Top 10 – Potions
Happy Spooky Season!
The witches brew, fruit of the cauldron, magic in liquid form, bottled and corked, and ready for mass distribution. They can be medicinal, toxic, empowering, destructive, or just plain weird. Sometimes it’s important to just randomly drink bottles you find on the ground especially if they glow, because it could be any of those adjectives, or all of them, and you’ll only know if you try.
Hold your nose, down the hatch, and hope this one isn’t poison. It’s the Top 10 potions.
10) Potions of Giant Strength – Dungeons & Dragons
What better way to kick off our list than a potion that comes in multiple flavours? In D&D your ability scores are capped at 20 by most means. To exceed such a value would be beyond the grasp of mind and body of most mortal beings, and yet giants, for their incredible size possess similarly incredible strength, the kind that allows them to tear up trees as if they were weeds and hurl boulders the size of cows as weapons. The giant hierarchy, or ordening, is governed by strength, and every type of potion grants a taste of that strength.
Hill giants for example have a strength of 21, and drinking their potion grants you that strength for an hour, enough to break down a wall by punching it. Whereas storm giants possess a strength of 29, enough to headlock an ancient dragon and pull out its tongue. Keep plenty on hand and pour them into your nearest friendly barbarian in times of stress, or perhaps let the wizard take a sip just to see what happens.
9) Potion of Eternal Youth – Death Becomes Her
This one does what it says on the tin, really. Okay, it’s fair to point out that actually, this one doesn’t even have a name, but when I thought about what the potion does, technically this might be the most accurate name for it. However, just because this is an accurate name, doesn’t mean that’s the extent of the power of this Potion of Eternal Youth in the 1992 classic supernatural comedy.
If you’ve never seen Death Becomes Her, may I recommend you go and check it out? It’s tongue in cheek, it’s funny and it’s a great example of how our favourite elements of geek culture can make it into the mainstream. Of course, side effects of potions like this one are rather varied, including the inability to die… Which becomes problematic, when your neck is completely twisted around.
8) Healing Potion – Order of the Stick
A classic webcomic, one of the earliest examples of a truly thriving webcomic. This particular strip was released all the way back in 2003 – 15 years ago!
In terms of this piece, there’s really not a lot to say, not a lot that our first honourable mention won’t cover. Indeed, this is a healing potion that recovers the health of the drinker. So far, so normal – But what makes this one particularly amusing is the idea that the potion can also fix the clothing of the person who ingests it. This is a bit of an anomaly, which the comic itself pokes fun at.
If you’ve never heard of this webcomic before, I highly recommend you check it out. This is the comic strip the above image is snipped from.
7) Corrupting Potion – League of Legends
It’s hard to argue against a potion that manages to change how a game is played, as that’s exactly what the Corrupting Potion does. It gives you health, it gives you mana – and most importantly, it gives you a nice little damage output as well. However for all of this, there is one negative, which is the fact it’ll cost you all 500 of your starting coins. This is a huge investment, but one that can have a massive payoff.
If you don’t believe how big the payoff is, a few champions who go to the top lane will do exceptionally well with the Corrupting Potion, due to how it can give you that much needed damage boost, along with a health pick me up and mana too. The damage increase is applied by way of an effect, called the Touch of Corruption. This effectively burns the target, dealing some levelled damage. This comes at a time when you and hopefully your opponent have been battling a bit in your lane for control.
6) Drink Me Potion – Alice in Wonderland
If the long rabbit hole full of clocks ending in a perfectly ordinary room with a coffee table on it wasn’t bizarre enough, young Alice has to learn the weird way the perils of eating or drinking things that tell you plainly to eat and/or drink them. “Drink me” is a shrinking potion, perhaps, or perhaps the nature of the room is to cause anyone who drinks inside to diminutize, less explicable things have yet to come in Alice’s adventures.
Of course, lack of knowledge and planning mean that in her tiny size she is now too small to grab the key from the table that she needs to open the door, so she has to eat whatever she finds on the floor – dammit Alice, are you a video game character? This isn’t Rapture – in the hopes that she will grow back to something like normal. The effects of the cake are for another list, but you’ve got to know about it all by now.
5) Happily Ever After Potion – Shrek 2
Let this be a lesson in being careful what you wish for. Here is a potion designed to give you exactly what you want, right? Perhaps more accurate to say that it gives you the image of perfection, your ideal shape that you believe will make you happiest of all. Stranger still it also affects the one you consider your true love, making it the only potion on the list with a wireless connection.
Of course, the truth about True Love is that it requires no potions to change it, only hard work and acceptance of one another, and of the hard times that it must go through to survive. No amount of cosmetic alchemy and fairy based shapeshifting can make you happier than you already are, and that’s a lesson we can all benefit from. That, and forty foot gingerbread men are the best thing ever.
4) Full Restore – Pokemon
How many games offer you a potion that restores you to full health and removes all other negative conditions affecting the recipient? How many of those games take the cruel step of using those same potions against you?
When your entire team for taking on the Elite Four is designed to stack on the poisons, burns, confusions, and worse onto your opponent so that you can sit back, relax, and conserve your PP, and your opponent has the audacity to fully restore forcing you to start from square one? It’s somewhere around about then that you realise the game has been made fair, the odds are no longer stacked in your favour, and you’d best have hoarded some Full Restores of your own.
3) Life Potion – Hocus Pocus
As the Sanderson sisters say: It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus!
This is a cult classic film of three old, evil witches trying to take over Halloween by sucking the life essence out of children. The Sanderson Sisters are originally introduced to us as a bit of a myth for the area, intended to scare the recent arrival of Max and Dani Dennison. Along with the help of their talking cat companion, Thackery Binx, the brother and sister duo face peril in the form of powerful, real witches.
Unfortunately, witches aren’t that good at just simply sucking life essence – So indeed, they brewed themselves this potion from their beloved book. By ingesting this potion and capturing young children, they can attempt to suck the essence out of them, to give the witches eternal youth. Naturally, this all backfires, especially when the sisters happen to find people like Satan, who is not really Satan, but a man in a Halloween costume.
Isn’t Halloween great?
2) Getafix’s Potion – Asterix the Gaul
The second strength potion on our list, but this may exceed the potency of even a Storm Giant’s strength. The secret of the village, the recipe to Asrerix’s success, and Obelix’s massive size, the potion crafted by the druid Getafix’s gives the drinker physical power and durability to take on the entire Roman army single handedly. Obelix, who fell in the potion as a baby, is a giant of a man who delivers menhirs, easily carrying the long stones equal to him in height on his back.
The potion has some side effects if too much is taken. Understandable, as petrol is a key ingredient, along with fish, mistletoe, and lobster – actually lobster is less important but it helps the flavour – it stands to reason that such a potent formula be handled responsible practitioner as Getafix, who must keep it out of the greedy hands of Romans, rivals, and Obelix who just thinks he could be a little more powerful with just a drop or two more.
1) Polyjuice Potion vs Felix Felicis vs Wolfsbane Potion – Harry Potter
The big one and probably the one you expected the most, we had to include a Harry Potter potion on this list, but we thought the responsibility of first place should go over to you. The franchise has brewed many a potion, of varying difficulty and usability. From the potion that copies someone’s likeness completely, to a potion that stops a wolf from being unable to control himself, the potions are varied.
Included in our top spot are the Polyjuice Potion, the aforementioned potion that copies someone’s likeness. This is a pivotal plot point for book 2, the Chamber of Secrets. Hermione has to spend approximately a month to brew this complex and student-banned potion, only for it to work for Harry and Ron, but her own batch backfiring, turning her into a cat.
Next up we have the Felix Felicis – Whilst we don’t actually see this one brewed, we know a lot about the end effects. It grants the user extreme luck. This potion is banned from sporting events like Quidditch and even from any form of gambling. Harry obtains himself some of this potion and it’s like he points out that whilst he didn’t know what he was doing, Felix Felicis knew what it was doing.
Finally in our trio of brews, we have the Wolfsbane Potion. This was brewed by Professor Snape for Lupin, as a way to help him control his wolf form. There’s not too much to say about this particular one, except that without this potion and without knowing who brewed it, we really would have had a different story in the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Now, choose wisely students, for your potions class ends with this test:
Seriously, who uses “resist poison”? We have better options left behind, our supplies have not run dry, and there’s still a plethora of potent potions and concoctions to imbibe, if only out of curiosity.
Did you know that video gamers have been shown to possess faster spatial analysis skills? When shown a space we retain greater memory of the details within that space with short exposure to it. It’d probably only take half a second and any gamer could tell you the location of every healing potion in the room.
Red bottles, red vials, red shining orbs, boxes bearing a red cross, we can spot emergency aid in a second, whether we’re critically wounded, trying to stay full, or just retaining the knowledge for later when it may prove necessary to fall back for the sake of your life. We’re predisposed to look for red when we need healing, trained by every game and certain medical standards in the real world to find that symbol of life’s blood.
Plasmids – Bioshock
This was a weird one to enter here, however I think there’s very few better picks for this list. The Plasmids of Bioshock are a very well known liquid that is injected into the users veins. By injecting it, the plasmids take over quickly for a myriad of effects, including health regeneration, bees and more. Yeah, you heard me, bees are now an effect, so you better get used to that swarming sound.
The reason Plasmids only made it to our honourable mentions list, is this is a list of potions. Whilst it’s true that a Plasmid is a serum, what isn’t true is the word potion. Potion is derived from the latin word, pōtiō, meaning to drink. With this in mind then, we couldn’t give the Plasmids a Top 10 spot, however if we ever reinvented the word Potion, then perhaps these guys could score fairly highly on our list, due to the wealth of effects they yield.
This list is finished! All ingredients are assembled, and combined according to the recipe provided. Before the mixture is complete cast your vote for next week’s Top 10, allow to stew for seven days before coming back to check the results.
Alchemically and scientifically speaking, this list has been a complete success, although your experience may differ. If you experience any of the following: difference of opinion, better ideas, potions you know about but we don’t; please consult a physician… or the comments below, Facebook and Twitter.