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Ice Magic Is Water

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Ice and water are two very common elemental properties to give characters in works of fiction. However, perhaps more than any other pair of elements, they are very close. After all, ice is merely frozen water, and thawing it out will make your ice attack a water attack.

Thus, some works portray ice and water as the same element. A character's element may be said to be water, but they will still have command over ice. In video game terms, ice and water-based attacks may be considered the same for purposes of Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors. Other titles may play with this idea to various ends. Because Water Is Blue, when this trope is at play, expect Blue Means Cold to also be.

Compare Lava Magic Is Fire, this trope's fiery counterpart.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Date A Live: Yoshino Himekawa's Spirit magic focuses on controlling the three states of water, but ice is her favorite application. She can create blizzards, freeze her opponentes and shoot icicles.
  • Averted in Fairy Tail, where ice and water are very distinct, in fact, ice magic is considered a hard counter to water magic, as seen with Gray defeating the Nigh-Invulnerable water mage Juvia by freezing her otherwise intangible body.
  • Flame of Recca: Tokiya Mikagami's Madogu is Ensui, a sword that can manipulate water in all of its three states — liquid, ice and gas.
  • Magi: Labyrinth of Magic: Ice Magic is rarely seen among normal magicians, as only Judal (a Magi) and certain Djinn Equipments are shown to wield such power, but it does belong to the Water Magic type (Judal is even shown gathering water from the fog to create a massive ice block).
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth, Icicle Blades is the most powerful spell of Umi Ryuuzaki, the Magic Knight of Water.
  • Zig-zagged in Naruto, as ice jutsu are a hybrid of water and wind chakra.
  • On Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury's attacks have included not only water and ice, but even bubbles and mist. This helps differentiate her from Sailor Neptune, who had ocean based water powers.

    Asian Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy: The Next Tier Power-Up of BoBoiBoy's water elemental instead controls ice, while the other elementals' 2nd-tier forms turn into typically more powerful forms of the same element (from Lightning to Thunderstorm, Wind to Cyclone, etc.)

    Comic Books 
  • Aquaman: Garth, the original Aqualad, learned to shape, manipulate and freeze water after he became Tempest.
  • Blood Syndicate: Aquamaria was transformed into a being of water by the the "Big Bang" incident. In addition to controlling water in liquid form, she could create ice sculptures and weapons from vapor.
  • Lanfeust: Cixi's power is to change the temperature of nearby water, so she can create ice, water or steam from, well, ice, water or steam.
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Irma is the Guardian of Water. Over time, she learns to freeze water.

    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: As in her original show, Sailor Mercury, a Sailor Senshi with water-based attacks, has her ice-based attack, "Shabon Spray Freezing".
  • Pokémon Master: As in canon, Water and Ice are different elements. Though, Water Masters like Misty command both Water and Ice. Curiously, Ice Masters usually do not control Water.
  • In Discworld fic The Price of Flight Hanna von Strafenburg is an air combat Witch who could use air-to-air fireballs as a weapon if she chose. However, Hanna's proficiency is with the exact opposite: a short burst of extreme cold at not much above absolute zero, or else any water in the vicinity will coalesce as very cold, very heavy, ice moving at speed. Read more in the works of A.A. Pessimal.

  • In Codex Alera, Isana demonstrates quite handily that snow does in fact count as water for use in watercrafting. The trick allows her to survive a duel long enough to convince the guy she was dueling to cooperate with her instead.
  • The Stormriders in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. They are a mysterious people living in a deep ocean trench, only appearing during storms, sheathed in ice armour and riding hybrid-mounts made of water and ice. In the general switcheroo of which elemental powers are accessible to which of the four Founding Races, ice seems to be taking the place of water and the Stormriders are said to be using the Warren of Omtose Phellack to manipulate water, which is the Elder Warren of Ice.
  • Ice is explicitly part of the Water element in The Weakness of Beatrice the Level Cap Holy Swordswoman. This is best shown by the master of Water magic, Wildefrau, who has the Red Baron "Ice Waterfall Princess" and whose immunity to water also makes her completely immune to cold as well.
  • In The Witchlands, Icewitchery is a subset of Water magic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The mermaids featured in H₂O: Just Add Water could manipulate water in certain manners. Emma, who is part of the original trio, can freeze water and manipulate ice, snow, and clouds.
  • In Heroes, Tracy Strauss is first introduced strictly with freezing powers. Water comes later, learned at some point during a Time Skip.
  • In Kamen Rider Wizard, the title character's Water Style has a Blizzard attack when upgraded.
  • In Kamen Rider Saber, the secondary, Rintaro Shindo/Kamen Rider Blades normally uses watery attacks with his Suiseiken Nagare, but his final form is the ice cold Tategami Hyoujuu Senki.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The Ring of Elemental Command - Water can cast the spell wall of ice once per day.
    • The water-based genies called marids are resistant to cold-based spells, indicating an elemental affinity with cold. They gain a plus 2 on saving throws and take -2 Hit Points per die of damage.
  • The Pokémon Trading Card Game groups both Water Pokémon and Ice Pokémon within the Water category and both require Water Energy to attack. However, they are still distinguished from each other: Pokémon who are Water-type in the video games have Lightning as their Weakness in the card game, whereas Pokémon who are Ice-type in the video games have Metal as their Weakness instead. (Pokémon who are Water and Ice in the video games, like Lapras and Walrein, can go either way.)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!, ice-themed monsters are grouped under the Water attribute and are usually of the Aqua type. An entire archetype of ice monsters, the Ice Barriers, are the most prominent examples.

    Video Games 
  • In 99Vidas, King'snote  level 1 special summons a tidal wave that washes enemies away. Same with his knockback attack, which creates a wave of water to knock enemies back. His level 2 special changes it to a wave of icy stalagmites.
  • Bravely Default has all Ice and Water looking skills listed as Water elemental.
  • In Chrono Trigger, humans have affinity with either water, fire, light or shadow. Of the two water-types in the main cast, Frog's magic is mostly water-based, and Marle's is ice-based, though both can use it for healing as well. Similarly, in Chrono Cross, water and ice magic are lumped together under the Blue Element.
  • In Disgaea, there are skills that are specifically stated to be "ice" or "water" attacks, with the accompanying skill cutscenes reflecting this, but they functionally use the same element.
  • In Divinity: Original Sin and its sequel, the Hydrosophist magical school covers both water-based and ice-based elemental spells (and, incidentally, healing spells).
  • In Dragon Project, Ice and Water are considered to be the same element, which makes them strong against Fire but weak against Lightning.
  • Water has only appeared sparingly as an element in Dragon Quest, but ice magic is typically used by aquatic monsters and enemies when they appear. In Dragon Quest VII, the Water Spirit can use Kacrackle in battle, which is the most powerful ice magic available.
  • The Water element in Elements has several ice-themed cards assigned to it, such as Freeze, Ice Bolt, and Ice Dragon.
  • Zig-zagged in Fantasy Life. The magician's water magic is water magic in name only, consisting exclusively of different forms of ice. Fire magic, however, is strong against ice-based monsters and weak against water ones.
  • Final Fantasy
    • In Final Fantasy IV, non-3D releases treat Water attacks like Flood and Tidal Wave as Ice-elemental. The 3D releases instead add a proper Water element to the game and Flood and Tidal Wave, etc, are recategorized under it. The sequel The After Years reverts back to grouping Water spells as Ice-elemental for all releases.
    • Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, in a departure from series tradition, classifies Blizzard spells and Shiva summons as Water rather than Ice.
  • In Golden Sun, Mercury adepts have abilities mainly based around water, but use ice for several of their offensive abilities, and start off with Freeze as a field move.
  • In Guild Wars most elementalist water spells were ice based. This was later given a story twist in nightfall, ice is associated with the god of death, but water was separate and associated with a different god, Abaddon. However, Abaddon rebelled against the other gods, and was imprisoned and never worshiped since, leaving water's power to be taken up by other gods.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic 3: The Ice Bolt and Frost Ring spells belong to the Water magic school. Water Elementals are immune to these spells, and can be upgraded into Ice Elementals.
  • The Aquarius Blade in Kid Icarus: Uprising can freeze enemies with its melee attacks.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Water-elemental and ice-elemental attacks and enemies are grouped together under the Ice element. Curiously, the two elements are separate inside Organization XIII, with Vexen having power over ice and Demyx power over water. However, Demyx's attacks still count as ice, and defeating him upgrades the party's ice abilities. This also means he's weak against fire magic, for whatever good that does.
    • Averted in Dream Drop Distance and III, where they're separate; they interact with other elements in a slightly different fashion and Water has its own attacks. (Balloon in the former, Water in the latter)
    • Also averted in 358/2 Days. Here, each element has an extra effect in addition to the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, whether it's a status effect or something else. Water has a "damage-drain" effect, which slightly heals the Heartless that used the attack. Prominent users of the water element in this game include the Turquoise March and Zip Slasher.
  • The Water Dragoon spirit in The Legend of Dragoon seems to act this way. When Lenus uses it, her attacks all relate ocean's destructive fury (tidal waves, whirlpools, etc). When Meru gains the same spirit from her, all her skills (including a healing spell) pertain to ice in some way. Also, all the three water-aligned attack spells are based on ice, featuring a barrage of icicles, a freezing blizzard and a mighty geyser of water suddenly freezing solid and shattering.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the Water Medallion was intended to be the Ice Medallion during development. In the final product, this shows by the mini-dungeon preceding the Water Temple being the Ice Cavern, and the Water Temple's room in Ganon's Castle is likewise ice-themed.
  • Live A Live: Ice themed attacks like Akira's "Cold Day in Hell" are grouped under the water damage type.
  • Mega Man:
    • Classic series: Some of the games in the series (namely, 1, & Bass and 11) have both electricity- and ice-elemental Robot Masters, with coincidentally there being no water-elemental ones, and Fire-elemental ones being weak to said ice Robot Masters. In such games, ice Robot Masters are also weak to the special weapon from the electric ones.
    • Mega Man Battle Network, Aqua-elemental chips may have either water or ice-themed attacks.
    • Both the Mega Man Zero and Mega Man ZX series have 3 elements: electric, fire and ice (and neutral), but most of the ice reploids are either based on aquatic animals or can fight underwater. In fact, of all the bosses in both series, there is only one that fights underwater who isn't an ice type.
  • The most common Meteo element on the planet Freaze in the original Meteos is the H₂O element. Averted in Meteos Online and Meteos Wars, which have a separate ice element.
  • Water is one of the ingredients to make homunculi with in My Lovely Daughter. Making a homunculi of purely water will result in Ice.
  • While Ōkami averts this by making Waterspout and Blizzard separate brush techniques, the DS sequel Ōkamiden plays this straight by integrating Blizzard into Waterspout, which makes fighting teams of Fire Eyes and Ice Lips more manageable.
  • Path of Exile's Fire, Ice, Lightning elements use fire and lightning damage, but not ice; it's cold damage. While most cold damage spells use ice, other sources of coldness like chilling winds, spheres of water, or the void deal cold damage.
  • Through the Pokémon franchise, Water and Ice are two different types. However, several Pokemon are dual Water and Ice types, and virtually all Water-types are able to learn ice attacks like Ice Beam and Blizzard. Conversely, many Ice-types are capable of learning water moves like Water Pulse, which helps a lot to cover Ice's weaknesses to Fire and Rock types.
  • Ragnarok Online, the "water" spells all come in form of ice-themed attacks such as Ice Bolt and Blizzard.
  • For the first two versions of Rakenzarn Tales, this was averted with ice and water being two separate elements. When the elemental system was simplified in Version 3 and dropped from around a dozen elements to eight, water and ice were merged together, playing it straight.
  • In the Shadow Hearts series, Ice spells are part of the Water element's repertoire of attacks.
  • In most Shin Megami Tensei games, ice magic exists but water magic doesn't, so many demons affiliated with water instead specialize in Bufu spells. For example, in Digital Devil Saga, the ocean god Varuna uses ice magic. Averted in Persona 2, where water and ice are separate elements.
  • Skylanders: Four of the Water Skylanders use ice in their attacks.
    • Slam Bam is a four-armed yeti able to trap opponents in icy prisons and slide on ice for extra mobility. He can also coat his fists in icy mallets or maces to give his punches some extra power.
    • Chill was the captain of the Ice Queen's guard, and is capable of throwing icy javelins and summoning ice blocks that she can push into enemies using her shield. These blocks can be made to explode and trap opponents in other ice blocks on one upgrade path.
    • Freeze Blade uses a chakram made of ice and is also able to fire a "frostsicle" that freezes opponents in place. He also uses ice skates (literally, since these skates are made of ice) to leave trails of ice that slow down enemies and pirouette to slash around him.
    • King Pen can unleash freezing breath that leaves an icy path that can freeze opponents. By destroying said paths, additionally, he can do a myriad of other techniques: he can surround himself in an icy arena, summon a hailstorm of ice from the sky, and even summon a giant glacier from below.
    • In the fifth game, Portal Master powers relating to the Water Element all relate to freezing in some way. Water Skylanders can leave a trail of frost that freezes opponents that touch it either in a Water-elemental Zone or when they are low on health, or even freeze them outright when dishing out or receiving damage, or being summoned.
  • Super Mario RPG: Culex's Water Crystal mainly uses ice-themed spells. It is also weak to fire, something usually expected out of an ice enemy rather than a water enemy.
  • Zig-Zagged in the Tales Series. Most games treat water and ice as the same element. Tales of Eternia and Tales of Symphonia separated them to facilitate the balance theme in both games. Tales of Legendia separated them because water was lumped in with light insteadnote . In Tales of Vesperia, ice spells are considered to be of both the water and wind elements. From Tales of Xillia onward, ice is simultaneously treated as the water and earth elements. Tales of Arise, however, ditches multi-element spells, and plays it straight once more.
  • Temtem has a variety of Ice-based attacks, all of which fall under the Water type.
  • Trails Series: Blue quartz grants its user both water and ice orbal arts. They vary in strength, but the most powerful blue art is usually ice-related. They also differ in applied Status Effects - ice arts also can freeze the enemy, while water arts, starting with Trails of Cold Steel III, can mute them.
  • Warcraft:
    • Warcraft III: The Archmage can summon water elementals and bring down shards of ice from the sky. The naga (underwater snakemen) also use both: the Siren can create frost armor, the Sea Witch can use cold arrows, and the Royal Guard can throw huge iceballs and summon a sea elemental.
    • World of Warcraft: Frost mages gain the ability to summon a water elemental along with their ice-based spells. In a reversal on this trope, many water-based enemy attacks inflict Frost damage on players.
  • There is no ice elemental in the World of Mana series. Water elemental Undine provides ice spells instead.


    Web Videos 
  • In Noob, Couette, a water elementalist, at some point mentions that she can produce an ice wall.

    Western Animation  
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel series The Legend of Korra, waterbenders are also able to control snow and ice, and can turn water into ice and vice-versa. They can also control steam in the same manner.
  • Ninjago: Ice and Water are typically considered two separate elements. Then in season 11, when Zane (Ice) is out of commission and they're trapped in a realm too cold for liquid water to exist for long, Nya (Water) spends a great deal of time learning how to manipulate ice. She doesn't have anywhere near the control over it she does over water, and there's no indication that Zane would also be able to manipulate water, but there's definitely some overlap.
  • In Superfriends, Zan and Jayna's Wonder Twin Powers are that Jayna can turn into animals and Zan can turn into water or ice or both.
  • In Steven Universe, Malachite, the fusion of Lapis Lazuli and Jasper, can instantly turn water into ice to trap opponents or create projectiles. Lapis herself can turn water into ice, but majorly sticks to her hydrokinesis.
  • Lance the Blue Paladin in Voltron: Legendary Defender is the Guardian of Water and is the most adept when it comes to underwater combat. His Blue Lion eventually gains the ability to fire beams of ice from its mouth.
  • With the second season of Xiaolin Showdown comes a power-up for the heroes where they can infuse their elemental powers into the Shen Gong Wu, generally of the same element. Omi found that using his with the Orb or Tornami (which summons a torrent of water) lets him make a bunch of ice.

Alternative Title(s): Water Magic Is Ice