There are two types of Special Attacks.
Special 1 (also known as s1 or SP1) normally deals 20%~40% of the character's damage stat as damage, depending on your tapping/swiping performance. This can be upgraded to a maximum of 33%~66%.
Special 2 (also known as s2 or SP2) normally deals 60%~120% of the character's damage stat as damage, depending on your tapping/swiping performance. This can be upgraded to a maximum of 99%~198%.
Special 2 generally deal three times the damage of special 1, but only requires 2 bars of power (or 50% more damage per power bar). However, special 1 is more flexible in its usage, and heals more through gear. Evolved 4-star gear (specific gear) may offer either heal self 10%~15% on s1 or 15%~25% on s2. This means s1 is 33%~20% more efficient in self heals, with the difference being larger at a lower gear score. Finally, special 1 has no level requirement and costs 1000 Power Credits to unlock or upgrade, and special 2 requires level 5 and costs 2000-4000 credits. Despite this, special 2 is generally preferred as they deal much more damage, unless using characters with affinity with special 1. For example, Deathstroke/Arkham Origins' passive causes his s1 to be unblockable and crit if it hits 200%, making it extremely powerful.
Increasing special damageEdit
After being unlocked, specials can be upgraded by up to 9 times. The first 4 times give it a 10% damage increase each and the last 5 times give 5% each, stacking additively for up to 65%.
The increased damage a special does due to tapping/swipping is counted as "bonus" damage and stacks additively with other sources of damage amplification. For example, if a special that has a normal damage range of 1000 - 2000 is boosted by a maxed Cloak of Destiny which grants 200% bonus damage against stunned, its damage range would become 3000 - 4000, not 3000 - 5000.
Most global damage boosts will increase special damage. Gear may also increase the damage of special 1, special 2, or both.
Amount of hitsEdit
It is a common misconception that a special with more hits deal more damage, while in fact this has no direct bearing on the special's normal damage, which is calculated with the numbers above. However, there are different advantages to specials on either end of the spectrum.
Advantages of special with many hitsEdit
- More likely to apply gear effects more often, such as power drain or disable special. Crit is neutral as the effect scales with the damage of the actual hit, so it rounds out the same at average. However, a special with more hits would be more reliable in its increased damage. On the other hand, as Diablo Companion Card EVOLVED returns fire damage with every crit, this would be a slight disadvantage to having a lot of crits instead of one
- Able to hit the next opponent coming in after knocking out the first, reducing waste of overkill damage
Advantages of 1-hit specialsEdit
- Can bypass enemy passives that activates at a certain % of their health more easily, most notably with Raven/Prime
- Gives the opponent less power if they survive, as being hit by a special without blocking grants a good amount of power per hit
- While overkill damage may be an issue in some cases, on other cases, such as a s1 team-wide nuke build with Cloak of Destiny and League Of Assassins Adept Knives, the "overkill" damage can be applied to the enemy team as well, bringing them to 1 health more easily; Batgirl/Prime's s1 (1 strong hit) can be considered more useful than Batgirl/Cassandra Cain (3 meaningful hits) for this reason
- Usually involves less tapping/swiping, resulting in less finger strain and faster matches
Starting automatic max damage specialsEdit
Some specials start with hit(s) that always does 200% of its minimum damage. Because this negates the time while you normally tap/swipe, they tend to have fast starting animations, making them hard to block, with one notable exception being Batgirl/Prime's special 1. They are also easier to hit close to max damage as well, since max damage is guaranteed for part of them. They tend to show up much more often on newer characters. Other examples include:
- Batgirl/Prime and Batgirl/Cassandra Cain's Art of Deception
- Static's Taser Trap and High Gear
- Batman/Arkham Knight's Explosive Batarang and Arkham Assault
- Batman/Dawn of Justice's Explosive Batarang and Gotham Justice
- Wonder Woman/Justice League's Goddess' Blessing
- Darkseid/Apokolips's Dark Lord
- Scorpion/Mortal Kombat X's Doom Slice
- Wonder Woman/Dawn of Justice's Shield Toss
"Red" or "Boss" cards may be able to use a different character's special, with a different amount of power. For example, Superman/Prison in the last match of Bonus Battle 6 is known to use Freeze Breath or Heat Vision with one bar of power, despite them normally being Superman/Prime and Superman/Regime's special 2s. The special name is not displayed whenever a "boss" card uses a special. However, whether they would count as a special 1 or 2 for the purpose of reflect gear and Black Adam/Regime's passive depends on how many bars are used. They can also use specials that do not exist at all elsewhere in the mobile game; for example, Black Adam/Regime in the second-to-last match of BB6 is known to use the "Lightning Bomb" move from the console game.
Characters are immune to most damage and status effects while performing a special attack. Damage over time will continue as normal, except for Batman/Arkham Knight (provided that boost is selected). It is normally not possible to use a special attack or super move while your opponent is using one, but there is a very small gap in which it is possible (more noticeable on specials with slow starting animations, such as Explosive Batarang and Kryptonian Rifle as shown in the image). Characters will be immune to each other's special damage until their own special finishes dealing damage. However, if a Super Move is used while an enemy special attack has just started, the special attack will be negated and super damage will be dealt as normal. After this window, the character becomes completely invulnerable (except against damage over time) while the special continues to run. After dealing the last hit, there will be a short period in which they will have Super Armor but they can take damage as normal (specials that outlast the opponent's special will do damage as normal at this point but specials still cannot be initiated) yet cannot be knocked out. This is very noticeable on specials with long finishing animations, such as Nightwing/Prime's Staff Spin and Zod's Kryptonian Rifle again.
Harley Quinn's special 2, or the team damage boost effect in particular, has a slightly different effect: right after using the damage boost, she goes into the immune to flinching state first (damage can be done, specials can deal damage and be initiated, she cannot block but cannot be knocked out) for a short time before briefly turning full invulnerable and then back to normal. This means that uniquely it is possible, when immediately used after, for faster specials (e.g. Wonder Woman's Shield Toss) to deal full damage in the first stage without her being able to block, slower specials (e.g. Shazam's Bolt of Zeus) will hit her in her full invulnerable phase and do no damage and very slow specials (e.g. Batman's Explosive Batarang) can be initiated during this period but only hit when she has completely returned to normal. Multi-hit attacks can hit her in different stages; Darkseid's Omega Blast will have its first hit in the first stage (full unblockable damage), while the second and third hits will be in the second stage (no damage dealt). This delayed invulnerability is excellent when you can predict dangerous enemy specials and negate some of their damage.
Harley Quinn's special 2 in general also has a significant mechanic difference compared to other specials: it runs in real time, while most other specials (including Zatanna's special 2 despite similar option-choosing) take place in bullet time. There are a few noticeable effects: in-universe timers, such as Ares' block disable, will continue to tick down during her s2; damage over time effects, while normally will continue to hit during a special, since specials take a short in-universe time (a much longer time in the real world while you tap/swipe) the damage is not as much, but Harley's s2 runs in a long time in-universe so damage over time can have a much more significant effect.
- Generally speaking, all versions of the same character have the same special 1 and different special 2s. For example, both Killer Frost/Prime and Killer Frost/Regime have the same s1, Cold as Ice, but the Prime version's s2 is Black Ice while Regime version's s2 is Thin Ice. There may be some variation even though it's still counted as the same special; Batman/Beyond Animated, Batman/Dawn of Justice and Batman/Arkham Knight's Explosive Batarangs are noticeably different from the other Batmen. Harley Quinn is an inversion; all Harleys have the same s2, Bag-o-Tricks, but different s1s. All versions of Deathstroke have different s2s; additionally, Deathstroke/Prime and Deathstroke/Arkham Origins's s1 is Point Blank while Deathstroke/Red Son and Deathstroke/Insurgency's s1 is Sword Spin. Also, Wonder Woman/Dawn of Justice 's s1 is the same Shield Toss as it is for the previous Wonder Women, but it differs in animation, hitting 3 times instead of 1, similar to the variation in Explosive Batarangs.
- Special Attacks usually require you to rapidly tap and swipe to reach maximum damage. Swipe (several times in random directions) and tap all are rare; the first is only used by The Flash/Prime, Green Lantern/New 52 and Wonder Woman/Prime's s2, and the latter is only used by Catwoman/Prime, Wonder Woman/Red Son and The Joker/Arkham Origins's s2.
- Special Attacks and Super Moves cannot be initiated once the words "VICTORY" appear on the game screen. Normally this has no bearing as you have already won, but a bug with Reverse Flash's passive allows him to revive after "VICTORY" appears, forcing you to use only basic attacks to take him down again.
- While normally a Special Attack's damage is yellow (unless it crits), it actually depends on the time of the hit rather than the type of damage. By using certain specials (such as Killer Frost/Prime's Black Ice) from a long range, it is possible for some hits to fall out of the special's time range, turning those hits into white damage.
- Additionally, there are some specials that always seem to have some hits that are white damage, such as Reverse Flash's Out of Time, and specials that may randomly include white hits, such as Batman/Beyond Animated's Future Bat. In these cases, blocking those hits would reduce the damage by 25%, same as blocking a basic attack, instead of the usual 50% for specials.
- Using mutual special attacks, with at least one of them being a power drain, may sometimes cause the "Power Drain Immune" text to pop up even if they are not normally immune to power drain.
- The five red lightning bolts effect that appear above the head of a character using a special attack is likely a reference to the combat in the Batman: Arkham games.