"Dogwood is one of my own personal favourites, and I have found that matching a dogwood wand with its ideal owner is always entertaining. Dogwood wands are quirky and mischievous; they have playful natures and insist upon partners who can provide them with scope for excitement and fun. It would be quite wrong, however, to deduce from this that dogwood wands are not capable of serious magic when called upon to do so; they have been known to perform outstanding spells under difficult conditions, and when paired with a suitably clever and ingenious witch or wizard, can produce dazzling enchantments. An interesting foible of many dogwood wands is that they refuse to perform non-verbal spells and they are often rather noisy."
— Ollivander, Pottermore

That seems all very well and charming, until you look at a very crucial point.

(...) they refuse to perform non-verbal spells (...)

Non-verbal spellcasting is one of the most important skills a wizard/witch will learn, up there with Apparition and counterspelling. Not having to waste breath speaking incantations is invaluable. Out of breath? Underwater? Hit with a tongue-tying curse? Need to be stealthy? Don't want someone to know what specific spell you just used? Can't spare the time needed to blurt out a phrase? Hermione herself says, when asked why non-verbal spellcasting is important:

"Your adversary has no warning about what kind of magic you are about to perform, which gives you a split-second advantage."
— Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and many of the later Harry Potter movies, we see duels use non-verbal spells almost exclusively.

To have a wand that refuses to be non-verbal would be like having a wand that refuses to cast Protection charms, or use Transfiguration. It's not a "quirk", it's a handicap, a terrible disadvantage, and I'm bewildered why the Potterverse would even have it.

So, within the Potterverse, wouldn't Dogwood be considered the worst wand wood? Am I blowing the idea of non-verbal spellcasting out of proportion?

  • 9
    This seems pretty opinion based, but they probably aren't much good for dueling other wizards. That said, in Harry Potter the wizarding world is portrayed as a fully functioning society, so I don't think most wizards normally fight each other, there are lots of other important things to do and therefore metrics as to what is good or not. – Jack Nov 24 '16 at 2:44
  • 3
    "Non-verbal spellcasting is one of the most important skills a wizard/witch will learn" assumes that the importance assigned to spellcasting is predicated on (1) defense, (2) thieving, or (3) working in a library. I'm skeptical! – Lexible Nov 24 '16 at 5:39
  • 3
    bummer for a wiz if he has a sore troat and a dogwood wand. – user68762 Nov 24 '16 at 6:07
  • 2
    I completely agree with you on this, but the question as currently phrased might tend to solicit opinion-based answers. Could you maybe rephrase it, say as “Is dogwood’s inability to cast non-verbal spells a problem?” or something. – Adamant Nov 24 '16 at 7:20
  • 3
    Maybe the question should be edited to ask about disadvantages of having such a wand in wiz society - after all, it likely limits career options or even getting NEWTs (-part of the curriculum of advanced courses requires to perform non-verbal spells) there are also other disadvantages, it seems having such a wand is almost a handicap for a wizard. – user68762 Nov 24 '16 at 13:03