"Dark Magician", known as "Black Magician" (ブラック・マジシャン Burakku Majishan) in Japan, is an archetype that has been a part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise since its beginning, with "Dark Magician" appearing as Yugi Muto's ace card. During the Battle City arc and subsequent arcs, more cards were introduced, such as "Dark Magician Girl". Originally a series, the release of "The Eye of Timaeus" cemented its status as an archetype (this is due to the wording-rulings of all cards previous to "The Eye of Timaeus" that are related: they required a specifically-named card, allowing no variances.)
The "Magician" cards have several features in common:
What most "Magicians" have is their armor which is usually a collection of shiny, curved plates with sharp edges, all of the same color, which cover the torso and shoulder areas. On the edges of the plates are curved trimmings of contrasting shade.
Some of these "Magicians" also have hats which appear to be similar to the traditional wizard's hat, which is usually crooked, leaning forward at the tip and with several rings which segment it. These rings are of the same color of the curved trimmings seen elsewhere on the "Magician's" attire.
Some of these monsters have Spell Counters embedded in their staff, shield, sword or armor.
Some also have the Arcana Seal depicted in the background.
The monsters of this archetype are fairly strong on their own, however, they rely a lot on a large amount of support cards to keep them going. The later releases revolve around spell counters. Depending on the way the Deck is built, this archetype can be very slow or fast archetype, occasionally able to out-trump even the "Blackwings", or the "Six Samurai" depending on the draw and how often "Dark Magician" can be Special Summoned. "Magical Dimension" is a great card in order to rush your "Dark Magician" out fast. Protecting a "Skilled Dark Magician" as he gathers up his counters is another way to go, but this strategy relies on how many spell cards you can allow your opponent to play before they gain the upper hand.
This archetype also currently has a particular weakness, in that has extremely few support cards (currently a total of merely one: "The Eye of Timaeus"). Most of its support is for the "Dark Magician" himself or Spellcasters in general.