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Which Killer Would Win An All-Out Battle Royale In “Dead by Daylight”? | Column from the Editor

A short while ago, the YouTuber Azhymovs released a video where he speculated how things would go down if every killer from the Dead by Daylight video game was dropped onto a battlefield and told to fight until there was only one left standing.

Recently on InReview, I did something similar with Smash Ultimate. Today, I want to do something similar to Azhymovs but with one change — his video included only what the characters were capable of doing in just the video game. This piece will seek to speculate how things would go if everyone had all of their canon powers from their original sources. For example, Nemesis will gain the full extent of his adaptive powers from the Resident Evil universe, not just the severely watered down variant seen in Dead by Daylight.

One other detail worth implementing- all combatants involved will receive the support of any allied units which are with them in their original source, as well as the video game. This will include the following:

Evan MacMillan (Trapper) will be joined by Krampus

Herman Carter (Doctor) will be joined by the Look-See

The Huntress will receive support from Mordeo

Leatherface will gain the support of the rest of the Sawyer family.

There will be Jigsaw boxes across the battlefield, mainly to stop Amanda Young from instantly killing anyone she happens to get a Reverse Bear Trap on top of. Unlike in the video game, we will assume these immediately activate upon installment.

The entirety of the Legion, which includes Frank, Julie, Suzie and Joey, will fight side by side.

Kazan Yamaoka (Oni) will be joined by Minotaur

Caleb Quinn (Deathslinger) will have the Hellshire Gang at his side

Talbot Grimes (Blight) will have the Ferryman of the Damned fighting with him

Nemesis will have two zombies fighting with him, which can only be temporarily killed (would respawn in about a minute after death) until Nemesis himself is eliminated, at which point they would permanently die instantly.

Finally, Pinhead won’t just get his right hand man Chatterer, but will also get the other Cenobites from the first Hellraiser movie joining him.

This overview of the fight will not discuss every single character in every tier, just a few important ones from each tier up until the finalists, where they’d all get individual coverage.

So, the fight begins. In the astounding chaos that initially breaks out, who ends up being the first to go down?

The Trickster is in a pretty awful spot. His flamboyant clothing would make hiding practically impossible, and his knives simply won’t deal enough damage to fend off a strong attacker. He might have a chance winning one-on-one with a lower tiered solo fighter like Amanda Young or Plague, but he’s going to get absolutely demolished by anyone higher on the tier list. Even bottom tier, if the members of the Legion ganged up on him, he would be eliminated really quickly.

Sally Smithson or, The Nurse, is well known for being the best Killer in Dead by Daylight by a considerable margin. Here, however, her talents don’t suit actually engaging in combat with someone who is going to fight back. Traveling through walls and other obstacles is really cool, but doing so instills an enormous fatigue which will leave her wide open for several seconds anytime she basically tries to do anything. What would bring about her downfall is fairly simple — she would teleport over to, say, Leatherface or Nemesis, strike them with her bonesaw, and then get hacked apart by a chainsaw or have her head get stomped in by them while she was recovering from fatigue.

Finally, the Legion are basically teenagers with knives. Sure, they’re more physically fit than the average nineteen year old and they’ve got the grit and ambition to charge into a fight like this, but approaching anyone above the bottom tier would be punching way, way above their collective weight. Seriously, how many horror movies exist where the victim is young, about the age of the Legion members? I can imagine Frank Morrison rushing up to Michael Myers to try and stab him, only to have his throat casually grabbed in stride and having a massive kitchen knife shoved through his gut, just like the Halloween movies.

Now that the initial outburst is done, who is the next to fall?

Azhymovs makes a funny joke about Philip Ojomo or, The Wraith, cloaking, turning invisible and simply hiding while the chaos ensues. That’s funny, but it realistically wouldn’t work for terribly long. Higher tiered characters have the capacity to hunt even when their targets aren’t in plain sight. Demogorgon, for example, doesn’t even have any eyes to begin with. When one of them manages to discover Wraith, his lack of armor and fairly unimposing weapon would be his downfall.

Ghostface got a little bit of a bump up from bottom tier, because Danny Johnson is a professional at killing people and remaining hidden until he’s ready to strike. Unlike Wraith, however, Ghostface cannot actually turn invisible and, much like Wraith, when found, Ghostface is pretty much just a guy with a knife. His expertise in espionage would prevent him from just instantly dying, but he has not a prayer of a chance taking on, say, Pyramid Head, Demogorgon or the Trapper.

Caleb Quinn or, The Deathslinger, and his Hellshire pals would cause quite the commotion in the early stages of the fight. Unlike Wraith or Ghostface, these guys wouldn’t have any sort of interest in staying hidden. They’d rush into the fray and just start shooting whoever they first laid their eyes on. Caleb is a mechanical genius in weaponry and is a very experienced bounty hunter. Not only are the gang’s weapons going to cause a ton of damage, but they’re going to be well coordinated enough to go after characters they know they can handle. If anyone was going to defeat a character above their tier list, it would probably be Caleb and the Hellshire gang. However, at the end of the day, they’re just humans with guns. Plus, Caleb is well out of his prime and isn’t as athletically capable as he once was, evidenced by the large leg brace he has to wear along with his fractured jaw. They don’t have a prayer of beating one of the more supernatural characters such as Kazan Yamaoka, Pyramid Head or a borderline finalist such as Nemesis. But, if we were assessing points based on how much damage was caused in total, Caleb and the gang would probably go up a couple tiers.

Speaking of gangs, The Huntress in her lore has fended off an entire squadron of German soldiers in the WW1 era using nothing but an axe and a few hatchets. She could not only take on Caleb and the Hellshire gang with a better than even chance of winning, but she could also probably handle the others in this tier, as well as anyone beneath it. That said, her problem lies within the limitations of her power — hunting hatchets. She is eventually going to run out of them, then need to leave herself open as she goes to get more. Her large broadaxe is intimidating, but by itself it wouldn’t be enough to get her into this tier. Plus, she doesn’t have any armor, though her damage resistance is at least impressive, having survived being lit on fire as well as having survival expertise living by herself in the middle of a giant forest. She’d be a formidable opponent, but lacks the supernatural capability to seriously contend with a higher tier. For her comrade, Mordeo, they would team up like a pair of gloves. Mordeo and Huntress both have a history of being extremely territorial and fighting off invaders very similarly to one another. Mordeo has a bit more supernatural moxie, but is otherwise on about the same footing as Huntress is. Together, they’d last a pretty long time.

Evan MacMillan or, The Trapper, initially doesn’t seem like much. After all, he’s just a big guy with a cleaver and steel bear traps; how is that more impressive than anyone at or beneath this tier? The answer is actually fairly simple: this man is a living tank that takes an extreme amount of damage to actually put down. He has been subjected to torture at the hands of The Entity and survived an eye poppingly long amount of time before the Entity eventually won. He has large metal hooks stuck into his shoulders as some sort of ‘battle scar’ if you will. He not only survived lethal injections of the Blight’s serum, but came out even stronger as a result. Top that off with having his pal Krampus to help, and he isn’t going to be an easy out, even for higher tiered characters. That said, his shortcoming is equally simple to point out — again, he’s just a guy with a cleaver and some bear traps. He can definitely take a beating, but he doesn’t pose an offensive threat to characters in a higher tier. Nemesis could probably stomp on a bear trap and immediately destroy it instead of being caught in it, for example. Because of this, Trapper and Krampus would fall — but they’d soak up a ton of damage in the process. The fact that bear traps and the cleaver will greatly injure more mundane characters means Trapper and Krampus will absolutely dominate anyone beneath this tier as well.

So, now we’ve weeded out the characters who never had a real chance at winning, impressive as they were. These next killer have a legitimate chance at taking home the gold, starting with the borderline finalists.

Demogorgon is way, way above lower tiered characters and will completely annihilate literally any of them. It’s thick skin is impenetrable to mundane weaponry such as blades and gunfire, making those matchups fairly straightforward. With a nearly unmatched level of aggression, Demogorgon is going to be a problem for anyone on the battlefield. That said, Demogorgon is only in borderline because its means of dealing damage are fairly lackluster compared to characters in this tier and above. It’s got some nasty sharp claws and a set of vicious teeth to mangle up attackers, but these qualities are lacking in supernatural traits. Demogorgon is probably going to come up short against higher tiered characters in particular, lacking a way to greatly threaten them while also not permanently resisting supernatural attacks, such as Pyramid Head’s Great Knife.

Spirit initially seems like she should be a straight up finalist, possessing the capability to both strike and travel with supernatural capabilities. That said, Spirit is entirely lacking in anything other than aggression and impressive offensive potential. She is basically naked with no armor apart from some gauze and bandages on her ‘sensitive’ areas. She also is lacking in combat experience, being the only character on this battlefield who has never been canonically responsible, even indirectly, for killing anyone. She is simply going to be outclassed by more experienced, well equipped characters in the higher tier. But when she strikes someone, it’s going to hurt and possibly even swiftly kill, so she’s at the very least borderline.

Nemesis is probably the closest in this tier in going up to finalist. He has damage resistance which is unbridled, making Trapper look like he’s made of tissue paper. He dies five times in Resident Evil 3, only to come back stronger and more ferocious each time. He also has some zombies which could at least mildly annoy other combatants, though won’t accomplish much against characters in this tier or higher. However, Nemesis’ roots are in humanity as a developed bio weapon, so he doesn’t have any supernatural capabilities to him — this would be his eventual undoing. That said, he is without question the strongest non-supernatural character on the battlefield and is strong enough to be a serious problem for the supernatural characters here.

Alright, the battle rages on and we reach our final five contestants. Who is likeliest to emerge victorious?

Michael Myers, much like Nemesis, has ‘died’ numerous times but is able to return completely unphased. That said, he is only maybe marginally better than Nemesis because of his supernatural roots. He may yet be one of the least offensively capable characters that isn’t at the very bottom of the tier list, having nothing for weaponry but a fairly meager kitchen knife. That simply won’t do against the likes of Kazan Yamaoka or Pyramid Head, and though he would survive nearly endlessly, he has no chance of even really denting them with such a pathetic weapon.

Pinhead and the Cenobites are completely unbeatable by anyone outside of this specific tier, apart from maybe Nemesis or Blight. Mundane characters would simply get torn apart by a barrage of hooks and chains within mere seconds. Their self-scarification rituals would also figure to give them more damage resistance than it initially seems considering their fairly unimposing statures. That said, the reason they simply cannot win the whole thing more often than not is that they have a clear and obvious ‘counter’ to all of this — the Lament Configuration. An intelligent character such as Kazan or Blight could recover this box and then proceed to immediately banish all of the Cenobites by simply fiddling with it for a handful of seconds. As such, they’re severely disadvantaged against others in this tier who don’t have such clear and obvious counterplay.

Kazan Yamaoka or, The Oni, would probably be the next to fall. However, he would by absolutely no means be an easy out for anyone. Onis in Japanese folklore are said to have fought and killed Gods while also being immortal themselves; you couldn’t ‘kill’ Kazan, only defeat and temporarily banish him to Hell at best. Lacking any real flaws and having an enormous amount of experience in combat, Kazan could very easily win the whole fight.

Pyramid Head is a bit of an odd case here, and that’s mainly because James Sunderland doesn’t exist on this battlefield. In Dead by Daylight, Pyramid Head’s role shifts from a violent rehabilitator of sorts into more of a violent god or ultimate judge of some kind, administering punishment for people who commit wrongdoings. That said, assuming some motivation of sorts allows Pyramid Head to be here, he would be just as difficult to take down as Kazan would be. As someone who is basically a mental manifestation of an emotion or concept, Pyramid Head technically can’t be killed. Pyramid Head is even said to threaten the Entity itself, being able to forcefully alter trials and set his own rules with little regard for the Entity at all. As such, it’s hard to imagine Pyramid Head ever really ‘losing’ and, at worst, drawing a stalemate with someone on this list.

Finally, we have who I believe would be the favorite to win the whole thing — the indisputable master of his victims’ nightmares, Freddy Krueger. Remember when I speculated earlier that Wraith could survive by cloaking and using his invisibility to just sort of hang out until the fighting is over? Well, Freddy can actually do exactly that — he can reside in his Dream World until he has ample opportunity to pull someone in, and then maul them without hesitation once there. Freddy can’t actually be killed in the strictest sense in the Dream World, so much like Pyramid Head, doing this ensures Freddy cannot really ‘lose’ to anyone. With a similar level of immortality to boot, Freddy should, at worst, draw a stalemate to this conflict.

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