Which of the magics is most potent?
With nature - you only direct the energies, you don't really control them. The best example is Malfurion in the War of the Ancients unleashing a massive storm that completely waylays the armies of the Legion and afterward he's more emotionally exhausted than anything.
So nature has a definitive edge over the Arcane.
Nature based magic, when used correctly or incorrectly can be some of the most dangerous and destructive magic known as it can cause the world itself to break. However the potency of it is different than arcane which can do the kind of destruction you see in Theramore... or fel magic as you see in outland.
It depends on the scale of what you are intending to do. So potentially all forms of magic in Azeroth are just as potent as each other... just in different ways.
Screw fire and frost, they're really just sort of subclasses of arcane.
Holy: Holy magic, I think, was never really meant to be used as a weapon, but rather as something to heal. Because of this, it requires a lot more work to make the Light do physical harm, with the exception of fighting undead. Because of this, it doesn't really have the destructive potential of the other types of magic. Sure, you can burn someone in holy fire, but can you level Theramore?
Nature: Nature, as was said before, probably is the most powerful... brute force-wise. You can't really control nature magic that much. You can tell it where to go, sort of, but beyond that, when you unleash things, they can cause massive damage. You can summon a tornado and barely break a sweat. Maflurion can do it almost without trying. However, if you screw up on a big spell, you have the potential to obliterate a continent, so BE CAREFUL.
Arcane: Arcane magic is pretty nasty stuff. It can cause people to turn into sheep, explode, disintegrate, etc, plus it has 3 subsects: Fire, frost, and fel. Arcane, when not controlled properly, can, as seen in-game, pwn Theramore easily. But, as mentioned before, one expends one's magical reserves pretty quickly, and the simple use of arcane magic can leave you feeling, nauseous, tired, even deathly ill. You can kill yourself if you verextend yourself when using arcane magic.
Shadow: Now, I really don't know much about shadow. It doesn't really do much damage to people unless used in large amounts, I think, but it has some pretty fun features. It can raise thousands of corpses to life, each immortal, superhumanly strong, and ridiculously hard to kill without holy magic. People who wield shadow magic can't really protect themselves extremely well with their own spells, but why would they need to... when they can just raise a personal army?
So, in raw power, nature wins.
In controlled, precise damage, arcane wins.
In benevolent effects, holy wins by so damn much that it's ridiculous.
But, this is all my opinion, remember? You can think what you want.
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