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There are two improvements that can be performed on potion of poison (and generally on most potions):

  1. Redstone dust improvement - makes potion last longer but does not affect strength.
  2. Glowstone dust improvement - makes the potion effect stronger while decreasing the effect duration.

Since the Potion of Poison deals damage over time, will more overall damage be dealt with increased duration (using the Redstone dust) or with lower duration but higher DPS (using the Glowstone dust)?

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If you're wanting the most total damage, go with your redstone to extend the potion to deal 48 hearts. – Timtech Oct 3 '13 at 21:32
For killing animals, you don't need either of these. Regular splash poison damage (without any glowstone or redstone) will easily work for animals, since most have only 2 hearts. – SevenSidedDie Oct 3 '13 at 22:21
@SevenSidedDie Of all animals, only chicken have 2 hearts. Cows, pigs, ocelots and squid have 5, sheep and wolves - 4, and even bats have 3. But you're right in that even Poison I will bring any of them to 1 HP. – Orc JMR Oct 4 '13 at 16:09
@OrcJMR Quite right, thank you! My Looting, Power V "herd culling" sword has made me forgetful of the exact numbers. ^^ – SevenSidedDie Oct 4 '13 at 16:33
@SevenSidedDie And exact names! That's Sharpness V, unless you indeed have a Power V sword, which would be quite funny :-D – Orc JMR Oct 4 '13 at 20:06
up vote 4 down vote accepted

As per the Minecraft Wiki page on Potions, the extended-duration Poison potion deals 48 hearts of damage over two minutes. The increased-strength Poison II potion deals only 19 hearts' worth of damage, but deals it over the course of 22.5 seconds, which is less than a fifth of the time.

For higher total damage, go with the extended-duration version.

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From the wiki. The Potion of poison II deals an extra heart of damage. So the potion that has the glowstone dust will do the most damage. However the potions will not kill players or monsters.

The longer duration one (lasting an astounding 2 minutes) deals over 48 hearts of damage.

If you want the most bang-for-buck I would suggest the glowstone dust. Save your redstone.

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I have an animal farm and I need to kill the animals easily. So want to drop their health to 1/2 HP ideally to kill them with one hit. – Tomáš Zato Oct 3 '13 at 21:47
@TomášZato yes that would be your best approach. – Young Guilo Oct 3 '13 at 21:49

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