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"Tom Riddle me this, you bitch:
How's your little wand gonna beat my staff?"
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The Simple Staff is quite versatile and coincidentally happens to resemble a really big Magic Wand, so it's no surprise that Wizards and Witches who want to add that extra kick to their spells, or who've decide they're tired of being a Squishy Wizard and want to be able to fight physically, often pick up a Magic Staff.

A Magic Staff is a Magic Wand which is large and substantial enough to be a viable melee weapon. In that sense, it is a Magic Wand first and a melee-weapon second. The magical Simple Staff version is probably the most common and most deadly in physical combat, but canes, clubs and mace-like rods are also viable versions of a Magic Staff, should their shapes be taken advantage of. Sometimes the staff itself is magic, though other times it's just a Magic Focus Object with little inherent ability of its own. Often a Magic Staff acts as a weapon to be used when a character's Black Magic is exhausted or otherwise not working. For a Magic Staff which is often used in melee combat or Full-Contact Magic, the staff is usually much more modestly-sized and decorated than the staff of a mage that isn't taking advantage of the Magic Staff's melee-abilities.

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While almost no carrier of this weapon will hesitate to wield their Magic Staff as best they can in physical combat should the need arise, for some the point isn't a Magic Staff's melee attributes but that a Magic Staff is a Magic Wand but better. They are generally considered more powerful than the traditional Magic Wand, and can be elaborate to the point of Awesome, but Impractical. It's not uncommon to see staves with huge gems, floating rings and just plain unlikely hugeness, and since Bigger Is Better, and Cooler Is Also Better a large, decorative staff is usually the sign of a powerful mage. Another common variant is having a skull or bone sticked on a staff, commonly wielded by necromancers and warlocks to emphasize the motif of death.

Wizards of all kinds are known for carrying Magic Staves, which often go hand in hand with Robe and Wizard Hat. In fact, sometimes the Magic Staff functions almost purely as Stock Costume Traits for magic-users. The Magic Staff is also the signature weapon of the White Magician Girl.

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Note that as a Magic Staff was used by Moses in The Bible, this trope is Older Than Feudalism.

A subtrope of both Magic Wand and Simple Staff. Related to the Boom Stick. Often paired with Robe and Wizard Hat as part of the gear for a Wizard Classic.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Eriol has one in Cardcaptor Sakura. It's made out of what appears to be gold, and has a sun motif on the top.
  • Common among the mages of Delicious in Dungeon. Marcille made her own and named it Ambrosia.
  • Mystogan from Fairy Tail uses five different staves in varying combinations for his magic. It's actually because he has no magic himself due to being from the Alternate Universe of Edolas, but his staves contain large amounts of magical power that let him cast his spells.
  • Mage characters in .hack//SIGN use magic staves, including Tsukasa, Helba, and BT.
  • Staves in the world of Lyrical Nanoha primarily serve as Magic from Technology Wizard Wands, and they're Swiss Army Weapons that usually become BFGs, BFSes or both.
  • Negi Springfield in Mahou Sensei Negima! carries a staff most of the time when doing magic. It serves as a focus for his spells and he also uses it to fly in a manner resembling a Flying Broomstick. Also, as the story progresses and his skills in magic increase, he tends to use the staff less and less: The magic ring Eva gave him is less cumbersome, and he grows to rely less on that as well.
  • Nami's Clima Tact from One Piece is Magic from Technology, but functions within the story like a Magic Staff. Sort of interesting in that it started out life as a regular Bo staff, and Usopp built her what would become her weapon specifically to do parlor tricks and "attacks".
  • Elie eventually picks one up in Rave Master.
  • Slaynn, a powerful wizard from Record of Lodoss War, utilizes a simple hooked wooden staff.
  • Sailor Pluto from Sailor Moon wields the stylish Garnet Rod which looks much like a key fitting her role as the Guardian of the Door of Space-Time. The staff is in turn topped by the Garnet Orb, a magical object in itself and one of 3 Magical Talismans that create the holy grail or Awaken Sailor Saturn depending on the Media.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 8, Xiao Haha has four magical staffs, each with a specific elemental power (fire, air, electricity, and ice), hidden in his Portal Book A History of Magic. The Supermen have to find them in order to awaken the Global Leader from his sleep.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • In Runaways, Nico Minoru wields the Staff of One, which is said to "make Dread Dormammu tremble". It hides in her body and she needs to shred her own blood to summon it. It allows her to cast any spell she wants, but only once — if she tries to use the same spell again, the results will be completely random (it happens rarely, once summoning a flock of flamingos and once teleporting her into the middle of the desert). On several occasions, as Nico has endured a lot of horrible pain, the staff transforms into a more powerful form. It is later revealed that the Staff of One is actually a prison for a very powerful mage called the One whom Nico's ancestor defeated (though she was no hero — she was simply a more effective villain than the One). All of the annoying and painful elements of wielding the Staff of One are actually the One's means of getting what little payback he can on the people keeping him trapped and exploiting his power.
  • Throne of Atlantis features two magic scepters: Ocean Master's scepter controls the seas, and the Dead King's Scepter controls the Trench and is wielded by Vulko, Aquaman's loyal friend.
  • The version of Ice from Wonder Woman and the Star Riders uses a magic staff capped with an often glowing crystal.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • All of the Lords and some Hirebrands (wood-wizards) in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant wield magical staves; the High Lord's Staff of Law, created by legendary hero Berek Halfhand, is a particularly powerful and plot-centric artifact throughout the series both the original and its replacement. On a more sinister note, the ur-vile loremasters also tend to channel their powers through rods, spears, or the like.
  • In the Circle of Magic universe, every Trader carries a six foot staff capped at both ends with engraved brass caps. Daja uses hers as a weapon, a walking stick and a magic wand, as needed. However, once she becomes an outcast Trader, she's not allowed to have engraved caps or carvings along the staff showing her life story (until she gets re-adopted by the caravan in Daja's Book). And in Cold Fire, when she gets mage-students of her own, there's an amusing exchange when they ask when they get to have cool staffs and if they can bling them out with jewels and ribbons, whereupon Daja points out that outside of plays they've probably never seen another mage who carries a staff, as they have no magical properties; she just uses hers for magic because she carries it anyway.
  • In Conan the Barbarian, while Conan is king of Aquilonia, a group of evil wizards from Stygia tries to kill him. However a rival evil wizard group from Khitai attacks the first group. These Khitan wizards are armed with staves cut from the Tree of Death, which gives them One-Hit Kill power. With these staves, the Khitans are able to beat the Stygians, though only one Khitan survivor remains, whom Conan cuts down with a sword.
  • Akhlaur, Big Bad of Counselors and Kings, is a necromancer and water mage who wields a staff that's actually a live eel he forced into that shape and petrified, apparently while still conscious. No word on if it returned to normal after he died.
  • In Discworld, the staff is the preferred tool of wizards, and a major plot point in Equal Rites and Sourcery. In Soul Music, Archancellor Ridcully recommends a staff because even if you run out of magic, you've still got six foot of solid bog-oak at your disposal. Works nine times out of ten.
  • In The Dresden Files:
    • The main character wields both a staff and a blasting rod, as foci for his magic. Harry's blasting rod and his staff have different functions. The staff allows him to use magic more subtly, enabling him to have a much finer control over wind or telekinesis magic. The blasting rod, on the other hand, does Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Harry uses it to control his power and unleash extremely powerful evocations in tightly focused beams - although in a few cases, he ends up using such magic without needing the rod.
    • Staves appear elsewhere in the books as well; Luccio and Ramirez favor much shorter staves, usually under five feet in length, while the Merlin himself goes for a tall, polished white staff. Also, Eldest Gruff uses a staff, though more for walking. It's not universal however, as Elaine Mallory uses an enchanted chain, as it can be hidden more effectively. She also makes fun of the old-fashionedness and phallicness of staffs/wands. She has a thorn wand, lariat, and enchanted chain. Ebenezar McCoy uses a staff very similar to Harry's normally, but when he needs to really kick ass, he breaks out the Blackstaff, which is described as a wooden staff covered in pure darkness, and is capable of killing hundreds of men instantly by simply extinguishing their vital functions. Mother Winter apparently had a staff as well, although it's simply described as a walking stick, and since losing it she finds it very painful to travel, making it harder to summon her.
    • Harry likes his staff not just for the versatility, but because it has several enchanted functions (it's very hard) that allow him to bend prison bars, among other things. It's also handy for thwacking people. A security guard requires him to check it once for that reason. It's also handy when you want to motorcycle-joust against a limo. Yes, that happened. Yes, it was awesome.
    • Something of note is that most of a focus's power relies on the belief of the wizard using them, although some of them are spelled. Elaine's chain is an interesting example because it also plugs into wall sockets to build up charge. It's one of the few, if not the only, functional mixes of mortal magic and technology in the entire series.
  • In Dragoneyes graduates of the University of the Green Tower get to carry a staff. And Amniel, even though he dropped out.
  • In Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books, wizards trained on Roke are distinguished from mere sorcerers by carrying staves. Ged is awarded a staff made of yew bound with copper in A Wizard of Earthsea. When it is lost in Osskil, Ogion makes him a replacement from a length of wood formerly intended for a longbow. Wizards of Paln, certainly Seppel in The Other Wind, and at first Cob in The Farthest Shore, do not seem to use staves—but Cob does acquire the metal staff of the Pelnish Grey Mage later in the book.
  • In the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, all wizards carry staves which automatically absorb magic from the environment, in order to power their spells. The effect causes an allergic reaction in magical creatures such as dragons, and is harmful to extremely magical areas such as the Enchanted Forest. Wizards store their spells in their staves, so although they are nigh-indestructible, hiding one will seriously inconvenience its wizard, though he will always find it eventually. The fact that their powers rely on magical theft is one of the things that make wizards Always Chaotic Evil in the books.
  • Heralds of Valdemar series includes Tarma and Kethry short stories. In one of those, one of Kethry's classmates at the mage school they attended stole their teacher's staff, convinced that it was a powerful Magic Staff that could propel her to instant mastery. She broke it and fled the school after finally figuring out that it was just a Simple Staff - the only thing special about it was that it was just the right length to help him with his limp.
  • Justified to some extent in the Her Majesty's Wizard series by Christopher Stasheff. Wands in that series (and staves, to some extent) serve as magical "antennas", focusing a mage's spells and making them directional. Spells will still work without using a wand, or stave, but the effect is both weaker and far more easily able to be picked up by other wizards/sorcerers. Kinda the difference between using a regular radio versus one with a dish antenna. As spells in this universe are cast through poetry, this can make for some interesting duels. "He's going for the extra point!/Throw his kneecap out of joint!", etc...
  • The Iron Teeth web serial's mages use complex mechanical staffs to direct the power of their mana crystals.
  • The staff is the preferred weapon of several magicians in The Kane Chronicles.
  • Gandalf, Saruman and other wizards wield these in Lord of the Rings, using them as walking stick, badge of office, and magical accouterment all in one. Notably, Gandalf sometimes dual wields it with a glowing elven longsword, Glamdring, because he's that much of a badass. Gandalf also gets away with taking it indoors when the rest of his party have been ordered to leave their weapons at the entrance, because he can pass it off as an old man's walking stick. (And because the guard knew that the Evil Vizier was, well, an Evil Vizier, and thought Gandalf could do something about it. That latter interpretation is only in the books; in the movies it really does look like Gandalf put one over on them.)
  • A Mage's Power: This is the Weapon of Choice for Dragon's Lair mages because they can double as a Simple Staff. They're mercenaries after all, not academic researchers. One way of killing monsters is just as good as another.
  • Laenan Kite of the Mirror Duet books (Catherine Webb) uses a staff, partly to store power but mainly because it's big and heavy and good for hitting people with.
  • In Scott Meyer's Off to Be the Wizard, most "wizards" in Medieval England use staffs in their spells. In fact, a 5-foot staff is necessary for the shell program to recognize the wizard as a user. Alternatively, a wizard can use a 1.5-foot Magic Wand (a number of wizards carry collapsible backup wands in case they get separated from their staffs). A wand is typically topped with an object. Martin chooses a bust of El Santo. Jimmy has a small plasma globe. Phillip uses a bottle of Tabasco sauce (which he occasionally puts in his food and calls dragon's blood). Many Frickin' Laser Beams-type spells are coded to appear as if coming out of either a pointing hand or a staff/wand. Phillip suggests holding the staff like a rifle for a better aim. And God help you if you make the obvious joke about the staffs or wands.
    • In the sequel, a pair of "magicians" in Victorian England use their white canes for the same purpose. They do make the obvious joke, which greatly annoys Martin.
    • In the third novel, it's mentioned that the "regalia" are no longer necessary, as the wizards have realized their Achilles heel.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy, Prospero made all his children magical staffs.
  • "The Staff in the Stone" by Garth Nix: A wizard's staff is a capacitator of sorts for magic energy, which the wizard can feed into the staff at their leisure and draw on in times of need. This makes them tempting prizes for unscrupulous mages, who can "absorb" others' staves into their own and gain their power, and who can intuitively sense an unowned staff in the region. Crafting a staff is one of the final projects of a prospective wizard.
  • Ubiquitous in Ra. Making one of these Summon to Hand, however, is an item on the main character's list of "impossible things".
  • A couple of subversions in The Wheel of Time:
    • Moiraine wields a staff in the first book, but when Egwene starts fangirling over how powerful it is, Moiraine quickly shuts her down, pointing out that all the power comes from her and the staff is just a largely superfluous aid to concentration, borne out by the fact that no other Aes Sedai uses one.
    • Ba'alzamon wields a quarterstaff, but it's to all appearances a perfectly mundane staff despite the fact that he's the most powerful of the Forsaken and the local equivalent of an Evil Sorcerer. Even the Wound That Will Not Heal he inflicts with it appears to be a function of the True Power rather than any function of the object itself.
    • Played with and ultimately inverted with Nynaeve: one of the most powerful mages in the series and the village healer, she starts off carrying a staff but she only ever uses it for smacking sense into the woolheaded men of her village and eventually loses it somewhere and it's never brought up again.
  • The Knights of the Word in Terry Brook's Word And Void books use a Magic Staff as their primary weapon.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ace Lightning: Lord Fear's staff can fire energy blasts and can talk and move on his own.
  • Merlin, from Merlin has two staffs, a Sidhe staff he's used on a couple occasions, and a staff from the Crystal Cave in the series finale. Both are capable of channeling lightning (or at least something that looks like it) and utilizing it as a weapon. There's also Alator, a sorcerer who uses a staff, and the Disir, three female soothsayers armed with staffs.
  • The title character of the kids' game show Raven has a Staff of Power starting in Series 2 which is apparently the source of most of his magical abilities. A Staff of Power is also given to the winner of each series from series 2 until series 11 in-universe (in real life, the winner of each series got a different prize such as a holiday).
  • Super Sentai/Power Rangers:

    Pinball 

    Religion 
  • In The Bible:
    • Moses' staff transforming into a snake and back is one of the signs God gives Moses of his calling from God, and foreshadows the miracles God will perform through Moses and the staff.
    • God tells Moses to raise his staff (or tells Moses to tell his brother Aaron to raise his staff) to cause the ten plagues on Egypt. Then, when the Israelites are fleeing Pharaoh's army, God tells Moses to raise his staff to divide the sea so they can cross safely on dry land.
    • Moses strikes a rock with his staff to cause water to come out of the rock. Worth noting that God did not authorize him to do this, and warned that Moses would have to pay for it later. (He gets to see the land the Israelites will settle, but dies before he can go there.)
    • Soon after, in a battle with the Amalekites, the Israelites would trounce their foes as long as Moses held his staff high. They start losing when his arm gets tired, so some folks get a rock for him to sit on, while his brother and another fellow help him hold the staff up the rest of the day.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has had a plethora of magical staffs. Here are just a few of them:
    • Staff of Power and Staff of the Magi. Famous not for their potent magical abilities, but for the Retributive Strike power: when deliberately broken, the staff explodes like a bomb, almost certainly killing all nearby opponents. The wielder has a 50% chance of traveling to another plane and a 50% chance of being annihilated.
    • Staff of Command. Exceptionally good at Mind Controling opponents.
    • Staff of the Serpent. Changes into a snake to attack your enemies. Comes in python (constriction) and adder (poisonous bite) versions.
    • Staff of Striking. When you want to administer a personal beat down.
    • Staff of Withering. Can cause the victim to age ten years and suffer a withered limb (arm/leg).
    • Catstaff. Gives a variety of powers that help thieves, such as climbing walls, moving silently and hiding in shadows.
    • Demon Staff. Allows the wielder to summon a minor demon or change themselves into one.
    • Staff of the Elements. Its powers depend on which type of elemental is trapped inside of it. For example, a fire elemental would allow fire-related powers.
    • Immovable Rod. An iron rod with a button at the end that forces the rod to stay in one place and hold up to 8000 pounds of weight before failing. One "clever" way of abusing it is having the rod be really immovable from that one spot and have the planet's rotation force people into hitting at high speeds... that is if you're in a heliocentric system and not a geocentric one, or even within another plane (or your DM is not a total idiot).
    • In 4th edition, magic staves can be used both as weapons and as a means of empowering magic attacks, if you happen to belong to one of the few classes that allows it. Also, some wizards can get defense bonuses for using one, possibly by spinning it if you choose to think of it that way.
  • GURPS features an enchantment spell called Staff, which can be used to turn a staff into a magic device which lets a wizard cast spells through it (so, for instance, touching them with the staff counts as touching the target directly). Since GURPS magic has very limited range, this is rather useful.
  • Ironclaw: Most mage careers (Paladins have a sword) start out with a "rod" made from wood or metal associated with their school of magic. They can load spells into them for easier counterspelling, and they have a bonus to parrying attacks just like a regular staff.
  • Pathfinder:
    • A number of magic staff items exist in the game:
      • The Shadowstaff grants its wielder power over shadows.
      • The Staff of Heaven and Earth is an ancient artifact that can be used to cast several spells pertaining to the elements of earth and air.
      • The Staff of the Slain is an intelligent quarterstaff with two personalities — a wizard and a dragon which switch control of the staff at morning and dusk — that can be used to make any given energy-based spell deal electric damage.
    • Four of the game's iconic magic-user characters — the sorcerer Seoni, the wizard Ezren, the witch Feiya and the Necromancer Nyctessa — carry staffs of varying degrees of ornateness, which they are sometimes depicted as using as foci for their spells.
    • Magical staves are generally not designed for physical combat, but there is an interesting archetype of the Magus class that specializes in staff fighting; at higher levels a Staff Magus can wield a magic staff as a quarterstaff and can even cast spells from it while striking.
  • 'Warhammer 40,000'': An odd example come as a type of force weapon, rare weapons designed to channel a psychic's potential and release it in melee. While swords tend to be just as common, force staves tend to be elaborately decorated and may also confer other bonuses, such as acting as a psychic focus. Because psychic power is treated in a way that means it kind-of-is, kind-of-isn't magic, the trope stays in full effect.
  • In Warhammer Fantasy, one of the '80s supplemental books was Realms of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned. In that book, one magic item is the Staff of Nurgle. Point it at an enemy and maggots will geyser out of their orifices and strip the flesh off their bones. The remaining pile of maggots becomes a battlefield hazard.

    Theatre 
  • In William Shakespeare's The Tempest, Prospero has a staff not a wand, and resolves to bury it when he gives up his magic: "this rough magic/ I here abjure... I'll break my staff,/ Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,/ And deeper than did ever plummet sound/ I'll drown my book."

    Theme Parks 

    Toys 
  • LEGO toys have featured several variations of staffs made of various pole-shaped pieces and decoration, though there aren't any pieces designated solely for the purpose of being a staff.
  • Playmobil toys have featured several magical characters, and so there are three different varieties of magical staffs. One looks like it's made of metal and holds a magic orb between its two prongs (this is used by evil sorcerers), one looks like a twisted tree branch with a gem inside it (this is used by fairies, nature spirits, and wizards), and one appears to be made of magic energy with pearlescent decorations around the orb and bottom end (this is used by fairies or related magical females).

    Video Games 
  • The Cresceptre in The Adventures Of Square, which can shoot homing projectiles at the nearby enemies.
  • Staves are the chosen weapon of Alice, Routier and Apli in Agarest Senki Zero.
  • Riannon channels magic through this staff in Aquapazza.
  • In Arcanum, staffs can store Mana that can be used instead of a mage's own Fatiguenote  or even contain spells of their own.
  • The Staves of Eden in the Assassin's Creed series are an artifact left over from the Precursor civilization that have shown up several times in history as Moses' Staff, the Papal Staff and Russian Imperial Sceptre, among others, the Staves allow the users to exercise Mind Control. Eventually Nikola Tesla and the Assassins decided to destroy the facility where the Templars were keeping it and take it for themselves, but the resulting explosion destroyed the staff itself and was so large that it came to be known as the Tunguska Event.
  • Atelier:
  • In Avencast: Rise of the Mage, every mage wields a staff; for the player character, they augment his magical or combat abilities in various ways, and he can't use magic without one. The staff serves as a magically-augmented melee weapon of choice for the Path of Blood Magic Knights, while for the Pure Magic-wielding Path of Soul, it mostly makes their Magical Gestures that much more grandiose.
  • Pretty much all the mage-like units in Battle for Wesnoth have these. The only exceptions are the White Magi and Magi of Light, who carry morningstars for melee instead, and the Dark Adepts, who need to carry nothing for their spellcasting, but are also completely helpless in melee.
  • In Cobra Mission, Faythe has an affinity with the equivalent, called an Esper Rod.
  • J.P. Dummond in the "Vendettas" section of The Darkness II wields The Midnight Stick, which amounts to this.
  • In the fourth Dark Parables game, The Red Riding Hood Sisters, Briar Rose carries a magic staff that shoots out thorny vines to combat the wolves.
  • Dark Souls calls them Catalysts, but the idea is the same, and they still look like a traditional staff, only usually rougher and unshaped by tools. Dark Souls II straight-up calls them staves, and gives them a more polished form. Dark Souls III goes back to calling them Catalysts.
  • Diablo loves these:
    • The first game had elaborate staves with some of them even having blades on either end. Almost all of them had some powerful spells, and high melee damage.
    • The second game, had simpler staves that provided bonuses to sorceress' skills. They also had high melee damage, but are not likely to be used in an actual fight. An exception to this is the unique staff "Ribcracker", which is a fairly popular weapon for shapeshifter druids who don't have access to the high end expensive runewords.
  • In Dragalia Lost, only fire one projectile at a time (unlike more rapid-firing wands), but will always have healing magic at the ready instead.
  • In Dragon Age, 90% of magic-wielders use staffs as their primary weapon.
    • Dragon Age: Origins starts the trend, although Arcane Warriors can cast certain spells while using melee weapons. There's only one sword exclusive to Arcane Warriors in the entire game.
    • Dragon Age II turns combat with a Mage's Staff into an veritable art-form of destruction, as in addition to the spells they rapidly fling across the battlefield from both ends of the staff, the Mages seem to now favour Wushu-esque moves that rapidly spin and twirl the staff around their whole bodies. A common finishing move is to slam the Staff on the ground that sends the spell across the ground towards their enemy. In close-quarter melee, most staffs also have blades attached for the mage to slam into their opponents.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition carries on the staff-twirling and melee moves. You can also upgrade your staff, like other weapons, to give it a hefty damage upgrade or other effects.
  • The Wizard and Sorceress in Dragon's Crown use their staves to fire blasts of energy and cast other magic.
  • Mages, Magick Archers and Mystic Knights can enhance their Magick (not a typo) capabilities in Dragon's Dogma.
  • Rungard casts through such a staff in Dual Blades.
  • Dungeon Defenders has these in multitudes of varieties, with stat modifiers applying to many aspects of the wizard and his deployable towers. If you upgrade one all the way, you can name it whatever you'd like.
  • Staves, along with Magic Wands, are the standard option for magic combat in RuneScape, serving as the means for casting combat spells. Some staves provide runes for magic combat, while others have unique special attacks and passive effects. In addition, a few spells can only be cast while wielding a certain type of staff.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons Online, one-handed scepters generally fulfill this role, commonly being enchanted with spell enhancements. It's quite normal to see wizards and sorcerers (and perhaps the occasional cleric or favored soul) dual-wield scepters, dooming their physical damage potential to minuscule levels, but providing substantial bonuses for magic.
  • In Dungeons Of Dredmor, the Staff Mastery skill tree gives bonuses to magic and mana regeneration when wielding staves (in addition to the bonuses in bashing monsters on the head).
  • In all versions of The World, the centerpiece of .hack//, staves are standard equipment for Wavemasters and Harvest Clerics.
  • Pang Tong and Zhang Jiao's Weapon of Choice in Dynasty Warriors and Aya in Samurai Warriors.
    • Hyrule Warriors gives Lana one of these, though the second and third-tier weapon upgrades refer to it as a spear. She uses it both for melee combat and for casting.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Historically in the series, magic staves have been a favored weapon of the Bretons of High Rock, and may even be where the originated. It makes sense, as the Bretons are a natural Witch Species (thanks to their traces of elven blood) with defensive Anti-Magic traits, making them excellent in Magic Knight and Mage Killer roles.
    • Likewise, magical staves are a common tool for liches, further enhancing their already formidable magical prowess.
    • The series has several recurring Legendary Weapon artifact staves. To note:
      • Perhaps the most prominent is the Staff of Magnus, associated with the God of Magic who served as the architect for Mundus, the mortal plane. It is variously capable of channeling, absorbing, and suppressing extreme amounts of magical energy. Magnus is said to have used it during the creation of Mundus as a "metaphysical battery". Some legends claim that it was abandoned when he fled during the creation of Mundus. Others claim that it was a gift to mortals. Still others claim that it was stolen from him by mortals. Whatever the case, it has been one of the preeminent magical staves on Nirn. It is also said to leave its wielder whenever that wielder becomes too powerful, so it doesn't upset the mystical balance of Mundus.
      • Another artifact staff is Wabbajack, associated with Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness. It randomly turns things into other things. It may turn a bandit into a sheep, or a wheel of cheese, or a Daedroth. It's mostly just for fun, making it a Cool, but Inefficient Joke Item.
      • The Skull of Corruption is an artifact staff associated with Vaermina, the Daedric Prince of Nightmares. It has the power to steal the dreams of sleeping mortals in order to increase its own power. In various instances, it has either allowed the caster to create clones of the staff's target (who then fight for the caster) or it casts a damaging spell which gets stronger if it has stolen dreams.
      • The Staff of Worms is associated with the infamous Lich/Necromancer, Mannimarco. It has the power to revive dead bodies to fight of the staff's wielder.
    • Morrowind has them as a variety of two-handed Blunt Weapon. Actually striking opponents with them should be a last resort, as they are not particularly strong weapons, but they are highly enchantable, with the Ebony Staff having the highest potential for enchantment out of any weapon in the game.
    • Oblivion: Staves are just oversized magic wands, with no bludgeoning functionality. The idea is that they hold powerful spells to save you dipping into your personal supply of magicka.
    • Skyrim features magic staffs, which can each cast a predetermined spell a limited number of times. The amount depends on your skill with the type of spell the staff casts. E.g. A high skill in Destruction gets you tons of uses out of a Lightning staff. After the staff is depleted, it needs to be recharged from a soul gem. What makes it even better is followers who know nothing about magic can use staves, in other words, you can beef up Dark Brotherhood Initiates and Stormcloak/Imperial/Thalmor Captives with dozens of Destruction Magic Staves.
  • In Enclave, these are used by Wizards and Druids on the Light side, as well as Liches and Sorceresses on the Darkness one.
  • Both Sayuri Kurata and Kano Kirishima use a magic wand or staff in the 2D fighting game Eternal Fighter Zero. Sayuri's wand is more of a Magical Girl type wand, with transforming powers. Kano's is modeled after the staffs used in fantasy role-playing games, fitting alongside her various tiers of elemental magic and her unique MP gauge.
  • Reinherz and Lysty use enchanted staves in Eternal Legacy.
  • Wizards fight with these staves in Fantasy Life.
  • In Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark, rods and staves are the weapons of choice for most magic-using classes. Staves increase the range of the wielder’s spells and provide bonuses to their magic-related stats, while rods greatly increase the wielder’s Mind and may also provide elemental resistance or boost the power of elemental spells.
  • The various Mage classes in the Final Fantasy games can equip rods and staves as their traditional weaponry. For example:
    • In Final Fantasy VI, rods can be equipped to boost magic stats and give enemies an elemental thwack to the head, or broken to release a powerful spell of the associated elemental type.
    • In both Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 (which are much more closely related than most of the Ivalice Alliance games), we get not only poles, but also staves and rods, which are even more suited for magic-wielding characters since they boost magical power.
    • In Final Fantasy XII, at least, staves' attack damage are calculated from a character's magic power as well as their strength while giving a substantial bonus to magic power and usually a damage bonus to one element. Rods give smaller magic bonuses and are based entirely on strength, but also boost MP and some can cause beneficial status effects.
    • Final Fantasy XI have the famous Elemental Staves, which can be used by all jobs and provide bonuses and augments that even non mage jobs want.
  • While Fire Emblem does have staves (which are mostly used for healing), magic books serve as the game's version of Magic Wand.
  • In Fly FF, Mages can wield staves, with their second class the Elementor specialising in them. Similarly, the Assist, and its second classes the Ringmaster and Billposter, use a stick for buffs and heals. Both are a bit slow in melee, but they rarely if ever actually use them for fighting directly.
  • Gift has such a staff, powered by magic crystals...but whose powers are entirely melee-based.
  • The Harvest Cleric class uses these in Dot Hack GU.
  • In Happy Wars, mages fire their projectiles through these.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic II and III the liches use staves. In II and III the Magi also use staves, which kind of fits, as liches are undead wizards.
    • The RPG games had Staff as a weapon skill from VI onward. In VI, it was simply one of the few weapon skills available to the Sorceror. In VII and VIII, it was also the weapon skill the Sorceror (VII)/Necromancer (VIII) could get best at. Random staves tended (although weren't always) to be either non-magical or have various boni to bludgeoning people with them, but unique staves consistently had some kind of strengthening of magical power, whether it be boosts to one or several magical skills, increasing magic-relevant attributes, or both.
  • Pearl of Heroes of Newerth has a staff enchanted to shoot out...bubbles.
  • A Sorceress character in Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok always carries one, and can cast Energy Ball attacks through it at any time, along with the other kinds of magic.
  • Hexyz Force features Cecilia's Ragnafact.
  • High Noon Drifter features The Gate of Anthrakia staff fires a stream of fire and surrounds the Drifter with damaging flames in its alt-fire.
  • The Mages in Hordes.io use these for their spellcasting, and upgrading them improves not only their damage, but also critical chance, MP pool and MP regeneration. They start with the Level 1 "Broken Twig", and can ascend up to the level 95 Deathweaver.
  • The Staff of Ra acts as one in Immortal Redneck.
  • Carol in Jay's Journey can use these, along with staves.
  • Enchanted staffs are just one of the weapons Pit can use in Kid Icarus: Uprising.
  • These are used by most of the magic-centered characters in King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame.
  • There are five of them in Thelast.io: three elemental ones (of the Fire, Ice, Lightning kind) that fire projectiles directly, and two (Poison and Meteor) that indirectly damage a circular area, but only after a sizeable delay. The latter are much more powerful, but are often easier to dodge. Both types of staffs also consume player's mana when used, and the Poison/Meteor ones also consume a lot more per use.
  • Legend of Grimrock has the Shaman Staff, though it's only there to amplify the power of the Earth spells.
  • All over the place in Lost Odyssey. Not only are they used by the game's various magic users, but Magitek devices often have ones built in that swing like pendulums to generate magic energy. The real stand out, though, is Grandstaff, a Mage Tower designed to act like a massive broadcast antenna for magic instead of radio waves, making it a Magic Staff turned Up to Eleven.
  • There are several in Magic Rampage, as you would expect from the name. Two standouts are the Staff of Gadarast and the Staff of Oxyomo.
  • In the Director's Cut version of Manos: The Hands of Fate, Torgo wields one when he's playable after beating the game.
  • Rod of Justice acts as an equivalent to one in Naughty Bear.
  • Downplayed in NetHack; a wizard starts the game with a quarterstaff, but it is used solely to physically assault monsters; spellcasting either comes entirely from within, or uses a different wand for each spell.
  • In Panzer Bandit, Miu carries one, which sports a happy face on its tip.
  • In the Paper Mario series, there are a couple.
  • Path of Exile uses both this trope and Simple Staff. Staff weapons can be created with either physical attack bonuses or serve as a Stat Stick with spell bonuses.
  • Phantasy Star Online has Rods, Canes(staves), and Wands available to Forces. Rods are basic, canes have longer reach, and Wands give a bonus to your Magic stats.
  • The Voodoo Staff in Pirates of the Caribbean Online. It is generally the final weapon a player will unlock in a playthrough, and unlike its other magic counterpart, the Voodoo Doll, it cannot heal allies, and instead focuses purely on offensive play with powerful voodoo hexes.
  • In Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, this is one of the limitations that common witches are bound under: they may only perform witchcraft if they have a staff embedded with magic gems on hand. The staff itself isn't worth dirt without any gems, and a witch has to actually touch the staff to use magic.
  • Quest for Glory lets Wizard characters obtain a magic staff in games 3 through 5. In 3 and 4 it's only somewhat useful (no mana consumption while active, but moving at all de-summons it), but it received a major overhaul in 5 (where it has its own regenerating mana supply and can be used until it runs out and needs a recharge, greatly extending the player's mana) and became useful.
  • The Mages of Ragnarok Odyssey require these for their spellcasting, while the Clerics go for the classic combo of shield and a mace.
  • In the Rune Factory series, the player can purchase staffs and wands that significantly amplify magic power (particularly offensive spells like Fireball).
  • Both mages and priests wield staves for their spellcasting in Shadow Era.
  • This is Asrael's primary weapon and means of spellcasting in Shadows of Adam.
  • Spellcasters in all of the Shining Series, both Black Mages and White Mages, wield staves as their Weapon of Choice.
  • In Stick War, the Magikill wield these, and either conjure explosions that stun their enemy at range, or stun those that get into a melee with them.
  • In Tales of Maj'Eyal staves are mostly used as Stat Sticks to improve spellpower and spell critical chance, but characters can also buy access to the Staff Combat talent category to use staves as melee weapons. Mindstars serve a similar role for bolstering mindpower, and also have the Mindstar Mastery category to turn them into weapons as well.
  • The Keystaff used by the titular character in Tobari and the Night of the Curious Moon is one.
  • Despite having a huge cast of magic-users, pretty much the only Touhou character that uses a staff is Mima, and she disappeared after the Continuity Reboot. Although that... thing Flandre has may also count.
  • Haruka wields such a staff in Vanguard Princess.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: All the staves/rods/canes/scepters/etc. give a boost to the Spirit stat, which is used to attack with, and defend against, magic, but also the Attack stat, which governs physical attack damage.
  • Wilds.io has the Ice Staff, which is used to fire icy projectiles. These deal the least damage out of all weapon attacks individually, but the overall fire rate is so high that it's easy to overwhelm less-experienced players with these. It gets even easier if you manage to hit with a special attack first, which deals no damage, will freeze the enemy in place and leave them helpless against the ensuing barrage. Nevertheless, the projectiles are individually weak and don't travel very quickly, so they be dodged, blocked or even right back at the caster.
  • In Windom XP, these are used by the Linux Iris and Primula.
  • Flora summons tornadoes through such a staff in The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road.
  • Staves in World of Warcraft tend to be caster weapons, and are generally not used to melee but merely as stat boosters. Melee-oriented staves tend to be druid weapons, and again druids don't fight with their weapons, but their claws. However, there are a few rare staves designed for warriors and other melee classes (for monks recently).
  • The Orbal Staff in Zero no Kiseki is a high-tech version of this, due to the setting's Magic from Technology angle.
  • In Ziggurat, a magic staff is one of the four available weapon types.

    Web Animation 
  • Dreamscape: Drake's staff is primarily blue and has a purple crystal.
  • RWBY: Ozma originally used to fight with a tall magical staff that was covered in swirling vine-like patterns and which was topped with a large emerald crystal. In the age of magic, it was his weapon of choice and was used to channel his magic through the emerald to blast his enemies. After his death, Salem held onto the staff, allowing his first reincarnation to be reunited with it. Thereafter, every reincarnation has carried the staff until one host eventually created the cane, The Long Memory. Since him, it's the cane that has been passed down all reincarnations until it finally reached Professor Ozpin and his successor Oscar. While the swirling patterns on the cane are identical to the patterns that adorn the original staff, the exact relationship between the cane and the staff is unknown.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • In Noob, Sparadrap gets one early in the story. The generalized post-level 100 upgrade the main cast gets later in the story includes Gaea getting a Magic Staff too.
  • Whateley Universe: The Green Brujah has a staff "provided by Quetzalcoatl, and acts as a "lens" and "power regulator" to her power, allowing the Brujah to wield much more power than she should be able to without decades of practice."

    Western Animation 


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