Piercing attacks are damage-based attacks in the Mario RPG-based games that ignore all or almost all defensive capabilities of the opponent. These attacks are very useful when dealing with a highly damage-resistant enemy, but can be detrimental when used by enemies against a defense-heavy Mario. These types of attacks are seen in most of the RPG-type games.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
There are no damage-based attacks or magic attacks in this game that ignore Defense or Mg. Defense, but there are a few items which do a fixed amount of damage to any enemy regardless of defense:
In this game (and the following one), attacks subtract directly from defense, which means that highly-defended enemies can be taken down easily with these kinds of attacks. All damage-based items (such as Fire Flower and Thunder Rage) pierce defense by default, and the special attack Star Storm does as well. Other than those, these attacks pierce enemy defense as well:
When Watt pierces the defense of General Guy's tank, he calls it unfair because it counts as "breaking the rules of war".
There are no known enemy attacks in this game that can pierce Mario's Guard abilities or badges.
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
There are many abilities in this game, both friendly and enemy, that can pierce defenses. This is a summary:
Mario and Partners
As in the previous game, all damage-based item attacks bypass enemy defense, as well as the damaging special attacks Earth Tremor, Art Attack, and Supernova. There are also a few normal attacks. The full list of non-item attacks:
Unlike Paper Mario, some enemies in this game do have defense-piercing abilities. Those that do will ignore all Defend Plus and Damage Dodge badges that Mario or his partner have equipped, in addition to the defensive boosts granted by Power Lift, items such as the Courage Shell, Merlee's charm, Koops's shell, or even the Defend tactical command. D-Up, P-Down and D-Down, P-Up badges, however, are not affected, allowing even defense-piercing enemies to do more or less damage than otherwise expected. Also, since enemies can use items in this game, their defense-piercing properties still hold when used against Mario.
Even piercing attacks are not unblockable, however; Mario's Guard will still reduce the damage by 1, and the Superguard will prevent all damage, as it always does. Koops's Shell Shield will still absorb damage from these attacks.
These enemies include: