Each use of magic requires complex energy computations to achieve the desired effects. The purpose of the spells is to simplify casting magic by preparing and storing common formulas beforehand, so they can be used on short notice, e.g. in combat. The spells can be both stored and calculated either within a mage's brain or in their Device.
A major advantage of using spells is the possibility to teach them to others (although some abilities, known as Rare Skills, are notoriously difficult to obtain). When a mage teaches a spell to another, the latter will often adapt it to their existing methods instead of copying them verbatim. For instance, Nanoha's Starlight Breaker is based on Divine Buster, but Teana Lanster's version of the same spell is a derivative of her own Phantom Blazer. A more extreme example is Subaru Nakajima's Divine Buster, which was merely named after Nanoha's spell and has nothing in common with it apart from being a bombardment-type spell.
- For the complete list of known spells and their classification, see Special:BrowseData/Spells or the semantic list.
The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Visual Fanbook, a Nanoha universe guide book, provided the first system of classification for the various spells seen in the anime series. Apparently other categories have appeared in the manga series or DVD booklets, describing each spell in detail as they are thrown.
|Spells of this type are guided (like Divine Shooter) or aimed (like Photon Lancer) at targets. It also includes the rare material accelerating spells.||Rumbling Sparrow, Stinger Ray, Sword-drawing: Flying Dragon (see all)|
|This type denotes any aimed attack that fires a cone or stream of energy. This includes collection type (集束砲 Shūsoku Hō, lit. "Focused Ordnance" or "Accumulatory Cannonfire") spells, such as Starlight Breaker, which gather up mana dispersed in the surroundings to release it as a single blast (rather than use the caster's own mana). Rarely, there are also guided bombardment spells like Exelion Buster.||Cross Smasher, Gun Flame, Divide Zero (see all)|
|This type affects attacks that directly use the device as a weapon. Melee type spells also include energy blade type (魔力斬撃 Maryoku Zangeki, described in the fanbook) spells such as Arc Saber.||Oscillating Knuckle, Divide Break, Splash Edge (see all)|
|This type categorizes all attacks that affect targets within a general area.||Rumbling Flame, Photon Burst, Thunder Rage O.D.J (see all)|
| Magic-enhanced attack|
Maryoku Fuyo Kōgeki)
|As the Belka system prefers melee attack over other magic types, spells of this type enhance the attack power of the device, or expand its attack capabilities.||Helmet Crush, Raketenhammer, Speerschneiden (see all)|
|These spells erect defensive barriers such as Protection, usually in spherical or hemispherical shape. They can defend in all directions, but are relatively easy to break. They work by absorbing the power of an attack in order to reduce damage.||Wide Area Protection, Barrier Burst, Panzerhindernis (see all)|
|This type describes spells that generate powerful shields. In contrast to barrier type spells, shield type spells can only guard in one direction, but are much more difficult to penetrate. Also unlike a barrier type defense, these spells defend by repelling the energy driven against them.||Holding Shield, Exelion Shield, Panzerschild (see all)|
|Not to be confused with force field spells below, field type spells directly affect an area around the user to nullify a specific energy type, thermal or electrical for example. They mostly take form of protective clothing or auras.||Barrier Jacket, Thunder Arm, Armour Jacket (see all)|
Hokaku Kei Mahō)
|Bind type spells directly inhibit a target's freedom of movement and the use of action triggers by attaching themselves to them. Bind type spells may prevent movement outright, as in Restrict Lock, or contain the target's mobility, as in Chain Bind.||Commandment Chain, Rock Bind, Ring Bind (see all)|
|Cage type spells surround the target in an immobile prison.||Caging Spears, Crystal Cage, Steel Yoke (see all)|
| Force field|
|These force fields originate from a magic circle, which can be placed by the caster at any location. An example is Yuuno Scrya's Round Guarder Extend.||Floater Field, Round Guarder Extend (see all)|
|Area type force fields affect a large region, and generally are much more powerful than circle type fields. In contrast to defensive spells, force field spells apparently have more varied roles, from protecting property and civilians from collateral damage, to confining enemy magic users to a predetermined area. The imprisoning field used by the TSAB Armed Forces in A's episodes 04 and 05 is one such type of field.||Gefängnis der Magie, Prisoner Box, Temporal Force Field (see all)|
|Directly heals or replenishes the target.||Enchant, Physical Heal, Raging Fire Blade (see all)|
|Presumably, spells of this type lower the target's defenses. However, the known spells of this type directly target other magic spells and attempt to deactivate them. An example is Bind Break.||Barrier Break, Bind Break, Dispel Force Field (see all)|
|Spells of this type include movement enhancement spells such as Flier Fin, as well as teleportation spells.||Deep Diver, Short Jump, Flier Fin (see all)|
|Although illusion magic is not recognized as a distinct magic category by early canon sources, it appears to be one, in which e.g. Teana Lanster and Quattro specialize. Spells of this type create visual and audible illusions, that either make the caster harder to locate or distract the opponent.||Fake Silhouette, Environmental Camouflage, Mirage Hide (see all)|
|The summoning magic, officially introduced in StrikerS, specializes in conjuring living creatures to serve the mage. It is so uncommon, however, that is considered a Rare Skill on Mid-Childa.||Stehlenkönigin, Insektzug, Dragon Soul Summon (see all)|
|Officially introduced in ViVid, manipulation magic can be used to control the body parts of oneself or others with the mind of the caster.||Nephilim Fist, Hair Possession (see all)|
- ^ The original Japanese seems to make no difference between the terms for magic as a discipline and for individual spells.
- ^ Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS DVD 3 Booklet (translation).
- ^ Shamal says that the field can only be broken by Vita's Gigantform or Signum's Sturm Falken, but Signum manages to break through with her Schwertform.
- ^ Presumably, this category is indicated in the manga.