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Magically Inept Fighter

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Physical bruisers will tend to have limited prowess with magic, if they can even cast spells at all. This character is an absolute monster if you challenge them to a melee fight, but in a Wizard Duel they're a pushover.

Justifications for this vary. Sometimes martial and magical prowess are not mutually exclusive by nature but seldom go together because both take so much specialized training that few have the time and talent to master both. Sometimes it's enforced because Armor and Magic Don't Mix, so warriors would rather not waste time learning spells that they won't be able to use while armored. Sometimes they became fighters because they aren't gifted with the mind to do great magic. Or maybe they aren't born with the ability to use magic so they need to rely on their martial abilities. In some cases, they may be outright Weak to Magic. Or maybe there's no in-story justification at all, which can lead to the Fridge Logic that if there is no major barrier between learning both the martial and arcane arts, why hasn't this character brushed up on their magic skills?

Regardless, the real reason tends to be Competitive Balance, although if the balance is poorly implemented, Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards can happen.

This trope is only applicable in settings where it is commonplace for characters to have Functional Magic, Psychic Powers, or other supernatural abilities. If only a chosen few (or no one) has supernatural abilities in a work, then a character's lack of aptitude in the supernatural arts is not noteworthy.

Can overlap with Mage Killer if he's particularly good at fighting magic users despite lacking magical abilities. Contrast Squishy Wizard, which has strong magic but weak physical skills, Kung-Fu Wizard and Magic Knight, which is skilled with both weapons or hand-to-hand combat and magic. Compare Badass Normal, who can keep up with the super-powered despite lacking superpowers, and Un-Sorcerer, who is the only person in their society to lack magical ability.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • Kenpachi Zaraki is a physical powerhouse, able to defeat almost any opponent he faces with his overwhelming strength, but he is completely unable to tap into the higher-level zanpakuto abilities that the other Gotei 13 captains use on a regular basis because he does not know the name of his Zanpakuto until halfway into the final arc. He and the entire 11th Division also willfully avoid learning or using Kido spells, and one of his officers hides his zapakuto's true power because it resembles one.
    • Renji is a formidable fighter, but his Kido skills are lacking and he's constantly mocked for it. The closest thing he gets to using one in combat is when he uses a deliberate Magic Misfire as a point-blank explosion.
  • Kuzumi Taiga of M×0 is a normal high school student who accidentally earned a reputation at Wizarding School Seinagi Academy as a high-level magic user, despite being completely unable to use magic himself. While he is generally able to compete with his classmates and maintain this illusion with quick wits, sometimes he is forced to rely on his brute strength, which is much greater than his peers due to being forced to train in martial arts with his sister.
  • Magi: Labyrinth of Magic: The Fanalis tribe are a race that all naturally possess inhuman physical strength and speed. Even a young fanalis can easily shatter rock. As a result, they are widely feared and sought after as "the strongest race". On the other hand, they are all born with incrediblely low Magoi, and thus, even if they get their hands on a magic item, they run the risk of killing themselves should they try to use it. Interestingly, it seems those who are half Fanalis have less strength but more Magoi.
  • Rock Lee of Naruto is incapable of any ninjutsu or genjutsu (both require good chakra control), so he focuses on taijutsu (martial arts) instead. Downplayed by his mentor Might Guy: He can do some ninjutsu (Summon Magic, for example) but he simply prefers to use his fists and legs.
  • Fang-Fang Huang of Rosario + Vampire originally thinks of himself as a magic Summon Master, but eventually learns that he is more suited to physical combat since his summoning is random and rarely, if ever helpful. He does end up in a Battle Couple with an actual magic user, though.
  • Asta in Black Clover has zero magical ability in a setting where nearly everyone has at least some magic. To compensate, he spent most of his life training his body. This all pays off when he is chosen by the Five-Leaf Grimoire. Said Grimoire allows him to summon an Anti-Magic BFS, and his years of physical training made him strong enough to effectively wield the heavy weapon.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders introduces characters with the ability to manifest Stands, semi-independent spiritual entities that fight on their behalf, which would become one of the series's signature elements. Most Stands have abilities strange and powerful enough to completely change the terms of a fight (ranging from illusions, to placing Geasa on enemies, to disintegrating everything that comes near them), turning every encounter into a two-way Puzzle Boss... except for The Hero Jotaro's Stand "Star Platinum", which is simply a Lightning Bruiser with sharp senses and Nerves of Steel. In the finale of the Part, Jotaro discovers that Star Platinum does have a more conventional Stand ability, but it's exhausting enough that he can't make heavy use of it.
  • The title character of Mashle: Magic And Muscles is a boy who enrolls in Wizarding School despite having no magical ability. He instead uses Charles Atlas Superpower to get through not only fighting but any tasks he's expected to solve using magic.

  • Downplayed with Hagrid from Harry Potter. He is a half-giant who was expelled from the wizard school Hogwarts and not allowed to use magic by the Ministry (on top of his wand getting broken). Despite this, he can still cast spells with a piece of his wand hidden in his umbrella, but he has to rely much more on physical strength than the rest of the cast when it comes to fighting. Being Resistant to Magic thanks to his heritage helps, too.
  • In the Myth Adventures series Aahz is a Pervect wizard who, due to a spell cast by another wizard just before he died of unrelated causes, can't actually do any magic. Fortunately he's big and tough, and he still has the knowledge to school his apprentice Skeeve in the art of magic too.
  • In the The Dresden Files a large chunk of recurring human characters have some level of magic, as this is basically required to stand a chance against monsters, but a few plain mortals manage regardless. Murphy holds her own with years of Aikido training and a bunch of firepower. Kincaid is only part human, but his supernatural reflexes and precision are mostly put to use with a wide array of firearms. The Knights of the Cross also qualify, as they each have a Sword with a nail from the Crucifixion in them, generally operate with a healthy dose of divine coincidence, and can occasionally pray for some extra intervention, but aren't capable of any actual magic themselves.
  • The Elenium: Although he's a member of a Magic Knight order, Kalten is Book Dumb and has no talent for languages, including the Styric Language of Magic. Given the risk of Magic Misfire, he doesn't try even the simplest spells.
  • Gourry Gabriev from Slayers is the only non-magic-user of the cast, relying solely on his sword skills. His lack of intelligence can also factor why he's not a magic-user, too.
  • Kamijou Touma of A Certain Magical Index is completely unable to use magic or esper abilities because of his Imagine Breaker arm. So he simply punches his enemies to submission, magicians and espers alike, regardless of power level.
  • Amazonian Beauty Tiona from Loki Familia in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?. Most fighters have one or two spells or other magical abilities to complement their physical combat skills but as of Volume 10 of the main series and Volume 5 of the spin-off, Tiona and Bete have shown no magical abilities whatsoever, and even Bete escapes this category by using magic boots that take on the elemental properties of magic directed at him.
  • Louie in Rune Soldier Louie can fight a sword, but while he can use magic, his skill is mediocre with terrible results.
  • Glenn in Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor is a downplayed example. He is actually very knowledgeable about magic, but he can't shorten incantations like other mages can, meaning he can't use combat magic unless someone buys him time. He usually relies on his fists (sometimes enhanced with magic) and a gun. To even the field, he can use his original magic Fool's World to prevent his opponents casting magic (though it applies to him and any nearby allies as well).
  • Ikki Kurogane in Chivalry of a Failed Knight completely sums up to this. He's the only named character whose magic capacity is F-Rank, which is so "meager" for any Blazer to have; thus putting him at a severe disadvantage to any attack directed at him from stronger Blazers. Nevertheless, Ikki instead makes up for his lack of power with his A-Rank physical stat, insight, swordsmanship, and using Ittou Shura to deliver a final blow to his opponent by pooling in all of his magic in the attack.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons this is a recurring theme. Physically inclined classes will have powerful physical attacks but can only get magic via multiclassing or magic items.
    • Some subclasses subvert this, however — Fighters can be Magic Knights and some Monks can channel their Supernatural Martial Arts into true spellcasting. But they still heavily favor physical attacks over magical ones.
    • Barbarians fit this trope the best in the game's Fifth Edition. They get a lot of abilities that increase their physical strikes: Rage increases melee attack damage, gives resistance to all physical damage, and grants advantage on Strength rolls. The Barbarian also gets extra attacks each round (raging or not), Brutal Critical increases the damage of Critical Hits (which were already going to be rough with their high proclivity towards Strength), and reaching maximum level increases the Barbarian's Strength score by four points. However, Barbarians don't get any spell slots to cast magic with. What few magical effects the Barbarian does get are either vastly outdone by another class or are totally random, and a Barbarian also has very few natural defenses against magic.
  • In both Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 Khorne, Chaos god of war, sees magic as a tool for cowards and traitors, and so is the only one without a list of spells, but his followers are very strong physical fighters (when not The Berserker), and his 40K champion is immune to magic. Magical items and weapons, however, are acceptable and captured sorcerers and cowards toil endlessly at the base of the Skull Throne to create more for his champions to use.
    • In Warhammer the vampire lord Konrad von Carstein wasn't incapable of magic, which vampires have an inherent aptitude for, but he was extremely bad at it. He relied on necromancers to animate his undead troops for him and was prone to murdering them in resentment for their talent, ultimately resulting in his defeat when they abandoned him en masse mid-battle leaving him to try and fail to hold his army together by himself. Prior to that he was a monster in combat, managing to compensate for his lack of magical and strategic thinking through sheer bloodlust and martial prowess, and attracted a number of Blood Dragon vampires (who are similarly inclined, though less Ax-Crazy) to his cause.
    • Dwarfs as a whole are doughty fighters, but can't use magic conventionally, needing to channel it through runes and infuse it into crafted items (runic magic is thus less powerful than that of the Winds of Magic, but also safer by far). While the Chaos Dwarfs train typical sorcerers, it's so antithetical to their nature that they gradually turn to stone as a result.
  • Shadowrun has two major paths to martial power (on top of intense training) — cyberware or adept powers. Cyberware lowers your Essence, which in turn limits your Magic rating, while adept powers use your Magic rating to gain adept powers instead of spells. Consequently, Street Samurai make poor mages, and physical adepts physically cannot become mages. Averted by the Mystic Adept archetype, which splits their Magic rating between adept powers and magic, but they tend to become Master Of Nones since (depending on edition) they're essentially sub-par adepts with sub-par magic in a system that prizes specialization.
  • Thralls in Talislanta are exceptional warriors, but have no ability to work magic.

    Video Games 
  • Zigzagged in Arcanum. While Magic Knight builds are certainly possible, half-orcs and half-ogres specializing in melee are also quite viable at the cost of having low intelligence, meaning they might not be able to cast spells at all (or build their own advanced gear). Interestingly, as spells are Cast from Stamina, Willpower (the stat that increases both HP and stamina is important for both).
  • Absented Age: Squarebound: Iris has the best close-range capabilities of the playable characters due to her "lead" combos, but she has poor MP growth and low MAG.
  • Abyss Crossing: Mia has the highest speed, decent attack, and powerful multi-hit physical skills, but her magic attack is the lowest of the party. She is also the only party member without any default magic damage skills.
  • Katt from Breath of Fire II is a subversion. She starts off as a physical damage-based Glass Cannon. However, she begins to learn high-level magic quite early but doesn't have enough AP to use it until the higher levels, if she's fused with the right shamans or if you have one of the potential TownShip tenants give her training that increases her maximum AP.
  • The Brief and Meaningless Adventure of Hero Man: The Soldier marionette has no magic or MP growth, but it has high physical attack, defense, and HP.
  • Ayla from Chrono Trigger is one of two playable characters that cannot learn magic, and the other one (Robo) has futuristic weapons that simulate magic pretty well. It's justified, as Ayla was born before magic existed, and even without magic, she will typically be your strongest physical attacker.
  • Dawn of War, powerful melee units tend to have very bad ranged attacks when they have them at all (Berserkers, Nobs, Assault Terminators) while ranged units don't last long at all in melee (Fire Warriors, Guardsmen). Terminators and Obliterators were an exception but were nerfed in following games to follow this trend.
  • Berserkers in Desktop Dungeons have a passive attack damage bonus and magic resistance but require more mana to cast glyphs. Worshipping Taurog enforces this since his boons give you powerful equipment (which take up inventory space that glyphs can also go into) but reduce your max mana. You can combine both and mow down almost anything that doesn't have physical resist.
  • The Dragon Age series has some interesting thoughts on the subject. Magic is tied to The Fade, a sort of separate reality inhabited by spirits and demons.
    • Humans, elves, Qunari are able to tap into this source, but it's so hard to do that it generally requires extensive training. Untrained magic users have a tendency to attract unwanted attention from The Fade's various denizens, so magic tends to be an all-in proposition in Thedas.
    • Then there are dwarves, who literally cannot use magic. They have no ability to access The Fade, so any dwarf who wants to be trained for combat is a Magically Inept Fighter by necessity.
  • In the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi series, characters who either existed before Ki Attacks became common in the source material (such as Yajirobe, Nam, or Great Ape Kid Goku) or rely primarily on brute strength (such as Videl or Spopovich) have little to no ki-based abilities; many of them cannot fly, and their standard ki blast either has an incredibly slow firing rate or is just throwing weak rocks at the opponent instead. Note that in this series, flight and ki blasts are abilities that are so ingrained into most of the cast as to be a basic game mechanic.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest II:
      • The Prince of Midenhall is -necessarily- a powerful hitter, but his main weakness is that he can't cast magic. He is the only one of the main trio who can't use magic and the only lead character of any Dragon Quest game who can't use magic, for that matter.
      • Unlike his boss Hargon and his Co-Dragons, Atlas knows no spells.
    • In Dragon Quest III, it is possible for a Warrior or a Fighter to have magic by changing classes, but even then their max MP will never increase without the use of Mystic Nuts.
    • Dragon Quest IV:
      • Neither Alena nor Ragnar has any MP. It's mentioned that Alena is entirely incapable of using magic.
      • Torneko is completely incapable of using magic, with most of his special abilities having other purposes, such as calling or repelling monsters.
    • Dragon Quest V: Tuppence is a soldier, but he can't use magic. At all.
    • Carver in Dragon Quest VI is easily the party's Big Guy, but gains very little MP even once the Job System is unlocked.
    • Dragon Quest VII: Prince Kiefer never learns any spells, although he does gain a flaming sword technique and the ability to double the attack in his next turn.
    • Zigzagged in Dragon Quest IX, classes like the Warrior and Gladiator never learn any spells. however, the Job System lets you keep the passive stat boosts earned from one job to another, so a warrior can end up being a powerful mage... not that it will mean much, as spells are locked to classes, so only the small handful of magical abilities can be used.
  • A couple playable species in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup with good aptitudes for physical combat have terrible aptitudes for magic; Minotaurs and Trolls are probably the straightest examples. Ghouls are a variation — while at least some of their magic aptitudes are passable, they have the absolute lowest intelligence in the game, which greatly hinders their spellcasting.
  • EarthBound (1994), which is a game that has psychic abilities as a plot point (with three of the four heroes as prodigies), presents Jeff, whose intelligence is through the roof but is completely unable to use any spells. Instead, he has no qualms about launching bottle rockets at enemies, he invents Ray Guns in his spare time, and he's physically the second-strongest party member after Ness.
  • In Elden Ring, Malenia is the only member of the Haligtree faction to make no use of incantations in her fighting style, though she makes up for it with determination and sheer skill with her sword. This is presumably because she's busy focusing on holding back the Scarlet Rot; when she gives in to it in her second phase, she'll start using Rot-based magic such as Scarlet Aeonia and summoning temporary clones made of Aeonian Butterflies.
  • Elsword. 5 of 9 characters, by default, excel in physical power (Elsword, Raven, Chung, Ara, and Elesis) and they have little magical power and defense as a result. In particular, it is mentioned that Elsword's weakest point is indeed at magic (whereas the other four can have some decent, but still not impressive, magical attacks). They can advance either to a purely physical class that plays with this even straighter, or a class that develops their magic power instead, subverting this trope.
  • In EverQuest, Warriors, Monks, Rogues, and Berserkers don't have a mana bar. Every other class does and uses some form of spells in their arsenal.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Throughout the series in general, physically-inclined characters like Monks, Dragoons, Warriors, and Paladins will have either no magical ability or low Magic if they are somehow able to learn spells.
    • In Final Fantasy, the Black Belt/Monk is the only class that is unable to learn any magic at all even after Bahamut's class change.
    • In Final Fantasy V, the boss guarding the spell Holy, the Minotaur, is physically very powerful, having the same Strength stat as the final boss, but it can only attack without magic. At the end of the battle, it tries to use Holy on the player, and actually is unable to use the spell it was guarding in the first place due to being so physically focused!
    • Subverted for Ramza in Final Fantasy Tactics. his default job in the game is The Squire— albeit one with unique abilitiesnote  and more balanced stats. Like other squires, there are no magic-based skills for him to learn... except one, which can be learned a la Blue Mage by getting hit by it... Which is never hinted at anywhere in the game, so you can spend the entire game without any magic for Ramza's squire job.
    • The Bangaa race in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 have one class that specializes in magic, but compared to the other races, Bangaa make terrible magic users and are more suited for their numerous physical-based classes. The Seeq of A2 are similar, as they also have a single magically-oriented class that isn't particularly good at magic.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy, most heavy-hitters like Garland, Cloud, Jecht, and Gabranth have a variety of close-range physical moves, and one or two ranged magical moves mostly to keep them from being entirely helpless against evasive opponents.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Every physical class in the series has little use for magic, but with the existence of magic weapons, it is inevitable that someone will try to use magic without the aptitude for it. While this isn't much of a problem in some games, such as the GBA gamesnote , in which magic weapons are fueled by the user's Strength stat and will target the enemy's Resistance stat regardless, axe-wielding Fighters and Armor Knights are particularly notable for being terrible with magic. Their specialty involves heavy attacks and sturdy defenses, which are foiled by their extremely low tolerance for magic. The only units that can utilize magic weapons effectively are hybrid classes (units that can use both weapons and magic, which are usually advanced classes for the latter).
    • In the games where all units have both a Strength and Magic stat, all characters have a Strength stat for determining damage with physical weapons and speed penalties from equipping a heavy weapon, and a Magic stat for determining damage with magic tomes and magic weapons, and effectiveness with healing staves. While tome users have enough Strength to squeak by without speed penalties, expect most weapon users to have such pitifully low Magic that they'll do laughable damage with the few magic weapons you do get. Even in Awakening onward, where Magic Knight classes are more common, the only characters who are able to consistently wield both steel and magic without any problems (low stat growth in one area, poor weapon levels, late jointime) are Radiant Dawn's Elincia and Awakening's Robin and Libra.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
      • The Knights of Seiros (Catherine, Shamir, Alois, and Gilbert) are mostly trained in physical combat, and thus have low Magic stat caps to go with it. Catherine is the only Knight capable of wielding a magical Hero's Relic but otherwise has a hard time learning magic spells due to her hatred of math, a key component of Reason magic.
      • This also goes for the villains. While most of "those who slither in the dark" are either Evil Sorcerers (Thales, Solon) or can use Magical Weapons (Chilon doesn't use magic, but comes equipped with a Bolt Axe in his brief appearances in Three Houses and Three Hopes), Kronya is neither, relying solely on her agility and her cursed knife Athame.
  • Arche from Fortune Summoners spends the majority of the game without a single spell. And she only gets two magical moves by the end of the game and she still isn't allowed in magic class. But she more than compensates for this with her sword skills.
  • Journey On: By default, Selena is a physical fighter with no ability for magic, as shown by her MP being at 0. This puts her at a disadvantage against enemies that have immunity to physical attacks, such as spirit enemies.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Goofy, in general, is a purely physical fighter. In a few games, his Magic stat starts at zero and stays there. That said, Goofy is also a Stone Wall, since he can take far more punishment than Squishy Wizard Donald Duck can, and can hold numerous healing items. One of Goofy's later abilities is MP Gift, which allows him to use one of his sparse Magic Points to restore three Magic Points of an ally.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Terra has strong offensive attacks but weak magic, and most of his exclusive skills are physical attacks.
  • Light Fairytale: Haru has high HP, decent speed, and high attack power, but his intelligence stat for magic is low.
  • Your hardest hitters in the Lufia series are typically unable to use any magic. They'll still have IP abilities in the later games, and certain items can allow them to cast spells as IP abilities or if they also are receiving a max MP boost.
  • Ramus in Lunar: The Silver Star is a possible parody of this. The wizards of Black Rose Street don't identify a lick of magical potential within him, and as far as raw strength goes, he's a very, very short-term Crutch Character who is swiftly outclassed by Alex in damage output.
  • Mass Effect 3 introduces a weight stat to your equipped weapons. The heavier the weapon, the longer your biotic and tech abilities take to recharge. This means that the better armed the character is, the more trouble they have using their powers.
  • Octopath Traveler:
    • Olberic has great physical stats — his HP, Physical Attack, and Physical Defense are either the highest or second-best among the eight heroes. He also learns abilities that boost these stats even further. However, his default Warrior class never gets any elemental skills naturally. In addition, Olberic's Elemental Defense is just okay, and his Elemental Attack is downright awful, being the lowest among the party by a long shot.
    • One of the secret classes also falls under this category. The Warmaster is a Master of All when it comes to weapons, being the only class that can use all six weapon types, as well as having an incredibly strong Divine Skill that uses all six at once. However, the Warmaster has no elemental skills of any kind, and it provides no boost to Elemental Attack or Defense whatsoever.
  • Path of Exile has the Duelist class, a swashbuckler-style fighter who relies primarily on their strength and dexterity. The Duelist's section of the passive skill network is about as far as possible from most of the spell damage or minion passives and contains very little of the intelligence stat, making him almost impossible to build into an offensive spellcaster or summoner. However, a Duelist can still make good use of curse, buff, and aura spells.
  • Shinjiro and Aigis in Persona 3 only learn physical attacks. Junpei only learns single-target fire spells and has the lowest Magic, with his physical skills being much more impressive.
  • Chie in Persona 4 has the highest physical attack, but weak magic (and doesn't learn as many advanced ice spells as Teddie, even though she uses the same element). Most of her strongest Persona abilities are physical attacks (which Cast from Hit Points) and physical buffs. Additionally, Kanji gets the higher-level Electricity spells, but his Magic stat is so abysmal he doesn't really perform better than Chie at magic.
  • Ryuji of Persona 5 takes after Kanji. He's also a Mighty Glacier of the first order, having the game's second-highest Strength and highest Endurance balanced by its lowest Magic and Agility. But interestingly, his lightning spells can benefit from the Shock Boost passive for a better chance of paralyzing enemies. Shocked enemies also take more damage from his already strong physical attacks, which may take his magic potential into Weak, but Skilled territory if he doesn't get himself shocked on contact.
  • Most Phantasy Star games have at least one party member who cannot use magic (or techniques, as sequels call them). Odin in the first game, his expy Rudo in the second, and anybody who is a pureblood Orakian in the third are unable to use techniques but have the strength and endurance to act as front line fighters, and Odin and Rudo make up for it by equipping very strong firearms. Phantasy Star IV plays with this a bit as it redefined what abilities androids possessed compared to III' (techniques are out, Skills are in, and they likewise carry guns into battle), and Gryz, a Motavian axe-wielding warrior, is still capable of using one technique and a few Skills.
  • In Pokémon, attacks are classified as either Physical (and use Attack and Defense) or Special (using Special Attack and Special Defense). Many Pokemon excel in one offensive stat but are lacking in the other, thus limiting their versatility. Pokémon that excel in Attack but not Special Attack are the ones that fall under this category, and in metagame jargon, are called "physical sweepers." Fighting, Ground, Rock, and Steel-type Pokémon usually fall under this category.
  • Puyo Puyo: In contrast to fellow martial artist Rulue, Raffina bears some potential for magic, but she needs to have her pouch to do any sort of spellcasting whatsoever. It's uncertain how weak her magic is without it, but she's quick to turn tail when Lemres questioned her methods, making her weak magical power something of a sore spot for her.
  • RealityMinds: Udir has no magic, but is considered a stronger swordsman than Astrake. Gameplay-wise, he has a higher base attack than all other playable characters.
  • SaGa Frontier has T260G and other mecs who can't use magic, for obvious reasons.
  • Saga Frontier 2 has Gustave XIII, who cannot use Spell Arts (making him an Un-Sorcerer). He compensates for this by mastering nonmagical Weapon Arts, and by using steel weapons (which resist magic) instead of the more common, magically potent, and physically weaker stone blades.
  • Early Shin Megami Tensei games star protagonists who can't use magic, and instead they use COMPs to summon demons who can, in addition to having magic-wielding human companions. Even the demons themselves (as well as their Persona counterparts) can fall under this trope, not learning magic naturally nor being able to inherit magic-based attacks as well as having low MP. In games where physical skills cost MP rather than HP, physical skills tend to cost less than magic skills of similar attack power to compensate. Later series games do give the player character the ability to use magic and other advanced skills, usually with some sort of justification such as being turned into a demon themselves.
  • StarCraft, the many of strongest units in terms of offensive power usually don't have any special abilities, such as the Archon, or Ultralisk.
  • Super Mario RPG: Bowser is a Mighty Glacier with high attack and defense, but awful magic attacks.
  • Tyranny: How many spells a character can memorize and how many of their talents are aligned towards physical combat are (usually) inverted. Mighty Glacier Barik has only two spell slots and Lightning Bruiser Kills-in-Shadow has one, meaning that even if you could pump their Lore to the point that they can construct high-level spells their arsenals are too small to meaningfully make use of them. By contrast, actual spellcasting companions like Lantry and Ebb can easily reach ten or more.
  • The Player Character of Undertale is only able to dish out damage physically, which is only noticeable during one fight, against the Mad Dummy who's immune to standard attacks.
  • In Vandal Hearts, not only are physical characters such as knights, archers, and airmen unable to use magic, but the strongest and most physical of units, Mighty Glaciers known as "Armors," also have the least magic resistance and can be one- or two-shotted by mages.
  • Warcraft III, the strongest melee units (Abominations, Tauren, Knights) only have one passive ability (the Abomination has an active one to restore health). The Druid of the Claw isn't as strong as the others but has more abilities to make up for it.
  • World of Warcraft has Warriors and Rogues completely lacking magic while Hunters incorporate some slight elements of magic in a handful of attacks.
  • World of Mana:
    • In Secret of Mana, while two of the protagonists, the girl and the sprite, learn new spells each time you meet one of the mana spirits, the boy never learns any magic. When he asks Undine, the first spirit, why she can't grant him spells, she replies that his sword will eventually become more powerful than any spell the spirits could teach him.
    • Trials of Mana:
      • Bare-Fisted Monk Kevin has very high Strength and hits like a truck up close, especially at night when he transforms into a beast. But Kevin also learns extremely few magic spells relative to the other characters; it's possible for Kevin to have access to zero skills or spells after the first class change if you send him down his more physically-oriented Dark path. And his Light path isn't much better, since Kevin only gets two skills there. Every other character will have several skills or spells by the time Kevin is ready for his second class change, but Kevin won't be doing much more than basic attacks for a while.
      • Stone Wall Duran has excellent Strength and Defense, but mediocre Magic Defense and awful Magic Attack. The few spells he learns are almost all support spells that don't require high Magic Attack, such as healing on his Light path or elemental Saber spells on his Dark path. The fact that Duran is magically inept is even a plot point in his storyline: because Duran can't use magic, he's on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle by the Crimson Wizard the first time they meet. Duran resolves to get stronger by way of a class change before fighting the Crimson Wizard again.


    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Physical Fighter