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Elemental Punch

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A punch not good enough? How about a water punch?

"Oh yes. Brown got the idea for his lightning combat glove when he learned of two bikers who had been mauled by a mountain lion. We can't help but be impressed by a guy whose instinctive reaction to such a story is: I must now punch that lion with thunder!"

Some people fight with their fists; to them, there's nothing more gratifying than pummeling foes left and right. Other people prefer burning their target with fire; perhaps they just just love that smell of napalm in the morning.

But why not combine them?: After all, a punch hurts. Fire hurts. A punch on fire is bound to hurt twice as much as either of the two individually. And thus, the art of combining Elemental Powers with close-quarter combat was born.

The Elemental punch is a melee attack that has an elemental or energy-based upgrade. These come in quite a few flavors, including but not limited to:

Of course, punches are not the only attacks that can be elementally empowered. Elemental kicks are almost as, if not just as, common. Channeling elements into weapons happens quite a bit, if the Flaming Sword and Laser Blade are any indication. And, of course, there's nothing quite like pummeling the enemy with a flying, full-body tackle whilst encased in one's element of choice.

This is a tactic that comes naturally to the Magic Knight and the Supernatural Martial Artist, and, understandably, usually requires Full-Contact Magic. In Video Games, this trope is often employed to prevent non-magical fighters from being excluded from Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors. This may be seen as a Yin-Yang Bomb, combining matter with energy. Compare the Trick Arrow, the archer's answer to the elemental punch, and the Elemental Weapon for other similarly enhanced weapons. Super-Trope of Explosive Punch. See also Swiss-Army Appendage, Item Amplifier, and Power Fist.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Black Clover, this is the basis of Mereoleona's entire fighting style. Before she even uses her grimoire, she is capable of punching through spells and attacks, and her fists are engulfed in flames. Even then, almost all her spells involve her punching fire.
  • Digimon, being a Mons franchise, has countless examples of this. Among the main characters, Flamedramon's Fire Rocket attack involves Flamedramon diving headlong into the enemy while on fire, and Galgomon's Bunny Pummel/Dum-Dum Upper is an uppercut with a currently-firing Arm Cannon, and Leomon's Fist of the Beast King, which creates a lion head made of fire. In terms of non-main characters, there's Frigimon, whose moveset includes the Sub-Zero Ice Punch.
  • Dragon Ball Z had a few instances of Air Jousting while encased in an aura of ki.
  • Natsu from Fairy Tail consistently uses fire-punches and kicks. Wonderful when he runs into a character that can negate magic in a bubble around him. So what does Natsu do? A fire jet off his elbow.
    • Similar effects are observed with Gray (freezing punch), Gajeel (arm turns into iron) and a few others.
    • Also, Erza once got extra power on a spear cast by having Natsu punch the spearbutt midthrow.
  • Rurune of The Fruit of Evolution is a Kick Chick who specializes in using magic to augment the striking power of her kicks with elemental properties. Considering she's actually an incredibly gluttonous donkey transformed into a human girl by the powers of the evolution fruits, that is technically the least weird thing about her.
  • Vivio of Lyrical Nanoha used fists glowing with her magical power in her battle against Nanoha. They're able to shatter Nanoha's Deflector Shields in a few punches like they were nothing.
    • Reinforce also does this at least once, throwing darkness-fists at Nanoha.
    • Not to mention Subaru, who has a combat style centered around firing lasers out of her fists when she punches things.
      • Subaru's special ability 'Vibration Shatter' means that her fists may also be considered a kind of Vibro Weapon. (Although it's worth noting that most Vibro Weapons act as a kind of lightsaber, whereas Subaru's ability is designed to play hell on intricate machines such as drones or cyborgs by dealing internal damage.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam's Shining Finger, a one-handed head crush with a hand that "glows with an awesome power".
    • Darkness Finger as well.
  • Naruto has several examples of this. Naruto's Rasengan is a palm-thrust amplified by spinning chakra; Sasuke's Chidori is a palm thrust that can slice through its targets due to a blade of electricity; the Hyuga clan's Gentle Fist fighting style relies on releasing chakra channeled through physical attacks; Sakura and Tsunade's super-strength may also be considered something like this because it involves focusing chakra and releasing it all at once with one punch/kick/lift.
    • Naruto eventually gets an upgraded form of his Rasengan that uses wind chakra, which ends up something of a subversion, namely in that the hundreds of tiny blades it's made of are also cutting his own hand and it only become truly useful when he finds a way to use it as a ranged weapon, though only in Sage Mode or when utilizing the Nine-Tails' chakra.
    • The Third and Fourth Raikages can cover their entire body in lightning, allowing them to dramatically amplify the power and speed of their attacks.
    • Hinata can punch people with an aura of a lion face on each one of her fists.
    • Gari of the Hidden Stone has an explosion element punch.
    • Ōnoki the Third Tsuchikage and Kitsuchi can cover their fists in rock for added damage. Oonoki used it in conjunction with his weight manipulation techniques in order to defeat the Second Mizukage's giant clam.
  • In order to maintain the Masquerade while competing in a martial arts tournament, Negi of Negima! Magister Negi Magi teaches himself to channel his magic — most notably the Magic Archer spells — through his fist for more forceful punches. Eventually, he learns to transform his entire body into lightning to punch people.
    • Negima has numerous other characters using magic or Ki to enhance the strength of their attacks. Jack Rakan in particular in regard to these attacks.
  • One Piece:
    • Coming from the Logia (elemental in the widest definition of the word) Devil Fruits, users can change into/use Fire, Ice, Light, Electricity, Magma, and many more to add to their punches.
    • Badass Normal Sanji can use friction-caused heat to imbue his leg with fire-elemental properties. By spinning in place with the leg outstretched.
    • During the Time Skip, Brook learned to channel his soul into his sword, imbuing it with a freezing hellwind attribute.
  • Early in Pokémon: The Series, most physical attacks simply were physical attacks: Wing Attack was just a bird clobbering the enemy with its wing, Quick Attack was just a really fast dash attack, Horn Attack just meant ramming the opponent with a horn, and so forth. It appears that as the anime progressed, the animators grew more and more attached to the Power Glows concept. Now, virtually every melee attack stronger than Tackle involves making the colliding part of the attacker's body glow.
  • In Ranma ½, the Flying Dragon Ascension Blast or Hiryuu Shouten Ha is an uppercut that unleashes a devastating tornado. The Shark Fist blasts a torrent of water (in the shape of a shark, natch). The Flying Dragon Ice Breakthrough or Hiryuu Hyoutoppa, a variant devised by Ranma himself, is a blast of icy wind that can instantly freeze and shatter even foes whose very presence melts rocks into lava.
  • In The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World, Red's punches and kicks are accompanied by trails of fire from his costume to boost their speed and power as well as engulf anything he hits in flames.
  • Sengoku Basara's Yukimura throws a flaming punch at Honda Tadakatsu after pole vaulting himself at him using his spears.
    • And earlier on his mentor Takeda Shingen throws an even bigger flaming punch, vaporizing his opponent and their surroundings in a matter of seconds.
  • In Shaman King, one of Horohoro's basic attacks, the Nipopo Punch, involves him creating a large ice statue on his arm with which he can freeze solid almost anything he hits and it would shatter on impact. His strongest attacks involve creating giant ice gauntlets and punching opponents with them. The right gauntlet punches the target and flash freezes them at the same time which causes them to shatter, making this his most powerful attack, and the left gauntlet punches the air, freezing solid and then shattering anything that is in the linear path of the hand even if out of arms reach.
  • A number of spells in Slayers, such as Technical Pacifist Amelia's Visfarank, which wraps whatever part of her body she's attacking with in astral energy that allows her to harm otherworldy creatures and deflect magic with kicks and punches.
  • Jin from YuYu Hakusho has this as his signature technique. His Tornado Fist wraps a mini twister around his arm, and even if his fist doesn't connect, the wind still blows his opponent off their feet.
    • Seiryu, one of the four Saint Beasts, freezes opponents on contact with his fist, as well as projecting frozen energy with each punch.

    Fan Works 
  • Boldores And Boomsticks: Yang learns to use the move Fire Punch while training with Lux, her Combusken. After an exceptionally good showing against Tapu Koko, he teaches her the basics of Thunder Punch as a reward.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger: After Jaune unlocks the ability to use Force lightning, he finds a creative application for it by charging the lightning around his fists to electrify his punches. Darth Nihilus also learns how to do this from copying Jaune and primarily uses it as a sucker punch for when his opponents have their guard down.
  • In Keepers of the Elements, all of the Keepers have this in their arsenal of spells.
  • Oversaturated World: Oversaturation: The incarnation of the human universe's magic can apparently infuse magic into her punches to destroy threats, given how her fists glow and that she's punching.
  • In Pegasus, Nell has a fire punch, "Claws of the Fire Dragon".
  • In Son of the Sannin, Hinata begins developing a lightning version of the Gentle Fist after hearing about Naruto undergoing elemental ninjutsu training since she isn't very good at the regular version and feels that it'd be nice to have something to fall back on. Not only does this become a standardized part of her moveset well into her teenage years, it is also the first sign of her willingness to go against her clan's traditions (which is a major part of her character arc). Her little sister Hanabi in turn learns how to do this with fire chakra, as does their mother Hikari with water chakra by the time of the Fourth Ninja War.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Gamera 3: Awakening of Irys, after Gamera severs his arm to keep Iris from draining his powers, he absorbs Iris' fireballs and forms a new arm out of the fire and punches Iris right in the chest, blowing him up.
  • One of the Mutos from Godzilla (2014) has an ability where it is seen storing glowing energy in its segmented forearm and slamming it into the ground to produce a burst of energy.
  • In Push, Movers can augment their punches and kicks with telekinesis, increasing the force of the blow.


    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Champions offers any sort of elemental attack as a basic power. Hand to Hand Attack for normal, Killing Attack for, well, killing damage. It being HERO, the special effects are up to the player.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Any spell that requires touching your enemy can be delivered through a punch, though this is harder than just touching them. A number of Prestige Classes also have abilities along these lines, like the enlightened fist (which allows you to convert other spells to touch spells, and cast them without pausing your attacks). In addition, any Spell Blade ability can be applies to unarmed strikes.
    • In the 4e supplement Heroes of the Elemental Chaos, there is a monk subclass that specializes in this trope.
    • Eberron: Warforged can get the Shocking Fist feat, which allows them to charge their fist with electricity.
  • Feng Shui: The Path of Brilliant Flame allows you to channel fire energy (or any other kind of energy, if you're houserule-happy) into your physical attacks.
  • GURPS has huge number of ways to perform this kind of attack, including:
    • The Basic Set has Innate attacks, when limited to touch range only, can be a touch of elemental power, or if linked to a standard punch or kick become an elemental punch.
    • The Burning/Icy/Lightning Touch spells in GURPS: Magic work like this.
    • Some of the kinds gear in GURPS: Ultratech are basically gloves that channel this kind of attack
    • Imbuments where you can do stuff like light your hands on fire because you're just that good.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Flamekin Brawler depicts a humanoid elemental with fists shrouded in flame.
  • Mutants & Masterminds has multiple ways of doing this, including adding Mighty to an elemental Strike power, or creating a touch-range aura.
  • In Nomine: Malakim devoted to Gabriel, the Archangel of Fire, can cover their hands in green celestial flames to burn those they strike.
  • Pathfinder inherits Dungeons & Dragons's rules on touch spells, and also adds a series of feats which allow a character to use a specific magical ability after hitting with a punch.
    • The most obvious example of this is the appropriately named Elemental Fist feat from the advanced player's guide, which allows members of any class with sufficient unarmed training (though usually monks, who have a couple of class variants which specialize in this sort of thing) to punch their enemies with fire, cold, electricity or acid. Further fighting style feats allow one to specialize in one of these elements.
    • The Magus class has a class feature that allows them to channel touch spells through physical attacks. Most Magi use weapons for this, but there's nothing stopping you from using it with unarmed strikes.
    • The magic items known as Amulets of Mighty Fists add magical enhancements to the wearer's unarmed attacks, which can include enchantments like Flaming, Frost, Shock or Corrosive. Or all of the above.
    • The alternate magic system detailed in Spheres of Power has this in the form of the destructive blast, especially if it has the destructive touch drawback and one of the blast type talents.
  • Weapons Of The Gods has several elemental kung-fu styles, including Blizzard Fist and Holy Fire.

    Video Games 
  • ARMS: There are a total of eight different elemental attributes ARMS can have, each of which grants a different effect to fully charged punches. Fire does extra damage and knocks opponents down, Electric temporarily disables your target's ARMS, Wind blows opponents a short distance away, Stun briefly renders opponents unable to move, Explosion detonates upon impact, Ice temporarily slows opponents' movement, Blind obscures your opponent's screen, and Poison inflicts lingering damage over time.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins has the Electrocutioner, whose main attack is punching with his electrified gloves. After you defeat him in one hit, you acquire them as well. They're charged up by striking enemies with normal hits, and when activated they do increased damage and ignore the defenses of stun-gun and shield-bearing mooks.
  • Brick's action skill in Borderlands can be modified so that he punches with any of the game's elemental types, including Fire, Shock, Corrosion, and Explosive. In Borderlands 2, Maya's melee attack is a punch with a glowing fist.
  • Bravely Default has Sword Magic like in Final Fantasy, which can be used to give the effect (Elemental damage, status ailment, or energy drain) of one of most Black Mage spells to any weapon, truest to this trope being Knuckles.note  The sequel has the Hawkeye's Warhead ability, which is limited to elemental enhancements, but can be used with all of the game's seven elements.note 
  • Several dual techs in Chrono Trigger combine Crono, Lucca, Frog, and Marle's elemental magic with Crono and Frog's sword strokes or Robo and Ayla's fists and bodies.
  • City of Heroes had several element-based powersets. For melee classes, this included sets with ice, energy, stone, dark, or electric punches. (Fire Melee existed, but it used melee-range fire bursts and flaming sword attacks rather than punches) The final Beta client also revealed a Radiation Melee set (involving lots of radioactive punches, though it was placeholder animation and the final version may or may not have used punches) was in the works.
  • In Dark Souls, you can enchant your fist weapons (e.g. Ceastus) with sorcery or miracle so you can make up your own elemental fists.
  • The Monk class in Diablo III has a number of elementally infused punch attacks, and in fact starts with an electrified attack called the Fists of Thunder.
  • The protagonists in the first three Disgaea games have these. Laharl and Adell have fire punches, while Mao has a palm of light, or some kind of plasma, it's hard to tell. Killia of Disgaea 5, as well as King Krichevskoy in Disgaea 4's DLC have unique ice fists. Zed of Disgaea 6 has an electrical punch (which count as Wind for gameplay purposes).
  • The Dwarf of Dragon's Crown has the Magma Infusion skill, which covers his fist in flames when active and adds fire properties to his attacks, both armed and unarmed.
  • In Dubloon, characters can learn moves like "Ice Palm" or "Fire Punch".
  • Monks in Dungeons & Dragons Online have earth, fire, air, water and ki-based unarmed attacks available at anytime, which can scale tremendously in damage. One of the special Ki Manipulation can shoot a cone of fire.
  • The Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series switch between weapons with innate elemental properties and separate equipment that grants elemental attacks. Slaughtering armies of mooks is just that much more satisfying when they fly burning through the air.
  • In Eternal Sonata, Falsetto has the attack Snow Claw.
  • In the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series, there's Terry Bogard and his iconic Burning Knuckle special move.
  • The Sword Magic ability in the Final Fantasy series works like this:
    • Final Fantasy V restricted it to certain swords, but kept it as a constant effect once cast.
    • Final Fantasy IX featured a variation as a Combination Attack between Vivi and Steiner, where the former used his magic imbue the latter's sword with elemental effects; a callback to the Mystic Knight/Sorceror class of previous games.
    • Final Fantasy X-2 had it as an ability of the Warrior dress sphere, but once it was mastered you could use it with any other sphere.
    • The remake of Final Fantasy IV on the DS didn't have a Sword Magic ability, but Cid had Upgrade, which let him expand an attack item to charge his weapon with that element. You could also get an Augment to give this to another character.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has it as an exclusive ability of the Ravager/Blaster role as a single attack. Synergists have an ability that makes it a lingering effect, with the bonus of increasing the effectiveness of the aforementioned attacks.
    • Final Fantasy XIV The Pugilist and it's Monk Class have three flavors of this. Fists of Fire provides a flat damage bonus to their attacks, Earth reduces the damage they take, and Wind gives them enhanced movement speed.
    • In Final Fantasy XVI, this is the protagonist Clive's primary fighting style, as he channels the power of the elemental Eikons through melee combat.
    • The Final Fantasy Tactics Advance series has the Gladiator class.
  • In Final Fantasy IV, Yang can use claws which allow his fists to cause elemental damage such as fire, ice and lightning.
  • This is standard for element-oriented playable characters in Freedom Force, since all of them need at least one melee attack and a skill chain based on it. The purest example is El Diablo's "Burning Fist.
  • Genshin Impact has Shikanoin Heizou of Inazuma and Wriothesley of Fontaine, who specialize in close-range combat while using Catalysts to infuse their attacks with their respective elements.
  • Guilty Gear: Sol Badguy, main lead of the series, has two Fire-based punch attacks — holding the Slash button for his Bandit Revolver technique (normally a spinning kick) turns it into Bandit Bringer, causing Sol to leap towards his enemy and slam them into the dirt with a fiery fist. Later games would give him the Fafnir, a lunging punch to the face that can send the enemy flying.
  • Cole Macgrath of inFAMOUS is a firm believer in the electro-punch when he has to get his hands dirty, and also has elemental headbutts thrown into the mix. The pre-order gigawatt blades also have him turn his punches into a single shot lightning dagger that's a One-Hit Kill on everything.
  • Jade Empire has the Storm Dragon style, which is a martial art that paralyzes with electricity. The heavy attack calls a lightning bolt from the sky.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
  • Kirby: Squeak Squad has an upgrade to Kirby's Sword copy ability, allowing him to combine Sword with Fire, Ice, or Spark for an elemental blade. The Wheel and Tornado copy abilities can also carry elements once Kirby acquires the proper copy scroll.
  • In the Mega Man X and Mega Man Zero games, Zero gets the ability to add elemental powers to his blade.
    • Most of the Mega Man Battle Network featured four elementally-attributed sword chips: Fire Sword, Aqua Sword, Elec Sword, and Wood Sword. In some of the games, the swords can be combined into the Element Sword program advance, which uses all four in quick succession.
  • Pokémon has Fire, Ice, and Thunder Punches and Fangs, and other moves such as Volt Tackle, Blaze Kick, and Aqua Tail that combine a physical attack with an elemental attribute. It wasn't until Diamond and Pearl that these moves were labeled as physical attacks, though; they were previously treated as special attacks like Thunderbolt and Ice Beam.
    • The move Vacuum Wave is a wind-type variant, projecting a punch of "pure vacuum" at the foe.
  • Psychonauts punch with telekinesis-based fists. Human-sized fists.
  • Samurai Shodown 2 had Wan-Fu channel flame through his weapon. Which might be a bit of overkill, since the weapon involved is a huge stone pillar.
  • Several spells in Secret of Mana allow the girl of your party to give any character's weapon elemental effects (although the character who gives you your first spells implies that these spells only work on the boy's weapons).
  • Murray gets a "Flaming Fist" ability in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, which allows him to incinerate enemies with punches.
  • Street Fighter:
  • Super Smash Bros. has Captain Falcon unleashing a fiery falcon with his eponymous punches and kicks, Ganondorf channeling dark flames into his punches and kicks, while Lucario had aura mixed into his physical attacks. Many characters also have energy-empowered/elemental physical attacks sprinkled into their movesets.
  • It's standard practice for physical fighters in the Tales Series to have a multitude of these in their arsenal. They tend to utilize their signature element if they have one. Otherwise, they get moves of many different elements.
  • The fists of the Mishimas in Tekken crackle with electricity when they go for a powerful blow.
    • In its sister series, Soulcalibur, powerful, guard-breaking attacks are represented by fire enveloping the user's weapon.
  • The Torchlight Alchemist has the Ember Shock spell. Fully leveled, it does (assuming no memory flaws or patches leading to this information being outdated) the highest amount of single-attack damage in the game and substantially damages anyone close enough to get hit by the shockwave, in addition to stunning your target and everything near you. Even though it's lightning-element, it's strong enough that you can typically kill lightning-resistant enemies with it through the sheer quantity of the damage.
  • In Warcraft II Ogres charge up their fist with blue fire before letting loose their punch. Sadly absent from later games.
    • In World of Warcraft, Shamans have these. Rockbiter(Earth), Frostbrand(Ice), Flametongue(Fire), Windfury(Wind) and Earthliving(Life, used for healing). Paladin Seals also works like this, doing holy damage. Death Knights also have these in the form of Ice and Shadow. All classes can enchant their weapons to give similar effects every now and then.
  • The second generation of Worms included the classic Fire Punch.
  • The X-Men Legends series of games and the second cousin Marvel Ultimate Alliance have a large number of buffs that work like this, both individual and team.


    Web Original 
  • Elemental psychics in Darwin's Soldiers can use elemental punches. Two notable examples are Modified Hailey's Flaming Fist of Doom and Cale's "thunderpunch".
  • Dreamscape: Soya can surround his fists in balls of lightning.
  • Trayen from Phaeton can do this and if he doesn't he will probably do more damage to himself then his enemy.
  • In Tag Match, a short movie produced by Thousand Pounds Action Company, James Young's character (the second one to fight the lady) conducts electricity through his fists twice, using that ability to paralyze his opponent.
  • Blitz of the Whateley Universe has touch-based electrical powers, so she has to make contact to shock you. And she's a martial artist. So this is exactly her style of fighting. She's learning to use a meteor hammer.

    Western Animation 
  • Firebenders in Avatar: The Last Airbender have done this on occasion, with a particularly spectacular example in "The Southern Raiders" when two of these collided with each other, causing an explosion.
    • Some Earthbenders have also been seen to surround their fists (or entire bodies) with rock, although it typically seems to be a defensive strategy.
  • In it's sequel,The Legend of Korra, Tahno does a waterbending uppercut, though he fails to connect.
    • The Equalists and Asami use "taser-gloves" to deliver electrified punches.
    • Korra uses Airbending like this, as it is the most she can do until she gets more training. That said, she does beat Amon with it.
  • In one episode of The Boondocks, Huey dons a glove that gives him electrically charged punches.
  • In a recent episode of Family Guy, during the fight between Peter and Ernie the giant chicken, Ernie gets his fist on fire and uses it as a punching weapon.
  • On Justice League Unlimited, Batman has been known to use taser-equipped brass knuckles.
  • Static Shock. Go on, guess what element.

    Real Life 
  • Taser gloves can let you give electric shocks when punching, such as in this video.

Alternative Title(s): Elemental Kick


Cold Claw

The Ice Vellumental's claw attack summons ice.

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