The Attack on Titan characters are at war with beings that they do not totally know how to defeat. That means that they often make choices that they’re guessing are going to work. They have to make educated, and sometimes uneducated, decisions about what might possibly be the solution to the Titan problem.
Sometimes, they make really excellent decisions that work out well and save people’s lives. Other times, their plans don’t work at all and people are in even more danger because of it. Here are five of the smartest Attack on Titan strategies and five of the dumbest.
10 Smartest: Hannes Distracting The Smiling Titan
A lot of people die in Attack on Titan. War is a gruesome business, and war against giant creatures who are interested in eating all the humans is even worse. A lot of people sacrifice themselves to get a leg up on the Titans during battle. Hannes is one of those people. During a battle with the Smiling Titan, when Eren is incapacitated, he offers himself up as a distraction so Eren has time to regenerate. The Titan kills him in the process, but it gives Eren enough time to get back in the game.
9 Dumbest: Levi’s Team Getting Ambushed
Eren is held captive by what are essentially government forces, and they’re transporting him in the back of a hearse, even putting him inside of a coffin, which is all pretty messed up.
Levi and Misaka lead a team to try to rescue him. It seems pretty obvious that the transport would be protected so that people like Eren’s teammates couldn’t do exactly what they were trying to do. But it still catches Levi and Misaka off-guard, and they have to fight their way out.
8 Smartest: Mitabi’s Suicide Mission
Mitabi’s team are another group that essentially go on a suicide mission to distract Titans. In this case, it’s to give Eren some more time where he doesn’t have to fight. A large part of their defense strategy is to plug up a hole in Wall Rose, and Eren has to lift a boulder in order to do that. The boulder is pretty heavy, even for a Titan, so the team distracts the Titans to give Eren the time he needs to do this.
7 Dumbest: Forcing Historia To Become Pregnant
This is dumb and also heinous. Historia is found to be pregnant, and is certainly not particularly happy about the fact.
Everyone’s pretty sure that this was a plan of Eren’s, that if Historia were to become pregnant, she wouldn’t be able to inherit the Beast Titan, at least not until after she gives birth. No one’s really sure who the baby’s father is, but if the plan was to force Historia into pregnancy against her will, it was a bad plan all around.
6 Smart: Collapsing The Walls
The Walls give the Titans the ability to harden, which makes them even more difficult to defeat. Eren comes up with the idea to destroy the Walls so that they lose this ability, which gives the people fighting them the edge in battle. It’s a risky maneuver, since it puts people in danger at the same time, but it’s a great decision for taking the offensive to the Titans, instead of waiting for them to attack.
5 Dumbest: Losing The Hardening Freed Annie
On the other hand, Annie, who is one of the most destructive and unhinged of the Titans and who really wants to cause as much death and destruction as possible, was captured and held captive in large part due to her hardening, because it kept her trapped in one location.
Undoing the hardening by destroying the Walls also frees Annie, which can only mean more devastation down the road.
4 Smartest: Eren Absorbing War Hammer Titan’s Powers
The ability for one Titan to absorb the power of another Titan is pretty awesome and very useful for getting a leg up in battles against them. After Eren defeats War Hammer Titan, he absorbs his powers, which allows him to also have the power to use his hardened skin to create structures. He also has the ability to separate his control center from the rest of his body, which makes him harder to kill, since he can just change bodies.
3 Dumbest: Eren Being Violent With Historia
When everyone learns that Historia is the heir to the throne, they want her to become queen so that they have the upper hand in politics as well as combat. Historia refuses since she’s renounced her family name and isn’t interested in being a part of the monarchy.
Eren tries to convince her to do it by physically threatening her, lifting her in the air by the front of her shirt and screaming in her face. Not only does this terrify Historia but not actually convince her, it’s just a thing a good person wouldn’t do.
2 Smartest: Using Wrestling Holds To Beat Reiner
Reiner is a Titan with incredibly tough skin, so it’s difficult to actually hurt him by sheer force. Punching him doesn’t leave a dent in his skin, since it’s so hard. Eren quickly figures this out while fighting him, and he ends up switching his method and using wrestling holds instead. This gives him the ability to literally squeeze Reiner until that shell cracks so that he can put him away. Noticing his strategy wasn’t working and changing it is a really smart way to win a fight.
1 Dumbest: Ymir Swallowing Historia
Ymir probably has good intentions when he swallows Historia. He wants to protect her from what he thinks is going to be a pretty bad situation on Paradis Island, so he keeps her from going there by ingesting her. There are a number of reasons why this is a bad, dumb move. The first is that it takes away Historia’s agency, and no one responds well to that; if she wants to go to Paradis, she’s probably going to figure out a way. Also, it’s pretty safe to say that swallowing a person to stop them from doing something is a good way to actually get them to do it, since it’s gross and likely would make them angry.
Attack on Titan features some pretty intense battles, and the characters have to think outside of the box if they want to win.