In the world of Naruto, ninja aren’t typically on their own. If they are, the shinobi usually has a reason for their solitude. Instead, most shinobi operate in teams. The most effective tends to be a three-man team so that multiple skills can cover every possible outcome of a fight. Some of teams might be larger, but those are usually for very special missions.
“Most powerful” means the shinobi teams in question have the largest gathering of raw power. They have access to jutsu that blow the other teams out of the water. These aren’t the shinobi who have to rely on backup to bail them out of a tough mission. In contrast, the weakest teams have jutsu that don’t allow them a combat advantage, or they lack the chakra to really power up.
After carefully examining the dozens of team-ups in Naruto and Naruto Shippuden, we’ve gathered the most and least powerful together to create Naruto: The 20 Most Powerful Ninja Teams (And 10 Weakest) Officially Ranked.
There’s a tradition in the Hidden Mist Village involving swords. The most powerful shinobi, and those most skilled with a blade, become members of the elite Seven Swordsman. The group is said to be so powerful that they can bring down a nation without any help.
If that’s true, why do we consider them one of the weakest teams in the Naruto franchise?
The truth is, for all the history and supposed power, the group frequently falls apart when just a few people come after them. Might Duy was able to dissolve one group in the past while Boruto Uzumaki and his friends (still in training) were able to stop them in the modern day.
Also known as Team Kurenai, Team 8 consisted of Shino, Kiba, and Hinata. With such differing skill sets as children, they didn’t seem like a good fit, but their teamwork led to them becoming one of the most effective teams.
Their unique abilities included Kiba’s bonding with his ninja hound, Shino’s command of insects, and Hinata’s Byakugan sight as well as her Gentle Fist technique. Often seen as the weak link in her generation, Hinata was able to master her own version of Gentle Fist and take out a swarm of insects one by one without Shino’s help.
This team is definitely more powerful than they seem.
When Konohagakure finally sent out teams of shinobi to halt Orochimaru’s plans, it required most of the characters audiences were familiar with. The second part of the Orochimaru Search Team included Tenten, Kiba, and Rock Lee under the guidance of Yamato.
This team had a lot of firepower with Tenten’s never ending supply of weapons, Lee’s pure determination, and Kiba’s tracking ability. They don’t rank higher in the most powerful, however, because between the three, they don’t have command over many powerful jutsu and have to rely on their hand-to-hand skills to get them through.
Fans are most familiar with the Naruto generation of Ino-Shika-Cho. Before Ino, Shikamaru, and Choji became a team, their fathers were one as well. The trio consider themselves legendary, but we’ve got to beg to differ.
Individually, they do have their inherited family jutsu on their side, and yes, Inoichi is able to use his mind to contact nearly everyone in Konohagakure at once. The trouble is, the three don’t actually seem to have a good command of their abilities— or if they do, we don’t actually see them in use. Their biggest claim to fame is delivering a peace treaty decades before their kids were born.
During the Orochimaru Search Mission, the third team of shinobi were supposed to seal a tailed beast. It included Sakura, Ino, and Hinata, with Shizune taking charge.
While all three of the young women involved would grow into very powerful shinobi, Ino hadn’t yet learned enough focused chakra control to keep up with the others, making her the weak link in the group. In fact, with none of their combat abilities needed for this particular mission, it was all about chakra reserves, something these three didn’t have in large supply, making them not particularly high on the power scale, despite what they could do.
Consisting of Jirobo, Tayuya, Kidomaru, and Sakon, this foursome is pretty fearsome. Orochimaru trusted them to be his last line of defense. The group guarded him while he performed secret tasks and also went out on missions for him.
All four had their own specific power sets, but the most formidable might have been Tayuya’s musical stylings. The notes played on her demonic flute could harm her enemies, but also control her allies.
The only reason this group doesn’t rank higher amongst the more powerful teams is because their wins don’t typically come as a result of sheer power, but from their experience in the field, and their desperation to not let Orochimaru down.
To be fair, Team Minato did have quite the powerhouse on their team in Kakashi Hatake. Kakashi, Obito Uchiha, and Rin made up this inexperienced trio. That inexperience is why they rank so low.
They weren’t together long before they lost Obito in the field, despite him having the inherited Uchiha Clan abilities. Rin also wound up sacrificing herself without the audience having a clear idea of what she was capable of. Even Kakashi’s skills aren’t based in pure power, but in plenty of practice and experience later in life. As a team, these three just don’t measure up.
Sasuke defected from Konohagakure, but his betrayals didn’t end there. He also ended his time with Orochimaru by absorbing his former mentor into his own body and taking control instead of becoming Orochimaru’s vessel. Once done, he started his own team.
Sasuke recruited Karin, Jugo, and Suigetsu from different hideouts. While Suigetsu was good with a blade and Karin tracked chakra, the real power in this group came in the form of Sasuke and Jugo. Jugo’s DNA actually created the curse marks that increased the power in Orochimaru’s trusted followers, and Sasuke had all of Orochimaru’s abilities in addition to his own!
As a whole, the Akatsuki is one powerful organization. They also took on an unusual team formation in the world of shinobi. While most shinobi teams occurred in threes or larger, the Akatsuki paired their members in much smaller teams of two.
Deidara and Sasori had two very unique sets of shinobi specialties. While Deidara preferred to blow things up as “art,” Sasori had an affliction for puppets. Both of them were incredibly powerful in their own ways, but Sasori found himself outmatched by Sakura and Lady Chiyo— a woman who hadn’t even used her abilities in decades. If only all that power could outweigh strategy.
Samui’s team, consisting of herself, Karui, and Omoi, is very skilled when it comes to using a katana. All three of the team members carry one and prove themselves lethal with it in battle. The trouble is, we don’t really see them get to show off much more power.
Omoi is able to use Lightning Release and infuse his katana with its power, but beyond that, we mostly see the trio rely on their blade and hand-to-hand combat skills. That’s why they land in the weakest category: their lack of powerful jutsu.
It’s no wonder that this particular subset of the Orochimaru Search Team is the most powerful. After all, this group was the primary fighting team. Kakashi led Shino, Sai, and Naruto into the field in a confrontation with the Crystal Release wielding Guren.
Interestingly, though Shino’s bugs get the spotlight and Sai and Naruto get to show off their power, it’s not their power that wins them any fights. Instead, it’s Naruto talking to Guren about the choices she’s making. Despite all the fighting power this team has, it doesn’t really get them anywhere. Sometimes diplomacy is the answer.
It might seem odd that this team ranks a little higher than the last considering it has two of the same members. Sai joined Team 7 late in the series, so he, along with Naruto, Sakura, and their new team leader Yamato, had to learn to work together fairly quickly.
They just edge out Orochimaru Search Team 1 because of Yamato’s Wood Release, which he can actually use to control the tailed beast inside of Naruto, and because of Sakura’s medical prowess by that point. Sakura has such intense chakra control that she’s got super strength and a keen understanding of the shinobi body. It gives the team a new edge.
Ebisu became the sensei to a very young group of aspiring shinobi in the original Naruto series. Also called the Konohamaru Corps because they played together as children, Konohamaru, Moegi, and Udon make up the group.
As adults (and individual shinobi) in Boruto, we know they’re pretty powerful as they lead their own young shinobi teams. The issue is that we never see them gain that kind of power together over the course of the series, so they definitely rank among the weaker of the teams. If only we saw Moegi gain Wood Release and Konohamaru master the more complicated jutsu he learns from Naruto when they were still a team.
If someone earns a place in the Akatsuki, they’ve got to have some serious firepower. Kakuzu and Hidan, one of the first pairs Naruto fans saw in action in the anime, certainly did.
Kakuzu took the still beating hearts of his victims in order to prolong his own life, using a powerful jutsu to nearly make himself immortal. Likewise, Hidan drew power from his rituals, allowing him to tie his own life force to those of his victims. The duo were not outmatched by power, but instead by the strategic mind of Shikamaru Nara.
Just missing out on the top ten most powerful teams is the Akatsuki pairing of Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki. Both shinobi betrayed their villages, taking out huge numbers when they did. It only makes sense that they would be one powerful team.
Itachi’s power stemmed largely from his inherited abilities as a member of the Uchiha clan. He could cause seriously harmful hallucinations with his genjutsu. For his part, Kisame was more than just a former member of the Seven Ninja Swordsmen. With impressive strength, speed, and chakra, he earned the nickname of “Tailed Beast Without The Tail.”
Originally introduced when Naruto and company took their Chunin exams, Team Oboro entered the fray as antagonists fans never learned much about. The trio wore coats and spent most of their time with their face covered by breathing masks.
Those breathing masks came in handy since they had a thing for poisonous gas and fighting in water. They group oddly popped up as enemies for hire a few times in the anime, but they always lost out to the genin level shinobi they were fighting, so we can’t exactly call them super powerful despite their preparedness.
Also known as Ino-Shika-Cho, Team 10 traditionally consists of one child from each of the Yamanaka, Nara, and Akimichi clans. In Naruto’s generation, that meant Ino, Shikamaru, and Choji. They inherited the same abilities as their fathers, but also expanded their skills, giving them entry into the top 10 most powerful team spots over time.
Ino had mind possession as a result of her bloodline, but she learned medical ninjutsu and chakra control eventually as well, turning herself into a field medic during the war. Shikamaru had more than simply shadow possession going for him as his strategy was unparalleled. With Choji’s strength and size changing jutsu, as well, the group was nearly unstoppable.
Following Sasuke’s defection from Konohagakure, a team formed to bring him home. As the only member of his generation promoted to chunin, Shikamaru led the team of his genin peers. He chose Choji, Kiba, Neji, and Naruto to go on the journey with him. Along the way, the Sasuke Recovery Team received a surprise assist by Rock Lee.
With size changing jutsu, ninja hounds, the Byakugan, and great chakra reserves, this team packed quite a bit of power. The team didn’t succeed in their mission, but it wasn’t because they were out-powered. Instead, it’s because they lacked the experience their adversaries had.
They might be one of the best known teams in Naruto’s generation, but during their time together, they weren't exactly the most powerful. Led by Guy, Tenten, Neji, and Rock Lee got their turns in the spotlight in the franchise, but they never became as powerful as fans thought they would.
Tenten specialized in weapons, but a sealing scroll with an unlimited supply was about the extent of her power. Neji started off powerful, but his cousin Hinata easily outstripped him with a little hard work. Rock Lee didn’t have any jutsu, but relied on his hand-to-hand skills. They’re not the weakest team in the franchise, but they certainly aren’t the most powerful.
Sunagakure was a bit harder on its young shinobi than Konohagakure. As a result, this trio of siblings grew up during very difficult times, relying on their jutsu to get them through.
Gaara, like Naruto, was a jinchuriki of immense power. He relied on his older siblings Temari and Kankuro to protect him from going too far. Kankuro commanded puppets while Temari controlled wind. The trio got the Konoha genin out of trouble on more than one occasion. Despite not landing at the very top of this list, they probably could have given everyone who outranked them a run for their money.
Handpicked by the leader of the Land of Fire, these twelve shinobi have to be some of the most powerful people around. They are, after all, the personal bodyguards for the leader of their entire nation.
We don’t know every shinobi that joins this team, so it’s hard to pin down exactly where they rank in terms of the power scale. What we do know is that in his youth, Asuma Sarutobi was a member before it was disbanded. We also know that Shikamaru Nara was invited to the reformed group, and he makes up part of several of the most powerful team-ups in the franchise.
Naruto Shippuden the Movie: Bonds should take place sometime during the Shippuden years of the anime. The only trouble is that the movies never quite line up with the anime timeline, though they do make for some interesting fleshing out of different characters.
Bonds brought together Naruto, Sakura, and Hinata to escort a young shinobi across the countryside. If the movie really occurred during Shippuden, it would have been during a time when they all progressed in their training and their powers. Unfortunately, both Sakura and Hinata found themselves out of commission and without their usual power during the events of the film.
Naruto spent a lot of time following Sasuke’s defection trying to convince everyone around him to bring his former teammate back to the village. He got a chance to pursue another Uchiha when he convinced Lady Tsunade to send a search team after Itachi.
The team united the second version of Team 7 and the members of Team 8 into one unit with Kakashi and Yamato as leaders. Created at nearly the peak of their development, this is almost the most powerful team created among the main characters of the Naruto franchise, but not quite.
During The Last: Naruto The Movie, set between the events of the Shippuden and Boruto years, Hinata’s little sister was snatched away. Determined to get Hanabi back, Shikamaru led a team consisting of Hinata, Sai, Naruto, and Sakura.
The five had already survived the Fourth Shinobi World War and knew just how far they could push the limits of their powers. During the mission, every member had a chance to use some of their most powerful skills, including Sakura waking everyone from a complicated genjutsu and Naruto and Hinata combining their powers to save the day.
Naruto Shippuden The Movie also gave fans a new team configuration. Sakura, Neji, Rock Lee, and Naruto teamed up to escort a priestess beyond the stone armies after her.
Shion was the last of her people, making the job very important. The job probably could have used a better team. Despite being set during the Shippuden era, the four team members didn’t have enough of the skills or power they had during the anime series, and it nearly cost them their lives. Luckily, even though they each failed to live up to the potential of the series, they did perform their mission successfully.
Nagato and Konan began their path in life as two-thirds of a trio of orphans. When the third, Yahiko, sacrificed himself to protect the two of them, they set out to force peace upon the world, running the powerful Akatsuki.
The duo was seen as unbeatable largely because of Nagato creating the Paths of Pain to do his work for him. An early fight, and his connection to the Demonic Statue of the Outer Path, left his body frail, but his power was immense. Konan, as his right hand and biggest supporter, made sure no one got close to him.
This trio of shinobi included Jiraiya, Tsunade, and Orochimaru. They all graduated the Ninja Academy early and showed immense promise as children. It’s no surprise they mastered so many jutsu and developed such extensive power.
While Jiraiya developed a few of his own jutsu, he also learned how to use his connections to toads to his advantage. Tsunade developed the leading techniques of medical ninjutsu, gained super strength through chakra storage, and became Hokage. Orochimaru might have spent a lot of time as a villain, but he developed his own methods for gaining power— and basically achieved immortality. Not many can be stronger than this team when they unite.
Despite their differences, when Deidara paired with Sasori, they made a formidable pair with their divide and conquer approach. By the time Deidara and Tobi paired up though, Deidara was much weaker.
Constantly put up against the likes of Naruto and his friends, Deidara quickly drained his chakra every time. Likewise, Tobi didn’t really show anyone what he was capable of until much later in the franchise when his real identity came out. During his time with Deidara, Tobi was mostly someone who talked a lot and didn’t pull his weight in a fight.
After Sasuke defected from the Hidden Leaf Village, the rest of the genin had a lot of time on their hands— and a world on the brink of war. That meant they spent a lot of time training and a lot of time going on small team missions.
One very large team up meant every genin in the main cast— except for Tenten— teamed up to help get the Sand Village siblings out of trouble. With Hinata, Neji, Rock Lee, Naruto, Choij, Ino, Shino, Kiba, and Sakura all under the guidance of Shikamaru, there’s almost no team as powerful as this one.
Of course, they hadn’t yet all reached their full potential.
Unless you were very aware of the tropes present in manga and anime, you wouldn’t have thought the first version of Team 7 would top this list. Team Kakashi included Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke right out of the Ninja Academy.
Initially, these three seemed ill prepared for the world of the shinobi. All three of them found ways to hone their skills until they were as powerful as the gods of their world. Their bonds to one another only make them stronger when they unite and, when they reunited at the end of the Naruto series to save the day, there’s no way anyone could beat them.
Do you agree with this assessment of the most powerful (and weakest) of the teams in the Naruto franchise? Or did we leave someone out of the mix? Let us know in the comments.