It's pretty fair to say that 2018 was a witch of a year. Especially on television. Not only did Netflix debut Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but The CW also premiered its Charmed reboot and a witch-heavy Legacies spin-off of The Vampire Diaries. All this while FX resurrected its popular American Horror Story: Coven with a crossover season.
But which witch was best? We picked out our top five witches on TV in 2018 (and ranked them accordingly, obviously) to figure out who should take the title. And yes, you can witch and moan about the ones who didn't make the cut, but TV Guide is only here for best of the best.
5. Macy (Charmed)
While the witches of Charmed don't provide the most complex depiction of witchcraft — just saying, there should be more creepy bird bones and less Ouija boards — Macy Vaughn (Madeleine Mantock) managed to catch our eye with her scientific approach to the concept of magic. Most shows write off magic as some abstract power that should avoid scrutiny. But as a geneticist, Macy wasn't going to stand for "because, magic" as an explanation for the crazy stuff happening to her. She regularly decides to science the hell out of the spells and potions she's dealing with, even going to far as to provide a chemical breakdown of her vanquishes. Sure, Macy probably won't ever solve the metaphysical mystery of magic, but it's hard not to respect the hell out of her for trying.
4. Regina (Once Upon a Time)
As far as witchcraft goes, Regina's (Lana Parrilla) powers were kind of a catchall for whatever the plot required every week, which is why we sadly cannot give the Evil Queen the top status she deserves. However, Regina gets all the bonus point for style and showmanship, especially when she was indulging in her darker habits. As much as we love to see witches of the modern age, it's still a special treat to see witches as the diabolical fairytale villains we all grew up with, and that's a part Regina played to perfection. She wasn't just a two-dimensional baddie, though, and it was nice watching Regina redeem herself and find a different kind of magic than her typical toil and trouble schtick by the time Once Upon a Time came to a close.
3. Josie Saltzman (Legacies)
Josie (Kaylee Bryant) is a particularly interesting witch, given that she's a siphoner. She has to absorb magic from other sources (supernatural creatures, cursed objects, etc.) in order to perform spells and practice her craft. But that's also what makes her so interesting. All the witches on Legacies are top notch — don't even get us started on how much we love Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell) — because they actually study magic down to the smallest detail like how a specific ingredient or pronunciation can result in an entirely different kind of magic than intended. Josie is our pick of the Legacies litter because of the wonderful dark streak in her — the kind that makes her set her exes on fire when she's feeling testy.
2. Madison Montgomery (American Horror Story: Apocalypse)
No surprise, witch. Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts) is everything witches stand for in modern pop culture: An empowered woman whose magic turns her from a victim into an aggressor... even if she's sometimes a little over-aggressive. Like most witches in traditional fiction, she also represents the darkness and depravity of the human soul. Yet that somehow only makes her more likable as a character? She's kind of a walking contradiction, and we love it. Sadly, American Horror Story's depiction of the witchcraft as an actual craft is a little too intangible to win Madison first place, but she's a pretty good runner-up. Just please no one tell her she came in second, she scares us.
1. Prudence (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
You thought we were going to put Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) at number one, didn't you? Yes, Sabrina is awesome and we especially love the balance and duality of her human and witch life, but when it comes to witch of the year, Prudence (Tati Gabrielle) is the complete package. She's got the one important element of witchcraft that others tend to omit: The blind, fanatical devotion to a deity or supreme power that gives witches their magic. Historically, witches were believed to have prayed to the devil or a specific demon to bestow power on them, and it's kind of a bummer when witch stories just explain away magic as some genetic trait your born with. It's way cooler to think of an evil entity pulling the strings, which is part of what makes Prudence such a dynamic character.
On top of her fanatical devotion, she's also got the lust for power that's the real hallmark of a wicked witch. Even taking into account her cruel tendencies, Prudence is a character you can't help but love. She settles scores with school bullies (using your powers of darkness to combat toxic masculinity in the mortal world is A++ witch work) and then gleefully talks about cannibalism, and frankly, that's the kind of cutthroat witch 2018 deserves.
Don't just take our word for it though! If you'd rather see another spell-caster in the number one spot, vote in our poll below!