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The Most Powerful Wands In 'Harry Potter'

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Vote up the wands that rule the Wizarding World.

The level of power each Harry Potter character wields varies, based primarily on the witch or wizard's skills at casting magical spells. But although possessing innate talent is vital, a wizard's powers are bolstered by the wand they use. In the Wizarding World, each wand has different characteristics depending on the type of wood it's crafted from and the substance at its core.

"[E]ach wand, from the moment it finds its ideal owner, will begin to learn from and teach its human partner," said master wandmaker Garrick Ollivander.

Although there's no definitively objective way to "score" each wand, a close look at certain wizards' wands and their greatest feats reveals that some wands do seem to have a powerful advantage over others.

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  • 1
    248 VOTES

    The Elder Wand

    The Elder Wand
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 / Warner Bros. Pictures

    What It's Made Of: Elder wood, the rarest type of wood used to create wands because it is generally considered unlucky. This wand is unnaturally long at 15 inches and at its core contains a Thestral hair, another rare wand component.

    Types Of Magic It Can Do: It can complete any form of magic that does not contradict Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration. The Elder Wand is designed to perform incredible acts of magic that are achievable only if the owner of the wand has achieved its allegiance. 

    Its Most Powerful Feat(s): The near-destruction of Paris, France. Gellert Grindelwald uses it to perform a spell that would have wiped out the city if multiple Aurors and other wizards had not used their combined powers to curb the spell. The most powerful successful curse it performs is the destruction of the shield around Hogwarts. Voldemort carries out the curse, which is ironic, because the wand's allegiance isn't to the Dark Lord.

    248 votes
  • 2
    181 VOTES

    Harry Potter's Wand

    Harry Potter's Wand
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 / Warner Bros. Pictures

    What It's Made Of: Holly, an element that suits those with a daring mentality. Eleven inches long, it contains the core of a phoenix feather - from the same phoenix that supplied the feather for Voldemort's wand. The combination of phoenix feather and holly is difficult, because "the wood’s volatility conflicts strangely with the phoenix’s detachment," according to Garrick Ollivander.

    Types Of Magic It Can Do: Advanced defensive magic. Harry chooses to go the defensive route in his battles, which balances out the wand's boldness to create strong spells best suited for Defense Against the Dark Arts. It includes the casting of charms that act as defensive barriers, along with accuracy of the Expelliarmus spell.

    Its Most Powerful Feats: Harry's wand is known for two instances of extremely powerful magic: first, the creation of a Patronus charm that repels hundreds of Dementors at the same time; and second, the creation of a golden flame to protect its master when the wand recognizes Voldemort as Harry's enemy during the flight of the seven Potters.

    181 votes
  • 3
    138 VOTES

    Voldemort's/Tom Riddle's Original Wand

    Voldemort's/Tom Riddle's Original Wand
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / Warner Bros. Pictures

    What It's Made Of: Yew, which has poisonous properties and makes for wands that are proficient in curses. This wand, 13 1/2 inches in length, has a phoenix feather core. Wands with such cores generate power, and can act on their own accord based on their master's most patented spells.

    Types Of Magic It Can Do: Dark magic at its most extreme. Its affinity for Voldemort's innate power is known because the magic holds long after Voldemort has completed a spell.

    Its Most Powerful Feat: Voldemort slays many people with the wand, including James and Lily Potter and Cedric Diggory, which of course is terrible. But this wand's most incredible feat is creating an army of Inferi, a curse of cadavers that remains active decades after the initial spell. The curse in the cave guarding Voldemort's Horcrux remains dormant until someone attempts to remove the Horcrux, at which point the curse on the Inferi is activated. 

    138 votes
  • 4
    180 VOTES

    Minerva McGonagall's Wand

    Minerva McGonagall's Wand
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire / Warner Bros. Pictures

    What It's Made Of: Fir, which suits wands in the hands of masters who have strong willpower and are gifted in Transfiguration. This wand is 9 1/2 inches in length with a dragon heartstring core. The combination of the dragon heartstring's ruthlessness and fir's inner strength allow the wand to create powerful spells that don't become too dangerous.

    Types Of Magic It Can Do: Primarily magic based on Transfiguration. Minerva McGonagall completes superb feats in this branch of magic, which can change objects into something else entirely.

    Its Most Powerful Feats: McGonagall's wand is incredibly quick in two instances: first, when she reverses the human Transfiguration of Draco Malfoy into a ferret; and second, when she defeats Severus Snape in combat, turning his conjured fire snake into smoke and a swarm of daggers, which forces him to retreat.

    180 votes
  • 5
    133 VOTES

    Severus Snape's Wand

    Severus Snape's Wand
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / Warner Bros. Pictures

    What It's Made Of: Unknown. The wand's characteristics are never revealed.

    Types Of Magic It Can Do: Various forms of Dark Arts, defensive magic, and Charms. The wand appears to favor the creation of new spells, because Snape comes up with a number of curses and enchantments on his own. 

    Its Most Powerful Feat: It is the first wand to execute the the Sectumsempra curse, which Snape invents, and does so with such force that its targets are left with permanent scars. This wand is also the only one known to reverse the effects of Sectumsempra, because Snape heals Draco Malfoy's injuries when no one else knows how. 

    133 votes
  • 6
    132 VOTES

    Hermione Granger's Wand

    Hermione Granger's Wand
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 / Warner Bros. Pictures

    What It's Made Of: Vine, which is best suited for dedicated individuals who believe in practice to increase the strength of their magic. This wand is 10 3/4 inches in length with a dragon heartstring core. 

    Types Of Magic It Can Do: Practical magic that leads to greater results the more knowledge Hermione Granger gains. Hermione completes every spell she studies with expertise, including the memory charm on the first try. The wand is also adept at nonverbal spells because Hermione has taught it to be patient.

    Its Most Powerful Feat: The blasting curse that repels Voldemort's feared snake, Nagini. The spell is so powerful that everyone in the room at Bathilda Bagshot's home is knocked back, leaving Harry's wand broken in two through its sheer force, and Nagini launched far enough away to allow Harry and Hermione time to escape.

    132 votes