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Overview Image Gallery
- 1 Description
- 2 Team RWBY
- 3 Team JNPR
- 4 Team SSSN
- 5 Team CFVY
- 6 Team FNKI
- 7 Team NDGO
- 8 Team STRQ
- 9 Team SAFR
- 10 Ozpin's Group
- 11 Cinder's Faction
- 12 Salem's Inner Circle
- 13 White Fang
- 14 Ironwood's Group
- 15 Ace Operatives
- 16 Happy Huntresses
- 17 The Crown
- 18 Vacuo
- 19 Mistral
- 20 Others
- 21 Trivia
- 22 References
Description[edit | edit source]
Semblance is the manifestation of one's innate and personal power as an ability unique to each individual, with the effects varying greatly from user to user. With the sheer number of people unlocking their Semblances, it can lead to unrelated people gaining similar abilities. The nature of one's Semblance is noted as representing an aspect of their character. However, a person's Semblance can be similar to the Semblances of their parents or other family members. The Schnee family Semblance, summoning glyphs, is unique in the fact that it is completely hereditary.
According to "Aura", the fourth installment of RWBY: World of Remnant, a Semblance is a more tangible projection of one's Aura. Pyrrha Nikos implied this connection when she told Jaune Arc that the use of Aura can help him to discover his Semblance. Miles Luna refers to Semblance being "fueled" by Aura..
A user should be unable to use their Semblance once their Aura has been depleted. Weiss could still use her glyphs in the "White" Trailer after being knocked down and bleeding, something that would imply that her Aura had been drained. However, this is an inconsistency, considering that the "White" Trailer was made early in the planning stages of RWBY, when even the concept of Dust was still in its prototype stage.
Those that use Semblance are able to manipulate certain physical phenomena according to the nature of their power. Some individuals, such as Weiss Schnee, are able to use their Semblance to create "glyphs" that generate some desired effect - the most prominent being sudden disruptions in movement and bursts of momentum. Ruby Rose is able to move at incredible speeds, while Pyrrha was able to manipulate magnetic forces. Some have Semblances that depend on external factors, such as Nora Valkyrie's ability to convert electricity in the environment into physical strength.
Using Dust, certain individuals can modify their Semblances with elements, such as Weiss using Myrtenaster to change her glyphs and Blake inserting Dust vials into Gambol Shroud to give Shadow clones elemental properties.
Overuse of one's Semblance for prolonged periods may adversely affect its user at certain times. This was demonstrated by Weiss on one occasion after using a series of glyphs in rapid succession to assist Ruby, subsequently collapsing afterward. This is also seen in "End of the Beginning", when Glynda Goodwitch shows signs of exhaustion from using her Semblance to fix the city.
It seems that emotional turmoil or stress can affect one's use of Semblance, either negatively or positively, as exhibited in "Destiny", where Pyrrha Nikos' Semblance activates while talking to Jaune and accidentally slams him into the stone wall. Later, in "PvP", Pyrrha temporarily warps her weapon and shield for a moment during her tournament round. This phenomenon is exhibited by Weiss in "Tipping Point", when she accidentally summons a Boarbatusk, which then attacks a party guest. The earliest and most frequent example of this phenomenon is Yang Xiao Long's habit of accidentally activating her Semblance when she is angry.
Unlocking[edit | edit source]
Semblances are unlocked during strong physical or emotional events. For example, Ruby unlocked her Semblance while training and Nora unlocked her Semblance when she was struck by lightning due to outside physical forces that stimulated them.
Auras and Semblances can also be unlocked due to severe emotional stress or turmoil. Lie Ren unlocked his when his hometown was overrun by Grimm and his family was killed. Cinder Fall unlocked hers after experiencing severe anger and frustration due to her abuse.
Evolution[edit | edit source]
According to Winter Schnee, Semblances are like muscles and are able to grow and evolve. A clear example is her younger sister's eventual mastery of summoning. Another example is shown in "Haven's Fate", when Emerald Sustrai creates a mental hallucination of an enormous and slightly disfigured version of Salem, affecting everyone in the room. This display of her power was not shown before and caused her to fall unconscious.
In the case of Qrow Branwen and Clover Ebi, it is possible for a Semblance to be either uncontrollable or permanently active. Additionally, it may even be possible for a Semblance to affect one's surroundings.
Though specifics and details are not expanded upon, the subsequent loss of Mercury Black's own Semblance implies it is possible for a person to lose their Semblance. Whether this is an isolated case due to Mercury's father using his own Semblance to take Mercury's or it is possible for a Semblance to be stolen by other means is currently unknown.
A Semblance can also grow to gain an unique new ability altogether. A good example would be Lie Ren who at first only possessed the ability to mask emotions, but later also gained the ability to see the emotions of others.
Uniqueness[edit | edit source]
Semblances are said to be completely unique, but some can still be similar to each other. For example the Semblances of Glynda Goodwitch and Carmine Esclados' who share telekinesis, have similar effects to one another, though they manifest in different ways (purple glyphs and golden wisps, respectively) and the overall upper limit to their power, with Glynda's Semblance being noted to be much stronger than Carmine's. Semblances can be of the same type but if the visual effect is different they still both qualify as unique.
Classes[edit | edit source]
Semblances come in a variety of power types. There can be purely offensive like Yang, utilitarian like Fox, have a variety of uses like the Schnees to completely non-combative like Robyn. They can also be classified by their nature like classifying Yatsuhashi's and Emerald's as mental/psychic types.
There seem to be unofficial support semblances like the one of Jaune Arc.
Ruby's Semblance, Petal Burst, was referred to as Speed by Pyrrha in "Forever Fall, Pt.2". Ruby can use her Semblance to move at inhuman speeds that are nearly too fast for the eye to catch, making it appear as if she can teleport. She uses this ability in combat to dodge attacks, disorient enemies, hastily retreat and quickly counterattack. Her Semblance is also capable of providing limited flight capabilities.
As seen in "Best Day Ever", she is also fast enough to create a slipstream that can pick up a large number of objects, including people. Ruby can also grab hold of other people or objects and carry them off at high speeds with her Semblance.
However, she has significant difficulty with carrying heavier loads, which causes her to falter after extended use, as seen during "A Minor Hiccup" with Penny Polendina, who is later revealed to be a metal robot and thus much heavier than a normal Human of her size and body build. Another drawback to Ruby's use of her Semblance is that she doesn't appear to have full control over it, possibly due to it requiring firm concentration in order to sufficiently utilize. This is evidenced in the episode "Players and Pieces", where she is unable to retreat from a Death Stalker, as well as in "No Brakes", where she only briefly uses her Semblance in a failed attempt to escape from Roman Torchwick and the White Fang.
After the fall of Beacon, Ruby's control over her Semblance has improved. As shown in the "Volume 4 Character Short", she can repeatedly change directions in midair and attack at high speed. She also somehow exhibits the ability to seemingly burst into three separate clusters of rose petals which then flow around an opponent before reforming, or even turn into a slow-moving cloud of rose petals in the same short. The exact mechanics of this ability, however, are not yet clear, and in "A Night Off" Ruby herself admits that she doesn't really think about it when she performs this action.
In "The Next Step", Ruby uses her Semblance to directly benefit her teammates in combat. This is demonstrated when she carried Nora toward the Petra Gigas, with the former using her upgraded Magnhild before hammering the giant's face. Such speed blurs the appearance of the two, similar to the effect when Ruby used her Semblance in "Best Day Ever".
Rose petals are often seen in her wake when Ruby uses her Semblance. As such, in "A Much Needed Talk" Qrow describes Ruby's Semblance as "being able to burst into rose petals". Sometimes, when carrying another person, the petals can take on different colors. For example, when Ruby carries Weiss with her in "Argus Limited", the petals have a red to pale blue gradient.
In "Ace Operatives", Harriet Bree tells her that her Semblance is different from other speed Semblances, saying that she thinks there's more to it than that. What this means has yet to be elaborated on.
In "Strings" Penny reveals that her Semblance allows her to disassemble herself at a molecular level and reassemble at a chosen location. This allows her to go around obstacles or through paths that she would not otherwise fit. However, as shown by her battle with Mercury in "PvP", if her path is blocked by an unexpected obstacle mid-flight, her Semblance will be disrupted, forcing her to stop.
The official board game, RWBY: Combat Ready, refers the action of using her Semblance as "Dash".
Weiss' Semblance is Glyphs, which is the hereditary Semblance of the Schnee family. Her Glyphs have a variety of effects on objects, monsters and people. Weiss often uses her Glyphs for propulsion, as they have the ability to control motion, with the basic Glyph type exerting push forces on other objects and acting as a solid surface. The appearance of said objects changes with different types of Glyphs, three examples being her Time Dilation Glyphs, her Arma Gigas Summoning Glyphs, and her Queen Lancer Summoning Glyphs.
In "The First Step, Pt.2", Weiss uses her Glyphs as solid platforms to leap off of during her descent. She also uses a Glyph as a solid shield or barrier during her battle against the Boarbatusk in "The Badge and The Burden, Pt.2". She is also seen using her Glyphs to accelerate objects both through the air and over surfaces in "Players and Pieces" and various other occasions.
Using Myrtenaster, she modifies these Glyphs by changing which Dust vial is in use, giving a wide variety of effects. One variant of her Glyphs, called Time Dilation, speeds up actions and is the result of mixing Lightning Dust with her Semblance. Weiss is also able to confer these enhancements upon other people, as seen when she enhances Blake's speed during their fight against the Atlesian Paladin-290 in "Painting the Town...". A black version of the basic Glyph, which exerts pull forces, appears to result from the use of Dust (likely Gravity Dust), as evidenced by Myrtenaster's Dust chamber revolving in the "Volume 5 Weiss Character Short".
Another application of Weiss' Glyphs is Summoning. According to Winter, members of the Schnee family are able to Summon foes that they have previously defeated in combat and bring them to fight for their side. In "Lessons Learned", while helping Weiss practice Summoning, Winter instructs her to think about foes that caused her to push past who she was and become who she is. The foe that Weiss concentrates on is the Arma Gigas she had previously defeated in the "White" Trailer. As time goes on, she makes slow progress Summoning it - from a tiny sword in "Lessons Learned" to an arm and a sword in "Heroes and Monsters" to the full Summon in "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back", albeit much smaller than the real one from the "White" Trailer.
In "Tipping Point", Weiss accidentally Summons the Boarbatusk she defeated in Peter Port's class using her Semblance, marking another non-deliberate Summoning, though this time of a full-bodied creature.
In "Dread in the Air", it is revealed that Summons can also teleport via glyphs and react to events outside of Weiss' field of view, suggesting a degree of autonomy or that Weiss can perceive the world to some extent through the perspective of her Summon.
In "Downfall", Weiss summons the Queen Lancer she defeated in the airship battle to sting Hazel and draw him back into the school building.
In the official board game, RWBY: Combat Ready, she can use her Semblance as a "Deflection Glyph".
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Weiss' yellow time dilation glyph she uses on Blake during the Checkmate combo attack in "Painting the Town..." is extremely similar to the one used for the "Haste" spell in Dead Fantasy, a series that Monty Oum worked on before RWBY. Monty even refers to it as "Haste" in the commentary.
Blake's Semblance, Shadow, allows her to create clones of herself, which push her in whichever direction she wants, even in mid-air. These clones are solid but can be dispelled easily if hit or if Blake moves too far away from them. They can also be used to distract foes or take hits for Blake.
Blake can also load Gambol Shroud with Dust to give her shadow clones offensive capability. Dust allows the clones to copy an element, with her afterimages becoming completely solid or even completely intangible depending on the chosen form of Dust. Fire Dust allows her to create fiery clones that explode on contact, Ice Dust allows her to create solid ice copies of herself and Earth Dust allows her to create a clone of solid stone.
In "Mountain Glenn", Blake says that her Semblance is a reflection of her tendency to run from her problems rather than face them; she leaves behind an empty copy of herself which takes the hit while she escapes.
Over time, Blake's shadow clones have been shown to develop from mere afterimages into fully convincing decoys able to remain in effect for longer periods. In "Of Runaways and Stowaways", a clone is even able to exert force after being created, sending the real Blake high into the air. In "True Colors", Blake disappears after creating a clone, reappearing a short distance away after Ilia Amitola stabs the clone. It is unknown if this development results in her being propelled at such a high speed that it is harder to see her or if she can truly teleport under certain circumstances.
The official board game, RWBY: Combat Ready, refers to the action of using her Semblance as "Copy Cat".
Yang's Semblance, Burn, is the ability to absorb energy from the damage she has taken, and redirect it twice as hard at her opponent, effectively making her stronger with each hit she takes. She can save up the energy to use later for an even more devastating attack. When using her Semblance, she draws power from her hair. Monty Oum has compared Yang's Semblance to a "Power Meter" from fighting games, while her father Taiyang Xiao Long jokingly called her use of her Semblance "a temper tantrum".
Her Semblance does not make her invincible, as she still loses Aura when she is hit, and she can still take damage when her Semblance is active, as shown when Adam Taurus cuts her right arm off with Wilt and Blush.
Her Semblance also causes her eyes to change color from lilac to red, which is a side-effect of her Semblance, though it does occasionally happen outside of combat when she is angered. Another "side-effect" is that her hair glows and often becomes covered in flames.
The official board game, RWBY: Combat Ready, refers the action of using her Semblance as "Rage".
Jaune Arc's Semblance, Aura Amp, allows him to amplify his own Aura or that of others. In "Forever Fall, Pt.2", when Cardin Winchester attempts to punch Jaune in the face, there is a bright flash of light, and Jaune appears to have taken no damage. Cardin, however, holds his hand in pain. Monty Oum said it was the first hint toward his Semblance, and Miles called this "a super-strong Aura block to Cardin", having amplified it.
In "Vault of the Spring Maiden", Jaune's Semblance fully activates for the first time while trying to save the life of a dying Weiss, closing her fatal wound. In "Downfall", further details of his Semblance are elaborated upon, and it is revealed that he can amplify others' Aura by transferring some of his own. He expresses that he is not worried about running out, due to his substantially large reserves. The amplification accelerates the healing ability of the recipient's Aura, allowing it to heal extremely serious wounds, such as a broken arm or a stab wound in the stomach.
His Semblance can also amplify the effects of another person's Semblance. In "Argus Limited", he uses his own Semblance to amplify Ren's emotion cloaking Semblance, concealing the front half of the Argus Limited from the Manticores.
Nora's Semblance, High Voltage, is the ability to produce and channel electrical energy into her muscles, which lends to her absurd strength. Furthermore, she's practically immune from taking electrical damage as she simply absorbs any electrical current to fuel her strength, despite still feeling the pain. Nora revealed to Oscar that while Ren's Semblance was unlocked via stress, hers was unlocked via being struck by lightning. This indicates that external phenomena can be instrumental in discovering and unlocking the power of one's Semblance, pending that it is something that can be triggered externally.
This Semblance has its limits, as shown in "Strings" when Nora channels the electrical power of a security door to smash through several feet of steel, but is rendered unconscious shortly after, covered in electrical scars.
Pyrrha had the ability of Polarity, which allowed her to command the force of magnetism. She could manipulate scores of metallic objects simultaneously and accelerate them to high velocities as well as bend and destroy them.
According to Mercury Black's analysis, once she came into contact with a magnetic object, she could remotely move it however she pleases. The food fight in "Best Day Ever" shows that she did not need to touch every single object for her to control it. Her ability was strong enough that it allowed her to manipulate normally non-magnetic metals, such as aluminum, suggesting that her semblance is not limited to ferromagnetism.
This can be seen as her spear and shield "levitate" toward her hands and she was seen controlling dozens of soda cans without touching them. She normally preferred to use this ability subtly, deflecting attacks with it in such a way that it creates the illusion of her being untouchable.
However, she was known to use it more overtly in both an offensive and defensive capacity on occasion, as shown in "PvP", where she used her Semblance to create a pulse and knock back Penny's swords. Her ability was so strong, she could lift multiple huge gears and throw them, as shown in "End of the Beginning".
Every time she used Polarity, her hands and the metallic objects that she manipulated would emit a black outline.
Ren's Semblance, Tranquility, masks negative emotion, which aids him in avoiding detection by Grimm, as demonstrated the night Kuroyuri was attacked. When he first used it that night, he was hiding in a small channel, gripped with panic. His Semblance activated, and soon after, he became calm and rushed to help Nora with no interference from nearby Grimm. Once there, he activated his Semblance again, extending its effects to Nora, who stopped trembling and whimpering. A Nevermore that was perched atop the house moved down and looked around without noticing them before taking off. Even if the affected person is in the visual field of the Grimm, the Grimm does not sense the person, as demonstrated when Ren used it on Jaune and Qrow when facing the Nuckelavee.
When boosted by Jaune's Semblance, Ren's Semblance is strong enough to mask much larger objects such as an entire airship, train, and a whole crowd of people.
When his Semblance activates, the affected person's colors become temporarily grayed out.
Throughout Volume 7, a growth to Ren's Semblance is hinted at, when he occasionally is shown to sense the presence of a person before they enter his vision.
In "War", his Semblance evolved to allow him to see the emotional states of others, which he used on the Ace-Ops to deduce their true feelings. These feelings are represented by colored petals: Pink, Red, Blue, Orange and Green.
Sun's Semblance is named Via Sun, the ability to create clones of himself. While similar to Blake's Semblance, the key difference is that rather than leaving clones behind to take the hit, his clones are able to fight for him. It is shown in Volume 2 that he must stand still and actually manipulate them into performing actions. While his Semblance is activated, his hair and tail glow yellow. His clones also have the ability to detonate on contact. In "Of Runaways and Stowaways" two of his clones help him move the Sea Feilong's head to redirect its blast away from the ship it was aiming for.
He is first seen using his Semblance in "Painting the Town...", where he creates a pair of clones that attack Roman's Paladin, though it proved rather ineffectual against the mech.
It would also seem as if his Semblance rapidly depletes his Aura, for he can not maintain it for longer periods of time without experiencing fatigue. In "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back", after exhausting his Aura from using four clones, he was wounded by Ilia.
Sun's Semblance works as an extension of his own consciousness, in which he can sense and feel what his clones do as well. As a result, he is susceptible to mental attacks through his clones, as shown by when Yatsuhashi Daichi breaks the mind control on Sun by using his own Semblance on a clone.
His Semblance is based on one of the powers of the mythological Sun Wukong, who also had the ability to create clones of himself from strands of his hair.
Scarlet's Semblance, Gliding, allows him to maneuver in the air and land with a safe touchdown. Scarlet uses this ability in Team SSSN's match against Team NDGO in the Vytal Festival, in which he's able to safely grab a pole in the arena's environment and balance himself without being knocked out of the ring after being blown into the air by Dew Gayl.
Neptune's Semblance is named Water Attraction, an ability allowing him to control water via hydrokinesis if he comes into physical contact with it. The water can then either be pulled toward himself or repelled away rapidly, allowing him to propel himself at great speeds or manipulate the water over a short distance. Neptune also possesses the ability to manipulate the cohesion of water, allowing him to stick it against people and objects, but to do this, he must draw the water towards himself first and charge the molecules.
This is best exemplified when he was thrown into the ocean as a child to learn how to swim, where he trapped himself in a bubble of water and was unable to see, hear, or breathe. As he lacked control over his Semblance, he then accidentally passed it onto his brother Jupiter, who was only able to escape the bubble via his own Semblance. Despite his brother's escape, Neptune blamed himself for nearly drowning him, developing his hydrophobia as a result.
Due to his hydrophobia, Neptune detests using his Semblance, avoiding water outright to prevent his power from going out of control. As a young child, he was unable to be bathed due to his Semblance displacing the water away from him.
Coco's Semblance, Hype, allows her to use her Aura to increase the effects and power of Dust. She uses this to power the effect of her weapon's bullets, exponentially amplifying their raw power. This is an extremely powerful way to use her Semblance, but the amount of damage that is caused by the combination of Hype and her gatling gun requires her to be careful as to not injure someone, whether directly, or through the damage that is caused in the crossfire.
Fox's Semblance is Telepathy. He uses his Semblance to communicate with his teammates, who are able to respond through the channel he opens. Fox's Semblance is more precise if people are close by, and he can sense when they are nearby. When using it, the people he is conveying a message to feel as though they are being watched by something.
Fox's Semblance is capable of reaching dozens of people at once, but it's taxing on his Aura the longer the channel remains open.
Velvet's Semblance is Photographic Memory. It allows her to mimic people's moves, including their fighting style. She uses this in conjunction with her weapon, Anesidora, which creates hard-light copies of weapons she takes photographs of. Using this combination, she is able to use the copied weapons just as effectively as their original user. However, the weapons only last for a few hits.
Even without using weapon copies, Velvet is able to call on multiple fighting styles at once, allowing her to disorient unprepared opponents such as Nebula Violette in a one on one sparring match.
Miles points out on the commentary that Velvet is one of the first characters whose weapon is extremely complementary to her Semblance.
Yatsuhashi's Semblance is Memory Wiping, which allows him to erase other people's memories when he touches them. He can permanently wipe memories which are trivial in nature, such as forgetting the last few seconds and temporarily wipe important memories, which return on an equal time as to how they were wiped. For instance, if he were to wipe somebody's memory back a day, it would take a day for them to return.
Yatsuhashi uses his Semblance sparingly, only wiping seconds at a time. This is the result of a traumatic childhood incident, where he accidentally made his mother forget about his sister, who at the time was a baby, for an entire day.
Yatsuhashi's Semblance also seems to allow him to passively heal mental illness, as seen with Edward Caspian and his new mental clarity following several meditation sessions with Yatsuhashi. His Semblance is also capable of breaking people out of mind control, including himself.
In RWBY: Before the Dawn, the height of Yatsuhashi' Semblance is seen where he is shown to be able to entirely lobotomize people, as shown with Jax Asturias, who is left in a completely vegetative state after taking the full force of Yatsuhashi's Semblance.
Flynt Coal's Semblance, Killer Quartet, allows him to create three duplicates of himself - thus, a "quartet", including himself. Each of his duplicates appears with its own weapon, allowing him to attack with up to four times the strength simultaneously. His copies follow every action he makes a moment after he makes them. They do not appear to move on their own.
Each of his copies has their own color, himself with his "regular" appearance of cyan, plus duplicates in yellow, green and magenta. Their attacks from their trumpets also follow this color scheme.
Octavia's Semblance is Sandskating, which allows her to slide across sand at extreme speeds in a burst. This is showcased in her battle with Team SSSN in the Vytal Festival, where she easily glides through the desert biome, outpacing other fighters with ease.
Raven's Semblance, Kindred Link, allows her to create portals to people she has emotionally bonded with. So far, Raven has a bond with at least her brother Qrow, fellow tribe member Vernal, her former teammate and lover Taiyang and her daughter Yang. The portal takes on the appearance of an ovular shape consisting of swirling black and red energy. Her Semblance is first seen in "No Brakes" when she drops from a portal into the train car that Yang and Neopolitan are in. After scaring Neo away, she creates another, longer-lasting portal and slowly exits through it.
Her portals can be created in both horizontal and vertical orientation, and they can be maintained for extended periods of time.
Qrow's Semblance, Misfortune, manipulates probability negatively, causing misfortune wherever he goes, hence its name. Unlike most Semblances, his is almost constantly active and uncontrollable, with random spikes leading to incidents as small as a glass being knocked into the floor in "New Challengers..." or as significant as a wooden beam almost falling on Ruby Rose in "Punished". Qrow has stated that his Semblance can be used to his advantage in a fight. His Semblance does not discriminate against whom it affects, including himself, which causes him to keep his distance from the people he cares about. According to Kerry, he can also choose to amplify his Semblance when he wishes, in which case it uses Aura.
Arrastra's Semblance, Equilibrium, allows her to restore the Aura of a willing ally through Dust. She can use her Semblance to split Dust into the components of 'energy' and 'elemental effect'. She can direct the energy to restore the Aura of a person who has depleted theirs, but the elemental effect has to discharge, too. Normally, Arrastra is the target of the elemental backlash, but she can redirect this backlash to Grimm. The Dust is physically broken apart and used up when the Semblance is activated. The use of this Semblante comes at the cost of one of the following effects:
- Red (Fire): The target suffers damage and becomes temporarily weak to fire.
- Yellow (Lightning): The target is temporarily paralyzed.
- Blue (Water): The target's movement speed is cut in half.
- Orange (Earth): The target suffers damage.
- Purple (Gravity): The target gains a disadvantage on their next attacks.
- Green (Wind): The target is knocked back.
Asher's Semblance, Flash, allows him to release a bright light from his body that blinds others within the vicinity and damages the Grimm. He is able to use it to cause his hands to Glow, serving as a flashlight, and Pulse the light in an area of effect.
Fenix's Semblance, Beast Mode, causes him to enter a berserker rage, increasing his physical capabilities. However, he can be forced out of it if ever he becomes charmed, incapacitated, stunned, or unconscious. When he enters Beast Mode, it becomes harder for him to maintain his humanity.
Pyke's Semblance, Fate's Hand, is said to be unique, in that he embraces destiny and leaves things up to chance. The ability is described as asking fate for the best way to handle a situation, and hoping for the best. By asking fate to step in, Pyke's Semblance can vastly improve outcomes. However, it can also make situations much worse, too.
Mechanically, it serves as a 12-sided dice roll, in which 1-4 are critical failures, 5-8 are neutral results, and 9-12 are critical successes.
Glynda's Semblance is Telekinesis, the ability to move or control objects. She has a high degree of control over her Semblance and is capable of using it in combat both defensively, by stopping projectiles and offensively, by manipulating objects and using them to attack.
Her Semblance also appears to be able to re-assemble and repair broken objects, an ability she puts to use in "Breach", sealing the entrance which the Grimm were entering through. She also uses it to repair rooms and property destroyed by the antics of Team RWBY and Qrow Branwen.
Rumpole's Semblance is Golden Touch, which allows her to turn materials she touches into gold. Through her Semblance, she can immobilize opponents by transforming their clothing into gold, such as with Neptune Vasilias' jacket and gloves. Due to gold's properties, she's capable of rendering weapons too soft to be used for battle, such as when she transforms one of Carmine Esclados' sai in a one on one fight with her. She cannot revert the effects of her Semblance, though further limitations on her Semblance are currently unclear.
Cinder's Semblance, Scorching Caress, allows her to superheat objects and manipulate their shape.
Cinder has used her Semblance to superheat powders such as sand and dust into glass and hurl them at enemies as well as alter her clothes, such as in "Dance Dance Infiltration". She is also able to use this ability to heat and reform broken objects such as her glass weapons and arrows as seen in "End of the Beginning".
Cinder is first seen using her Semblance in "Ruby Rose" when she causes the ground underneath Ruby Rose and Glynda Goodwitch to explode, specifically via super heating Bright Orange Dust and throwing it.
Later in the RWBY: The Official Manga and during her battle against Ozpin, Cinder is shown to directly channel her Aura into her hand and use her Semblance to superheat them, as seen where she was able to easily melt the floor as her palm slid through it and directly burn her opponents body by grappling them with her heated hands.
Neo's Semblance, Overactive Imagination, allows her to create "physical illusions that can be seen by everyone". These illusions are highly convincing and shatter like glass when she dispels them or someone breaks them. Her Semblance is first seen in "Painting the Town...", where she creates an illusion wall bearing images of herself and Roman Torchwick as a distraction for Team RWBY as she and Roman escape to a nearby Bullhead.
Neo's apparent ability to teleport, as seen in "No Brakes", after Raven appears, may be faked using illusions. Throughout Volume 3, she uses her Semblance to disguise herself. For example, in "Round One", she changes her hair color, eye color and skin tone with illusions. In "Heroes and Monsters", she rids her clothing of the illusion of an Atlesian military uniform that she had appeared to be wearing since "PvP".
Neo also uses her Semblance when communicating with others in lieu of talking, as seen in "Out in the Open" when she transforms into Ruby when arguing what to prioritize with Cinder, showing that Neo can completely transform into another person and not just alter her own physical appearance.
Later during "The Enemy of Trust", Neo displays that her transformation allows her to even create increase and decrease her body mass depending on who she transforms into as seen with her added height upon changing into Nora and her decreased height upon transforming into Oscar Pine.
In "Our Way", Neo proves her worth to Cinder even more, when she shows her ability to mask an entire ship so the two could sneak into Atlas with an Atlesian airship.
Neo has shown a certain level of cunning in order to effectively use her Semblance to impersonate others and take advantage of her opponents emotional attachment to her transformed form despite being mute, as seen when she mimics Nora Valkyrie's facial expressions in order to emotionally attack Ren into giving her an opening to escape.
Emerald's Semblance, Hallucinations, is "individual mental hallucinations" - the ability to modify the sensory information in a person's head while their brain is processing it. She can make one person (or more) see and hear things that are not necessarily there. In other words, instead of generating an illusion that everyone nearby can see, she causes her target to hallucinate.
Her Semblance is shown to have its limits. Whilst she seems capable of easily controlling a single mind, controlling any more than that seems to tax her own head severely. After making two paramedics mildly hallucinate in "Beginning of the End", she complains that this has given her a headache. When she manipulates at least nine people in "Haven's Fate", the number of people present, combined with the taxation on her mind, make her unconscious for an unspecified period of time.
Another limit of her Semblance is that she cannot use it while fighting. She is always seen standing still or hiding while using her power and never while fighting, even when it would be better for her to do so.
She has been shown to use her Semblance to distract her opponent, such as when she causes Coco to see and hear a fake Yatsuhashi during her and Mercury Black's doubles round in the tournament. This distraction allows her to leave her hiding spot and find a much better position to sneak attack Coco.
She can also use her Semblance to lure someone into a trap, which she does to Amber in "Beginning of the End". In the episode "Fall", Emerald uses her Semblance to trick Yang into believing that Mercury is attacking her after their tournament match has concluded. Yang reacts by reflexively punching and firing her weapon to stop Mercury from kicking her. In reality, Mercury stands up, calmly walks toward her and stands in the perfect spot for the bullet she fires to strike his leg. Similarly, in "PvP", Emerald uses her Semblance to make Pyrrha see thousands of swords instead of the true number, resulting in the latter's panicked response with her own Semblance.
As shown in the episode "Amity", her Semblance can also affect Maria's cybernetic optical implants and Penny's eyes despite being an android. However, with it, comes the weakness of the illusions being quickly detected by thermal scanners.
Revealed in the episode, "Lost", Mercury told Emerald that his father stole his Semblance when he unlocked it. His father used his own Semblance to steal Mercury's and claimed that he would give it back when Mercury became stronger. However, Mercury never got his Semblance back despite getting stronger, and after killing his father, Mercury still has no chance of regaining it. Marcus allegedly referred to it as a 'crutch' that made Mercury 'weak', not much is known about Mercury's Semblance otherwise.
Mercury is the only known character to have lost their Semblance.
As stated by Ozpin in "Downfall", Hazel's Semblance, Numbing Agent, is being completely insensitive to pain. It allows him to stab Dust into his body without feeling the negative effects of the Dust or the afflictions themselves. To be specific, he merely does not feel the pain, but he is not invulnerable. If enough damage is caused to his body, he will be unable to continue fighting regardless of whether he feels it or not. This critical weakness is somewhat compensated by the abnormally fast rate that his Aura is replenished at.
Tyrian's Semblance seemingly allows him to disrupt a person's Aura. When activated, Tyrian's eyes and his arms glow purple, and if he touches someone's Aura, it fades away from the area he touched, leaving the victim vulnerable to attacks. Because Aura is the shielding of a person's body, his temporary removal of spots allows him to attack full-force, just as if they were without Aura in that spot.
Tock[edit | edit source]
When she activated and deactivated her Semblance, Tock momentarily gained a yellow glow from her Aura, which then dissipated by floating off of her in small pieces.
After activating her power, she was able to take direct hits from her opponents without even flinching. Without worrying about defense, she was able to overwhelm her opponents with her aggressive fighting style.
Adam's Semblance is called Moonslice. Blake describes it as receiving energy in his sword, storing it and sending it back outward. It is powerful enough to deplete the remainder of Yang's Aura and sever her arm in a single strike in "Heroes and Monsters".
Adam can retain the stored energy for some time and does not need to return the damage immediately. In the "Black" Trailer, Adam uses Moonslice on the Spider Droid after absorbing a large energy beam, disintegrating the robot. He can also create afterimages that have physical properties, as shown when he fights Yang in a forest outside Argus. In these instances when he absorbs attacks, everything red on him - such as his hair, outfit, Wilt's blade and the markings on his mask - glows.
Adam's Semblance is very similar to Yang's Burn, however, he doesn't feel the pain that is inflicted on his body while he is collecting the energy. Blake warns Yang about his ability when Yang arrives to stall Adam for Blake to recover. This happens in the episode "Stealing from the Elderly".
As revealed in RWBY: Amity Arena, Sienna's Semblance is called Grudge. Her Semblance's "grudge" activates on foes that have their Aura weakened or broken, making her stronger, faster and more vicious when going in for the kill.
Ironwood's Semblance, Mettle, strengthens his resolve which allows him to carry through with his decisions, helping James hyper-focus.
Winter has the Schnee family Semblance of Glyphs. Her glyphs have many of the same effects that her sister's does, most notably including the ability to exert forces on herself and objects, which Winter uses to move around with great agility in combat.
Like Weiss and other members of the Schnee family, she can also summon versions of her past enemies to fight for her. Unlike Weiss, she displays great mastery of this aspect of her Semblance. Her Summons are known to include dozens of miniature Nevermores, a pack of Beowolves, as well as a Manticore which she can mount. Her Summons take on a white-blue coloration and emit a soft glow, similar to that of sparkling snow.
Clover's Semblance was stated to be Good Fortune, which allowed him to manipulate probability positively. Similarly to Qrow's own Semblance, Clover's was also constantly active, but instead it caused good fortune wherever he went with varying effects, from miraculously saving him from being crushed by cave-ins to constantly giving him good card hands in card games.
Another clear difference between Clover's "Good Fortune" in comparison to Qrow's "Misfortune" is that while Qrow's Semblance does not discriminate between who it affects and brings constant "bad luck" to everyone around him, Clover's "Good Fortune" seemingly only affected and brought him "Good Luck" in whatever he did, instead of indiscriminately constantly giving "Good Luck" to everyone around him.
His Semblance is part of his allusion to "A Fisherman's Good Luck".
Harriet's Semblance allows her to run at Super-Speed, leaving behind a trail of electricity. Her eyes also become an electric gold when using her Semblance, rather than their usual byzantine. It appears to match Ruby's speed when both Huntresses are using their Semblances.
While speed Semblances are common, the speeds at which Harriet can reach are of an unsurpassed caliber.
Her Semblance is a part of her allusion to the Hare from The Tortoise and the Hare.
Vine's Semblance allows him to generate Aura Vines from his arms and legs, essentially extending the length of his limbs.
He uses his Semblance to propel himself and grapple at other enemies. Vine also displays that he can freely alter the shape of his aura vine hands into claws to grab and swipe at his opponents. By channeling his Semblance and Aura to his feet, he can propel himself off the ground.
His vines are a part of his allusion to the Vine from The Elm and The Vine as well as his name.
Elm's Semblance allows her to plant herself in place with Aura Roots, causing her to seemingly be unmovable for its duration, allowing for greater strength to be put in blows. Thanks to her semblance, she is capable of holding on the Frosted Petra Gigas in its place by grabbing its leg and successfully stop a charging Megoliath in its tracks.
Elm's Semblance also makes her perfect in using heavy artillery type weapons due to the fact that she could easily root herself to the ground to prevent the immense recoil of such weapons to fling her right out of her feet.
However, an obvious weakness to this ability is the fact that if Elm plants and roots herself on unstable or broken surfaces, it completely renders her Semblance useless and may instead become a severe hindrance in a fight.
Her roots are a part of her allusion to the Elm from The Elm and The Vine in addition to her name.
Marrow's Semblance allows him to Freeze an enemy's movements, as seen with how he freezes two Centinels in place in "Ace Operatives", activating when he uses the command word "stay". This ability seems to have little to no limit seeing as Marrow is able to freeze an entire crowd of people in the episode "A Night Off"; however, he must remain pointing at the target to keep them in place.
Another weakness to his Semblance is that if Marrow is fighting two different opponents in two areas separate from each other, he would need to do and undo his "stay" commands over and over and constantly alternate between freezing them, which in turn causes a severe strain on his Aura reserves and stamina.
His Semblance seems to be inspired by dog commands, furthering his allusion to The Dog and Its Reflection.
Robyn's Semblance is Lie Detection, allowing her to see if a person is telling the truth. She holds the person's hand and envelops it in pale lilac Aura. She then asks the person a question, and if their answer is the truth, the Aura turns green.
May's Semblance allows her to create an area of space around her that makes everything inside invisible to the outside. May has showcased enough mastery over her Semblance to allow her to easily render up to six or more invisible and create a dome large enough to shield an entire cargo truck.
In "Strings", it is shown that her Semblance also muffles the sounds of anything or anyone inside the dome, allowing May and anyone else with her to communicate without being detected.
Fiona's Semblance, Pocket Dimensions, seemingly allows her to absorb and store matter into herself through the palm of her hand. The exact upper limits to how much she can absorb are unknown, though Fiona has displayed the capacity to absorb an entire cargo truck complete with its cargo. One limitation appears to be that she must physically touch the object that she is absorbing. Fiona is able to then release said stored matter in whole.
Fiona's Semblance was originally going to be Roman Torchwick's Semblance, and it was originally called Deep Pockets. But the production team never found a moment for him to use it, so it was saved for a later character and decided Roman could be a great example of how some people don't unlock their Semblances.
Carmine's Semblance is Telekinesis, the ability to control objects with her mind. She has a great deal of control over her Semblance, allowing her to create localized weather patterns or manipulate her weapons in the air, as well as creating underground tunnels. When using her Semblance, a golden wisp appears to emit from Carmine's hands.
Her Semblance is compared to that of Glynda Goodwitch; however, it is stated Carmine lacks the same mastery over it as Glynda, as Carmine is limited to small objects whereas Glynda is capable of lifting large chunks from buildings.
Bertilak's Semblance is generating heat. He has a tendency to use this to increase a target's fatigue and exhaustion, and he can also use it to form glass out of sand, then manipulating the glass to form a wall.
Rosa's Semblance, Intangibility, allows her to briefly become intangible to avoid incoming attacks, as shown in her fight with Sun. When Rosa uses her Semblance, she briefly becomes a blur.
Argento's Semblance is Lag. Using his Semblance, Argento is able to make the target slightly slower than they can initially perceive, enabling him to dodge attacks he'd otherwise be unable to and deal damage he'd be otherwise incapable of doing. Sun Wukong compares it to playing a video game with a busted controller.
Umber's Semblance, Stone Glance, allows her to put people into a temporary rigor mortis-like state just by making eye contact. She is unable to control her powers, and has to wear thick, mirrored glasses to prevent herself from paralyzing everyone around her.
Her Semblance is a likely allusion to Medusa, who was capable of turning people to stone through eye contact.
Jax's Semblance is that of Mind Control, allowing him to dominate the wills of others he makes physical contact with. This is typically achieved by telepathically influencing their minds in the form of pushing a subconscious suggestion to them.
Jax is able to use his Semblance on multiple people at a time, with its effects lasting for extended periods of time, lasting from weeks to even months. When used on others, their Auras take on a nearly identical appearance to his own.
Gillian's Semblance, Aura Siphon, allows her to transfer Aura between different people, much like Jaune Arc. However, she is also able to drain Aura from others to recover her own, as well as storing it for herself. This adds onto her own Aura, forming a rainbow of color.
Gillian is also capable of forming a chain of Aura by draining it from one person and using herself as a link to transfer it into another. Aura passed onto others will eventually fade, and she needs physical contact to transfer it, whether this is to herself or other people.
Vacuo[edit | edit source]
August's Semblance allows him to amplify the emotions of those around him, whether positive or negative. However, Gus can only amplify emotions the target is currently feeling, and has very limited control over his Semblance.
Edward's Semblance allows him to temporarily block a target from using their own. When he is lucid, Ed can focus on singular targets at a time. However, his foggy memory causes his Semblance to be unstable at times, affecting everyone in the area.
Green[edit | edit source]
Green's Semblance allows him to release a foul-stenched smoke that causes nearby targets to choke, allowing for quick getaways, as shown in his fight with Sun. The smoke can be filtered out through the use of a gas mask.
Lily[edit | edit source]
Lily has the Semblance to make small objects temporarily stick together, such as a house of cards.
Opal[edit | edit source]
Opal's Semblance is described as a Blood Rush which causes lightheadedness and fatigue. She needs to extend her hands to use it.
Sil[edit | edit source]
Sil is capable of obscuring an area in Darkness through the use of his Semblance.
Mina's Semblance allows her to produce Spider Webs that can be used to make weapons.
Jupiter's Semblance allows him to turn water into vapor. He used this ability as a child to escape a bubble of water his younger brother Neptune had accidentally passed onto him.
Others[edit | edit source]
Marcus' Semblance, while never showing any form of a debut as of yet, had the ability to steal other people's Semblances through unknown conditions, which he had done to his son, Mercury. This was first revealed in "Lost" by Mercury, who also states that his father was leading on the possibility of his Semblance also being able to give back stolen Semblances, though it was left uncertain if he really could. The effects of Marcus' Semblance remained after his death with no known means of undoing it.
Maria's Semblance, nicknamed Preflexes, allows her to sense everything better than most people and react to attacks almost before they happen. This higher sensory ability allows her to even react to things that are out of her field of vision, such as a lemon falling next to her or people shooting at her from behind. In the flashback in "The Grimm Reaper", she even shows the ability to pinpoint where the bullets are heading so that she can block them behind her back.
Willow has the Schnee family Semblance of Glyphs. Her proficiency is not known at this time, as she has not been shown in combat.
Rhodes' Semblance allows him to turn his own skin into metal, preventing blunt and cut trauma from taking severe effects on his body. However, the Semblance appears to make him vulnerable to heat based attacks, as shown by his sensitivity to Cinder's Scorching Caress superheating Rhodes' metal-coated neck.
All of The Hunter's Children has unlocked their Semblances in the story of the same name.
- The Hunter's eldest daughter could lead her towards what she needed the most, which she used to lead her village toward what she assumed was a new and safer home from the Grimm.
- The Hunter's eldest son was able to link people's Auras so long as they were in physical contact, even if that physical contact was something like a rope tied between people. This allowed him to boost the Aura and abilities of himself and other people. It could even turn him into a one-man army against the Grimm if necessary.
- The Hunter's youngest daughter was able to calm any Human or animal. Her ability was extremely useful for protecting people from the Grimm by helping suppress negative emotions.
- The Hunter's youngest son had the power to hide in plain sight. However, he had to close his eyes to do it, which meant that he could not move around without getting lost and tripping over. His power also did not hide his emotions, as such he was still able to be detected by the Grimm.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Much like how the weapons in RWBY have specific noises associated with them, Semblances do as well.
- The colors of someone's Aura and Semblance can differ from each other:
- Pyrrha's Aura was red while her Semblance color was black.
- Elm's Aura is brown while her Semblance Aura constructs are light green.
- Harriet's Aura is pink while the lightning-like energy produced by her Semblance is yellow.
- Vine's Aura is light blue while his Aura vines are light yellow in color.
- Not everyone discovers their Semblance despite being an active fighter, such as Roman Torchwick, or Arthur Watts.
- Fiona's Semblance was originally going to be Torchwick's Semblance, and it was originally called Deep Pockets. But the production team never found a moment for him to use it, so it was saved for a later character and decided Roman could be a great example of how some people don't unlock their Semblances.
- In an Reddit AMA, Eddy Rivas confirmed that there is a link between Semblances and Magic, but did not elaborate on it.
References[edit | edit source]
- RWBY Livestream
- RWBY Volume 3 Live Stream
- Rooster Teeth Tumblr Q&A October 5, 2017
- Rooster Teeth Tumblr Q&A October 5, 2017
- The World of RWBY: The Official Companion page 57
- "RWBY: Before the Dawn"
- Reference required
- Volume 7 Blu-ray Director's Commentary - Chapter 3.
- RWBY: Amity Arena Harriet card bio
- The World of RWBY: The Official Companion
- RWBY: Combat Ready Kickstarter page
- RWBY Volume 3 Episode 4: "Lessons Learned"
- Volume 2 Directors Commentary "Painting the Town..."
- "Painting the Town..."
- "Volume 5 Weiss Character Short"
- RWBY: Combat Ready Kickstarter page
- Dead Fantasy RWBY comparison
- [[Commentaries/Volume 2 Directors Commentary#Painting the Town...] Painting the Town... Commentary]
- Volume 1 Directors Commentary "Players and Pieces"
- RWBY: Combat Ready Kickstarter page
- AfterBuzz RWBY After Show Volume 2 Episodes 3 & 4
- Monty's Twitter
- RWBY Crew Chat (at 45:28)
- RWBY: Combat Ready Kickstarter page
- RWBY Rewind
- Volume 2 Directors Commentary 47:51
- RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 12
- RWBY: After the Fall
- RWBY: After the Fall
- RWBY: After the Fall
- Volume 3 DVD Directors' Commentary
- RWBY: After the Fall
- RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 21
- Eddy Rivas' Twitter
- Eddy's Twitter
- RWBY Volume 2: World of Remnant: Aura
- RWBY: Before the Dawn Chapter 13
- Volume 3 Directors Commentary
- Volume 3 Director's Commentary
- RWBY Rewind: Season 2 Ep 8
- Melanie Stern's Twitter
- Sienna's Amity Arena card info
- RWBY Panel | RTX 2020
- RWBY: Amity Arena Harriet card bio
- RWBY: Amity Arena
- RWBY: Volume 7 Director's Commentary – Chapter 7
- RWBY: Before the Dawn Prologue
- RWBY: Before the Dawn Prologue
- Subtitles on Rooster Teeth's website
- Rooster Teeth Tumblr Q&A October 5, 2017
- RWBY Panel | RTX 2020
- RWBY: Volume 7 Director's Commentary – Chapter 7
- RWBY Reddit AMA with Eddy Rivas