Mana Shield

The complete inverse of Cast from Hit Points: having damage hit your Magic Points instead of your Hit Points. Unlike Cast from Hit Points, you generally don't see this come up as a plot point, as you can't exactly die from it or anything. Not to be confused with a barrier spell that uses magic points to increase your defenses.

Sometimes, this can turn a Squishy Wizard into quite the tank. Can become a Game Breaker by giving Nigh-Invulnerability to the user, especially if damage that would overkill the user's MP does not get converted into actual damage. On the other hand it will quickly turn a magic user into a sitting duck if the mana doesn't regenerate. It is also usually far more efficient to use your MP for healing spells rather than to absorb the damage directly.

Compare Mana Burn, which is where the attack is directed at the mana in the first place.


  • Mages in World of Warcraft had the spell Mana Shield, which causes damage to briefly be dealt to your Mana instead of your Health. Unlike healers' spells and other mage absorption spells, it didn't become more efficient as you gained more Spell Power from gear; but unlike them, it didn't cost any mana if it expired unused.
    • In World of Warcraft Lady Deathwhisper casts one of these at the start of the fight, and doesn't drop it until her mana has been entirely depleted. Not that it stops her from casting spells after anyway.
    • Warcraft III did this with Mana Shield on the Naga Sea Witch.
  • Mabinogi has a skill by the same name as the trope, which uses a rather intricate formula for determining the damage hit to the user's Mana and also steadily drains it while in use. When their Mana does run out, any damage not blocked averts this trope. However, a recent Music-type skill subverts this trope, which regenerates quite a chunk of Mana such that it completely overrides the passive drain effect.
  • The original Diablo is the Trope Namer. The eponymous spell, which is the lifeblood of the middle-to-late-game Sorcerer, not only reduced all damage by a third but redirected all the rest of the damage to mana instead of health. In fact, due to a famous glitch, a high-level Sorcerer is well-advised to have as low of a health count as possible, enabling him to completely avoid stun from high damage attacks.
  • In Diablo II, the Sorceress has an Energy shield that diverts a proportion of damage to Magic points.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics has the Time Mage ability "MP Switch" for this effect.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 have the "Damage > MP" and "MP Shield" abilities respectively. The former is something of a Game Breaker: it didn't put any overflow damage into HP (which made it incredibly useful for the main character to have for those 1-on-1 story fights), characters start with full MP at the beginning of the level, and they regain 10 MP every turn. In A2, MP Shield is nerfed heavily. Not only does overflow come from HP, MP also starts at 0, making this skill is a really bad choice for classes that actually use MP and only slightly better for those that don't.
    • Particularly irritating opponents in the second game have both Damage > MP and Blood Price, the latter of which allows them to cast spells out of their HP. Particularly irritating ones can also heal themselves for more HP than it costs to cast the healing spell. Kill them quickly!
  • Bravely Default has Spirit Barrier, one of the abilities learned by the Valkyrie class.
  • MapleStory, although it only absorbs up to 80% instead of full damage. Still very important for mages to master, as they would die to nearly anything in one hit at the higher levels without it.
  • In Super Robot Wars, barrier abilities reduce damage while draining energy.
  • The Magic Armor in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a variation- it diverts damage to your money supply while also draining it at a steady pace to fuel its effects (as there is no Mana Meter in Twilight Princess).
  • There's the Vigor ability available to psionic characters in Dungeons & Dragons. It uses psionic powers in order to create temporary hit points, so its effect is similar.
    • Similarly, elans can sacrifice power points to reduce or eliminate hit point damage once per round.
  • The Wraith Armor in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.
  • The Endure skill in Blue Dragon.
  • One of the many Geo Effects in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice swaps your HP/MP values, so that running out of MP can get you killed on these spots. Good for quickly wiping out powerful enemies with low MP; not so good for your Dumb Muscle, if you have any...
  • Castlevania
    • Technically the Neptune card from Castlevania: Circle of the Moon heals you when you would be damaged by the element in question, but the healing's so minor and the drain on your MP so major that it's really more like the attack just drains your MP.
      • It's a miracle-worker, though, in the second playthrough's "Magician" mode, where you have very little defense and HP and a crap-ton of MP and intelligence (MP regen). Since you get all the cards at the beginning of the game in Magician mode, and you also have the Uranus/Unicorn combo to heal, plus almost every enemy in the game (including bosses) attack with an element, you become basically invincible provided you don't mind switching your cards whenever you have to deal with a different element, go on the attack, or restore accidental damage.
    • An item in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia causes damage to your heart supply (only used for limit breaks in this game) rather than your HP.
  • In the first Fable, this spell (dubbed "Physical Shield") is quite a game breaker. The game features a combat multiplier, which goes up as you're dealing damage to enemies and multiplies the experience you receive. Being hit resets it back to zero, but only if your hitpoints go down. If you absorb the damage into your mana, the multiplier stays. Using the mana shield constantly thus allows you to get the multiplier ridiculously high and level up much faster than you could without it.
  • Medusa in Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars has this skill
  • Heroes of Newerth: Electrician has a skill that reduces incoming damage by half at the cost of mana.
  • Dungeon Crawl has an amulet of guardian spirit that has this effect.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable:
    • In The Battle of Aces, any attack that hits your barrier takes away from mana and being drained of all mana while guarding causes a guard crush with stun until the mana automatically regenerates.
    • The Gears of Destiny grants this to System U-D in her Final Boss form. As long as it's up, only throws or a Full Drive Burst could damage her Hit Points and she's Immune to Flinching. Combine this with tons of painful attacks, and you have a recipe for an SNK Boss.
  • In the Dot Hack GU games, Doppelgangers are already tough as they are, what with being automatically 8 levels above the main character, and having an outrageous HP/SP regen points, AND having a very damaging weapons equipped, complete with devastating effects thrown in for good measure. Come Volume 3 (At Walking Pace/Redemption), and the Doppelganger has the Mana Shield in full force, making fighting him an exercise in patience, frustration, and revival items, as, for a good amount of time, your attacks will do exactly 0 damage until you run its SP to 0. On the good side though, once you do, he won't be able to do Arts, so that's one less worry to deal with.
  • Oracle of Tao has a variant. Yazim Jianne, the hero that can use this can't actually use it to defend against attacks, but rather it heals him after the fact by shifting massive amounts of mana over to health.
  • Puzzle Quest and its sequel have skills for magic-user characters that let you take damage from one of your mana pools in place of your HP. There's usually an upkeep cost for using them, so the duration of the spell is typically how long you can keep chaining mana to keep the shield going.
  • Flynn from Tales of Vesperia can have a rather overpowered version of this, where as long as he has TP remaining, the damage of any attacks that strike him will be reduced by around 75%, while reducing TP by a very small amount for each hit taken.
  • Tales of Maj'Eyal actually inverts this trope. Archmages can get a shield that converts incoming damage to a mana increase. The downside is that, if the damage would bring your mana above its maximum value, your shield explodes instead.
    • The solipsist has a more traditional Mana Shield: A certain percentage of incoming damage is dealt to PSI instead of health. Note that the solipsist has less health than the squishiest of wizards, so this is a useful skill to have.
  • In League of Legends Blitzcrank has an unusual variant. When reduced to low health he gains a mana shield that absorbs damage equal to a percentage of his current mana. Rather than draining mana it's limited by a cooldown.
    • Seraph's Embrace consumes a portion of the user's mana to gain a shield equal to the consumed mana for a short duration.
  • This is more or less how blocking works in the Touhou fighters. You take no or reduced damage and can't die, but most attacks cause damage to the spirit gauge (necessary for danmaku and special) instead.
  • While characters in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time can deal both standard HP damage and MP damage, the Convert Damage skill allows you to either do this or its inversion, converting MP damage into HP damage. Use of this skill can make Nel and Maria into better tanks than Fayt or Cliff.note 
  • The Mage class in Cube World has a spell called Mana Shield; however, despite its name, casting the spell costs no Mana and simply causes a percent of damage taken to be nullified (up to a cap) instead of redirecting Health Point damage to your Mana Points.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has the Warbear energy bracers accessory, which lets monster attacks reduce your MP instead of your HP.
  • In the multiplayer of Dawn of War II and its expansions, several heroes can get shield upgrades which cause damage to drain their energy instead of health. Specifically, the Force Commander has the Iron Halo, the Chaos Lord the Dark Halo, the Warlock the Psychic Shield, the Hive Tyrant the Warp Field, and the Commissar Lord the Refractor Field.
  • Adol in Ys II can acquire a spell that directs any damage he receives into his MP. It drains MP on its own rather quickly though.
  • One of Gideon Jura's signature spells in Magic: The Gathering is a defensive shield that can stop just about anything, but each hit depletes his mana to sustain it.
  • Path of Exile mostly instead uses an Energy Shield that's fueled by the same source as your Mana (Intelligence), but doesn't directly interact with it. However the passive skill Mind over Matter causes 30% of damage to subtract from mana instead of life. You generally have much less mana, but it has the capacity to regenerate at a much faster rate.