Follow TV Tropes


Sword and Sorcerer

Go To
Charlotte slings the spells. Jonathan swings the steel.

A warrior and a magic user working together.

In any setting where magic has some degree of pervasiveness, the Squishy Wizard is a fairly common archetype. In addition to being physically weak, such characters often need time and concentration to incant their spells, especially in the absence of Vancian Magic. Time and concentration aren't exactly easy to come by when you're being attacked by several enemies at once, or even just one enemy. Even if you could easily take your enemies out with a single spell, if your opponent never lets you fire one off, you're basically helpless. Add that to the "squishyness" and adventuring solo hardly sounds viable.

Fighters, on the other hand, can generally take care of themselves; it's part of the job description. However, hitting something a bunch of times with a sword, even a BFS, sometimes doesn't work, but a blast of fire would be just the thing. To get the really big scores, some magical artillery is usually required, or is, at the very least, incredibly helpful.

Sword and Sorcerer is what you get when these characters team up in order to offset each others' weaknesses. The combat dynamic usually works one of two ways, determined largely by what type of magic the mage uses:

Fighter and Glass Cannon has the mage basically acting as artillery; the fighter holds enemies off while the mage charges up, and once the mage is finished, they obliterate whatever is left. The fighter may be a Stone Wall specializing primarily in defense, or they may be perfectly capable of wrecking shop the old-fashioned way, but not as efficient at doing it on a large scale as the mage, rendering the two of them capable of tackling threats greater than the sum of their parts.

Fighter and Healer has the mage primarily acting in a support capacity, casting beneficial Status Buffs and healing the fighter while the fighter takes care of actually killing everything. As in the above, it still generally falls to the fighter to keep the enemies off the mage's back, but here, they're also the one doing the killing, with the mage making them more efficient at it.

The above is not a hard and fast rule. Many offensive mages know a healing spell for emergencies, and offensive magic is a common way for healers to contribute to the battle even after the fighter is at full strength. Sometimes the sorcerer is The Red Mage and fits both archetypes equally.

Typically the fighter ends up being something of a Lightning Bruiser, the better to defend the mage from numerous enemies, and relying on their speed and skill to keep themself alive. Often, the fighter will be male, and the sorcerer, female. Can be inverted, though. Can also be found with single-gender duos. If they're both guys, then they're usually a manly swordsman and a sensitive sorcerer. If they're both girls, then they'll likely be a tomboyish sword and a girly sorceress.

If it's a male/female pair (or, occasionally, even if it isn't) they're frequently a Battle Couple, sometimes extending all the way to Mindlink Mates; otherwise, they'll probably be Bash Brothers. A romantic pair is often a Muggle–Mage Romance by definition. The fighter of the pair is usually a Magically Inept Fighter, since a Magic Knight could do it all themself without needing a partner. Also see Fighter, Mage, Thief and Short Range Guy, Long Range Guy for when the long range character uses a weapon rather than magic. Contrast Action Duo. Compare Lady and Knight, which has a similar dynamic of a warrior protecting someone physically incapable of doing it themselves; the lady will often be the mage for this reason. Compare Damager, Healer, Tank, a trio where the fighter is the tank or the damager and the mage is the damager or healer.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Main characters Ryner Lute and his bodyguard, the swordswoman Ferris Eris, from The Legend of the Legendary Heroes are prime examples of this. They are their country's greatest magician and swordswoman respectively and start out hating the other's guts, having been blackmailed into teaming up in the first place; but during their journey grow to become Platonic Lifepartners gladly willing to Take a Third Option and go down together if the need ever comes for them to pick their own life over the other's. Their relationship is never stated to be romantic at that what with Ryner being a Celibate Hero and Ferris having had horrible experience with love in the past. They are also very happy to (rightfully) boast how much ass they kick when fighting back-to-back to their enemies.
  • This is the reason behind the Pactio system in Negima! Magister Negi Magi: A Magister (the mage) is defended by a Ministra (the warrior) who covers for them while they cast, and has a special weapon and can be given Status Buffs to make them more effective. It's promptly defied by Negi himself when he decides to walk the path of the Kung-Fu Wizard (Who fights alongside the Ministra). On occasion, he will still act like this trope in combination with Kotarou such as the fight against Rakan; the most obvious demonstration being Kotarou buying Negi the 43 seconds he needs to prepare his spell.
  • Saito and Louise from The Familiar of Zero are a perfect example of a combo; the entire reason Void mages have human familiars is that only a human can effectively defend them while they incant the very long Void spells.
  • Lina Inverse (mage) and Gourry Gabriev (fighter) from Slayers, though Lina hardly needs the help, as she's no slouch in the physical combat department either. Most opponents are either too weak for her alone or too strong for them both, but her protection lags far behind apocalyptic attack spells, so it's still a good idea to have someone covering her while she goes through incantations. On the other end, Gourry carries an interesting sword that makes him fully capable of killing lesser to mid-level demons in one hit, but which has less ranged options than Lina's Fantastic Nuke spell does. An interestign example where both meet halfway.
  • Berserk has an arrangement with Guts and his post Band Of The Hawk companions. Guts is the main fighter of the group, with Serpico, Isidro and Farnese backing him up, while Schierke is the mage, whose spells take a while to cast. There's also Puck and Evarella acting as healers when Guts takes on one of the many Apostles of the series.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Despite both of them being mages, Gajeel and Levi fit this trope. Gajeel is literally Made of Iron and can transform his limbs into anything from metal clubs to blades, while Levi's power is Words Can Break My Bones, but she needs time to write them down. They also fit the other type of this trope; Levi isn't a healer, but she can create iron by writing the word down, and Gajeel can get a power upgrade by eating metal. Most the "mages" in the series are magic knights and kung fu wizards who put so much emphasis on the physical department that they are only technically mages. Levi; however, is one of the few that fits the traditional mage image.
    • Lucy and Natsu could count since Lucy and Spirit mages are one of those few who fit the tradition mage image. The series tend to have more emphasis on one-on-one battles (typical of the Shōnen genre) but Lucy and Natsu have gone on more quests together and have had more team battles together than anyone else of the main cast.
  • An interesting example in K, with Kuroh, Shiro, and Neko. Kuroh is a swordsman who also uses powers from his King in fights, usually in the form of a plasma-like giant hand he can use to push or pull things, or as a glow around his body and sword that helps his agility and force. Neko and Shiro use Neko's psychic abilities to confuse their opponents or create a distraction. In the second season, however, Kuroh and Neko are now Shiro's Clansmen, and he is their King, so their powers come from him (except for Neko's psychic abilities).
    • In the finale of the second season, it fits the Glass Cannon element even more, with the rest of the three Clans protecting Shiro as he goes in to destroy the Slates.
  • Ouja No Yuugi: A strategist (a "mage" in this setting, whose power allow him to influence the course of battle) and a general (a warrior, whose duty is to protect "his" strategist and to lead the army) form a close bond and fight in battles together.
  • Scrapped Princess: Shannon Casull and his older sister, Raquel form such a duo, with Shannon being the sword, while Raquel is quite possibly the most powerful mage on the face of the planet. However, even her magic pales in comparison to Shannon's ability as a D-Knight.
  • In The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World, Tougo is the sword to Idola's sorcerer. His Lightning Bruiser abilities and preference for the Handshake-Calibur lets him dice up monsters up close, and he can resort to explosive punches and kicks if need be. Meanwhile, Idola is able to use all kinds of magic, from water to ice to healing spells, allowing her to take on some enemies herself as well as heal Tougo in times of distress.
  • Ruin Explorers: Miguel and Rasha combine their talents to form a platonic partnership to find the ultimate treasure. Miguel often covers for Rasha, during fights, to give her time to cast spells. And she, in turn, uses her magic to fell enemies that can't be slain by sword alone.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
      • The Flame Swordsman and Dark Magician are sometimes portrayed this way. So are their masters—Joey is good in a physical scrap while Yugi, or at least his Superpowered Evil Side, wields the shadow magic. This dynamic is reflected in their strategies: Joey uses card effects to power up his monsters or weaken his opponents while Yugi prefers cards that manipulate the field and graveyard like a true mage.
      • During the Battle City arc, Yugi and Kaiba dueled against Umbra and Lumis, two of Marik's minions whose decks were designed specifically to work together in tag duels. Umbra's deck had the monster cards while Lumis's deck focused on spells and traps.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: Gloria and Grace Tyler both play Amazoness decks. Gloria focuses primarily on monsters, while Grace uses spell and traps to be more proactive.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time: Yugi/Atem plays the sorcerer role while Yusei and Jaden are the sword. Yugi/Atem uses a Spellcaster deck focusing on the Dark Magician archetype while Yusei and Jaden use different Warrior-type decks.
  • Lokia-Familia in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? has exactly this as a typical combat combination. The fighters protect the magicians in battle until they can fire their spells. In this familia, there is also an elf who is a Magic Knight.
  • Asta is the Sword to Yuno's Sorcerer whenever the two team up together in Black Clover. Asta is the only person in the setting who cannot use magic, and wields giant anti-magic swords to fight up close and cancel enemies' magic. Yuno is a gifted mage blessed with a four-leaf clover grimoire, and casts ranged spells such as gales and blades of wind from afar.
  • Iska and Alice from Our Last Crusade or the Rise of a New World. Iska is a superhumanly fit guy who fights with magic swords while Alice is an astral mage with ice powers.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Chapter 8 of The Night Unfurls, remastered version, has such an arrangement with Kyril and his Great Escape party when they are surrounded by wraiths. Olga, a Lady of Black Magic, is the main mage, using an anti-intangibility enchantment to allow the other fighters (Boris, Soren, Fredrick, Chloe) to take out the wraiths properly while providing her cover. Kyril, on the other hand, is obviously the main fighter, being the only one that can one-shot wraiths with or without the enchantment (he likens them to those Bound Widows that reside in Cainhurst Castle, all of which are susceptible to physical damage).
  • In the Discworld, when Ponder Stibbons (Wizard) and Johanna Smith-Rhodes (Assassin) get it together, they are this trope. Ponder finds himself using magic to defend Johanna in Il se passait pas au nuit de Pere Porcher. She uses her weapons skills to defend him in Slipping Between Worlds and Whys and Weres.
  • Vow of Nudity: The story The Witch's Sacrifice stars a monk and a witch who get stranded naked in the demon realm and must work together to find a way home.

  • In Dragon Bones, Oreg and Ward in one scene. They're both able to fight and do magic, but Ward is much taller and stronger, and Oreg is a more powerful mage. Thus, Ward distracts the enemy while Oreg uses the distraction to get his hands on the opponent, as the spell he wants to use requires touch.
  • Archer and Sophie in Demonglass. Archer is a warlock, but not a very powerfull one, however his skills as a fighter, especialy with a sword more than make up for it.
  • The Wheel of Time: Women in the Aes Sedai Magical Society often work with male Warders, with whom they form a magical bond. Aes Sedai range from medics and philosophers to devastating Ladies of Black Magic, but Warders benefit from some of the best combat training in the world, and get extra strength, toughness, and evil-detecting powers from the Warder bond besides.
  • Tarma and Kethry from the Vows and Honor series of the Heralds of Valdemar 'verse. Tarma is a gruff barbarian warrior and Kethry is a powerful mage; the two team up as mercenaries with the ultimate goal of rebuilding Tarma's Clan. Played with in that Kethry can fight if she has to, thanks to her empathic weapon, and as a Priestess of the Warrior Goddess, Tarma has some magical abilities.
  • In The Princess Series, Talia is the skilled fighter, Snow is the sorceress. During the course of the first novel they pick up Danielle, who can do a bit of magic and is taught some basic combat skills by Talia, to complete the Power Trio.
  • Caramon and Raistlin in the Dragon Lance novels. See the example under Roleplaying for further details.
  • Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories: Fafhrd is a fighter and Mouser is (technically) a mage. However, while Mouser was apprenticed to a mage early in life, by the time he meets Fafhrd he almost never actually uses any magic and acts more as a thief/rogue, so this is not the straightest example of the trope.
  • In Brimstone Angels, Farideh is a warlock, meaning she can unleash an impressive amount of magical destruction straight (literally) from Hell, but she's not that hot in hand to hand combat. Luckily, her twin sister Havilar is never far away, and she's more than competent with her glaive.
  • The Night's Blade has Angharad (sword) and Josie (sorcerer), although they are not seen fighting together until the final battle, in which they go back to back to fend off Kelstra's followers.
  • In the Gamebooks Wizard, Warrior and You, the titular Wizard can do more stuff, but needs the warrior to protect him or he'll go down easily.
  • In the first act, at least, Ryushi and Kia from Broken Sky could qualify as this, with Ryushi taking up the Glass Cannon role. Although the pair of them are both rather adept at martial combat (Ryushi with his sword, a bo staff for his sister), Ryushi had little to no control over the series' equivalent of magic and ended up burning himself out completely after a single shot. Sure, that single shot has the potential to be immensely powerful, but still. As the series progresses and Ryushi learns how to better control himself, the duo progress to be even more like a Sibling Team.
  • The Dresden Files: Harry takes the "sorcerer"-role, with Murphy, Michael, Thomas or Sanya taking the "fighter"-slot depending on book and context. Not that Harry is particularly squishy, but those allies are more dedicated physical fighters.
  • Rom and Kira from The Barbarian and the Sorceress. He's a Barbarian Hero with an Absurdly Sharp Blade, she's a Hot Witch who knows powerful sorcery.
  • The Locked Tomb: Each House has a ruling Necromancer and a Close-Range Combatant Cavalier, who are sworn to each other for life. The contest in Gideon the Ninth for a necromancer to be elevated to Lyctorhood has eight such pairs and requires both members of the pair to stay alive, because the Lyctor process requires the necromancer to absorb the cavalier's soul, assimilating their fighting skills among other things.
  • Prophecy Approved Companion: The Non-Rogue possible heroes are this. Warrior Hero and White Mage companion or Black Mage Hero and Warrior companion.
  • Of Fire and Stars: Mare and Dennaleia become this. At the start Mare is skilled with the bow, then she gets trained in using the sword too. Dennaleia has magic, and is trained in using it as well (she also is later trained in swordfighting, but isn't as skilled).
  • The Chronicles of Dorsa: Tasia and Joslyn become a such a duo near the end of the third book. It turns out Tasia has learned magic, as Joslyn remains a highly skilled sword master. Tasia however did learn some sword fighting from her, but isn't nearly as skilled.
  • Beren and Lúthien from The Silmarillion; Beren is a human warrior, and his girlfriend (later wife) Lúthien is a half-elf half-maia with very potent magical abilities. She's not the Fireballs-swinging type, but nevertheless that dainty elf maiden is the one to send Sauron (yes, Sauron) running to daddy.
  • Many stories in the Sword and Sorceress anthologies features warrior and sorceress partner duos (hence the name), although not all do, with both of them being women as well.

    Live Action TV 
  • Merlin:
    • Merlin and Arthur qualify as this, with Arthur as the Sword and Merlin the Sorcerer, of course. There's the added twist, however, that Arthur doesn't actually know that Merlin's playing this role for him.
    • A straighter example would be Merlin and Lancelot - since Lancelot is one of his secret keepers.
  • In the third and fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy and Willow have this combat combination, while from time to time they are accompanied by Xander, who is an action survivor. From the fifth season, Willow is such a powerful witch that this combat combination is no longer necessary.
  • Power Rangers Wild Force: The villainous duo of Jindrax and Toxica. Jindrax is a Monster Clown who fights using either a sword or daggers. Toxica is a Lady of Black Magic whose Magic Staff can fire energy blasts or revive destroyed Orgs.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Celtic Mythology: Liath Luachra and Bodhmall, the foster-mothers of the Irish hero Fionn mac Cumhaill, were renowned as being a great warrior and druid, respectively.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Fairly adequate approach in Dungeons & Dragons. Traditional parties incorporate a fighter class along a wizard and/or a cleric (either of which may be dual- or multi-classed as fighters, as well) into the party, along with additional specialists such as a bard, thief, or rogue. "Caster + basher" is a minimized variant.
    • Dragon Lance: Caramon, an invincible warrior, and Raistlin, his brother and a fearsome spellcaster. They used to hire themselves out as mercenaries, often fighting back-to-back against hordes of foes. Eventually, though, things got ugly...
    • Forgotten Realms: Fyodor and Liriel Battle Couple; Arilyn "Moonblade" and Danilo Thann for sex-reversed roles. Rashemen traditions approve of traveling witch with a pledged berserker bodyguard, but they usually adhere to the collective magic, so it's more semi-legendary stuff, except maybe dajemma.
    • Greyhawk: Robilar and Tenser were the first examples of this in roleplaying.
  • In the Magic: The Gathering Shadowmoor set most of the "duo" cycle worked like this, with a warrior or soldier and a shaman or wizard.
  • In Warhammer it is possible to create this dynamic on the tabletop for most armies, by keeping wizard and fighter characters close together for mutual protection (especially keeping them within the same regiment of troops, where the fighter can accept the challenges of enemy heroes instead of the wizard). In the background the most prominent example of such a pairing is the High Elf twins Tyrion and Teclis, the former being an exceptional master swordsman, the latter incredibly frail and feeble but also the greatest wizard in the world.
    • In Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, Tyrion and Teclis have ascended to become gods, but their chosen champions Ellania and Ellathor, likewise aelf twins, carry on their tradition.
    • 40K has the duo of Primarchs Angron (fighter) and Lorgar Aurelian (sorcerer). Angron is an axe-wielding berserker, whereas Lorgar is a Chaos-channeling sorcerer.
  • In Exalted, this often come to play with Solars (or Abyssals, or Infernals) as Sorceresses and Lunars as Swordsmen (or more derisively: as attack dogs). Solars can become the greatest warriors in the world if they try, but if a Solar Sorceress want to be any good, she better put all those EXP in Occult stuffs.
  • In the Discworld Roleplaying Game, the sample character Jemzarkiza of Krull has inadvertantly acquired a repuation in Ankh-Morpork as an exotic enchantress, which means half the city's Barbarian Hero wannabes think she's in the market to become one half of this. She considers this only a slight improvement on the half who've decided she's an Evil Sorceress they must defeat. She just wants a quiet job studying turtles.

    Video Games 
  • Link and Zelda often have this dynamic in The Legend of Zelda, at least in those cases where Zelda actively helps Link with her magic such as in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. She most commonly uses her magic to summon the Light Arrows for Link to use against the Final Boss, but she can also use sealing magic to incapacitate the main villain and other enemies.
  • In Farland Saga 2, Squishy Wizard Karin is rejected from joining an adventurer's guild because she has no swordsman to back her up, but she soon forces Al into her party, kicking off the plot.
  • Marche and Montblanc from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance are initially an example. While the Job System allows you to build virtually any character in whatever manner you choose, their starting jobs are Soldier and Black Mage, respectively.
  • Baldur's Gate has Minsc and Dynaheir, teamed together in what's apparently the traditional partnership where they come from. In the sequel Minsc gets quite depressed (by his standards, anyway) when he can't prevent her death, and if given the chance will adopt either Aerie or Nalia as his replacement 'Witch'.
  • In Betrayal at Krondor, Gorath and Owyn. The former is a badass centuries old dark elf chieftain, the latter is a scrawny human boy magician.
  • The Reyvateils in the EXA_PICO series: they're capable of channeling immense magic power, but they need time to build it up and are helpless to defend themselves while doing so, so they're partnered with strong warriors who can shield them. The trope is a plot point because the Reyvateils are empowered by their love for their warrior and, in the first game, a Reyvateil without a partner could be discriminated against.
  • Fire Emblem loves this trope. Note that offensive mages usually gain staves when they promote, so these tend to double as fighter/healer combos at high levels.
  • Tales of Arise has the whole party have this dynamic between the various pairs characters with some momments of Ship Tease between them. Main Protagonists Alphen and Shionne have this dynamic from the start with Alphen able to wield the powerful but dangerous Blazing Sword, and Shionne supporting him as a healer with her Astral Artes. Law and Rinwell also have this dynamic, Law being the the typical Lightning Bruiser and Rinwell being the Squishy Wizard, who also constantly snark at each other. Dohalim and Kisara also qualify though Dohalim is more of a The Red Mage who can handle himself, while Kisara is the Mighty Glacier.
  • Your party in a lot of JRPG's starts out this way, such as in Tales of Symphonia, where your party initially consists of Lloyd and Genis.
    • More Tales of Symphonia: Emil and Marta seem to qualify, as Marta is much more useful casting spells than attacking, especially compared with Emil.
  • Tales of Phantasia has Cless and Arche, and Cless and Mint, as the respective types.
    • Hell, it's more like Cless and EVERYBODY. For the entire first half of the game, your party consists of Mighty Glacier Cless and 3 spellcasters (Mint the healer, Klarth the summoner, and Arche the attack magician). Only after the second half starts (after a faux ending scene) does your party expand to include more physical fighters (an archer and a Ninja, to be precise), and since the archer works best from a distance and the ninja is optional, and even that only in the Updated Rereleases...
  • In World of Warcraft (and most MMORPGs, for that matter), pairing a tank with an AoE tosser is an extremely effective combo. Without purple gear, a protection warrior will take forever to kill six mobs, and a mage will never survive their counterattacks, but together they can easily handle a dozen.
  • Thanks to the ability to tie units in melee (when engaged by melee attacks, a squad is forced in turn to use melee attacks regardless of what they were originally using) many forces in Dawn of War, particularly at the beginning of the game, will consist of a couple relatively fragile squads dealing damage (the glass cannon) while a tougher melee squad (the figher) ties up the enemy's own ranged forces or keeps the enemy melee occupied.
    • The four main characters of the first game follow this trope as well: Gabriel Angelos (Force Commander) and Isador Akios (Librarian) for the Space Marines / Bale (Chaos Lord of Nurgle) and Sindri Myr (Sorcerer) for Chaos.
  • A common encounter in Jedi Academy is to run into a lightsaber specialist and dark force user at the same time. The game's AI will try to get the "sword" to engage you in melee while the "sorcerer" uses his force abilities from afar.
  • Final Fantasy VIII uses this one. Edea the Sorceress offers Seifer the chance to be her knight. Later, Squall offers to be Rinoa's knight.
  • Persona has a few examples.
  • Gil (sword) and Ki (sorcerer) in The Return of Ishtar. Ki can use sixty-four magic spells, while Gil fights enemies up close with his sword.
  • The Dual Boss fight against Gaol and Magnus in Kid Icarus: Uprising. Oddly enough, the roles are partially switched around: Magnus isn't very resistant and relies more on dodging and rushing, while Gaol wears a bulky armor and mixes her spells with charging attacks.
  • Suikoden Tierkreis has a pair like this as a Recurring Boss. The huge, heavily-armored Nova stands in front and absorbs most of the damage, while Sophia stands behind him and does her best to fry your party with magic. Though in a slightly different take on the usual relationship, Nova is Sophia's father.
  • Castlevania:
    • In Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Jonathan uses weapons to great effect, while Charlotte employs magic. While both are capable fighters and generally can handle their own, Charlotte tends to be more vulnerable, while Jonathan tends to be more damaging.
    • Previously in Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, you can also have this team by choosing Sypha Belnades as Trevor Belmont's partner. Sypha is more vulnerable, but capable of dishing out a lot of damage with her spells. Trevor has a more limited range or versatility, but tends to be tougher.
  • ICO is a puzzle game based around a less combat oriented version of this trope. Ico is much more athletic than Yorda and can reach areas that she can't. He also has to protect her from the shadows that frequently attack her by hitting them with a stick. Yorda has the ability to magically open several sealed doors, annihilating any enemies that are nearby as a bonus. The game revolves around having Ico solve puzzles to get Yorda close to objects that only she can interact with while simultaneously protecting her from anything that tries to attack her.
  • In the Atelier Series, this means the Hirelings and the Alchemist. The Alchemist is typically very weak while big, tough Hirelings are readily available, making this trope a necessity. The chemistry between the Alchemist and her Hirelings is even a major appeal to the fanbase, Atelier Elkrone indulge entirely in it without letting the player doing any alchemy.
    • In the more action-y games (such as Atelier Iris and Mana Khemia), this trope tends to be downplayed because your (usually male) main character is capable of defending himself.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, the first two permanent party members (not counting the dog) are designed this way, with Alistair having a head start on defensive combat skills and Morrigan having a head start on offensive magic.
    • Enforced in Dragon Age II as Hawke's class is used to determine which of his/her younger siblings survive. A warrior or rogue Hawke is the Sword to Bethany's Sorceress while a mage Hawke is the Sorcerer to Carver's Sword. The Hawke twins also had this relationship with each other before the game started.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, this is the default dynamic for Hawke and the Grey Warden companion if the player does not use a customized world state. Hawke defaults to a mage and all three candidates for the Grey Warden are sword-and-shield fighters.
  • The Pokémon Gallade and Gardevoir, divergent evolutions of the Ralts line, are this, respectively: their stats are mostly the same, but Gallade has high physical Attack, while Gardevoir has equally high Special Attack.
  • Neopets: The Darkest Faerie has the knight (well, squire) Tormund and the sorceress (apprentice) Roberta, but you don't get to use them together; instead, you have to switch between the two, and both have their pros and cons.
  • NeoQuest II: Rohane (knight) and Mipsy (sorceress), until Talinia joins their team.
  • In Undertale, the monster "Knight Knight" (a large hulking knight) tends to appear alongside the monster "Madjick" (a floating, grinning wizard).
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Donald Duck and Goofy of all people have this dynamic. Donald is the court wizard at Disney Castle while Goofy is the captain of the knights and fights exclusively with a shield. Either Mickey Mouse or Sora completes the trio as a Magic Knight who can fill either role as needed.
  • In Rabi-Ribi, Erina is the sword (the hammer, to be more accurate) and her Fairy Companion Ribbon is the sorcerer who uses long-range magic. Ribbon isn't exactly a Glass Cannon, though, since she can't be hurt directly, only Erina can.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest II: The Prince of Midenhall is a powerful warrior, but he has no magical abilities whatsoever. He is always accompanied by his cousins, the Prince of Cannock and the Princess of Moonbrooke, who are physically weak (especially the Princess) but wield powerful magic (especially the Princess).
    • Dragon Quest IV: Maya and Meena, the third chapter's protagonists, are powerful wizards but they cannot take many hits. So they are supported by their father's servant Oojam, who lacks magic but has high offensive and defensive power.
    • Dragon Quest XI: Whambelina fights with a sword and shield while Sinderella stays back and uses magic.
  • Genshin Impact:
    • Sucrose and Albedo are a pair of bio-alchemists. Sucrose can use Anemo magic to blow enemies away with her charged attack while Albedo uses a sword. Albedo also serves as the sword to his adopted sister Klee's sorcerer.
    • Qiqi and Klee, often depicted as best friends in the fandom, are also examples of this trope. Interestingly, their dynamic inverses the trope: Klee is the eccentric pyromaniac while Qiqi is a calm sword user.
    • Beidou and Ningguang are foils and mentions each other a lot.
    • During the Late Aristocracy period of Mondstadt, Venessa and Venti started a rebellion together. Although Venti is a bow-user in game, he used his lyre as a Catalyst in the past.
    • The twins Aether and Lumine apply in terms of aesthetics. While they share the same talents and movesets, Aether is better in swordplay than Lumine, who has better control over the elements than her brother.
    • Both the Raiden Shogun and her familiar Yae Miko are masters of the Electro element, but both have different approaches in their fighting styles. Ei is a Multi-Melee Master who wields a naginata and an Electro-infused tachi that contains her consciousness while Miko decides to take the mystical approach, channeling Inazuma's spirits using Electro in order to smite her enemies.
  • Sengoku Basara: We have Azai Nagamasa, who fights with his sword, and his wife Oichi, who fights with her ghostly hands channeled by Black Magic.
    • And in the fourth game, we're introduced to Ashikaga Yoshiteru, who also fights with his sword, and Nagamasa's Kung Fu Wizardess of an older sister Kyogoku Maria, who uses Clothing Combat and other forms of magic.
  • Dungeon Crawl features the elf twins, Dowan and Duvessa: Duvessa wields the Sword, Dowan is the Sorcerer. They share Twin Telepathy; should you kill one, the other will get stronger.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Fate/stay night, it is not uncommon for a Master with the Caster class Servant to have this sort of relationship. Since humans are weaker by nature compared to the Servants, the Caster Servant will usually buff the Master. It is possible for a Master who can't fight to have a Caster Servant though.
    • In most Grail Wars, the Servant is the Sword while the Master is the Sorcerer — though Nasuverse mages typically have hand-to-hand training, they're simply not in the league of the Heroic Spirits summoned. Archer with Rin, Berserker with Ilya, and Saber with Iris in Fate/Zero, are classic examples. The Caster and Master pair in Fate/stay night is also an example, the pair in Fate/Zero, not so much.
    • Another example are Shirou and Rin in the Unlimited Blade Works route. While both of the parties involved are human, Rin is the Sorcerer, while Shirou becomes the Sword by means of his Projection magic and his eponymous Reality Marble, to the point of being able to defeat two Archer-level Servants in battle.
  • Soulstice has chimeras, which are two souls merged into one. The main characters, Briar and Lute, appear to be a platonic same sex version, seeing how they're sisters. Briar is a superhuman swordswoman who handles physical combat, and Lute provides support with her magical powers.

  • Black Mage and Fighter from 8-Bit Theater, before the party enlarges.
  • Being a deliberate Cliché Storm, Adventurers! has this with Karn (Fighter) and Ardam (Glass Cannon) as the starting duo. It's one of the few tropes used that isn't lampshaded.
  • Cale and Richard in Looking for Group. Cale is a badass warrior, an expert swordsman, capable archer, and notable strategist. Richard is an incredibly potent spellcaster and likely the most powerful member of the main cast. While they're part of a bigger group overall, the two of them have this dynamic in battle.
  • Wayrift has many examples of this such as Ben and Leona, Zeb and Tai and Cecil and either of his brothers.
  • The Challenges of Zona feature a Bash Sister combo in Zona fighter and Tula, a priestess who can cast both healing and combat magic. There's also Mentl who's a spellsinger.
  • Distillum has the titular time mages pair up with Pamvani, who take care of the sword-waving part of life.
  • Heartful Punch and Undine of Sleepless Domain are both Magical Girls, but with very different emphasis on how they use their powers. HP is a brawler, focused on hand-to-hand melee combat while Undine's powers are centered on Making a Splash and better suited to fighting at range. While Undine generally provided support for her original team, she's been working with Heartful Punch to improve her offense and contribute more directly. A guest comic in chapter 9 highlights the dynamic, featuring Heartful Punch as an armored knight and Undine as a staff-wielding mage.

    Western Animation 
  • Thundarr the Barbarian features one mage (Ariel) and two fighters (Thundarr and Ookla), in the traditional "female sorcerer, male fighter" setup. That said, they lean slightly closer to the "Fighter and Healer" archetype in that Ariel focuses less on blasting spells and more on utility magic; imprisoning enemies, rescue Thundarr or Ookla with telekinesis, and the like. She can launch energy blasts and fire, but this is relatively rare.
    • The episode "Den of the Sleeping Demon" features a pair of younger aspiring adventurers in the form of female barbarian Sharra and male aspiring sorcerer Merlik, who ride the mutant flying creature Yeek.
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers will get this combination if Shane and Niko are the team du jour. Shane is a heavy-hitter and a gunslinger while Niko is a fast acrobat with Psychic Powers who is only a Glass Cannon by comparison.
  • Yin and Yang in Yin Yang Yo! form this dynamic. They are both capable of the two forms of Woo Foo (Mystic and Martial), though Yin prefers magic and Yang prefers might.
  • Done briefly in Avatar: The Last Airbender. When fighting Azula, Zuko and Sokka fall into this. Zuko uses his firebending to block Azula's firebending while Sokka moves in to attack with his sword.
    • Technically speaking, at the beginning we have Sokka (warrior) and Katara (sorcerer), but they encounter Aang (who's both) before any combat actually happens.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil has Star Butterfly and Marco Diaz. Marco is a capable fighter with his karate skills, Star is the Mage with her wand, but she can still fight well even without it.
  • Castlevania (2017) has Trevor Belmont and Sypha Belnates, naturally. Trevor is a Badass Normal Multi-Melee Master who can fight Alucard himself to a draw, while Sypha is granddaughter to the Elder of the Speakers and a sorceress who use fire and ice spells in battle.
  • The Young Justice episode Depths, gives this dynamic to Kaldur and Garth. Kaldur is a Magic Knight but is clearly better in melee combat as he never finished his magic training. Garth on the other hand is easily the superior sorcerer between the two but lacks combat experience.
  • The Dragon Prince has the human boy Callum, who is a mage. And the sword-fighting elf Rayla as a warrior. Both are also lovers. Subverted in that the two rarely fight side-by-side; by the time they do (during the time skip after season 3), Callum is the powerhouse who does most of the fighting, being far less squishy than most examples of this trope.
    • There is also a villainous variant in the first two seasons with the swordsman Soren and the dark magician Claudia, who are brother and sister.
  • Steven Universe gives Steven and Connie this dynamic, with Connie learning swordsmanship from Pearl to aid Steven, while Steven holding several mage aspects such as shield generating and healing.

Fighter and Healer

    Anime & Manga 
  • While they're both technically mages, Erio and Caro from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS are an excellent example, with Erio as the fighter and Caro as the mage. Caro also has Voltaire the Kaiju Ancient Dragon as the ace up her sleeve, of course. And Friedrich as a backup.
  • Yuji and Shana from Shakugan no Shana. Yuji uses the power of the Reiji Maigo to buff Shana before Yuji becomes a competent fighter in his own right.
  • The Master/Servant relationship in Fate/stay night is supposed to be this. But generally the Servants are so above humans that it doesn't mean much. Except for one notable case. The relationship was reversed with Caster and her Master.
    • The fighter/healer team is played totally straight with Saber and Iris early in Fate/Zero.
  • Cassandra and Gaylen, the protagonists of Dawn of the Seeker are somewhere between this and the "Fighter and Glass Cannon" version, as Gaylen is capable of casting both offensive and healing spells (though he notes his speciality is healing and he's actually a fairly medicore battle mage). They're a rarity for examples of this trope in that Cassandra the Seeker is the "Sword" (a fullplate-wearing Screaming Warrior ex-dragon-hunter) and Gaylen is the Sorcerer (a Circle Mage).
  • In the first and second episode of Goblin Slayer the titular hero and a priestess are in this combo. But from the third episode, more adventurers join the two.

    Fan Works 

  • In Frostflower and Thorn, the former is the healer, the latter, the swordswoman.
  • In addition to the Caramon/Raistlin example above, Goldmoon and Riverwind from the Dragon Lance novels would be an example of this type.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Warhammer Fantasy universe this is supposed to be the raison d'etre for the Swordsmasters, a High Elven organisation of warriors who exist to protect the elven mages trained at the White Tower of Hoeth.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, the spellcaster turning the fighter into an engine of destruction is not only effective, it's often more efficient than DPSing by themselves.
    • It gets a bit bizarre in the 3rd Edition rules, as both clerics and druids, which fill the role of a "healer" are much more efficient if they put their spells on themselves and beat up all enemies with their own hands, instead of using their magic on a fighter.

    Video Games 
  • The Tales Series frequently does this with implied and explicit Official Couples.
    • In Tales of Phantasia, Cless was the only frontline fighter in the original version and Mint is the straightest White Magician Girl ever.
    • Stahn and Rutee in Tales of Destiny. Rutee is competent enough on the front lines that they can switch roles if Stahn wants to throw out a fire spell.
    • Kyle and Reala in Tales of Destiny 2. Reala is more of The Red Mage, but she is the party's main healer while Kyle does best focusing on his sword.
    • Luke and Tear in Tales of the Abyss, especially in the beginning and part way through the Disc-One Final Dungeon. Luke learned swordfighting from Tear's brother, and Tear specializes in multi-target healing and holy magic.
    • Tales of Vesperia features Yuri and Estelle in the opening segment. Estelle is quite a bit tougher than your average healer, but the archetype is still there. This is also their dynamic in Project × Zone.
    • Asbel and Cheria in Tales of Graces. During the seven years they spent separated, Asbel trained as a swordsman while Cheria discovered her healing spells.
    • Sorey and Mikleo in Tales of Zestiria. Sorey is a mostly normal human who uses a sword and Mikleo is a Seraph that uses single-target healing spells and water magic.
    • In Tales of Berseria, Velvet and Laphicet break from the pattern of their predecessors in several ways. It's Velvet, the female of the pair who fights on the front line with wrist blades and knives in her boots while Laphicet, the male of the pair, stays in the back row to use magic of various elements along with the strongest single-target healing. Unlike the other pairs listed, Velvet and Laphicet have a purely platonic relationship. In fact, Laphicet is Velvet's nephew.
    • In Tales of Arise, Alphen and Shionne are a return to form. Alphen is a pure frontline swordsman while Shionne stays in the back with a mixture of healing magic, fire spells, and gunfire.
  • Sword and Sorcerer pairings of both types are quite common two-person parties in MMORPGs. The Fighter and Glass Cannon pairing usually has a mage paired up with a tank who keeps the aggro off the mage while the mage unleashes hell with his high damage single-target spells and AOEs. The Fighter and Healer pairing has a fighter or other melee DPS type paired up with a healer who uses heals and buffs as the fighter deals with enemies.
    • The Tank and Healer Combo is particularly important, mandatory in all MMORPGs. Granted, you usually have other party members during big fights but there will always be at least one dedicated healer who focuses on the tank.
    • In particular, the majority of the content in Star Wars: The Old Republic can be played solo with an AI companion. If the player's role is DPS or Tank, the companion will almost always be set to Heal; if the player's role is Heal, the companion could be DPS or Tank as the situation warrants. Also worth noting is that the roles are frequently inverted: the "sword" could easily be a Jedi or Sith, while the "sorcerer" might be some flavor of combat medic.
  • Parties in the Valkyrie Profile series usually have this sort of grouping, and the mages can work both as artillery or support. You can either have the rest of the characters build up a combo to boost the Mage's (already stupidly powerful) final attack, or have the mage buff the frontline fighters to obliterate whatever's in the way. Later games in the series let you do both at once.
  • Dark Souls III has the Princes Lothric and Lorian in their Dual Boss fight. Initially, you only fight the bulky brain-dead Lorian, who is teleported around by his frail, crippled (yet magically trained) brother Lothric. After defeating Lorian once however, the real boss fight begins. Lothric revives his brother back to full health, before appearing on his back. Lothric fires powerful magic from his back and teleports Lorian much more often, while Lorian attacks at an increased speed. Even if you defeat Lorian again, Lothric will simply bring him back to full health. You must first kill Lothric to make the fight even possible to beat.
  • Heavy/Medic is a common pairing in Team Fortress 2, where, as the names suggest, the Medic heals and the Heavy deals and takes a lot of damage. Similar pairings sometimes seen are Medic/Soldier and Medic/Pyro.
    • The "Demoknights"—Demoman using a variety of unlockable melee weapons—when paired with a Medic are a more traditional example of this trope. Contrary to this trope, a regular Demoman/Medic pair (common in normal play, but the most used Medic combo in competitive play) is a Glass Cannon and a Healer.
    • One three part combination that's seem occasionally in regular play, and is pretty much the standard in Highlander mode, is Heavy + Medic + Pyro, where the Heavy and Medic acts as the normal roles of attacker/bulletshield and healer while the Pyro takes a more active defense role to protect both from Spies, Ubercharges, and projectile spamming.
  • On top of having duos of the other variety, Fire Emblem has a few Fighter and Medic duos. Much like their counterparts, healers usually gain access to offensive magic when they promote, so most of these also count as fighter/Glass Cannon combos.
    • Due to the nature of the romance mechanics in certain titles, anyone can pair up with literally anyone, so any Battle Couple that consists of a physical fighter and a healer qualifies by default.
    • In the first generation of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, the only two static couples are Sigurd and Deirdre, and Quan and Ethlin; Sigurd and Quan favor swords and lances respectively, while Deirdre and Ethlin are both staff users, though Ethlin also uses a sword. The second generation gives a Generation Xerox to the couples' respective sons; Seliph can marry most of the women in the second generation, but he has a significant head start with the priestess Lana or her replacement Muirnne. Leif's romantic relationship with the Troubador Nanna is canonized in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776. Assuming a certain glitch isn't used, Seliph also has a platonic version with his half-sister Julia.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn:
      • Boyd and Mist play this so straight, it isn't even funny. Despite being a textbook case of Slap-Slap-Kiss, both care for each other deeply and even fall in love with each other if you max out their support conversation, with them marrying by the end of the continuity.]] Boyd is also a Lightning Bruiser who's perfect for frontline combat, while Mist is a Combat Medic who fights with swords and heals with magic. Pairing them together is strongly recommended, as it gives Boyd easy access to a healer while giving Mist protection. Really, the only thing preventing the two being a textbook example is that Boyd averts Heroes Prefer Swords by fighting with an axe instead.
      • A rare Gender-Inverted example is Rhys and Mia. Unlike Mist, Rhys is too ill to fight on his lonesome and instead uses healing magic or Light Magic to defend himself, while Mia is a dorky Nice Girl who's an incredibly useful Swordmaster Glass Cannon. They also get along very well and there's a good deal of Ship Tease with them, though Mia doesn't seem to be all aware of Rhys' crush.
      • During the third showdown with the Black Knight in Path of Radiance, the swordsman Ike challenges him with only his younger sister Mist the cleric for support.
    • Two female examples of this trope are both Hana/Sakura and Effie/Elise from Fire Emblem Fates. Hana is a Samurai who's both the protector and best friend of the White Magician Girl Sakura, while Effie - despite her voracious appetite and Hot-Blooded tendencies - is an indisputably heroic Knight in Shining Armor who, just like Hana, is the youngest healing princess' bestie. And this is not covering the insane amount of Les Yay between both friendships...
    • Due to the fact that Three Houses allows anyone to equip any weapon and go into any class gender allowed, basically anyone can become one of these, but if you look at their weapons, there are two major examples other than the one's mentioned above. These include Childhood Friends Caspar and Lindhart and Brother–Sister Teamnote  of Seteth and Flayn. Both Caspar and Seteth also play with this trope by their weapons not being swords, but rather being axes in both of their cases and lances strickly in Seteth's case with Seteth also being a Wyvern Rider.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Blados and Chalis in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. There's a little mixing here as Blados can still cast Shadow Shield and Chalis can use Scornful Caress (a slashing attack).
  • Played straight in a short leader story for World of Warcraft with Varian Wrynn being the fighter and his son Anduin Wrynn as the healer.
  • The Prince and Elika from Prince of Persia (2008). Prince is the resident badass who handles all the fighting, while Elika is unarmed and sticks mostly to support (except in their Combination Attack). While there is no conventional healing in the game, Elika's main job is to magically haul the Prince's ass back to safety whenever he is about to die.
  • A recurring pattern in the Star Ocean series.
    • In Star Ocean Roddick has played the sword to Millie's healer since they were children, and use their abilities to protect their hometown from bandits.
    • In Star Ocean: The Second Story Claude picked up a sword to avoid arousing suspicion on an underdeveloped planet, while Rena comes from a Mage Species and has a natural talent for healing. Unlike most examples, where the sword user is the lead and the healer plays support, the game can be played from Rena's point of view.
    • In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Fayt, like Claude, started using a sword to blend in on a medieval planet, while his childhood friend Sophia is The Red Mage due to the genetic experiments they were both subjected to as infants.
    • In Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness Fidel and Miki, like Roddick and Millie, have had this dynamic since they were children, Fidel having learned the sword to follow in his father's footsteps while Miki learned to heal to be closer to her late mother.
  • Suikoden has swordsman Lepant and his Earth Rune-equipped wife Eileen. The actual game mechanics subvert it, though, because half of the Earth Rune's spells are bugged and do not perform their stated functions at all.
  • The Evolution duology has Mag and Linear: The former fighting with his Cyframe and the latter lacking a cyframe, but having an array of healing and support spells. The image is increased given that, unlike the other party members Linear cannnot be removed from the party except in the late and post-game. This is also Played With as, due to how the Cyframe system works, another party member can function as the healer with the right parts, including Mag himself.
  • Jean and Barbara from Genshin Impact are a pair of sister that fits this trope, with Jean wielding a sword and Barbara being a mage. Interestingly, both of them can heal and attack.



Alternative Title(s): Swordsman And Sorcerer, Fighter Mage Combo, Mage And Meat Shield