Reverse Polarity modifier reverses all healing.
  • In Spiral Knights, poison not only weakens stats (attack for players, both attack and defense for enemies), it also stops afflicted units from healing. Enemies will actually take a bit of damage every time a heal is used on them.
  • Sunset Overdrive: Fizzco Security Tank Bots prevent the "Spread The Love" Amp from performing Gradual-type Regenerating Health, but health pickups still work.
  • Warcraft III:
    • The expansion introduced several freely available healing items that restore health and/or mana over time (Scroll of Regeneration, Clarity Potion...) with the caveat that the effect ends as soon as the unit takes damage.
    • Inverted with the Phoenix and Destroyer units, who have negative health and mana regeneration respectively. The Phoenix can be targeted by healing spells and respawns every time it dies (unless its egg is destroyed), while the Destroyer has several spells that let it eat mana or status buffs to regain mana and empower its attacks.
  • The Wild ARMs series:
    • The games have the Disease status effect, where healing items and spells will not work on afflicted characters until you cure it.
    • Wild ARMs 3: Leehalt infects Virginia with nanomachines. When she's part-way recovered, she's unable to use the vitality gauge to heal herself after battle in the next level.
      • From the same game; Siegfried will regenerate health after every turn, unless you steal the Tear Drop from him first.

    Web Animation 
  • DEATH BATTLE! has several fights where this is used by a character to defeat their regenerating opponent.
    • Deadpool vs. Deathstroke: Both fighters had regeneration, but the former's was far superior to the latter's. And even discounting that, the Carbonadium sword of Deadpool's is capable of nullifying Deathstroke's healing factor, allowing the Merc with a Mouth to decapitate him.
    • Kirby vs. Majin Buu: The fight ends with Kirby inhaling and blasting Buu's own attack back at him, pushing him into the sun. While the former didn't kill Buu due to his ability to regenerate from a single atom, getting blasted into the sun and thus having his atoms ionized certainly did.
    • Wolverine vs. Raiden: While the former had a very powerful Healing Factor and an adamantium skeleton, the latter's HF Muramasa, being a Vibroweapon, was capable of weakening the Adamantium's molecular bonds. Eventually, Raiden ends up slicing Wolverine's head off and cutting that to bits, preventing the mutant from regenerating ever again.
    • Hulk vs. Doomsday: Both combatants have a powerful healing factor, but Doomsday is able to overtax Hulk's by stabbing him with venomous bone claws several times and leaving said claws embedded in Hulk's body.
    • Venom vs. Bane: While both combatants have healing factors, Bane's comes from his Venom serum, which the Venom Symbiote disables via puncturing the tube he uses to administer it, and was inferior to symbiote's anyways.
    • Sephiroth vs. Vergil: Vergil had a top-notch healing factor that could easily allow him to shrug off impalement and even getting bisected. Sephiroth's Super Nova manages to overtax it via the heat and power of an exploding sun, allowing him to finish the weakened Vergil off.
    • Carnage vs. Lucy: Carnage has a strong enough healing factor to regenerate from being slashed to shreds by Lucy's vectors. Lucy overwhelms and vaporizes Carnage with an explosion comparable to the atomic bomb that's especially effective against the fire-vulnerable symbiote.
    • Mega Man Battle Royale: Mega Man X is capable of regenerating from his core, but this doesn't help him against Star Force Mega Man, whose superior hacking ability overwrites his data and controls him. Nor does it help either of them when MEGAMAN.EXE just flat out blasts them both into nothingness.
    • Ghost Rider vs. Lobo: Both combatants have a ludicrous healing factor, with Lobo being able to regenerate clones from single drops of blood, and Ghost Rider being able to regenerate from almost nothing. However, Ghost Rider's ability to directly attack the soul with Hellfire could bypass the defenses and regeneration of Lobo (and his clones) without bleeding them.
    • Deadpool vs. The Mask: Both fighters had impressive healing factors, but both come from different sources, with the Deadpool's being a regeneration of his cells while The Mask's works by No Selling damage via being a Reality Warper. This not only means Deadpool's Carbonadium Sword is useless (as The Mask can just ignore the damage), but as The Mask is also many times tougher than Deadpool he can easily unleash an attack that will kill Deadpool in one blast while leaving himself just fine (like say using a giant nuclear warhead).
    • Venom vs. Crona: Crona's sound waves prove thousands of times stronger than anything Venom has ever survived and disintegrate him.
    • Hulk vs. Broly: Despite Hulk's healing factor being upgraded since his last appearance to Resurrective Immortality, Broly reduces his body to dust, leaving nothing to regenerate.
    • Shadow vs. Ryuko: The latter's Bio-Augmentation gave her a healing factor that allowed her to recover from the likes of impalement and bisection near-instantaneously, to the point she can heal even before normal attacks has finished cutting through her. Fortunately for Shadow, he had the speed, the time-manipulation, and the destructive output to bypass her regenerative abilities and completely vaporize her.
    • Lex Luthor vs. Doctor Doom: Lex's Warsuit is powered by a Mother Box, which is able to reform the Warsuit instantly should it be destroyed. Doom ends up siphoning the Mother Box's power, allowing him to destroy the now-powerless Warsuit for good.
    • Steven Universe vs. Star Butterfly: The former is capable of accelerated healing thanks to his part-Gem physiology on top of his powerful Gem defenses. However, Star's destructive magic powers are capable of overcoming his defenses and healing, allowing her to disintegrate him and shatter his gem.
    • DIO vs. Alucard: While both have one, the latter is far superior on-paper given it relies on the millions of souls he's consumed while the former's own potent version needs blood for a jump-start with particularly deadly wounds. However, DIO's sheer advantage in speed and strength, combined with his Time Stands Still power, gives him the capability to burn though Alucard's soul-based regeneration at an alarming rate in a one-on-one. If Alucard is forced to unleash those souls via Level 0 to try and overwhelm DIO with a zombie army, DIO would actually be in a better position since the flesh-and-blood based zombies would provide no shortage of fuel for him to heal with (and the majority of them are merely human-level and barely a threat to him), while Alucard's own healing factor would be compromised from unleashing the souls. This was also averted with DIO being able to No-Sell the vampire-killing and healing-inhibiting Casull and Jackal pistols due to both not being weak to silver or blessed objects and his durability and Healing Factor being far superior to the types of foes the guns were designed to overcome.
    • Madara vs. Aizen: Madara's Truth Seeking Orbs completely erase any body part they touch from existence and spirits explictly cannot heal from them. As Aizen is a spirit, the Orbs can overcome even the Hogyoku's ability to heal him.
    • Harley Quinn vs. Jinx: Harley has a mild healing factor that lets her recover from being shot or stabbed, but Jinx blows her to pieces with an explosive, killing her instantly.

  • One-Punch Man:
    • Melzargard's head has a small marble-like brain which allows them to regenerate endlessly. If a marble is destroyed, the associated head melts instantly, and Melzargard dies once they're all destroyed. This is mitigated somewhat by the fact that he has multiple heads and can freely move his brains within his body. However, his regeneration always begins with his heads, meaning that the brain can be easily found if his body is completely destroyed and forced to regenerate from scratch.
    • Lord Boros has an even stronger Healing Factor, allowing him to come back From a Single Cell without any specific "core" to destroy. However, like all of his powers this is Cast from Lifespan, and between having to regenerate so many times and using up so much power in his failed attempt to match the power of Saitama, he didn't have enough left to heal after their final exchange of blows.
  • El Goonish Shive: Grace's Omega Form has claws coated with a venom that prevents regeneration.
  • Done unintentionally in The Order of the Stick, when the order fights a hydra that regrows two heads every time one is cut off. Belkar keeps severing and forcing it to regrow heads until it has so many heads that its heart is too weak to sustain blood flow to all of them, and it lapses into unconsciousness.
  • Unsounded: Stormfolk can heal themselves or outright regrow their entire bodies so long as their "pearl" isn't destroyed, but they need a measure of water. Nora Pris uses pymary to create a room full of desiccating agents that prevent their doing so and which will painfully disincorporate any trying to get to her lab.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Septarians in Star vs. the Forces of Evil can regenerate From a Single Cell, so various methods have to be taken to prevent it:
    • In Solaria's chapter in The Magic Book of Spells, she notes that she doesn't know of a proper way to dispose of Septarians, and so recommends you "blow them up and spread the pieces as far apart as possible". Going by Rasticore's example, this will at least put them out of commission for a few months.
    • Queen Moon used black magic to neutralize Toffee's healing factor, making him unable to regenerate. That's why he's missing his finger. Later, Star goes Golden Super Mode and blasts him with so much magic at once that his healing factor can't keep up, leaving him a barely living mass of goo unable to survive being crushed under a pillar.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Gems can fully replace most of their bodies after some time because they're a projection of their gemstones. Damage to the gemstone itself mangles the rest of their body, is apparently very difficult to heal (Rose and Steven's healing powers are the only known way, though it's possible the Reef can do the same), and enough will kill them permanently. Gems trying to take other gems alive generally "poof" their bodies, then put their unharmed gemstone in a Containment Field that prevents regeneration. The standard strategy of the less merciful seems to be poofing the projected body before shattering the gemstone, while Bismuth's Breaking Point was designed specifically to shatter gems immediately mid-fight.
    • Yellow Diamond's lightning blasts dissipates most Gems' physical forms instantly, and while it doesn't damage the gemstone, it prevents them from regenerating for longer than usual.


Video Example(s):



Mordegon's purple mist not only prevents but reverses healing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / AntiRegeneration

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