Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch is one of the most complicated, endearing Avengers. First appearing as a villain, a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in early issues of X-Men, Wanda has been a member of the Avengers from nearly the very beginning, joining the team all the way back in issue #16.
Since then, she has had no shortage of ups and downs, from falling in love and marrying the Vision to having a breakdown that decimated the team.
While she’s not as popular as Iron Man or Captain America, Scarlet Witch has always been well known to fans for being a mainstay of the team, serving on several incarnations from the original title to West Coast Avengers and Uncanny Avengers as well.
Fans love her because of her complicated past, but also because she is without a doubt one of the most powerful people on the team.
Even now, fans aren’t sure exactly how powerful Scarlet Witch is, and even she herself does not seem to be sure of it.
Her powers are complicated and incredibly varied—they might even be almost limitless. Because of this, some of the applications of her abilities get lost in the shuffle so that some fans might forget or never even know about certain things that the Avenger is able to do.
With that in mind, here are the 16 Powers Only True Marvel Fans Know Scarlet Witch Has.
16 SHE CAN SHORT CIRCUIT MACHINERY
Some of the most powerful enemies in Marvel comics are robotic in nature, or at least incredibly high-tech. From the mutant hunting Sentinels to the impenetrable Ultron, there are dozens of robotic foes making things miserable for everyone’s favorite heroes on a daily basis.
Due to his adamantium— or vibranium, if one follows the movies— body, Ultron can be one of the hardest villains for the Avengers to physically beat in a fight. He’s made of an indestructible metal and can’t always be taken down in simple combat.
However, Ultron has learned to fear Scarlet Witch over the years because his adamantium shell cannot repel her magic attacks.
She has best showcased this by getting her power into his system and short circuiting the machinery controlling him, in a way very similar to how the X-Men’s Kitty Pryde short circuits machinery when she phases through it.
15 SHE IS RESISTANT TO THE PHOENIX FORCE
One of Scarlet Witch’s most jaw-droppingly powerful and incredible abilities is her power to stand up to the Phoenix Force.
As a key component to X-Men lore, the Phoenix Force is one of the most powerful entities in the known universe, if not even potentially the most powerful.
It has destroyed entire civilizations. When it partnered with the already extremely powerful Jean Grey, the Phoenix could have unmade existence.
When it targets a host, there’s little the host can do about it. The only person to even hold it at bay was Jean herself, but the Phoenix managed to take her over.
That has not proven to be the case with the Scarlet Witch. When the Phoenix Force turned its eye on her, Wanda proved to be completely resistant to it, which is a power very few characters have ever demonstrated.
This has led to the reinterpretation of Scarlet Witch’s powers as cosmic rather than demonic in origin.
14 SHE CAN CONTROL THE OUTCOME OF VARIOUS EVENTS
Scarlet Witch has many wide applications for her luck-based abilities. While she can control the outcome of events on a one-to-one basis, she can also control the outcomes of larger events as well.
Unfortunately for the Avengers but fortunately for readers, this aspect of her power is not the Deus Ex Machina that one might fear it could be.
She can’t use her power to always ensure that the Avengers are victorious, and even when she tries to affect a situation to her advantage, it takes a great deal of control that she does not always have.
Part of what leads to Scarlet Witch’s occasionally perceived lack of control is that she has so many wide and diverse powers that are so loosely defined.
It would take years for her to practice just her luck powers alone to begin to truly understand their potential.
13 SHE CAN CREATE REALITY DISTORTING ILLUSIONS
When Scarlet Witch was first introduced in X-Men #4, she served as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants alongside her brother and several other villains, including Mastermind.
His mutant power is to create illusions so authentic that a person will inherently believe them to be real. Mastermind later used these abilities to get into Jean Grey’s head over the course of a few years in order to effectively kick off the Dark Phoenix Saga.
The hilarious thing looking back on this now is that they didn’t even need Mastermind on the team because Scarlet Witch technically has the exact same power.
Scarlet Witch can create illusions that are incredibly realistic, sometimes without even realizing that she is doing it.
At the end of Avengers: Disassembeld, once the team realizes Wanda is behind the attack, they spend some time speculating how much of what they’ve just seen is actually real.
Their house is gone and their friends have passed away, but anything else— even creatures they’ve just fought— could have been an illusion. That’s an extremely dangerous level of power.
12 HER REALITY POWERS STEM FROM CHAOS MAGIC
As complicated as Scarlet Witch’s powers might be, the source of her powers is also just as complicated.
For most of her time in the comics, she was established to be a mutant. Recently, after her debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that was established to not be true with the revelation that the High Evolutionary had altered both she and her brother genetically at birth.
However, she also has some magic abilities as well.
The explanation for her reality shaping powers has always been the ability to channel an internal chaos magic.
However, the source of chaos magic has changed over time, with the original explanation being that the demon Cthon had instilled her with this power at birth.
The most recent explanation has been that her chaos magic is actually cosmic in origin.
11 SHE TRAINED IN THE ACTUAL ART OF WITCHCRAFT UNDER AGATHA HARKNESS
Many fans do not realize that Scarlet Witch actually lives up to her name. When writer Steve Englehart took over, he decided to embrace that aspect of her title by actually having her study the art of witchcraft.
This new arc introduced her longtime mentor Agatha Harkness, a character who has become deeply tied to Scarlet Witch over time.
Scarlet Witch’s ability to channel chaos magic helped her to have a natural inclination toward magic as a whole.
As a witch, she has proven to be incredibly skilled. Sometime later, she would even be taken under the wing of the Marvel Universe’s sorcerer supreme, Doctor Strange.
It would be interesting to see if a similar dynamic between the characters will be at all present in Infinity War.
10 HER HEX POWERS CAN GIVE ENEMIES BAD LUCK
When originally created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, “hex powers” were the only abilities Scarlet Witch was established to have and even then the definition was not altogether clear.
It is revealed later on that her hex powers actually affect probability and that she can manipulate the outcomes of various events.
On a small scale, Scarlet Witch can affect the environment around her enemies to essentially give them bad luck.
Although she has a strong degree of telekinesis, she doesn’t always have to use it as she doesn’t want to.
Instead of dropping a ladder on someone’s head, she can manipulate the outcome by blasting enemies with her hex bolts so that they wind up dropping the ladder on their own head instead.
It’s her original comic book power and one that can still be among the most damaging when used properly.
9 SHE CAN CREATE BLASTS OF KINETIC ENERGY
Sometimes, for the dynamic action of a comic book, even the most powerful characters wind up shooting good, old-fashioned beams out of their hands.
Scarlet Witch’s hex bolts can be used to affect the luck of whatever she’s aiming at, but she can also sometimes a similar blast of energy to knock someone off of their feet.
These blasts do not appear to use heat and instead seem to work like the concussive blasts that shoot from Cyclops’s eyes.
They are blasts with, essentially, the power of an extremely strong punch.
While Scarlet Witch has displayed awesome feats of power during her time with the Avengers, these blasts often prove to be the most helpful in a fight.
They might not speak to her immense potential, but they’re great for clearing a room of enemies in an efficient way.
8 SHE HAS INCREDIBLY STRONG TELEKINESIS
When it was announced that Scarlet Witch would be making her way into the Avengers movies, many fans were curious as to how exactly her powers would translate to screen, especially given the fact that she was a mutant at the time in the comics.
Even after Age of Ultron and Infinity War, her powers have not been clearly explained except for the exposition that were given to her through experimentation with Loki’s scepter and the Infinity stone within it.
For the most part, aside from her ability to get into people’s heads and create illusions, Scarlet Witch’s powers on screen largely appear to be a form of telekinesis.
That’s only a fraction of her power, but it is an ability that she at least possesses in the comics. Her ability to move objects mixed with her control of chaos magic make her an extremely powerful and underrated telekinetic force.
7 SHE CAN TELEPORT ACROSS GREAT DISTANCES
Certainly one of the most convenient abilities for the Avengers as a team, Scarlet Witch can teleport herself and others to virtually any place on the planet she can think of.
Although it’s not aggressive by nature, teleportation is one of the most useful powers in the Marvel Universe and Scarlet Witch is actually one of the few Avengers who is able to do it.
In fact, her skills are so strong in this area that she can even hop through dimensions and move through time itself.
When it’s believed that Scott Lang’s life is taken in Avengers: Disassembled, it’s actually revealed much later that Scarlet Witch’s future self teleported through time to save Scott from the devastation wreaked by her grief and transport him through time into her present day.
6 SHE CAN CANCEL OUT DOMINO’S GOOD LUCK POWERS
Another luck-based hero, Domino, will make her cinematic debut in Deadpool 2 this May. Given both of their history as mutants, Domino has had a few run-ins with Scarlet Witch in the past, and they have always been interesting.
Domino has the ability to affect the outcome of any situation to her advantage. She can’t create bad luck for others, but she is always influencing the environment in her favor, creating good luck for herself.
Very few things can throw this ability off, but Scarlet Witch is one of them.
Domino, as it turns out, is not immune to Scarlet Witch’s hex powers. When Scarlet Witch wants to throw Domino off with a hex bolt, the power will cancel Domino’s out so that her good luck powers wind up having no effect.
5 SHE CAN PROTECT AGAINST MAGIC ATTACKS
One of the benefits of her magical training is that Scarlet Witch showcases an incredible resistance to spells and other magic attacks.
Under the guidance of both Agatha Harkness and Doctor Strange, she has learned from the very best to protect herself from whatever magic-leaning threats might come her way.
As a talented spellcaster herself, she knows what incantations are best suited for protection and which ones break down too easily under pressure.
This talent, possibly above all others, showcases Wanda’s intimate knowledge of witchcraft in all of its forms.
Knowing how to protect herself from magic is key because it demonstrates an intimate knowledge of the supernatural world as well as the very nature of magic itself, as well as its raw power and the natural balance that it represents.
4 SHE IS ACTUALLY AN INCREDIBLY SKILLED PHYSICAL COMBATANT
If there’s one thing about the Scarlet Witch that many fans probably don’t know about it’s that she is incredibly trained in physical combat as well as magic.
It’s a surprise to think about, given how powerful she is, but that’s also why it makes sense. The Avengers must be prepared for anything, as they’re thrown any amount of curveballs on a virtually monthly basis.
If Wanda loses her powers, she’s just an ordinary defenseless person, and that’s worth noting because Marvel characters tend to get depowered all the time.
To counteract this potential weakness, Scarlet Witch has been trained in several martial arts by Hawkeye.
With only his arrows to rely on, Hawkeye knows the importance of combat skills and his decision to share that knowledge with Scarlet Witch has proven to be useful on more than one occasion.
3 SHE IS A SKILLED TACTICIAN
Scarlet Witch has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in many, many ways over the years. She can affect probability, she can control and manipulate the environment around her, and she can cast spells and implant illusions into people’s minds.
However, her strongest power might still be her brain and the way she thinks.
Too many fans tend to think of Scarlet Witch as damaged, as someone who’s brain is too scattered or off-balance to even focus her own powers.
This simply is not the case. Scarlet Witch is incredibly strong willed and incredibly smart, thinking of combat situations in terms of strategy without letting her emotions dictate the outcome.
She is able to predict super villains and the moves they tend to make, partially thanks to having been one in the past.
2 2. SHE CAN SHAPE REALITY ITSELF TO HER WILL
Scarlet Witch’s most undefined power is her most dangerous power as well. She can manipulate and even reshape reality.
She did this at one point during the events of Avengers: Disassembled when she inadvertently launched an all-out attack on Avengers Mansion.
Without a doubt the most famous use of this power has to be the way she reshaped the Marvel Universe during House of M.
Not only did she change the world on a fundamental level, she initially created a new reality, an alternate world in which most of the Marvel heroes got the dream lives they had always wanted.
Even after she was forced to dismantle that reality and restore the world, her change of that balance had lasting implications when it was revealed she had depowered almost every mutant in the world.
By simply saying the words “no more mutants,” Scarlet Witch stripped the powers from 99% of the mutant population. It’s still one of the most powerful displays of power in Marvel history.
1 SHE WAS BORN WITH COSMIC POWERS
The origins of Scarlet Witch’s powers have always been rocky. They were initially explained away as simply part of her mutant powers.
Later, chaos magic was introduced. Then it was revealed that the demon Cthon had imbued her with chaos magic at birth and that her power was actually demonic in origin.
Later explanations of her power have radically redefined how her powers work and where they initially came from. Now it is well known that Scarlet Witch was never actually a mutant and was given her powers by the High Evolutionary.
This explanation has revealed that her powers due not stem from any demonic dimension but instead that they draw their strength from something cosmic, which once again expands the potential for her level of power and the many applications it could continue to have in the future.
Even after all this time, her abilities continue to grow, expand, and evolve.
Can you think of any other powers that Scarlet Witch has? Sound off in the comments!