Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Swan and Shade's Intro to Versus Debating

"Goku would solo DC Comics with his massive Saiyan DICK! Also CloudStrife4Smash"
“Who would win in a fight?” A question that has plagued mankind ever since they discovered their own fists. Well, it so happens that with the right information and the proper mindset, anyone can answer that question, and you don't need witty dialogue or flashy animations to do it!

Now, sit back and enjoy the show as DEATH BATTLE! research team members and Master Debaters (hue hue) LSwan and Hero's Shade get down to business and show you the ancient ways of VS.

Keep in mind that we don't want it to seem like we're forcing our views on you, and we don't expect anyone to agree with 100% of what we say, these are simply universally accepted rules of thumb based on general consensus of various reputable VS communities. Let's begin.

What is versus debating?

We'll also be getting to what a "stomp" is later.
VS Debating, VS Battles, or simply VS, is the comprehensive and scientific analysis and often also comparison of the combat aptitude, power, and abilities of fictional characters.

For good examples of this, you can check out DEATH BATTLE’s first Goku vs Superman, KaijuD’s Power Crunch videos, or the Official Death Battle Fan Blog’s Prediction Blogs.


How to do research?

My favorite part is getting called a "chucklefuck" by Chaos.
SO! You want to do some versus debating. You’re excited for the next Death Battle episode and want to argue why you think your chosen character will totally win. How do you get started? Well, there are a variety of different ways. Hopefully you at least know about what the character(s) you’re arguing for or against are capable of, most usefully by having direct experience with the primary material (the comics, anime, video game, etc.). If not, and if you don’t have the time/money/inclination to watch/play/read the primary material, then you still have plenty of options.

The first is wikis. Wikis allow you to get a brief overview of a character’s history and capabilities (most of the time), just to get an idea of who this character is and what they can do. However, don’t be fooled, wikis weren’t written for versus debating in mind, so don’t expect in-depth analyses of their physical capabilities. For instance, I remember the Marvel wiki once described Thanos as “faster than an Olympic-level athlete.” They’re not wrong, technically, but that description ignores the fact that Thanos is able to fight competitively with characters that can move many many many many many times faster than the speed of light.

Next are respect threads. Respect threads are compilations of feats, more on those in the next section, and can be great to get a more in-depth idea of a character’s capabilities and power set along with evidence to support the claims you make, since they provide examples (images from the comics/manga, videos from the video games or movies) right there for your convenience. The only downside is that it doesn’t help out with any analysis regarding another character and how their abilities would match up.

If you want that, go to a versus debating site or wiki! Personally we recommend the Outskirts Battledome as the best and most consistent, though it’s not the be-all end-all. It’s a forum hosted on Narutoforums (ironic since most of them dislike Naruto) and has threads about character fights all the time. You can search up threads to see their take on it and the debates that were had as well as start your own if you can’t find one (though you should probably do your research first before making a thread to make sure it isn’t horribly imbalanced). The best part about it is the wiki it has that is specifically designed for versus debating where you can search up your favorite character and see how they stack up. VS Battles Wiki also works for that too, and probably has more character entries, though they tend to play a little more fast and loose with feats, so it’s not the best resource, at least with our experience.

Now speaking of feats...


Little did he know all that strength would tap out at 40 tons.
Feats are, simply put, measurable and quantifiable showings of what a character is capable of in terms of statistics (which we’ll get to in a second). This can be anything from Godzilla surviving a nuclear bomb (dura feat), Superman vaporizing a planet (Destructive feat), or Meta Knight from Kirby flying across a galaxy (speed feat).


Featured: what happens when you have a 3-way stat advantage.
Stats, short for “statistics” (though everyone just says stats), are the first and primary method of determining who would win in a fight. They are the basic measurements of a character’s physical capabilities, specifically: Destructive Capacity, Speed, and Durability. Or in layman’s terms: How much damage can you dish out? How fast are you? How much damage can you take? If one character has big enough advantages in 2 to 3 of the stat trinity, then the other character is most likely fucked.

If the stats of characters aren’t analyzed, however, the results can often be in question. Like BIG TIME. For instance, if you recall one of the Season 1 interviews with Ben and Chad, one of the most popular fight requests was a Winners/Losers Battle Royale, and they said they wouldn’t because the determination of a winner would be too complex. That’s true (and it probably woulda looked like a heaping mess of insanity, in a bad way). However, I would take umbrage at one of the examples they used. And this is not a criticism, they made it offhand to explain a concept, this wasn’t a fully-researched conclusion.

They said that Spawn would most likely win (this was before Goku vs Superman iirc), but that Doomguy could kill him with the Unmaker, using the gun’s anti-demonic properties against a guy literally cloaked in a demon.

Welllllllll, maybe if Spawn didn’t have pretty obvious super speed. He’d blitz Doomguy and tear his head off before the Unmaker’s beams ever touched him. See what I mean? Proper stat analysis and quantification can totally change a fight’s outcome.

Destructive Capacity

That's not a moon, but it IS planet-level.
The first of the stat trinity is destructive capacity, also known as DC (not to be confused with the comic book company), also known as Attack Potency or Power. Destructive capacity is a measure of energy, since every physical attack in fiction can be measured in energy. If there’s an attack that can’t be measured in energy (ie de-aging you into an infant, controlling your mind, turning you into a frog etc), then it would be hax, which we’ll cover later.

The most common unit used for quantifying DC feats is tons of tnt, aka “TNT Equivalents”, most commonly referred to as simply “tons” (so make sure you don’t immediately jump to tons of force, for example). For weaker feats you’ll see joules be used, and for the EXTREMELY powerful feats you’ll see FOE be used. How powerful? Well, 1 FOE is the amount of energy expressed in a supernova.

The important thing to think about with destructive capacity in a versus debate is that it’s only use is to overcome the opponent’s durability. If you can produce more energy than they’ve been shown to handle, great job, you’re physically capable of harming them (barring any hax shenanigans). Does that hand you the win to a fight? Nnnnnnnnnnnnope. Superior firepower can also be completely useless. Take Scenario A for example:

Character A can produce 10 gigatons of energy and is durable enough to survive half of that.

Character B can produce 6 gigatons of energy and can survive half of that

Character B is billions of times faster than Character A.

So who would win? Character B, OBVIOUSLY. But B was weaker both in power and durability! Well, B won because of speed.

Teh fastest thing alive

Speed is probably the most interesting of all the stats because it’s the most versatile. It affects BOTH Destructive Capacity and Durability. Well, sort of. Speed is obviously how fast someone can move in a given amount of time, however, it’s a little more complicated than that in versus debate settings. We’ll get to that in a bit.

Speed = Distance/Time

Got that? Good, you passed 3rd grade. Or whenever you learned it, I honestly just made that up. There are a couple of different ways you can apply this formula to understanding how fast a character is.

First off, you can measure how fast they moved over a long distance, say flying or running. As long as you have a distance (or an assumed distance) and a timeframe (or an assumed timeframe) you’re golden. An example would be Wally West running back and forth between Tokyo and the surrounding area to evacuate the populace within 30 seconds.

Second, you can measure short distance movement. Like how fast someone moved their arm or leg or how fast someone jumped. Again, you have a distance (probably easier to calculate since you have their body for reference) and a timeframe. An example would be Joseph Joestar leaping out of the way of a light beam produced by the Red Stone of Aja. Also remember, if you throw an object or physically produce an attack that moves at a speed, that speed would apply to you too. Like if I threw a baseball at Mach 100, my arm would had to have been moving at that speed to get the baseball moving that fast. Or at least my wrist.

Third, you can take the speed of something the character reacted to. The reaction would need to be point blank, however. If they react to an attack moving 200 m/s when it was a foot away, well, that’s usable. If they reacted to it when it was 1000 m away, well, they had 5 seconds to react to it. I mean, it’d still be a feat, but any human could do it so why bother. A proper example of this would be Bayonetta reacting to Balder’s thrown satellite when it was almost on top of her. We know she reacted to it then because that’s when the QTE (Quick Time Event) began. Or when Dante hit some raindrops. (We use these examples because they were most recently used in DB, so most everyone here should be familiar with them at this point, even though it makes us DEVIL TRIGGER’D)

Now, you may think that only the second two can be used in fights, since those are the only two that directly involve the movement and reaction of the things we use to fight. And if you do, you’d be wrong. This is what’s called the Combat Speed Fallacy. When you’re flying or running or travelling across great distances, you need to control where you’re going, or else you’re going to crash into things. When the Flash runs at super speeds through a city, he’s avoiding, people, cars, buildings, etc. etc. all while moving absurdly fast. Even when Superman is flying across the universe, he’s dodging planets and celestial bodies. When people make a distinction between “travel speed” and “combat speed,” they’re creating a false binary, and that’s why it’s a fallacy.
Not to mention, you’ll be hard pressed to find actual good examples of combat speed. Most of the time you’ll only see flashy effects like blurred lines, which don’t really tell you much. It’s much more reliable just to use speed feats to determine how fast a character is. If they can move their bodies that fast, logic dictates they can fight that fast as well.

Now how is speed useful? Well, you can use it to dodge attacks from other opponents, acting as an extension of your defense, as well as attack at similar speeds, acting as an extension of your offense. If you’re significantly faster than your opponent, fights can turn into a “blitz” when one character is attacking and potentially killing their opponent faster than their opponent can react. But blitzes don’t always work out. Why? Well...


Town-level Squidward, get rekt. GET REKT.
The obvious counterpoint to Destructive Capacity is Durability, and it’s measured in the same way, through energy. Essentially, surviving something that would kill a normal human is a durability feat. It’s also commonly referred to as “tanking,” and when a character survives something with little to no difficulty and little to no damage, they “no-sold” it. With sufficient durability, a character can survive an assault from another character that is both stronger and faster, though it would depend on the exact amounts and the specifics of the situation.

There are a couple of important points to understand when considering a character’s durability. First off, regeneration/healing factor is not durability. If you don’t know, regeneration is an ability that allows characters to survive wounds that would normally kill or at least seriously injure them. Think Majin Buu, Wolverine, or Deadpool. And it’s not durability. Regeneration keeps the character alive when the damage they’ve taken is enough to overcome their durability. This may seem like a small point in the long run since they both fit under the umbrella of “survivability”, but we’ve seen it be used to make a character’s durability seem more impressive than it really is, so it’s frowned upon and we don’t recommend it.

Another important thing to consider is that if a character’s destructive capacity is physical in nature, the same yield from their attacks is applicable to their durability. Consider Superman’s punches. Whenever he does so he’s tanking the same amount of force he’s delivering due to Newton’s Third Law, which states “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Essentially, whatever Supes dishes out, whatever’s he dishing it out on will dish it right back. Think recoil damage, but on a much higher scale.


When it comes to Math, you could say I'm pretty....divided. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHkillmeHAHAHAHA
Calcs are short for calculations, and are the measurement and quantification of how impressive a feat accurately is (when done right). A good example of a calc is in Goku vs Superman 2, when it was measured how fast Supes would have to be to make it from the star Vega to Earth. Or when Donkey Kong’s moon punch was found to dish out over three thousand megatons of force (though there are calcs placing it much higher), based on the size of the moon and the energy required to knock it out of orbit.

Another important note to consider about calcs is Area of Effect, and that Destructive Capacity=/=AoE. Look to Majiin Vegeta's suicide attack for an example of this. Clearly he can easily bust planets, yet this was his strongest attack at the time and only made a moderately large crater. Planets can also explode with the force of a supernova depending on the size and speed of the explosion, and it takes planet level energy for a human-sized being to move the moon. There are just a few examples, but stuff like this is pretty common.


One of my favorite superhero team-up comics as a kid. Yes, Spider-Man was fucking useless the whole time.
It can often be difficult to remember that X character can dish out 1.21 fuckajillion giggitytons, or “this guy’s top speed is [insert absurdly high number]”. So, thankfully, there is a categorization system based on Marvel’s superhuman tiering classification system and the Outskirts Battledome’s Comprehensive Energy Scale. This way, a VS debater can categorize a feat into specific level without having to memorize or explain the math to someone who may not understand it. It’s much easier to just say “This guy is solar system level” or “This guy can run at Hypersonic Speed”.

The various levels are as follows for Durability and Destructive Capacity, primarily based on TNT equivalents:

Fodder Tier:

Below what a normal human can do. Like a goomba. Aka “shit tier”

Peak Human:

What a human is capable of at absolute physical condition. People like Bruce Lee, Olympic athletes, or competitors of strongmen competitions. I would say Batman is in this category, but a peak human by DC standards is often a different story.

Street Level:
Minimum: 100 Joules

The point where a character can begin to be labelled “Super”. Street level is the tier at which a character is able to affect and damage the surrounding area as large as a street. The Kinetic Energy of an M16 rifle is at this level.

Wall Level:
Minimum: 5000 Joules

If a character is able to affect or damage a wall,or exerts or withstands the energy required to do so, that makes them wall level. Surprisingly, the feat where Batman kicks down a tree is at this level (though he has even higher showings).

Building Level:
Minimum: 0.005- 2 tons (depending if we’re talking a two-story house or a skyscraper)

Capable of leveling buildings. Characters like Jago from Killer Instinct and Master Chief are at this level.

City Block Level:
Minimum: 11 tons

Can damage multiple buildings or a city block’s worth of buildings. The MOAB bomb can do this. Star Platinum and The World can generate punches this powerful.

Town Level:
Minimum: 5.8 Kilotons

Packing enough power to destroy a town. Master Roshi’s kamehameha from very early Dragonball (not Z, when Goku was a kid)  is somewhere in this ballpark.

City Level:
Minimum: 6.3 Megatons

City-busting territory. The TSAR bomb and Genos from OPM are at this level.

Island Level:
Minimum: 4.3 Gigatons

I’m sure everyone is aware of Akuma’s (Street Fighter) island-busting punch at this point. That’s a thing.

Country Level:
Minimum: 7 Teratons

Like the others, this is pretty self-explanatory. Interestingly enough...Angry Joe is at this level. Huh.

Continent Level:
Minimum: 1.33 Petatons

Enough KE to destroy a continent. Percy Jackson from the book series sits here.

Moon Level:
Minimum: 29.6 Exatons (Gravitational Binding Energy of the Moon)

Moon busting tier. Bahamut Fury from Final Fantasy is here, and quite possibly Saitama from One Punch Man.

Planet Level:
Minimum: 433 Exatons (GBE of Mercury)

Now you’re playing with power. Most DBZ characters pre-Super and World Breaker Hulk are planet busters.

Star Level:
Minimum: 165 Tenatons (GBE of the Sun)

Star busters. Megaman X and Starkiller Base from Star Wars ep. 7 are in this tier.

Solar System Level:
Minimum: 5.7 FOE

Wipin’ out solar systems n’ shit. New 52 Superman (currently, he may be getting huge upgrades soon) and XJ9 are here.

Galaxy Level:
Minimum: 10 gigafoe

The Milky Way Galaxy is usually used as a baseline for this. Thanos is durable enough to tank attacks at this level.

Universe Level:
(can’t be calc’d)

Universe busters like Imperiex, Trigon or Enrico Pucci. Ness from Earthbound is also placed here. There aren’t really any calcs for these, so you have to go by mostly context and visual stuff, like Trigon’s dimension-bust of Azerath in the comics or Imperiex destroying and recreating the universe on multiple occasions.

Multiversal Level:
(can’t be calc’d)

Characters who can destroy multiple universes with one attack. Unicron from Transformers and The Beyonder (via scaling) from Marvel are here.


Shin Megami Tensei. That is all.

Now, from here it gets pretty wonky, but try to bear with us.

True Infinity/Omnipotent/Tier Zero

Characters who are boundlessly above all concepts and reality, and are truly limitless. Basically God. There is actually a lot of debate on whether or not Omnipotents can actually exist in a VS standpoint, because you can’t really find physical proof of a character literally able to “do anything”, and because of the No Limits Fallacy, which we’ll get to later. But it’s here just for reference.

FYI this is NOT how this shit would go down.
Now for speed:

Human/Peak human: How fast a non-powered human can react or run. The fastest recorded running speed for a human is Usian Bolt’s 12.422222 m/s

FTE: Faster than the human eye can track. And no, it’s not “Look, I can wave my hand in front of my face and it turns invisible, I’m FTE hurr durr”. Try actually running fast enough to turn invisible. Then we’ll talk about FTE. Starts at 89 m/s

Supersonic: The point at which a character matches or breaks the sound barrier. Mach 1 and above. Most Dark Souls characters can fight at these speeds.

Hypersonic: Mach 5-Mach 99. Characters like Devil May Cry’s Vergil are this fast.

Massively Hypersonic: Abbreviated as MHS. Mach 100-Mach 8000. Natural lightning travels at these speeds. Metal Gear Solid’s Raiden can move this quickly.

Sub-relativistic: 1-9% the speed of light. Saitama jumping to the Earth from the Moon is Sub-rel. Dragon Ball Z manga characters are also at this level before Super.

Relativistic: 10-99% the speed of light. Lex Luthor’s satellite beams and some of Doctor Doom’s weapons move at this speed.

FTL: Faster than the speed of light, which is over 299 thousand meters per second, or Mach 881,000. Escaping black holes and most cases of interplanetary travel will make a character FTL by default. Most DC and Marvel top tiers are faster than light.

Power scaling

On the left is Thor. On the right is Godzilla. In the middle is a really emotionally uncomfortable skyscraper.
For the love of Dio, people! Power scaling is not a bad thing!


Power Scaling is the concept of comparing fictional characters to one another in-verse, usually on the basis that they have traded blows with one another, and have damaged one another or survived each other's attacks, and thusly coming to the conclusion that these characters can perform the same feats based on this.

A lot of beginners (and experienced debaters as well for that matter) seem to believe that power scaling should be frowned upon, either because Death Battle “doesn't use it” (even though they've used it to scale the Power Rangers to each other, and scaled Godzilla above other monsters to deduce him being able to pierce Gamera's shell, among many other examples), or because they've had a bad impression with it in the past. However, power scaling can be thought of as a feat in and of itself, and every VS debater worth his salt should familiarize him/herself with this concept, and that there is a right and wrong way to do it.

For example:

"In Asura's Wrath, Asura has destroyed planets and planet-sized beings with his punches. Yasha has consistently withstood his punches unharmed when Asura wasn't holding back. Therefore, Yasha has planet level durability."

You're doing it right.

"Deathstroke has defeated each member of the Justice League singlehandedly. Green Arrow can beat Deathstroke. Therefore, Green Arrow is more powerful than the entire Justice League."

You're doing it wrong.

Scenario A shows that the researcher in question who came to this conclusion is knowledgeable of the context of these feats, the limits of both characters, and knows that the scaling is consistent enough to be applied.

Scenario B is… the opposite of that. Strategy, planning and sneaking around doesn’t make Deathstroke more powerful than Superman, and Green Arrow didn’t really defeat Slade, more like he just… stabbed his eye.

NTM that comic is loaded with PIS. Like… bombs are gonna stop the Flash? I mean, really?

But I’m going off on a tangent.

Just remember that power scaling is best applied to DC and dura. I mean, Jotaro Kujo beat Dio, and you don’t see him being able to stop ti-


I mean uh, Darkseid can beat Superman, and he doesn’t have eye las-

Bad examples aside, speed scaling can also be done, but it’s often less reliable due to combat speed being a fickle mistress.

Bottom line is, power scaling is actually a concept that nearly all fictional authors apply to their writings and even expect their readers/viewers to follow, such as in DBZ Battle of Gods when Beerus showed up and bitch-smacked the piss outta everybody, including top tiers like Super Saiyan 3 Goku and “Mystic” Gohan. Common sense dictates that this means Beerus is the most powerful character the protags have dealt with at the time.

There are times when power scaling shouldn’t be applied, yes, but this fundamental and simple concept shouldn’t be handwaved away because they exist.


Honestly, I don't know enough about She-Ra to make another snarky caption here. This is awkward.
The term “hax” comes from the computer and video game action of hacking, which allows the user to cheat and/or bypass conventional rules of a game or program.

This can also be used in a VS standpoint. For example, Deadpool’s healing factor allows him to survive what would normally kill him otherwise. He can be riddled with bullets, dismembered, burned, or have his organs straight up liquified and he can still regenerate his damaged body parts and continue fighting, despite not having the durability to withstand these attacks in the first place. Those on the VS scene call this “regen hax”.

Another common example is Dio from Part 3 of Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure being able to stop time. By doing this, he can attack his opponents while they are completely helpless if they don’t have time manipulation powers themselves. He can injure or kill them while they are completely still, leaving his enemies confused, mortally wounded, and often dead when he starts time again. Here, we call this “time hax”.

However, as briefly mentioned before, Jotaro has an ability that allows him to resist or counter ZA WARUDO’s time-stopping properties. This is what we call “hax resistance”.

Things like transmutation (such as being able to turn enemies into stone) magic and reality warping (if said magic or reality warping is potent enough) can also be forms of hax, because combatants who don’t have the proper resistance, equipment or counters against these abilities are defenseless against them.


Nerdgasm '85
Canonicity is an important topic in versus debating. Canon in terms of fiction is what “actually happened,” basically, though depending on the fictional universe/multiverse/etc. it can get more complicated. Often much more complicated. For instance with Dragon Ball, the anime and GT are not canon to the manga because there’s tons of filler in it and feats and information not in the original manga. The movies aren’t canon to either because they often make no sense in relation to the timeline of the manga or anime. Another good example is the Star Wars Expanded Universe (now under the Legends branding, including Knights of the Old Republic, Dark Empire, the Yuuzhan Vong War etc. etc. for 30 years), which is non-canon to the current Disney canon (The Force Awakens and any future movies, The Clone Wars and Rebels, most new comics etc.). The Expanded Universe/Legends stories used to be canon and now they’re (sadly) not.

Primary Canon is the direct information that you see. Using Dragon Ball again, it’d be the manga itself (assuming we’re talking about the manga). Secondary canon would be the Daizenshuu, which is a guidebook that gives information about the primary canon. If primary canon and secondary canon conflict, you go with primary. Word of God is any statement made by the creator(s) of the source. If a secondary source is written by the author it can also be considered Word of God. Despite its name, Word of God is not the be-all end-all. You can’t expect the creators to be as up to date about all the details of their works in the context of versus debating when that’s never the reason they created it (unless you’re Lionel Suggs lol), so it’s not uncommon for them to make mistakes or contradict the original piece. In that case, you go with the primary canon.

Now sometimes canon gets fucked with. A Retcon is when something was canon and then the creators made it no longer canon in the sense that it was NEVER canon to begin with. One example is the Beyonder, from Marvel Comics. He’s the one that orchestrated the original Secret Wars event and was at the time one of the most powerful beings in Marvel Comics, dwarfing even the Living Tribunal in power. All the Marvel cosmics were shitting their pants. And then, later after that, it was revealed that all those cosmics were just kidding and he actually wasn’t that powerful at all. The Beyonder’s power got retconned. When talking about The Beyonder in a versus debating context, it’s important to distinguish between Pre-Retcon and Post-Retcon Beyonder because they vary wildly in power.

A lot of people consider DC Comics’ Crisis on Infinite Earths to be one the best examples of a retcon. It’s not; it’s actually a reboot. A reboot is when canon is “restarted” in a sense. The previous canon is still canon and it still happened, it just doesn’t affect and isn’t affected by whatever happens post-reboot. Sonic Boom doesn’t make Sonic Adventure non-canon, they’re just separate now. The Crisis on Infinite Earths merged all the universes in the DC multiverse into one universe and created a new canon. Characters got new histories, events that happened in the Pre-Crisis continuity were altered, etc. However, the events of the Pre-Crisis world still occurred, and in fact several characters (Earth-2 Superman and Lois, Alexander Luthor, Superboy-Prime) returned two decades later after chilling in a pocket dimension. So it wasn’t a retcon, it was a reboot.

PIS, CIS, and Outliers

The cape/jet engine scene also works for this topic too.
Plot-induced stupidity and character-induced stupidity is basically when dumb shit happens in stories. The kind of stuff that makes you want to smash your head against the wall. Like Thanos getting arrested by cops or Darkseid getting mugged. To be fair, both of those have explanations but often times they don’t, and they become tropes.

Plot-induced Stupidity (PIS) is when something related to the plot affects the outcome of the fight in a really dumb way. Think Deathstroke being able to defeat the entire JLA or tripping the Flash. Like Jesus Christ. Character-induced stupidity is when the same thing happens, but because a character is acting like a dumbass. Think Vegeta’s pride allowing Cell to absorb Android 18 or Doctor Doom’s arrogance constantly leading him to utter failure.

An Outlier is a statistical anomaly that is ignored in versus debating. It’s something a character does that is waaaaay above or waaaaaaay below their pay grade, so much so that it would be ridiculous to include in a debate. If you want both examples from Dragon Ball, a high outlier would be Roshi’s moonbust. He destroys the moon with a Kamehameha in the 21st Tenkaichi Budokai. His last feat with it was destroying Mount Fry Pan. High outlier. On top of that, King Piccolo, a much more powerful character, got winded after levelling a city, and the best Goku and Piccolo Jr. could do at the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai was to nuke an island. When Piccolo Jr. destroys the moon post-timeskip right before fighting a planet level Nappa and Vegeta, it lines up. On the other hand, in the anime, during the 10 day wait for the Cell games, Krillin throws a rock at a Super Saiyan Goku’s head and it visibly hurts him. Low outlier.

The lesson here is always go with consistent high ends. High ends are meant to show what a character is truly capable of under pressure, but they have to be relatively consistent. If a character gets a power up, though, and the power up’s limits aren’t known or stated, and they get a feat that would be considered an outlier based on their normal capabilities, it’s probably legit. For example, if Saitama removed his limiters and destroyed a large planet or something.

Gameplay Mechanics

Supernova is Level 87.
Gameplay mechanics are aspects of video games that are determined by the rules of the game and are not necessarily indicative of a character’s actual abilities. For instance, just because you can play as Jill Valentine and defeat Shuma-Gorath in Marvel vs Capcom 3 DOESN’T MEAN that that would actually happen. One of them has a gun, the other can destroy universes. Kind of a big difference. Another example would be in an action game, attacking the wall probably won’t do anything because the game wasn’t designed (usually) to allow you to break down walls. That doesn’t mean the character is physically incapable of breaking down a wall (I mean maybe they are, but in the cases of Kratos or Raiden I would argue the opposite), it just means the game wasn’t designed to include that.

That’s why it’s generally safer to take feats from cutscenes rather than gameplay. While doing the latter isn’t impossible and is sometimes needed, the former offers more concrete story-based feats that are much harder to contest because they’re being represented exactly as the creators intended. A lot of gameplay mechanics are found in a case by case basis.

For example, Chosen Undead from Dark Souls is capable of destroying large structures with his weapons, and nothing in the canon contradicts this, so there’s not much you could argue against the inclusion of this.

Wank, Downplay, and Fallacies

"ONE said Saitama could destroy the universe with a punch" O.K.
Wanking and downplaying are two opposite ways to shift the perception of a character’s capabilities in order to make them seem more (wank) or less (downplay) impressive. This can be done a variety of ways, usually involving some of the above topics. Some people will wank or downplay because they don’t know the feats very well or are misrepresenting them. Sometimes even with the feats present they’ll find a myriad of ways to nitpick and try to make it sound far better or worse than what it really is. Honestly, wank and downplay are case by case, and I can’t really name all the types save for a few examples. For instance, I once heard an argument that Luffy would beat Thor because he’s made of rubber and could survive Thor’s lightning. That’s an example of simultaneously downplaying Thor and wanking Luffy. Or saying Saitama can destroy the universe or some shit. That’s wank. Shut up. Just shut up.

You also need to watch out for fallacies. Fallacies are incorrect arguments in logic and rhetoric, and since versus debating involves both logic and rhetoric, be prepared to see a bunch of them. I’m not going to bother listing them all out, so I’ll just link you to a good resource. More likely than not you’ll be able to see a fallacy for what it is, even if you don’t know what it’s called, but it’s good to know them just so that you don’t do them yourself.


Good. Goooooood. Let the salt flow through you.
Well, that’s all you’ll really need to know to jump into the wacky (read: terrible) world of versus debating! Since SA moved to RT, we figured that a lot more people would be jumping on the Death Battle bandwagon that hadn’t previously, so if you are, and if you’re reading this, we hope this could be of help. Happy debating!


  1. This feels like something I did once...

  2. This post was such a joy and delight. I had an amazing time reading this. Thanks for posting. Will look you up for more.

  3. Oh my god. So much detail and every single aspect of comics have been addressed. You have really done a great effort. Thanks for sharing.