Top 10 Strongest Wizards in Harry Potter

Updated on October 29, 2019
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

Harry Potter and Duels

The Harry Potter books and movies have enchanted audiences for years. Throughout the many pages chronicling Harry's adventures, he encounters a plethora of powerful wizards and witches. But which one could fight like no other? Voldemort? Snape? Crabbe?!? Okay, maybe not him, but today we'll take a look at the very best duelists of the wizarding world.

The 10 Best Duelists

No ancient wizards, like Godric Gryffindor or Salazar Slytherin, are included. Also, spoilers ahead.

  • Kingsley Shacklebolt
  • Molly Weasley
  • Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody
  • Bellatrix Lestrange
  • Minerva McGonagall
  • Severus Snape
  • Filius Flitwick
  • Gellert Grindelwald
  • Lord Voldemort (Tom Riddle)
  • Albus Dumbledore

Kingsley Shacklebolt
Kingsley Shacklebolt

10. Kingsley Shacklebolt

House: Unknown

A member of the Order of the Phoenix who was introduced in book five, Kingsley Shacklebolt demonstrates great strength. He's held his own against many powerful dark wizards like Bellatrix Lestrange and Augustus Rookwood.

In book seven (Deathly Hallows), Kingsley single-handedly holds off Voldemort before the Dark Lord disengages to battle Harry. Later, with help from Professors McGonagall and Slughorn, Kingsley duels Voldemort yet again in an almost-equal match. Throughout the series, he survived many battles and conquered several Death Eaters.

His role in the movies is limited due to time constraints, but Kingsley's might is unquestionable.

Molly Weasley
Molly Weasley

9. Molly Weasley

House: Gryffindor

The good-natured mother of Harry's best friend, Ronald Weasley, turns out to be an amazingly skilled duelist. Though we almost never see her fight, Molly Weasley battles and kills Bellatrix Lestrange, an immensely powerful dark witch and Voldemort's second-in-command. Molly demonstrated incredible proficiency with non-verbal spells and rapidly hexed Lestrange with a myriad of curses, finally breaching through her defenses.

Molly's far stronger than we gave her credit for, though it should be noted that Lestrange's loss was partially due to her not taking Mrs. Weasley seriously.

Alastor Moody
Alastor Moody

8. Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody

House: Unknown

Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody was widely considered to be the best Auror of all time, a man hired to track and bring in dark wizards. Moody was said to be personally responsible for filling half the cells in Azkaban prison.

In the books, Moody defeats several Death Eaters, and during the broomstick chase at the beginning of Deathly Hallows, he's noted by Voldemort as the biggest threat. Moody eventually falls to a Killing Curse cast by the Dark Lord, but the spell wouldn't have connected if not for the cowardly Mundungus Fletcher's interference.

Moody was no doubt a powerful duelist and surely even more fearsome in his prime.

Bellatrix Lestrange
Bellatrix Lestrange

7. Bellatrix Lestrange

House: Slytherin

The right-hand woman of Lord Voldemort, Belleatrix Lestrange is one of the most cruel, sadistic characters featured in Harry Potter. That doesn't stop her from being an amazingly talented duelist. She survived loads of fights throughout the series, usually walking away victorious.

Her most notable accomplishments include defeating and killing Sirius Black, taking on three skilled witches at once (Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, and Luna Lovegood), and even deflecting a spell from Albus Dumbledore.

Lestrange's insanity and arrogance was her downfall, causing her to fatally underestimate the abilities of Molly Weasley.

Minerva McGonagall
Minerva McGonagall

6. Minerva McGonagall

House: Gryffindor

The elegant head of Gryffindor House, Professor McGonagall fights rarely but exceptionally. She triumphs against the Death Eater Alecto Carrow in book six (Half-Blood Prince). More notably, she duels Severus Snape to a draw and later takes on Voldemort himself alongside Kingsley and Professor Slughorn. Despite her old age, McGonagall proves to be a powerful force of good capable of out-dueling much younger and nimble opponents.

In addition to her fighting abilities, McGonagall is intelligent, an expert at Transfiguration, and an Animagus, allowing her to transform into a cat at will.

Severus Snape
Severus Snape

5. Severus Snape

House: Slytherin

A fan-favorite, Severus Snape should not be underestimated. Sirius Black once stated Severus knew more curses when he arrived at Hogwarts than half of the seventh-year students. Like McGonagall, we rarely see him battle, yet he's always impressive. He defeats Gilderoy Lockhart with a single spell, fights McGonagall to a draw, and absolutely dominates Harry in a duel at the end of Half-Blood Prince.

Plus, Severus is an amazing spy, excellent with potions, capable of reading the minds of others, and known to have invented his own spells, like the destructive sectumsempra.

Filius Flitwick
Filius Flitwick

4. Filius Flitwick

House: Ravenclaw

This amazing duelist unfortunately receives much less focus than other characters, often causing him to be overlooked. Flitwick is the Charms teacher at Hogwarts and Head of Ravenclaw House. Back in his youth, Flitwick earned the title of "dueling champion" thanks to his incredible magical proficiency.

Evidently, his skills haven't diminished. Flitwick is the wizard who takes down Death Eater Antonin Dolohov, who himself was a talented fighter that beat Mad-Eye Moody and killed Remus Lupin. Flitwick is particularly skilled with defensive magic and produces many powerful shielding spells.

Though overshadowed by more prominent characters, and given somewhat comical moments in the films, Flitwick remains one of the strongest fighters introduced in the series.

Gellert Grindelwald
Gellert Grindelwald

3. Gellert Grindelwald

House: N/A (He attended Durmstrang)

Considered the second most dangerous Dark Wizard of all time, Gellert Grindelwald likely would have taken over the wizarding world if not for the intervention of Albus Dumbledore.

The two once had what is widely considered the greatest duel of all time, lasting a whopping three hours, with Dumbledore narrowly emerging the victor. Grindelwald was boosted by the power of the Elder Wand, but even with its help, being able to almost defeat Dumbledore in his prime shows just how dangerous Grindelwald was.

Years later, even when facing torture and death at the hands of Voldemort, Grindelwald seems to have the psychological edge, laughing as he refuses to help Voldemort locate the Elder Wand.

Lord Voldemort
Lord Voldemort

2. Lord Voldemort (Tom Riddle)

House: Slytherin

The Dark Lord of courses proves to be a menace few can stand against. Voldemort murders and out-duels many wizards, and evenly battles an Elder Wand-brandishing Dumbledore. He killed Alastor Moody, Severus Snape, and James and Lilly Potter, among others. He also fought three incredibly skilled duelists, Kingsley, McGonagall, and Slughorn, and might have won if not for the interference of Harry Potter.

Harry foiled Voldemort twice, once as an infant and once as a young man, but both instances were the results of flukes rather than skill. As a child, Lilly's love for Harry rebounded Voldemort's curse back at him, and as an adolescent, Harry triumphed against Voldemort only through mastering the powers of the Elder Wand.

Voldemort was a terrible (yet great) wizard who I'm convinced is the second strongest duelist of all time.

Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore

1. Albus Dumbledore

House: Gryffindor

The seemingly infinite wisdom and kindness of Dumbledore contrasts with his almost unbelievable dueling abilities. Dumbledore is simply the strongest wizard in the series. Intelligent, brilliant, and well-rounded, Dumbledore defeats several Death Eaters in seconds. However, his most impressive accomplishments are evenly dueling Voldemort, despite being hampered by extreme age, and overcoming an Elder Wand-wielding Grindelwald.

Dumbledore displays more intelligence than any other wizard, and he also owned every Deathly Hallow at various points in time. He shows a mastery of dozens of spells, seeming to favor the element of fire. Though he perishes, no other character did more to combat the evil of Grindelwald and Voldemort than Albus Dumbledore.

Who Was the Best Duelist of Harry's Year?

See results

Your Vote

As we can see, all the best duelists come from Hufflepuff. <- Sarcasm.

Hopefully you've enjoyed reviewing the mightiest wizards in Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling introduced so many talented champions that it was challenging to squeeze in just ten. Vote for your favorite of the younger duelists, and I'll see you at our next countdown!

Questions & Answers

  • Sirius from Harry Potter shouldn’t have died, but why did he laugh before he did?

    He shouldn't have died? He faced an accomplished witch who overcame him, and he died nobly protecting his godson. I'm guessing you mean you didn't want him to die, which we can all probably relate to.

    If you knew you were about to die, what would your reaction be? I've known people who laugh when in tough situations, not out of humor but because that's just how they react. It could also simply be shock and confusion.

  • What is Voldemort's real name?

    Voldemort's real name is Tom Marvolo Riddle.

  • Shouldn't Harry Potter be the second strongest wizard as he killed Voldemort?

    No. That was *not* a traditional duel. Harry didn't beat Voldemort with dueling skill, but with the the aid of the Elder Wand. Unquestionably Voldemort was the more skilled wizard; Harry just had a nearly-invincible wand on his side.

  • Why did Tom Riddle change his name to Lord Voldemort?

    It's more intimidating and distances himself from his Muggle relatives.

  • Why is Harry considered a powerful wizard?

    Harry excelled in Defense Against the Dark Arts and had much more actual combat experience than his peers, making him a force to be reckoned with despite his young age.

    That said, he was too inexperienced to take on seasoned veterans like Snape or Voldemort.

© 2016 Jeremy Gill


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    • profile image


      12 months ago

      1. Dumbledore

      2. Voldemort (only because he split his soul into way too many Horcruxes)

      3. Grindelwald

      4. Snape

      5. McGonagall

      6. Bellatrix

      7. Mad-eye moody

      The rest are all about the same to me

    • profile image


      16 months ago

      To be honest I have always thought Grindelwald is more powerful than Voldemort. Tom may be more evil but Grindelwald was smarter and more cunning. Proof for that is that he was the only man ever to manipulate Dumbledore.

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      1. Albus Dumbledore - he was a bit more skilled then Grindelwald, and managed to defeat him, while he was in posses of Elder Wand. He also had the upper hand in hif fight against Voldermort while not even trying to kill him. This time Albus was in posses of Elder Wand, but was also much more older.

      2. Grindelwald - in my opinion, Voldermort would not be albe to fight Dimbledore as long as Grindelwald did. Don't get me wrong, I consider Voldemort as much more dangerous opponent, with superior knowledge in a dark arts. He would won the war against Gellert. But I consider Gellert as superior duelist.

      3. Voldemort - as above.

      4. Amelia Bones - it's implied, that Voldemort killed her by himself, and she managaged to give him a fight. That's enough for me, as McGonagall, Kingslay and Slughorn did the same while fighting three against one (and perhaps being supported by Harry as well, as I remember?).

      5. Filius Flitwick

      6. Severus Snape

      7. Minerva McGonagall

      8. Bellatrix Lestrange

      9. Alastor Moody

      10. Kingsley Shacklebolt, perhaps. No idea, Lupin, Dolohov, Harry, James, Sirius, Slughorn, Molly are all quite close.

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      21 months ago from Louisiana


      Not yet; Cursed Child is a book/play.


      Lupin's skilled, but in my humble opinion, not quite enough for today's list.


      Glad you mentioned Merlin; I may do an ancient wizard countdown in the future (possibly including Godric Gryffindor, Merlin, and the like), so please keep your eyes peeled!


      Harry's definitely a great duelist; if it helps, he recently made the list for my adolescent-age wizard and witch countdown.

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      I have not seen Harry Potter and the cursed child but all my friends who are Harry Potter fans say it’s a movie

    • profile image


      21 months ago

      What about Remus Lupin

    • JynBranton profile image

      Jennifer B 

      24 months ago from Bolingbrook

      Awesome quiz. I can't wait to see where the story goes with Fantastic Beasts 2

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Merlin would beat them all

    • poppyr profile image


      2 years ago from Enoshima, Japan

      Harry himself should be on this list!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I'm not entirely certain that Voldemort was stronger than Grindelwald. Voldemort was more evil, yes, and was entirely selfish. Grindelwald was a zealot in his beliefs

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      2 years ago from Louisiana


      There are some limitations to time turners that casual fans often don't know about. First, they should only be used to go back a few hours, as anything longer *always* results in catastrophe. Second, the Ministry's supply of time turners was destroyed in the battle at the end of Order of the Phoenix, eliminating their potential usage.

      To be honest, these were likely stipulations J.K. Rowling invented later to explain away the plot hole, but I suppose the rules make enough sense to satisfy our curiosity.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      So.. harry and his 2 friends posses the time turner...

      why don't they just cancel tom riddle's admission in hogwarts in the past... this may not lead to to learn magic? no magic no voldemort

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Grindelwald is stronger than Voldemort. Voldemort didn't evenly duel dumbeldore. Dumbeldore knew about the horcruxes and that he couldn't kill him. The ministry also didn't believe and wouldn't acknowledge Voldemort was back so he was trying to delay long enough for them to arrive and see him. Then there's the fact that he was also trying to protect Harry.

    • profile image

      None of these are powerful 

      2 years ago

      most powerful wizard is calimbrimbor or KAMBMSFGLA

    • profile image

      Ivy Meshle 

      2 years ago

      I'd have put Flitwick lower down the list, and moved McGonagall up.

      Voldemort should switch places with Gellert Grindelwald as I think Grindelwald is more skillful; it's just that Voldemort kills more people

    • profile image

      Dan D 

      2 years ago

      Tom Peachy is right, Dumby, Voldy, Snape, Grindelwald and then go from there.

    • profile image

      Tom Peachey 

      2 years ago

      I think it is

      Dumbledore, Gindelwald, Voldemort, Snape, Mcgonagall, and so on

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      2 years ago from Louisiana

      @Moo and Lasercookie

      Hermione and Lupin certainly aren't weak, but neither is quite skilled enough at dueling to make the cut.


      I'm not saying that I think Grindelwald is stronger than Voldemort, but him being the second most-dangerous dark wizard may refer Voldemort's higher death count and following, not necessarily dueling skill.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      This is Ausome i love it

      I am a big fan of J.K Rowling


    • profile image


      2 years ago

      where is hermione

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      What about Remus Lupin

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Grindelwald is never implied to be stronger than Voldemort. Hes always refrred to as the second most dangerous dark wizard of all time (Voldy is first) and he lost to Dumbledore despite having the elder wand.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Grindelwald is said to be second only to Voldy. But ... he's from the 20s. Well. before Voldy's refining of the whole dark magic genre. I'm of the belief Snape probably knew far more dark spells than Grindelwald.

      We'd probably find out more with the new movie series.

    • Jeremy Gill profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Gill 

      3 years ago from Louisiana

      It's debatable, but I recall the opposite: Voldemort implied to be stronger than Grindelwald.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      CYong74 Grindelwald is implied to be stronger than Voldemort, so how can Snape possibly be even close to him?

    • CYong74 profile image


      4 years ago from Singapore

      I would personally rank Snape to be above Flitwick and Grindelwald. But otherwise your list makes a lot of sense. Great too that you highlighted Bellatrix lost possibly because she underestimated Molly. A lot of lists doesn't highlight that.


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