Arrow: 12 Of The Strongest Characters (And 11 So Bad They’re Useless)

CW’s Arrow has done a lot for the DC Comics fandom. It not only brought forth some of our most beloved characters in the comic book universe, but has even coined their own characters. Now on its seventh season, the show continues to introduce new characters, while continuing to build on the old, and with such a roster built up, there are a few that stand out just a bit more when it comes the fighting department.

When it comes to Arrow, the show pretty much thrives on its fight scenes. The story beginning with the hooded vigilante opened up a world of really strong characters that blew our minds when it came to fighting skill, weapons mastery, and overall ability to throw down in a fight. However, not everyone can be a fighter, evidently. As many skilled fighters as there are on the show, they’re just as many useless ones that have just gotten in the way.

For this list, we’re going to look at all the characters throughout the seven seasons of Arrow, to find out who are the mightiest, and who should just probably stay home when it comes down a fight. Seeing how Arrow is now a part of a shared universe, the characters must have originated from Arrow to be eligible for this list. Characters who were introduced on the show and later moved to another are still eligible.

So without further ado, here are 12 Of The Strongest Arrow Characters (And 11 So Bad They're Useless).

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Arrow - Prometheus holding sword
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23 Strong - Prometheus

Arrow - Prometheus holding sword

Nothing fuels a person to become one of the world’s deadliest assassins more than a quest for vengeance, and if you’re number one goal is to take out Oliver Queen, you had the best train mighty hard. Adrian did just that. He actually underwent four years of intense training by Talia al Ghul, daughter of the Dragon Head, Ra’s al Ghul.

Adrian has been able to overpower Oliver and a number of Team Arrow members a number of times and mimics many of his fighting moves. The ability to keep up and even outmaneuver Green Arrow at the peak of his career speaks volumes to Adrian’s skill, however, he also boasts the ability to tolerate being intoxicated and high levels of pain.

22 Useless - Felicity Smoak

Arrow The Demon Felicity Smoak Emily Bett RIckards

Sometimes the person in the chair should just stay as the person in the chair. The MIT graduate was heralded as a child prodigy when it came to her specialty in computers, and thanks to her extensive time behind a screen and not in the field, it would be safe to consider her a liability when it came to a combat situation.

She’s received some hand-to-hand combat lessons from John Diggle, but she’s still light years from being the least bit useful in a fight. Her spinal cord injury from a car accident actually renders her even more fragile than the average person. The neural chip in her back now makes her vulnerable to electromagnetic pulse.

21 Strong - Green Arrow


It may be a tad misleading to call this vigilante the Green Arrow, as his hand-to-hand skills as well as mastery with other weapons outside of a bow and arrow render him one of the most formidable combatants on the show.

Five years after being deserted on an island did this young billionaire icon some good. Oliver was not only able to achieve top physical condition during his on Lian Yu, but was able to master a range of martial arts and weaponry. He’s gone toe to toe with some of the highest ranked fighters in the multiverse, and has demonstrated a heightened sense of awareness, a tool that has allowed him to best metahumans or enhanced foes.

20 Useless - Tommy Merlyn

One would believe that the son of Malcolm Merlyn, Legion of Doom member and temporary leader of The League of Assassins, would follow in his father’s footsteps when it came to the martial arts. But, no. Not Tommy. Tommy was a representation of Oliver’s life before Lian Yu, meaning he fancied a much more lush lifestyle rather than one that entailed vigilantism or breaking bones.

In an effort to toughen him up and influence him to become more responsible, Malcolm cut Tommy off from his fortune and forced him to work. While this did little to develop any combat skills, this did teach Tommy to become less dependent on others. It could be argued that if he shared his father’s or Oliver’s special skills, he may have not met his demise so early.

19 Strong - Damien Darhk

You tend to pick up a few things when you’ve been alive for well over 200 years. Damien’s not only a man immense wisdom and experience, but he’s also a man of many resources. After coming into possession of water from the Lazarus Pit, the H.I.V.E. leader was able to live far beyond his years, amassing much more years of training and combat than what a regular man could hope to achieve.

Thanks to this, he’s one of the most formidable fighters that the multiverse has yet to meet, and his mastery of the dark arts only make him more of a threat. In obtaining the Khushu Idol, he was able to harness primordial energies; specifically, energies that come from death, destruction, and fear.

18 useless - Quentin Lance

Officers like Quentin are amazing assets when it comes to solving cases and picking up on good leads. Not so much when it comes down to taking down the bad guys. Veteran Police Detective Lance knows Star City like the back of his hand and there are not many things that he hasn’t encountered during his time on the force, but he’s also a cop that sticks to his guns. Not literally.

He’s in decent shape for a man his age, but still not too proficient of a fighter. He has also developed a heart condition that cripples him when he overexerts himself, so he often opts out of bouts that he knows may take a lot out of him.

17 Strong - Black Canary

Arrow Dinah Drake Black Canary Using Canary Cry Juliana Harkavy

If it’s one thing this character knows how to do is to make her presence known, and if you don’t see it, you sure as hell will hear it. Dinah Drake is an ex-Star City detective with a particular set of skills. These skills just so happen to reside in her vocal cords.

She’s a metahuman that has the ability to emit a high-frequency scream that comes from her voice. The scream has the capacity to launch heavy objects and full-grown men into the air, and can even eliminate a person by causing internal hemorrhaging. Aside from these skills, her time on the force has granted her great experience in martial arts and marksmanship. She can easily hold her own against men twice her size and well-seasoned fighters.

16 Useless - Mr. Terrific

Echo Kellum as Mr. Terrific

Don’t let his glasses and Apple store employee look fool you. Curtis is a bronze Olympic medalist, but joined Team Arrow as a tech support before he became the vigilante known as Mr. Terrific.

The former might have been his true calling though, as, without the support from his T-Spheres, he’s virtually pretty useless in battle. Those devices are better used for covert and infiltration purposes rather than weapons. He can be ranked as an amateur fighter at best, but that’s far from the skill level required to take down foes that Team Arrow come face to face with. Much like Felicity, Curtis is a much more useful asset behind a computer than he is in the field.

15 Strong - Nyssa al Ghul

You don’t become the daughter of the Demon head without properly learning how to decimate your enemies. The former member of the League of Assassins and daughter of Ra’s al Ghul learned swordsmanship at the age of eight and inherited most of her father’s talent in the martial arts.

Being trained in the art of assassination, her reflexes are nearly second to none, meaning she can often beat out opponents much more skilled than her by relying on her agility. This is also useful when she needs to clear a room of multiple foes. Her skills in the bow and arrow rival that of Oliver’s, but her main go-to weapon is a word, which he is also highly proficient with.

14 useless - Sebastian Blood

Sebastian Blood Arrow

Some characters allow you to underestimate their skills due to their bleak demeanor, and then there are some that employ intimidation to scare potential threats away. Brother Blood is the latter. By becoming Star City’s mayor, Sebastian Blood came into a host of resources that would allow him to assume complete control of the city. He would do this by not using any of his own personal skills and abilities, but that of Slade Wilson and his Mirakuru soldiers.

In Sebastian’s villain persona, Brother Blood, he would wear a skull mask that might imply he had skills or powers to be fearsome of, but he didn’t. He was perhaps decent with a gun, but even that couldn’t help stop his own demise.


Ray Palmer the Atom

Big man in a suit of armor, take away the suit and what are you? Well, let’s just be happy the guy’s on our side. Ray’s exoskeleton suit grants him a host of special abilities that allow him to contend with meta-humans, magic users, and those who have far more experience in combat.

His suit’s most iconic feature is his size alteration. Manipulating his size to insect levels or to that of a skyscraper allows him infinite possibilities on the battlefield. His strength and durability also largely increase when chooses to grow. While he’s no war-torn veteran when it comes to unarmed combat, he stays in great shape and possesses the intellect to be an expert tactician.


Arrow Anatoly Knyazev David Nykl

While the former Pakhan of the Solntsevskaya Bratva and a former KGB agent may have boasted being a pretty tough act in his day, it is only simply implied and not enforced at his current age. Anatoly has been a close ally to Oliver Queen since his time on Lian Yu, however, if it weren’t for Oliver’s skills and ingenuity, he may not have been able to escape alive.

The former agent’s skills strongly rely on his ability to form alliances and deceive his enemies. He’s no match for any experienced combatant in hand-to-hand combat and may only achieve the upper hand in battle due to his many years of field experience. He’s seen to be a lot quicker than many men his age, but this usually only aids in his ability to escape sticky situations.

11 Strong - Ra’s al Ghul

The undisputed leader of The League of Assassins has rightfully earned his title by achieving abilities that many considered close to mythical. His access to the Lazarus Pit has granted him the ability to live for centuries, in turn enabling him to refine his physical form and fighting ability for beyond that of an average man.

He’s easily overpowered some of the most skilled fighters in the multiverse and accomplished mind-bending stunts, such as catching a sword strike from Oliver or catching a knife thrown by Thea with one hand. Ra’s is a feared legend of a man, and for good reason. His first crime was performed on a grown man at the tender age of 11, which ultimately influenced his tenure in his field.


It would have been so awesome to find out that Oliver’s mother may have been hiding some secret alliance with The League of Assassins or some underground government organization, and developed some combat skills just like her son, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Moira opted to withhold secrets from her family, but only ones that would have made her responsible for the elimination of hundreds.

Oliver’s mother’s skills rely heavily on her skill to bargain and deceive, as she doesn’t carry the potential to defend herself. She has never exhibited the slightest aptitude to fight her own battles, something that may have come in handy when Slade took her life.

9 Strong - Sara Lance

Sara has worn many hats during her time on Arrow, and each of her roles has required her to kick some major tail. Her primary experience in combat began with the League of Assassins, where she underwent all the training that members of the League go through in two different decades.

Her natural talent enabled her to become one of the League’s most valuable assets. After her time as an assassin, she trained as a vigilante and adopted the Black Canary name before her inevitable White Canary title. She’s taken on enemies who have trained much longer than her and are twice her size with ease, and has demonstrated an unnaturally high level of tolerance to pain.

8 useless - Andy Diggle

Andy Diggle Arrow

Little brothers are often plagued with walking in their older sibling's footsteps. Absorbing their wisdom and inheriting many of their skills, so that they can one day surpass them. Andy wasn’t that brother. In fact, he may have taken more than a couple steps backward. Instead of staying on the straight and narrow like John Diggle, Andy pursued a life of crime before enlisting in the army, however, all his time in the military did almost nothing to develop his fighting ability.

Andy is a lot smaller than John, which doesn’t do him any favors. He’s failed to overpower his brother a number of times, despite John being far from one of the best combatants on the show. Due to his weak stature, he often has to resort to deception to get what he wants.


Deadshot May Be Returning to Arrow in Season 5

You don’t gain the title of the deadliest marksman in the world by not possessing a certain set of skills. Floyd Lawton was employed as a soldier before his career as an assassin, and later became a member of the Suicide Squad against his will.

Lawton’s codename Deadshot is derived from the fact that he never misses his target. While that may persuade some to believe that he’s nearly useless hand-to-hand, he’d be quick to correct you. He’s an expert combatant that has easily overpowered John Diggle and has developed a keen sense of awareness that allows him to be able to pick up people before even seeing them. His preference is to just shoot people. That’s all.

6 useless - Ted Grant

Ted Grant is a retired vigilante, and for good reason. Despite being a boxer for the better half of his life and the current owner of Wildcat Gym, he’s “debut” left a lot to be desired. As a crime fighter, Ted took the codename Wildcat and watched over the Glades, patrolling crime and keeping the city safe. He mastered martial arts and a wide variety of weapons, including brass knuckles and knives.

He later trained Laurel and aided in her becoming a vigilante herself, under the name, Black Canary. When it finally came time to break out of retirement, Ted failed horribly in his bout with Brickwell despite all of his former training. He also had more than a hard time-fighting Oliver, despite having much more experience in combat and vigilantism.


Malcolm Merlyn Arrow John Barrowman

Oh no, it’s the Green Arrow, he’s just wearing black! Don’t be one of the many to discount this character due to his similarities to Oliver’s, as he’s not only beat the Green Arrow a number of times, but has also demonstrated many times to be a more competent vigilante.

Malcolm is in incredible physical shape for a man his age, which is partly thanks to his extensive training with The League of Assassins. He’s demonstrated for superior feats of strength than Oliver has and boast over 20 years of combat experience with a multitude of different weapons. Despite his skills, Malcolm was certain that the one man he could never defeat was his former mentor, Ra's al Ghul.

4 useless - Count Vertigo

Count Vertigo Arrow

What’s your next option if you’re a villainous criminal that can’t fight? Poison your victims with your own supply. Count Vertigo is yet another gangster that didn’t think everything all the way through. With his influence in the streets, thanks to his highly addictive drug, Vertigo, Cecil was able to employ the use of hired help when it came to his protection.

However, when that help all but alludes him, it was just him and his syringes when it came to hand-to-hand combat. As you can imagine, he wasn’t very formidable at all. Oliver was able to quickly dispatch of him and even stab him with his own syringe, thereby ending his life.

3 Strong - Deathstroke

Deathstroke Arrow Season 2

Slade’s the kind of guy that has probably mastered at least three different forms of martial arts before he could even walk. An exaggeration? Sure, but there’s no exaggeration on the level of fighting ability Slade Wilson possesses. His extensive time as a military agent and a mercenary have granted him unlimited time experiencing high levels of combat.

He’s in peak physical condition for a man his age and employs multiple styles of martial arts in his fighting style, ranging from escrima, muay thai, karate, silat, and boxing. At the point in time when he injected himself with the Mirakuru serum, which enhanced not only his strength, speed, but his ability to heal, he was virtually unstoppable.

2 useless - Artemis

Imitation is often considered the best form of flattery, but this could probably be considered more along the lines of mockery. Evelyn took on the mantle of Black Canary following Laurel’s passing before she was recruited onto Team Arrow as Artemis.

As the new Canary, Evelyn may have taken Laurel’s Canary Cry device, but not much of her skills. She also adopted her use of the baton, before she graduated to using a bow and arrow. As Artemis did, she developed some basic fighting skills while training under Team Arrow, but she was still far from being qualified as an accomplished vigilante. Her skills relied strongly in her intellect and ability to deceive those close to her.


"No one cared who I was until I put on the rags…" This couldn’t have been farther from the truth when it comes to Rory. Former mechanic gone vigilante can easily be considered one of the most formidable opponents in the whole multiverse thanks to the mystical rags of Devarim he’s been bestowed with.

With these rags, he operated under the codename Ragman and gained insurmountable power due to his telepathic link with the rags. The rags not only grant him enhance strength, but also render him nearly impenetrable. So much so that he was able to absorb a nuclear blast while coming out unscathed, however, this did deactivate the powers of the rags afterward.


Do you agree or disagree with this list about Arrow characters? Let us know in the comments!

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