Let’s face it: nothing makes a great story like a good magical artifact. Mythology, folklore, fairy tales, legends, and fiction from across the world are filled with sought-after objects with cosmic powers that imbue the user with unique superhuman abilities. Whether these supernatural treasures take the form of armor, items of clothing, weapons, ancient relics, spell books, substances, cauldrons, or stones, and whether they act on their own consciousness or as a tool of the wielder, a magical artifact is an item that has powers inherent within it.
From legendary items like King Arthur’s sword Excalibur to magical ones like Aladdin’s lamp to super-powered comic book weapons like Thor’s hammer Mjölnir and even actually existing myths like the Philosopher’s Stone, there is no shortage of powerful artifacts in fantasy and folklore. A magical artifact is rare and extraordinary, and the powers it grants are far beyond the limits of existing technology or human capabilities. Sometimes they grant wishes and the only limit is the imagination of the user; others might even have universe-altering powers. They are frequently used as plot devices to give the main characters something to fight over and drive the story forward.
Here are 25 of the most devastatingly powerful magical artifacts of all time. This ranking will mostly consist of fictional items. Mythological ones are included as well, but for the sake of fairness (and so we don’t have to choose between so many different fictional adaptations), we will exclude overtly religious artifacts such as the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, and others. Instead, this ranking will focus on fictional and folklore legends.
25 Hand of Midas
King Midas of Phrygia is remembered from the famous Greek myth of King Midas and the Golden Touch for being blessed (cursed) with the ability to turn everything he touched into gold. The Hand of Midas, an artifact that appeared in the Disney film Aladdin and the King of Thieves (pictured above), is based on that classical legend.
Taking the form of a solid gold hand on a bronze handle, the Hand could turn any object its golden section directly touched into solid gold, much like its namesake owner. It was shown to have this effect on statues, stone, clothing, inanimate objects and even living beings. It once sank a ship by touching its deck and making it too heavy to float and was responsible for the demise of the thief Sa’luk by transforming him into auric metal. It was called the “ultimate treasure” for its ability to give its owner virtually limitless wealth. Aladdin’s father, Cassim, spent much of his life searching for the Hand, before finally finding it on the Vanishing Isle.
24 Spice Melange
Referred to in Frank Herbert’s Dune simply as “the spice,” the drug melange was considered the most valuable and essential commodity in the Empire and often called the greatest treasure in the universe. It not only bestowed a greater lifespan upon its regular users, but also greater vitality, heightened awareness, and expanded consciousness. It was also known to unlock psychic and prescient abilities in some humans. This particular property was essential since the prescience given to the Spacing Guild Navigators by the spice made safe interstellar travel possible. Melange could not be synthesized or manufactured; it had to be mined on the desert planet Arrakis, also known as “Dune.”
Melange was a heavy, reddish-brown powder that resembled cinnamon, but was highly addictive. Withdrawal was fatal, and long-term users developed distinctive “blue within blue” eyes. The substance is central to the plot of Dune and at the center of all the political, economic, religious, and military intrigue in the story. Spice would shape the events of the Dune universe for thousands of years, from the era of Paul Muad’Dib to the reign of Leto II and beyond.
23 Chaos Emeralds
These reoccurring multicolored gems from the Sonic the Hedgehog series have been around for several millennia and the Master Emerald has been around since before recorded time. While no one knows where they came from, one thing is certain - the Chaos Emeralds possess remarkable power. The seven ancient emeralds can greatly empower living beings, power machines, warp reality, including time and space, and activate Gaia Temples. They have also been shown as being able to destabilize the crust of a planet. Since Sonic Adventure, they have become one of the central focuses of the Sonic series.
The Chaos Emeralds are described as having enough power to let their controller rule the world. Each gem contains unlimited amounts of chaos energy, which is said to give life to all living things. Ancient civilizations such as that on West Side Island, the Babylonians and the Black Arms harnessed the Emerald’s power to great success. The South Island reportedly shifts along the sea due to the presence of the Emeralds. In the ancient past, when the West Side Island’s prosperity led to people wanting to use the Emeralds for evil, the Gods themselves had to intervene and seal them on the island. As well as this, they created the Master Emerald to balance their power.
22 Philosopher’s Stone
The Philosopher’s Stone is a legendary item with astonishing powers that is capable of turning base metals into gold. The stone also produced the elixir of life, which granted rejuvenation and immortality. For centuries in the Western world, it was the most sought-after substance in alchemy. Efforts to find the stone were called the “Magnum Opus,” or “Great Work.” In the view of alchemists, it contained the knowledge of creation and making the Philosopher’s Stone would bestow great power and enlightenment on the maker. Even though alchemy is now considered a medieval and proto-scientific forerunner to chemistry, the Philosopher’s Stone has been a plot element of innumerable work of art, including novels, films, comics, and video games, where it typically depicted as a literal stone rather than a substance.
Perhaps most famously, it was the central focus of J.K. Rowling’s book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (in the United States it was called the Sorcerer’s Stone), where Voldemort tries to steal the stone to restore himself to life. In this adaptation, the stone had the typical powers ascribed to the legendary stone, giving the user unlimited money and life span.
21 Thirteen Treasures of Rule
Gathering the lost Thirteen Treasures of Rule is the main goal of Ren and his crew in the tragically short-lived fantasy animated series The Pirates of Dark Water. In the series, the alien world of Mer is being consumed by Dark Water, a black ooze-like substance that appears to be partially sentient and consumes all that it touches. It was said that the Thirteen Treasures sealed the heart of Mer, and with their collective power the Treasures nourished the entire planet with a harmonious life force. They were embedded in a reef beneath the city of Octopon until they were scattered by an unknown power, and the planet began a slow degradation, which took the form of the Dark Water.
Anyone who possesses all thirteen treasures has the power to command the Dark Water, either to banish it from the world or to use it as a weapon to conquer it. Unfortunately, only seven of the treasures were ever found, since the series was canceled after two seasons and 21 episodes. Noy Jitat!
20 Dagger of Time
This dagger from the Prince of Persia franchise is much more than a simple knife; it’s one of the artifacts created by Kaileena, the Empress of Time, untold millennia ago. The Dagger was the only other object in existence besides the Hourglass capable of holding the Sands of Time. Whoever wields the Dagger has the power to slow down, freeze, and even reverse time itself, rectifying mistakes or leaving others helplessly frozen in time while the owner remains unaffected.
As a weapon it can be used as a traditional dagger when its time-altering powers are not in use; it is also the only known object that can kill and recapture Sand Creatures. The Dagger protects the wielder from the effects of the Sands of Time, and when it is used to alter events, only the owner of the Dagger of Time remains unaffected by the altered timeline and retains memory of the old one. If the owner of the blade steps into a large concentration of the Sands of Time, the Dagger has been known to give them visions of the future. Acting as the “key” with which to unlock the sands within the Hourglass of Time, the Dagger can also make its wielder immortal if they use it to harness the sands and then impale themselves with the blade.
19 The Black Cauldron
The Black Cauldron is a mystical artifact capable of creating “the Cauldron-Born,” an invincible army of deathless warriors that the wielder of the relic can use to conquer the world. It is featured in the little-known 1985 dark fantasy Disney film The Black Cauldron, a loose adaptation of Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain book series.
The Black Cauldron was completely indestructible - no weapon or magic was shown as able to destroy or harm it. Only its power could be broken under specific circumstances involving a willing sacrifice. The Cauldron itself is powered by dark magic and is inherently evil in of itself. It behaves almost like a living being at times, attempting to consume souls around it. The Cauldron-born warriors it spawned were immune to all conventional weapons. The Cauldron was of unknown origin, though in the source series of novels it was employed by Arawn Death-Lord to reanimate undead slaves.
18 Aladdin’s Lamp
Thanks to Disney’s famous 1992 movie adaptation, the Middle Eastern folktale of Aladdin and his magic lamp is now the best-known of the stories contained in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, also called Arabian Nights. The lamp has since become the iconic symbol of the classic fairy tale and all things Aladdin. On the surface, the magical artifact is an old, unremarkable oil lamp. But in all adaptations of the story, the lamp is home to a powerful genie capable of granting nearly any three wishes.
The lamp was hidden away for many years in a mysterious cave before being discovered by Aladdin. When wielded by the evil sorcerer in the original tale (Jafar in the Disney version), he is able to control powerful magics and move the entire palace to a new location. With the magic of the genie within the lamp, the three wishes are virtually unlimited.
17 The Deathly Hallows
The fabled Deathly Hallows are three legendary objects in the Harry Potter Universe. The artifacts were supposedly created by Death itself and given as gifts to each of the three brothers of the Peverell family after they defied Death by using magic to cross a dangerous river. The Hallows consist of the Elder Wand, the most powerful wand in the history of wizardkind, the Resurrection Stone, which can recall shades of the holder’s deceased loved ones, and the Cloak of Invisibility, which not only hid the wearer from view but allows them to go from place to place without Death being able to find them.
For most of the characters in Harry Potter, the Deathly Hallows were an old fairy tale. But in the seventh book of the series, Harry and the main cast learn they are not only real but have been shaping the entire events of the series. According to the legend, anyone who possessed all three Hallows would become “Master of Death.” The Elder Wand was the most powerful wand to ever exist; its wielder could cast spells more powerful than those typically allowed by magic. Made of elder wood with a core of Thestral hair, its master could not be defeated in a duel. The Resurrection stone could bring back the dead in a form not quite alive but much more substantial than a ghost, and the Cloak of Invisibility would not fade with age and would provide complete invisibility to the wearer.
16 The Master Sword
The Master Sword is a recurring item in The Legend of Zelda franchise, and one of the most iconic symbols of the series. Originally created as the Goddess Sword by the goddess Hylia, it was later forged into the Master Sword by Link using the three Sacred Flames across the Kingdom of Hyrule. The double-edged sword is imbued with the power to repel and vanquish evil. This power was bestowed by the sacred flames and augmented by the blessing of Zelda. The sword is shown to even be effective against villains wielding the Triforce.
In the games in which it appears, the Master Sword is usually the only weapon that can defeat Ganon. Infused with the powers of the gods, the Master Sword is frequently portrayed as having a will of its own, often choosing or accepting its master - a hero it has deemed worthy and pure enough of heart to wield it. Some theorize this is the consciousness of Fi, the spirit living within the sword. The Master Sword is capable of destroying magical barriers, breaking curses, repelling powerful dark magic, and imprison demons. The blade also acts as a key to the entrance of the Temple of Light and enables the portal to the Sacred Realm to be opened, leading to the Triforce. Finally, the sword enables time travel to some extent, as Link was able to travel backward and forwards through the seven years that he lost when he was kept in the Sacred Realm until he was old enough to become the wielder of the Master Sword.
15 The Death Note
The Death Note from the manga and anime series of the same name may appear to be a simple black notebook with white ruled pages at first, but it has a very simple (but deadly) concept behind it: any human whose name is written in the note dies. The demon or person who writes the victim’s name in the Death Note must know their face so that people with the same name are not affected, and can also specify a cause of death, or if they prefer, can leave it blank, in which case they will drop dead of a heart attack.
In fact, the Death Note series centers around high school student Light Yagami finding the supernatural artifact and soon goes mad with power, planning to “cleanse the world” of criminals and ruling over a new world as a god. Anyone who found the Death Note would have this power, which makes this simple notebook a terrifyingly powerful artifact.
14 The Elder Scrolls
The Elder Scrolls, or the Aedric Prophecies, are fragments of creation from outside time itself, described as pieces of the divine. They are the namesake of the Elder Scrolls series. The immensely powerful artifacts are of unknown origin (though likely Aedric), and their nature remains an incomprehensible mystery to most. The Scrolls themselves tell of future and past events, but this is just a small part of their power. The Elder Scrolls are completely enigmatic; they do not exist, and simultaneously have always existed. The actual number of scrolls is unknown because they do not exist in countable form. Once, after rumors that a Scroll had been stolen from the Imperial Library in the White-Gold Tower, the Imperial Librarian attempted to do an inventory of the Scrolls, but it proved impossible as the number and placement of the artifacts constantly fluctuated for no discernible reason.
The Scrolls are said to “pierce the veil,” giving glimpses of the flux of time itself. Though any person with prescient powers who is properly trained can read and interpret the contents of the Elder Scrolls with much practice, but this peering into the fabric of reality has a terrible price. With each new reading and foretelling, the reader will gain a greater understanding of the Scrolls, but will be struck with blindness for a greater period of time, eventually, inevitably, losing their vision permanently and are forever deprived of their ability to read the Scrolls.
Reading an Elder Scroll is exceedingly dangerous for most mortals. Reading them is described as “a mind-shattering glimpse into infinity.” Reading the Scrolls has four possible outcomes: those who have no training in the nature of the Scrolls will see nothing at all upon the parchment, or a mess of odd lettering at best. Subjects who have some understanding of the Scrolls are in the greatest danger: they are immediately struck completely and irrevocably blind. The third group, almost exclusively made up of younger members of the Cult of the Ancestor Moth, are disciplined enough to guard their minds while reading the Scrolls, often spending a decade in training before reading their first. Their vision fogs, but they are able to read mundane parts of the Scroll, though the knowledge they gain needs meditation and reflection to communicate what they saw. The fourth and final group, though there is a continuum between, are only of experienced monks of the Ancestor Moth. These monks obtain greater and more detailed knowledge than any other, but eventually there comes a day of Penultimate Reading where the Elder Scroll imparts the knowledge that their next reading will be their last. Upon the next reading, they are forever blinded, but retain their knowledge over a lifetime.
Jealousy, conflict, power struggles and war over valuable artifacts are a recurrent theme in all of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, whether it’s the Arkenstone or the dragon’s treasure, the One Ring, or the three Silmarils in Tolkien’s Silmarillion. In fact, although the Silmarillion also tells the story of the creation of Eä (the Universe), the reign of and the beginning of the races of Elves, Men, and Dwarves, the bulk of the book is a series of tragic interconnected tales of the saga of the three Jewels of Fëanor, also called the Silmarils.
The Silmarils are in many ways the opposite of the One Ring; instead of being altogether malevolent, they are hallowed jewels, holy artifacts blessed by the Valar and imbued with their goodness and godly power. Even centuries of possession by the evil Morgoth (the original Dark Lord and Sauron’s master) could not corrupt them. They were the most renowned of all the works of the Elves, created by Fëanor, son of Finwë from the light of the Two Trees of Valinor, Laurelin the Gold and Telperion the Silver, before the First Age.
Though their powers were nebulous in Tolkien’s description, the Silmarils were gemstones of pure power and divine radiance, capable of restoring the light of the Two Trees, a holy and pure light otherwise gone out in the world and were highly coveted by everyone. No mortal flesh, unclean hands, or evil could touch them. Their reflected light worked against Shelob and the Watchers, and they were able to burn the all-powerful Melkor. The gems induced the final war against Morgoth, which shaped the history and destiny of Middle-earth.
12 Sword of Omens
The legendary sword of the ThunderCats is a force to be reckoned with - it’s been shown with too many powers to list. For starters, the blade of the Lord of the ThunderCats itself is indestructible and can extend or retract, taking the form of a dagger or a full-length broadsword when at full power. The sword can easily cut through steel and stone, shoot blasts of energy capable of everything from stunning humanoids to blasting through titanium and solid rock, blast apart structures with explosive force, and even vaporize targets. The blade has even been shown to be able to repel the firepower of a starship.
The powers of the Sword of Omens come from the Eye of Thundera, the ruby-red stone embedded in its hilt, which is described as all-seeing, all-powerful, and even a living sentient being. The Eye exists in a symbiotic relationship with the sword. As the source of the ThunderCat’ power, broadcasting the Eye’s signal, which is an extension of the Eye itself, into the sky gives the ThunderCats a boost of power upon eye contact. The signal itself has been shown as able to burst through an entire planet, from the core to the surface, in a matter of seconds.
But wait! There’s more! It can even heal others and repel magic spells cast by Mumm-Ra, including trance, mind control, and curses. The blade can also manipulate the energy it emits to create force fields, heat or flames, and ice. The sword can levitate the fly to return to the wielder when verbally recalled, no matter the distance. The Sword of Omens was even able to hold together a planet’s core when the planet was tearing itself apart, saving New Thundera. Finally, there’s the iconic “Sight Beyond Sight,” which can see through walls, revealing impending danger or allies in trouble. Truly, the blade of the lord of the ThunderCats is one of the most powerful magical artifacts in all of fiction.
11 The Power Rings
Used by the seven Lantern Corps in the DC Universe, the power rings grant the wearer incredible powers. Depending on the skill and mindset of the wearer, a power ring can do almost anything one can imagine. In the DC Universe, the energies created by the emotions of sentient life correspond to wavelengths of color on the light spectrum, the most famous of which is the Green Lantern power ring, corresponding to the green energy of willpower. Power rings use pure energy supplied by a Power Battery and can manipulate the fundamental forces of the universe, including gravity, heat, light, radiation, and electromagnetic energies.
Power rings enabled Lanterns of the various light-based Corps to generate solid constructions of light limited only by their will and imagination. Some of the abilities of a power ring were energy projection, force fields, phasing, invisibility and light refraction, absorption of energy, flight, wormholes, time travel, cellular regeneration, universal translation, material alteration, and telepathic linking. The various power rings were strong enough to be considered some of the most powerful weapons in the known universe.
Few fictional grimoires are as well-known and culturally ubiquitous as the Necronomicon. The fictional book originated in the stories of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, and has since grown into an iconic part of the Cthulhu Mythos after other writers added onto Lovecraft’s original works. According to Lovecraft’s original description, the Necronomicon is a book of dark and twisted magic that contains accounts and the history of the Old Ones, as well as methods for how to summon them. It was written by Abdul Alhazred, the “Mad Arab poet of the Yemen” before his sudden death in 738 A.D. It was originally titled Al Azif, an Arabic word that Lovecraft said described the nocturnal sounds made by insects.
Despite frequent references to the grimoire in several of Lovecraft’s short stories, very few details are given as to its appearance and contents. The very act of studying the text of the Necronomicon is said to be dangerous, since anyone who reads it or attempts to master its arcane knowledge goes insane or meets a terrible, violent end. In The Dunwich Horror, Wilbur Whateley uses the “unabridged” version of the book at the library of Miskatonic University for a spell on the 751st page to attempt to summon the cosmic entity Yog-Sothoth. Though its powers and contents remain mysterious, the Necronomicon is a very dangerous and powerful book.
Probably no sword in history is more famous than Excalibur, the fabled blade of Arthurian legend. The sword has been a constant feature in numerous versions of the legend of King Arthur throughout the history of Western literature and folklore, including in English, French, Latin, Irish, and Welsh traditions. The most well-known of these is T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, from which we get most of what we call Arthurian legends, and which directly inspired adaptations like Disney’s The Sword in the Stone.
Though different versions of the sword have different origins, Excalibur is always portrayed as a sword with magical powers; whoever possessed it is the true divinely-ordained king of England the one true heir of Uther Pendragon. When Arthur first drew Excalibur in battle, his enemies were blinded by the blade, which shone as brightly as thirty torches. Excalibur is sentient and cannot be used for evil purposes. The sword’s scabbard also had mystical powers, preventing the wearer from death resulting from loss of blood. In some version, wearers of the scabbard were unable to be wounded at all. Excalibur itself was shown to be indestructible and inspired courage to all the knights who viewed it.
This hammer of Norse mythology is wielded by Thor, a god associated with thunder, lightning, and strength. Both Thor and Mjölnir have recently gained fame thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The classic Norse version of Mjölnir (which is a proto-Germanic phrase meaning “crusher” or “grinder”) is a large square-headed hammer is known as a fearsome weapon that can level mountains in a single blow. When wielded by Thor, Mjölnir never misses and can strike any target without fail. After the target is hit, the hammer always returns to Thor’s hand by itself. Thor can smite and throw as hard as he can, and loyal Mjölnir would always return to him. The hammer famously had the power to send out Thor’s lightning bolts. Thor is destined to use Mjölnir to kill Jörmungandr, the Midgard Serpent surrounding the circumference of the Earth, thus beginning the great battle of Ragnarök.
In the Marvel Universe, Mjölnir is forged from unbreakable Uru metal and charged with the Odinforce. Thor’s own essence flows through the war-hammer. It is capable of slaying immortals, controlling anti-matter, transmuting elements, summoning wind, rain, thunder, and lightning, and opening interdimensional portals. It flies at roughly the speed of sound, and only the most worthy and of moral integrity can lift it. Mjölnir is able to project powerful blasts of godly energy, creating force barriers, detect practically types of energy as well as absorb and redirect it, granting invisibility, and many other powers. The mighty hammer of Thor is easily one of the most powerful objects in the Marvel Universe.
7 The Dragon Balls
These Namekian wish orbs are the namesake of the Dragon Ball series in all its incarnations. The Dragon Balls are magical artifacts in the form of orange crystalline spheres with red stars that have the power to call forth the Eternal Dragon, Shenron, to grant any wish to those who manage to gather all seven of them.
While they can only be used once a year and are difficult to obtain and they are always scattered around their host planet, the Dragon Balls have the ability to grant almost any wish, a power which leads to many of the conflicts of the series, with the heroes frequently wanting to bring their slain comrades back to life and the villains seeking immortality or some other wish for personal gain. The spheres themselves are indestructible, and depending on the powers of their respective dragon and guardian, can sometimes revive people many times or even grant multiple wishes.
6 The One Ring
One Ring to rule them all - no other artifact in fantasy is more famous or recognizable. The central plot point of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth stories, the One Ring was forged by the Dark Lord Sauron in the fires of Mount Doom during the Second Age. Sauron tempted each of the free peoples of Middle-earth with the knowledge to craft rings of power, but he secretly created the One Ring that would let him control all the other lesser rings, including dominion over the wills of their users, and thereby rule all of Middle-earth. The One Ring is unique in fiction not only in having powers far more encompassing than most magical rings, but also in the fact that is inherently malevolent. In creating it, Sauron imbued the Ring with his own primordial evil and hunger for power. Since Sauron’s original scheme for the One Ring relied on the weakness and complacency of mortals, the Ring corrupted the thoughts of all in its vicinity, tempting men, Elves, Hobbits, and even Wizards were not immune to the tempting allures of the Ring, and the Ring slowly but surely corrupted its bearer’s original intent into malice.
The One Ring was completely impervious to damage. It could only be destroyed by throwing it into the volcanic fires of Mount Doom where it was originally forged. Normally the Ring appeared to be plain and featureless gold, but when exposed to heat the Elvish runes inscribed on the Ring (part of the original spell that created it) appeared in fiery letters on its inner and outer surface. A person wearing the Ring would turn invisible to normal beings and enter a shadowy world where they are visible to Sauron and Nazgûl, as well as any other beings able to perceive the non-physical world. Though it made the wearer’s vision more dim, it sharpened their other senses and even allowed them to read minds. It also greatly extended lifespan, though Gandalf noted not in the sense of “granting new life,” but that the wearer’s life merely “continued” until life became miserable and unbearable. Mortals who wore the Ring for extended periods were physically corrupted, eventually becoming Wraiths.
Because it was endowed with a great deal of Sauron’s power, the Ring had a malevolent sentience, and when separated from Sauron it strived to return to him as its one true master. It would make itself known to a wearer and abandon them when it best suited its needs; it even had the ability to change size, adapting to the finger size of its latest bearer, or even expanding in order to abandon its wearer at key moments. Since the only way one could destroy it is in Mordor, it was shown to corrupt its wearer so that they couldn’t muster the will to cast it into the fire once there, in essence tricking them into taking it back to the land of its master.
5 The Cosmic Cube
There are few items in the Marvel Universe that can compete with the Cosmic Cube. Known in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Tessaract, its original comic book counterpart is vastly more powerful. The semi-transparent geometric shape holds cosmic power and allows whoever wields it to reshape reality to their whims. The Cosmic Cube is shown to control matter and energy, and though it takes some practice to be used properly, a sentient user can make the cube grant any wish or thought they desire. The device drove M.O.D.O.K. insane and gave the Nazi supervillain Red Skull near-omnipotence. A man in a small fishing village who found the cube by chance was able to transform it into a thriving community merely by thinking it.
Cosmic Cubes are containment devices created by civilizations throughout history - most notably the Skrulls - to contain cosmic energy of great power from the dimension of the Beyonders. Unknown to almost everyone in the Marvel Universe, after a sufficient period of time, the energies contained in the Cosmic Cubes will become self-aware and evolve into a sentient being, though still retaining the cube’s powers. The resulting being will be imprinted with the personalities and beliefs of those who wielded the cube. As just one example, the Shaper of Worlds, a being made from the first of the Cosmic Cubes wielded by the megalomaniacal Skrull Emperor, came to maturity and destroyed two-thirds of the inhabited worlds in the galaxy. Now, that’s power.
4 The Heart of Lorkhan
Quite literally the heart of a trickster god, the Heart of Lorkhan is one of the most important pieces of lore in the Elder Scrolls Universe, and is central to the plot of Morrowind. Lorkhan was the spirit of Nirn, the deity of all mortals, the creator-trickster. Lorkhan has his heart taken from him by the other gods in fury over his creation of the mortal world. The heart was cast down onto Nirn, with the intention that it was never to be found. According to Tamrielic tradition, the Heart of Lorkhan “Is the heart of the world, for one was made to satisfy the other.”
The Dwemer found the magical stone underneath the Red Mountain, and their chief tonal engineer and magecrafter Kagrenac determined it was none other than the legendary Heart of Lorkhan, and constructed a series of tools to tap into its power. The Heart was used to power Anumidum, commonly called Numidium, a giant walking golem known as the “Brass God,” which was key to the Dwemer ascension, and which later brought down the mighty Aldmeri Dominion and allowed Tiber Septim to conquer all of Tamriel. Numidium is also supposedly related to the mysterious disappearance of the Dwemer race.
The Aedric artifact radiates pure power; when the wielder uses Kagrenac’s tools on the Heart, the powers it grants are virtually unlimited. It turned all three members of the Tribunal into the living gods of Morrowind for centuries and gave Dagoth Ur his immortality and devastating powers. The Heart can easily grant immortality, godhood, and even greater. The Heart itself is completely indestructible; only the enchantments that allow others to access its power can be broken.
Eventually, a reawakened Dagoth Ur tried to harness the powers of the Heart to use to power a new walking god, Akulakhan, another brass golem, which he would have used to drive “inferior and mongrel” races out of Morrowind and establish a theocracy based on the worship of the newborn Second Numidium, but his plans were stopped by the Nerevarine.
3 The Ultimate Nullifier
Despite its small size, the Ultimate Nullifier may be the greatest and most feared weapon in the Marvel Universe. On the surface, it’s little more than a small, metallic, hand-held device. It’s not particularly intimidating or stylish and it has no apparent functionality. But someone who possesses the Ultimate Nullifier can destroy anything - anything. The device can wipe entire realities out of existence, including entire timelines. It has been described as the only weapon in the universe to put fear into Galactus - when Reed Richards threatened him with the Nullifier, Galactus withdrew from Earth.
The Ultimate Nullifier has the ability to completely and utterly eliminate any target the wielder chooses, though if the user does not possess total control or their mind isn’t powerful enough, they will be destroyed in the process. In various adaptations, it has been portrayed as being of ancient and unknown origins, or as an aspect of Galactus himself. In the hands of a being with a powerful intellect, the weapon is so devastatingly powerful it violates the law of conservation of mass, and can eliminate and then paradoxically recreate an entire multiverse.
2 The Triforce
The sacred artifact known as the Triforce is the ultimate treasure of The Legend of Zelda series, and the most powerful object in the land of Hyrule. Each of the three magical golden triangles were created by the three Golden Goddesses - Din, the Goddess of Power, created the Triforce of Power (top), Nayru, the Goddess of Wisdom, created the Triforce of Wisdom (left), and Farore, the Goddess of Courage, created the Triforce of Courage (right). This creation took place after the creation of the land of Hyrule.
The Triforce has the power to grant any wish to whoever touches it. It exists in a different dimension than Hyrule called the Sacred Realm, or the “Golden Land,” which it molds to reflect the heart of its user. Residing in its sacred hidden realm, the Triforce was said to maintain peace and balance in Hyrule. However, the artifact was endlessly sought by evil forces, particularly Ganon, who sought after the limitless power they granted when brought together. The three artifacts of the Triforce have repeatedly shaped the world of Zelda and the lives of some of the most memorable characters in video game history.
1 Infinity Gauntlet
The Infinity Gauntlet is a cosmic artifact that grants its user complete mastery over each of the elements of existence corresponding to the six Infinity Gems found within it: time, space, reality, power, mind, and soul, respectively. When all six stones are placed within the gauntlet, it grants complete omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience to the wearer.
The Time Gem grants total control over time itself, including stopping, slowing, or speeding up the flow of time as well as time travel. The Space Gem allows limitless manipulation of space, teleportation, and the creation of wormholes. The Soul Gem gives the power to control souls both living and dead, as well as evolve and devolve beings’ physical and mental development. The Reality Gem gives the user the ability to bend the natural laws of the universe to their will. The Power Gem controls all the forces in the universe, and the Mind Gem gives unlimited psionic powers, telepathy, and telekinesis. Each of the six gems has enormous power by themselves, so you can understand when brought together they make the wearer like a god.
All the great powers and cosmic entities of the universe have fought to try and keep the gems from being brought together, but the results have been devastating when the Gauntlet has been used even for fleeting moments. During the Infinity Gauntlet series, the mad titan Thanos literally erased half of all the sentient life in the universe by a mere snap of his fingers. The Infinity Gauntlet, by its very definition, easily tops this list as the most powerful magical artifact of all time.
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