Doctor Strange

Stephen Strange was a brilliant surgeon until a car accident forced him on a journey of self-discovery, leading him to become Master of the Mystic Arts.

Who Is Doctor Strange?

Who Are Doctor Strange?

When Doctor Stephen Strange came onto the scene in Strange Tales, back in 1963, the comic found an audience among college kids who found the art style, subject matter and language a trippy alternative to the other comics in Marvel's line.

And why wouldn't they? Every issue of Doctor Strange featured pages of astral projection, a barrage of colorful mystical effects, and enchanting dialogue like "by the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!". In other words, LSD activated!

Since then, he has solidly been in the Marvel back bench – a well loved but niche character with his own stories, allies, enemies and fans. He gained a much wider audience, however, when he was thrust into the MCU. Being portrayed by the stalward Benedict Cumberbatch didn't hurt either.

I'll admit that I was one of the late coming – or even bandwagon – fans of Doctor Strange. It wasn't until his first movie that I started paying attention, and went back into the 60's catalog to see what I had been missing.

The first movie remains among the top in the franchise for me. And the MCU's handling of "magic" is one of the overall reasons I was attracted to the universe. Grounded, yet infinitely powerful. They really thread the needle.

But how to we build him in Pathfinder?

Keys to the Character

eye of agamotto

Look Me In The Eye

As Sorcerer Supreme, Stephen Strange is tasked with protecting the Eye of Agamotto – an extremely powerful artifact that grants control over time.

doctor strange hand movements


Doctor Strange is a classic caster, utilizing components in his spell casting. Most notable are the somatic components – hand gestures that look cool too.

cloak of levitation

More Than An Accessory

The Sorcerer Supreme has a mastery over all kinds of spells, but often it is his many artifacts that come in the clutch. His flying, sentient cloak is a classic example.

mystic arts

The Wizard of Bleeker Street

The hallowed Sanctum Sanctorum, one of the global headquarters of the Mystic Arts, is nestled away in Greenwhich Village. "Hey, I'm castin' here!"

Building Doctor Strange

Because of the wide and ever-growing list of spells in Pathfinder 2e, magic users have an incredible amount of tools to fit many situations in a satisfying way – especially if they take on a more support role.

Doctor Strange, in his role as Master of the Mystic Arts and Sorcerer Supreme, fits this model exactly. He is driven by knowledge, dedicated to mastering the many arcane spells lost to time and nearly forgotten by the tradition. In pursuit of this mastery, he has learned a spell for every problem, obstacle or task that is required of him.

But there are a few things that are extra important to hit, mostly from his MCU depiction. Chronomancy – power over time – is a key one, stemming from his ownership and use of the Eye of Agamotto. Shields, specifically those nifty orange symbol shields, are another. Astral projection, one of the key recurring elements from his early days, is a definite nice to have. And finally, of course, portals. On your left.

Oh, and he's an accomplished surgeon.

On the tabletop, Doctor Strange's primary objective is using his incredible spell list to protect his allies and hinder his enemies. Both of these tasks take many forms: shields and magical armor appear out of thin air, bolstering his allies from attacks. Tethers fly out of the ground, pulling his enemies down. Intense environmental hazards spring up with ease, creating obstacles that damage and slow attackers.

Outside of combat, Doctor Strange's portal mastery can get the team to the right place they need to be. Plus, his surgical background leaves him poised to use medicine on his allies when magic has reached it's limits.


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  • Dope voguer
  • On-call medical advice
  • Has a spell for every situation
  • Focused on support over damage
  • Wants a ton of magic items
  • Kind of a dick


Human Half-Elf

Half-Elf does a lot of heavy lifting on the flavor of this build. We usually go with Elf for the more magical-focused builds, but the Human Natural Ambition and Multitalented are too attractive to the great Stephen Strange.

Half-Elf gives us the best of both worlds. We take some elfish, arcane feats down the line – and some human ambition at level 1 and 9.





Natural Ambition

For Eschew Materials. So Stephen can focus more on those awesome hand gestures and ignore some of the lamer, annoying spellcasting materials.


Ancestral Suspicion

Going up against Mordo and Dormammu has left Doctor Strange wary of gettng mind controlled. That's a good thing for earth.


Multitalented: Investigator Dedication

We don't go deeper into this line, but the first step adds a lot to Stephen's thirst for knowledge.



All that cloak-based flying has made him pretty good at it.


Magic Rider

Portal power! Cue that Alan Silvestri theme!



This feels like our Tardif build in its supreme obviousness. Is there any other background for the Master of the Mystic arts?

No, is the answer. This nifty background gives Stephen his requisite Intelligence boost, training in Arcana and the Arcane Sense feat. In other words, setting up a little wizard man in one fell swoop.


Abjuration Wizard

Okay, this is going to be a debate.

Obvioulsy Doctor Strange is the sorcerer supreme. We at Pop Culture Pathfinder do not deny that. And on some levels, a Sorcerer build for the good doctor works just fine.

But in the world of Pathfinder, Stephen Strange's power over magic is much less of the "spontaneous spellcaster" variety and much closer to the "prepared spellcaster". Especially when learning new spells and adding them to his spellbook comes into play. The guy is literally always trying to learn more spells! That's his whole thing!

Alongside the Wizard class, we take the Time Mage dedication to put a bit more focus on the Eye of Agamotto wearing MCU version of Strange. With a lot of the WIzard's overall power coming from its spellbook, rather than its feats, we can take a few in this line to expand his chronomancy without losing anything really important to the class.

Finally, to highlight Doctor Strange's ever-present hunt for knowledge, we pick up the Investigator dedication with Multitalented. This is purely for flavor, but can come in handy out of combat.





Eschew Materials

From Natural Ambition. More hand gestures! Fewer weird materials!


Reach Spell

From Metamagical Experimentation. Open a mini portal to increase a spell's range.



With such a vast knowledge of spells, Strange knows how to stop them too.


Linked Focus

Once per day, use the bonded item to gain a focus point. Especially useful once Strange gains some of those Time Mage feats.


Time Mage Dediication

Otherwise known as "Eye of Agamotto aquisition".


Advanced School Spell

A nifty reaction to absorb some elemental damage when recieving a hit.


What Could Have Been

Alter a summoning spell to bring a variant of Strange – like that evil one from the sequel who talked slower.


Quickend Casting

Once per day, reduce the number of actions a spell costs by 1. Fast cast mast-er!


Superior Bond

Gain an extra use of the bonded item once per day. Cast forever.


Purge of Moments

Remove persistent effects by advanding time 5 rounds.


Second Chance Spell

Did Strange miss? Just rewind time and pick a new target.


Echoing Spell

Briefly spin the time gem to cast a spell a second time.

Skills & General Feats

We would need to be a Rogue or Investigator to get as skilled as Strange is in as many things, but we'll try to make it work. Most important, of course, is Occultism. That is, in our case, the Mystic Arts.

He also needs to be highly skilled in Medicine – but, after his car accident, no longer legendary. As difficult for him as that is to accept.

Legendary: Arcana, Occultism

Master: Medicine

Expert: Society





Trick Magic Item

Make sure Strange can use all those artifacts he finds (or borrows from the Sanctum).


Prescient Planner

Pull an item out of a portal to Strange's stash.


Magical Shorthand

Learn those spells easier and faster by studying in astral form.


Specialty Crafting

Books in this case, in the event that Strange wants to make his own version of the Darkhold or something.


Prescient Consumable

Open a portal back to Strange's fridge or pantry.


Battle Medicine

Strange doesn't just cast spells, he's a doctor after all.


Bizarre Magic

Doctor Strange's hand movements are so unique it is difficult to recognize what he's about to do. Although he does have a tendency to announce them.


Incredible Investiture

Absolutely vital for the Master of the Mystic Arts and all of their artifacts.



Even when he is just using an item, Strange makes it look good.


Paragon Battle Medicine

Who is better than Strange in a medic situation? Maybe someone who didn't have their hands damaged in a wreck.


Unified Theory

Strange's mastery of the Arcane and Occult makes him fairly knowledgable in Religion and Nature too.


Advanced First Aid

The doctor is in!.


Automatic Writing

Use the Astral Plane to receive (and write) knowledge down.


Disturbing Knowledge

Out of spell slots? Just freak everyone out with a story of the elder gods.


Robust Recovery

Make it much easier to treat disease and poison. Too bad Strange's mood is so toxic.

Attribute Increases

Level Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
1 10 14 10 18 14 12
5 10 16 12 19 14 14
10 10 18 14 20 14 16
15 10 19 16 21 16 16
20 10 20 18 22 16 18


Suggested Starting Equipment

Doctor Strange's Signature Items

Key Spells






That nifty orange shield of symbols all the sorcerers use. Man it looks good.



Doctor Strange is super into doing everything the magic way.


Phase Bolt

A nice little cover-avoiding spell attack to fall back on.


Grim Tendrils

Get them with those Crimson Bands of Cyttorak.


Magic Missile

Set this heightened to every level and start blastin'


Animated Assault

Use everything not bolted down to attack enemies in an area, then keep doing it.


Mirror's Misfortune

Create an illusory Doctor Strange to fool attackers.


Black Tentacles

Lvel up those Crimson Bands of Cyttorak.



On your left?


Project Image

Astral project to a new location. Strange can cast spells from there or his corporeal body.


Proliferating Eyes

Did you see the Multiverse of Madness mid credits scene?


Time Stop

"Dormammu, I've come to bargain."


Doctor Strange Resources