Mage rank (魔導師ランク madōshi ranku, officially Wizard Rank) is a scale used by TSAB to measure the mages' capacity to "achieve the tasks set before them". It should not be taken as indicative of the mage's raw mana output or their ability to defeat lower ranks in combat, although both play a role in attaining a high rank.
Each mage is put into one of 11 power grades, designated with letters: F, E, D, C, B, A, AA, AAA, S, SS, SSS (from least powerful to most powerful). Like similar grading systems, the grade may have a plus or minus. Typically, the TSAB armed forces are ranked D to C, while B is an impassable wall for many Air/Ground mages at first, officers are ranked AA to S. No canon character currently has the SSS rank, although the Saint Kings may have achieved its equivalent in the Ancient Belkan era.
- Midchilda Wizard Rank
- Belka Wizard Rank
- Belka Ritter Rank
- Old Belka Zauber Rank
- Old Belka Ritter Rank
- Old Belka Zauber-ritter Rank
The terms "Belka" and "Old Belka" stand for "Modern Belka" and "Ancient Belka" respectively, since modern practitioners of the latter are very rare. For mages practicing the Ancient Belka system, "Zauber" (Ger. "magic"; possibly a corruption of "Zauberer", Ger. "magician") is used instead of "Wizard", while the term "Ritter" is used for knights in both systems.
The ranks are further subdivided into three specializations:
- Ground (陸戦 Rikusen, lit. "ground combat") ranks are assigned to mages who are trained in ground combat and pass appropriate examinations.
- Air (空戦 Kūsen, lit. "air combat") ranks are assigned to aerial mages who are trained in aerial combat.
- Synthetic (総合 Sōgō, sometimes translated as "Composite") ranks seem to be assigned to mages who specialize in supporting roles instead of combat and to those achieving high mage ranks due to their Rare Skills.
To advance from one magic rank to the next, one has to pass a Mage Rank Examination (魔導師ランク試験 Madōshi Ranku Shiken) like the one Subaru and Teana participate in in the beginning of StrikerS. A mage's rank can be reduced either because of severe injuries or temporarily by placing a limiter upon him or her.
Similar scales are use in other fields, as well:
- Mana capacity class (魔力量クラス Maryouku ryō kurasu): Estimation of magic and mana capacity of non-TSAB-registered mages (including familiar or non-human creatures). For example, Nanoha and Fate both have a mana capacity class of AAA before joining the Administrative Bureau.
- Estimation of the threat level posed by a particular enemy combatant
- Estimation of the power (and other parameters) of individual spells
- Degree of body augmentation of Combat Cyborgs, particularly the Numbers