Did One Piece 1073 hint at Zoro being Yonko level already?

Zoro's presence is more threatening than ever (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Among the most trending features of One Piece chapter 1073 is the dominant display of power provided by fan-favorite Roronoa Zoro. A master swordsman, Zoro aims to become the world's strongest, surpassing even Dracule Mihawk.

With such an incredible ambition to realize, it's rather obvious that someday Zoro will surpass the level of the Four Emperors. Being a "super rookie" born with the rare Conqueror's Haki, he certainly has the potential to achieve this accomplishment.

Naturally, Zoro should reach the peak of his power during One Piece's final saga. However, the way his strength was portrayed in the latest chapter has led many fans to think that his current might is already comparable to an Emperor's.

Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to Chapter 1073 and reflects the writer's personal views.

Eiichiro Oda may have just emphasized Zoro as one of the strongest One Piece characters

Zoro's status and feats before the ongoing Egghead Arc

Zoro demonstrated incredible power in Wano, and now he is grown even stronger (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Zoro demonstrated incredible power in Wano, and now he is grown even stronger (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

A master swordsman who aims to become the world's strongest, Zoro is Luffy's devoted right-hand man and the second most powerful member of the Strawhat Pirates, only below Luffy himself. Being a part of the Eleven Supernovas of the Worst Generation, Zoro is a "super rookie."

The connection between Zoro and Luffy is very similar to the one between Rayleigh and Roger. In fact, Luffy and Zoro are the only two Strawhats to share several strength-related accomplishments.

Zoro has always been emphasized as a loyal second-in-command for Luffy and the only crewmember who is comparable in power to him. Given his superior strength, Zoro often acts as the vice-captain, replacing the captain if needed and protecting him if he is incapacitated or in danger.

In Thriller Bark, Zoro fought Kuma and put his life on the line to protect Luffy. In Wano, he saved his captain from Kaido and Big Mom on many occasions during the heated battle on Onigashima's rooftop.

No other Strawhat receives the same portrayal as Zoro. Even while maintaining a dynamic between him and Sanji, the author objectively sets Zoro apart, putting him on a higher pedestal of strength, importance, and leadership. The green-haired swordsman is often depicted as an individual comparable to Luffy.

After seeing demonstrations of his power, bystanders have often wondered why Zoro is not the captain of Strawhats or why he isn't the captain of his own crew. This is due to Zoro showing crazy feats of strength or unleashing his threatening aura.

Aiming to become the World's Strongest Swordsman, Zoro's life is devoted to becoming a mighty warrior. Even before joining the crew, he was already renowned for his fighting abilities, which drastically improved after meeting Luffy and traveling with the Strawhat Pirates.

After entering a two-year training period with Dracule Mihawk, Zoro's abilities skyrocketed. He displayed overwhelming superiority over his fellow Supernovas Hawkins, Killer, and Apoo, as well as over New World fighters such as Pica.

Zoro also successfully defended himself from Admiral Fujitora, blocking the latter's Devil Fruit power and even pushing him back to a certain extent. Following the events of One Piece's Wano Arc, Zoro improved his skills on a whole different stage, far surpassing the Commander-level.

He and Luffy later fought alongside Kid, Killer, and Law in a heated battle against Kaido and Big Mom. Zoro was able to block the two Emperors' combined attack. He also severely injured Kaido, leaving him with a scar, a feat that not even the joint effort of the Nine Red Scabbards could achieve.

After upgrading his Haki to the next level, Zoro reached a new level of strength which allowed him to annihilate Kaido's right-hand man, King, a man hailed as the last survivor of the mighty Lunarians.

Zoro is one of the few One Piece characters who can use all three types of Haki, including the very rare Conqueror's Haki. A further testament to his outstanding capabilities, he can use advanced versions of two types of Haki out of three.

Coating his three Graded Swords with his Haki, Zoro unleashes deadly slashes. His Armament Haki is powerful enough to allow him to deeply cut through Kaido's hard dragon scales and enable his swords to parry the Emperors' joint attack without breaking.

During the fight with King, Zoro unlocked the Advanced Conqueror's Haki, a game-changing ability. Kaido himself stated that only a few among the strongest fighters could use this power.

With his swordsmanship and Haki mastery granting him excellent attacking power and defensive capabilities, Zoro also possesses outstanding physical prowess.

He demonstrated frightening reflexes to pursue opponents and remarkable agility to avoid or block the opponent's attacks. His sword cuts are strong enough to overpower the opponent and heavily damage him, as well as fast enough not to let him dodge.

Dashing towards his opponents and cutting them in the blink of an eye, sometimes even unsheathing and re-sheathing his sword before his enemies can react, most of Zoro's slashes involve him appearing behind the opponent with a burst of speed.

Moreover, Zoro has constantly been emphasized as a beastly individual who can endure terrible injuries and exert tremendous muscular strength. He was able to withstand the Hakai, maintaining enough energy to wound Kaido. Even Trafalgar Law, a prominent Supernova, was astonished at such feats.

One Piece 1073 featured Zoro's dominant showing over a Seraphim

Zoro was smiling, while S-Hawk was shocked (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Zoro was smiling, while S-Hawk was shocked (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Seraphims are the most powerful cyborgs in the One Piece series. These living weapons are hybrid clones that combine the signature powers of former Warlords with the special abilities of the Lunarian race.

S-Hawk, the cyborg based on Dracule Mihawk, has the most impressive feats among all Seraphims. Wielding a sword that (though not being a Black Blade) somehow resembles Mihawk's Yoru, S-Hawk has demonstrated frightening swordsmanship.

One of S-Hawk's slashes was enough to split Amazon Lily's biggest mountain in half. Even Blackbeard, one of the Four Emperors and a remarkably resilient individual, was forced to cover himself in Armament Haki to withstand S-Hawk's attack without getting damaged.

The Lunarian traits grant Seraphims incredible durability. They can also trade some of their toughness to boost their speed. Owing to his Lunarian powers, S-Hawk was able to come out completely unscathed from Blackbeard's Black Hole technique.

Following the previous chapter's events, One Piece 1073 featured the Six Satellites of Vegapunk trying to give an order to the Seraphims to stop them from destroying the area. Unfortunately, Seraphims don't halt until they fully receive a direct order.

As such, S-Hawk was about to murder Vegapunk Lilith in cold blood, unleashing a powerful slash that would have certainly killed her. However, Zoro quickly intercepted the Seraphim and blocked his attack.

The two had a brief clash, during which S-Hawk appeared shocked by Zoro's strength. Considering that Zoro was only using two swords out of three and was holding back his King of Hell Style, for him to intimidate an opponent of S-Hawk's caliber is pretty impressive.

S-Hawk's slash can effortlessly cut mountains, yet a casual Zoro blocked it easily. Moreover, S-Hawk went head-on to clash with Blackbeard, even putting some pressure on him.

How strong is Zoro now?

Only the strongest One Piece characters can use the Advanced Conquerors' Haki (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Only the strongest One Piece characters can use the Advanced Conquerors' Haki (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Zoro's showcase over S-Hawk has prompted many fans to claim that the green-haired swordsman of the Strawhat Pirates has already reached the level of the Emperors.

Admittedly, Zoro dominated S-Hawk more than Blackbeard, one of the Four Emperors, was able to do. With neither of the two going all out with their best moves against the Seraphim, Zoro seemed much more comfortable than Blackbeard.

Zoro blocked the mountain-cutting slash from S-Hawk and deflected his sword with ease, relying only on his Armament Haki and muscular strength. To achieve the same result, Blackbeard, in addition to Armament Haki, also needed to use a named technique of the Dark-Dark Fruit.

Blackbeard appeared rather pressured by S-Hawk, while Zoro faced him with the most relaxed and confident smile. More interestingly, S-Hawk showed no fear during his clash with the Emperor.

Conversely, the same Seraphim was stunned at Zoro's strength. A brief scuffle with the latter was enough for S-Hawk to display sweat and shocked eyes as a clear sign of agitation.

Regardless, it seems exaggerated to think that this scene is meant to convey that Zoro is as strong as Blackbeard or even stronger than him. Admittedly, Zoro is incredibly powerful now, but it seems too early for him to surpass the Yonko-level.

One Piece author Eiichiro Oda purposely made S-Hawk confront Blackbeard and Zoro. With S-Hawk being widely considered the strongest Seraphim, the fact that he was shocked at a holding back Zoro is clearly meant to be a pretty big hype for the latter.

The comparison with Blackbeard should likely be interpreted as Oda's general way to hype Zoro rather than as a direct comparison between his might and the Emperor's.

Despite his young age, Zoro is powerful enough to stand against the Admirals and Emperors, although he is not fully at their level. Zoro has a lot of untapped potential to develop. Thus, he can become even stronger than he currently is.

Final thoughts

Combining Conqueror's Haki and Armament Haki, Zoro's King of Hell Style is devastating (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Combining Conqueror's Haki and Armament Haki, Zoro's King of Hell Style is devastating (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

At this point in the series, Zoro seems to be strong enough to put up a solid fight against most Admirals and Emperors. For instance, either Admiral Fujitora or former Emperor Big Mom would likely be pushed into a tough fight had they clashed against the current incarnation of Zoro.

Current Zoro is most likely as strong as Oden. Given every single issue where he has used Enma in the entire Egghead Arc, it seems that Zoro can now use it "as light as a feather" like Oden, despite the sword sucking his Haki.

This achievement makes Zoro comparable to Oden, possibly even stronger than the legendary samurai. Admittedly, Zoro's maximum power output when he goes all-out combining Nine Sword Style and King of Hell Style should grant him a Yonko-level peak.

Zoro can infuse his attacks with Conqueror's Haki, a feat that, going by Kaido's statement, directly puts him among the strongest characters. Even before unlocking this game-changing power, Zoro was already mighty enough to fend off Kaido and Big Mom, even inflicting a severe injury on the former.

Zoro's narrative benchmarks in One Piece are unbelievable, like Luffy's (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
Zoro's narrative benchmarks in One Piece are unbelievable, like Luffy's (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

After upgrading his abilities, Zoro annihilated King, a fighter of the same caliber as Marco and Katakuri. As such, Zoro's strength is about to reach the level of the absolute top dogs of One Piece, which is only fitting for the right-hand man of the future Pirate King.

Zoro may not be as strong as the Emperors right now. Still, he is bound to exceed them in One Piece's final saga, given that he is set to surpass Mihawk (a man who is stronger than even Shanks), Rayleigh (the right-hand man of Gol D. Roger), and "Sword God" Ryuma (the legendary swordsman).