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DADA #8 - Spell Planning in Duels

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  1. Welcome to Y5 DADA!||As I’m sure you’re aware, duelling, like most things in life, is always far more successful if you have a plan - as the Muggles like to say, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.||So, in today’s lesson we’ll be discussing spell planning in duels, so you can amaze your friends and/or enemies with your excellent duelling spell repertoire and not find yourself stuck for spells after your first hex.||Let’s get right into it!
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  3. Before you begin planning spells, however, it is first important to establish what criteria must be met to determine the winner and loser of the duel.||At your level, it will most likely be disarming or until one party surrenders, but more serious duels might continue to the death – don’t be that person who sends their duelling partner to the hospital wing when all they wanted was to practice expelliarmus!||The stakes of your duel will naturally influence nature of the spells you use, as well as the power you put behind them.||You should also consider what you hope to achieve through you duel.||From taking down a future Dark Lord to simply messing around with your friends, there are many reasons to have a duel and naturally, your motivation is going to affect the spells you choose to cast.||Whilst taking these factors into consideration may seem like just common sense, I’d rather talk about them in class on the off chance they’re not something you’ve thought about before than send you out into the duelling world unprepared.||But now we’ve looked at the basics, we can move onto the more exciting part of the lesson: spell choices!
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  5. Being the first to cast in a duel can be the deciding factor between winning and losing, as having a strong first spell can allow you to end a duel even before it’s really started.||This is why you should begin your duel with a spell with simple movements you know you can pull off every time.||For many notable witches and wizards throughout history, this spell has been the Disarming Charm, as if you can get the element of surprise when casting this sell you can render your opponent wandless and defenceless before they can get a single spell in, putting you at a huge advantage or even winning you the duel depending on its conditions.||This technique worked especially well for Elizabeth Smudgling, the inventor of Expelliarmus who used it to win the Dartmoor duelling competition during the 14th Century, and Harry Potter, for whom Expelliarmus became somewhat of a signature spell due to his repeated use of it against Voldemort.||However, the Disarming Charm is by no means your only option; Obscuro can be equally disconcerting for your opponent and prevent them from casting accurately, and the Silencing Charm can spell the downfall for witches and wizards without Nonverbal casting.||Lastly, Rictusempra, when used at the beginning of a duel, can be highly effective as it is very difficult for your opponent to cast when being tickled!||However, do be aware that the erratic movements associated with this spell can also make it more difficult for you to aim spells at your opponent.||
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  7. Once you’ve got sorted out the first spell you’re going to use in order to put your opponent on the back foot right from the start, you’ll need to start considering what spells you’ll use for the rest of the duel, when the element of surprise has been lost and your opponent is likely to be prepared for the spells you throw at them.||Spells to further inconvenience your foe such as Impedimenta, which will slow them down, and Alarte Ascendare, which will send them floating away into the sky, are excellent to use at this stage of the duel to buy you more time to prepare your combat spells.||If you’re a whizz at Transfiguration then any human to animal Transfiguration spells are also excellent to throw your opponent off their game - and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to see their friend or enemy flapping about as a distressed owl?!||When it comes to actually causing damage to your duelling partner, I’m sure you are all familiar with spells like Baubillious and Bombarda, though I must advise you to be careful with these spells as their effects can be fatal if you neglect to exercise restraint when casting them, so be careful!
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  9. Now you know how you’re going to attack, your next step is naturally going to be planning how you’ll defend yourself.||The spell to come to mind when you think of defensive magic is probably the Shielding Charm, Protego, but that is by no means the only spell with defensive uses.||Healing spells like Ferula can also be excellent when you’re in a sticky situation, restoring some of your strength so that you can strike back at your opponent with full force.||A spell like Vicis Vulpes is ideal for combining healing with attacking, and can truly turn the tables in a duel if used well!||It’s also important to know healing spells in case you or your opponent sustain a serious injury during your duel; having healing knowledge can save lives in duels, and you should never go into a duel with the intention to cause damage you wouldn’t be able to fix.||
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  11. I hope this lesson has taught you something new about how best to prepare for duels, and that the information you've learnt today will lead you to success in all future duelling endeavours.||Have fun, and be careful else someone could end up killed, or worse expelled!
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