The best super weapons come from outer space. With advanced alien races, exotic materials, and strange singularities, the outer reaches of space are ideal for creating weapons that are truly out of this world. The MCU is now 19 movies strong, and nearly every instalment of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has featured a weapon from some far-flung portion of the cosmos. These weapons come in all shapes and sizes — hammers, staffs, and even stones. We’ve seen it all: alien invaders swarming in with energy weapons, lone warriors taking down scores enemies with the aid of one object, to purposeful tyrants causing universal-wide devastation with a snap of their fingers.
Not all cosmic weapons are created equal though. Some weapons only exist to arm the masses, while others are so powerful that only certain races can wield them. Some are stealth weapons created to take out special targets, while others exist to level entire worlds. While some weapons might have predictable, well-defined powers, others have exotic abilities limited only by imagination. We’ve seen quite a few alien weapons since the MCU started, and we’re bound to see many more in the future. For a quick recap, here are 20 cosmic MCU weapons ranked from not very dangerous to overwhelmingly devastating.
20. CHITAURI STAFF
The MCU is chock-full of everything from your standard alien soldier weapons to items of mass destruction, and at the bottom of our list, we have the classic Chitauri staff weapon. These weapons made their fist MCU appearance in The Avengers during the Battle of New York. Several of the Chitauri foot soldiers carried these weapons, which caused slightly more damage than the Chitauri long-range guns. The staffs could be used for hand to hand combat and could also generate small energy blasts, which put small holes in walls and occasionally caused small explosions.
Like the rest of the Chitauri weaponry, the staffs were only operational while their Chitauri control center remained intact.
As soon as Iron Man destroyed the control center that coordinated the attack on New York, all of the staffs on earth powered down. Chitauri staffs are by no means the most formidable weapons in the multiverse, but they served their purpose in the Chitauri Army. When Thanos had the Chitauri invade and kill half of Gamora’s people, nearly all the soldiers present wielded these weapons. They wouldn’t be of much use against an army of Asgardians, Frost Giants, or any of the stronger species in the galaxy, but they will certainly do some damage on a planet like earth.
19. BLACK HOLE GRENADES
Ideal for eliminating a few overpowered targets, black hole grenades are exactly what they sound like. These Dark Elf creations produce a localized singularity when detonated, effectively sucking anyone in range into a black hole. While the black hole generated is small, anything that falls within its range will be destroyed. This concentrated power makes it the perfect weapon for taking out an exceptionally strong opponent.
During the events of Thor: Dark World, Loki used one of these grenades to kill the Dark Elf Algrim. Algrim was significantly enhanced at the time, as he had used the last Kursed Stone to temporarily increase his height and strength. When he was in the range of the grenade though, it didn’t matter how strong he was. In theory, a weapon like this could destroy some of the MCU’s heaviest hitters like Thor, Hulk, and maybe even Thanos himself. Black hole grenades are by no means the greatest of the cosmic weapons, but they certainly have their uses. They won’t take down an army, but they can easily remove a general, champion, or other high-value target from the field. These weapons are of great value in the nine realms, even on planets like earth.
Godslayer was a retractable sword and Gamora’s weapon of choice. The sword had a dagger that detached from the rest of the weapon, and a special power core that made sword lighter to hold. The sword was said to be able to cut through any metal, although we have yet to see if this applies to some of the more exotic Marvel elements such as Uru or vibranium. Gamora used the Godslayer in Guardians of the Galaxy to battle her sister Nebula, and she also used it in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to kill the Abilisk, the multi-dimensional monster that went after the Sovereigns’ Anulax Batteries.
Despite its name, Godlsyaer never managed to slay any gods in the MCU.
During Avengers: Infinity War, Gamora appeared to have killed Thanos with the sword on Knowhere. As it turned out, it was only a test that Thanos had created with the Reality Stone. When Gamora attempted to kill the real Thanos with the Godslayer, Thanos easily broke the weapon with his hand. When Thanos took Gamora, she left the sword behind on Knowhere. Star-Lord picked it up after she left, so we may see the weapon repaired and put to use in the future.
17. YAKA ARROWS
Yaka Arrows were designed by the Centaurian race and are made from Yaka metal, which reacts to certain high-pitch frequencies. Yondu Udonta used a Yaka Arrow as his weapon of choice in both Guardians of the Galaxy films. When he wore a controller unit, he could control the arrow’s movements by whistling at certain frequencies. The arrow moved so fast that it could beat virtually any weapon to the draw, which made it suitable for threatening single individuals and destroying small armies. The arrow was also strong enough to penetrate various metals and go straight through ship hulls. However, Yaka Arrows have less violent uses as well. After his ship was destroyed, Yondu used his arrow to glide down from the wreckage — Mary Poppins style.
While Yaka Arrows make excellent weapons, they are only as effective as their users. Learning to control the arrows take an immense amount of practice, as we saw in a mid-credits scene from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, where Kraglin tried to use an arrow and accidentally stabbed Drax. Yaka Arrows are also useless without a controller unit. When Yondu tried to prevent a mutiny, Nebula snuck up behind him and shot off his controller, leaving him completely defenseless.
16. HADRON ENFORCER
Rocket Racoon designed the Hadron Enforcer with spare parts from Star-Lord’s ship. The gun fired bullets made of hadron particles, which explode when they reach their target. This type of ammunition made the weapon extremely powerful. When explaining the gun to Star-Lord, Rocket had this to say about the Hadron Enforcer: “That’s for if things get really hardcore, or if you wanna blow up moons.” When Star-Lord and Gamora were aboard Yondu’s ship, Rocket threatened the Ravagers with the Hadron Enforcer before Star-Lord explained that they had struck a deal with Yondu
While the Hadron Enforcer has yet to destroy a moon in the MCU, the Guardians of the Galaxy used the weapon twice in their first movie, during the Battle of Xandar.
As part of the plan to stop Ronan the Accuser, Star-Lord shot Ronan with the Hadron Enforcer after he and the other Guardians boarded Ronan’s ship. The weapon proved ineffective on the Kree warrior, but it did save Xandar from destruction after Ronan’s ship crashed. Rocket managed to reassemble the weapon and Drax used it to destroy Ronan’s Cosmi-Rod. This left Ronan without a means to control the Power Stone and allowed Star-Lord to take the Stone back.
The Bifrost Sword, Hofund, held a special status in Asgard. While not explicitly stated, we assume it was forged in Nidavellir like the rest of Asgard’s great weapons. Heimdall the Gatekeeper typically wielded the sword, although Skurge possessed it during the time that Loki posed as Odin. Aside from Odin’ staff, Hofud was the only weapon capable of opening the Bifrost before Asgard was destroyed. Heimdall could also use the sword to activate Asgard’s defensive shield, which he did during the Sacking of Asgard in Thor: Dark World.
While Heimdall typically used the sword to operate the Bifrost, it was also an effective weapon on the battlefield. During Thor: Ragnarok, he used Hofund to fight scores of Hela’s soldiers while he tried to keep the sword out of Hela’s reach, and he continued to use the weapon after Asgard was destroyed. Most of Hofund’s special properties were inconsequential after Agard was destroyed, although the sword was still far from normal. At the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War, Heimdall was able to use Hofund to channel enough dark energy to summon the Bifrost and send the Hulk back to earth. The sword was finally destroyed when Thanos used the Power Stone to destroy Thor’s ship.
14. THE CASKET OF ANCIENT WINTERS
The Casket of Ancient Winters was considered the source of the Frost Giants’ powers. The weapon could spread tremendous amounts of ice and fierce winds that could freeze anything from individual targets to entire realms. When the Frost Giants sought to conquer earth in the tenth century, they brought the Casket of Ancient Winter along as part of their plan. The Jutons had planned to start another ice age on earth, although Odin and his army stopped them. More recently, Loki used the casket when he plotted to destroy Jotunhiem. He first used the weapon to trap Heimdal in ice and then froze the Bifrost controls when the Bifrost was open.
The Casket of Ancient Winters was a force to be reckoned with and the Jotuns considered it an immensely valuable weapon.
The Frost Giants even attempted to steal the casket back from the Asgardians, even though such an act could have jeopardized their peace treaty with Asgard. In the hierarchy of MCU cosmic weapons though, it is far from the most powerful. When Hela surveyed the artifacts in Odin’s vault, she called the casket “weak” (as compared to other items, like the Tesseract, which she deemed “nice”). Along with the rest of Odin’s vault, the Casket was destroyed when Surtur destroyed Asgard.
13. THE DESTROYER
The Destroyer is a weapon you never want to be on the receiving end of. The Asgardian weapon has both brute strength and deadly fireblasts that can harm mortals and immortals alike. In Thor, the Destroyer effortlessly stopped two Frost Giants who attempted to steal the Casket of Ancient Winters from Odin’s vault. In seconds, the intruders were nothing but ashes. The Destroyer is also controlled remotely and can be operated from an entirely different planet if desired. While on Asgard, Loki sent the destroyer to earth to kill Thor. The Destroyer caused significant damage while on earth, and had Thor not been able to wield Mjolnir at the last second, the Destroyer would have killed Lady Sif, the Warriors Three, Thor, and everyone in the near vicinity.
Despite its incredible powers, the Destroyer is not invincible. During its fight with Thor, the son of Odin was able to deflect the Destroyers blasts with Mjolnir. Thor also used Mjolnir to turn the Destroyer’s power back on itself, which damaged it to the point where it could not function. Still, as long as Thor doesn’t show up, the Destroyer is an incredible weapon for defending valuable objects and eliminating threats as strong as normal Asgardians and Frost Giants from the comfort of your own realm.
We’d be remiss to have a list of the MCU’s cosmic weapons without mentioning Mjolnir, Thor’s original weapon of choice. The Dwarfs of Nidavellir forged the hammer from Uru, and the weapon had a host of powers. Apart from serving as a very heavy and durable hammer, Mjolnir granted its owner the power of flight, the ability to summon storms and command lightning, and the power to dawn battle armor and a red cape at will. The hammer would also return to the user’s hand when desired.
While in possession of Mjolnir, Thor battled a host of formidable enemies.
In addition to stopping hordes of Chitauri, Frost Giants, and other soldiers, Thor destroyed the giant Frost Beast on Jotenhiem, rendered the Destroyer useless, killed Surtur the Fire Demon, matched blows with the Hulk, and he even used Mjolnir to destroy the Bifrost. Like most weapons, Mjolnir was not without its weaknesses. Thanks to Odin, only those deemed worthy could lift the hammer, and exactly what made a person worthy was not clearly defined in the MCU. So far, only Odin, Vision, Thor, and (possibly) Captain America have been able to lift Mjolnir. This weapon is also vulnerable to the goddess of death, as Hela easily destroyed Mjolnir with her magic in Thor: Ragnarok.
Gungnir was an Asgardian staff used by the Allfather. It originally belonged to Bor, who passed it on to Odin and as an Asgardian weapon, the staff was incredibly powerful. When the Frost Giants attempted to invade earth, Odin used Gungnir in the ensuing battle. With the staff, he defeated the Frost Giants and even stole the Casket of Ancient Winters. Centuries later, Loki used the staff to kill King Laufey and to battle Thor. While Loki did not have the skill to match Thor, the power that the staff possessed put him on a nearly equal footing with the God of Thunder.
As a weapon designed for the King of Asgard, Gungnir had many enchantments and abilities. In addition to shooting powerful energy blasts, Gungnir could also control the Bifrost and summon the Dark Energies. During the events of The Avengers, when the Bifrost was still destroyed, Odin used Gungnir to send Thor to earth. Gungnir was also the only way to control the Destroyer. Despite the staff’s powers, Gungnir did not survive Asgard’s destruction. During Thor: Ragnarok, Thor briefly fought Hela with Gungnir. During the fight, he left the staff inside the city, which Surtur destroyed along with the rest of the planet.
10. THE NECROSWORDS
The Necroswords were the obsidian blades that Hela used during her takeover of Asgard. The Goddess of Death summoned these weapons at will and could control their trajectory. She primarily used them to take down armies and entire populations of people. During a flashback in Thor: Ragnarok, Hela used the Necroswords to attack the legendary Asgardian fighting force the Valkiryrior and only one Valkyrie survived the battle. After Hela escaped Hel, the Goddess of Death, also used the Necroswords to reclaim the throne of Asgard. She effortlessly killed the Warriors Three and the majority of the Asgardian Army.
The Necroswords were most effective on large crowds and had less success with more formidable targets.
It is not explicitly stated how many Necroswords Hela could summon at once or how large she could make them, but when Surtur attacked Asgard to fulfill the prophecy of Ragnarok, Hela summoned massive Necroswords well over six feet. The blades were powerful enough to wound Surtur, and had she been given more time she might have overpowered him. However, Surtur proved to be too powerful for Hela and she didn’t have to opportunity to see if she could defeat the Fire Demon. Surtur defeated Hela when he destroyed Asgard, and the Necroswords were presumably destroyed as well.
9. TWILIGHT SWORD
Surtur the Fire Demon’s sword, the Twilight Sword, is an interesting weapon because it appears to draw strength from Surtur himself. The flaming sword is always the appropriate size for Surtur to use and it only appears when Surtur is there to wield it. At the beginning of Thor: Ragnarok, Surtur was in a weakened state, although still several times the size of or Thor. Surtur used the Twilight Sword to blast Thor with fire — although Thor easily deflected the flame with Mjolnir. When Thor killed Surtur, the sword to disappeared into Surtur’s crown. When Loki later resurrected Surtur with the Eternal Flame, the Twilight Sword reappeared with him.
This time, however, Surtur was restored to his full might, and his sword was likewise at the zenith of its power. Surtur and the Twilight Sword towered over all of Asgard and laid waste to the golden realm. While the weapon had previously been less powerful than Mjolnir, the sword’s power could now destroy an entire planet. When Hela attacked Surtur, the Fire Demon stabbed her with the Twilight Sword. The blade plunged into the planet and created a massive explosion that destroyed the planet, the Goddess of Death, Surtur, and the sword itself.
After just one appearance in the MCU, it’s clear that Stormbreaker is a force to be reckoned with. The Dwarf King Eitri himself crafted the massive battle-ax, which he very rightly said was “A king’s weapon” and indeed, Stormbreaker’s powers are immense. Stormbreaker shares some similarities with Mjolnir. It is made (mostly) form Uru, it can command lightning, and it returns to the user’s hand when needed. Unlike Mjolnir though, Stormbreaker can summon the Bifrost.
When Thor used the ax in Wakanda, he was also able to manipulate the weapon’s trajectory at will.
As far as overall strength, Stormbreaker is one of the most effective and durable weapons in the entire MCU. Despite the fact that the weapon’s handle is made from a piece of Groot’s arm, the ax could still withstand a blast from the completed Infinity Gauntlet. Thor also nearly killed Thanos when he attacked him with Stormbreaker. With so much power, it’s not surprising that Stormbreaker is not for mere mortals. When Star-Lord asked Thor if the Guardians of the Galaxy should have similarly powered weapons, Thor dismissed the matter immediately: “You Simply lack the strength to wield them. Your bodies will crumble as your minds collapse to the madness.”
7. THE TESSERACT
As the first Infinity Stone to appear in the MCU, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to see the Tesseract ,or the Space Stone, in action. When the Tesseract first appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger, it was primarily as a power source. Hyrda used the cube to power its facilities and weapons. In The Avengers, Loki used the Space Stone to travel to earth. He later used the Tesseract to open a massive portal over Manhattan that allowed the Chitauri army to come to earth as well. When Thanos gained control of the Space Stone in Avengers: Infinity War, the Mad Titan used it for everything from moving meteors and repelling the Mirror Dimension to throwing his enemies aside and making the Hulk go out of phase.
While the Space Stone has an impressive amount of power, it’s full potential is not something just anyone can possess. After he had used the Tesseract to power Hydra’s weapons and facilities, The Red Skull made the mistake of holding the Cube with his bare hand. The Space Stone deemed Red Skull unfit to wield its power and teleported him to Vormir, where the Red Skull was doomed to guard the Soul Stone and to explain the Stone’s sacrificial requirements.
6. THE MIND STONE
It’s hard to put a ranking on the Mind Stone, as its powers are so unique. When the Stone was encased in Loki’s Scepter, it could create powerful energy blasts, as well as mind control anyone that Loki touched with the Scepter (except for Iron Man). After the Mind Stone fell into Hydra’s hands, Baron Von Strucker used the Stone in experiments to unlock superpowers hidden in DNA. Most of his test subjects died in the experiments, although Wanda and Pietro Maximoff both survived and gained powers. We still haven’t seen the upper limits of the Scarlet Witch’s powers in the MCU.
If they are anywhere near what they are in the comics, though, she will eventually develop the ability to rewrite reality itself.
After it is separated from the Scepter, the Mind Stone still made an impressive showing. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron added the Stone to Vision’s body, and it played an instrumental part in making Vision sentient. Vision also used the Mind Stone to create intense energy blasts when he fought as an Avenger. With its potential for creating intelligent life and unlocking powers in humans, the Mind Stone is certainly a formidable weapon. So far, its only weakness is that the Scarlet Witch’s powers are strong enough to destroy it.
5. THE POWER STONE
The Power Stone is responsible for some of the most destructive events in the MCU. Just holding the Stone is lethal for most races — so far, only Ronan, Thanos, and Star-Lord have been able to hold the Stone without dying (and Star-Lord still needed the rest of his team to help him). When Ronan the Accuser added the Power Stone to his Cosmi-Rod, he was able to safely channel the Stone’s power into destructive blasts. A single blast from the weapon destroyed an entire blockade of ships when Ronan attempted to invade Xandar. Had the Guardians of the Galaxy not stopped him, he would also have used this power to destroy all life on Xandar.
By itself, the Power Stone is still a force of unlimited power. During Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos used the Power Stone almost constantly. In addition to smaller feats such as repelling enemies and shattering projectiles, Thanos shot power blasts with the Power Stone and even used it to turn the outer layer of a small moon into meteors. As the Power Stone was the first Infinity Stone that he collected, he often used it to supplement the other Infinity Stones, backing the other Gems with it unlimited power.
4. THE EYE OF AGAMOTTO
The Eye of Agamotto, also known as the Time Stone, is one of the most powerful Infinity Stones. With the ability to manipulate time on a massive scale, there are a host of things the Time Stone can do — and also undo. One of the most impressive things about the Eye of Agamotto is that it can turn back time. In Dr. Strange, the titular hero used this power to reverse time in parts of Hong Kong, undoing the damage Dormammu’s army caused and resurrecting Wong. Thanos used the stone in a similar manner during Infinity War, where he resurrected Vision and put the shattered Mind Stone back together.
The Eye of Agamotto can also create time loops, which Dr. Strange used in order to trap Dormammu and bargain for the earth’s salvation.
A Time Stone user can create a time loop by mistake, though, so great skill is required to use it effectively. To use the Time Stone, its wielder must also use certain arm motions, which can make it difficult to use on the battlefield. When the Children of Thanos attacked Dr. Strange, Strange wasn’t able to use the Time Stone to defend himself after Ebony Maw restrained his arms.
3. THE AETHER
The Aether, also known as the Reality Stone, is one of the strangest and most fierce weapons in the MCU. While it can take the form of an Infinity Stone, the Aether’s default form is a liquid, which searches for and bonds with a host body. When bonded with the Aether, its host commands power capable of destroying multiple planets at once. The Dark Elf King Malekith nearly desolated the Nine Realms in Thor: Dark World when he bonded with the Aether for a time. The Aether will also protect its host from external threats. Jane Foster was temporarily a host for the Aether, and it shot out bursts of power whenever she felt threatened. Aether does have one drawback though: it sucks the lifeforce from its host.
In its solid form, the Reality Stone has the power to shape reality itself. Thanos used this power on multiple occasions during Avengers: Infinity War. With the Reality Stone, the Mad Titan could change weapons into bubbles, turn his enemies into living cubes and ribbons, and temporarily restore whole planets to how they looked decades before. Of course, all of that was only a fraction of the Stone’s power. Whoever has the Reality Stone can shape reality to how they see fit, so the only limitation is the user’s imagination.
2. THE SOUL STONE
Even after its appearance in Avengers: Infinity War, we still know very little about the Soul Stone. Like all Infinity Stones, it is the remains of a singularity that predates the creation of the universe. As far as powers, the Soul Stone gives its owner mastery over life and death and is consequentially considered the most powerful Infinity Stone. Its power is so great, in fact, that to even possess the Stone in the first place, a person must sacrifice the one they love the most — not exactly the best weapon for a dynamic duo.
While considered the most powerful Infinity Stone, we haven’t had many opportunities to see its power in the MCU.
Even after Thanos claimed the Stone, he used the other Infinity Stones in his possession far more often. There was one instance where he used the Soul Stone to find the real Dr. Strange when he fought the Sorcerer Supreme, and of course, he used it after he assembled the rest of the Infinity Gauntlet. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of the Soul Stone’s powers when Avengers 4 comes out. For the time being, we’ll have to trust that power over life and death is just as impressive as it sounds.
1. THE INFINITY GAUNTLET
After the events of Avengers: Infinity War, it’s no surprise that the Infinity Gauntlet is the MCU’s most powerful cosmic weapon — and most powerful weapon in general, for that matter. The Dwarf King Eitri forged the gauntlet for Thanos when the Mad Titan attacked Nidavellir. With the Gauntlet, Thanos could safely (for the most part) harness the power of the six Infinity Stones with little difficulty. The Gauntlet is only as powerful as the Infinity Stones housed there, but once all six Stones were collected, Thanos had the combined power of the Stones as well as mastery over all of existence. With a snap of his fingers, Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to destroy half of all life in the universe.
However, even an infinitely powerful weapon like the Infinity Gauntlet is not without its drawbacks or disadvantages. The Avengers were occasionally able to keep Thanos from closing his hand, which made him unable to use the Gauntlet. Also, while it appears that the Gauntlet protects its wearer from some of the Stones’ drawbacks (like how the Reality Stone likes to feed off of people’s lifeforce), using the Infinity Gauntlet too much seems to take a toll on its user. As we saw at the end of Infinity War, wiping out half of all life appeared to have damaged both Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet itself.
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