Doctor Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme and Marvel's own Master of the Mystic Arts, has been enrapturing the minds and imaginations of superhero fans for decades. Whether he's invoking the powers of the Vishanti or banishing villains and threats to the Dark Dimension, he's doing it with elegance and style worthy of a true wizard. A former surgeon turned sorcerer, Doctor Strange has gone from extravagant to enchantment in his colorful comic career. Armed with a levitating cape, the amulet of Agamotto, and a vast wealth of occult knowledge, the doc is perhaps a bit more than prepared than most in the Marvel canon against otherworldly threats. While the Avengers can take on the likes of Ultron and HYDRA, they're probably not as equipped when it comes to facing an entity like Dormammu.
Since Doctor Strange lacks a power suit, radioactive-spider powers, or a hammer forged by the Norse gods, he has to rely on spells and sorcery to maintain order for the mortal world. As seen in his comic book adventures and his performance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Mystic Arts can be just as effective against the forces of evil as any high-tech or super-powered weapon. But what kind of spells is the good doctor packing with him? It's certainly more than energy beams and a sentient cape. Join us today as we crack open the spell book of the Sorcerer Supreme and see which of his spells are the most superior. Here are the top twenty spells and abilities of Doctor Strange.
20 HEIGHTENED INTELLIGENCE
Well, he isn't called Doctor Strange for nothing. Once one of the world's most gifted surgeons, Doctor Stephen Strange was critically injured in an accident that cost him his delicate touch. His hands were unable to perform his medical duties but under the teachings of The Ancient One, he was able to become a Master of the Mystic Arts.
Not only does Strange retain his doctoral level of intelligence, but he has also gained universal and occult knowledge from his magical training. He has devoured tomes of ancient texts, spells, and grimoires to prep himself for whatever mystical threats he might face. If knowing is half the battle, Strange already has one advantage over most.
19 LEARNED COMBAT SKILLS
Because wizards can run out of spells, a few kung-fu lessons can go a long way. Strange has been schooled in both physical and magical combat. He can conjure a weapon or simply duke it out in hand-to-hand if need be. Strange also carries a sword, the Scalpel of Strange, in his arsenal for those times when magic blasts just don't cut it.
During his time in Kamar Taj, Strange learned martial arts at the hands of Tibetan masters. He is skilled in kung-fu and often spars with his comrade, Wong. He has even gone up against other heroes in the Marvel canon.
This is perhaps one of the most common superhero abilities on the market, but we have to mention the doc's take. Doctor Strange accomplishes this feat a bit differently than someone like Iron-Man, Wasp, or Thor. Sure, you've got your heroes who can fly by energy fields, technological advances, or god-like abilities, but how many can say they fly by cape?
The Cape of Levitation might be a step above a flying carpet, but how many superheroes wear a sentient being as part of their ensemble? Doctor Strange's iconic red cape helps him ascend to even cosmic heights, as seen in the 2016 MCU film. A bit more temperamental than most flying aids, but certainly more stylish than a plain old pair of proton boots.
He's not quite immortal but at the same time, he's not so easy to defeat. Thanks to his exposure to the mystical secrets of the universe, Doctor Strange has a significantly longer lifespan than the typical Marvel Superhero. He will not age, but his physical form will have an extended stay on earth. If you want to split hairs and talk astral and spiritual forms, we're gonna be here a while.
Though he has overcome his fear of dying, Doctor Strange can still be mortally wounded through magical or super-powerful means. He is, however, immune to most medical afflictions, and cannot be harmed by mortal means.
16 MAGICAL SHIELD
Now we're getting into some pretty standard spell-caster fare. With help from Seraphim, Doctor strange can summon magical shields to protect him or his comrades against oncoming attacks, magical or otherwise. Effective in massive battles against cosmic beings or just making cover up close and personal, the shield sure comes in handy.
One of his more overused spells, the magic shield still has its merit. It's durable and malleable for any occasion, offering a wide range of protection. Whether against man, magic, or the elements, they can certainly cover the caster. No matter what the use, it's always wise to have a source of magical safety insurance.
15 ELEMENTAL ENERGY
Like many magic users, Doctor Strange has the ability to call forth the forces of nature to defend himself. Pyromancy, cryomancy, and summoning thunderbolts are just a taste of what the doc can do. Be it fire or ice, his elemental mastery will put the burn on the bad guys.
Elemental magic is nothing new in the fields of magic, everyone from Merlin to Harry Potter can wield it. Strange's power gets special mention because of his brand of magic. He's not casting spells from a book, he's rewriting the code of the elements. Pretty deep and impressive for a comic book character.
14 MYSTIC BOLTS
Iron-Man has his proton blasts, Spidey has his webs, and the doctor calls on the forces of magical energy. Bolts of magical beams are Doctor Strange's bread and butter. Think of it as Marvel's version of Magic Missile or Expeliarmus. It is perhaps his most used attack, but definitely, one that serves the wizard well.
The bolts are not only his most recognizable power but also one of his most mesmerizing. The beams are colorful in the comics, but the movie adaptation ups the ante by volumes. Seeing Benedict Cumberbatch bend and swirl the beams to life is absolutely enchanting. But keep in mind, dear readers, we're just getting started on that field.
Like his flight ability, there are plenty of superheroes out there with this ability. Doctor Strange, however, takes it more than a step further. With his magical and mystical manipulation, he can go as near as another room or as far as another planet or even another dimension. Nightcrawler, eat your heart out.
Strange has multiple ways of just poofing to a place of his choice. There are mystic portals, hidden doors in the Sanctum Sanctorum, and even bending the fabric of reality. His ability to slip so easily place to place is much more advanced than other plane-shifters, it brings us to our next spot.
From teleporting from place to place to phasing through matter and material, sometimes the doc can be pretty hard to catch. There are a number of ways he can protect his physical form and never be touched. He can slip away through a portal to another plane or dimension, he can meditate and project his spiritual body or astral form, or even will himself out of our visual plane.
The best-visualized version of this ability is, of course, the 2016 film. We see Strange go through various planes of existence, the mirror dimension, and the dreaded Dark Dimension. He has the ability to shift into multiple planes of existence, perhaps this could provide a loophole after the events of Infinity War? We can only hope.
11 TELEKINETIC ABILITIES
You know what they say: it's all in the mind. It's no surprise that a superior intellect such as Strange would come to possess telekinetic powers after being introduced to the mystical realm. As if the enhanced knowledge of the universe wasn't enough, he also possesses an expansive knowledge of the mortal mind.
Looks like it takes more than just a doctor's mind to be the Sorcerer Supreme. Strange can not only read minds but communicate mentally, see inside an individual's thoughts, and create a tangible force of mental energy. Those powers alone could be the backbone of another Marvel series.
10 OBJECT CONJURATION
Not an ability he shows off very often, but Doctor Strange does have the ability to conjure whatever object, tool, or relic he might need. With his mystical, reality-bending abilities, this should come as no surprise. All he really has to do is will it or pull it through a portal.
This is where the good doctor starts to venture into OP territory. Thankfully, he's selective of when he uses this ability. It might mostly be used to show off, but it's still good to be reminded he has the power. Whether it's to call forth his relic or summon a floating mug of ale for a certain Norse god, it's only a spell away.
9 TIME MANIPULATION
Amplified by the Amulet of Agamotto and the Time Stone in turn, Doctor Strange has the ability to manipulate space and time. With his amulet and powers, he can open a portal in time and bend it to his will. This, of course, is not without repercussions, but it is also a rare ability for any superhero to possess.
Strange can stop, start, and even create a loop in the fabric of time and space to meet his needs. This causes some conflict with the laws of the sorcerers, but it kept Dormammu at bay. It is also through his extreme time management skills he was able to see the outcomes of the Infinity War. Perhaps Strange has Thanos in his own time loop?
8 ASTRAL PROJECTION
Whether by his own enforced will or in a state of deep meditation, Doctor Strange can project his astral/spiritual form from his body. While in this state, he can float through walls, travel faster and to greater distances, and achieve a greater level of intangibility. As long as his physical form is undisturbed, he will continue to exist in this spiritual state.
While in this ethereal form, the doc is not bound by many limitations. Mortal physics mean almost nothing to him, he can remain undetected if he so chooses, and he can travel at the speed of thought. This power would later be imitated by the likes of Raven and Doctor Fate, but Strange's projections are on a whole new plane.
7 PSYCHIC ABILITIES
To be clear, Doctor Strange's psychic capabilities are separate from his telekinetic powers. Where his telekinetic abilities create or use some form of energy, his psychic abilities are basically a second sight or sixth sense on steroids. Basically, the doctor can potentially reach an omnipotent state through what he can see.
Not only is he able to see into the future like your typical sidewalk psychic, but he's able to look into the fabric of time and space and see a multitude of outcomes and prophecies. His gifted sight plays an especially large role in the recent Infinity War film, seeing all the outcomes where the heroes lose in a matter of moments. Let's just hope he's able to come to the one favorable conclusion.
Now, this ability has an undeniable whoa-factor. When Doctor Strange banishes an enemy or object, he basically sends them to another dimension. It can be as simple as a barren desert or as far away as another planet or even another reality.
Since great power always comes with great responsibility, there is a rule of balance to this all-powerful spell. Strange can only banish an enemy if their magical skill is lesser than his. It's a move ripped straight off an RPG, but one that keeps him from getting too OP. After all, it would cut the epic battle a bit too quickly if he just sent them to the Dark Dimension automatically.
5 UNIVERSAL AWARENESS
Strange has been exposed to the mystic arts, seen into the very fabric of space and time, and set foot in various dimensions, astral, spiritual, physical, or otherwise. Obviously, this puts a guy into some serious perspective. Thanks to his position as Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange gives new meaning to the power of Universal Awareness.
Through meditation, study, and other mystical means, Doctor Strange has seen more than many Marvel heroes can even dream of. Simply put, It comes with the territory. He has to know what he's defending, and all the planes of existence that come with it. The Guardians might defend the galaxy, but Strange defends everything else under the sun(s).
4 DIMENSIONAL TRAVEL
Jumping off the previous ability, we have to talk about the doc's tendency to navigate between dimensions and planes. Whether it's to and from the Sanctum Sanctorum across the planet or to other realms such as the Divine Realm, Dream Realm, or Dark Dimension, it's only a jump away. All Strange has to do is open the right door.
Paired with the universal awareness, this ups his hero game with a vengeance. Strange can defend virtually any plane or dimension in peril. He's battled against deities, demons, and slews of supernatural threats, but he knows how to take them on their own turf.
3 UNIVERSAL INVOCATION
We've already mentioned how Doctor Strange can use elemental magic to wield the forces of nature. It's a bit on the basic side to cast firebolt or ice rune on your enemies, but Strange can do so much more. Not only can he call on the forces of nature, but he can invoke the powers of the universe!
Similar to how The Ancient One drew immortal power from the Dark Dimension, Strange can boost his spells by calling on the elements of the universe. The cosmic charge can result in stronger magic bolts, more concentrated elemental spells, and so much more. When you're drawing power from the universe, it's go big or go home.
2 DIVINE INVOCATION
So we know Doctor Strange can call forth powers from across the universe, right? But what if he took it a step further? As well as invoking powers from the cosmos, Strange can invoke the pantheons and call forth divine powers. Strange gets most of his power from divines known as the Vishanti, but he can also reach beyond pantheons to call forth godly intervention.
Most divine interaction appears in the form of enhanced spells, such as the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, or just a willed occurrence. Strange has been known to call on divines other than the Vishanti, including the Octessence and even Dormammu, and has even called out to the Greek pantheon for intervention. Even a Sorcerer Supreme has to submit to a higher power.
1 DARKNESS OF THE DIVINE CONDUIT
The Wizarding World has the Killing Curse, Doctor Strange has Darkness of the Divine Conduit. This isn't a spell, per se, it's more of a testament to Strange's strength and willpower as one of the most powerful sorcerers in existence. Not only will this act destroy an entity, but it will also give Doctor Strange their powers.
You read that right, Strange actually wills a force or entity out of their dimension and assumes said entity's powers. He has overtaken some evil entities through this, but it's only used as a last resort. Should he fail, he would lose all sense of self and cease to be. This is what the sorcerers call Black Magic and is the big-red-button of all of his incantations.