Follow TV Tropes

Following

Weak to Magic

Go To

You know, you've never been any good against magic. And magic's what I'm all about.

A character that is Weak to Magic is, as you might expect, more easily damaged by magical means as opposed to mundane ones in settings with magic or a close equivalent to it. This can be for reasons ranging from magic being antithetical to their being, tactical or Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors at work, and more. While a traditional Squishy Wizard has great magical power but lacks much in the way of physical strength or endurance, a character that is Weak to Magic may actually have great magical power, but still can't take getting hit by magical attacks.

Advertisement:

Compare Magically Inept Fighter for characters who lack skill with using magic, but aren't necessarily weak to it.

In a modern setting, may overlap with Immune to Bullets. Compare Weak-Willed for when someone is vulnerable to mental attacks, which can overlap if the mental attacks happen to be magic-based. Cold Iron and Science Destroys Magic are for cases of magic being weak against technology. Contrast Anti-Magic for things that nullify magic.


Advertisement:

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 

  • Downplayed in that they're not particularly weak to it, but Kryptonians such as Superman are capable of being damaged by magic and magical weapons like an average human would despite their Nigh-Invulnerability, which is one of the only ways to directly harm them that doesn't involve the use of Kryptonite. This weakness is portrayed inconsistently, however. In some cases, a Kryptonian needs to avoid being struck by a magical sword or fire because they will cut or burn them like a normal person, but in a different story, being struck by a magical hammer or lightning will only hurt slightly more than being struck by any other sufficiently-powerful weapon or energy source.
  • In Seven Soldiers, Gloriana Tenebrae is vulnerable to the magic of Caliburn.
  • At times, higher order magic can cause serious harm to the Shazam/Marvel Family.
  • In Doctor Strange, the Imperator has magic as his Achilles' Heel.
  • Like all Strontians, Kallark/Gladiator has a weakness to magic.
  • Despite being powered by a mystical connection to Cyttorak, the Juggernaut/Cain Marko of X-Men is known to be vulnerable to high levels of mystical attack.
  • In Hack/Slash, Nef Black Magic can cause permanent harm to Slashers. Also counts as Wrong Context Magic given the Nef demons are from Another Dimension of Planet Heck.

    Film - Live Action 

  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor assumes he's impervious to the mind-meddling Scarlet Witch is using to whammy the human Avengers. However, we see that Scarlet Witch is able to trigger visions in Thor. We also know that magic is the primary weapon of Loki, Thor's adopted brother and main antagonist. It is repeatedly demonstrated in scenes in Thor, Thor: Ragnarok, and other MCU films that Thor has difficulty detecting when Loki is using magic to deceive him.
Advertisement:

    Live Action TV 

  • In the season 1 The Flash (2014) crossover with Arrow, Barry assumes his metahuman ability makes him immune to Roy Bivolo's anger inducing powers. In reality, it actually makes him more susceptible. The whammy interacts with Barry's enhanced biology and makes him dangerously angry and violent and very difficult for his non-powered team and allies to deal with.
  • In Grimm, Nick Burkhardt, the Grimm, is an enhanced human, easily shaking off things that would injure if not kill most humans, usually requiring no more than a quick nap. However, he is shown to be susceptible to magic. For example, in the season 2 finale and season 3 premiere cliffhanger, he is kidnapped by Baron Samedi whose wesen power allows him to turn people into mindless zombies. However, Nick's Grimm status combined with the zombification simply increases his natural Grimm combat skills and situational awareness while stripping away his human ability to discriminate between the innocent and the guilty.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Zelena is vulnerable to White Magic.
  • In "Spell", the season 4 episode of Smallville, Lana, Lois, and Chloe are possessed by the spirits of three witches who were burned at the stake and now want revenge. When Clark realizes what's happened, he tries to stop them but they are able to use their magic to overpower him, strip him of his powers, and restrain him. Eventually, he escapes and is able to burn the book that released the witches' ghosts, undoing the possession. Afterwards, visibly shaken, he tells his parents that magic is real and it can actually hurt him.
  • On Supernatural, the angel Castiel is impervious to nearly everything on Earth. However, in season 10, when Rowena casts a spell on him, we find out that even angels are effected negatively by magic. This is likely because witches are believed to draw their powers from an unholy covenant with a demon. When cast upon a holy vessel, the grace of an angel and the evil taint of sorcery fight for supremacy. Across multiple episodes, Castiel is visibly, physically distressed, even having seizures and crying blood tears as his grace fights to expel the tainted magic from his vessel.

    Tabletop Games 

  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In Advanced D&D, when a character wants to be affected by beneficial magic (e.g. a healing spell), they can decide to temporarily fail their saving throw and/or neutralize any magic resistance they have. Unfortunately, if a clever enemy arranges to hit them with a magical attack at that moment, the target has no defense against magic at all, and is automatically affected by the attack.
    • Mundane weapons pass right through incorporeal monsters, magic weapons have a 10% chance of hurting them and specially enchanted "ghost touch" weapons or spells that deal force damage deal full damage.
  • Ironclaw: Ghosts, phantoms, and shades can only be damaged by magic.
  • Shadowrun: One of the reasons mages are so powerful is that summoned spirits are very difficult to kill without magic. It's not so much that they've actually got a weakness to magic as that they're ridiculously hard to harm without magic.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Varies in regards to the Tau. They have little to no Warp presence, meaning they have no psykers and are (with one possibly Ret-Conned exception) immune to the corrupting aspects of the Warp, unlike humans and Eldar. However, it also means they don't really know how to deal with psychic powers and the daemonic invasions they cause.

    Video Games 

  • The Juggler enemies in Chrono Trigger can switch between Stone Wall forms that either take high damage from physical attacks and little from magic, and vice-versa.
  • Dragon Quest IX: Imbuing weapons with elemental magic causes huge damage boosts and is almost mandatory for the later boss fights. Unfortunately, the only information on what monsters are weak to what element involves a lot of guesswork, as they're not always as logical as "water beats fire".
  • In Dragon's Dogma, ghost-type enemies such as Phantom, Phantasm, Specter, and Wraith are highly resilient to physical attacks due to being incorporeal spirits, and the only way you can damage them with physical attacks is to let them possess one of your pawns and then strike them. However, they are susceptible to magic and enchanted weapons, especially Holy magic. The Living Armor residing at the Bitterblack Isle also shares this characteristic after you have destroyed the armor and exposed the ghost inside.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Despite their great magical power, Altmer are noted to take more damage from magical attacks precisely because of their connection to arcane powers.
    • Those born under the astrological sign of the Apprentice gain extra mana, but are more vulnerable to magical effects.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII, physical attacks and magic are put on the same weakness/resistance continuum as elemental damage so that their damage multipliers stack with the elemental ones. Most of the winged Cie'th have magic as a weakness.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • Golden Sun: Enemies attacked with elemental Djinn not only take more damage from the ones they're weak to, they give extra gold and experience if killed via Djinn rather than standard attacks or Psynergy.
  • In Honkai Impact 3rd, Mecha-type entities (whether they're Valkyries or the Mecha-Mooks) take more damage from Psychic-type entities.
  • In Pokémon, Pokémon with a low Special Defense stat take more damage from special-based attacks on top of the franchise's Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors.
  • Warcraft III:
    • Units with Heavy armor (mostly tough, high-end melee units) are more susceptible to Magic attacks. In standard games, Magic attacks come either from casters (which do pitiful damage) or heavy air units (which do scary amounts of damage).
    • The Banish spell slows the target and causes it to become ethereal, meaning they can't attack or be attacked except by Magic and spells, and take additional damage from all magic sources.
    • Tauren Spirit Walkers can switch between ethereal and corporeal forms at will, casting spells in either one.
  • Kingdom Rush series:
    • Armored enemies take less damage from physical attacks but are weak to magic which ignores armor. Only two enemies in the series are exceptions, since they have both armor and magic resistance.
    • Blood Gnolls actually take extra damage from magical attacks compared to every other enemy in the series. A good thing too, since they have a good bit of health, deal lots of damage, and move very quickly.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Fate/stay night and related media, Servants are said to completely immune to non-magical attacks, and even nukes wouldn't be able to hurt them. However, they can be harmed by other Servants and any attack that has mana in it, like spells, supernatural weapons, or objects or people that have been enhanced by Reinforcement magic. Then again, many Servants have Magic Resistance which nullifies or at least reduces the effects of spells.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-2608 is a species of mayfly that's a variant of this trope: it dies when exposed to the supernatural effects of other SCPs, but also when exposed to mundane pollution. This is explained as it being vulnerable to any changes in its environment, supernatural or not. This property results in it being used by the Foundation as an advance warning system for other SCPs.

    Western Animation 
  • The premise of the animated film Justice League Dark. An unknown force is taking control of people causing them to murder indiscriminately under the belief that the people they are murdering are actually demons. The Justice League attempts to intervene after parents start murdering their children, but most members, such as Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern are shown to be vulnerable to magic. The threat to the world is too great if one of these powerhouses were to become magically brainwashed, so Batman assembles a Dark Magic/ Occult equivalent which includes John Constantine, Zatanna, Deadman, Black Orchid, Jason Blood, and Swamp Thing.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Deadman is vulnerable to Magic’s relating to ghosts.
  • Aku from Samurai Jack shows the most fear for and damage against divine powers or weapons, but magic comes a close second in the number of things able to hurt or counter his powers, at least more so than any "normal" weapons which he straight-up No Sells. The Scotsman's Ghost is even able to directly counter a barrage of his attacks using Celtic Magic in the finale.

Alternative Title(s): Weak Against Magic

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report