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Mage Killer

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"When in doubt, shoot the mage."
Keladry of Mindelan, Tortall Universe

Mages (or other superpowered beings) get a big advantage against muggles. Even the most trained fighter can be killed or incapacitated by a single spell (or psychic attack, or superpower, or whatever else). Thus, to deal with mages you need these guys.

A Mage Killer is basically a Badass Normal, or something close, whose capabilities of dealing with mages are somehow improved. He may be able to detect or track magic, resist harmful spells, prevent enemies from using them or even reflect them back to enemies. Defeating a Mage Killer with magic is difficult or impossible, and his mundane skills give him a major physical advantage over mages with no combat prowess, which is most of them (a Magic Knight or Kung-Fu Wizard may give him problems). Some Mage Killers even use magic themselves, but not regularly, and not the usual earthquakes and meteors but something subtle or affecting only mages. If a Mage Killer is a member of an order who specializes in hunting mages, his anti-magic abilities are very likely to be a result of specific training. Anyway, a Mage Killer is usually very similar to a Magic Knight, only with anti-magic instead of magic.

The other way to take down mages, of course, is to be a ruthless Combat Pragmatist - as humans (or humanoids) with supernatural powers, mages exist on the borderline between the magical and mundane, and if you're either unable or unwilling to take them in a fair fight, there's no reason to face off against their strengths when you can target their squishy still-mortal weaknesses instead. Depending on the resources and morality of the Mage Killer in question, this may involve everything from ambush tactics and sniping to chemical/biological weaponry and hostage-taking (which, needless to say, can give the profession a pretty gruesome reputation in-universe).

A Mage Killer may also be The Witch Hunter if he does his job out of a sense of religious fervor or hatred towards mages. If he himself is magically empowered, either he sees an inherent difference between religious miracles and arcane magicks, or he's a good old-fashioned hypocrite. In settings where everyone is magical, the Mage Killer is often an Un-Sorcerer.

May take the form of a beast either trained or naturally suited to hunt mages. In the latter case, the creature often feeds on magical power.

Note that Anti-Magic is a power and Mage Killer is a character who fights mages and has abilities for that.

Compare Mage-Hunting Monster, for where a type of monstrous beings is specialized for hunting down mages.

See also Cape Busters, for the anti-superpower (rather than anti-magic) version, Demon Slaying for someone who hunts demons instead of mages, and Muggles Do It Better, which is about technology beating out magic. Compare and contrast Cold Iron. Contrast Weak to Magic.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • A Certain Magical Index revolves around this trope: Touma has the "Imagine Breaker", a Power Nullifier and Anti-Magic ability contained in his right hand, which he uses in one way: fist to face. The magicians of the story consider him to be The Dreaded, though in later installments they start to wise up and use more conventional weaponry against him (like guns), which he has no defense against.
  • Assassination Classroom presents a unique variation of this trope, in that there's only one "mage" to kill, that being the superpowered, nigh invulnerable Koro-Sensei. Aside from that, the series revolves around the students of Class 3-E learning to be this, being taught how to be top notch assassins in order to kill Koro-Sensei by the end of the school year, although the skills learnt are theoretically applicable in any situation for an assassin. The students are also assigned weapons designed to kill Koro-Sensei and Koro-Sensei alone; piercing human flesh is impossible for 3-E's knives and bullets, but they're the only things that can damage Koro-Sensei. Many others are also aiming to kill Koro-Sensei, making them this trope as well. However, as the series goes on, two aversions to this trope enter Class 3-E, one being an artificial intelligence that records and learns from Koro-Sensei's evasion to calculate a more kill-capable shot pattern, and a boy introducing himself as and possessing similar abilities to Koro-Sensei.
  • Asta of Black Clover is literally the only person the setting has ever seen with no magical ability whatsoever. It's otherwise so common that even the peasants are using magic for mundane stuff like laundry or sweeping up. This left Asta to get things done physically, and training to do so, leaving him in good enough physical shape to impress a physical Goliath of a Captain with his strength. Once Asta got a grimoire, which is what everyone else uses to catalogue their various spells, the only thing he could "cast" with it was to pull a sword of black iron out of it, the sword, like Asta, having no detectable magical power. It turns out that sword dispels any magic it comes into contact with. While Asta's far from invincible after this (he can't sense magic, leaving him wide open to traps and ambushes, and he has to actually hit magic with the sword to dispel it, meaning he can be overwhelmed by enough firepower), this, combined with his tremendous physical aptitude, and the reliance of every other character in the show on magic, makes him a surprisingly effective Magic Knight, particularly if enemies underestimate him because they sense no magic power from him.
  • Code Geass: Jeremiah Gottwald is rebuilt into one of these. The local mages use a power called 'Geass' and part of this mage killer's upgrade is a Geass Canceller. It can be activated manually to cancel a Geass active on anyone else as well as activate automatically if someone tries to Geass him, blocking the effect. The second part of his upgrade is a cyborg body with a Blade Below the Shoulder and bullet immunity.
  • Dorohedoro: A side-effect of the magic that gave him a lizard head has rendered Caiman immune to all magic, which alongside his physical bulk and his skill with combat knives is all he needs to make most any mage's life hell. Mages who can use magic to alter the environment or who are skilled physical combatants on top of their magic, meanwhile, tend to give him a lot more trouble.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • There are a couple of characters who fit this trope but their use of poor tactics doomed them in their battle with Natsu. They were geared to fight a Squishy Wizard, and were caught off-guard by Natsu being a Kung-Fu Wizard.
    • Bloodman is a unique example since he's not a Badass Normal, but instead is a monster whose body is made up of poisonous Anti-Magic particles that cause people (and especially mages) to fall over and die just from being in his presence.
    • Acnologia is revealed to be one of these with the revelation of his Dragon Slayer Magic: Magic. As in, it's impossible to kill him directly with magic because he'll just eat or No-Sell the spell, and then tear the poor fool who tried it apart afterwards.
  • Fate/Zero: Although Kiritsugu Emiya is a mage himself, he has all the characteristics of a traditional Mage Killer (he's even known in-universe as "The Magus Killer"). Because his magical abilities are limited, he usually makes use of technology instead, generally opting for massive overkill to ensure success. Case in point: One of his targets has fortified the top several floors of a building with every conceivable magical defense. Kiritsugu's solution? Blow up the building. A story is also told of him doing the same thing to a passenger jet. This usually works because magi tend to be traditionalists who are ignorant of the full potential of modern technology, so they aren't generally very good at defending against it.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: Toji Fushiguro was once renowned as the Sorcerer Killer due to his unparalleled fighting skill. Because he suffered from a Heavenly Restriction, he was born with zero cursed energy in exchange for an abnormally strong body and enhanced senses. This allowed him to become a master at wielding various weapons and cursed tools, and because he had no cursed energy he was effectively invisible to normal sorcerers, who usually rely on sensing cursed energy to detect their enemies. How good was he? He came closer than anyone to killing Satoru Gojo, who would've died from his injuries if he hadn't figured out how to use Reverse Cursed Technique while on the brink of death.
  • The Huckebein family in Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force all have powers which make them very good at fighting mages. In fact, the kanji for the name of their signature weapons reads "Mage Killer".
  • Medaka Box: To a degree, Zenkichi is this. Since he's the only normal of the main cast, he's an extremely formidable martial artist who can disarm and parry weapons, and prepares for almost any scenario. Abnormals have noted that he shows some resistance to their powers (most notably, Oudo's "Weighted words").
    • The final Arc Villain Iihiko is a much more straightforward example; he No Sells any Skill from the aforementioned Abnormals, even the 12 quadrillion utilized by a Physical God, easily killing her with a rubber band. However, another set of powers called Styles still works on him.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, the eponymous Unicorn Gundam is fitted with a "Newtype Destroyer" system - a Super Mode that activates in the presence of enemy Newtypes, dramatically boosting the Unicorn's specs and allowing it to hijack psychically-controlled weapons. Ironically, this system causes so much strain on the pilot that only Newtypes are capable of using it.
  • Mifune in Naruto is so fast with his Iaijutsu that he can stop ninja from doing hand seals. He uses this ability in his fight against the resurrected Hanzo.
  • Asuna Kagurazaka of Negima! Magister Negi Magi is one due to her magic cancelling abilities. This makes her Negi's most valuable ally because she can negate the power of his enemies.
  • Every character in Witch Hunter Robin, with a couple of caveats. Only witches can naturally resist each other's powers; blocking attacks and Geo Effects are perhaps the only abilities shared by all witches other than having a special ability. This is how Robin and Karasuma fight other witches. The rest of the human cast has to make do with wearing vials of Orbo and using bullets filled with the stuff, which naturally cancels witch powers and weakens them on contact.
    • In season 2, when the enhanced Orbo suit witch hunters hit the scene we find out that using living witches as Human Resources to make the stuff has very detrimental effects on the humans using the stuff.

    Comic Books 
  • The Imperator, a villain of Doctor Strange, is adamant about the idea that Magic is Evil due to his Freudian Excuse, and as such has geared himself up with science to fight against all magic users. He's so proficient in his craft that he is able to kill a very high number of Sorcerers Supreme in a storyline known as "The Last Days of Magic." Ironically, magic is also his Achilles' Heel.
  • In Star Wars: Legacy, Jariah Syn despises Jedi after seeing one kill his father, and thus specializes in Yuuzhan Vong weaponry, over which the Force has no control.

  • Shizune in Perfection Is Overrated has two powers that work well against the Himes, who mainly attack through their Elements and Childs. The first is a Silencing Aura, which reduces the effectiveness of the powers of everyone near her, and increases in potency as more people are near her. The second, the Silencing Sigil, completely prevents one person from using any special powers. In order to counter this threat, Natsuki obtains a pistol and uses it to kill Shizune. In the side story, A Common Enemy Without A Common Cause, Shizune is at a strong advantage over her fellow SUEs, who are even more reliant on their powers than the Himes are, but gets mortally wounded by two nameless police officers.
  • In Child of the Storm, the Winter Soldier is believed to have some degree of Anti-Magic. As it happens, he doesn't and being both a Super-Soldier and a Combat Pragmatist with Improbable Aiming Skills, he really doesn't need it - he's either right up close before you know what's happened, or he's put a bullet in your skull.
  • Shadows Awakening:
    • Fang, one of Daolon Wong's new dark chi warriors, can create energy daggers that when stabbed into a magic user, temporarily disable their ability to use magic. Wong specifically gave her this power to get back at Uncle for removing his powers (before he got them back at the beginning of this story).
    • Later, when Jade creates her own tribe of kunoichi-khan, they decimate Wong's wizard-khan, the Phantom later reveals to Wong that since his tribe was attacking her and the J-Team at the time, the Temple reacted to that threat and designed her tribe to be skilled against magic using opponents.
  • Kingsof Revolution has the heavy armed Wyvern Drones, with enough weaponry to mow down TSAB Mages.
  • Distortions (Symphogear) has The Four Horsemen who have the objective of eradicate all of the supernatural elements of the world and they use nothing but high technological weaponry in their efforts to do so.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. It's right in the title. The titular duo is a pair of witch hunters that are immune to magic and kill witches with guns and fire as a business. They're immune to spells because their mother was a White Witch.


  • Star Wars:
    • High level assassin droids have often been used to kill Jedi, due to their lack of force presence, meaning the Jedi don't know about the danger until it's too late. While a Jedi can still sense danger when there's no aggressive thought pattern guiding it, it's much harder that way, which can give the droid a critical advantage.
    • The Mandalorians (aka Boba Fett's people) are basically a Proud Warrior Race of mercenaries, although a decent chunk of their job description involved battling Jedi using their Swiss-Army Weapon suits. And oftentimes losing to them. They really need to improve on that. Still, they're one of the few forces that can be counted on to give the superpowered Jedi or Sith a fight of it at least.
  • John Dart in The Candy Shop War has an excellent resistance to magic, a Healing Factor, and is trained in dealing with rogue mages. However, he can't kill anyone, because any damage he does to someone else will also be dealt to him.
  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy has the Resistance, humans who are born with a varying degree of Resilience to magic and are using their Resilience to slowly overthrow the Magician Government. Then inverted when they are confronted by a truly powerful magical spirit (i.e a mage-killer-killer) and are quickly decimated.
    • The Mercenary has the greatest Resilience to the point that being set on fire is no problem. He's dubbed an Implacable Man and uses his resilience to make money.
  • Spy Master Valek in Maria V. Snyder's Ixia and Sitia books.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen has Adjunct Lorn, known as the Empress's mage killer. Her Otataral sword negates magic, which in addition to her skill in combat makes her an effective mage hunter (although this is not her only job). This may however be a case of Early-Installment Weirdness, because while the Otataral sword remains the Adjunct's sign of office throughout the series, her job as the Empress's mage hunter is never mentioned again outside the first book.
  • Mistborn has Hazekillers, warriors specifically trained for taking on Allomancers. While they do fine against single-metal users, they're not so hot against the titular sorcerers, who can use all the metals' powers.
    • Hazekiller tactics are to Zerg Rush the Mistborn in an all-out attack. Failing that, they're there to stall for time until their own Mistborn arrives. The only really effective counter to Mistborn is other Mistborn.
    • Another option is to use Mistings (single-metal users) in assassination squads to support one another, effectively emulating the Mistborn's abilities through teamwork. At the beginning of the second book, one such assassin squad nearly gets the better of Vin, the Mistborn protagonist, though this is because they had a Mistborn in their group pretending to be a mere Misting.
    • Steel Inquisitors serve this function for the Final Empire, by virtue of being Lightning Bruisers with Super-Toughness, greatly enhanced Allomancy, and sometimes feruchemy or other powers granted through their hemalurgic spikes. When one is killed in the first novel, it was a surprise to most of the witnesses, who didn't believe they were even mortal. Being walking Body Horror and some of the most recognizable symbols of the Lord Ruler's authority doesn't hurt either.
    • In the Wax and Wayne era, Ranette has developed Depleted Phlebotinum Rounds specifically designed to exploit weaknesses of known Mistings: Anti-Coinshot rounds are designed to detach a metal section when the Misting in question pushes on it (but leave the rest of the bullet unaffected), Anti-Lurcher Rounds are designed to explode when they Pull on it, Anti-Tineye rounds are designed to be extra noisy and flashy, Anti-Pewterarm rounds are hollow point rounds designed for stopping power. She named the special bullets "Hazekiller rounds" after the kill squads of old.
  • The Wheel of Time has the Gholam, a creature engineered to be immune to magic and used as an assassin. It's also an immortal vampiric ninja. Amusingly, Anti-Magic is his Kryptonite Factor.
  • In Fate/Zero, the prequel novels to Fate/stay night, Kiritsugu Emiya is a low-level Mage who specializes in killing other magi (well, heretical magi, at least, and anyone else he's been hired to kill). He does this by combining magic with technology in ways which most old-fashioned magi would never imagine (such as equipping his familiars with miniature cameras to negate the effects of illusion on their senses) and by having "Origin Bullets" which make the magic in a person's body explode, then fuse the remains back together into an unusable knot.
    • Just to give you an idea of how brutally effective and pragmatic his methods are, here's an example: Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald is in the thirty-second floor of a hotel. His bounded field covers twenty-four floors (even going over the drainage pipes), there are three magical furnaces for his use, and he has ten summoned evil spirits and apparitions — a veritable Mage' fortress. How does Kiritsugu deal with this? Apply a small amount of C4 to the supports and bring the entire place down. If Kayneth didn't have his Mystic Code to shield him (which Kiritsugu uses against him to fry his magic circuits later), he would've been dead there and then.
    • Kiritsugu's mentor was Natalia, who hunted heretic magi so she could sell their thaumuturgical crests, a hereditary graft containing their family's magical research, to the Mage's Association. She was descended from a succubus and used her magic to grant herself short bursts of superhuman strength which she employed as violently as possible.
    • The Nasuverse also features the Black Barrel, a Conceptual Weapon which annihilates any magic it shoots. The more magic someone (or something) has, the more powerful the Black Barrel becomes, to the point that it can One-Hit Kill the Ultimate Ones. Also, it can only be used by an ordinary, non-magical human being, making it the ultimate weapon for a Mage Killer. Problem is, in every story except Angel Notes (which takes place in the far distant future), the thing's been lost for ages, though (much less powerful) replicas of it will pop up here and there.
    • Any Servant with the skill "Magic Resistance" has some degree of Anti-Magic, but anyone with rank A (like Saber) is considered a Mage Killer, due to the fact that it's hard to damage them with any magic spell. Gilgamesh gets some credit due to the fact that he has items (treasury) that counter magic, even with a rank E magic resistance.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • The Wardens are wizards who are also specialists in both fighting supernatural forces and in taking down "warlocks" (in other words, rogue wizards who abuse their powers). To that end they have special training in combating warlocks, and carry specially-crafted swords that undo enchantments and magical constructs with a touch.
    • The mercenary Kincaid always brings special weapons to his battles, including exploding-tipped spears and paint guns that shoot holy water balls. He explains to Harry that the way to kill him without falling prey to his death curse would be sniping him from a thousand yards away, killing him before he even notices the shot. It works. But Harry gets better, to Dresden's dismay.
    • In a short story in Side Jobs, we find that after Harry's apparent death, Karrin Murphy has become very effective at this, due to learning the ins and outs of magic use (she is a Badass Normal herself). She even earns Gard's (a Valkyrie) respect
    • Harry himself spends some time as one of these when he mentions in Storm Front that he always carries a handgun with him, because wizards never expect you to take a break from slinging fireballs to shoot them in the head.
  • In Shadow Ops, the Supernatural Operations Corps is a special unit of the United States military tasked with killing or containing out-of-control Latents and other magically-oriented threats, using magic of their own. The only US military branch that doesn't participate is the Marine Corps, who operate their own Suppression Lances, which suppress enemy magic directly and then take down the threat with conventional firepower.
  • As seen in the page quote, Keladry of Protector of the Small carries special arrows for killing mages: ones fletched with Stormwing feathers that can penetrate magical barriers, and ones with griffin fletching that always hit the target regardless of magical interference.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, true magic was almost completely forgotten in Valdemar for generations due to a broad-scale Brainwashing for the Greater Good spell, until an enemy country began fielding mages against them. Because it's such an Outside-Context Problem, they struggle to defend themselves against magic, and the average Valdemaran citizen views magic and mages as a terrifying and nigh-unbeatable threat. Enter Kerowyn and her mercenary company, the Skybolts, who are well-versed in dealing with magic - Kero herself is the granddaughter of a powerful mage - and astonish the Valdemarans with how casual they are about the prospect of fighting and killing mages. It also helps that Kero is a fighter carrying the magic sword Need, who completely neutralizes any hostile magic thrown at her or her Skybolts, so fighting mages is much easier for them.
    When someone managed to find a Skybolt who knew either trade-tongue or had a sketchy grasp of Valdemaran, and managed to ask through a medium of painfully slow pantomime about fighting against mages, the answer always surprised the questioner, for it was invariably a shrug, and a reply of, "they die."
    • Any warrior woman carrying Need becomes this, not just Kero. In the Oathbound books, the few times Tarma takes Need up, even the most powerful mages have no defense or recourse against her, including a demon on the verge of godhood. Then in the Mage Winds books Need wakes up and reveals that she's an ancient mage of unusual skill, who can take attacks from even the Big Bad and transmute their energy to use for her own purposes. Paired with a bearer to be her body, she makes an excellent assassin for mages.
  • Mishis in Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle specialises in fighting other Drag-Knights and is known as the Anti Drag-Knight for this reason. She herself is a skilled Drag-Knight whose Drag-Ride can steal the powers of other Drag-Rides on contact and drain their energy at short distances (the latter being fast enough to completely deplete her opponent's reserves in a few seconds). She also has detailed knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of all Drag-Rides, which allows her to formulate countermeasures for all of them.
  • Captain John Kresnik in Magik Online is an experienced White Sorcerer who specializes in taking down rogue sorcerers due to both his martial skills and Anti-Magic spells.
  • In The Arts of Dark and Light, the Knights of Saint Michael are a Templar-like order of Warrior Monks who have Anti-Magic powers and are employed to suppress wizards and other supernatural threats.
  • In the Spellslinger Series, Kellen is a disgraced Muggle Born of Mages with a death warrant on his head from his magical homeland, resulting in numerous mages and bounty hunters trying to kill him constantly. By the end of the series, he's shored up a sizeable body count of mages he had no right defeating, and though most of the mages consider it to be some sort of lucky fluke, the higher ups realize that he's a legitimate threat.
  • Glenn in Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor used to have this role when he was in the Imperial Court Magic Corps. His original magic Fool's World allowed him to prevent the casting of magic in an area centered on himself, and his skills in martial arts and various weapons allowed him to kill the now-helpless mages. However, the job traumatized him, resulting in the present-day Glenn being lazy and disdainful of magic.
  • In Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers, Fremy is the Hero Killer. Since Heroes most often end up being Saints and Saints have powers, in the instances she kills Saints she is this. (She's the Saint of gunpowder, but since she sticks that gunpowder into a gun or uses it in explosives, she qualifies.) For Heroes which aren't Saints, however, she subverts this.

    Live Action TV 

  • Plenty of examples in Embers in the Dusk, due to the extremely high levels of psyker births upon Avernus.
    • The Psyker Hunters and Witch Hunters are specialized anti-psyker troops.
    • Jane Oakheart and Grandmaster Aria are particularly adept at fighting psykers.
    • The Last Hunters, supersoldiers trained and augmented from birth and equipped with the best gear humanity can build.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • D&D 3.5 has a few prestige classes suited to this: such as the Occult Slayer who can reflect Projectile Spells back at the caster and has several abilities to protect against magic, or the Suel Archanamach, which is more like a special policeman who uses his limited Anti-Magic spellcasting power and martial prowess to keep mages in line.
    • An alternate class feature allows Rangers to treat arcane spellcasters as a Favored Enemy, gaining increased damage and bonuses to tracking skills against them.
    • The ordinary Monk, with his high saving throws, focus on dodging over armor (in a game where spells ignore armor), and Stunning abilities that require physical toughness to resist, is something of a Stone Wall variant of this, if not in intention or spirit. The Arcanopath Monk prestige class, on the other hand, is this in effect AND intention, recieving a host of abilities allowing them to deflect and reflect spells, as well as punching the mage in question so hard they forget how to cast spells at all.
    • The Spellthief is, well, just that. They make decent skill monkeys, but their real advantage is the multiple spellcaster-slaying abilities they obtain: extra damage (via Sneak Attack), spell resistance, stealing spells, and eventually absorbing spells hurled at them (yum, fireball!) and then flinging them back instantly.
    • Counterspelling allows a character to disrupt enemy spells by using Dispel Magic on the caster in the middle of castingnote ; it's possible to build a character specialised in Dispel Magic but with few other magical abilities, who falls under this trope. The warlock class is particularly good at this since its dispel ability can be used at-will.
    • This is also a focus of the abjuration school in general, which focuses heavily on spells that interact with other spells, often by blocking or negating them. Dispel Magic is the most famous one, as well as Antimagic Field, Protection from Evil, Mind Blank, Spell Turning, and the spell-and-item-shredding Disjunction.
    • Golems in general in 3.5 are immune to magic, and their unliving nature means that even some indirect forms of magical attack (such as summoning water to drown them) don't work. They are prohibitively expensive for just this reason. Of particular note are Colossi who radiate fields of Anti-Magic, and Psion-Killers who radiate a dispelling aura.
    • While basic beholders have anti-magic rays, beholder-kin gauth have more powers that makes it a threat to magic-users, as well as a healthy appetite for enchanted items.
    • The 5th edition Mage Slayer feat gives a character advantage on saves against spells cast by an adjacent spellcaster, and lets them use their reaction to attack when that adjacent caster casts a spell. It also makes it easier for the character’s attacks to disrupt a spellcaster’s concentration.
    • Al-Qadim has Spellslayers with spell-like abilities, one of which temporarily disrupts wizards' spellcasting capability.
    • Forgotten Realms has a lot of monsters — there are hakeashar, magekiller (created by spell), magedoom (created by spell), balhiir (exotic extraplanar), sometimes visiting Nilshai... Magocracy Halruaa has a Jordaini order creating and training magic-resistant elite warriors, so that ruling wizards have counselors (and sometimes bodyguards) not influenced by magic.
  • Ironclaw: 1st Edition's Witch Hunters are Bounty Hunters who specialize in hunting mages, and often have a secondary career as some sort of mage themselves (no religious affiliation necessarily). While Witch Finders in 2nd edition are thaumaturgists, a school of magic that focuses on countering and reflecting other spells in combat, and who have melee combat and searching skills.
  • Iron Kingdoms: Warmachine has the Mage Hunters of Ios, a group of elves specializing in assassinating enemy magic users. Most of them don't actually have anti-magic powers, but they are highly trained to fight against mages.
  • Magic: The Gathering has more than one creature that gains strength based on spells cast by your opponent.
    • The flavor text on Manaplasm, a creature that gains strength equal to the converted mana cost for all spells cast that turn, sums this trope up succinctly.
      Urak froze when he heard it. That was his first mistake. He turned and cast a dramatic ward spell. That was his last.
    • A particularly Jerkass example is Baral, a Knight Templar from Kaladesh who hates all mages note , and uses Anti-Magic to hunt them. Ironically, this technically makes him a mage as well (Anti-Magic is a form of Blue-mana), and his card form appropriately lists him as a Wizard, meaning he's also a Hunter of His Own Kind.
  • Mutants & Masterminds: According to the "Worlds of Freedom" sourcebook for Freedom City, one of the Golden Age superheroes who operated out of Freedom City was The Mysterious Madame Radium, whose power over radiation allowed her to shut down any superpowers that stemmed from a genetic basis. After being brought to Erde (aka "the requisite Parallel Universe where the Nazis won World War II"), she finds this ability very handy, as the bulk of the Nazi's super-soldiers are natural-born or artificially created mutants.
  • Shadowrun: Character builds designed specifically to be Mage Killers are usually themselves mages, as having a Magic Stat is necessary to take the Counterspell skill. Other good ways of hunting mages include using drones (cannot be seen with Aura Vision), sniper overwatch (magic requires line-of-sight, and pinpointing a sniper from three rooftops away is hard), or just making sure that everyone in the team knows the well-known In-Universe phrase "Geek the mage first!"
  • Talislanta has the Xambrian Wizard Hunters. In the distant past, the Torquaran Wizards committed genocide against the peaceful Xambrians. The remaining descendants of the Xambrians have sworn an oath to seek out the reincarnated wizards in order to destroy them.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Blanks, humans with a negative warp presence. They are very unsettling to be around, and can hamper psychic powers and warp-based entities within their vicinity. Assassins from the Culexus Temple undermine basic human psychology, require an enormous exertion of will to even fire on, and wear devices that store and feedback warp energy, independently, for every single psyker present, with NO limit. Oh, they're also completely invisible to purely psychic beings like Daemons.
    • The Hounds of Morkai are Space Wolf Reivers specialized for hunting down psykers. They use runic totems to protect themselves from psychic powers and vocal amplifiers that scramble Warp currents to impair the use of Warp-craft.
    • The Sisters of Silence are an ancient, all female order of Blanks whose role is to eliminate the greatest psychic threats that the Imperium faces. The Null-Maidens of the Silent Sisterhood are highly trained in the elimination of those who use Psychic Powers and are equipped with special anti-psyker weaponry. The 8th Edition rules represent this specialisation by giving every Sister of Silence psyk-out grenades (which have a chance of dealing mortal wounds against psykers and Daemons) and the "Witch Hunters" special rule (allowing them to re-roll wound rolls against psykers they are fighting). The rank and file Prosecutor Sisters are also able to ignore the usual targeting restrictions when firing at psychic characters.
    • Daemons and mortal champions of Khorne are often blessed by their patron with resistance or immunity to psychic powers, as Khorne loathes sorcery; Flesh Hounds (daemonic beasts of Khorne) always wear collars blessed this way, and Khorne often sends them to hunt for psykers.
    • The Tyranids specifically engineered Hive Fleet Kronos to hunt down and destroy the forces of Chaos, as they tend to corrupt biomatter into a state that cannot be consumed and daemons are completely inedible. Kronos specializes in amplifying the Tyranids' "shadow in the warp" to suppress warp magics and banish Chaos daemons, and they also fight at extremely long range with artillery bioforms to destroy Chaos forces at a safe distance from their corrupting effects and deadly close-range combat abilities.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Hunter: The Vigil is no slouch in the mage killing department either, with an entire book dedicated to different factions and their methods of killing witches.
    • Mage: The Ascension: The Technocratic Union started out as the Order of Reason, fighting their fellow mages who had gone Sorcerous Overlord. In the Victorian era, they reformed into what they are now, and though they continue hunting "Reality Deviants", they now indoctrinate the lower ranks into thinking their "hypertech" is superscience rather than Magic Powered Pseudo Science.
    • Mage: The Awakening: The Banishers are mage killers who are, irony of ironies, also mages. Difference is, while most mages consider their Awakenings a wonderful trip to the higher realms of experience, they considered it a ticket to hell and a mark of damnation. So they try to make up for it by using their magic to kill other mages, usually in ways that involve polluting and tainting the magic of others.

    Video Games 
  • AdventureQuest Worlds has the Inquisitors, an order that hunts down mages.
  • DragonFable brings us the Order of the Rose, a group that has been gaining followers during the Time Skip, who have the expressed goal of ending magic.
  • Warcraft:
    • Felhunters are demonic beasts that feed on magic and hunt magic users. They are highly resistant to spells and can drain a mages mana and prevent his spellcasting.
    • The Demon Hunter is an anti-magic hero. Its "Mana Burn" ability drains and damages target units with mana.
  • Heroes of the Storm: Some of the Assassin heroes qualify, due to mage heroes in the game being Squishy Wizards:
    • Tracer, Genji and Illidan are highly effective at taking out mage heroes due to their skills granting them absurd amount of mobility to continuously attack the backline and get out safely.
    • Stealth heroes like Nova, Zeratul, Samuro, and Valeera also qualify. Relying on surprise attacks, they can actually make short work on any mage hero. Valeera in particular specializes in this, since she can open on her target with a stun or lengthy silence.
    • As with Alarak, his abilities make him terrifyingly good at this. Telekinesis can be used to force mage heroes towards him, where he can shred them to bits. Discord Strike comes with a Silence which is absolutely devastating to any spellcaster. And since the abilities of mage heroes tend to be telegraphed, he can use his heroic ability Counter-Strike to heavily punish such attempts.
  • Defense of the Ancients and Dota 2:
    • Magina the Anti-Mage. While he can be and often is built simply as a DPS machine, his passive Mana Burn attack bonus, added resistance to magic damage, and ability to damage a target based on its lack of mana all point to this trope. In Dota 2, his backstory and voice responses also reveal that he's a Witch Hunter of the Fantastic Racism variety (whether he really uses modified "techniques" that he learned from his old masters to supplement his mage-killing power, or if he's just a straight-up hypocrite, remains unclear). His backstory even states that after an undead army wiped out the monastery that he lived in, he "[swore] to obliterate not only the Dead God's magic users—but to put an end to magic altogether."
    • The Silencer, from Dota 2. His backstory states that he's the end product of centuries of carefully picked pairings to create the most powerful mage to ever live. Growing up, he showed no special talents or abilities, causing other children to mock him. And on the day of testing he used the one spell he developed, Silence, bringing all the other students down to normal so he could kick their asses in single combat.
    • While also a mage, Rubick functions like this. In his backstory, he killed various mages with their own spells. In game, he has a skill that naturally grants him and nearby allies magic resistance, and a spell that temporarily takes the target's most recently used spell. All of this means one better hopes to either cast a weaker spell immediately or kill him, lest he uses your strongest spells against your own team.
    • The Nyx Assassin is also a formidable mage killer. Impale can easily stun slow mages, Manaburn can damage them with their own mana reserves as well as their Intelligence stats, and Spiked Carapace makes them regret any retaliation they manage to get off. If they prove tougher than he expected, Nyx can cloak himself with Vendetta and backstab them for massive damage.
    • Pugna's Death Ward deals damage based on the amount of mana needed to cast a spell, and Life Drain, which sucks up HP and gives it to him. These both work very well with the rest of his kit, and in a game where most wizards are squishy.
    • Yet another good Mage Killer is Lucifer The Doom. He has high hp, which while lowered in use against physical damage thanks to his low armor, doesn't affect its ability to absorb magical attacks. His ultimate Doom shuts down both spells and items, which often are other spells that could otherwise be used. After he has nullified everything a caster has in their arsenal, he just walks up to them and beats them to death with his burning sword.
  • League of Legends has a few examples:
    • Kassadin, the Voidwalker, was specifically designed with this trope in mind, seeing as he has a distance closing spell, a magic shield and a built-in magic resistance mechanism — storywise, he specifically hunts down mages to prevent them to opening a gate to the Void. Interestingly and ironically, developers wanted him to be a Magic Knight with majority of his damage being physical and the spells only acting for utility purposes, but it turned out he's much more effective being built as a mage himself.
    • Galio, the Colossus, is a much tankier version of this, designed to soak up huge amounts of magic damage (passively gaining a magic damage shield and is encouraged to buy more magic resistance), then charge in and pummel his enemies alongside mighty crowd control. In his story, he was originally a Demacian, gargoyle-shaped bulwark designed to eat magic in massive sieges, which inadvertently resulted in him gaining the ability to come to life to squash armies himself, but only when great magic is nearby.
  • The templars in Dragon Age. They're an order of warriors who form the militant arm of the Chantry — the game's Christian analogue — and are trained specifically to hunt down rogue mages and abominations. The Chantry gets them addicted to the magic-enhancing substance known as lyrium, which ensures their loyalty and allows them to resist magical effects.
    • Marius from the comic book Magekiller is a former Tevinter slave who was trained specifically to take down mages.
  • Baldur's Gate 2:
    • The Inquisitor kit for Paladins gets immunity to charm and hold, and the ability to use Dispel Magic and True Sight multiple times per day at double power in return for losing the paladin's (already very limited) spellcasting ability, and is a borderline Game-Breaker.
    • The Wizard Slayer for Fighters gets a very low (1% per level; max fighter level is 20) magic resistance in return for not being able to use magic items at all, apart from weapons and armor (and, following a patch, potions). It is considered to be one of the weakest kits in the game.
  • The Assassin from Diablo II is a member of the Viz-jaq'taar, an order formed by the Vizjerei mage clans and tasked with hunting down and eliminating rogue mages who traffic with demons.
  • Guild Wars:
    • The Mesmer is often played in such a role by interrupting an enemy's spells or draining them of the energy needed to cast spells.
    • There two elite Magehunter skills for Warriors, which have added effects and are unable to be blocked by an enchanted enemy, and a Magebane Shot for Rangers, which interrupts skills, and adds recharge to spells.
  • The Spellbreaker elite specialization for Warriors in Guild Wars 2 is exactly what its name suggests. It possesses a number of abilities focused on stripping enemy buffs or preventing them from running away, and its dagger skills can interrupt casts and reflect projectiles.
  • According to the bestiary in Final Fantasy XII, Bombs were artificial monsters made for this purpose during an ancient war. During gameplay, the first type of Bombs you encounter do not attack you unless you attack them first or cast any type of magic within a certain proximity of them. They are resistant to fire(the most basic offensive magic) and explode when low on health(the way they explode is specifically designed to go through magical defenses).
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the Templar class, unique to the very non-magical Bangaa, specializes in killing mages, with abilities such as Silence, Soul Sphere, and high attack and magic resistance.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In general terms, the Pegasus Knight class. They have the highest magic defense growths of any physical fighter, and while they're Fragile Speedsters against people with weapons, they're highly effective at bringing down enemy mages as they're often fast enough to avoid being doubled, on top of not being hurt as much anyway unless it's wind magic.
    • Fire Emblem Fates introduces Ninjas and Outlaws, physical-based classes with high magic resistance that use Shuriken and Bows respectively, both long-ranged weapons good for luring and counter-attacking magic users. And in the case of Ninjas, shuriken beat magic in Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors. Maids and Butlers also become this at higher levels, using shuriken/daggers, having his resistance and learning the Tomebreaker skill (+50 hit and evasion against magic users).
    • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, the second generation Lord, Seliph, is often set for this role due to his high RES growth and his Legendary Weapon giving him an additional 20 RES. And most mages are Squishy Wizards. The player can also raise his usual stats by leveling up his mom during the time that she's playable, making him even better at this.
    • Ares has the same high RES growth as Seliph, and his Legendary Weapon, the Demon Sword Mystletainn, grants him a + 10 boost in RES (along with the Critical Skill and a + 20 boost in Skill, meaning it tears into those mages even harder than Seliph). He's THE character of choice for killing mages until Seliph gets his Tyrfing, which only happens late in the game.
    • Mist in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn can become this. As a Cleric/Valkyrie she has an incredibly high RES stat that makes her all but immune to magic attacks. Once she promotes to Valkyrie she gains the ability to use swords and with a little effort can easily fulfill this role.
    • Ronan in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 often catches a lot of grief for being a weapon-wielding class (he's an Archer) with a ridiculously high MAG growth, but it just so happens that Thracia 776 doesn't have a RES stat and resistance to magical attacks is based on the MAG stat. As most enemy magic users would naturally have better MAG than DEF, having a unit that has high MAG but is attacking against the DEF stat is quite the boon.
    • In Gaiden, Awakening, and Fates there is a class called the Dread Fighter which has naturally high magic defense, and in the latter two games they gain skills that increases that magic defense even further.
    • Each of the titular houses from Fire Emblem: Three Houses features one character who is physically inclined but also has high magical resistance, so spells often do little to no damage to them, while they use their weapons to cut the lightly armored mages with low physical defense to pieces.
      • Special notice goes to Ingrid, whose class and abilities lead her towards the aforementioned Pegasus Knight class and its upgrade, the Falcon Knight. As a result she can be used to fly around the battlefield, bypassing natural obstacles, and has enough movement to pick off mages and then retreat to relative safety from nearby enemy units.
      • The Golden Deer get Marianne, a Combat Medic who’s stat growths and skills make her a caster that specializes at killing other casters. To elaborate, Marianne has BOTH a high magic attack and magic defense. This allows her to equip swords that proc off magic attack including her crest relic. She gains Silence from her C support. Lastly, her stats make her a natural fit for the DLC Dark Flier class, a magic based counterpart to the Pegasus Knight. Needless to say, she makes the final act of the Blue Lions route much easier if recruited.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Atton Rand is discovered to have been a Jedi hunter during the Jedi Civil War. He was part of a squad that was trained in ways to kill Jedi, or capture them and torture them into insanity and make them fall to the Dark Side. There is a also a dialogue option that allows him to tell you the ways in dealing with Jedi, provided you have sufficient Relationship Values with him; part of it involves Psychic Static to prevent mindreading.
    • Addendum: HK-47 was well versed in the assasination of Jedi, meatbags. If you have sufficient Influence with him, he can teach you how to kill Jedi.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds uses bounty hunters to counter Jedi.
  • Pokémon:
    • Dark type Pokemon were introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver to counter the Game-Breaker Psychic type. They are outright immune to Psychic attacks and their attacks do double damage. They invoke the Badass Normal feel of this trope by having Dark-type Pokemon mostly resemble ordinary animals, while only a few Dark-type attacks use shadowy magic or the like (exceptions including Night Daze and Dark Pulse), instead relying mostly on trickery and more underhanded moves.
    • There are also some Pokemon that could be used competitively to deal with Special attackers by way of high Special Defense and high Attack, like Virizion, Flareon, and Snorlax.
  • The Last Story has a type of Crossbow bolt made expressely for the purpose of dealing with enemy casters from afar, dealing heavy damage, especially on headshot.
  • The three knight classes (Archer, Lancer and Saber) of Fate/stay night are highly resistant to magic, leaving the one who summoned the Caster out of luck. This is why the knight classes generally win the Holy Grail wars and why Caster has to resort to various trickery like targeting masters directly instead of servants.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
  • Various installments in the Shining Series have one of the first party members be this archetype: a knight with modest attack, poor defense, and very high HP to sponge magic (which bypasses defense). Notable examples include Ken from Shining Force I, Chester from Shining Force II, and Campbell from Scenario 2 of Shining Force III. These are justified examples, as they are the only characters at that point in the game that can reliably handle magic users, with the role of physical tankiness being given to warriors.
  • StarCraft II
    • The Terran Ghosts' tools in Starcraft II are focused upon eliminating priority support targets from battle with their EMP Shot and Steady Targeting ability being well suited to this task. They can also cloak to avoid counter-attack from their targets, assuming a lack of True Sight. What makes Ghosts stand out is that in lore, Ghosts have psionic powers of their own that can be developed to let them be "mages" as well.
    • Protoss High Templar are an unusual hybrid, able to cast their signature Area of Effect Psionic Storm or use Feedback to reset an enemy caster's "Mana" to zero and (in multiplayer melee) deal damage equal to 1/2 of what was lost.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has Rean who has a few craft attacks that outright deny art casters from casting any arts. This ends up being his main use in Brave Nine where he's the only character who can take out mages from their casting state, thereby wasting a turn from not being able to use their spells against the side that has Rean.
  • The Twisted Bow in Old School RuneScape has a unique property where it does more damage to monsters with high magic levels.

  • Tales of the Questor:
    • Dragons are immune to lux, but still hate it and violently attack anyone who uses magic on or around them. On top of that, they're apparently spontaneously generated, and if you do manage to kill one, any others that find the corpse fly into an Unstoppable Rage and begin scorching the earth for miles around.
    • Wights eat lux and divide when they have enough, so if you go after them with spells or magical weapons (like a Racconan probably would), you could easily have just one or two turn into a Zerg Rush when you start shooting.
  • In Unsounded, the Asepticks are an organization in Alderode that deals with rogue wrights. Their fearful reputation comes from their top-notch training, specialized equipment, and access to classified spells, rather than any innate anti-magic.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation:
    • Dr. Clef specializes in killing Reality Warpers. Some portrayals hint that this is due to him using own reality warping to cancel enemy reality warping, and then using psychology, cleverness, class Ds, and big guns. However, the Negative Continuity of the site means this is only true in some cases. Also, Dr. Clef is a liar.
    • Other Foundation staff could count as well, especially those who deal with humanoid SCPs. Note, though, that they don't have any kind of Anti-Magicnote . They mostly deal with humanoid SCPs with a combination of psychology, cleverness, We Have Reserves, and More Dakka.
    • The Global Occult Coalition has a whole manual on the subject. It emphasizes speed, surprise and violence, recommending explosives or large-caliber sniper shots to the head.
  • Isaak Friels from Fate/Nuovo Guerra. Luciano's dragon Evgeniya is more or less a Distaff Counterpart of Kiritsugu above, only replace "Origin Bullets" with "Reaper Drones".
  • Counter Monkey: The Jedi Hunter, Spoony's Star Wars RPG character, was equipped with weapons that a lightsaber wielder couldn't just block. He was more than a match for the Sith his party fought in the campaign. He points out that while it felt clever at the time, there have been so many canon characters since that use the same tricks that it's practically standard practice.

    Western Animation 
  • Ty Lee from Avatar: The Last Airbender is able to block bending and temporarily paralyze limbs by hitting the body's Pressure Points.
  • In Sequel Series The Legend of Korra the Equalists emply a number of Mage Killer tactics in their crusade against benders. These include Chi-Blockers using the same techniques as Ty Lee, a leader who can remove a bender's powers permanently, and Mini-Mecha constructed from metals too pure to be affected by Metalbending.
  • In DuckTales (2017), the Phantom Blot works specifically to hunt down magic, especially that of Magica, using his gauntlet (and other means beforehand) to drain the power away, good or ill.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • Cad Bane claims to specialise in hunting Jedi, and carries a wide variety of equipment designed specifically for counteracting them, such as cortosis bullets that short out lightsabers, jet boots to prevent him from being Force-thrown, sniper rifles for taking Jedi down from afar, and probably many others. He relies just as much on strategy to get the job done— endangering innocents is probably his favorite tactic, as it takes advantage of his foes' natural altruism to unbalance them in a fight. He prepares himself for Sith, or at least Jedi who are slipping to the Dark Side, as well. For example, he has artificial breathing tubes that kick in if somebody uses the Force to choke him.
    • General Grievous has killed dozens of Jedi without even being a Force user himself thanks to his mechanical body, battle skills and aggression. He usually trusts on blade-spamming his opponents with his multiple arms, capitalizing on his close quarters advantage, and using other weapons when opportune, which typically works wonders against overconfident opponents. Even if many Jedi in the setting typically forget about their Force powers when the script requires them to lose against non-sensitive opponents, in Grievous' case it is implied (and vaguely confirmed in Legends, as seen in his appearances in Star Wars: Clone Wars) to be because his metal body is so heavy and mobile than it makes difficult to catch him telekinetically: only when hit point blank, like Obi-Wan does in Utapau, he can be fended off this way.
  • Star Wars Rebels: As was implied in Clone Wars, Mandalorian equipment is explained to be specifically designed to fight Jedi. Jetpacks give them mobility, repulsors simulate Force Push, electrowhips give them the ability to incapacitate and grab things from afar, and poison darts can slow down even a Jedi. Subverted when Sabine uses these on Kanan during training. He still defeats her easily; as he points out, the Jedi won the war with the Mandalorians.
  • Bella Noche, a being of Anti-Magic, from Adventure Time. Capable of incapacitating the powers of every wizard in wizard city. However, when Betty manages to get to her, she's able to take her down without too much difficulty.
  • In Conan the Adventurer, one episode has Conan and friends having to get help from a Retired Badass who is Famed in Story for repeatedly defeating mages. He's surprised however when the mage they're taking on doesn't conform to what he's used to, (for example, smashing a magical MacGuffin used to cast a spell doesn't break the spell) and comments that wizards must finally be wising up.