Although the Devil Fruits are the best-known objects in the lore of Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece series, the swords of One Piece are almost equally important due to the large number of excellent swordsmen in the series. The swordsmen of One Piece are among the best swordsmen in the world of manga and anime, as their skills far surpass those of a regular anime swordsman, but also due to the amazing techniques we’ve seen being used over the years. This article is going to be dedicated to these great fighters as we bring you a ranked list of the 20 best swordsmen in One Piece.
Being a gyojin, Kawamatsu is ten times stronger than a normal human, being even stronger underwater. Kawamatsu possesses superhuman strength and accuracy, being able to knock down one of the prison guards simply by shooting fish bones into his neck. When his sword was returned to him, he was able to take down multiple guards at once with ease. Kawamatsu’s resistance is also enormous, being him in full condition to fight even after thirteen years of unhealthy conditions.
He seems to possess resistance to poisons due to his anatomy, as he has been fed poisoned fish for a long time with no apparent drawbacks other than the “horrible taste” of these. Kawamatsu uses a personalized fighting style, the kappa style, which he specializes in a mix of his sword and sumo skills.
As the highest authority of the Guardians in the Whale Forest, Nekomamushi had all authority over the forest’s inhabitants. During the night he also became the highest authority within the entire Mokomo Dukedom. His combat skills are similar to his daytime counterpart and his former friend: Inuarashi. In fact, together they proved capable of overcoming one of Emperor Kaidou’s three most powerful subordinates; Jack. His mere presence is enough for Sanji to feel safe and leave his teammates under his protection and for a member of the Worst Generation to escape a battle with him despite his injuries.
As a samurai and as a member of the Nine Red Scabbards, Kikunojo is an extraordinarily skilled swordswoman. Her strength was recognized by Orochi himself. She was able to cut off Urashima’s ponytail fast enough for him to be unaware, and she easily defeated numerous Gifters, gaining Luffy’s recognition.
17. Ashura Doji
Ashura was one of the most powerful samurai in Wano Country, being able to hold a long battle with Kozuki Oden in his youth. In his duel with Jack, in addition to dealing him considerable injury, he was able to break one of his shotels. And people who witnessed the crash rated it high-level. He also had a brief confrontation with Inuarashi, who is one of the strongest swordsmen in the mink tribe. Ashura like other vassals of Oden managed to learn the style of two swords of Oden, which he used for the first time to attack Kaidou.
Along with Kawamatsu and Ashura Doji, Kin’emon considers Denjiro to have been one of Oden’s most powerful vassals, worth a hundred men in battle. Denjiro in particular is the most skilled swordsman of all the Red Scabbards, being shown to be able to parry an attack from a swordsman as skilled as Roronoa Zoro directed at the shogun with no apparent difficulty; as well as rivaling his two-sword style with a single sword.
He again demonstrated his skills by easily slicing off part of a giant Beasts Pirates ship with his katana. Denjiro like other vassals of Oden managed to learn the style of two swords of Oden, which he used for the first time to attack Kaidou.
His torso was able to fight off Brook, who finally runs away in fright. During his brief fight Kin’emon is seen using the two-sword style. After restoring his body, Kin’emon quickly demonstrates his sword skills, attacking Smiley around him by using a style he calls the Fire Fox Style. By attacking with his burning slashing power, he was able to clear the path of the slime and even cut through the subsequent explosion caused by the detonation after being powered up.
He also later showed that he is capable of cutting through iron, and slicing it. He was able to slice through the flames of Kaidou’s Bolo Breath and even make a clean cut on the Sea Emperor’s mouth. Kin’emon as well as some vassals of Kozuki Oden managed to learn the style of two swords from Oden, using it for the first time to attack Kaidou.
As the commander of the Fifth Division of the Whitebeard Pirates, Vista has authority over lower-ranking subordinates. Within the Vista gang itself, he was in charge of verifying first-hand the strength of the new members. He is a veteran with a lot of experience, as he was shown as a member of the Whitebeard Pirates from the days of Gol D. Roger.
Vista is a great swordsman, being recognized as one of the strongest two-sword style users in the world. Such is his strength that he can stand up to Dracule Mihawk to some extent. During Marineford, he was shown to possess great physical strength, as well as reflexes and fairly high speed.
He was able to repel an attack from Vice Admiral Lonz without difficulty. Another display of his strength is that during the Battle of Marineford, despite fighting individual members of the Sea Warlord and an Admiral, as well as numerous Marine officers, he did not sustain any significant injuries.
Due to his natural size, Kaidou possesses tremendous superhuman physical strength and is able to swing a huge steel mace with conspicuous ease and send an average-sized person flying with it. On one occasion he single-handedly sank nine huge prison ships.
Such is the strength that Kaidou possesses that he managed to split the heavens by colliding with Charlotte Linlin, in a manner equivalent to what happened with Edward Newgate and Shanks, two other Emperors of the Sea. Said combat with Big Mom lasted for at least one whole night, being able to withstand her blows and even hurt her. Twenty years ago his strength was great enough to knock out Kozuki Oden, a man who since his birth showed superhuman strength, and leave him severely injured.
12. Charlotte Linlin / Big Mom
Big Mom has tremendous superhuman physical strength, being able to scale buildings, throw punches with tremendous destructive power, or throw her homies with great force. During her rampage in Sweet Town, it was calculated that, shortly, she could even bring down her own mountain-sized castle if no one stopped her.
She was also able to break through the metal door to the treasure room that Brook had locked himself in with a single punch. Even while asleep, Big Mom smashed her bedroom floor with one swipe while she was trying to kill a fly. At just five years old, Linlin was strong enough to cause destruction and chaos in her home country and kill a gigantic bear instantly with a single slap. She was also able to immobilize a fish-man child in the orphanage she grew up in.
11. Trafalgar D. Law
Law is a fearsome pirate who, along with most of his crew, proved resistant to Rayleigh’s Haki as nearly everyone in the slave-selling hall passed out. He is also a good fighter. He is brave, as he allowed himself to attack several Marines at close range on the Sabaody Archipelago, despite being a long-range fighter.
While on the Sabaody Archipelago, the Kid Pirates and the Heart Pirates were attacked by a Pacifista. The end of the fight was not seen; however, the Heart Pirates reappeared during the Marineford arc, suggesting that they managed to defeat the Pacifista or at least escaped him. Trafalgar Law proves to be a very skilled and opportunistic leader.
Despite being a former Supernovae and a talented pirate captain, Law is considered one of the most powerful pirates of his generation and he is also the only one to have remained in the second half of Grand Line, for at least least a few months, rather than venture into the New World, as he is being cautious.
After the two-year time skip, Law has become so powerful and infamous that even the G-5 Marines, renowned for their cruelty, are deeply afraid of him. Before he became a Warlord of the Sea by bringing one hundred pirate hearts to the World Government, Law had acquired a higher bounty than Luffy, another proof of his power.
He was able to defeat Vice Admiral Smoker, who is the possessor of a Logia-type Devil Fruit, without seriously injuring him. It is also said that in Caesar and Law’s bargain that Law is more powerful than Caesar. Moreover, he was able to overcome Vergo, a very powerful fighter, and was even able to counter the attack of a Navy Admiral (Issho).
10. Issho / Fujitora
As Admiral of the Marines, Issho has complete authority over all soldiers below him and has the ability to summon a Buster Call in any territory he sees fit, as well as remove any Sea Warlord from office. In accordance with his position, his leadership capacity is superlative, as could be seen during the events that occurred in Dressrosa.
As an admiral, Issho is considered one of the three most powerful individual fighters—four counting the current admiral of the fleet—in the Government and the Marines. His level is such that Sakazuki trusted him to eliminate Monkey D. Luffy and Trafalgar D. Water Law, two pirates of exceptional prestige and level.
According to Doflamingo, he and Ryokugyu are considered two “monsters” in terms of strength. Alongside Sengoku and Tsuru, he was able to defeat Jack, one of Emperor Kaidou’s three most prominent lieutenants. One of the greatest testaments to the admiral’s exceptional level of combat is that he was able to fight Sabo, the Revolutionary Army’s chief of staff and second-in-command, and come out virtually unscathed. He was also able to vastly outmaneuver Luffy towards the end of the Dressrosa arc, though Luffy did not use his more advanced techniques.
9. Silvers Rayleigh
Rayleigh is able to use Haki at a high level. He has mastered the three different types of Haki and taught them to Luffy at some level during the ellipse. The spiritual power of the Fluid can be focused by the more experienced and Rayleigh is able to render a specific target completely unconscious without direct eye contact or harming anyone near the initial target.
Rayleigh also countered an attack from a Navy Admiral, the user of a Logia-type Devil Fruit, Kizaru. He also taught it to Luffy. He also appears to have extensive mastery of this Haki allowing him to use it as a remote wall, projecting what appears to be a shock wave, and he also masters, an even more advanced level of this process by destroying from within items like Camie’s explosive necklace.
Rayleigh was able to stop the trunk blows of a huge terrifying elephant and can sense the presence of all the creatures on an entire island, and indicate their exact number as well as their degree of power as he showed during Luffy’s training.
8. 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.
7. Gol D. Roger
Gol D. Roger, better known as Gold Roger, was the previous and only Pirate Lord and the former owner of the legendary treasure, the One Piece. Roger was the captain of The Pirates Roger Pirates, the only crew to have reached the end of the Grand Line and have the islands of Lodestar and Laugh Tale.
He was also the father of Portgas D. Ace, a child he had with Portgas D. Rouge. He was executed over 20 years ago in Loguetown, his hometown. Roger can use and has shown proficiency in two types of Haki.
Roger is able to use the Haki of Armament to a very high level, which is visible when he attacks Whitebeard by imbuing his saber with this Haki. Roger is able to use the Haki of Kings, as shown when he unleashed a huge Shard of Haki of Kings when he and Whitebeard clash.
6. Kozuki Oden
As daimyo of Kuri, Oden had great power and influence over the region before his death. Being a former division commander of the Whitebeard Pirates, and a former member of the Roger Pirates, Oden was regarded as a tremendously powerful pirate who was highly respected and well-liked by both crews.
His influence even extends to the mink tribesmen in Zou, with the leaders Inuarashi and Nekomamushi as members of the Nine Red Scabbards. Also, the rest of the mink tribe have shown enough respect and loyalty towards the Kozuki family that they were all willing to die rather than allow one of Oden’s vassals to be captured even long after Oden was dead.
5. Roronoa Zoro
Zoro is an exceptional swordsman who didn’t wait to be in the Straw Hat Pirates to build a solid reputation. He is indeed, at the beginning of the series, the famous Pirate Hunter of East Blue, already feared and respected. To quote Supernova crew members on The Sabaody Archipelago, he’s not the kind of person to be under someone’s orders. To quote the Water 7 and Zambai workers, he has the strength to be a captain.
Zoro is a follower of a style of kendô that he himself created and baptized Santoryû. Few people misunderstand his abilities, because, unlike Luffy or Sanji, he inspires fear from the start with his cold air and his hard gaze and is, according to Ryuma the zombie samurai, like a wild beast. Brook qualifies him alongside Ryuma as having Power of Destruction.
Zoro, who is undeniably one of the most powerful characters revealed so far, owes his strength to his training and willpower alone, while the other big names in the series generally rely on a Devil Fruit. He even received a proposal to be part of Baroque Works which he refused.
Shanks is the first Emperor to appear in history and the Great Pirate Leader of the Red. He is a man of medium height with a scar on his left eye, missing left arm, and red hair, which is why he is nicknamed “the Red”. He is carefree, friendly, respectful, and devoted to his friends; the only thing he does not tolerate is that one is disrespectful or threatened with the latter.
The author stated that in delineating the calm and cold personality of Shanks he would have been inspired by himself. He is the first character to reveal the use of Haki, with which he proves capable of even damaging the surrounding environment, and is also known for his great swordsman skills, such as allowing him to face Dracule Mihawk on equal terms, his good friend and rival.
2. Dracule Mihawk
Drakul Mihawk, nicknamed “Hawkeye” due to his intimidating gaze, is universally believed to be the best swordsman in the world. He is a lean-bodied man with a thin beard and mustache; temperamentally he is solitary, taciturn, with an austere and proud bearing and a strong sense of honor.
His weapon is a gigantic black sword, called the Black Sword, belonging to the category of the supreme Wazamono, the best in the world: with it, he can deflect bullets and cut entire galleons into two parts, as he did with the fifty ships of the Creek fleet.
Although he belongs to the Fleet, he does not seem to care much about the problems of the world government, so much so that he abandoned Marineford after the arrival of Shanks stating that he had agreed to face Whitebeard but not Red-Hair: in fact, when young, the two were bitter rivals in the art of sword and the battles between the two are considered memorable.
1. Shimotsuki Ryuma
Ryuma was a very skilled swordsman. In life, his sword skills were reminiscent of the typical Japanese sword style. His sword techniques were so great that he was able to cut through bronze. Due to this, he was recognized as the strongest swordsman of his time. Also because of this, Ryuma was called, especially by those he saved, the King, the swordsman who possessed the greatest “Warrior’s Soul” in the world.
As a zombie possessing Brook’s shadow, Ryuma is able to perform all of Brook’s techniques. However, Ryuma has a much more powerful body, so the effects of his techniques are amplified to a higher level. The difference between the two is enough for Ryuma to defeat Brook with only a fraction of his full strength. In addition to Brook’s typical techniques, Ryuma has the “power of destruction”, a product of his superhuman strength.
Due to this immense power, he can cut things from a distance (such as Zoro with his 36 pound cannon), cut an entire building in half, and destroy the enemy’s sword in a few hits, all things that Brook cannot do. As Brook warned, the battle between two users of the “power of destruction” like Zoro and Ryuma always ends quickly.