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Weapon of X-Slaying

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"An extra +10 against anything that starts with the letter J. Don't ask why. Don't ask what Vorpal means, either."
Vorpal Sword, Munchkin

A weapon which gets extra bonuses against a specific enemy type. Sometimes they may outright kill them in one hit.

Ways this can happen:

It's particularly common for these weapons to be specialized for killing dragons; weapons meant to destroy The Undead are also fairly common.

A subtrope of Situational Sword, and a form of Situational Damage Attack. Related is Achilles' Heel, which this weapon can be. If the enemy type in question is rare, the weapon falls under Highly Specific Counterplay.

Unique-named weapons with this kind of property often come with Exactly What It Says on the Tin naming.

Truth in Television to the extent that real weapons are designed to be used against specific types of target in specific types of situations; you can't shoot down a jet fighter with an antisubmarine torpedo. Compare Hunter of Monsters, who is a person dedicated to slaying a specific enemy type.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk: The Dragonslayer doesn't start out as one of these — while it has its name from a king commissioning a weapon capable of killing a dragon, its forger had never seen a dragon or even known if they existed, so nothing makes it specialized in actual dragon slaying — but after years of Guts using it against demons, it eventually gains the ability to kill even demons that are ethereal and impervious to normal weapons. It is speculated that it can even wound the Godhand themselves.
  • Bleach: Technically the Zanpakuto are used to release dead souls and cut down Hollows. This doesn't make them any better or worse at actually fighting Hollows specifically, but the Zanpakuto do purify the sins of the Hollows, allowing them to pass on to Soul Society if they haven't commited sins in their human life.
  • A Certain Magical Index: One story arc revolves around a weapon called the Stab Sword, which is able to kill Saints.
  • Digimon Adventure: WarGreymon's spiked gauntlets are called "Dramon Destroyers", and are deadly weapons against dragon Digimon. This becomes important late in the series, where they allow him to bring down two of the Dark Master, MetalSeadramon and Machinedramon.
  • Nasuverse:
    • Noble Phantasms can obtain this type of property from their Servant's associated legends. Arondight and Balmung have a bonus against any being associated with dragons due to their wielders both being known to have slain one. In Fate/stay night, it's mentioned that Saber, as Arturia Pendragon, is weak to such anti-dragon weapons, though she never actually faces any. She does end up facing one in Fate/Zero, the previously mentioned Arondight, but she's more unnerved by who's wielding said weapon — her former friend, Lancelot.
    • Fate/Zero: Kiritsugu Emiya's Origin Bullets are designed to kill mages. They can pierce through any magic defenses, and once they enter the target's body, they will eventually cause the target's magic circuits to run wild and explode. The effect becomes greater the more powerful the target's magic. The number of Origin Bullets is relatively sparse, as they are made out of Kiritsugu's own rib, thus he cannot simply make them whenever he wants.
  • Record of Lodoss War has a set of magical halberds enchanted to slay one specific dragon. These prove effective despite the heroes having to jump off a cliff to hit the dragon's head.
  • Symphogear:
    • While effective to the point of overkill in most situations, the Symphogear system was initially developed to combat a type of Eldritch Abomination called the Noise. More specifically, using a Symphogear forces any Noise within earshot into a tangible state that can be slain in the first place, and makes the wielder immune to their Touch of Death.
    • The relic fragments used to create a particular gear can also give it properties along these lines. Senshou Jing, for example, is especially effective against other Symphogears because of its curse-dispelling light, and because Gungnir also served as the Lance of Longinus in this series, its gear weaponizes the concept of deicide. Thanks to this, Hibiki is capable of punching right through the defenses of divine beings.
  • Ushio and Tora: The Beast Spear is an Empathic Weapon which was forged to kill Hakumen no Mono and can slay Youkai of all sorts with ease, though sometimes they may have defenses against the terrible blade. Most notably, the blade is lethal only to Youkai, as it phases harmlessly through human people. In fact, when Ushio has to face human opponents, he has to hit them with the wooden pole of the weapon. Subverted instead with the buddhist weapons (staves, vajra and dharma wheels) employed by the Kohamei sect, as they simply channel and increase the spiritual power of the user and have no demon-slaying propriety on their own.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: The Hedron Blade can grant its wielder the Deathtouch ability in combat with colorless creatures. Flavor-wise this is likely meant to deal with the Eldrazi, but in practice it works just as well against the vast majority of artifact creatures (Eldrazi and most artifact creatures are colorless).
  • Munchkin:
    • The "Vorpal Sword", which plays this trope straight, as it grants an extra bonus against enemies whose name begins with a J. This is a reference to Jabberwocky, the origin of the term "vorpal sword", where one is used to fight the Jabberwock, which is in an earlier set.
    • Inverted by the "Sword of Slaying Everything Except Squid". It gives a substantial bonus, but against squid (there are two in the decks — karate squid and Squidzilla) the fight is automatically lost.

    Fan Works 
  • The Guy Who Cried Grendel: Grendel's Claw (the knife the titular Grendel uses) has serious buffs across the board, but is especially effective against Daemons. Of course, it was an ordinary knife until Grendel used it to kill so many daemons that it became a Knife of Daemon Slaying.
  • Keyblades are turned into this in Infinity Train: Boiling Point: They're created by the Train in order to help their users fight back, if necessary, against the Denizens created by the Heart System.
  • In the Turning Red fic Turning Red: The Panda Conspiracy, Soul Slayer is the only weapon able to outright kill red panda spirits.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Aquaman: Arthur/Aquaman and other Atlanteans are impervious to ordinary weapons, but not to Atlantean weapons. Black Manta stabs Aquaman with an Atlantean blade, then stabs the wound with his ordinary dagger, which is extremely painful.
  • Avengers: Infinity War: Thor realizes the heroes won't be able to kill Thanos with their standard weaponry, so he, Rocket, and Groot forge Stormbreaker, an axe specifically designed to kill Thanos. When used in the climax, it works marvelously; it effortlessly shreds through Thanos's defenses and mortally wounds him. It only fails to kill him outright because Thor makes the Tragic Mistake of twisting the knife rather than finishing Thanos off, giving the latter time to perform his Badass Fingersnap.
  • The Gamers has the Sword of Ogre Decapitation, combining a favored enemy with a favored method of dispatching them.

  • Blood Sword: The Blood Sword and Demon's Claw can both destroy an undead with a single blow if you're lucky. Is the only way to put down the continuously-regenerating True Magi in the final battle.
  • The Chronicles of Dorsa:
    • Joslyn is given a magical spear for killing an undatai by the small men, since no ordinary weapon can do the deed.
    • Later, she gets her Ku-sai's sword, which will drive a shadow out of any host's body with just one cut.
  • Fighting Fantasy: In most books in which you set out to defeat a specific evil (Chaos Warriors, Undead, Demons, and the like), there is one to be found and make battles much easier. It is very often the only way to stand a chance against the Final Boss. Overlaps with Infinity +1 Sword, as they always give you a hefty power boost.
    • House of Hell: Hell Demons can only be harmed by the powerful Kris dagger, which you must obtain before the final confrontation.
    • Beneath Nightmare Castle: The Trident of Skarlos was made to destroy the undead and abominations created through sorcery.
    • Night Dragon: You must recover a sword made specifically to slay the Night Dragon, who's actually paralyzed with fear in front of the weapon, allowing you to automatically win the first round of combat.
    • Many of the series' main villains are vulnerable to their own weapons, which you must obtain to even complete the game. Including Razaak's sword in Crypt of the Sorcerer, the Lizard King's Fire Sword in Island of the Lizard King, the Nightstar from Vault of the Vampire which deals massive damage to Count Heydrich, among others.
    • Stormslayer is a little different in this regard: the magic sword you start with gives you bonuses against dragons, but not the elementals that make up the majority of the monsters you fight. It's magical mainly to skip over the question of how you can hurt such monsters. Regardless, there are a few dragons to fight in the book, so the bonus is still applicable.
    • Subverted with The Spear of Doom from Legend of the Shadow Warriors. You use it NOT to kill Voivod, the main villain, but to resurrect him back to human form. Killing Voivod in battle will only have him resurrecting immediately and killing you on the spot.
  • Lone Wolf:
    • The Sommerswerd is a god-forged golden blade, devastating against undead, and deadly even for the Darklords. It is stated late in the series that it could be lethal even against God of Evil Naar. To be honest, it's quite good at killing anything anyway — none of the extremely powerful entities encountered in the series, including the Chaos-master or the Deathlord of Ixia, show any immunity toward it.
    • The various evil weapons favored by the Darklords have one thing in common: they give combat bonus against other Darklords, and are among the very few things able to kill them permanently. Those guys truly have their priorities in order.
    • The jewelled mace from book 5 gives a bonus against illusory creatures.
    • The enchanted bullwhip from book 10 can hit (and gives a bonus against) immaterial specters.
    • The Dessi Stone is a magic gem that, when merged into the hilt of any ordinary weapon, can turn it into an undead slayer.
    • Several of the weapons forged by Lone Wolf with Kai Weaponcraft in the New Order series have a CS bonus when used against specific creatures, like reptiles, undead, stone beings, magic-users, flying monsters or fire-breathers, respectively.
  • Way of the Tiger: Played against the hero; at one point, master assassin Mandrake will forge a special enchanted rapier/cane sword with an inscribed rune which makes it the "Avenger-Slaying Rapier" and could allow him to kill the protagonist with a mere scratch. It is wielded by the Impostor in the final book of the series.

  • Book of Swords: Dragonslicer exists to bring dragons down, and can slice through their scales, flesh and bones with ease.
  • Dragonlance: The eponymous weapons are exceptionally effective against dragons.
  • Invoked and a little deconstructed in Fengshen Yanyi: when faced by his first strong taoist opponents, Jiang Ziya is given the God-beating Whip, a super powerful wooden whip/cudgel which is used by the Jade Emperor to punish rebellious gods. However, the caveat of this weapon is that while it can hurt deities and kill Immortals with the potential to become gods (the ones on the Fengshen list), it does nothing to mere mortals or unremarkable immortals. Furthermore, since the creator of the weapon was a taoist, the whip is powerless against those who will be deified in the buddhist pantheon (as seen with the Mo Brothers, destinated to become the Four Heavenly Kings/Lokapala of Buddhism).
  • Gotrek & Felix: Felix's sword Karaghul is especially effective against dragons, and provides its wielder with protection from their fiery breath.
  • Demons in Heralds of Valdemar are largely immune to normal weapons. Magic can kill them, and fire, but "demon-slaying blades" are also mentioned. Tarma and Kethry aren't sure if Kethry's sword Need qualifies as that last, but she certainly does make one scream. In Kerowyn's hands she certainly does kill a demon leech. Need's unique properties mean that in the hands of a non-magic-using fighter she's Anti-Magic, both protecting her wielder from any form of magic they don't consent to the effects of and carving effortlessly through magic shields and defences. This is helpful versus demons but has a lot of other applications too.
  • Journey to Chaos: Annala created a bow that makes the arrows nocked to it capable of doing great harm to reapers. She calls it a "Deathkiller bow". While it can "kill them" in terms of destroying their physical body, it cannot (as of Mana Mutation Menace) truly destroy them.
  • Keeper of the Swords: Fess the necromancer occasionally uses a dwarven falchion of undead slaying to pacify those unruly zombies.
  • Lord Demon: Many of the demons have weapons that are attuned to kill them specifically. Kai Wren shows up to one duel wielding the sword made to kill his opponent, and the wounds he sustains don't heal properly. Kai Wren also has an Oh, Crap! moment when he realizes just who has the weapon made to kill him.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Arnorian shortswords carried by the hobbits turn out to be these: they were enchanted by the Arnorian Dunedain to break the Witch King's defensive spells and make him vulnerable. Merry Brandybuck eventually stabs the Witch King with his blade, the spells break, and in the next second Eowyn slays the Witch King.
  • The Prism Pentad: The Scourge of Rkard is amazingly effective against the Dragon and the various Sorcerer Kings.
  • Rai Kirah: The silver Warden's knife can be changed to whatever weapon is needed, and can slice through the incorporeal body of a demon if you can calculate exactly where that is. Since it's also the only weapon that can be taken beyond a portal, which is where Wardens fight demons, it's also generally the only weapon the can slay demons.
  • The Stormlight Archive has the soul-stealing daggers used to permanently kill the Heralds. There are also weapons infused with anti-Voidlight (which can annihilate the Fused), and anti-Stormlight (which can kill the normally immortal spren).
  • The Sun Sword: The Sun Sword and the Five were made specifically to kill demons.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: Rune-enchanted swords are often meant for killing some specific foe, such as dragons, orcs, or goblins. They tend to be intensely underwhelming when used against anything else.
  • Fallen angels in Fallen can only be killed by starshots, special arrows made by Abbadon himself.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Valyrian Steel is the only thing that can kill White Walkers, aside from Obsidian.
  • Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Well, not so much slaying it appears, but like in Alice in Wonderland, the Vorpal Blade seems to be the only weapon which can harm the Jabberwocky, at least to the extent of being able to keep it pinned to a wall indefinitely. Like in that film, this is a Mythology Gag to the blade being the one used on the creature in the poem named for it.
  • Shadow and Bone: In the back half of the second season, the Crows are tasked with retrieving the Neshyenyer, a legendary weapon forged by a Saint, because the heroes believe it to be the only thing capable of slaying Kirigan's shadow creatures. They assumed correctly.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Ma'Chello devoted his entire adult life to creating "weapons to defeat the Goa'uld", including a sort of worm engineered to kill a Goa'uld parasite. Although the worm kills the host as well, clearly Ma'Chello thought it was more precise than that (or else, those accidentally unleashed by SG-1 were unfinished prototypes), as it informs the host of their freedom as it exits.
    • The Transphase Eradication Rod is a weapon developed by the Goa'uld to fight the Re'tu, invisible insectoid aliens who are 180° out of phase with the rest of the world. It projects a narrow beam revealing the Re'tu to normal vision, before firing a multiphase energy bolt capable of blowing it up. TER are also efficient against the standard Goa'uld Invisibility Cloak (and although we don't see it used on a non-Re'tu, it can be implied from Carter threatening Nirrti with one that they'd be deadly to in-phase beings as well).
    • The SGC and Tok'ra worked together to develop the energy weapon for killing Anubis' Kull warriors, which is of indeterminate use against anything else but will kill Kull in a couple shots by negating the Ancient phlebotinum that brought them to life in the first place.
    • With the help of the Ancient Knowledge Repository and Asgard tech, O'Neill built the Replicator disruptor, a weapon that disrupts the ability of individual Replicator blocks to communicate with each other. Anti-Replicator guns were later adapted from it in Stargate Atlantis to fight the Asurans.
    • The most impressive one, though, is certainly the Sangraal (the Holy Grail itself), designed by Merlin to wipe out all the ascended beings from a galaxy. It is finally used on the Ori in season 10 episode "The Shroud", but it isn't before the movie Stargate: The Ark of Truth that its efficiency is confirmed.
  • In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, intermittent encounters with the Gorn lead to Starfleet equipping each starship with a cache of weapons specifically designed to fight them, including nitrogen grenades that are deadly to reptiloids.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Arkham Horror has a cross that counts as a magical weapon, except it only provides a combat bonus against undead enemies.
  • Beast: The Primordial has this as one of the Anathemas that Heroes may place upon the titual Beasts. Where most Anathemas give a Beast some kind of Kryptonite Factor or Fatal Flaw inherent to its own nature, the Weaponbound Anathema externalizes the vulnerability into a single weapon which is supernaturally potent against the Beast to which it is linked.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • There are plenty of spells that can produce this effect temporarily when cast on a weapon, such as bladebane, ghost bane weapon, spear of Valarian, or undead bane weapon. There's also foebane and bane bow, which are Ranger spells and work on their favored enemies. The old weapon bless spell from Oriental Adventures gives a hefty bonus, but only for one strike and against one specific creature (which doesn't need to be named, but must be unambiguously identified).
    • The magic item lists in most editions have a lot of these — "sword +2, giant slayer", "arrow of slaying", etc.
    • Third Edition generalizes these with the "bane" effect (+2 to attack rolls, with an additional +2d6+2 damage against specified enemy). The "slaying" effect (found only on ammunition) instead gives a chance for a One-Hit Kill.
    • The "dread" enchantment from the Epic Level Handbook is bane with even greater bonuses than normal bane, along with a potential One-Hit Kill effect against its chosen target. Unfortunately, it's priced equivalent to a +7 bonus, making it Awesome, but Impractical, unless you're expecting to fight a lot of enemies of the designated type.
    • Holy, unholy, axiomatic, and anarchic weapons deal 2d6 extra damage against enemies of a opposing Character Alignment (e.g. a holy sword against evil enemies).
    • The Hammer of Thunderbolts, if hurled by a dwarf aware of its power, can One-Hit Kill giants, while hurling the Dwarven Thrower deals bonus damage to giants.
    • The Sun Blade is a classic magic item dating back from 1st edition; its bonus increase against evil creatures, and it does double damage against undead.
    • The Mace of Disruption also does double damage to undead and forces them to save against being turned by the equivalent of a 12th level cleric or be destroyed. In game terms, any undead of wraith strength or less is automatically pulverized/dissipated/snuffed out when struck, and even a lich has a 20% chance of suffering a One-Hit Kill. note  The Mace of Smiting has a similar effect on golems and other constructs.
    • The 3.5th edition's Shifter's Sorrow two-bladed sword inflicts more damage to shapechangers, and can force one to return to its true form on a successful hit.
    • Complete Arcane introduces Starmetal, a rare alloy that's as strong as adamantine, and weapons made of it have the additional advantage of inflicting more damage to extraplanar creatures when on the Material Plane.
    • Shiftsilver from Dragon #355 is made from a mix of silver, steel, and the blood of a willing shifter donor. It's stronger than ordinary alchemical silver, and beyond bypassing silver damage reduction, weapons made of shiftsilver also inflicts +2 damage to such creatures.
    • Also from 3rd Edition, the Magic Item Compendium has the weapon augment crystals, which can be attached to weaponry to give them additional powers. Several gives bonuses to fight specific creatures (demolition crystal against constructs, fiendslayer crystal against evil outsiders, truedeath crystal against undead). They are way less expensive than bane weapons, and much more versatile since you can switch crystals depending on the situation.
    • In 5th Edition, Holy Avenger swords inflict a significant amount of bonus damage if used against undead or fiends.
  • Fabula Ultima has several rare weapons that inflict extra damage when attacking enemies belonging to certain NPC species. The Heart Knife deals extra damage against demons, for instance, while the Diamond Pistol and the Artisan's Mallet both deal extra damage against constructs.
  • Pathfinder has many of the same enchantments as its parent game, D&D.
    • A unique example is Raven's Head, a mace recovered by the PCs at the end of Wake of the Watcher, the fourth part of the Carrion Crown adventure path. It allows a cleric wielder to channel positive energy through it to deal additional damage to undead foes, and also posesses the "disruption" quality, meaning any undead hit by it must save or be destroyed. The save is fairly low, but considering that 1) every save has a minimum 5% chance of failure, 2) the save-or-die triggers every time the weapon hits an undead, possibly multiple times in a round and 3) the last two parts of the adventure path are overwhelmingly dominated by undead enemies, the "dusting" effect is very likely to come into play.
    • In the 2nd edition Bestiary 2, even though vorpal swords are great against anything living with a head, it turns out that the vorpal sword was originally made to kill the mighty Jabberwocky (which have an amazing 23 challenge rating; in comparison almost all dragons are under 20). These creatures are sent by the Eldest, fairy gods of the First World to wreak havoc on the Prime Material Plane. Besides the usual head-chopping ability, vorpal swords cause fear to Jabberwocks and get a massive +20 damage per hit on a Jabberwocky.

    Video Games 
  • The Aethra Chronicles: Some weapons do extra damage against certain types of enemies. For example, the Sword of Right is an anti-undead weapon.
  • Age of Wonders:
    • The first game has a "Dragon Slaying" unit ability available to heroes and given to Knights in the expansion.
    • Age of Wonders 3 has quite a number of units and items with "X Slayer" where X can be anything from a specific race to dragons to summoned units. It gives +3 damage, which works out to roughly a 25% bonus most of the time so it's quite a powerful ability.
  • AI War 2: There are various units of measurment that function as stats that determines how effective the weapons of various units are, ranging from armor thickness, engine power (represented as gravitic exponent or gx), radiation shielding (albedo, with .0 being none and 1 being perfectly reflective), mass and more. While most weapons follow a "deal lots of damage against target if weapon is effective, and deal regular amounts of damage otherwise." rule, some weapons have a "deal an insane amount of damage, or close to none at all.", most commonly Mass Drivers or Sabots which can heavily damage or outright instant kill anything with high mass, but barely scratch a small fighter or drone. And others follow a "the more of this stat it has, the more damage it does" rule, such as Seeker turrets with mass or Eyebots with energy consumption; if an enemy exaggerates this characteristic, even if it's a gigantic Extragalactic War vessel, it will suffer wildly.
  • Ancient Domains of Mystery follows a similar model to Angband; the possible values of X in this case include humanoids (which includes some bosses and most Elite Mooks).
  • Angband has a set of Slay X properties (Evil, Orc, Demon, Undead, Troll, Giant, Animal, and Dragon), which can be found in various combinations on ego and artifact weapons.
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • It has the Mace of Disruption, which is very disrupty and allows you to plough through all but the most durable undead with ease. Amusingly if you find the sidequest to upgrade it it even works on Kangaxx the Demilich, whose piss-poor save versus death spells means he stands a good chance of eating an instant kill the round after you strip his spell protections.
    • The Azure Axe has the same "save or die" effect on undead as the Mace of Disruption. There is a small chance it even works on Bohdi.
    • The expansion added yet another disrupting weapon, the Rune Hammer. Like the Mace of Disruption, it can be upgraded with the right item.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night: The Zangetsuto, a katana whose name translates to "Sword that cuts the moon", always inflicts a Critical Hit if used against the moon demon Gremory.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has the Werebane, which is supposed to do more damage against werebeasts. It doesn't. Apparently they didn't program it correctly...
  • Crossfire has slaying weapons, and, when a deity blesses someone's weapon, it usually acquires the slaying property vs. the kind of creatures this deity doesn't like.
  • Dark Souls:
    • From the original game, all Black Knight weapons do extra damage to demons, and any weapon that does divine damage will stop the skeletons in the Catacombs from being revived by the necromancers. Occult weapons otoh deal extra damage to divine enemies such as the Black Knights and Silver Knights which has interesting implications given that an Occult Club can be found in a room in Anor Londo that belonged to Havel the Rock (supposedly one of Gwyn's most trusted subordinates)...
    • Dark Souls III boasts several examples:
      • The Hollowslayer Greatsword does extra damage to Hollows, as one can assume from its name. It is the sword formerly owned by Lucatiel of Mirrah from Dark Souls II, and the damage bonus comes from her intense fear of losing her memories and sense of self due to Hollowing, which still lingers within the blade many years later. This extends from rank and file Hollows all the way to the final bosses of the two DLC expansions, Friede (who is one of the founders of the Sable Church of Londor the Kingdom of Hollows) and Slave Knight Gael (after he is overtaken by the Dark Soul in the second phase of his fight).
      • The Abyss Watchers were dedicated to hunting the creatures of the Abyss. As a result, the weapons formed from their soul such as their signature Farron Greatsword and the sword of their inspiration Knight Artorias deal more damage against Abyssal enemies. This includes the Superboss of the Ringed City Darkeater Midir, an Archdragon who has been tainted by the Abyss after fighting it for so long.
      • Black Knight Weapons also appear in this game and still do extra damage against Demons. That said, there aren't many Demons left by the time this game takes place.
      • Weapons like the Dragonslayer's Axe, Dragonslayer's Greataxe, Dragonslayer Spear, and the Lothric Knight Greatsword fit this lore-wise, but in gameplay simply deal some lightning damage (dragons in this series are vulnerable to lightning).
  • Dead or School has weapon properties that can increase the damage against certain enemy types. The most notable is the unique flamethrower, the Anti-Mutant Weapon which does 100% more damage against mutant enemies. This is the highest damage bonus versus enemy type and it's unique to that weapon. Unfortunately like most of these unique weapons, they are Awesome, but Impractical by way of Power Up Let Down. These unique weapons have unique abilities but often have a low weapon grade, and the Anti-Mutant Weapon is of especially poor quality with a grade of Normal (the 3rd worst grade), so it has a low damage base that quickly goes obsolete after the boss you use it against.
  • Diablo:
    • The first game had a couple unlisted bonuses: "mace" weapons do +50% damage to Undead monsters but only half damage to Animals, while swords do the opposite.
    • Diablo II kept the 'blunt hurt undead' theme (but made it visible), and added some anti-undead or anti-demon weapon enchantments.
    • Diablo III has weapons and other equipment that give damage bonuses against elite monsters, which are particularly prized in high-level play.
  • Digimon: WarGreymon is equipped with a pair of massive claws called the Dramon Killers or Dramon destroyers, which deal tremendous damage to Dramon-type Digimon (that is, to dragons).
  • Dragon Age: Weapons with bonuses against the Darkspawn, undead, and/or demons are pretty commonplace in the series, but Dragon Age II also has a greatsword with a large bonus against Qunari. Fittingly, you pick it up shortly before storming a Qunari stronghold. In the following act, a Qunari gives you a sword specialized against humans (probably as a stealth comeback). Curiously enough in Dragon Age: Origins, weapons that do extra damage against Darkspawn and Dragons do no extra damage against the Archdemon, implying that despite its appearance it is something else entirely.
  • Dragon Quest: Most games have an assortment of these, doing higher damage against the designated enemy (e.g. weapons with "metal" at the start of the name usually do extra damage when they hit a Metal Slime, while the dragonsbane does extra damage to dragons).
  • In Drakensang, dwarves have the Wyrmslayer Ax (a small hatchet with a very big blade), the Dragonslayer Axe, the Dragon-Crushing hammer, the Dragon-Piercer crossbow and the Dragon Spear (as in a trident made for skewering dragons). Yes, before you ask, dwarves hate dragons, and even have something like seven different words to define the death of a dragon.
  • Dungeon Crawl:
    • The artefact weapon lance Wyrmbane has a unique dragon-slaying brand that causes it to do 75% extra damage against dragons, drakes, draconians, and those in Dragon Form. If you kill a sufficiently powerful draconic enemy with it, it also hits harder and becomes more accurate. At its maximum potential, it's an Infinity +1 Sword that's pretty great against things that aren't draconic too.
    • Wyrmbane's brand wasn't always so unique. Prior to version 0.15, the aforementioned dragon-slaying brand could also generate on any polearm.
    • Before version 0.13. there were also weapons of orc slaying, which simply gave a damage bonus against orcs. If you wielded one while also being an orc yourself, you got a message about feeling suicidal.
    • Weapons with the holy wrath brand do extra damage to demons and undead. The artifact mace Undeadhunter does even more damage to undead but has no extra effect on demons.
  • EarthBound has spray bottles filled with Rust Promoter (which damages robots) and Insecticide (guess).
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has a few here and there:
    • Silver swords, dropped by the werewolf-hunting Silver Hands, do more damage to undead, werebears, and werewolves.
    • There's a woodcutting axe called the Poacher's Axe that does extra damage to animals (which can then be disenchanted and applied to other weapons).
    • There also exists a unique bow with a similar enchantment called the Bow of the Hunt, but whose enchantment can't be copied.
    • The artifact axe Wuuthrad does more damage to Elves. The head of the axe depicts an elf screaming in pain, and the name "Wuuthrad" translates to "Elf-Grinder".
    • There also exists a weapon that does more damage to Nords in the game's code, but it's sadly Dummied Out.
    • The Daedric artifact Dawnbreaker, a sword which not only sets regular foes on fire but does extra damage to undead. Killing an undead enemy with it has a chance to cause an explosion that does massive damage to all undead caught in the blast radius. Any undead tough enough to survive the initial explosion will then be set on fire for even more damage and recieve a debuff that makes them flee in terror. It is not advisable to use this weapon if you are a vampire, and thus undead yourself.
    • Dragonbane, a one-handed sword you obtain in Sky Haven Temple, does extra damage against dragons and shock damage against everything else. It's impractical against the latter though, since its charge is low and unlike other shock weapons it doesn't drain magicka.
    • Trollsbane is a warhammer that does more damage to trolls.
    • The MacGuffin of the Dawnguard DLC is Auriel's Bow, a bow of a god that adds sun damage to arrows fired from it, which only effects undead, at least when you shoot normal arrows with it. Elven arrows blessed by a priest of Auriel will also produce an explosion of sun damage when fired from Auriel's bow, allowing it to damage multiple undead enemies with one shot, and if fired at the sun will call down blasts of sun damage. It also can cause a solar eclipse if an elven arrow tainted with the blood of a daughter of Coldharbor is shot at the sun with it.
    • Two other weapons that appear in Dawnguard are the Dawnguard Rune Axe, which does an increasing amount of sun damage the more undead it has killed, but resets at sunrise, and the Dawnguard Rune Shield, which covers its wielder in a sun damage aura when used for blocking attacks.
    • Dragonborn gives us a mace called Horksbane, which does extra damage to horkers.
  • EverQuest has a "Bane" effect which increases damage towards a particular species of monsters.
  • Extinction: The Raveni monsters can only be damaged if your sword absorbs energy from magic runes. When charged fully you can sever limbs and heads with one swing.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 3 has pulse grenades and pulse mines dedicated to fighting robots. There is also a stick that makes mole rats heads explode.
    • Fallout: New Vegas expands on this by adding armour piercing and hollow point rounds for some standard guns to make them more effective against armoured or soft targets respectively. Pulse slugs are added for shotguns to make them viable weapons against robots.
    • Fallout 4:
      • some of the legendary weapon prefixes add +50% damage when a weapon is used against a particular enemy type. These prefixes include Assassin's (effective against humans), Exterminator's (Insects and Mirelurks), Hunter's (animals), Ghoul slayer's (Ghouls), Mutant slayer's (Super mutants) and Troubleshooter's (robots).
      • Radiation damage weapons such as the gamma gun and radium rifle are particularly effective against humans, but of limited use against everything else.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy and some of its sequels have various weapons of this kind. They didn't work in the first game, however, due to a bug (which was fixed in the remakes). The Excalibur took the cake by applying the slayer effect to every enemy.
    • Final Fantasy IV has the Ogrekiller axe. Guess what it deals extra damage to? It also has the Mage Masher dagger, which not only deals additional damage to magic users but also has a chance to silence them.
    • Final Fantasy VI includes a dirk that deals double damage to humans.
    • Final Fantasy IX allows characters to equip various "killer" abilities (e.g. Demonkiller, Birdkiller) that cause whatever weapon they have to deal bonus damage.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • A lance called Horseslayer which is highly effective against cavalry.
    • The Armorslayer is a sword which inflicts extra damage on armored enemies like Knights and Generals. It also exists in Lance (Heavy Spear) and Axe (Hammer) varieties.
    • Any "Blessed" weapon is exceptionally proficient for killing the eldritch monsters of whichever Fire Emblem game you're playing.
    • There are also the Axereaver, Swordreaver and Lancereaver weapons, which reverse the weapon triangle by being effective against the weapon referred to in their name.
    • In most games, the main character gets a Royal Rapier that causes extra damage against both armored and horse-mounted units. Some characters get a special weapon that has the same effect.
  • Guilty Gear: Outrage, a Wave-Motion Gun superweapon that Sol Badguy built to destroy Gears. It works by greatly amplifying the user's magical potential so they can level mountains in a single shot - Gears being basically Our Demons Are Different mixed with magical Mix-and-Match Critters are extremely difficult to destroy. Sol soon realized however that Outrage in its complete state was so absurdly powerful that even he couldn't wield it without destroying himself in the process. So he broke it into eight weaker weapons that amplify elemental magic: he kept Fireseal for himself, and later acquired Flashing Fang from the U.N HQ, incorporating the two into the Junkyard Dog Mk.III; Ky has the Thunderseal; and Anji Mito has the Zessen. Two other pieces, Dominator and Bailal are held by the Conclave, and two other pieces are unnamed and unaccounted for. At the end of Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, Sol puts Outrage back together again and uses it to one-shot a post-A God Am I I-no and save the world.
  • Icewind Dale:
    • Several weapons have bonuses against undead, but the most powerful one is found in the Heart of Winter expansion: The "Three White Doves" mace works similar to the Mace of Disruption except that this version has a better chance to score an instant kill the weaker the targeted undead is. With it, a decent fighter can easily wrap up most undead encounters by themselves.
    • The bastard sword "Amaunator's Legacy" deals a significant amount of bonus fire damage to undead only, fitting as Amaunator was an ancient sun deity who thoroughly loathed the living dead.
  • Jak 3: Wastelander had the Arc Wielder weapon, which, when upgraded for precursor orbs, dealt more damage to robots. Quite handy considering you get it just before returning to Haven City, where one of main antagonistic fractions - New Krimzon Guard - is almost exclusively them.
  • Kenshi: Many weapons deal bonus damage to certain races or creatures (though often at the cost of being less effective against other creatures). For example, the Combat Cleaver does 25% more damage to robots and Skeletons, but 10% less damage to animals.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories played this straight and averted it, by giving various cards elements, using fire type against water-type gives an extra attack boost. However using the same element heals them.
  • Kingdom of Loathing: While several examples of this are played straight, the game also parodies this with the Safarrri Hat, which grants "+15 damage against Lions". Thing is, there's only one lion in the entire game and it's not a particularly difficult encounter. It does work as advertised, however.
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2: The Taste of Power character at the beginning against a Tarasque, has +255 damage vs. Tarasque, as his first listed trait.
  • Legacy of Kain: Moebius carries a magical scepter that has the power to induce weakness in vampires.
  • The Legend of Dragoon has two ancient weapons forged to defeat Dragons and Dragoons: one of them was the Dragon Buster sword, capable of piercing the Dragoon armor. Unlike most video game examples, it's your enemy that wields it, handicapping you during your battles against him. If you activate your Dragoon Soul while in battle against him he will One-Hit KO you. However, there is an item that makes you immune to One-Hit KO attacks... Que the enemy uselessly attacking you for the entire Dragoon Soul duration.
  • Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals has a set of weapons that are extra effective against giant spiders, another that is the same for lizard (including dragons). Another set, much later, effects only dragons but has a higher base damage than the anti-lizard set.
  • Magicka has an equal number of dragons and dragon-slaying weapons. One of each.
  • Minecraft:
    • Two of the enchantments that can be applied to swords and axes fall in this category:
      • "Smite" gives a damage bonus against undead enemies such as zombies, skeletons and phantoms.
      • "Bane of Arthropods" gives this bonus against arthropod enemies, such as Giant Spiders and silverfish.
    • A trident-specific enchantment, "Impaling", gives a damage bonus against Aquatic Mooks instead. The Bedrock edition makes the enchantment work differently — it gets a damage bonus to any mob in contact with water, including those standing in rain.
  • NanoBreaker: Jake's default plasma sword is the only weapon effective against the Orgamechs, since these creatures are spawned from nanomachines and feeds on metal. In the opening FMV, the police and military attempts to suppress the Orgamechs results in their buullets getting absorbed by these monsters, who proceeds to massacre and assimilate everyone in the area.
  • NetHack: There's a group of artifact weapons known collectively in the community as the "banes". Each weapon does double damage to a specific type of monster, and in an update several of them gained additional powers while wielded that help fight them, such as Dragonbane granting the Reflection ability to protect the wielder from dragon's Breath Weapons. That said they're generally considered underpowered and not worth using, and many variants of the game add further special abilities to more of them. There's also the Vorpal Blade, which can One-Hit Kill anything with a head 5% of the time, does so 100% of the time against jabberwocks.
  • Octopath Traveler: The weapon Snakesbane appears as a key item in a side story. True to its name, it has an enchantment upon it that allows the sword to easily cleave any snake in two - but the weapon itself is so old and rusty that it's useless against anything else.
  • In PlanetSide 2, the NS-AM7 "Archer" rifle hits like a wet noodle against vehicles and infantry - in fact, it's the only bolt action rifle that can't kill with one headshot - but has a massive damage multiplier against MAX Powered Armor and is able to kill them with three body shots or two headshots.
  • Discounting the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors across the entire Pokémon series, a few moves have this sort of property. Notably, Pokémon Sword and Shield have three such moves: Behemoth Blade, Behemoth Bash and Dynamax Cannon, which all do double damage to Pokemon who are Dynamaxed. They are the signature moves of Crowned Zacian, Crowned Zamazenta and Eternatus, respectively.
  • RemiLore: Lost Girl in the Lands of Lore: The hammer "Orc's Bane" just has "+Damage Boost vs. Frozen" and is described as "A war hammer of average weight.", but its name implies a focus on damaging orcs.
  • RuneScape has several examples:
    • Silverlight and its upgraded form Darklight are swords that do much higher damage when used against demons and are required to kill certain demons. Holy water is also more effective against demons and can be used in place Darklight when fighting Tormented Demons. Demon Slayer crossbows also do more damage against demons.
    • Balmung is more effective against Dagganoths and is required to kill the second Dagganoth queen.
    • The dagger Keris is more effective against Kalphites and Scarabites.
    • The Wolfbane dagger prevent werewolves from transforming while the player is wielding it, but it doesn't have any effect on werewolves that are already transformed.
    • Silver weapons or blisterwood weapons are required damage some kinds of vampyres. Vampyre juvinates cannot be killed without the Rod of Ivandus or it's upgrade the Ivandus Flail, because when their health is low they will turn into mist and run away unless the player traps them with the Rod's special attack and uses a Guthix balance potion on them, which will either kill them, turn them into a human, or turn them into an angry vampyre, which can be killed with any weapon. Vyrewatch are immune to all weapons except for the Ivandus flail and blisterwood weapons, but cannot escape by turning into mist. The most powerful blisterwood weapon is the Sunspear, which not only kills vyrewatch, but also destroys their corpses, saving the player from having to cremate the corpse for a reward.
    • Turoths and Kurasks cannot be harmed without a leaf-bladed sword or spear, broad bolts or arrows, or the slayer dart spell, which can only be cast using a slayer's staff, a staff of light, a staff of darkness, or an abyssal wand and orb.
    • The Brine Sabre and Brackish blade are more effective against crabs.
    • Gadderhammer is more effective against shades.
    • Bane ore can be tuned to a specific kind of monster so it can be made into arrows or bolts that are more effective against that kind of monster. Rune dragons require dragonbane arrows or bolts to damage them in their first phase. With the Mining and Smithing Rework, it also became possible to make bane swords that are extra effective against certain enemies. Unlike the bolts and arrows, they are made by tuning an already made bane sword instead of tuning the ore and then making weapons from it.
    • Ice arrows are the only weapon that can harm The Fire Warrior of Lesarkus. They also are the only ranged weapon Fareed isn't immune to, though you aren't required use them as he is also weak to water spells and normal melee attacks. But they aren't more effective against any other fire creatures.
    • Augmented weapons can have perks applied to them to make them more effective against dragons, undead, or demons.
    • Brutal arrows (special arrows with a blunt tip), which can only be fired from an ogre composite bow, are the only weapons that do full damage against undead ogres, all other weapons do about 75% less damage.
    • Both versions of the Hexhunter bow are more effective against enemies that use magic, and the Terrasaur maul is more effect against enemies that use ranged.
    • The undead wizard Viyeldi can only be killed with the dark dagger, which turns it into the glowing dagger. In both forms the dagger is useless for anything else besides looking cool as it is the worst weapon in the game that isn't a Joke Item.
    • Zanik's crossbow has a special attack that is more effective against enemies that are using prayers or are wearing equipment associated with any of the gods. It is also the only thing that can kill Bandos's avatar, which it was specially designed for.
    • All bone weapons including Zanik's crossbow are more effective against cave crawlers.
    • Korasi's sword has a special attack that is helpful for fighting the Pest Queen.
    • Bakriminel bolts (but not the upgraded versions), have extra effects that make them more effective against other players that are wielding magic equipment, with the effects determined by what body part you set the bolts to target.
    • The royal crossbow originally was designed to be more effective against enemies that take a long time to kill because it dealt low initial damage but high damage over time, making it very useful against bosses, but this is no longer the case since the game's combat system was reworked and it was changed to work the same way as other crossbows.
    • Ancient magicks do double damage against Muspahs.
    • Aside from weapons in the game, there also are several kinds of armor and other equipment that make your attacks more effective against specific kinds monsters.
      • The salve amulet makes your attacks more effective against undead.
      • Ghost hunter armor makes you more effective against ghosts.
      • The aforementioned demon slayer crossbow also has a matching set of demon slayer armor that boosts damage against demons.
      • Black masks, hexcrests, and focus sights respectively make melee, magic, and ranged attacks more effective against whatever creature you are currently assigned to kill by a slayer master. The full slayer helmet has the effects of all three.
      • Wearing a fire cape or a Tokhaar-Kal-Mej makes fire spells do double damage against ice strykewyrms, and also you also can't damage ice strykewyrms without a fire kape or one of the Tokhaar-Kal until you unlock the ability to kill them without one.
  • Shining Force has a variety of specialized weapons that are strong against specific types of enemies — the Mermanbuster is strong against sea creatures, the Jagged Flash is strong against flying enemies, the Elf Slayer is good against robots, and so on.
  • The Sims Medieval: One quest requires you to make a dragon-slaying sword called Wyrmslayer. Another one requires you to make Goblinsbane, to use against goblins. After the quest, your Sim can continue to use Wyrmslayer or Goblinsbane for a slight advantage over the standard longsword and a significant boost in coolness.
  • SoulBlazer had the Zantetsuken that could kill metallic enemies, and the Spirit Sword to deal with spirits. These types of enemies are immune to almost everything else and have to be avoided until the right weapon can be obtained.
  • Valkyrie Profile:
    • The series has a whole range of Slayer weapons — they tend to be breakable, making them Too Awesome to Use against anything but bosses. The game only rolls to see if a weapon breaks at the start of your enemy's turn, however, so if you finish the battle in one round, it will never make the check, allowing them to last you through the whole game. As the weapons are uniformly a one-hit kill, the only real danger of losing them comes when you're facing more than one such enemy, which happens rarely, and only after you've had the opportunity to pick up multiple weapons of the type.
    • In addition to the Slayer weapons, there are also weapons that have a Death effect based on a given element. With these, the weapon will instantly kill anything that has that elemental weakness, regardless of total HP or defenses. This includes the penultimate boss on the way to the Golden Ending, who can be killed in one round by a sword you picked up around the midpoint of the game.
    • Covenant of the Plume doesn't have the One-Hit Kill weapons, but it still has weapons with bonuses against specific monster types.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: The Squab bow, "A bow designed for bird-hunting." and its enhanced version, the Birdslayer bow. The latter is described as "Does extra damage to birds".
  • Warframe:
    • There are mods that add a damage multiplier against enemies from certain factions. This is a final multiplier, applied after all other effects, so it's extremely powerful, but the downside is having to switch out the mod between missions if you're going up against different factions.
    • The Paracesis, the Sentient Slayer. Not only can it outright disrupt the Sentients' Adaptive Ability, whenever it goes beyond Rank 30 thanks to the application of Forma (maximum of 5 for a max rank of 40), it gains bonus damage against Sentient-type foes, including Shadow Stalker.
  • West of Loathing:
    • Alice has the Bonesaw skill, which inflicts a guaranteed One-Hit Kill against skeletons but is useless against anything else.
    • The El Vibrato Teleporter teleports El Vibrato constructs away, effectively instakilling them.
  • Wizardry has weapons dealing double damage to specific types. 7-th has weapons against Dragon, Robot, Undead and, due to a silly bug, Fighter; in 8-th against Android, Beast, Demon, Dragon, Plant and Undead.
  • Wizard's Crown: The golem staff is just a normal staff unless you attack a golem with it, in which case it ignores armour and has its damage rating tripled.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles:
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: The Monado is the only weapon able to easily damage the Mechons from the Mechonis, but conversely it can't harm the sentient organic beings of the Bionis. Then the Mechons begin deploying Face Mechons, which similarly can't be harmed with the Monado because they're humans who have undergone Unwilling Roboticization.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Several Blades (especially the non-unique Blades) have skills or abilities that grant bonuses against specific monster types.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: There are a number of accessories that grant large bonuses to certain monster types. Eunie's Ouroboros form also has a finishing move that does extra damage to Moebius, the primary boss enemies of the game.

    Web Animation 
  • DEATH BATTLE!: Pokémon vs. Digimon has Charizard (and its Mega X form) face Greymon (and its evolutions). Mega Charizard X is a Dragon-type pokemon, and WarGreymon's Dramon Destroyers are extremely effective against Dragons. It does not end well for Charizard, and this property is one of the many reasons why the Digimon take this battle.

  • Erfworld:
    • The Arkenpliers allow even an unattuned user to instantly turn uncroaked units to dust.
    • When Parson realizes that Charlie is gunning for him, he mentions that Charlie (well known for being Crazy-Prepared and having magic items everyone else thinks are impossible) has surely designed his base to fight against Parson specifically, and has probably filled it with weapons that have a bonus against "fat guys from Ohio".
  • Goblins:
    • The Finger of Hell, a knife custom-designed by Dellyn (a Fantastic Racist Torture Technician) to inflict excruciating pain if used against a goblin; it's implied each of his tools has been custom-made to be particularly effective if used to torture members of a particular race.
    • Minmax finds an axe that gains an accuracy and damage bonus if the wielder is the same race as their target. He gives it to his comrade Forgath when they're attacked by Kore, since both Kore and Forgath are dwarves.
  • In The Order of the Stick, when Roy's Ancestral Greatsword is reforged with starmetal, one of the properties it gains is to sometimes emit a deadly green energy which is particularly harmful to the undead. The blacksmith offers to suppress this power, but Roy declines, since his quest involves the destruction of a particularly powerful lich.
  • Roommates makes the Orcrist this against Goblins, and even more against anybody currently holding the Goblin King title.

    Web Original