Magic Wand

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"Wands only look like they're too fragile to be deadly."

The Magic Wand, the magician's all-purpose Weapon of Choice.

The Magic Wand is a unique weapon in that unlike swords, bows or guns, this weapon is generally not for use in physical combat, but is instead a purely magical weapon. In general, any device that enhances magic for producing spells, or aid in combat, or—less frequently—enables the use of magic in the first place qualifies as a magic wand. The actual wand-form, being exceptionally portable, is the most well known, and probably the most used version, however.

Circe used a magic wand to convert Odysseus's men to swine, thus making this one Older Than Feudalism.

The Magic Wand may overlap with Simple Staff or Carry a Big Stick, resulting in the hybrid-weapon capable of both magic and melee combat, the Magic Staff. However, other times it is instead a talisman or jewel that might be a carved totem or voodoo doll, and completely incapable for any melee use at all. Other forms might be a crown or ceremonial headdress, with accompanying robes. It's not uncommon for any of these forms to be Loyal Phlebotinum.

If the wand in question appears on a fortune-telling card, it's Tarot Motifs - likely either the Magician or the Ace of Wands. Sometimes in Anime and Manga, a staff's powers will be tied to an onusa for use by Miko or onmyoji.

These also tend to be associated with Fairies, especially Fairy Godmothers, as often as wizards.

Examples of Magic Wand include:

Fiction in General

  • In some Religion Is Magic settings, a Jewish phylactery can be seen as this. Papers of scripture folded and tied to one's head in a literal-minded obedience to Mosaic law. In Real Life, some merely follow this practice as a symbolic and real act of servitude. Others think more to increase the efficacy of their prayers.

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Fan Works

  • Drunkard's Walk:
    • Discussed briefly in Drunkard's Walk S: Heart of Steel in the wake of Luna's irritation that Queen Serenity's translation spell (which allows her to speak modern Japanese and a few bits of other languages) forces her to call the Crescent Moon Wand the "moon stick", in English. Doug notes that the word "wand" used to mean just "stick" until some time in the 14th century, when the phrase "magic wand" crowded out most other uses of "wand", then admits bafflement how the spell latched onto such an obsolete usage.
    • Mocked in Drunkard's Walk VIII: Harry Potter and the Man from Otherearth -- the connection "God's Toothpick" has with Doug is so deep and fundamental that it prevents any wand from choosing him (and in fact, wands actively try to get away from him -- or maybe it's from the staff). The only wand he can use turns out to be one of the Weasley twins' prank wands that turns into a rubber chicken, which barely allows him to cast a few weak spells when in chicken form.



  • In Harry Potter all but the most powerful wizards need wands to cast any kind of spell. The only magic they seem to be able to do without a wand is teleportation, and maybe potions, though Word of God puts some doubt into the latter, as a muggle can't make a potion and you do more than stir at some point.
    • Magic without a wand is "unfocused," but definitely possible. Most underage magic is done without a wand, and even though Arianna Dumbledore was never given one, her magic remained dangerous.
    • The Animagus transformation also does not require a wand - Sirius was able to do it to lessen the effect of the Dementors in PoA. This makes sense, because otherwise an Animagus without opposable digits wouldn't be able to hold their wand to change back to human form. However, becoming an Animagus in the first place probably requires a wand.
    • Wands are normally Loyal Phlebotinum, but they will switch their allegiances if their owners are defeated by another wizard/witch in a struggle. Draco Malfoy loses his own wand and his claim to the Elder Wand to Harry after the latter physically wrests it away from him. Hermione, by contrast, can't make Bellatrix's wand work as well for her because she never directly proved she was stronger. "The wand chooses the wizard", and all wands wish to be wielded by the most capable ones possible.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Gandalf's first and second walking staves. In an interesting bit of trivia, his name translates to modern English as Wand-Elf.
  • Wands are used for combat in the first of the Young Wizards novel, but this trope is never revisited in the later books.
  • Harry in The Dresden Files has both a rod and a staff; his ex jokes about how he seems to favor phallic foci.
    • Harry's blasting rod and his staff have different functions, as well. The staff allows him to use magic more subtly, enabling him to have a much finer control over wind or telekinesis magic. The blasting rod, on the other hand, does Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Harry uses it to control his power and unleash extremely powerful evocations in tightly focused beams - although in a few cases, he ends up using such magic without needing the rod, such as when he spears Tessa through the heart with a blue-white spear of fire in Small Favor.
    • The TV series version used a hockey stick of all things. His wand appears to be a drumstick, but was not used nearly as often.
    • Staves appear elsewhere in the books as well; Luccio and Ramirez favor much shorter staves, usually under five feet in length, while the Merlin himself goes for a tall, polished white staff. Also, Eldest Gruff uses a staff, though more for walking. Its not universal however, as Elaine Mallory uses an enchanted chain, as it can be hidden more effectively. Ebenezar McCoy uses a staff very similar to Harry's normally, but when he needs to really kick ass, he breaks out the Blackstaff, which is described as a wooden staff covered in pure darkness, and is capable of killing hundreds of men instantly by simply extinguishing their vital functions.
  • Justified to some extent in the Her Majesty's Wizard series by Christopher Stasheff. Wands in that series (and staves, to some extent) serve as magical "antennas", focusing a mage's spells and making them directional. Spells will still work without using a wand, or stave, but the effect is both weaker and far more easily able to be picked up by other wizards/sorcerers. Kinda the difference between using a regular radio versus one with a dish antenna. As spells in this universe are cast through poetry, this can make for some interesting duels. "He's going for the extra point!/Throw his kneecap out of joint!", etc...
  • In C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the White Witch's most feared power is her wand, which can turn people to stone. Edmund saves the day by going for the wand instead of herself, which everyone before him had been fool enough to do.
  • In Discworld, wizards and witches can both use wands. Wizards can also use staves. However, for wizards they tend to have their wands by them at all times, and find them essential for magic. Witches, on the other hand, will make use of a stick they find on the ground for their wand. The rest is just tinsel.
  • In the first book of The Wheel of Time, Moiraine has a long white wand that she uses to focus her powers. It is never seen in the following books, though, and neither do any of the other channelers use wands, unless you count the sa'angreal that the Aes Sedai used to Heal Mat Cauthon and the balefire-creating ter'angreal which the Black Ajah members stole.
    • The rod used by Moiraine is the same sa'angreal used to Heal Mat, and is also used by Egwene to repel the Seanchan invasion of the Tower. Another wand is the Oath Rod, originally one of nine Rods of Dominion used to bind criminal channelers but now used by the Aes Sedai to make their oaths. Supplementary materials also make mention of the Rod of the Waves, which can summon fish, and the Ebon Rod, which creates illusions.
  • Non-wand variant: In Return To Brookmere, a vintage Choose Your Own Adventure book, the Mouth of Mimulus is a magical amulet with the power to cast spells for its wearer. Combined with Companion Cube, as Mim can speak and has a personality all its own.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Red Nails" Tolkemec found a magic wand that killed at a touch.
    • In "Black Colossus", Thugra Khotan's ebon staff can turn into a snake.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy, Prospero made all his children magical staffs.
  • Witch and Wizard- Wisty has an old drumstick which becomes a magic wand.
  • Fairy Godmothers in Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms (those who are merely human and not True Fae) use wands to help focus and contain magic. As a Godmother's apprentice, Elena once uses one with a big gold star at the top, just so people will know it's a wand.

Live-Action TV

  • A lot of the villains (mainly the leaders) in Power Rangers have various types of magic wands, especially in the earlier seasons.

Rita Repulsa: "Magic wand, make my monster grooooooooow!"

    • Which was technically a Staff.
    • Big staffs of awesome were pretty much required for Power Rangers villains for quite some time - some Super Sentai-created, some not. Even if not magic-themed, there are more than a few things that the villain can make happen by pointing his or her staff at it. Including blowing things up. More series than not have it.
    • In Mystic Force the Rangers use cell phones as wands. (Actually, the wands start out as wooden standard ones with the Ranger's personal symbol on its tip. They were turned into phones to match the modern age more.) Each mode for the Rangers has a different, more awesome wand: Ranger mode has the Magi Staff, all shiny and ending in the Mystic Force M logo, with, again, the Ranger's symbol at its tip. They can turn into weapons, too. In Legend Mode, we trade those for large staves ending in rotary dials.
  • Doctor Who: While originally just a sophisticated tool good for picking locks, the Doctor's sonic screwdriver has suffered from feature creep over the years and—especially in the new series—can do more or less anything. It had become such a writer's crutch by Peter Davison's era that producer John Nathan-Turner had it destroyed (in "The Visitation"). It's returned with a vengeance (and more features than ever) in the New Series, especially in David Tennant's era.
  • The Russos and all other wizards from Wizards of Waverly Place use wands for most of their spells, though "hand magic" is also possible.


  • In ballads such as Allison Gross and The Laily Worm and the Machrel of the Sea, witches use silver wands to transform their victims.

Tabletop Games

  • Foci from Shadowrun are like this. Kind of an odd case because a spell focus can be almost anything, as long as a magician took some time to enchant it.
  • Foci from Mage: The Ascension could be anything that a mage thought was necessary for their magic... but it was all in their head. The sign of a powerful mage is one who became Enlightened enough to realize he didn't need such tools.
    • Mage: The Awakening has dedicated magical tools, which can be any object the mage feels is magically relevent (though there are some special ones based on things like political faction) ranging from traditional wands and goblets to iPods and laptops. While unnecessary, the relevence the tool has to the mage enhances their soul's connection to the source of magic, and thus decreases the chance of damaging reality through malfunctions.
      • However in the Mage games there are also objects which possess powers of their own referred to as "talismans.
  • As of its fourth edition, Dungeons & Dragons features the concept of 'implements', class-specific magic items that can boost the user's accuracy and damage with magical attacks. (They may have other powers as well, but this is their main function.) Examples are holy symbols for clerics and paladins, orbs, staffs (sic) and wands for wizards, and rods, wands, and pact blades for warlocks.
    • In addition, wands can store wizard and other wand-using class encounter powers (which can be used as a daily).
    • The earlier versions of Dungeons & Dragons had stick-type wands, each of which stored multiple castings of a single wizardly spell, and which could be activated by characters of any class as long as they discovered the word used to activate it.
      • This type of wand shows up in most Roguelike games.
    • Since pact blades are being mentioned, it should be noted that Paladins can use Holy Avenger weapons as holy symbols, and Wizards of the Spiral Tower can treat longswords as either a staff, wand, or orb.
    • The Forgotten Realms Player's Guide introduced the Swordmage class, which can use light or heavy blades as implements.
  • GURPS features an enchantment spell called Staff, which can be used to turn a wand or staff into a magic device which lets a wizard cast spells through it (so, for instance, touching them with the staff counts as touching the target directly). Since GURPS magic has very limited range, this is rather useful.


  • In The Tempest Prospero uses a wand to work magic.
  • In John Milton's Comus, the title character's power work by a magic wand.

Video Games

  • Lulu's animated stuffed dolls in Final Fantasy X count.
  • The World of Warcraft not only features magical wands and staves, but the Shaman Class is also capable of utilizing a wide variety of magical totems, each with their own power. Wands act as more of a 'sidearm': most fighting is done with actual spells, with wands being used when one's mana is depleted, or to finish off an enemy that is near death.
    • They also tend to provide useful stats for casters, similiar to the weapons these classes will usually carry while casting (mostly Staves, Swords, Daggers and Maces, neither of which get much use as an actual weapon).
      • Even closer to this trope are relic items, which several classes carry instead of ranged weapons. Most of them boost specific spells. Offhand items are also usually designed to boost spellcasting as casters generally can't use a second weapon or any twohanded weapon except Staves (well, there aren't any with caster stats).
  • More often than not, the various Mage classes in the Final Fantasy games can equip rods and staves.
    • Final Fantasy XI has both the staff and club categories. The club category has many examples of Magic Wand and Drop the Hammer, while the staff category has both versions of Magic Wand and Simple Staff—though the Simple Staff versions tend to be overlooked, in part because almost no jobs can use them well for actually hitting things (and the one job that can does better still with a sword and shield), in part because of the overwhelming fame and power of the magic-boosting elemental staves.
      • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 has Rods, Staves and Books for its pure magic users. Amusingly, you can make characters whack enemies over the head with the books.
        • The artwork of the Time Mage and the Green Mage wields a wand.
  • While Fire Emblem does have staves (which are mostly used for healing), magic books serve as the game's version of Magic Wand.
  • Being the Kingdom Hearts games' token Mage, it's only natural for Donald Duck to use a magic wand or hammer as his Weapon of Choice. His best weapon is both, being a fancy scepter. Also, a number of Sora's Keychains turn his Keyblade into a magic-enhancer, and in Kingdom Hearts II his Drive Forms include the Wisdom Form—basically a set of clothes that super-enhance his magical abilities. His Master Form also does this, to a lesser extent (but also adds a similar degree of physical power). Final Form simply ramps his magic and physical powers Up to Eleven.
    • In Kingdom Hearts II, if you choose to be magic focused, then Roxas will use a struggle bat in the shape of one.
  • The Nasuverse has "Mystic Codes," which can either amplify the effects of the mage's spells, or perform a predefined function. These can basically be anything that the mage finds fitting and useful, including weapons of various origins (guns are allowed), clothing and accessories (dresses, gloves, etc.), traditional wands and rods, and even pools of mercury.
  • Necromancers in Diablo II use wands that provide bonuses to their spells, and Sorceresses used Staves. However, they're used as clubs in combat. Weak, easily breakable, expensive to repair clubs: but if you need to use it as a club, you're probably doing it wrong, though they often apply impressive elemental damage to their attacks.
  • Both Sayuri Kurata and Kano Kirishima use a magic wand or staff in the 2D fighting game Eternal Fighter Zero. Sayuri's wand is more of a Magical Girl type wand, with transforming powers. Kano's is modeled after the staffs used in fantasy role-playing games, fitting alongside her various tiers of elemental magic and her unique gauge.
  • In the Rune Factory series, the player can purchase staffs and wands that significantly amplify magic power (particularly offensive spells like Fireball).
  • Phantasy Star Online has Rods, Canes(staves), and Wands available to Forces. Rods are basic, canes have longer reach, and Wands give a bonus to your Magic stats.
  • Phantasy Star Universe uses the second variety; Wands are one type of weapon used by the Force and -techer classes to cast TECHNICs, PSU's answer to magic. TECHNICs must be linked to a Wand, Rod or TCSM (TECHNIC Combat Support Machine) before they can be used. These weapons can be equipped only by the only the Force, Guntecher, Wartecher, Fortetecher and Acrotecher classes in the first place.
  • In the first game of the Xenosaga series, MOMO used one as part of her Magical Girl gimmick. While it could be used with melee attacks, it's a bit better off having her shoot beams of energy from them (or just having her stand back unleashing Ether, the game's version of magic). She eventually replaces it with a better weapon - bow and arrow.
  • In Lost Magic, you get the one of your father - and may or may not make your own from a magical tree later on.
  • Ultima IV has magic wands which, rather than enhancing magic, served as a high-level ranged weapon.
  • System Shock 2 features the psy-amp, which is used to activate all the psychic powers in the game.
  • In Disgaea, humanoid demons can equip staves to increase their magic power, and raising their Staff skill increases their magic's maximum range and area of effect. Monsters can only equip special "monster weapons", so magic-using monsters tend to be significantly less effective.
    • Until Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, when staffs were nerfed to a fixed, single cell range boost, and book weapons were added for monsters with the same property.
  • In Lunar 2: Eternal Blue, Lemina can equip staves that let her cast spells for free as her normal attack.
  • In the Mario games, Kamek, Kammy, and the rest of Bowser's magikoopas are typical wand-carrying wizards.
  • In the MMORPG Perfect World, magic weapons are necessary for the three casting classes to have much effect with their spells.
  • Staves in Rappelz increase the power of one's spells, but are generally fairly mediocre weapons in and of themselves.
  • Shadow Hearts 3, Hilda Valentine is a wannabe Magicial Girl, thus wields wands to cast and improve her magic strength.
  • Wizards in Heroes of Might and Magic V use these. The mage creatures on the other hand use a scroll for similiar purposes. Liches cast their spells from a book.
    • In both II and III the liches use staves. In II and III the Magi also use staves, which kind of fits, as liches are undead wizards.
      • And, while I remember, you can buy/find wands and scrolls in most, if not all, Might and Magic games. Scrolls can be used once, wands can be used many times, but neither of them needs spell points.
  • Quest for Glory lets Wizard characters obtain a magic staff in games 3 through 5. In 3 and 4 it's only somewhat useful (no mana consumption while active, but moving at all de-summons it), but it received a major overhaul in 5 (where it has its own regenerating mana supply and can be used until it runs out and needs a recharge, greatly extending the player's mana) and became useful.
  • In Guild Wars, wands give their wielder a simple magical attack and are typically paired with focus items which grant additional energy. Staves are a two-handed alternative that combine a wand and focus.
  • In Torchlight wands basically act like magical versions of the guns characters can wield. Wands Akimbo is possible. Staves are just big blunt instruments with added elemental damage used to bash your enemies' brains out of their skulls.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has two useful wands. The first is a set of identical wands from the Dungeons Of Doom, which when used allow you to turn an item into a similar one. The other is the Wand of Nagamar, which somehow transforms things via anagram. It's required to beat the Final Boss.
    • Less plot-relevantly, there's the "fishy wand" item, which your familiar can use to cast Harry Potter-esque spells.
  • Rosalina, adoptive mother of the universe, uses one in Super Mario Galaxy.
  • In the Dragon Age Origins DLC Witch Hunt, there is a scribbled note from an irritated student in a book about magic wands in the Circle Tower's library that reads "What kind of self-respecting mage uses a wand, anyway?", one of several references to the Harry Potter series. Dragon Age mages use staffs.
  • Many appear throughout The Legend of Zelda games, including:
  • Dark Souls has three different types of magic wands for each of its three schools of magic. Sorcery actually uses stereotypical wands, while miracles has religious talismans and pyromancy has a flaming hand.

Western Animation

  • Uncle's lizard and blowfish from Jackie Chan Adventures.
  • The Amazing Mumbo uses a wand in Teen Titans; notably, when the wand is broken all of his enchantments are reversed and he is transformed back into an ordinary middle-aged human (as Mumbo he has bright blue skin and cartoony proportions even by the show's standards). However, in later episodes he has a new wand, presumably acquired from wherever he got the first one.
  • The Fairly OddParents have wands, and can't do magic without them.
  • In Adventure Time, wands can do anything from shooting rainbows or fireballs to turning feet into birds. Wands are, however, for WIIIIMPS!
  • Being a wizard, Leonard of Ugly Americans naturally has one.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • Fairy Godmother, a heroic mystic from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, uses a wand as a prop but doesn't actually need it to work her magic.
  • This random generator creates written descriptions of magic wands, similar to those in the Harry Potter series.

Real Life

  • Many real life ceremonial magicians use wands or staves in their rituals to help focus and direct their power or simply for ceremonial purposes. Likewise, a ceremonial dagger, sometimes known as an athame, is often used for the same purpose.
  • There are a wide variety of trick wands available for budding stage magicians, though the stereotype of the top-hat-and-tails magician with the white-tipped black wand has pretty much disappeared from the professional arena.
  1. Known variously as the "power of the spirits" or "ancient magic", depending on the describer.