A One-Shot is a self-explanatory term, referring to defeating an opponent in a single attack.
Take two hypothetical opponents. We'll call them Fighter A and Fighter B.
In a normal fight, Fighters A and B can exchange several attacks with each other. When one of the fighters can one-shot, Fighter A can incapacitate, if not outright kill Fighter B with a single attack.
In order for a one-shot to happen, Fighter A's attack must have an Attack Potency that's quite above Fighter B's Durability. The gap needed to qualify varies from verse to verse, which makes a one-shot from a VS Battles standpoint very hard to determine. What can be certain is that if Fighter A is in a different tier than Fighter B (ex: Fighter A is Planet level and Fighter B is Moon level), then most likely, Fighter A can one-shot the opponent.
It's far from unseen to see fighters hold back when they're capable of one-shotting. They may want to prolong the battle to have more fun, not want to seriously hurt the other party, or for some villain characters, to torture their opponent more. Plot-Induced Stupidity may come into play, as writers may want to have two characters be seen as equals for the time being, as fights aren't interesting if Fighter A hits Fighter B and the matchup is over.
What comes to mind when one normally thinks of a one-shot is if Fighter A is vastly superior to Fighter B in all physical categories, with higher tier, attack potency, striking strength, and durability. That is not necessarily true. Take real life for example. Fighter A can hold and fire a gun, which normally will one-shot most humans. But if you take away that gun, then Fighter B would have a much fairer match against Fighter A. A one-shot can occur with physical attacks, weapons, special ranged attacks, magical attacks, hax, and more. And only the former guarantees to scale to durability. But as said at the beginning of the paragraph, it normally refers to when one fighter one-shots with physical attacks like punches, and the rest of this will be referring to those instances.
Normally, when one fighter is capable of one-shotting, it is considered a stomp. It isn't fair when Fighter A can beat Fighter B with a single move, and only serves to either give Fighter A a free win or Fighter B a loss. However, if Fighter B is capable of getting around the one-shot, whether it is with a certain survivability, such as Immortality, Regeneration, Non-Corporeality, or some other serious defensive hax, or can (and will) utilize hax before getting hit, it may be no longer a stomp.
Just like with Speed Blitzes, a match where one character can one-shot the other often doesn't allow for much discussion or debate. And largely takes away the majority of one's arsenal, strategies, skills and abilities if someone can just kill them before they get the chance to use them, and it results in a stomp/spite match more often then not. Because of this, it is mandatory to make matches where Fighter A can't one-shot Fighter B, and if Fighter A can, there are feasible ways for Fighter B to get around it.
One-shots in versus threads
Assuming a situation in which one character has humanoid physiology and is hit in the torso region, the assailant will normally be treated as needing an attack potency 7.5 times higher than their opponent's durability in order to one-shot them.
Some important points to consider regarding this guideline are listed below:
- The gap of 7.5x is based on the difference between a street level character and a human level character, with the former being commonly accepted as capable of one-shotting the latter,
- This value is only an approximation, and the actual gap can be higher or lower depending on certain factors. As such, it should not be assumed that a gap of 7.5x will lead to a one-shot in every single situation without exception.
- For example, If one character exhibited his level of attack potency casually and another nearly died while exhibiting his level of durability, then the gap between their respective statistics that is needed for a one-shot to happen may in fact be lower than 7.5x.
- A character can be one-shot without a significant advantage in strength if one targets their weakpoints. This does not apply for those characters who are able to take hits to their weakpoints like any other location on their body.
- This gap is strictly for versus debating purposes, and will not apply when attempting to derive the attack potency of a character based on a feat of one-shotting another character in his or her verse.