The Four Emperors (Yonkō) in One Piece are the four most notable and powerful pirate captains in the world with great military strength. They are not usually allies and they are not strictly enemies of each other either. Rather, the four prefer to go it alone most of the time. They all reside in the second half of the Grand Line (known as the New World) and wield impressive influence and control over other pirate crews and autonomous islands. They constitute one of the Three Great Powers. Although there are only four Emperors at one point, there have been seven Emperors in total and in this article, we are going to rank them by strength.
7. Buggy the Clown
Although not as powerful as other former Roger Pirates, Buggy is a very capable fighter, he was strong enough to survive all the battles against Whitebeard’s crew and the extreme dangers of the Grand Line. His arrogance and greed are what encourage him to continue fighting and taking every opportunity to build a good reputation.
While he was a major opponent at the beginning of the series, he became less of a threat when more powerful enemies showed up. Lastly, in the Impel Down Saga, various prisoners like the Baroque Works agents or Jinbe commented on his incredible weakness. However, he is still capable of surviving the ordeals that even the most powerful people cannot (albeit with help).
Buggy has very high toughness, as he survived the blast of a Muggy Bullet redirected at him, with hardly any resulting injuries (although his Devil Fruit might have helped him somewhat), while a Muggy Bullet seriously damaged the Minotaurus, one of the Demon Guards at Impel Down.
6. Charlotte Linlin / Big Mom
Through his strength and influence, Linlin has managed to gather a very powerful crew made up of allies of international relevance, such as Capone Bege, a member of the worst generation, or Jinbe, a former Warlord of the Sea. She also has considerable influence within the Underworld, having significant ties to some of her emperors or members of Germa 66.
Those who marry her children automatically become members of her crew. She is known for being able to destroy entire countries for candy, even intimidating her own subordinates, such as Pekoms and Tamago, who expressed great fear when speaking to her in irritation. In fact, the vast majority of her subordinates and children have been shown to fear her mother. Ironically, this fear makes Big Mom more powerful due to the nature of her Devil Fruit powers.
Big Mom has enormous influence in the New World, keeping a large number of territories under her protection similar to Edward Newgate. Her influence in her world allows her to gather information about people who are of interest to her based on threats and demands. It is said that even demons would attend her tea parties if invited. It is unknown if she still has the same influence or if she still holds the same territories after being defeated.
Prior to the conflict at Marineford, Kaidō tried to take Whitebeard’s life, something few would dare to do, though he eventually confronted Shanks. When Gecko Moria was at his best, Kaidō fought him and emerged victorious, laying waste to his entire crew in the process. The Five Elders mentioned that Kaidō is one of the few people capable of stopping Blackbeard. Trafalgar Law stated that Kaidō could easily assassinate Donquixote Doflamingo, a world-famous and extremely powerful pirate.
Law also speculated that even with an alliance with the Straw Hats, his chances of overthrowing the Emperor were reduced to 30%. This statement may, however, be questionable, as at that time Law was not raising an open and real conflict with Kaidō. The Emperor was able to defeat another member of “The Worst Generation”: Eustass Kid with apparent ease. and refused to take Luffy and Law’s alliance seriously regardless of his achievements, taking the defeat of a Sea Warrior as minor and of no real importance to him.
4. Monkey D. Luffy
Being the hero of the manga, he has often demonstrated that he can break rocks with his fists and even break sword blades with his teeth. Luffy has proven that in addition to physical strength, he has sheer determination, willpower, and stamina on many occasions. One of them is having climbed the 5,000-meter-high Drum Rockies with an ailing Nami on her back and a passed-out Sanji in his mouth, coatless in freezing temperatures.
Not to mention the times he endured having a hundred shadows inserted into him on Thriller Bark when an ordinary man even trained could only endure three or five. He also survived Emporio Ivankov’s hormone healing treatment, which is already a feat in itself, but he came out of it in 20 hours instead of two days, which, according to Ivankov, reflects the greatness of his will and his determination.
After the timeskip, Luffy is shown to be immune to poison since his fight against Magellan. Luffy doesn’t seem to practice any martial arts like Zoro and Sanji do. He fights with all the parts of his body as he sees fit (For example: When he bit Rob Lucci, or even spat water on Crocodile).
His style is improvisational and quite unpredictable, making him able to surprise his enemies as he did against Crocodile by altering his use of the Gomu Gomu no Pistol. He will not hesitate, in a fight against Marines without values, of course, to use one of them as a human shield. Luffy has a thinking ability during a fight which is quite surprising considering he is supposed to be very dumb, at least his general demeanor shows that.
3. Marshall D. Teach / Blackbeard
Blackbeard is a powerful man even before he possessed his Devil Fruit abilities. Indeed, he managed to injure Shanks, one of the Four Emperors, leaving him with three scars on the face at the level of the left eye. He is also endowed with great physical resistance, as he held on after taking several point-blank attacks from a Logia-like Ace.
Blackbeard considers himself “The Most Powerful Man on Earth” after gaining the power of the Gura Gura no Mi. He ate the Yami Yami no Mi, a Logia-type Devil Fruit. This fruit allows becoming, mastering darkness, and absorbing anything the user wishes. It is a very powerful fruit that allows you to cancel the power of another Devil Fruit, a bit like Sea Granite.
He can lure any Devil Fruit possessor with a vortex, allowing him to hit them even if the enemy fruit is a Logia type. We therefore understand why Shanks, one of the Four Emperors, came to see Whitebeard to tell him that Ace should not go looking for Blackbeard. After the events of Impel Down, Blackbeard goes to Marine Ford and finishes off Whitebeard, already badly injured.
After killing Whitebeard, he hides himself and Whitebeard’s body under a sheet. He emerges with the power of tremor, making him the holder of two Devil Fruit powers, a fact that was described as impossible. How he went about stealing it is still unknown, nor do we know how Teach can handle these two powers. According to Marco, this is due to a particular and abnormal structure of his body.
Shanks’ true abilities remain unknown, as he has yet to be seen seriously engaged in battle. However, as a member of the Four Emperors of the New World, his raw physical power is believed to be immense, and he is known to be one of the four most powerful pirates in the world. Shanks did not fear Whitebeard, the strongest man in the world, and even had enough strength to oppose him, while some pirate captains trembled at the mere mention of the latter’s name.
According to Buggy, Shanks was a powerful fighter at a young age, and if he hadn’t been “naive”, Buggy would have taken him on his crew. As a member of the Four Emperors, Shanks is not only a key figure in piracy but also one of the most feared in the New World: his mere name exudes great power, as Buggy himself has proven; his assertion that he previously had a “brotherly bond” with Shanks was one of the many things that earned him the respect of ex-convicts at Impel Down.
Shanks is powerful enough to end the war in Marineford with just words; when he said there should be no more fighting, no one stood up to challenge him. When Shanks offered Blackbeard a fight, the latter declined and decided to leave, as it was too soon for him and his crew to fight Shanks.
Furthermore, when Shanks demanded that the dignity of Whitebeard and Portgas D. Ace not be violated following their deaths, Sengoku himself also decided to end the war and took responsibility for it, showing that despite his rank as a pirate, Shanks is highly respected by Sengoku. Another testament to his influence: he managed to land a special interview with the Council of Five Elders, despite his status; it nevertheless shows that he knows how to distinguish himself among his peers as someone who is reasoned and cooperative.
1. Edward Newgate / Whitebeard
He was the captain of the Whitebeard Pirates, one of the most powerful crews to ever exist. He was the only pirate able to fight on equal terms with the Pirate King, Gol D. Roger. This individual power is reinforced by the fact that Kaidō, who is known as “the Mightiest Creature”, thinks that Whitebeard would be one of the few people capable of facing him in combat.
As stated, Newgate was, along with Shanks, Kaidō, and Big Mom; one of The Four Emperors: the four most powerful pirates who dominate the second half of the Grand Line, yet he was the strongest of the four. Newgate’s reputation was so great that his simple declaration of Fish-Man Island as his territory was enough to keep slave traders and pirates away from the place, making Edward Newgate far more effective than the treaty signed with the World Government two hundred years ago.
Newgate controlled a massive pirate fleet (like Don Krieg) made up of 1,600 pirates, divided into sixteen divisions, each led by an incredibly powerful division commander. He was so powerful and feared that the Navy was rallying all of his troops, including the highest command, to fight him and his fleet. Another testament to his incredible power is the fact that the Seven Warlords of the Sea had also been called upon to aid in the fight.