Follow TV Tropes


Dishing Out Dirt

Go To
You should see how much time he spends vacuuming his apartment...

"The key to Earthbending is your stance — you've gotta be steady and strong. Rock is a stubborn element. If you're going to move it, you've gotta be like a rock yourself."

This Elemental Power (a Sub-Trope) is about characters with power over earth. Despite being the least used of the classical elemental powers in protagonists ("earth" powers usually manifest as the more nurturing and proactive Green Thumb) there are many things one can do with Earth. Earth users may be able to cause earthquakes, rockslides or split the earth itself and crush their opponent between two slabs of crust or drop their opponent into a fissure; use sand, rock, or mud as an extension of their body to create tentacles or other objects, encase themselves in a rock shield to avoid attack and many other possibilities. A common variant of it is controlling sand and dust, i.e ground-up rock and soil.

Earth users can be down to earth, rock solid, and slow to act but with a lot of momentum once they finally get rolling. If the Five-Man Band has elemental powers, The Big Guy or The Leader will usually have this. In a Four-Temperament Ensemble that doesn't involve a Power Stereotype Flip, this character is likely to be Melancholic. Can be found on the Boisterous Bruiser or other types of jolly and large Blood Knights or Proud Warrior Race Guys. If female, they may be motherly characters due to the extension of the "Earth Mother" archetype (Gaia of Greek myth fits the archetype and is an example of this trope). Sometimes the stock personality is inverted by making the character physically small or quiet and introverted instead of a big, loud, guy. Sometimes they will prefer to go barefoot, if skin contact with the soil increases their power.


If the character can't create their element themselves but are restricted to use of rocks/sand/ground around then they may find a tactical advantage in the mountains or desert. Bigger, heavier Earth users may have a fear of water or be explicitly unable to swim due to their bulk. Another fear of theirs may be flying due the Sky being considered the opposite of Earth.

If you mix Earth powers with Fire you may get magma related powers (do note that lava is really just molten earth, so in settings where water manipulators can create ice and the like but earth manipulators can't use lava is inherently bound to create a lot of Fridge Logic). Combining it with Wind creates a nasty sandstorm, while mixing it with water often involves the control of mud or clay. Sometimes Earth also includes nature related powers or other "life"-related abilities, or Extra-ore-dinary for metal-related powers; after all, metal is just refined minerals. Crystal based powers can be related to Earth too and can be used for attacks themselves via Gemstone Assault, and if Earth doesn't overlap with Plants or Life in the setting may be used to give Earth users a set of beautiful abilities while still relating to the rocks and minerals theme.


A supertrope to Sand Blaster, where the powers are strictly restricted to sand. Not to be confused with dishing out metaphorical dirt, fighting dirty, or throwing dirt into an opponent's eyes though the last one can be done by an Earth user who controls sand. When someone is just using a rock as a blunt weapon, see Boulder Bludgeon.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Akachi of Arata: The Legend has the power of Earth with his Hayagami.
  • The Earthy card from Cardcaptor Sakura.
  • Sherry Cromwell of A Certain Magical Index uses earth-based magic and uses it to summon her golem, and Terra of the Left of God's Right Seat wields the element of earth, notably when he uses his Absurdly Sharp Blade made of flour.
  • In A Certain Scientific Railgun, a minor gang leader had control over asphalt. She could liquefy it into something similar to quicksand or raise it up as a barrier.
  • Subverted due to a translation error in Digimon Adventure with WarGreymon's attack. One magazine (released before WarGreymon appeared in the dub) stated that the attack "Terra Force" caused earthquakes. (It turned out to be more of a Combined Energy Attack.) It probably should have been translated Tera Force ("tera" being the metric shorthand for trillion), seeing as MetalGreymon's attack was Giga Blaster ("giga" meaning billion), and this was just turned Up to Eleven. On the other hand, the attack's Japanese name was Gaia Force, "gaia" also referring to Earth...
  • Sol from Fairy Tail has powers over sand and earth as a member of the Elemental Four. Later, we meet Jura "Iron Rock", who specialize in earth magic and can make extremely hard stone barriers and spikes. Also, the Oracion Seis wizard Hoteye can use his magic to turn even stone into mud and manipulate it. Ajeel of the Spriggan Twelve is a master of Sand Magic and is essentially a Logia user, capable of turning into sand to avoid attacks, shape sand into various forms and even golems, and create city-wide sandstorms.
  • Sekio of Flame of Recca, a man who uses the Madogu Sekichu, allowing him the power to control stones. Subverted with main character, Ishijima Domon. He is said to represent the Earth element. However, he doesn't use earth elemental attacks, but focuses more on physical strength.
  • Alex Louis Armstrong from Fullmetal Alchemist seems to specialise in manipulating the earth's crust.
  • Nagareyama Shimon in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de has earth-based powers.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Stardust Crusaders:
      • Iggy has the ability to control sand with his Stand, The Fool.
      • The Stand, Judgement, which has the ability to manipulate dirt into convincing duplicates of any matter or object. Rather than attacking directly with dirt or sand, as is typical for those falling under this trope, it uses this ability to create flesh-eating golems that attack the opponent for it.
    • Secco from Vento Aureo has the Stand, Oasis, which takes the form of a suit that allows him to liquify any substance into an elastic-like mud, which he can then swim through or throw at his opponents, as they will turn solid again once it leaves his vicinity.
  • Kaze no Stigma: Earth mages can detect anyone on the ground, cause spikes to shoot up from the ground, and so forth. They cannot, however, control things like magma. One fire mage protects himself from his opponent's earth spikes by melting the sand around and under him.
  • Lyrical Nanoha
    • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vivid introduces Corona, who has the ability to animate rock and soil and use them to construct a Golem out from the ground in an instant. She later expands her skill set to include raising multiple stone pillars, constructing giant stone fists, launching storms of rock-based missiles, and trapping opponents in concrete binds sprouting from the ground they stand on.
    • The series also has Stardust Fall, a spell used in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers manga that rains down giant rocks over an area.
  • Fate Averruncus of Mahou Sensei Negima! uses stone-based techniques, from launching spears of stone at people to turning people to stone to crushing people with huge monoliths of stone from on high. Good with water techniques and rewriting existences, too. It's later revealed that he's also good at using sand, and has a few spells that dip into Extra-ore-dinary, usually by creating and manipulating steel blades.
  • Naruto:
    • Earth is one of the basic Elemental Powers in the shinobi countries; users include Yamato, who combines it with water to let him control wood, and Kakuzu, who can turn his skin rock hard for defense and attack. Not surprisingly, the Hidden Stone Village tends to produce ninja who specialize in this: Deidara creates moving sculptures made of explosive clay; the Third Tsuchikage can combine it with Wind and Fire to make Dust, which is basically a Disintegrator Ray; and the latter's bodyguards Akatsuchi and Kurotsuchi can respectively create stone golems and combine earth with fire to create quicklime.
    • There's also Gaara, who controls sand. However, Gaara's sand power is somewhat unique, as it's obtained from being the host of the One-Tailed Beast and does not seem to be categorized as an "Earth Release" technique. His techniques are actually classified as Magnet Release.
  • One Piece:
    • Sir Crocodile is a villain who combines his powers over sand with the Touch of Death, allowing him to drain all the moisture out of whatever he comes into contact with. Oh, and subverting the normal personality that most earth-controllers have, he's a cold, ruthless Chessmaster.
    • Admiral Akainu is the magma variant.
    • Caribou has control over mud.
    • Whitebeard himself and, later, Blackbeard have power over earthquakes. They can cause vibrations by punching the air, which creates tremors and tsunamis.
    • Pica, one of Doflamingo's top pirate members, can not only control earth and rocks but also assimilate himself into them, turning into gargantuan Rock Monster. Once he merges with rocks it's also hard to actually hit him "inside" them, which he exploits to do sneak attacks. He's so powerful in his control that he can "become" an entire castle or entire mountain.
    • Morley, an executive in the Revolutionary Army, has the Push-Push Fruit, which lets him manipulate earth to move it as if it were clay.
  • Kenshin Himura of Rurouni Kenshin has the Do Ryu Sen, a sword technique that sends rocks flying at the enemy.
  • In Saint Beast, Gai can manipulate earth usually leading to the ground breaking underneath enemies, showers of rock, or even creating massive pillars from the ground.
  • Diane from The Seven Deadly Sins can raise the ground like towers, and turn minerals into sand. Other members of the Giant Clan can also do this.
  • Several Paopeis from Houshin Engi have powers related to the element of earth. Specifically:
    • Toumasho (Demon-melting Pestle) is a mallet-shaped Paopei which launches stone fragments all around with each strike.
    • The two Doryuuso (Earth Dragon's Claws) Paopei have powers over Earth: the former allows the user to move freely through dirt (but not stone) and become a Tunnel King, the second model can manipulate earth masses freely and even forcibly bury people to the neck.
    • Yoshin of the Four Sacred Warriors wields the Hekichiju (Earth-Splitting Orb) which allows him not only to move and shape the earth to attack, but also to fully heal people using the enery of Earth itself.
    • Three of the Juttenkun's spatial Paopei revolves around earth manipulation: Kosajin manipulates a whole desert to kill and dry the enemy, Tenzetsujin takes the appearence of an asteroid field and finally Chiretsujin, whose actual powers weren't shown as the user was defeated offscreen.
  • The Doberg family in Witch Hunter are highly skilled and extremely egotistical shamans, who specialize in earth shamanism. Their signature ultimate finishing move is to create giant spikes that shoot out of the ground for city blocks, or even miles around them, to utterly devastate their enemies, but mostly because they think it looks pretty and like the attention it attracts them.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho:
    • Genbu is a rock demon that can split itself into many stones to launch at foes and travel through rock.
    • Risho is the shinobi "Master of Earth" and can do such things as coating himself in rock-armor.
  • Garfiel Tinsel from Re:Zero fits this trope. His Earth Blessing gives him super-strength, instant armor, and recovery.

    Comic Books 
  • The Fantastic Four: Galactus has given all his messengers powers related to one of the elements. Terrax, the too-evil one, is the earth-mover. It's worth noting that he is a mutant who already had the powers to begin with; Big G just made them stronger.
    • There's also The Thing himself, who got transformed into a rock creature in the origin story. His affiliation with the Earth element has been played up in some stories (such as Marvel 1602.)
  • From Teen Titans, Tara Markov alias Terra true to her name. She can control and manipulate all forms of rock and earthly substances and materials. There is no set limit to how far or how close she needs to be to the earth for this power and ability to work. She has been able to be completely off the ground and still control the earth. She has created tremors, earthquakes, sharpen rocks to a needle point, and has control over these elements for as long as she can physically maintain them. The same goes for her heroic brother Geo-Force.
  • Atlee, the new Terra and recurring character in Power Girl.
  • From Batman and the Outsiders, Tara Markov's brother Brian (aka Geo-Force). He is able to manipulate the Earth itself by vibrating and transforming it's crust (the ground). He can use this power to create earthquakes, tap into lava flows, and levitate or create shapes out of solid rock.
  • Sandman from Spider-Man, pictured above, has the ability to change his body into sand. By adding sand around him to his body and controlling it as an extension of himself, he can become a giant of dirt and rock and wield Shapeshifter Weapons made of the stuff.
  • X-Men: a whole slew of mutants have earth-related powers:
    • Avalanche and Rictor have seismic powers.
    • Magma can control/transform into magma and rocks.
    • Dust can turn herself into a sandstorm.
    • Rockslide is a big guy made of rocks who can control his separated body parts.
    • Onyxx is just a big guy made of rocks.
    • Rictor's a bit of a subversion, as he's very stubborn and hotheaded. And so is Rockslide.
  • Elysion, a minor Legion of Super-Heroes villain.
  • The Old Power in Incredible Hulk: an ability to draw power from the Earth which grants improved physical abilities and the ability to manipulate Rocks as long as the user is on the ground, with the most notable Old Power user being the Hulk's son, Skaar. Not a case of Personality Powers in his case, as he's more of a devious Barbarian Hero.
  • As the son of Gaea, the Earth goddess, Thor has limited earth-based powers. He can create earthquakes with his fists, his hammer, and lightning bolts summoned while in flight.
  • Cornelia Hale from W.I.T.C.H. has this power, as well as her predecessors as the Guardian of Earth. She usually use her control over plants, but she gets pissed enough she can (and has) open fissures under the feets of whoever decided that Bullying the Dragon was a smart move.
  • In Empowered, Syndablokk can control concrete, brick, and asphalt. Thus, he can attack with streets and buildings themselves. He tends to only use his powers as a last resort because his powers are very destructive and effects linger for a while after he leaves, meaning there will be streets and buildings moving on their own.
  • With the exception of slatrification, the Sand Mastery powers of White Sand fall under this trope. They can use the sand to make weapons or shields, command it to lift them or cushion their fall, and other such feats of geokinesis.
  • Robin Series: Badlands can create localized tremors by sending his powers rippling through the earth beneath him.
  • The Movement: Roshanna, AKA Tremor, can cause earthquakes by touching the ground.

    Fan Works 
  • Loyalty Gives Sakura a major power upgrade in the form of a scroll of earth jutsu and a hell of a motivation to use it. Somehow, the author actually makes tunneling powers seriously badass.
  • The Triptych Continuum grants a degree of this power to earth ponies... but they appear to be taught practically from birth that it must be kept secret from unicorns and pegasi at all costs. There is a public aspect of earth pony magic, a Green Hooves variant locally called The Cornucopia Effect, which can be practiced openly. Anything which goes deeper is concealed. Some of Applejack's thoughts suggest that the youthful indoctrination against confession include stories of what happens to ponies who give the secret away — and that some of those ponies were killed for it. Applejack suspects some of those stories are simply that, create to hammer the lessons home — but that others may be based on actual events.
  • In The Rainsverse, King Sombra's alicorn magic has a definite crystalline theme to it.
  • In Wind Shear, Harry Potter tends to fight by imbuing both his magic and will into the earth around him to create living constructs. Not only do they reform into different constructs when broken, but a lot of dark magic tends to linger on things they hit, so for example a stone leopard can leap through a mist of dark magic and attack the caster, causing them to suffer the effects of said mist.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: In the sequel Picking up the Pieces, it's revealed that Standing Wall, Captain of the Cadenza Guard, is capable of a very strong degree of earth manipulation that includes a sort of teleportation through it, moving from one spot to another incredibly fast.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Mummy Trilogy: Imhotep tends to throw sandstorms at his enemies.
  • Guardians, the 2017 Russian superhero film, has Ler, an Armenian with the ability to control the very earth around him. Based on the trailer, he likes to augment his strength by making himself gloves out of rock. For a Bilingual Bonus, "ler" means "mountain" in Armenian.

  • Hazel Levesque from The Heroes of Olympus series has this as one of her main powers. She's powerful enough to dig tunnels big enough for three people or cause earthquakes if she chooses.
  • Golem of the Seekers of Truth. Down side: it comes with skin like rough concrete. Up side: she can make really awesome sand castles. Interestingly, she is also a Cute Monster Girl.
  • One of the mutant varieties in Those Who Walk In Darkness—they communicate with the Earth and talk it into shifting. They're Always Lawful Good and hate fighting.
  • The Dresden Files has earth magic that can be used to control both earth and metal:
    • Morgan is an especially apt practitioner of it, able to summon up massive pincers of rock that he uses to fight off hordes of zombies in Dead Beat and perform an awesome Shockwave Stomp.
    • Harry himself has very rough control of basic earth magic, but that control does give him some serious punch when he needs to pack a sudden punch. He can generate a sort of gravity hammer that concentrates gravity from a wide area into a single tightly-focused point; in one of the short stories, he uses this to kill a Black Court vampire without making any noise, and in Changes, he taps into a ley line to obliterate an entire horde of Red Court vampires at once.
  • One of the five Powers making up the One Power in The Wheel of Time, Earth can be used to create earthquakes or avalanches and is also useful in constructing stone buildings. The most prominent example of the latter is the Stone of Tear, which was created by drawing stone from all around the world to form a seamless stronghold that's virtually indestructible.
  • Earthcrafters in Codex Alera, who are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Like all the other Aleran elements, though, it gives them extra abilities; earthcrafters can also draw power from the earth to give themselves Super Strength, and while most of the "inspire emotions" powers belong to fire, earth controls lust and can "ground" the emotions of others, making them calmer. But only when touching earth. Get them off the ground and they lose everything.
  • In Shadow Ops, terramancy is a sort of grab-bag set of magical abilities. It lets you control rock and earth (a good terramancer can swat a helicopter out of the sky with a sudden spike of rock, for example), lets you manipulate plant matter (ditto, for trees) and control animals. The latter is technically illegal and doing so will land you in the same boat as necromancers and gate mages.
  • Earth Masters in the Elemental Masters series, though a few use their powers more for healing than for combat.
  • This is the domain of aretzes in The Quest of the Unaligned. Oddly enough, they don't tend to be as notably hidebound and conservative as usual for this trope, that being more a property of the shamais.
  • In The Zombie Knight, this is Sanko's schtick. She's a powerful integration user with a focus on earth and minerals, and using pan-rozum she can integrate herself with the earth, wielding it as a weapon and also building a kaiju-sized golem-like body for herself. She's also a dead ringer for the personality: direct, inflexible, stoic, and famous for her rigid code of honor.
  • Vampire Academy:
    • Victor Dashkov's earth magic. He can use compulsion almost as good a spirit user and can cause minor earthquakes.
    • Natalie Dashkov uses earth magic until she turns Strigoi. She uses her power to disintegrate the hard, solid wood of a bench which Rose is standing on. The action fractures Rose's ankle.
    • Abe Mazur's magic. In his case he mostly uses the compulsion powers of earth users.
  • Earthwitches of The Witchlands can control earth, with the most powerful being capable of summoning earthquakes.
  • The Quiet People in Whispers Underground. Peter, always quick with a pop-culture reference, actually calls them earthbenders, although under Rivers of London magic rules, it's more likely they're using the standard "moving stuff about" spell, and the focus on earth is just personal preference.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "The Witchfinders", the Morax are able to control soil, and suffuse the bodies of the living and dead with it in order to control them.
  • The second Season 2 episode of The Flash (2014) has Team Flash battling a meta-human (brought by Zoom from Earth-2 to kill the Flash) nicknamed Sand Demon who can turn his body into sand-like particles and control them at will. He likes using concussion bombs as distractions, since his unique physiology allows him to survive the blast without a problem. Jay Garrick (Earth-2's Flash) teaches Barry to throw bolts of lightning, which allows him to kill Sand Demon by fusing him into glass. The villain then falls and breaks into tiny pieces.
  • In Heroes, Sparrow Redhouse was revealed as having this power in an online comic.
    • In season 4, Samuel Sullivan, leader of a carnival stocked with evolved humans, has this power. His dirt-dishing becomes more powerful the more supers he's around - hence the huge group of supers who he convinces are his family so they don't want to leave.
  • Kamen Rider has several Riders and transformations capable of controlling earth to some extent:
    • The Sagohzo Combo from Kamen Rider OOO, is able to cause earthquakes and trap enemies into the ground, allowing OOO to finish them off.
    • The Schop Switch in Kamen Rider Fourze gives the titular Rider a shovel that allows him to throw large amounts of dirt towards his target.
    • Kamen Rider Wizard: The Wizard Land Style and its evolution, the Wizard Land Dragon Style allow Wizard control of the the element of earth.
  • The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg: Angus is the Mystic Knight of Earth ("earth beneath me!"). His Terra Sling Mace allows him to throw boulders an cause earthquakes.
  • Super Sentai warriors and Power Rangers with power over Earth include Vul Panther, Change Griffin, Hurricane Yellow / Yellow Wind Ranger, Shinken Yellow / Yellow Samurai Ranger, and Gosei Black and Yellow. Magi Green / Green Mystic Ranger has a blend of earth and Green Thumb powers.
  • Supergirl gives us Rama Khan of Jarhanpur, who was appointed Earth's guardian millions of years ago and who can control the earth and sense the location of everyone on it (but not in a location not of Earth, such as the Fortress of Solitude, although he can still find someone these using the process of elimination). In addition to basic rock-moving, he can transform himself into an impenetrable stone form, and even reform his body from the ground beneath him in the unlikely event you're able to damage him. He can also travel through the ground and reappear elsewhere. Lately, his 'guardianship' has come to take the form of eliminating societies he and the rest of the Leviathan group feel are holding humanity back. It turns out that under the right circumstances, he can awaken volcanoes and even supervolcanoes like the kind under Yellowstone. The destruction of Pompeii was no natural disaster! This makes him one of the most powerful, though again, the greatest of his feats aren't something he can just casually do on a whim.
  • Ultra Series
    • Tigris from Ultraman Gaia is the God of the Earth, appearing as a monstrous sabertooth tiger. We don't get to see much of its power, but it's shown to be an incredible Tunnel King and able to breathe fire.
    • Maga-Grand King from Ultraman Orb, the King Demon Beast of Earth, possesses the ability to manipulate Ley Lines to create earthquakes and sinkholes.
    • The title brothers of Ultraman R/B gain these powers later on in their own series to compliment their default fire and water powers, thanks to the Ultraman Victory R/B Crystal.


  • Dario from the Cool Kids Table game Here We Gooooo! is yellow, which gives him power over sand. Amongst the practical applications, he can also use it to gives opponents the "dizzy" status effect.
    • Sargas from Sequinox can control earth, and buries the school in dirt in episodes 3 and 4 to prevent any students from escaping.
    • Grain from The Chimera Program can control sand.

  • From the Global Guardians PBEM Universe: Rock Bottom, Estatua ("Statue" in Portuguese), Granite Man, Surkha Khamba ("Ruby Monolith" in Hindi), Golem, Stone (not the biker-hero... the other one), Zemletpyasenee ("Earthquake" in Russian), Temblor, The Sandman, Mudpie, Mountain, The Sculptor, Sand, Kazan ("Magma" in Japanese), and Petra.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Countless Dungeons & Dragons creatures and spells.
    • Earth Elementals, Mud Paraelementals, and Avalanchers as creature examples.
    • Earth Grasp, Earth Wall, Rock to Mud, Mud to Rock, Shape Rock, Stone Skin, etc. or spells. Also a few prestige classes like the Earth Dreamer.
    • Dao genies and, by extension, earth genasi. While these particular beings weren't open content, Pathfinder added spiritual successors in the form of (respectively) shaitans and oreads.
  • Shadowrun examples include Earth Spirit, Earth-based spells, and Sand-based spells.
  • GURPS source magic system's Earth spells.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, Earth is the domain of the highly destructive Red mages; thus, there are many spells that fall under this, such as Earthquake and Stone Rain.
    • When not using light, most White elemental powers revolve around dust, pretty rocks (like marble), and utter petrification of the opponent's creatures.
    • The best example of this is Koth of the Hammer. A Red Planeswalker, his specialty is earth magic (he can make your mountains come to life and attack, for example).
    • A good example of a White geokinetic was Nahiri, rightly known as "the lithomancer". Her set of powers was actually rather similar to Koth's, being capable of manipulating rocks in all forms, being particularly efficient at melting them to forge weapons from the ore within.
  • Exalted:
    • Earth Aspect Dragon-Blooded are capable of this, as is anyone who uses the Earth Dragon or the Jade Mountain style of Supernatural Martial Arts.
    • And Earth Elementals. The Kukla, the Greater Elemental Dragon of Earth (one of the most powerful Elementals and beings in general in Creation), has powers such as "convert everything within 50 miles into freshly tilled soil" and is incredibly dangerous (simply waking it up causes earthquakes powerful enough to send tsunamis three miles inland on every coast in Creation).
  • Characters from Scion who have access to the Earth Purview have powers that range from being immune to harm from the earth to trapping people in crystals or altering the landscape at whim. At really high levels, you can control magma.
  • In Warhammer the Slaan Mage-Priests have this ability. Mostly it isn't used in battle, but for making geological changes. Notably they once realized that a mountain range had moved, so they moved it back. Unfortunately the Dwarfish Empire was based there at the time.

  • BIONICLE has two elements that fall under this category, Earth and Stone. The main difference is that Earth controls dirt and creates earthquakes, while Stone controls rocks. Neither controls sand, however (Word of God is that Stone can, the characters just don't do it to avoid confusing the audience about the division between power over rocks and power over dirt).
  • Mixels has the Cragsters. They are both earth and rock-based in their elemental abilities, and rely on brute strength. All three are miners with digging abilities, with added earthquake and wrecking ball-like ones as well. Their ranks consist of Krader, Seismo, and Shuff.

    Video Games 
  • Bloodline Champions has the Glutton bloodline who explicitly has earth magic powers. Some of the Ravener's abilities are named in manners that imply this, but their background does not mention such abilities what so ever, so the in-game abilities may very well just be named for Rule of Cool.
  • Pokémon: Pokemon is sort of weird about this, in that it splits Earth-based powers into two separate categories, Rock and Ground. This is something of an artifact from the first generation. The Rock-type attacks are solely involved with chucking stones, crystals and gems and using them for a variety of uses while the Ground-type is a hodgepodge of different Earth powers like sand (Sand Tomb, Sandstorm), mud (Mud Slap, Mud Bomb), lava (Earth Power), bones (Bone Club, Bonemerang), tremors (Earthquake, Magnitude), drills (Drill Run), fissures (...Fissure), and travelling in it (Dig), among other abilities.
    • A general rule seems to be that Rock types are based around rocks, minerals, gemstones, and fossils while Ground types get sand, dirt, mud, clay, and non-fossilized bones. As such Rock types often appear in mountains and caves and Ground types tend to be especially common in deserts and to a lesser degree in swamps. This makes some sense, from a geological point of view — after all, stone (a solid aggregate of minerals) and soil (a loose collection of rock and mineral grains, clays, water and organic matter) are rather different things.
    • The most major difference between the two types, in gameplay terms, is that Ground attacks focus on the opponent touching the ground, therefore Flying types (or Pokemon with the Levitate ability) No-Sell Ground attacks. On the other hand, Rock attacks tend to focus on using rocks as projectiles, therefore they are very effective against Flying types.
    • Brock, Roxanne, Roark, Olivia, and Gordie specialize in Rock-type Pokémon, and Giovanni, Bertha (Sinnoh Elite 4 member), Clay, and Hapu specialize in Ground-type Pokémon.
    • The "Earth element" theme returned with a vengeance with the introduction of the ability Sand Stream, which allows a Pokémon to invoke this trope by its mere presence: Tyranitar and Hippowdon's appearance unleashes a permanent sandstorm that slowly damages all non-Steel, Rock, or Ground-type mons while giving various boosts to the owners of specific abilities (almost all of which have the aforementioned typing, and those that don't become immune to the damage) and boosting the Special Defense of all Rock types by a whopping 50%, which is especially noteworthy because Rock types tend to have otherwise poor Special Defense. "Sand teams" are a major force on the competitive scene and feature prominently in the fifth generation's "weather war". As of Generation 6, Sand Stream no longer summons a permanent sandstorm, instead acting as a free use of the move upon switching in or gaining the ability (5 turn duration, or 8 if holding a particular item). All other aspects remain, though, and Sand teams are still a force to be reckoned with.
    • Rock and Ground also work very well together on offense, as only seven Pokémon resist bothWhich ones? . It's very common to see physical attackers packing Earthquake and Stone Edge, two powerful and common Ground and Rock attacks respectively, for this reason.
  • Golden Sun: Venus Adepts, who have powers over earth and plants. The first two are Isaac and Felix, interesting because they are the 2 leaders/player characters of their respective games, which isn't common for the earth element. Isaac's son, Matthew, continues this unusual tradition in the third game, while the fourth Venus Adept is a Miko whose earth powers include summoning giant dragons.
  • The King of Fighters:
    • Orochi Yashiro represents the element of Earth. He even causes tremors before and after the fight. To a lesser extent, Daimon could also possibly fit in this trope.
    • Mukai from The King Of Fighters 2003 could also fit, as most of his powers are stone-based.
  • Kirby: One of Kirby's copy abilities, Stone Kirby, let's him encase himself in stone, turning into an indestructible golem or statue. In newer games, he can also form a rock fist to punch enemies.
  • Elemental Lord of Earth Zamzeed from Super Robot Wars, piloted by first Ricardo Silvera, later Mio Sasuga.
  • Leon Magnus from Tales of Destiny, using his Swordian Chaltier. However, when he becomes Judas in Tales of Destiny 2, he becomes a Yin-Yang Bomb.
    • Also, the lazy, shapeshifting Earth spirit Gnome. True to the reputation, he's the only spirit who changes drastically from game to game: while his "siblings", Sylph, Undine and Ifrit, stick to the same basic themes, Gnome went from an army of phallic wack-o-mole missiles—think Diglette—to a large-nosed rodent creature between his first two appearances.
    • Ricardo Soldat and Hermana Larmo in Tales of Innocence both have some Earth magic. It's odd because, like Tales of Destiny, Innocence has sharply divided elemental characters.
    • Beryl Benito in Tales of Hearts is the designated Earth character. Character element is less binding than the above two, but it guarantees that she alone gets the ultimate Earth magic Ground Dasher. In fact, she's the only one with Earth spells at all, and she also uses Earth elemental techs, including the highly useful Guruguru (Spinning) Ribbon.
  • Kingdom Hearts
    • Lexaeus from Chain of Memories fits the stereotype of an Earth user being the strong, stalwart type very well.
    • Terra from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is a lesser example. Like Ven and Aqua, he can use other elements as well, but his specialty is in earth-based spells like Quake, Meteor and Geo Impact. One of his personal Command Styles is Earthshaker.
  • Several Psychs in The World Ends with You give Neku the ability to summon rocks and meteors from the sky, cause devastating earthquakes or encase the foe's body in stone.
  • RuneScape has Earth spells as part of the standard spellbook along with the other Elemental Powers, second only to Fire for strength. The Hobgoblin Geomancer boss from Dungeoneering features such spells as his primary Magic attack, and they are inexplicably powerful against Damis who guards the Shadow diamond in Desert Treasure.
  • Gurdijeff/Grudiev, the dragon-like Earth Guardian of the Wild ARMs series.
  • Tenshi Hinanai in Touhou has a lot of rock-based bullets and Spell Cards.
    • Canonically, Suwako Moriya can create earth, while the other goddess, Kanako Yasaka, can create sky. Suwako's spellcards tend not to demonstrate this power, though.
    • Hisoutensoku demonstrates this side of her powers pretty well: her moves include "swimming" through solid earth and creating clapping hands made of stone, among other things. She notes that she has a massive advantage due to the fight taking place underground.
    • Patchouli has access to earth as one of the 7 elements she uses.
  • Elementalists in Guild Wars who specialize in earth magic, sometimes called Geomancers. True to form, they're the most defensive specialization, and geomancers tend to actually be more common as characters of a different primary class who pick up elementalist as their secondary. Warrior/geomancers, rather expectedly, tend to be the most common form.
  • Final Fantasy may or may not have an earth element, depending on the game. All Final Fantasy games except for Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II either have the Quake spell, Titan summon, Terrato summon, or the Brothers summon that deals earth-elemental damage. Final Fantasy I DOES have the Quake spell, but it's the Death-element. Final Fantasy II also has a Quake attack, but it can only be used with a very hard-to-get item, and only deals very little non-elemental damage. Final Fantasy XIII has Quake available to all of the party members as a technique, and Vanille's summon, Hecatonchires, uses earth-based attacks. However, Final Fantasy XI does have the very common "Stone" spells, the Titan summon, Quake spells, and other earth-elemental attacks.
  • Doesn't show up in the Mega Man (Classic) series as much as others, but Guts Man and Block Man can produce stone blocks, Crystal Man and Jewel Man use gems, Stone Man is essentially a robot golem who uses the Power Stone (not that Power Stone), and Block Man uses the Block Dropper to drop stone bricks and can even transform into a huge brick golem. There's also a borderline case with Concrete Man, whose weapon is fast-drying wet concrete.
  • Mega Man Battle Network has Desertman.EXE, though, who is made entirely of sand. Stone Man has a counterpart in it, and there are several Breaking Chips that involve stones or stone objects (Aura Head, Air Hockey) or drills (Drill Arm).
  • Maori Kasuga of Arcana Heart, who has Ohtsuchi, the Arcana of Earth, as her default Arcana. Powers include raining large rocks on opponents and summoning massive stone fists and feet.
  • City of Heroes has Earth Control, Earth Assault, Stone Melee, and Stone Armour powersets, and at least one notable NPCJim Tremblor with these powers. There's also super-villain Sciocco, notable in that he literally uses dirt to do his dirty-work via sand-storm conjuration.
  • There are NPC Geomancers in World of Warcraft. The playable Shaman class also has some earth-related abilities. Also, both Neltharion and Therazane command such powers, as the Aspect and Elemental Lord of Earth.
  • Cray in Breath of Fire IV mainly uses earth magic, although he isn't the best magic user in the game.
  • Raigor Stonehoof, the Earthshaker, in Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars focuses on earth-related spells.
  • Knuckles' projectile skill in Sonic Battle is to throw giant boulders. Unfortunately, they're the slowest fireball in the game.
  • Sacrifice has James' Geomancy, with spells like "Hit enemy with rock", "Hit five enemies with rocks", and "bombard whole area with a lot of big honking rocks". (Then there's "obliterate enemy with flying cow", but that's another story.) His monsters are also rock-based, with all of his ranged attack creatures using some variant of "throw rock at enemy" as an attack.
    Earthfling: I. Will. ROCK YOU.
  • Sasarai from Suikoden II and III has the True Earth Rune.
  • Some Shin Megami Tensei games features the Magna or more rarely Terra line of spells; however the only characters to specialise in it are Lisa and Ulala from Persona 2 and Argilla from Digital Devil Saga.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Rock Mario from Super Mario Galaxy 2.
    • Bowser, during the first third of his final battle with him at the end of the first Super Mario Galaxy.
    • Bouldergeist, who levitates rocks out of the ground and throws them, summons stalagmites up from the ground, and can summon giant rock hands to punch or try to flatten Mario.
  • In MOTHER 3, PK Ground is a psychic ability exclusively used by Kumatora. It generates a massive earthquake which deals repeated damage to all enemies, is particularly potent against the penultimate bosses, and is one of the most powerful PSI attacks in the game.
  • The Sand Wand has this power in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. With it, Link is able to raise sand so he can rise to higher spots, move or stop heavy objects, walk over quicksand, attack sand-based enemies, etc. It's very versatile. It makes a return in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (as the Sand Rod) and Hyrule Warriors, having similar uses in them.
  • The Earth school of magic in the Heroes of Might and Magic series. Expert practitioners can slow down a whole enemy army, shield their own, call down a meteor shower, cast Implosion, one of (maybe THE) most damaging (single-target) spells in the series, and teleport instantaneously to any allied town on the map. In the third installment at least it's probably the best magic school.
  • Pikmin 3 introduces rock pikmin who, unlike the other types of pikmin which are merely immune to their particular elementnote , embody their element in the sense that they are actual sentient rocks.
  • Dungeon Crawl has Earth Magic as one of its several schools of magic; this school contains a variety of spells that let you do anything from digging through walls to hurling chunks of metal at enemies to blasting things with shrapnel. Earth Magic is notable for providing handy Non-Elemental damage as well as the most powerful single-target spell in the game, Lehudib's Crystal Spear.
  • League of Legends has Malphite, a sentient rock who can steal movement speed by throwing a shard of rock at an enemy, punch enemies or burrow under the ground and send enemies flying. There's also Taliyah, the Stoneweaver who fits the traditional earthbender concept much more closely. Her primary spells include surfing on rocks to gain movement speed, shooing the enemy with stone shards and knocking them back with small cliffs; while her ultimate creates a physical wall across the map that she can ride on top of.
  • The aptly-named Earth element in Skylanders. Overall slower than most of the other elements, they also tend to be powerful (one has the strongest single attack in-game). They also have the ability to destroy breakable rocks with normal attacks instead of needing a pickaxe.
  • In Famous Second Son has Brooke Augustine, the Big Bad whose power is over concrete specifically, but in visuals and gameplay (after Delsin steals it) it plays like your generic earth powers. Members of the D.U.P. also have concrete powers as bestowed to them by Augustine.
  • Mortal Kombat has Tremor, who can create earthquakes, summon and/or throw boulders and stalagmites, douse himself and others in lava, conjure up crushing walls, petrify enemies and shatter them and name all of his moves after rock puns.
  • The Sorceress of Dragon's Crown has the Rock Crusher spell, where she creates and drops a massive boulder on the battlefield for non-elemental damage, knockdown, and stun.
  • In Eternal Card Game, the Time faction has this as its specialty, usually in the form of sand.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, Atronachs are a type of unaligned lesser Daedra which are essentially the Elemental Embodiments of the elements they represent. The most common are the Flame (also known as "Fire"), Frost, and Storm varieties, but others exist as well. One type are the Stone Atronachs, who possess this power. The Altmeri Clan Direnni of High Rock once summoned an "army" of them to build a massive prison out of rubble in a single day.
  • Inara from Paladins is a stone-skinned woman with the power to bend to bend the earth to her will. She uses her powers to summon walls, shoot rocks from her spear, and create mini-quakes that slows enemies to a crawl.
  • In the Onimusha series, starting from Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny, Earth is one of the magical elements of the Oni Weapons, associated to slow but powerful weapons (a hammer in 2 and a broadaxe in 3) whose magic can hit all nearby enemies with burtst of dirt and, from Onimusha 3: Demon Siege onwards, scalding magma.
  • The Legend of Spyro adds Earth to the roster of Spyro's Breath Weapon sets along with Fire, Ice, Lightning, and described as the force of "earth" (the planet) and nature, associated to the color green. In the first game, it's either an extremely powerful burst of "force" or a leaf-like bomb that summons a tornado to blow enemies away, while the Fury attack squashes nearby enemies with boulders. The second game has a "flail" of green energy connected to Spyro's mouth, while the final game allows Spyro to summon a spherical rock shell to run over enemies with.
  • Warframe: Atlas is a stone-themed warframe, with the ability to summon stone bulwarks and stone golems. Inaros comes at it from another angle, being a mummy-themed warframe who uses lots of sand attacks.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Barroth is a Brute Wyvern that coats itself in mud to serve as protective armor and can also spray gobs of mud that will trap unwary hunters, forcing them to take a massive drain on their stamina bar to escape. The mud attack is also performed by Rust Duramboros in 3 Ultimate.
    • Monster Hunter: World has Jyuratodus, a swamp-dwelling Piscine Wyvern that, like Barroth, wears armor made of hardened mud and spits out gobs of mud to slow down hunters.
    • Iceborne introduces the Elder Dragon Shara Ishvalda, which starts the fight coated in stone armor and can use its sonic powers to create patches of loose sand that will slow your hunter down.

    Visual Novels 
  • Lorelei "Badger" Linden in Villainous Nights controls rock, with the blunt and no-nonsense personality to match. In addition to making barriers and disrupting enemies' footing, she often covers her fists with stone to add weight to her punches in combat.

    Web Animation 
  • In RWBY, Cinder's Semblance (her superpower) is the ability to manipulate molten glass and sand. Most notably, she can't manipulate dirt; it specifically has to be molten before she can control it. Once the glass is molten, however, she can then freeze it into projectiles or weapons that are strengthened by her Aura to make them stronger than metal, and can telekinetically control the glass. Once she acquires the Fall Maiden's powers, which include control over heat, cold, lighting, and wind, she uses the power to control fire to instantly melt sand into glass and shape it into weapons, or melt the weapons to break them apart and reshape them. She can even weave threads of glass into her clothes and then melt and reshape the clothing to serve as instant disguises.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Dave can throw boulders, create rockslides, start earthquakes, and such.

    Web Comics 
  • Maerril of Juathuur has this powers, with none of the associated characteristics (she is frail, impulsive, and arrogant. And dead.)
  • Bob and George: Stone Man.
  • Panthera: Leo Terrae, Lion of Earth
  • Dirtamancer Sizemore Rockwell of Erfworld. Though, before Parson entered the picture, he was mostly only used to create Crap Golems and tunnels. He could also convert gems into hard currency and, with the help of a Croakamancer, reignite an extinct volcano. Probably a good deal more, given that Erfworld seems to be rather liberal in what a given caster can do within their domain.
  • Wayward Sons: Haydez, after a few weeks practice after discovering his power, was able to carve a whole city out of a mountainside as a Holy Day gift to his crewmates.
  • In Agents of the Realm, this is Kendall's power. Seeing what a BFS she wields, it comes with a Super Strength.
  • In Wake the Sleepers, Locke's rescuer.
  • In Pacificators, the power of earth is apparently one of the hardest to learn, and as a result, there are only two known T-Pacificators with the power of earth. We know of two renegades, as well: Shiva and Khnum. Khnum is a very powerful user of earth, being ranked at 9 (with 10 being the strongest), and capable of Extra-ore-dinary. Shiva is a weak user, but he's unique because he's also capable of Playing with Fire.

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Valley Girl of the West Coast League. She's definitely not the Big Guy. The only thing big about her is her boobs.
    • Molefinger, an Underdog alum who made a small fortune from the Mundane Utility of being able to dig really big holes really fast.
  • Gale from Trinton Chronicles has control over earth to a limited degree in addition to Magic.
  • In Worm:
    • Tecton's powers and equipment let him create targeted, localized earthquakes.
    • Butcher XIV (and Butcher VIII before her) could shape inorganic matter like sand and stone into weapons with a touch.
  • The Saints: Marcus can manipulate the ground around him with his magic.

    Web Videos 
  • Couette from Noob can be this if she chooses in the later part of the webseries. Being the smallest female of the cast, she also qualifies for the Glacier Waif variation (but is a Stone Wall strictly speaking).

    Western Animation 
  • Earthbenders in Avatar: The Last Airbender control most stone and sediment-derived things. It is most often seen as a form of telekinetic martial arts that shapes and moves stone to attack and defend, with the strongest earthbenders capable of casually levitating giant boulders through the air. Most Earthbenders also exhibit an innate level of invulnerability to blunt force trauma, though forging literal rock armor around themselves is a technique several advanced earthbenders use. In both the original show and The Legend of Korra, earthbending has two subtypes: metalbending and lavabending. The former was unknown for most of history until it was invented in the original show; it relies on manipulating "impurities" within metal, so it was discovered by a blind earthbending prodigy who relied on earth vibrations instead of sight. The latter is difficult for unspecified reasons, and was historically only used by the Avatar (who, having all four elements at his/her disposal, can heat things faster with firebending), but in Korra the earthbenders Ghazan and later Bolin can melt rocks, presumably through a technique similar to the one waterbenders use to change their element between a liquid and a solid.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: Clay.
  • Captain Planet: Kwame, another of the rare Earth-based team leaders.
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Cornelia. Though her powers are far less rooted simply in earth, and also in nature.
  • Terra from Teen Titans.
  • Aladdin: The Series has two, probably because sand is everywhere. Sadira manipulates more conventional sand, while Mozenrath has the Black Sand his kingdom is named for that seems for all intents and purposes to be sentient quicksand.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Rock Steady, He Will Rock You, Terrakinesis


Earthbending Demonstration and Duel

Toph teaches earthbending philosophy to Avatar Aang / a duel between Toph (the Blind Bandit) and other professional earthbenders.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / DishingOutDirt

Media sources:

Main / DishingOutDirt