I had watched some Red vs Blue before, but seeing Meta vs Carolina I went and binge watched the rest of the series. If anybody wants to hear my thoughts on that verdict, I'm neutral because Red vs Blue has some of the most inconsistent character durability I have ever seen. The main characters appearing to wear Mjolnir armor even though in Fall of Reach it's stated that stress of the armor's movements killed normal humans when they wore it (though everyone in the series appears to have superhuman durability), and that the armor's titanium outer shell is bullet proof. Yet characters are consistently hurt and sometimes killed by bullets, knives, despite surviving much crazier injuries like having a giant cargo dropped on them and sometimes getting hit with anti-vehicle weapons. The writing still got very good at the 6th season and the more intense fights made the series a lot better, it's just that durability for character seems entirely dependent on what the plot requires.
Before talking about possible combatants, a quick note the series. Red vs Blue is essentially a Halo fanfic in video form, though it's actual references to Halo's events in its early seasons were really confusing. For those not familiar, the original Halo trilogy revolved around a war between humanity and a theocratic alien empire called the Covenant. Hopelessly out maned and outgunned by the Covenant navy, humans are loosing very badly, only avoiding extermination because a civil war broke out in the Covenant and they managed to make sure the side that didn't want to kill them won.
In Red vs Blue's plot, the desperation of humanity led to its military the UNSC funding something called Project Freelancer to create better soldiers called the Freelancers. Said project managed to get a ridiculous amount of funding since by the series proper, Freelancer has gotten funding to set up an unspecified number of bases manned by soldiers deemed unfit for service by the UNSC, which explains why almost all the Reds and Blues are idiots. They are just meant to man bases and exist for scenarios to train the Freelancers. By season 6 with war over, the existence of Freelancer is started to get questioned for a number of protocols it broke, which for the UNSC is a big deal given how they were in a war where breaking protocol could mean the difference between humanity living or dying.
With that out of the way, lets get the Meta, the villain who launched the series from a straight comedy that parodied Halo's multiplayer, to an action/comedy that at times even had some bits of tragedy."We are the Meta. And we find you. Very soon."
Season 6 showed signs that the show's tone would change, and it really set in once the Meta showed up. He's first mentioned as having killed an entire Red base on his own, and then the two agents sent to investigate and document the massacre. Not much is revealed about him during his appearances from 6-8, called the Recollection trilogy, despite him being the main antagonist. All that is revealed he's a rogue Freelancer code-named Agent Maine and he's a bit on the insane side.
As the Meta acquired the AIs Gamma and Omega (the latter being the previous 5 seasons "villain"), the Freelancer Agent Washington is sent to bring in the soldiers from Omega's last known location, which ropes the main two Blue characters Church and Caboose into the effort to stop the Meta.
The next time we see the Meta he's about to kill the Freelancer South Dakota and take her AI Delta. They almost manage to kill him with rocket launcher before he uses his time distortion unit to dodge it and almost kills Washington before his suit starts to run out of power forcing him to retreat.
Washington and the Blues manage to track the Meta to where he's recharging, but are halted by the Reds whom the Meta in advance tricked into going after Washington the Blues. Once he has his power back he attacks and almost kills them before Washington repels him a removed turret gun. But it turned out that before he showed himself the Meta had already retaken Delta, and apparently kept watching both teams because he hitched a ride as they infiltrated the command of Freelancer. Unlike them he did make any attempt at sneaking around once he got in the base and killed his way through all the guards in his path before chasing Washington to find the Epsilon AI. He almost kills Washington before his AIs are distracted by Church, revealed at this point to be the Alpha AI, allowing Washington time to set off an EMP to kill all the AIs.
Washington and the Meta were taken into custody by the UNSC, but are later released to find Epsilon (though Washington isn't until season 8). The Meta is reduced to a more comedic role for most of the next two seasons with him first chasing the Reds when he first appears being played more as a joke. Part of this is because he was used to having AI's run the equipment on his suit, and he can't work it without them. One exception is when chasing in the Reds in their warthog, which he manages to destroy by landing after making a jump from gravlift and would have killed them afterwords if Epsilon didn't distract him.
During the end of season 8 the Meta regains his old menace. An Agent Texas brought back from Epsilon's memories lures out him and Washington and for the most part dominates them thanks to her greater hand to hand skill and various traps she set up. Despite that the Meta shrugged off everything thrown at him and critically injured her with his Brute Shot before stabbing him the face with an AI capture unit and uses her to reactivate his gear.
Washington tries stopping the Meta but fails to even slow him down before the Reds and Blues show up to fight him. They get their asses kicked until and while they manage to get some hits in none of them have any effect till they tie the front hook of a crashed warthog to him and push it off a cliff into the ocean. While some fans were holding hope the Meta would return, season 12 confirmed he was dead when his armor was found.
While the Meta was killed he still appeared in the flashbacks of The Project Freelancer Saga. From here it's revealed he was actually as much a victim as he was a villain, though not a good person by any means. He was shown even in flashbacks to be a violent person who once brought live animation to a sparring match.
As Agent Maine he was the strongman of the Freelancers. While the Freelancers did some very morally questionable missions, killing cops and military personal, Maine was nonetheless a loyal teammate, in one mission actually taking a bullet aimed at them. During the same mission he was shot in the neck rendering him unable to speak, the reason for him always making animal like sounds.
When the Freelancers were given AIs, the team's leader Carolina was first on the list to receive one, but forwent having her AI Sigma so the AI serve as speaker for Maine. Carolina's act of compassion ended up backfiring. Freelancer's AIs were all fragments of the Alpha AI. During a lecture on AI rampancy, a process where AIs go insane thanks to using so much of its computing power its functions start to shut down, Sigma develops an interest in the theoretical stage of Metastability where an AI could be considered human. While he's informed no AI has reached that level, he still develops and ambition to reach it by rejoined with the other AI fragments.
A big difference between the AIs given to the Freelancers and the AIs and AIs inhabiting Mjlonir armor is that Freelancer's AIs, don't inhabit armor. They are put into cybernetic implants put into the head. This likely helped with Sigma brainwashing Maine into his personal attack dog. To give himself easy access to AIs to steal he and the AI Gamma take advantage of Carolina's wounded pride from being showing up by Agent Texas, convincing her that if she had an AI she could outperform her. After the climax of the flashback, Sigma is able to get Maine to easily steal Carolina's AIs after she was weak from her fight with Texas and the Freelancers' ship crashing. Now calling himself the Meta in reference to his goal (using a "we", probably referring to himself and the stolen AIs), Sigma assures Texas he will find her again.
This is the last time Sigma is seen since he and the other AIs save Episilon were destroyed by the earlier mentioned EMP. Most of his interactions with the captured AIs aren't shown but he is apparently very skilled at manipulating them since every AI he got Maine to take ended up sharing his goal. This speaks pretty well of whatever trick he used since the AIs in question include Omega who is a self-absorbed mass of violence. While Maine was a violent person to start with, whatever Sigma did to him turned him into a killer that will attack almost anything he sees without reason.
While the Meta is always depicted as being able to be hurt by whatever is thrown at him, off all the various attacks and weapons used against him the only things that actually seem to bother him were a chain gun and direct hits from a missile pod. Even as Agent Maine getting shot in the neck failed to keep him down. As the Meta his durability is even more insane. He's been shot repeatedly, stabbed around the neck, stepped on a land mine, and even impaled with an energy sword and shrugged off all of it. In his fight with Texas at the end of the Recollection trilogy he injured her before firing off a shot from his grenade launcher at their feet, which badly hurt her but had no visible effect on him. Even the fall into the ocean didn't hurt, he only died because the holes in his armor from the energy sword let water leak in and drown him. In a nutshell, he's the most durable character in the series and if something doesn't kill him outright it may as well be hot air.
Exactly how strong the Meta is, is not clear. Once the fights with Monty Oum started animating fights we see characters take injuries that make it seem like bullets should just make them mad at best. For people he's fought the best strength feat we have in the series is probably when Texas held up a metal shipping container dropped on her and then tossed it across a room. Said type of container at the minimum weighs two and half tons unloaded, if somebody has an idea of how heavy being completely loaded with health power ups would make that thing give me heads up. The Meta himself has punched a stone block hard enough to launch it into the air so hard it shattered against the person it hit, hit a person hard enough to embed them in rock so firmly they were only freed when the rock was blown up, and broken out of something called lockdown pain which was meant to non-lethally, something restrain Freelancers during their sparring sessions and as far what's revealed to the audience he's the only Freelancer strong enough to do that.
His main weapon is a Covenant grenade launcher called the Brute Shot, pictured in the above image. While the grenades are always made out to be destructive, much like in Halo lore, the blade attached to is a different story. Depending on what the plot requires it's not no more dangerous than hitting somebody with a shotgun or rifle, but other times the blade part does come in and can cut through metal.
While getting AIs the Meta acquired the armor enhancements from the Freelancers. The Freelancer saga stated it's dangerous for Freelancers to even try to use any of them on their own, which is part of what the AIs are for. Most AIs can only run one piece of equipment at a time, but since the Meta has multiple AIs he can run away as much he wants. Part of why he was less of threat after the AIs were destroyed was because he was used to them running his armor and couldn't work his enhancements without them.
We never see how much uses his strength enhancement, he's tossed a warthog and a bunch of other junk but it's not shown if he used the enhanced strength to do it. He sometimes uses an overshield to block damage, but he's taken worse hits without his overshield than when he's used it. His Domed Energy Shield that blocks projectiles if anything appears much stronger than in Halo. It's implied to be able to hold out forever as long as the armor has power and while in the Reconstruction Trilogy it started to falter under rockets and grenades, later episodes we saw other characters block air to air missiles and in crazy case Carolina shielded a Pelican from a nuclear explosion with it. The ones he uses the most are Adaptive Camouflage to change the color and Active Camouflage to turn nearly invisible. The one that I feel causes the most headaches is the Time Distortion unit. We saw it used in season five, but back then it sent the user back in time. When the Meta used it slowed time around him to the point it was almost frozen, but he only used it once because he'd win too easi- I mean it drains his suit's power too quickly.
The Meta might be mentally unsound and really brute strength over skill in a fight, but he's not stupid. He's actually one of the smart characters in the series. When he saw Washington working with the Blues, he sent a fake radio message and sent it to the Reds to trick them into fighting his opposition. When attacking the Reds in season 7, he used active camouflage on his warthog and removed the transmission to keep it from getting found or stolen, and in his fight with Texas he managed to work as a team with Washington and won the fight thanks to some quick thinking. He did the latter events without his AIs, showing while he's described as a broken man searching for power without his AIs, he doesn't need them to think for him.
Aside from the risk of his armor running out of power and needing AIs to work his enhancements, the Meta's greatest weakness is his own pursuit of power. With or without Sigma pulling his strings he's been easily distracted by the sight of Alpha and Epsilon. With Sigma the vulnerability is actually worse since the seeing Washington had the Alpha let him get distracted long enough for Washington to set off an EMP.
Long story short; the Meta is an unrelenting force of violence that ignores almost any injury inflicted on him, but despite his violent nature he is not dumb. In terms of fighting ability he's likely still the most dangerous villain in the series, and at his peak he was next to unstoppable. Also for opponents, I'm also basing them off similarities with Sigma as well.Master Chief
: Obvious idea is obvious. But going a bit further, the Meta is a good foil the for the Master Chief. The Chief is product of an unethical super soldier program, but given that humanity would be dead several times over without him, said program can be seen as a necessary evil. The Meta was a failure who killed everyone in his path.The Predator
: The Meta's preferred methods are pretty similar to the Predator's, stalk target, stay hidden till he's ready for the kill, if even that, and once they spot a target they never stop.The Terminator
: Death Battle Screwattack compared the Meta to the Predator, but he reminds me more of the Terminator. They're both cunning, relentless, keep fighting and never letting anything phase them.Sharptooth
: Okay it's an insane super soldier vs a dinosaur. That either sounds weird or awesome. Either way, continuing the trend they both are aggressive and implacable villains that shrug almost everything thrown at them, and are coincidentally are both killed in the same way.Kharn the Betrayer
: Stomp admittedly since a brute shot (or anything short of maybe a Halo anti-tank gun) has a chance of piercing Space Marine armor let alone Kharn's plot armor, but the psychotic murdering super soldier angle was too much to resist.Venom
: Nightmarish psycho created by a "bond" between man and, something not man. And they are good at scaring the pants of the protagonists.Aigis
: Okay this one is based on a contrast with Sigma. Sigma is an AI that wants to reach a state where he could be considered human. Aigis actually did reach that level without trying and found the pain of being human so immense that part of her wanted to go back to being a machine that couldn't feel emotions.Savage Oppress
: Savage like the Meta was once, normal man for his species. And was turned into a living weapon by manipulations outside his control that made him a juggernaut of violence, though like the Meta he is not stupid.MINE!
Also if somebody wants to bring up how a Force using character could easily counter the way the Meta fights, Savage isn't dumb but he's lacking in the training that would let him do that, so it's a more even fight than it looks.Arakune
: They both used to men, but things happen that made them something else, and made them very insane.
The following were suggested by Captain America
: Success vs failure, guy who was from a program that made soldiers named after states taking on the guy who got named after the country.Deadpool
: Insane murderers who are very hard to kill. They both volunteered for science to be done to them and they were nver the same again.Wolverine
: Men that have a drive for violence, but Wolverine tries to suppress it his even when he doesn't know who he is. The Meta even after Sigma is gone is as violent as ever.Grey Fox
: Psychotic killer in power armor vs cyborg ninja. Both lost much what made them the man they were, though only Grey Fox seems bothered by it.Durge
: A bounty hunter who got screwed over after receiving cybernetic enhancements and became a berserking, nigh unstoppable hunter out to kill anyone remotely related to Mandalorians after their founder killed his best friend and brutally tortured him. Plus Durge in Clone Wars was actually badass enough to prove a challenge to Obi-Wan even their fight ended with him in pieces, and he's got some nice guns.Motoko Kusanagi
: They both lost much of what made them human. The Meta lost his mind, while Motoko lost of her her body and most of has been replaced by cybernetics. Also they both have tech that makes them invisible.Robocop
: Unstoppable killing machines on the opposite end of the law. While Robocop went a path to becoming more of the man he was, the Meta only had a few remains of Agent Maine and remained the killer Sigma made him into. In some respect he has an interesting similarity to Sigma with both trying to become more human.Jason Vorhees
: Relentless killers, plus it means we get to kill a slasher villain who had too many sequels. FUN.Needles Kane/Sweet Tooth
: Both had a little voice in their head that made them into mass murderers, though as foil, Needles is quite the talker, the Meta didn't talk much even when he could speak.Triborg
: Triborg is a cyborg seeking to kill all organic life, Sigma is an AI that actually wants to be human, while Triborg sees being human as a weakness. Plus both the Meta and Triborg carry a variety of toys in their armor.Lockdown
: They're both the first serious villains to appear in their respective series and are noted for taking weapons from their victims. Thanks to all their gear they have a similar aesthetic in that the Meta has a mishmash of armor parts, and Lockdown has a collection of different limbs that he presumable cut off from his Autobot victims, though his rack contains plenty more.
The following were suggested by Alucard
: Murdering psychos who love their destructive guns and very hard to kill, though the Meta would probably run out of ammo before Alucard dies.Carnage
: There's already the stuff similar with Venom. But Carnage has some extra stuff in common with the Meta as well, being a dangerous man who was made even more dangerous, and is even of a menace to unite people who hate each other against him.Reaper
: Both are bad guys who betrayed their teammates, though Reaper appears to have done so because he was a petty jealous asshole, and again, are very hard to kill. The Meta shrugs off almost everything thrown at him, while Reaper, whom appears less human than anything else in Overwatch, appears outright unkillable even surviving disintegration. They both like killing, and the Meta would probably fit in well with the Talons.Widowmaker
: An flat out ex-hero who was brainwashed into becoming somebody who if anything, loves killing more than the Meta ever did. Plus it's a brute force murder vs a cold blooded sniper.
Claimed by Winter Soldier
: Both were brainwashed into being somebody's assassin, and as foils, the Winter Soldier became a good guy. Even when free the Meta was still a monster.
Any takers? Also open to other suggestions.