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.||Plasma Barret, Todesdolch, Photon Lancer Genocide Shift (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.||Exelion Buster, Hræsvelgr, Plasma Smasher (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.||Break Liner, Twin Blades, Hammerschlag (see all)|
|This type categorizes all attacks that affect targets within a general area.||Thunder of the Night Sky, God Thunder, Blast Calamity (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.||Stahlmesser, Suigetsu, Schlangebeißen (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.||Sphere Protection, Circle Protection, Hard Shell (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.||Binding 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.||Fang Mountain, Thunder Arm, Gunshot Defense (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.||Counter Bind, Arresting Net, Rock Bind (see all)|
|Cage type spells surround the target in an immobile prison.||Thread Cage, Frierenfesseln, Crystal Cage (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.||Round Guarder Extend, Floater Field (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, Temporal Force Field, Prisoner Box (see all)|
|Directly heals or replenishes the target.||Boosted Healing, Divide Energy, Boost Up (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.||Dispel Force Field, Barrier Break, Shield Break (see all)|
|Spells of this type include movement enhancement spells such as Flier Fin, as well as teleportation spells.||Absorb Grip, Flash Move, Short Jump (see all)|
|Although illusion magic is not recognized as a distinct magic category by 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.||Dream of the Book of Darkness, Boosted Illusion, Silver Curtain (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.||Dragon Mount Summon, Transport Summoning, Ultimate Summon (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.