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#1 Edited by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

Because there was again a lot of discussion about individual duelling skill in other threads and it's sort of derailing, let's discuss here.

This is duelling skill, so a combination of speed, reaction feats, diversity, spell control, the ability to use non-verbal magic, etc. This is NOT spell creation, transfiguration, potion creation, apparition, broom flying, etc. Purely how these people stack up in a duel.

Everyone is as they were shown during the book series, not their prime, unless specified.

The below order shows how I rank these wizards and witches. Feel free to give your own or comment on my your ranking:

Top tiers

* Dumbledore (one of the greatest wizards ever, only one Voldemort ever feared, master of non-verbal magic, blitzed multiple opponents at once, took down the notorious Grindelwald)

* Voldemort(Almost defeated 3 highly skilled wizards at once, fought on par with Dumbledore while he had the elder wand)

* Grindelwald (prime, present time-line is featless) (fought a duel for hours with Dumbledore in his prime)

- - - -

Huge gap

- - - -

High tiers

* Delphini Riddle (TCH) (Exact placement is somewhat difficult. Fodderized (near-)prime veteran auror Harry Potter, displayed enormous magic skill such as unassisted flying and wandless tk, briefly held off Harry + Ron + Draco + Hermione before going down)

* Bellatrix Lestrange(took down 4 wizards by herself with ease, defeated Black and Kingsley back to back and blocked a spell from Dumbledore, killed Tonks, was winning a 3 on 1)

* Kingsley Shacklebolt (took on and defeated two death eaters at once, reacted to Dumbledore's blitz, took down 3 death eaters while on broom, duelled against Voldemort)

* Antonin Dolohov(almost defeated the trio and Neville with non-verbal magic, was winning against Black, almost defeated the trio in book 7, defeated Moody, defeated and killed Lupin)

* Filius Flitwick (former duelling champion, charms professor, took down Dolohov)

* Severus Snape(fought on par with McGonagall for a little while, magical prodigy who invented different spells, legimency and occlumency master, stomped Harry in book 6)

* Minerva Mc Gonagall(stalemated with Snape, took on Voldemort together with 2 others, said to be extremely gifted from birth)

* Sirius Black(defeated an unnamed death eater, fought on par for a short while with both Dolohov and Lestrange, said to be extremely gifted)

* Horace Slughorn(held in high regard by Dumbledore, duelled against Voldemort)

* Remus Lupin(defeated Lucius Malfoy during the battle of the MoM and was one of just three good guys to be unharmed, reputation for being a very skilled wizard)

* Yaxley (stalemated with Flitwick, one of the last death eaters to go down during the battle of Hogwarts)

* Alastor Moody (prime should be way higher, but lost a lot of his shine) (reputation for being one of the best aurors ever, put countless death eaters in Azkaban, tons of experience)

- - -

Mid tiers and below.

Too many to count. Harry, Draco, Hermione and Ron should probably be near the top, the mid tier is filled by a lot of death eaters (like Lucius Malfoy, Barty Crouch Jr and possibly Thorfinn Rowle), most aurors (Tonks, Dawlish, probably the Longbottoms) should be here, as well as some professors.

Almost all students and even adult wizards should be bottom mid tier or low tier, since they do not have any duelling experience. Fred or George said that most adults at the ministry of magic could barely conjure up a shield, which is entry level stuff.

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#2 Edited by AlphaQ (4943 posts) - - Show Bio

It depends on how strictly you interpret feats or how seriously you take statements/hype. Moody is an example, basically featless, but he's got great hype and statements. Snape and McGonagal are characters that really on the assumption that their other skills are transferable to dueling although are similarly lacking in feats. This leads on to the issue of actually trying to understand what is the most important in a duel, skill, experience, knowledge, reactions, etc. All are useful but depending on how you evaluate their worth you get very different tiering, such as Harry being low high tier because he could react to/match Voldemort in Deathly Hallows, if you take speed to be the most important credential, even though he doesn't have the feats to be that high going strictly by combat success. You could even say that duels are mostly circumstantial or luck based aside from the extremely skilled, like how the DA members could have some success against the Death Eaters in OotP, despite being much weaker overall.

Those are some of the things that goes through my head when I enter HP discussions. As regards your list, Harry might my high-tier or maybe Tonks in mid-tier.

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#3 Edited by AlphaQ (4943 posts) - - Show Bio

Slughorn should also be in high-tier IMO. He fought Voldemort and moved very quickly, in that he could disguise himself and his house before Dumbledore and Harry could walk a short distance.

Another thing that worries me is wondering whether quality or quantity is better... like is Bellatrix beating four poor duelists is better than Dolohov beating Moody for example.

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#4 Posted by Redxiii18881990 (1527 posts) - - Show Bio

Since this is dueling skill, do you not think Voldemort should be above dumbledore. As dumbledore was amped with the elder wand in that fight.

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#5 Edited by AlphaQ (4943 posts) - - Show Bio

@redxiii18881990: Dumbledore indirectly said that the Elder Wand wasn't enough to bridge a very small gap in skill between himself and Grindelwald. Even factoring modesty it shows the EW isn't enough to drastically changes fights between contemporaries.

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#6 Posted by Redxiii18881990 (1527 posts) - - Show Bio

@alphaq: you mean when he said that they are "evenly matched' perhaps I was a shade more skill full." That just makes it seem that he's more naturally powerful than grindlewald but the wand brought them on even terms. Grindlewald was the second most powerful dark wizard who was evenly matched with dumbledore give or take a bit of skill. But Voldemort is seen as more powerful than grindlewald. Though this seems like it's verging on ABC logic tbh.

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#7 Posted by AlphaQ (4943 posts) - - Show Bio

@alphaq: you mean when he said that they are "evenly matched' perhaps I was a shade more skill full."

Yes.

That just makes it seem that he's more naturally powerful than grindlewald but the wand brought them on even terms.

Natural power? It was never stated that wizards have an internal powers level, only skill and mental ability has been stated to matter in raw magical potential. However it's true that skill at magic is not the same at magic at dueling, so I get what you mean - that his magical abilities were raised to Dumbledore's level, which is admittedly a possible interpretation.

Grindlewald was the second most powerful dark wizard who was evenly matched with dumbledore give or take a bit of skill. But Voldemort is seen as more powerful than grindlewald. Though this seems like it's verging on ABC logic tbh.

I heard an interesting point recently - the possibility that Voldemort being regarded as he was is something that was unique to Britain, not the world as a whole, where it is undeniable that Grindelwald had a greater impact. Plus Grindelwald didn't go near Dumbledore's turf IIRC and consequentially the story's British characters rate Voldemort over Grindelwald because for them Grindelwald was a foreign problem.

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#8 Edited by Redxiii18881990 (1527 posts) - - Show Bio

@alphaq: natural magical power is mentioned I think with ginny. It's George or Fred mentions that she's extremely powerful for someone her size and mentions about being on the receiving end of her bat bogey hex, indicating it's different from others. Or at least that's what I took from the emphasis on it. Other people as well like lockheart has poor overall magic but good at memory charms, which he's compensated his poor magic with skill at a particular spell.

EDIT: Also Voldemort is known in Europe. The Bulgarian minister knew of Harry's defeat of him and so the wand maker (not olivander) and grindlewald both knew of Voldemort.

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#9 Posted by AlphaQ (4943 posts) - - Show Bio

@alphaq: natural magical power is mentioned I think with ginny. It's George or Fred mentions that she's extremely powerful for someone her size and mentions about being on the receiving end of her bat bogey hex, indicating it's different from others. Or at least that's what I took from the emphasis on it. Other people as well like lockheart has poor overall magic but good at memory charms, which he's compensated his poor magic with skill at a particular spell.

From what I can recall all they said is that her size doesn't correlate to her power, but 'power' is vague. Nothing has even been seen or shown where one wizard is innately better than another, or have more magic. Ginny's 'power' is really just aptitude, or else all her hexes would be very strong, not just her specialties. Lockhart's Pottermore page, which is written by JKR apparently, says that he was an intelligent and talented wizard who didn't live up to his potential because of laziness and lack of use, not that he was weak innately.

EDIT: Also Voldemort is known in Europe. The Bulgarian minister knew of Harry's defeat of him and so the wand maker (not olivander) and grindlewald both knew of Voldemort.

Of course. Put he was only called the worst wizard by British wizards IIRC.

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#10 Posted by Redxiii18881990 (1527 posts) - - Show Bio

@alphaq: there has been other mentions of power. It's more to do with the strength of spells. Like shield charms, one of them is mentioned as being powerful enough to knock someone off their feet. And disarming sending them flying backwards.

We don't know if he was called the worst by others. We only really have British perspective as that's where they are based.

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#11 Posted by Kal-L (253 posts) - - Show Bio

@alphaq said:

Slughorn should also be in high-tier IMO. He fought Voldemort and moved very quickly, in that he could disguise himself and his house before Dumbledore and Harry could walk a short distance.

Another thing that worries me is wondering whether quality or quantity is better... like is Bellatrix beating four poor duelists is better than Dolohov beating Moody for example.

Well, it's not as though Bellatrix didn't have her own share of great opponents with Sirius the man considered to be most dangerous death eaters and LV's Right Hand something everyone including his former teacher thought believable and Kingsley Shacklebolt the top auror of that generation. Dolohov defeated a Lupin out of shape an information JKR was keen to point out on Pottermore and a Moody who wasn't in his prime anymore. Besides it could be argued that they didn't have the same portrayal in the fact she was the only one to escape from Dumbledore at the Department of Mysteries and was the last one standing at the sides of Voldemort when all the death eaters had been defeated.

I don't know about the story of power but I had read somewhere a theory which said that Ginny was the most powerful of the Weasley children because she was the "seventh". I find it very interesting although there is nothing to confirm it, this is only conjecture.

Concerning the thread I think there is another ranking thread on the General discussion forum but I was thinking it would be a good idea to make tier (not in the battle) at some point.

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#12 Posted by ValarMelkor (5165 posts) - - Show Bio

Mostly agree with your list, but Slughorn should be high tier, he was duelling Voldemort along with Kingsley and McGonagall and seemed to be holding his own. Dumbledore also said he was a very powerful Wizard.

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#13 Edited by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

@alphaq: @valarmelkor:

Hmm I guess you're both right. I'll move Slughorn to high tier.

Another thing that worries me is wondering whether quality or quantity is better... like is Bellatrix beating four poor duelists is better than Dolohov beating Moody for example.

It depends I guess. Beating 2 weaker opponents should be way below defeated someone like Moody or Black, but 4 opponents at once without breaking a sweat? That is really impressive no matter how you look at it. And Bellatrix has defeated high quality opponents as well. I think featwise she is the best in the series.

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#14 Posted by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

Bump, added some reasons for the ranking in the OP.

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#15 Posted by Leo-343 (30909 posts) - - Show Bio

Where the hell is Molly? :O

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#18 Edited by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

Where the hell is Molly? :O

Either in the no man's land between the big three and Bellatrix or somewhere in the mid tier, depending on how you interpret her fight with Bellatrix, LOL.

Natural power? It was never stated that wizards have an internal powers level, only skill and mental ability has been stated to matter in raw magical potential.

This is not entirely true. Magical ability in general, as in how much inclination for magic someone has, was mentioned often throughout the series. A lot of wizards use magic unknowingly before going to Hogwarts, but some a lot more than others. Mc Gonagall could read the mind off and control her family cat and summons objects to her crib when she was a baby and Voldemort could do lots of things long before he had any training. Hermione could do simple spells before going to Hogwarts despite being muggle-born. She honed her skills while at Hogwarts, making her better than Ron who is only averagely gifted and works less hard than she does.

Skill at magic is a very broad term and basically describes every skill out there, from duelling to legimency, after having a proper education and training. It stands to reason that those who are more gifted from birth, combined with education, will be better than their less gifted peers. Someone who is naturally gifted for chess but never receives any training will be beat by someone who is not gifted but received plenty of training.

Duelling skill is limited to the collection of skills and stats that makes someone a strong duellist, as described in OP. Some people have amazing magical skills but are not particularly good duellists. Snape is a prime example, he is absolutely top tier in terms of overall abilities (potion master, dark arts master, invented a lot of spells, legimency/occlumency master etc), but in terms of duelling he is below a lot of others.

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#20 Posted by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

Bump

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#21 Posted by marvelfan1992 (620 posts) - - Show Bio

so is dumbledore > or = or < than voldemort in a duel without the EW? provided neither are holding back

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#22 Posted by AlphaQ (4943 posts) - - Show Bio

If you ignore their duel, Albus has better feats in the books and Tom hss better ones in the movies. Albus has the Elder Wand for most of the series though.

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#23 Edited by decaf_wizard (12367 posts) - - Show Bio
@alphaq said:

If you ignore their duel, Albus has better feats in the books and Tom hss better ones in the movies. Albus has the Elder Wand for most of the series though.

Well didn't Dumbledore say that the Elder Wand had a very large affinity towards dark magic? Now obviously it still amped any wizard who possessed it, allowing them to do things they could never normally do, but if Dumbledore was right, shouldn't Voldemort and Grindelwald's feats should be treated as being more highly amped because they actually use dark magic?

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#24 Posted by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

@decaf_wizard: I don't remember that statement about affinity for the dark arts, do you remember where that was stated?

so is dumbledore > or = or < than voldemort in a duel without the EW? provided neither are holding back

I believe going all out, with killing intent, Dumbledore is marginally better. Voldemort does look a bit better in the movies.

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#25 Posted by AlphaQ (4943 posts) - - Show Bio
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#26 Posted by Leo-343 (30909 posts) - - Show Bio

@alphaq said:

If you ignore their duel, Albus has better feats in the books and Tom hss better ones in the movies. Albus has the Elder Wand for most of the series though.

Book Dumbledore was kind of kicking Voldemort's ass or at least was portrayed in a better light while movie Dumbledore eventually got overwhelmed but overall I'd put Dumbledore ahead since the books are the higher canon and Voldemort feared him for a reason-even the chapter they fought in was called 'The only one he ever feared.'

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#27 Edited by AlphaQ (4943 posts) - - Show Bio

@leo-343: Yeah, I was a bit disappointed with the book version, since I'd have preferred a closer rivalry between the two in power, but the book left no question as to who would win. Voldemort put in a great showing in the movie duel though, seemed kinda weird to me that he fled when he showed better displays of power, but we're probably supposed to believe he had done his best and realized it wasn't going to win him the fight. I remember I heard an interesting idea, that in the books Voldemort got weakened psychologically, due to his fear of Dumbledore, so he wasn't fighting to his best, since some people pointed out he spammed AK at times, whereas Dumbledore used more exotic spells. I don't really buy it, since I put more faith in Voldemort's willpower, but I found it interesting nonetheless.

I'm currently re-reading the books, amd will re-watch the movies, to make a HPverse respect thread, so I'll be comparing them sometime soon hopefully.

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#28 Posted by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

@alphaq said:

I'm currently re-reading the books, amd will re-watch the movies, to make a HPverse respect thread, so I'll be comparing them sometime soon hopefully.

I was actually thinking about doing that but only for the minor characters who have great feats (Bellatrix, Dolohov, Lupin...) but if you are planning on doing that already...

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#29 Posted by Leo-343 (30909 posts) - - Show Bio

@alphaq: I agree with all of that, and yes that certainly is an interesting take on the book fight, I hadn't thought of that. Will be looking forward to your respect thread.

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#30 Posted by ANTHP2000 (10353 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd put McGonagall higher. Snape too. Otherwise yeah, Bellatrix has to be first feat wise.

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#31 Posted by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd put McGonagall higher. Snape too. Otherwise yeah, Bellatrix has to be first feat wise.

So you'd put McGonagall right behind Bellatrix?

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#32 Edited by ANTHP2000 (10353 posts) - - Show Bio

@cpt_nice: Either behind her or behind Shacklebolt. She was pretty awesome in her fight with Snape, she did battle Voldemort, she was Dumbldore's second in command and she is a transfigurations master wich would help a lot in duel. Sirius is a bit higher than he should as I see it. Beating Lucius isn't something special...He used to be good but in recent years he has lost his duelling abilities.

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#33 Edited by AlphaQ (4943 posts) - - Show Bio

@cpt_nice: You should, if you would enjoy it. It'll definitely take me a few weeks since I'am currently almost a third of the way through Goblet of Fire (I'm not that slow of a reader, but the movies and editing will take a while and I do read other books alongside).

If you want I'll send you the thread in a PM and yoy can tell me what you think and if I missed anything.

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#34 Edited by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

@alphaq said:

@cpt_nice: You should, if you would enjoy it. It'll definitely take me a few weeks since I'am currently almost a third of the way through Goblet of Fire (I'm not that slow of a reader, but the movies and editing will take a while and I do read other books alongside).

If you want I'll send you the thread in a PM and yoy can tell me what you think and if I missed anything.

Thanks, also for the compliment on the thread. Feel free to send a pm when you are ready.

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#35 Posted by Kal-L (253 posts) - - Show Bio

@cpt_nice: Either behind her or behind Shacklebolt. She was pretty awesome in her fight with Snape, she did battle Voldemort, she was Dumbldore's second in command and she is a transfigurations master wich would help a lot in duel. Sirius is a bit higher than he should as I see it. Beating Lucius isn't something special...He used to be good but in recent years he has lost his duelling abilities.

Actually in the books, Sirius never fought Lucius, he defeated an unknown death eater, briefly fought Dolohov and did better against Bellatrix than two aurors used to fight dark wizards everyday.

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#36 Posted by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

Might as well bump this because HP is being discussed a lot lately.

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#37 Posted by vengefulshot (1922 posts) - - Show Bio

@cpt_nice: Where would you rank Amelia Bones?

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#38 Edited by ANTHP2000 (10353 posts) - - Show Bio

@cpt_nice: Why is Dolohov above Flitwick though? He did beat him.

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#39 Edited by morleericks (10859 posts) - - Show Bio

Harry is most certainly Top Tier....

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#40 Posted by ANTHP2000 (10353 posts) - - Show Bio
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#41 Posted by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

@cpt_nice: Why is Dolohov above Flitwick though? He did beat him.

Flitwick also stalemated with Yaxley, who is significantly below Dolohov. That could be a low end showing, but so could him taking down Dolohov. Considering Dolohov's showings. I am inclined to give him an edge in a straight up duel where both of them are fresh and there is no outside interference. YMMV though.

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#42 Posted by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

@cpt_nice: Where would you rank Amelia Bones?

Somewhere in the high tier for sure, no idea where though. Maybe above Moody.

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#43 Posted by vengefulshot (1922 posts) - - Show Bio

Harry is most certainly Top Tier....

Really, really not.

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#44 Posted by morleericks (10859 posts) - - Show Bio
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#45 Posted by ANTHP2000 (10353 posts) - - Show Bio

@cpt_nice said:
@anthp2000 said:

@cpt_nice: Why is Dolohov above Flitwick though? He did beat him.

Flitwick also stalemated with Yaxley, who is significantly below Dolohov. That could be a low end showing, but so could him taking down Dolohov. Considering Dolohov's showings. I am inclined to give him an edge in a straight up duel where both of them are fresh and there is no outside interference. YMMV though.

Yeah, it's all spectulation. I think that's a good position for him.

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#46 Posted by linsanel_Doctor (8630 posts) - - Show Bio

Dumbledore, Grindelwald, and Voldemort>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>everyone else

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#47 Posted by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

Dumbledore, Grindelwald, and Voldemort>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>everyone else

Well that much goes without saying.

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#48 Edited by cpt_nice (9437 posts) - - Show Bio

@morleericks said:

@vengefulshot: ask cpt_nice. He will tell you

I hope you are being sarcastic, lol. Harry is not even high tier, unless we are talking at his prime.

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#49 Posted by morleericks (10859 posts) - - Show Bio
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#50 Posted by vengefulshot (1922 posts) - - Show Bio