Overused Protagonist Powers

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Honestly, I don't think that gravity is a part of the earth magic. Demolishing things is easier, true. But, it's not that op if we are talking about one-on-one action or small scale, group fights.
I'll follow up on what was said. for small fights you can destroy, shake, or liquify the ground they're standing on. you can dig holes, make spikes, build cages, or block off someone's way. those are just a few examples.

for large structures, you only have to induce a small earthquake. a small issue in any foundation causes unimaginable damages, so again, dig, break, or shake. additionally, if a city is near water, you can flood it completely. a few localized earthquakes at sufficient water depth would create a series of tsunamis
 

SailusGebel

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I'll follow up on what was said. for small fights you can destroy, shake, or liquify the ground they're standing on. you can dig holes, make spikes, build cages, or block off someone's way. those are just a few examples.
I was actually asking what else besides messing up with a footing is op. And I think everything you mentioned belongs to this category.
 

Jemini

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As the many above me have said, Earth magic. Usually whenever I come across a protagonist who is proficient in elemental magic, he's usually a fire or water, with the former occuring the most. Probably because fire is known for its destructive power.

If its not one, its usually all of them. "Jack of all trades", I think it was called.

But Earth is strong too, you know. That's why I can appreciate protagonists who primarily use Earth magic, like Rudeus Greyrat from Mushoku Tensei, with one of the spells that he use a lot, is just Rock Bullets. But he's learned to cast them so quickly and potently that its now a machinegun, or rather a shotgun, if he wants it to be.

One more thing, he literally makes multiple mech suits to amplify the rock bullets even FURTHER.

Add the fact that said mech suits were actually created using primarily Earth magic as well for the raw materials.

There was some kind of other enchantment related magic circle stuff in there as well for the circuitry, but the stuff it was made out of was done using Rudeus' own earth magic.
Honestly, I don't think that gravity is a part of the earth magic. Demolishing things is easier, true. But, it's not that op if we are talking about one-on-one action or small scale, group fights.
Sometimes it's considered separate, sometimes it's considered an evolved or higher form. It really depends on the writer.

I think one of the more under-sold things though would be the freedom of mobility the earth element would offer. A skilled earth magic user would also be able to create an opening in a solid stone surface, and also enclose themselves inside for something of a "turtle" strategy. But, it's not just bunkering down and hiding. With some more effort, said earth mage could actually start travelling underground and re-position themselves.

It's also good for creating fortifications, not just destroying infrastructure.

That's the thing. A lot of people tend to think of earth magic as brutish. However, a lot of the element's most powerful applications are actually incredibly strategy based. It might just be the most intellectually involved of all the elemental powers.

I'm not sure about 1 on 1 fights, but if it comes to nation building then my money is always going to be on the country heavy in earth mages to take over the world.

Water mages might be able to grow crops in the middle of a desert, but so long as an earth mage can find a river they can use their earth magic to divert it and create a canal system. So, no need for water mages at the lower levels of technological advancement.

Fire mages might be able to advance more quickly once you get into the steam age, but you need a lot of civilization advancements before you get to that level and earth mages are going to advance through every one of those earlier ages FAR faster than people using any other element. By the time you even get to the steam age, a nation of earth mages could just enlist a small group of fire mages to work on their machinery. (Possibly as slave labor.)

About the only area any other element has an edge is seafaring exploration. Both wind and water mages would have an edge in that area. That can be used to form trade routes. However, with the riches that an earth-elemental using nation would have, they can easily become a powerful importer nation and profit off the wind and water mage merchant class.

In short, earth mages are the ones who would really take over the world.
 
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SailusGebel

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Sometimes it's considered separate, sometimes it's considered an evolved or higher form. It really depends on the writer.

I think one of the more under-sold things though would be the freedom of mobility the earth element would offer. A skilled earth magic user would also be able to create an opening in a solid stone surface, and also enclose themselves inside for something of a "turtle" strategy. But, it's not just bunkering down and hiding. With some more effort, said earth mage could actually start travelling underground and re-position themselves.

It's also good for creating fortifications, not just destroying infrastructure.

That's the thing. A lot of people tend to think of earth magic as brutish. However, a lot of the element's most powerful applications are actually incredibly strategy based. It might just be the most intellectually involved of all the elemental powers.

I'm not sure about 1 on 1 fights, but if it comes to nation building then my money is always going to be on the country heavy in earth mages to take over the world.

Water mages might be able to grow crops in the middle of a desert, but so long as an earth mage can find a river they can use their earth magic to divert it and create a canal system. So, no need for water mages at the lower levels of technological advancement.

Fire mages might be able to advance more quickly once you get into the steam age, but you need a lot of civilization advancements before you get to that level and earth mages are going to advance through every one of those earlier ages FAR faster than people using any other element. By the time you even get to the steam age, a nation of earth mages could just enlist a small group of fire mages to work on their machinery. (Possibly as slave labor.)

About the only area any other element has an edge is seafaring exploration. Both wind and water mages would have an edge in that area. That can be used to form trade routes. However, with the riches that an earth-elemental using nation would have, they can easily become a powerful importer nation and profit off the wind and water mage merchant class.

In short, earth mages are the ones who would really take over the world.
Once more, you don't say anything about 1 on 1 fights. It all boils down to nation-building, and I can't see how this is OP when you write an action-adventure story. I understood that you are not sure, yet after reading "freaking OP, completely OP, it's so OP," I was expecting more. Especially when considering how well thought and elaborative your answers usually are.
 

Jemini

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Once more, you don't say anything about 1 on 1 fights. It all boils down to nation-building, and I can't see how this is OP when you write an action-adventure story. I understood that you are not sure, yet after reading "freaking OP, completely OP, it's so OP," I was expecting more. Especially when considering how well thought and elaborative your answers usually are.

I really don't think you understand exactly how ridiculous it is to have your footing constantly disrupted.

Yes, it can be countered by the enemy constantly propelling themselves into the air, but who wins a battle of attrition between the two?

Earth mage just needs to hide behind a wall for a while, meanwhile messing with your footing every time you land on the ground. This forces their opponent to need to use their magic constantly to stay airborn to protect themselves. Meanwhile, the earth mage just needs to 1-time cast a solid barrier and they can just sit and kick back until their opponent runs out of mana as they deny the enemy any opportunity to rest.

Resource management is really stacked unfairly in the earth mage's favor on this one.

Yes, it's not flashy or impressive, but these two tactics in combination are so incredibly OP that it would require a wind, water, or fire mage to be overwhelmingly more powerful in order to win against an earth mage. If their power levels are even within 50% of each other, the earth mage would win 100% of the time in a 1 on 1 fight using this tactic. That's the very definition of OP. (And the poor fire mage would have the worst mana efficiency of the three. I can at least see the water mage getting by if they jump in a lake and just let themselves float on their back. Earth mage can respond to that by re-shaping the ground and draining the lake. But, at least it would be a somewhat fair battle of attrition at that point because the earth mage would need to expend real effort.)

I think the problem here is that not many people think about resource management in their action stories. But, it's a real concern. You should sometime look at the most OP spells in Dungeons and Dragons. Almost all of them have to do with tying up the enemy's action economy in some way, or otherwise making them helpless. Spells that just deal a lot of damage don't even make the list in the first place. Earth magic is the one element that can most effectively hem the enemy in and deny them of potential actions among the 4 elements, making it perfectly fit the same model as the D&D spells that make the OP list.
 
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SailusGebel

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I really don't think you understand exactly how ridiculous it is to have your footing constantly disrupted.

Yes, it can be countered by the enemy constantly propelling themselves into the air, but who wins a battle of attrition between the two?

Earth mage just needs to hide behind a wall for a while, meanwhile messing with your footing every time you land on the ground. This forces their opponent to need to use their magic constantly to stay airborn to protect themselves. Meanwhile, the earth mage just needs to 1-time cast a solid barrier and they can just sit and kick back until their opponent runs out of mana as they deny the enemy any opportunity to rest.

Resource management is really stacked unfairly in the earth mage's favor on this one.

Yes, it's not flashy or impressive, but these two tactics in combination are so incredibly OP that it would require a wind, water, or fire mage to be overwhelmingly more powerful in order to win against an earth mage.
First of all, I didn't misunderstand things. I asked a simple question: "what else?" You weren't able to answer it from the get-go, which is understandable. Because you probably won't spend all your time thinking, how to answer this question from a random person on a forum?

Now, to your point about footing. You can mess up with footing while using other magics. It won't be as effective, of course, but you can. For example, use ice, use explosion, make bogs, etc. And actually, your previous words were on point. It all depends on the writer. And I can't see how this is OP. Other magics can be as op as earth.

Okay, I've read Mushoku Tensei, and I even remember how Richard from Release That Witch defeated a witch in a battle of souls. By messing up the footing, which is extremely op. I will be honest I'm too lazy and sleepy to prove that this isn't AS OP. If you want a dialogue, you can PM me. I will answer you tomorrow cause I'm going to bed right now. If not, consider that your argument stays true, and I don't understand how truly OP this is.
 

SilvCrimBlac

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The power of friendship.
Main reason I don't watch shounen anymore. If you couldn't win before your best bud or the pretty girl started cheering you on, it's highly unlikely anything will change after they start cheering you on. At most, you get a brief extra boost to morale....none of which equates to a power or strength boost. It's just going to prolong that ass-kicking you're already getting.
poor old Joseph went to bed last night with a small paddy field in his backyard and woke up this morning to find his little cottage sitting at a 27 degree angle on the side of a hill that wasn't there yesterday.
Just imagined this. And it was glorious.
I really don't think you understand exactly how ridiculous it is to have your footing constantly disrupted.

Yes, it can be countered by the enemy constantly propelling themselves into the air, but who wins a battle of attrition between the two?

Earth mage just needs to hide behind a wall for a while, meanwhile messing with your footing every time you land on the ground. This forces their opponent to need to use their magic constantly to stay airborn to protect themselves. Meanwhile, the earth mage just needs to 1-time cast a solid barrier and they can just sit and kick back until their opponent runs out of mana as they deny the enemy any opportunity to rest.

Resource management is really stacked unfairly in the earth mage's favor on this one.

Yes, it's not flashy or impressive, but these two tactics in combination are so incredibly OP that it would require a wind, water, or fire mage to be overwhelmingly more powerful in order to win against an earth mage. If their power levels are even within 50% of each other, the earth mage would win 100% of the time in a 1 on 1 fight using this tactic. That's the very definition of OP. (And the poor fire mage would have the worst mana efficiency of the three. I can at least see the water mage getting by if they jump in a lake and just let themselves float on their back. Earth mage can respond to that by re-shaping the ground and draining the lake. But, at least it would be a somewhat fair battle of attrition at that point because the earth mage would need to expend real effort.)

I think the problem here is that not many people think about resource management in their action stories. But, it's a real concern. You should sometime look at the most OP spells in Dungeons and Dragons. Almost all of them have to do with tying up the enemy's action economy in some way, or otherwise making them helpless. Spells that just deal a lot of damage don't even make the list in the first place. Earth magic is the one element that can most effectively hem the enemy in and deny them of potential actions among the 4 elements, making it perfectly fit the same model as the D&D spells that make the OP list.
After reading all of your posts, I'm just going to have to pretend I don't already know any of this when I write because while I did, I just prefer to go battle heavy and avoid getting to deep into the strategies. While this is good info, it's just too much when I'm only intending to entertain, not enlighten, which is something writers should keep in mind more often rather than make any effort to be concerned with all of these details you've listed. Only time I bother to tinker with minute details is in army-vs.-army, and I normally don't include magic in these kinds of stories in the first place. Shield-wall for the win....eh something like that.
 
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Leficios

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Add the fact that said mech suits were actually created using primarily Earth magic as well for the raw materials.

There was some kind of other enchantment related magic circle stuff in there as well for the circuitry, but the stuff it was made out of was done using Rudeus' own earth magic.
Gotta thank his disciple for that one.
 

Cipiteca396

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Ironically, that HORRIBLY written Smartphone isekai was the closest to getting it right just how OP it is to mess with the enemy's footing.
What else makes earth magic OP? I'm genuinely curious, no offense meant.
The thing that makes earth magic OP is the cleats/magboots spell. It prevents enemy mages from screwing around with your footing. Bonus points if you put it into an enchantment on somebody's footwear so you don't have to recast it constantly.

For a one-on-one, being able to cast earth attacks from directly beneath the opponent is rough to deal with. There's also Petrify(Flesh to Stone) and Stone to Mud, to turn your opponent into the literal dirt beneath your feet. Usually directly affecting an opponent with magic is against the rules, but people are made of Earth, so just turning them inside out works too. That can be done with all four elements, though.

Being buried alive is pretty nasty though. And dirt tastes awful.

Technically nothing makes Earth Magic OP. Any magic can be used in similar ways as long as you put some thought into it. For example, water is FUCKING HEAVY. Get a 20 foot long plastic bottle, fill it with water, use water magic to throw it at people. The same principle as the Earth Mage's big stick diplomacy.
When it comes to mage or magic users protagonists what do you think is the most overused magic type for them; and how would you change how said magic works to make it more interesting.
Hmm. My biggest problem with this is that I don't actually hate any of the overused power cliches. The top contenders are basically Super Strength, Runecrafting/Enchanting/Transmutation, Regeneration, Power Steal/Null, Plot Armor/Power of Friendship/Midfight Power Up, Illusions, Time Stop, Polymorph, and any form of Elemental Magic. But they're so common that someone, at some point, made them cool. I don't really want to put in the effort...

AH WAIT. 'Killing Intent'. If your character can clear a room just by thinking angry thoughts, that's dumb as fuck. To change it, just... Don't do it. Or make it feel more natural. Like 'I know this person is a bad ass, and they're like... Super mad. I gotta take a bathroom break, be back when things are less... Murdery.' Don't make them literally shit their pants and feint.
 

SailusGebel

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The thing that makes earth magic OP is the cleats/magboots spell. It prevents enemy mages from screwing around with your footing. Bonus points if you put it into an enchantment on somebody's footwear so you don't have to recast it constantly.
You can simply fly with wind magic, and depending on the setting, fire magic can make you fly as well. In what way boots more OP than the ability to fly?
For a one-on-one, being able to cast earth attacks from directly beneath the opponent is rough to deal with. There's also Petrify(Flesh to Stone) and Stone to Mud, to turn your opponent into the literal dirt beneath your feet. Usually directly affecting an opponent with magic is against the rules, but people are made of Earth, so just turning them inside out works too. That can be done with all four elements, though.
The thing that I don't understand is the following. Let's say that we have a fireball and a stoneball\mudball\earthball. Let's say both have some chant time, both spells have some damage value, and both cost you some mana. Depending on how you balance all these things, you can get either of the two OP. That's basically it. It's a matter of fact that if you think of strong spells, unconventional usage of them that don't cost any mana, and the ability to cast them in a moment, that magic will be op. But it's not one magic that is better than another. Its author intentionally balances it that way. Like, cool, you can mess up with a footing. How much does it cost? How long do you chant this? What if while the mage chant this spell, a simple fire arrow is already in this mage's face?
 

skillet

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Then I would say that summoning\necromancy is overused as a side magic\job. Maybe it's just me, but I happen to stumble upon stories where mc is and will be a solo fighter, yet he\she gets to summon stuff. However, this ability is never the main one, and mc will never be a punching bag without summons, which is sad.
Oh man, the summoning-- especially in the shoujo/female protagonist side of fantasy/isekai, there are SO many summoners ._. be it summoning the handsome devil, the OP magical spirit that hasn't made a contract with anyone for like centuries, the child version of the heroine making early contact with nature spirits because 'she's so talented and her soul is beautiful so the nature spirits love her'.... there is no end

because obviously, the beautiful graceful heroine shouldn't fight or train physically and just stand there emoting, amirite? (can you hear me rolling my eyes?)

if I were to change that though... Maybe the summoned spirits can be dangerous, at least, not all 'ooh female protag so pretty hehe' but every time you summon something you need to give up something you cherish to entice the spirit, or they eat away at your life, something.

though if it was entirely up to me, I'd get rid of the summoning at all. It's too overdone. In fact, no magic at all for the protag. I'd really appreciate a cold-blooded, strategy-type female protagonist in an adventure fantasy, one that doesn't get all emotional all the time and loses focus in the middle of battle and needs to be saved. Yet another trope I hate with a passion. Haha. And wouldn't it be cool if the female protag got permanently disfigured in a physical fight? Like loses an arm or a finger and doesn't get it back, and someone who isn't so beautiful that every male character she goes against comments on that.

Give me a plain, scarred, quietly infuriated, unemotional heroine please-
 

T.K._Paradox

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Oh man, the summoning-- especially in the shoujo/female protagonist side of fantasy/isekai, there are SO many summoners ._. be it summoning the handsome devil, the OP magical spirit that hasn't made a contract with anyone for like centuries, the child version of the heroine making early contact with nature spirits because 'she's so talented and her soul is beautiful so the nature spirits love her'.... there is no end

because obviously, the beautiful graceful heroine shouldn't fight or train physically and just stand there emoting, amirite? (can you hear me rolling my eyes?)

if I were to change that though... Maybe the summoned spirits can be dangerous, at least, not all 'ooh female protag so pretty hehe' but every time you summon something you need to give up something you cherish to entice the spirit, or they eat away at your life, something.

though if it was entirely up to me, I'd get rid of the summoning at all. It's too overdone. In fact, no magic at all for the protag. I'd really appreciate a cold-blooded, strategy-type female protagonist in an adventure fantasy, one that doesn't get all emotional all the time and loses focus in the middle of battle and needs to be saved. Yet another trope I hate with a passion. Haha. And wouldn't it be cool if the female protag got permanently disfigured in a physical fight? Like loses an arm or a finger and doesn't get it back, and someone who isn't so beautiful that every male character she goes against comments on that.

Give me a plain, scarred, quietly infuriated, unemotional heroine please-
Female Guts?
 

Cipiteca396

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You can simply fly with wind magic, and depending on the setting, fire magic can make you fly as well. In what way boots more OP than the ability to fly?

The thing that I don't understand is the following. Let's say that we have a fireball and a stoneball\mudball\earthball. Let's say both have some chant time, both spells have some damage value, and both cost you some mana. Depending on how you balance all these things, you can get either of the two OP. That's basically it. It's a matter of fact that if you think of strong spells, unconventional usage of them that don't cost any mana, and the ability to cast them in a moment, that magic will be op. But it's not one magic that is better than another. Its author intentionally balances it that way. Like, cool, you can mess up with a footing. How much does it cost? How long do you chant this? What if while the mage chant this spell, a simple fire arrow is already in this mage's face?
That's just semantics. This thread is about overused powers, implying that it's a cliché that someone dislikes. If you take away that context, every response sounds like inane drivel. Earth is a very easy to disregard element, so people brought up the others in relation to it. It shouldn't be over or underpowered compared to the others but often is.

Actually answering your question though, it's usually a matter of effort. Depending on how it works, flight magic is probably a lot more difficult to maintain than a magboots spell. Making the ground slippery is faster and cheaper than creating a solid rock or flame attack. Theoretically, what makes something OP is cost efficiency. If you put the same amount of effort in and get different results, why would you ever do the less effective thing?

In real life, something may seem cool or effective, but it might end up overshadowed by more practical efforts. Doing this in fiction is reasonable to the author, but it often feels cheap or unwieldy to the reader because they know that there's an author behind it. So I guess you need to be invested in the story to get the greatest result.
quietly infuriated, unemotional
Fury is an emotion, lol.
And wouldn't it be cool if the female protag got permanently disfigured in a physical fight? Like loses an arm or a finger and doesn't get it back, and someone who isn't so beautiful that every male character she goes against comments on that.
The problem with disfiguring a character is it reduces their ability as a protagonist. Losing an arm makes you practically useless in a fight, for example. Even just a nasty scar can reduce functionality. The potential for social interactions might be high, but you could probably arrange for the same interactions to happen without impairing physical function. The biggest challenge though, is that your readers will probably feel cheated if the character gets such an unfair disadvantage. It's extremely rare for people to enjoy reading something like that.

That said, try https://www.novelupdates.com/series/katahane-no-riku/ and https://www.novelupdates.com/series/the-girl-who-bore-the-flame-ring/

They aren't perfect matches, but they come close.
 

SailusGebel

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That's just semantics. This thread is about overused powers, implying that it's a cliché that someone dislikes. If you take away that context, every response sounds like inane drivel. Earth is a very easy to disregard element, so people brought up the others in relation to it. It shouldn't be over or underpowered compared to the others but often is.
I know what this thread is about and even contributed(I hope) to the topic with my second message in this thread. I don't think that earth is bad or good, op or underpowered, and most of all, I consider that it is underused and used crudely. Perhaps you misunderstood how this dialogue started. It started with me asking a person: "what else in a one-on-one fight is op besides messing up with a footing?" I never intended to 'win' an argument. I asked someone who usually gives elaborative and well-thought answers because I was interested in it. As I'm too lazy to think of more intricate usages of magic, there was a chance I might get insight and use it in my future works. I didn't get it, and it's understandable why I didn't.
Actually answering your question though, it's usually a matter of effort. Depending on how it works, flight magic is probably a lot more difficult to maintain than a magboots spell. Making the ground slippery is faster and cheaper than creating a solid rock or flame attack. Theoretically, what makes something OP is cost efficiency. If you put the same amount of effort in and get different results, why would you ever do the less effective thing?

In real life, something may seem cool or effective, but it might end up overshadowed by more practical efforts. Doing this in fiction is reasonable to the author, but it often feels cheap or unwieldy to the reader because they know that there's an author behind it. So I guess you need to be invested in the story to get the greatest result.
As I stated above, I'm too lazy to invent an unconventional usage for other types of magic. While I can't agree with your statement about flight magic and mag boots spell, I agree about cost-efficiency. Is earth magic the most cost-efficient, though? I'm not sure, and while messing up with a footing is very op and cost-efficient, are there really no other spells like that in the arsenal of other elements, or is it that no one thought of it yet?
 

Cipiteca396

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I'm not sure, and while messing up with a footing is very op and cost-efficient, are there really no other spells like that in the arsenal of other elements, or is it that no one thought of it yet?
Fire seems difficult, but water and air should have an easy time with it. Especially if you combine them and make ice. Instead of physically changing the ground to make it slippery, you cover it in air or water and let people slip on that. It's not that uncommon for magic users, so people have definitely thought of it.

Hmm, I guess you could melt the person to the ground, or lay flames over the ground to the point where stepping on it is painful. That's not really the same thing though.
 

SailusGebel

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Fire seems difficult, but water and air should have an easy time with it. Especially if you combine them and make ice. Instead of physically changing the ground to make it slippery, you cover it in air or water and let people slip on that. It's not that uncommon for magic users, so people have definitely thought of it.

Hmm, I guess you could melt the person to the ground, or lay flames over the ground to the point where stepping on it is painful. That's not really the same thing though.
I didn't mean other spells that mess up with a footing, but a cost-effective op spell. Like using fire magic to make a flashbang? In my opinion, a flashbang is as op as messing up with a footing. Though, light magic would be more suitable. With air, you can probably straight-up mess with a vestibular system(not sure about this one), hearing, sense of smell(which isn't that useful). There are, of course, counter-measures to every spell I mentioned, just like there is a counter-measure to the messed-up footing. The thing is, I can't think of anything more as I suck at thinking out of the box.
 

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Fire seems difficult, but water and air should have an easy time with it. Especially if you combine them and make ice. Instead of physically changing the ground to make it slippery, you cover it in air or water and let people slip on that. It's not that uncommon for magic users, so people have definitely thought of it.

Hmm, I guess you could melt the person to the ground, or lay flames over the ground to the point where stepping on it is painful. That's not really the same thing though.
I don't think people slip on air
 
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