Follow TV Tropes


Blocking Stops All Damage

Go To

Fighter: The way I figured it, the fall doesn't kill you. The ground does. So I blocked it.
Thief: You blocked the Earth.
Fighter: Why not? I can block magic and fire and all kinds of stuff.
Thief: I hate it when the things he says that don't make sense make sense.

In standard combat, blocking an opponent's attack is one of the most pivotal (and in some styles the single) facets. Fiction, or other realities, however, equates blocking attacks to being invulnerable to them. This disregards the fact that blocking still requires taking the force and momentum of the attack, just on something a little less (and in some examples more) vulnerable to injury. This fact is why armor was typically worn over a layer of padding (even modern ballistic body armor includes several layers of padding in addition to the kevlar weave and armor plates.)

This is usually because of the Law of Conservation of Detail. If you have gone into the trouble of having the punch blocked, why show that it actually did some damage? In Video Games, this is so that the engine can be simpler. Some tropes partially owe their existence to this like Punch Catch, Barehanded Blade Block, Spin to Deflect Stuff, Not the Fall That Kills You…, Concealment Equals Cover, Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me, Punch Parry, etc. Sometimes averted by Scratch Damage, Armor-Piercing Attack, and a guard-specific Break Meter. Subverting this trope — prominently showing an attack blocked just to show that it did damage anyway — can be done for The Worf Effect.

Compare Unblockable Attack and Invulnerable Attack. See also Defend Command.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Booty Royale: Never Go Down Without a Fight!: Exaggerated and justified with Misora Haebara: in style of traditional karate her late father taught her, blocks are offensive moves, not merely defensive. After Misora spars with tae kwon do practitioner Chae Yun-Hui, the Korean complains that Misora's arm-bar blocks feel like punching a wall. Misora also uses this tactic when she Honey Traps a sexual sadist after he puts a sex worker in the hospital, breaking his hands by leaning into his punches with her forehead.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Giyu's own created 11th Form for Water Breathing, which he calls Dead Calm, is an absolute defensive sword stance portrayed with the visuals of a still body of water and complete silence, where no demon attack as far as the strongest attack of the Lower Rank 5 demon of the Twelve Kizuki can bypass it; Giyu usually counterattacks with an offensive form immediately after he negates his opponent's charge. Then comes the Infinity Castle arc, where Giyu has grown even stronger, and he is used as a benchmark to show how strong the Upper-3 Akaza's ultimate attack is, having his Dead Calm completely bypassed.
  • Dr. STONE: Subverted. Senku takes a blow from Kinro's spear to demonstrate the strength of his paper shield, and while the shield seems fine, it's very clear the force still rattled the frail scientist to the point.
  • Gundam: Used very liberally, while the mobile suits can explode at a nick with an energy weapon, often holding back a beam saber with a shield stops it cold. Something going through a shield is a pretty big deal, and even then another beam saber can always stop it cold.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED applies this trope in a climactic moment near the end of the show where Mwu uses the Strike Gundam's shield to block a battleship-grade antimatter cannon. While the Strike is destroyed in the attempt, it inexplicably prevents the ship he's protecting from taking any damage. Mwu returns in the sequel series, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, where his new Akatsuki mobile suit applies the trope in full: its special armor can seemingly deflect anything with no damage as long as he blocks it, up to and including the same antimatter cannon that shot him down last time. In The Movie the trope is exaggerated even further, as the Akatsuki adds being able to block a planet-destroying superweapon to its list of feats.
  • In Naruto, the fight between Gaara and Rock Lee has Gaara avoiding any injury thanks a thin layer of protective sand around his body—even though all of Rock Lee's attacks involved blunt trauma and slamming him into the ground, the impact of which Gaara was clearly feeling and being jerked around by.
  • Panzer World Galient: Subverted in chapter 3, when the titular mecha stops an axe blow from an enemy robot with its forearms, but the force and momentum of the attack knocks it down.
  • Pokémon: The Series: Not only do the blocking moves appear, it seems meeting any attack with another produces results. This has led to Flamethrowers being karate-chopped. In addition, in Top-Down Training!, Cynthia's Garchomp is able to take no damage from Paul's Weavile's Blizzard and Torterra's Giga Drain by covering herself with her fin.
  • A Justified Trope in Saint Seiya with the shields of the Dragon Cloth, the Scutum Cloth and the Libra Cloth: the Cloths are powerful armor suits built by the ancient alchemists of Mu on instructions of the goddess Athena, and are effectively magic artifacts. Also Subverted in that they do have limits, and applying enough force can break them, as happened to all three at least once.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins: Subverted during the battle between Estarossa and Escanor. Estarossa smugly blocks a punch from Escanor, believing humans to be inconsequential to him, before unexpectedly doubling over in pain anyway. Turns out that there are humans on his level, and his opponent even mocks him for it as he's hunched over.
    Escanor: Well, well. Did you find a gold coin on the ground?
  • YuYu Hakusho
    • Averted when Hiei faces an enemy with a weapon far stronger than his sword. Blocking the thing actually cuts his sword and bracing it with his arm cuts his arm. He only gets a draw by taking a hit to make him drop his guard.
    • Also averted in the final battle between Toguro and Yusuke. Yusuke sends the most powerful attack he could muster against Toguro and he blocks it and eventually stops it after an intense struggle. Toguro then dies because the strain of blocking it was equal to taking the hit.


    Comic Books 
  • Bizarrogirl features a dream sequence where Supergirl fights Superwoman, and at one point the older woman catches Supergirl's harder-than-steel fists harmlessly.
  • Captain America's shield can stop just about anything, even an attack that should send his entire body flying, because the vibranium its made of can absorb the energy/vibrations of the attack, conservation of momentum be damned.
  • Again a plot point with Wonder Woman. Her braces are divinely created to block just about anything.

    Fan Works 
  • Loveless: Subverted, most the time. Generally, blocks still leave people launched away or at least shaken up.
  • The Wrong Reflection: Kanril Eleya takes a disruptor blast to the abdomen that blows a fist-sized crater in her MACO armor. She only sustains a first-degree burn.

    Films — Animation 
  • The first thing Sephiroth does in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is block Cloud's swing so dead he and his sword suspend in midair for awhile. Easily justified by his insane strength, and the attack leaves a crater around him twenty feet wide.
  • Leon manages to survive a Tyrant punching him by blocking the hit in Resident Evil: Damnation. While he is hurt by the hit, the tyrant proves to be strong enough to stop a tank.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • As with the same character in the comics, Captain America of the Marvel Cinematic Universe can successfully block anything he catches with his phlebotinum shield. He even once manages to severely reduce the damage from an extremely high fall by blocking the ground. Of particular note is that he can even block Mjolnir.
  • 300 takes this to parodic levels. Anything behind the shields is basically invulnerable.
  • A boxing subversion from Creed II. In the first fight the difference in brute strength between Adonis and Victor is illustrated when Adonis blocks the first real punch and it "Still nearly knocks him over". The subsequent match does not end in Adonis' favor.
  • Sports subversion from the second The Mighty Ducks film. The opposing team's goalie manages to stop a slap shot from the power hitter. The film spends a few seconds showing the goalie take off his glove showing a massive puck shaped bruise.
  • Star Wars: Justified by the lightsabers. With their lack of a physical blade and weight confined to the device itself, they wouldn't have that much in the way of momentum to stop outside of the amount from the user's arm swinging.

  • No matter what Zach, the protagonist of The 15 Keys blocks, it won't hurt him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with in Angel when a blade is found that can actually kill the Beast. In the battle the Beast blocks every attack and seems to take no actual damage despite the Beast saying that it stings. The Beast blocks the sword and breaks it eventually. Angel kills him by getting a piece around his guard and into his head. Then the whole thing was revealed to be a dream of Angel's, making its use dubious.
  • Averted in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. The title characters' beskar armor fends off blaster fire and even lightsabers, but it still transmits the kinetic energy of impacts. Din Djarin is blown off his speeder bike by a rifle shot to center of mass from Fennec Shand (he implies it might have penetrated at closer range), and Boba Fett ends up having to take a dip in his bacta tank after a brawl.
  • Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman's bracelets can deflect or block anything. In "Mind Stealers from Outer Space", she blocked laser beams coming from several alien invaders at once. These were the same beams that leveled a building earlier in the episode. It reached it's pinnacle early in the series when she deflected every bullet fired at her by a tommy gun while standing on stage at a theater in "The New, Original Wonder Woman". That much shrapnel flying all over the place that close to a tightly packed crowd would be enough to kill someone and wound many others. Even if it miraculously missed everyone, the stage itself would be literally shot to pieces. Thanks to a healthy does of the Rule of Cool all of the bullets disappeared once deflected.

  • Zigzagged in Destroy the Godmodder. When players block an attack, it doesn't deal any damage. If an entity blocks an attack, it only deals less damage. However, bodyguarding entities are almost always effective in taking an attack that was targeting the entity that the bodyguard was protecting.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Cerberus Engine Games: Defense, with the occasional Unblockable Attack exception. Played straight with actual Blocking in Rivals, which actually does prevent the player from being damaged or killed, as well as Defenders in NHL Power Play.
  • Champions. The Block combat maneuver would prevent any hand-to-hand attack from succeeding against the user.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • In all editions, shields add to your Armor Class score, and the higher one's AC score, the harder they are to hit.
    • 2nd Edition Player Option: Combat & Tactics supplement. If successful, the Block combat option would prevent a melee attack from hitting the character using it.
    • In Edition 3.5, while a shield can block physical attacks by normally raising armor class, a character's "touch" armor class — that is, the difficulty to simply touch them, such as with a touch-delivered spell or a ray — doesn't account for shields. Attempting to block a Scorching Ray or a Disintegrate spell will not affect its success at all. At least, not without feats to allow you to.
    • In 5th Edition, the Shield Master feat allows a character who's wearing a shield to apply the shield's bonus to AC to Dexterity saving throws against effects that target only themselves. This means that raising your shield protects you from disintegration! The same feat also lets you use your reaction to use your shield to block any effect that has a dexterity save for half damage if you succeed the save, causing you to take no damage at all. So your shield can block fireballs and lightning bolts.
  • Averted in Ironclaw, damage is determined by the number of attack dice that roll a number higher than the defender's highest roll. So a counter, parry, or dodge may block the attack entirely, reduce the damage, or fail to stop it at all.
  • Countering a power in Mutants & Masterminds is usually all or nothing; you either block the attack entirely or you take the full effect. The impassible counter extra removes this binary, allowing players to partially block for reduced effect. A successful counter still negates the effect, however.
  • Averted in RuneQuest: a successful parry or block only reduces the attack by the blocking weapon or shield's armor value, AND the attack can damage the blocking item.
  • In SavageWorlds, every character has a fixed "Parry" score which comes into play every time they are attacked, as long as they should be able to defend, and a "Toughness" score which is used whenever they are hit. The attacker's roll must overcome Parry in order to even roll for damage, and the damage overcome the Toughness to cause a wound. Taking an action in combat to assume a defensive stance further increases Parry, allowing for potentially completely blocking an attack, no matter how much damage it may have dealt.
    • More specifically, an extremely physically fragile character, with a very high Parry score is very difficult to hit no matter how hard you can strike, but far easier to wound would you overcome their defense.
    • On the other hand, this score is called "Parry", rather than "Block", which means that depending on the character's fluff, it can be either blocking through sheer strength, swiftly dodging the blow, or deviating the other's weapon. The only important thing is that the blow didn't reach its target.
    • On the other other hand, it is also possible to be hit by an attack, but suffering no actual damage thanks to Toughness. The character is just considered "shaken" until further notice.
  • Fiona the Volatile in Red Dragon Inn has a card called "Luckily, I was wearing my armor!," which allows her to ignore anything that affects her Fortitude.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: A character can attempt to parry one incoming attack per combat round, effectively causing the attack to miss if they succeed. One exception is that when they parry a Critical Hit, it has a small chance to damage their own weapon or shield.

    Video Games 
  • In Absolver, blocking stops all damage from bare-handed attacks. However, it also quickly drains stamina, forcing the character to drop their guard when it runs out. Certain slow-moving attacks exist specifically to counter blocking, and if hit, drain a larger-than-normal amount of stamina. However, Scratch Damage will break through if the attacker is armed. This amount of damage is further reduced if the defender is blocking with a weapon of their own.
  • In ANNO: Mutationem, Ann can negate any damage with her energy shield upon blocking at the right time, which also gives her a chance to Counter-Attack against enemies.
  • The Lizard Folk in Arcuz II will block all damage from every direction for a few seconds, and even damage the players trying to attack them, all through holding their rather small shield up.
  • Blocking in Avalon Code prevents all damage, regardless of the attack. Even the final boss can't do anything if your shield is up.
  • The Batman: Arkham Series uses this, although it's not exactly a true "block," but a counter interrupting the attack, making it somewhat more justified. Robin's bullet shield somewhat averts this trope; it does stop all damage, but only at first, while the shield still has its own "life" bar, which is what takes the damage.
  • Bayonetta can equip an accessory that allows her to block enemy attacks and counter if done well. Her Mirror Boss Jeanne has the ability to block attacks to, even in the middle of a combo.
  • In Bunny Must Die, the titular Bunny can parry any form of damage by pressing a direction just as that damage is about to hit her. This can apply to EVERY form of damage, from the shots of common Mooks, the Spikes of Doom, and all the way to even electrified/flaming floors themselves! Unfortunately, sources of damage that last longer than her block's Mercy Invincibility (like a Wave-Motion Gun, for example) will still hit her.
    • Except if you're really good and you can block the moment her Mercy Invincibility wears off, in which case you can continuously block long-lasting attacks. In fact, this is required for getting through certain parts of the game without damage.
    • After a certain point ( the final battle with Dechronos), Bunny gets the bonus of being able to auto-parry EVERYTHING.
  • Zigzagged in Card Hunter. Block cards do stop all damage, but only work once, while Armor cards can activate multiple times, but rarely if ever stop all damage unless the overall reduction outdoes the damage of the incoming blow. There's also one or two blocks, like Jarring Block, that do damage to you in the process of blocking the attack.
    • Some blocks do more damage than the incoming attack. And since blocks trigger automatically, you can't go "Wait, I think I'd rather take the damage than hurt myself worse trying to avoid it."
  • In Cartoon Hero, this trope applies when blocking in your giant robot form, and is averted otherwise.
  • Many of the enemies in Castlevania can take a defensive stance or put up a forcefield to stop all your attacks. Especially difficult if it already takes a lot to take down. Thankfully, Soma can turn those abilities back at them. For example, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance Armor Knights can spin their spear to make themselves invulnerable.
  • Downplayed in The Con; while neither you nor your opponent will sustain physical damage from blocking the attack at first, there's still a Break Meter, and depleting it automatically drops guard.
  • This is possible in CrossCode, but only if you manage to time a Perfect Guard. The alternative is to focus your skills and gear on defense until you take 0 damage even from a poorly timed block. Otherwise, not only will you sustain damage, but the shield itself will eventually break.
  • In Darkest Dungeon blocking an attack prevents all damage, but does not stop any accompanying effects including blight and bleed that will inflict damage over time. It's a very rare form of protection that was introduced with the Shieldbreaker DLC, and can only be used by the titular character. (The shield-bearing character from the base game, Man-at-Arms, only uses his shield to raise his defence value, or guard others, taking all the damage they would have sustained.)
    • The other characters can also gain the "Aegis" effect (Latin for shield) which will block the next attack. However, that requires using the Aegis Scales, which are only dropped from the Snake enemies that only appear in Shieldbreaker's Nightmares, or in the rare random encounters after all of her Journal pages have been collected.
  • In the Dark Souls series, some shields play this trope straight in the case of specific damage types, usually physical damage, but no shields have 100% damage resistance in all areas, even though a few shields come very close. Other shields however, only block part of the damage from all sources. In general, shields are less effective against elemental damage, but specialized elemental shields do exist. However, while all shields will reduce hit point damage, it will drain stamina instead, and your block may be broken with enough force, leaving you open to a counterattack or riposte.
    • An alternative is the parrying mechanic, which allows you to completely negate an incoming attack with precise timing and positioning—as a bonus, it will also leave the opponent wide open for a devastating riposte for a couple seconds. While parrying usually applies only to (some) melee attacks, a few shields can reflect spells as well, and some shields and weapons have different parrying windows than others.
    • Rolling also negates all damage, even if you're still in the attack, since part of your roll has invulnerability frames, but costs Stamina and has recovery frames between attempts, and unlike the riskier parrying, there's nothing stopping your opponent from potentially trying to hit you again.
    • And then there's figuring out your opponent's attacks and just standing off to the side if you're beneath them. Said technique is typically paired up with holding a shield up just in case.
  • This trope is true in Denjin Makai, unless the attack itself happens to be unblockable.
  • Devil May Cry
    • Dante's Royal Block skill can negate anything if properly done, including explosions, electrified floors, and 100ft tall statues dropkicking him. Mistimed blocks can break, causing Dante to take damage.
    • Nero can block attacks by meeting them with his Devil Bringer (especially during cutscenes). In-game, a well-timed Buster can block all sorts of attacks, from giant spears, massive demons, and even punches from the False Savior. There's also the "Hold" skill which makes him carry a demon as a makeshift living shield.
    • Many mooks and bosses can put up a defensive stance to stop your attacks cold. Some of the playable characters' heavier attacks can go around these.
  • Doom Eternal has a few examples of this.
    • Shield Soldiers are a downplayed version; they carry a shield that blocks all damage until it is destroyed, but can actually be a liability if overloaded using the plasma rifle. Part two of The Ancient Gods introduces the Riot Soldier, whose shield is indestructible.
    • The Marauder has a shield that blocks all attacks from in front of it, even from the BFG, and can't be broken or overloaded. He can only be damaged by attacks from behind the shield, and in the brief window when he lowers his guard for a melee attack.
    • The Gladiator carries an even bigger shield - in this case, the shield can be destroyed, but only with a special glory kill once the Gladiator is staggered.
    • The final boss of part two of The Ancient Gods carries a shield similar to the Marauder's, which he lowers for only one specific attack. Not only does the shield negate all damage at any other time, it also heals the Dark Lord by doing so.
  • Played with in Dragon Force (Sega) due to its technical limitations. Its generals simply have no block animation, and the act of blocking is instead represented by a short "weapon clashing" sound, while they appear unflinching whenever they block an attack.
    • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors is represented in a similar manner: the troop type with the advantage will attack unflinchingly through the disadvantaged troop type's attack animation (with that same sound effect), taking them out while remaining unscathed.
  • Played straight in Dungeons of Dredmor. However, blocking is out of your direct control, being governed by a block chance stat, which will never even approach 100%.
  • Dwarf Fortress has the aforementioned issue with shields being able to block the huge area of effect from dragonfire and similar Breath Weapons even if they're made of wood. Shields can also completely deflect attacks even from monsters whose body parts are larger than their target. On the other hand, shields do not negate the momentum from an opponent charging into you, so they can still knock you over then.
  • If you're blocking in Dynasty Warriors games, all attacks taken from the front do no damage while you're standing still (or riding a horse). Depending on the game you're playing, there may or may not be attacks that stun you for a long time for doing this. Some games also let you counterattack if you press triangle immediately before an attack hits you. The only exception is 6, which blocks everywhere.
    • In 8, the element Cyclone is a Percent Damage Attack that activates even if it hits guarding enemiesnote . In contrast, the Awareness skill makes your guard work on all sides, while Rigidity makes it completely unbreakable by any attacks. Pairing the two together makes for pretty ridiculous scenarios, naturally.
  • In 1993 Beat 'em Up Edge, there's a dedicated Block button, which does stop all damage.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Successfully blocking in Morrowind will block all physical damage. Spell damage will still hit you full force.
    • In Skyrim, blocking reduces damage, but doesn't fully negate it, so you can batter a shield-bearing enemy to death with Scratch Damage, or stagger them with power attack and press the advantage while they're stunned. The right armor enchantments, skill increases, or Blocking perks increase the effectiveness of a character's blocking, and can even unlock exotic effects like negating damage from Annoying Arrows while your shield is up, or even reducing damage from magical attacks.
  • The End Times: Vermintide and Vermintide II: The block command negates all damage by default, with the rare exception of special weapons like the Ratling Gun and certain monster attacks. Instead, every blocked attack costs Stamina, and exhausting a character's stamina seriously impedes their fighting until it regenerates.
  • EA Sports' Fight Night 4 and Fight Night Champion downplayed this trope for the first time in the series. Though holding the block button would prevent any damage from the first punch or two from an opponent, the longer the block button was held the less effective it became. The more punches the block absorbed, the more the boxer's stamina would drain, the weaker the boxer's defense would become, and the more punches (and damage) would get through. Holding block for too long rendered it worse than useless due to the damage taken and stamina drain. The trope could still be played straight, but required skilled stamina management and careful timing to drop the block and recharge its effectiveness whenever safe. Furthermore, leaning in the wrong direction while blocking made punches more likely to get through even at full strength. For previous games in the series, blocking stopped all damage, but was a guessing game for blocking high vs. low.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy, equipping certain shields allows you to block damage more often. Including poison damage. The rest of the series simply reduces the damage taken from attacks.
    • This is also the dodge animation in Final Fantasy VI, regardless if they actually have a shield equipped.
    • The unique defend command in Final Fantasy VIII negates all physical damage and half of the magical. Considering it's a GF ability, it can be considered partly magical, but seeing the Superboss do no damage with its most powerful attack it's still pretty striking.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy allows minor brave attacks to be blocked and can reflect projectiles, though blocking certain attacks will leave you staggered. This is Exdeaths entire game plan as a Stone Wall. He can block almost any attack provided the timings right, even otherwise unblockable attacks. According to the developers a player is pretty much invincible if they get his skills down pat.
    • In the remake of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Reunion, the Buster Sword's new Battle Stance is capable of this if Zack's defense stat is high enough (since it overlaps with the Buster Sword's improved block that negates 80% of incoming damage). The exception are attacks from bosses, where instead Zack can No-Sell attacks meant to kill him (in the sense that he survives them at all: Zack will still walk away with a huge chunk of his health missing).
  • Fire Emblem:
    • This is how the Sentinel and General classes "dodge" in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Even though all Beorc weapons will eventually break unless blessed by magic it appears their shields are eternal.
    • In Fire Emblem: Awakening, the animation that plays when a unit takes a hit but doesn't take any damage usually involves blocking it with their weapon or shield.
    • Fire Emblem Warriors: Dual Guards and the normal guarding action negate any damage or potential knockback from being hit by an attack, though a Dual Guard will leave you momentarily stunned. Fang Crests will allow characters to still deal some damage to guarding enemies.
  • In Furi, this is true for both the attacks you block, and for your attacks that were blocked by the bosses. However, you also restore a sliver of health if you block an attack!
  • In Genocide 2, holding down the attack button activates a block, which completely prevents damage.
  • Ultimate Ghosts 'n Goblins introduces shields which will unfortunately break after a number of hits. It is possible to obtain an unbreakable shield from a witch though, after which anything able to be blocked can be stopped with impunity, naturally that still leaves a lot.
  • A plot point in God of War. Kratos needs the power of the Golden Fleece to continue past some unavoidable obstacles. The armor can deflect anything, even the Blade of Olympus wielded by Zeus himself. This doesn't explain some of his famous Action Commands where he stops being crushed by titans the size of skyscrapers because he put his arms up the right way.
    • He is half god in addition to being a classic Greek tragic hero, so his strength is far beyond that of ordinary men. According to some, "Kratos" even translates to "strength."
    • The Fleece does have limits, however, with there being some attacks it can't block. Occasionally this can rationalized in that the Golden Fleece doesn't completely cover him, so if an attack has too much of a surface that most of it will still him regardless, but sometimes it makes less sense a the third punch in three hit combo from Zeus in God of War III.
  • This is the case in Golden Axe III. The only exception is if the character also gets knocked into a pit.
  • In the SEED-based Gundam Vs Series games, Next Plus and Extreme Vs, shields are used by tapping Back then Forward, never break, and can completely block anything that hits them from the front, no matter whether it's simple vulcan bullets or a BFG that completely washes over your machine and should, by all rights, obliterate it. In a recent update, Extreme Vs gave every single MS the ability to Shield Guard whether or not it actually has a shield (if it doesn't, it just blocks with its arms).
    • The Extreme Vs. version of 00 Raiser takes this to greater heights by having a 360 degree guard GN Field. Meaning it blocks any attacks from any direction as long as it's guarding.
  • Hades: While charging up a Bull Rush with the shield, Zagreus can defend against any attack facing him. The Greatshields from Elysium have their eponymous shields, that block all attacks from their fronts.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Minotaurs have a chance to block non-magical attacks, taking no damage.
  • Hexen's centaurs raise their shield when they're injured. This makes them invulnerable to attacks regardless of direction, and projectiles are also reflected.
  • Inscryption: Kaycee's Mod introduces the Mud Turtle, a 2/2 card with a sigil that completely negates one attack and then disappears(represented on the card as the turtle being in and out of its' shell). Sacrificing the mud turtle to put its sigil on a card that has high damage but low health can allow cards that are normally Glass Cannons to tank hits they would otherwise die to.
  • This trope even applies in Jurassic Park Builder. While normally a management game, it also has a battle mode where you can choose up to three of your prehistoric animals, and get them to fight others. There, a block will stop all damage, but you need to spend fang/claw tokens to activate one. This mechanic returns in its sequel, Jurassic World: The Game.
  • Various games in the Kingdom Hearts franchise play this trope straight, but many attacks can pierce blocks, even if a blocked attack results in no damage. Blocking takes various forms between games, from simply holding up the keyblade to putting up a temporary force field, to mixtures of both. Kingdom Hearts II, however, even though it has blocking as well, is more accurately described as Reflega Stops All Damage. This is the final form of the reflect spell. It only does it reflect projectiles and stop all damage in all directions, it also explodes after a successful block or chain of blocks, dealing immense damage to the enemy, often resulting in a One-Hit KO on weaker foes. It is considered by many to be the best legitimate way to defeat the Optional Bosses, since the it is the best way to simultaneously block attacks and deal damage.
  • Blocking an attack in Knights of the Round will make you invincible for a few seconds, allowing you to attack safely. However, blocking too early and for too long will make you tired. Bird Man and Metal Buster cannot be damaged if they have their shields up.
  • The Legend of Zelda: When Link can block an attack with his trusty shield, it always stops all damage, and his upgrades to his shield allow him to block more stuff.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has an important exception with the Deku Shield, Young Link's wooden starter shield. It's too small to be a defense against the raining boulders that fell along the trail to Death Mountain, which require Link to crouch under an adult-sized Hylian Shield to endure safely. And if you try to block a flaming attack with a Deku Shield, you'd better be ready to buy a replacement!
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has an example with enemies in the Darknuts. If they're blocking, an attack won't hurt them. It doesn't matter if it's Link's sword, the ball and chain, an explosion from the bomb arrows, or even if his attack doesn't actually hit the area they're guarding with said block, their block animation just prevents all damage.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword gives Link a shield gauge that shows how much the shield can take before destruction, but his greatest shield (the unlockable Hylian Shield) is invulnerable.
  • In Luminous Avenger iX 2, Copen can purchase a passive ability called Hyper Guard that allows him to reduce damage taken from attacks to Scratch Damage as long as he stands completely still in Break-Shift mode.
  • LunarLux: Party members can hold up a shield in order to block damage, but each shield is a resource that must be replenished and there's a slight downtime between each use, meaning the player can't just spam it. The Holo/Energy Shield active skill restores one shield plus its level while the Protection support skill restores shields equal to the skill's level.
  • Iceman in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 takes no blocking damage from nearly everything, which means he is an ideal choice to fight the otherwise unstoppable Game-Breaker Cable. However, he does take absurd chip damage from War Machine or any projectiles that aren't truly energy based, making him and the rest of them a hard counter against Iceman.
  • Many of Mega Man's enemies can take a defensive posture that cannot be punctured. Some games allow certain special weapons to pierce, however.
  • Any Cyborg Ninja worthy of the name in Metal Gear can deflect more than they weigh. Grey Fox held back Rex from crushing Snake easily and Raiden could also block hits from a massive mech easily. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance gave Raiden a block function that is pivotal to success, but he can still take damage while blocking if his opponent is awesome or big enough.
  • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes: The Emperor Ing has two impenetrable defenses, though they are not without drawbacks so he is not unbeatable.
  • Shields in Minecraft completely negate all damage to the user if they're facing the source. Even Charged Creeper detonations.
  • In Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae, guarding attacks will prevent Misa from taking damage, but there are some attacks that Misa can't block and while others staggers her upon blocking the attack. Just Guards, when executed properly, not only nullifies damage without the staggering effect, but also gives her breathing room to attack or escape.
  • Monster Hunter: By adding specific modifications to your gear, you can block damage that is normally unblockable, like bombs and elemental breath. Even without them, your character is REALLY good at blocking things that are twenty times their weight and twice as fast, but the shield ability usually comes with a big drawback attached (slow attacks, restricted from area attacks, higher durability loss, or just plain lower DPS). This is handwaved in the lore by having Hunters hold their shields in their dominant hands to strengthen their guards.
  • MS Saga: A New Dawn: The Double Shield boost well stops all damage, even moves that cannot otherwise be blocked by other boosts.
  • One boss in Ninja Gaiden 2 explodes. The way to avoid damage is to block it. This leads to a massive arena-wide explosion stopped by a katana.
  • In The Ninja Warriors Again, blocking stops all damage from blockable attacks, making it a lifesaver. This leads to rather Rule of Cool moments such as Ninja using a pair of nunchucks to stop things like the second boss' giant chainsaw, or Yaksha doing the same with just her arms.
  • In Oni, blocking an attack will render Konoko completely unharmed, though it requires staying perfectly still and facing the opponent head-on, which leaves you open to throws. Also, some special moves are so powerful that they cannot be blocked.
  • Only Just Defends stop all damage in Onigiri. However, they'll also restore some SP and allow the next attack to be executed much faster
  • Played realistically in Onimusha: Blocking will save you from harm and even break the attack of certain enemies. However, stronger attacks will break your defense leaving you open for the following attack and knocking you back. A handful of attacks can't be blocked at all.
  • Onmyōji (2016): Seimei can cast a Deflector Shield over the entire team that blocks all incoming enemy damage (barring certain cases) until it shatters or after 2 of his turns have passed.
    • Shirodōji's special skill casts shields for all members on his team that render them immune from the first hit they get, which is especially useful when coming up against opponents with strong but single attacks.
  • In Path of Exile blocking stops all damage and status effects that would be inflicted by a hit. Normally only physical attacks can be blocked, but certain unique items and Ascendancy skills let a character block spells as well. However, Damage Over Time effects and other damage that is not considered to hit cannot be blocked. Furthermore, a character cannot block while stunned or until the stun the hit they just blocked would have inflicted would have expired.
  • If you know how to Guard in Phantasy Star Nova, note  and have the skill Just Guard installed on your Skill Board, hitting the Guard button on an applicable weapon right before the enemy attack lands negates the damage. Depending on the skills installed, you may even gain additional benefits for this.
  • Pokémon: The moves Protect block any damage from the opponent's moves, except for a certain few moves. Detect achieves that same result by dodging. However, even these cannot fully protect against a damaging Z-Move or Max Move. Sometimes it can be averted, with Protect, as the Pokémon "could not fully protect itself and was hurt".
  • In Quest for Infamy once you buy the best armour, all blocks stop receiving damage, without it it depends on your skill level.
  • In Resident Evil 7, Ethan Winters, Mia Winters and Clancy Javis can all survive serious injuries (Such as a pair of CHAINSAW SCISSORS. Or just a regular chainsaw, if you're boring.) Except for mortally wounding blows to the shins with a shovel. Those hurt. Pretty badly.
  • In Rise of Nightmares, a Kinect game, you cause the Player Character Josh to block by crossing your arms over your chest, with Josh animated as doing the same. His forearms thus turn away punches, acid, blades and chainsaws.
  • This is the class ability of the Paladins in Rogue Legacy. Although, one must be facing the enemy's attack and have at least 25MP for the damage to be negated.
  • The Memory of Alessa in Silent Hill 3 has the uncanny ability to deflect handgun rounds, buckshot, or a hail of SMG fire with any weapon she chooses, including a puny switchblade. While your own form of blocking isn't quite as powerful (some attacks will go through, and you always take chip damage except when wearing the bulletproof vest), if mastered it can trivialize this fight and many others.
  • The Nebulox like to invoke this trope in Sin and Punishment: Star Successor. There is a way around it sometimes. Often you just have to wait them out.
  • When playing as Fark in Spark the Electric Jester, you're able to parry attacks. The better you block, the quicker the static gauge fills. The timing is very forgiving, such that messing up to a certain extent will just cause you to get blown away without actually receiving damage.
  • Certain enemies in Streets of Rage will take up a defensive stance that blocks all forms of damage. This leaves them wide open for you to simply grab and body slam them.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, proper timing on your Action Commands during defense could completely eliminate damage from an enemy physical attack; otherwise, they take half the normal damage.
    • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Mario can Super Guard against pretty much anything that causes damage in battle, regardless of whether that means physical attacks, projectiles, lightning strikes, falling walls, fire or explosions. All with no harm done to Mario. There are a handful of attacks than cannot be super guarded though and regular guarding just reduces damage.
  • Shielding in Super Smash Bros. will not only prevent all damage but can even reflect projectiles if done properly. Every attack blocked weakens the shield, though, culminating in a possible stun state. Some fighters also have a "counter" move that not only negates all damage, but (assuming you block a split-second before your opponent's attack) your character will immediately counterattack as well. Visually the characters take a quick back-step during the block, so we can infer it's actually a parry, but it still somehow grants invulnerability frames against explosions.
  • In Tallowmere, your shield blocks anything and everything the game can throw at you—fireballs, acid, lightning, etc.—regardless of the shield's power or rarity. The game even warns you that you won't survive the dungeon without it.
  • Tekken had no block damage, most noticeable when the smaller characters blocked attacks from a bear. Some heavy shots would even stagger a defender, suggesting they would hurt a little but the life gauge would not go down.
  • This is played straight in Tiger Knight: Empire War, but with the caveat that if your weapon is sufficiently lighter than the enemy's, you'll still be stunned by the effort. If you are too light, you might even be Punched Across the Room.
  • Titan Quest: The Defense Mastery's Perfect Block grants "temporary invulnerability".
  • The Shiva statues in Tomb Raider III can use their swords to block your gunfire and even your explosives. Werner von Croy's goons in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation can do the same thing by spinning their swords to block all attacks.
  • In Touken Ranbu, wakizashi who have undergone a Kiwame upgrade gain the ability to randomly block/parry enemy attacks, sustaining no damage. This is especially useful when coming up against enemies that can attack multiple targets at once, as teammates that are within range of the attack will also be spared from the damage should it be blocked.
  • Transistor: Bounce() as a passive gives Red a blue and purple "deflecting shield" dome around herself that blocks one attack then it falls, stopping all damage from that attack, and comes back up after 5 seconds.
  • The shield you have in Urban Chaos: Riot Response stops all damage 100% of the time, whether from bullets, fire, or melee weapons, provided you've angled yourself correctly to face the danger in question. The only risk comes from having multiple enemies shooting at you from different angles or having a melee attack knock your shield down temporarily.
  • Played straight for all of the characters in Warlords: Heroes. One of them, Aldon, blocks with a buckler, but the others use their main weapon equally effectively.
  • In, your shield will block all damage from melee attacks and from arrows or ice staff projectiles, including the special attacks, as long as it is facing in the right direction. However, a block can only be kept up for a few seconds. Moreover, someone blocking is still vulnerable to someone simply rolling into them, dealing a point of damage (when the default HP is 8 and the maximum is around 10) and knocking them down. It also offers no protection against the explosive attacks, or from the axe-wielders Shockwave Stomp, since it travels along the ground
  • Averted in World of Warcraft: Only dodging stop all damage, blocking and parrying don't.
    • Parrying can stop physical attacks, but not magic. Blocking stops a set amount of damage, meaning it completely negates weak attacks, but not stronger ones.
    • As of Cataclysm, blocking stops a flat 30% of an attack's damage with Warriors capable of "critically blocking" up to 60%.
  • In the WWE Day of Reckoning games you will take damage if you simply stand there and block for too long. If you counter strikes you will usually take no damage though.
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: Even though the game is based around perfectly timing your blocks to break the enemy's posture, simply holding the block button will still prevent most attacks from damaging your health (though you'll still take heavy posture damage), even those from monsters many times your size. After beating the game once, subsequent playthroughs will have a protective charm be placed into your inventory that wasn't there before. If you get rid of it, then all attacks will deal chip damage through your block and must be perfectly deflected in order to stop all damage. It's implied that you had this charm all along but simply didn't notice until the second playthrough.
  • In Your Bizarre Adventure, you take no damage from attacks while blocking. Depending on the duration of an attack and the intensity of the player's Regenerating Health, it's possible to heal damage while doing so.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Huntsmen and Huntress use their Aura to avoid any actual damage when they block attacks so the use is justified. Often they augment their blocking using dust and their Semblances to deflect attacks that would be to strong for their aura alone.

    Web Comics 
  • 8-Bit Theater, Fighter decides he can block damage caused by falling in the same way he would block an attack... and proves it by surviving a fall at terminal velocity thanks to Achievements in Ignorance.
  • Blocking in Awful Hospital always results in damage being reduced to one. This is explicitly noted as being amazing whenever Fern blocks attacks that shouldn't be possible to block by a human with a stick.
  • Schrodinger the cat uses this to totally punk Kain in Captain SNES: The Game Masta. Using a metool hat from Mega Man (Classic), and a counter belt he proceeds to block every attack Kain can muster and chip at his health. If the amount of damage Kain was taking to be accurate, this happened for hours.
  • Mob Psycho 100: Reigen tends to cover the back of his head with one hand to avoid concussions if he's thrown around.
  • Weak Hero:
    • Averted in the first fight between Alex and Jack. Alex crosses his arms to take a blow meant for his chest, but the fist still leaves a nasty bruise on his arm.
    • When facing off against Jimmy, Gerard lets loose with a fierce kick to his head. He blocks it effortlessly with his hand and lets loose with a vicious punch back. When Ben goes against him next, Jimmy is able to safely block an elbow jab that disrupted the air with its ferocity.
    • Donald taunts Wolf into trying to fight him, then effortlessly blocks the fist directed at his face. At the same time he ducks his other fist down to hit Wolf in the neck, incapacitating him for the rest of the battle.

    Western Animation 
  • Clock King in Batman: The Animated Series manages to fight Batman to a standstill because he's studied his moves. This trope is pretty much the only way that is possible since he was a middle aged efficiency expert and Batman is...Batman.
  • In the final season of Samurai Jack, an assailant takes a baseball swing at Jack with a spiked club. Jack blocks the hit with his unarmored forearm without hesitation or discomfort, despite then exhausting himself swinging the club around.


Video Example(s):



Mario and Luigi have to hammer the POW Pep when it isn't blocking, otherwise the attack is nullified.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / BlockingStopsAllDamage

Media sources: