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Elemental Barrier

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A Sub-Trope of Instant Armor and Sister Trope of Elemental Armor, this trope utilizes elemental forces as a form of (instantaneous) protection in a shape of a usually spherical barrier that covers the user. It can be a ball of flame, sand, lightning, or any elemental manifestation.

Characters who use this trope are a combination of Barrier Warrior and Elemental Powers. This trope is the reason why the Barrier Change Boss exists.

See Instant Armor for worn armor that appears instantaneously and Elemental Armor for an elemental variation of the former.


Anime and Manga

  • Noelle from Black Clover can create water barriers, both in stationary and mobile varieties, with the latter having the extra bonus of able to fly.
  • Gajeel from Fairy Tail uses his iron-based abilities as a source of Nigh-Invulnerability. He is quite literally Made of Iron.
  • Hoshin Engi:
    • Taikobou can use his wind paope to form a defensive barrier of whirlwinds.
    • One of the Shisei of Kuryuu Island can use the water of his paope to form giant dome-shaped barriers (which are sticky enough to trap anyone who touches the water).
  • Gaara from Naruto has, outside from his sand Elemental Armor, a sand barrier that serves as his first line of defense. He even uses one as a form of a transportation/protection hybrid in the Deidara fight.
  • Some Logia (and Paramecia) Devil Fruit eaters from One Piece can use their powers defensively this way, such as Galdino's Candle Wall (a wall of hardened wax) or Monet's Kamakura (basically an igloo).
  • Samurai Deeper Kyo, Chinmei can use his "Chiyuuki" (Earthen Friendly Aura) to give himself a shield of rotating rocks to protect himself, as a nod to Saturn (the Planet of Earth).
  • Toriko:

Comic Books

  • Similarly to Magneto above, Static also tends surround himself with electromagnetic shields.
  • Magneto from X-Men can create electromagnetic forcefields as a form of defense.

Fan Works

  • The favorite maneuver of any kind by John in With Strings Attached is to create a water “force field” around himself (and often others as well). Besides being physically protective, it also contains air and protects against noxious smells, can be extended under water so he can carry people along with him, and (as shown in The Keys Stand Alone), it helps lubricate his way through tight spaces.


  • The Ghosts of Sleath: When the hauntings escalate, an uncannily dense fog descends to enclose the titular village.
  • The villain of The Quest of the Unaligned uses a lighting barrier to protect his McGuffin. The heroine uses another barrier, this one made of fire, to block the first one from hitting her.

Live-Action Television

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons & Dragons has wall spells for every kind of element under the sun, such as wall of force and wall of fire.
  • The Circles of Protection from Magic: The Gathering. There is one for each "color" (equivalent to elements in Magic) and each of them can prevent damage to their controller from any cards of the corresponding color.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Adeptus Mechanicus Electro-Priests are surrounded by a voltagheist field that resembles will-o-the-wisps of electromagnetic force. This high voltage electric field protects the Priest by dispersing the energy of an attack in a puff of ozone and discharges as powerful electric shocks against the Priest’s enemies. In the 8th Edition rules, the voltagheist field gives the Electro-Priest a 5+ invulnerable save and a chance of causing mortal wounds against his enemies.
    • The Necron Artefact known as the Lightning Field uses the same technology as the race's tesla weaponry to surround its wearer with a defensive shield of emerald lightning. Not only does this field protect the Necron from harm, but it also electrocutes any foe attacking them. The 8th Edition version of the rules represents this by giving the wearer a 4+ invulnerable save, as well as a 50% chance of causing mortal wounds against nearby enemy units.

Video Games

  • Azure Striker Gunvolt: GV's basic ability Flashfield is him creating a sphere of electricity around him that blocks physical projectiles (but not energy ones).
  • Kelvin from Battleborn can erect a temporary impassible Ice Wall that will stun nearby enemies upon creation and block movement.
  • Champions Online has blocking powers made from such diverse things as ice, fire, electricity (somehow), darkness, psionic projections, magic, and even kinetic energy (however that works).
  • Chrono Trigger: Magus (the Trope Namer for Barrier Change Boss) uses these during his bossfight, being immune to all but one element when one is active.
  • The Tornado Shield from Grid Warrior creates a tornado around the player that damages nearby enemies, blocks weak bullets and sucks in any homing missiles. When fully upgraded, the shield will also gain fire- or ice- based properties if it sucks in fire- or ice- based attacks respectively.
  • Mega Man:
  • Sonic 3 & Knuckles uses three shields: Fire, Water, and Electric. The fire shield protects from fire-based attacks as well as lava, and allows you to dash forward. The water shield allows you to breathe underwater and has a bouncing double jump. The lightning shield allows you to magnetically attract loose rings (so no, the ones in the item boxes don't count), but not the ones you lose as a result of hitting a badnik, as well as a double jump. The three of them reappeared in Sonic Generations, but only if you unlock them in the challenges.
  • The Sith Sorceror in Star Wars: The Old Republic can create shields made of lightning, whereas the Jedi Sage uses Force kinesis or levitating rocks.
  • Warcraft III:
    • Frost Armor manifests as a glowing circle of ice above the affected unit. It increases their resistance to attacks and melee units attacking them are slowed.
    • Despite the name, Lightning Shield doesn't protect the target, instead surrounding it with ball lightning that damage all nearby units (and thus can be cast on both allied and enemy units).
  • The World Ends with You has three Psychs in the form of fire, water, and darkness. The fire psych protects you from foes while damaging anybody that comes near, the water psych shields you while restoring your health at the same time, and the darkness psych does both at the same time, but only when you’re in contact with the enemy at all.
  • World of Warcraft has a vast number of these, and most caster classes have at least one. Although many of them, while called "armor" or "shield" don't actually protect the user, but provide different buffs.

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Benders, especially Earthbenders, can create protective shields from their elements. Ba Sing Se is a fortified city that's been holding out for years because repairing damage to the walls is trivially easy.
    • During the Grand Finale, when Aang finally masters the power of the Avatar he forms a Sphere of Power around himself from each of the four elements, one by one.


Ice Vellumental

The Ice Vellumental encases itself in ice.

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