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Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) has the power of reality warping through chaos magic. https://marvelcinematicuniverse.fandom.com/wiki/Scarlet_Witch

We've seen her warping reality in WandaVision:

to create Westview, a new Vision and her kids.

After the events in WandaVision, she becomes more powerful and more aware of her powers/abilities; and studies the Darkhold as well.

In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, she uses her reality warping powers again:

to change the appearance of her farm when Doctor Strange comes to talk to her and to incapacitate and/or kill some of the Illuminati members.

Why does she bother using brute force and psionic energy blasts if she can easily warp reality and get over with it, or incapacitate others easily? (in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, as she becomes more aware of and has control over her reality warping powers at this point. She is also more powerful/knowledgeable by studying the Darkhold.)

Is there an in-universe explanation beside the cinematic effect/decision?

For example, does it take a toll on her to use the reality warping powers? Does she have some capacity and does she need to consume energy etc.? Do some Marvel characters have immunity to reality warping (like other magic users, Captain Marvel etc. based on her fights)? The question is based on MCU, however there can be some hints from the comics as well.

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    It's easy to assume that her powers might do something to "reality", like the Reality Stone does (they're both red and glowy!), but it's worth remembering that Wanda's powers are a combination of some inherited magical ability, and Hydra's experiments on her with the Mind Stone, not the Reality Stone. So I don't think they've been specifically limited beyond "magic", any more than Doctor Strange's powers have, in the MCU. May 16, 2022 at 13:43
  • I couldn't find a line that "reality warping" is used but Agatha Harkness says this in WandaVision: "“Your children. And Vision, and this whole little life you’ve made. This is chaos magic, Wanda, and that makes you the Scarlet Witch.” Reality warping is a power part of chaos magic, we know that Scarlet Witch can warp the reality. We see that she alters reality by reimagining a whole town and people in it in WandaVision. We see that she did in the farm in DS2 also. What she did to Black Bolt's mouth and Mr. Fantastic's body is reality warping also. It is reshaping the matter.
    – ermanen
    May 16, 2022 at 14:41
  • @ermanen “Reality warping is a power part of chaos magic” — again, without something in the MCU to establish this, we’re just making things up here. But I saw the movie again and found a line to support your premise: when Wanda approaches Kamar-Taj, Wong says she’s capable of “rewriting reality at will”. That’s still a pretty loose description, but I guess you’re asking for a more specific definition of the limits of that power, so fair enough. May 18, 2022 at 21:31
  • The discussion here has grown a tad long now so I've moved it to chat. You're welcome to carry on discussing it there if you want!
    – TheLethalCarrot
    May 19, 2022 at 7:57
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    I'm not sure how to expand this into a full answer, but just before beginning her attack on Kamar-Taj (which involves very little reality-warping until Dr. Strange gets involved), Wanda tells them, "This is me being reasonable". Presumably, if she was being unreasonable, she would just warp them out of reality.
    – F1Krazy
    Jul 14, 2022 at 12:27

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Not sure if this answers your question or not, but in an interview with CinemaBlend, Elizabeth Olsen indicated that Wanda's powers were restricted while she was dreamwalking in the body of her universe 838 counterpart. The idea seems to be that she was limited to the power level of the alternate Wanda, who hadn't yet realised her full potential, the way universe 616 Wanda did in WandaVision.

CINEMABLEND: I do need to ask about Scarlet Witch's showdown with the Illuminati, because these are characters that audiences have been waiting to see in the MCU, on the big screen, for a long time, and you tear through 'em like tissue paper! So what was that experience like for you; what was it like holding onto the secret?

ELIZABETH OLSEN: Well, there was one point where I was like: "You guys are making this too hard for her." I didn't think it was easy enough. But we decided that the limitation is that she's not in her body. She is in a less-oiled version of her body, so it's not capable of doing as much as our universe's Wanda could do, because it's more about using the body like a bad car or something.

Elizabeth Olsen 'Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness' Spoiler Interview

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  • Thank you for finding this! I never thought that dreamwalking could limit her powers because of the body she is using. It looks like there can be logical in-universe answers.
    – ermanen
    May 17, 2022 at 8:12
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    Even Elizabeth Olsen thought in the same way as me. "You guys are making this too hard for her." :) There are, of course, fights outside dreamwalking also but she was fighting other magic users so there can be some other limitations in those cases as well.
    – ermanen
    May 17, 2022 at 8:46
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    and fighting the other herself too.
    – Oni
    May 18, 2022 at 15:54

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