One Piece’s swordsmen are some of the most fearsome fighters in the series. Their power can reach incredible heights, as blatantly showcased throughout the New World saga.
Yet, even within these exceptional combatants exists an upper echelon within the hierarchy. One Piece’s top dogs in the swordsman world truly are frightening, with legendary accolades or terrifying displays of power to their name.
Wano samurai dominate One Piece’s ten strongest swordsmen
1) Shimotsuki Ryuma
The undisputed best swordsman throughout the One Piece series is the legendary Shimotsuki Ryuma. He was an ancient samurai from centuries before the beginning of the story who was able to forge his signature weapon Shisui into a black blade before dying.
Beyond this, he was called the Sword God, a nickname he earned for his revered mastery of swordsmanship. One of his significant feats is slaying a dragon, a genuinely mythological accomplishment that cannot be understated.
2) Kozuki Oden
Ranking behind the legendary Wano samurai is yet another samurai from the same country of origin. The famed Kozuki Oden was a mighty and talented swordsman, the chief of his accomplishments being able to wound a dragon-form Kaido badly.
Beyond this, his Oden Two-Sword Style and mastery of Advanced Armament Haki, also called Ryou, emphasizes just how powerful he was. Experience battling with both the Roger and Whitebeard pirates only further honed his strength, solidifying his rank as the second-strongest swordsman in One Piece.
3) Dracule Mihawk
Ranking just behind the two Wano legends is Dracule Mihawk, One Piece’s current holder of the title of world’s strongest swordsman. While his skills are truly remarkable, it’s a fair assumption he’s still just shy of Wano’s legendary samurai.
Nevertheless, his skills are remarkable, being able to cause massive, area-of-effect destruction with one swing of his sword. Mihawk’s debut fight against eventual-protege Roronoa Zoro further emphasizes his skills, as he was able to take down the Straw Hat with essentially a pocket knife.
The series has teased Shanks and Mihawk being on similar levels throughout, likely meaning the former is only slightly weaker. His experience as an apprentice on Gol D. Roger’s ship and holding the title of Yonko would further indicate this rank.
There’s little argument against Shanks being in the top five strongest One Piece swordsmen, even if someone can argue his exact rank in the group.
5) Roronoa Zoro
The Straw Hat swordsman still has a way to go before claiming the title of world’s most potent but is undoubtedly on his way there as part of the current top five. Roronoa Zoro’s recent power-up during the Wano arc fully solidifies this.
Even beyond this manga-only development, his attainment of Enma has elevated him to a new level. Even the most simple of strikes with Oden’s former blade of choice become massive attacks, thanks to the sword demanding all of the user’s Haki be drawn out.
6) Silvers Rayleigh
Despite being in his golden years, Silvers Rayleigh was still talented enough with Armament Haki and a sword to hold off Admiral Kizaru. The former Roger Pirate vice-captain was even able to graze and injure the Admiral during their fight.
Being this strong in his old age would indicate even greater strength during his prime. However, even in his current state, he still ranks as one of One Piece’s ten strongest sworders.
Similarly, Admiral Fujitora is another wizened veteran who still dwarfs many characters in his skills with a sword. His strength is particularly impressive due to his being blind, which doesn’t stop him from expertly wielding his weapon in battle (likely thanks to Observation Haki).
Combined with his Devil Fruit powers of gravity manipulation, Fujitora undoubtedly ranks as one of the series’ ten strongest sworders, even with his lack of sight.
8) Trafalgar D. Water Law
Trafalgar D. Water Law’s skill with a sword is awe-inspiring, both by itself and when enhanced with his Devil Fruit powers. The chief example of his swordsmanship skill on its own is during the Dressrosa arc. He fought a Doflamingo clone and easily fended it off with only his sword in hand, not using his Fruit powers.
Many examples of his skill with the sword, when combined with his Devil Fruit powers, exist throughout the New World saga. Two of the most prominent examples are his G-5 fight during Punk Hazard and the damage he does to Trebol and Doflamingo during the Dressrosa arc.
Despite his primary strength being toughness, King is also a remarkable swordsman. The One Piece manga sees Zoro show a slight display of respect for his skills with the sword, praise which is incredibly weighty.
Although not shown too often yet in the anime, the One Piece manga undoubtedly establishes King as one of the series’ top ten swordsmen.
Finally, Kin’emon’s unique Foxfire Style, as well as his mastery of the Oden Two-Sword Style, solidifies his ranking as one of the series’ best sworders. The Foxfire Style is incredibly versatile, allowing its user to defend against or attack with flames via their swordplay.
The Oden Two Sword Style and its necessity of mastering Ryou are discussed in great detail above for higher entrants. Possessing these two skills undoubtedly solidifies Kin’emon’s rank amongst One Piece’s most potent sword wielders.
Zoro gained a significant amount of power after the events of Wano, and since he is one of the main characters of the series, he might eventually replace the Sword God. However, in the never-ending world of One Piece, there are many powerful characters who are appearing in each chapter, so it's difficult to say that the top spot will remain the same. We will have to wait and see about it.
Note: The article entirely depicts the author’s personal opinion.
This article was modified on Sunday, June 25 at 16:00 PM.