Movies & TV Shows

Every Type Of Magic In The MCU & Which Is Most Powerful

As Phase 4 continues to expand Marvel’s cinematic world, several types of magic now exist in the MCU. Most have their own visual designs that allow them to be distinguished from the rest. Also, their capabilities and power levels are usually unique to each other. But what makes them different, and which is the most powerful magic in the MCU? From Doctor Strange’s Mystic Arts to Ms. Marvel’s Cosmic hard light from Noor, here’s all you need to know about magic in the MCU.

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Over the years, the importance of magic has changed quite a bit in the MCU. Not only is it the primary weapon of Doctor Strange and the Masters of the Mystic Arts, but it’s also become an important plot device in a number of Marvel projects. In addition to the Doctor Strange movies, it’s been a factor in the Thor franchise, WandaVision, and Eternals. It turned out to be a part of the story for Disney+’s Moon Knight show too, weaponized by Ethan Hawke’s Arthur Harrow against Oscar Isaac’s Steven Grant. Werewolf by Night, the homage to ’30s monster movies released as a Disney+ Halloween special, also had plenty of allusions to sorcery and magic thanks to the mysterious Bloodstone.

Related: How Do Moon Knight & Mr. Knight’s Costumes Work (Where They Come From)?

Looking at the direction Marvel is taking with its remaining projects in Phase 4 and beyond, magic is sure to remain integral to MCU going forward. Needless to say, it’s been central to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and shows like WandaVision and may also be relevant to any mystical or supernatural stories Marvel has in the pipeline, including Blade and the upcoming Disney+ spinoff Agatha: Coven Of Chaos. However, how magic is utilized in Marvel’s movies and shows tends to differ, considering that the MCU has more than one kind of magic. Here’s every type, and which one is the most powerful.


Celestial Magic

Though this hasn’t been outright confirmed, what the Eternals can do in the MCU appears to be a form of magic unique to their species and, presumably, their creators. Recognized by its golden color, this Celestial Magic has been depicted as cosmic energy that the Eternals can harness and control. Thena can channel celestial energy into a golden energy blade, whereas Sprite could generate illusions. Each member of the Eternals had their own use for the energy powers granted to them by the Celestials. However, since Eternals is a character-driven movie focusing on the personalities of the titular immortals rather than the exact science behind their abilities, the nature of Celestial Magic is under-explored. An Eternals sequel would definitely do well to explain Celestial Magic a bit better, since “because they can” isn’t a satisfactory answer for MCU audiences with questions about how the Eternals can summon Celestial energy blades, or optical illusions.

Eldritch Magic

Introduced in Doctor Strange, Eldritch Magic is the name given to the power wielded by the Masters of the Mystic Arts. Accessible by humans, Eldritch Magic can be properly controlled by those with highly disciplined minds who have trained for years in casting spells. As an expert in Eldritch Magic, Doctor Strange is one of the strongest forces in the entire MCU. His mastery of this type of magic gives the Sorcerer Supreme an untold number of weapons at his disposal. He can make illusions, unleash all sorts of offensive and defensive spells, travel to different dimensions, and more. And sometimes, users of Eldritch Magic rely on the assistance of objects imbued with great magical power. In addition to the students of Kamar-Taj, MCU Phase 4 has introduced other characters who appear to have an affinity for Eldritch Magic/the Mystic Arts. Most notably Ned, Peter Parker’s best friend, showed he has an aptitude for portal-creating “sling rings” in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Asgardian Magic

The first form of magic to appear in the MCU belongs to the Asgardians. Some of the gods that live within Odin’s realm possess the capability to control powerful magical energies and use them for a variety of purposes. In Thor, it was established that people like the God of Thunder see magic as a highly advanced form of science that they’ve been developing for centuries. One of Asgard’s most accomplished sorcerers was Thor’s mother, Frigga, who learned magic from a group of witches. Afterward, she taught her skills to Loki, whose fights have demonstrated what Asgardian Magic is truly capable of. The Loki of Earth-616 doesn’t appear to be the most adept with Asgardian Magic, either. In Loki, Sylvie and Classic Loki both demonstrated significantly greater mastery over this particular magic. Sylvie was able to use it to enchant the Alioth, a beast so powerful even Kang struggled to keep it under control. As for Classic Loki, he showed just how powerful Asgardian illusions can really be when he finally found his glorious purpose in a moment of green-fire-fueled self-sacrifice.

Related: Moon Knight Explains MCU’s Lack of Supernatural Stories (So Far)

Typically accompanied by green visual effects, Loki’s Asgardian Magic has enabled the God of Mischief to create impressive illusions. With this one ability, Loki can effortlessly disguise himself with a completely different look and create projections of himself to fool his opponents. But illusions are far from the extent of what Asgardian Magic can accomplish. Through it, Loki can hurl blasts of energy, conjure objects out of thin air, and create energy shields to protect himself from incoming projectiles.

Jotun Magic

Even without Frigga’s guidance, Loki already had magical connections. Members of his race, the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, are capable of utilizing ice magic. This innate ability lets them manipulate ice and possibly, by extension, water. It was this Jotun Magic that made it possible for Laufey and his allies to shape ice into weapons in Thor. By controlling ice, they can easily create armor, spears, daggers, and swords that are strong enough to be used effectively in combat against foes as powerful as the Asgardians. As a Frost Giant himself, Loki naturally has these gifts at his disposal but has most likely chosen not to use them.

Dark Dimension Magic

In the MCU, a rule of the Masters of the Mystic Arts dictates that use of Dark Dimension Magic is forbidden. Much to the disappointment of Baron Mordo, it was discovered that the Ancient One had secretly violated this long-standing decree. Channeling power from Dormammu’s realm can give the sorcerer a tremendous amount of power that far surpasses the capabilities of Eldritch Magic. However, going down this road is a dangerous path because Dark Dimension Magic can open the door for the sorcerer to be corrupted by Dormammu’s evil influence.

Dark Magic

The power of the Dark Dimension isn’t the only evil magic that certain MCU characters can wield. There’s also Dark Magic, which has a purple tint to it. This is what Agatha Harkness channeled from the Darkhold for her fight with the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) in WandaVision. Dark Magic, or at least something very similar to it, seemingly made another appearance in Moon Knight episode 2. Arthur Harrow used the staff of Ammit (an Egyptian deity with ties to the underworld) to summon a jackal. During the process, purple energy emanated from the staff. The color has provided the impression that the Darkhold is just one source of this mysterious power. Moon Knight’s Ammit may have it as well. Since Agatha is due to return in the show Agatha: Coven Of Chaos on Disney+, it’s likely that Dark Magic will be explored in more detail — in terms of how powerful it is, its true origins, and in differentiating it from the Chaos Magic which is also linked to the Darkhold.

Related: Scarlet Witch’s Origin Retcon Makes Doctor Strange Look Like an Idiot

Chaos Magic

WandaVision confirmed that the Scarlet Witch is a weapon of Chaos Magic, which has a red color. This was massively expanded on in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which explained just how dangerous Chaos Magic really is, both to the user and the Multiverse. It’s an extreme form of magic, one that Kamar-Taj seems more concerned about than even the influence of Dormammu. Establishing Chaos Magic in this way was incredibly true to the source material. In the comics, Chaos Magic comes from an Elder God called Chthon, who is one of the most powerful beings that ever roamed the Earth. Passing a fraction of his Chaos Magic abilities into Wanda’s body when she was a child is what paved the way for her to become the Scarlet Witch in Marvel Comics.

Armed with this ability, the Scarlet Witch can reshape the fabric of reality itself, which was how she created Westview and manipulated the lives of its people to create her own fantasy world. She can also Dreamwalk between different realms of the Multiverse, which is a pretty big deal for characters without powers like America Chavez’s (as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness also established). Werewolf by Night, the 2022 Disney+ MCU Halloween Special, also appeared to have a Chaos Magic artifact judging by the visual effects. The Bloodstone fought over by various monster hunters in Werewolf by Night glows with the same energy as Wanda’s powers. Given that the Bloodstone grants longevity, implied near-invulnerability, and confirmed abilities to force a werewolf to change without a full moon, it’s highly likely the incredibly powerful gem was imbued with power using Chaos Magic.

Cosmic MagicIman Vellani as Ms Marvel

Ms. Marvel made its way to Disney+ in 2022, and as well as introducing Kamala Khan to the screen, it also brought a new kind of magic to the MCU: Cosmic Magic. Ms. Marvel’s origins were changed dramatically for the MCU, and so was her power set. As well as retconning her comic-book Inhuman backstory to make her Earth-616’s first confirmed mutant, it also added a mystical element to her abilities. Kamala’s stretching was switched out for glowing purple crystalline energy, which has been dubbed “hard light.” This Cosmic Magic comes from the Noor dimension. While it initially appeared that Kamala channeled Cosmic Magic through her bracelets, the reveal that she’s a possible X-Man in waiting calls this into question. It now seems her mutant ability, much like many X-Men comic characters including the Scarlet Witch, is to channel magic naturally, with no spell books required. In Kamala’s case, this magic is the hard light of the Noor dimension. It’s possible that future movies like The Marvels will establish just how powerful hard light is compared to other magics, as this kind of Cosmic mysticism is almost entirely unique to the MCU.

Why Chaos Magic Is The Strongest Magic In The MCU

Just as it is in the comics, the Scarlet Witch’s power is the strongest type of magic in the MCU. Wanda being able to rewrite reality with it speaks volumes about its potential, not to mention Agatha’s reaction when she realized what she was up against. And despite being an experienced, immortal sorceress in possession of the Darkhold, Agatha still couldn’t overpower Wanda in the end. Not only that, but Doctor Strange, for all his time studying the mystical arts, is still weaker than the Scarlet Witch – and it’s all due to the insanely high power level of the MCU’s Chaos Magic. Even the assembled might of Kamar-Taj was basically powerless against Wanda with the Darkhold at her disposal.

Related: Sorcery vs Witchcraft: Which MCU Magic Is More Powerful

The Scarlet Witch is one of the most powerful beings in Marvel Comics, and the MCU has stayed true to her character in this regard. In the context of the MCU, Chaos Magic also has an implied multiversal connection somehow, since it allows for interdimensional Dreamwalking, and Wanda was able to use one Darkhold to destroy the Darkhold in every reality. This suggests each variant of the book is linked. In the ever-changing MCU power tiers and scales, it’s important to have a ceiling against which to compare new antagonists and powers as they appear, and Chaos Magic more than serves this purpose.

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