We all know that Roronoa Zoro is one of the most powerful One Piece characters. As one of the protagonists of the series, Zoro has demonstrated some fascinating skills over the years and has fought (and defeated) some of the most powerful villains. In that aspect, Zoro is a character who is seemingly in the top tier among the One Piece characters. But how strong is Zoro really? And who can he defeat? In this article, we are going to answer this question.
The article is going to be divided into three major sections. The first one is going to be an overview of Zoro’s skills without his swords; the second one will detail his powers and abilities after the time skip, while the third one is going to be a short comparison of Zoro’s powers and abilities to the powers and abilities of other characters, divided into several subsections. These are not going to be detailed analyses, just brief comments so you can understand Zoro’s position in the One Piece lore.
How strong is Zoro without his swords?
Zoro is one of the physically strongest characters in the series. He showed his strength when he was fighting Daz Bones. He easily lifted a building despite the injuries he had. He is seen training on the Thousand Sunny with ton-weight dumbbells. His strength is surely equal to or greater than that of a giant since he was able to parry a direct hit from Oars with his sword.
Zoro has also shown to be very agile and fast. An example of this is that in the Whiskey Peak arc he faced off against a large number of Baroque Works agents, slipping into their ranks so quickly that they were unaware of him until he spoke. This is not one of the qualities that are most taken into account in characters of this style, but Zoro shows great resistance on several occasions, such as when he fights Hatchan (Arlong Park) after previously receiving Mihawk’s thrust in the Baratie.
But undoubtedly, the greatest show of resistance on the part of this swordsman is after the Thriller Bark saga, when Kuma appears to take Luffy, and Zoro asks him to take him instead, to which Kuma, thanks to the With his Devil Fruit ability, he takes all the pain out of Luffy’s body and offers it to Zoro to show that he is willing to even die for his captain. Evidently, Zoro ends up destroyed, meaning Sanji, Brook, and Robin are the only ones who manage to find out what happened.
Zoro is capable of using all three types of Haki. Zoro has specialized in the Busoshoku Haki, with which he has shown great mastery. Zoro has shown that he can use the basics of this type of Haki to detect the presence of others. When Luffy, while on Fishman Island, asked him if he sensed anything, he and Sanji stated that they could discern Caribou’s presence in Ryuugu Palace, an indication of this type of Haki. In the anime, Zoro also used Kenbunshoku Haki to discern Pica’s position within his stone colossus.
Zoro specialized in terms of Haki. After two years of training, Zoro is able to use this type of Haki. It is already known that in Punk Hazard, during the battle against Monet in the “Cookie room” of Caesar Clown’s Laboratory, Zoro yells at Nami, Chopper, and Robin that they take care of the children (referring to the children who Clown had kidnapped for his experiments), as he himself would be facing off against Monet, whose Devil Fruit is a Logia-type.
Zoro demonstrates a high level of Busoshoku Haki by cutting Pica, an executive of the Donquixote family, and having a higher level since he had no problem cutting Pica, who was fighting with his entire body covered in this Haki. During his time as a ronin in Wano, Zoro demonstrated that he was capable of imbuing weapons with Busoshoku Haki other than his usual swords, such as a tanto and a scythe. Zoro’s control over this type of Haki also allowed him to dominate Enma, whose ability absorbs its user’s Haki to release it in excess in attacks.
When Enma tried to absorb all the Haki from him, Zoro quickly managed to get it back, something that, according to Hitetsu, if he was a normal swordsman, he would have had no chance and would have collapsed instantly. In his fight against Kaidou, he decided to use all his remaining forces to try to defeat the Emperor with his attack Asura bakkei: mojano tawamure. An attack that Kaidou detected by the swordsman Haoshoku Haki. Zoro seemed to use it unconsciously since he didn’t know what he meant.
During his match with King and attempting to stabilize Enma’s usage, Zoro decided to release as much Haki as he could, causing it to activate, knocking out rank-and-file members of the Beasts Pirates and covering their katanas with it in the process. In the anime, Zoro unconsciously uses it when he gets angry with several members of the Beasts Pirates upon hearing that they had stolen the sake from Okobore town, leaving several of them unconscious. These events were anime-only, so they are not necessarily part of the One Piece canon.
How strong is Zoro in Wano Country?
As far as Zoro’s power in Wano Country is concerned, it is actually the level of power he achieved after the timeskip; namely, Zoro did not obtain any specific upgrades in Wano Country, which is why his post-timeskip upgrades can be considered here. This is why we are going to tell you what happened with Zoro after the time skip. After the time skip, Zoro greatly increased his strength. Proof of this is that he was able to defeat a Pacifista with a single attack when before the time skip, he and all his companions joined forces to defeat just one. He was able to cut a pirate ship with a single cut. He was also capable of defeating and severely injuring Hody Jones, a Fishman with physical strength above average for his race, when he was underwater and with several Energy Steroids consumed.
One of his greatest feats was defeating Pica in his gigantic form without a scratch, though he had to rely on Orlumbus to gain mobility and momentum. But the best testimonial to his increased strength is being able to injure Kaidou to the point that he himself congratulates him since that injury would leave a scar, which is a feat that only Kozuki Oden managed to accomplish.
After the time skip Zoro also increased his resistance. In his fight against the New Fishman Pirates, he defeated thousands of Fishman with ease, including Hyouzou, one of the crew’s officers, and was unscathed without showing any signs of exhaustion. In Dressrosa, he withstood the gravity that Fujitora threw at him, remained conscious, and managed to land a long-range attack. Upon defeating Pica, he showed no fatigue and had enough energy to try to stop the Torikago.
How powerful is Roronoa Zoro compared to other One Piece characters?
In this section, we will compare Roronoa Zoro to some prominent One Piece characters. These are going to be brief comparisons whose main goal is to give you a general idea of his powers and abilities.
Zoro vs. Monkey D. Luffy
We’ve made many of these comparisons already, but as we’ve promised, we’ll give you a short overview of some of the most interesting ones. Of course, the duel between Luffy and Zoro would be one of the most interesting ones, but Zoro wouldn’t stand a chance here. He was unable to defeat Luffy when the latter was significantly weaker. Now that Luffy has unlocked the true potential of his Devil Fruit and Gear 5, there is absolutely no chance that Zoro could defeat him in a duel.
Zoro vs. Sanji
Now, this is an interesting one as Sanji and Zoro are both close friends and occasional enemies since they tend to quarrel a lot, but it’s never serious. Still, regardless of Sanji’s extraordinary powers and abilities, he would lose in a fight against Zoro. Zoro is one of the most powerful characters in the whole series – and all of that without any specific superhuman abilities – and Sanji simply cannot match that. Zoro wouldn’t have an easy job to do, but ultimately, he would be able to defeat Sanji were the two to ever fight.
Zoro vs. other Straw Hat Pirates
As far as other members of Luffy’s crew are concerned, Zoro would have a great chance against Usopp, Tony Tony Chopper, and Nami, as he could defeat them easily. Nico Robin would be a tougher opponent, and from this perspective, we couldn’t really determine a winner, especially since Nico Robin is quite powerful. As for Franky and Brook, the situation is quite similar, but we think that Zoro might be able to come out on top in these duels. Jinbe, on the other hand, is quite tough, and we think that this match-up would end with a stalemate.
Zoro vs. the Seven Warlords of the Sea
Now, this is a very diverse group, and before we actually say anything, we have to immediately exclude Jinbe, Buggy, Blackbeard, and Mihawk since they have either been analyzed or will be analyzed in different sections. As for the others, Zoro has really reached such a level that he would definitely be able to defeat Weevil, Kuma, and Moria. Donquixote Doflamingo remains a mystery, but we’re leaning more towards a no here and in the case of Sir Crocodile. Boa Hancock remains a complete mystery due to her Devil Fruit powers, whereas we’re quite certain that Law, with all of his skills and powers, would be able to defeat Zoro in a direct confrontation.
Zoro vs. the Marines
While Zoro would definitely be able to defeat all the regular members of the Marines, the Vice Admirals and all the higher ranks might pose a problem for him. As for the current Vice Admirals, only Garp would be somewhat of a challenge for Zoro, but the swordsman might even be able to surpass him in battle. The Admirals are a bit tougher, as well as Fleet Admiral Akainu, and we think that Zoro still hasn’t reached their level of power, although he is quite close, and each of these match-ups would be a very close call.
Zoro vs. the Yonko
Excluding Luffy, who is a current Yonko, Zoro wouldn’t have a great time with any of the current or former Yonko, save for – perhaps – Buggy the Clown, who is a very sucky character but seems to be quite lucky. As far as Shanks is concerned, there is no denying that Shanks is much stronger than Zoro, and he is also, at this moment, a better swordsman than him. Shanks is one of the most powerful characters in the whole franchise and would easily defeat Zoro.
The same goes for the former Yonko Whitebeard, who would wipe the floor with Zoro, but also Blackbeard, who, despite all of his shortcomings, is still much stronger than Luffy’s swordsman. As for Big Mom and Kaidou, Zoro has come quite close to their levels but would still lose even to them because he could simply not match their combined powers.
Zoro vs. Mihawk
We’ve kept the biggest and most important rivalry for last since Dracule Mihawk is the character that Zoro wants to surpass and defeat. But, at this point in the plot, Dracule Mihawk is still stronger than Zoro and would defeat him in a fight (like he has in the beginning). While Zoro has definitely become better since their first clash, Mihawk is still the best swordsman in the world of One Piece, and regardless of Zoro’s improvement, Mihawk is still the stronger of the two.