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Doctor Strange’s 15 Greatest Magical Artifacts

by  in Comics, Lists, Comic News Comment
Doctor Strange’s 15 Greatest Magical Artifacts

When you’re the Sorcerer Supreme of an entire planet, you’re going to need all the advantages that you can get, as your own personal magical abilities and spells might not be enough to win the day. That’s the exact reason that Doctor Stephen Strange has amassed a veritable treasure trove over the years of magical items, artifacts and weapons.

RELATED: 15 Things We Want To See In Doctor Strange

Some of them he uses on an everyday basis, while others he only breaks out on special occasions (heck, he’s even given away some of them), but all together they make up one of the greatest magical arsenals known to man (or demon). Ranking them is a bit tricky, as there might be a one-off item that is more powerful than one that Strange uses everyday, but we’re going to give precedence to Strange’s “go-to” items over more powerful ones that he only uses occasionally. Here, then, are Doctor Strange’s fifteen greatest magical artifacts/weapons.

15. Soul Gem

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The Soul Gem is a bit tricky, as it not really part of Doctor Strange’s traditional arsenal. Strange, you see, was a member of a mysterious group known as the Illumnati, consisting of notable superheroes from various parts of the Marvel Universe, with Professor X representing mutantdom, Iron Man representing the Avengers, Mister Fantastic representing the Fantastic Four, Namor representing Atlantis, Black Bolt representing the Inhumans and Doctor Strange representing the world of magic. The group would go around taking care of threats before they could rise up to affect the Earth. One of these threats was the Infinity Gauntlet.

Ultimately, each member of the group was given the responsibility of one gem from the Gauntlet to safeguard, to make sure that no one evil ever put together the Infinity Gauntlet again. Strange was in charge of the Soul Gem. Of course, the Gauntlet has been put together a few times since, but I suppose you could argue it would have been put together even more frequently if not for the Illuminati.

14. Dragonfang

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Dragonfang is an interesting example of just how much magical stuff Doctor Strange has lying around his Sanctum Sanctorum (by the way, there is an argument to be made that Doctor Strange’s home itself should count as a magical artifact, so feel free to imagine that as an honorary sixteenth spot on this list). After the hero known as Valkyrie joined the Defenders, she initially fought with the Black Knight’s Ebony Blade. Once that was done, she needed a new weapon, and Doctor Strange just so happened to be carrying around an awesome magical sword in his house.

After Valkyrie was seemingly killed during the “Ragnarok” storyline around the time of “Avengers Disassembled”, Lady Sif picked up the weapon for the rest of that event. Dragonfang, being made of, well, the fang of a dragon, is virtually indestructible. When Valkyrie was resurrected along with the other Asgardian heroes, she regained her famous sword.

13. Astral Ring

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The Astral Ring is a good example of how Doctor Strange has so many weapons and artifacts that he cannot possibly keep track of all of them, so you have instances where a powerful weapon is given to him but then he doesn’t seem to use the weapon again despite it naturally being very helpful. That was the case when Stan Lee and Steve Ditko introduced the powerful Astral Ring in “Strange Tales” #118.

Doctor Strange was in battle with Baron Mordo when Mordo tricked him into being trapped in the Astral Plane. The Astral Plane is a spiritual plane of existence that Doctor Strange can access by leaving his physical body and casting an Astral form of himself. This form is, in effect, a ghost. However, Doctor Strange’s mentor, the Ancient One, gave him a special ring that allowed him to make physical contact while in Astral form. You would think that such a weapon would be used a lot, but it really hasn’t over the years.

12. Cauldron of the Cosmos

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When you are the Sorcerer Supreme of the entire planet, you do not have a whole lot of downtime. Not only that, but when you really let the idea of what your responsibilities are get to you, it can really overwhelm you with just how much there is for you to do. Therefore, a very important function in the life of a Sorcerer Supreme is to have something that can help you relax. Some folks might veg out while watching reality television, but Doctor Strange instead meditates through the Cauldron of the Cosmos, where he can “sit for hours upon end– and dwell upon the immutable mysteries of the universe!”

However, the Cauldron also has powerful scrying abilities and Doctor Strange can consult with it for information about the universe rather than just for simple meditation. Amusingly, a popular textbook about astrophysics in the 1980s was titled “Cauldrons of the Cosmos.”

11. Axe of Angarruumus

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The Axe of Angarruumus is an interesting example in noting how Doctor Strange has so many awesome weapons and artifacts that even relatively minor ones can be quite powerful. Doctor Strange first discovered it in a witch’s crypt at the center of the moon. It was just one of his many items at his house before he was forced to use it when the villainous inter-dimensional demons known as the Een’Gawori showed up and began eating the axe. Doctor Strange used it to defend himself while in the Astral Plane.

The Axe took on a more major role in Strange’s life when he was then attacked by the Empirikul, a race of magic-hating beings. Strange was stripped of a lot of his magical talismans and he also had a hard time using magic in general, so a big ol’ sharp axe came in very handy during battles with the Empirikul.

10. Purple Gem

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The Purple Gem is another one of those powerful Doctor Strange objects that played a major role in his comic for a time before being essentially shuffled off and ignored in the years since. The Purple Gem was first introduced in “Strange Tales” #119 when Strange was studying it to see exactly what it did. The answer was given to him soon when two burglars broke into his home and were sucked into the gem and transported to the Purple Dimension, ruled by the slaver Aggamon. Strange had to travel to Aggamon’s world and defeat him to save the two burglars (who were so traumatized that they gave up stealing for good).

Now that Strange had defeated Aggamon, he was free to use the Purple Gem as he wished, so he would often use it as a way to entrap bad guys. This way, he could just send them to the Purple Dimension where Aggamon would take care of them for Strange (in addition, the Purple Gem could also enhance the power of Strange’s Eye of Agamotto). Strange once tried to use it to banish Loki to the Purple Dimension, but Loki was too powerful for it to work.

9. Darkhold

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The Darkhold is so high on the list mostly because it is so famous, even though it really is not as associated with Doctor Strange. A take-off on the famous Necronomicon from H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu narratives, the Darkhold is essentially a book of evil spells written by the Elder God Chton to help cause trouble on Earth. The Darkhold is so sought after that it even had its own ongoing series for a while there – not many inanimate objects have their own comic book series!

The Darkhold’s major connection to Doctor Strange is that during a famous storyline in “Doctor Strange” #59-62, Strange and a bunch of vampire hunters (including Blade) sought out the Darhold because of a spell in it called the Montesi Formula. Once Strange acquired the book, he cast the spell and all vampires on Earth were destroyed! This obviously did not last a long time, but for a while there were no vampires on Earth and the Darkhold was in Strange’s possession. It was stolen a long time ago, though. The Darkhold is currently playing a major role on the “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” TV series.

8. First Tarot Deck

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While it is not quite as famous as some of his other magical items, Doctor Strange’s Tarot Deck (nominally the first Tarot Deck ever) played a major role in the ongoing series “Secret Defenders”. Strange, at the time, had lost a lot of his magical abilities after renouncing the various magical beings who formed the basis for most of his key spells (like the Vapors of Valtorr and the Images of Ikonn), so Strange had to turn to alternative magical sources. One of these was his magical Tarot Deck.

He used the Deck to determine which superheroes would be necessary to complete certain missions, as he re-formed the Defenders, only as even more of a loose-knit team than ever before, as this time there was no set team members besides himself. Amusingly, series writer Roy Thomas hung a bit of a lampshade on the concept early on when Strange’s cards told him to enlist Spider-Man and Scarlet Witch on a mission and they ran into Captain America, who was befuddled when Strange told him that he couldn’t help them on the mission because he wasn’t one of the cards chosen.

7. The Book of Cagliostro

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The Book of Cagliostro was, naturally enough, a book owned by an 18th century magician by the name of Alessandro Di Cagliostro, who collected a number of powerful black magic spells, including a number of spells that had only been seen in the Darkhold up until this point. Cagliostro’s granddaughter was the latest guardian of the book when she was seduced by the evil Baron Mordo, who assaulted her and stole the book. You see, one of the things that Cagliostro wrote about in the book was about the powerful being Sise-Neg and Mordo planned on traveling through time to see if Sise-Neg would take him on as an apprentice. The book held the secret to time travel.

Cagliostro’s granddaughter sought out Doctor Strange to help atone for losing the book to Mordo and Strange, too, used the book to travel through time. This led to a classic storyline where Strange ultimately was present at the Big Bang itself!

6. The Wand of Watoomb

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The Wand of Watoomb is interesting because it, of all of the items on this list, is the only one that has been owned by Doctor Strange for years without Strange ever actually using it. The other items all have a notable storyline (or many storylines, like the ones he uses everyday) where Strange used the item. The Wand of Watoomb, though, has only really been used by other people, despite it being in Strange’s possession for years.

Specifically the evil warlock known as Xandu has been a pain in Doctor Strange’s butt with the Wand. Strange intentionally kept the Wand split into two parts, but Xandu managed to put them together and become extremely powerful. Strange and Spider-Man helped stop him and Strange destroyed the Wand. Then Strange presumably re-formed it and Xandu came after it again. Strange left it floating in another dimension, but ultimately it came back to Strange. Finally, Xandu stole it again in the pages of “Secret Defenders”.

In the years since, more and more Wands of Watoomb have begun to pop up, so it might become an important part of the Marvel magical universe going forward.

5. Doctor Strange’s Sash

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One of the most consistent things about Doctor Strange is that there is no consistency to the life of Doctor Strange. His outfit, his powers, his weapons, they are almost all constantly changing. Heck, even in the earliest appearances of Doctor Strange in “Strange Tales” by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Strange was always going through different looks and outfits. One of the few things that has remained the same over the years, though, is the sash that Strange wears around his waist (perhaps it should have made our recent list of the greatest superhero belts).

However, the sash is not just there because it looks cool (although it does, in fact, look cool). It also has abilities of its own, as it can become a sort of prehensile rope that Strange can use to grasp things. Most often, though, it is just there to look cool.

4. Cloak of Levitation

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Doctor Strange’s Cloak of Levitation was given to him by the Ancient One as a gift as a sign that Strange had become a more powerful magician, as now he needed better tools going forward. Like the Sash, Strange’s Cloak of Levitation is one of the few things that has remained constant over the years (but unlike the sash, even the Cloak has been absent for long periods of time) but while it looks really cool, as well, it has a clear purpose that is of great assistance to Strange.

You see, Strange can obviously make himself fly if he chooses to, but doing so would require him to cast a spell. Well, when he is trying to cast other spells, it would therefore be a distraction to also have to make sure that he remains in the air. Thus, the Cloak keeps him from having to bother with flying spells and allows him to concentrate on his main spells. He can also use the Cloak independently of himself, such as use it to distract bad guys or drape itself over them. For a time, Strange used a similar Trenchcoat of Levitation.

3. Orb of Agamotto

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The All-Seeing Agamotto is possibly Strange’s greatest champion in the magical realm, and a result, Agamotto has given Strange some of his very best magical tools. One of them is the Orb of Agamotto, a powerful sort of crystal ball that Strange accesses in his Sanctum Sanctorum. Amusingly enough, the Orb has been mis-titled a number of times over the years, as Strange occasionally refers to it as the Crystal of Agamotto or even the Eye of Agamotto.

Originally, the Orb was a globe of the Earth, which would show Strange where the dark forces were holding up, but over time, it became more of a traditional Crystal Ball (you could even argue that even when it was a globe, it was a Crystal Ball that was just PROJECTING an image of a globe on to it). The Orb is one of Doctor Strange’s most valuable resources in the defense of the Earth.

2. Book of Vishanti

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Agamotto is one third of the powerful group of magical beings known as the Vishanti. The other two are the Elder God Oshtur and the even Older God Hoggoth. They provided Doctor Strange with the Book of Vishanti, which is basically the good version of the Darkhold. It is filled with powerful spells that Agamotto, Oshtur and Hoggoth had come across in their millions of years floating around the Universe.

Pretty much any spell that Doctor Strange would ever need to find, or counter-spells to other spells, is present in this powerful Book, the centerpiece of the Ancient One’s magical studies and, after the Ancient One bequeathed the book to Doctor Strange, the centerpiece of his own studies. What’s fascinating is that the Book was guarded by a powerful griffin and only the person who defeated the griffin would have access to the book. The Ancient One defeated the griffin, but after the book was stolen and returned to the griffin, Doctor Strange himself could not defeat the griffin. The Ancient One had to step in and do it again. Now that the Ancient One is dead, it is interesting to note whether Strange would be able to get the book back if it were ever taken from him again and returned to the guardianship of the griffin.

1. Eye of Agamotto

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Doctor Strange’s number one go-to magical item is clearly the Eye of Agamotto. It is essentially a miniature version of the aforementioned Orb of Agamotto. While the Orb is stuck being consulted at the Sanctum Sanctorum, the Eye is an amulet that can be transported anywhere. It originally debuted in “Strange Tales” #115, but it was a square amulet at that time. When Strange got the Cloak of Levitation, he also got a new round amulet, although it seems pretty much identical in powers to the previous one.

The Eye is so powerful that an Astral version of it travels with Doctor Strange and can do all the normal things it can do in its physical form even while in the Astral Plane. It can hypnotize, it can pierce illusions, it can see the past, it can place people into suspended animation, it can serve as blast of magical force… it’s essentially the magical version of a Swiss Army Knife. It is Doctor Strange’s most prized magical possession.

What is your favorite item in Doctor Strange’s magical arsenal? Let us know in the comments!

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