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Magic Knight

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Giving new meaning to the term Sword & Sorcery.

"Able to resolve most conflicts with either spell or sword.
They are a deadly mix of scholar and soldier."
— In-game description of the Battlemage class, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Most mages are of the Squishy Wizard variety, able to work eldritch wonders but not take a punch. And most warriors are Magically Inept Fighters, able to deal and take devastating damage, but their range is limited to the length of their weapon and they'll have trouble with problems they can't bludgeon to death. But who said you can't have the best of both worlds? Whether they're wizards who picked up a melee weapon and some spiffy armor, or warriors who learned to cast a few spells, Magic Knights are every bit as deadly with both spell and sword.

For the purposes of game balance, the Magic Knight will either be weaker at sword and spell than a pure fighter or mage, generally slower, somehow otherwise limited to being defensive or offensive, or they'll be The Hero, who is expected to be the most powerful character anyway. Usually, the Magic Knights will specialize in a particular class of magic (attack or healing, for instance), effectively making them a hybrid of only two "classes", rather than being an out-and-out "Jack" of all trades. However, being a total Jack-of-All-Stats is also possible, depending on the game.


Another form of balance may be found in their spell loadout. Instead of the wide variety of spells a normal spellcaster can use, they tend to focus on Status Buffs and direct attack spells. Other typical abilities for this class may include infusing their bodies or weapons with elemental powers. Doing the same with Standard Status Effects is not unknown either.

Older Than Print, as the Norse god Odin (who also made the Robe and Wizard Hat convention), was both a powerful wizard and an accomplished warrior.

The Paladin is a Magic Knight who's centered around Holy powers and fighting the forces of darkness. The Black Knight or Tin Tyrant may be one of these, usually with a focus of Necromancy and spells of darkness. Wizards that use their fists and feet instead of swords and shields go under Kung-Fu Wizard, Knights who use a bow instead of magic apply for Bow and Sword, in Accord, and those who favor firearms or a bow and arrow fall under Mage Marksman. Contrast Armor and Magic Don't Mix. A Magic Knight whose magic focuses on healing is a form of Combat Medic.


See also the Magical Girl Warrior sister trope/genre for magical girls (of which the Rayearth girls are a part, by the way) who use magic, sparkly weapons, frilly armor, and The Power of Friendship to kick evil's ass.

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Other examples

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    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Beastmaster: Arklon, while he has multiple magic powers, is also good with his sword or bare-handed (he's also large and strong, unlike many mages).
  • The wuxia film Finger Of Doom has the main villainess Madam Kung Sun, who is both a dangerous fighter and a powerful sorceress whose skills in voodoo made her The Dreaded.
  • In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The White Witch Jadis went into battle with a sword and a wand of petrification. A pretty nasty combination by anyone's standards, and she put both to pretty good use.
  • Gandalf of The Lord of the Rings fame was never a Squishy Wizard, and the Peter Jackson films showcased this. When faced with a Balrog, a giant nightmarish demon about fifteen feet or more in height, Gandalf tries using his magic first, but when that fails, he engages it with his sword and defeats it. He's also seen fighting in many other scenes in the LOTR movies as well as in Jackson's The Hobbit. This is consistent with the books.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Loki is a talented sorcerer who frequently employs Master of Illusion spells during combat, and he's also proficient with daggers, throwing knives, and anything that can be used as a spear (like Gungnir or the Chitauri scepter).
    • In battle, Frigga also employs illusions and is very adept with a sword—Loki definitely takes after his adoptive mother in this regard (albeit with a preference for daggers).
    • Played very straight with the Masters of the Mystic Arts are effectively Kung Fu Wizards who wield weapons as well as sorcery. Karl Mordo has the Staff of the Living Tribunal a polearm which can double as a whip and a flail, Wong has the Wand of Watoomb which is very durable and can channel music and Doctor Strange himself who goes Master Swordsman against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War with a conjured sword... and does better than Knife Nut Drax.
  • This is almost a requirement in The Sorcerer's Apprentice. It actually makes sense that every magic-user would also be adept in some sort of weapons or hand-to-hand training, as its specifically stated that the masquerade is to be kept up when possible, so it would make sense to be able to defend oneself without magic (and in the ages where Balthazar, Horvath and Sun Lok rose from, one needed to be able to defend oneself and others against a variety of mundane threats). This also explains why Drake and Dave aren't this trope and more of the Squishy Wizard variety; one's a celebrity who undoubtedly has excellent security, and the other's a high-level student/researcher who has no need to learn self-defense.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Jedi and the Sith use the Force to give them a number of magical powers as well as swordfight effectively with their lightsabers.
    • Count Dooku in Attack of the Clones may best exemplify this, as he first defeated two Jedi effortlessly (Anakin and Obi-Wan), then fought Yoda with the Force to a draw, then finally fought Yoda with a lightsaber before finally retreating. It is unclear whether he was losing or simply realizing that fighting Yoda to the death was counterproductive. The effect was much improved by Christopher Lee, Dooku's actor, being an expert fencer.
    • The fact that Spaceballs is an Affectionate Parody of Star Wars makes Lone Starr a parody of this trope as well.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse has a variant with Psylocke, demonstrated by her Dual Wielding of both an actual sword and a psionic one made with her powers.

  • The Enchanter in Blood Sword becomes an excellent fighter at high levels (though still the worst out of all 4 classes in damage output and chance of hitting a foe) and he does more damage hitting enemies with his sword than using the weaker of his spells on them.
  • In the The Citadel of Chaos gamebook, the player is a master wizard with some additional swordsmanship skills. His (or her) spell selection doesn't include anything for destroying his enemies, though: Just stab your blade to their gut and be done with it. (The fire spell could, probably, be used to this purpose, but the book won't allow it.)
  • Pip from the GrailQuest series uses both magic (being somewhat Merlin's disciple) and a sword (Excalibur Junior).
  • Lone Wolf:
    • Lone Wolf and the rest of the Kai are an order of divinely empowered Magic Knights, although most of their powers are psychic in nature.
    • The Vakeros of Dessi are also an example, being warriors who use Old Kingdom Magic.
    • In the Grand Master books, Lone Wolf can learn Old Kingdom Magic and Left-Handed Magic (called Kai-Alchemy in the books) making him a true Magic Knight. At higher skill levels these two disciplines even provide spells that can actually be used in combat.
    • On the villains' side, Lone Wolf can duel against a Ziran in Book 10, a Drakkar in full armor and fighting with a Magic Wand.
  • Sorcery! allows you to play either as a fighter or a wizard. Being a wizard, however, only result in a moderate Skill reduction. You have just as many Hit Points as the fighter (although magic being Cast from Hit Points, it's a necessity) and can use a sword or any weapon and item increasing you fighting skills.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Heroes from Celtic Mythology were often this, to the point where it was considered out of the norm for a prominent legendary figure to have only skill in the blade or only skill in magic, because of this however they were more often than not monsters in the battlefield
  • One of the most famous cases of this trope is Sun Wukong besides being a Trickster Archetype, the Monkey King was acknowledged for being the most dangerous in combat and for being a master of the Taoist Arts and Miracles, which only made him even more dangerous considering his temper and his penchant for mischief.
  • Legends from Hindu Mythology also went into this trope more often than not, but in this case the fact that they were One-Man Armies was the most tame case scenario, in the most prominent, such as Arjuna, Karna, Rama, Hanuman and Indrajit they could very well destroy the universe if they weren't careful.
  • Athena from Classical Mythology zigzags this trope by having some magical powers (like turning people into spiders), and also being the Goddess of War. However, she's never seen fighting with both at once.

  • Jon Snow in A Dragon of the North. Due to the setting's Low Fantasy nature, this makes him a force to be reckoned with. Even though he doesn't use it openly.
  • Fate/Nuovo Guerra features Celestina Barbieri, who uses her wind magecraft to boost her sword's effectiveness, along with reinforcing her body. There's also Kosviel von Einzbern, who uses her family's alchemic expertise to craft superior bladed weapons for her personal use.


    Visual Novels 
  • Dreamscape: Vladmare has got several powers like creating portals and sending out waves of energy, and that sword isn't just for show.
    • Vampire Lord used to be one where he was known as Vampire Knight, as his flashback in 'Confronting the Dark' reveals. However, The Empire deemed knights as worthless because of the vamparic reflexes of their people. Vampire Knight, however, fell through the cracks. This was a good thing, because his armor protected him fron the Fog of Doom that plauged the Underworld.
  • Fate/stay night: Even though Servants use mana to strengthen themselves note  and use magical equipment, they would still generally be classified as fighters. Said magical equipment is generally capable of releasing magical bursts of energy, but they are not used in the same way that mages cast spells; these attacks are probably more analogous to Ki Manipulation. However, there are exceptions that include genuine examples: Lancer primarily relies on his lance and fighting skills but also knows Celtic rune magic and would have qualified for summoning in the Caster class as well (indeed, in Fate/Grand Order he can be summoned as Caster). Archer is a mage who uses his unique ability to make a Pocket Dimension that creates copies of legendary weapons of him to use, and while wielding any weapon he can also copy the skills of the original owner, essentially using his magic to make himself a knight. Because he is the protagonist's future self, Shirou also qualifies for the same reasons.
    Web Animation 
  • Rinoa in Dead Fantasy is shown to be rather handy with her melee weapons, as well as capable of summoning tornadoes and freezing lava solid.
  • RWBY:
    • Winter and Weiss Schnee are incredibly versatile fighters via the Schnee Family's hereditary semblance, Glyphs. On top of being very fast and skilled with her Royal Rapier, Weiss specifically also carries a number of Dust capsules. She's not as powerful as Yang, but can boost her hitting power with Red Dust. She's not as fast as Ruby, but she can boost her speed and the speed of others with Yellow Glyphs. And both sisters can strike from any range with various elemental attacks (though she seems to prefer ice) and can conjure up glyphs which act as barriers and platforms, but the Schnee Semblance's trump card is Summoning, which lets them summon various foes to fight for them from beyond the grave.
    • To say nothing of the Four Maidens, who have actual magical abilities on top of being skilled female warriors. The Maidens seen so far — Amber, Cinder Fall and Raven Branwen — have all demonstrated a number of incredible powers that put them on par with Physical Goddesses, as they are the embodiment of the four seasons. These include flight, telekinesis, various elemental attacks (Maidens are not limited to the season they represent) such as lightning strikes and fireballs, and weather manipulation.
    • Of course, let's not forget the fact that the Maiden's powers were given to them by Ozma, described precisely as a magically-empowered knight from the ancient civilization he and Salem came from — where magic was a gift from the gods, accessible in each and every person. Yes, every single human in the ancient civilization had all of the Maiden's powers, along with many of them being knights and warriors.
    • Pyrrha Nikos fights with a sword/spear and shield as weapons. She also has a semblance that allows her to manipulate magnetism which she can use in both covert and overt ways. She usually uses it to slightly manipulate her opponents' weapons and armor without them knowing it.

    Web Original 
  • In Mother of Learning, Zorian's friend Taiven was trained in non-magical fighting since she was a small girl before going on to learn combat magic at the academy.
  • Many fighters in Nocte Yin are adept at both magic and weaponry.
  • In the Whateley Universe, Fey is currently turning herself from a Squishy Wizard into this. She's learning Tai Chi and swordfighting. Considering who she's up against, this is a good thing.
  • From The Worldbuild Project, both the Sword-Dancers and Justicars of the Rohomajeshi fit this description to some extent.

    Web Videos 


Video Example(s):


Velstadt, the Royal Aegis

A trusted knight who faithfully served King Vendrick in life, Velstadt went for the Undead Crypt on Vendrick's orders and remained there with the Fenito and a contingent of royal guards, standing watch over the crypt to this very day and inexplicably slaughtering any who enter.

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