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Suppose there are two wizards, one using light magic to protect himself and others, via wards, barriers, shield spells and with some focus on drawing and absorbing energy whilst also attempting to repel and reflect more damaging energies, who encounters another wizard who seeks to destroy and corrupt from within, either by means of leeching or attempting to sabotage the charms potentially by means of causing Wizard A to draw in negative energy in a poisonous manner. If we suppose that the two wizards are of equal skill level and ability, who should triumph and why? What are the pros and cons to each approach? Which school of magic is superior (if any) and what problems might the two wizards encounter in their practice?

It might be worth noting that the wizards are not the focal point, since the concept to which this question pertains is a more abstract construct than a simple Wizard duel, although the magical schools remain at the crux of it, the wizards themselves are simply for illustrative purposes. Having said that, to continue with the wizard metaphor, it might also be worth noting that it would be, not so much a duel/confrontation as a random encounter, perhaps indirect, more consequential to their individual intent and usage of said spells. For instance, as the wizard is more often than not an instrument for channeling magic, you might even assume that Wizard A is in fact a forcefield with reflect and Wizard B is a succubus or vampire. If it helps, of course.

If we conjure an image of a sacred space, a holy sanctuary, infiltrated through subterfuge, through the exploitation of a chink in the armour, a flaw or oversight on the fabric and design of the material which makes up the essence of this realm or the failure to properly safeguard against all attacks from external forces and then picture that the sacred space is in fact tainted, in a gradual state of decay. If the sacred image were of a bountiful oak tree situated in overgrown pastures, the counter would be to turn that tree to a withered and lifeless shell in a barren landscape. The duality of these images are their frailty. Unbeknownst to Wizard A, his happy place, from which he draws his light energy, has been transformed into a nightmarescape of mirrors.

Imagine that, similar to the pokemon elemental cycle of balance, (rock, paper, scissors) or the systems in Naruto where one chakra elemental may enhance another (add wind to fire to overpower it), these spells have inherent strengths and weaknesses - to what extent do they overlap and how do they differ. Each method comes with as many pitfalls and potential perils' as they do offer benefits and advantages in their approach. How do they clash, counter, prosper or perish and why?

To summarise - light spells/magic of protect, reflect, absorb, repel, (shields, guards, wards, natural or pacifist energy draws) vs dark spells/magic of vampiric, necrotic and parasitic emphasis, to draw strength from the corruption and ultimate destruction of others, leeching, attempting to manipulate and turn the light to dark. Once again, this is not a direct duel, so we might even imagine that the incidental chance encounter involves a lack of complete comprehension on the side of either party as to what they are dealing with - they do not necessarily know one anothers intentions, nor are they necessarily fully aware of the magic they are actually facing, only an awareness that they are entangled in a magical battle, without necessarily knowing the cards in the other persons hand or even what game they are playing - they are playing their own games for their own reasons. How can either of them really win?

Again, assume the magic is of equal level - is one school superior to the other, or are they just different and it's a question of how they are implemented, rather than which one is outright better or holds the greater advantages? It comes down to intuition, most likely, in the end, i suspect. Whoever can be more inventive in their application of said schools, should win. That said, i feel the pacifist nature of the light Wizards magic leaves him open to attack and oversight, yet i don't want him to be overpowered really. His approach no doubt requires constant vigilance, but again, these wizard aren't Wizards at all, they are merely analogous tools, which, anyone who would be so kind as to respond to this sort of utter madness, are free to use in illustrating their own points on the subject at hand. I welcome your answers with open arms and a sage thank you for your time sir, i bid you good day.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Willk, Cyn, Alex2006, JBH, Slarty Apr 7 at 19:20

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Magic is inherently made up to fit the story. Neither wizard has an advantage that can be predicted from anything known in the real world. This has the makings of good story stuff, but it is not something that can be answered objectively, I am voting to close because of that. But I hope you will come back with other aspects of the world that we can get into! $\endgroup$ – Willk Apr 7 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ "who should triumph and why?" automatically disqualifies your question. That's storybuilding in that it depends on the needs of your plot and is therefore off-topic. We can help you develop and consistently use your magic system, but it's up to you, the author, to work out which of any two wizards comes out of a fight alive. $\endgroup$ – JBH Apr 7 at 18:56
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If i may borrow a concept from German Longsword fencing “you need not fear an opponent who is overly defensive”.

Essentially, the wizard using light magic is only using defensive tactics (blocking, deflecting, repelling) which would mean he is not attacking. On the other side, the wizard using the offensive magic is more likely to be attacking. Additionally, an attack can be a form of defense (would you walk close to someone swinging a sword at you?). This then boils down to a war of attrition, the light wizard can not hold his defenses forever and eventually will make a mistake, allowing the dark wizard to exploit this and win the ‘duel’.

Even if they do not know the cards in the other person’s hand, slowly but surely these cards will be revealed as the fight goes on. When the dark wizard realises the light wizard has no form of direct offence, he will likely just wait out the light wizard until he drops his guard and then attack.

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  • $\begingroup$ I understand your logic and certainly see where you're coming from, however, the light wizards offence is in his defence and the dark wizards attacks can ne rendered harmless, or even back fire on its user. $\endgroup$ – ThirdEyePhoenix Apr 7 at 1:40
  • $\begingroup$ As a for instance, if Wizard A were to reflect, repel or absorb Wizard Bs leeching drain, to reflect it could cause Wizard B to drain himself, in addition to any mana or lifeforce spent in casting; repelled, Wizard B is spending energy without the anticipated gains (how invested they both are in the assumed successes and expected gains and returns may influence energy expenses); absorbed, Wizard A could feasibly gain the upper hand by not simply deflecting damage, but reaping the rewards of accepting the energy thrown at him and making it his own, leaving Wizard B a spent force. $\endgroup$ – ThirdEyePhoenix Apr 7 at 3:20
  • $\begingroup$ @ThirdEyePhoenix If that were the case then faints would be used a lot. Basically, Dark wizard would throw a weak spell at Light wizard which he has to block. LW would not gain much energy from that as it was only a weak spell. DW may also preapare a more powerful spell, forcing LW to raise his defenses, before cancelling it or purposely missing, again wasting LW’s resources and preventing him from absorbing that energy. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Apr 7 at 7:47
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    $\begingroup$ Also, the way i am seeing it is that LW would always have his guard up, forcing him to be hugely fatigued. If i draw from longsword fencing again, LW is in longpoint, an extremely tiring guard to maintain but can stop an opponent from getting close to you. DW on the otherhand is in roof guard, a guard lacking defence but generates a lot of power, it is also a resting guard, unlike longpoint. This means all DW has to do is wait him out. $\endgroup$ – Liam Morris Apr 7 at 8:02
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    $\begingroup$ Good point. The LW is indeed supposed to be attempting something of a permanent guard and no doubt that would induce fatigue to some extent. You offer intriguing insight from a particular perspective which i can certainly appreciate. The point you make about fools guard is certainly relevant, as the nature of reflect and absorb would probably make this his default position, however, as the overriding intent is to protect, there will be associated risks with attempting to cover multiple targets and their susceptibility and level of jeopardy may have some beating on damage sustained by the LW. $\endgroup$ – ThirdEyePhoenix Apr 8 at 4:18

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