Goatborn

Checkmating Limelight (SPOILERS!)

110 posts in this topic

 

You know, I was hoping for that particular matchup for a while now, and it looks like we get our wish in Calamity.

 
Even without all of the "new" abilities he has that we never got to witness in action in Steelheart making him a much more capable fighter, he always did strike me as an incredibly dangerous fighter. Sure, he can't possibly win against Steelheart himself in a fight when one is invincible and the other is not, but if he stops having to worry about straining his willpower to its breaking point to stop himself from turning evil his implied combat potential was already amazing. Can turn any non-living matter to dust almost effortlessly with incredible precision, nearly indestructible force field, hyper-regeneration abilities.
 
Now we know that on top of that he can control the bubble's shape freely. Force field characters that could do so have always been powerful on that basis alone, since you basically have a manipulable equivalent of the hardest substance in the universe. Plus he can crush with it, and has superhuman strength. He's not as unkillable as Steelheart for sure, but he is several times more capable at killing.

 

I think he is, for all intents and purposes, unkillable. He has not 1, but 2 forms of high invincibility. His healing is amazingly powerful, a fraction of it brought david back from having half his body being destroyed and effectively being dead, and his force fields were much more powerful than previously believed. They literally contained the equivelent of a nuclear bomb. So even if he got hit by something as powerful his shields would block it, and even if it got through he would almost instantly regenerate.

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Prof is far more powerful than Steelheart ever was. With force fields, he can kill people with a flick of his mind, can block any attack that comes his way, and fly. With healing, he can heal back from any attack instantly. With the tensors, he is impossible to contain or hide from because he can go literally anywhere. In fact. the tensors can destroy any weapons and projectiles that come his way, which makes it a third form of Prime Invincibility. Most importantly, with gifting, he can make other people that can do all of that too.

 

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Prof is far more powerful than Steelheart ever was. With force fields, he can kill people with a flick of his mind, can block any attack that comes his way, and fly. With healing, he can heal back from any attack instantly. With the tensors, he is impossible to contain or hide from because he can go literally anywhere. In fact. the tensors can destroy any weapons and projectiles that come his way, which makes it a third form of Prime Invincibility. Most importantly, with gifting, he can make other people that can do all of that too.

 

Yeah I wasn't sure about his power back in Steelheart, but damnation, Prof when he holds nothing back is absolutely terrifying.

 

One of my biggest doubt I have about him is his healing, which didn't seem THAT strong when compared to stuff like Steelheart's absolute invulnerability. But then just gifting a tiny portion of his powers to David allows David to heal from getting half of his body vaporized? I can't imagine what he himself can do with the healing.

 

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I think he is, for all intents and purposes, unkillable. He has not 1, but 2 forms of high invincibility. His healing is amazingly powerful, a fraction of it brought david back from having half his body being destroyed and effectively being dead, and his force fields were much more powerful than previously believed. They literally contained the equivelent of a nuclear bomb. So even if he got hit by something as powerful his shields would block it, and even if it got through he would almost instantly regenerate.

[spoilers] I guess this kinda makes Prof the strongest Epic in existence, bar the unknown that is Calamity? Since in the books they basically thought that Steelheart was the strongest, and clearly Prof is miles ahead of him in full power.

 

Now I know this series is non Cosmere, but I'm kinda curious what would happen if someone try to attack Prof with a Shardblade. Or honestly, anyone of the High Epics with a Shardblade

 

[/spoilers]

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Prof's powers do appear to have an upper limit.  iirc, Steelheart actually did have Prof down and out when David finally stepped in at the climax of the first book.  So presumably at some point his regeneration simply slows to a crawl.  But he took an incredible amount of punishment to reach that point, and Steelheart himself basically says, "You're the toughest epic I've ever fought."

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Prof's powers do appear to have an upper limit.  iirc, Steelheart actually did have Prof down and out when David finally stepped in at the climax of the first book.  So presumably at some point his regeneration simply slows to a crawl.  But he took an incredible amount of punishment to reach that point, and Steelheart himself basically says, "You're the toughest epic I've ever fought."

 

 

Yeah, except that during that fight he was leashing himself. He barely even used his force fields and made sure to heal himself very slowly so that he didn't snap. Unleashed, he could have easily just trapped Steelheart in an impenetrable force field until he starved to death.

 

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One thing we can be sure of is that trapping Prof in something organic, the main component of most traps, has suddenly stopped being feasible. So has dropping him into the ocean or a deep hole. His powers can heal people back from death itself when he's no longer concerned about holding up the facade, his shields can actually lift things and crush them, and the cherry on top is the gifting. At this point removing his powers or finding his weakness seems to be the only option. Checkmating him seems far too difficult. You'd have to somehow hammer through his shielding, and then beat his healing down to a crawl, and even then it might bring him crawling out of the dirt if you let him sit long enough. It simple isn't looking possible anymore to beat him without his weakness.

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Yeah, except that during that fight he was leashing himself. He barely even used his force fields and made sure to heal himself very slowly so that he didn't snap. Unleashed, he could have easily just trapped Steelheart in an impenetrable force field until he starved to death.

Plus Steelheart is still seemingly invincible, so you really have the case of a skilled fighting game player using the most broken character against an opponent who is hacking. It will never go beyond the "toughest Epic I have ever fought" stage, because Steelheart won't lose. Who knows if the force fields could actually crush him, but the holding back sure wasn't helping.

Rather, Steelheart himself found him an extremely tough opponent to fight even at a fraction of full power. That is horrifying.

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Does anyone else think that David will need to trick prof into following him and Tia into space on the rocket ship that Tia builds (she is a rocket scientist after all) and his way to fly into space is that he is surrounded by a force field. Killing calamity will kill prof. Or maybe prof will have to save Tia or something. Either way, prof flying in a bubble in space to destroy Calamity smacks of pure Awesomeness. Just the kind of visual that I could see Brandon writing.

Edited by VladJunior
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One thing we can be sure of is that trapping Prof in something organic, the main component of most traps, has suddenly stopped being feasible. So has dropping him into the ocean or a deep hole. His powers can heal people back from death itself when he's no longer concerned about holding up the facade, his shields can actually lift things and crush them, and the cherry on top is the gifting. At this point removing his powers or finding his weakness seems to be the only option. Checkmating him seems far too difficult. You'd have to somehow hammer through his shielding, and then beat his healing down to a crawl, and even then it might bring him crawling out of the dirt if you let him sit long enough. It simple isn't looking possible anymore to beat him without his weakness.

 

I wonder how true this is. How much does organic material block Prof's powers? If you coat a room in blood, for example, lead him into it, and then pump out all the oxygen and leave him there for a few months... would he be able to do anything? His forcefields are powerful shrinking, but I'm not sure how useful they are expansion wise. I actually don't think we've seen one expand.

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In Firefight, Prof uses his forcefields as a set of large hands to rip the roof of the Oblitobomb building off. I'm pretty sure he could use them that way. If worst came to worst, he could just crush himself along with his prison and grow back from the ruins.

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[spoilers] 

 

Shshshshshshshshshshsh

 

[/spoilers]

 

By the way, when tagging spoilers, use

, not the plural.

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I like the idea of shipping Phaedrus out into space, blowing up his transport and leaving him there to freeze (or throw him into the Sun superman-style), although I don't see a way you could feasibly force him/lure him to go to space.

 

Another option, we now know that gifters have an effectual range limit. If Calamity is a gifter (and not a giver), then you might just be able to lure prof out of Calamity's range. I find this unlikely though, since gifted abilities steadily deplete with use from what we've seen, but none of the epics' abilities deplete over time that we've seen... unless Calamity is continually gifting to every single epic. I don't know what Calamity is, but his 'gifts' seem more or less permanent. Unfortunately, I don't think that getting rid of Calamity is going to get rid of the epics.

 

From what I've seen, Phaedrus can regenerate from death, at least up to half his body being atomized. He can contain the force of several atomic bombs (Regalia had the Obliteration bomb priming for weeks, Obliteration himself only needed 7 days to blow up Houston) with force fields that he can also fully manipulate. He has his tensor power, and he is able to gift significant portions of his power to non-epics (is there anywhere that says gifting diminishes his power? He gifted to David to stave off his selfishness, but did that actually weaken him?)

 

Megan can hold him off, but she's only superpowered for a short time after reincarnation.

 

I could see this working out if another epic with different abilities we haven't seen before comes to take out Phaedrus (i.e. a minor epic with the ability to mind-read sees Phaedrus' nightmares and exploits his weakness). Or maybe the Reckoners figure out his weakness (public speaking? 5th graders? playing cards? who knows...). Or, maybe he is scared enough by Megan that he hides until his old personality comes back, but I doubt it.

 

Also, the title of the final book will be Calamity. With the pattern thus far, we should see Calamity's weakness in the next book, and he should also play a fairly major role, which probably means he'll be in combat at some point. Maybe Phaedrus and Calamity will get in a fight, but Phaedrus has a fear of authority (meaning people he perceives as being more powerful than himself; doesn't apply to Steelheart, because prof knew he was more powerful than Steelheart, while simultaneously being scared of who Steelheart could inadvertently force him to become) and becomes powerless when confronted with the truth that Calamity gave all epics their powers and is the ultimate epic authority. I could see Calamity killing Phaedrus, but then falling to David (speculation: because Calamity has a fear of rejection, so David is now his weakness).

Boom.

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Yeah, except that during that fight he was leashing himself. He barely even used his force fields and made sure to heal himself very slowly so that he didn't snap. Unleashed, he could have easily just trapped Steelheart in an impenetrable force field until he starved to death.

 

 

What I wonder is if Phaedrus would even need to wait Steelheart out. At his full power, with two Prime Invincibilities and possibly abilities we haven't yet seen (like the physical ones David wonders about)... would he even still fear Steelheart?

 

Actually the only way I see him not being able to kill Steelheart is if how Epic powers/weaknesses stem from fear would have prevented any Epic from killing Steelheart. Which might explain why Faultline couldn't kill him. I assumed before that it was because she really did fear him, despite what she might have told herself, but I suppose it could also be that Epics are naturally fearful.

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What I wonder is if Phaedrus would even need to wait Steelheart out. At his full power, with two Prime Invincibilities and possibly abilities we haven't yet seen (like the physical ones David wonders about)... would he even still fear Steelheart?

Actually the only way I see him not being able to kill Steelheart is if how Epic powers/weaknesses stem from fear would have prevented any Epic from killing Steelheart. Which might explain why Faultline couldn't kill him. I assumed before that it was because she really did fear him, despite what she might have told herself, but I suppose it could also be that Epics are naturally fearful.

It's hard not to be afraid of someone that powerful even if you are stronger. David's father was someone who was utterly convinced Steelheart was here to help without a shadow of a doubt, so he wasn't afraid.

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@natc

 

It's hard to be afraid of somebody who's helplessly trapped in one of your supremely powerful force fields...

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@natc

 

It's hard to be afraid of somebody who's helplessly trapped in one of your supremely powerful force fields...

Would you argue that nobody's at least a teensy bit afraid of snarling lions or tigers in zoos? Even caged, a deadly animal--or Epic--demands a little bit of awe and a healthy smidgeon of ingrained fear. I for one would still be afraid of Steelheart if he were contained within a forcefield. Especially if rather than pound futilely against the sides, he stoically stared at me through the field.

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@Kobold King

 

No.  I'm not, and I doubt that an epic would be, either.  Especially if you sit there for a couple hours, watching them be helpless.

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I would definitely be scared in that situation... but we're not talking about me or even a normal person, we're talking about Phaedrus the Epic, recently snapped and possibly in a Rending state.

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It just doesn't seem like Phaedrus is physically beatable as he is now.  I think he will have to be outgamed somehow.  The key is:  how did he get control of himself the first time, when he was running with the other Epics?  Presumably Tia knows that, since it was made clear that she was with them...  Is she keeping that secret?

 

The other thing I was thinking about is the fact that Epics can die in rather mundane ways (i.e. Regalia's cancer, if David hadn't finished her).  She didn't have healing powers that we know of, but:   It has also been stated that at least some of the Epics' powers are limited against living things.  Would Phaedrus' healing power work against some sort of infection?  If he couldn't wipe out an infectious agent because they're alive, it would be a constant drain on his power to keep repairing the damage they caused.  Much of Calamity is supposed to take place in Atlanta.  The CDC is in Atlanta....

Edited by AhMayzon
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Spoilers

 

 

Prof is weakness is his own powers. Firefight did it in Firefight. She changed reality making prof believe that was trapped in his own forcefield and he almost killed himself.

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If his weakness is his own powers, how the heck does he use them? :mellow:

Edited by TwiLyghtSansSparkles
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Prof is weakness is his own powers. Firefight did it in Firefight. She changed reality making prof believe that was trapped in his own forcefield and he almost killed himself.

 

That was just Megan outsmarting Prof to try and make him checkmate himself. Self-checkmates are one of the best ways to kill high epics, arguably David did this in killing Steelheart. Unless our information is incomplete, a weakness can't be an epic's own powers as it has to be their greatest fear from before they became an epic, which is well-established in Firefight eg. Megan's fear of fire, David's fear of water/drowning, Steelheart's fear of people he can't intimidate, and whatshername's fear of not living up to people's image of her causing her to be weak to compliments.

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The end of firefight, David equates the power prof puts into his forcefields to steelheart transforming chicago into steel.  Chicago is 234² miles, but houston is 3 times the size of chicago, at 627² miles which Obliteration destroyed and the bomb prof held in with his shields was several magnitudes higher that THAT.

 

We can assume steelheart put everything he had into transforming MOST of chicago to steel.  Prof is in a whole other league.

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The end of firefight, David equates the power prof puts into his forcefields to steelheart transforming chicago into steel.  Chicago is 234² miles, but houston is 3 times the size of chicago, at 627² miles which Obliteration destroyed and the bomb prof held in with his shields was several magnitudes higher that THAT.

 

We can assume steelheart put everything he had into transforming MOST of chicago to steel.  Prof is in a whole other league.

We don't know that it was necessarily more powerful and even if it was that doesn't mean Prof could have put out the same amount of power, he redirected the force he didn't cancel it out completely. But even if he had that doesn't mean that his ability was as strong as the blast, just that it's uniquely predisposed to deal with it. Newton could have jumped on the bomb and actually redirected its force, doesn't mean she's stronger than Oblit.

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