I'm trying to work on an elemental scheme for the world that I'm building. I want to start with primary elements and then combine them to create "secondary" elements. The cycle is:

Fire < Water < Earth < Wind < Fire

Then you could combine a dominant element to its strength in order to create an element able to beat your own weakness. So for instance, since Fire is strong against Air, a Fire user can combine its power with an Air element and make Lightning, which can be used to beat Water, Fire's weakness.

So far I've postulated the following combinations:

  • Fire + Air = Lightning - Beats Water
  • Air + Earth = Crystal - Beats Fire
  • Earth + Water = Plant - Beats Air

And I can't for the life of me think of a combination of Water + Fire that would beat Earth. I'm also planning on making two "neutral" secondary elements - Lava and Ice which would be Fire + Earth and Water + Air. So it couldn't be either of those. So I ask you guys, What could be an element that would incorporate Water + Fire and be able to beat Earth? I've tried searching for inspiration in Pokemon, Naruto, Mysticism and whatever else deals with elements and as of right now the only thing that I could think of is Steam (which quite frankly doesn't give me the vibe that beats earth) and poison (which doesn't give the vibe water + fire).

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    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 16:43

2 Answers 2



Acid is liquid which covers your water aspect. It also causes acid burns which can cover your fire aspect.

Acids can melt a variety of metals and stone which would make it able to beat earth. Aqua Regia can dissolve gold, Hydrochloric acid can be used to remove rust from steel, dissolve glass, and is oddly safe for a strong acid. Sulfuric Acid attacks most reactive metals.

  • $\begingroup$ YES! Thank you! $\endgroup$
    – NickNunes
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 13:58
  • $\begingroup$ @NickNunes Generally we wait 24 hours before accepting an answer as others might yet have better answers to the question from other time zones. $\endgroup$
    – IT Alex
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 14:02
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    $\begingroup$ Gotcha, gonna undo the answer then and wait $\endgroup$
    – NickNunes
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ Vinegar dissolves stone, grout, and lots of other things. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 16:16

Steam actually would fit your needs against Earth. You just have to shift thinking a little bit.

Normally when you think of Steam, what comes to mind is something like a pot of boiling water, or maybe a tea kettle. What you see in the kitchen doesn't really acknowledge the power of steam though. You get a small clue with a tea kettle.

The thing people don't immediately think of is Pressure! That pressure turned the machinery of the Industrial Revolution after all.

Water, as it turns to steam, expands a lot. By a factor of 1600! That is a lot. So if you compress and direct it, it should blast away at Earth relentlessly. If you can use the pressure that results to project a very fine stream of liquid water, you could even cut stone with it. There are water jet cutting machines that are used to get fine cuts in Granite for countertops partially because it is so hard to cut.

So at lower levels, it may not be too effective, but as your mage gains experience and finesse, it could be tremendously powerful.

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    $\begingroup$ It can also be used to scald the enemy sorcerer, scorch the soil to make it brittle, or just saturate the earth to the point where it can't hold together. There's a lot of options that make Water work against Earth. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ @computercarguy I don't think you make dirt less adhesive by adding water... at least up until the point its more water than dirt. Soil also is more likely to weld together by heat rather than become brittle (its a particulate). Side note: Steam needs to have something strong holding it in in order have pressure. Presumably the application of another element. $\endgroup$
    – IT Alex
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ @ITAlex, one trick to make hard dirt easier to dig is to add water. It doesn't work for all dirt, like stuff that has clay in it, but it does generally act as a lubricant between the particles. Also, I've seen mud puddles become cracked and brittle because of dry heat, so yes, it can happen, but composition is a factor, too. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ @computercarguy I know about the add water to dirt to make it easier to dig. I have a 4 foot long pipe with hose attachment for making post holes easier to dig in clay. So simple, and it ended up being easier to use that and a hand held digger than it was to use the auger I rented. $\endgroup$
    – Paul TIKI
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ @ITAlex for me, the application of another element is not neccessary since you are already using magic. create a cone of fire with a tiny opening at the narrowest point and shove water down the cone causing it to burst into steam. the back of the cone is just water. held in place by magic. shove the water forward down the cone like a syringe or a icing bag. Since it's magic, no extra materials required. $\endgroup$
    – Paul TIKI
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 17:13

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