In the Marvel Universe, magic is one of the most powerful forces at work. Hundreds of storylines, on page and film, revolve around the mysterious world of the mystic arts. Frequently, at the helm of these stories are two Marvel veterans: Doctor Stephen Strange and Scarlet Witch. While there are dozens of other magical characters in Marvel comics, few have the notoriety that Strange and Wanda Maximoff enjoy.
As two of the most powerful beings on Earth-616, their magical abilities are incomparable. But, what happens when you compare them to each other? Dr. Strange and Scarlet Witch are very different characters, with different motivations, backgrounds, and personalities.
Dr. Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth-616 and must use his vast knowledge of sorcery to defend the planet from mystic attacks. Scarlet Witch, on the other hand, was originally a mutant villain of the X-Men. Back then, her hex powers were connected to her DNA and not magical training.
Over the years, Wanda and Strange’s origin stories have changed extensively, with Wanda becoming an actual witch and Strange losing (then gaining again) the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Their pasts are complicated, but their ability to cause mass destruction isn’t.
Strange and Scarlet Witch have been shown countless times to be two of the most powerful Avengers members on the superpowered team. Their connections to the mystic arts currently power both of them, but how are these connections different?
And who is the most powerful mystic user: Scarlet Witch or Doctor Strange? If you have an additional reason for why Strange or Wanda is more powerful than the other, please comment below!
Table of Contents
SCARLET WITCH: CREATED TWINS
Scarlet Witch isn’t a god and she can’t technically create life out of nothing. However, after her marriage to Vision, she wanted children of her own so desperately that she used her reality-warping abilities to give herself twin boys. Little did she know, her children were created using two scattered soul fragments that once belonged to the satanic Mephisto.
Eventually, the boys’ souls were reabsorbed into Mephisto, but by then the powers Wanda had given her sons’ were so strong that they destroyed the demon. They were then reincarnated into two boys: Wiccan and Speed. Things may have not gone as planned for Wanda, but her try at parenting definitely shows us just how powerful she is. If she wants something, she’s going to get it.
DR. STRANGE: TIME MANIPULATION
Although it isn’t easy for him, Doctor Strange has, in the past, manipulated time. This includes freezing, slowing, and traveling through time. The powerful Eye of Agamotto can do some of this, but it still demands an extreme amount of concentration from Strange. But, it’s also one of Strange’s most useful abilities.
Could Scarlet Witch also manipulate time? Were she to really let go of her powers as she did in “House of M”, we’re positive she could. However, we don’t think she could manipulate time as accurately and carefully as Strange. At the moment, she just doesn’t have as strong of a grasp on her abilities.
SCARLET WITCH: DESTROYED THE AVENGERS
For decades, Scarlet Witch has been a part of the strongest, most elite team of superheroes in the Marvel Universe: the Avengers. She’s proved countless times to be a valuable member… but she’s also proved to be a very dangerous addition.
After going through a complete mental breakdown, Wanda destroyed the Avengers mansion, terminated both Hawkeye and Vision, and avoided every attack veteran Avengers like Iron Man and Captain America could throw at her. In the end, the only person who was able to stop her was Doctor Strange, but even he admitted he couldn’t restrain her forever.
The Avengers is the premiere superhero group, and yet Scarlet Witch was able to decimate their ranks within minutes. If that’s not insanely impressive, we’re not sure what is.
DR. STRANGE: MORE KNOWLEDGE OF MAGIC
Scarlet Witch knows magic, but Doctor Strange knows magic. The mysterious Ancient One trained him for years, teaching him about all different kinds of magic, including white magic, black magic, elemental magic, and catastrophe magic. To put it into perspective, Wanda really only knows chaos magic.
As the current Sorcerer Supreme, Strange has access to thousands of books on magic that have further increased his mystical knowledge. Wanda has learned a lot about magic, particularly in the last decade, but her mystical know-how doesn’t stand a chance against Strange. It’s his job to be vigilant when it comes to magic. If he isn’t, Earth-616 will be in a lot of trouble.
SCARLET WITCH: MADE A NEW REALITY
Scarlet Witch’s powers are complicated, especially with all the retconning Marvel’s been doing lately. She was a mutant and then she wasn’t a mutant and then she wasn’t really a witch and then she was a witch. It would take a whole article to sort out what exactly Wanda can do, but for the time being, we’re going to focus on one aspect of her powers in particular: reality warping.
In the House of M series, Wanda’s brother Quicksilver encourages her to create a reality where mutants are the dominant species and the Maximoffs run the world. Even though she was in a fragile emotional state at the time, she was easily able to accomplish this. With those kinds of powers, Wanda could do some serious — and untraceable — damage.
Read this too: Doctor Strange Will Unleash The Height Of His Powers In The Multiverse
DR. STRANGE: EXTREMELY INTELLIGENT
When Doctor Strange isn’t out saving the day using magic, he’s inside reading about magic. Strange is a natural scholar who loves learning. Before he became the Sorcerer Supreme, Strange was a gifted surgeon with a penchant for creating breakthrough procedures. When he began practicing magic instead of medicine, Strange put the same intense dedication he had for surgery into his sorcerer training.
Scarlet Witch is intelligent as well, but she doesn’t put as much work into learning as Strange does. Whereas Scarlet Witch is quick to action, Strange is more willing to carefully look over a situation before deciding what to do.
DR. STRANGE: MAGICAL ITEMS GALORE
One huge benefit that comes with being the Sorcerer Supreme? You get a ton of powerful (and sometimes really scary) gadgets. After becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, Strange bought the abandoned mansion in New York City that would later become the famous Sanctum Sanctorum. Nowhere else in the entire multiverse is there such a high concentration of mystical items. If you can imagine it, Strange’s den magical lore probably has it.
Within the Sanctum Sanctorum live some of Strange’s most coveted artifacts, including his famous Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto. Strange not only benefit from these powerful items, but he also relies on them. Without them, he wouldn’t be half as powerful as he is.
SCARLET WITCH: DECIMATED THE X-GENE
One of the biggest moments in recent Marvel Comics history was the utterance of three simple words: “No more mutants”. In House of M, an emotionally broken Scarlet Witch uses her reality-warping abilities to wipe out the vast majority of mutants on earth. She doesn’t have some sort of complicated spell or complex hex to do this. All she has to do is say the words and it happens.
Doctor Strange might be able to accomplish something similar, but we don’t think it would be half as easy as it was for Wanda. He’d have to pull out some seriously old spell books to conjure up something this big. For Wanda, all it took was three words.
SCARLET WITCH: HAS (PRACTICALLY) LIMITLESS POWERS
With every new series that Wanda Maximoff stars in, we learn a little more about what she can and can’t do. She’s a complicated character, but these series’, (such as Scarlet Witch and Uncanny Avengers) are helping to flesh out her character a bit more. And, so far, what we’ve learned is that her powers are (sort of) limitless. If you’re rolling your eyes right now, let us explain.
Wanda can’t just do whatever she wants to do because she doesn’t have great control over her powers. However, if she did, the possibilities of what she could do and who she could become are boundless. With a little more training (maybe with Dr. Strange as her teacher again) she could easily become the most powerful character on Earth-616.
DR. STRANGE: SORCERER SUPREME and The Verdict
If Stephen Strange never became the Sorcerer Supreme, he wouldn’t be on this list at all. His title, though not always consistent, is his most obvious mark of power. Strange’s Sorcerer Supreme status granted him immortality, divine powers, and a host of magical artifacts.
Each world can only have one Sorcerer Supreme, so the title is kind of a big deal. For Strange, the biggest benefit, and the reason why the title makes him so powerful is that it acts as constant encouragement. He knows he can lose it at any time, so he always has to be pushing himself to be the best sorcerer on Earth.
HENCE, THE WINNER IS DR STRANGE.