Stone Wall

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
The best defense is a good defense.

Every thrust of Rangidil's spear was blocked with ease;
Every slash of Rangidil's blade was deflected away;
Every blow of Rangidil's mace was met by the shield;
Every quick arrow shot could find no purchase
For the Monster's greatest power was in his dread blessing
That no weapon from no warrior found in all
Of Morrowind
Could pass the shield of Abernanit.

If the Glass Cannon believes that the best defense is a good offense, the Stone Wall tries for the reverse. His offense is nothing to write home about, if it even technically exists. But he's tough. Really, really tough. And if anything can put him down, odds are he's quick enough on the recovery to get right back up for round two.

Depending on the game, a Stone Wall may use one or any of three basic strategies:

  • Berserking—Throws himself at the enemy without a thought for defense. Relying on his inherent toughness to keep him alive, he uses suicidal tactics to improve his dismal attack power. This is especially common for Stone Walls whose toughness is completely automatic, rather than something they need to work at.
  • Turtling—The complete opposite tack. Does nothing but defend, defend, defend, with maybe the occasional attack when the enemy least expects it. The fight becomes a patience game—either a battle of attrition to see who tires out first, or a waiting game until the whistle blows. If his defense is something he physically constructs and builds, he can win a fight by slowly expanding outward until he leaves the enemy without a foot to stand on.
  • Shielding -- A teamwork strategy. Interposes himself between the enemy and an ally. By keeping the enemy occupied, he allows allies with greater attack strength but poorer defense to kill the enemy without getting killed. Characters who do this are called "Meat Shields" or "Party Tanks."

Distinguished from the Mighty Glacier in that the Stone Wall is even tougher to hurt, and not necessarily slow, clumsy, lacking in range, or whatever. The Mighty Glacier is much more balanced in his offense and defense. The Stone Wall is much stronger on defense than on offense, and in extreme cases, may only deal Scratch Damage. In works where they go against human opponents or reasonably intelligent (or, at least, very random) AI, a Stone Wall needs some method of forcing opponents to attack them over allies, such as a Practical Taunt, or risk simply being ignored until all the allies they were protecting are dead while they sat there not doing much of anything significant.

If the Stone Wall's defense is evasion-based as opposed to toughness-based, the line between this archetype and a defensively played Fragile Speedster blurs, if it even exists. But toughness is the norm.

Fighting Games rarely (if ever) have this type of character. Fighting games usually have more than enough defensive options for all characters already. Further, it would require a huge disparity in the defense-to-offense ratio for such a character to be viable (i.e. take 1/10th the damage while dealing 30% less), which, in turn, would pretty much wreck the balance.

This trope partly takes its name from a real-life example: Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson won the battle of Bull Run due to his strategy to not retreat from his line, no matter how bad things went for him. And for a while things went pretty bad.

A subtrope of Competitive Balance.

Examples of Stone Wall include:

Anime and Manga

  • Yuuno Scrya from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is a second or third tier combatant at most, not just because he's the only mage in the cast without a magic-boosting Device, but also because he doesn't have much talent at conventional offensive magic. However, his defenses are actually stronger than those of the Device-using mages (at least stronger than Nanoha's, by her own admission in the Sound Stages), which allows him to play the "Meat Shield" role and free them up to concentrate on offensive tactics. Once, though, he had to fight somewhat like a Berserker, throwing himself at Vita to keep her occupied. Even a wall is daunting when it's flying right at you. He didn't manage to hurt her, but she also failed to hurt him.
    • Turtling is Signum's preferred strategy as well, though unlike Yuuno she's not limited to Stone Wall tactics. As seen in her duel with Nanoha, she prefers to wear the enemy down until she can catch them off guard, then lay into them with everything she's got.
      • Cruelly subverted in FORCE where Cypha of Huckebein slices through Signum's defenses like a hot knife on butter.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: |Team Taiyo's overall strategy, to stall for ten turns to fulfill the summoning requirements for their ultimate monster.
  • Vandread - Jura, a crab-like mech with astronomically powerful Deflector Shields. It can shield an entire planet against a far bigger and more powerful warship.
    • Alternatively, it can encase itself and it's allies in a shield and simply bash it's way through an enemy formation.
  • Yakumo of 3×3 Eyes is a berserker type meat shield (emphasis on the 'meat'), as all he has is the amazing power to not die; his job is to stand in front of attacks and be dismembered. He later learns how to fight effectively.
  • In a filler story for the Dragonball Z anime, Goku finds himself in an afterlife tournament. One of his opponents was a man who could expand like a balloon. His strategy was to force a ring-out by cutting off the opponent's space to move around in. It almost worked (Seems Goku forgot he could fly). Goku's following opponent was a wall in a slightly different sense: This guy summoned a block of water to cover the battlefield. All of his moves were designed to keep Goku from flying away, attempting to win by drowning him.
  • This is how Susanoo operates under living Itachi Uchiha's power in Naruto. Its slow as fuck (given he can only stumble around in it due to strain) but its nigh invulnerable, needing at least mountain busting firepower just to bring it down.
    • Subverted,in that Susanoo is capable of insanely powerful offense as well as defense. Totsuka can seal nearly any human it comes up across, and Yasaka Magatama provides a good long range attack despite its lack of firepower compared to Bijudama or Rasenshuriken.
    • Doubly subverted,in that Itachi can move very fast while using Susanoo as shown in the war. During Itachi's fight with Sasuke it was moving that slowly because Itachi was nearly dead from disease and chakra exhaustion.
      • More likely its because Itachi is basically in God Mode there due to being an Edo Tensei, thus all weaknesses of his Susano'o has been eliminated.
  • Zushi in Hunter X Hunter is able to form barriers to soften truck-force attacks to where he's unharmed by them (he can still be knocked down, though he can also soften the impact upon landing), but he can barely fight otherwise. The barrier is invisible to an untrained eye, so from the point of view of a Muggle, it looks like the boy is impervious to damage.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, Kuwabara clearly takes this role in the main team, with Yusuke being the damage dealer, Hiei as the speedster and Kurama having the sharp mind. Kuwabara is the only one of the group who can't Flash Step and he doesn't have highly damaging moves like the Spirit Gun or Dragon of the Darkness flame. However, you know you have good durability if you managed to still get up after being in a tug-o-war with Byakko's tigers, repeatedly thrown down to the stone stadium floor by Rinku and stabbed in over 10 different areas by the Elder Toguro.
  • Darkness the holy crusader in Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o! keeps on not allocating any skill points in anything other than her armor. This leaves her sword skills notably bad.
  • There was a character like that in the Cutey Honey OAVs, but I forget his name—his wife(!) described him as a "human sandbag".

Comic Books

  • This was the main hook of C.F. in Deadpool. Supposedly standing for "Cannon Fodder" (although a strong argument can also be made for "Cluster Fuck"), he's... well, he's... incredibly malleable, with skin that's impossible to penetrate so much as stretch. He's hurt just as easily as anybody else, but no real lasting damage is done; he once proudly showed off a scar he received when he took an RPG to the stomach.
  • Note that C.F. was likely inspired by the Blob, an archetypical comics example. A constant foe of the X-Men, the Blob has several powers that contribute to him being a walking seige wall; One, he can plant himself and become literally unmovable by outside forces. Two, his skin is utterly indestructible and attacks simply bounce off him. Of course, he's also got formidable super strength, which may keep him from being that great an example...
    • The Blob had a teammate during his time in the Freedom Force literally named Stonewall, whose powers were similar to the Blob's, except he was "unstoppable" and wasn't a tub of lard.
    • Compare Butterball/Boulder, a fat young man whose power of being completely invulnerable to harm also makes his body immutable; he can't lose weight (except with a near-starvation diet), can't build muscle, doesn't get tired, and will never be able to develop any actual combat capabilities. He washed out of Camp Hammond and landed in the Shadow Initiative with minor league villains.
    • Trying to remember what issue but there was once a case where the Blob was sent to try and distract the X-Men from reaching the real villain. The problem arose when it became apparent that there were no civilians around who were threatened and the X-Men flat out told Blob they didn't have to fight him in this situation. They proceeded to run around him knowing he couldn't catch them.
      • Which is a bit of Fridge Logic; Blob may be big, but he's not slow by any standards short of Quicksilver's.
  • Turtle from the latest Legion of Super-Heroes continuity is incredibly durable, almost completely invulnerable to harm. However, his total lack of extraordinary offensive capabilities hardly wowed the Legion when he tried out, landing him and his Glass Cannon pal Sizzle in the Legion Auxiliary with the hope that they'll develop moves to compensate for their weaknesses.
  • Diamond Lil, associated with Alpha Flight (as both hero and villain), was pretty much invulnerable, but not super-strong. She was a fair fighter and not at all slow, but wouldn't be much of a problem for true heavyweights because she just couldn't hit that hard.
  • Brit is a comic book character created by Robert Kirkman who is an average-sized man of about 60 who is completely invulnerable to harm, thanks to a serum created by his father. Unlike many other invulnerable characters in the Image universe, he has no other abilities, having the strength of a 60-ish-year-old man who works out.
    • In Guardians of the Globe, he is given rocket boots (for flight) and rocket gloves (to punch harder).



  • The Pharaoh from Soon I Will Be Invincible. Though pathetic by most measures, he was something of a nuisance because his power (activated by his hammer) was complete immunity to injury. Even taking an artillery round head-on did nothing more than push him into the ground a few feet.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe: the lightsaber style of Soresu is essentially the Turtling variant of this trope, created to defend both against multiple blaster-wielding foes and single opponents. However, it requires both the endurance and the concentration to last until the opponent (finally) showed a weakness in their defense, or else it would merely delay the inevitable. It's an established canon fact that Obi-Wan was acknowledged as the ultimate master of this technique. The Djem So style was created by Soresu practitioners who however preferred making their own openings over waiting for others' openings.
  • The Great Ship from Robert Reed's Great Ship universe. It has a hull made of a nearly indestructible material, dozens of kilometers thick. When the ship is attacked by some angry aliens wanting control of it, the Great Ship's crew simply close all the ports and wait until the enemy runs out of fuel and ammunition as they futilely try to penetrate the ship.

New Media

  • Norah from Vigor Mortis didn't even have a real weapon when she was introduced. Remus told her to get a weapon and become capable of dealing damage instead of just being a sponge that depends on allies to do all the damage for her.

Play By Post Games

  • Achilles from Fate Nuovo Guerra is Nigh Invulnerable (save the Achilles' Heel), has a mystical shield, and possesses high speed. Her spear, on the other hand, is nothing special outside a curse that creates unhealing wounds, and though her strength is superior, it's nothing special compared to other heroic spirits like Mordred and Uther.
  • Ellis Nineveh from the Fire Emblem original universe Skylessia's first generation was a waifish young man so physically unimpressive that even at 3rd Tier, he was incapable of lifting a Battle Axe. He was also such a Determinator that when a demon ripped his dominant arm from his body, he got back up and beat said demon to death with it.


  • In Cricket, the traditional role of the opening batsmen was to play defensively and hang around and blunt the initial barrage of the opposition's fast bowlers in order to set up the team's innings, often scoring quite slowly. (In)famous "stonewallers" include Bill Lawry for Australia and Geoffrey Boycott for England. However, in recent years, ODI and Twenty20 cricket especially have featured more aggressive openers, as the strategy has been to exploit the fielding restrictions that are in place early in the innings.
    • Making something of a comeback in Test matches: England in particular have capitalised on the "dropping attention span" of some of their opponents: witness the efforts of their current top order, Andrew Strauss, Alistair Cook and Jonathan Trott. Though granted, all three of them score faster than Boycott did.
    • Bowlers can also be Stone Walls, looking more to dry up runs and pressure batsmen into making mistakes than take wickets through attacking bowling. In an inverse of the situation in batting, this type of bowler is more popular in T20 and ODI than in Tests.
  • "Turtle-balling" is a common tactic in American Football, in which the offense does just enough to gain a lead of more than one score, then uses a combination of stifling defense and a relentless running game to prevent the opponent from catching up. Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh Steelers coach in the 1990s and early 2000s, perfected the technique; when his teams built a lead of 11 or more points at any point in the game, victory was practically guaranteed. In such situations, his teams lost once and tied once... and won 102 times.
  • Many defencemen in sports (again, soccer and hockey are examples) play without any offensive drive. For example, the Buffalo Sabres' Robyn Regehr.
  • The goalkeeper, in any sport that uses one (soccer, hockey...)
  • William Felton Russell. He didn't score much and his shooting percentages were mediocre, he is an 11x NBA champion, 5x MVP and widely considered the greatest defender in NBA history.
  • Pitchers in the National League. The pitcher generally has a very low batting average (though some have one that rivals other position players), and often a low speed, too, but they are the standard bearer for the defense to the point of being analogous to a goalkeeper. The position is so specialized that the American League has a rule that you are permitted to have one designated hitter to hit in place of one defensive player without taking him out of the game, and everybody chooses to bat for the pitcher.
    • Catchers are generally either this or a Mighty Glacier, because squatting so much tends to ruin your knees, making them rather slow on the bases, so their offensive capabilities tend to be limited to raw power. Defensively, the catcher is The Lancer to the pitcher, because the catcher must catch (or at least secure) strike three in order to complete a strikeout, pitches that are not fouled off by the batter are live (and so runners can attempt to advance before, during or after a pitch) and because the catcher's job is to guard home plate. Pitchers get credited for wins like goalkeepers, but catchers look the part because of the protective gear.
  • The rope-a-dope strategy in Boxing, as best seen in the Rumble in the Jungle between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Wait against the ropes, guard face, taunt during clinches, throw occasional jab to opponent's face. Repeat until opponent is tired, then start delivering beatdown.

Tabletop Games

Board Games

  • In Risk, there's always at least one person who will always conquer Australia and then just sit there and build up troops while everyone else weakens each other. Since Australia only has one path in and out, massing all the troops on one territory makes it almost impossible to conquer without using every last one of your available armies. You have to take out Australia within the first few rounds or you're screwed.
    • No wonder Lex Luthor wanted it.
    • By the end game, cards are most of what matters. So, when you have the world, they can advance out and smash through all your defenses with their 100 armies. If they can take out one of your last kills, you'll probably lose.
  • In Through The Ages: A Story Of Civilization, one of the Age 3 leaders is Mahatma Gandhi. A player who has Gandhi in play is not allowed to play Aggressions or Wars himself, but anyone trying to attack him has to spend twice as many military actions to do so.
  • In Chess, the concept of prophylaxis could be described as this. Rather than playing to improve your attacking chances, a prophylactic move is one that limits the opponent's opportunities. Former world champion Tigran Petrosian is probably the best example; while he had less wins than other world champions, he had almost no losses, even going through 1962 without losing a single tournament game.

Card Games

  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Rock-type is mainly geared toward Turtling play, as rocks tend to have low attack and high defence, as well as quite a few of them having the ability to flip into face-down defence position. There was even a Rock-type structure deck at one point built entirely on building an uber-strong defence. Formerly shown above was Labyrinth Wall, which does nothing to most other monster cards on its own, but has 3000 defence, meaning it can shrug off even an attack from Blue Eyes White Dragon.
    • However, there are also cards like Spirit Reaper (Zombie) and Marshmallon (Fairy), who simply can't be killed in battle, but have some of the worst stats in the game (though they both have some damaging effects, with Spirit Reaper's attack-and-your-opponent-discards effect, and Marshmallon doing 1000 damage when attacked face-down).
  • Walls and other creatures with Defender in Magic: The Gathering are essentially this—by the very definition of the ability they can't attack and many deal little or no damage to enemy attacking creatures that they block. On the other hand, they can be very tough for a relatively low cost; the actual Wall of Stone card is a good example. It's worth noting, though, that the game also features a number of subversions and that these may be becoming more common since the defender ability was formally introduced and divorced from the 'wall' creature type (the original rule being simply that 'walls can't attack').
    • Among creatures that can actually attack, this is the defining trait of treefolk. Indomitable Ancients is the most extreme example: It can dish out 2 damage but can take up to 10 and has no other abilities. The card Doran, the Siege Tower is specifically designed to turn such creatures into powerhouses by making all creatures deal combat damage equal to their toughness instead of their power, a windfall for most treefolk.
    • Throughout Magic's history, there have been entire decks dedicated to turtling, creating an immpenetrable defense that allows them to win at their own leisure. Snow White and Project X both sought to gain absurd amounts of life through combos, ensuring your opponent will never take you down to 0. The classic UW control decks had hardly any win conditions, but tons of removal and permission spells to keep them alive. And then there's...
    • Turbofog, everyone's least favorite Lorwyn-era tourney deck! It had very few creatures, defensive or otherwise, but stuffed itself with damage prevention, counterspells, control, life-gain, and just a few cards to recycle itself and increase its runtime. Its only win condition was to last so damn long that the opponent's deck ran out of cards, an instant lose, or more likely that the opponent simply lost patience and accepted his (eventual) defeat.
  • The Pokémon Trading Card Game originally had Mr. Mime, who prevented any damage greater than 20, though he had pitifully low HP. More recently, Shedinja made a Stone Wall not out of itself, but the player: Shedinja did not count towards the 6 Pokémon to knock out to win a game, so someone packing a deck full of Shedinja would force the opponent into a war of attrition.

Tabletop RPG

  • The Dwarven Defender prestige class in Dungeons & Dragons, especially many DnD based video games. A line of Dwarven Defenders is described as tougher than a 10 ft thick stone wall, and much more deadly. They strongly favor the Turtling variety of this trope, because while in defense mode they are rooted to one position, and can only attack enemies that come within reach.
    • Anyone making use of a one-handed weapon and a held shield in D&D is a lesser example of this trope regardless of their class. Though there is no particular mobility loss from using a shield, there is a substantial loss of offensive power compared to a two handed weapon. Typically this is paired with heavy armor that does slow you down considerably. As is the case in any game where enemies are not compelled to attack you the enemies tend to simply walk around the Turtle to engage more threatening units. D&D is also subject to the Armor Is Useless trope, thereby negating the point of such an approach.
      • Happily, 4th edition and 3.5 recognized the inherent "Oh my god! It's a dwarven defender! Quick, everyone, walk briskly!" problem by granting tank type characters ways of punishing enemies for ignoring them.
    • The Knight class from the 3.5 Player's Handbook II is a meatshield type- they have offensive and defensive abilities comparable to a Fighter, but have the Knight's Challenge mechanic, allowing them such tricks as forcing all moderately-powerful enemies to attack the Knight in preference to any other party member or cause all less-than-moderately-powerful enemies to cower in fear. They also suffer less from the "Quick! Walk briskly!" problem, as they have abilities that negate the move-speed reduction of medium and heavy armour and mess up anyone trying to dodge past them.
    • The Crusader class has a damage sink that delays a portion of their damage, and heals by hitting people. Against a high level Crusader you need to do 70 points of damage every round just to break even.
  • This is the general fighting strategy for Dwarf players in Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I mean, they're Dwarfs. It's not like they can run fast.
    • Well, that's one of the strategies. The other is More Dakka.
    • And then they turn out to be actually able to move fast.
      • This requires expansion: the Dwarfs are, indeed, the slowest army in the game, with three inches/turn to everyone else's four inches/turn. However, they can march (move at double speed) no matter what, while everyone else can't march if enemies are eight inches away or less. They also have helicopters, so a Dwarf army can move surprisingly well if they want to.
    • The Skaven have got a unit called a Warplock Jezzail, which consists of a rat-man with a Schizo-Tech sniper rifle and another rat-man to hold a shield for him.
    • Rather surprisingly the High Elves have a halfway-decent Stone Wall in the form of the Phoenix Guard, the elite and silent guardians of the Shrine of Asuryan, shielded from harm by the power of their patron.
  • In Warhammer 40,000 the concept of the speed bump or the tarpit is this; units that are not expected to do any damage in close combat, but will stop an enemy unit dead in their tracks because they take so much work to kill.
  • There are certain Gifts in Werewolf: The Apocalypse which allow for this—there is in fact a specific Steel Fur Gift for Glasswalkers that triples the size of the wolf using it and makes them into a giant defensive wall for their pack, complete with pointy, sharp fur. Usually this was more of a deterrent and left the wolf with no attacking ability, but a pack with enough sufficiently strong wolves could then push their large, prickly packmate down inclines and towards unhappy targets.

Video Games

Beat'Em Up

  • M. Frame from the The Peace Keepers, who can't run but his taunt acts as a slide dash.
  • Captain Silver from Battle Circuit became this, thanks to his defense-increasing power-up move.

Fighting Game

  • ROB from Super Smash Bros. Brawl could count as this. Thousands of Smashers already complain about ROB players' campy styles, throwing projectiles around, using a quick damaging move when the enemy gets close and using the time gained to switch to the other side of the field and repeat. He even has a back-aerial attack with considerable strength that can punish anyone trying to pursue him. Unlike monsters like Toon Link, he doesn't have great strength and speed in most of his standard moves and can't outrun most characters, while being very heavy and having an extremely good recovery move.
    • Yoshi has also somewhat become this in Brawl, as he's among both the heaviest and most mobile characters in the game, but he has very few powerful attacks, even when compared to some of the Fragile Speedsters like Fox and Meta Knight.
    • In the first Super Smash Bros., Metal Mario definitely counts as this. Imagine regular Mario with knockback resistance so hard, he has hyper armor (no knockback or stun from damage) against weak-to-medium attacks. Even moves that knock him back move him almost nowhere at less than 300% damage. For those who haven't played anything from the series, most poke-combo finishers would kill an ordinary character at this high of a damage level. He would be Nigh Invulnerable if it weren't for the fact that his metal-ness makes him fall extremely fast in a game where the only way to die is to ring out. Fortunately, his attacks are only as strong as regular Mario's attacks, but in a battle of endurance, he wins hands-down.
  • Q from Street Fighter III is considered one of the low tier characters, but his Taunt raises his defense by one-third, a benefit given up to three times; that means he can effectively double his (already high) defense, which flips the balance curve. Playing as Q involves jumping back, taunting three times, and then using his Dashing Punch to make the opponent cry.
  • Before there was Q, Several Fighting Game characters made use of Counter Attacks to act as pseudo-walls, usually to make up for otherwise bland movesets.
    • The first example of this version is arguably Geese Howard, who contrary to later form, is a Lightning Bruiser SNK Boss who made up for lack of a noticible anti-air attack with a counter throw that was presumably included to fill in an otherwise glaring defensive hole that would have made it significantly easier to beat him... however, the CPU somehow always knew how to time it perfectly.
    • Four years later, Variable Geo gave us Judoka Kyouko Kirishima, whose normal attacks were very conventional and lacked the punch of those of the other characters. However, she took somewhat less damage than most characters, and was balanced out with an array of high-power counters.
    • Another four years later saw SNK make a true "Counter Wall" in the form of Seth. Even more defensive than Kasumi Todoh, Seth's low-output, unimpressive normal and special attacks was made up for by a noticible amount of defensive and high-output counters... Among which is a counter-based Limit Break which hits hard.
    • Arcana Heart's Millie Avalon is both this AND a glass cannon. Your only hope is the fact that she sucks bad at close-range combat. It's actually a time when button-mashing combos will work well for you.
    • Exdeath is one of the most extreme cases, in Dissidia Final Fantasy, given that his moveset revolves mostly around Counter Attacks. Could possibly also be considered a Mighty Glacier as a result of his incredibly slow movement speed.
      • Though probably unintentional, this lends itself to a pun, in that he renders his enemies attacks null and VOID.
      • Essentially, what an Exdeath player wants to do is stand in one place and nullify or deflect anything the opponent throws at him, using a non-counter move only if the opponent tries not attacking him or as a finisher. Think Wobbuffet placed into a 3-D fighting game context.
  • Hakumen from BlazBlue, maybe. Admittedly he can dash, unlike the other Mighty Glacier Iron Tager, but where Tager's Drive enables You Will Not Evade Me, Hakumen's Drive and Astral Heat are built around Counter Attack. ... You know what, screw that. With having the highest HP of all the non-Unlimited characters and being unable to dash, Tager is the real Stone Wall, combined with Mighty Glacier through his high damage potential.
  • Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat was probably the Trope Maker for turtle fighters. Sub-Zero players were widely known and often reviled for assertively setting up damaging Ice Clone traps and waiting for their opponents to make their move. This was especially true in MK4, where Sub-Zero had most of his other tactics nerfed, but this one was left untouched.
  • Good Gods in Black & White 2 are these. Fitting of their 'Good' nature, these Gods use strong walls to discourage (and, because of the AI, utterly stop)) enemy militaries from attacking. The downside of this is the (general) inability to kill said enemy troops, but the occasional Fireball doesn't dent your Good Rating.
  • Iceman in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 does not take scratch damage/chip damage while blocking, and can easily throw a quick low damage projectile at any opening given. While this did make Bobby the ire of many players (especially when in the right hands), it should be noted that he's only considered to be a solid middle-tier character in the competitive scheme of things. This ability of his was so notorious that it was even given a nod with his card's ability in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3's Heroes and Heralds mode. Its primary effect gives the player temporary invulnerability to projectiles after performing a successful Advancing Guard, while the secondary effect increases the player's resistance to chip damage.

First-Person Shooter

  • The Engineer in Team Fortress 2 has relatively low firepower, but can quickly construct sentries that, while poor-to-decent on their own, can be continually healed by the Engineer, as long as he has metal. He can also construct dispensers that give him an effectively infinite supply of metal. This allows an entrenched Engineer supported by the rest of his team to whittle enemies down to nothing in seconds, creating an immobile obstacle that's basically impassable unless the enemy has a good Spy, Demoman, or a Medic with an Ubercharge.
    • It in fact depends alot on the location. All classes can take out an engineer position. It's only strong with adequate team support, for which the teleporter is quite handy. One versus one, any class can take out most engineer positions. For example scouts can use their speed to peek around a corner, take a few shots, get back in cover, let the sentry reset, repeat. It takes a while but it is possible. A scout can also use bonk and get past the sentry, sometimes even in such a way that the engineer gets shot to bits by his own sentry. Snipers outrange the engineer his sentry and a wellplaced huntsman shot can one-shot an engineer that's crouched behind his sentry. Which classes cant or can take out a set up in a specific location is very dependant on the map and the setup it's exact location and construction but in a game where respawning as another class costs nothing, after the first failed attempt, the set up is doomed if there are no teammates around to help the engineer. Often the dispenser or teleporter is what is holding the line by pure teamsupport. The sentry is too weak to be the main defense. Too many classes have received damage and utility buffs with new items while the engineer is stuck with a sentry with a hitbox that's twice as big in volume then the sentry's actual size and it aims with it's middle, making it usually fairly easy to shoot at it without it even noticing you.
      • The Engineer did receive a few item upgrades over the years, although not nearly as many as the other classes. One of the major ones was the Wrangler, which allows you to manually aim the sentry gun, increasing the distance it can shoot, and also raises the armor level quite a bit. However, this also introduces its own problems, as any inattention on the part of the Engineer will almost certainly kill him (via Backstab or Headshot), which will in turn disable the sentry for 2–3 seconds. It also eats ammo a lot faster than before.
    • For the Meat Shield version, a Heavy Weapons Guy with Natasha equipped can be one of these. For the price of lower firepower, any caught by these boolets will get slowed down, resulting in anything between a minor annoyance to a complete death trap depending on the circumstances. Add a Medic into the equation, constantly healing the Heavy from any damage he might pick up from a lucky shot, and you've got a solid wall.
      • A heavy carrying the Fists of Steel and being healed by a Medic can be almost unkillable, but is reduced to melee attacks if he wants to keep the protection.
    • A Scout with Bonk can potentially become a faster Stone Wall for a few seconds. While under the effects of Bonk, the Scout can't attack, but he can "dodge" all damage (including flamethrowers, fall damage, and even the self inflicted damage from triple-jumping while carrying the Atomizer), soaking up rockets and distracting sentries.
  • Spartans using Armor Lock in Halo: Reach become completely invincible for a short period of time at the cost of being unable to move.


  • In City of Heroes and City of Villains, one defensive choice for Tanker/Brute is Stone Armor. There's a power in that set called "Granite Armor", which turns you into a special character model (a living stone statue type of thing). While you have that active, you have somewhere between 15% and 25.2% Defense against all but Psionics, 37.5% and 63.7% damage reduction against all but Psionics, and high resistance to all status effects. The tradeoff is that you do 30% less damage, take three times longer to recharge across the board, run less than a third your normal speed and cannot jump.
    • The basic playstyle no matter the powersets for Tankers (and some Brutes, and a few particularly crazy Scrappers)) is the 'Shielding' variant of this. Since Tankers can take darn near anything thrown at them, their abilities are geared towards getting the attention while the Squishy Wizard and Glass Cannon shoot from behind. Most Scrappers (and all the other Brutes) don't care.
    • Several Tanker and Scrapper builds lean towards the "Berserker" variant instead, affectionately dubbed the "Scranker." If you have a strong enough defense or regeneration, you can rush into the middle of an enemy Mook formation and lay down area-of-effect bursts to your heart's content.
    • The pet-based Masterminds were originally intended to be the villain tanks, and can still act as such with "Tankermind" builds. Thanks to "Bodyguard mode", Masterminds can effectively share now-very-large lifebar with their pets, and if they've taken Robotics and/or Force Field powers? Forget about hurting them.
  • Paladins from Final Fantasy XI fit this trope to a T, although "berserking" is normally only seen in merit parties. Ninjas are Fragile Speedsters that can (and do) function as turtling Stone Walls through evasion and illusion. Warriors don't actually count, as they possess significant attack power right out of the box (though their attacking power doesn't go up quite as fast as other classes).
  • Dedicated tanks in World of Warcraft fall into this category, especially Warriors and bear-form Druids. Their role is to distract the enemy while other players kill them. While some tanks can deal a fair amount of damage, particularly whoever Blizzard recently overbuffed for threat, this is usually done through low-damage area of effect attacks directed against all available enemies at once. As such, when the tank starts dealing more damage than some of the designated damage dealers it's a sign that either your party is taking way too long to kill their enemies, the tank greatly outgears the damage-dealers, or the tank class is unbalanced.
  • EVE Online Drakes....just Drakes, for shield tanking (80k+ regenerative). While Domis are pretty good for armor with reppers.
    • For those not in the know, Drakes receive a bonus of 5% per level of the battlecruiser skill (Max Level 5) to shield resists. Therefore, all base resists to all damage types are boosted by 25% with max skill. 6 mid slots allow for propulsion mod, warp disruptor, web, and 3 shield mods. It has the fitting to boost shield capacity with large shield extenders and resists boosters even further. So you can wind up with 80K shield points with a minimum of 70% resistance to all damage. Mission runners in drake can have 75%-80% resists to the specific rats in the mission. Add to that the boots to natural shield regen certain rigs and modules give and you can be regnereating those shield at something like 100 - 200 pts per second.
    • That said. Once your shield are gone you are dead, and your damage sucks.
  • Many of the prime or once-prime farming strategies in Guild Wars revolve around adjusting certain characters' HP until Protective Spirit (reduces damage to 10% of the character's hit points; a powerful defensive buff) meshes with various healing skills, making the character difficult to kill. The player then aggros as much as is feasible and has various Smiting buffs deal damage back to the opponents each time the player is hit.
  • Say what you like about all the other flyable ships in Star Trek Online, because no other ship in the game can out-tank a Galaxy class starship.
  • In Phantasy Star Online, the RAcaseal has the highest Defense, second to high HP, and pretty high Evasion. The result of this is being a godly tank. However, their damage output is nothing to write home about...
  • The Ice School in Wizard 101 is the only class that can equip gear with resistance to all attacks other than crowns gear. Even tough later gear allowed other schools to equip similar gear ice still has the best resistance. Also ice has the weakest attack spells and many defense based spells and can even steal defensive charms and slow healing effects from enemies.

Platform Game

  • Mario's Tanuki suit has a mode that turns to stone. You can't be hurt, but you can't act.
  • Olaf of The Lost Vikings is a very basic example of the Shielding variety (with an actual shield, no less!). He can't attack at all, but he can block any attack. Simply place him in front of an enemy to absorb all of its attacks while Baleog takes it out.

Real Time Strategy

  • In Command & Conquer 1 and Red Alert 1 games, the Armored Personnel Carrier has heavy armor, but is only has a light machine gun. Though it is meant to carry troops around the field, it is almost always used as a stone wall unit.
    • In Red Alert 2, the war miner, though mainly a resource harvester, is armed with a small machine gun, but has enough armor to defeat tanks on a one on one battle. Same with slave miner in the Yuri's Revenge expansion pack. Also in the YR expansion, the Allies have access to the Battle Fortress, which is the the most heavily armored unit in the game and is armed with a light machine gun, though it can be garrisoned with five infantry, who can shoot out of the vehicle, making it one of the best units in terms of armor and firepower, hence turning it into a Mighty Glacier.
    • In Red Alert 3, the Allies have the Assault Destroyer which is a ship that can traverse in land and water, its has an average attack, and its secondary ability is the "black hole armor", which draws all fire towards it and can soak up a lot of damage.
  • The Night Elf faction's Mountain Giants from Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne act as meatshield-type Stone Walls. They have an unimpressive damage output and a heavy price tag, but their tanking abilities are unmatched, with tons of HP and armor, and upgrades that give them extra damage reduction and spell resistance. They also have a Taunt ability that causes nearby enemies to focus on them, and their large size means that it's difficult for enemy units to sneak past and attack the Glass Cannon Night Elf archers and casters behind.
    • In theory, anyway. In reality, Mountain Giants are slow and cumbersome, and the field of battle is rarely so small that the two mountain giants you could afford to field (they cost as many resources as a Hero Unit, and take 7 supply, in a game where you can go no higher than 100 and you start receiving economic penalties past 50) can guarantee taking the hits. They don't synergize well with anything the night elves can deploy, and Taunt lacks any permanence, limiting its effectiveness to exactly as long as it takes for the enemy to retarget the squishies. All this with their terrible DPS means that the best way to counter a Mountain Giant is to ignore it. A better example of a Stone Wall is the Undead Crypt Lord hero, with tons of hitpoints, bonus armor, melee-damage reflection, and an Ultimate spell that restores its health while sapping that of the enemies around it. Only way to reliably kill a high-level Crypt Lord is with ranged units or 'nuke' spells like Storm Bolt or Holy Light.
  • In the bizarre 3rd-person Real Time Strategy game Sacrifice, this is the schtick of James, God of Earth.
    • Persephones units also count, they mostly do average damage but have tons of health, and have the ability to generate sheilds or can quickly rengerate health.
  • Defense Of The Ancients: All-Stars vividly demonstrates the downside of Stone Walls. Heroes of this type, like Centaur Warchief or Treant Protector, have one key team-aiding skill and lots of health. However, when said skill runs its course and the enemy team is still in good straits, they will proceed to target the more dangerous Glass Cannon rather than the tank that poses little threat, defeating the purpose of being a tank. In earlier versions buying the Radiance item allowed them to provide meaningful DPS, but with the Metagame shift towards shorter game lengths and further encouraging ganking, Radiance has become harder to get. Not to mention that some heroes have percentage-based skills that deal more damage to targets with more health, and you see how hard Stone Walls in DotA have it.
  • Similarly, League of Legends has a few of these, with the most well-known (and often hated) ones being Morgana and Yorick. In fact, Morg is one of the most frequent bans due to her nature as a counterpick-only champ, which makes counterpicking her extremely difficult to do without screwing up team comp, and the absolute futility of trying to force her out of her lane. Cho'Gath and Malzahar also have elements of this trope; while Malz is squishy, his Malefic Visions ability allows him to recover mana with each enemy killed by it. Coupled with a Will of the Ancients, he is outrageously difficult to force out of lane; it doesn't help that the act of doing so is also extremely dangerous due to his enormous single-target damage output. Cho, meanwhile, has built-in health and mana recovery on kills, which, coupled with his godlike farming ability, allows him to stay in lane pretty much indefinitely. His amazing harass and stupidly high burst just makes dealing with him even more of a pain in the ass.
    • Cho'Gath can be a literal example with his Devour. Scoring a kill on anything with a lifebar with it gains him a boost to his max hp and his physical size (to a maximum of six stacks). Letting him get all of his stacks yields a massive wall of hit points that his smaller teammates can hide behind.
  • Company of Heroes features the British Churchill tank, which has very tough armor and very slow speed for a tank. It is faction-specific and a call-in, meaning that Brit players don't have to spend any of their precious fuel to get one; plus, abilities like Mine Plow (instagibs infantry) combined with Tank Shock (suppresses enemy infantry that it gets to close to) make it the British number-one deblobbifier. True to the trope, it sports a very unimpressive main armament, good for dealing with infantry and light armor but totally useless against other tanks and antitank guns.
  • Netstorm has several towers whose only function is to absorb the enemy shots. Technically, any building would suffice, but the towers automatically switch the attention to themselves and usually have higher HP. The Bulwark takes the trope Up to Eleven (and the price is appropriate).
  • The Greeks are superb at this in Rome: Total War'. A handful of phalanx units is capable of holding a city, or at the very least inflicting severe casualties to allow an allied force to retake the city later.

Rhythm Game

  • In Patapon 3 Guardira class and Slogturtle have weak attacks, but they hold a massive shield which blocks most of the attacks and helps to cover the other units near them.


  • In Ancient Domains of Mystery, the Ancient Stone Beast is an example of this. Though it's the boss of the Earth Temple, it deals far far less damage than its slaves, the earth elementals and stone grues. Being a Stone Wall, it has terrible speed, a PV [1] of 60, and over 1k HP.
    • There are also literal living walls. There are a lot of them in the minotaur maze.
  • 100 Rogues has the White Knight monster class. While upgrading a certain skill makes its damage output better, almost its entire skill tree is dedicated to making it tougher than before.

Role-Playing Game

  • The Metal Slimes from Dragon Quest. Spins the trope slightly by making them extremely fast—a rare combination of Stone Wall, Fragile Speedster, and Glass Cannon. In the Mons spinoff games, Metal Slimes on your team do not run, making them excellent healers, mages, -- extremely fast, great MP, immune to offensive magic, and takes almost no damage from physical attacks. This is balanced by the fact that Metal Slimes have almost no HP, and even in the Mons spinoffs, never gain very much, so that if they are consistently hit by an attack that pierces their nigh-invulnerable armor (Metal Slash, usually), they will be defeated in short order. They also have absolutely no evasion.
  • Many, many Pokémon, in varying degrees - not only between offense and defense, but the game's special and physical attack classifications.
    • Currently, Shuckle has the highest Defense stats, but its typing and lack of recovery hurts it. When it comes to Defense in Pokémon, the last two matter almost as much as raw numbers.
    • There's quite a few Pokémon who have good defensive stats all around and lackluster offense. When they do attack, it's often with a type advantage, a move with high base power to make up for the low Attack stat, or as a filler move. Included are Aggron, Probopass, and Bastiodon, who look as if they were designed to be Stone Walls, but whose Steel/Rock typing leaves gaping holes in their defenses.
      • And a Pokémon doesn't have to have high defensive stats to be a Stone Wall if their type, ability, or movepool lets them compensate. Just one example is the ability Prankster, which makes the Pokémon with it have priority on any non-damaging move.
    • The best-known example is Blissey, who has absurdly high Hit Points (the highest in the game, in fact, with a maximum of 714 points) and Special Defense, as well as healing moves. The item Leftovers, which heals 1/16 of the holder's maximum HP each turn, is incredibly effective here, as well as the move Softboiled, which restores up to 50% of the user's maximum HP. Even with her abysmal Defense stat, Blissey's enormous HP lets her take a few physical hits - as long as they aren't Fighting-type, but even then it typically takes a strong STAB Fighting-type move for Blissey to succumb to a one-hit knockout. And forget about status moves - not only can Blissey heal them with Heal Bell or Aromatherapy, her ability Natural Cure removes any status when she switches out. Finally, the moves Double Team and Minimize, which increase the user's evasiveness, can compound Blissey's defensive strategy even further and make her even harder to hit.
    • Some Pokémon have good physical bulk, but fall over if a special attacker so much as looks at them.[2] These are usually Rock or Ground (or Rock/Ground)-type Pokémon, as well as a few Steel-types like Skarmory and outliers such as Cloyster (a Water/Ice-type). The Steel-type resistances are numerous and the Ground-type is considered to be a decent defensive type, but the Rock-type is seen as a shoddy defensive type (Cloyster's Ice-type takes this Up to Eleven). Since Pokémon of these types are almost always slow, they're not too hard to stop - if you can hit them with a special attack. Players who use these Pokémon will combine them with teammates who can compensate for this weakness, leading to an infamous combo: SkarmBliss.[3]
    • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon has a quirk where a species that normally receives one of two Abilities receives them both. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon's Bronzong therefore has no weaknesses and many resistances. There are only six types that do standard damage to it.
    • In the Pokémon anime itself, Paul's Torterra teaches Ash's newly-evolved Grotle a lesson in how to effectively turtle.
    • Red's Snorlax and Whitney's Miltank act as this in-game.
    • Any Pokémon that is capable of raising both defenses can function as a Stone Wall, although Pokémon that have to rely on one move for each stat (e.g., Amnesia and Iron Defense, like Clamperl and evolutions) do use up half of their moveset for these purposes. Cosmic Power and Stockpile (although only half as effective) affect both defenses, however, and either is an effective choice to turn nearly anything that learns them into one. The reverse can also happen, if you give a wall the opportunity to set up its attacks.
    • There is a total paradigm shift for what constitutes a Stone Wall when battling in an environment other than single battling though: As switching if far less common in these other modes, a Pokémon can have substantial weaknesses and do fine if the opponent can't capitalize on it (either because they're not present at the moment or because every Pokémon capable of hitting for weakness has been knocked out). In addition, as more than one Pokémon is out at a time, the Stone Wall can take all the damage while the attacking Pokémon ravages the opponent relatively safely. Registeel is a good example of this, with Stone Wall type stats and the highly resistant Steel-type, but it deals little damage and is more about removing the opponent's options. It can't do much on its own, but disabling the opponent's Pokémon makes its partners' job incredibly easy. And, of course, said Pokémon mentioned above with gaping holes in their defenses can be covered by their partners in double and triple battles, allowing them to function more as intended.
  • In Skies of Arcadia Gregorio is known as old Iron Wall, sporting a massive shield, although we never see him fight. His fleet sports high defense and is often more reserved when it comes to firing the cannons, saving up for ram attacks.
  • While having some decent offense, Big is best used as a tank in Sonic Chronicles. Second highest armor value in the damn game (only Omega is better) + Taunt + Feel No Pain = that tickles!
  • Estelle from Tales of Vesperia is a mix of this and White Mage, having arguably the highest defense (and worst offense) in the game. Many of her skills focus on defense and healing. This may be because she was the only playable character who thought to bring a shield.
    • Mix her defensive abilities with this equation: Force Field + Eternal Support = Invincible
    • The Eternal Support + Force Field is actually an oversight/glitch that wasn't intended to work that way in the original game, since once it kicks in it essentially means you've won the fight - you can set the other characters to auto and Estelle will eventually win the fight, even if she's simply plinking away for one damage. This was thankfully fixed in the Play Station 3 remake. Karol is actually a better example of a Stone Wall when you get his Steel Defense skill - when his health gets low, he takes only 1/10th the damage from all attacks. Coupled with his naturally high HP and defense stats, he's often the only one to survive Mystic Artes on Unknown difficulty. Unfortunately, the skills Karol needs to be a really useful member come really late in the game, meaning he's not as good on a first playthrough as in subsequent ones (assuming you carry over the skills).
  • There is an enemy in the game Adventure Quest that is simply a giant rock. It has thousands of Hp and, when weakened, it attacks by allowing chunks of its rocks to fall on you.
  • This is the default strategy for Peco in Breath of Fire 3. He has the highest natural HP and second highest natural Defense totals in the game, with average attack and low speed and magic. Oh, and he recovers about 5% of his max HP every combat round. So he's already very difficult to kill, and most people will apprentice him to Fahl (who gives the best level up gains for, as you might guess, HP and Defense), making him Nigh Invulnerable. The fact that Peco starts at level 1 and can therefore give himself the aforementioned level up gains right off the bat helps a lot. Also, place him at the point of the attack formation and at the cost of a noticeable decrease in defense (33%) he gains a 75% increase to attack and an increased reprisal rate, which starts out the highest of any character (50%), along with a higher chance of enemies attacking him. Game Breaker anyone?
  • Though he's generally better off being played as a Lightning Bruiser with a little less lightning, it is possible and in some cases advisable to play Paladin!Cecil from Final Fantasy IV as a shielding/turtling Stone Wall in the somewhat-more-customizable DS remake. Start with his already excellent defense and HP stats, give him some Infinity Plus Or Minus One Armor (which generally only he can equip), and give him an ability set including Draw Attacks, HP+50%, and Brace. Draw Attacks means that every monster with a single-character-hit move will use it on him instead of the other, less-well-defended characters, HP+50% is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and Brace, when active, reduces all incoming damage by 75%. For the remaining slot, you can give him an offensive option with Counter, which will automatically attack any critter or boss dumb enough to use their physical attack on him, or you can stick him with White Magic, which allows him to cast buffs on himself and heal the damage the takes. As if this wasn't enough, you can also stick him in the back row, which will reduce his offensive output if you care to go that direction, but will also even further reduce the damage he takes. Combine all of these and the man is Nigh Invulnerable, which can be quite useful as that game can be Nintendo Hard, especially in the endgame or bonus areas.
    • Speaking of Final Fantasy, VI gives us Celes. While more accurately classified as Magic Knight, her character-specific ability is "Runic", which absorbs magic attacks when used.
    • Final Fantasy III had the Viking job, which could be played as a Turtler; put the Viking in the back row, dual wield shields, and use Provoke over and over. The Knight job also has some Stone Wall elements; they have very high defense, an improved 'Guard' command, and will take an attack for a party member with low health.
  • The Dragonute/Dragonewt in both Shining Soul games. In the first game, he was more of a Mighty Glacier, as there weren't as many defensive talents you can specialize in other than weakening enemy attack power and increasing magic resistance of a particular element, and he hit the hardest physically of the four characters, but had very bad lag.
    • However in the sequel he is now a full stop tank, having skills that increase defense gained from armor equips, the mentioned aura that decreases enemy attack power from the first game is back, a shield skill that increases the defense gained from shield equips and provides the PCs a chance to block a physical attack - decreasing the damage taken to 1, the resistance skills from the first game have been combined into one talent in this one - meaning the dragonute will have the highest base resist of all the characters, and a skill that makes the character counter attacks do hit him with a fiery breath wave with great knockback, allowing breathing space for potion use.
      • All this combined with the fact that it can equip the strongest armors and shields... and that the dragonute wields the most powerful weapon types in the game (Axes and Flails) and you get a character that can laugh at most attacks, while easily pummeling them to death with his weapons thanks to his 'Break Armor' skill. The only things preventing the character from being a walking Game Breaker is his slow run speed, the mentioned attack lag, and that the axe Charged Attack often puts in danger of more mobs and/or their attacks.
  • Shale, the DLC party member from Dragon Age: Origins, is a rare example in that she can be any one of these three types, depending on which mode she's in. Pulverizing Blows makes her a very effective Berserker, whereas with Stoneheart activated she's an incredibly effective Turtler/Shielder.
    • Alistair, and any other Warrior character following the Shield skill tree, is likewise the party's defensive expert: only one skill branch is offensive, the other two buff up his armor and make him immune to knockdown, flanking, backstabs...
      • Let's not forget the Arcane Warrior, a heavy armor wearing mage/tank hybrid. Their abilities allow them to either nullify or greatly reduce all damage, and they have access to any regular mage spell, such as heals and crowd control. If built correctly, they can resist all spells, as well. Add poltices into this for when mana gets low, and the Arcane Warrior can be nearly invincible. The only catch is their abilities use so much mana that all they can really do is auto-attack and occasionally heal, making battles take a long time.
    • In Dragon Age II, Aveline's "Guardian" specialization focus specifically on defending the part with a lot of defensive abilities. This can have interesting results against the Final Boss, who stuns the party to deliver monologues. If Aveline's in your party and has her Indomitable ability, she will ignore it and continue attacking during the big speech.
      • Isabela can, in principle, become the Fragile Speedster "Evasion Tank" equivalent, but she doesn't compare to Aveline. A specialized Healer-buffer player can soak up and regenerate enough to withstand attacks perpetually on Normal to Easy modes.
  • The Sentinel class from the Mass Effect series. Have the bad guys broken through your shields? No problem, just hit the instant recharge button! However, Sentinels have very hard-hitting powers in comparison to almost any other class, and they (at first in the 2nd game) can only use Submachineguns and Heavy Pistols, the two weakest weapon classes in the game to the point of being regarded as sidearms for most of the other classes. You are given the choice between whether to turn into a Berserker version of this trope or a Turtler, though most will vye for the Berserker style. In short, you get almost infinite health and shielding, but sacrifice for low firepower, fitting the trope to a T.
    • Of your party members, the closest fits would be Grunt (if you focus on his health regeneration) in the second game and James Vega in the third. EDI is something of a Glacier Waif.
  • Final Fantasy X has Lulu. Initially your party's Squishy Wizard / Black Magician Girl, she starts off with depressing speed and attack power, but an impressive amount of defense...and the highest evasion stat in the game. Teach her Guard from another character's grid, and you'll be the next best thing to completely immune to physical attacks until the end of time.
  • Final Fantasy XIII brings us the Sentinel role. Initially learned by Fang and Snow, it draws enemy fire with abilities like Provoke and specializes in blocks and counters.
  • Etrian Odyssey has the Protector class for the first two games. While their offense will sometimes be the weakest of the front row, most Protectors will simply laugh at hits that would have overkilled other characters a few levels higher than they. They have skills that further increase their/ally's defense, attract enemy attacks towards themselves, resurrect themselves automatically once per battle, take hits for other, squishier units, and nullify, to add insult to (non)injury, physical attacks. Add in their one, though admittedly rather useful, offensive skill and you have the epitome of a Stone Wall.
    • The third game has the Hoplite, which has a major focus on defense. Most of their skill tree is dedicated to improving their ability to take hits, shield others, recover from damage or status effects, and even nullifying damage. If you subclass into Ninja and put a focus on the evasion tree to learn how to dodge, you get something that's increadibly hard to kill. Unfortunately, because all your skill points are bound up in defense and avoidance, the character is reduced to Cherry Tapping when they do attack.
  • In Super Mario RPG, the Lazy Shell armor would turn any character into a Stone Wall, causing their Defense and Special Defense stats to skyrocket but dropping their Attack and Special Attack. Equipped on Toadstool, it could make a party nearly unstoppable.
  • In Return to Krondor, Solon is this combined with The Big Guy. Just put him between the enemy and your characters. This will allow your characters to pummel the enemy without too much damage.
  • Beef Cloud in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team is a miniboss who doesn't attack at all, has high defense and health and recovers health in real time by sleeping. It's nearly impossible to outdamage his constant healing without resorting to level grinding first, but hitting him many times rapidly will disrupt his sleep and temporarily stop his recovery.

Simulation Game

  • Ace Combat 6's A-10A is essentially this in in air-to-air combat but a Lightning Bruiser against ground targets.
    • If you know what you're doing, the A-10A is a reasonably effective air-to-air combat plane, and even has a couple of weapon loadouts that include air-to-air specialties. Considering the tank-plane has the highest armor rating in the game, and can withstand significantly more damage than even it's closest competitor in armor, it's a viable option.
    • Even worse in the Air Force Delta series, which has RPG-like stats on any difficulty mode except the hidden one. Much like the 3.5 example above, unless you're escorting ground units, it's best just to ignore A-10s. It takes anywhere from 6 to 11(!) missiles to down ONE.
  • Mechwarrior Living Legends has the Hephaestus (better known as "Hepatitis") hovercraft. It's fast, has pathetic weaponry, but has the armor of a 60 ton main battle tank. One of the most infuriating vehicles to fight - the player in the Hepatitis can simply spin around the enemy slowly whittling them down while laughing off most damage.

Sports Game

  • Stephanie Morgan in the Backyard Sports series has amazing defense in every game because of her experience at shortstop. Her offensive abilities are terrible.

Survival Horror

  • In House of the Dead, fat zombies tend to fulfil this role; they usually don't do any more damage than their skinnier counterparts do (occasionally less, because they don't hit as many times as a skinnier zombie would before you put them down), but they can also usually take more shots. In House of the Dead 2, a hefty zombie can take an entire clip or more of handgun bullets to the torso before dying.
  • Ashley's Armor alternate costume from Resident Evil 4 has her be completely invulnerable to any damage, and she can not be picked up by enemies and carried away other than when the plot calls for it. She can not do any damage to anyone except for when you are playing as her and use the lamps.

Tower Defense

  • Plants vs. Zombies has the Wall-nut, Tall-nut and Pumpkin of the shielding variety. These plants solely exist to do nothing but take damage for your easily-killed attackers as well as impede the zombies' advance. However, all three plants sure do a good job at it.
  • Being an expy of Plants Vs Zombies, Mini Robot Wars has the Shielder (who functions similarly to the Wall-Nut) and the Warrior (like the shielder, except that he has a weak attack).

Turn-Based Strategy

  • Super Robot Wars Original Generations gives us the Giganscudo, a Super Robot piloted by Tasuku Shinguji. While the Giganscudo has a reliable offense, it's really nothing special compared to other Super Robots like Dygenguard or the SRX; its true strength lies in its massive defensive power and Tasuku's Defense Support skill, which allows him to cut in during an attack and take hits for adjacent allies. The mech is most infamous for being the Immovable Object that stopped the Unstoppable Force of Sanger Zonvolt's Zankantou, proving that yes, there is something the Colossal Blade cannot cleave.
    • The Big O in Z can tank anything if set up properly; even the final boss can have trouble doing decent damage.
    • In non-OG, anytime Daitarn 3 appears, it's one of the toughest units in the game, if not the toughest even surpassing the battleships. Add on it also usually surpasses most everyone in damage, it's always top tier. Also the Mazingers to an extent, but Kaiser is a true tank. In fact, most of the older super robots are fairly good tanks, besides Getter, which is a glass cannon. GP-03 is also fairly tough for a Gundam.
  • In Battle for Wesnoth, the Dwarvish Guardsman line has pretty poor attacks, but good resistances and an ability that doubles their resistances on defense. User created content provides an even more extreme example; the Steppe Shieldbearer line from the Extended Era is unable to initiate combat, but has very high resistances.
  • The Golem monster class from Ogre Battle tends to have extremely high defenses, but isn't very useful as a tank due to its low HP.
    • Undead units (Skeletons and Ghosts, particularly) are brick walls that shrug off almost every form of attack... except for holy spells, which dust them in one hit (Vampyres aren't instantly dusted, merely highly vulnerable).
    • Ogre Battle 64 revises this, improving the Golem's hitpoint total and making it so that Undead can be killed by conventional means, but they will revive at the end of the battle unless the last hit was Virtue elemental or the entire unit was wiped out. They still make good tanks, it's just a matter of picking one's battles.
  • The Dragon Laguz are probably the closest thing that Fire Emblem has to a Stone Wall; their breath weapon doesn't impress, but they have a frickton of HP and aren't so much as tickled by anything other than Thunder magic.
    • It's also common practice to strip the Crutch Character or the Mighty Glacier of their weapons so that they can draw enemies to attack them for little to no damage without killing them with a counterattack, making them function as literal walls and nothing else.
    • Marty of Fire Emblem Thracia 776 has very low accuracy and speed growth thus making it unlikely for him to hit. You'll often mistake him for an example of Muscles Are Meaningless until you look at his incredibly high constitution, HP, and defense growth. These traits make Marty ideal for rescuing and capturing.
  • In Luminous Arc 2, Gaston have ridiculously high defence and special defence, but generally wasn't that useful due to his slow speed and 3 MOV.
  • Disgaea games have Galactic Demons. Pathetic move rate, but practically impenetrable defense (aided by a 50% bonus to all defense boosts from equipment!)
    • The Heavy Knight class is a recurring example, making an appearance in every game following the first. They boast a tremendous amount of HP and defense, and have a respectable amount of magic resistance as well. They also possess an ability that boosts their defenses even further when low on health, and another that massively reduces the damage they take while defending.
  • Although a party game with several mini games in it, Mario Party 3 has Whomp in Duel Mode, whose main purpose is to protect the main player with his good defense and requires a salary of 3 coins for each turn. However, he cannot attack the main opponent or his/her partners when they are in front.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic V, Haven footmen fit this trope pretty well, due to their Large Shield ability blocking 50% of physical projectile damage, and Shield-Bash that may stun their target, making it lose its turn. Their upgraded version also protects nearby units from arrows.


  • Warframe:
    • Inaros is a juggernaut of a warframe with the highest health in the game (for reference, at rank 30, Inaros has 2310 health, while second place, Grendel, has 1295 and the average warframe only has 370), a decent amount of armor that he can improve further and abilities focused on incapacitating enemies and stealing their life for himself or his allies. His main weakness is his low ability damage that becomes apparent at higher levels and lack of shields allowing him to still get one-shot as enemy damage scales due to lacking shield gating, but he's still nearly unkillable when played well and a great supportive tank to help his more fragile but more damaging allies.
    • Prior to his rework, Wukong was exclusively a Stone Wall. His Defy was a toggled ability that revived him if he happened to die at the cost of energy over time and each consecutive revive would restore less and less health until he ultimately fell, but that could easily be circumvented by just deactivating it then activating it again. Combine that with the Rage mod, which gives energy upon receiving health damage, and Wukong was effectively invincible as long as ability-nullifying enemies didn't touch him. In contrast, the rest of his kit was awful, the only saving grace being his Primal Fury because it was a (still subpar) melee weapon. Nowadays, that aspect of Wukong has been reworked into a passive ability that grants him three free revives every mission and he can actually deal good damage, leading him to becoming the most used warframe for multiple years in a row.
    • Hildryn is a warframe entirely based on using shields. Shields are already great for tanking due to having an innate 50% damage reduction and shield gating, but Hildryn has more than any other warframe by a comfortable margin and her shields are naturally stronger by being able to protect her health from shield-bypassing damage and having a higher shield gate duration cap. In a vacuum, her damage is subpar and her unique gimmick of using shields instead of energy to cast abilities sounds bad, but Pillage removes both of those issues by stripping enemy defenses in a large radius to recover her own shields, at which point enemies will be too dead to deal any damage to her massive shield pool.
    • Valkyr is deliberately designed to subvert expectations of what a Stone Wall can look like: her design was largely inspired by felines, she has the second smallest shield pool in the game (only beating Inaros, Nidus and Kullervo, who have 0), an average amount of health and a mostly unimposing appearance compared to "proper tanks" like Rhino. However, she has a whopping 630 armor (with her Prime having even more at 730), giving her health 67% damage reduction, Warcry, which increases her and her allies' armor even more, and Hysteria, which gives her straight-up invulnerability and lifesteal at the cost of draining energy over time and taking a burst of damage if any enemies are nearby when it is deactivated. Despite all that, she is not considered good by the community as her damage is bad and armor becomes less useful as enemies get stronger.
      • Apocryphally, Hysteria had to be nerfed by increasing the high amount of damage reduction it gave from about 90% to 100% in order to break synergy with the Rage mod mentioned above.

Visual Novel

  • Berserker from Fate/stay night mostly qualifies. Berserker's certainly got a powerful conventional offense, but the other Servants in the war have powerful, magical super-attacks. Instead, his special magic is Godhand, an ability grants him immense protection and multiple regenerations from total death. But it's a Worf Barrage defense. In true Worfing fashion, it serves to make him an impressive mid-boss and Stone Wall for the heroes or other villains to knock down, to show how awesome they are. (He only mostly qualifies as a Stone Wall because he really does have a super-attack—he just can't use it because his class ability, "Mad Enhancement", keeps him permanently insane. He never gets to use it in any route.)

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • In The Simpsons episode "The Homer They Fall", Homer is revealed to be a Stone Wall, with Dr. Hibbert noting that his brain has a fluid cushion around it that acts like a football helmet. He can withstand constant blows from his boxing opponents, but is a very weak fighter. He won fights only by waiting for his opponents to become exhausted, and then pushing them over. However upon confronting Drederick Tatum this tactic fails as the Tyson Expy is heavyweight champion, and easily capable of hitting hard enough to knock out Homer.
    • This is actually Truth in Television to an extent. Joe Grim was infamous for being nearly impossible to knock out despite his terrible boxing ability. He didn't push them over after they got tired, though.
  • Po, The Everyman hero of Kung Fu Panda initiates almost no offense even in his climactic duel with Tai Lung, instead relying on his fat to absorb the damage of Tai Lung's punches and nullify his Pressure Point attacks.

  1. Protective Value, a number which is reduced from all damage done on it, short of Magic and specific weapons
  2. The inverse, high special defense and low physical, is rare in comparison for true Stone Walls.
  3. Skarmory and Blissey used in tandem