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Offensive/Defensive Magic

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The Harry Potter Canon

"It's about preparing ourselves ...for what's waiting for us out there. It's about making sure we really can defend ourselves."
-- Hermione Granger (OP15)

Offensive/Defensive Magic

A wide variety of spells can be used as an attack, depending on the creativity of the caster. For example, an Aguamenti spell could be used to send a jet of water at an attacker, knocking them off their feet. The spells on these lists, however, are those which seem to be specifically designed to be used offensively in combat.

The relative strength of each spell depends to a large part on the inherent power and ability of the witch or wizard casting it (GF14). The caster’s frame of mind and intention also seem to have a definite effect on the results of the spell. Some spells are themselves more potent than others. The Avada Kedavra curse, for example, is far more dangerous than a simple Sponge-Knees Curse. However, extremely powerful spells are beyond the ability of most witches and wizards (GF14).

Spells which conjure or animate objects can be used effectively in both an offensive and defensive capacity. McGonagall’s use of a spell to animate the castle’s statues during the Battle of Hogwarts is a good example of this. Those kinds of spells aren’t included in this list since the conjured or animated object wouldn’t have to be used for attacking. However, the Oppugno spell is specifically intended to direct such an attack, as we see when Hermione conjures a flock of birds (probably using the Avis spell), then orders them to attack Ron when he comes by with Lavender Brown a few moments later (HBP14).

As with offensive spells, many spells can be used as a defense by an imaginative witch or wizard. For example, Hermione used Duro to cause a tapestry to turn hard as stone, injuring some Death Eaters who ran into it immediately thereafter (DH32). Some defensive spells are used as a preventative measure, not in combat; these are listed separately.

(Note: Some of these are given specifically as “curses” or “hexes,” but all curses and hexes aren’t listed here since they aren’t all used offensively in combat.)

The following spells are used in duelling and attacking:

  • Bat-Bogey Hex
  • Binding Spells (e.g. Incarcerous)
  • Blasting Curse (Confringo)
  • Confringo (Blasting Curse)
  • Conjunctivitis Curse
  • Crucio (Cruciatus Curse, Unforgivable)
  • Curse of the Bogies
  • Densaugeo
  • Deprimo
  • Entrail-Expelling Curse
  • Expulso
  • Fiendfyre
  • finger-removing jinx
  • Full Body-Bind (Petrificus Totalus)
  • horn tongue (unnamed spell)
  • Imperio (Imperius Curse, Unforgivable)
  • Imperius Curse (Imperio)
  • Incarcerous
  • Jelly-Brain Jinx
  • Jelly-Fingers Curse
  • Jelly-Legs Jinx
  • Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra, Unforgivable)
  • knee-reversing hex (unnamed)
  • leek jinx (unnamed)
  • Leg-Locker Curse (Locomotor Mortis)
  • Levicorpus
  • Locomotor Mortis (Leg-Locker Curse)
  • Oppugno (used to induce an object or objects to attack)
  • Pimple Jinx (Furnunculus)
  • Reducto (Reductor Curse)
  • Relashio
  • Rictusempra (Tickling Charm)
  • Sectumsempra
  • Slug-Vomiting Charm
  • Sponge-Knees Curse
  • Stinging Hex
  • Stunner (Stupefy)
  • Stupefy (Stunner, Stunning Spell)
  • Tarantallegra
  • Tickling Charm (Rictusempra)
  • Ticking Spell (Titillando)
  • Titillando (Tickling Spell)
  • Trip Jinx
  • Unforgivable Curses (Imperio, Crucio, Avada Kedavra)
  • wand arrows (unnamed spell)

The spells on this list are used for defense during spell combat:

  • defensive charge (unnamed spell)
  • Defensive Charm
  • Disarming Charm (Expelliarmus)
  • Expecto Patronum (Patronus Charm)
  • Expelliarmus (Disarming Spell)
  • Impediment Curse/Jinx (Impedimenta)
  • Impedimenta (Impediment Curse)
  • Langlock
  • Patronus Charm (Expecto Patronum)
  • Protego (Shield Charm)
  • Revulsion Jinx

These spells are used to set up defenses and protections, but not during combat:

  • Caterwauling Charm
  • Cave Inimicum
  • Colloportus
  • Imperturbable Charm
  • Muggle-Repelling Charm (Repello Muggletum)
  • Protego horribilis
  • Protego totalum
  • Repello Muggletum (Muggle-Repelling Charm)
  • room-sealing spell (unnamed)
  • Salvio hexia
  • Stealth Sensoring spells
  • Thief’s Downfall
  • Unplottable

These spells are used for healing and undoing the damage from or effects of a spell attack:

  • Ennervate (Rennervate)
  • Episkey
  • Liberacorpus
  • Rennervate
  • Reparo
Offensive/Defensive Magic
Magic Type Charms
Dark Magic
Historical magic
Jinxes and hexes
Magical effect
Incantation various
Spellbook Book of Spells - Chapter One
Book of Spells - Chapter Two
Book of Spells - Chapter Three
Curses and Counter-Curses
Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection
The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1
The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2



The following offensive spells aren't canon (in other words, aren't known to have been created by J.K. Rowling herself). They come from the video games and films:

  • Ariania Exumai
  • Bombarda
  • Everte Statum
  • Flipendo (three different "strengths": uno, duo, and tria)
  • Glacius

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Tags: attacks battles combat defensive magic defensive spell duelling fight protection