2019-01 : Elemental powers in fantasy and their perceived archetypes

click the element symbols to get further explaination!

Fantasy elements! A trope in fiction we all love. So today I made this alignment chart organizing most of the common magic elements in fantasy works and the practicer of each element's percieved character archetypes.

How to read this chart:
x-axis represent the brain vs. brawn spetrum, with the left side being brawns and right side being brains.
y-axis represent the paragon vs. edgelord spectrum, with the top being all sunshine paragon hero and the bottom being absolute edgelord.

~ Fire ~
Fire, one of the most common elements in fiction works along with water. It has almost become the go-to element for the protagonist of mainstream works such as novels and anime. I mean, fire represents heat, warmth, passion, and love, which fits perfectly with a stock paragon hero who only cares about fighting and friendship.
Notable users: Natsu(fairy tail), Ace(one piece), Mokou(touhou)
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~ Electricity ~
Electricity, arguably the second most used element for a fantasy protagonist, venerated for its power and agility. Moreover, in a lot of games electricity is also associated with crit chance, which is kinda fitting given the unpredictable nature of thunder strikes.
Notable users: Thor(marvel), Kennen(leauge of legends), Enel(one piece)
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~ Light ~
Light, another common element for protagonists. Though not as popular as fire and electricity, is still highly regarded by writers. I guess one thing common between these three elements are the theme of energy and brightness, which, again, is fitting for a happy and friendly teenage hero with a heart of gold. Though, it's also common to be placed on a supportive character.
Notable users: Kizaru(one piece), Lux(leauge of legends)
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~ Life (plantae) ~
Plant life, otherwise known as grass or wood element. I would say this is the fourth most bright and hero-like element on this list, but it's also leaning more towards the brains side since plants are usually seen as passive, supporting, and/or flexible. Other common themes include harmony, peace, care, and healing.
Notable users: Sailor Jupiter(sailor moon), Groot(marvel), Zyra(league of legends)
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~ Sound ~
Sound, one of the less mainstream elements in fantasy, but still have a decent following. Not suprisingly, its users are also often associated with music. The sound element usually gives off a happy or party vibe, and its users are mostly supporting characters that do not go into close fights
Notable users: Sona, Bard(league of legends), Lucio(overwatch)
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~ Earth ~
Earth, the third staple mainstream element along with water in fire that are also in both the eastern and western arcane systems. Yet it is the least popular amongst them. I feel like it's kind of the forgotten child cause really can you think of a memorable character with earth power? Earth is uaually associated with stability, calmness, and serenity since the earth stay so still on the ground.
Notable users: Taliyah(league of legends), Richard(fairy tail)
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~ Steam ~
Steam, the often forgotten matter state of water. Usually writers and game developers put water and ice as their own element, while leaving out steam. I mean, who could blame them, steam is essentially water + fire(heat), and there is really not that much to write about. However, in the case that it is present, it will usually be associated with cloud and weather, an old man, or a robot, which is mostly neutral but leans towards the brains side, in a sense.
Notable users: I can't find any popular ones, maybe Storm(marvel)?
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~ Celestial ~
Celestial, otherwise known as cosmic, or astromancy. It is not a very popular element due to it is more abstract and not realated to one natural phenomena I guess. Though, it is usually associated with themes like wisdom, mysticism, or guidance. Due to it not feeling like a close combat element, a lot of it's users plays supportive role in battle.
Notable users: Lucy(fairy tail), Soraka(league of legends)
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~ Life (animalia) ~
Animal life, arguably the most physical element in this list. While common wild animals are indeed stronger and way less intelligent than humans, animals are a very diverse category, yet very few writers explore the more exotic life forms. That being said, animal life associated characters are usually view as the muscles of the team, or the "wild untamed beast", which, do makes sense. Though sometimes insects and birds makes their own category too.
Notable users: Elfman(fairy tail), Udyr(league of legends), every single druid(dnd)
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~ Water ~
Water, an element that I would say is the most neutral. It is, of course, one of the most popular elements in fantasy fiction. It is usually associated with flexibility, femininity(as opposed to the masculinity of fire), or calmness. Interestingly, in a lot of works water is the primary healing element, with light being secondary.
Notable users: Nami(league of legends), Juvia(fairy tail), Moana(disney)
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~ Psychic ~
Psychic, again one of the more abstract elements, but this time, its problem is that it is too broad of a category. Psychic encompasses telepathy, telekinesis, mind control, thaumaturgy, and more. Nonetheless, psychic is an element that focus on the mind and intelligence, so naturally it is on the far end of the brains side.
Notable users: I can't find good examples, psychic is too broad
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~ Ice ~
Ice, the solid state of water, usually its user's power comes down to coldness. And fittingly, characters with ice power is often the foil to the fiery protagonist, and is overall calm, level-headed, and polite. Sometimes, ice is also the defense oriented element in games, to contrast the attack based fire.
Notable users: Gray(fairy tail), Elsa(disney), Frost(dc)
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~ Time ~
Time, one of the half abstract yet half realistic concepts in real life. In fiction time element users are usually calm, smart, and less physical, but sometimes time benders are also nimble assassins, utilizing their time warping ability to deliver quick and destructive damage.
Notable users: Sakuya, Kaguya(touhou), Ekko, Zilean(league of legends)
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~ Metal ~
Metal, one of the few brawns + edgy elements. In almost all fictional work the metal element character only controls iron, steel, copper, bronze, gold, and silver, which is understandable, since they are the most common metals. Very rarely do we see exotic metals like sodium or uranium, I mean, 3/4 of the periodic table are metal, why arent people bending alkali metals to create explosions? Anyhow, metal element is often associated with the theme of sturdyness and protection.
Notable users: Gajeel(fairy tail), Magneto(marvel), Mordekaiser(league of legends)

~ Gravity ~
Gravity, I would say is the least popular natural phenomena based element, and when it is present, it is merged with darkness. I mean, if anything, it should be merged with time! Y'all ever pass physics? Alas, gravity element don't have a central theme across all works, since it is so rare and basic to our world. Otherwise, it is also often related to psychic powers.
Notable users: Ishiguro(mob psycho 100), Magneto(marvel)? but electromagnetism =/= gravity tho
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~ Dream ~
Dream, one of the more mysterious elements. It is, again, closely related to psychic element since mind control/reading is a form of psychic power. Anyways, dream element is also closely related to celestial or darkness, which make it a brains + edgy element with supporting role in combat.
Notable users: Nightmare(marvel)
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~ Wind ~
Wind, dispite being always prominent and popular, it is rarely see on a protagonist as a major power. Yea it might be a minor power for a jack-of-a-few-trades, wind element users are usually either a nimble assassin or a support in battle. Which is fitting given its theme of agility, freedom, and soothing feeling. However it is also one of the half edgy elements that 10 years old will pick in games who then promptly found out that the wind school of powers works as support instead of burst casters.
Notable users: Sanae(touhou), Janna(league of legends), Jin(yuyu hakusho), Wendy(fairy tail)
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~ Poison ~
Poison, arguably the second most edgy element. Character with poison elements are usually assassins, yet some game give them the ability to inflict poison as a status effect on enemies, which gives them a slow and elongated fall which is not assassin-ish at all. In real life though, effective poison are often very quick and can kill the target in matter of minutes.
Notable users: Poison Ivy(dc), Twitch(league of legends), Medicine(touhou)
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~ Darkness ~
Darkness, the ultimate edgy element. It is also often associated with shadow bending and shadow puppeteering. Being the go-to choice of edgy teenagers(along with a grim reaper sycthe as weapon of choice), it do have a reputation for being the edgelord type. Otherwise when its user is not a dark wizard, ninja, or stock final boss, some darkness users can also be really good tanks.
Notable users: The knight(hollow knight), Rumia(touhou), Zed(league of legends)
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-PresidentKevvol 12th Aug., 2019