One Piece’s Yonko have been at the center of many discussions involving power and strength of characters over the years, both within the series’ fandom and in the general anime community. All of their attributes, from their Devil Fruits to their inherent strength, have been scaled heavily by enthusiasts.
However, one aspect of One Piece’s Yonko that is rarely discussed is the smartness and intelligence of each member of the group relative to one another. While none of them are brainiacs, there is certainly a clear hierarchy based on what we know of their knowledge so far in the series.
Here is every Yonko in One Piece, both former and present, ranked from least to most intelligent.
The latest additions to One Piece’s Yonko rank the lowest when it comes to intelligence
7) Monkey D. Luffy
Monkey D. Luffy, one of the newest Yonko, is also the least intelligent in the group. Despite having a heart of gold and the best intentions, his ideas and way of thinking aren’t always the best. They are difficult to follow, and often far from being logical and sensible.
Furthermore, he’s likely the least knowledgable about the mysteries of the series’ world amongst all the Yonko. The others lived during Roger’s era and may have been privy to snippets of lore and information regarding the world and its eponymous treasure. Without this advantage, Luffy falls to the bottom of the list as the least intelligent Yonko.
Buggy is proof that being a part of Roger’s era doesn’t necessarily guarantee a massive advantage in terms of knowledge gained. Buggy appears to be almost as clueless as Luffy when it comes to the series’ world despite being on Roger’s crew for the legendary journey.
However, he gets the benefit of the doubt as the journey may have keyed him in on some information that he is yet to reveal. He may have some latent knowledge that we are unaware of. That being said, he’s still closer to Luffy in this regard than he is to the next Yonko on the list.
5) Big Mom
As a former member of the Rocks Pirates and someone who was highly active during Roger’s era, there’s little doubt Big Mom is one of the more intelligent Yonko in the series. However, the fact that she needs Pudding to piece together the Ponegylphs for her means that there are gaps in her knowledge and that she does not know nearly as much as Kaido.
As the owner of a Road Poneglyph, she’s aware of the existence of Laugh Tale and she understands the role played by the Poneglyphs and Lodestar Island. So, she outranks the two latest additions to the group in terms of intelligence.
Marshall D. Teech, also known as Blackbeard, is shown to be a cunning and tactful adversary. The first half of the series sees him carefully set up and execute his grand plan of becoming a Yonko. Furthermore, he’s been implied to have some specific knowledge of the world as it relates to his Dark-Dark Fruit, given his murderous obsession with wielding its power.
He was also shown to be an active pirate on Whitebeard’s ship during Roger’s era, similarly to Shanks and Buggy. Like the former, he seems to have picked up on some crucial information from that era which is helping to motivate him today. He’s clearly one of the more intelligent Yonko based on his feats and actions thus far.
Edward Newgate, aka Whitebeard, was known as the strongest pirate in the world during his lifetime. As it happens, he was also one of the smartest Yonko. He always had wisdom to impart when it came to conflict and issues, which is perfectly demonstrated when he told Ace that he had a bad feeling about the Blackbeard situation.
Furthermore, he had a close relationship with Roger that was almost akin to being best friends. The two even shared information with each other regarding the different aspects of the world, including the meaning behind the initial “D.” Everything considered, Whitebeard was undoubtedly one of the smartest Yonko.
Despite his closeness with Roger, Whitebeard could not rival Kaido's extensive knowledge of Joy Boy, the Void Century, and other major One Piece mysteries. While fans are still unsure of how he’s so knowledgeable of such things, it’s made clear in the manga that there is no reason to doubt the validity of what he knows.
Furthermore, his time ruling over Wano likely made him privy to a wealth of relevant information about the country and the series’ world. The isolationist nation has been teased to have a much larger role to play in the series, and Kaido likely discovered something about the same during his tyrannical time in the country.
Finally, the mysterious Red-Haired Shanks is likely the most intelligent Yonko in the series. Fans even theorize him to be a former Celestial Dragon, which would make this doubly true. Even if that isn’t the case, his tight bond with Roger and his time on the former Pirate King’s ship likely gave him plenty of information about the world at large.
Furthermore, his unique approach to combat displays a profound level of wisdom as he recognizes all human lives to be the same regardless of faction or alignment. Many fans would agree that his enigmatic airs veils greater sagacity and intellect than all the other Yonko in the series.