The Naruto series has created plenty of memorable characters, ranging from heroes to villains. In the span of over 700 chapters, Naruto has introduced some of the coolest antagonists in the series, sometimes showcasing techniques that are far better than the ones used by our heroes.
With so many abilities and types of ninjutsu, Naruto's villains can be as strong-- or stronger-- than the protagonists. Every villain in Naruto has a unique power, which is one of the many reasons why Naruto is a unique Shonen series.
Masashi Kishimoto spent a lot of time developing villains so that they could contribute to the plot. After all, for every hero, there's bound to be an iconic antagonist who challenges them. However, with so many antagonists it begs the question: who is the strongest?
Most of the villains in Naruto are somewhat reformed by the end of the series, and their evildoing ways are long over. We can't help but wonder, if there was a fighting tournament, who would take the title as the most powerful villain.
With Boruto making its way for the new generation of fans, we've decided to look at the Naruto villains who influenced the first series. To clarify, we're ranking villains from the first Naruto series, and not the antagonists from Boruto or filler antagonists. Also, the ranking is from the least to most powerful shinobis based on powers and intelligence. In addition, most of the villains here started out as antagonists, so Sasuke Uchiha isn't on here.
Here are the 20 Most Powerful Naruto Villains, Ranked From Weakest To Strongest.
20 Team Dosu
Team Dosu consists of Orochimaru’s Otogakure members who participated in the Chunin exams. Orochimaru originally wanted them to fight against Sasuke, a potential host for his next reincarnation.
However, Team Dosu outlived their usefulness and Dosu Kinuta, in the end, was killed by Gaara. Orochimaru would later use him and another member to resurrect the First and Second Hokage.
Team Dosu isn’t as strong as the other villains but its members do show some aptitude in combat. Dosu can manipulate sound waves. His right arm contains a Resonating Echo Speaker, allowing him to draw and use sound waves to destroy his opponents' ears or send vibrations within his opponent’s body.
Zaku uses air pressure to his advantage. He defeated a few Takigakure shinobi before the Chunin exams. Meanwhile, Kin Tsuchi can combine Shadow clone and Senbon technique to confuse heropponents while simultaneously using needles to attack her opponent’s vital areas.
With their combined strength, Team Dosu was powerful enough to take down a few average shinobis.
Haku proved to be a worthy adversary in the early arcs of Naruto before Sasuke and Naruto unlocked their ultimate moves. Exiled from the Land of Water, Haku trained under Zabuza Momochi, one of the Seven Great Swordsmen, learning basic water ninjutsu techniques and mastering his latent powers.
At a young age, Haku was a natural shinobi. Zabuza even admitted that Haku would eventually surpass him. His Demonic Mirroring Ice Crystals conjure multiple ice mirrors that surrounds his opponents, allowing Haku to move faster than his regular speed and overwhelm his opponents with attacks from all sides. Ninjas without Sharingan are thus unable to escape his attacks. On top of that, Haku’s normal speed is unmatched.
By shinobi standards, Haku is strong enough to subdue multiple ninjas at the same time. His ice and wind chakra can create deadly attacks, while providing defensive measures, such as his ice dome that shielded him from explosive tags.
Haku is a powerful foe and could have been higher on the list. However, given his untimely demise, most of his potential was cut short.
Right when the Naruto world was still developing, Zabuza was the first major villain who Naruto faced. Zabuza was called the Demon of the Mist. He was another one of the Seven Great Swordsmen.
When Naruto had to face against Zabuza, the swordsman overpowered Team Seven and even Kakashi had trouble defeating him despite the fact that Zabuza lost both of his arms in the fight.
At a young age, Zabuza killed over one hundred trainees at the Academy. Zabuza displayed water techniques ranging from Water Prison Technique to Hiding in Mist Technique– blinding opponents so he could go in for the silent kill.
His Silent Killing Technique is his signature attack and the reason why regular ninjas chose never to face him on an even playing field. As a veteran from the Anbu, Zabuza has demonstrated powerful attacks. Were he still at his prime age and not handicapped, he probably would have been a powerful shinobi, arguably better than many antagonists in the list.
Following Zabuza’s death, there’s another shinobi that took up his mantle as the Second Demon incarnation. Suigetsu has proven himself to be a natural prodigy at a young age, even able to fight Sasuke during the Shippuden arc.
Additionally, Suigetsu had no trouble facing Killer B in his Eight-Beast Form. He was able to deflect Killer B’s attacks, and his taijutsu form could bulldoze through a ninja army.
Suigetsu’s power lies in water ninjutsu combined with kenjutsu. As a major fan of the legendary swords, Suigetsu can identify powerful sword masters and blades.
Still young, Suigetsu is able to fight Darui with a broken Kubikiribocho. His clan’s water techniques allow him to increase his arms’ strength, making it possible for him to carry heavy swords. With his water skills, he can create water clones.
During the Fourth Shinobi War, Suigetsu used falling raindrops to conduct a reconnaissance. He’s not the strongest villain, though, since he’s still training. Given a few more years, he could undoubtedly surpass the Demon of the Mist.
Black and White Zetsu are agents working for Princess Kaguya and thus, accordingly, should be high on the list. However, compared to the other villains, Zetsu plays a passive role. However, don't underestimate him-- Zetsu is proven to be a powerful enemy despite his limited battles.
White Zetsu is capable of emulating ninja attacks as a substitute, and his copy attacks can confuse an entire ninja army, forcing his opponents to turn on one another.
He was created out of Madara Uchiha from Hashirama’s Cells, giving him unlimited healing powers. He doesn’t require sustenance, but he’s capable of swallowing corpses of fallen comrades or opponents like a venus fly trap.
Black Zetsu’s powers are similar to White Zetsu, as both are copies. However, Black Zetsu's power lies with Kaguya. He can manipulate opponents and even control other beings, particularly Indra reincarnations. Under Kaguya, he can recreate bones and portals.
Zetsu may not be the most powerful villain, but he’s able to deter even the greatest warriors.
Deidara is an unstoppable foe. Pain admitted that Deidara’s death was a major blow on the Akatsuki’s ranks. He possesses a unique ninjutsu known as the Explosion Release Kekkei Genkai, which combines earth and lightning chakra natures to create explosive clay.
He has special mouths on his palms and chest that are capable of creating this technique. Deidara also mastered Shadow Clone technique. Combined with his clay molding, Deidara can create multiple clones that can explode in front of his opponents. His greatest attack, CO, allows him to consume explosive clay to the create his “ultimate art.”
The sand villagers, including Gaara, didn't stand a chance against Deidara’s explosive power. This makes sense since sand creates clay, so it’s a no-brainer that Deidara was able to take them down easily. His explosive techniques and long-range attacks make him a formidable villain.
Hidan and Kakuzu are shown together despite their tenuous "zombie" relationship-- Kakuzu tried killing Hidan, but because Hidan is immortal, this wasn’t possible.
Aside from their banter, they do work well together as a team. Because Hidan cannot die, he’s able to withstand high-level ninjutsu attacks, which is a perfect way for Kakuzu to practice his new moves and for Hidan to train to counter his opponents' attacks.
Hidan wields a Triple-Bladed Scythe that draws blood from his opponents, which is required for his signature Jashin Ritual Curse attack. This allows him to inflict pain on his opponent if he's attacking. Ultimately, Asuma would fall to this curse.
Although he doesn’t have Hashirama's healing cells, he can regenerate at a fast pace, making him especially hard to defeat in combat. In fact, he’s able to heal from Shikamaru’s explosive tags technique within days. He and Kakuzu even manage to defeat the two-tailed beast.
Kakuzu faced Hashirama Senju in battle and lived, despite the odds stacked against him. He proved to be a worthy adversary. Kakuzu could intercept Kakashi’s Lightning Cutter, harden his skin with Earth Release: Earth Spear Technique to withstand Choji’s fatal punches, and unleash his signature technique-- Earth Grudge Fear.
Among the Akatsuki, Kakuzu is the most defiant-- he is unruly and refuses to work with a partner. In fact, he often kills his partners and steals their hearts.
Hidan is the first partner to keep up with Kakuzu. Part of this is because Hidan is incapable of dying. Kakuzu can obtain other peoples' powers through their hearts. With their hearts, Kakuzu can obtain their elemental ninjutsu and add it to his collection.
The masks on his back can unleash the different elemental attacks, which correspond to the respective elemental mask. For example, a water mask would unleash water-based ninjutsu.
Kisame is definitely someone you wouldn’t want to mess with. He has massive chakra-reserves, similar to Naruto, as well as an ungodly strength strong enough to battle a team of shinobis.
Because of his physical prowess, he’s given the title “The Tailed Beast Without a Tail.” Not even a holding cell can stop this powerful Akatsuki member. He mostly uses brute strength to subdue his opponents, but he also uses Water Prison Shark Dance Technique to drown his opponents.
He defeated his former master and won his master’s sword, Samehada, which allows Kisame to fuse with it and obtain chakra that Samehada saps from its opponents.
Compared to other ninjas, Kisame can fight Killer B easily and overpower Guy Sensei and Asuma. Even Killer B’s Lightning Release: Laria couldn’t stop Kisame, and this technique is powerful enough to destroy an opponent’s ribcage. If Samehada didn’t side with Killer B because of his high chakra levels, then Kisame probably would have defeated Killer B.
Sasori’s puppet techniques surpassed Chiyo and other puppet masters. He was even able to manipulate humans as his personal puppet. Through his puppets, he was able to decimate foes during the Third Shinobi War and was given the nickname “Sasori of the Red Sand.”
Sasori was recruited as an S-ranking member of the Akatsuki. Even Deidara admitted that he couldn’t defeat Sasori. By the time Sasori faced Sakura and Chiyo, he had over 254 human puppets at his disposal, including the Third Kazekage.
He can control 100 puppets at once with invisible chakra threads, and, depending on what human puppet he controls, he can even use their techniques to a certain extent.
After he obtained the Third Kazekage, Sasori could use the Kage’s Magnet Release. In addition, he also created a puppet of himself, which showed him in his teenage years.
Sasori’s unique puppet abilities make him almost indestructible.
On the surface, Konan doesn't appears very powerful. After all, her signature attacks are related to paper folding, which doesn't seem as strong as the abilities of other shinobi.
However, Konan’s paper ability is actually a lot stronger than the average ninjutsu. Over time, her Dance of the Shikigami became resistant to oil, fire, and water. With it, she was able to defeat Sasori’s puppets.
She can also turn herself into paper, which makes it easier for her travel. Because she’s able to morph paper into environments that are embedded with explosion tags, her opponents can walk into a trap without noticing.
Obito had the chance to fall for her signature Paper Person of God Technique attack. She split the imitated Lake Amegakure in half, pulling Obito down into a bed of 6 hundred billion hidden explosives.
Obito managed to escape because of his Izanagi technique, but it took an incredible strain on him. She’s one of the few shinobi who almost killed Obito.
Danzo caused 99.9% of Konoha’s problems, which would have been solved if someone had dared to challenge him. Although the Akatsuki could probably beat him, we’re giving Danzo a high ranking since he’s an extremely talented manipulator.
He used Itachi to kill the Uchiha clan, which would conveniently displace his opponents. Danzo even conspired with Hanzo to end the original Akatsuki, which gave birth to Pain. He also ordered Yamato to steal Kakashi’s Sharingan for personal gain and tried to kill Shisui.
He has a collection of Sharingans on his arm, which are fused with Hashirama's cells in case he needs a spare eye. Although he was defeated by Sasuke, Danzo put up a good fight despite his age.
His Kotoamatsukami can manipulate other people’s thoughts without them realizing it. Danzo can use former Uchiha and powerful ninjutsu from former ninjas for self-preservation, as well as for standard ninjutsu, natural transformations, etc.
Coupled with Uchiha’s forbidden technique, Izanagi, Danzo can pretty much take down any opponent.
Hiruzen believed that Orochimaru would become his successor and possibly the next Hokage, but he was gravely mistaken. Orochimaru has proven to be a gifted shinobi, but his motives are always for self-gain.
Regarded as the one of the legendary Sannin, Orochimaru founded many scientific breakthroughs, such as Cursed Seal techniques and Impure Resurrection Technique (Edo Tensei). He’s the first scientists to research Hashirama’s DNA, hoping to understand Hashirama’s rapid healing techniques. In addition, Living Corpse Reincarnation allows him to transfer his soul to another host, allowing him to live forever.
He’s recognized for his wide range of ninja research, but Orochimaru also excels as a fighter. He is strong enough to kill the Third Hokage. Orochimaru can summon Manda, his giant snake, and most of his ninjutsu are related to the amphibians.
His most powerful attack, the Eight Branches Techniques, summons eight giant snakes that are much larger than Mandra. His five elemental seal can close a ninja’s chakra and curse seals to paralyze his opponents.
Couple with his endless amount of research, Orochimaru can always find a way to stop his opponents.
We couldn’t forget Nagato’s Six Paths of Pain and his sad history with Jiraiya. Like many antagonists, Nagato was an orphan. However, even at a young age he had an immense amount of power, which Jiraiya saw. Jiraiya thus decided to teach the Nagato, Yahiko, and Konan basic ninjutsu.
Nagato would inherit the Rinnegan from Madara, which gave him enough power to master other techniques. He’s therefore able to stop the Nine-Tailed Beast and Eight-Tailed Beast’s power with ease and perform high-level techniques without having to exhaust his chakra supplies. It’s stated that Nagato never lost a single battle until he faced Naruto.
As Pain, he can utilize other characters as part of the Six Paths of Pain, each having a specialty. Each corpse is an extension of Nagato’s powers and is a highly capable warrior. With six of them, Pain is unbeatable.
It took the Itachi, Killer B, and Naruto to subdue Nagato, giving Naruto the window of opportunity to talk to and thus defeat Nagato.
Though he began as Orochimaru's disciple, Kabuto has moved past Orochimaru's teachings. Under Orochimaru, Kabuto rose from a regular Konoha ninja to become a brillian researcher. He perfected Edo Tensei, something that Orochimaru and Tobirama Senju (Edo Tensei’s creator) couldn’t have achieved.
Much like his master, Kabuto harnesses snake techniques, visibly altering his skin into reptilian scales. In exchange, his skin modifications gives him more chakra reserves, thus giving him an advantage over other shinobi.
In addition, he also alters his body in order to obtain other ninja techniques. For example, Kabuto obtained Suigetsu’s hydration technique, which allows him to escape by turning himself into the water. He can also reproduce Karin’s self-healing technique.
His DNA implants give Kabuto many new powers. His skills are comparable to Kakashi and are strong enough to defeat Tsunade. Even Sasuke and Itachi had trouble fighting Kabuto as a team.
With an infinite supply of knowledge and science at his disposal, Kabuto has proven to be a powerful adversary.
5 Uchiha Itachi
Itachi Uchiha transformed from a villain into an anti-hero after fans learned his true story. The fact that he was able to massacre every Uchiha member in Konoha easily solidifies his position as one of Uchiha’s most powerful warriors.
Itachi is a prodigy. He’s the youngest to pass the Chunin exams, graduating at the age of 11. Danzo even offered him an Anbu position after his graduation. He rose up a captain and embarked on missions that no ordinary ninja could do.
Despite his growing illness, Itachi is still strong enough to defeat his opponents. His Genjutsu is even strong enough to disable Kakashi for a moment. He can use his Sharingan techniques, such as Mangekyo, but they are unable to endure long battles.
To make up for his limited supply, Itachi can control his chakra with precision and directly attack with the exact amount of power without having to waste his efforts. Each attack that he makes is measured.
If his opponent is reckless, then Itachi will use this to his advantage and defeat them within minutes.
4 Indra Otsutsuki
While we don’t see much of Indra in the main series, we do know a few things about the grandson of Kaguya and why he’s one of the most powerful villains.
At a young age, Indra was a prodigy, inheriting most of Hagoromo Otsutsuki’s powers and mastering all known ninshu’s techniques. Because of his powers, the clansmen, including his father, initially thought that Indra would inherit his father’s teachings.
Of course, the Sage of Six Paths would choose his younger brother. Thus Indra followed a darker path, thanks to the influence of Black Zetsu, to learn better ninja techniques, while continuing his long quest to destroy his brother Asura.
Indra founded the modern ninjutsu hand techniques. Hand gestures channel chakra and activate powerful moves. He and his followers would form the Uchiha clan, and his soul would reincarnate to fight against his sworn brother throughout the ages.
3 Obito Uchiha
Perhaps the only one who is capable of greater feats is Obito Uchiha, who is proven to be one of the most powerful villains in the Ninja world. It’s hard to believe that this mask-wearing adversary was an impetuous kid under Team Minato.
Obito was second best compared to Kakashi and spent much of his time trying to surpass Kakashi. However, under Uchiha Madara’s teachings, Obito mastered his Uchiha abilities, and Rin’s death awakened his Mangekyo Sharingan. At the age of 14, Obito could even fight his former sensei Minato and was close to harnessing the power of the Nine-tailed Beast.
Perhaps one of his most unique abilities is Kamui, which allows Obito to bend space and teleport, allowing him dodge attacks by making parts of his body intangible. He also mastered Izanagi.
After he sealed the Ten-tailed Beast inside himself, he became one of the few ninjas capable of transforming into Jinchuriki Form.
However, it's not just his strength that makes him a formidable foe but also his power to manipulate others in order to get what he wants. For example, he influenced Nagato to go on his rampage.
2 Madara Uchiha
Hashirama’s old rival is the leader of the Uchiha clan. Madara’s strength is unparalleled compared to the any other Uchihas. Madara was the first to use Susanoo, a powerful summoning technique that required Mangekyo Sharingan in both eyes. He’s the only one who can fight Hashirama nonstop for several days non-stop. In fact, their epic battle carved the Valley of the End.
He brought the Nine-tailed Beast under his control to destroy Konoha and is shown to control the Tailed Beasts easily, even sealing the Three-tailed Beast into Rin Nohara to set Obito onto his dark path.
The five great Kages, both living and dead, couldn’t stop him from activating the Infinite Tsukuyomi. As a villain, Madara achieved greater power than any other and is a master manipulator. The only people who are more powerful are the gods themselves.
1 Kaguya Otsutsuki
Kaguya is the mother of all ninjutsu. Obviously, she’s the most powerful villain. Even though Kishimoto wrote her in at the last arc, as a character, she fits in with the mythology in the Narutoverse. Most of the techniques and powers used in the series are based on mythological beings.
Her Infinite Tsukuyomi transports her victims into dreams, providing them a false paradise of their choosing. If it wasn’t for her two sons who harbored some of her chakra and chose to rise against her, then Kaguya would have taken over the world long ago.
She is indestructible and impossible to kill. As the creator of ninjutsu, she can use any kind of technique and is the first Ten-tailed beast in the world. She is feared by all.
As the only god-like being, Kaguya ended many human conflicts but soon harbored resentment for humanity and became a demon that needed to be sealed.
What do you think? Who do you think Naruto's most powerful villain is? Sound off in the comments!